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ANOTHER REASON TO STAY THE COURSE

10:30 PM, Posted by Editorial Staff, No Comment

WRITTEN BY: KEITH GOLDSTEIN
Contributing Writer
February 25, 2009

LAWSUIT FILED - HOMEOWNERS ABUSED

After attending a rather spirited Shores' budget meeting Wednesday evening, and finally coming to the realization that our elected Service Corporation Board has a total disregard for the rights and opinions of the homeowner's that they were elected to serve, I found myself wondering why I continue to get beat up fighting for the collective rights of our community members.

Financial decisions were made that one might construe as fiscally irresponsible, if not borderline criminal. If you didn't attend, request a copy of the minutes and draw your own conclusion. Verbally abusive comments were made by paid management staff and a board director that were reprehensible, unprofessional and downright rude. Disgusted homeowners exited the meeting before the final gavel had struck.

What I realize, more than ever, is that this year's Board of Director's election is more important than any in recent history. This current board simply does not care about you, the law or any financial matters or concerns facing the community.

It was disclosed that the budget for fiscal year 2009/2010 is based on a 70% collection rate of association fees, 70%!! Furthermore, they voted to overspend $25,000.00 on the landscape/maintenance contract for the same year, after reneging on their own newly established bid policy!! The reason given by the treasurer, we don't want anyone to lose their job!

"Why isn't this same logic applied when someone "HAS" lost their job and falls behind on association fees! The reason appears to be that these individuals do not have friends and/or relatives on the board."

I am not in favor of lost jobs either, nor do I have an issue with the landscape company selected. They do quality work, but, do you know of any business recently that hasn't had to cut costs somewhere?" Our elected Board refuses to operate this way.

I would like to further note that Director Zuaro was not in attendance at this meeting and that both Vice President Baker and Secretary Kourmetis exhibited extreme professionalism by refraining from the landscape vote, nor were they a party to the spirited funding debate that followed.

Speaking of funding, or lack thereof, the Board made another brilliant decision to continue to deficit fund (at over $100,000.00 annually) the Riverview Club facilities for fiscal year 2009/2010. When asked by a homeowner why we were continuing this practice, President Zinn responded, "because it's not illegal". Another homeowner question was raised regarding whether the board had any intent of seeking ways of generating more income to offset the deficit and Zinn's response was, "not at this time".

It was revealed by the Board President that a lawsuit has been filed by a Shores Unit II homeowner regarding the overpayment of association fees. This individual has apparently tried numerous times to address this issue with the board, among others, and been ignored.

Rather than confront the issue head on, the board, through its president, treasurer and general manager, has taken the attitude to completely ignore the concern and special assess homeowners if the association is found at fault.

I ask, "Is this being fiscally, morally and ethically responsible to homeowners that you serve?"

Faced with a lawsuit alleging an over collection of fees (at the tune of about $350,000.00 per year), this Board voted to grant a raise to the association manager, overpay $25,000.00 in grounds maintenance fees and deficit fund community amenities! When asked how the over collection of fees would affect the budget, (if proven) The President's response, without hesitation, was to special assess homeowners.

No mention was made of seeking ways to cut operational costs first!

If the above isn't enough to make you shake your head, maybe this will. After being mentally abused by Board decisions throughout the evening, Director Weingaertner proceeded to verbally abuse a homeowner that had questioned the budgeting process and results.

What makes this comical is that Weingaertner kept up his verbal attack on this homeowner on an issue unrelated to any questions raised at the meeting, but rather to an unbeknown document which Weingaertner kept referencing. No one in attendance, even the one being attacked, had any clue what he was talking about!!

A homeowner later asked me "What is his deal", referring to Weingaertner, "I have seen him at a few different meetings and he never makes any sense" I explained to her that very little of this makes sense but it is just gives concerned residents "another reason to stay the course."

View a related story: COMMENTS FROM A DISGUSTED HOMEOWNER


Keywords
St. Augustine Shores Homeowner Association
St. Augustine Shores, Shores Service Corporation
St. Augustine Shores Condominium
Conquistador Condominium, Greens Condominium
Greens II Condominium, Fairview Condominium
Casa Bella Condominium, St. Augustine Shores News



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