GPTA Annual Meeting Thursday October 29th, CRITICAL NEWS and UPDATES

Gateway Plaza

Tenants Association

Annual Meeting

 

Thursday, October 29th

6:30 to 8 pm

St. Joseph’s Chapel

385 South End Avenue @ Gateway

 

GPTA members and non-members*

are cordially invited to join Your Neighbors ,

The GPTA Board,

Senator Daniel Squadron,

Council Member Margaret Chin

And Other Elected Officials

 

Get the Big News!!!! Latest Gateway Updates

 

Discuss Community Concerns:

Building Security, Illegal Sublets

Quality Of Life Issues

And Other Things on YOUR Mind

 

Elect the Members of the GPTA Executive Board

 

*Only members may vote for the Executive Board.

Become a member at the meeting.

 

Enjoy Delicious Halloween Snacks!

 

Treats. No Tricks.

Building Our Gateway Community

 

ELECTION RESULTS: New Executive Board Announced

 

On June 26th, the GPTA held its Annual Meeting and the results of the election at St. Joseph’s Church are the following. The (15) Executive Board positions will be filled by: Glenn Plaskin, Jeff Galloway, David Levine, Linda Orlick, Audrey Comisky, Delphina Livorsi, Miriam Bockman,  Mark Gorman, Cari DeCoon,  John Hummler, Shannon McCue,  Neha Arya, Peg Wallis, Karlene Wiese, and Dr. Leo Siegel.  We are deeply appreciative for each member donating their time and expertise to the community. We also welcome all tenants who wish to join our committees, each of which work on specific issues relevant to tenants.

In addition, we very much appreciate more than 300 Gateway tenants attending our Annual Reception, which included the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to our neighbor and friend, Raymond Kelly, the longest-serving Police Commissioner in NYC history. We will be posting all the photos from this event on Facebook. Here are just a few.

Ray and Veronica Kelly arriving at the North Cove Marina with GPTA President Glenn Plaskin

(left to right)
GPTA VP David Levine, Raymond Kelly, GPTA President Glenn Plaskin, Veronica Kelly

Paul Goldstein presenting Mr. Kelly with a special proclamation award from Speaker Sheldon Silver

Community Board Chair Catherine McVeigh Hughes

Good Day NY Host Greg Kelly, Veronica and Ray Kelly, Glenn Plaskin, and James Kelly

Community Leader Rosalie Joseph

Cutest Baby at the Party

Tenant Buff Kavelman with the Kellys

GPTA Secretary Delphina Livorsi

GPTA Board Member Linda Orlick

All photos taken on the evening of June 26th will shortly be posted on Facebook: Gateway Plaza Tenants’  Association

 

Gateway tenants NOT cool with the cool air: Send A Letter To The Landlord

Gateway tenants not cool with the cool air

December 4, 2013 | Filed under: News | Posted by: 

BY SAM SPOKONY   |  Many Gateway Plaza residents may feel cold again this winter, as planned repairs to their apartment windows, insulation and heating units are still incomplete.

The six-building, 1,700-unit complex on South End Ave. underwent an extensive energy audit in August 2012, after which auditors compiled a list of recommendations for upgrades and repairs.

The audit was the result of a collaborative effort between the LeFrak Organization, which owns the Battery Park City complex, Gateway’s Tenant Association and State Sen. Daniel Squadron. In addition to the plans to replace shoddy windows, insulation and PTAC units (which provide heating and air conditioning), LeFrak also committed to upgrading the development’s boilers and ventilation systems, according to Squadron’s office.

And at a public meeting in February, a LeFrak representative told tenants that the repairs and upgrades would be completed by the following winter — the end of 2013 — according to Glenn Plaskin, Gateway’s tenant leader.

“It’s a quality of life issue for our units, especially those with elderly residents, or families with young children,” Plaskin said in a phone interview last week. “We get so many letters from people who say that cold air is coming right through their windows and the insulation of their walls.”

In addition to those issues of discomfort, he explained that the faulty infrastructure causes “exorbitantly high” energy bills for some residents who have to crank up their heat to deal with the frosty air.

Plaskin said he’s learned that Gateway’s management has already installed some new PTAC units — perhaps several hundred — and that LeFrak is currently testing several different brands to see which is most effective.

But no new windows have yet been installed, and insulation repairs have also not yet taken place, he said.

Squadron sent a letter to LeFrak on Nov. 19, asking for an update on the status to the repairs and upgrades, but the landlord has not yet responded to the request, according to Squadron’s spokesperson

LeFrak’s spokesperson said the firm was not ready to “provide any details” on the matter.

“The good news is that LeFrak is aware of what needs to be done, and they’ve taken some steps forward by installing some of the PTAC units and getting price estimates for the new windows,” said Plaskin. “I’m optimistic that everything will eventually get done, but tenants need to keep making their voices heard if they want it to be done in a timely manner.”

Spread the word:

Rent-stabilized Tenants Hit With Highest Hike In Five Years


Hundreds of thousands of tenants were hit tonight with rent hikes that are the highest in five years — 4 percent for one-year lease renewals and 7.75 percent for two years.

The increases, voted at a noisy hearing of the Rent Guidelines Board at Cooper Union, affect residents of the city’s one million rent-stabilized apartments whose leases expire on or after Oct.1.

The last time the board slapped tenants nearly that hard was in 2008, when it meted out increases of 4.5 and 8.5 percent.

Last year, tenants got off relatively easy with boosts of just 2 and 4 percent.

Out Of Control Electric Bills A Major Tenant Concern

As below, the GPTA letter to management:

To Gateway Management:

As you know from the many calls your office receives, the issue of high electric bills is a serious and ongoing tenant concern. The GPTA, as well, has been inundated with tenant complaints, and recently sent out a query to tenants asking them about their energy costs, which are exacerbated by the condition of the windows, window frames, and efficiency of heating units.

 While some tenants receive “normal” bills that are more or less consistent with past seasons—many others are receiving inexplicably high bills, that do not conform to their real usage or past history of use. Notwithstanding the fluctuation in usage rates and the weather, many of these bills remain inordinately high.

 One extreme example was referenced Tenant #1, who apparently received an erroneous bill for $800, whereupon the office drastically reduced it, calling it a “mistake.” Another tenant, referenced tenant #2, just received the attached bill and reported that, again, the management said it was “a mistake” and that she could pay $100.00. The question becomes how often is your meter and computer system issuing such mistakes (some of which may be less extreme but nonetheless inaccurate.)?

 As you will see from a sampling of tenant letters, as below, many of them who ordinarily receive bills during the winter in the $150-$200 range are getting bills for $350-$450—this for a one bedroom apartment. They report to us that they aren’t even home during the day and only run the machine in one room at a time.

This leads us to conclude that your computer billing system combined with your meter system are not working accurately for all tenants and that it is, at times, inconsistent and erratic. As your recent audit report concludes “tenants are continually calling the office to complain about their electric bills,” including the unpleasant task of negotiating bills down, which should not be necessary.

 As you know, the recent audit report erroneously concluded that the average electric bills is $80, a statement that caused a public outcry at our February energy forum due to it inaccuracy.

 In sum, the issue of energy costs is obviously a serious problem and needs to be resolved. In addition management needs to provide tenants with an explanation and a commitment to a timetable to replace all meters. Before further involving public officials and city agencies, we urge you to address and rectify this problem. Thank you.

 

 

GPTA Letter To Pool Management

To Gateway Management:

As you can imagine, many of our tenants are looking forward to the opening of the pool. The job you’ve done on the landscaping of the back lawn and around the pool is certainly impressive, a great improvement visually to the property. In addition, the atmosphere of the gym is greatly modernized and clean, which is much appreciated.

There are, however,tenants who have come to me with concerns and questions, which I will address here, as I did recently by phone with Paul Bruni.

(1) Pool Fees: For tenants who would ordinarily want to swim daily, charging $25 on a weekend per day and $15 on a weekday per day would add up to $500.00 per month, $1500 for a 3 month season. If you add to this the $600 gym membership fee, the total of $2100 is more than double the previous membership fee, (around $750.00) which included use of a pool year round.

(2) Towels: Even with these higher fees, tenants tell me that there are no towels. Paul mentioned that if the management decides to provide towel service, that would most likely be an additional fee. Again, for more than half the previous fee, towels were always provided. I can assure you that tenants do not want to bring their own towels and then go upstairs and launder them.

(3) Soap:  Moreover, I understand that even though the gym has been open for a number of months, there is no soap in the showers. If the dispensers have not been installed, neither have small bars of soap been given to tenants. How are they supposed to take a shower with no soap and no towel? Contrary to what management may believe, tenants often do prefer to take a shower in the gym.

(4) Steam Room: I’m also told that the steam room has been out of commission for a number of weeks.

Taking all this into account, we believe the fees being charged for pool use are simply too high. Paul maintains that you have to limit the number of tenants around the pool to 100. I can assure you that in 30 years of my observation of the pool (which had a retractable roof and decks for suntanning), there were never more than 30 people total even during the summer around the pool. I don’t think you have to worry about having more than 100, but for those who do show up daily, $500 is high.

In any case, I hope you might adjust your fees, charging tenants something reasonable ($250 total for the summer use of the pool), which when added to the existing fee of $600, would approximate the former fee for full gym membership that always included year round use of a pool, which most gyms provide in this neighborhood. This matter, and other Gateway-related issues, will be addressed on June 6th, at our annual meeting at PS 276, which this year will be attended by fourteen elected officials, as we’re presenting a special award to Sheldon Silver for his service to Battery Park City.

Finally, I would point out that while the gym is much more attractive than it used to be, with areas provided for socializing, and a pool table, there are far fewer number of actual machines provided. In the “old” gym, there were a number of machines I used to use that have been eliminated. With all this in mind, I hope you will adjust your fees accordingly and provide amenities like soap and towels.

Thank you, Glenn
Gateway Plaza
TENANTS ASSOCIATION
Glenn Plaskin, President
Email: GPlazaTA@gmail.com
Visit Our New Website: GPTA.org
P.O. Box 3266
Church Street Station
New York, NY 10008