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Seward Park Legal Holiday Restrictions

This open letter was received back on the July 3rd "holiday", and SPBuzz has been remiss in not publishing it til six months later.

July 3, 2017


The usual restrictions against moving and renovations in "observance" of "holidays" does not serve Shareholders. There is no reason Shareholders should not benefit from the fact that certain holidays are super-convenient opportunities to do exactly the sort of activities which are normally precluded by our Shareholders' normal schedules. Perhaps a rationale for the usual restrictions relate to staffing, providing for the quiet enjoyment for neighbors, or custom; however, in most cases any such rationale does not fully justify the usual restrictions.


Although Seward Park's business and maintenance offices are closed on certain holidays, the security and porter posts remain fully staffed for most holidays - the security staff and porters are not working extra hours (however, for many of such days they are paid extra). So there's no reason to reduce services available on those days, such as, for instance, someone moving in or out, for which activities the security and porter roles are to routinely make sure elevators are protected and to be available for complaints or follow-up.

Consideration of Neighbors

Why would anyone mind an elevator being used for moving today - July 3! - which is not even a holiday? I think I speak for everyone who would balk at the inconvenience in not being able to schedule work because Management decided not to allow work on July 3! And what about President's Day? The policy is over-reaching to provide for the quiet enjoyment of neighbors who likely aren't even home (again, today's not even a holiday!). Even Shareholders who are home on a holiday can tolerate some noise - we’re not so thin-skinned - as people who work at home or night shifts can certain attest. Permitting work on “holidays” should not be some special consideration but should be the normal use of a Monday (or Tuesday, like tomorrow's 4th of July) to do something productive, for all of us. At the risk of sounding non-secular (except as noted below), that's what these holidays are for.


Certainly Christmas and New Year's and Yom Kippur, Easter, Rosh HaShanah, and Thanksgiving are observed in a manner that we want to respect the quiet family time of people observing it, but the usual flyers indicating that we are "observing" the 3rd and 4th of July and Presidents Day, etc, are absurd. If we "observed" Labor Day we'd give the porters the day off, rather than restricting moves. If we "observed" Memorial Day we would be visiting veteran cemeteries and observing a moment of silence rather than restricting moves. "President's Day"?!?! We should reflect on these biases in the light that somehow "holidays" have morphed into days when people might stand their ground to protect their right to sit home all day to watch YouTube videos - I doubt that safeguarding such observances should be our priority.

With regard to Moves and Large Deliveries, the house rules provide:

14. Moves and Large Deliveries. Moves in or out and large deliveries shall take place only on such days and times, and in accord with such rules and regulations, as are prescribed by the Board of Directors and the Manager.

Such a house rule seems to make sense but it suggests (1) that the Board of Directors is involved in making such a determination, and (2) it alludes some alternate body of "rules and regulations" (which I suspect does not exist). I am told that exceptions to the usual restrictions are made - for instance, if a moving van arrives and can't be turned back, a security guard might call a supervisor and obtain permission, which underscores a further problem, as the house rules continues:

[...] The Lessor reserves the right, in addition to other remedies, to prevent or halt any delivery or move which violates said rules and regulations.

The fact that a move can be approved, besides exposing a lack of rules and regulations, shows there's no physical or procedural limitation preventing the activity, and also shows how the unreasonably restrictive policy becomes an avenue for preferential treatment of shareholders.

The usual restrictions on moves and deliveries is similarly vague with regard to scheduling renovations. The Board should question the usual restrictions and recognize that they are not to be blindly accepted and "observed," but, rather, that Management should always cater to Shareholder concerns and not that the Shareholders should cater to Management. These usual restrictions are a disservice to Shareholders.

Very truly yours,

-G Strum

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