Cops Called Amid Dayton Beach Park Election Drama

By Katie McFadden

It wouldn’t be a Dayton Beach Park election season without some disruption. But things got especially serious on Friday, April 26 as cops were called on board candidates trying to campaign in the lobby.

The election for a new board of directors for Dayton Beach Park, the buildings that encompass 8100, 8200, 8400, 8600 and 8800 Shore Front Parkway, has faced many challenges. After several years without an election or open board meetings, and following a lawsuit filed in 2018, that resulted in the current DBP board being found guilty of violating state law, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development determined that an election for new board members would be able to take place this year.

Despite efforts by Councilwoman Joann Ariola to have current board members removed, the board members are permitted to run for re-election, which 10 out of 15 are taking advantage of, including current president, Jennifer Grady, current vice president Vitali Legenski, current assistant treasurer, Mary Tillman, current secretary, Elizabeth Koffer, current assistant secretary Michael Davis, as well as Hannah Young, Tatyana Godnenko, Ethel V. Jackson, Lauren Kendall, and Eva Bennett. Joining the challenge are new candidates Serge Badros, Marcia Bolden, Caren Washington Dawkins, Kevin Flaherty, Gleb Fomin, Irene Finley, Robert Gallagher, Jeff Gross, Joanne Larcheveque, Siobhan Lyons, Bianca Malcaus, Karen McKeon, Grace Miller, Cathleen Norton, Edwin Perez, Julia Pushkar, Patricia McCabe, Minzalia Platonova, Alex Verbitsky and Zachary Young. The 30 total candidates are vying for 15 positions on the board.

And the competition is intense. On Friday, April 26, new candidates who were campaigning in the lobby of 8800 claim that current board members told building security to have them removed. When they refused, security allegedly called police to stop them from interacting with potential voters.

Councilwoman Joann Ariola released a statement regarding the incident. “What happened on Friday was absurd,” Ariola said. “The current board is doing everything that they can to hold onto their power – and in this case, that means calling in a trespassing report on candidates who reside within the building. They knew that this report wouldn’t hold water, but they did it anyway in order to try and intimidate candidates. All of the people involved in that incident are residents of Dayton Beach Park – you can’t trespass where you live. The board knows this, but still decided to waste police time and manpower in a desperate attempt to clamp down on their opposition.”

After police were called, Ariola notified 100th Precinct Commanding Officer, Captain Carol Hamilton, of the incident to bring a peaceful resolution. No charges were filed.

“This latest attempt at intimidating shareholders fell flat largely thanks to the Councilwoman’s swift intervention, and I thank her for that,” Joanne Smith, a Dayton Beach Park shareholder said. We will not allow the current board to try and use the 100th precinct to silence shareholders.”

“Councilwoman Ariola has been fighting for us for years, and as this latest issue with the police shows she continues to fight for us,” Kevin Flaherty, a candidate for the Board at Dayton Beach Park, said. “The Councilwoman has had our backs, and we appreciate that.”

The board election has not been without other controversy. Flyers for new candidates have allegedly been removed from building lobbies. There was also a delay in residents receiving the resumes of the candidates that are running, so they can make an informed decision. After Ariola’s office was notified last week, the missing resumes have allegedly been sent out.

Dayton Beach Park residents may vote by absentee ballot by mail by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14 or in the election lockbox located in the management office by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, or they can vote in person at the community room of 8600 Shore Front Parkway from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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