First, a few definitions: Investopedia has the term “cramdown” as derived from the idea that the loan changes during bankruptcy are “crammed down” creditors’ throats. The term is used liberally throughout business and finance to describe various forced situations.
As to the phrase “a milazzoed moment,” that’s a regional colloquialism used to describe those instances when truth gets twisted, raped, then beaten into a sweet hollow mush that’s known to trigger the gag reflex and associated depression. Fits of socially inappropriate laughter have also been documented.
With that said, at Thursday’s meeting, there were 4 milazzoed moments, 1 cramdown, 1 law broken and 200,000 missing.
The Milazzoed Moments
The first came after our newly nominated Treasurer Report Reader, Diana Shay, delivered the monthly financial summary. Reading from a Sudler-prepared statement, Shay said that our income for the month was $311K and expenses $232K. However, apparently we have again dipped below the reserve account minimum of $300,000. Add to that that the Barrington loan balance is presently $736K and the addition line of credit has a balance of approximately $496K, i.e. we’re in the hole to the tune of $1.2 Million… still.
When questioned about the debt, Shay was deer in the headlights. Sudler’s Bob Graf answered that we are currently only paying the interest. The sweet mush came at the end of the report when it was relayed that both loans are projected to be paid off November 2016. No one bought it. A few choked. Later on during the budget discussion that estimate turned into a fairly definitive kinda-sorta-maybe-depending-on-various-scenarios-and-indeterminates guess.
The second milazzoed moment came during our property manager, Sara Rudnik’s Management Report. Apparently, Rudnick was able to get the City to postpone the LifeSafety inspection by a few months. It will now take place on December 12. But according to her boss Bob Graf, “the City is doing much more aggressive inspections than anticipated, well beyond LifeSafety.” Director Brush then reiterated what she had a month ago asked for and what she was assured Sudler was planning, i.e. “a dry run.” Rudnik straight-faced told her that the dry run was “ongoing.” That got a few chuckles.
Then there was Director Green’s thoughts about our annual budget process. While a very serious Director Gajderowicz was asking about the missing $200K earmarked for the fire communications system; why maintenance supplies went from $32K budgeted to a spend of over $60K; why there’s $18K designated for taxes for the engineers apartment; why we are budgeting $8K to upgrade 10th floor bathrooms… And while Director Del Monico asked why the budget for software went from $3,500 to $15,000; and why repair and maintenance doubled in a year going from $8K to $16K… There was Glen’s glib and arrogant dismissal: “Budgeting is a guesstimate that’s obsolete January 1, folks. We are spending way too much time on a status quo budget.” Then he emphasized the cynical punchline: “Hey, I’m moving.” Even Milazzo laughed at that one. Insult to injury, newly nominated Treasurer Report Reader Diana Shay requested the $1,500 be added for a Social Committee party. A vote was taken. The Hallway rehab will be moved to 2016.
What a riot. But it gets better…
Then there was our Board President milazooing the answer to the question by Director Gajderowicz, “Why wasn’t the Finance Committee provided financial information to help draft the budget?” Straight-faced, Milazzo said in a painfully contorted circumlocution that basically the information goes to the homeowners and the committee members are homeowners. Much laughter ensued. The point was/is the Finance Committee is a completely neutered shell meant to bolster Board appearances. Word is that Committee Chair Ginny Hourigan who had taken it seriously, was summarily dismissed for requesting information. Milazzo’s rationale could not be more disingenuous and obvious. Busted, a red-faced Milazzo lashed out at the audience remonstrating that the laughter was disrupting his meeting.
A Cramdown While Breaking the Law
As we have documented here many times, contrary to Palm II, Milazzo comes to Board Meetings with agenda and prefabbed votes in hand. Point: Association business has all been pre-rehearsed and decided, and that’s against the law.
Thursday night was no exception. So when the agenda item came up about filing the empty Board seat, a total unknown investor owner who resides full-time in Atlanta, Jane Santogrossi, was preordained. There was very little discussion.
Homeowner champions Gajderowicz and Del Monico were dumbfounded. Ann Marie said. “We don’t even know this person; she doesn’t live here; she doesn’t know our daily issues.” She continued, “This is thrust upon us at the last minute and is the only person presented?!”
Asia weighed in with a proposal. “As we just had an election, why don’t we just take the person who had the highest vote count? Ophir Frieder has a 26-page resume.”
It was not even a consideration. The obviously orchestrated vote was then formally ratified in open session.
Suffice to say, and then depression set in.
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EDITOR’S POST SCRIPT
According to our Head Engineer Robert Ceci, if you own an A unit on floors 18 through 26, “prepare for the worst.” Apparently, we have “concrete compromises presently in units 22A and 26A.” Property Manager Rudnik added “23 and 27, too.”
By way of background, when the building was first constructed, “floors 18 thru 25 were poured during a very bad winter.” In the past, the North-East corners and the kitchens in units 25A and 26A needed new rebar. Ceci said, “They had to take out the entire floor; you could see right through to unit below.”
Sudler’s Bob Graf suggested Michael Bonick of Kellermeyer Godfryt Hart to do an investigation.
Yikes! That there would qualify as a budget “indeterminate.”