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January 7, 2014- By Steven E. Greer
Approximately 20 residents of LeFrak’s Gateway Plaza turned out in the bitter cold for the presentation by Glenn Plaskin, president of the Gateway Plaza Tenets Association (GPTA), updating the CB1 on the lack of progress made by LeFrak to fix the cold leaking windows and exorbitant electric bills. For the second year in a row, Mr. Plaskin chose to have this meeting in the middle of the winter, when it is too late to prevent the suffering.
Mr. Plaskin briefed the audience on the well known problems (windows leak like a sieve and the electric bills, which come from LeFrak, are five times higher than what ConEd would charge). Then, members of the CB1 who live in Gateway chimed in with anecdotes. Tom Goodkind and Mr. Plaskin raised the option of a renter’s strike, whereby they would place their rent in escrow accounts.
However, the most important aspect of the unproductive bitch session was the conspicuous absence of any elected official whatsoever. No one from the BPCA was in attendance as well (nor was CB1 member Jeff Galloway). State Senator Dan Squadron and Margaret Chin sent staffers, one from each office, but Sheldon Silver did not even send a staffer. In contrast, just two days prior, every elected official, including New York’s Senator Schumer, attended the inauguration of New York City Councilwoman Margaret Chin.
Mr. Plaskin made a comment that he and others from the GPTA (Jeff Galloway?) recently met with the BPCA’s Chairman/CEO, Dennis Mehiel, and also with Sheldon Silver. Therefore, and if true, then Mr. Plaskin is truly speaking for the hundreds of tenants who are being ignored by LeFrak and forced to live for decades in apartments that should be condemned. That is a scary proposition.
As the meeting progressed, a member of the audience asked whether getting the TV news involved might help. Mr. Plaskin proudly referenced how the Gateway dog community was able to get Fox 5 to cover the 2012 saga over the new dog lease riders. Mr. Plaskin must be unaware than many tenants of Gateway are critical of the GPTA and say that it is more interested in dog owner’s rights than human rights.