Bits and Pieces

I have a lot of moisture in my apartment. I have Damp Rid in many of my closets and they fill up rapidly. I decided to hire a company that checks for mold. Integrity Mold Inspection came into my unit and did a complete survey. They did find mold on certain surfaces but they think it has been there for years …before me. I cleaned the surfaces with white vinegar and water and was able to put some of them in sun. They advised me to keep the air conditioning lower and get humidity meters to see if it goes over a certain level. I have someone checking my apt while I am away so she will keep and eye on the moisture spots. Interesting these areas affected were not near my bathrooms or kitchen.

A few nights ago I had a strong smell of someone smoking marijuana some where and it was coming through my vents. Where it was coming from I can’t say. I am surrounded by renters on three sides. The only apt that is owned and lived in is below me. I reported this situation but looking forward to marijuana becoming legal for recreation or medical reasons we really think we should discuss how we handle this. Of course, our building manager just tossed it aside. The two times it happened it was very strong and someone could be allergic to it. Better to address before it becomes a little more pervasive.

Power off in the building last Friday  March 31st at around 12:00 pm.

Last Friday the back south gate was open all day and when I came home at 6:00 pm it was still open. The doorman are able to close and lock it. There are lots of robberies of cars in our area this should not happen. We are also going to have lots of workman around the bridge and this should be a very secure portal.

 So all know & are aware — there will be soon coming an MD Now Urgent Care Center,  opening in  El Cid , it will at  Pershing & So.  Dixie Hwy. for  emergencies/needs you have, that are not hospital needed, they also have an office out on Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
Had very good care at the one on Palm beach Lakes Blvd.

 

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Email Newsletter from Portofino South Management?

There are numerous ongoing projects (the elevator out for maintenance, hallway lights selection, sauna refurb, parking lot repaving, AT&T cell tower installation, TV in social room, new pedestrian gate to Flagler) and it would be wonderful if the management would send email project updates (maybe once a week?) to inform those who are interested on progress. It also could help keep the management accountable and encourage better communication within our community.

Sauna Overhaul: Some Considerations

This post was written by an owner.

It is my understanding that the Portofino South condo association board will vote March 15 on the overhaul of our sauna near the pool. I gave our management a quote I had procured from Finlandia Sauna to provide new pre-cut wood and benches for about $2,000 (Installation would have to be provided by us or another contractor). I wrote about problems with the sauna that I believe warrant its overhaul in this post last year, and I believe that the sauna suffered from improper maintenance by our staff and poor use practices by residents. Today I want to provide some considerations to the management and board before deciding on approving this expense:

  1. Staff should have scheduled maintenance of the sauna.

Although I am not an expert on sauna maintenance, I envision this maintenance would look like weekly mopping of the concrete floor and cleaning of the wood benches with a mild cleanser.

  1. Staff should research and use sauna-specific cleaners.

The wood in the sauna is not finished deck furniture. In order for the sauna to operate properly, the wood is heat-treated but not sealed. This makes the wood more fragile than deck furniture. I would recommend that appropriate cleaners and procedures for cleaning unfinished wood be researched and used instead of “whatever we have lying around.”

  1. All maintenance and cleaning staff should be informed of these procedures.

If more people know how to take care of the facility, in unusual situations such as termination of an employee, sickness of the primary maintainer, etc., others on staff will be able to care for the sauna in the correct way. Management should hold a meeting with all applicable staff members to demonstrate the techniques and provide translation to Spanish as necessary.

  1. Expectations of resident users should be clearly posted.

Before I came to Portofino, I had never used a non-commercial sauna. Procedures such as putting a clean towel down under all body parts, proper ventilation of the sauna following use, etc. should be clearly posted outside the sauna door with a permanent sign (not a typed sheet stuck in to a plastic sheet protector). Management may ask the sauna company about proper use procedures. Residents can take responsibility for proper use of this facility.

  1. A properly shutting door should be installed. Whether or not the door should be left open should be determined.

Chlorinated water spray from the pool, as well as salty ocean spray, can have negative effects on the wood, such as warping, and on the metal heating unit. Unfortunately, the sauna opens directly to the outdoors and to the pool deck. The door should be properly sealed to keep out these elements. Residents should be instructed to keep the door completely closed at all times (although, I believe the sauna has no internal vent, so perhaps the door has to be open after use for ventilation?). Management may ask the sauna company about proper ventilation procedures for our particular situation.

  1. Old wood should be completely removed before installing new wood.

All existing varnished materials should be removed prior to the installation of our beautiful new top-grade Cedar. Although it would be easier to nail the new wood on top of the existing wood, this practice would still leave sauna users exposed to the scent and potentially toxic fumes of the varnish that still remains in parts of the old wood.

 

Although the sauna is in a difficult location regarding exposure to the elements, I believe with proper use and care the sauna will be a unique, health-conscious, and luxurious amenity of Portofino South for many years to come.

Brent L

Commentary on Meetings Minutes

I have asked many times to have the minutes from meetings (I have posted in the previous post 3 months of minutes) emailed to me as I am a seasonal owner but unless I ask the office they are never sent. I also realize that these printed minutes, that are only posted near the mailboxes, are washed by the secretary of the board. If there were any heated comments or questions asked or said they would not be in these meetings. In this present day when you can dial an 800 number and have any owner listen to a condo meeting our board does not offer this or is it even in their future thinking.

They think they are going to build a website and they might use that for minutes and perhaps discussions but they do not know how expensive it is to mount a proper website that works for their needs.

This is just my opinion but I feel since I pay the same monthly fees as someone that collects their mail I should have the same opportunity to know what is happening to my home and investment.

Resignation- My decision!

When Michael Roefaro was elected President of the condo board he asked me to chair a committee. Eventhough the new board was all the same members as before,there was a new person in the position of president. He promised a board that would be open and transparent.

When asked I was willing to take on the task. My committee was to look at the current rules and regulations and see if they needed changing or tweeking and possibly new rules added. We were to recommend to the board only.I tried to invite a good cross section of the building to join the committee. Many people said no and many people said yes but never got to either of the two meetings we had.

I am a very organized and a precise person after being in business and running my own company for many years, so before the first board meeting we had had two meetings and all notes and additions and changes were written up and  emailed to the board for their perusal.

During one of the meetings Deidre McNamara asked me to try to sort out the parking situation. She claimed there were many people using 2 or 3 spots. I went to Sarah and asked and she said she had meant to tackle the parking maze problem but had not had time or help. I offered her help. We sat for two afternoons figuring out what apts were deeded spots , if those people knew and were in their spots and if anyone was not where they were supposed to be. (Just to note: I was very happy with my spot that I was given when I closed on my apt)

I saw Michael Roefaro and told him what Sarah and I were doing and he said he was thrilled and was so happy that I was tackling this “problem” he would even take “credit for it” at the next meeting.

Several days later I went into the office and said to Sarah I had a little time to finish the parking grid and she sheepishly looked at me and said she couldn’t. Frank over hearing the conversation said  ” you are not authorized to do this job and I had been discussed at a closed meeting that he attended with MF and it was discussed that I was not authorized and should stop”. Having an employee tell me that I was not authorized made me quite upset.

Okay, this was my valuable time and effort. I volunteered and spent unpaid time for the good of the building. If I give my time and effort and not thanked or appreciated I am glad to walk away.

I emailed MR about this and waited for an apology….. none came for either the misunderstanding or the forgetfulness.

I then realized this is not, as they say in the business world, a good environment to work in. Or an atmosphere that is open and transparent and the most important civil and polite. So I resigned from my committee officially and it was immediately accepted and now I will live like ” a guest on vacation “.

Really very sincerely,

Vicki Ross

#902

Disgusting Letter Mailed to Me

Editorial:

Last night I received a piece of paper labelled “Warning” telling me tidbits of bad gossip about the candidates for the new board. Of course the letter was not signed either by an individual or a group. It also attacked Parker’s Plan and listed people not to vote for. But all four that were mentioned were not on the ballot that I received.

The mystery for me was the mailing label on the outside of the envelope looked like the ones the building office uses to communicate with the owners. I hope no one has access to those address labels, either the staff or the board and is spending my money for stamps for these types of really nasty bitter mailings.

My Opinion: Vicki Ross

 

Please lets discuss and not bicker

Please no more blind comments and please sign all comments. And we really should stop name calling and try to be constructive with our comments. I will not censor any comments as that is not conforming to a relevant and open blog which this should be. A blog is open to all and a platform for everyone’s comments,  but they have to be identified. Own up!