Our Residents

That’s us!

Collectively, we have the power to determine who is running our building, and how transparent the process should be. In the coming weeks Mrs. Ingold, the president of the condo board/building manager, is going to corner each of you and request that you sign over your proxy vote to her. You will not be able to avoid her by leaving from the front entrance as she will be waiting for you there as well. Depending on your relationship with her, she will either play the “sweet old lady” card, cry in front of you or will try to intimidate you. Don’t give up your vote. She has no power to make you sign it over. If you refuse, she will tell you who to vote for (and who not to vote for). Take it into consideration, but also consider this: her goal is to manipulate the vote and stay in power. If you don’t vote for her or her cronies, she will ask you to vote for a candidate who will not question her, either because this person has a meek character or is new to the building and does not know what goes on. Please speak with the candidates so you can make an informed decision at the polls.

We now have a message board to facilitate communication amongst residents. You will have to create an account to write comments, but can choose to use a fake name if you desire anonymity:

http://5901tbn.proboards.com/

Our condos are the biggest investment many of us have, and it is ridiculous that we have no visibility into how it is being run. Vote for candidates who you believe will help our building live up to its potential.

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3 Responses to Our Residents

  1. Gary Brown says:

    Isn’t more than 15 years of dictatorship, secrecy, bullying, mismanagement, and loss of property values enough? Owners deserve an honest voice with common sense on the Board!

  2. Tom Koehler says:

    We are all impacted now by the new situation at 5901: no water and failing electrical systems. The residents on the 16th floor were all up in arms over this, but ultimately I suspect that the general population here will not connect this to our building’s poor management, lack of communication and preparedness necessary to maintain our community. Consequently, those that give the office their proxy’s every year will continue to do so.

    We all spout off about changing the building management, but this will never happen until we take away the office’s majority vote. Everything else is hot air.

    I take every opportunity to have a conversation about this with someone in the building that I haven’t met – the elevator and the laundry are really the only options. BTW, every time I have one of these coversations, I learn that the person that I am speaking to is afraid to buck the system or just wants to get out of the building.

    We must all work together to take control of our property by encouraging everyone NOT to give the office their proxys. People do not realize that if they can not attend the annual meeting, they can give their proxy’s to a neighbor to vote in their place, so let’s start a buddy system for voting.

  3. Tom Koehler says:

    Advocates welcome law to license association managers
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    By Pamela Dittmer McKuen, Special to the Tribune

    October 28, 2011
    It’s official: The long-debated and -awaited Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Act is ready to go. Nearly everyone who gets paid to perform management services for community associations in Illinois after Oct. 1, 2012, will need a license to do so.

    Supporters of the legislation are cheering.

    Said Beth Lloyd, president of the Association of Condominium, Townhouse and Homeowners Associations: “It will provide additional assurance to volunteer board members and owners that they are being serviced with a higher standard of professionalism. Many professionals are licensed, and we have been surprised that community manager licensing was so long in coming.”

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    http://www.HouseValues.comCommunity association managers make decisions about people’s homes and handle large sums of their money, noted Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi, D-Joliet, chief sponsor of the legislation.

    “To keep managers honest and protect homeowners’ investments, it makes sense to require managers to meet some basic requirements and get a license,” he said.

    Association managers now join a lengthy list of professionals who are required to be licensed by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Among them are hair braiders, geologists and real estate agents.

    The legislation technically went into effect in July 2010 but couldn’t be applied until one year after the rules and implementation details were hammered out. That task was recently wrapped up by a committee of veteran managers and board members, including Lloyd, which if needed will also assist in disciplinary hearings.

    The legislation applies to individuals, whether as management-company employees or as independent contractors, who are hired to provide financial, administrative or maintenance services for an association. It does not apply to volunteer managers or managers of associations with 10 or fewer units. It also does not apply to support staff such as bookkeepers and customer service representatives.

    To qualify for a license, managers must successfully complete 20 hours of approved education course work in community association management covering such subjects as state and federal laws, budgets, building maintenance, insurance and ethics. They also must pass an examination and submit an application along with a $300 initial fee. Yearly renewals cost $150.

    In addition, applicants must be age 21 and of good moral character.

    Some managers will be able to fast-track through the licensing process. Anyone with at least five years of association management experience or who has earned certain professional designations from the Community Associations Institute or the Institute of Real Estate Management can skip the education and exam requirements but must apply for a license by April 1, 2012.

    Currently licensed real estate brokers and sales agents are exempt from the education requirement but must take the exam.

    The legislation has a disciplinary component for managers who fail to perform their duties in a professional manner. Managers can have their licenses revoked, refused or suspended, and they can be fined. Grounds for disciplinary action include: convictions for misdemeanor of dishonesty or felony, improper handling of association funds, filing false records and accepting money for services not performed.

    Managers who practice without a license can be fined up to $10,000.

    Angela Falzone is an association consultant for Association Advocates Inc. in Chicago and Park Ridge and a frequent speaker at trade conferences. For many years she has told audiences, “There’s no condo police.” That’s not the case anymore.

    “There are criteria that managers must follow, and failure to do so can result in a complaint,” she said. “If found guilty, they can lose their license and ability to work as a manager.”

    Licensing alone will not safeguard associations from every instance of bad management. Associations have responsibilities as well, such as making sure they hire managers who are licensed and reporting valid complaints, said Falzone, who also serves on the rules committee.

    The legislation also requires associations to buy fidelity insurance to cover the amount of money under the manager’s control. Associations with 11 or more units and registered as not-for-profit corporations will pay an annual fee of $50 plus $1 per unit to cover the cost of the licensing program.

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