DATE: Saturday, January 7, 2017
TIME: 8:20 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: January Newsletter, 2017 Budget, January BOT Meeting, Affordable Housing, and SNOW
TYPE: Community News
The January 2017 edition of the Society Hill News is finally published. Copies were hand-delivered to all 545 units in the complex on Friday, and copies were dropped in the mail for the 250 non-resident owners on Friday morning. You can also get the newsletter on-line at:
This edition contained a copy of the 2017 budget. The maintenance fees are still $171/month. The maintenance fees for the former affordable units is discussed in one of the newsletter articles so I won't repeat it all here. The budget can be found at:
2017 payment coupons were also included in the newsletter, and are available on the WEB site as well:
As mentioned in the newsletter article, the affordable housing coupons are available at the office and on the WEB site at:
The maintenance fees for the former affordable units is on the agenda for the January Board of Trustees meeting, which is currently scheduled for WEDNESDAY, January 18th, 2017, 7PM at the clubhouse. If you have any comments for the board regarding the affordable housing transition, you might want to attend this meeting. I won't rehash it all here since this was all explained in the prior community email, but there is still some question as to how the transition will be handled, especially in terms of the maintenance fees.
There are a few items in the 2017 budget that could use further explanation, for those that are interested. There are two revenue items for this year and this year only, specifically the "Municipal Reimbursement" of $106,500, which includes the $100k reimbursement from the town for the affordable housing litigation expenses, and $128k of "Mt. Laurel Recoupment", which is the back-dated fees the former affordable units may be responsible for. Again, and as explained previously, if you are a former affordable unit owner that is NOT extending controls, don't panic. This is one of the topics for the January 18th board meeting, and the board is aware of the sensitivities here. If you are a regular owner, the board is also aware of the sensitivities from that perspective. These revenue items are for this year only, and will be used in part to repay an accumulating deficit and most of the affordable housing litigation expenses.
On the expense side, the "Reserve Contribution" has been increased to $338k for this year. This is the money that is set-aside in the capital reserve fund for the capital repair and improvement projects. It is calculated based on 20% of the total yearly maintenance fee income which works out to about $223k, plus the additional maintenance fee revenue from the former affordable units in 2017. There has been some concern over the level of the capital reserve fund in the last few years, so an effort is being made to replenish it more than before. The capital reserve fund has about $1M in it, "on the books", but is less than that in the actual balance in the account due to the running deficit. A little over $400k is owed back to the fund, about $130k of which is the affordable housing litigation expense, $100k of which the town has agreed to reimburse us for. The "Deficit Recovery" item of $142k is intended to recover the deficit each year over the next three years.
"Legal Services" is much higher this year than normally, again due to the concluding affordable housing litigation. We do not expect that expense next year.
Insurance expenses increased for 2017 slightly. The insurance policies relating to personnel, specifically "HRA", "Health Insurance", "Life and Disability", and "Workers Comp", are split between the operating expenses and capital expenses. About 55% of that cost is in the operating budget, and the remaining 45% is paid for from the capital reserve budget. The association has two pools of money - the operating and the capital reserve. Most of the day-to-day expenses, and about half of the personnel, are paid out of the operating budget. The capital repair (sidewalk, roof, walkways, pond, etc.) expenses, and the capital improvement expenses (maintenance building, pond improvements, communications conduits, etc.) are paid out of the capital reserve fund. Since some portion of our employees are working on capital repair or improvement projects, we bill their costs to the capital reserve fund. That includes not just their direct wages, but also their overheads such as payroll taxes and benefits.
Our total personnel costs, including overheads, is around $600k, by far our largest budget item. As just mentioned, about 55% of that is charged to the operating fund, for a total of $326k, with the remaining $280k charged to the capital reserve fund. This covers 10 full-time employees, 2 seasonals, the lifeguards, and the summer temps, which work out to an average of about $46k per person. Average overhead is $14k, or about 30% of $46k.
"Irrigation Water" is up considerably for 2017. Some of the irrigation system water meters were not functioning properly in the past few years, and the water company finally fixed those in early 2016. In addition, extra time was added to several irrigation zones this summer in areas where we planted new grass or in areas where residents noted the grass was getting too dry. We are trying to design and build a reclaimed water system which would use pond water to water the lawns, saving a considerable amount of operating expense.
There is very little mention of snow removal in the budget. Before 2008, this was often a large expense item. In our current configuration, the cost is covered under our normal personnel budget, with a small amount allocated for materials (salt and ice-melt). Not directly reflected here is the equipment expense, which is considerable but infrequent. We have quite an investment in heavy equipment, which doesn't last forever. The machines and plows cost about $200k total, and we are coming up on season 10 with this equipment, so that's about $20k a year. Keep in mind that most of that equipment is used year-round for other projects, so the snow removal portion of it is less than $20k/year.
Speaking of snow, we are in the middle of storm #3 for the season as I write this. Fortunately nothing serious, but enough to be a nuisance. We are currently waiting for it to stop, and then most likely we will hold off until tomorrow morning before doing any removal work. The forecast calls for cold until Tuesday, and then it will be over 50 degrees and raining. Tonight it should be very cold, so nothing will melt and refreeze.
DATE: Wednesday, January 18, 2017
TIME: 12:41 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Board Meeting TONIGHT, Affordable Housing, Maintenance Fee Emails, and Editorial Comments
TYPE: Community News
This is a reminder that the January Society Hill Board of Trustees meeting is TODAY, Wednesday, January 18th, 7PM at the clubhouse. The association's affordable housing attorney will be present at this meeting. The meeting agenda can be found at:
Minutes of the December 12, 2016 meeting are available at:
The main topic on the agenda is the affordable housing transition. With the agreement between the Township of Piscataway and Society Hill signed, it is finally time to sort out the details of how the association is going to handle the transition of the remaining 102 affordable housing units.
We still assume that the township will be offering an option to extend the affordability controls for another 30 years. However, as far as we know such an offer has not yet been communicated to the former affordable unit owners.
Under the terms of the agreement with the town, the town is not involved in setting the maintenance fees for the former affordable units, regardless of whether they extend controls or not. Under the terms of the original agreement, upon expiration of the affordability controls, all units in Society Hill are to pay the same maintenance fees. As explained on numerous occasions, this may create some issues for former affordable unit owners who were lead to believe that the affordability controls were going to remain in place well in to the future, and especially for those who choose to extend controls for another 30 years. What, if anything, the association is going to do to help in these cases is one of the topics on the agenda for tonight.
The other affordable housing related issue is at what point in time should the maintenance fees for the former affordable units be changed to the full market rate. This has also been discussed on numerous occasions, and tonight the board will hopefully be making a final decision on this question.
If you want more details, the two past community emails that address this topic are available below, along with the January newsletter. The first message mentions that the town was going to subsidize the affordable fees for approximately 4 years for extending units - this is no longer the case and is not in the final agreement with the town.
Again, the association's affordable housing attorney will be at the meeting tonight to address any legal concerns from either the board or the residents in attendance. If you have any comments for the board or questions for counsel, this is probably your last chance before the final decisions are made. The management and the board are aware of the sensitivities surrounding the transition of the affordable units, but still it is important to attend this meeting to make sure your concerns are clearly heard.
Maintenance Fee Account Emails
About a month ago, we finally activated the monthly maintenance fee reminder emails. These emails have been helpful in alerting many owners to the status of their maintenance fee accounts, and reminding others when payment is due. We continue to refine the timing and content of these emails, and by February we anticipate that it should be operating smoothly.
If you receive a reminder email and you have already paid or sent in a check, don't worry yet. There is often a delay between when the check arrives here at the office and it is deposited in the bank and posted to your Society Hill account. We are a little more behind on that this month than usual due to workload, but it should all be straightened out within the next week. You will receive an email alert when the payment is finally posted. In the meantime, it is safe to ignore the reminder emails for now. By mid-February, it should be working properly.
We are almost done posting any missing second parking spot rental fees, which will possibly appear as a balance due in the reminder emails. If any of those fees are in error, just let us know and we will sort it out with you. The system will now automatically bill your account every year for the second spot. We have NOT been taking this directly out of your bank account for those owners on automatic direct-debit through the association. We are not really configured for that, so you will need to send in a check or otherwise arrange payment for the second space.
2017 - Year of Transition
by George Tsacnaris, Trustee
I am looking forward to some positive changes in Society Hill in 2017. We have some turnover on the Board after last month's Election and that should lead to some new or different ideas and approaches.
The lawsuit against Piscataway regarding Affordable Housing is concluded.
As you all know already - we won.
As a community we need to now move forward under the terms that we entered the lawsuit to obtain. Which is that every unit in the community is equal. No more, no less.
From the view of Society Hill there are no more "affordable units".
I encourage any and all owners in the community that want to reach a deal regarding their own unit to contact Piscataway directly now (do not wait!) and try to agree on something that works for YOU. That would be your personal agreement with the Township and Society Hill will not be a party to it.
To remind all Owners what was won by this legal action and what the responsibilities are
1) Society Hill (The Association, all Owners):
a. WON: increased revenue since all units will pay the same maintenance fees each month. Over a period of time these funds will be necessary to help offset rising operating and other costs.
b. Responsibilities: A short term shortfall that we will all cover since the settlement amount to be paid by Piscataway is less than the legal fees we have paid already and will pay to our lawyers. We all invested with a short-term loss that will become a long-term gain.
2) Owners of former Affordable Units
a. WON: can now sell their Units at full market price and keep 100% of the sale proceeds. This is a huge victory and financial gain that was only possible because all owners funded the lawsuit. Remember that Piscataway wanted to keep 95% of any gain. Now the owners get to keep 100% of the sale. Again, everyone is equal.
This does not imply I am suggesting anyone sell their unit.
b. Responsibilities: must pay the full maintenance fee each month to Society Hill. (Property Taxes are not a Society Hill aspect)
If this editorial is published prior to the January Board Meeting as we were told it would be I encourage Owners to attend and observe what actions the Board is going to take. I stress as I always do that I represent all Owners, not just certain segments and this guides my decisions/votes.
My primary goal as a Board Member remains the same: to focus on steps we can take to re-build our Reserve Fund to support future needs that we know are inevitable in a 30+ year old community. Unfortunately right now the Fund is under the Engineering estimate level by millions and millions (and millions) of dollars. There are no easy solutions to this situation. A first step I will strive for is that the new Board will not make things worse. Which means we have to spend less than we are contributing to the Fund.
by Greg Machyowsky, Trustee
Before offering some observations on the past board election, I want to stress to all homeowners, and particularly the 102 Mt. Laurel unit owners, that the board may decide at this UPCOMING BOARD MEETING, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 7 PM AT THE CLUBHOUSE how the new equalized fees for all Mt. Laurel units will be collected and when they will start - A SUBJECT OF IMMENSE POTENTIAL IMPACT, ESPECIALLY ON ALL MT. LAUREL UNIT OWNERS WALLETS!
To give some brief background, under our Society Hill at Piscataway bylaws and following a recent suit against Piscataway, Mt. Laurel unit owners can now sell their units at full market value but must as a matter of law have the same monthly maintenance fee ASSESSED against their unit as the other (market rate unit) owners pay, that is, currently, $171 per month. The board will decide when the equalized fees commence; there is no question that the same fee amount must be ASSESSED, but options would seem open to the board as to how the new fees are COLLECTED from Mt. Laurel owners, particularly options chosen so as to avoid or minimize undue financial hardship to them in the transition from the reduced fees they enjoyed ($57 per month) to the hefty increase ($114 per month) of the equalized fee ($171 per month).
I have suggested the board assess the fee as of January but to defer collection (as a lien) until the unit is resold; a small interest payment for fees as they accumulate might be charged. This to me would be the best solution to ease financial hardship. The worst case scenario would be for the monthly fee to be assessed and collected in full. Mt.Laurel owners would be well advised to come to the board meeting Wednesday and impress upon its members that payment of the fee in full each month would indeed be a severe hardship on many households, and a board truly concerned about the well being of its residents should not exact the full fee in that manner, when other options are available: Among them, besides deferred payment until resale, a compromise approach where, for example, part of the increase is payable each month and the remaining part deferred until resale, and other options which the board should seek out from knowledgeable sources. If it chooses, the board can perhaps feasibly postpone a decision on collection plan until the annual membership meeting in October of this year, except for deferring collection of this year's fees until unit resale, then acting further on the matter at the annual meeting. It might consider having the annual meeting membership decide on a collection action. In any case, the one consolation we have should the board make a hasty decision in this matter is that it can "down-the-road" adopt another option, if feasible.
There is some talk of collecting "back fees" from the time of the initial court judgment in our case of February 8 of last year. I am strongly of the opinion that the case has officially been decided with a "final consent judgment" approved only days ago, and that is the date of the judgment requiring payment of the new fees. I understand our attorney in the case may be present for at least part of this Wednesday's meeting, and he should certainly be asked whether "back fees" going back to last February or possibly before are legally permissible in this case; it seems to be clear they are at best discretionary with the board and are not required to be collected under the court ruling.
Again, owner interest and attendance at the meeting can influence the board's decisions, so I very earnestly urge homeowner attendance, particularly Mt. Laurel unit owners.
Turning to the recent Association election, I thank those who supported my reelection to the board. I take that support, particularly the strong showing on my candidacy, as a sign of homeowners concern on keeping maintenance fees down as a top board priority, even by trimming the budget if necessary.
As I pointed out in my candidate's statement when filing for reelection, both incumbents, Atif Nazir and I needed reelection to assure that Kevin's supporters of self-management on the board continue to hold a board majority; unfortunately, Atif came up a bare 3 votes short of winning reelection (94 to 97 for Trustee George Tsacnaris' endorsed candidate- if only two voters voted the other way, the reverse result would have occurred - who says one's vote doesn't count!)
Thus, with no majority to count on, Kevin's policy of keeping fees low (the new year's budget does not call for a fee increase, incidentally) may be in jeopardy because both Tsacnaris and Ms. Thomas made clear in their campaign statements that they favored fee increases. Hopefully, with homeowners' pressing for continued low fees (an email address to reach trustee individually has been set up and printed in the last edition of the Association newsletter) we can continue to hold the line and prevent routine yearly fee increases that choose as a priority building a cash-flush Association treasury over helping 545 household keep their housing expenses down. If somehow, though, Tsacnaris succeeds in taking voting control of the board, with his anti-Kevin and ambitious fee-hiking intentions, then not only continual maintenance fee hikes but quite possibly scuttling of the whole program of self-management may be in the offing. In effect it will likely be "back to the (sad) future" we experienced for more than two decades under outside control.
A very happy and prosperous New Year to all!
Greg Machyowsky, Trustee
DATE: Sunday, February 19, 2017
TIME: 12:00 AM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: February Board Meeting Reminder and Township Affordable Housing Extension Plan
TYPE: Community News
The February Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for this coming TUESDAY, February 21st, 7PM at the clubhouse. Since the Board didn't get to much of the business at the January meeting, the agenda for the February meeting is still the January agenda, which can be found at:
The minutes of what was accomplished at the January meeting are available at:
Affordable Housing Extension Plan
The Township of Piscataway has formulated their plan for former affordable unit owners wishing to renew the affordability restrictions on their units. There will be an official letter going out sometime late next week describing the details of the plan. In the meantime, below is an outline of the extension plan, and other details, as currently understood. PLEASE BE AWARE THIS MAY NOT BE FINAL. THE FINAL EXTENSION PLAN DETAILS WILL BE COMMUNICATED IN A WRITTEN LETTER NEXT WEEK.
-The unit will be assessed at the reduced affordable price, which will keep the property taxes at approximately the same level after the 2015 property revaluation.
-The increase in maintenance fees *WILL* be subsidized by the town for up to $5,000. This works out to about 3.5 years. In other words, the maintenance fees would remain at the reduced level for about 3.5 years, after which they would increase to the full market rate, which is currently $171 a month.
-The maintenance fee subsidy would be paid directly to the association, not the affordable unit owner, on a yearly basis.
-The maintenance fee subsidy would *NOT* be available to former affordable units that purchased within approximately the last 10 years. This would be units 32, 35, 38, 41, 42, 63, 65, 77, 277, 294, 296, 340, 343, 432, and 441.
-The extension would be for a fixed period of 30 years from now. The extension period might be less than 30 years for the 15 units mentioned above - this is in the process of being clarified.
-The past affordable housing restrictions would still apply. The unit must be owner occupied, cannot be rented, and must be sold to the next buyer at the controlled price during the 30 year extension period.
-After the 30 year extension expires, all the restrictions would expire and the unit would revert to a regular full-market value unit. However, the township will keep 95% of the difference between the full-market price and the controlled price at time of sale. The remaining 5% of the difference would be kept by the seller. Any equity in the unit up to the controlled price would of course be kept by the seller.
-The deadline to extend is March 31, 2017. There will *NOT* be any letter from the town. There will be a formal letter from the association in the next week, with the details of the Township's extension offer, as well as the details of whatever the Association may be offering for those units that need assistance with the increased fees.
-If you wish to extend controls after the March 31, 2017 deadline, the township may accommodate those requests, however this is still being discussed and the terms of such an extension may be different than stated above.
It is recommended that you wait until receiving the formal letter next week from the Association with the details of both the Township's extension offer, and the details of whatever the Association may be offering for those units that need assistance with the increased maintenance fees, before making a final decision. In the meantime, if you do need to speak with the Township, the department of Community Development can be reached at 732-562-6560 or 732-562-6570.
For the former affordable units *NOT* extending controls through the Township, your property taxes will be changed to the full market rate effective January 1, 2017. However, the change will not be reflected until the next property tax billing cycle in July of 2017. You will be billed retroactively to January 1, 2017, for the increase in the property taxes.
For the former affordable units *NOT* extending controls with the township, and requiring some assistance to pay the increased fees, the Board of Trustees is still considering various plans for providing that assistance. This topic is on the agenda again for the February board meeting on Tuesday, February 21st. If any assistance is offered, it will likely be in the form of a "fee deferment" plan, in which you would continue to pay the reduced maintenance fees, with the increased portion accumulating in a separate account, payable back to the association, probably with interest, at the time of sale. Since the affordable housing has formally expired for Society Hill, it would not be legally practical for the Association to subsidize or forgive the fee increase on any units, hence the fee "deferment" plan.
There are a few former affordable unit owners who are on the senior property tax freeze program. As far as we can determine, the owners on this program will not be affected by an increase in their property taxes. The freeze level applies regardless of whether the unit is an affordable unit or a regular unit. We are still waiting on formal confirmation of this.
The monthly maintenance fees have been changed to $171/month for all units, but if you plan on extending affordability controls through the Township, or asking for assistance from the Association, do not worry about the monthly reminder emails that will continue to go out. Once the March 31 decision deadline has passed, we will adjust the accounts accordingly.
DATE: Thursday, March 2, 2017
TIME: 3:03 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Board Meeting TONIGHT - Continuation of January Agenda
TYPE: Community News
Tonight at 7PM will be the third attempt at completing the original January 2017 Board meeting agenda, plus a few additional items. The agenda is at:
Draft minutes of the February meeting can be found at:
The minutes refer to two attachments, which are still being formatted and prepared. They will be linked to the minutes soon.
The affordable housing letter is still being written in coordination with the town. It will be out as soon as possible. It will contain the details of the Township's affordable housing extension plan, as well as the Association's fee deferment plan.
DATE: Monday, March 13, 2017
TIME: 7:58 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Impending Snow Event
TYPE: Community News
The forecast seems set on a significant snow event headed our way, beginning late tonight and extending in to tomorrow afternoon. In all probability we are getting 12 or more inches of snow and snow/sleet mix, along with high winds.
Assuming the forecast is accurate, the plan is to begin plowing around sunrise, and continue throughout the day. Sidewalks and walkways will probably start around 9AM, with another round of walkway shoveling in the afternoon after the storm has ended. Given the amount of snow predicted, it is anticipated that most schools and businesses will be closed tomorrow. As always, the association will make an effort to keep the internal roads passable as we are aware several residents have essential services jobs and still need to get out of the complex.
As with any large storm, we have a procedure for efficiently clearing the roads. During the day, you may find piles of snow in the middle of the roads, or in some parking spots. Those piles will be removed by the end of the day.
We will work on clearing individual parking spots *AFTER* we are done clearing the roads. Although we have two plows and two loaders, all of it is needed for clearing the roads in a timely fashion.
Please avoid parallel parking on the association streets during the storm. It can be difficult to find empty spots but there are usually a few somewhere, just not as convenient.
There may be considerable snow drifting as a result of the winds. In the past, some residents have found it impossible to open their front doors. If you find yourself in this situation and you really have an emergency, remember that there is a rear sliding door which should not be impacted by snow drift, if you really need to get out. As usual, we will have crews around shoveling the townhouse walks, however with a large snowfall, it can take a while for us to get through the entire complex, so please be patient. If we have to interrupt the shoveling teams to go to specific units, the overall efficiency drops.
We assume that recycling is still on for Wednesday, as things should be cleaned up by then.
DATE: Tuesday, April 18, 2017
TIME: 7:57 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: April Board Meeting Reminder - TOMORROW
TYPE: Community News
The April Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, April 19th, 7PM at the clubhouse. A copy of the agenda is at:
Minutes of the March meeting can be found at:
Break-in on Lancaster
There was a break-in incident two weeks ago, April 5th, in building 28 on Lancaster Court. As far as we can determine, two units were forcibly entered between 10AM and 2PM on Wednesday April 5th, when none of the residents were home. Residents of the units both reported they were missing some electronics and cash. As these events often repeat themselves a few weeks later, this is the time to keep an eye out for any odd activity and report it to the Piscataway police and/or the management office.
DATE: Tuesday, May 16, 2017
TIME: 8:52 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: May Board Meeting Reminder
TYPE: Community News
The May Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, May 17th, 7PM at the clubhouse. A copy of the agenda is at:
Minutes of the April meeting can be found at:
Summer is right around the corner and that means we're sending a few seasonal reminders to the owners and tenants that will be spending much of their summer in and around Society Hill.
In addition, the management office has recently been receiving criticism regarding the appearance of the property, relaxed enforcement of the rules and regulations, and a shortage of parking spaces in several areas of the complex. We are currently working on addressing all of the above and hope that you have noticed some changes as of late.
Dumpsters and Moving
The dumpsters get a lot use this time of year with students moving out and people doing their Spring cleaning. Please be sure to check that the dumpster is actually full before leaving bags and other items outside and around the area. If you see a dumpster that is overflowing - don't worry - we see it too, and will be making the rounds to take care of unsightly garbage around the complex. Also, please remember that large furniture and items of the kind like beds, couches and dressers have to be picked up by the township and cannot be dropped outside of the dumpster.
There will be a community dumpster here at the clubhouse beginning Friday May 19th. It will be here for about a week, and can be used by residents.
Mowing, Mulch, Weeding and Clean-Up
As you can probably tell, regular mowing has started. We do a round of mowing, which takes two days, and then the blowers come out and to remove the debris by the end of each day. Weeds are getting an initial round of pesticide and then possibly another treatment if they are really stubborn. If you have any questions or concerns about the grass, bushes, and weeds, please contact the office. Please be patient though as we have a lot of ground to cover and have to go in the order of requests received.
The Spring cleaning has also included the patching of tennis court holes. The playgrounds by Lancaster and the clubhouse have also been getting some much needed attention.
Inoperable Car Removal
Speaking of Spring cleaning... Some of you may have noticed that there have been tow trucks frequenting the development in the past few days. After receiving numerous complaints about inoperable vehicles taking up much needed parking spaces around the development; the management office began the process of contacting owners and removing the vehicles from the premises. At the end of 2016 we had 33 vehicles that were either abandoned or inoperable. The current number is 5. If your vehicle has been inoperable for a few months and you haven't thought of what to do with it, you may want to do so shortly.
Weather permitting, the pool will be opening Memorial Day weekend. Don't hesitate to stop by and enjoy the outdoor pool and seating area. If you have a pass from a previous year that has not expired, then you are still able to use it. If your pass has expired or you don't have one, please stop by to have your photo taken and your pass printed.
DATE: Thursday, June 8, 2017
TIME: 8:35 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Pool Open and Community Meeting
TYPE: Community News
The unofficial start of Summer was Memorial Day and the pool is now open on weekends from 10am to 8pm. The weather will be quite warm for the next few days so it is likely that we will also open the pool on Monday and Tuesday afternoon.
There will be a Community Meeting 1:00pm on Sunday, June 11th at the clubhouse. This meeting is organized by a few members of the Finance and Covenants Committees and is for all Society Hill residents to come and share their questions and concerns in an open setting. Light refreshments will be served.
DATE: Monday, June 12, 2017
TIME: 2:06 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Pool Hours and Wheel Theft Incidents
TYPE: Community News
Due to the hot weather, we will have the pool open for at least today and tomorrow afternoon, from approximately 1PM to 6PM.
The pool will be open every day beginning June 17th (weather permitting).
There were two theft incidents last night, one on Canterbury Court near building 4 and another on Hampshire Court near building 31. The wheels from two vehicles were taken, probably sometime between 1AM and 5AM. If any residents in those areas have video from last night, please let us know. Even if there is no video of the actual theft, any video of the surrounding areas might still be useful. Typically incidents such as these happen in rashes, so keep an eye out for the next few weeks.
DATE: Wednesday, July 5, 2017
TIME: 3:41 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: July 5th Fireworks - Special Meeting of the Board **TODAY**, Editorial Comments
TYPE: Community News
There will be a special meeting of the board of Trustees, TODAY (Wednesday), July 5th, 7PM at the clubhouse. Since this is a special meeting, the agenda is confined to the items specifically listed on the agenda, which is available at:
As you will see, the main topic of the meeting is the fate of Society Hill's self-management configuration, among other things. Some of you will still recall the controversy back in 2008 when we switched over from a management company and service contractors to in-house staff and equipment, and the further controversy when I ended up working for the association. A handful of individuals are dredging up those issues again in an effort to return the association to the prior arrangement with a management company and contractors for the lawn mowing, snow removal, maintenance, capital repairs/improvements and so forth.
The special meeting on Wednesday is being called to bring the question to a point. The board has been hit with a lot of negative comments over the last few weeks, between the June board meeting and the recent "community meeting". Changing back to a management company and contractors would be a big change with significant impact to the community. I'm sure there are some that would like to go back, but I know there are others that would not, and I feel a duty to at least make an effort to let everyone know that this question is back on the table.
Over the last few years, the membership at the annual meetings has approved funding for various capital improvement projects. I have been slowly and systematically working towards the implementation of those improvements under their approved funding constraints. At the same time we have undertaken multiple capital repair projects, along with the regular maintenance of the complex. The capital improvement and repair work has consumed reserve fund money, and some members have expressed concern over this spending and the spending projections going forward. I know I have addressed this in prior emails, and some of the uncertain events that I talked about in those emails have actually transpired (expiration of affordable housing for instance), which should have alleviated some of the concern. The 2017 budget reflects a much larger contribution to the capital fund and deficit recovery, but probably not to the full satisfaction of some of those concerned.
With a guaranteed income stream (the maintenance fees), the primary administrative function of the association is to spend money. The management's job, and a lot of my job, is to spend money - on personnel, supplies, equipment, services, and so on. In spite of what some might think and allege, I try very hard to maximize the value of every dollar spent. While it may not be obvious, many of my administrative decisions are cost driven. We are trying to get as much done as possible with as little as possible.
I feel that I have done a lot over the years to come up with ways to save money and reduce expenses. With time as my scarce resource, I have to constantly assess the time-cost verses the potential savings of a cost reduction idea. In other words, should I spend 3 weeks of my time trying to save $10k once, or should I spend 3 months trying to save $50k a year. As a result, my cost savings ideas are going to focus more on larger scale expenditures. The basic way we are configured with employees and our own equipment is the most immediate example of this. The proposed "community internet" is another example, as is trying to use pond water for irrigation, as is using in-house resources for our projects. In addition, I have spent a lot of my personal time doing design work for the association, amounting to tens of thousands of dollars at least, and I am currently performing three job functions.
We are still very much in transition. With the maintenance facility still not started, we are not able to operate at maximum efficiency. A lot of my time still goes in to completing the transition, and as a result some things are not as perfect as some want them to be. I see those imperfections as well. I am still committed to following through on what was started, completing the transition to a sustainable self-management model, and handling it off to others. Interrupting it all at this juncture would not be the best utilization of resources.
The Wednesday meeting is yet another showdown over the self-management model of service delivery. Numerous accusations directed towards me, our staff, and my management abilities have been made over the past several weeks, and will likely be made again at this meeting. Although I was not at both the recent community meeting or the June board meeting, I am aware of most of what was said. I responded to it in several internal emails to the board last week, which capture my reaction to the disrespectful, inaccurate, and outright false accusations and statements that had been made, as well as my reaction to the board's actions at the June meeting. The June minutes can be found at:
You might notice that all the motions were directed towards management. In my internal emails to the board, I advised them that I felt the motions were malicious, politically motivated, based on false premises, or intended to undermine management and the association. I refused to be a party to the "slow death" of self-management, and as a result told the board I did not intend to implement any such motions. I am sure this is going to rub some of the members the wrong way and they will be offended by my interception of their efforts to damage or destroy the current management. This meeting, as I originally called it, was intended to be the showdown. If there really is enough support to abandon everything and return to a management company and contractors, then fine, go for it. If not, then the line between the executive and administrative function needs to be clearly defined and respected, and the board needs to continue to implement the majority wishes of the membership.
There is another election this October, and in fact my seat is up. That is the opportunity for the haters to put out their message and let the membership decide if things are really so horrible that we need to go back to where we were.
2017 Annual Picnic
This year's picnic is currently scheduled a little earlier than normal, for Friday July 28th, 4 to 8 PM.
Democracy In Action
Board Member; Owner/Resident since 1986
In 2008 a group of owners in Society Hill had a desire to make some changes in the community. They had previously taken actions to get themselves elected to the Board. At the September 22, 2008 Special Board Meeting 5 of those Board Members - including current members Mr. Wine and Mr Machyowsky, and former member Mr. Nazir voted to terminate the contract of the Management Company that was providing us services at that time. The majority of the Board then determined that Society Hill would operate under the self-management model that has existed since then.
This was a democratic action that many (at the time) agreed with and some did not agree with.
The nature of a democratic system is that change can occur.
Elections can have consequences. In Washington, Trenton, and Piscataway
It is our responsibility as owners and especially as Board Members to constantly evaluate what is best NOW for Society Hill. Decisions made, such as the one in 2008, are not life-time binding.
There is no plan or conspiracy to "get" anyone.
I have respected the decisions made in the past few years by the Board even though many of them I strongly disagreed with. That is democracy. You cannot expect to obtain the outcome you want 100% of the time in a democracy. Unfortunately a couple board members believe that since they have served on the Board for a long time they are entitled to have every decision made their way. They have shown a lack of respect for democratically voted measures by the current Board that they disagree with. Rather than try to work together to solve problems. This is disappointing to me.
On a personal level I have a very demanding full-time job and have chosen to volunteer my limited spare time to assist with the Community. I have no other agenda. I always form my own opinion after objective evaluation. And I am willing to compromise.
In the end I will continue to respect the majority decisions made by the Board.
Everyone must do this.
I will use the election process as everyone does to enable reasonable candidates to serve on the Board.
I urge you all to get more involved at this key juncture in our Community.
Just spend a couple hours at a meeting. Ask questions. If you cannot attend - submit them in writing.
Most homeowners haven't yet gotten the word on this, but for the last several weeks there has been a "war" going on with the board as the trustee I have long warned you about, who is intent on raising fees substantially and regularly has been aggressively moving to neutralize Kevin, either by bullying him to quit as manager, with never-ending requests for largely bureaucratic paperwork), reports, timelines, projections, estimates, etc.) or by forcing him out by unreasonable demands on his authority as manager to actually manage.
Should Tsacnaris have his way, you can expect keeping fees almost remarkably low for nearly a decade to go out the window as a basic board policy, in favor of regular yearly (or more frequently) monthly maintenance fee increases designed to achieve his apparently top policy priority, a fat cash treasury enabling much "feasting at the public trough", the bane of most governmental entities. Kevin deserves immense credit for keeping fees low, good quality services and a truly resident-friendly governing attitude at Society Hill, not arrogant repudiation by a board member intent on becoming, in effect, board czar.
Considering all Kevin has done, at great personal effort and sacrifice on his part, it frankly galls me that this particular board president is treated with, and passively accepts, utter contempt as to his judgement and leadership, and yet this is the man who has labored harder than all of us combined, and certainly longer than most of us combined, to take us from a situation, authoritatively stated by the auditor, that "the state of the records would not permit an audit", to a democratic, resident-friendly government with continuously low-fees, much-improved facilities and a stable, well-documented financial footing (subject of course to the usual and proper arguments about specific limited items of expense). I can only wonder where all the critics now so persistent in their criticisms were in those beleaguered days, and why most if not all of them, chose not to voice concern.
It's just not often nowadays that you are lucky enough to have talented public servants like Kevin who are both impeccably honest and as well extend themselves tirelessly and solely for years on the people's behalf, let alone public servants who patiently endure something very close to persistent bullying.
We should keep this "big picture" in mind in evaluating any of the limited criticisms of Kevin's administering the affairs of the Association versus the remarkable transformation he has accomplished OVERALL to improve our condo government. All in all, his long service is an unusual and valuable community asset to hold on to and encourage, not constantly disparage with trivial attacks, like whether we should have a meeting. Otherwise, I fear better days are not ahead for our Association, and especially its members' pocketbooks.
DATE: Wednesday, July 19, 2017
TIME: 4:38 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Board Meeting TONIGHT, Picnic, Projects, Pipes, and Trash
TYPE: Community News
This is a reminder that the July Board Meeting is tonight, 7PM at the clubhouse. The agenda can be found at:
Minutes of the June meeting, and the July Special Meeting are at:
The annual picnic is still scheduled for next Friday, July 28th, 4-8PM in the usual spot. The picnic event has received some criticism recently, and may come up at the meeting tonight.
Trash Trash Everywhere
The summer months often test the limits of the trash collection we have here in Society Hill as a lot of renters (many of them graduating Rutgers students) move out and new tenants move in. In order to keep our community an aesthetically pleasing place, we need to remind our new residents of the trash collection policies and why it's a good idea for everyone to try their best to follow them.
Townhouse units have curbside pickup on MONDAY & THURSDAY around 9 a.m. Animals will often rip your bags open overnight to get at the leftovers so it's best to try to put the trash out the morning of. There is now an active skunk population and ravens, raccoons, opossums, foxes and even a coyote have been spotted prowling around looking for food!
Townhouse residents can always take trash bags to the condo dumpsters on non-collection days if needed.
Condo units have dumpsters located throughout the parking lots and trash can be taken to the dumpsters at any time. Please try not to store your trash in the breezeways, on the patios, or by your front doors.
We know that it's not always easy to lug out bags of trash to the dumpster, but it's a necessary part of life at many condominium communities. Placing trash inside the dumpster, and not outside of it, helps keep the community looking organized and clean. Unfortunately we've already received a lot of complaints this year about people leaving trash outside of the dumpster even when the dumpsters are empty. Please try to remember that a clean environment is important to all people that call Society Hill their home.
Recycling day is every other Wednesday. For example, today July 19th is recycling day and the next one is August 2nd. As some of you may have heard, recycling is now comingled so you are able to place the glass/plastic and paper all in one container. If you are a renter here and are in need recycling bins, please contact your landlord. Also, try to bring your bins in promptly after pickup.
The board requested extensive project status reports, timelines, cost estimates, and other information at the June 21 meeting. I compiled the information I already had relating to all the open community projects (pond, maintenance building, irrigation, etc.) and put it on a WEB page for easy future reference. I am making the WEB page public, as there has been some criticism of the various projects recently, and that criticism is addressed on the project WEB page at:
If the page doesn't work right away it will be fixed in a few hours. Included on the project web page are links to various design drawings, and even a link to the maintenance building CAD file. Some of the drawing are in various stages of completion, but sill are included.
We had our first confirmed polybutylene water supply piping failure a few weeks ago. A unit on Manchester reported an unusually high water bill that couldn't be traced to anything leaking inside the unit. When we excavated the exterior portion of the pipe, we discovered a small split in the side of the pipe a few feet after the water meter. We have a method of fixing this that doesn't require too much expense. This issue is on the agenda tonight and the board will have to be reviewing the issue of who owns this portion of the pipe.
The long-standing interpretation of our governing documents is that the homeowner is responsible for any pipes, wires, ducts, chimneys, etc., that service only their unit, beginning at the service disconnect. The water supply piping has multiple "disconnects" which complicates the interpretation.
Incidentally, the exterior water supply pipe insurance that the water company offers EXCLUDES polybutylene piping. If you were considering purchasing such protection, or already have it, you might want to factor this in. The exclusion is in the fine-print of the coverage agreement. We have a copy here at the office.
The Society Hill Management Team
DATE: Wednesday, July 26, 2017
TIME: 4:44 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Picnic POSTPONED, Lost Cat, July BOT Minutes, and Pruning/Weeding
TYPE: Community News
Due to the unsettled weather predicted for this weekend, we are postponing the picnic to Friday August 4th. Rain is still predicted for this Friday, and the backup day, Saturday, is 50/50 which is too risky.
At the July 19th board meeting, the board voted to no longer serve any alcoholic beverages at any Society Hill community event. Residents may still bring their own beverages. As we have no summer temporary workers this year, we could use some help before and during the picnic. If anyone is available to help out, please contact the management office.
The full minutes of the July 19th board meeting are available at:
There was also a motion relating to the former affordable unit owners. The board modified the deferment plan slightly to allow former affordable units to pay-off the 2016 back fees over the next 12 months, and in return the board is willing to waive the interest charges on the 2016 back fees. Contact the management office for further details.
A resident of Lancaster Ct. reported a missing cat yesterday in the building 28 area. Here is a picture:
If you see the cat, please contact the management office so we may notify the owner.
We are making our way around the complex on the weeding/pruning/mulching. Most of Canterbury and Lancaster are done, however some of the weeds have already sprouted up again. We are doing a second round of weed killer to get them back under control. We have also started on the townhouse buildings and have been through Bedford, Berkshire, and some of Hampshire. We have been jumping around to handle several individual requests as well.
The Society Hill Management Team
DATE: Friday, August 4, 2017
TIME: 1:16 AM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: PICNIC TOMORROW - FRIDAY
TYPE: Community News
After last weeks sketchy weather forecast, it looks like we will be able to thread the picnic between the rain storms this week so the 2017 annual picnic is a go - 4 to 8 PM in the field next to building 5.
There are a few differences this year - we are trying a tandoori-style BBQ chicken (halal meet), along with the usual burgers (regular, halal and veg), dogs, corn, samosas, spring rolls, and fruit. This year is a "bring-your-own" beer year. There will be a few fire trucks too - not that we are planning on burning anything down - but for the kids to play with.
If anyone is available to help out prior, during, or after, just come by the office. Preparation begins around 8AM.
DATE: Monday, August 28, 2017
TIME: 1:51 AM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Board Meeting *TODAY*, and 2017 Annual Meeting Candidates Deadline
TYPE: Community News
The regular August Board meeting had to be postponed due to a lack of quorum, so we are trying again today, Monday, August 28th, 7PM at the clubhouse. The agenda is essentially the same as from July, since it was long and there were many items we didn't get to.
The 2017 Annual Meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 18th. The deadline to submit candidate statements for those interested in running for a seat on the board is 4 weeks from today, which is Monday September 25th. There are currently two seats up for election - mine, and Mr. Khan. There will be a "Meet the Candidates Night" in early October.
We have been dealing with an unusual number of leaks the last few months. Combined with no summer temporary help this year, this has left us quite behind on several things. Most of the leaks are plumbing related, including multiple polybutylene pipe failures. We are still waiting on the DCA to contact us regarding the 2017 inspection.
DATE: Friday, September 22, 2017
TIME: 3:54 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Sept Newsletter, Candidate Profile Deadline, BOT Meeting, and DCA Inspections
TYPE: Community News
We have a couple of important notices for everyone.
September 2017 Newsletter
The September 2017 association newsletter was distributed about a week ago, and mailed to all the non-resident owners. A copy can be viewed on the WEB site in case you missed the printed version:
If you are a non-resident owner you should have received a copy of the newsletter in the mail by now. If you haven't, please contact the management office because we may not have the correct mailing address for you. It is important that we have your address for the upcoming election mailing.
Candidate Profiles Due Sept 25
Any residents wishing to run for a seat on the board of trustees this fall are reminded that the deadline for submitting your candidate profile statement is Monday September 25, 4:00PM. All profiles must be mailed (NOT emailed, FAXed, or hand-delivered to the office), to the 555 Chesterfield Drive, Piscataway address. This is different from the regular 550 Chesterfield Drive address. There is a special mailbox for the 555 Chesterfield Drive address, which is being used to safeguard the election process, and will be used to receive all the incoming election related mail, including the ballots and proxies in October.
All the election profiles from the last several years can be found on the WEB site at:
These are good examples of the profile format. Generally profiles should be 1 page max. After the deadline, only limited typographical and grammatical error correction is allowed. The individual profiles will be reformatted into a single document. Indents, bullets, and other formatting will generally be preserved as submitted. Proof copies will be distributed to all candidates prior to printing. Candidate position on the ballot, and in the profile document, is determined by a random drawing.
September Board Meeting Reminder
The September Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 27, 7PM at the clubhouse. The agenda is still the agenda from the prior month, plus some slightly urgent housekeeping items that have come up.
Although slightly delayed, the DCA inspections will be taking place this fall. The inspection dates are October 11, 12, 13, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31 and November 1. Apparently the inspection rules have changed and all 545 units will need to be inspected this time. This is going to require a significant amount of administrative work on behalf of the association, as we are going to have to somehow schedule access for the inspectors to each and every unit. We realize most residents are at work during the day, so this is not going to be easy or convenient for many. A copy of the letter from the DCA, which goes in to further detail about the inspections, is available at:
In preparation for the inspections, please make sure that there are no propane grills on the condo patios/balconies, no propane canisters inside the units, and test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working. If you need your smoke or carbon monoxide detector replaced, the association can do that for you, at cost.
There will be another community email and/or written correspondence to all residents when we figure out the logistics of how we are going to schedule access to all the units.
DATE: Thursday, September 28, 2017
TIME: 9:47 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Profile Deadline Extended for Vacancy, DCA Inspection Plan
TYPE: Community News
2017 Elections and Vacancy
At the September board meeting last night, the board decided to extend the candidate profile deadline, but only for a newly vacated seat on the board. One of the long-time residents and members of the board, Greg Machyowsky, is moving out of Society Hill, and thus will be resigning his seat on the board. Since his resignation is so close in time to the annual meeting, the board decided it would be best to include the vacant seat in this year's annual meeting and election.
Owners interested in running for the vacancy have until 4PM, Monday, October 2nd, to submit their candidate profiles. As before, profiles must be delivered, in hardcopy (no email, no FAX), to the 555 Chesterfield Dr. mailbox address. They can be mailed US postal service, or dropped in the 555 Chesterfield mailbox (big blue thing in front of the clubhouse - can't miss it). The vacant seat term expires in 2019, so whoever ends up in the vacant seat will be on the board for two years. Terms are normally for 3 years.
The profiles that were already received prior to the September 25, 2017 deadline will still qualify for the two seats that are normally up for election this year. Those profiles have still not been opened, but we do know that 4 were submitted. A fifth profile was also received, but it was after the 4pm deadline on the 25th, so that profile will have to be re-submitted for the vacancy, if the candidate still wishes to run for a seat.
The profile deadline extension for the vacant seat will slightly delay the annual meeting mailing. We now hope to have the mailing out by next Thursday, October 5th, which is only a few days past the original plan.
The "Meet the Candidates" night is still scheduled for Monday, October 9th.
Mr. Machyowsky, as some are aware, has been involved with the association for most of his 31 years of residence. He has always been a proponent of open government and "the rule of law". At the very least, and in spite of some differing views and spirited presentations, the association owes Mr. Machyowsky a thank you for his contributions over those years. He was involved in the legislative effort in the 1990's to make condominium board meetings open to the membership, and co-founded a statewide group to promote condo democracy. He was a leader in the effort to make the town honor their side of the original affordable housing contacts. He was a strong supporter of our current "self-management" configuration, and his presence will be missed by me and others as we continue forward with that effort.
DCA Inspection Plan
The management office has come up with a plan for coordinating the inspection of all 545 units in the complex. In the next few days, a flyer is going to be distributed to the doors of all the units. On the flyer will be a calendar showing what days the inspectors will be here. On that calendar, residents will be asked to mark the days when they can be available for the inspection, and return the flyer to the office. The office will then formulate an inspection schedule based on resident availability, and communicate that schedule back to the residents.
If a unit does not return their flyer, the office will have to assume any day is good and will schedule accordingly. The flyers should be returned by Tuesday October 10th. The DCA has indicated it will be inspecting all the units in this inspection cycle. There are financial consequences to the association and the owners if the DCA inspector is unable to inspect a unit. We realize this is not going to be easy for everyone, as the inspections will be taking place during the day when most residents are either working or at school.
DATE: Tuesday, October 3, 2017
TIME: 3:33 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Special Board Meeting, 2017 Election Meet the Candidate Night, and Attempted Theft Incident
TYPE: Community News
Special Board Meeting
There will be a special meeting of the Board of Trustees tonight (October 3rd), to make some progress on agenda items leftover from the prior couple of meetings. The meeting will start around 7:30PM. As with all the board meetings, it will be open to the public, however the board will need to focus on getting business done.
2017 Annual Meeting and Election
The extended deadline for additional candidate profiles for the vacated seat on the board has passed. The candidates are as follows:
Two 3-year terms: Atif Nazir and Tong Zhou.
One 2-year unexpired term: Kevin Wine, Teresa Douglas, Jack Sarhage
A "Meet the Candidates" night is currently scheduled for Monday, October 9th, 7PM, at the clubhouse. The election mailing is scheduled to go out this Thursday. The Annual Meeting is scheduled for Monday October 23rd.
There appears to have been an attempted theft incident on Manchester Court over the weekend. Early Saturday morning the police responded to a report of suspicious activity and one arrest was made.
We are going to be in "package season" again soon, and wanted to remind everyone to be on the lookout for package thieves again. Last year wasn't too bad, but the prior year we had several incidents. There was a report of a missing package about a month ago, but that has been about it.
DATE: Monday, October 9, 2017
TIME: 1:18 AM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Annual Meeting, Candidate's Night, DCA Inspections, Special Board Meeting
TYPE: Community News
Special Board Meeting, Appointment of Vacancy
There will be another special meeting of the Board of Trustees on Monday, October 9th, 6PM, at the clubhouse (note earlier time!). This meeting will be for the purpose of appointing a member to fill the recently created vacancy on the board as the result of the departure of Mr. Machyowsky. It is likely other election related issues will also be handled. At the moment there is a possibility only 3 board members will be available for this meeting, which is not enough for a quorum to conduct business. However, we will still try.
Annual Meeting and "Meet the Candidates" Postponed
In July of this year, significant changes to the NJ condominium law were enacted by the State Legislature and the Governor. Among these changes were several specific rules relating to the details of how condominium annual meetings and elections must be run. The effective date of the new rules was July 13, 2017, however several of the election-related changes did not go in to effect until October 1, 2017. While I was aware changes had been made to the condominium act - I recall mentioning it at a meeting a few months ago - it was only recently that I went and checked the details, not realizing it might impact our elections this year. In spite of the fact that the October 1 enactment date is after our annual meeting process has started, we have been advised that it would still be best to follow the newly adopted election rules this year.
Approximately 10 years ago we made some changes of our own to the annual meeting and election procedure to help maintain the integrity of the process and avail homeowners of their full rights at the annual meetings. Many other condo associations were not so lucky, and the recent legislative changes were in response to election problems at other associations in NJ over the past many years. As we have already been following many of the "free and fair election" rules in the new law, the impact on us is not as significant. However some of the timing requirements have been changed, which now over-ride what it says in our by-laws. Specifically, the election mailing has to go out at least 14 days before the annual meeting. Previously, our by-laws set the minimum at 10 days prior to the annual meeting.
As a result of some election related issues the board was dealing with already this year, our mailing ended up being delayed a few days, which in combination with other factors will probably cause us to miss the new 14 day mailing rule. Therefore, it looks like we will be postponing the annual meeting a bit - exactly how much isn't clear right now (will probably be determined at the Monday special board meeting), but I would guess a week or so. This will give us time to sort out the remaining issues and comply with the new rules. The new annual meeting date and "Meet the Candidates" date will be advertised as soon as they are known.
A summary of the changes to the Condominium Act are available at:
And the full text of the law can be viewed at:
Under the new rules, it appears that "nominations for candidates" can take place right up until the moment the election mailing goes out. We are trying to get this clarified by an attorney. As a practical matter, it seems there would still need to be some sense of a candidate profile deadline. At the moment, however, it looks like owners can still submit their profiles! And you can nominate anyone you like! I don't yet know if someone can be nominated without their knowledge or consent - and what if they win? This will be interesting..
There is also an interesting change to the rules for amending the by-laws, which over-ride our by-law amendment rules. The new rules offer another route to amending the by-laws, which should make it much more practical to do so. Previously, we needed a 75% "yes" vote of the entire membership to make a change, which is totally impractical. Now an amendment can be proposed and approved if we receive no more than a 10% "no" vote in 30 days.
DCA Inspections This Week!
DCA unit inspections begin this Wednesday and continue through to Friday. If you have not returned your inspection schedule flyer and you wish to choose a date, please do so soon! If you do not return that flyer with your available days circled, we will decide a date for you. We have received about 150 flyers back. That means we haven't heard from about 400 units. The inspector needs to do about 60 units a day. If you didn't receive the flyer or you lost it, you can get a replacement from the office or download a copy here:
NOTE- The above link may not be working until the morning. If it's broken, try again after 10AM.
This is recycling week!! Wednesday October 11th.
DATE: Saturday, October 14, 2017
TIME: 2:33 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: DCA Inspection DATE CHANGES, Election Call-for-Nominations, and BOT Meeting
TYPE: Community News
DCA Inspections DATE CHANGE!
The community-wide DCA inspections have begun, and have gone reasonably well for the first week. The state has been able to inspect about 200 of the 545 units, thanks to the many residents that have coordinated an inspection time.
THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE IN THE INSPECTION SCHEDULE FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS!! Originally there were no inspections next week, followed by inspections again on the 24th through 27th, and then the 31st and the 1st of November. In the NEW SCHEDULE there WILL be inspections next week, from October 17th through October 20th, and then again the following week on October 24th, 25th, and 26th. Inspections will no longer be done on October 27, October 31, and November 1.
Another door-hanger went out on Thursday to all the units that have not already been inspected or have not already scheduled an inspection. The new inspection schedule can be viewed at:
If you had previously scheduled an inspection on one of the deleted inspections days (Oct 27, Oct 31, Nov 1), we will be contacting you to reschedule to one of the other inspection days, if you haven't already contacted us about a new date.
A day before the scheduled inspection, we will leave a reminder flyer on your door. If we don't hear from you at all, we will schedule an inspection date for you and you will get a notice on your door the day before.
If the State inspectors are unable to access your unit, at some point there will be monetary penalties assessed against your unit. We have been told those penalties could be substantial.
Abandoned and Inoperable Vehicles
The DCA inspections cover not only the inside of the units, but also the outside grounds. The inspectors have made note of a number of abandoned or inoperable vehicles still located on the property. They have indicated that all these vehicles need to either be brought current (repaired, registered and inspected) or removed from the property. If this is not done, these vehicle will be a violation on the final inspection report. Therefore, if you still have an abandoned or inoperable vehicle on the property, please make plans to take care of it soon. If the problem is not resolved, to avoid monetary fines against the association and the owners of the abandoned or inoperable vehicles, and as per the associations rules and regulations, those vehicles will ultimately be removed from the property. Many of the owners of such vehicles were contacted earlier in the year and most of them took care of the problem. At one point in time, we had around 35 abandoned or inoperable vehicles on the property. We are now down to about 8 which is a considerable improvement, but again, we have been gently reminded that there shouldn't be any.
Annual Meeting and Election Update
Due to the recent changes in the State Condominium Act (details of which were included and linked in the prior community email - see archive link below), and the recent resignation of one of the board members, the nomination deadline for the 2017 board of trustees elections is being extended once again, this time to Sunday October 29th. The election mailing will then go out on Monday October 30th. The annual meeting is currently rescheduled for Friday, December 15th, 2017, since it usually takes till December to get enough proxies anyway. All unit owners will be receiving another letter announcing the call-for-nominations and the October 29th deadline.
There will probably be some "New Business" items on the annual meeting agenda this year. If any owners have agenda items that are appropriate in the context of an annual meeting of the membership, they may contact the board of trustees and/or its members and ask that their agenda items be considered for placement on the annual meeting agenda. The board will likely be voting on what items and possibly what ballot questions will be on the 2017 meeting agenda, at the upcoming board meeting. In spite of whatever items the board decides to put on the annual meeting agenda, keep in mind that any owner in good standing, present at the annual meeting, can still bring up items and make a motion from the floor at the meeting. Items do not have to be pre-planned and on the agenda in order to be considered at the meeting.
October Board Meeting, and Special Meeting
The October Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, October 18th, 7PM at the clubhouse. The agenda is still the lingering items from the prior 3 meetings, plus some items relating to the annual meeting, and other minor new business.
Concurrent with the Wednesday board meeting, there will also be a special meeting of the board, to appoint a member to the recently vacated seat on the board. The appointment would be up until the conclusion of the 2017 election. If there are any owners interested in that appointment, please contact the board before Wednesday the 18th.
DATE: Friday, October 27, 2017
TIME: 4:42 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Candidate Profile Deadline, DCA Inspections
TYPE: Community News
2017 Candidate Profile Deadline
This is your final reminder that the deadline to submit nominations for the 2017 Board of Trustees election is this coming Sunday, October 29, 2017. The 2017 election mailing will be prepared and taken to the post office on Monday, October 30th. The Meet the Candidates night is still scheduled for Wednesday November 1, 2017, 7PM at the clubhouse.
At the recent Board of Trustees meeting, it was decided that there would be one race with all three seats, rather than one race with the two full-term seats, and a second race with the unexpired-term seat. The unexpired seat will go to the winning candidate with the least votes. It was also decided that there would be a few "public questions" on the ballot this year, relating to capital expenditures.
Finally, the board also appointed Teresa Douglas to the vacancy on the board. The appointment will be until the 2017 election concludes. The 2017 Election and Annual Meeting is currently scheduled for December 15, 2017.
The first round of DCA inspections have concluded. The inspectors will be back in a few months to re-inspect the units that had violations, and attempt to inspect any units that couldn't be inspected in this round. Around 100 units did not schedule an appointment. If the failures are not corrected by the re-inspection dates, or the inspectors are still not able to inspect the units that were missed, there will be monetary penalties assessed by the state against those units.
DATE: Wednesday, November 1, 2017
TIME: 12:41 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Meet the Candidates **TONIGHT**, and Editorial Comments
TYPE: Community News
The 2017 "Meet the Candidates" night is tonight, Wednesday November 1st, 7PM at the clubhouse. The 2017 annual meeting and election mailing was brought to the post office yesterday, and should be in mailboxes as early as today. If you haven't received the mailing in time for the event tonight, you can view the candidate profiles on-line at:
There are four candidates for 3 seats. One of the seats is an un-expired term for 2-years. The other seats are for 3-year terms. The four candidates, in alphabetical order, are Teresa Douglas, Atif Nazir, Kevin Wine, and Tong Zhou.
There are also some capital improvement and expenditure items on the annual meeting agenda this year, along with a capital expenditure question on the ballot. A sheet explaining the ballot question was included with the election mailing, and can be viewed at:
If anyone would like to volunteer to moderate the event, please contact the office today. Preferably we need someone that is not too involved in the politics. We also need at least two more independent key-holders for the election mailbox and the election safe. If anyone is willing to bring their own lock (or buy one - the association will reimburse for the expense) to lock either the mailbox or the election safe please let us know asap. We currently only have two key holders for the election mailbox and none for the election safe. Key holders will need to be available for the annual meeting on December 15th, and approximately once a week every week from now until then.
Please note that beginning this year, all proxy/ballot return envelopes are addressed to the "555 Chesterfield Drive" address, and will be delivered to the new blue 555 Chesterfield mailbox in front of the clubhouse. If you are bringing your proxy/ballot envelope to the office in person, please put it directly in the blue mailbox. Do NOT PUT OTHER MAIL IN THE BLUE MAILBOX, because that box is for in-bound election mail only and will not be opened very often. If you mail your proxy/ballot envelope, it will be placed directly in the blue election mailbox by US Postal Service personnel. This arrangement will preserve the integrity of the election process now and in to the future.
"Anyone but Kevin", by Kevin Wine
I see the campaign is already on, with at least two mailings that have gone out already. One is a 9-page manifesto on how horrible I am, and another is a reminder postcard just in case anyone forgets how horrible I am between now and when they complete their ballot. The cut-and-paste diatribe has been scanned and is available here in case you were somehow spared the agony:
The piece is signed by Brian Timper, co-owner of 257 Hampshire Court. If the name is familiar, it is because the Timpers were the subject of a prior community email editorial about a year ago. See the following link for most of the back-story on the Timpers (it's the 3rd editorial in the link "I'm Naming Names"):
I think we are on phase three of the hate campaign, with numerous accusations leveled against me and the way the association is currently being run. I see the intention is to get me off the board, and from there I assume the plan will be to get me out of the management, and after that I bet there are some who would like to see me completely run out of town! The motivation is less obvious, but I will speculate it is a combination of self-righteousness and personal gain. A considerable effort has been made over the last few years to undermine me, and considerable money is being spent by the Timpers to make that happen. At some point one has to begin to wonder what is going on.
Neither of the Timpers are running in this election, or have ever run in a Society Hill election!! They had ample opportunity to nominate themselves this year, but instead choose to operate from behind the scenes by supporting Ms. Douglas, who seems to have openly accepted their endorsement, and by "un-supporting" me. They don't even live here - they are non-resident owners. Since I've been involved with the board starting in 2004, I never saw them at a board meeting or anywhere else until about a year ago. As far as I know they didn't live on site in the early 2000's, and certainly weren't living here before or during the transition to self-management. Yet they feel qualified to comment about that period of time.
Many of the issues they raise are not new, and in fact have been previously addressed in either newsletter articles or community emails. I think I have done a reasonable job of keeping everyone informed over the years about the association, the politics, the problems, and the various projects. I think the various quotes of mine, going as far back as 2005, confirm that. The attempt to find inconsistencies in my writings is a real stretch and borders on comedy. The quote regarding self-management from 2006 is particularly interesting, since self-management didn't start until 2008. And the roofs aren't 30+ years old. All the roofs were done in 1993. 2017-1993=24 years. Several of the condo building roofs were done again in 1999. 2017-1999=18 years. I know I have talked about this in prior community roof emails.
In addition to targeting me, there is a concerted effort to scrap the various capital improvement projects that we have been working on over the last few years. This effort is further supported by Mr. Tsacnaris, one of our current board members, who seems to be in philosophical alignment with the Timpers. Detailed descriptions of all the capital projects have already been written, including the vision behind them, their sequencing, and their interconnection. While some of the projects are pure cost, others will actually generate revenue or reduce expenses. Ending those projects, after time and money has already been invested in them, does not make a lot of sense.
There has always been talk over the years, especially at budget time, about finding other ways to increase revenue (other than raise fees!) and reduce expenses. I have found some ways, where others haven't. And I don't mean a few hundred dollars of additional revenue or reduced expense, I mean hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly millions. It seems like that would be a good thing, and everyone would get behind it - or at least not get in the way - and help make it work. Some of the projects are technical, and I can understand that it may be difficult to fully understand all the intricacies. However, it is quite immature to hate something just because you don't understand it, or hate something because you didn't think of it, or hate something you don't like but actually works. Sometimes I sense there is a professional or even personal jealously component to the reactions.
If anyone wishes to debate the technical merits, feasibility, costs, or designs, I am more than happy to make the time to do so. That is where much of this discussion should be. I have had many technical debates in my past, which are usually constructive and lead to a better end result. If anyone has other practical larger-scale revenue increasing or cost reducing ideas those should be presented and debated. But it is always much easier to be destructive than constructive. It is much easier to shoot something down than build something up from scratch. I am sure there are more clever ideas out there, more opportunities, more ways to save or spend money, and more ways of making things work. I would really like to see all this negative energy spent in those directions.
There is value in some of the exchanges that differing viewpoints create, but there also has to be a limit. Re-litigating the same issues over and over again with the same end result is a waste of everyone's time. Most people do not want to pay any more "maintenance tax" than they have to. If you are a political actor, ignore that reality at your own peril. It has been the undoing of many, including the former board clique. Accept the reality and find a way to make it work is the message. I fear we are now beginning a similar cycle with the capital project attacks, with those being re-litigated each year until the projects are either completed or killed.
To address just a few of the wild accusations in the Timper Manifesto, some of the employees are paid from the capital reserve fund, because they are doing capital reserve repair or improvement work. There will be wasteful spending on "unfinished projects" if those projects are cancelled before they return any revenue or reduce expenses! It is a bit presumptions to be making that statement at this point. The office makes dozens of calls a month to residents regarding rules violations. There is a plan and a design for community-wide video surveillance, however it is tied to one of the projects that the Timpers and others are trying to kill. We don't use contractors (except for trash pickup) so every single expense appears on the books and is visible to the committees. The necessity or function of all the items may not be apparent to an outside observer. Several of the "unfinished projects" were never intended to be completed in a single phase. I explained this in the May 16, 2017 email to the finance committee, on which the Timpers sit. Some are "filler projects", which we work on when things are slower. Some are tied to other projects, and are therefore only worked on when their companion projects is worked on. Some haven't been physically started, or are still in the design/approval phase. We have full-time, full-year staff. I need a pipeline of things for them to work on. Since projects can get jammed up for various reasons, I need more than one active ("unfinished") project. Otherwise, we would be wasting money with crew sitting around with not much to do.
The complex is not worse than it was in 2005. For a brief review of the property from around that time, see:
On a totally different subject, just in case there isn't another community email between now and the general election, I wanted to remind everyone to vote on November 7th, and put in a plug for some of the Board of Education candidates this year. As some of you probably remember, I've run for a Board of Education seat a couple of times a few years ago, and still follow that race every year. Shantel Cherry, who I ran with three years ago is running again this year (she won and I lost back then!). Tom Connors and Alexandra Lopez are also up this year, and in one of the more interesting twists of political fate, are running with Shantel this time. Please consider voting "Cherry, Lopez, Connors, lines 3, 4, 5". The opposition this year is some past Board of Ed "re-runs", who are returning from the ashes of their prior defeats to challenge the 3,4,5 team.
Democracy In Action: Part 2, by George Tsacnaris
Earlier this year I wrote a short editorial about democracy at large and in our community.
I want to acknowledge one individual that did take the time to write back. In fact, this individual wrote to state they were opposed to the democratic approach in our community. Sir or Madam you are entitled to your opinion but I strongly believe that we need to continue to utilize the democratic path to move forward. But please come to our (your) Board Meetings and speak up since you feel otherwise.
We are starting an important election cycle. Perhaps more important than any other over the past 10 years.
If you love the current situation in Society Hill then you probably know who you are voting for.
But keep an open mind.
Our financial situation is not the sole measure that should be looked at.
However, it is certainly a key one, probably the most key one.
Questions that need to continue to be asked - and eventually answered:
1) How did this Board allow the Capital Reserve Fund bank account balance to decline from $2.32 million at the end of 2010 to $0.56 million currently. That is a decline of $1.76 million dollars over less than 7 years.
Please think about this for one minute - what tangible improvements has this community seen during that period? Whatever you come up with then ask - was it worth $1.76 million of YOUR money. The list of what has NOT been achieved is quite long. At some point actual results must matter - not Talk.
2) How did this Board allow the Operating Fund to have a balance of negative $152,000 thru the period of the last Audit (end of 2016). Yes, you read that correctly - our Auditor documents the fund balance is a negative amount. It has been negative for awhile but dropped further in 2016.
3) Why has the Board ignored the Engineering study that concluded our Fund is Millions of dollars under the replacement cost. How will needed repairs and replacements in a community over 30 years be paid for?
4) Has Self-Management been a net positive or net negative? The Board should evaluate this and make a sober determination not an emotional one.
5) Even the Auditor is now starting to raise concerns. Within the past month he told us in regards to the 2016 audit -"Society Hill Piscataway has numerous losses over the last few years. While we are not engaged to give opinion on how the entity spends its money, it is alarming that the cash position has substantially decreased from year to year. While we do not think it is an immediate threat to the survival or success of the Association we do recommend to Management that there should be more prudence how funds are spent."
and a new one:
6) Why was this Election so messed up?
So exercise your democratic power as you best see fit.
Change can happen if you want it to.
P.S. if this Editorial actually gets sent out on schedule - please come to the Candidates Night and ask questions.
If not, you can still submit questions via email or to the office.
DATE: Monday, November 20, 2017
TIME: 8:19 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: BOT Meeting, Holiday Schedule, Proxies Received, Editorials, and More
TYPE: Community News
November Board Meeting
The November Board of Trustees Meeting is this Tuesday, November 21st, 7PM at the clubhouse. The agenda is still the lingering items from the prior 4 meetings, which we should finally be getting through since there are not many new items at this meeting. The 2018 budget should be getting attention soon, however management is still working on a proposed budget, and some of the high cost items are still outstanding.
The agenda can be found at:
The recent property tax re-valuation will likely come up at the meeting. It appears that this re-valuation is being done at market value, which is resulting in a large value increase for most owners. As long as this same standard is applied town-wide, and the tax rate is adjusted accordingly, I assume we won't be seeing a large property tax change. The new values and rate won't go in to effect until July of next year, I am told. Over the last 15 years, I have seen an increase in property taxes from a little over $3,000 in 2003 to just under $5,000 this year. That equates to about a 3% increase per year over the last 15 years.
The last re-valuation was done in 2014. Apparently the State of NJ has mandated that the re-valuation be done at least every 4 years, which would be 2018.
Holiday Trash Collection, Office, and Recycling Schedule
The management office will be closed on Thursday November 23 and Friday November 24th in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Curbside trash collection for the townhouse units WILL be taking place as normally scheduled, on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day), November 23. The truck has been coming pretty early, so be sure to have your bags out by 6:30 AM. If you miss the pickup, please carry your bags over to any of the dumpsters on Canterbury Court, Lancaster Court, or the clubhouse, as maintenance staff will not be available over the holiday weekend to do this for you.
Recycling is this Wednesday, November 22nd.
2017 Annual Meeting Proxies
As of Friday, November 17th, we have received 189 proxies by mail. The exact quorum requirement won't be known until December 12th, however given the current delinquency rate it will probably be around 230. Therefore, we need about another 60 proxies before December 15th to hold the 2017 annual meeting as planned.
Here is a list of units that have already sent proxies. You can check the list to make sure yours was received:
1, 7, 14, 15, 18, 23, 25, 28, 29, 33, 37, 38, 39, 42, 45, 47, 48, 51, 53, 58, 62, 63, 66, 69, 70, 71, 73, 77, 83, 86, 87, 89, 91, 92, 97, 99, 100, 101, 111, 119, 121, 122, 123, 125, 126, 128, 132, 133, 135, 137, 139, 140, 143, 145, 146, 150, 151, 153, 154, 156, 158, 160, 165, 168, 169, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 179, 181, 186, 187, 193, 198, 201, 207, 210, 211, 216, 220, 224, 228, 229, 231, 236, 237, 242, 255, 257, 258, 262, 265, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 275, 277, 278, 281, 283, 288, 290, 296, 298, 300, 305, 308, 312, 313, 314, 319, 321, 328, 329, 332, 336, 338, 339, 340, 346, 349, 350, 354, 357, 358, 359, 360, 363, 365, 370, 374, 375, 383, 386, 396, 400, 406, 409, 410, 413, 416, 422, 425, 429, 435, 437, 438, 439, 445, 448, 449, 451, 459, 461, 465, 466, 469, 475, 476, 479, 480, 482, 483, 484, 485, 486, 488, 489, 490, 493, 500, 506, 508, 509, 510, 516, 521, 522, 533, 535, 538, 540, 543, 544, 547
If you are not in the list and didn't send it over the weekend, then please return your proxy as soon as possible. If you lost it, contact the office and we can provide a replacement. If you plan on attending the annual meeting in person, then you don't need to send in a proxy.
Election committee members are still needed to process the ballots and the proxies at the annual meeting!! If you are available on December 15th and willing to volunteer, please contact the management office. We need at least 6 residents for the committee. While people usually come forward at the meeting, the counting procedure is somewhat complicated and it would be good to go over the procedure prior to the 15th.
Community Event - *FREE* Country Line Dancing Class
Some residents are organizing free line-dancing classes at the clubhouse, with the first session planned for late November. If you are interested in further details, please contact email@example.com
by Teresa Douglas, Board Member, 444 Lancaster Court
This election is coming up quickly. I hope everyone takes the time to cast their vote and also think about where you can become more active in our community. Last year I volunteered for the Covenants and Finance Committees as my first step in making a difference in the community. It has been very rewarding, not only meeting other owners and residents, but also receiving input on the positives and the concerns in our association. Our bottom line is what makes the this community run smoothly. I know many of you have seen areas that are a priority and/or need to be pushed up to the first page of the "work" list. I look to continue to work with the Board, Management and Owners in tightening our financial belt and getting more structured with work that needs to be done, while trying to keep our fees low. Like Black Fridays - we want to get the biggest bang out of our buck. I look to getting our Clubhouse cleaned up and keep the grounds neat. It is the little things that create the biggest differences. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
The Board continues to look for volunteers for committees including: Election Committee, Finance Committee, Recreation Committee.
Have a great Thanksgiving.
by George Tsacnaris, Board Member, 171 Chippenham Court
A healthy discussion of the issues and concerns during an Election should be a good thing.
I wish there were means made available to everyone to participate without having to spend their own money to campaign. Something to consider for the future.
The main theme expressed by Kevin and Atif seems to be "LOW FEES" above all else. It does sound very attractive. Who can be against LOW FEES?
I do agree that it is factually true that the monthly fee in our Society Hill is lower than other local associations and other Society Hill developments.
However, I disagree with the reason why this is the case. I have shared this with you in the past.
The reason is not because we are a self-managed community. It is not that simple by any means.
Under Kevin, Atif (and former member Mr. Machyowsky) control the Board has allowed our Reserve Fund to decline by over $1.7 MILLION dollars.
In simplest terms they made the monthly fee look very attractive at the expense of our Reserve Fund.
Again, ask them directly where did that $1.7 MILLION dollars go? Seriously, what have we gotten over the past 8 years for $1.7 MILLION dollars?
Each Board Member has a fiduciary responsibility and that is not simply to keep "LOW FEES".
The Board is required to look at the future needs and set the Fees accordingly.
Associations have been sued when they do not see their Fees to match ALL their expenses.
So when we need to replace our ROOFS, make other replacements and the like the money is either in the Fund and does not require an extra assessment or not. To say nothing of building a Maintenance Garage which may wind up costing almost the full amount we have in the Fund right now.
Pay me now, or Pay me later. Eventually there is no free lunch.
Kevin and Atif simply cannot provide a credible explanation of how they are going to pay for everything that needs to be paid for in this community over the next few years. But, yes, they simply say they will keep the fees low.
Final Election Perspective
by Kevin Wine, Board Member/President, 345 Lancaster Ct.
We have had a slightly better than average return on proxies this year, I assume due to a higher level of interest in the annual meeting and election than normal. More participation can only be a good thing. I was a little surprised though, to see only one additional candidate beyond the available seats (4 candidates nominated for 3 open seats), in spite of a few very active owners who seem to want a role in Society Hill leadership. There has been more campaigning this year, both here in Society Hill and in the Piscataway general election as well. I don't know if everyone noticed, but there was an epic political battle this year in Piscataway over 3 Board of Education seats. Members of the town council, the mayor, a former mayor, a state senator, a county freeholder, and even the county sheriff entered the fray.
There is an equally epic battle this year in Society Hill, again over the self-management concept. While this is not the first time self-management has been under attack, it is certainly the first time it has been under this level of attack. From the feedback I've been receiving, it is crystal clear that the intention is to get me out of the picture. Time will tell how that plan goes.
While I could iterate once more through the list of good things that have happened here over the past several years, I will instead just remind everyone that your maintenance fees would probably not be where they are had the association remained with the management company/contractor model for the last 9 years. Likely your property values would not be where they are either. In spite of the alleged imperfections, we have seen our property values increase significantly in the last few years, as the recent property tax re-valuation confirms. While more property taxes are not a good thing, higher property values are! I would ask the remaining owners that haven't yet voted to keep the big picture in mind. We are at serious risk of finding ourselves back to where we were 9 years ago, or worse.
DATE: Wednesday, December 13, 2017
TIME: 8:56 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Annual Meeting Update, and Parking
TYPE: Community News
The annual meeting is on for Friday, December 15th, beginning 6PM at the clubhouse. As of December 13th, we have received 336 proxy/ballot envelopes. If you have not submitted your proxy/ballot yet, the deadline is today. You can also come to the meeting and vote in person, in which case you can wait till Friday. There will be food, followed by the proxy processing, then the annual meeting, and finally the ballot counting. The association auditor will also be in attendance to present the 2016 audit.
It has been brought to our attention that the Piscataway Police have suddenly begun ticketing parallel-parked cars in Society Hill. We are not sure what or who initiated this. Years ago the complex was "Title 39-ed", which means that even though it is private property, authority was granted to the Piscataway PD to enforce the traffic and parking laws on the Association's private roads. They generally have not been ticketing parked cars due to the fact that in several areas there is a serious shortage of parking spaces. Several years ago the association attempted to relieve some of the parking congestion by asking the township to allow us to change the parking rules on Buckingham and Chesterfield Drives. Unfortunately, that plan stalled with the town about 4 years ago.
DATE: Saturday, December 16, 2017
TIME: 4:48 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Annual Meeting/Election Status, December BOT Meeting, and Holiday Schedule
TYPE: Community News
The 2017 Annual Meeting was held last night. We received a record number of proxy envelopes - over 340. The quorum requirement was around 230, so even after the disqualified or invalid proxies were removed, we still had more than enough valid proxies to meet quorum. Although the proxy processing started around 6:30 PM, by 10 PM we were still not quite finished, so the members present voted to postpone the meeting to Monday, December 18th, 5:30 PM at the clubhouse. It will probably take another 2 hours to finish the proxy processing, hold the actual annual meeting, and tally the ballots.
Due to the meeting postponement, the deadline to submit a proxy/ballot for the adjourned meeting is now technically today (Saturday), 2 days prior to the adjourned meeting. So for the real procrastinators, you have a few more hours!
As the proxies were being processed, it was noticed that several owners forgot to include the white proxy form along with their ballot. If you didn't send a white proxy form, unfortunately your ballot cannot be counted! You still have until the end of today to drop it in the blue box outside the clubhouse. Be sure to check box number 1 on the proxy, put your name in the first blank at the top, and sign, date, and put your unit number in the blanks at the bottom. If you are not sure you sent the white proxy form, you can always send another one just to be sure. The proxy form can be downloaded from:
Proxy voting is a legal requirement of the association, since we are a Title 15A non-profit corporation under NJ State Law. It is a cumbersome process, but we really don't have much choice. There are a few simplifications that could be made, however at the expense of membership rights, such as voting on other issues that might come up at the meeting, or giving your proxy to another member in good standing. We also provide anonymous ballots, which adds complication but preserves the secrecy of everyone's ballot. I assume I don't need to explain why that is a good feature!
Also due to the meeting postponement, a handful of proxy envelopes received between December 13 and December 15 will have to be processed. Originally they missed the "proxy filed two days before the meeting" deadline.
The December Board of Trustees meeting is currently still on for Wednesday, December 20th, 7 PM. A representative from Brown and Brown, one of the association's insurance brokers, will be present to discuss the master insurance policy (property and liability coverage), and other policies. It is possible that the 2018 budget will also be discussed and/or decided at the meeting.
In case there are no further emails next week, the office holiday schedule is December 25th and January 1st (the management office will be closed on those days and no crew will be working). Although it hasn't yet been confirmed by the trash collection contractor, it is likely they WILL be picking up curbside for the townhouse units on Monday December 25th and Monday January 1st.
DATE: Wednesday, December 20, 2017
TIME: 3:27 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Election Results, and December Board Meeting
TYPE: Community News
December Board Meeting Rescheduled
The December Board of Trustees meeting, which was originally scheduled for tomorrow, is being rescheduled for Wednesday, December 27th, 7PM at the clubhouse. A representative from Brown and Brown Insurance, one of the association's insurance brokers, will be in attendance to present the 2018 master insurance policy proposal. Other topics on the agenda will be the board reorganization (officer positions) and the 2018 budget and fees.
2017 Election Results
The 2017 Annual Meeting did conclude on Monday, December 18th. The results of the election were as follows:
Teresa Douglas, 37 votes
Atif Nazir, 232 votes
Kevin Wine, 246 votes
Tong Zhou, 230 votes
Mr. Nazir, Mr. Wine, and Mr. Zhou have won seats. The board would like to thank Ms. Douglas for her service as an appointed member of the last few months, as well as Mr. Kahn who has been on the board for the last 4 years but did not run in this election.
The ballot question was 54 votes for yes, and 189 votes for no. Therefore, the original funding approvals for the garage and internet projects still stand.
The officer positions will be determined at the first meeting of the Board of Trustees, which has been rescheduled for next Wednesday, December 27th.
The preliminary annual meeting minutes can be found at: