“June 3, 2016
To: PTCA Unit Owners
From: George Pauley, Board President
Re: Misinformation Related to 2016 Board Election
Dear Fellow Owners,
I hope everyone’s summer is off to a great start. But I do need to discuss PTCA business with you.
As sometimes happens during the Annual Board Election season, the Association is compelled to address misinformation and damaging comments being circulated which are presented as facts or alleged violations of law. We are obliged to respond to protect the Association’s reputation and the value of our homes and investment in the building. While we expend time and Association resources to do so, hopefully having the actual facts empowers us as a community and strengthens owners understanding of operations. Our Board is hyperaware we need to operate consistent with our governing documents and applicable law, and we do so with the measured guidance of a highly regarded condo law firm and independent certified public accountant.
I will try to keep this as brief as possible and address the most critical and problematic misinformation that has come to light. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the office for help or more detail.
First, Article VI of our Bylaws has been cited in materials distributed by certain candidates. This addresses the Boards responsibility to manage a budget surplus or deficit each year. The Board has followed the guidance of the Association’s auditor with Picker and Associates, and legal counsel Kovitz, Shifrin and Nesbit. In making its business judgment on how to handle a surplus or deficit there are other relevant provisions of the Bylaws and the Illinois Condo Act, such as Section 9(c) of the ICPA, which governs the Boards responsibility to insure we have adequate funds to conduct business. In particular, reasonable Reserve funds.
If we conducted business as suggested by these candidates, it would require us to spend thousands of dollars to mail checks to each owner if we run a surplus (even a small one), and charge a Special Assessment to each owner if we run a deficit. This would potentially add thousands of dollars in administrative costs and damage our reputation by ending our long standing tradition of operating without special assessments. In 37 years of operation, each Board has set the bar at operating in a way we would reasonably expect to avoid potential special assessments. This is an EXTREMELY RARE accomplishment for any condo association, let alone a building of Park Tower’s size and age.
By either absorbing deficits and finding ways to save money to make up the difference, or infusing our Reserve with a surplus, we have kept the pressure on our assessments lower. We have been able to comfortably address day to day and year to year needs of our community, without the added hassle, confusion and frustration of special assessments. Owners can reasonably plan for most necessary adjustments to occur as a part of the annual budget implementation each March.
Another serious allegation made by a particular candidate, is that proper notice has not been issued by the Association for Unit Owner Meetings and Board Meetings. No evidence of this is provided – it is presented as a fact without any supporting information. Furthermore, it is suggested the Board Secretary is responsible to perform the duty of issuing such notices. Under the guidance of our legal counsel, notices for formal Association meetings are issued in compliance with the PTCA Bylaws and the Condo Act. While the Board Secretary does not stamp and stuff envelopes, it is our understanding this is a reasonable administrative function that can be performed by Management at the direction of the Board.
This candidate also suggests because we allegedly do not issue proper notice, “we do not know what they are spending our money on.” Like myself, I can understand if such statements are confusing and frustrating for most owners. Particularly due to our efforts over the last several years to integrate new technology to become more open and transparent than ever. Just a couple examples include our website, www.ptcondo.com where our Property Manager posts a copious amount of information regarding business conducted at meetings, and where years and years worth of minutes are accessible for Unit Owner review. There are over 750 subscribers to Management’s weekly “PT News and Updates” which sometimes goes into very great detail about activities and projects being considered and approved or denied by the Board.
Also, our budget process is long and involved – with a Commission of Unit Owners who painstakingly review every line of the budget, over a period of almost three months each year. They sometimes hold 8 to 9 meetings, which are open to all Unit Owners. They also hold quarterly meetings where the Association’s financials from the Management Company are reviewed with the Property Manager. An annual accounting of our financial statements is completed after each fiscal year, by an independent, well regarded CPA firm that specializes in Condominium Association reporting. Their reports are made available to owners each year on the Management Company’s website at www.dkcondo.com, and by request in the Management Office. And our team is working to add this feature to our website at www.ptcondo.com.
Finally, we approved a year long experiment with a text message service which owners and residents can subscribe to for meeting notices, maintenance and building alerts. There are over 200 subscriptions to this service, and growing. This step forward in transparency and accessibility, particularly for meeting announcements, is something I never could imagine would have been possible when I became an owner at Park Tower 30 years ago. We can get meeting reminders, right at our fingertips!
I have addressed this information in a way I would hope and expect a good Board to address this – even if I was not on the Board or Board President. A robust dialogue and debate is healthy for our Association. But facts and accuracy should not be sacrificed in the process. Hopefully by taking this time to respond to these issues, our ownership is strengthened and empowered and can move forward in a positive way which improves our quality of life rather than getting our building caught up in a negative political quagmire.
Again, please do not hesitate to contact the office if you have questions. Rumors and misinformation disappoint and frustrate me too. Meeting to meeting business is posted fairly quickly on the website at www.ptcondo.com, and of course we encourage you to attend every Board Meeting you possibly can, where the Board will also happily address any question or concerns. We do plan to hold the June Board Meeting, as scheduled on June 13th, during the suspension of the Annual Meeting while the election results are tallied. Please join us, 7:30pm in the 2nd floor party room.
George Pauley, Board President
Park Tower Condo Association”