Most board members can use all the help they can get when it comes to understanding the rules, laws, and other factors that guide how they will help govern their community. Senior board members are a terrific source of information, as is a competent, experienced property manager. Building support staff also bring a great deal to the table in terms of hands-on knowledge and institutional memory. But there are other resources available to help boards—both new and well-seasoned—help their building communities thrive.
The Mayor’s Office and 311
It will surprise exactly no one that there is not, in fact, a dedicated phone line for co-op and condo boards and board members to reach Mayor Bill de Blasio's office to state concerns and air grievances. But that doesn't mean boards must stay mute. The city's 311 system allows customers to call one easy-to-remember number to access all kinds of information about city government services—including housing related ones. All calls to 311 are answered by a live operator, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offer immediate access to translation services in over 170 languages. If an operator can't answer your question themselves, they will direct you to the appropriate office or agency. That said, if you absolutely insist on contacting the Mayor's office directly, you can log on to www.nyc.gov/mayor for phone and email information.
The Buildings Department
The purpose of the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) is to ensure the safe and lawful use of both commercial and residential properties by enforcing the city’s building and electrical codes, zoning resolutions, and state labor and multiple dwelling laws. The DOB also maintains a massive online trove of information on everything from building safety to how to find licensed professionals, as well as the department's annual conference, and a host of educational offerings throughout the year. To access that and more, visit the department's website at www.nyc.gov/dob.