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MAY 19, 2011
The meeting of The Regency Tower Board was called to order at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2011 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), Eileen R. Bendis, Eric Berkowitz, Dee Lanzillo (via speakerphone), Catherine Lenz, Fern McBride and Bill Tennenbaum.
Approval of Minutes - The President asked for a motion to suspend the reading of the minutes and approve them as written. It was noted that the date of the minutes approved at the March 23, 2011 meeting was March 17, 2011 and the minutes to approve at this meeting are dated March 23, 2011. Bill Tennenbaum made the motion, which was seconded by Cathie Lenz. The motion was passed by general consent.
The President asked if everyone had received the planned meeting schedule and asked for a motion to adopt the schedule. Catherine Lenz moved to adopt the schedule as presented for meetings for the rest of the calendar year 2011, seconded by Eric Berkowitz. The motion was passed by general consent. The President explained that the Board would have meetings every month with the exception of June, July and August.
President’s Report - Eileen R. Bendis
|President Eileen Bendis|
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Regency Tower;
Once again, for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Eileen Bendis I live in unit 806 and I am the new President of the Regency Tower. I have been in this position for exactly 9 weeks tonight. The “honeymoon period” lasted perhaps as much as 48 hours. I have already had 3 people locked out of their condos, letters written for and against me, idle threats to my well-being, the police called on me, and a complaint filed with the Division of Business and Professional Regulation. I thought that I could reduce the number of calls to our attorney, guess what? Instead, I have him on my speed dial! Thank you for allowing me this privilege of being your President. I really do appreciate it!
In trying to bring harmony within the Board of Directors, I haven’t quite fulfilled my expectations, I take responsibility for this and I promise to try harder in the future. I will communicate to each of you individually, so as not to be misunderstood by rumors and innuendo. Please be patient, I’ll eventually get the hang of this.
Please keep in mind, I do believe in rules and regulations and established policies. Simply, because we are friends, I cannot in good conscience, over-ride what is in place. I am not, however, opposed to discussing it and if and when we can make something more user friendly in the future-with the approval of the rest of the board, of course- change something. This brings me to my proposed “lobby forums”. Instead of the lobby, I do believe my “forums” became impromptu gatherings around the pool instead. I will try to bring it to the lobby as soon as possible.
One subject that came up on an ongoing basis, was the possibility of hurricane impact glass balcony doors. I think this summer I may revisit this and perhaps send out a new survey to see what kind of interest there is with the residents.
Now, on with the new. As you know, our manager Dott Nicholson-Brown stated her desire to retire June 3. I feel we have in place a terrific committee headed by Cathie Lenz, to research and interview potential managers. Their results should be concluded shortly. I look forward to a great future for this revamped and re energized Regency Tower, and I hope you all will be supportive of the change. I only hope for peace and harmony in the building. Please give us a chance. As I said before, the transition will take time. Eventually, I would like-at the approval of the Board of Directors-a new supportive team as well. New eyes, new ears, new ideas.
I would like to thank a couple of residents for stepping up to the plate and volunteering for some committees. Margie Nagle, for beautification and Martin Rivas, for landscaping, and Dee Lanzillo for maintenance. I would also like to recognize our maintenance man, Mark, for the wonderful job he is doing with landscaping, both street-side and pool-side.
Let’s all get with the program and relax. If the buck stops with me, I have no problem with it. I have taken this volunteer job with great enthusiasm, but will not allow it to interfere with my life, my job, or my golf game.
Financial Report - Bill Tennenbaum
|Bill - See March 17 Report|
Treasurer Bill Tennenbaum reported on the Association’s financial position as of April 30, 2011. (Reported financial details are available to Regency Tower owners in our newsletter, the “Regency Tower Times”. - editor)
We currently have 1 delinquent account with the attorney, one unit that just sold from which we will be collecting past due monies and one owner paying a reduced amount while in foreclosure.
Unit #1508 still has $2,910.31 in various assessment delinquencies
In order to show the progress we have made financially in the building, the following numbers reflect our position on 12/31/05 - 5 years and 4 months ago (Regency Tower owners can view the described financial comparison in our association newsletter, the “Regency Tower Times”. - editor).
A motion was made by Eric Berkowitz to accept the Financial Report, seconded by Cathie Lenz; unanimously approved.
Regency Tower Association Owners’ Social Security Numbers - Bill Tennenbaum made a motion that in order to protect the Association from unneeded liabilities and to help protect the owners in the Regency Tower Association from identity theft all owners’ records have Social Security Numbers removed or redacted. The motion was seconded by Fern McBride and unanimously approved.
Manager’s Report - Dott Nicholson-Brown (read by the Secretary)
- Major Projects
- Roofs – As a consequence of attending the South Florida Condo and HOA Expo in Miami Beach on April 7, 2011, one of the classes I took was “Roofing 101”, taught by Gregg Wallick, CEO and Zachary Wallick, forensic Roof Specialist of BEST Roofing. In response to several questions regarding our three roofs, including whether we need to purchase the one way vents recommended by another company, he agreed to give us a free roof inspection of all roofs. After a thorough inspection, Zach determined that vents were not needed but we were lacking an ongoing program to maintain the roof properly, at least once yearly. The President and I agreed to a one-year maintenance at $1,500 – a savings of $6,000 compared to the $7,500 proposed cost to install 50 vents.
- North Fire Doors – Barter Doors installed a prototype door on the 4th floor at a cost of $1,773. After completion. He was able to get a better deal from the manufacturer and reduced the price to $1,610. per door. However, it is taking about 7-8 weeks to receive them. They are expected to arrive today and installation should begin Monday. He will install the balance of 2nd - 10th floors. At his suggestion and based on the better condition of the upper floor doors, it was agreed that our Maintenance Department will sand, grind and paint the upper doors on the 11thth - 20th floors. This has resulted in a savings of $17,562 from the amount budgeted for this project (The reduced cost plus the hard work by our Maintenance Department). The Maintenance Department is about 90% finished with the upper floors. It is planned to have them start on the inside doors near the trash room next month. These require only minor cosmetic work.
- 1508 - Status same. We have title, rented with a 6 month lease during season. Now back on market. Someone may be interested in one year lease but must be willing to risk bank claiming lien during lease term. Our attorney prepared caution lease language in the event this occurs. Also, one person thought about buying, but after hearing Gabb is again filing papers, he was advised by realtor to drop it.
- 306 - Title passed to the lender (Bank United) on 4/12. Attorney’s Foreclosure Department is transferring project to Collections Department who will attempt to recover 12 months maintenance. If lender doesn’t pay, we will file a lien against property.
- 1506 - Agreement reached: Owner to pay full quarterly maintenance on a monthly basis beginning April 10, 2011. He is current.
- Association Owned Apt. 1401 - Nancy Seltzer expects to have a contract and closing on/or about June 1, 2011.
- New Purchases and/or New Contracts – No new purchases were made. One contract was renewed with our waste company as a condition of the contractor giving us a brand new dumpster to replace the completely unsalvageable one. The price, terms and conditions remain the same.
New Business - President Eileen R. Bendis announced that there was no New Business.
|Sec. Fern McBride|
The President made the following announcements:
Diapers in the pool – We do have a rule concerning diapers in the pool. This refers to any diapers – baby, adult and swim diapers. I have documentation that are very specific as to how swim diapers (any size) are not fool proof. Please, advise your guests to the pool rules
Security guards’ duties - For insurance purpose, our Security staff is not permitted to lift anything. Please have guests use the north entrance when arriving with luggage or find maintenance personnel. Bill Tennenbaum reminded us that this security guard duty restriction saves the Association between $7,000 and $10,000 per year in Workers’ Comp.
Adjournment - A motion was made by Eric Berkowitz and seconded by Cathie Lenz to adjourn the meeting at 7:26 p.m.
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Architectural Review & Construction Committee
Eric Peter Berkowitz
|Ft Laud Building Department|
Last November, we received an Architectural Review application containing, among other things, plans to move a washer-dryer stack from its usual location in the kitchen to an area near one of the unit’s bathrooms. The applicant was required to solicit a permit for the plumbing, electrical and structural changes indicated in the plans. Several months later, the contractor submitted a letter he received from the City stating that the owner would have to provide proof that the association approved his plan to relocate the stack before the Building Department could finalize a permit.
|Eric - Due Diligence|
The Building Department was rightfully concerned about two issues, drainage and ventilation. Since the drain lines that service our units’ kitchens and bathrooms vary in size and capacity, it is critically important to verify that the line dedicated to service an appliance or fixture is adequate for that purpose. As such, we asked Tommy to inspect the unit and compare his findings to the submitted plans.
After verifying the drainage line’s adequacy, he inquired about the planned location of a studor air admittance valve. As gravity pulls drainage down a pipe, it creates negative pressure. As a consequence, in a closed system, air and sewer gas could be forced back up the pipe, ultimately infiltrating the appliance and the surrounding room. A studor valve allows air to enter the system, offsetting the negative pressure and the threatened infiltration of noxious gas.
The unit owner allayed any concerns about ventilation by agreeing to install a ventless dryer. When the contractor demonstrated where the plumber planned to install the studor valve, our maintenance chief approved the stack relocation. Tommy also took the opportunity to inquire about some electrical wire he found in the unit. When asked why the electrician was using both 12 gauge and 14 gauge wire, the contractor explained that the thinner 14 gauge wire will be used to connect switches as indicated on the plan while the heavier 12 gauge wire is code compliant for the plan’s appliances. Familiar with the electrical code, Tommy confirmed the contractor’s statement.
Having performed reasonable due diligence, we notified the City that the stack relocation wouldn’t adversely impact the association. If you plan to move any of your appliances and/or fixtures, you can avoid a serious migraine by verifying the availability of adequate plumbing, drainage and electrical support at the new location. Thank you for your kind attention.
Read by Secretary
|Regency Tower Lobby|
Our first meeting was chaired by Margie Nagle on March 31, 2011. The committee members are Maria Barnie, Heidi Boucher and Eileen Bendis.
We discussed rearranging the present furniture, in order to use what we already have and saving money. The leaning mirror was returned and credited back to us, minus shipping.
I feel that we have some very nice pieces that can be moved to other locations to show better. We all decided we need more color. This could be done with nice pictures, flowers, new pottery and a clock behind the guard counter. We can paint some of the present accessories in brighter colors.
We have time but no money. How do we fix it? I am open to suggestions. Please be patient, we will need time to complete our mission.
Maintenance & Housekeeping Committee
Read by Secretary
|Dee - Rolls On!|
The outside North Fire Doors on the upper ½ of the building will be completed by Monday, May 23rd. Tommy did the grinding and sanding. The rest of the guys did the priming and painting.
The following repairs or replacements have been made to our property:
Repaired and oiled roof turbines.
Repaired patio umbrella and canopies on tables around pool, barbeque area and upper patio.
Straightened a re-secured beach fence on south side.
Removed leaning mirror and repaired damaged lobby wall.
Repaired broken drain in garage on east side.
Repaired/refinished fire hydrants in front of building.
Repaired pool pump room fire door so as to close properly.
Painted 5 doors in exit area from garage to pool (cabana room, pump room, unisex restroom, game room stairwell).
Cleaned all chaise lounges around pool.
Trimmed/shaped landscaping at front, south and east sides of building. Also beach bushes.
Many, many thanks to our fantastic, efficient, wonderful guys – Tommy, Marc, Rocky and Nesly who know how to work well together.
Manager Search Committee
Read by the Secretary
Shortly after Dott Nicholson-Brown advised Eileen Bendis of Dott’s intention to retire as Regency Tower building manager, Eileen asked me to chair a “search for manager” committee. I agreed to this request and was successful in getting the following capable individuals to serve with me: Eric Berkowitz, Jeff Olweean, Jim Rigney and Margaret Thompson (in alphabetical order!).
Having contacted Lisa Pinder at CondoJobs Recruiting Service, the committee received more than twenty resumes from potential candidates. We also have received four resumes from other sources. These resumes are currently being vetted by committee members to determine who should be scheduled for interviews. It is my intention to have the first round of interviews completed by next week.
Web Site Committee
Eric Peter Berkowitz
Due to receipt of more than a dozen emails asking about the April 20th event held by Comcast in the Rendezvous Room, a decription of what occurred will replace the May 2011 website report.
The Comcast Event
In compliance with a congressional mandate requiring that broadcasters move to fully digital systems, Comcast held a “Changeover” event in Regency Tower on April 20, 2011. Comcast personnel arrived at 1:30 PM to prepare the Rendezvous Room for managing the transition. At the 2 PM start time, 3 Comcast Account Representatives and a supervisor began registering the 30 Regency Tower residents who arrived early. After verifying account information showing the number of televisions and pre-existing Comcast boxes in each unit, they dispatched a technician to install the correct number of devices called Digital Adapters or DTAs. The unit owner returned home with instructions to await the installation. One month earlier, the event supervisor informed us that 8 to 10 technicians would accompany the customer service and account personnel. When asked where they were, the on-site supervisor assured us that additional technicians would arrive later and everyone who registered would have their DTAs installed before the Comcast crew departed later that day.
|Eric Peter Berkowitz |
By 7 PM, about 150 DTAs had been installed in 54 units. A few residents who registered four to five hours earlier returned to the Rendezvous Room, asking when they could expect their installation. When we again requested the additional technicians, they told us that one more would arrive at 8 PM. They neglected to mention that two would be leaving at the same time. At 9 PM, another technician left despite the 11 units that were still unfinished. The supervisor agreed to join his two remaining technicians in performing installations if we would fill in at his post. The final installations took place in the two association-owned units. When they finished by 11 PM, more than 210 DTAs were installed in 79 units.
|FRONT - Comcast Digital Adapter (DTA) - REAR|
Had Comcast provided the 8 to 10 technicians they’d promised, the installations would have been completed by 8 PM. At 11:30 PM, as the Comcast personnel were leaving, we asked the departing supervisor – a fellow named Simon – why they “misinformed” us about the number of participating technicians. He said, “I feel terrible about what happened. The technicians are subcontractors. Someone decided that they could make more money with fewer technicians. I’m sorry that it took so long.” We also learned that as technicians installed the digital adapters, some unit owners “convinced” them to address other problems, from adding a line to an additional television to incorporating a DVD player into an existing installation. Although boxes picked up or mailed to unit owners were never supposed to be included in the event, the supervisor authorized these unanticipated installations for 7 additional residents, bringing the installation totals to 226 DTAs in 86 units.
When unit owners unable to attend were represented by parents or others, they were supposed to present a copy of the owner’s driver’s license and recent bills addressed to the unit. In three cases, stand-in relatives could only offer copies of the driver’s license. When Staff Accountant Valli Lentini hastily provided copies of recent maintenance bills for the units in question, the supervisor authorized the installations. Our apologies go out to Heidi Weber, who waited for about 7 hours before Simon personally installed her adapters. On the bright side, when the bump-laden event was over, Regency Tower was ready for the May 24th digital changeover.
Only two related problems were reported following the event. Two boxes mistakenly left on an owner’s dining room table were installed five days later at no charge. Another resident received a bill of $17.90 for the supposedly free installation, which Comcast reversed once it was reported. As if to demonstrate that the cable monopoly is an equal opportunity screw-up, the unit owner selected for this post-event abuse was Board President Eileen Bendis! Thank you for your kind attention.
Emergency Alert from Comcast
Certain TVs will Need a DTA to Receive Channels 25 through 78
The Following is a Verbatim Message from Comcast
March 18, 2011 - On April 20, 2011, Comcast Cable will hold an event for the residents of Regency Tower to distribute and install Digital Adapters (DTA). Channels 25 through 78 will be moving to the digital range after May 24, 2011. In order to continue to view these channels, each television set will require a Digital Adapter (DTA).
|FRONT - Comcast Digital Adapter (DTA) - REAR|
The residents are entitled to receive up to 3 DTAs free of charge. If you have more than 3 televisions, a monthly fee of $1.99 for each additional adapter installed will appear on your monthly statement.
Customer Service Representatives and Technicians will be on hand to answer questions and install the equipment.
If you are unable to attend the event on April 20, 2011, please call 1-877-634-4434. Any resident that schedules an appointment before or after the event date to have the DTA equipment installed will be charged a onetime install fee of $17.90.
Additional Info about the DTA Event
- On February 17, 2009, in compliance with a congressional mandate, the era of analog television transmissions came to an end as television stations began using digital signals to carry their broadcasts. Several months earlier, Comcast sent mailers to every customer temporarily offering free digital set-top boxes to facilitate the transition. Weeks later, Regency Tower also notified unit owners about the changeover, recommending that they request the digital set-top boxes from Comcast. Similar notices were included in the Regency Tower Newsletter and on the web site. While many Regency Tower residents took advantage of the offer, others declined. About six months later, Comcast began charging a monthly fee to those customers who ordered the box after the special offer expired. During our last contract negotiation, Comcast agreed to continue sending both digital and analog signals to Regency Tower until they could provide customers with a cost-free opportunity to receive digital transmissions. Comcast has just scheduled a one-day event to provide Regency Tower customers with that opportunity.
- On May 24, 2011, televisions in Regency Tower that are not attached to a Comcast Digital Set-Top Box will no longer receive channels 25 through 78. To avoid losing these channels on your televisions, you can either order Digital Set-Top Boxes from Comcast for a monthly fee or install devices called Digital Adapters (DTA). On April 20th, in-residence Regency Tower unit owners will have an opportunity to have Comcast affix these Digital Adapters to the televisions in their homes. While the first three are free, each additional DTA will incur a $1.99 monthly charge on future statements. At 2 PM, a team of 10 to 12 Comcast Technicians and Customer Service personnel will convert the Rendezvous Room into a project headquarters. Residents must come down to the Rendezvous Room between 2 PM and 8 PM and register for the free installation. After confirming your name and unit number, return to your unit to await the Comcast technicians who will perform the installation.
NOTE: The Comcast installation personnel will not enter unattended units. Someone must be there to oversee the installation when the Comcast technicians arrive at your unit! SORRY! Regency Tower maintenance and security staffers are not available for this purpose. They will be preoccupied with their normal duties. Remember: This is a Comcast event. Regency Tower’s involvement is limited to hopefully relieving some of the prospective confusion and inconvenience.
Residents unable to provide access and oversight on April 20th can schedule an alternative installation date for a onetime fee of $17.90. To schedule an alternative installation date, call 1-877-634-4434. Comcast customers able to personally install the devices can also ask about picking up the DTAs from Comcast or receiving them by mail. One unit owner reported picking up the DTAs at the Comcast location at 1139 N Federal Highway (south of 13th Street - before Sunrise Boulevard).
The Digital Adapter (DTA) and the Digital Set-Top Box
The DTA is necessary for any television that is not serviced by a Digital Set-Top Box. A Digital Adapter (also known as a DTA) provides digital-quality signals, but does not allow access to Comcast On Demand services or the on-screen guide. The DTA isn't necessary if your television is connected to a Digital set-top box (also known as a digital converter box or digital receiver). If, for instance, you have two televisions connected to Digital set-top boxes and a third that is not, you will need a DTA for that third TV.
|Digital Set-Top Box (Black or Silver)|
- As those of you that have a Digital set-top box already know, in addition to processing digital-quality signals, the Digital set-top box offers access to the On Demand library (a rotating inventory of free movies, sports, broadcast specials, etc - all available 24/7), the On-Screen Channel Guide, and approximately 40 commercial-free music channels. Instead of two HBO channels, residents that have the Digital set-top box receive nine HBO channels (One in spanish and one that receives a High Definition signal). The DTA does not provide access to these additional services.
Why does the picture not fill my screen after I installed my digital adapter?
- The digital adapter supports a screen aspect ratio of 4:3 only. This means that the picture is formatted for standard definition programming and will not support high-definition (HD) or widescreen programs. As a result, the programming will not fill the entire screen of a widescreen television. While you cannot adjust the aspect ratio on the digital adapter, many televisions will allow you to adjust it on the television through the Settings menu. By changing the aspect ratio on your television, you are in essence "stretching" the standard definition picture to fit your widescreen television. Of course, if you upgrade to a digital set-top box, in addition to a truckload of additional services, the picture will adapt to the screen.
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