Tag Archives: Pam Decraene


As always – this Blog is the intellectual property of the owners of a condo in Van Loon since the buildings were built (2005 to 2007) and NOT the current Board of Directors (hereby BOD) who bought for pennies on the dollar.  Some of those BOD members, present and past, speak of Van Loon as if it was a dump until they bought here in 2011 to 2013 and began instituting new rules and making life difficult for original owners or “renters”.

Since the 2014 BOD election, member Brenda Hallihan seemed to have an obsession with reactivating the security cameras installed in 2012.   The cameras were originally aimed at the front entrance for vehicles and the gate into the pool area.   Several interesting emails were exchanged between BOD members regarding quotes and the cost, such as this one:

From: Rick Aliperti <richardvanlooncmns@hotmail.comDate: March 30, 2014, 11:40:03 AM EDT

To: Brenda Hallihan <b.hallihan@sympatico.ca>, Lucia Stiles <lstiles@sentrymgt.com>
Subject: RE: Cameras


I only responded for the benefit of those who will challenge your efforts. 
Thanks and lets get this in motion.


From: b.hallihan@sympatico.ca
To: richardvanlooncmns@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Cameras
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2014 02:53:02 +0000

Hi Rick
This was the only person recommended by the SPECO company who made the cameras. He has the hard drive out of the security system in Tampa
From: Rick Aliperti
Sent: ‎Friday‎, ‎March‎ ‎28‎, ‎2014 ‎7‎:‎42‎ ‎PM
To: Brenda Hallihan, Catherine Hutton, DeCraene Bob & Pam, Weber Paul
Cc: Lucia Stiles

We definitely need to get this up and running.

Seems pricy but also looks like a good upgrade from what we have.  I think we should get a second quote just to confirm this price?

From: b.hallihan@sympatico.ca
To: richardvanlooncmns@hotmail.com; vanloonbodemails@gmail.com; pdecraene@comcast.net; prw@aol.com
CC: lstiles@sentrymgt.com
Subject: Fw: Cameras
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 14:46:05 +0000

Hello Everyone
I have just received this quote to get the security cameras up and running. We will have the money to get it fixed so I would like everyone to know the total coat to have the cameras functioning once again.
I also want you t know that the keys are now safely in the locked safe, which is bolted to the floor, in the clubhouse.
NOTE FROM BLOG OWNER:  Brenda Hallihan wrote ALL 
BOD about the cameras;  Salesman Ricky responded to all as if he cared about doing the right thing then showed his true colors; In BOLD. He gave a crap response for “those who will challenge”.  This is one of many examples of how the BOD here began operating in 2013/14 and Thank You Jesus that he is gone!

In February 2016, we made a long Superbowl weekend visit and noted new cameras installed in the Clubhouse since our January visit. ????   Nothing was budgeted for these purchases in 2015 nor were they voted on by owners.  We were already disgusted by the Pool cameras and considering hiring an attorney along with several other owners.   We enjoyed an an evening of pool and pizza with one of our sons (Joe) and several other owners and were able to protect our privacy by closing a room divider. It is hard to imagine that BOD would want to sit in front of their computers or smart phones but we are pretty interesting apparently.

We returned in mid- March with our son Rob and his wife Brittany and made plans to meet neighbors again in the Clubhouse for pizza and pool.   We all noticed immediately, another new camera that had been installed directly over the pool table area since our last visit.  Jim mentioned that it was probably installed since  Pam and Brenda (at least) were not able to spy on us during our last visit. He was kidding.  But the installation?  Hmmm.  Curious, or disgusting?

When multiple cameras were installed in Sept/Oct 2015 and aimed at the pool steps, chairs, most of the Clubhouse interior and even the treadmills – we asked a friend who is a retired NYPD borough commander and Chief of Security at a resort on the Sanibel/Captiva Island: Does your resort aim its cameras at the pool? His response was that you never do that, people would be very bothered by it.  Women, children.  It would be considered perverted. Hmmm. We asked other friends and retired law enforcement for their opinions.  All the same.

In November 2015, we asked BOD member Bob Barnett, or Van Loon Bob per a sign in the Clubhouse stating owners could NOT use the wireless internet as it would interfere with the cameras: Who has access to the live feeds of the cameras?  BOD member Jack Canzano responded – Pam Decraene and I do.  Not true.

Nothing in the budget was included for cameras and in many cases, they are considered “Material Alterations” requiring a majority vote.  Surely owners should be told they are being watched – especially in their swimsuits.  (NO sign is posted at the pool nor did they tell people “We Are Watching You LIVE”.  The camera view can be zoomed in on anyone or any body part and they have the ability to make recordings which can be saved, watched repeatedly or uploaded to the internet as I have done here with 4.

During our March 2016 visit, we discussed the likelihood of being spied on by at least Pam Decraene and Brenda Hallihan.  30 to 35 chairs were set up for a scheduled BOD meeting the next morning.

2016 MAR 16 _Chairs

My daughter in law, Brittany had been to the condo several times in the past but had never seen the library. It isn’t that exciting and we read electronic books but we walked to see what was in there.  On the way out, I showed her the ridiculous number of cameras and then gave the 1 fingered salute along with some hand puppets, that I wouldn’t normally do.  It was meant to elicit a response from anyone who we assumed would be (a voyeur!) watching.

Within 10 minutes after the clips below, 2 persons came rushing in to the Clubhouse and ran down the hallway to the door seen on the right in Video one.  An office, commandeered by Pam Decraene in 2013 and a former owner/BOD president with Zero discussion with owners. Who needs to tell the little people anything! We are making this place better!  Haha. I went down the hall to see who came in and found them standing in the office, Brenda Hallihan and Pam, each holding 1 chair.  As if they ran in to add one more chair to the many that are pictured above! At 9:50 PM?  They could have said we were violating the Clubhouse closing time of 8:00 PM, established by Pam and a really, really bizarre woman who was 2013 president.  (Moved after she was not re-elected, Thank You Jesus!)  They couldn’t or didn’t as they have weekly card games and other gatherings that exceed that ridiculous curfew.  The woman who established it and then moved (former president) had been seen outside by our kids at 4 am, with her husband and dog; indicting that 8PM may have been their bedtime.  Many people work and live lives beyond 8PM.  (Back to Who Would Buy Here? )

The clips are boring but there is a very important point to posting them.  (The gestures were ONLY meant for if THEY were watching us. I am sorry that they proved us right)

So then what happened?  Lots….Unbelievable.  See the next post named: Brenda and Pam attack the Huttons.

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.



VLC Board Meeting 9/9/2014 Part 1 of 3

In 3 parts, we have posted the video/audio for the most recent BOD meeting as in our opinions, should always be posted to a VLC run website. Present for the meeting were 28 owners in total, including us and the BOD members seated.  Of those, some were married couples meaning about 16-17 units were represented.  One of the problems noted is the blanket acceptance of what is orally stated at meetings, without further explanation.

We first noted that the new BOD member, Ms. Carol Nelson (who appears to be sharp) was seated at the table prior to any BOD vote being initiated and taken, as if previously agreed to.  (not a big deal but further indicator meetings are not to discuss and debate issues and problems, but presentations)  Next, an owner we’ll call “Mr. G” asked if the BOD knew the meeting was being recorded and is that allowed.  The CAM and BOD stated it was. Many owners have not read the statutes and/or governing docs, or have difficulty with the language, which include owners rights to record.

During the meeting, the small group was told that VLC is in the best financial position in a long time. The discussion of elevator repair and only being billed for half was first attributed by Mr. Aliperti to the CAM for her “negotiating skills”.  A correction was added that we will be billed for the full amount (cash flow is the problem). The lack of any finality on the meters was attributed to “waffling” of the lawyers. For the past year, this group has been made aware that a separate and credentialed attorney disagreed and her opinion was confirmed by one we consulted with. Meanwhile, some are benefitting slightly with subsidized water/sewer and all have been billed an additional $1,600 to $1,700 in 2014. Our FREE WATER and SEWER is not really a benefit for many who like us, use their condo for vacations, maybe 40 to 60 days per year.

The recent bill that went out was stated as being “fair”; fair to go backwards to a prior year to reallocate the billing for water and the fixed costs related and that no owners had objected so far. That isn’t what we were told from owners who contacted us – in fact one stated they would pay the usage that wasn’t billed (and isn’t accurate anyway using a monthly estimate taken May or July 2014, not 12/31/13) and was told not to worry about the $20 per month. How bills can be issued backwards, while not billing based on the (illegal?) water amendment is baffling.  It is an assessment, another “Special Assessment”. to try to balance the deficit. If not called one, it seems there isn’t any basis to force anyone to pay this while calling the amendment illegal.

Also, the statement regarding “an owner” challenging the election, which you cannot 60 days after…….never happened. What was requested was to see the ballot supposedly submitted by former property manager, for our unit. Never happened. We have the ONE ballot, pre-printed; he never tried to vote for us. We gave him a POA form, and a proxy for the audit.  That is it. If he were directed to sign the “sign-in” sheet in error, that would be the fault of whomever was volunteering.  It is beyond ridiculous to hear these statements (which are false and stupid) repeated, and know our finances are in the hands of those making them.

As for the limiting of information requests:  It should not be difficult to obtain actual financial info and no policies are in place or forms to request.  Instead, the statutes and docs state we are entitled to review it, as we are ALL equal owners. Instead, past and present BODs have denied information, using attorneys and property managers to do so. (Just accept what we tell you-you elected us!)  Prior to our September visit, I requested the updated legal bills and was provided what appear to be partial.  The response from the CAM was that a cert letter had to be sent. That is NOT what the statutes and docs say. Instead of the BOD studying them, it seems from the meeting the attorneys were consulted again (paid) and the BOD advised to not make any changes at this time.

Regarding the Treasurer’s report: We were impressed by Ms. Nelson for asking the CAM to allow the Treasurer, Mr. Weber to read it prior to her commentary. The numbers Mr. Weber read would lead most of those present to think our finances are great! We have over $225k cash between our 2 accounts! Now what is on the books for reserves? What Special Assessment projects are not done, or return of reserves (35k) not complete?  What bills are being held back (like the unbilled elevator repair); what amount is tenant security deposits, accounts payable, etc…The first and large insurance payment will be due prior to 10/1/14 also. It is more than just the checks written and not cashed that affect the true 8/31/14 balance, such as in my estimated analysis of 3/31 and 5/31.  As for the year end deficit number; that is why we need a FINANCE COMMITTEE. I know we have several degreed accountants and finance persons who are owners and could be reviewing the actual cash position right now; expected amount to recover from Accounts Receivables (review Safe Harbor law) and in the process of preparing the 2015 budget; determining whether another “Special Assessment” will be needed, dues increase, year end expectation, etc.

Hope the sound is okay;  we don’t want to watch it again.

Fees, Dues, Special Assessments and “Betterment Fees”? 4,900 this year!!

By now, you should have received your most recent, additional “contribution” and the analysis of last year’s water shortage. Only $16,835.90 short last year……..that may be close if there were only 339 days In a year, as used for the “Van Loon 2013 Water Report” mailed.

The basis for the 2nd 2014 “Special Assessment” is a $20 per month charge for each of the months in 2013 you were not present, and not billed water/sewer usage, therefore didn’t share in the fixed charges by the City of Cape Coral, referred to as Capacity charges.  What are Capacity charges?  All dwellings, single or multi family have a fixed charge per month for the access to water usage and sewerage processing, whether used or not. Sort of like paying for having the pipes there and maintained, or similar to the LCEC charge, with or without usage. ($15 for LCEC presently).  The fixed costs divided among the 150 units, equal about $21 per unit.

( VLC Association pays the full water bills to the City, and then collected from each unit using a billing company, which sent the reimbursements to VLC Association)

What is true is that when VLC installed sub-meters, the bills were set up that the fixed costs were divided among only units which had water/sewer usage, in each building, each month.  So, if 10 of the 15 units were occupied in a billing month, the 10 shared the $330, or approximately $33 per unit plus their water, and sewer. (Water is billed on a per unit amount/sewer based on the water billing).  If 15 had billings, each unit’s bill included capacity and usage.

Units with zero usage received only an administrative bill of $4.21 which was the $3.75 earned by the billing company for mailing them and collecting payments, and postage. Was this a fair division? No. If zero units were occupied in a building one month and no usage, would there been any reimbursement to the association? Doesn’t seem so. Was there ever a month that only 5 units had usage and each paid $65 plus usage? Maybe.

As the meters began to fail transmitting readings, less and less units were being billed more than $4.21.  The other units in the building whose meters continued to transmit, shared the fixed costs. Two board members at the time, Marguerite Kisner and Pam Decraene shared in the free water, kept the situation from other owners calling it “board business”, refused free replacement of all meters in Nov 2013, and did not want accurate billings corrected. Ms. Kisner was aware of the unfair allocation and shared the information only with other board members, but not all owners. The allocation could have been corrected with the billing company, simply by resetting the billing software. That would be if she were actually concerned with what was good for the association and not receiving free water. By keeping this information to themselves and not having the meters repaired, they were increasing the bills of all neighbors with usage.

One neighbor who rented in 2013 in our building, with the Kisners (1137) told us of receiving a $225 bill in June 2013, when very few were present. Hmmmm. He was very clean….

So, the fixed costs were covered for each building by the unlucky owners who were present and had usage. Your neighbors who were not present, were not trying to deceive anyone nor if not on the board, knew of the allocation problem. (again, easily changed). Your neighbors who had failed meters, and especially board members who had the responsibility to correct the problem may not have understood the higher math as described above, but definitely knew their bills shouldn’t have been $4.21.  To have kept it quiet was as dishonest as knowing you got an extra $20 in your change from the high school kid, and not giving it back.

We received a bill for $100 for this Water Calculation, supposedly representing 5 months of not being present or billed usage. Others have received $140 or more.  That is for only fixed costs.

Question: The association with the board including Pam Decraene has paid about $10,000 since January, related to the water amendment’s legality. Last notice in June 2014 that I am aware of (and will share soon) from the honorable Richard Deboest, Esq., was that the water amendment was illegal since he was not given proof the rights of the unsold or foreclosed units from Dec 2010, had been taken away. (more on that, the vote of taking rights away from non paying units took place Feb 2014)

No new legal counsel was sought and the board is in limbo on how to proceed. So, if the amendment is not legal, then how can you bill anything?

And, we want a refund for all payments made under the illegal amendment, going back to the beginning. Or, why assess the $20 of unfair allocation from June 13. Why not go back to June 11? (for those who still own). See the problem? This is another Special Assessment because we are in a deficit, though Special Assessments don’t look good for values. I asked board member Brenda Hallihan about the basis for this, if legal or illegal has not been established.  Her response was that this was NOT a Special Assessment and directed me to a page from the City of CC water department, referring to “Betterment Fee”.  Maybe we can rename all our payments betterment fees. I like the sound of it. Better.

I continue to say; the reserves are deficient, the budget was improperly prepared, and the year end is coming. Ask why the actual financial reports are not posted each month. Actual income and expenses on a Cash Basis, so owners can assess throughout the year our financial status and prospective owners can determine if they want to purchase at VLC.  “OPEN AND HONEST” communication. It is what Rick Aliperti and Brenda Hallihan claim to support.  Money where the mouth……….






Pam Decraene: 30 Year JP Morgan VP and Crediblity

How do you determine credibility of persons?  Does it matter to you? Experience has taught us that it does. JP Morgan Chase is an impressive corporation and investment bank and my brother, an accountant was a manager in the Wilmington, Delaware Headquarters for 10 years, until early 2007.

When Jim and I first met Ms. Decraene at the VLC pool in Sept 2013, our conversation revolved around her reason for moving with her husband Bob from their hometown in Indiana, her recent retirement after 30 years as a Vice President with JP Morgan and how expensive her water bill was. As stated before, we told her the $30-$35 we were charged for water/sewer each time we stayed for one week, was normal for the area and being a large usage condo, not unexpected (see City of Cape Coral rates-more gallons, higher unit price).  She stated her reason for moving from Indiana to Florida was an insult from a relative in regards to a job move when she waited for a location to open up for her. She did not elaborate on the move but stated the relative said her decision was “stupid”.

We returned to New Jersey and I asked my brother about Ms. Decraene and her being a VP for JP in Indiana. He stated that JP Morgan Chase had not entered the mid-west markets until mid-2000’s, more closely around 2005 when it began buying up smaller banks which then operated under the JP name.  We didn’t give additional thought to her, or her statements on her career until we learned she had been put on the BOD by former pres Kisner sometime in Oct 13. (Learned at the pool of course, no communications needed for mere owners) After becoming aware of the “free” water and sewer being enjoyed by Kisner and attempting to obtain (as all owners are ENTITLED to) copies of the water billings to determine who was not paying; we received the email discussions of the issue, including statements and questions by Decraene.

In none of the emails nor in our Sept 13 discussion, did Decraene mention her bill being ZERO for her unit as was Kisner’s.  Many of the writings did not indicate any financial or accounting background.  (Uploaded to Kisner post)

Water bills to be posted and subsequent payments by Kisner and Decraene, made 1/8/14 after conducting numerous legal meetings (see invoices) regarding “Election Issues”.  How did they think the had the right to spend our $$ to consult on Election Issues?

Decraene entered the election for the 2014 BOD; the CAM’s denied our being allowed to see the water bills (obtained after the election) and the Candidate Statement mailed separately to all owners (as inadvertently omitted by CAM Stiles), for Decraene included one career job and a long list of volunteer work.  2014 01 02_Candidate_Statement_Decraene One owner, who paid high like us and had a background in real estate and insurance spoke with me regarding the 30 year career and stated that it sounded impressive compared to some of the other resumes.  A Google search brought two separate articles from the South Bend Tribune (a local Indiana paper) of 2 different jobs held in 2004,  NOT JP Morgan Chase.

These articles confirmed what my brother had told us and after the election, newly elected BOD member Richard Aliperti wanted to have a phone conversation with me. (to be summarized on Aliperti post). During the “conversation”, I brought up that background checks for BOD members could be added to our bylaws, due to their access to unit keys and ability to control (and destroy) our financial health.  Aliperti became extremely agitated when I used Decraene’s misleading resume as an example (cannot understand why anyone would list one job, 30 volunteer activities except to impress beyond real background) and stated that she had explained to him about this.  He stated she worked for JP Morgan, then left, then came back and it happens often in the corporate world.   (I guess a government accountant must have never worked in the corporate world nor have knowledge of private enterprise practices?? – 🙂 I have worked in private, not for profit and government).

When I stated that JP Morgan was NOT in Indiana in those years, and only bought up smaller banks late in the 2000’s, he yelled that he could not work with anyone like me and would resign! That was the end to our 1st of only a handful of telephone conversations.  We had not at that time (met in person 3/24/14) and based on his writings by email and that one 30 minute phone conversation, I did not consider his resignation to be a loss.   During our “conversation” he admitted knowing nothing about the statutes, condo docs, by laws, nor the water meter debacle, nor the budget or deficit but lectured me, (seemingly without taking a breath) for the first 10 minutes. He ranted that I would destroy the community if I persisted thought did not specify what I couldn’t persist in doing and went on about VLC becoming a Section 8 community.  ?????? More on this to come.

Subsequent to this, Decraene emailed a copy of her last W2 and a glass etched award with 30 years retirement from JP by email, to clear up any questions.  This, Jim and I found “interesting”. After meeting Aliperti  on 3/24, and his bringing the Decraene employment history issue up again;  I sent the 2nd article for a 2nd 2004 employer and asked for further details of the changes. An emailed response from Aliperti stated the BOD was proud of Decraene’s service and that she worked for JP Morgan for her last 18 months (they purchased the bank she worked for and offered her a position 3 hours from her Elkhart, Indiana home).  BOD member Hallihan sent an email with “WHO CARES”!.

It was Aliperti who brought the issue up to me again in March 2014 during a meeting he requested, through Hallihan, which was conducted at our condo. (Yes I advised them that 3 or more was an illegal BOD meeting-we were not aware Hallihan was accompanying him).  I already knew the facts regarding JP and Indiana, and once I know someone has issues with truth, Keep them remain at arms length.  If someone submitted a resume to JP Morgan or any corporation, with overstated or misstated history, they are usually dismissed.

Who Cares?  We do. Credibility always matters.  We are shareholders in a not for profit association and as with buying ownership in a business or stock in a corporation, expect the finances and BOD members to be as reported. VLC may not be Enron but as a percentage of our net worth/wealth, it is important to those of us who own.