So we feel it’s time to go back to the basics. Let’s start with why this work needs to be done.
Here’s a section of spaces BEFORE the power wash:
Here’s a section of spaces AFTER the power wash:
Our team believes this alone should demonstrate the necessity. To maintain a clean facility and prevent this dust and debris, salt and pollution from getting into the air and building, we need to remove it.
However, the Association also needs to consider that a $Million project to repair the concrete and replace the membrane was recently completed. Not only does the warranty for the membrane require reasonable and regular cleaning and maintenance, the salt and pollution cars track in are very damaging to the concrete and steel rebar beneath it. Getting this up off the surface of both 1p and 2p as thoroughly as possible is TRULY A NECESSITY. Considering what salt alone does to concrete and steal, it is very important for the structural integrity of the garage surface.
And finally, though arguably less important, the power washing service is not cheap. The Association is not getting its moneys worth if 100% of the garage is not being cleaned.
These are not opinions. These are facts. Keeping these basic facts in mind, here are some of the reasons we heard this time, in some cases paraphrased, for why parkers didn’t move:
“I’m studying for my finals, I can’t be disturbed.”
“You can skip my spot this time, it’s no big deal.”
“I’ll move my car by 4pm, so just have them do my spot then.”
“I’m human, I make mistakes.”
“I put it on my calendar but I got called into a meeting.”
“I have a really nice car – where do you suggest I park it?!”
“By the way, [my] tenant had a valid reason not to move the car yesterday and can’t do it today, either. It’s a last minute thing.”
“I did not receive a notice…I don’t consider it important if I don’t get a piece of paper under my door.”
In a couple cases parkers debated they should be able to return early:
“Well, can I make a deal with you *wink wink* to get it back in the garage early.”
“I have my kids with me and they need eat, you should let me stay…I hate this building, its awful and I can’t wait to move.”
To be fair, many folks did simply apologize and say they forgot.
Regardless of the reason, I hope our parkers can look at those pictures, consider why those conditions are bad for the building and structure, and stop with the excuses. We don’t want excuses. We want a partnership that is healthy for the building. That means we do our part arranging the work and issuing ample notice, and parkers arrange for their cars to be out by 9am, and return after 5pm.
This partnership includes the Board of Directors. As the fiduciaries, they are responsible to budget for maintenance such as this, direct it be scheduled, approve the necessary contracts, and set policy related to getting the work done. For many years this included charging a $50 fee to Units associated with parkers who fail to move. However, for the last power wash the garage set a record with almost 70 parkers not moving which we estimate resulted in almost 9000 square feet of the garage not being power washed.
In response the Board felt they needed to act as a part of their duty to properly maintain the membrane and concrete, and clean the surface. A new service was offered for the staff to move vehicles for a $100 fee, and the $50 fee for parkers who do not move was increased to $150. This was the result of discussion at multiple Board Meetings. There was a relatively protracted debate about this and robust discussion with Owners who attended those meetings.
As to the $100 fee to move vehicles, it was determined we have limited time, resources and space. If it was too cheap, not enough vehicles would bother to move on their own. They would just have the staff do it. And there is not an awful lot of time or space to move extra cars while ¼ of the garage is closed off and being washed. Not to mention the distraction it creates for the attendants who also need to pay attention to their regular duties and keep the space secure. So while it was decided to add such a service, there was also a need for a meaningful deterrent against nuisance requests. With all due respect, AKA, if you’re not on vacation, can’t have a friend do it for you and/or your arms and legs aren’t broke, please move your own car.
As to the increase in the fee to $150 for not moving the car, it became clear the $50 fee previous to this was obviously not deterrent enough. It certainly was not effective at helping us get what is really needed – a proper and thorough cleaning of the garage surface. I’m sure by any reasonable measure, 9000 square feet not being washed, demonstrates far less than a thorough cleaning. The determination was that drivers have either become far too lazy, and/or, just not interested in doing the right thing.
Furthermore, this fee doubles after the first time, and after the third parkers risk losing the privilege to park.
To our team, this is a very responsible Board demonstrating their commitment to proper maintenance of the garage, by holding parkers accountable when they don’t do their part.
On top of these difficulties, employees in both the office and garage have frequently been confronted in challenging and sometimes aggressive ways, simply for doing our jobs. Angry and confrontational phone calls and e-mails, belittling comments and name calling, and just plain unnecessary arguing about something we should not have to argue about. As the general manager I promised my team I would be forthright about this, and how we feel. Bottom line, we want to move forward. The deal is easy. We do our part. The Board has done theirs. When this work is scheduled, parkers need to do theirs. No excuses. No argument.
Each quadrant within the garage is scheduled for cleaning as follows between the hours of 9AM and 5PM on the following dates:
Monday April 24
Level 1P spaces 90-149, T16-T23, All Valet & Motorcycles
Tuesday April 25
Level 1P spaces 21-89, T14-T15, All Valet
Wednesday April 26
Level 2P spaces 82-149, T16-T23, SW
Thursday April 27
Level 2P spaces 1-81, T1-T14, 148, 150, 151
VALET PARKERS – YOUR VEHICLE MUST BE REMOVED FROM THE GARAGE BY 9AM ON BOTH MONDAY AND TUESDAY. ALSO, anyone expecting guests should let them know parking may not be available. You can also call the garage in advance at 773-271-8859.
This process is an inconvenience for those who depend on parking availability during the week. But this maintenance is necessary to maintain the protective membrane, keep the garage clean and reduce the gunk and dirt that gets tracked into the building. This also helps remove substances which can act to increase erosion of the concrete on 1P and particularly 2P.
For the best cleaning results all parkers must remove their cars from the garage as scheduled above. If you do not you risk dust, debris and other damage to your vehicle from the power-washing process, which the Association, staff and cleaning vendor shall not take responsibility for. Also, a $150 fee is charged pursuant to the policy established at the November 14th Board of Directors Meeting: “…a fee of $150 for the first failure by the parker to move their vehicle by 9am on their designated date for power washing, to double for subsequent events up to a maximum fee of $1000 per event, with the fees ineligible to be waived, and self-parkers will lose their permanent spot after three events on top of the fees…parkers who request their vehicle be moved by the staff will be subject to a $100 fee, and the service will only be available with a minimum 7 day notice, and if room is expected by management to be available to accommodate parking based on occupancy at the time the power wash is scheduled.”
We greatly appreciate our parkers’ patience and understanding while this maintenance is being performed, and apologize in advance for any disruption or inconvenience this causes. Please contact us with any questions, at firstname.lastname@example.org.