A signed copy of these and all minutes going back to the 1980’s are available from the Management Office upon request.
Bob Pierce, President; Phoebe Helm, 1st Vice President; Sandra Goldberg, 2ndVice President; Herbert Hellauer, Treasurer; Dan Harvey, Property Supervisor; Christina Epple, Property Manager; Mavis Mather, Assistant Manager Business Operations; Sara Kacheris, Administrative Assistant Resident Services
Call to Order 6:40 pm (Board response in italics(
Lorraine Meyers – Where it says open comments and questions from residents is that part of the agenda or do we have to wait for the break to bring that up? Bob Pierce reiterated that this is the time for questions regarding specific items on the agenda and that section is for open comments after the Board has met on the previous items. Right now we are limiting the remarks to things that are on the agenda. My question was on whether the garage is on the agenda? Bob Pierce stated that the garage was not on the agenda but that it would be in his Board report. What are the amendments to the Declarations/Bylaws, and how can you put all of them together? Bob Pierce stated that the items under consideration are the sale of unit 511, the expansion of the Board from 5 members to seven members with staggered 2-year terms, and allowing residents to have cats, which would be a change to the Declarations whereas the others are changes to the Bylaws. The votes would not be a package item; each idea listed will be voted on independently. So each item will be separate and not lumped under one vote? Yes each will be separate.
Sandra Goldberg – So we need a 66 and 2/3rs percent voted for each one of these items for it to pass? Bob Pierce stated that that was correct with the exception of the cats, which requires 75 percent approval for the change to the Declarations.
Lorraine Meyers – Why is it 75 percent for the cats? Bob Pierce stated that the cats are in the original Declarations to the building and the other items are changes to the Bylaws. Amending the Declarations is not a vote or a special meeting it’s a collection of signatures.
Vince DiFruscio – For action item four about the receiving room, I would like to see the contract renewed. Also I would like a limit to the amount of cats allowed by the Declarations. The Board thanked Mr. DiFruscio for his comment.
Carlos Vargas – Item three Domestic Pumps, I believe that we should not be waiting for a Board meeting to take up an item like this that is under $5,000. The property manager should have the right to approve anything under $5,000 especially when a pipe could break in the meantime. The agenda item is on the agenda as ratification, the action has already been taken but since the money is from reserves the Board needs to formally approve the expense.
Gregor Hamilton – In regards to item four, next door they had somebody come in with a suggestion that they could run a receiving room for less money than Jim and Sue. After a couple of months they found that they could not make a go of it and left. One of the things that should be taken into consideration is the paperwork that is involved for the receiving room and frequently they take work home. I am concerned that if we try to get someone else in there the prices could go sky high. The Board thanked Mr. Hamilton for his comment.
Nancy Ledvina – Also about item four, I don’t think that we could ever find two people that could keep the hours and do the job they do for less money. The renewal is only for three years, is that the normal term? Bob Pierce stated that the Board is limited to three-year contracts by the building Bylaws.
Sandra Goldberg – Something to look at Bob is that our contract with RCN is for seven years. Is that right Christina? The contract is a ten-year contract but is renewable after every three years.
Becky Rossof – I would like to confirm that the union contract allows for the sale of unit 511. Christina Epple stated that if you require your engineers to live on site then you have to provide a unit for them, if no unit is available then you have to provide them with a housing allowance. So we could chose to require the engineers to live onsite? Yes.
Phoebe Helm – My understanding is that the issue has become that many engineers do not wish to move their whole family, change their kid’s schools and those kinds of things. So we would be limiting our choices by requiring both of the engineers to live on site. As I understand it buildings of our size typically have one engineer live on site but not both. Letting go of one unit would free up that option.
Becky Rossof – So if we don’t require a chief engineer on site we don’t have to pay housing for that? We would have to pay a housing allowance. If we don’t require an engineer to live on site why do we have to pay an allowance? It has to do with what union rates are for a chief or an assistant. That is why I am getting confused. We can tell them that they may live elsewhere so if we are not requiring someone to live here why do we have to pay them? Dan Harvey stated that this is part of the union contract; you either have to give them housing or pay them for it.
Nancy Ledvina – In response to what Becky is saying, I think that the point is that we have to either provide them a place to live or a housing allowance. Wouldn’t we require somebody with a skill level above a general maintenance man to live here? We currently have two engineers on site, by selling one of the units we would only require one to live here. Although right now we have one of the engineers living here in his own unit that he owns. We would still retain one association owned unit for one of the engineers to live here. The needs of the building dictate that we would always have one resident engineer on site.
Sandra Goldberg – Either way we would still have to give them a housing allowance.
Vince DiFruscio – Is it a viable option to rent this unit rather than selling it? The issue becomes when does the income generated from renting the apartment cause us paying property tax on the unit.
Gregor Hamilton – I rented unit 311 when I first moved here and that was the unit that was set-aside for the engineer and I was able to rent it because it was vacant. As you know property tax laws in Chicago have changed, we now pay for the Market which we were not paying for before.
William Kay – Under the description for the section on amendments to the Declarations and Bylaws you list other, what would the others be? In case there are other changes to the Bylaws and Declarations that we would want to recommend. We want to take suggestions from the unit owners as to what they would like to see changed.
Becky Rossof – If in fact we talk about selling unit 511 we would be changing our policy such that half the time we would not have a resident engineer on-site in the evening right? I don’t understand he would be living here on-site so when would he not be here? He would not be on-site but he would be on call. Just because we have two engineers here in the building they do not work different shifts they just change when they are on call. So what you are saying is that the assistant engineer would be on call all the time? The engineers would still take turns being on call that would not change. Even if the engineer does not live on-site he still is on-call. There is 24-hour maintenance in the building. The union contract stipulates that the engineers must be no more than 20 minutes away from the building.
Betty Terry-Lundy – I think that before a permanent decision is made we should look at the viability of renting unit 511. For clarity the item on the agenda tonight is whether to put this item before the residents for them to consider. It is up to 2/3rds of the residents to approve this item.
Nancy Ledvina – If you put this to the residents for their vote, I don’t see the involvement for this issue that existed when the building purchased the Market. One of my concerns is lacking in communication with details in the building. I think that we should provide a bullet point or minutes for the residents to consider. The reason that this is on the agenda now is so that we can get the mailing out with ballots and all the information to the residents in May so that in the June annual meeting we can see the results. I think that the next best thing is to give the residents all the information regarding the pros and cons of selling the unit.
Harriet Domonique – Who is our Chief Engineer? Chuck Brown is our Chief Engineer. Was he offered the chance to move into unit 511? We offered him the opportunity but he declined as he would rather stay in his own unit.
Marian Shaw – How many times does it take before a person gets penalized before a person gets sent to the Rules and Regulations? This part of the meeting is to address items that are on the agenda. Isn’t this part of the Bylaws? The rules are a part of the Bylaws but this item is to amend certain parts of the bylaws. What you are referring to is a violation of the Rules and Regulations. Well the Rules are a part of the Bylaws. We are authorized to make rules and regulations as a part of the bylaws. Well can’t something be done about this? You should call security. Security is not working on finding the noise. Then it sounds like a management issue with security and you should call the management office but that is not something that is addressed in the agenda items.
Vince DiFruscio – Is the housing allowance enough to rent out the apartment and make more money? When we calculated the allowance we based it on what the average rental of a two-bedroom unit was at the time. The question is what does the law allow us to do before the unit becomes a commercial property and we are forced to pay taxes and other things. The question becomes are we better off to sell the unit and just pay a housing allowance to one engineer.
Ruth Posternak – In the future if there is no property what would we do with future engineers? The association currently owns two units and what is on the agenda is to allow the residents to vote on selling one of them.
Carlos Vargas – Item five the roof bids, Allied Waterproofing is a well known company, why is their bid so much higher than the other two bids? Chuck and management met with all three companies. Even before we got their bid prices in, Chuck favored another company. We use Allied to bid because they tend to be very good but they also tend to be very high. Allied is not even using the same application that the other two vendors are using.
Lorraine Meyers – I just want to comment that we used to have a lot next door where the Breakers is and we could have bought that property but we did not and the Breakers built a 39 story monster. People on that side lost their views of downtown due to the short-sightedness of the Board. The Board thanked Ms. Meyers for her comment.
Minutes March 7, 2007 Board Meeting
Upon due motion by Phoebe Helm and seconded by Herbert Hellauer, the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the March 7, 2007.
Upon due motion by Phoebe Helm and seconded by Herbert Hellauer, the Board voted to ratify the purchases of natural gas with Exelon for the following periods: through March 31, 2009 at $0.909 per therm and through March 2010 at $0.860 per therm. Herbert Hellauer, Phoebe Helm, and Bob Pierce voted in favor; Sandra Goldberg opposed. The motion passed.
Upon due motion by Phoebe Helm and seconded by Herbert Hellauer, the Board voted unanimously to approve Complete Pump for work preformed on March 14, 2007 to repair the #2 vertical turbine water pump and motor in the amount of $3,875.00.
Upon due motion by Phoebe Helm and seconded by Herbert Hellauer, the Board voted to approve a three year extension of the lease for the receiving room. Herbert Hellauer, Phoebe Helm, and Bob Pierce voted in favor; Sandra Goldberg opposed. The motion passed.
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Herbert Hellauer, the Board voted unanimously to approve the commercial roof repair proposal from Solaris Roofing, as submitted, in the amount of $18,405.
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Herbert Hellauer, the Board voted unanimously to approve Full Circle to complete a reserve study engineering report for $9,500 and to approve Reserve Advisors to use the report to create a precision 20/20 reserve study for $10,900.
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Phoebe Helm the Board voted unanimously to approve hiring one additional maintenance employee with a change to the budget.
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Herbert Hellauer the Board voted unanimously to approve the following time chart for the annual meeting: mailing of applications by April 28, 2007; deadline for applications May 7, 2007; Mail ballots on May 10, 2007; Meet the Candidates Night to be determined; Annual Meeting on June 11, 2007.
Amendments to Bylaws
Upon due motion by Phoebe Helm and seconded by Herbert Hellauer the Board voted unanimously to extend the opportunity to ownership to vote on amending the Bylaws with regards to the sale of unit 511, and to increase the Board membership from 5 members to 7 members with staggered terms. A vote of 66 and 2/3rds of the membership is required to amend the Bylaws. The meeting to amend the Bylaws will be held on June 11th with the proxy system set up and recorded separate from the Management Office.
Amendments to Declarations
Upon due motion by Phoebe Helm and seconded by Herbert Hellauer the Board voted to extend the opportunity to ownership to amend the Declarations to allow cats in the building. A vote of 75 percent of the membership is required to amend the Declarations. The meeting to amend the Declarations will be held on June 11th with the proxy system set up and recorded separate from the Management Office. Herbert Hellauer, Phoebe Helm, and Bob Pierce voted in favor; Sandra Goldberg opposed. The motion passed.
Owner Requests to Remodel
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Phoebe Helm the Board voted unanimously to approve the remodeling of units 2315, and 5501 as submitted by the owners, following the recommendations of the chief engineer as outlined in their written specifications and in accordance with the Rules and Regulations and remodeling guidelines of the Park Tower Condo Association.
Treasurer’s Report (Herbert Hellauer)
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Herbert Hellauer, the Board voted unanimously to approve the rollover of the CD at Centennial Bank for 12 months in the amount of $95,000 at a rate of 5.20% with the proceeds of $4,711.70 deposited into the MAX SAFE account at Barrington Bank.
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Herbert Hellauer, the Board voted unanimously to approve the transfer of the CD at Hinsdale Bank to Advanta Bank for 12 months in the amount of $95,000 at a rate of 5.12% with the proceeds of $4,751.04 deposited into the MAX SAFE account at Barrington Bank.
According to the February 28, 2007 Financial Statements the total operating funds were $213,715.31. The total of the Max Safe account at Barrington Bank was $213,982.58. The total of the replacement reserve funds was $1,476,650.51. The total of all cash and investments is $1,690,365.82.
Management Report (Christina Epple)
Standard Parking has cancelled all EFT payments following the April 5th withdrawal; accounts will not be debited for May. If you are currently set up with Draper and Kramer’s auto debit program your garage payments will be paid through the already existing auto debit system. If you are set up for online payment you will need to contact your bank and process your monthly garage fees according to their debit requirements. If you wish to set up your assessment and garage fees with the auto debit program please see Mavis at the end of the meeting or pick up the debit form in the management office. If you select the auto debit plan you should pay by check or money order for the May parking until your account is activated which can take up to 45 days. You will receive one statement beginning on May 1st and you will continue to have one account number located on the tear off portion of your statement. Always include the coupon with your payment to the lockbox.
Maintenance and management continue to work on repairs to the sun deck by making repairs to the membrane overlay at the west end of the sundeck. Repairs were made such that there are no further water leaks in this section. During these repairs decking was removed which resulted in observing negligent workmanship while applying the membrane resulting in no water protection to the base of the roof. Also observed were 80% of rotted stringers and brace supports within the entire area. The deck material was not replaced pending further investigation. There are two options that the Board will need to consider. The first would be to remove all of the remaining deck and west planter, look for any area of failed membrane and replace, assess condition of stringers and braces and replace wood as needed. It is likely that we would observe the same conditions as found in the first section. The benefit would be working with the same contractor would cost less than waiting for a future project, less damage to the deck and surrounding areas. The negative would be that the deck would be closed for several months. Option 2 would be to replace the stringers and braces that are visible from the first repair and proceeding no further. Costs are not yet available.
The annual garage floor cleaning for 1-P will be scheduled for mid-May. The window cleaning has been scheduled for the spring cleaning on April 23rd depending on weather and winds. Sara Kacheris will become a notary as soon as the state sends her paperwork, hopefully by the end of May.
Board Report (Bob Pierce)
First of all, ALL actions of this Board are taken in Open Session. The Board’s discussion and deliberation of the decision to give Standard Parking a 30-day notice because of the personnel involved. We wanted to ensure our opportunity to keep the hikers and we needed a supervisory staffing plan from Management.
Secondly, Draper and Kramer’s Management Agreement (Section 3.14) gives them “supervision and oversight” of the operations of the garage, so in the absence of a contract, they are operating the garage under the authority of our Agreement. The Staffing Plan includes:
Remaining Actions include execution of an Amendment to the Management Contract to compensate for their direct management of the garage. Draper and Kramer has assured us that their fee will not exceed that which we were paying Standard Parking.
The advantages of this plan include an annual savings of $35-$40,000 in staffing costs (manager and accounting). And, additional efficiencies should be realized through (1 financial reporting and controls, accurate billing and receivables, and collection of overdue accounts, and (2) improved management and coordination, including waiting lists and assignment of spaces.
Finally, I want to address the question, “Why are you assigning the management of the garage to D & K without a bid?” First, it is an Amendment to an existing contract and, second bids are only appropriate when entities have an equal opportunity to “win” the bid. Clearly no external garage vendor could compete with the coordination of services and costs offered by an internal vendor who already provides the redundant services of accounting, etc.
Workshop and Reception – April 18, 2006, 6:30 PM, Party Room
The Board Elections this year includes three positions and we want to encourage homeowners to consider running for the Board and/or joining one of our several committees. Thus, I have asked Tom Taylor, VP of D&K, to conduct the workshop utilizing a presentation that he has often held with Condo Associations who are forming Boards for the first time. The title of the presentation is: Everything you always wanted to know about Condominium Board Service and were afraid to ask. We appreciate his willingness to make this presentation and encourage all homeowners to attend. In addition to the presentation, the reception will give homeowners the opportunity to become better acquainted with Dan Harvey, Property Supervisor, who joined us in January, as well as other D&K employees.
PROCESSES REQUIRED TO CHANGE THE DECLARATION AND THE BY LAWS OF THE PARK TOWER CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION
The Declaration is found in Appendix B of the Park Tower Condominium Property Report and is subject to the Illinois Condominium Act. The By-Laws are found in Exhibit C of the Declaration. Each had different thresholds or standards for amending them as referenced below:
A. Amendments to the Declaration:
Appendix B, Section 19, page 20 – …amended, changed, or modified by:
B. Amendments to the By – Laws (Exhibit C of the Declaration):
Exhibit C, Article XII, page c20 – …altered, amended, appealed, and/or new by laws adopted by:
Both of these actions would require the approval of two thirds of the members of the Association as outlined above.
ASCO Update (Lorraine Meyers)
The ASCO Board Meeting will be held tomorrow night. Last month there was an open meeting that I was unable to attend; however, the ASCO now has an internet site, www.asco.com, anybody can check into it by registering and becoming a member at no charge. One of the items that ASCO is concerned about is that they have raised the fee for all of the builders here in Edgewater from 10% to 15% for affordable housing. Most of the builders are not putting aside the 10% of the housing but are paying money to subsidized housing. This means that the money is not going to the community. ASCO is still fighting the electric rates. They are making some progress with getting the condo buildings to be charged at the residential rate rather than the commercial rate. Lastly the plantings for the three ASCO planters should be done around May 31st.
Health Club Committee (Phoebe Helm)
The health club committee has met numerous times. The committee will ask the board to consider the purchase of a robotic pool cleaner in the future. The other items that have been before the board that the committee is moving forward since the expenses were budgeted are the purchase of the bench press and the weights. What we are doing now is debating how to move around some of the equipment and how to eliminate some of the equipment that is redundant or worn out. The biggest change is to the weight room so that the front portion of the room would be devoted to free weights and the back of the room to handle the stationary equipment. The committee will be meeting to finalize the plans. In addition we would like to survey the membership of the building and residents of the building to try to encourage more people to participate in the health club and to try to get a membership drive started.
Sandra Goldberg asked why there was no written report of the health club meeting, and previously the Board had voted to get bids on the weights, the bench press, and a mirror on one wall but I don’t ever recall there ever having been any discussion amongst the board for any expenditure, or a vote by the board to spend these moneys. I have no idea what the cost is for the bench or the free weights because this was never presented to the Board, we have never seen the bids or voted on this.
I don’t remember the exact amounts but I believe that the cost of the bench press was around $600 and the weights somewhere in the same neighborhood as well as the mirror so collectively $1,800. The chin and the dip bar is about $300. In December a whole package of prices, pictures, and specifications was submitted.
Sandra Goldberg stated that the Board had never voted to spend the money on this expenditure. The Board voted to authorize Christina to get bids, and this is the first that I have heard that this has gone further. As this is an expenditure the entire Board needs to vote on it.
There is a threshold before the Board needs to vote on it. These expenses were specified in the budget requests.
Sandra Goldberg stated that doesn’t matter since this is an expenditure. Bob Pierce stated that it does matter, this was budgeted and was within the operating budget and management is authorized to do those purchases. Every time that maintenance needs a new mop we do not have a board decision to buy a new mop. Sandra Goldberg stated that this is not a mop. Bob Pierce stated that it is similar to the extent that these are things that wear out and need to be replaced. Sandra Goldberg stated that this is the first time that I am hearing about this as a Board member, that purchases have proceeded based upon no information being given to me. I never saw the bids or received any information and the next time that I hear this brought up is in a committee report saying that these purchases have been made.
Firstly, these prices were presented. Those prices were used and made part of the budget for this year. One piece of this was the purchase of the robotic pool cleaner and this will be presented for a vote, but the other equipment pieces were at a lower threshold, and it is not necessary to bring them to the Board for a vote. Just to be clear I did not go out and say lets buy these things, I went and asked the Board President and Management what was the next step. What you have before you is what I was instructed was the next step in the process.
Sandra Goldberg stated that she did not understand why the process does not include the entire Board being made aware of it. Bob Pierce stated that the entire Board is being made aware of it in the report today. Sandra Goldberg stated that there was no written report and no factual figures being presented.
The figures were presented in December in the budget. Sandra Goldberg stated that she would check but the last time that this became an issue was when Christina was given instruction to go out to bid but with no instruction to proceed further. Bob Pierce stated that the budget for the health club was approved in the building budget. Sandra Goldberg stated that she understood that but any expenditure must go before the Board. Bob Pierce stated that this was part of the operating budget and did not need to be brought before the Board.
We don’t pay the building bills or approve them. Sandra Goldberg stated that she knew that and believes that is a problem.
Open Comments and Questions
Joe Guzzardo – Firstly, the deck was not done long ago. It is discouraging that we have to make repairs already. While the repairs are being preformed the planters have been leaking, you can see the soil running from the cracks in them. Secondly, I spoke with someone who was irate about this building because there are known drug dealers and prostitutes in the building. We need to put a process in place to keep undesirables from the building. Lastly, the owners of the Market are hurting because they are not getting enough business. This is a management issue because the Market is not known about. There should be something done to promote the market in the orientation meeting that is held for all new residents.
Cy Peiser – In response to Mr. Guzzardo at the new tenants meeting all new residents get a gift coupon and all tenants are made aware of the Market.
Joe Guzzardo – That market is largely dependent upon income from this building. When the owners moved in they were expecting to get a substantial amount of business from this building but less than 50% of their business is from residents of this building. Phoebe Helm stated that there was a survey sent out to all the residents in which only 70 to 80 surveys were returned. This is about a 10% return of surveys, which for surveys is actually a high rate of return. There was a spreadsheet started with the responses for the surveys, which were given to Larry.
Nancy Ledvina – I was one of the owners who petitioned to buy the store, secondly Phoebe chaired a committee that I was a member of that was established to work with the owners of the store to address the issues of why they might not be getting some of the business from residents in the building. Management does have a responsibility to make the building aware of the presence of the Market. Part of the problem is that the owners of the store, although they participated enthusiastically, were not responsive to the feedback that they received. The building spent money to buy the tables for a seating area with the idea that a café feeling could be set up, but the market did not do anything with the area. Phoebe Helm stated that the residents all need to take ownership of buying from the Market; we need to push that and need to think about another marketing task force.
Joe Guzzardo – The building needs to be made aware that if we were ever to loose the Market we might not be able to get another.
Hershey Chalmers – I use that market a lot, I am there on a daily basis, but I know that whenever I ask for an item the owners have always been able to help me get that item. Is there going to be a limitation to cats, can I get a pet snow leopard? Phoebe Helm stated that the Board should inquire as to the language of the proposed change so that this type of language is considered. Bob Pierce stated that the idea is not to expand it to anywhere beyond the original language of the Declarations.
Betty Terry-Lundy – There are only four people on the Board right now, if any member of the Board has information relating to a topic then all members of the Board should have that information. Secondly we have a procedure in place where the audience gets to speak at the beginning and at the end but this is not constant. You routinely let people speak in the middle but do not always call on everyone who wishes to speak in the middle.
Bob Pierce stated that he does try to keep the procedure in place but at times it can be difficult. All Board members get the same information for the meeting. Sandra Goldberg stated that she did not have the information regarding the health club equipment purchases.Bob Pierce stated that this information was handed out in December. Phoebe Helm stated that the only information that she had that Sandra did not was because she was the liaison to the Health Club Committee. Sandra Goldberg stated that normally there is a written report. Bob Pierce stated that there was no action item to report. Sandra Goldberg stated that it doesn’t matter whether there is an action or not the committee should write a report. Phoebe Helm stated that the point is that Herbert didn’t have it and you not have it the only person that had more information than the other three members was me and I had it because I was the liaison. Nobody was deliberately withholding information from any one other Board member. I made the report tonight to follow the procedure that I was informed of.
Lemuria St James-Benham – At the last Board meeting I was out of town so I don’t know what the follow up was, why was Standard Parking not awarded the contract and why was Draper and Kramer selected for the contract for the garage? Bob Pierce stated that this information was in the Board report earlier. We had a discussion in closed session regarding the staffing assignment because it involved employment specifically bringing the hikers on as association employees and Michael as well. The main idea is that Draper and Kramer’s plan provided a projected savings of between $35,000 and $45,000 in staffing compensation expenses. The cost of the management being absorbed by Draper and Kramer underneath their existing agreement gives them supervision and oversight responsibility of the garage. So by canceling Standard Parking’s contract, giving them the 30-day notice, by default Draper and Kramer as agent for management has the responsibility of oversight and supervision. So what we heard during the closed session was their plan for implementing this specifically with employment so that they could properly staff the garage.
In other buildings that Draper and Kramer manage do they also manage the garage and accept fees for this management? Dan Harvey stated that this was not the case with all other buildings but that it is the case with some of the properties. Sandra Goldberg asked if Harbor Point was the only property in which they managed the garage, and if not what other garages does Draper and Kramer manage. Also in response to the residents question even though there were issues in regards to employees and salary it is still a contract and discussion on whether to cancel Standard Parking’s contract should have been discussed in open session as I had mentioned in the last Board meeting. Also there were no competitive bids and competitive bids were not sought. Bob Pierce stated that he did not want to confuse but the action was taken in open session and there is no contract.
Tonight is the first time that I am hearing about this. I knew that the contract was ending and Standard Parking was close to being let go, but it just seems odd to me that with all the parking companies in Chicago we are now awarding the contract to Draper and Kramer who we are already paying fees to for managing the building. Does this mean that when Draper and Kramer’s contract is up we will have to go find another Standard Parking or will Draper and Kramer end up managing the garage when we have another management company?
Phoebe Helm stated that there were some technical things that needed to be addressed. Firstly, all actions were taken in public as they are with any closed session. The deliberation was not in public but the action was taken in public. The fact that the residents do not choose to stay and wait does not make it a closed session. Secondly, the action that is left before the Board to take, that has not been taken, is to amend the current Draper and Kramer contract to add the manage fee for the garage. This has not happened yet. Draper and Kramer is operating under a portion of their current contract at no cost to the Association at this point. A fee will be negotiated but they have guaranteed that it will not exceed the current fee that is being paid to Standard Parking. When you are amending a contract you do not have to go out to bid. When you start to think about the redundant services in terms of accounting that we were paying for separately with Standard Parking, as we deliberated, we believe that providing the service through Draper and Kramer is an advantage to the association in terms of money, improved services, of better time management, financial reporting, and a better management of the wait list, and assigning of spaces. The hikers will stay and they are still part of the union and they will become our employees.
So does the new person who is being assigned the job of managing the garage have experience in this field? Phoebe Helm stated that Michael Rupert does not have direct garage experience but he does have experience with managing people and a long history with this building as well. I want to be clear that we approached Draper and Kramer and asked if they had experience managing garages in other buildings and if they would put together a proposal, Draper and Kramer did not approach us. Sandra Goldberg stated that the deliberation of the idea to approach Draper and Kramer should have been in an open session, granted if you talk about employees and salaries that should be in an executive session but to consider giving Draper and Kramer the contract that deliberation should have occurred in an open session. Phoebe Helm stated that that is an amendment to their contract and that has not happened yet and I presume that it will be on the May agenda, and at that point it will be in open session discussion. Sandra Goldberg stated that this has already happened. Bob Pierce stated that it will be a future Board decision.
Vince DiFruscio – I use the Market to cater parties and they do a fantastic job. They are cheap and the food is great. Also in response to the garage subject, Standard Parking had some of the worst financial reporting that I have ever seen and I am so glad they are gone. Lastly I use the pool a lot and in summer time I hate that you really cannot lay out in the pool because it is covered and it occurred to me to use the kids pool to lay out in the water and I wondered could we move a planter from the pool walkway out to by the kiddy pool so that it would not be so barren. The Board thanked Mr. DiFruscio for his comment and will take it into consideration.
Mary Ann Kinney – I think that it is a positive move for Draper and Kramer to take over the garage, and I trust Chuck, but I don’t understand why workman’s compensation would pay someone’s salary. Since this was an employee injury they will pay her salary until she is able to return to work. Workman’s compensation is a type of insurance. We asked for a caseworker to be assigned so that we can be sure that she will get the help that she needs.
Lorraine Meyers – What is being done about the handicap ramps on 1P and 2Pin the garage. I see nothing being done and yet all this other stuff is being done on the deck and in the front. Bob Pierce stated that last month the Board approved JLA’s contract for the front circle and put that out to bid and decided not to consider at this time the garage ramps, the lobby remodel, or the front door pending the results of the bid to see how much money we may have left to make those modifications. We also have not gotten a satisfactory design back yet.
Why are you going ahead with the front circle drive when the ramps on 1P and 2P are so dangerous. You could have a lawsuit from them, they should be done first before any other projects are considered. We asked JLA to work on conceptual designs to see how to fix it but we would like to see how much money would be available first. We are still looking to get an acceptable design and look to see this work done within the next year or two. We have begun to address this but we are waiting to be presented with an acceptable design.
Susan Pestine – I thought that we were going to take care of the way that the people put in the car stops too far back. Christina Epple stated that they tried to take up one of the stops and they completely destroyed the membrane because of the way that they are attached. We are looking to find a way to fix this.
In the meantime can you tell cars to not back all the way in, because it is hard for me to get in and out of my car with that. Secondly Bob why are you so mean to Sandra? Bob Pierce stated that he thinks that it is mutual.
Becky Rossof – If the car stops are a problem could you put an additional one in front of the stop that is already there? Yes you could, but it’s not a matter of putting it in front it’s a matter of the spots being at 90 degree angles.
Relating to the maintenance employee, when we go to the budget committee will we be able to keep this expense. Did you approve to add a seasonal worker or one full time permanent worker? Is this for just year or will this employee appear in next years budget? Phoebe Helm stated that this will be a permanent employee.
I also just wanted to point out that this workman’s compensation claim is that this is not a good thing. We had trouble previously getting a bid for workman’s compensation due to the amount of claims that were being paid. Will Draper and Kramer be willing to help us get a vendor? Dan Harvey stated that there is no Draper and Kramer pool. Each Association is its own separate entity. There is a Draper and Kramer insurance agency and they were part of the bidding process just like Mesirow Insurance. Christina Epple stated that we were paying $30,000 more in insurance premiums due to the high loss run from large claims. Last year I reported in the management report that we actually saw a $20,000 reduction in our workman’s compensation claims. Any time that there is a workman’s compensation claim filed, it is reviewed by the company to see if it is a valid claim. The employee then will work with workman’s compensation to get the medical attention that they require.
Carlos Vargas – Management requested to get information so we should already know how many cats and dogs we have in this building. Secondly, I talk about the hidden costs by the cable company RCN. There is a cost for a cable box for each unit and this is not allowed. RCN is doing something that is illegal and we need to review the contract. Bob Pierce stated that everyone is entitled to one digital box per unit and we are paying $3.00 per box a month.
The question is that AT&T used to charge all customers for the use of a phone, if we are paying for cable boxes that is illegal and we need to tell RCN that they cannot charge for the boxes. I want to know if I am allowed to see this contract. Bob Pierce stated that the contracts are always available on file in the management office as part of public record.
William Kay –
I have been in the building now for 12 years now and I have served on and off the garage committee and my direct experience with Standard Parking is that they have been poor at best. There have been a number of suspicious things that Standard Parking has done. I want to know if there is anything that Draper and Kramer can so to make sure that we get the correct information. Bob Pierce stated that there is an audit of the garage financials being preformed, and we are hoping to have the report soon.
I have been missing the Board meetings for the last two year and I would like to state that everyone sitting on the Board has my gratitude that it is not an easy thing and I appreciate all that you are doing.
Approval Closed Session
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Phoebe Helm the Board voted unanimously to suspend the April Board meeting to allow for an executive session of the Board of Directors to discuss personnel, litigation, and/or rule violations.
The meeting resumed at 9:30 pm.
Results Closed Session
Upon due motion by Phoebe Helm and seconded by Sandra Goldberg the Board voted unanimously to approve the following: A: deny, B: table, C: approve request, D: no action.
Upon due motion by Phoebe Helm and seconded by Sandra Goldberg the meeting adjourned at 9:31pm.
Bob Pierce, President
Phoebe Helm, 1st Vice President