The TBN building manager is a salaried position selected by the board to oversee the day to day operations of the building. Our building manager is Mrs. Sigrid G. Ingold. Many people believe she does an adequate job and understands the workings of the building.
However, Mrs. Ingold is also the president of the board (which she has handpicked through the collection of proxy votes from owners). This board has employed her to be the manager. Mrs. Ingold is also an owner and resident in the building. Some may say this is a huge conflict of interest. Here are some examples that illustrate this:
1) If you are unhappy with any decision made by the building manager or question an expense or fine, your only recourse is to take it up to the board which is run by the same person where your appeal will be rejected. If any resident has ever had an appeal accepted, please e-mail 5901TBN@gmail.com with your anecdote.
2) If you do happen to come to a meeting, it will quickly become apparent from the way Mrs. Ingold speaks to unit owners at the meetings that she has come to believe that she practically owns the building, and that no one else should dare to speak up against her or her policies, or question any of her actions. Please come to ANY board meeting to see this in action.
3) As a unit owner, Mrs. Ingold had a dispute with her neighbor regarding a clogged common kitchen sink drain that they shared. As the building manager, she called an emergency plumber although it was not an emergency. Then she stuck the neighbor with the entire bill. When he refused to pay more than half of the amount, as the president of the board, she sued him. When he won the case, she again wielded her power as board president to appeal the decision. If this is not an abuse of power and waste of our assessments, I’m not sure what is.
4) Fines Mrs. Ingold issues to unit owners as the building manager (which are then upheld by the board she presides over) are inconsistent and arbitrary. For example, a parking violation may result in no fine at all, or be as high as $700. If you take her out for dinners or buy her gifts (which a number of unit owners do), and of course give up your proxy vote when elections roll by, you may be rewarded with superior parking spots and amnesty from deserved fines, among other rewards. Otherwise, your fine will depend on your personal relationship with her or her mood. There are even cases where she has worked with the association attorney to amend the condo laws in order to target specific unit owners for whom she has a personal vendetta.
5) The board has approved an increase in the building manager’s salary every year throughout the down turn in the economy, and even before that, while many owners are having difficulty making their assessment (and special assessment) payments. She makes $43,000 in salary for half a day’s work, which is a rate equivalent to $86,000 per year full time not counting overtime.
6) She openly bad mouths unit owners who question her management tactics. She reveals what should otherwise be confidential information about them, and will “ask you” (intimidate you) to specifically not vote for them in the board elections.
There is also a veil of secrecy around many of the dealings of the building manager, which is supported by the board and the board’s lawyer.
Does any unit owner know about how many competitive bids were requested before Savemax was given the multi-million dollar balcony project? Rumor has it that there were none, and the Building Manager will not disclose information to the contrary. I’m sure Savemax greatly appreciated this kind gesture.
Does any unit owner find it strange that the Janitor is given such a high compensation (his salary is far above what unions have negotiated for their workers in adjacent buildings, and he is also paid extremely handsomely for driving around Mrs. Ingold and for doing other non-building-related tasks).
Are you scared yet? You should be because it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself in a situation you will find VERY uncomfortable.
The building manager position is distinct from a board member position. If the board and residents determine Mrs. Ingold is doing an adequate job as the building manager, she can remain the manager. However, she should not be the head of the board that will hold her accountable in that capacity!
Six of the nine board members are up for election. This is a prime time to change the board and reverse the downward spiral our building is in. Do not give up your proxy vote to Mrs. Ingold, because this will just enable business as usual and undermine those unit owners who want to make TBN a better place. Have courage and vote to restore TBN to the building you are proud to call home.