***URGENT*** JUST VOTE NO!!! and BOT Meeting 7/18 by Kevin Wine, Jul 16, 2023, 12:03 AM, reply, branch, edit
Our Board of Trustees is at it again. A few days ago you should have received a letter from Town and Country Management, in which the Board is "...proposing and endorsing several By-Law changes...". You may remember they tried to do this a little over 2 years ago in March of 2021, but enough owners responded to foil their plan (see my post from March 13, 2021 way below). If you missed their letter, you can find it right here:
In this attempt they are trying to make 3 changes:
1-Fix a clerical error (I assume in section 6.02, but they didn't say) which says "East Brunswick" instead of Piscataway. I'm sure they put this change first to make everyone think all the proposed changes are benign.
2-Modify section 5.11(v) of the bylaws, entitled "Interest, Late Fees and Counsel Fees". They want to modify the end of the first paragraph in section 5.11(v), and then delete the 3 remaining paragraphs of section 5.11(v) entirely. They tried to modify this section 2 years ago, but to a lesser extent. This time, they are gutting it to remove all limits on what they can charge back to delinquent owners. I assume this is mainly directed towards the remaining owners that have still not paid the $1,200 special assessment, but knowing this board, it will also be used to enforce the collection of future special assessments. It could also be used to run up thousands of dollars in legal expenses charged back to you for relatively small outstanding balances. One of the entirely deleted paragraphs in section 5.11(v) provided important protections for owners that sue the association, the deletion of which will likely result in the association trying to charge its legal defense costs back to the unit owner that is suing them!! While this is probably directed towards me, it will impact everyone by making it even harder and more costly for someone to sue this board in the future. If you want to read the full original text of section 5.11(v), it is available here:
3-Allow owners to opt-in to receive association correspondence via e-mail instead of USPS mail. I assume they are trying to save on postage, however they are stopping short of allowing electronic voting in the annual elections, which is one of the larger postage expenses of the year. Given how disorganized administrative things already are here, this will probably be a big mess, but otherwise it should be benign.
I don't recall any mention of these proposed bylaw amendments at the May board meeting, and the June meeting was cancelled. I'm certain no one on the board made any motions or voted on these amendments. This was another decision made "behind the scenes", probably under the advise and blessing of association counsel, who stands to benefit the most from the section 5.11(v) changes. I'm sure none of this is an accident, since we only have 30 days to organize a response and gather enough NO votes to defeat the proposed amendments, and this takes away any heads-up we might have had if the board properly moved and voted on this at an open public meeting.
It should be pointed out yet again, that the board acts by motion and vote at an open public meeting. They are not supposed to be making decisions outside the context of a public meeting. They have some leeway in the case of legitimate emergencies, but only when it is impossible or impractical to call a special meeting of the board. This bylaw amendment is not an emergency. Ms. Radom, association counsel, should be well aware of how this is supposed to work, and is coming dangerously close to a malpractice claim. I'm sure she will claim she had nothing to do with it. lol.
Of course the mailing did not include a return envelope, or a postage stamp. They want to make this as inconvenient as possible to return. The only bold text on the first page is "no action is needed", with the 30 days deadline buried in the text. They also could have provided a vote no option individually for each of three amendments, to allow us to decided which ones are OK and which should be rejected, but instead chose to coat the one bad one in a sugar pill, hoping we would swallow it and smile. The way they are trying to sneak these 3 amendments through should be a major red-flag all by itself, and reason enough to JUST VOTE NO!!!!!
I also wonder if the board has been violating the 20% rule in section 5.11(v), and is hoping to "cover their butts" by sliding this amendment through. Even when I was on the board as a trustee, President Zhou made sure to deny all my requests to see any of the delinquent account histories so I could make sure the board was following the rules. His behavior suggests they weren't, and recall that the association's legal counsel was also his personal attorney so I can see why he might try to protect her.
We need at least 55 owners (non-delinquent) to check "No, I do not wish to approve these By-Law amendment changes" and mail it back to the clubhouse at 550 Chesterfield Dr., Piscataway NJ 08854, as soon as possible! The hard deadline is August 10th, but I wouldn't cut this close as mail can still take a while, especially from out of state. It would be good to have many extras, in case the board finds excuses to exclude responses or "misplaces" some of them.
The only amendment we need right now is one that requires the board to get approval from all the owners when they try to impose the next ridiculous special assessment on all of us. That would be something useful for them to do, rather than wasting our time and energy on this BS, again. Clearly they haven't learned their lesson on special assessments (or anything for that matter), so don't think it won't happen again.
July Board Meeting
I don't know if everyone is getting the Town and Country notices, so in case not, there is a Board meeting this Tuesday, July 18th, 7PM at the clubhouse and via zoom. They did release an agenda, with only 2 specific New Business items (Reserve Study and Committees) and one called "Other/Outstanding" which I'm sure is where they will squeeze in all the bad things they don't want us to know about ahead of time. These meetings are really a joke - everything has been decided before-hand. That is NOT how it should be run, and was not the way we ran it when I was involved. Some people complained about the long meetings back then, so this is the alternative where we are kept in the dark and the board is now in the habit of routinely making decisions outside the scope of the public meetings. We are being deprived of witnessing the debate on the motions so we have no idea who brought up what points and where each board member stands. At some point we have to vote on board members in an election, without really knowing their positions. Do you think this is better???
Their agenda is at:
And their zoom link is:
Meeting ID: 885 2563 1167
Symptoms of the Disease by Kevin Wine, Jul 16, 2023, 7:16 PM, reply, branch, edit
No, this is not the lighting. The pool is a very nice shade of green right now. This picture was taken about 30 minutes ago.
Clearly no one that is currently running the association gives a crap about anything. About 20 people should be happy now as their beloved contractors are slowly creeping their way back in to servicing the association, and they don't care about us either. They just care about our money, and taking as much of it as they possibly can. No one takes ownership of anything.
Imagine if I let the pool get like this when I was running it!!?? The pool chemicals were *automated*! All they had to do was not *($9*$#) it up!! We are going on two years now of NO SPRINKLERS! Imagine if I let that happen! They are lucky it has been raining, but still dead patches of grass and weeds all over the complex, and still DOZENS OF DEAD TREES! Again, what would have happened if I let it get that way?? Where is all the outrage now??????
So at the end of the day, about 20 people finally got their way, they got me out, got what they wanted, and won't stop until everything is destroyed and everyone of the remaining 525 owners are as miserable and messed up as they are. Doesn't have to be this way...