Jim and I had not met Mr. Rick Aliperti prior to Mar 24th, 2014 in person and knew little about him. Jim remembered his visits to Van Loon in painter type clothing and we were aware that his daughter lived there full time and that he had been on the ballot for board election in early 2013 also. He and his wife live full time in Cape Coral and we were told that Mr. Aliperti attended Saturday morning coffee gatherings most weeks at the clubhouse. We reviewed his candidate statement which described him as a battery salesman, and in sales for 30 years or so.
Rick and I had a brief email exchange prior to the election which was insignificant and no opinion of him was formed. Immediately after the 1/28/14, Mr. Aliperti began requesting telephone conversations with me, stating he had a lot of “windshield time”. I don’t and do not enjoy telephone talk, nor like to chat when driving. I agreed to an evening conversation and spent the first 10 minutes being lectured that if “you continue you will destroy the community and Section 8 will take over and the values will go down” and on and on. He also bragged about how good he was with his money and that he paid cash for his condo but had an underwater mortgage too.
Jim was present and could hear most of his statements. I asked Mr. Aliperti if knew what we paid for our condo. He stated too much. Yes, and therefore we have all the reason to work to get rid of waste and poor management, don’t we?
I asked him what he knew about the Water Meter cancelation by past president Kisner, the budget being underfunded, the deficit, Chapter 718, or non profit accounting. He admitted nothing. I then asked who he thought he was to telephone me, someone he had never met, who had done her homework and tell her what she should do, pursue, not do. In a nutshell, he was opposed to my suggestion of having a background check for board members – stated no one would run for the board. Why not? Board members have complete control over finances, operate without notifying all owners of meetings, changes, methods. I volunteered to have my credit, credentials offered. After discussing one board member whose background was “inflated”, he stated he could not work with a person like me and would resign. This was Jan 2014. He didn’t.
Resignation plan #2. 2014_03_27_Input_of_150_and_Million_dollar_resign. The attached email illustrates the arrogance which has been in all of our correspondence.
Jim and I had flown home to New Jersey the day prior to the election and were returning Feb 1. The reorganization meeting was scheduled for Feb 1 and I had prepared information to bring, as it is my belief all owners were entitled to know what had happened with the Water Meters, the budget and the deficit. At 11:30 am, I received an email the meeting had been canceled for 1:00 pm. I learned from other owners that it had been decided to cancel it on Jan 31st, though no one felt it was important to inform me.
Mr. Aliperti telephoned the former property manager two days later after I would not answer a telephone call from him. He asked the former manager if he would like to return to the property and the manager emailed me that I should speak with Mr. Aliperti. I spoke with him by phone and he was proud to tell me he had canceled the Feb 1, Sat meeting. He then proceeded to tell me about his successful work selling golf cart batteries for commission only and that we needed to know if the water meters from Master Meter, were “the best in the business”. Yes, they are and they were also paid for, and the replacement/repair zero cost. If in another 10 years, you wish to go shopping, knock yourself out! Our association was broke, had been overbilled in some areas for 2013, didn’t collect thousands of dollars in water and free and immediate was best in VLC business.
We were returning to New Jersey for our children, my full time job as a Revenue Agent/auditor and our homes, rental property, etc on Feb 5th. Guess what date the meeting was rescheduled for? Feb 6th at 1:00 pm. I requested it be moved to 5:00 or so, to allow me to attend by Skype or phone. Pam Decraene replied that they decided to keep it at 1:00pm. Not attended: Cathy Hutton #1.
Many suggestions were submitted by me, most pressing for an immediate review of the budget which by Feb was clearly not sufficient. After firing the maintenance man though in Nov 13, the cleaning is way under budget! Other suggestions were to open communications to all through a website and that email communications discussing VLC business by board members and the property manager, were owner business. I established a separate email address for use when 2 or more board members (a quorum with me) to be used, and not any of my personal accounts. Mr. Aliperti established a new account also.
Within the first few weeks, it seemed to me that Mr. Aliperti either did not understand the water meter issue or was dragging the process out as long as possible, with the assistance of CAM Lucia Stiles and Pam Decraene. Paul Weber and Brenda Hallihan were in support of individual meters prior to the election but the waters were muddied with confusing information spread. A Water Committee was selected from among full timers, or winter residents by Mr. Aliperti to make recommendations. As I complained that the process was being dragged out and making the situation worse, while increasing legal fees (review posted legal bills-exhausted or nearly exhausted 2014 budget of 6k for the year by thee lection meeting), Mr. Aliperti wrote slam emails about me and continued to complain that I would not call him by phone. 2014_02_15_RA_Cathy_wont_call_me. He also dictated that questions from me must be sent in advance, which contradicted statements that phone calls were best, as emails could mislead. 2014_02_07_Submit_questions_in_advance_to_Aliperti. Most persons we know prefer to put things in writing.
Prior to owner meetings in late February, Aliperti and Decraene notified other board members that they had solved the issue together. Mr. Aliperti declared that canceling the water meter contract in Nov 13 (planned since April 2013 per Ms. Kisner’s emails with no replacement company contracted ). 2014 02 16 Rick and Pam solved_Big House.
Mr. Aliperti, through Pam Decraene requested and received a written opinion from the attorneys Feb 20th stating that the existing water amendment was illegal, to include in presentations at a Feb 26th special meeting (I was not informed of the Feb 26th meeting by Aliperti – not attended-Cathy Hutton again) and a Feb 27th board meeting. 2014_02_17_Need_Attorney_Letter. The opinion was provided (more legal bills) 2014_02_20_Legal Opinions and Mr. Aliperti and Ms. Decraene presided over the meetings, with Ms. Decraene making a presentation that clearly convinced those present of the evil intentions and incompetence of the terminated water billing company and former property manager. Copies of bills from 2012 water usage were passed out ( she purchased in April 2013 and obtained – legal fees were paid to block my request for 2013 bills in 2013. ??? ) The bills showed at least 3 meters running backwards. Jim and I have a son who is a New Jersey water meter technician and presented to the board, an article posted on the meter manufacturer’s website, and other articles on how meters can be turned backwards. Please google “Leesport Case Study from Master Meter” if interested. Meters are sealed for a reason and when a meter is counting down, not up, read up on how this occurs.
Mr. Aliperti sent in writing, to owners, that I was accusing owners of stealing water. Sigh……..Meter seals to be discussed later. I like to stick to the facts; hence not one on one phone calls.
See Part 2……