Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Westbeth Artists News March 2007 - What's With Closing the Admissions to Westbeth?


Many residents are wondering about this new deadline to close off admissions to Westbeth.
Is it realistic reading of the signs of the times, or paranoia, to worry that this may have something to do with the real estate barracudas who swim around buildings in this neighborhood looking for new prey for development?

Is this some sort of plot by the old co-oper’s to eventually gain control of Westbeth and turn it into a self-serving co-op that they can sell for profit and retire to Florida or Ibiza?

Does the Board of Directors have some hidden agenda?

Asking various people from the power structure at Westbeth, the same reason was given for the most part.

A member of the Residents Council wasn’t disturbed about this move, and said it was just cleaning the list up. Yes, she admitted, there should have been some explanation given to residents and maybe it was done badly. The Residents Council so far has not made any effort to inform the tenants regarding the details of this “housekeeping” move.

A tenant member of the Board of Directors also saw this move as a type of cleaning-up activity, since so many people have been on the list for so long and their lives and situations have changed. The list would open up “eventually” in the future, she said, with no firm date yet in place.

The office however, told people last week who have been on the waiting list a long time, that they have already been removed if they haven’t been calling yearly to confirm they are still interested in living in Westbeth.
If this is so, why do we need the cleanup since people are already being removed?

Why are artists who have been on the waiting list for years now told they are no longer on the list?

Does this have something to do with the loss of files in the basement due to the floods, fires and mismanagement of TUC who left Westbeth’s records in disarray. Is Westbeth afraid of being sued by irate artists who have been on the list for years, but whose records are now lost?

Since the building will change its status after the HUD mortgage is paid off in a few years, does the power
structure not want to have people on a waiting list in case they want to change the nature of Westbeth?

Rather than closing the admissions process, a more honest solution would be to send certified letters to all on the list, and determine if they want to be there or not. This alone, would no doubt open up many spaces on the list. This is a much fairer way to deal with it than to deny young artists a chance to apply to Westbeth. How many more things can we deprive our youth of? Clean air, clean water, polar bears and a chance to live in Westbeth?


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