Volume 17 • Issue 34 • Jan. 14 - 20, 2005

Liberty garden condo battle continues

The results of the Dec. 15th election at Liberty Court in Battery Park City to decide the fate of the Liberty Community Garden are in, and nothing has been decided.

The condo’s board of managers, after tallying the anonymous ballots, have decided to “treat them as advisory” and hold a run off election despite a three to one margin win by the gardeners, said gardener and Liberty Court resident Mike McCormack. “They delayed and delayed because they didn’t like the votes,” he said. The board of managers, said McCormack, suspected voter fraud in the anonymous ballots and has demanded a revote.

Last November, the condominium’s board announced the building would not extend an expired two-year lease agreement for two island plots of land on Liberty Court property subdivided into 50 individual gardens by Liberty Community Garden. The imminent eviction ignited a flurry of letters from community members and gardeners as far a field as Seattle.

Last month, the board took the decision to the residents, but even the democratic process has not quelled the dispute. “It’s frustrating that one, we don’t have resolution and two, it just shows that the board is not in touch with what the unit owners are thinking,” said McCormack.

A spokesperson for the board, who declined to give her name, said that the votes had simply not yet been tallied. “We do not have the results of the vote, when we have them tallied we will notify the unit owners,” she said. When asked why the board called for a revote, she said, “It’s all internal within the condo and the unit owners have all been notified as to what is going on.” According to McCormack, a new set of ballots was sent out to the tenants on Jan. 10 with a 15-day deadline.

—Ronda Kaysen

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