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Letter: POA Power Trip Perilous

As you probably know, the four sections of Garden City each have a property owners association (POA). At least in the last few decades, our village and school board representatives have been recommended and promoted by the POAs. Yet, less than one percent of Garden City residents attend POA meetings. We believe this “power” has driven the POA leadership to do the bare minimum in regard to fairly representing Garden City residents. This has left Garden City very vulnerable just as Nassau County finances look increasingly dire. Let us explain.

We believe it is exclusionary for the POAs to charge residents to join.  The POAs have thousands of dollars in reserves, never share a detailed financial summary/plan with their “members,” and often need to brainstorm on how to spend the money. Considering the POAs are not-for profit organizations, all residents should automatically be members and donations should be invited.

The POAs do not make minutes of their meetings readily available, and, in the case of the Estates, we asked for the minutes a month ago and still have not received them. The East POA only has three meetings a year that are open to all residents, and the remaining monthly meetings are POA leadership only. What are they trying to hide? Meetings should be recorded and minutes distributed in a timely and efficient manner. The village board should meet this standard, as well.

We believe the POA advertisements you see for village and school board positions are disingenuous, because nearly every candidate the POA nominating committees recommend have had years of POA service. It is our view that this has promoted a biased and undiversified group of village and school board members. We recommend the POAs make available, on their websites, full biographies and/or resumes of the village and school board members. Village and school board diversity should be emphasized over POA service.

Our point is that the Garden City POA system needs to reform now, especially since Nassau County’s debt was recently downgraded by Moody’s and NY State subsequently hired a lawyer to examine such.  Garden City’s ailing infrastructure, mishandling of issues like St. Paul’s and NextG, and high and rising taxes and debts are all related. If the POA system does not reform immediately, we will give Garden City residents a choice next March to jumpstart the process. We would welcome your support, and especially if you live in the West or Central sections and could see yourself on the village board.

Ron Tadross

Ray Rudolph