The Chelsea’s new general manager, Andrew Tilley, has expressed an openness to discussion and a willingness to work with tenants to address their concerns in this time of uncertainty, and for this he should rightly be praised. Yet on Friday, Sept 5, Tilley was downtown in the offices of the DHCR, testifying against one of these very same tenants!
We have nothing against Tilley, per se: we need someone to oversee the operations of the building, and he seems like a decent, competent guy. On the other hand, he’s supposed to be working for us--the tenants--as we’re the ones paying the rent that ultimately pays his salary so he can go home and kick back in his nice house in the burbs. Why, then, is he doing the dirty work of the minority shareholders in this case by attacking a tenant who is only standing up for his or her rights?
Although, unfortunately, I can’t go into the details of the DHCR case at this time, one thing I would like to point out is that Tilley was not manager at the time that the key incidents with which the case is concerned were taking place. He has no first hand knowledge of these incidents whatsoever. Far from being called in to testify about the neutral facts of the case, Tilley was called in for the sole purpose of besmirching the tenant’s character, and he did so by dredging up another, unrelated incident.
This raises a serious issue of trust: is Tilley going to act like he’s taking our concerns about evictions, repairs and construction seriously, and then turn right around use the information we’ve given him in the course of these discussions to stab us in the back?
We understand that Tilley has divided loyalties here, and is essentially serving two masters, but there must be a better way to mediate between the demands of these two warring camps. -- Ed Hamilton