Rather than sell her vacant landmarked brownstone at 118 West 76th Street on the Upper West Side, Board of Elections official Diane Haslett-Rudiano has allegedly let the home become a neighborhood eyesore, the New York Daily News reported. The building, which the West Side Spirit voted as one of the neighborhood’s ugliest last year, is overdue on $12,000 in taxes, has broken windows and rats, and has 20 Department of Buildings violations.
Though Haslett-Rudiano, the Board of Elections’ chief clerk in Brooklyn, said she intends to sell the home, she told the Daily News that she can’t cut the emotional attachment. Her late husband had wanted to renovate the building.
“A lot of my husband’s dreams are wrapped up in that building … but you have to be realistic, and the thing to do is let someone else enjoy it,” she told the paper.
She bought the property in 1976 for $5,000. The building today could net up to $5.5 million, brokers told the Daily News.
One resident told the paper that the building is “a tragedy,” while another referred to it as a “health concern and a safety concern.”
City Council member Gale Brewer had stronger words.
“She is a very bad example of home ownership [and] public service responsiveness,” she told the Daily News. “She’s not somebody who should be either owning property or, in my opinion [be a supervisor] of the Board of Elections.”
The Board of Elections did not offer the Daily News comment. [NYDN] —Zachary Kussin