|August 31, 2010
To:Frank Lagalante-Building Manager
Sarah Watkins-Office Manager
Eugene Christopherson-President of Board
I am a relatively new owner at Portofino South. Stuart Cohen and I bought unit #902 in January 2010.
We were assured by Ann Leibovit that the building was in very good shape financially and that they did not expect an assessment in the next year. Well, that turned out to be half truths. The financials that we saw looked like there was a healthy reserve fund.
As we live in our apartment only seasonally, we feel at a disadvantage when it comes to learning what is going on in the building. We would like to be made aware in advance of meetings and then receive a timely report of what transpires at those meetings. We do not feel it is fair to only inform only a part of your condo of meetings and deeds or acts by the board that affects expenditures and ultimately our investment. By just putting a notice of a meeting in the elevator leaves a big segment of owners in the dark. THIS CAN EASILY BE RECTIFIED WITH AN EMAIL BEFOREHAND AND BY ALLOWING OWNERS TO CONFERENCE IN DURING BOARD MEETINGS.
We recently received minutes of the meetings we missed and they do not give any idea of what transpired. They are just categories discussed and a vote. I went to the May meeting and took notes at that meeting and posted them on my blog for the building and they were in a form which I would hope the board secretary could follow for the future meetings. The last meeting in August I am still waiting for the notes and was told they were waiting for the secretary to sign off on them as she was on vacation. If she is the appointed secretary I feel she could have done this before or during her vacation.
I called Mr Lagalante almost 10 days ago and then again last week and have still never received a call back. I wanted to ask him if we could use a conference call for the owners who are not there for the Sept meeting so we could listen in to the meeting. It is very simple to activate this feature on any phone. I would like an answer to that request hopefully before the meeting.
I also have never received a newsletter which I think I was told is done by the building but since May do not have one. That is another way to inform your owners of what is happening with their investment.
We also need a correct directory of all owners and tenants with email addresses and local and out of state phone numbers.
Mr Cohen and I have many questions and it did not seem the board meeting in May was the place to ask these questions. I found the board at that meeting very hostile to the apartment owners that took the time to come to the meeting. The questions that I asked at that time were not answered then or ever.
The following are questions we have:
1.How many people are not paying their maintenance? Who are they and how long are they in arrears and what is being done about collection and what stage is the collection process at?
2.The first half of your current assessment was to be paid by now. How many people did not pay and what is being done to collect?
3. I was told new carpeting was purchased by the board for the building and it was purchased about a month ago with no money for the installation. Is this true? Who were the two board members that signed the check to purchase the carpet. And where is the money going to come from to install it?
4. The estimates for the repair of the outside of the building, which the assessment is supposed to pay for, were the contracts renegotiated as they were done so long ago and at the May meeting the board was asked to go back to the vendors to renegotiate them lower, because of the economy down turn.
5. I WAS RECENTLY INFORMED THAT WE INCURRED LAWYER FEES IN THE SUM OF $4000 BECAUSE TWO BOARD MEMBERS WERE USING THE BUILDING’S LAYWER FOR personal vendettas against an owner WHO also questions the authority of this board. WHO AUTHORIZES THIS AND WHY ARE WE AS OWNERS NOT INFORMED OF THIS? THIS LEADS TO THE QUESTION WHAT OTHER FEES ARE WE PAYING THAT WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT.
6) ULTIMATELY, WE NEED TO DISCUSS TRANSPARENCY IN ALL THE BOARD’S DEALINGS. IN TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES, WE NEED TO CONSERVE MONEY NOT SPEND IT WILLY NILLY.
7. When is the term of this board up? I would like to see changes of board members to better represent the different wants of the condo. I also feel a board member should be either a lawyer, accountant, or involved in construction either in building or in architecture in order to qualify to serve on the board. Are there any people on the board that are not current with their maintainence or assessment payments?
8.How much of the people are seasonal owners and if a certain amount of that faction of the building should be represented on the board.
9. I would like to see our bank accounts and how much money we take in and spend out each month. What is our income for the cell towers on the roof?Has there been any radio waves testing from these towers.
10. what is going on with our water leaks?
I do not feel I am represented by this board. There is no effort to inform or answer questions. I also do not feel that I have to pay the balance of my assessment if I am not informed or represented. I do believe this board is in “Breach of Contract” and I have no confidence in this board. Maybe it is time for owners that feel that they are not included or represented should retain their own lawyer to see if we could act more like a democracy than a dictatorship. I did not vote for this board and have never had any hint that I would in the future.
Hopefully, the board president or the people paid to manage the building will be able to inform me as an owner in this condo association.