Please read this. You will likely then want to vote against the Board Documents or assign your proxy to someone who will vote against them. (If you already gave your proxy to someone who favors the Board, that can be reversed.) I understand that the Board is not allowing a vote to approve the Alternative Documents, that would fix the problems listed below. This may be just as well as they should be reviewed by a good Association attorney first.

If you have the time to sit down with the latest draft of the Documents that the Association wants us to approve at next Tuesday’s Owner meeting  (April 16, 7:00 pm), you will find these continued problems in that third draft:

  1. 1.    Board Declaration Section D23.7 (p26) still says Edgewater land records are in Derby Connecticut. The error seems to be cut and paste from some other Condo’s Documents. Perhaps it is minor, but it shows that those asking us to approve these have not read through them. It makes me wonder what other errors are lurking in the Declaration. The error is in the Board’s third draft, the one that the attorney said fixed the clerical errors in the second draft.

  2. 2.    For the past 30 years the Owners have the right to vote on amendments to our Bylaws and Rules. The Board has restored that right in their third draft – but only part way. The last 10 pages of the Rule Booklet are Standards and Policies, technically not part of the Rules, and so any three of your neighbors on this or any future Board can change them at will.

  3. 3.   Even though a majority of Unit Owners signed a petition against this, the Board still includes in their Documents the ability to fine Owners $25 a day for violations (over $9000 per year), perhaps even of any new standard they may write without Owner approval. A Board has tried this before but the owner was protected by our currant Documents. The Board needs some enforcement power since we all live so closely together, but this is much too excessive. What ordinary homeowner would sign over to three of his neighbors (who will always be changing as the years go by) the right to change neighborhood standards, then fine him or her $1600 over two months, and then collect by threatened or actual foreclosure.

  4. 4.    While the Documents have many rules for ordinary Owners, the Board’s documents lack some very sensible rules and guidelines for the Board on how they spend our Association money ... things like getting estimates and getting multiple bids for big projects. Boards can vary in business experience. If they just depend on the property manager to run the property, annual expenses can shoot up from about (like they have in the last three years .. from  $115,000 to $180,000, about 60%, excluding capital projects like roofing/painting). Owners will eventually have to pay that increase, whether in increased monthly fees or larger special assessments because the Board failed to save money for them over the years.

  5. 5.    There is enough more to fill three pages, but I promised myself to keep this to one page. Under the Documents we have been asked to approve, the Board could invest reserve and other Association money (really the Owner’s money until the Board spends it) in stocks, bonds, anything. They are not required to provide any financial statements. They will charge $30 (and make you drive to Hamden) if you want to look at a financial statement. There a no safeguards against vote manipulation in their proposed “voting by mail.” You will be requires to park in your garage every night. They make you provide proof of cleaning your chimney yearly (~$150) whether or not you use it. I could list 20 more problematic provisions and omissions.

The alternative Owner-Protecting Documents some owners worked so hard to produce fix all these problems with the Board Documents.

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