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Community Activism: Battling the 88 Greenwich Board & Management Company

Ok, so here’s the deal. Residents in my building, Greenwich Club Residences, have been trying to get our management company to removed plastic lock boxes from the Sirius Radio control units in the common areas of our building. When I first moved in, we had access to control the radios, as these radios in the common areas were offered as an amenity in the building and mentioned in the sales brochure. Here is a letter I submitted to the newly elected condo board today:

Dear Greenwich Club Residences Board:

I would like to bring up my concerns regarding the locking of the Sirius radio control units in the Billiards and Harbor Rooms. I am aware that other residents, including Serina Fojas and Jason Perkal, have also voiced similar concerns about how the situation has been handled. Echoing the sentiments made by above-mentioned residents, I would also like to suggest to the Board that the lock boxes be removed from the Sirius Radio units immediately. I believe that more proportional measures could have been taken to address the issues of excessive volume and channel selection on the Sirius controllers.

The lack of user-controllability of the radio units makes a mockery of the sales pitch promising “individual receivers capable of adjusting the music to the requests of residents” (from 88 Greenwich 5 Star Hotel brochure). To the best of my knowledge, I have not received an amendment to the offering plan that reflects a change to this amenity. In any case, I do not wish to engage in a petty battle over legalistic semantics and fine print, as this is a question of principle. I believe that this issue is best resolved through a spirit of civility and robust community consultation. I do not believe that this happened when the plastic enclosures were placed on the control units without notification.

The real issue is not so much that of plastic boxes over the radio controls, but the unilateral paternalism that characterized the handling of the issue. If excessive music volume is indeed an issue, there are other ways to deal with it short of locking the units. There are volume-limiting devices that can be installed, or perhaps the only volume controls, but not the channel controls should be blocked off. Or perhaps the units should be set on a station that only plays instrumental music, as to be minimally intrusive to the residents enjoying the space. These are just a few ideas to consider. I look forward to further dialogue about how to best address this issue.


Lee-Sean Huang

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