Playground Bullies & Proxy Vote Hunting

Dealing with bullies is both difficult and stressful. They use their position of strength/power to make us feel helpless or to do their bidding. Their modus operandi is to single you out and then engage you when you don’t have the support of others. However, if all the bully’s victims band together, they will surely be able to put an end to the bullying.

Sometimes bullying continues into adulthood. The president of our building association/building manager and her lawyer, Mr. Ellis Levin, are textbook bullies. Mr. Levin has helped change our condo laws to make board election ballots non-secret. With this rule in place, he notes down all units that do not vote for Mrs. Ingold and reports back to her. This rule obviously has to change. Additionally, now that candidates running for the board have been announced, it is open season for “proxy vote hunting”. Mrs. Ingold is going to corner you at some point in the coming days and will demand your blank proxy vote. She may be very nice to you (she is a friendly person when in a good mood and things are going her way), may literally cry in front of you or may threaten you. This is because for this short amount of time, you have the power to stop her from continuing to be the building bully, and she knows it. You have this power because Mrs. Ingold needs your proxy vote to ensure she is in control of a board which rubber stamps her decisions.

Unfortunately, there are only as many candidates as there are open seats on the board, so it will not be possible to vote out the board. However, the candidate who gets the most votes becomes president. The board (i.e. president) selects the treasurer. Only the board president and treasurer (and the board lawyer) currently have access to the withheld financial documents. Other board members are not privy to this information. Thus, abstaining from voting is the same as voting for business as usual. If you are unhappy with the way our building is being run, make sure you vote for those candidates who will both question and try to repair the mismanagement.

If you like members of the current board, by all means vote for them, but do it on your own terms. If you are not going to be able to make it to the annual meeting, submit a completed proxy to the office, but beware of signing over a blank proxy to Mrs. Ingold (as many of us have been doing for well over a decade).

If you feel the building and its finances are being mismanaged, it is imperative that you cast your vote, either in person or as a completed proxy. Also, beware of unsubstantiated rumors about candidates. As board members, the candidates are making themselves available to unit owners, so chat with all of them before you decide how you are going to cast your votes. The candidate statements are available for your perusal via the link on the top right of this page.

Not all unit owners have easy access to computers, so spread the word to your neighbors. If we all work in concert, we can free ourselves of this bullying and mismanagement. There is a growing number of unit owners who are trying to make this building a place we are proud to come home to. Please do not forsake their efforts and empower the bullies.

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2 Responses to Playground Bullies & Proxy Vote Hunting

  1. Gary Brown says:

    Isn’t more than 15 years of dictatorship, secrecy, bullying, mismanagement, and loss of property values enough?

  2. Bogdan says:

    According to the Illinois Condo Act proxies shall be distributed to the unit owners.
    If you are unable to attend the annual meeting for any reason you have an option to vote by proxy however, to collect the proxy form you need to go to the office. Hours are 9:30-1:30 you may have to take time off work. That is in conflict with the document.

    ..You are unable to cast your vote.

    Do we live in the greatest democracy in the world?

    Not at TBN

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