George Pauley, President; Carlos Vargas, 1st Vice President; Sandra Goldberg, Secretary; Laura Cossa, Treasurer; Steve Hanna, Property Supervisor; Tim Patricio, Property Manager; Mavis Mather, Assistant Manager Business Operations
Phoebe Helm, 2nd Vice President
Call to Order at 7:40 pm
Upon due motion by Carlos Vargas and seconded by Sandra Goldberg, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Laura Carl, William Grendahl, Paul Groeninger, Marian Shaw, and Don Yuratovic as election committee members.
Election Committee Chair
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Paul Groeninger as the election committee chairman.
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted unanimously to suspend the June Board meeting at 7:42PM.
The meeting reconvened at 7:46 pm
Unit Owner Comments Regarding Agenda
Ruth Posternak – I don’t know if this is relevant, but I have been asking for a long time. Are we going to get any furniture, tables and chairs, for the people that would like to sit outside and eat? We only have two.
George Pauley asked if she was asking about the area on the deck.
Yes, we have needed this for several years.
Vince DiFruscio – We were looking at buying that furniture when I was on the Board. We weren’t sure how stable the furniture that we were looking at was. We bought it to go in the mall. We were pleased with it but I guess the ball got dropped when the new Board came on. Gregor put us in touch with that furniture. If you all are happy with that furniture in the mall, he is the guy to talk to in order to get more for the outside.
George Pauley stated that he thought that furniture would take flight on the deck. We need something that is very heavy, either wood or metal or something. We have had those lounges out there that are not too heavy and they have gone over the wall in storms. I think that the stuff in the mall is lighter. That is something that we need to move to the Home Improvement Committee to take a look at. I don’t think it is a budgeted item so we will need to look at that piece as well.
I want to know, is anything going to be done with the front of our building? I’m not talking about the red parts that you claimed that you fixed. I am talking about the areas of cement that are cracked, broken, and rusty. It looks like a slum to me. It’s horrible and it’s getting worse not better.
George Pauley stated that was the project that is currently being worked on. If you notice there has been a lot of construction out there.
I know about the tree part. I am wondering about the part where you walk out of the building where the cab comes and picks you up.
George Pauley stated that those were items that we have some numbers on tonight. The terrazzo will not be fixed this year because it is about a half million dollar project but we are going to do that, but not in this years budget. We have to seal the terrazzo because it has not been sealed for many years. We have started a maintenance program so that it will be sealed every year. That has prevented the leaking into the garage, but as you can see from the previous years of patching and re-patching, we have multiple colors like a jigsaw. We are going to totally redo the terrazzo. We have not picked out what type of material we are going to use because there are other products out there now that are attractive, with less maintenance and more durability. That terrazzo was put in 20-25 year ago.
The first thing when you walk into the building is the bright lights and then from there everything is rusted.
Scott Schmidtke – Not to answer Ruth’s question, but since she called on Thursday and I have not gotten back to her yet, I was talking to Tim and asked numerous questions. One that I asked was if there was any money in the home improvement budget for landscaping and tables and chairs to eat on. Before landscaping more tables and chairs, I would like to know if there is money before I bother to look. I looked today at Home Depot at outdoor treated table and chair sets. That is what I was going to stop by and see Tim about tomorrow, to see if there was any money in the budget and to see if it is even possible.
George Pauley asked how much under budget the deck was coming in.
Tim Patricio stated that the deck was coming in right on budget about $115,000.
George Pauley stated that he thought that they would have to take a look. It is considered a small item of only a few thousand dollars.
Today I was looking at Lowes and those tables, the round ones with the chairs attached are $700.00 per set and they are all one piece. Those are going to be heavy and cannot be moved themselves. Once they are placed out there that is where they would stay. Those were running at $699.
Carlos Vargas asked how many we needed.
I would say three, two or three for that side.
George Pauley stated that the Board would not be voting on that tonight, but maybe they could get pictures and pricing.
Funsho Akerele Ale – I just wanted to suggest making both of the doors from the entrance to the garage by the laundry room handicapped accessible. The first door that you open up is not and the second one is. For people coming in and out having both doors handicapped accessible would be better.
George Pauley stated that because of the cost, this year the concrete work at the entrances were done as well as the both door openers on 1-P leading into the mall. Next year we are going to automate the doors down at the cleaners, the laundry room, 2-P the mall, and 2-P the 2nd door, and 1-P the 2nd door. Those doors are $4,000 to automate and we could not afford that this year. We had to split the project into two years, and we decided that the ramps were the biggest priority. People can take the ramps on 1-P to the mall elevator automated doors to get in. Next year will be all the other doors.
June Baker – Does that include the revolving door?
George Pauley stated no it did not.
So in other words, it is impossible for someone in a wheel chair to come in through the front, and very difficult for someone to use the revolving doors if they have a walker.
George Pauley stated that was why the automated door down here is for handicapped accessibility into the lobby.
That’s the back.
George Pauley stated that was the side door.
But you can only use the side door five months of the year because the weather is bad and you cannot access it.
George Pauley stated that there was not much they could do about the accessibility through the revolving doors. In the past, the doorman would break down the door. They can be broken down quickly and easily. I am not sure that our current doormen know how to do that. We stopped breaking down the doors when they automated the side door.
Terry Gorman -The bike room lock is not working that well again. When it beeps you have to rattle it over and over again for it to release. Also the door is starting to scrape against the concrete and could tear into the concrete there.
George Pauley stated that Tim had made a note of that.
I don’t know if the bicycle pumps are a priority but they are not working. I have one of my own but some other people might not.
George Pauley asked if they were manual bicycle pumps.
Yes. I think that they only lasted a year or so.
George Pauley stated that if someone took their bike down to the garage office they could use the compressed air on the car tires.
That doesn’t work well.
Carlos Vargas – I have a couple of questions. I needed to put air in my car’s tires today and the compressor we have in the garage has a hose that is too short. You have to move the car back and forth too many times. Can we look into this? Secondly, I know that you have submitted a drawing of the planter to talk about tonight and there are two trees in it. Are we going to be keeping the two trees in the planter?
Tim Patricio – No one has suggested removing the trees. There are no problems with the roots or anything
George Pauley – We have never had a problem with that planter leaking into the garage. Everybody seems to think that the reason that the planter leaked was because of the trees. Tim could explain why it was leaking, but it never leaked into the garage. It leaked onto the sidewalk. It had to do with a design flaw, but it was not being broken through.
Tim Patricio – Originally, if you remember, at the Board meeting in which the Board approved the repairs, we talked about the level underneath the planter was at an angle and water was pulling at the sidewalk side of the planter. Once they removed the planter we discovered that was not the case at all. The water proof membrane, that you might have seen when the planters were dug up, only went up about three inches on the parapet wall. What was happening was that you had bare concrete exposed to the dirt and mud. Concrete is like a sponge, it soaks up the water particularly in the winter time. This was why in the winter you would have ice puddles forming there. Anytime it would rain in the summer it could leak for weeks and weeks. Generally once the water is sopped up from the wet area the water will travel to the driest area by the sidewalk. To address this contractors applied the membrane all the way up the inside the planter and underneath where the coping stones will be put back.
George Pauley stated that the good news about the planter was the contractor who worked on it says that it will be good for another 30-35 years. The second piece of information was that the trees are middle-aged and healthy. Those trees should last us 10 more years but we have never had a problem with the roots on the trees. We have ideas of what to do with the planter and that will be brought up later. People might want to take a look at the ideas we have. The planter will be painted with a sealant on the outside and we have color samples to choose from. When the painting is done along with what the committee is recommending it will look much nicer because it will all be one uniform color. The same sealant will be used on the north planter as well.
Gregor Hamilton -We have had a kind of stop gap attempt to repair our industrial sweeper in the garage. We have tried replacing the batteries and other things. We have an already approved vendor who handles sweepers and the Garage Committee is looking to see what a replacement sweeper would cost. We don’t know when it is budgeted for but we are looking at it to have the garage vacuumed on a regular basis.
George Pauley asked if the committee would take a look at what the products are that are available and make some recommendations to the Board with models and cost. I don’t know that would be a capital item to begin with because we have to keep the garage clean. The number $5,000 sticks in my head, but stuff like that does go up in price.
June Baker – Did we get any reimbursement at all for the work that was done on the original sundeck from the original builder?
George Pauley stated that there was no reimbursement.
Tim Patricio stated that he did try to track down the original builders. It was outside of the warranty period but they had at one point left an angry message for me to leave them alone. They stated that the work had been done to spec.
George Pauley stated that now this time it was done with treated wood and it should last for a long time.
Terry Gorman – Is the garage floor cleaning in the future? We got our new space in March and there is just crud all over the floor. Every time you get out of the car your shoes are just grinding in sand or whatever the prior people in that space had used.
George Pauley asked if there was a power washing schedule for the garage.
Tim Patricio – We are getting bids for that and hope to have it ready for the next Board meeting. We had discussed this a couple of months ago, or mentioned that there were some issues with the drains on 1-P and 2-P. One of those issues has been resolved, and we are going to be talking to the garage committee about the other. We will be bringing a proposal to the Board to add additional drains that have been recommended. The draining is needed before the power washing can be preformed.
Mike Ronnett – Did we loose the contract for the window washing? The windows have not been washed this year. We had a few nice days but nothing has been done.
Tim Patricio stated that the washing has been a bit of a dilemma for us to deal with in the office. This was originally scheduled for May and has been repeatedly rescheduled. We are now on queue as the next building to be done. Since they have several towers in the city when one building is rescheduled we are as well. We did put on the marquee board out front that the washing is supposed to begin this week weather permitting.
The spiders are already all over the building.
George Pauley stated that they would be back within two days of the window washing. There is nothing that we can do about high-rise spiders. You can do things on your screens but there is nothing for the windows.
Tim Patricio stated that the best thing to do would be to spray the inside perimeter of the screens with a vinegar water mixture. The spiders will get discouraged but you have to keep spraying for a while. If you keep doing it they will move to another window. This is a problem that every high-rise in the city deals with. There is no permanent solution. When I worked at Lake Point Tower they had many things that they tried to keep the spiders away including the application of the insecticide, which barely worked. They spend tens of thousands of dollars a year to do that and it was barely effective.
ASCO Report (Lorraine Meyers)
The Planning and Zoning Commission of the 48th Ward met and the Edgewater Historical Society was unable to pass the motion to make 8-10 homes historical markers. The ASCO meeting was held last Tuesday and they will be holding an open meeting at the Malibu East next Tuesday at 7:00PM and it is concerning the legislation on the 3 bills that will be going through Springfield. The one for management companies to get a license looks like it will pass. So it looks like we will have to pay for it.
George Pauley asked who was saying that we were going to have to pay for it.
You don’t think that they are going to pay for it do you? The planting of the flowers in the flower boxes is supposed to start today. They delayed it because the weather has been so cold but they should be in this week.
Home Improvement Committee (Scott Schmidtke)
The Home Improvement Committee will be represented when we discuss the ideas for the planter later tonight.
Social Committee – Scott Schmidtke
The Social Committee is looking for anyone to help out with the 4th of July party. I am hoping to talk some people into it. We are looking for help on the day of the 4th from 4:30PM until the party is over. We are not looking for set up that is taken care of. We just need help from 4:30PM onwards.
Beatrice Stieber, Ruth Posternak, Sandra Gold, and Sheldon Atovsky offered to help.
The Health Club Committee will meet on Thursday. The Garage Committee will meet on Thursday.
Approval of Motions from Closed Session
A. Upon due motion by Carlos Vargas and seconded by Sandra Goldberg, the Board voted unanimously not to waive fines for construction and noise violations. B. Upon due motion by Carlos Vargas and seconded by Sandra Goldberg, the Board voted to not approve paying a deductible for a home owner. George Pauley, Carlos Vargas, and Sandra Goldberg voted in favor; Laura Cossa voted against; the motion passed.
George Pauley stated that the Board had debated this item. Other Associations do not pay deductibles and it is not in our budget to pay for these kinds of expenses. We do have a lot of leaks and this would create a huge expense. Another consideration was the fairness, if one person has a $250.00 deductible and the other has a $1,000.00 how do you determine fairness. The overriding consensus is that when you live in a condominium it is assumed that you will share some risk. This is what you should be insuring for. Most of us started out that paying it would be fair but as we explored it we discovered that was not a realistic option.
Minutes May 12, 2008 Board Meeting
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the May 12, 2008 Board Meeting with corrections by the secretary.
Ratify Laundry Room Remodel
Upon due motion by Carlos Vargas and seconded by Sandra Goldberg, the Board voted unanimously to ratify the proposal submitted by Universal Laundries to perform remodeling of the laundry room in the amount of $11,030.00.
Roof Maintenance Contract
Upon due motion by Carlos Vargas and seconded by Sandra Goldberg, the Board voted unanimously to approve the roof maintenance contract to Solaris Roofing for the amount of $11,625.00 for the first year and then $6,820 plus inflation annually contingent that Tim will try to negotiate a lower number.
Amend the Agenda
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted unanimously to amend the agenda to include planter improvements.
Resident Comments Regarding Planter Improvements
Tim Patricio said that he believed that they passed around a rendering. He said he was not a professional artist. He tried and he did not want to pay $1000.00 for a rendering. Tim said he wanted to tell everyone why he took the time to do this. Tim said he had been meeting with the Home Improvement Committee and as they had discussed the work on the planters and because of the timing, they suggested some alternatives to just returning it back to the complete sodded planter. One of the ideas was the retaining wall and the committee actually selected the materials. As opposed to returning sod to the circle area immediately surrounding the interior of the retaining wall, Tim said you would have your annual flowers there. Also there was a suggestion to replace the existing sign,. all three existing signs. The suggestion was to replace the existing sign with a stone or concrete sign, kind of in the style of the sign at 5445 but obviously sized more appropriately for your planter. There are two things to consider, maintenance concerns. Tim said that based upon what we discovered when we removed the dirt from this planter, the sod already was too high for this planter. Tim stated that there was too much dirt and it was at too high of a level. The actual level of the sod was almost parallel to the limestone copings at the top of it, which created a maintenance problem. If the water drained down, now if we return the sod to where it was originally, it would impact the limestone copings. We would still have a problem with the coping stones at that level. If we want to return the sod to the planter we would recommend excavating the rest of the sod to go down about 3 to 4 inches so we could level it down below the base of the copings. Tim stated that otherwise we would have a maintenance issue. If we try to angle it, it will look very awkward. If we try to angle it down at the 3 to 4 inches and leave the existing sod, you would have quite a steep angle to go down that deep. Tim said to keep it from looking awkward, we would need to excavate all this sod and go down a few more inches below it. The retaining wall answer is an alternative to doing that. Tim said you put in a decorative stone wall and then could put whatever you want , flowers, annuals, perennials, shrubs. This is basically what the Home Improvement Committee discussed. The lighting would light up the sign at night or when it is dark. Tim stated that the estimate for the retaining wall you see on the drawing is incorrect. The one is supposed to be a two., $2,050 not $10,050. We would purchase the stone ourselves because we can get it at $1.28 per stone. Tim said that he estimated that we will need 140 of those and the rest is labor to have it professionally done and that is the $2,050. Tim stated that there were a couple of things that are were not depicted but were mentioned, such as the concrete repair. Tim said that he was having bids for the concrete repairs for a large portion of the entry concrete where the railings are embedded. He has one bid right now. Tim said it was just under $10,000 and that he was putting that out for bid and that he was suggesting that as a change order. Once the other two bids are obtained, Tim said that he would forward the information to the Board immediately. Tim stated that the other item was the terrazzo itself, which he knew. He timed it this way because they are doing the repairs out there right now. Once that is done, Tim said that he wanted to do the same work that was done in the past, to clean and seal the terrazzo. Tim said there were some areas by the steps going into the mall entry by the north planter. There is a big chunk of the terrazzo that is missing. Tim stated that was included in the projection and he believed it would come under $17,500 because he has already gotten two bids and one of them was significantly lower than that. Tim said that we might save even more than what this projects. Tim stated that all together, he started out the beginning of the year, the figure he gave to the Board and the Budget and Finance Committee was $195,000.00. To date, Tim said the actual figure has been $119,000, $129,000 remaining. Tim said he was projecting $41,000 worth of work which included the sign, the retaining wall, the flowers, the concrete and the terrazzo.
Scott Schmidtke asked if the retaining wall would be in the two layers like it is in the example.
Tim Patricio stated that it would be built in two layers.
Scott Schmidtke asked if there was really a need for two layers, could we have a single instead.
Tim Patricio stated that the bottom layer would be submerged a bit to anchor it. It will be submerged about 1-2 inches. The first layer is the foundation. The rates are solid numbers from bids that I received.
Scott Schmidtke stated that the vines on the pergola that are supposed to be planted so that they would grow up the posts. The idea was to have the vines grow up the posts and not grow as a bush. Your voicemail has more information.
Vince DiFruscio asked if there was anything that would be anchoring the retaining wall or if it was just dirt that would be holding the stones.
Tim Patricio stated that it would be a question for the landscaper but they did discuss that the stones would be anchored into the dirt. The cost of doing this is for them to professionally install it. I do not know the specifics I just got the bid today but I would work out that it would be professionally installed and anchored.
George Pauley asked if there was supposed to be a top layer that had stones without the bumps on them for attaching.
Scott Schmidtke stated that there were separate stones for the top that did not have bumps on them. Those are more expensive and this was just for a visual of what we were thinking of. There is glue that is used on these stones as well.
Vince DiFruscio asked if there were two different paints that are involved here. What is being painted?
George Pauley stated that the paints were for the coating for the two planters. This will cover the outside of the planters so that they are not patched in many colors. These colors were chosen to match the concrete of the walls. The color is what we will need to vote on tonight. The committee is recommending gray mist. The attempt here is to match the corrugated concrete that is in the lobby.
Beverly Storemont I just wanted to ask if you realized that we voted to have the light out there and we hope that you will keep it out there.
George Pauley asked which light was being discussed.
Beverly Storemont stated that she was talking about the light up Park Tower sign.
George Pauley stated that they were not aware of any vote on that. The sign will be lighted and there will be more lighting added to the front planter including spot lights in the trees.
Becky Rossof stated that she was not sure what was being voted on tonight. The reason why there is a problem with the level being so high is that every few years we have been putting more soil in the planter and then we have to dig it out to bring it all down. I worry that this will continue and we will have to keep adding additional layers to the retaining wall.
George Pauley stated that the sod is there and will not be replaced from year to year. Several years ago there was a decision to build up the planter in that way. In hind sight this created a problem for us.
Sandra Goldberg asked why the dirt could not just be taken out rather than build a retaining wall.
George Pauley stated that this was a more aesthetic solution and is no more costly than removing the sod, removing the dirt, and putting more sod in.
Sandra Goldberg stated that everyone she has ever known to put a retaining wall in has had problems with it. Continuous problems.
Sheldon Atovsky stated that his experience with concrete is that it weathers and blends in. When you paint concrete it tends to chip off
George Pauley stated that this was not painting the concrete. This is a protective coating. The two buildings next to us are painted with this as well. The Breakers is painted with this as well.
Tim Patricio stated that this was not just paint. This product is a rubberized paint and is specifically intended for porous materials. It is very similar to the membrane on 1-P.
Katarina Gut asked if the numbers on the new Park Tower sign would be larger than they currently are.
George Pauley stated that the numbers that we currently had could not be smaller. The Park Tower piece would be similar in size but the numbers would be much larger than the numbers that are currently there, probably about 8 inches. The intent is to make it much more visible.
Lorraine Meyers asked if we were going to have the concrete wall that was there now and we were going to have it lined on the inside so the water could not leak on the concrete and crack it again. Is that right?
Tim Patricio stated right.
Lorriane Meyers asked if then we are going to have a lower tier with dirt and flowers and then you are going to have concrete block there further in, which is going to be around the tree. What makes you think that is not going to crack and leak?
Tim Patricio said that it would leak eventually.
George Pauley stated that is was not solid so it was not intended to not leak.
Lorraine Meyers asked what was meant by it not being solid. Is it made out of Styrofoam?
George Pauley said no, the water would run through the bricks.
Tim Patricio stated that they bricks were much like the coping stones.
Lorraine Meyers asked if there were actually going to be spaces in between them.
George Pauley said no. They are not sealed or glued together.
Lorraine Meyers asked if it was going to rain there. If so, aren’t you going to have problems when it freezes and is all falls down?
Tim Patricio stated that this material would act just like the limestone copingstones.
John Curlo stated that having lived in California, there is a long term consideration on this. There was a condominium that was lost because it retained water enough to cause a hazard to the buildings below. That is not the situation with the planter but it proves a point that while this works in the short term it will not work in the long term.
George Pauley stated that the main consideration here was the aesthetics not just what was practical. This is one solution to not ripping out what we have there now.
Betty Terry-Lundy stated that it is possible to reach both goals. Aesthetics is important but we are in a cost mode so why put in something that is not cost effective. We could put in something that looks good and is still cost effective. This is a large project and should not just be made on a whim
George Pauley stated that the Board would need to get bids on not doing this as well. The assumption is that it would be more but maybe not.
Beverly Storemont asked if there was a sash here to see what has happened and that we have adequate flood protection.
George Pauley stated that would not affect the planter.
Vince DiFruscio asked if the lower floors would be affected with the increased lighting shining in their windows. Also would the monument be a stone monument or would it be made of something else?
Tim Patricio stated that this was all just based on ideas from discussions with the Home Improvement Committee. This is just a rendering based on the ideas I was given. The sign would be stone or a mix of limestone, concrete, and granite. It would be lit by the outside not the inside.
Scott Schmidtke asked if Tim could call the Metropolitan and ask when they put in their retaining wall and what problems they have been having with it out front. How long it has lasted and what the upkeep on it costs.
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted unanimously to approve the gray mist modak paint for the circle drive and north plaza planters.
Treasurers Report (Laura Cossa)
As of April 30, 2008 the total operating funds were $70,113.82. The MAX SAFE money market at Barrington Bank totaled $577,188.55. The total replacement reserve funds were $1,344,702.58. The total of all cash and investments was $1,416,321.43.
Upon due motion by Laura Cossa and seconded by George Pauley, the Board voted to approve the rollover of the CD at Fireside Bank for 12 months in the amount of $95,000 at a rate of 3.70% with proceeds of $4,974.50 deposited in the MAX SAFE money market account at Barrington Bank. George Pauley, Carlos Vargas, and Laura Cossa voted in favor; Sandra Goldberg voted against; the motion passed.
Board Report (George Pauley)
There is no Board Report tonight.
Management Report (Tim Patricio)
Tonight I will limit my discussion just to RCN issues. As many residents and owners are aware, we have over the past 60 days had multiple ongoing repeated problems with RCN services in the building. This affected the cable, phones, and internet in multiple units. Management and one of the Board members, Carlos Vargas, joined us in the office last week to meet with RCN. They talked about some of the problems. Without spending two hours discussing this as we did with RCN, I will give you an abridged version of what we found out and what RCN will do about it. First of all, they explained that there have been two classes of problems, internal and external. There were three times that the problems were at hubs outside of the building that resulted in losses of service within the building. The second class of problems, internal, are mostly related to other problems such as problems with the wiring in the tiers, things that we cannot see or touch as the user, and problems caused by the user. Most of these problems are due to things that RCN needs to handle behind the wall. Things that you don’t see that need to be reported to them and that is why you see the notices that went out for the tier by tier inspections that we are doing. It is vitally important that we go in and we allow them to see what is happening at your wall and behind your wall to address the types of problems that they have been finding. Inside your unit, user problems can be anything from the wires being old, the wires not having enough shielding, they are not tightly enough connected to the wall plate, construction problems from people who have relocated or put too many splitters on the line. Every time you split the line, every time you don’t tighten the connection, any type of exposure with the wires can cause a lot of feedback and ghosting. It can cause the pixilation, which has been the big word over the last 30 days. That can cause audio outages as well. Although they have admitted that a lot of the problems have been things that they are responsible for, they did give us a whole slew of things that are also our responsibility to be more cognizant about. RCN have set up the tier-by-tier inspections, they issued the surveys and submitted a report to us that listed out all the units that the received. We have continued to submit the surveys that are still trickling in to our service representative and they are compiling it unit by unit. This spreadsheet includes what was reported, what the problem is, and the action that they are taking. They committed to individually calling every single one of those residents and many of you have probably already received phone calls and been working with them on an individual basis. Not only have they been dealing with the tier by tier problems, they have also been dealing with the isolated individual problems, maybe billing, and maybe pixilation. Also, RCN gave us a local number with a local team of representatives that will begin dealing with our building more personally. This is a local customer service office and this is a local number. We will be distributing the letter from them making this an official announcement. Those of you who have already contacted RCN, or been contacted as a result of the survey, probably were even given personal numbers for representatives that you have been working with. We have had one or two problems reported to us so far, but so far the feedback has been positive with this more personal touch. Again these are individuals in this city and on this continent, not on Asia.
Laura Cossa stated that if people try to call the 312 number it still doesn’t work. I called twice today and was on hold for almost half an hour the first time and forty minutes the second time. There is music but that is all.
George Pauley stated that they have guaranteed us a hold of no longer than three minutes.
Tim Patricio stated that what RCN said their goal was, was a maximum wait time of three minutes. If you do have a problem waiting for more than thirty minutes, or more than three minutes, please keep track of that and let me know so that I have that feedback. There was reported to us that many owners and residents were told that RCN was giving every body in the building a $10.00 credit. If you were told that it was probably from somebody in the Philippines. That is a fallacy and we do not know where that came from. We also heard through Hector that many people were told that until they get three calls on one particular issue that they will not come out to the building. We told RCN that was unacceptable. We were told by the team that it was not the standard, which is not the local standard response. The local customer service group will be able to help us address that. If you still want to call the 1-800 number that will continue to be available as always. Obviously our recommendation is to begin taking advantage of the local number and make them work for what we are paying for cable.
Carlos Vargas asked what the number was.
Tim Patricio stated that anyone who wanted the number can wait until after the meeting, or if you have a pen the number is 312-955-2500. We will be sending fliers out with that information this week.
Gregor Hamilton stated that he has a little counter on his phone and on more than one occasion he has waited more than forty minutes to get something resolved with them. The big question that I have is that I have heard them say to us that if someone puts a splitter on or runs a wire they get a degree of the signal, but what I question is that we have jacks in our walls. They are going to come in and unscrew the jacks. What are they expecting to see seeing as the wires inside our walls do not move? Those wires are attached to jacks that are then screwed into plates. What are they going to be looking at in the tiers?
Tim Patricio stated that they described several things that are going on behind the wall. I am not a cable technician so I cannot explain what they told us, but mainly they are looking at the areas where the cable meets the wall. They drew us a diagram and showed us what is on the other side and what is on our side. They described how, particularly with channel 2 and channel 5, there is a problem with bleeding and ghosting. Because their signal is so strong, any weakness in the system can cause bleeding into especially those two points inside the wall. Those are two areas that are critical for them to check in the tier by tier inspection. They also talked about the upcoming conversion; everybody should have received a letter about this. There are two things that will happen from the conversion. First, the conversion requires an amendment to the RCN contract which opens us up for negotiation with RCN. That is a Board item that will be discussed and is advantageous considering the problems that we are having. Also this requires a lot of explanation for residents to explain what to is going on, what you need to do and what they need to do for this conversion to happen. RCN has proposed a public town hall meeting which has been scheduled for Park Tower on Monday June 23rd. At which, RCN will be present to make a presentation and then take questions from residents. They would like to meet with the Board as well to discuss the contract, so we are proposing a meeting at 7PM with the Board and 8PM with the residents.
Sheldon Atovsky stated that was only two weeks until the deadline for the conversion.
Tim Patricio stated that RCN cannot convert the building until the Board signs the amendment to the contract. So July 8th will not likely be the conversion date.
George Pauley stated that quite some time ago we were told that everyone had to have a conversion box and they came out and put them in. Theoretically everyone should have them, and should have them hooked up. I know that some people don’t. We are going to have a second opportunity and I hope that this will be worked out. Right now they are proposing a cost of $50.00 to put the box in. RCN and I are not on very good terms right now, I don’t think that I can use the language to describe the attitude that I took towards them. At one point I said that if they were not going to do something, I would not allow their current representative to set foot on our property again. We did a little good cop bad cop with them. I wrote one at 11PM at night and when I woke up the next morning I already had an answer. That was the first time that they bothered to get back to us, the email was from the VP and I guess that they got the message that we were very serious. I think that they are looking forward to meeting with me on Monday the 23rd. I am telling you that I have had enough, either they will do it right or I will throw them out.
Beverly Storemont asked about the $40.00 coupon for digital converters.
George Pauley stated that does not apply to cable. It only applies to over the air.
Tim Patricio stated that the last thing that he wanted to mention was reparations. We did discuss with them what they intend to do. RCN said that they intended to deal with their customers on a case by case basis for their individual issues and that they also intend to make an offer of credit to the Association for the bulk portion of the contract for the trouble that we have been having. I told them that all of us in the office, over the course of the last thirty days, have wanted to take the office phones out and throw them at the next RCN truck that went by. At one point 90-95% of the phone calls that we were getting in the office were related to cable issues in the building. We defiantly have been inconvenienced. RCN stated that they would be coming up with a plan to present to the Board for their consideration. Carlos Vargas also proposed, and they were in agreement with the idea, that they also make a consideration for adding a premium service for all the residents. We are expecting that they may make and offer to add some services to the line up to try to make up for the failure in their customer service in the past 60 days. Hopefully, they come to us with something that is amicable and professional. Again that is a meeting with the Board on Monday the 23rd at 7PM to discuss the contract and other issues, and a meeting with the residents, town hall style, at 8PM just following the meeting with the Board. Carlos may want to add something.
Carlos Vargas stated that he told them that they needed to shape up or we would kick them out of here. The second thing that I told them was that it was no longer the responsibility of our office to be their customer service. As of now, or tomorrow, please do not call the office with any things regarding RCN. Obviously call to report if you are on hold for forty minutes, but please do not call them with any service problems. Our office is very busy. They have been having a hard time the last few months dealing with problems that we have had and they do not have the man power or time to deal with RCN calls.
George Pauley stated that if residents cannot get through to a person on the new number within a reasonable amount of time, I will leave the definition of reasonable to you, please let Tim know. I would not encourage reasonable to be fifteen to twenty minutes.
Susan Pestine stated that she had a converter box in her living room and asked if she would have to pay extra to get a converter box in the bedroom?
George Pauley stated that they have not negotiated that with RCN yet. You will not have to pay extra beyond what we currently pay in the $17.92 per month.
Susan Pestine stated that RCN said that she would have to pay for it.
George Pauley stated that the customer service representatives do not know what was proposed to the Board in the amendment. I am not willing to accept what they have proposed in the amendment. I don’t want to answer those questions because I want better than what they proposed. I don’t want to get into a discussion on what may or may not happen, but I promise that you will not have to pay for a second conversion box. That is what we are starting the negotiation with.
John Curlo stated that there were two things that he noticed on the letter. On the tier inspections, the third level 15 tier is missing from the letter.
George Pauley stated that there are seven or eight floors per node. If there is no one that reported a problem then they are not inspecting it.
John Curlo stated that he was on the top floor and has been having problems.
George Pauley asked if he had filled out the survey.
John Curlo stated that he had not; he assumed the problem was with his system and took his whole system apart last week.
George Pauley stated that the people who reported problems are the ones scheduled. Please complete a survey and submit it to the management office. It is not too late for them to add you to the list. These are the issues that we have had; I have been putting up with not having all my channels for over a year. Everyone that filled out a survey has received a personal call from RCN for a follow up. We will leave copies of the surveys at the door station and by the cleaners for anyone that did not fill one out.
Laura Carl stated that she has not been having any problems with RCN. I returned the survey but they will not be accessing my floor.
Tim Patricio stated that was the only item he was planning to present.
Garage Report (Tim Patricio)
We will be scheduling a garage committee meeting to go over the issues but there is no other report at this time.
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the meeting adjourned at 9:41 pm.
Signed (as seen on pdf, clickable at upper right corner of these minutes)
George Pauley, President
Sandra Goldberg, Secretary