The majority of the Directors of our 3-member Board, James Scott and Mark Scharlau, plan to vote “yes” to levy a Special Assessment in the amount of $630,000 to do the following:
- Complete the construction of the 1st floor
- Collect money to do the Bar, Kitchen and the Ballroom
The 3rd Director of the Board will not be voting for a Special Assessment in this amount.
To do the Special assessment, Members must have access to the information necessary to understand the reason for the Special Assessment and their rights under Florida Law. Owners should also review their governing documents on Special Assessment …. The Board must hold the meeting with owners so they can ask questions and have them answered respectfully and professionally.
We did not have that. We did not really discuss anything. The shameful witch hunt that followed had the purpose of shutting down any opposition to the Special Assessment, not a fair and decent discussion of real issues.
I understand that we need to finish the 1st floor, and I would vote only for the amount to finish the 1st. floor, but not for the Bar, Kitchen, and the Ballroom, which are not part of phase I.
In time of COVID, when many owners are financially hurt, I believe, it is irresponsible to put the interests of the Hotel, and not the owners first. Our fiduciary responsibilities are to the owners, not to the Hotel, and no matter how important it is for us to have those amenities, in time of COVID and financial stress caused by it, we need to minimize any financial burden on the owner and also do everything so that the owners can make money to pay for the cost of maintenance and assessments.
The Board is not doing either of that.
I can pay my assessment; I am not desperate. I am doing it because it is the right thing to do, and because this is what this Board had promised to the owners “No more assessments”.
We will have the Annual Membership Meeting and the election in mid-December, but unless we stop the Assessment in this amount now, it might be too late, and some owners may find themselves indebted to lawyers, having liens, and being on the way to foreclosure.
Here are your options:
- Material alteration. The Board is aware that they can vote for a Special Assessment without the vote from the owners, but they can’t do the same to Material Alteration. Some of the line items on the list of costs, that you received with the Notice of a Special Assessment, are clearly Material Alterations.
- It is the Bar (we did not have it in this location, so this is an Alteration,
- The vestibules,
- the Kitchen (new location of the Hood, the walk In Cooler/freezer.
- Concrete opening in the wall
- Storefront for $69,580 (I do not know what it is, but suspect this is some Alteration)
- Cost of cabinetry for the Marketplace
- Cost of cabinetry for the Buffet
Note: Not that we do not need some of this to be done, it is simply wrong to do it this way. If the Board would discuss it with the owners, we could find common ground, but the Board is not discussing it.
Material Alteration can be done. It requires the majority of the Board to vote for it PLUS the affirmative vote of 66 2/3% of all voting rights.
- Recall of the Director, so that the replacement Board may halt the collection and if there is a need for the Special Assessment and even Material Alteration, do it right.
As the Board Member, I will not be discussing this option with you. You are invited to the Facebook page created for this purpose: https://www.facebook.com/groups/715659309036980/ and click “Join the Group”.
The way it is done now, the 2 members of the Board of Directors are simply deciding for you without even the attempt to listen to you.
Note: I requested the clarification from the Board Attorney, and, according to them, they were told that it is not Material Alteration, but rather is all repairs and common maintenance, meaning that the Board member/s might have attempted to mislead the attorney for the Association. This is why the Attorneys have prepared the Notice of the Special Assessment this way. I will send them the list of items which are clearly fall under the Alteration to see if they would still be advising the Board to follow the scenario outlined in the Notice of a Special Meeting.
P.S. To go after the Board for Material Alteration, the owners should hire an attorney to write the demand letter and then file the injunction with the court or to file for arbitration with DBPR< or whatever the attorney feels needs to be done.
The owners already have spoken to the attorney. All they need is to pay the retainer ($3,500) and the demand letter will be presented to the Board prior to the meeting. Those, who are opposing the Special Assessment in this amount ($630,000) should, should respond indicating that they are willing to participate and to chip in their fair share of the retainer. Time is of the Essence, as the meeting is tomorrow. Things may be more difficult after the meeting and the Board’s vote.