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This is the independent WEB site for the Society Hill at Piscataway Condominium Association, located in Piscataway, NJ. This site is not sponsored, endorsed, or supported by the Association, the Board of Trutees, or the Managment Company. It is run by a former member of the Board of Trustees.

Much of the content from the prior Association's WEB site has been moved here. However, since this site is not connected to the management systems, it no longer supports on-line service requests, reminders, on-line payments and account history, and owner/tenant/vehicle updating.

If you are looking for the Association's official new WEB site, they don't really have one - it's just a payment portal for the monthly fees.

Election Update, Insurance $600k!, Jan 16 BOT Meeting, Multiple Theft Incidents by Kevin Wine, Jan 14, 2024, 10:24 PM, reply, branch, edit

I am assuming that the 2023 annual meeting/election, which was postponed to January 16th, will have to be postponed again due to lack of quorum. At the last attempt on December 5th, it was reported that not much progress had been made towards quorum, so that would mean there were about 170 votes at that time, which is 70 short of the required 240 (approximately - depends on delinquent accounts).

In so many ways we are right back to how the association was 20 years ago when I began getting involved - escalating maintenance fees, special assessment, poor maintenance, unresponsive management, criminal activity, and elections running well into the following year for lack of quorum. It took several years and a very different approach to get people re-involved in the community, and eventually we didn't have all these problems. Now they are back.

Regrettably, the current board leadership seems unable or unwilling to address the problems, and will very likely be hitting us with another large special assessment at the January 16th Board meeting. The board sent a few emails about this, relating to the master insurance policy renewal. They also sent an email on December 8th about some theft incidents, but the full extent of those incidents was either not conveyed or known at that time. I recently heard of numerous package and bicycle thefts, broken into vehicles, thefts of association property from the clubhouse area, and most recently a unit break-in and theft. Unfortunately the community wide camera system was shot down by Tong Zhou (who is finally gone), so we are still vulnerable to such incidents.

Election
--------
I am not surprised by a lower level of interest in the elections, as many people have probably resigned to the reality that we are going to be run by idiots and there is nothing we can do about it. While this may be true in some way, I should remind everyone of similar circumstance from 2004 to 2008 when we finally got enough new board members on the board to make serious changes in the way the place was run. It has been done before, and it can be done again. What it takes is enough people to have a little more hope and help with the voting. There is still a lot of unfinished business here as far as I'm concerned, and although I have a lot of other things going on now, I have not given up. I know there are many others who don't appreciate being ripped off, ignored, lied to, and disrespected, and want change. Maybe another $550/unit ($300k / 545 = $550) special assessment will get more people involved again. If it wasn't already clear, I hope it is by now that this isn't going to end without a complete replacement of the leadership.

Also not helpful to the situation is the decision by someone on the board to not include return postage on the green envelopes this year, and to not include the candidate profiles in the mailing! Great way to reduce voter turnout.

As far as the election is concerned, there are three options at this point:

OPTION ONE:
If you really don't want to vote for candidates, you can still submit just your proxy with Box #3 checked. This will count you toward the quorum, so that will help with having the election. It's self-defeating to do nothing, as that is in effect a vote for the status quo. They know this, and one of their strategies is to do everything possible to get people pissed off and disengaged so they stop participating and stop voting so the current board/management/attorney can remain in power. Example option 1 proxy form:

https://www.savethehill.org/Election/Samples/2023ProxyExampleOption1.pdf

OPTION TWO:
Check box 2 on your proxy, and let another owner of your choice vote for you. Pick someone who agrees with your position on association issues/candidates. You can instruct this other person to vote a certain way, but if it's just verbal instructions there is no guarantee they will follow them. Tong and Linda Zhou used to use the "Box 2" option to the extreme, with 50 to 60 proxies given to them to vote as they saw fit every year! Coincidentally, this is about the number of votes we are short for quorum... hummm.. Example option 2 proxy form:

https://www.savethehill.org/Election/Samples/2023ProxyExampleOption2.pdf

OPTION THREE:
Find your ballot, proxy, and green/yellow envelopes, complete them and send in. As this point I assume most non-voters have probably lost the election materials, so they will have to request new ones from the office. Multiple people have told me that they have had a hard time getting a response from the management company. A few have also reported they were sent replacement materials, so it sometimes works. In the past, the management/board has REJECTED proxies/ballots that weren't in the "official" green/yellow envelopes. Legally they can't do that, but they would have to be sued to get them to change their mind. It hasn't mattered enough in the past, but eventually it might. Example option 3 proxy form:

https://www.savethehill.org/Election/Samples/2023ProxyExampleOption3.pdf

REPLACEMENT PROXY/BALLOT
The proxy and even the ballot are available here (I scanned mine before filling them out):

https://www.savethehill.org/Election/Proxies/Proxy2023.pdf
https://www.savethehill.org/Election/Proxies/Ballot2023.pdf
https://www.savethehill.org/Election/Profiles/CandidateProfiles2023.pdf

While it is unlikely the management/board will accept ballots that are not in the "official" envelopes, they have in the past accepted just the proxies via email. Therefore, as a last resort, you can complete the proxy form as per OPTION ONE or OPTION TWO above, scan, and email it to the management (scole@tc-mgt.com and cgarito@tc-mgt.com). It would probably be a good idea to CC your proxy holder if you checked box 2, so your proxy holder knows to expect to vote for you.

Master Insurance Debacle
------------------------
Apparently there were problems with the master insurance renewal in December, resulting in a doubling (!!!??) of the $300k/year premium to $600k! In the Board's first email on the issues on December 21st, they warned that the premium could be as much as $1,000,000, so in their second email on December 29th, they were congratulating themselves for "only" doubling it.. good job. Doesn't this sound just like another recent "we need to charge you $1,000,000" disaster??

So now they need another $300k to cover a large gap in their budget. Under their current thinking, the money will have to come from us so that means either a $550 special assessment (due immediately I'm sure, because they are slow learners), or a 2024 fee increase of $46/month (bringing fees to $235 + $46 = $281/month), or some combination of the two. Someone should remind them that they still have at least $200k extra they collected from us for the hill disaster they got themselves into.

Back in 2008 when we became self-managed, a few cranks were screaming how the insurance premiums were going to go up because of the self-managed configuration, if we could even get insurance. Well, their prophecy never materialized. But here we are now, 4+ years back in to the "professionally" managed model, and look what just happened.. Hahah. Oh but building 2 burned up. True - but building 32 also burned up in 2015 (9 years ago - well off the 5-year loss history), which didn't result in a premium doubling. So what is going on??

Notice in the December 21st email, the board is blaming the polybutylene piping. That piping has been here since the beginning, and while it has created some insurance company concerns, it was handled by just excluding those pipes from the coverage. I don't know why that solution is no longer possible? There has to be more to this story...

January 16 Board Meeting
------------------------
Tuesday January 16th, 7 PM. Not sure if it's only Zoom, or in the clubhouse also. For anyone attending this meeting tomorrow, please try and ask about:

1-Can we see the insurance loss runs?
2-Why can't the polybutylene piping be excluded from coverage anymore?
3-Can the board continue to shop this policy, or are we locked in?
4-Can the board provide a list of all the recent theft incidents?
5-What is the board planning to do to handle the theft problem?
6-When will most of the building 2 owners be able to move back in?
7-What was the final soil remediation cost, and what is going to happen with the excess money collected?
8-Any update on the board contact email address? website?

I will try to ask these questions if no one else does, however the board clearly does not like questions from me, often finding some way to cut me off.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85786900531?pwd=c2xTb01DV0M0T3B4MVIwa0VQRjVldz09

Happy New Year :)

Kevin

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