Edison, NJ - Residents of Margate Community stood with signs and petitions in hand to protest a decision by the Margate Community Board of Directors to postpone the Co-op Board elections from October 15 to December 17, 2019.
Margate at Edison is a residential housing corporation, built in the early 1960’s as a rental property and converted to the cooperative form of ownership in 1983. There are a total of 632 one and two bedroom residential apartment units which are owned by individual shareholders. The affairs of the Co-op are managed by a Board of Directors who are elected by the resident shareholders.
Residents at the rally criticized the Board for lacking transparency and sought answers as to why the election date had been moved.
“The election allows us to have everybody’s voices heard. They are trying to stifle that – or not stifle, but make excuses … December is a holiday season, and cold inclement weather time of the year; seniors cannot go out, parents with young children cannot go out,” said Adelina Miranda, a 20-year resident of Margate community.
“What we want is transparency. The election was postponed at the last moment, when everyone was excited to change the system and elect a board,” said Tarendra Lakhankar, a shareholder at Margate Community.
Matilde Gierrero, a resident of the complex, also questioned why some Board members were dual office holders. “I know the president holds two positions. She’s the president plus she’s the treasurer – why? There are other people that are willing to do it, and a lot of other qualified candidates now that we have. Why not give people the chance to decide who they want?” she asked.
Council Vice-President Ajay Patil and Special Assistant to Edison Mayor Mahesh Bhagia attended the rally in a non-official capacity. "We are here to support the residents. They deserve answers, they deserve transparency in the process," Mr. Bhagia said.
Kerry B. Flowers, attorney for the Margate Edison Board, did not respond to a request for comment.