Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bastile Day Meeting

Governor Rachlin vs WCGM Carlsen
We found that the Annual Meeting in June had left most of our questions were unanswered, so we requested another meeting.  So Stuart granted us another meeting on Bastille Day.

Stuart started filibustering with usual bs about how wonderful everything supposedly is.  Fortunately several of us interrupted him to remind him of the pre-agreed purpose of the meeting.

One of my friends made up a list of about 20 points of contention.  I think such a list can serve a legitimate purpose, but we were probably ill advised to attempt to cover it at a meeting.

Tom Molloy started with the first item, asking whether Buchbinder and Warren was still the building's management company.  Larry Price snapped that it still was, and that Tom already knew that.

David Spigel

What got lost in the shuffle is this:  There is a narrative that Larry Price is indispensable because he takes care of the building.  Actually Buchbinder and Warren has taken care of the building quite competently for decades, since long before Larry Price even joined the Marshall.

Maya Chiburdanidze

Stuart brought up how my concerns about the club selling the building were unfounded.  I disclosed that he was the one who first told me that Larry Price wanted to sell the building.  Sophia also disclosed that Larry Price had told her he was interested in selling the building.

IM Mena vs IM Norowitz
Larry Price said that it was something he had considered years ago, and that now it isn't going to happen.   One thing did not ring true to me:  He said that in the club's neighborhood, you do not fix up a building for the purpose of selling it.

10 West 10th Street (Left)
The building my father used to own at 10 West 10th Street, my former home, has not been inhabited in over 10 years, but in this time, it has been renovated and resold multiple times.  Of course you fix up a building in order to sell it!  This is what his building looks like now:  (click "more" and view floor plans).

GM Marshall

I brought up the issue of 501(c)(7), the tax code for membership clubs, and how I sincerely believe that the club is not in compliance with them.  The codes have specific ceilings for non-member income and non-member use of the premises.  Board member and attorney (who is up for election this year) Gus Coritsidis said something like, "Why don't you let the lawyers on the board handle it?"

They keep saying things which suggest that the lawyers on the board are handling it.  But I challenge any and all lawyers on the board to state *in writing* that they approve of the club's current federal reporting policies.  They could be disbarred.

We discussed Stuart's right to serve as president, given that he no longer qualifies to be a resident member as he no longer resides in the NYC area.   Larry defending him, saying the bylaws only require a board member to be a resident when they are running for the board.  The fact that he is no longer a resident member does not matter.  This was also the meeting where Stuart told the lie that when Frank took over the club had no money.  Doug Bellizzi who was there and had been president before Frank corrected him.

Then we somehow got into a discussion about Dmitri Shneider, with "executive director" Bryan
IM Igor Shliperman
Quick saying over and over that Dmitri loves the club just as much as I do.  When I was treasurer, I monitored the club's cash flow on a frequent basis.  If someone asked me how much money the club had and where it was, I could tell them.  During Dmitri's stint as treasurer, when Marcus left, records disappeared.   The president didn't know how much money the club had or didn't have, and had to go to the board to ask for donations.  Sorry, Bryan.  No. That is not the same.

FWCGM Fischer (Right)
Stuart promised us a follow-up meeting, but never delivered.  He claimed that there was too much hostility.  He would never admit that the hostility is a result of his actions as opposed to some inherent character flaw suddenly manifesting itself.

Around this time, some of us sent a letter to Stuart and the board listing the laws that we thought they were not complying with and telling them they must comply.  Stuart reportedly objected to the word "must".

While we are not perfect, the values of fairness and honesty are pervasive in the chess community.  Those who are not fair and honest may last awhile and may do a great deal of damage, but in the long run, the fairness and honesty of our community will win out.

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