111 at an Inflection Point?

  • Posted on: September 1, 2014

inflection pointQUICK UPDATE: A number of inside sources are now saying 111 is at an inflection point. Could be we’re in for a dramatic upturn; but it could be another slow slide toward mediocrity. Regrettably, there’s no clear indication at this point. But here’s a clue.

Rife with all the contradiction, arrogance, and subterfuge we’ve come to expect, here is a recap of some the recent board doings at 111 East Chestnut Condo Association. In this issue we’ve got: Yes-Men Farm Team Kick-Off Meeting Held; The 111 Christmas List Announced; Nolle Prosequi, Now What?; and The Milazzo Coalition Sings Its Swan Song.

111 Yes-Men Farm Team Meeting Held – Last Monday, newly-elected board member Diana Shay held a Committee Organizational Meeting to give interested homeowners an update as to her progress. Attended by approximately 25 homeowners, the meeting was uncomfortably brief. Ms. Shay was only able to read off a list of committees and the homeowners who’ve so far volunteered.

The elephant in the room was that there is no independent criteria to select committee members and then no independent authority to even be heard at regular board meetings. Per the yet to be formally approved committee charters:

1. The Board president [Anthony G. Milazzo, DDS] will appoint each committee’s chairperson [Milazzo agenda advocate] and will designate a Board liaison [Milazzo Board Majority Member] with whom the chairperson will occasionally consult.
2. The committee’s chairperson [Milazzo agenda advocate] will select each committee member and subcommittee chairperson [friends of the Milazzo agenda advocate], in consultation with the board president [Milazzo]. Subcommittee chairpersons will select their own committee members [junior Milazzo agenda advocates] in consultation with the committee chairperson [Milazzo agenda advocate] and the board president [Milazzo].
3. The committee should submit a written report to the Board via the managing agent [who solely reports to Milazzo] prior to a regular meeting of the Board. A verbal presentation may be requested at the discretion of a Board majority [Milazzo agenda advocates] or the Board president [Anthony G. Milazzo, DDS].

Word is that prior to a Board Meeting and Board approval, Ms. Shay-Stebbins, who’s rumored to have gotten very close with Mr. Milazzo, has already given the nod to some homeowners that they’ve made the Milazzo Yes-Men Farm Team.

The 111 Christmas List Announced – It’s annual budget time! More commonly know around here as Christmas. It’s that time of year when the Board showers us with a list of potential purchases we’ll again put on our collective credit card. Sure, some Grinches are quick to point out that we are presently about $1.3 million in debt. But they just don’t understand the joy of the Season. Christmas is about giving. And that cannot be made any more joyous than when it’s with someone else’s money.

That said, at the last Board Meeting, our Board president gave us his X-Mas wish list. Among the items he’s like Santa to bring were: remodel the 10th floor bathrooms and staff lounge; upgrade the surveillance camera system; add staff to cover engineer vacation; convert lighting in lobby from neon to LED; fund a Loading Dock Stench Abatement plan (TBD); renovate the North Deck (to include furniture, concrete repair and pipe relocation); install electronic tablets for elevators (like you see in hotels); convert a 10th floor room to a package handling center; buy Chestnut Room furniture; remodel the basement elevator; secure a 3rd boiler as backup; and replace/upgrade our workout-area cardio toys (TBD).

Note: Like one might see in the finest platinum card accepting restaurants, no price tags were on the menu. But again, as it’s all on credit, it doesn’t matter. Ho Ho Ho!

Nolle Prosequi, Now What? – Speaking of lawsuits, as if 5 aren’t enough, this last week our Board president’s SLAPP against a homeowner got tossed, Nolle Prosequi. Latin for “we shall no longer prosecute,” Nolle Prosequi “is a declaration made to the judge by a prosecutor meaning the case against the defendant is being dropped. The statement is an admission that the charges cannot be proved, that evidence has demonstrated either innocence or a fatal flaw in the prosecution’s claim, or the district attorney has become convinced the accused is innocent.”

Bottom line: In Illinois, that appears to satisfy the favorable termination requirement in a cause for malicious prosecution. Uh Oh. El Presidente de la Junta está en serios problemas. Could be lawsuit #6. Then again, it just might fit under one already on the list.

All of which sounds like…

Swan Song for the Milazzo Coalition – Milazzo surely had a run of power here for a while. But that seems to be coming to an end. The majority of his clan have all but deserted. Cheryl Jensen’s long gone. Fish just bailed. Glen Green has his unit on the market. Let alone that Asia and Ann Marie are headstrong and now openly questioning his leadership and integrity. And everyone seems to know except Milazzo that if his power wains even slightly, Shay will dump him in a monkey minute.

Sure sounds like a 111 inflection point. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next month or so. Ironically, like no other time in the last three years, there sure seems to be hope in the air. But if history is any measure, we sure do have a penchant for squandering those opportunities. That will surely keep us stuck and creeping downward.

We’ll see.

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