BTH Election Statement

I am one of 5 candidates for 3 Directorships at Berkeley Town House. If elected, I promise to work for more responsible and open governance, and for a better-connected BTH.

To members of Berkeley Town House Cooperative Corporation:

You will soon face a choice in an election for Directors. I am one of five candidates¹ for three positions. Why should you—or shouldn’t you—give me one of your votes?

Our Board of Directors has done some important and difficult things to make BTH a better place. But the Board is showing signs of fatigue. I offer energy and ideas for further improvements. I pledge to work for a BTH that is governed responsibly and openly, and a BTH that uses modern tools to reach out to the world. Below you can see my concrete goals, giving substance to this vision.

If this isn’t your vision, I hope you’ll let me know what you think. Come to a pre-election event and speak your mind. I want everybody’s ideas before the election, and if I’m elected I’ll continue to welcome everybody’s ideas.

Open governance

  • Open voting. Fill any mid-term vacancy with a vote of the remaining Directors at an open meeting, as California law and the Bylaws require, and only after asking all BTH members for volunteers and suggestions².
  • Open finances. Involve members early in discussions on budgets and all major expenditures, including hiring, contracts, alterations, and equipment purchases.
  • Collaboration. Create a more collaborative and trusting partnership among the Board, committees, and individual volunteers.
  • Records. Grant same-day or instant access to information when any member requests.

Responsible governance

  • New projects. Cancel the moratorium on new projects and evaluate proposed work on its merits.
  • Modernization. Evaluate possible plumbing, electrical, and glazing improvements.
  • Economy. Stop the planned office expansion. Investigate expense reductions via measures to save electricity, gas, and water. Save time by recycling laundry quarters or installing ID readers on laundry machines.
  • Seismic performance. Resume work on predicting the building’s response to major earthquakes.
  • Documentation. Digitize and reorganize BTH records so current policies, committees, contracts, and account balances are rapidly accessible.
  • Equity. Investigate financing and contractual options to protect members against assessment increases.
  • Civility. Welcome all new ideas and queries, and take constructive solidarity-building measures at the first sign of intolerance, hostility, or panic.

A better-connected BTH

  • Human relations. Encourage informal friendly communication through occasional meals, parties, conversations, workgroups, excursions, and retreats.
  • Internet. Establish a BTH Web and email presence. Investigate building-wide Internet connectivity with an intranet and a shared workstation.
  • Marketing. Help those planning ahead for senior housing to find BTH, learn what it offers, and tour it.

¹The other candidates are Jack Sawyer and three incumbents: Almalee Henderson, Nancy Kalkanis, and Judith Wehlau.

²The legal argument is made by Adams Kessler. Requests for volunteers and suggestions are illustrated by Peacock Gap.

1 thought on “BTH Election Statement

  1. Hi Jonathan,
    I am sorry not to be able to attend but I like your proposals and you will have my vote in May. I just hope we can change a few people in BTH so we can start to act like we are in the 21st century.

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