Mixed Bag Comes with a Glimmer of Hope

  • Posted: July 19, 2014

The 111 East Chestnut Condominium Insider Mixed Bag Comes with a Glimmer of Hope  A legal hornet’s nest, chronic building permits issues, a few board members going rogue… good grief.  And then depression set in.  Well, not so fast.  This mixed bag comes with a glimmer of hope for 111 East Chestnut Condominiums.

Breaking Bad – First, here’s the glimmer of hope.

For those not familiar with the phrase “breaking bad” other than the hit series, it’s American Southwest slang meaning “to challenge conventions, to defy authority and to skirt the edges of the law.” Actually, it’s ironically not “bad” at all. That in mind, word is, Board Directors Ann Marie Del Monico and Asia Gajderowicz have broken ranks. Among a number of serious concerns with recent Board decisions, they are livid and irreconcilable over the Board’s handling of the hallway soffit design project. Here the two of them have combined experience in condo-related design that exceeds some 40 years, and are being second guessed, disregarded and ultimately ostracised by a “little guy whose expertise is root canals.” Forget any confrontations over basic design taste, according to Asia, “the budget is grossly underestimated.” We’ve got approximately $10K budgeted per floor. Hell, just the Styrofoam mock-ups cost $7K ($2,500 for materials and $5000 for labor). Suffice to say, this initiative is looking like another slow motion train wreck. And apparently, regrettably, the majority of the Board is letting their personal preference and sense of power, override their duty of care to the Association. Asia’s got it right: “It just sets us up for another project with a major cost overrun that we can little afford. We’ve got no money.”

Anyway, the backroom politics could get very interesting. Considering our Board President’s aversion to the light, serious challenges with veracity, and his penchant for paranoid demagoguery, his nightmare scenario would be that his cohorts go rogue, transparent and start singing from their own hymnals, not his. There’s a lot in his wake that presently has their names also attached. The question is, if/when the house of cards falls, who will want to go down with him?  Will be interesting to watch the dynamics play out.  And that should happen soon.  Round Two of the Soffit Design Mock-Up fight is scheduled for 6 pm this Monday in the Chestnut room. This Board Meeting should be well worth the price of admission if just to see truth make power squirm some.

The Line on Board Committees – Joey in Vegas says, “forgetaboutit.”  At least for now.

One of the items on the Monday’s Board Meeting agenda is to “Approve New Committee Charters.” For those in the know, it’s another Milazzo ruse; we already have committee charters. What this meeting was supposed to approve was Diana Shay’s supposed plan for homeowner participation. Don’t hold your breadth. Ironically, there’s not one person that attends board meetings that would ever be allowed to participate. Ginny Hourigan and other insiders say that “the likelihood of Tony sharing power is just ludicrous.”

But then again, Concerned Homeowner savant Vince Scott who’s been working with Shay says/believes that the inclusive committees are actually gonna happen. According to Vince, “Diana recognizes that the building is very divided right now and for committees to be effective, they need to draw from a broad range of homeowners.” But so far, Shay’s a Milazzo/Evans’ clone.  She was “chosen.”  It’s hard if not impossible for exclusive to be inclusive, especially if it’s counter to the wishes of those whose carriage brung ya to the ball.

Permit Problems Again! – Arrrgh. It’s like a lesson we just cannot seem to learn.

As you may have noticed, the Workout Room Renovation Project, which was supposed to be completed last March, is still delayed due to Building Permit problems. By way of background, the plan was always to tear down the wall between the cardio room and the weight room and remove the sauna. Well, we got the permits to remove the sauna back in February. But, we apparently did not even apply for the permits to remove the wall until the end of May. That said, according to the Building Department’s website (i.e. as of Friday 7/18), our plumbing and electrical submissions are incomplete.

Just cannot seem to learn? Or, is it more likely a lesson whoever is directing Sudler stubbornly refuses to accept?

111’s Hornet’s Nest – Have you been following the lawsuits? LOTS going on here.

The Danielle matter is scheduled for case management on 8/12. Norma Williams’ case is scheduled for case management 8/19. Apparently, the Association filed a motion 7/15 to be heard this Tuesday. Boucher’s case, which was refiled to include money damages, is continued to 9/8. In Connolly’s Chancery case the Court took Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss under advisement and is due to give a decision next Friday. Note: Not likely to be dismissed with prejudice at least in its entirety. In Connolly’s defamation case against Milazzo and D&K, the court is back for case management 8/12. Bottom line: The lot of it is a hornet’s nest by any standard. Somebody’s gonna get stung.

And in a way, maybe we already have been stung.  Keep in mind, the 2013 budget allocated $42,000 for legal fees. The actual spend was $68,745, i.e. 63% over budget. Of note, the actual for 2012 was $38,991. Bottom line: we had a 76% increase in legal fees in one year.  Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit’s attorney Diane Silverberg puts it in perspective: “As a litigator, we love taking things through trial and there are few things like winning. But on the other hand, it’s often at a great cost to the client. So we need to figure out a way to maximize the benefit to the client without necessarily breaking the bank.”

Without necessarily breaking the bank?! Good Lord! Apparently, the fee clock has been ticking as they’re figuring.

Suffice to say, GO ASIA; GO ANN MARIE; STAY STRONG!  You’re our hope.  We’ll see you at the meeting Monday.

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