JANUARY 31, 2012
The meeting of the Regency Tower Board was called to order at 7 PM on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, in the Rendezvous Room of the Regency Tower by the President.
Roll Call -Iris Anastasi, Eileen Bendis, Eric Berkowitz, Bernard Larkin, Cathie Lenz, Fern McBride (speakerphone), and Margaret Thompson.
Approval of Minutes -Eric Berkowitz made a motion to approve the minutes from the December 13, 2011 meeting, which was seconded by Cathie Lenz and unanimously passed.
President Bendis then asked Treasurer Cathie Lenz to read the Financial Report. (Reported financial details are available to Regency Tower owners in our newsletter, the “Regency Tower Times”. - editor)
Assessment receivable continue to be aggressively tracked and pursued. Largest single item is Apt 1508 totalling $26,058.61. That unit is the only one in foreclosure.
There is currently only one other delinquent unit that is being handled by our lawyers. (Once a receivable is past due more than 45 days, it is sent to our lawyers.)
Our new accounting firm, the Fuoco Group, has begun the year-end 2011 audit. We are also working with them to ensure that our bookkeeping procedures for 2012 are consistent, something that wasn’t the case in prior years. we are also going to address – and correct – all of our fixed asset account balances.
A motion was made by Eric Berkowitz to approve the Treasurer’s report, seconded by Fern McBride and unanimously approved.
Committee Reports -President Bendis then called for Committee Reports. Click Here to read the Committee Reports.
New Business -President Eileen R. Bendis called for New Business. Click Here to read the New Business (vote totals for balcony door referendum).
General Discussion -Many unit owners asked questions about the newly approved balcony doors. Many were very anxious to install them immediately. Hopefully, within the next couple of weeks, specs will be drawn up and sent to owners.
Adjournment -A motion was made by Iris Anastasi and seconded by Margaret Thompson to adjourn the meeting at 7:45 PM, unanimously approved.
PRESIDENTS REPORT JANUARY 2012 Board President Eileen Bendis'
Board President Eileen Bendis'
Since last July, in keeping with my promise, one of my priority projects has been the balcony doors. A survey that we distributed was returned with a favorable response. The next step was to amend our governing documents and a proxy was sent to every unit owner. Once again - whenever a majority vote of all the members is required - please, complete and return your limited proxy...FOR OR AGAINST. I cannot tell you how many phone calls I made, just to get your answer. Luckily, I have unlimited calling - nationwide and Canada! Complacency is one of our biggest obstacles. If you want something but don’t vote, you may subsequently find yourself wondering what happened or feeling regret after the opportunity has passed.
The results are in and we did get the needed majority vote for the impact glass balcony doors. I realize that some of you may want to install one immediately, but please be patient. We have proposals to review and more on the way. We will soon begin negotiating a best price. When the vendor is selected, I will then send you the specs and procedures for getting the bulk price. Thank you for the vote.
Once again, please do not argue with security personnel for doing their job. They are here to enforce the rules and if you have a problem, call me to discuss it. Also, consider this a final warning. Please clear out your AC closet and remove anything in front of your door that is not attached. Letters will be going out shortly to officially notify unit owners in violation of this rule.
I am proud to serve on this board and live in the Regency Tower. I hope all of you feel as I do. If not, let us know what we can do to change your mind. Thank you for all your support and let’s continue to move forward.
Manager Dwight Lyons'
This is Your Office
Click to Top of Page COMMITTEE REPORTS JANUARY 2012 Architectural Review & Construction Committee Replacing Expensive Building Components
Click to Top of Page COMMITTEE REPORTS JANUARY 2012 Architectural Review & Construction Committee
Architectural Review & Construction Committee
Replacing Expensive Building Components
Since gas-fired pool heaters repeatedly burned out every few years, about eight years ago we replaced them with less expensive heat pump technology. The three heat pumps are more efficient and economical because they initiate serially. Depending on weather fluctuations, one, two or all three will fire up to maintain the proper water temperature. Given their direct exposure to ocean borne chemicals such as halides and PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls), a vendor that recently inspected the heat pumps informed our manager that they were no longer worth repairing.
After ventilating the garage for more than 40 years, the sputtering garage fan was permanently shut down several months ago. Since Manager Dwight Lyons replaced Edd Helms as the building’s HVAC maintenance contractor with Sam Block of Custom Air Designs, a vendor that earned Dwight’s trust at an association he previously managed, he asked Block what he would charge the association to repair or replace the fan. When Block returned a proposal for $17,325 and Dwight called Edd Helms for a second bid, Helms sent a strange one-page offer to fix the fan for $32,830. Since neither offer was based on a written scope of work, there’s no telling what Edd Helms planned to provide for more than twice the cost of a replacement fan. Dwight recommended that we accept the offer by Custom Air Designs. In the next few days, when several board members questioned Block’s initial proposal and explored other construction options, Block lowered his estimate.
Uncomfortable with the casual process that enigmatically yielded such two widely differing bids, Board President Eileen Bendis agreed to elicit unconflicted professional input for all projects that substantially impact our budget or our home's habitability. As such, we met with John Evans of SPEC Engineering, a structural engineer who guided us through the deck rehabilitation, the installation of our lower driveway gravity well and recovery repairs after Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. Evans also developed the engineering basis for convincing negligent vendors to provide us with a new roof in 2002, electrostatically recoat of our balcony railings in 2006 and patch exterior wall building cracks in 2008 - all at their own expense.
At a subsequent meeting attended by Board President Eileen Bendis, Vice President Eric Berkowitz, Manager Dwight Lyons, Block and John Evans, Block and Lyons repeated their concerns. Evans first answered Block’s installation issues, after which Block agreed that prospective alterations to the vent housing could be reasonably achieved. Eileen, a dedicated devotee of our swimming pool, asked Evans and Block if the noise would disturb pool-goers. Although the new configuration moved the fan engine a few feet closer to the deck, its technical specifications are rated to run more quietly than its predecessor (33 sones vs. 38 sones). Since the fan’s hood is also fitted with sound insulation, noise levels would roughly approximate those of the old fan. Eileen was also pleased to learn that the fan’s exposed low profile hood could be ordered in any color, allowing it to better aesthetically blend with its surroundings. Lyons’ concern about rainwater infiltrating the garage proved unfounded since the fan’s ribbed construction deflects runoff.
If authorized, President Bendis can instruct John Evans to create a scope of work which can be sent to board-approved vendors for competitive bidding. When the bid packages are returned, Board members can make an “apples to apples” comparison of the proposals and question the engineer before voting to select the bid-winning contractor.
Given its substantial replacement cost, the cooling tower represents our greatest challenge. Fortunately, the engineer claims that it is currently operating properly and foresees no immediate danger. While we need to begin preparations for its replacement, unless it abruptly fails for some reason, we have adequate time to commission a scope of work and competitively bid out the job.
Disruption of our air conditioning should be minimal. When authorized, the components will be lifted to the roof and assembled while the existing water tower is still operating. The only expected air conditioning “down time” will occur while the connections are switched to the new water tower, a procedure that is ordinarily accomplished in one day. In an emergency, we can make arrangements for unit owners to rent individual AC units at reduced rates if they so choose.
Since every door must be measured individually and custom manufactured (even doors in the same stack are sized differently), the primary cost benefit of a bulk installation accrues to the installer, who will realize a substantial savings in consolidated labor costs. The fact that we are providing vendors with a reliable and significant source of business in a down market will also work to our advantage.
Since Committee Reports are accessible to anyone with a computer, it would be counterproductive to disclose information about price points included in the proposals thus far received by the Board President before negotiations are completed. Suffice to say that they already represent an impressive discount as compared to individually contracted installations. Thank you for your kind attention.
Dear Regency Tower Neighbors:
In November we started working on our holiday decorations. Eileen and I went to the storage area where the Christmas decorations are kept. We found that most of the trimming and lighting for our Christmas tree was very old and some things did not work. We cleaned and discarded the things that did not work or looked out of place with what I had in mind. Mark was a great help in bringing what we had left down, to the lobby for inspection.
Eileen and I went in search of things that we needed. It was not that easy since I have expensive taste and a low budget. We went to the high end stores to get ideas, than shopped at discount stores for the same look.
We finally bought all our trimmings and worked on our pretty tree within budget. It was fun and looked beautiful.
Thank you to our building workers for all their help.
The holidays are over and all our decorations are put away safely for next year. Thank you to Heida for all her help.
I would like to say to some people that have something to say about what we do for the building, thank you for all your suggestions and we can use donations to replace the things that are not to your pleasing.
Happy New Year!
We Care Committee
Members of the new formed “We Care” Committee are: Naomi Griner (2020), Margie Nagle (911), Joyce Ramey (501) and Joyce Woodward (307).
Although Committee Reports are ordinarily submitted in conjunction with Board Meetings, we believe that our members should be expeditiously informed about the afflictions or passing of friends and neighbors. Going forward, We Care information will be posted as soon as it is made available by the We Care Committee. Our thanks to Ofelia! As such, the following notices were forwarded by Ofelia Alleguez subsequent to the October 17, 2011 Committee Report:
Web Site Committee
Since the last web site report in October, minutes of the November 8 and December 13, 2011 Board Meetings were devoted to our Association’s 2012 spending plan. At the November 8th board meeting, Treasurer Cathie Lenz told delighted attendees that the bottom line in next year’s budget would mirror its 2011 predecessor. Assisted by Manager Dwight Lyons, Cathie simplified the basic budget format when she listed line items by account number.
Despite our Treasurer’s admonition that association Reserves were underfunded, Board President Eileen Bends announced at the December 13th Budget Approval meeting that unit owners voted overwhelmingly to partially fund the Reserves. After listing our existing Reserve Accounts for the roof, the driveway, painting the building, the balconies and our elevators; Cathie revealed the creation of new Reserve Funds to address expenses for air conditioning, the pool, mechanical items and common area interiors. She also announced her intention to bulk up reserves via the transfer of equity funds. Fueled by scores of House Channel addicts, a post-meeting buffet organized by Social Committee Chair Nancy Seltzer evolved into a full-blown lobby party.
A November 8th article explained why unit owners observed that their early November tap water had recently acquired a strange taste. A City of Fort Lauderdale Public Works message exclaimed that the unusual taste and scent resulted from the City temporarily treating the drinking water with free chlorine. The periodic switch to free chlorine effectively reduces biological re-growth in the distribution system and helps maintain chlorine residual levels at the extremities of that system during the normal chloramine disinfection process. While largely unnoticeable to most people, the procedure could have harmed persons undergoing dialysis or suffering from a compromised immune system.
Ofelia Alleguez informs unit owners about the health and welfare of their neighbors by affixing current We Care notices to the Mail Room bulletin board. However, information included in her Committee Report grows stale within a month of posting on the website. Last year, the We Care content on the Committee Reports page was altered to reflect timely notices instead of the mostly dated information delivered during board meetings. As such, the current notices on the bulletin board are now also available on the website.
After posting mini-bios about new employees Dwight Lyons and Kande Lewandowski, I hoped to receive background info for other Regency Tower staffers. The website would also benefit from small bios about some of our neighbors. If anyone believes they have printer’s ink in their veins, we need your help. Writing skill is wholly irrelevant, and may even be an obstacle. If you can talk, you can do this.
About a year ago, an Art Walk along Las Olas Boulevard became a regular event in the monthly “Around Town” section on the Home Page. Since then, the former Galt Ocean Shoppes neighborhood was reborn as North Beach and morphed into one of South Florida’s hottest Arts districts. On the first Saturday of each month, the Broward Art Guild, a dozen acclaimed new or established Galleries and a half dozen design centers sponsor the North Beach Art Walk, which is now listed in our monthly offerings. Last month, Mayor Jack Seiler and Commissioner Bruce Roberts joined the Art Walk and cut the Grand Opening tape for a new venue called the North Beach Art Gallery. To learn more about the neighborhood’s remarkable transformation and an event that replaced the Sunset Blue street fairs, click the title in the event list and plan to join the next Art Walk on February 4th. You won’t be disappointed. Thank you for your kind attention.
New Business - 1/31/2012 Meeting
January 31, 2012 - President Eileen R. Bendis called for New Business.
Fern McBride, Secretary