Monday, October 04, 2010

Morningside Troubles

Last week, cooperators at Morningside Gardens received in the mail a Flash Report setting forth some motions passed at a special closed session board meeting held on September 14th. I won't go into the substance of the motions here, but for clarity I should say that they amounted to censure of certain board members for actions during the last board year. (That is admittedly a minimal description, but I don't want to broadcast the details all over the internet.)

Since I voted for the motions I feel compelled to make a few points. First, the principal issue was secrecy -- the actions for which the board members were censured were actions that should not have been undertaken without specific authorization from the board, and without the knowledge of the entire board, including those who might not have voted to authorize the actions. Second, the motions were passed in the second of two long closed sessions -- the first at the beginning of the regular July meeting, the second held separately -- at both of which counsel for the corporation was present throughout.

There is great division and, dare I say it, a great deal of self-righteousness on the board. The passage of these motions has only reinforced the division. In retrospect, I can think of a number of ways I might have tried to influence an outcome different from these particular motions. But the operative word is "tried" -- and I might not have succeeded. In any case, I didn't present any viable alternatives. For me, ultimately it came down a choice between condoning -- or ignoring -- the improper actions or objecting to them. Once I knew of them, I could not, in conscience, condone them.