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DECEMBER 2009

BOARD MEETING

Treasurer Bill Tennenbaum Gives Financial Update
Treasurer Bill
Tannenbaum
The meeting of The Regency Tower Board was called to order at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 in the Rendezvous Room of The Regency Tower by the President.

Roll Call - The roll call showed the following Board Members present: Iris Anastasi (via speakerphone), Eric Berkowitz, Stephen Collins, Dee Lanzillo, Fern McBride, Dott Nicholson-Brown and Bill Tennenbaum.

Approval of Minutes - Eric Berkowitz made a motion to approve the minutes of The Regency Tower CY 2010 Budget Presentation Meeting held on November 12, 2009. The motion was seconded by Bill Tennenbaum and unanimously approved.

Financial Report - Treasurer Bill Tennenbaum reported on the Association’s financial position as of December 15, 2009. (Reported financial details are available to Regency Tower owners in our newsletter, the “Regency Tower Times”. - editor)

There are currently 3 delinquent accounts and 2 placed with our attorney for collection.

Report on Reserves Vote - The Secretary reported the Limited Proxy results as follows:

 
Limited Proxy forms returned: 124
Valid proxy forms: 116
Invalid proxy forms:     8
 
Number voting to Fully Fund Statutory Reserves:     5
Number voting to Partially Fund Statutory Reserves: 111
 

Secretary Fern McBride
Secretary Fern McBride
Seventy-nine (79) owners did not return proxy forms. The majority of the 8 invalid proxy forms were due to incorrect signatures. Please be sure that the designated voter on your voting certificate in the office is the person signing all proxies or ballots so your vote can be counted.

A motion was made by Iris Anastasi to accept the Treasurer’s report and the report on Reserves vote, seconded by Stephen Collins, unanimously approved.

Board Vote on CY2010 Budget - Stephen Collins made a motion that the Calendar Year 2010 Budget as presented at the November 12, 2009 Board Meeting be approved, seconded by Bill Tennenbaum, unanimously approved.

Committee Reports - President Lanzillo then called for Committee Reports. Click Here to read the Committee Reports.

New Business - President Lanzillo then called for New Business. Click Here to read New Business.

Adjournment - A motion was made by Bill Tennenbaum and seconded by Iris Anastasi to adjourn the meeting at 3:35 p.m.; unanimously approved.

Fern McBride
Board Secretary

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PRESIDENTS REPORT

DECEMBER 2009

Board President Maria "Dee" Lanzillo's
Note to Members

President Dee Lanzillo
President Lanzillo
Welcome back to the Snow Birds who have returned in time to celebrate the holidays with us. The Maintenance Department has constructed a beautiful holiday lighting display outside the building and grounds to bring a feeling of joy as you drive onto the property.

First, I would like to thank our Board Members for their confidence in choosing me as President of Regency Tower.

I want to take this opportunity in thanking our Manager for the great job she has done and continues to do. Dott has negotiated several new contracts for A/C Maintenance, Fire Alarm Systems and Elevator Maintenance and saved our association several thousands of dollars in her effort and many hours of hard work in doing so.

We truly have been very busy over the past several months making sure that many problems have been corrected and many projects completed. Please read the Maintenance Report to get a sense of the number of items repaired, replaced and installed by our excellent Maintenance and Housekeeping Department.

I thank all of you for my office as President and for all your support.


Dee Lanzillo


Manager Dott Nicholson-Brown's

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”
- Ghandi

  .: Aloha :.,
Regency Tower Board President Dott Nicholson-Brown
Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Because that quote is so apropos to the occurrences in our Association during this past year, it is worth repeating. Change is a simple word. However, depending on what is being changed, it can bring acceptance and satisfaction or resentment, anger and fear. Although most of us tend to resist change, condo associations must embrace change and most of the time the changes are positive (such as gaining new enthusiastic board or committee members, new officers or manager, new rules-abiding neighbors or beautiful updates to common areas).

For eight years I presided as your Board President while also serving as an untitled, but licensed Condo Association Manager. My plans were to sell my unit this past spring and move to my retirement home in N.C. The Board voted to advertise for and to hire an outside manager. However, as you know the market decreased significantly causing me to remove my unit from the offerings. With Board approval, I officially assumed the job as Manager. Our new President, Dee Lanzillo and I work beautifully together and all is well. Best of all, the internecine discord that erupted during last spring appears to have abated. My first attention as Manager was Hurricane Preparation along with supervising the painting of the building and exterior components. Fortunately, the former was not needed.

Painting Project

Regency Tower
Regency Tower
Our most important project was accomplished over the Summer when the least amount of owners were in residence We sent out 7 bid packages and received 5 responses, 4 of which were eligible for consideration. H&H Painting was selected based on lowest bid and previous excellence with the hallway painting. The work included concrete repairs; shutter removal where requested; waterproofing, painting and sealing all exterior surfaces including roof, mechanical room and parapet walls, garbage entrance walls, west wall of swimming pool and barbecue areas. Also, paint exterior surfaces of balcony ceilings, perimeter walls, sea wall, beach egress walls, exterior metal doors and balcony wood doors; metal pipes and vents; roof access ladder and 62 balcony decks. Although we were forced to halt work many times due to the normal rainy season, the work was completed expeditiously. With cooperative efforts between the painters and maintenance, we had $21,050 left out of the $185,396 collected as assessments. Those funds have been returned to our painting reserves. This comprised a win-win outcome for all parties.

Paver Project

As an experiment to ascertain if we could bring our pavers “back to life”, we had Pressure Cleaning & Select Specialists power clean and seal the pavers at the Southside upper deck. It came out very well. The decision is pending on whether to have our Maintenance Department perform the work for the balance of the property (North and West areas).

Contracts

Because of maintenance problems in several service contracts, we cancelled the air conditioning, fire alarm/monitoring and elevator contractors. Each was cancelled due to breach of contract and lack of service. After securing bids from 3-5 companies for each service, we selected three highly recommended companies at an approximate savings of $10,000.

Special Purchases

There were several special purchases which I will not enumerate because they will probably be mentioned in the Maintenance and/or Beautification or Landscaping reports. One that you will notice at the Board meeting is our new P.A. system with a wireless microphone. This allows The Board to pass it among Directors and the attending owners.

Walking the property with the Chief of Security, Carlos, on a regular basis results in various maintenance, cleaning and rehab items which are then accomplished by the Maintenance department.

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy New Year and my heartfelt gratitude to all of you for your wonderful support during the past year.

In closing I leave you with this quote –

“Kindness is a language we all understand.
Even the blind can see it and the deaf can hear it.”
- Mother Teresa


Aloha
Dott

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COMMITTEE REPORTS

DECEMBER 2009

Architectural Review & Construction Committee
Eric Peter Berkowitz

Construction Committee Chair Eric Peter Berkowitz Gives Report
ERIC - JUICE BACK ON
LAMP & CABLE FIXED
Since twelve comprehensive updates from April through October already document the completed Paint Project and swimming pool rehabilitation on the Regency Tower web site, today’s report considers another aspect of the Committee’s focus, Architectural Review.

People have the right to tailor their homes as they see fit. Aside from their bank accounts and imagination, only one restriction limits neighbors living above and below one another. Home improvements should not be realized at the expense of one another’s right to “quiet enjoyment”. The term mistakenly conjures someone blissfully meditating in their living room. In actuality, it embodies not being flooded, not having your electricity spontaneously cycled on and off and not enduring a nightly cantata of foot stomping from the apartments above or below.

Until a few years ago, compliance with Fort Lauderdale Building Code and Regency Tower regulations governing interior construction was left to each unit owner’s discretion - a marginally supervised “honor system” of sorts. Many owners voluntarily adhered to these rules through the years; others recklessly considered compliance “impractical”.

Do it yourself? Over decades, scores of unit owners installed inadequate sound mollification under flooring, inflaming dozens of angry noise complaints between neighbors, many that continue today. Other unit owners connected relocated sinks, showers, bathtubs and washing machines to drainage lines inadequate for those purposes, predicating the expensive multi-floor floods that predictably ensued. Some rash unit owners overloaded unit circuits or deliberately bypassed circuit breakers altogether while personally rewiring their homes. Unprotected by breakers or fuses, these electrical hot spots intermittently knock out the juice to their unit, their entire floor or all three floors sharing the sub-breaker that governs their electricity. When the damage outpaces the system’s reset capabilities and those of maintenance personnel, we all pay for the electrician.

To protect the association from proliferation of these dangerous and expensive “short cuts”, in late 2004 the Regency Tower board constituted the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) to make relevant recommendations after reviewing a unit owner’s planned improvements.

Building Services Manager Valerie Bohlander
Building Services
Valerie Bohlander
About two years ago, several Regency Tower unit owners that were performing interior improvements discovered City of Fort Lauderdale violation notices posted on their doors, mandating a prohibition on further construction. When notified, the Architectural Review Committee met with Building Inspector Robert Masula, who signed the violations. A subsequent meeting with Building Department Director Valerie Bohlander revealed two major changes in Building Department policy.

The City was cracking down on compliance violations by association unit owners and the Department had tightened its policy governing permits, requiring approval for construction involving any new or replacement plumbing, drainage and electrical connections. Permits are also required for any design element or furnishing with a structural component, including cabinets, countertops, windows, walls, pass-throughs, doors, etc. While emergencies may be addressed without a permit, they must be reported afterwards to avoid a penalty.

When asked how he targeted those Regency Tower units for violation notices, Mr. Masula explained “When I noticed marked contractor vehicles arriving in the lower driveway, I followed the workers into the building. I showed my credentials to security, asked where the contractors went and followed them to the units. Whenever the owner or contractor couldn’t produce a permit, I posted a notice.” In effect, Mr. Masula executed a sting operation! Masula admonished that Inspectors were catching violators in associations all over the City and that we could expect “more of the same.”

To shield other Regency Tower unit owners, a system to enforce compliance with Architectural Review Committee recommendations was devised and implemented. Under this system, completed Committee forms are reviewed within 48 hours, and the unit owner is apprised of the results. As required, copies of any permits, contractor’s license and insurance data, signed and notarized “Permission to Enter” form and elevator deposit are submitted to the office, which then gives Security a copy of the ARC approval. A contractor is only allowed to work in a unit after Security receives that approval.

ARC Review Since the new system was instituted, the Committee has reviewed 81 planned improvements for unit owners, including 5 during the last month. Despite several subsequent surprise visits by Building Inspectors, no Regency Tower unit owner has since received a violation notice. In fact, two inspectors asked if they could use the Architectural Review forms developed by Regency Tower as examples for other associations around the City.

Many unit owners reported that the in-house plan reviews resulted in a substantial savings. For jobs that didn’t require a permit, the Committee review uncovered several expired and/or fraudulent contractor licenses. Securing a permit has also saved a bundle for unit owners. Unless substantial funds are withheld in reserve, unit owners can do little to force a reluctant contractor to fix an inadequate installation. However, a dissatisfied City Building inspector can make life hell for a negligent or unethical contractor. In various instances, City Inspectors forced contractors to reinstall fixtures, an air conditioner, hanging cabinets, sinks, a garbage disposal, two showers, a washing machine and drainage lines – all at the contractor’s expense.

Call Building Department If you call the Building Department main number at 954-828-6520 and ask customer service what types of interior construction require a permit, the standard answer is, “Everything except floor coverings and painting.” Notwithstanding, we contact a plans examiner when confronted with a construction “grey area”. On the bright side, if given the appropriate data, permits are approved much more expeditiously than in the past and their progress can be followed online. If you encounter any problems with planning or permitting improvements to your home, feel free to contact the Committee for assistance. Thank you for your kind attention.

 


Beautification Committee
Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins
Stephen Collins
New Lobby Desk
New Lobby Desk
The Beautification Committee designed and installed an awning above the garage entrance. The colors and design were chosen to enhance our building architecture and color scheme. The building lobby was painted to accent the marble flooring and the front desk underwent a redesign to freshen it’s appearance. Raised panel molding was added to the desk area and a Regency Logo Crown will be installed.

The garage guardhouse was also painted to blend into the building color scheme.

 


Landscaping Committee
Martin Rivas

(Committee Chair Martin Rivas' report read by Committee member Stephen Collins.)

Marc Prudent creates new Landscaping Vision
Marc Prudent
The Board of Directors terminated the contract with outside contractors and gave the responsibility of supervising to the Landscaping Committee, consisting of Stephen Collins, John McKeever and myself, along with our maintenance employee, Marc Prudent. Marc is an experienced landscaper and with his help, we have mulched and fertilized the entire north, south, east and west property areas. We selected a golden color mulch to match the building. We also repositioned and added new hoses to sprinkler system at front of building.

To alleviate the problem of plants affected in the wind tunnels on north and south sides, we put in Lantana, a lower plant so as not to be damaged. Also, we lowered the front plants on the upper level. In addition, we replaced Bougainvillea trees at the north and south corners of the garage entrance. All flowers were selected to match the building colors.

And lastly, we have found a solution to bald spots in certain areas by planting new cuttings dipped in hormones, then carefully tending them and lo and behold they are starting to take root.

 


Maintenance & Housekeeping Committee
Dee Lanzillo

Maintenance:

  1. Maintenance Chair Dee Lanzillo has been EXTREMELY BUSY!
    Dee - Thanks Guys!
    Painted lockers in garage area, bicycle racks, floor and re-numbered all bicycles. Painted entrance to service area guards station.

  2. Two new pumps in Maintenance Room and one for main water supply. New A/C 2nd floor replaced.

  3. Changed all valves on outside showers.

  4. Installed lattice on garage blower tower.

  5. Power washed all outside pavers and repainted all of the car bumpers north and south parking lots as well as garage area bumpers.

  6. Replaced four new lights on north and south side of lobby entrance.

  7. Installed new exit sign on south side of upper deck drive thru.

  8. Car wash area has new housing for hose making it more convenient for residents to use the facility.

  9. Removed draperies from lobby area. We washed them and rehung by myself and maintenance. We saved a total of $300. that it would have cost to send them out for cleaning. One valence was damaged. Thanks to Ann Griffin for repairing it and Dott for washing it.

  10. Holiday decorations in lobby, Rendezvous Room and Office completed by Candace.

  11. All outdoor holiday decorations were done by our maintenance department. Great job guys, it looks great.

  12. We received a generous donation for holiday decorations from Mr. and Mrs. Giovanni Santoianni. Many thanks to you both.

  13. Thanks to our Maintenance Crew; Johnny, Carl, Marc, Rocky and Saul who all work together as a team.

At this time I wanted to thank all of the Maintenance crew for their hard work and dedication for making my job much easier.

Housekeeping:

  1. Marc and Rocky are doing a great job maintaining the cleanliness of all floors, stairwells, exercise room and other areas assigned to them.

  2. All carpeting is checked daily and is spot cleaned on a regular basis.

  3. Touch up painting has been addressed on all floors.

  4. Thanks to all of our Maintenance and Housekeeping Crew for all of their work in keeping our building in tip-top condition.

  5. Saul is also doing a fine job on the maintenance of the beach and pool area. Thanks Saul – great job.

Many thanks to Marc and Rocky.

 

Rules & Regulations
Jim Rigney

Jim Rigney on new rules
Jim Rigney
Report read by Secretary:

The Rules and Regulations Committee, consisting of Stephen Collins, Joyce Woodward and myself met during the spring. In updating the rules, the revisions made are primarily to complement the language in all new forms including the Exercise Room Form, the ARC Form along with editing where needed. The 2009 edition will be available for distribution on Monday, December 21, 2009.

A motion was made by Dott Nicholson-Brown that we approve the 2009 updated edition of the Rules & Regulations; seconded by Eric Berkowitz; unanimously approved.

 

Security Report
Carlos Pereira, Chief of Security

New Regency Tower Security Chief Carlos Pereira
SECURITY CHIEF CARLOS PEREIRA
(Carlos Pereira, read by the Secretary)

Uff! We made it!! Most of the Security & Safety goals were achieved in this past year. Most of all, thanks to our building manager, Mrs. Nicholson-Brown and all Board of Directors for their extra efforts of digging in the budget to find some needed funds to improve our safety and security around the weak points in our building.

Thank You Book We rearranged some cameras to improve our security view and added new ones covering more areas of surveillance.

Thank You Book We updated our Security Handbook and created a new Security and Safety Training Manual. Monthly meetings are scheduled with presence Mandatory. In those meetings we review our handbooks and are trained in utilizing the safety and security methods on a consistent basis in each situation. We go over some question and answer exercises as well as checking each guard’s knowledge of the Security Handbook, Rules and Regulations, Employees Manual and the new Safety and Security Training Manual.

Of course we always have room for improvement and we are counting on you (residents, guests and visitors) to assist us in this. Most of our guards are here a year or close to recognizing the familiar faces which is a plus when you arrive for the fall and winter season with us.

Thanks Please remember that your cooperation and suggestions to the Board are always welcomed. As you can see, we are striving at all the times, to achieve our aim of making this building the most secure on the Galt.

In the name of our Security & Safety staff, we wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season and a healthier new year.

God bless you all.

Carlos on the Job! Safety Tip: When you drive into the building, always use the south side ramp and to exit always use the north side ramp. This will avoid accidents.

 

 


We Care Committee
Dott Nicholson-Brown

We Care Committee Member Dott Nicholson-Brown of Regency Tower Angel Squad
Dott Nicholson-Brown
Regency Tower "Angel Squad"

With the assistance of Security in giving notification concerning anyone who may become ill, the Office of Administration has continued the concerns to show that the Regency Tower Association cares. The following are the residents experiencing illness or death during the past nine months!

Hospitalized

  • Tony Buono (708)

  • Christy Feneck (1807)
  • Julie Fetch (1809)
  • Franca Gabrielle - in home (1207)
  • Howard Hirschman (1702)
  • John Pacella - in home (308)
  • Anne Petroe (709)
  • Linda Pines (1009)
  • Helen Roberts (1209)
  • Kathie Robins (1601)
  • Thank You Book Alex Rondeau (1202)
  • Maria Rosar (908)

Passed Away

  • Ed Cavka (611)

  • Mario Delano (1107)
  • Ethel Gianoulis (802)

 

Web Site Committee
Eric Peter Berkowitz

Stay Current - Keep Informed
Eric Peter Berkowitz
Check Around Town
The Regency Tower web site had 101,236 hits and 2,947 unique site visits in October. In November, we had 84,494 hits and 2,663 first timers. Countries other than the United States from which the most November hits were sourced are Canada, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Poland, India, Uruguay, Portugal, Hungary, Romania, Austria, Ireland, Sweden, Russian Federation, Taiwan, Finland, New Zealand (Aotearoa), Argentina, South Africa and Switzerland.

Thank You Book Meeting minutes from the annual November Budget Presentation are available on the Board Meeting page. The last President’s Report, New Business and Committee Reports were posted following the March 30th Board Meeting. In April and May, data from several subsequent Special Meetings were made available. From April through September, a series of ten updates documenting every aspect of the Paint Project and the Swimming Pool Rehabilitation were posted in response to seventeen emails requesting information about the progress of those projects. The final October 2nd report also reviewed Beautification Committee improvements to the lobby and the Receiving Room.

On May 23rd, contact information for legislators promoting the Sprinkler Retrofit extension bill was made available. Seven Regency Tower residents used the links to send emails supportive of Senate Bill 714, which was overwhelmingly passed in both houses before the Governor disappointed over a million Condo owners by vetoing the bill. On June 12th, links to information about Governor Crist’s motives were posted as well.

An informational alert about the annual Regency Tower Fire Alarm test performed on September 14th and 15th was posted on September 10th. On September 19th, a comprehensive summary of the issues surrounding a County effort to close the Galt Mile Reading Center was posted along with an invitation to join other Galt Mile residents at the September 22nd County Commission Budget Meeting. As a result, Regency Tower was well represented in the successful effort to save this precious neighborhood asset.

Every month, blurbs on the home page about upcoming events are made available under “Around Town”. The extended headlines are linked to comprehensive descriptions about the events on the Notices and Reminders Page. Each article concludes with contact information and links to original resources for those interested in eliciting additional information. Thank you for your kind attention.

 

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EVENTS

DECEMBER 2009

Annual Holiday Fund for Employees

The Holiday Season is upon us and, as is our custom, we are asking everyone to contribute to the Regency Tower Employees’ Holiday Fund for 2009. This fund shows our appreciation to all members of our staff for everything they have done during the past year to make living at the Regency Tower comfortable and pleasant.

The total amount received will be divided among all members of our staff. Although many residents give more, a minimum of $50.00 is suggested. We thank you for your generous response to this request.

Please make your check payable to “R. T. Employees’ Holiday Fund” and deposit it into the HOLIDAY FUND box on the Security Desk. If you are not in residence, please mail your contribution addressed to: Regency Tower Employees’ Holiday Fund by December 1, 2009 TODAY so that distribution may be made at the Employees’ Holiday Party on Friday, December 18th at 1 PM. If you've overlooked contributing due to the many distractions that accompany the seasonal Holiday hubbub, FEAR NOT - YOU CAN STILL SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION! A second distribution will follow shortly after the New Year!

Our committee wishes you and your family a joyous Holiday Season, as well as happiness and good health throughout the coming year.

Please keep in mind that many of our employees extended themselves far beyond their respective “job descriptions” before, during and after every emergency. Their actions contributed heavily to moderating the inconvenience and damage costs faced by our Association during and after each hurricane and tropical storm, when the garage door was on the fritz, during every flood, and during dozens of other instances that pass unnoticed because THEY DO THEIR JOB SO WELL. This is an opportunity for each of us to show our gratitude and reward their dedication. Please DON’T ALLOW IT TO PASS without having been heard from - editor

Employee Holiday Fund Committee

Fern McBride
Carole Rigney
Jim Rigney

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