Monthly Archives: May 2015

1137 Trash Room and Owners Leaving-Formerly in Charge

Has anyone seen a trash room when someone is moving out?   Posted below are the “trash rules” for mattresses, etc as listed on our building 1137.

May 17 2015 Trash Rules PostedSorry if it isn’t clear ( we are on vacation and off to dinner with friends), but it says to call for Waste Pro to arrange pickup of mattresses.  Our trash room stinks like something or someone died in there… maybe normal?  Since yesterday, 2 pee stained mattresses have been inside ours along with a broken up old style television.  Since it is May 17th, there are hardly any other persons in our building of 15 units. In fact, there are 4 cars that come and go, including ours.

The former Board President, Marguerite Kisner and her husband Randy have their condo, Unit 205 as a pending sale. Ms. Kisner was very diligent about ensuring that owners and especially tenants, followed the rules and regulations which she and a few others wrote and posted to the internet.  Those rules and regulations turned many a prospective buyer off, including a wonderful woman from the cold northwest who said it didn’t seem like a fun place to live or to bring her teenage sons.   They are currently being revised but below is a link to what was written in 2013 and in effect in May 2014, when many chose not to purchase here.  Does anyone see that many of these are unenforceable?


We have not personally witnessed who dragged these mattresses and trash in to the trash room and dumpster. Maybe someone who moved out came back to put them there?  (inside joke,  Memorial Day shutoff of gate access in 2013 for all tenant codes based upon a suspicion of a returning tenant trash dump)   But hmmmmm… who is moving and getting rid of trash?

This is one of the arguments we have proposed in regards to Board members with little to nothing to lose if they play with the finances; play at being in charge.  All deficits and debts will be left to those remaining.   It is possible that a former or even current Board member may not give one hoot about the place when exiting, isn’t it?   I think VLC should have a DNA test done on the pee on those mattresses.  ( Again, a ridiculous illustration of why rules that can be easily enforced should be written only)

May 17 2015 Trash 3May 17 2015 1137 Trash 2May 17 2015 1137 Trash 1



Special Assessments, Governing Docs & Unspent Funds

Chapter 718.116 is very specific on the use of Special Assessment funds.  On Jan 1, 2014, VLC had a $109k Special Assessment, or $730 per unit on top of the dues increase from $818 to $1,005 quarterly.  For some here, this was not a big deal, for others?

Copied from Chapter 718.116 is the section regarding Special Assessment funds:

(10) The specific purpose or purposes of any special assessment, including any contingent special assessment levied in conjunction with the purchase of an insurance policy authorized by s. 718.111(11), approved in accordance with the condominium documents shall be set forth in a written notice of such assessment sent or delivered to each unit owner. The funds collected pursuant to a special assessment shall be used only for the specific purpose or purposes set forth in such notice.

However, upon completion of such specific purpose or purposes, any excess funds will be considered common surplus, and may, at the discretion of the board, either be returned to the unit owners or applied as a credit toward future assessments.

What was the breakdown of the Special Assessment? Of the $109k, $40k was for settlement of a breach of contract lawsuit from Schindler Elevator, parking lot paving, $10k for flowers, etc.  No one told the owners that the lawsuit settlement had been agreed to with 18 monthly payments and the burden of assessing the full $730 did not need to be collected in one payment.

As of Dec 2014, $40k remained unspent from this account.

The VLC meeting minutes from  Dec  3, 2014 include a vote to transfer the funds to roof cleaning, painting and elevator reserves.  Yes,  VLC needs to increase its reserves for painting and the elevators. As for the roof cleaning, we hope the tiles will remain secure.  But this is not the point, is it?  Does a Board need to operate within the Statutes, Bylaws, governing docs, etc or not?

The former CAM, Lucia Stiles from Sentry Management was listed as present and may or may not have advised the Board that Special Assessments are to be used for the SPECIFIC PURPOSES as explained to owners or returned or credited to “owners”; not moved to another project or reserve.

I asked one BOD member about this transfer and whether it was legal to do so and was advised that it was a good use of funds and that the Board has decided it will ignore me.  I was also advised that the Board would like it if Jim and I sold our unit (not happening in our natural lives and there are 7 kids, 2 spouses, one fiance’ and 2 grandchildren and the family continues to grow) behind us.

Another BOD member once described VLC as a “small community”.   Whether there are 150 units as we have or 1,500, the purpose of the governing statutes is to provide protection for all owners with guidelines that should be followed.   Board members are required to certify in writing that the have a working knowledge of the governing documents.  4 of the 5 present had served for almost one year, or more and should be familiar with the use of funds that are OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. (opm)

The Board member whom I asked about this transfer did not see it as a problem. The response was that everything is going well financially, our reserves are growing, the prices are rising (economic recovery is a natural process after the 2008 crash) and I don’t care about Van Loon. ?????????  Um, we bought here in 2005 and as Jim often says, “we’ve seen ’em come and we’ll see ’em go”.   We cannot see how wanting the Association to operate in the open and under the governing documents which are equal to ALL owners, equates to not caring.

Jim and I do not attend social events here.  We formed many friendships throughout the area when we first began staying here in what was a ghost town in 2007 and 2008.  Each time we visit, our dance cards are full.  Not attending group dinners, coffees or outings does not equate to not caring.   Also, caring is a feeling and has nothing to do with adhering to statutes.



May 2014 to May 2015: Water Meters??

It has been one year since most of the water meter batteries were changed to return VLC to individual water and sewer billing.  (as we should have). Thousands have been paid to the contracted attorneys for their opinions and analysis of the Water Amendment passed in Dec 2010, many meetings conducted to ensure the “community” is okay with each paying their own.  Goodness knows we don’t want any owners upset that they have to pay for their own utilities!  (Which encourages water conservation also but not important-or is it? )

The letter dated May 1, 2014 from BOD President Rick Aliperti told us all they would be up and running soon!  Water_Meter_Change 2014 05 01

All of this should have been done in Oct 2013 but former BOD President canceled the scheduled and free repair, via an email that the maintenance man was too busy.  PS. She fired him a week later. She worked tirelessly to keep VLC from having individual meters and here we are, 19 months later and no metesr being used.  The former BOD President currently has her unit under contract for sale and we hope all goes well for her in her move.

In Jan 2015, a group at VLC took the time to go door to door and mail proxy votes to pass a new Water Amendment, which ended the debate over the “illegal” Dec 2010 amendment.   The amendment was signed by Mr. Aliperti on Jan 22, 2015 and filed with the County Clerk in March.

We were told in January that the meters would be operating by April 1 this year.  Then we received an update that it will be September due to faulty transmissions of readings to the data mining for billing.  We mailed a certified letter requesting information related to this (and other financial issues) to the new management company, including a copy of a current contract with a billing company and its terms and dates. We received a copy of a contract signed by Mr. Aliperti and United Utility Service (UUS) rep Victor Lucas.

This “contract” does not include any starting date or any dates at all. Only a Term of 12 months.  Now we are not lawyers but we think it is safe to say that it isn’t a valid, executed contract and only the same draft reviewed by the GAD attorney last year.

Our new CAM included a copy of an email from Rick Aliperti to BOD Treasurer, Pam Decraene, dated May 7th, 2015. The email stated the following:

“Currently Van Loon Commons is working with Master Meter and their authorized service provider to get all 150 meters functional. The Master Meter system that was sold to Van Loon continues to fail.  Once all 150 units are up and running a one to two month test billing cycle will be conducted to assure Van Loon does not have a repeat of the massive failures experienced in 2013. All owners will be informed of the official billing company and water billing program when all malfunctioning meters are fully operational.”

In Feb 2014,  I had a telephone conversation with Mr. Aliperti who asked if Master Meter was “the best in the business”. I explained that they were paid for, under warranty and yes, they are the best.  The phrase “sold to Van Loon continues to fail” seems to be taking us back to the lie that circulated (by former BOD Pres Kisner and pals) regarding our former property manager, and that he SOLD the meters to VLC and made a big kickback.

We are hoping that there isn’t a Master Plan to try and purchase new meters, using this story of the equipment not working.  See the May 1, 2014 email again from Mr. Aliperti, stating we have a 10 year warranty as of the battery change.  That doesn’t sound correct but whether it is 5 or 10 years, doesn’t matter.  Replacements are easily $400 each and we don’t need an additional expense.

Mr. Aliperti is a commissioned salesman and reports himself to be very successful at it.  The owners who regularly attend meetings like him (we guess) and many will believe anything he tells them.  We hope it isn’t going to be “now that we have a valid amendment, we are in violation by not having the meters operating and these are clearly not the Best in the Business, and cause massive failures therefore we MUST PURCHASE ALL NEW METERS to not be in violation”. Or something like that.

We will be staying on top of this.  In God We Trust, in Man/Woman, verify, verify, verify.