Ellis B. Levin, the board’s lawyer, has graced TBN unit owners with his legal opinion (which in short is that a quorum of unit owners can not call a meeting) at the behest of Mrs. Ingold, the board president. The opinion can be viewed by clicking on this link.
This brings up some interesting questions:
1) During the regular board meeting where the board was presented with a choice of bids for the roof contract, both Mrs. Ingold and Levin exerted noticeable pressure on the board to quickly grant the contract to one particular bidder. It was later found out that the other two bids being considered were not even in the running because they had already expired. Most of the board members had never been shown any of the bids, and Mr. Bogdan requested additional time to look over all the contracts in more detail because he felt that the 15 minutes allocated to look over 3 contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars was inadequate. An extension of only 24 hours was given after other board members also pushed back on Mrs. Ingold and Levin. Why are Mrs. Ingold and Levin so keen on hiring this particular contractor, especially since the bid was significantly higher than the other two? Why was only one valid bid considered by the board? Does Mrs. Ingold really believe 15 minutes is adequate for looking over the contracts?
2) Levin advised Mrs. Ingold to adjourn the meeting till the next day rather than to call a second meeting. According to the information in his letter of opinion, this was done to avoid the state mandated 10 days period before the meeting can be held. Why is Levin and Mrs. Ingold in such a hurry to bring this contractor on board? We still don’t even have the bank loan to pay the contractor to start. Are they worried that the extra 10 days would have allowed further scrutiny of the proposal and allowed additional valid proposals to be brought to the table?
3) The meeting was continued two days later. During this session, the two board members pushing for finalizing the bid stated that any ‘extra hourly’ additional work would be billed at $40/hr. However, upon scrutinizing the proposal, the rate was $90/hr. How closely (if at all) did each board member actually read the proposals? As usual, Mrs. Ingold abstained from voting because she most likely knew how more than half the board was going to vote.
4) In his document, Levin writes about the need for a separation of powers. What would his “legal opinion” be regarding Mrs. Ingold’s roles in the building? She is the president of the condo association, the building manager and an owner/resident!
5) Mrs. Ingold has determined that rather than letting a quorum of unit owners hold a meeting that can potentially benefit all unit owners and save us years of special assessments, she would pay Mr. Levin to write a misinforming albeit very well referenced and researched (and therefore not cheap) legal opinion stating that the unit owners of this building can not hold this meeting. It’s because of such insidious decisions that Ellis Levin earned over $60,000.00 last year from TBN for his “services”. This is one third the cost of the cheapest roof bid, and one fifth the most expensive bid (and we need a bank loan for the repairs.) To top it off, Mrs. Ingold keeps telling us that TBN has no money (even though she has exclusively had her hands on the building’s purse strings for the last 17 years, and closely guards the financial documents so that not even unit owners or other board members have access to them.)