George Pauley, President; Carlos Vargas, 1st Vice President; Sandra Goldberg, Secretary; Laura Cossa, Treasurer; Steve Hanna, Property Supervisor; Tim Patricio, Interim Property Manager; Mavis Mather, Assistant Manager Business Operations; Michael Rupert, Assistant Manager of Security & Operations; Sara Kacheris, Administrative Assistant Resident Services
Phoebe Helm, 2ndVice President
Call to Order at 7:32 pm
Open Comments and Questions (Individuals not identified; Board and Management responses in italics)
1 – Last year we had an assessment increase of 8%. The year before that there was an increase of about 8%. Over the last few years it has added up to over a 20% increase. I think that this is outrageous and unconscionable. We collectively need to voice our concerns about this so that they will realize that these assessment increases are way too high. I think that if we need to rollback a bit on the contributions to reserves that is what we should do. These assessment increases are unsustainable. The building next door just proposed a 6% increase, which is still high, but not near 8%. A building this size should be able to generate everything else we need. That is why they build jumbo jets and supertankers so that the cost per unit is lower and not higher. Keeping increases going up like this is going to inversely affect the property values. I would encourage the Board to really consider closely keeping the assessment increases down to the level of inflation or less if you can. I realize also that the building is over 30 years old. A lot of things are coming due. We need to have a replacement reserve study to make sure that we have enough reserves to replace the critical components of the building. This is another issue that we need to consider. My desire is to keep assessments down. George Pauley stated that the Board and part of the Budget and Finance Committee very much support the idea of keeping the assessments as low as possible. There are two major factors. Our two biggest expenses are energy costs and salaries or wages. With wages, all of our union employees get a union increase that is about 3%. We have no control over that. Our energy cost this Board has some control over, but not a great deal of control because we are locked in on gas futures through 2010 at certain percentages per year. Those purchases were made at record high levels. They are about 25% over the going rate. We cannot control that. Due to previous contracts on energy, we cannot go to another company. We have to stay with Exelon. We cannot go out to another company even though we are locked in at very high per therm rates. The average is about $0.90 per therm. In the past year or so it could have been purchased at about $0.70 per therm. There were also a great deal of bonuses given out last year to union employees. You can give bonuses in one of two ways. One way is a one time bonus. The second is a bonus that the employee is to receive every year as long as they continue to work for the building. We are locked into these bonuses forever until the person quits. With these things we cannot do anything about them. We are looking at everything else very closely. This is going to be a bare bones budget as much as possible.
2 – I know that Christina did not leave of her own free will. So I would like each Board member to say how they voted to get rid of her. Maybe Laura could tell us how she voted then Sandy and Carlos and George can tell us how you came up with the vote to get her out. George Pauley stated that Christina transferred to another building.
I asked if Laura could give how she voted. George Pauley stated that there was no vote.
There was no vote, but you guys forced her out. Laura Cossa stated that she liked Christina. I thought that she was a good manager. She decided to leave.
Why did she decide to leave? She was fine when Becky was on the Board. She was fine when Vince was on the Board. She was fine when Bob was on the Board. How come she would now choose to leave?
3 – I have an email from 2005 from George. George Pauley stated that those were personal emails between Christina and himself. We had gotten into some knock down drag out fights.
But you made it a point that you were going to work behind the scenes to get rid of her.
4 – Personally I think that this is part of an agenda to bring back PM Realty. Draper and Kramer is just wasting its time. They can go ahead and work hard but when the contract is up you will just go back to PM Realty. George Pauley stated that the Board was not going back to PM Realty. This has not been discussed. Christina started with Draper and Kramer talking about transferring to another building over a year ago. Those talks went on for a considerable amount of time. We did not know about them until I had a meeting with Draper and Kramer a couple of months ago when they informed me of that.
Was that with the Board or without the Board? Did you have that meeting with Draper and Kramer with all the Board members? George Pauley stated that the meeting was with Tom Taylor the vice president of Draper and Kramer and himself.
But there are five Board members not one person. I think that in the future other Board members should be with you when you have private meetings. Sandy Goldberg you used to frown when Board members had private meetings. Sandra Goldberg stated that her objection was that the previous president Robert Pierce, and the 1st vice president who was Phoebe Helm, had private meetings with management where they entered into contracts and made decisions which should be done in an open Board meeting. There were times when Bob as president, because of his position as president, was entitled to go out and make decisions as the president of the Board and then he came back and told us. One of those decisions was the purchase of gas.
But you used to frown on that so why are you supporting it? Sandra Goldberg stated that this was entering into contracts in private meetings and I was not provided with the information ever. Information was deliberately withheld from me, not only by the other Board members but by Management as well. George Pauley stated that the purpose of the meeting when he met with Tom Taylor, and our contract was very clear that it is the Board President that has communications with Draper and Kramer, was not to discuss Christina leaving. I walked into that meeting to talk about other things because I had not met Tom. His agenda was to inform me that Christina had decided to transfer to another building. I was surprised at that. Herbert if you want to know the cause of Christina’s leaving I would say that you more than any single person is responsible for that. When people go around to Christina day after day after day telling her that she was going to be fired that was very stressful for her.
5 – Are you saying that I was telling her that she was going to be fired? George Pauley stated that somehow those rumors were spread all over the building.
I saw Christina that morning. The day we had the last Board meeting and Christina was crying. I had a personal conversation with Christina that morning. She told me that she had never asked for a transfer. Now lets be here and fair. I take full responsibility for what I said. Let other people take responsibility for what they said as well. Sandy going back to the gas purchase it was an open discussion at the Board meeting to lock in. From past experience the Board president at that time was given the authorization to lock in the gas. Sandra Goldberg stated that was true.
You said that it would not save money and you voted against it. So this was not a lone action of the Board President. Sandra Goldberg stated that the Board voted to allow Bob to speak with the vendor and for him to make the decision whether or not to purchase the gas. You are right that I voted against it because at that time I said that we could use a different vendor. This was for 2010. We had not purchased 1 therm of gas. The vendor that I spoke to offered to give us the gas at a half a penny to a penny below the index price per therm because of our volume. But Bob had already independently as president went and purchased 30% of the gas. When you buy 30% or 1 Therm you are obligated to purchase the rest of your load from that vendor because they will only deal with one vendor.
What is the price of a therm right now? Sandra Goldberg stated that she didn’t know and did not want to misquote it. I know that we are at a five year high in supply.
But do you know as a Board what the price of a therm is? George Pauley stated that it varies but that the last time he checked we were averaging $0.90 that we were paying. The average rate was at $0.70.
You are never going to see $0.70. Sandra Goldberg stated that approximately seven weeks ago, it was about 82cents per therm.
6 – During the past 12 to 18 months gas was somewhere in the $0.47 range, and the high was around $0.76. As of today it was about $0.76.
Laura Cossa – I want to wrap up things. I can assure you that Christina at one point wanted to leave. I didn’t know what was in her mind. I was probably one of the few who asked her to stay. Seriously I think that its much better this way based on several facts that I cannot share with you.
7 – Christina had stated that she was being harassed and that was why she wanted to leave.
Carlos Vargas – I wish that you guys asked important questions like why this Board is operating with four Board members. Can anyone give me an answer?
8 – This meeting was supposed to be scheduled for last Monday and that was the day that Phoebe had taken off to come to the meeting. Carlos Vargas stated we have been with four board members from the very beginning except for the first meeting
Phoebe had made her travel plans to attend everyone of the meetings as it was originally scheduled.
Carlos Vargas – I personally think that if you cannot comply with the requirements to be a Board member than you should quit. I already talked to Cy about it. This is the only way that I can explain her decision. The day that I was flying to Europe my flight was delayed. I went straight to the office and sat with Christina. During a conversation that we had that took 45 minutes because I was in a hurry, I told her Christina there is only one way that we can solve this thing. If you take my advice then you will not have to worry about anything. I told her to get a vote of confidence from the Board and you will get three votes. She was dumb enough to not do what I told her. It’s her own fault. So for all of you to be complaining about it, it was her own fault. She was a very good person. She was very good to me and very kind, but she chose not to follow a business decision that I told her to do. That was the only way. She had at least three votes and she would be here as a manager today if she had followed this advice. George Pauley stated that the reasons for the changing of the meeting dates were because the first one conflicted with the Jewish Holidays. Sandra Goldberg stated that Phoebe Helm was consulted. George Pauley stated that the second one was Columbus day and the management staff does not work on Columbus Day. The third one was this one and was changed to give Tim a chance to be here two weeks before the meeting. There was a meeting last Monday that Phoebe did not attend, I don’t know why that was.
9 – I read all the posting that have gone up. I hear what you say but you are not going to convince me that Christina left on her own choosing. Christina has been given a settlement. I know this because people sitting at that front table have been talking to unit owners about it. If someone chooses to leave then they don’t get a settlement. Christina has been given a settlement; I know that I am not asking you if she has gotten one because I know that she has been given a settlement. My question is, is Park Tower Condo Association money been used to pay for settlements? George Pauley stated that the agreement that was signed with Christina states that we couldn’t discuss anything other than that she chose to leave. Christina left because she decided to leave; there was no harassment.
Since there is a settlement that gives lie to all of these postings and everything that you’ve said. I’m really sorry, but I can’t respect that kind of leadership from the Board. I am very disappointed in the way that this has been handled. George Pauley stated that there were assumptions that just weren’t true.
That is a lie, I know that she has been given a settlement. I know it because I heard it from people up there at that table. I also received a letter from our lawyer. George Pauley stated that we all received that letter.
I would like to know, and Sandra I know that you have been an advocate for transparency, I would like to know if the resolution to send out that letter from the lawyer, if that vote was unanimous. George Pauley stated that there was not a vote on it.
Why wasn’t there a vote? It says that the Board has asked me to contact former members of the Board of managers because a number of emails are supposedly being distributed to a third party. I didn’t know about this but I was informed by this. Number 1 it makes me wonder what you all are emailing one another about that other people are not to know about. But this says that the Board has asked him so again this should be a Board resolution. I want to know if there wasn’t why there wasn’t one. George Pauley stated that there was not a vote on this.
Sandra were you aware that this letter was going out? Sandra Goldberg stated that she had received one.
But were you aware and were you part of the decision to have our lawyer send them out? Sandra Goldberg stated that she was aware that they were being sent out.
But you were not part of the decision-making? Sandra Goldberg stated that she agreed with the decision.
But you were not part of the decision? Sandra Goldberg stated that George Pauley had said that there was no vote so he answered your question.
10 – But he said that there was no vote on Christina and Carlos said that if she had listened to him she would have had three votes. Carlos Vargas stated that had she requested a vote of confidence from the Board than the Board would have had to get together to have a vote of confidence.
11 – Why would she need a vote of confidence when there was a survey done about 6 months ago in which the residents said how well the management office was doing? That was a good survey that was done. Carlos Vargas stated that there were people sitting in this room that would say that she was a good manager and there were people who would say she wasn’t.
Half of my customers love me and half of them hate me but that doesn’t give them a right to harass you out of the building. George Pauley stated that Christina was not harassed. Christina and I had many meetings about the rumors that were going around the building. The rumors were spread that she was going to get fired. Other employees of the building have been told that they were going to get fired. They have come to me and been very upset and begged for their jobs. Rumors were spread to me that are the opposite. That there were people undermining positions. These were all rumors. For me as a Board member it does not matter about those rumors because it is not my job. But when somebody has a job and it is their livelihood and they are hearing day after day that somebody on the Board or all of the Board wants to get rid of them, that really doesn’t make for a good work environment. Christina will tell you herself that almost every communication between her and me were of a positive nature. You can even look here to the times that I have thanked her for going above and beyond. The rest of the Board has seen almost every email between Christina and myself because they were open emails CC-ed to everybody.
Laura Cossa – I think that one of the problems that I see in retrospect is that Christina was not open to what she really wanted. As Carlos said there was no secret, I called her several times. I asked her what was wrong and she would go back and forth so many times. It got to the point of being tiring. I personally don’t know what she wanted, I don’t know what was wrong exactly.
12 – I just had a couple of comments that I wanted to make, I think that Christina did a good job for the building. She helped us get through two major projects that were very complicated. She saved us large amounts of money on several occasions that we would not have known about if she was not here. She worked hard for the building. I am glad to see that D&K has retained her. Whatever building she goes to will be lucky to receive a gifted manager. If there were only two of the five Board members who didn’t support her I don’t understand why she was made to leave. I do know that no one wants to come to work everyday in an atmosphere of conflict and controversy. I know that you can make peoples lives miserable enough that they will want to leave even if they are happy with their jobs and doing a good job. I find it peculiar that only 4 months after this new Board was formed she is out, when she has worked for Park Tower for several years. She has formed relationships with several Boards. I think that the Board has made a mistake. I think it’s a mistake that will cost the building. It makes me wonder if there was some type of agenda since this happened so quickly. If this is part of an agenda, are there other things on this agenda that we do not know about? George Pauley stated that they the very first meeting he had with Christina, the very first thing that was put on the table was that there were rumors that the new Board members were elected to fire her. I said that I wanted to put up front that this was not true; I stated what expectations I had for her. My goal was for her to succeed. Christina and I had other meetings beyond that to discuss other rumors but beyond that all other communications were open communications because they were done between the whole Board through email. I do not think that there is any possible way that any of those emails could be stated to be harassing her.
13 – First I want to clarify some incorrect information that has been coming from you tonight about gas prices. Every single contract that I signed was with the authorization of the Board. The way that I operated was that you would need to get the quote before you could have a discussion on whether it was a good price. I would solicit the quote as a strike price and the Board as a whole would vote on that strike price. So if you were authorized, as I was as Board President, to purchase at or below the price that the Board has already agreed to. There was never any of this accepting a price that was too high. The prices that you are quoting right now shows that you do not know how the gas market works, or you are demonstrating that you don’t. If you need my help you can call on me for this. $0.70 per therm might be the price for delivery next month but we use ten times as much gas in January, February, and March as we do in August, September, or October. The gas is weighted very heavily. The delivery price for gas in December, January, February, and March months is in the $0.96 range right now. If you would like I could go get the quotes off of Nypax and bring them to you. But you are way off base in saying that we are locked into a price that is 25% or 30% higher than the market. We are actually at or below the market right now. George Pauley stated that this is not what Exelon sent him.
I would like to see what they sent you. The reason that I came is that I got this letter too. In it David Bendoff is telling us that as Board members we should not disseminate confidential information that has been distributed between Board members to third members of the Association. I just want to remind you members of the Board who got elected with this flier that says vote for George Pauley and Carlos Vargas that in here you say “Bob Pierce, a Board member running for reelection wrote in an email to another Board member.” …so you are trying to intimidate us with a letter from your lawyer to stop the very behavior that you yourself used to get elected to the Board. George Pauley stated that he was not on the Board.
But this is your flier with your name on it that went to over 700 members of the Association. George Pauley stated that when he was not on the Board he had no obligations to keep confidential.
But this was an email from one Board member to another, which is the way that you put it. And who was that Board member Sandy Goldberg? Sandra Goldberg stated I beg your pardon.
Who was the Board member that was sharing emails from one Board member to another? George Pauley stated that he got this email on his personal computer because it was an email that was sent to the members of the Home Improvement Committee, which he was a member of. This email was forwarded to me on my home computer when I was not a Board member. It was a conversation about the driveway project. It involved the Home Improvement Committee.
I have nothing against sharing information, but I would like to know why you had to use the lawyer to intimidate other members of the Association from getting information that we are entitled to. Which is regarding the way that this Board is operating and conducting business by email which should be conducted in an open meeting and your votes recorded. Laura Cossa stated that the Board received letters too.
14 – If you all were not doing something wrong why would the letters have come out in the first place? George Pauley stated that somebody did something wrong but that the Board doesn’t know if it is one of them or the prior Board. Information about homeowners is confidential and should not be shared. That is all there is to it. I do not know whether it was one of the people at this table or not so the letter was sent to all the people who would have had this information.
Sandra Goldberg – I wanted to respond to Bob. In regards to the gas prices you will see that I voted against them and last March or February I had asked you to wait because prices were coming down but you locked in the price. The contract that we have is a true-up contact which I was never in favor of, but I did have the opportunity through another vendor to get the gas cheaper by a half a penny to a penny below the going rate at that time on the index, but you had already locked in. That’s my rebuttal.
15 – We are a bit behind because we haven’t been to some meetings but this is from the August minutes that I was reading. This says that health club memberships were given to employees. According to the Declarations this cannot be done without a vote of the home owners. Its on page C14 and says that the Association may allow people other than the unit owners to use the recreational facilities on such terms and at such fees as the Association determines provided that they are designees of the Park Tower Realty, its successors and assigns shall be allowed to use the recreational facilities at the same basis at the same user fees as charged by the association to unit owners who use the recreational facilities provided each designee shall be officers and class as the owners of the condominium units of any condominium or developer of which is a corporation or partnership, an Illinois corporation is a shareholder or partner said condominium is located on either side of north Sheridan road and south of the south line of Bryn Mawr avenue extended easterly and north of the north line of Balmoral Avenue extended easterly in Chicago Illinois and provided further that the number of designees shall not exceed 150. A designee shall be deemed to be a unit owner when considering use of the recreational facilities and shall therefore, be allowed to have such types of memberships and such number of guests as might be allowed per unit owner, but they have to pay. Anybody has to pay. This is in the bylaws which would have to be changed to give membership to anybody other than residents of these buildings. So it seems to me that employees should be eliminated entirely unless they are a resident in our building.
16 – I have a quick question. Its confusing to me. My question is that you got a letter. A whole group of people on the Board got a letter without instructions from anybody. Who told him to do it and whose paying for that? George Pauley stated that there was no charge for it since we are on a retainer. There are certain things that we pay for and certain things that we don’t pay for on retainer. There is no charge for sending out the letter. The letter was sent out because materials that were confidential were getting out and we did not know who did it.
So we don’t know who asked the lawyer to do it? George Pauley stated that he called him up and told him that we were having this problem and what do we do.
Laura Cossa – I had no idea that this letter would be sent, but I don’t disagree with the content of the letter.]
17 – One person should not decide to do something by themselves without the other Board members. Laura Cossa stated that if she does not like something she jumps. In this case, I think the letter content is ok. It is advice that should be taken. George Pauley stated that there were two people who are allowed to talk to the attorney, the Board President and the property manager. We have had other Board members talking to the attorney with permission. Laura Cossa stated that she usually calls the attorney if she has a question. George Pauley stated that the attorney will not talk to any other Board member without the Board Presidents or the Property Managers permission. This is the way that the contract was written with D&K also.
18 – But the Board President must have the backing of the Board and not be acting alone on his own. George Pauley stated that there was the backing of the Board.
It doesn’t sound like the Board knew of this.
Sandra Goldberg – Can we start the meeting please. We have so much to do. I think we have addressed everyone’s questions.
19 There was never a response about the health club memberships.
George Pauley asked if someone would like to respond. Laura Cossa stated that she voted against that motion. Sandra Goldberg stated that this used to be a perk for the employees and the Health Club attendants to use the facilities in their off time. I voted for it and I will tell you why. Especially for the pool attendants, its hard to get these young people because we are not paying that much. When we had one very good young manager, Lawrence, he said that the first question that perspective pool attendants asked was if they could use the facilities. My reasoning was why not let them use it, as long as its during their off time. They can either come early, which means they will not be late, or they can use it after their shift, which means that they will not cut out early and leave the premises when they are supposed to be here. Because we did not pay them that much, it was a nice perk, especially on a hot summer day to be able to jump in the pool. Their shift is over and they want to jump in the pool. George Pauley stated that it was something that had been done. When it was taken away and we lost quite a few employees. It doesn’t cost us anything and it is a benefit to us.
20 – I was coming into the building the other day and there was this welcome party for Tim or something and I was totally unaware of it. My question is if there is a secret settlement where would it be reflected in the budget document? What category would this be in the budget? George Pauley stated that he would have no idea where it would be. There was a posting for the meet and greet with Tim. It was posted the Tuesday before Friday.
I have emails so if you could send via email I would know about it.
21 – The notice was not posted by the receiving room. George Pauley stated that it was something that they wanted to post so that everyone would see it. It was to be posted on all the bulletin boards.
22 – Where was that settlement going to be in the budget? It should be there for everyone to see. George Pauley stated that the Board could not discuss any of the details.
23 – But we are paying for it, its coming out of our money, couldn’t this cause a law suit which would cost us more money?
24 – I am a member of the Budget and Finance Committee. All I would like to say is that this Board is working very hard. It takes up a lot of time, and this includes previous Boards. I am pretty sure that all Boards put in a whole lot more time more than the average owner would be willing to put in. Whether you agree with the Board or disagree with the Board on Christina or any other matter, this particular Board has been extremely tolerant regarding talking about this particular subject because it could have been ended very quickly by saying anything that has to do with employees we will not discuss period. You are to be commended for treating us as colleagues as opposed to just homeowners. Anyone who serves puts in a whole lot of time. I am sure they did not realize what they were getting into. Carlos came back a second time. I do not know why he did it. It is a comment. You are all due for our respect.
Motions from Executive Session
A. Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Laura Cossa, the Board voted unanimously to approve sending a letter to a homeowner. B. Upon due motion by George Pauley and seconded by the Board voted to waive a $50.00 fine and reduce the other fine to $25.00. George Pauley, Carlos Vargas, and Sandra Goldberg voted in favor; Laura Cossa voted against; the motion passed. C. Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Laura Cossa, the Board voted unanimously to send a letter to the homeowner. D1. Upon due motion by Carlos Vargas and seconded by Sandra Goldberg, the Board voted unanimously to approve $100.00 fines for insurance violations. D2. Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted to approve a $500.00 fine. George Pauley, Carlos Vargas, and Sandra Goldberg voted in favor; Laura Cossa abstained; the motion passed. D3. Upon due motion by Carlos Vargas and seconded by Sandra Goldberg the Board voted unanimously to approve a $500.00 fine and to get receipts, the owner must prove that they have correct underlayment, and the owner must pay the $75.00 construction fee. D4. Upon due motion by George Pauley and seconded by Sandra Goldberg, the Board voted unanimously to approve a $500.00 fine, the branch lines must be replaced at the owners cost, the owner must pay the $75.00 construction fee. E. Upon due motion by Carlos Vargas and seconded by George Pauley, the Board voted unanimously to add the garage employees to the building holiday fund. F. Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted to approve the motion. George Pauley, Carlos Vargas, and Sandra Goldberg voted in favor; Laura Cossa abstained; the motion passed.]
Minutes September 17, 2007 Board Meeting
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted to approve the minutes from the Board of Directors Meeting held on September 17, 2007 with corrections by Sandra Goldberg. George Pauley, Carlos Vargas, and Sandra Goldberg voted in favor; Laura Cossa abstained; the motion passed.
Minutes October 15, 2007 Board Meeting
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted unanimously to table the October 15, 2007 Board minutes. Sandra Goldberg stated that she has repeatedly asked that management give her the minutes for review no later than two weeks after the Board meeting. Sandra Goldberg stated that she did not get the minutes in time to review them.
Boiler Float Control
Upon due motion by Carlos Vargas and seconded by Sandra Goldberg, the Board voted unanimously to ratify the approval of Mega-Therm for work preformed on November 9, 2007 to replace the malfunctioning float valve on the #2 boiler in the amount of $2,500.00.
Upon due motion by Carlos Vargas and seconded by Sandra Goldberg, the Board voted to ratify the approval of Weldone Iron to reset the south front entrance railing in the amount of $750.00.
Upon due motion by Laura Cossa and seconded by Sandra Goldberg, the Board voted unanimously to approve the amendment of the Declarations to provide for the rule that the Association adopted in November of 2002.
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted unanimously to approve the proposal by Anderson Pest Control to provide weekly exterminating in the amount of $454.00 per month or $5,448 per year.
Garage CO2 Detectors
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted unanimously to approve the proposal submitted by Dunning Electrical Services to install carbon monoxide detectors in the garage, in the amount of $7,880.00.
Domestic Water Pumps
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted unanimously to approve the proposal submitted by Complete Pump in the amount of $29,470.00.
Owner Comments Regarding Curtain Wall Infiltration
A Homeowner stated that the façade inspection was postponed by the city counsel. Instead of having to do an inspection every 4 years now the inspections only need to be preformed every 8 years.
Tim Patricio stated that the inspection that the homeowner was referring to was for a different category of building. It’s for the brick and masonry facade. The curtain wall façade has not changed which is every 12 years. The ongoing façade project is due every 2 years. Every building still has to do an ongoing every 2 years.
A Homeowner stated that she would like management to check with the city counsel to make sure before scheduling the inspection.
Tim Patricio stated that he would check, as he does not want the building to have to spend the money if they do not need to.
Curtain Wall Infiltration
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by George Pauley, the Board voted unanimously to table the curtain wall infiltration inspection.
Owner Comments Regarding Cooling Tower
A Homeowner asked whether the cooling tower affects the air-conditioning in the hallways and common areas or just the HVAC cooling, what does this affect? George Pauley stated that the cooling tower is for all the residential units and the hallways but not the mall. The mall has a separate cooling tower. The tower that we are discussing is the main residential tower.
A Homeowner asked if it was possible for the tower to be dual controlled such as cool in the apartments facing east in the morning and west in the afternoon? George Pauley stated that this was called zoning and that the Association got plans for that several years ago with estimates. It was around $4 million at that time.
A Homeowner asked how much the project would cost without the zoning. Tim Patricio stated that when he asked each of the contractors to provide a conservative estimate. This project will cost between $200,000 to $300,000 dollars. One said $200,00 one said $250,000 and one said $300,000 for the whole project including engineering.
A Homeowner stated that tonight what was being voted on was the proposal for drawing the specifications.
A Homeowner asked if there was any way for the cooling in the lobby to be turned down. The lobby is always so cold when compared to the rest of the building or to outside. There must be some way to even this out. Tim Patricio stated that he would ask if there was a way to even out the temperature in the lobby area.
A Homeowner asked how long it would take for the cooling tower to pay for itself with the savings in electric. Tim Patricio stated that there the pay back time on a cooling tower is a long time, but that he would not look at this in terms of payback but in terms of you need to buy it anyway. You need a new cooling tower so the savings would be minimal. Each of these will bid equipment that is technologically more advanced and would probably end up specking the same cooling tower. I believe that we recommended McGuire for this portion. If you want to spend a little more money Elara has done a significant job at several associations where there are noticeable drops in the cost of electricity.
A Homeowner stated that the idea of postponing until fall rather than this spring before this summer. He would like to bring to the Boards attention that there might be savings in utility costs with changing the tower in the summer rather than waiting for fall. George Pauley stated that the reason for considering postponement is simply if anything goes wrong in the process of purchasing and installing we would not have the cooling tower up and running for this cooling season. If we do it this spring, we will be able to turn on the air conditioning when we need it. If there are delays, then we may not have air conditioning as soon as we would like it. At this point we are only looking to get bid documents and not tying into a schedule yet.
A Homeowner asked if the bids were strictly for the upright specs or if the bids included the oversight of the project. If the bids do not include the oversight would the engineers be willing to come back to oversee or would we not need an overseer? Tim Patricio stated that you would need an overseer. We did include the cost for McGuire. George Pauley stated that this was not being considered now but would be considered when the specs have been drawn up.
A Homeowner asked if it would be wiser to couple these together. If we have one person specking and another overseeing would there be battles between the vendors? Would it be easier to have the same person handle the whole project? Tim Patricio stated that in this case we are looking at once we have the specifications and have identified the cooling tower, and how long the lead time would be. The Boards next choice would be whether to aim for the spring or the fall.
A Homeowner stated that her concern was if one person specks out cooling tower A and then the people who oversee the project say that cooling tower A is not what we need. Should there be some continuity? Tim Patricio stated that he did not disagree and all three of these companies could do that. Sandra Goldberg stated that of the three companies, the other companies did not give a detailed proposal except for Ron Thomas. She stated that Ron Thomas said that by pre-purchasing the cooling tower, he could save the association $13,500.00. George Pauley stated that all of the companies would do that. Sandra Goldberg stated that the other companies did not mention it. George Pauley stated that by purchasing off season we get a discount. Tim Patricio stated also we would save because if we do the pre-purchasing we do not have to involve the contractor. They can go directly to the manufacturer. Sandra Goldberg asked which company stated the project would cost $200,00, $250,000 and $300,00? Tim Patricio stated that McGuire quoted $200,000, Elara quoted $250,000 and Ron Thomas said $300,000. Tim said he would check on that. Sandra Goldberg asked Tim if he had worked with all three of these companies. Tim Patricio stated that he had never worked with Ron Thomas. Sandra Goldberg asked if Elara was going to pre-purchase the cooling tower for us. Tim Patricio stated that was the plan.
Upon due motion by George Pauley and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted unanimously to approve the proposal for preparing specifications and engineering proposals for replacing the cooling tower to Elara in the amount of $4,800.00.
Owner Comments Regarding Proposed Noise Rule
A Homeowner stated that all they were asking for is one hour shorter during the week. Its kind of crazy for one hour. Sandra Goldberg stated that the report that lists the rental of the party room has shown that rentals have gone down. So restricting the hours you can play loud music would only hurt the rentals more.
A Homeowner asked if this would refer to her piano practice in the party room. George Pauley stated that this was only for noise after 10:00 pm.
A Homeowner stated that this proposed rule originated from a resident who was from a significantly higher floor than the 3rd floor.
A Homeowner stated that as party room rentals were down this should not be an issue. 11:00 pm is reasonable. George Pauley stated that we could also deal with some of this by asking people to turn the music down a little if there are owner complaints.
Sara Kacheris stated that the problem is that without a rule the security cannot enforce anything. We have received a couple of complaints for this. There is nothing that can be done because they are following the rules by playing music up to 11:00 pm. George Pauley stated that it would seem that if security is instructed to say you have to turn it down a little bit that they have that authority through the Association.
A Homeowner stated that there is a difference between saying they have to turn it down and asking if they would please turn it down. Then we do not have to change the rule book. To simply say we had a complaint is it possible for you to turn down the music rather than say you have to turn it down.
Sara Kacheris stated that the City of Chicago has a noise ordinance that states that on weeknights you have to provide quiet time after 10:00PM. Michael Rupert stated that the Party Room rules say that if there have been three separate complaints security can close down the party. George Pauley asked how comfortable security would be with enforcing the existing rule? Michael Rupert stated that we have a good security group that is willing to do what it takes to get the job done. They would not have a problem with enforcing the rule. My recommendation is to simply enforce the existing rule rather than create a rule change.
A Homeowner stated that as a member of the Rules and Regulations Committee he has only seen a party shut down once or twice. Laura Cossa asked how was the situation was in other buildings?
Tim Patricio stated that what Mike is saying is reasonable. If security is empowered to make a determination based on whatever complaint they are getting at the time. If they go to the 15th floor and they can hear the noise from the community room in the hallway than that is not reasonable and the party should have to turn it down. If you can hear the noise in someone’s apartment than that is an interruption to your right of quiet enjoyment. Usually the rules stated 10PM or 11PM.
Proposed Noise Rule
Upon due motion by Carlos Vargas and seconded by Laura Cossa the Board voted unanimously to have security enforce the current party room rules.
Owner Comments Regarding Proposed Flooring Rule Change
A Homeowner stated that the Committee could not recommend a number without the engineers suggestion. What bothered me was that when this was presented to our chief engineer he stated that whatever the Board wanted was fine with him. That was disturbing to me. Laura Cossa stated that our engineer is not a sound engineer so he would not know what number would be good for our building. She said that she was an engineer but does not know.
A Homeowner stated that the committee would recommend that a study be done to establish the FIIC number rather than just use the number of the cork. George Pauley stated that there was a sound testing study years ago that came up with the underlayment recommendation. We need to go beyond the tapping exercise because the major problem is with the sound going though the 6” gap in the curtain wall rather than through the flooring. Laura Cossa stated that the 80% carpeting rule would not be changed. This was simply for the underlayment change.
A Homeowner stated that because of these things the Committee would prefer to have the building rated by a sound engineer to determine the new rating. Laura Cossa asked if the committee wanted the engineer to come into a unit with already installed wood floors or if he would want it done in a unit that has illegally installed floors with something else.
Homeowner stated that however they wanted to do the test to be done to give the building an accurate number. Laura Cossa stated to keep in mind that the code requires 45. But that her main concern is that the rule only specifies cork instead of other underlayment. George Pauley stated that this number does not address the major cause of noise complaints within units. My opinion is that any product can be substituted for the cork as long as it meets the number that the cork is at which is 54. If we change the standard now than everyone who used cork is no longer in compliance. I would say lets go with any product as long as it meets or exceeds 54. Laura Cossa stated that the new rule would specify what to do in case of complaints. She stated that this was not her idea. She stole it from different buildings. George Pauley stated that this was putting the burden of the cost on the person who is filing the complaint. If someone puts in a hardwood floor and meets the requirements but we have a noise problem. We have a noise problem regardless of the results of the test. If their floor is installed correctly then we would have to pay for the whole study. Tim Patricio stated that the cost is around $200 to $300 per hour not including the cost of renting the machine. I had this done at the previous building that I was at. It cost the owner who was complaining $6,000.
A Homeowner stated that this was ridiculous. If you want to create the rule that is fine but it still must have 80% carpet. We are having the noise problems because people are not putting the carpet down. Every time I see a remodel that is on our agenda I see must have underlayment but there is no mention ever of carpet on top of it. That’s what’s got to change. George Pauley stated that we all know that if somebody spends $5,000 to put in a hardwood floor they are probably not going to cover 80% of it with carpet. We can enforce this if we have complaints from the downstairs neighbors. All this requires from the past is that security goes into the complaining unit and documents that they are hearing noise from the upstairs apartment. We have not said that they need to spend $X amount of dollars to test if the floors were installed correctly.
A Homeowner asked if the test says that they meet the requirements what are we supposed to do regarding the noise? George Pauley stated that they would need to install carpet. Ultimately the Association can say well you did your hardwood floor according to requirements but your lifestyle is still such that you are disturbing your downstairs neighbors. You have to carpet your whole floor. We have never had to go this far because usually if there is a noise complaint it is from failure to provide the 80% covering. If I am going to spend thousands of dollars to install wood flooring I am not going to install carpet. Most people just live quietly without disturbing their neighbors.
A Homeowner stated that people should get crocks. George Pauley stated that high heels have been a problem. That and loud music create more noise for the neighbors.
Sandra Goldberg asked if the people who were waiting to install their new floors until after the Board had made a decision had put the floors in or it they had had a sound engineer test it? Laura Cossa stated that she did not believe that they had. The underlayment that they wanted to put in would have had a FIIC rating of 62.
Sandra Goldberg stated that she agreed with Vince that we should pay to have a test done to get an actual number rather than just use the FIIC rating for cork. I would propose to hold off until a sound engineer is hired.
George Pauley stated that the Association had paid for a sound engineer before and they were provided with the cork numbers. We can up the number to 62 if the association wants but that it would probably not change the complaints. The complaints have to do with other structural problems in the building.
Sandra Goldberg stated that at least then we would be able to say that we did the study and this is the number that you have to have.
Laura Cossa stated that what was surprising about the previously mentioned underlayment of 62 is that it is much more expensive than cork. This person had no additional reason to do it. She has a contract that states if you use pergot, we are not using cork. If you use anything else, we are going to use cork. If you put in different types of floors such as pergot you are not using cork. There is a moisture problem in cork depending on the laminate is created.
George Pauley stated that there was currently an issue going on between two owners where the upstairs owner installed hardwood floor with a higher rating product and therefore she is saying she should not have to carpet the floor. The downstairs neighbor has had numerous complaints about noise. The owner is requesting that a sound engineer come out and prove that her floor has a higher standard than required.
Laura Cossa stated that she had not carpeted her living room floor and Phoebe had no problem with noise.
George Pauley stated that Phoebe does not live there and wouldn’t hear the noise in California.
A Homeowner stated that she objected to that type of banter, I would like to be able to respect you but you need to respect one another. George Pauley stated that he did not see anything disrespectful about it because she lives in California.
A Homeowner stated that she does not live in California. Laura Cossa stated that recently she has been going back and forth to California.
A Homeowner stated that most of the underlayment products are made out of polyurethane and wanted to know if the smoke toxicity rating was going to be specified with the underlayment materials. George Pauley stated that this was helpful information the Board should take into consideration.
Proposed Flooring Rule Change
Laura Cossa motioned to distribute the part of the proposed flooring rule dealing with the underlayment change from cork to a product with an FIIC number of 54 and above. There was no second. The motion failed.
Owner Comments Regarding Appointment of R&R Member
A Homeowner stated that we are lucky to get people to serve on the committees; if we have someone who is willing to volunteer, and someone who doesn’t show up, I don’t think that this should be a Board decision. I think this should be up to the chairman of the committee and the rest of the committee members. If a homeowner wants to be on that committee he should be allowed to serve.
Appointment of Rules and Regulations Member
Upon due motion by George Pauley and seconded by Sandra Goldberg, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Dominick Pileggi to the Rules and Regulations Committee.
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted to approve the following holiday schedule for the office: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, early close on Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, early close the day before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, early close Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. George Pauley, Carlos Vargas, and Sandra Goldberg voted in favor; Laura Cossa voted against; the motion passed.
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas, the Board voted unanimously to approve the remodeling of units: 1002, 3111, 3515, and 4105 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.
Carlos Vargas stated that he wanted the certificates of insurance to be in the office before they start construction. He also wanted the workers compensation certificates in the office.
Sandra Goldberg asked Tim to find out if the Chief Engineer was being notified when construction work starts. Who is responsible for notifying the Chief Engineer so he can check on the work?
Treasurer’s Report (Laura Cossa)
According to the September 30, 2007 Financial Statements the total operating funds were $114,652.50. The MAX SAFE account at Barrington Bank totaled $296,497.27. The total replacement reserves fund was $1,354,000. The total of all cash and investments was $1,468,000.
Board Report (George Pauley)
The most significant thing that has gone on is that we have had a change in management. Tim Patricio is here as our interim manager. One of the things that Tim did get very involved in was the front drive. I need to admit that I was wrong and thank Carlos for his vote last time. I had been told that the planter was going to fall apart and that the trees were going to blow over. Tim has researched this and can find no information about where that report came from. Tim has had some architectural firms out and landscaping companies. The good news is that we do not have to replace the planter. We will probably have to replace the west wall of the planter, but that is a much smaller project. Tim is working diligently to get us more information on what needs to be done with that. Once we have some idea of what we are doing with the front drive planter we can tie this in with the terrazzo project and the mall planter which is giving us trouble. The mall planter is leaking into the garage. Also there may be some still water infiltration even though we have sealed the terrazzo. These are all important structural issues because if we do not address them and just let them continue we will have some very serious problems. So we are tying all of these together to look at the terrazzo, the planter, and the south planter in the driveway to come up with what we need to do. Again the good news is that we do not have to replace the whole planter. Now that we know and are beginning to figure out what we need to do we can begin to address the handicapped accessibility in the front of the building. I can tell you that we are trying to move on the handicapped ramps project. We are looking at other products than terrazzo for the front and what we need to do with the north planter. We do know that the planter is going to need to be dug out to find out what is causing the leak. Hopefully we will find something that we can patch or fix. Maybe we will have more information by the next Board meeting. Those are the main things that are going on. Again I have to thank Carlos because he was the one who kept saying that the planter was solid.
Management Report (Tim Patricio)
When I came on board George and several of the other Board members gave me several different things to focus on. Aside from the items in the management report the planters and the terrazzo and the ramps in the garage are among those. With the north planter the terrazzo planter one of the primary concerns is the leaking that is going on presently underneath it. We were able to determine internally that the planter is defiantly leaking. At that point I had three architectural engineers come out and they concurred with this opinion. We had tested this ourselves by letting a garden hose run in the planter and it leaked below, but only in some isolated locations. The remaining leaking is definitely with little or no doubt coming from areas throughout the terrazzo surface. We are looking at this and looking at making recommendations. Originally I had been gearing up to approach firms to provide quotes and had received some quotes to provide condition surveys but I have since taken the position that condition surveys are unnecessary. What needs to be done is to move on to actual repair and replacement. Why spend thousands of dollars for a condition report that will say what we already know that we will need an end result will be something new besides the terrazzo. This has been the consensus not only among the Board members that I have talked to but also homeowners who have stopped by my office and said that the terrazzo has to go anyway. The south planter was an immediate concern because I had been reading the minutes and I talked with George and a couple of other Board members about the potential for the wall to crumble, the trees to fall over and immediately had firms out to get me opinions at no expense to the Association. Unanimously the firms expressed an opinion that there was no imminently hazardous condition that we have to worry about. The most hazardous condition is that the planter is leaking onto the sidewalk and this condition needs to be addressed. We are looking at options for the Board to consider the bigger thing ultimately to consider would be the aesthetic issue, and that is nothing that you need to consider right now. Depending on how far you want to go with the planter, the end result of what you want, will be a question that you need to decide. Whatever you do we need to address the leaking and we will present a plan on that. Beyond the leaking you need to decide how far you want us to go to get the aesthetics improved on that. That is a couple other issues beyond the management report. We are also reviewing and reconciling the drafts of the engineering report from Full Circle and the reserve study. You received drafts of these reports and it is my understanding that the first step is for us to review those and make an assessment of them. The purpose was to have the engineers do a report and Reserve Advisors do a report and now we need to reconcile what each company said on the various items. We have already made some comments about the cooling tower and I think that this supports the direction that the Board went tonight. This also supports how our focus is going to be going into the budget season. Finally the last thing that I have to say is that you will see holiday decorations going up the week after Thanksgiving. We have scheduled for the tree to go in on Tuesday and be decorated on Wednesday.
Year to date there have been 4 studios sold for an average price of $123,812.50. There have been 14 1-bedroom sales averaging $195,857.14. There have been 9 2-bedroom sales averaging $341,615.56, but this includes a combined unit.
Homeowner Comments Regarding the Management Report
A homeowner stated that it is her opinion, congratulations to the new President, everybody. Thank you everybody, God bless you, President and President helpers and God help America
A homeowner stated he heard a lot about Tim crawling through the cooling towers and looking around on planters and things. I heard the word interm. When is it going to be permanent? George Pauley stated that Tim is one candidate and we will be interviewing other candidates. Once the Board can come to a majority, a decision will be made. Tim has agreed to stay for a maximum of six months.
A homeowner asked if we could lose Tim? George Pauley said we very well could. You might say we have him on a test drive.
Steve Hana said that projects needed to be addressed immediately. Tim was available at the time. This was an agreement between Draper and Kramer and the Board to put someone in. We felt Tim was definitely a viable candidate for the job on an interm basis. Allow them more time to do interviews. They requested three candidates. We put two in front of them but again we realized we needed to put someone in here immediately, someone who could take these projects and continue them. So we feel that Tim is definitely a good candidate. The Board obviously has some strong feelings toward Tim but they do have to finish what they started, which was to interview at least three candidates.
A homeowner asked how many candidates did the Board interview? George Pauley stated Tim and one other. Steve Hana said that there had been two so far. This is a very intricate, very large building. There are not a whole lot of managers that have the experience that Tim and the other person that they interviewed. We, when I say we, Draper and Kramer won’t simply put someone, a body in front of them. It is our job to give the Board candidates that are viable candidates. We are looking for that third person.
Carlos Vargas said that if he is going to ask for a vote of confidence, he is going to get my vote right now. I don’t believe in interviewing three people. So I look forward to having Tim for a long long time here.
A homeowner stated based on his working with Tim on the budget, he thought Tim would be an asset to the building.
Laura Cossa stated between the homeowners and everyone else, she was the only one not to vote for Tim. Laura said she liked the other candidate. So he probably will stay. I was wrong.
Lorraine Meyers said she forgot to mention that ASCO will be doing the planting of the three planters after Thanksgiving.
A homeowner stated she had a suggestion for Tim. As you are spending a lot of time out there on the planter, particularly the driveway planter, what we are now calling the south planter, if you haven’t yet contacted Care for Trees. They are the experts to go to for trees in the city of Chicago. We had them in the past to come out to look at the condition of the trees. Tim Patricio said ok
George Pauley asked the homeowner if she knew what they said because they are trying to figure out where the information came from that was reported to me about the planter and the trees. Do you know if it was the company? George Pauley said that it was explained to him that with a good wind, we would have a couple of trees in our lobby.
A homeowner stated that he did not think the issue was that. When he was on the Board it was explained to him that the trees were not going to fall over as much as that their root structure was going to break through the planter.
A homeowner stated at one point, when we had the planter dug up and we thought we had done some remediation, Care for Trees came out and applied something to the roots of the tree to retard their growth to give us more time with our favorite tree. I do know from other work that I do in other projects in the park district, that Care for Trees is the company to use.
Sandra Goldberg said that the decorating of the Christmas tree is usually done in house. Is that going to be done in house this year?
Mavis Mather stated that the Christmas tree on the second floor is done in house. The Christmas tree on the first floor has not been done in house for the four years she has been here.
George Pauley said he did not know how far back we would have to go.
George Pauley asked a homeowner when he was on the Board was it done in house?
The homeowner said some years it was done in house other years it was done outside.
A homeowner said we bought decorations. Are we not using the decorations that we own?
Mavis Mather said she would have to check this out with maintenance.
A homeowner said he saw an ad on television for decorations with led lights. They are less apt to have a fire.
A homeowner said that the tree up here is ok to be done in house but the Christmas tree downstairs, it is the first thing you see. You want it to look professionally done.
Laura Cossa asked if we were going to put the moving animals there?
A homeowner from the Home Improvement Committee said it depended upon what was available.
George Pauley said that every year we lose a few animals.
Garage Report (Michael Rupert)
The garage audit is now complete. The results of the audit were as follows: there were three owners who were not being charged for parking; there were twelve owners that were being charged the wrong parking rates; there were eleven stalls that were not being occupied; and there was one owner who did not comply with the audit and the space has been reassigned. This owner was given valet parking and added to the wait list for self parking. The garage net income had a negative variance of $3,473 for the month. Year to date this variance is a positive $5,034. Reports that detail the variances are available on the back table.
ASCO Report (Lorraine Meyers)
There is only one report because the 48th ward planning and zoning did not meet. I wanted to tell you about the building that everyone is objecting to because of the color. I objected to this building because of the location, being built right next to the L tracks and the alley is potentially going to be a problem place for crime, because the police and the fire department are not going to be able to get down there. I voted against this building as a representative of this building at the planning and zoning committee meeting, but we only have one vote out of 50 votes on the committee. George Pauley stated that Lorraine has done a good job of representing the building to ASCO and would like to thank her for her contribution.
The ASCO report is that the Andrew has fallen through. They were unable to get their funding so the proposed building is no more. The next thing that they are going to do is to take part of the TIF money to redo the kitchen school down in Uptown. This school is not in Edgewater it is in Uptown. George Pauley stated that the reason that the Board voted against the TIF was that there was no guarantees that our tax money would be spent in our area.
Carlos Vargas asked Lorraine to comment on the article that was in the sun times two weeks ago.
That interview was given about a year ago.
Carlos Vargas asked if Lorraine was going to be moving out.
No, I will not be moving out. I did get my money back though.
George Pauley stated when the current members of the Board saw that, we were wondering, what are the services that we are not providing to help seniors and disabled people.
What is it going to take to get a handicapped accessible ramp down in 1-P or 2-P that is safe?
George Pauley stated that he has brought up this issue every month since he has been on the Board. I have asked Tim to look into this, and when you ask Tim to do something you get quick responses. Tim’s second or third day here I called and was told that he was up on the roof crawling through the cooling tower with some engineers. I have every bit of confidence that what I have been asking for us to get moving on will occur.
Scott Schmidke stated that there was a committee meeting on October 11, 2007. The minutes were sent and never responded to by management. Does management even have the minutes from the Home Improvement Committee meeting? Tim Patricio stated that he did not have the minutes.
So they were probably just deleted, I will send you a copy. Its two pages and it was just questions that we had.
Upon due motion by Sandra Goldberg and seconded by Carlos Vargas the meeting adjourned at 10:20 pm.
George Pauley, President
Sandra Goldberg, Secretary