Dear Shareholders: December 2006
The board of directors would like to thank those shareholders who
attended and filled the house of our recent shareholders budget meeting
at the Glen Oaks Campus HS. For those who could not attend, we have
prepared a summary report of the meeting. We do hope you can attend
the next one, as these meetings provide a perfect forum for in-depth
discussion and Q&A about our budget, spending priorities and the
board’s thinking in the decisions it makes. We also viewed property
photos of some of our newest decks and terraces, saw a 10 minute video
on the installation of two Glen Oaks dormers and watched a Glen Oaks
Village television commercial from 1982. We put a lot of time and
effort into making it an informative and enjoyable evening.
The board has done an excellent job in keeping variable costs such
as salaries and operational costs under control – however, at
the risk of sounding like a broken record, we are still experiencing
sharp increases in our most expensive non-discretionary budget items.
Heating fuel, property taxes and insurance continue to put a strain
on our finances. This puts the board in a position of having to make
certain decisions that affect each one of us. Are these sharp increases
permanent? Do we raise maintenance? Do we implement a special assessment
to take back the tax credits to cover some of these costs? Do we cut
back on some of our capital projects? Do we dip into our reserve account?
And so on. These are all very serious questions that have long-term
ramifications for us all. Contrary to some who may think otherwise,
the board takes no pleasure in increasing maintenance or reclaiming
the tax credits through special assessments. In fact, all board members
pay the same fees as all other shareholders and the financial composition
of the board closely mirrors the working class demographics of our
community. So we take these issues seriously.
But decisions have to be made and that is what a board of directors
does. We take pride in our co-op and we have all seen the dramatic
improvements of our property over the years. Even those who may complain
cannot deny the significant improvements both physically and financially
that have taken place at Glen Oaks Village over the years. This has
all been accomplished while maintaining the lowest maintenance of
all neighboring co-ops.
So in 2007 in order to create a balanced budget the board cut back
on some projects, funded a larger portion of capital work through
the reserve account and elected to implement 2 special assessments
equal to the NYS/NYC tax credits and 50% of the NYC rebate check.
This means most owner-occupant shareholders will incur virtually no
additional out-of-pocket costs during the month that the assessment
is implemented. The assessments will appear on your February or
March 2007 bill at the same time as the tax credits and also in October
or November 2007 at the same time the NYC/NYS tax rebate checks are
received. As in the past we will re-examine this 2nd assessment
towards the end of 2007 to see if it can be reduced or eliminated.
The alternative would have been a larger permanent maintenance increase
that would have had a negative cash flow effect on everyone. When
we polled our shareholders at the meeting it was unanimous that this
was the preferred method rather than a permanent maintenance increase.
We did NOT raise maintenance in 2007 but think an increase
in 2008 is likely. Of course we will seek to minimize any
future maintenance increases and we have a long track record of doing
just that. There of course will be some who disagree with our decision
-- and in this category will most certainly be offsite shareholders
or investor owners of multiple rental apartments. These shareholders
feel a larger sting from the assessment, as they do not receive the
corresponding tax credits and rebate checks. However, for the majority
of shareholders who live here we believe our decision serves them
Our maintenance continues to be the lowest of all neighboring co-ops
and with our right to make value-added improvements, Glen Oaks will
continue to be a premier co-op in which to live and raise a family.
In the end it is about leadership, good management, communicating
and making decisions that are in the best long-term interest of our
co-op and shareholders. We hope you feel the board has met this test.
Thank you and please email your thoughts or comments to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board of Directors