In light of new members / groups having arrived 10 months on into intensive building improvements and infrastructure maintenance that myself, Sarah, and Safer DIY began last summer - and in the spirit of ‘step up, step back’ that I generally think is a healthy collective practice to horizontalize labor and responsibility - I thought this would be an opportune time to consciously transition these responsibilities to a new member(s).
For those with interests in continuing any building improvements / effecting property maintenance - which was originally begun to pass omni’s fire inspection, then in a valiant effort to aid in Omni’s narrowing refi prospects - I would like to pass on the following contact information for Omni’s most recent carpenter, electrician, plumber, HVAC, Roofer, etc:
Matt Costa, carpenter:
+1 (718) 290-5758
Clif Walker, electrician:
+1 (510) 435-0796
Tony Fazule, plumber:
+1 (510) 534-5480
+1 (415) 254-782
DTC Lighting & Grip:
+1 (510) 595-0770
Mike Tenuto, Roofer:
+1 (510) 575-2800
* TL;DR: As some are aware, Mike currently owes omni a ~$8.9K refund and has also guaranteed the roof for 7y; and (because I have been asked more than once) fwiw he is not my referral, he was a referral from within omni and not someone I previously worked with. His payment on the refund to omni is pretty late; a claim with the surety company may need to be filed and I’m sure there are deadlines.. for more detail, please reach out to others on this list.
Also - based on my experience working on omni with the help of other building professionals since 2014, I thought it might be helpful to reiterate what I have found to be the following best practices for omninoms in order to maintain healthy, positive working relationships with such outside entities:
- Arrange in advance for a consistent, single point of contact at omni, with at most one backup contact. Whenever possible, avoid changing this up; ideally there should be at least a 4mo commitment from some omninom to being a designated point of contact.
- Avoid adding these folks to any text groups or email lists (can quickly equate to overwhelm for non-omninoms).
- While compensation terms can differ obviously, in general be prepared to pay the full balance on the last day / completion of work (don’t assume net-15/30 type terms), and it is best to clarify with each contractor before work starts as to whether whether a deposit is required for a given scope of work (for materials? Etc), and whether cash vs check vs PayPal/venmo etc is expected as the medium.
- Particularly on-site, professional boundaries should be consciously maintained in that it may not be obvious to others using the building that these folks are not fellow volunteers. Contractors may not have an awareness of various activities or groups using the building at a given time as they focus on their work, nor be completely read into the full details of omnis politics / mission / structure etc etc so this should not be assumed. Seeking to strike up an extended convo or offering to help etc may distract more than aid, in spite of good intentions. Yelling at a contractor because you’re trying to work on your own stuff and it’s loud etc, or critiquing their work as they are doing it, is to be avoided. Unless there is an imminent hazard, omninoms should be instructed to have an inconvenienced human yell at the point of contact for the contractor, and not the contractor.
- If it changes, be sure to inform contractors of the lockbox code / key / card so they can freely access the building. In general, a contractor waiting or working = same cost to omni. Most use the lockbox I installed
- If things seem to go south with a contractor for whatever reason, remember that locating a talented, affordable, dependable, nice etc tradesperson for Omni’s not-insignificant task list of ‘small’ jobs for is not always easily achieved. It is worth keeping in mind for example, that the present electrician will have a relatively deep knowledge of Omni’s electrical to start with and therefore, be more likely to fix a problem in less time (cheaper) than a different electrician. Same with plumber, etc etc. So, imo it is best to over-budget any time needed to locate and establish a relationship with a suitable replacement should that ever be required. Finally, while I don’t expect this will realistically last within Omni’s institutional memory very long I would like to remind folks that I generally continue rely on those contractors I brought in to omni, in order to preserve affordable housing and myriad community spaces elsewhere.. so if things ever go south with any contractor I would really appreciate being notified as a courtesy.