WAVERLEY Council has resolved to take legal action to recover more than $10,000 owed to it by the former director of the Yeshiva Centre.
The debt of $10,707.50 is for commercial waste services provided to the centre between November 2011 and May 2012. The directorship of the centre changed hands after its Flood Street property was sold in December 2012.
It was recommended to Councillors that a motion be passed writing off the debt at Council’s meeting on May 19. However, Councillors Leon Goltsman and Andrew Cusack drafted an alternative motion that Council continue pursuing former director Rabbi Yosef Feldman in order to recover the money.
Goltsman told The AJN that Council “has tried everything” to try to recover the debt. “This was a last resort. There was a payment plan but it wasn’t adhered to,” he said. “It just didn’t sit right with us to write off a debt of $10,000.”
The full text of the alternate motion, passed unanimously, was: “Council instructs its solicitors to issue a statement of liquidated claim against Yosef Feldman and Sydney Talmudical College Association for the debt owed plus costs and interest, and pursues a judgment in court and the enforcement of that judgment.”
The centre’s current directors, however, are hoping the matter will not go that far. Rabbi Elimelech Levy told The AJN this week: “The new directors of the Yeshiva Centre are in touch with Waverley Council and look forward to resolving the matter amicably.”
Council documents indicate that the debt recovery process thus far has included face to face meetings, telephone follow-ups and Council visits to the centre. In June 2012 the debt recovery was handed over to a debt collecting agency, however after an “extensive effort” failed, according to the documents, the agency ceased further action.
Goltsman said that in the past, the council may have written off such a debt. “But we’ve got a responsibility to the whole community,” he added. “We just can’t write off amounts like this.”