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DATE: Thursday, January 3, 2019
TIME: 6:24 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: BOARD MEETING Announcements for January 6 and 10
TYPE: Community News

The Society Hill Piscataway Board will hold the following meetings:

A Special Meeting on Sunday January 6 with the Open portion starting at 12:30PM. It is not expected to include an Owner session during this meeting. Owners can still attend and observe the Open portion but will not be able to ask questions or make comments.

A Regular Meeting on Thursday January 10 at 7PM which will include an Owner session.

Board of Trustees

505:105:7:1:618


DATE: Sunday, January 20, 2019
TIME: 7:49 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Special Board of Trustees Meeting - Monday January 21
TYPE: Community News

There will be a special meeting of the Board of Trustees tomorrow, Monday, January 21st, 2019. The executive session portion of the meeting will begin at 7PM. The open meeting will begin at 8:30PM. If you plan on attending the meeting, the portion open to the residents will begin at 8:30PM.

Also in attendance will be Ms. Susan Radom, of Radom & Wetter. Ms. Radom is now counsel for the association.

The closed executive session will cover various personnel and litigation issues, as allowed under the open meetings act.

506:103:7:1:617


DATE: Tuesday, January 29, 2019
TIME: 1:37 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Special Board Meeting TODAY, 7PM
TYPE: Community News

There will be a Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees TODAY, Tuesday, January 29th at the clubhouse. The open meeting will begin at 7PM. There will be a closed executive session starting around 9PM. The agenda will be posted on the WEB site as soon as it is finalized.

http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Board/Agendas/2019/Agenda_1-29-2019_SpecialMeeting.pdf

(The link will be broken until the agenda is posted)

If anyone is interested in being the associations meeting minutes taker, please respond to this email or send an email to theboard@societyhillpiscataway.com. The board currently has no minutes taker. In the past, the function paid $100 per meeting. The meetings usually last a few hours, plus it would typically take an hour or two to prepare the minutes.

If anyone is interested in participating on the finance committee, please mail or email a brief bio to the Board of Trustees for consideration.

Board of Trustees

506:103:7:1:617


DATE: Thursday, January 31, 2019
TIME: 12:08 AM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Change in Curbside Trash Pickup Schedule
TYPE: Community News

We were recently advised by our trash collection contractor (Grand Sanitation) that there will be a change in the trash collection schedule for the townhouse units only. The new trash pick-up days will be Tuesday and Friday of every week, effective immediately. Therefore there will be NO PICKUP tomorrow, Thursday, January 31st. The next townhouse unit trash pickup will be Friday, February 1.

Dumpster pickup for the condo buildings will still be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you live in a townhouse unit and miss the trash collection as a result of the schedule change, you can always walk you trash over to the nearest condo building dumpster.

506:103:7:1:617


DATE: Monday, February 11, 2019
TIME: 9:44 AM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: February Board Meeting Reminder
TYPE: Community News

The February Meeting of the Board of Trustees is this Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at the clubhouse. The open meeting will begin at 8:30 PM. The agenda has not been finalized, but when it is it can be viewed at:

http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Board/Agendas/2019/Agenda_2-13-2019.pdf

(The link will not work until the agenda is finalized, hopefully by Tuesday the 12th).

The Board is still looking for a minutes-taker for the board meetings. The minutes-taker would be responsible for attending the meetings and writing up the meeting minutes. In the past, the function was paid at $100 per meeting.

The new trash collection schedule is in effect, with curb-side townhouse collection on Tuesday and Friday. The condo buildings and the dumpsters are still on the same schedule as they used to be.

Board of Trustees

505:103:7:1:616


DATE: Sunday, February 24, 2019
TIME: 11:41 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Special Board of Trustees Meeting - Tuesday February 26
TYPE: Community News

There will be another Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, February 26th, at the clubhouse. The open meeting will begin at 8:30 PM. The agenda will be available soon at:

http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Board/Agendas/2019/Agenda_2-26-2019_SpecialMeeting.pdf

(The link will not work until Monday or later)

-Board of Trustees

504:103:7:1:615


DATE: Wednesday, March 6, 2019
TIME: 3:24 AM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Special Board of Trustees Meeting - Thursday March 7
TYPE: Community News

There will be a special meeting of the Board of Trustees this Thursday, March 7th, at the clubhouse. The open meeting will begin at 7 PM. The agenda, when completed, will be available at:

http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Board/Agendas/2019/Agenda_3-7-2019_SpecialMeeting.pdf

There will be a contractor at the meeting to discuss the pool.

-Board of Trustees

502:102:7:1:612


DATE: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
TIME: 6:05 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Board Meeting Reminder TONIGHT
TYPE: Community News

Good Afternoon Residents,

The community is having an open session board meeting this evening, April 10th, at 8pm. Come meet the new Community Manager, Stacey Cole, and get acquainted as a group. Looking forward to seeing you tonight.

Thank You,
Management

505:101:7:1:614


DATE: Tuesday, May 7, 2019
TIME: 2:29 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Community Meeting May 9th @ 8pm
TYPE: Community News

This email is to notify you of the Community Meeting on Thursday May 9th @ 8:00pm.

We look forward to seeing many of your there.

Thank you,

Management

505:101:7:1:614


DATE: Monday, June 17, 2019
TIME: 3:37 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Community Meeting June 18th @ 8pm
TYPE: Community News

Good afternoon,

This is a reminder of the next Community Meeting being held at the Clubhouse on June 18, 2019 @ 8pm.

Looking forward to seeing many of you there.

In addition, please view the following link for the updated Society Hill @ Piscataway calendar.

http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Calendar/Calendar.html

Thank you,
Management

506:105:7:1:619


DATE: Wednesday, July 3, 2019
TIME: 2:01 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: POOL OPENING
TYPE: Community News

I am pleased to announce that the pool will be officially open for the season as of July 4th. Hours of operation will be 10AM - 7PM daily.

A kind reminder to always follow the pool rules and use common sense at all times. Pool Rules will be posted in and around the pool area.

Have a fun and safe holiday!

508:107:7:1:623


DATE: Wednesday, July 10, 2019
TIME: 6:34 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Community Meeting July 11th @ 8pm
TYPE: Community News

A quick reminder that there is an open session meeting on Thursday July 11th @ 8pm in the clubhouse.

Thank you,
Management

508:109:7:1:625


DATE: Tuesday, August 13, 2019
TIME: 7:08 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Community Meeting August 15th @ 8pm
TYPE: Community News

Our next open board meeting will be Thursday August 15th @ 8pm in the Community Clubhouse.

Hope to see many of you there.

Thank you,
Management

511:114:7:1:633


DATE: Friday, August 30, 2019
TIME: 6:23 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Holiday Weekend Updates
TYPE: Community News

Please be advised that the pool will close for the season after the Labor Day holiday. Monday September 2nd is the last day to enjoy the pool.

Parking rules must always be observed. With visitors coming in and out, along with new move ins, we must ensure all residents are safe and secure with their vehicles. There is to be NO PARKING on curbs, in front of fire hydrants or anywhere else outside of a designated parking space. This is for the safety of all.

Just a reminder that trash collection is Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the dumpsters in the condo areas. Curb side pick-up is Tuesday and Friday for the town homes.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday weekend!

512:121:6:1:640


DATE: Wednesday, September 18, 2019
TIME: 6:08 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: True Green Turf Application
TYPE: Community News

Good afternoon,

True Green will be on site tomorrow, September 19th, to apply the second and final turf application for the season.

Please stay off the grassy areas, be mindful of your children and pets, for the safety of all.

Any questions, contact management via email and/or the on site office.

Thanking you in advance for your cooperation!

512:125:6:1:644


DATE: Monday, September 23, 2019
TIME: 8:26 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Community Meeting 9/26 plus updates
TYPE: Community News

Good afternoon,

We will be holding an open board meeting this Thursday September 26th @ 8pm in the community clubhouse.

This Saturday September 28th @ 10am - Noon, we are having a meet and greet with homeowners, management and Piscataway Police Department. Please drop by the clubhouse to have coffee with some of the Piscataway Police Officers and learn of some of the programs you all have access to.

Also, please be sure to look out for the election mailer next week in your mailboxes. Mailer will go out on September 30th. It's important many of you come out to vote or send in your forms to be able to reach quorum. Election date is October 28, 2019.

Any questions, feel free to reply to this email.

Have a nice day,
Management

512:127:6:1:646


DATE: Thursday, October 10, 2019
TIME: 7:21 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: COMMUNITY POWER WASHING
TYPE: Community News

Good afternoon,

Power washing of the buildings is scheduled to commence on Monday, October 14, 2019, weather permitting. In advance of this project, please remove personal items from the exterior of your home (doors, walkways, breezeways and balconies) including planters, decor, furniture and lawn ornaments so they do not get wet/ruined during this process.

A solution will be used to clean the siding, trim, gutters and leaders. During this time, please keep windows, doors and sliders closed to prevent water from getting into your home.

Any questions, feel free to contact the office or email directly.

Thanking you in advance for your cooperation,
Management

516:129:6:1:652


DATE: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
TIME: 4:42 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Meet the Candidates Night 10/22
TYPE: Community News

The Board of Trustees will host a Candidate's Night for the community members to meet the candidates running in the 2019 election.

This will be held on Tuesday, October 22nd @ 7-9 PM at the Clubhouse.

Looking forward to seeing many of you there.

Thank you,

Management

517:129:6:1:653


DATE: Friday, October 18, 2019
TIME: 7:43 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Sidewalk Repairs to Begin Tuesday 10/22/19
TYPE: Community News

The community is beginning concrete sidewalk repairs, weather permitting, on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019. Buildings 2, 3, 4, 5 and Buildings 26 through 33. They will begin by removing the old concrete, framing the areas to rebuild, then pour the new concrete to form fresh, new sidewalks. Hampshire and Lancaster buildings are set to be first. Canterbury to follow.

We will ask that you move your cars out of the way, or at the very least, move them a foot or two back from the curbside of the sidewalks TEMPORARILY to allow for the construction work to begin with ease. Please use common sense and parking rules while trying to manage around the construction areas.

Please be careful not to walk through the taped off zones during demolition. Please avoid the coned and wood framed areas, to allow for the concrete to cure properly prior to walking, riding bikes, scooters, etc.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact me directly. Please do NOT discuss your concerns with the vendors or our on-site maintenance staff.

Your patience is greatly appreciated throughout the process.

517:129:6:1:653


DATE: Friday, October 25, 2019
TIME: 7:47 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Sidewalk Repairs - UPDATE
TYPE: Community News

Thank you for your patience and cooperation over on Hampshire and Lancaster during this week's concrete sidewalk repairs. For those who moved cars out or back, it was greatly appreciated.

Update for Monday, 10/28 - A-Tech will continue with buildings 29, 28, 27, 26.

It's very important to move cars back at least 2 feet from the curb or moved out of your parking spots for the day.

Thanking you in advance,
Management

516:130:6:1:653


DATE: Monday, October 28, 2019
TIME: 7:37 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Sidewalk Repairs - UPDATE 10/28/19
TYPE: Community News

We are continuing with the sidewalk repairs on Canterbury Court this week. Buildings 2, 3, 4 and 5. Weather permitting.

As stated before, it is IMPERATIVE that cars are either temporarily moved out of your assigned spots (closest to the buildings) or moved back at least two feet from the curb in order to allow for the work to be completed properly.

Thanking you in advance for your cooperation,
Management

516:130:6:1:653


DATE: Tuesday, November 5, 2019
TIME: 5:57 AM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: The Forbidden Editorial
TYPE: Community News

This editorial is not approved by your board of trustees. In fact, last fall your board decided to shut down all future email newsletter editorials. They know their arguments are weak and they know they are behaving badly, so they don't want anyone telling you what is really going on. I feel the association is being damaged by their actions. Whether they like it or not, I am still a member of your board, and as such I still have a fiduciary responsibility towards the association, and therefore an obligation to protect the association. Various association resources were used to attack me, so I feel it is appropriate to respond likewise.

This email is long, and I do not expect everyone to have the time to read it in its entirety. The purpose is to provide you with the supporting details behind the points and predictions I make, so you can judge for yourself, if you so wish. Hopefully my opposition will respond, and there can finally be some discussion on the topic, rather than one-sided propaganda and attacks. Instead, they will probably react negatively - we'll see.

For the vast majority of owners, both resident and investment, the bottom line is still the fees. If you read nothing else, at least read this: The way your current board of trustees is behaving is going to lead to massive fee increases in the very near future. The board meeting last Monday was a 3 hour sales pitch for how wonderful it is to have a management company and all these other "professionals" running your association. The attorney was there, the auditor was there, and the management company owner was there. They were all talking about nearly three million dollars of projects they want to start in the very near future. Remember when I said your maintenance fees are going to be $300/month? Hang on to your wallet because they are going to make $300/month seem like a bargain. Everything will be at least double our in-house cost. Double on all the service contracts. Double on the capital repair contracts. The service will be lousy. There won't be anyone on the property that can really do anything. We will be nickled and dimed to death - EVERYTHING will be an extra charge - pipe leaks, roof leaks, siding, gutters, tree work, plantings, sprinkler repairs, etc. It will take forever to get anything done. Once a management company has their foot in the door, this is where they will take us. We are already back to using contractors for all the capital repair work - a very significant change as we are no longer able to leverage our year-round staff and equipment investments. There will now be idle resources that would have been put to work in the past.

Last year I predicted they would hire a management company, in spite of promising not to, and what did they do? They hired a management company this April. I also predicted the fees would start increasing, and what did they do? Raised the fees. I predicted the secret board meetings and behind-the-scenes decision making would return, and what are they doing? Exactly that. Now when I predict the fees are headed to $300+/month, you might want to take a minute to read why I'm saying that. That is what the rest of this email is about.

For those that are new to Society Hill and don't know me, I have been on your board of trustees since 2004. I became involved because a lot of things were not being done well under the management company at that time, and the maintenance fees were rising rapidly. By 2008, with the help and support of many owners, and in spite of some resistance, we succeeded in removing the management company and all their vendors, and transitioned Society Hill to a self-managed association with internal staff and equipment. There were some bumps in the beginning, as we tried repeatedly to find management staff that didn't have other agendas or designs for us. Around 2010, we gave up and I ended up serving in the management capacity with the support and approval of the board at that time. Over the following 8 years, we worked very hard to catch up from years of neglect under the prior management company and their vendors, taking on countless capital repair and improvement projects large and small (see a list of those projects at the end of this email). It is true that we spent some money, but we did a lot of work, and all that money went directly in to the property, not in the pockets of vendors and contractors looking to exploit naive boards for financial profit. I am from a technical engineering background with experience in building maintenance, repair, and construction, so I am intimately familiar with the work and know what things should cost. I was and still am the only member of the board with such a background (not good - there should be more). Although the position I had as manager was paid, I donated thousands of hours of professional design work to the association and saved the association hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses over those years, something the current board will never give me any credit for. Everything ended last fall when a small group of owners and board members finally reached a "critical mass" and voted to end my role as manager (Mr. Zhou and Ms. Thomas among those voting to get rid of me). They would love to remove me from the board as well, but that is much more difficult. They will have their chance next year, when my seat is up for election.

The Cast of Characters
----------------------
It can be difficult to keep track of all the people involved with the association, so I am providing a summary with brief comments:

The Board of Trustees (7 members):

Board President, Mr. Tong Zhou - Up for re-election this year. Insists on personally approving all expenditures, and is currently micro-managing Society Hill. Mathematics/actuarial background. Zero construction background. Claims corporate financial expertise but makes bizarre financial decisions. Ultra conservative. Dictatorial tenancies. Gets very angry when doesn't get his way. Over-the-top abusive towards me and others.

Board Vice President, Ms. Mary Thomas - Also up for re-election this year. Mother of Damian Thomas, who worked in the office from 2010 to 2015. Usually aligned with Mr. Tsacnaris, and has been quietly trying to get me out for years. Very disrespectful to me on several occasions last year. Zero construction background. Thinks everything is too complicated.

Secretary, Mr. George Tsacnaris - Just re-elected last year with the help of Mr. Zhou. Has also been trying to get rid of me for years. Often aligns with Ms. Thomas. Was board President briefly last fall. "Big corporation" thinking. Short-term focused. Occasionally fights with Mr. Zhou, but currently under his spell.

Treasurer, Ms. Wendy Zhang - Just elected last year, with the help of Mr. Zhou. Adamant supporter of Mr. Zhou, and always votes the same as him.

Trustee, Mr. Doug Sanford - Just re-elected last year, with the help of Mr. Zhou. Frequently goes off on nonsense tangents at board meetings. Lots of wacked-out suggestions. Being exploited by Mr. Zhou for political support on the board.

Trustee, Mr. Atif Nazir - Strong supporter of the past self-management configuration and of me. He and I are the only two board members that were on the board during the past management company disaster.

Trustee, Mr. Kevin Wine - me.

Staff and Vendors:

Ms. Stacey Cole - Current property manager - employee of Town and Country Management. Ignores board member requests. Takes sides, while claiming to be neutral. Under the command of Mr. Zhou, I fear, and in a very difficult spot. Seems to have been primed with a lot of negative about me.

Mr. Aidan Landis - Temporary property manager after I was terminated. Assisted in office for a few years prior. Left earlier this year. I later find out he quietly participated in the effort to undermine me and get me out. Another person I hired, that stabbed me in the back. Nice.

Ms. Linda Zhou - Current association bookkeeper - employee of Society Hill, and wife of Mr. Tong Zhou (board President). Former employee of Town and Country (many years ago). Heavily involved in election campaigning in 2018. I know she is in an awkward spot and I left her alone, but she has taken sides so I have to say something.

Ms. Susan Radom - Current association attorney, since early 2019. Formerly Mr. Zhou's personal attorney (maybe still is).

Mr. Hubert Cutolo - Prior association attorney, fall of 2018 to early 2019. Supported by Mr. Tsacnaris. Participated heavily in effort to get me out. Wrote one of the "hit-pieces".

Ms. Ginger Pitaccio - One of the owners of Town and Country Management. Strong proponent of management company model (obviously).

Ms. Marie Mirra - Current association auditor.

Mr. Mike Nulty - Past association auditor.

The Reserve Fund Debate
-----------------------
The personal attacks on me last year were used as a short-cut to avoid a debate over the actual issues. It is unfortunate that some felt it necessary to resort to such tactics, but at the same time it exposes the fact that they know their side of the argument is not strong enough to stand on its own. To win, they must also damage me. This is very unfair to all the homeowners in Society Hill, as you are being asked to make critical election decisions based on sensationalized one-sided distortions rather than actual arguments. The board leadership was never forced to acknowledge the hundreds of thousands of dollars that were saved over the last several years, and were never forced to defend their plan to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars down the drain that has already been invested in the engineering, architectural, legal, and construction work of several capital improvement projects. Whether they liked the projects or not, or liked me or not, a truly objective evaluation of the situation has not been done. Mr. Zhou's off-hand declaration that "5G wireless will replace fiber optics" does not constitute objective evaluation.

For anyone that is not familiar with the reserve fund, the reserve fund is a separate account in which some money from the monthly maintenance fees is saved for larger on-time repair and improvement expenses. Usually about $200,000 a year is budgeted to go to capital reserves. In recent years it may have been more because some board members and owners were in a panic over the size of the fund. Every now and then an engineering firm is hired to evaluate the property and come up with some estimate of what needs to be replaced, when it should be replaced, and how much it will cost. That "reserve study" is then typically used by a board to determine how much money it should be squirreling away in its reserve fund. It makes sense in the standard model of associations where contractors are used to do the capital replacement work.

But we weren't running Society Hill in the standard way with a management firm and outside contractors. This is the key point that my opposition is missing. We were setup to do almost everything in-house. In this configuration, the reserve fund cash flow needs are very different. First, we're not spending millions of dollars at a time on huge contracts to replace everything at once - we are spreading the work out over more time. We don't have the equipment and personnel resources to do more than a few hundred thousand dollars of replacement work in a given year anyway. Second, we are maintaining and repairing whenever possible, and then we are replacing when repair is no longer economical. It's an entirely different model - much more "surgical", rather than "demolish and rebuild". Third, we are not paying two to three times what it would cost us to do the same work. That cuts the cost right in half, which amounts to millions of dollars NOT spent over the 30-year period of the reserve study. We had the option of running this way because we had the economies of in-house staff, the machines/equipment, and the in-house knowledge (me, and others).

This has all been dismantled, thanks to a handful of screamers and a few board members, including Mr. Zhou and Ms. Thomas. You should be very concerned about this. Under their model, we are back to using outside contractors for the capital replacement work. We are back to the over-priced million dollar contracts. And yes, they are right - there is not enough money in the reserve fund for their way - not even close. Your board is going to need to hoard much more cash. This is one of the reasons I'm predicting the $300/month maintenance fees. There is no way they can deliver on all their replacement wishes under their service model at the current funding level. They have put themselves in a corner, the only admission of which you will ever see is the impending fee increases, for which I'm sure they will turn around and blame on me, after destroying the way I had things set up.

The only thing we couldn't really handle in-house was paving the roads, although we used to do many of the repairs ourselves. Paving is a large expense, but it can be broken down and spread over multiple years as not all the streets need paving at the same time. Hampshire Court was planned next, but was on hold pending one more trench for the future maintenance building, which Mr. Zhou and others have taken special delight in canceling. I saw little point in re-paving a street and then digging a 300 foot trench down the middle of it. Even the maintenance building was going to be handled mostly in-house, at a considerably reduced cost since we had our own personnel, equipment, and knowledge. But that option is gone, and now when that building needs to be constructed, it is going to be another million dollar contract, and once again the current board is going to find themselves backed in to a corner. I know I have told them this multiple times but they don't listen - eventually the township is going to shut us down and force us to clean up all the parking lots and supplies under tarps and equipment and the shipping container. The town was putting up with this, reluctantly, because they knew we were in the process of constructing a building to put everything. With the new board leadership, that plan is canceled. When we are forced to remove all the equipment and materials from the property, that is going to be the last nail in the coffin for the in-house staff and will complete the return to 2004 with all outside contractors - another reason I'm forecasting $300+/month maintenance fees.

Management companies and contractors like to play on the fear that the association will suddenly be faced with large un-expected repairs and that not having large reserves is somehow reckless. It sounds plausible, especially to those without much construction background, but in reality, the probability of totally unknown large-scale simultaneous building or infrastructure failures is extremely low, and it is just an emotional scare tactic to get condo boards to feel good about spending all their money. I was never all that alarmed about the allegedly "depleted" reserve fund, because we simply didn't have a need for large chunks of cash. Sure, we were spending reserve money, but as long as things eventually stabilized to what's coming in equals what's going out, then so what? With the $14/month fee increase last year, and the expiration of the affordable housing controls a few years earlier, the board has an extra quarter million a year of income, which should be more than enough to fund in-house maintenance and capital replacements without a net change in reserves.

The association is half a business - the entire revenue side is a given - we hardly have to do anything. No marketing department, no sales force - there is guaranteed income, and the board has the absolute power to adjust the income however it desires, with the only consequence being the loss of their seats if they get too crazy. Their job is, and my job was, to spend money - not hold our money hostage while the property crumbles - and to get the maximum value for every dollar spent. This applies to every service model. If one model maximizes that value, isn't that the one we should be using? From 2004 and 2008 I had a front-row seat on the board when the association had all contractors. I saw first-hand how they manipulate the board, often with the support of the management company, and take advantage of layman board members. It's like taking your car to the mechanic every single month, and being told you need all this work done and here is the bill for $2,500. You have no idea what any of it means, but I guess it was needed. Well I was in a position to evaluate what it all means, and it was disgusting, and this is what is going to be happening again, and already is.

Let me give you just one recent, smaller-scale example. At the September board meeting, management presented a single estimate from one of their favorite contractors for repairs to the condo building walkways. The total was $40,000, for the replacement of about 2,500 square feet of concrete. I asked for a copy of the contract and was ignored, so I assume there is no contract. There were no other bids for the same work - only a bid for similar work but different scope, and not directly comparable. It sounded high, so I quickly calculated. Sidewalk is 4" thick so that's 2500 / 3 = 833 cubic feet of concrete. There are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard, so that's about 30 cubic yards of concrete. One concrete mixer truck can hold around 10 cubic yards. Each truck-load costs about $1,000 - probably a little less because I'm sure they will use only 3,000 psi concrete. So that's $3,000 max of concrete. The old concrete has to be disposed of, which costs about $10 a yard at the local recycling dump. It's going to be more than $300 though because the old walk is in large chunks which don't pack well, so figure about $1,000. We're at $4,000 direct cost. Then there's labor. The project is expected to take 2 weeks, assume 3 workers at $25/hr which includes their overheads. That's 2 weeks x 40 hours/wk x $25/hr x 3 workers = $6,000. We're at $10,000 total. They need some machines, and a dump truck - worst case rental is probably a couple thousand for 2 weeks (contractor has machines so his equipment cost is actually less). It's a long ways to $40,000. So maybe they need 6 workers for 2 weeks - another $6,000. Total is still less than $20,000, and way less than $40,000. It's a $15,000 job - maybe $20,000 absolute tops. And we are paying $40,000. So where's the other $25,000 going? The board didn't listen to me and approved it anyway - obviously they had agreed before the meeting that they were going to do this - just like the old days. This is just a small example - what if the contract is in the millions? And the board doesn't know how to estimate the cost? What do you think is going to happen? Get you checkbook ready.

Then let's talk about a past large-scale example - the Buckingham/Chesterfield Drive walkway and bike-path project. That project started in April 2011 and was essentially done by August 2012 with a lot of pressure from the Township. That's a total of 17 months. The 2011/2102 winter was very mild, so we only lost December and January, and started working again early February. We actually worked for 15 months, or one and a quarter years. We had roughly the equivalent of 10 full-time staff during those 15 months. I say equivalent because there was one worker who left, but was later replaced, 3 new workers that came on board in the middle of the project, and some temporary workers. Payroll and overheads at that time averaged a little under $50,000 per employee, but call it $50k so that's $625,000 of labor (10 workers x $50k/year x 1.25 years). The material - the paving stones, the retaining wall block, the sand, base material, and other random items came to around $275,000. Total is therefore about $900,000. But those 10 workers were not only working on the walkway project - they had to mow the lawn for both summers, collect the leaves, prune bushes, mulch, fix the irrigation system, maintain the buildings and so on. At least $100,000 (two workers) of that payroll cost has to be backed out (probably more), putting us at $800,000 on total walkway project cost. Sounds like a large number??

In the most recent capital reserve study prepared in 2016, the engineering firm preparing the study had to include the walkway and bike-path repair in the study since at some point in the distant future it will eventually need to be replaced (at least by their thinking). They had to estimate a replacement cost. And that replacement cost is... $1,679,600. That is what they estimate it would cost to hire a contractor to build all those walkways and retaining walls, in today's dollars. That is over TWICE our cost. This is what I mean when I say we will be paying 2 to 3 times what it would cost us if we switch over to using outside contractors for these projects. Your current board leadership is too ignorant and arrogant to understand this, in spite of having been told multiple times, and in spite of being told again with the recent $40,000 condo walkway repairs. The reserve study estimates $1,256,423 for roof replacement. So how much of that do you think is actual cost verses contractor profit?? Do you think it's any different for all the other replacement projects? I doubt it. But your board doesn't care - most of them have plenty of money. Another $1,300 (or more) a year in maintenance fees is pocket change for them. Why would they care if they throw away half of our money.

And finally a service contract example - the maintenance contractor. Prior to 2008, the association hired a contractor for the maintenance work in Society Hill. The contract put one full-time maintenance person on the property with a van, and with very limited duties - no ladders, no roof work, no siding, no gutters, no plumbing - those were all extra and billed separately. The contract base price was around $90,000/year. The worker was paid around $17/hour with limited benefits. Salary and overheads would be around $40,000/year. The van costs a few thousand a year. Here's that factor of two again - contractor base cost was about half of the contract. That's a real nice mark-up for someone. And often the total yearly cost would be another $10,000 to $20,000 higher because of all extra work that was outside the scope of the contract. Why do we want to go back to this?? How does this make any sense? If anyone can tell me what I am missing, please email me back (kwine@optonline.net).

They will complain about all the reserve money that was spent over the last 8 years, but never make any mention of all the money that was NOT spent. We could have hired a contractor to fix all the walks and write a check for $1.7M. Doesn't it make more sense to keep the other $800,000? They can accuse me all they want of "wasting money", but the reality is I saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars on this and many other projects. On top of that, we often did much more than a contractor would do - for example on the walkway project we dug over 8,000 feet of trenches, installed 100 junction boxes, a new irrigation main, wall plantings, reconfigured dozens of irrigation zones, put benches, and solved the problem with the trees pushing up the walks. Look at the sidewalks in Nob Hill (the single-family houses on Buckingham) - they fix their walks and a year later they need to be fixed again, and that's been going on for years with them. Even if I did "waste" another $800,000 of the reserve fund - took $800,000 and literally flushed it down a toilet - we would still be even compared to what your current board would have to pay to get the same work done. It makes absolutely no sense, and again highlights the level of inexperience and arrogance of the current board leadership.

I wasn't at the recent "Meet the Candidate's" night. Too many of those have turned in to pure Kevin-bashing sessions, so I really had no interest and decided to make better use of my time (like writing this). Mr. Zhou conveniently scheduled the event on a night when the two other candidates were out of town. If candidate's night was on the normally scheduled Monday 4 weeks prior to the annual meeting, everyone could have attended, including Mr. Zhou, who originally said he was going to be out of town but was seen on the property around that time. Anyway, I'm told the event was a 2 hour financial lecture put on by Mr. Zhou. I'm sure he brought up all the various capital improvement projects that he and others have been attacking the last couple of years. Capital improvements are a little bit different than capital replacements, in that a capital improvement is for something that is not currently in existence, such as the cancelled maintenance building. Our by-laws specifically mention capital improvements in the chapter on reserves, and we have been operating on the assumption that reserve money can be spent on both replacements and improvements, among other things.

To relieve the homeowners with as much of the fee burden as possible, I and the past boards were constantly looking for other ways of reducing expenses and increasing revenues. Around 2010 we identified several such opportunities, proposed them to the membership (the homeowners) at the annual meetings and received approval. Since those approvals, I had been working very hard to design and implement those systems, as you have probably already read about in the past. For those that are new to this debate, this included the plan to purchase bulk internet service and distribute it to all the units in the complex for far less than the current provider, the plan to reconfigure the 4 separate irrigation systems on the property in to one system supplied with water drawn from the retention pond, and the plan to construct a building to consolidate all our maintenance supplies and equipment so we can legally continue with our in-house staff configuration. All three of these projects were "capital improvement investments", which would cost money to build but in the longer run would reduce your total monthly expenses and recoup the original investment. These were, and still could be, very viable systems with direct benefit to the association. Much of the infrastructure for the community internet and the irrigation system upgrade has already been installed, with around $400,000 already spent on them and the design of the maintenance building.

The current board leadership and others, none of whom have any technical, engineering, or design background or experience, have decided that all of these projects should be cancelled. At a board meeting last summer Mr. Zhou took his cell phone out of his pocket and tossed it on the table, declaring that soon he will be able to get gigabit internet service in his whole house using only his phone as an access point. I assume he has been consuming the 5G hype. Before I worked at Society Hill, I spent 12 years working in a wireless communications research lab at Rutgers. I would like to think I know something about wireless. I would love for him to explain to me how he plans to overcome the propagation losses on 6+ GHz carriers. Millimeter waves do not pass well through walls and trees. I suppose he could put an antenna on the roof of every unit, or maybe on every building, but he'll need line of sight to a central antenna (or antennas) which is not always possible, and by the time you are running wires through the buildings anyway, you might as well save all the cost and complexity of wireless and just use the much simpler and more reliable fiber-loop/switched Ethernet design I started with. And the difficult work is already done - 99% of the conduit is already installed. These projects should not be so carelessly discarded with the standard retort "how are we going to pay for this". Perhaps Mr. Zhou, with all his supposed corporate financial experience, could come up with some constructive solutions on how to move these projects forward. At the very least, he and others should be pressed on how they justify the wasting of $400,000, other than just blaming me for doing projects he doesn't understand or like. If these projects are not going to happen, then the association will be foregoing all future revenue and costs savings from them, including the recovery of the original capital reserve investment. The irrigation water bill is typically $30,000 a year. That could be reduced to almost nothing on a recurring basis. Add that up over the 30-year period of the reserve study - it's almost a million dollars. The missing piece is the main pump shed, which I had estimated to be under $100,000 ($50,000 parts and $50,000 labor). The internet project is missing all the physical plant (fiber, switches, enclosures, wiring), which is probably at least $300,000 of parts, plus labor. I pay $65/month for just internet service, which we could do for around $20/month or less, depending on how fast we are trying to recover capital costs.

The October 28, 2019 Annual/Board Meeting
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We are right back to 2004. The names are different and I'm a little older, but I'm sitting at the same table with the same people, watching the same insanity unfold before my eyes. The board invited the new association auditor, Ms. Mirra, to the October meeting, to present the 2017 and 2018 draft audits to the board, in private executive session. They also invited the attorney, Ms. Radom, and one of the management company owners, Ms. Pitaccio. The entire meeting was a support session for management and guests, with a generous dose of subtle Kevin bashing.

After all the ridiculous accusations they made last year about me and the finances, both the 2017 and 2018 audits failed to find any financial impropriety on my part. Of course, that doesn't make me look bad, so they have to start making things up again. Now they are blaming me for a $50,000 discrepancy between the homeowner delinquent account receivables balance reported in the monthly financial statements verses that reported by the WEB site internal financials, subtly hinting that I am nefariously manipulating something in the homeowner account receivables. The auditor was unable to resolve the discrepancy to her satisfaction, and therefore was unable to render an opinion. In reality, this problem has nothing to do with me, and appears to be a problem with they way data from the WEB site account receivables is communicated to the accountant who prepares the statements. To keep the financial responsibilities separated as much as possible, I stayed out of that role and Ms. Zhou (association bookkeeper, wife of President Zhou) handled the communication with the accountant.

The second thing they are blaming me for is a lack of accounting for the hours the crew spent working on capital repair/improvement projects. As a result, the auditor was also unable to render an opinion on the financials, even though the previous auditor did not have an issue with this for several years prior. All of a sudden it's a show-stopper. It should be mentioned that I was not consulted on any of these issues by the new auditor, which I'm sure was intentional, since both could possibly have been resolved. Supposedly these are all "professionals" now running our association. On top of it, since I was board President during 2017 and some of 2018, they decided I should be the one signing the auditor's management letter, even though I wasn't consulted on any of the problems. The current President, Mr. Zhou, is the one who should be signing, but he is afraid to sign his name on anything. Obviously, I refused.

Completely dissatisfied with the results of their witch hunt, the board then decided they are going to spend more of our money now and hire another separate auditor to perform a forensic audit of the association's books starting with 2017. As I mentioned in this year's postcard, they just can't move on. They have dug themselves in to such a hole now, there is no turning back. To save face, they must find something, at all cost. I already know how this is going to end, and add another $10,000 to the wasted money list.

But don't worry - there will be plenty of more money soon. Ms. Mirra (auditor) repeatedly suggested that the maintenance fees have been the same for way too long and should be increased to pay for all the upcoming capital replacements. Mr. Zhou ordered the manager to begin getting bids to replace all the breezeway steps and railings, since he decided their time is up. Ms. Mirra mentioned the $1,000,000 paving project that needs to be done. And of course the roofs. Mr. Zhou went on with a story about how the roofs are all rotten and going to collapse soon - complete paranoia. Three roof leaks a week - total lie. Most of the water-related leaks are the pipes - remember I was in the office for 8 years. As I mentioned earlier, it is not that these projects aren't needed - it's that when they are all contracted out, they are going to be much more expensive. If the board doesn't realize they are being charged over double on a simple $40,000 walkway contract, how are they ever going to properly evaluate a $2,000,000 re-roofing proposal? It's probably a good thing there aren't millions in the reserve fund anymore - this cast of characters would blow through it in a year, wasting half or more.

Notably missing from the October meeting agenda was any mention of the 2020 budget. There is a reason for this - obviously the current board doesn't want you to know their plans for the budget - because I'm sure they are not good. I'm guessing $200/month minimum.

Ms. Pitaccio couldn't resist shilling in a few comments from the sidelines about the reserve fund, the audit, and the association master insurance policy and mortgages. I remember all the dire warnings 10 years ago about not being able to purchase property and liability coverage if we go self-managed. Guess what. Never had a problem. Somehow we had insurance for the last 10 years, and buyers were still able to get mortgages. Hummm. We even had FHA approval, until the current board decided not to renew it last year. But now the rental unit percentage is approaching 60% - I wonder if that will be a problem??

Chairman Zhou has called in the army to suppress the uprisings. Apparently something happened at the candidates night (I wasn't there so I don't know details). So now there was a police officer present at the Monday meeting (wasting more of Mr. Zhou's precious money), because Mr. Zhou needed some way to impose his will on others. One trustee, Mr. Sanford, was repeatedly suggesting I should be thrown out of the meeting whenever I started say things he didn't like - I guess that's really why the cop was there. When I asked to respond to several comments that had been made about me by various individuals, Mr. Zhou would not let me speak. We'll see how that works out for him. I never had the police, and never called them on anyone at the meetings. Ironically, Mr. Zhou is the one that needs controlling - he threw the largest tantrum ever at a board meeting a few months ago. I should post the audio...

The Monday meeting was also supposed to be the annual meeting. I would like to be able to report on the status of the annual election, since the board still hasn't, but the board refused to release how many proxies have been received thus far. They are hiding things already - again this year - unbelievable. And with the attorney sitting right there - another "professional", that finds nothing wrong with it. I guess I will have to file another complaint to get the board to release the quorum total. All they would say is that we need more proxies, so the annual meeting was blindly postponed to Tuesday December 10th. My guess is they almost have enough proxies already, and now they need more time to twist peoples' arms and get them to change their votes, or maybe just change the votes themselves. They insisted on only having one lock on the election mailbox this year, with Ms. Cole as the sole key holder. She claims there is always someone with her when she opens the mailbox, but refused to tell me who that person is when I directly asked her at the meeting. Not good.

Did you receive your election mailing?? Several owners that I talked to recently have not. Ms. Cole swears up and down that all the envelopes were mailed out from the management company office in south Jersey. Mine arrived 3 weeks late. There are always a few owners that claim to have not received the mailing, but this is the first time it's been this many. Interestingly, it's several owners I know that didn't receive the mailing. Hummm...

The board has not formally adopted any election procedure this year. They changed the proxy and ballot format yet again, and really need to come up with a new procedure. The secret ballots do complicate things, and need to be handled properly. At the end of the meeting, Mr. Nazir was trying to make a motion regarding the annual election, but Chairman Zhou was nudged by his attorney (Ms. Radom) to adjourn the meeting, which is what the board did. This is another one of the tricks they use to get their way - just end the meeting when it's something they don't like.

The 2018 Election Lawsuit
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As the board was quick to point out in its recent "newsletter", I filed a complaint against the association back in June regarding numerous issues with last year's annual election. As expected, they didn't quite tell you the whole story. I had written most of the complaint myself back in December but didn't file it. As the months passed, I kept getting more and more stories filtering back to me about things that went on during the 2018 election, and continued resistance from the board when I and another trustee asked for an opportunity to review the election documents to confirm the counts and the processing of the proxies. Finally around May it became abundantly clear that the board had no intentions whatsoever of allowing me or anyone else to review any of the 2018 election documents. Ms. Radom, who is Mr. Zhou's personal attorney and is now the association's attorney as well, declared that the election was over and if anyone has a problem with that they can pursue it through formal channels. Shortly thereafter I retained counsel and the complaint was finalized and filed in superior court, as per Ms. Radom's own suggestion.

At the court appearance on September 3rd, the judge was not too concerned about all the technical flaws with the election, although I still don't understand how the board can just arbitrarily re-write our bylaws by changing the basic design of our elections but whatever, that's a topic for another day. The judge also did not find enough other compelling evidence to grant me the requested relief, but he did take objection to the fact that the board was hiding the election documents from me and ordered those be made available for inspection. If any further information or evidence was uncovered during that inspection, he said to file a motion for reconsideration and return to the court. The judge also had a comment regarding the actions of the prior association attorney, Mr. Cutolo. He said "we had a bad attorney" for withholding the various election information. Our current attorney, Ms. Radom, was doing the exact same thing, and now the board is withholding the quorum count this year. Slow learners I guess.

Subsequent to the court appearance, two document inspection sessions took place, but they were time constrained and only a cursory examination of the proxies was possible, along with a recount of the vote tallies. At the second review session at Ms. Radom's office, she somehow thought it was appropriate to invite two antagonists, Mr. Zhou and Mr. Sanford (another board member), to the same inspection time slot on the same day as me. Near the end of that session we happened to notice that some of the signatures on certain proxies were very similar or even identical, but didn't have time to determine if it was units owned by the same person or something else was going on. Following the second session, Ms. Radom refused to allow any further inspection of the election documents. Two weeks later, I filed a motion with the court to compel the association to allow me to finish my review of the election documents, and I am currently waiting for the court to put the matter on their calendar.

Although I can't be certain at this point, I can connect enough dots to get a pretty good idea of what went on in last year's election. Numerous reports came back to me of heavy campaigning by Mr. Zhou, who was apparently camped out at the clubhouse for most of last fall, and also by his wife and association employee Linda Zhou, during work hours, and directed at anyone that contacted the office about the election. There was also an effort to get owners to change their votes (which is allowed under proxy voting) in the last minute. From the duplicate proxies I can see they succeeded only in a limited sense, but possibly enough to change the outcome on at least one seat. It also filtered back to me that Mr. Zhou cold-called many of the owners to solicit them to vote for his preferred candidates and against mine. On the night of the election, after the ballots had been tallied and the winners announced, the association's attorney at that time, Hubert Cutolo, refused to release the vote totals of the 5 losing candidates, citing privacy concerns. He stuffed all the election papers in a box and ran out of the clubhouse. It took a full two weeks and numerous requests from me and another board member just to get the board to finally release the vote totals of all 8 candidates.

To alleviate concerns that board members would see how owners voted, since January I suggested that copies of all the proxy/ballots be made, and then cut in half just below the ballot portion, shuffled, and give to any interested parties. That would allow a recount of the votes and inspection of the proxy form, while maintaining the privacy of the voter. The board still refused. I brought up this suggestion with the board, Mr. Cutolo, and Ms. Radom multiple times, because it seemed like a very economical way of resolving my request, but as is the case with many things and the current board, they have a lot of trouble with logic. Why did they insist on letting things get to the point of litigation, which had to cost the association several thousand dollars, and will continue to cost them? What on earth is it that they are so worried about me seeing?? The best I can come up with is the signatures - there is probably something with the signatures they don't want me to see. While the past election procedure covered most of the potential election frauds, it never directly dealt with authenticating the owner signatures. It is possible to submit fake proxy forms, especially of owners that never vote. I can't believe they would do this, but the office staff, including Ms. Zhou, did have access to the corporate seal and thus would have the means to create additional "official" proxy/ballot forms. I know they do this routinely for owners that lost their proxy/ballot forms. It is also possible some owners emailed in the proxy/ballot, which obviously wouldn't have the raised corporate seal. Those proxy/ballots could be questionable, and I don't know if any such ones were received and counted or not.

The final dot I need to mention is that in spite of the fact that the association has a directors and officers insurance policy, the board decided not to submit a claim to the carrier on this matter. Instead, the board privately decided (or at least I was excluded from the decision) to hire Mr. Zhou's attorney again, Ms. Radom, to defend the association. Even though Ms. Radom is already on retainer with the association, her contract doesn't cover litigation. The odd thing is that again, with Mr. Zhou so concerned about spending money, why would he waste money hiring Ms. Radom when the insurance company would cover this under our policy for free? I can only speculate - perhaps he needs an attorney who will "cooperate" with him? This is at least another $3,000 wasted, and probably more because all the bills still haven't hit, and the matter is still not resolved with another court appearance looming. I did include a request for reimbursement of my legal expenses for the motion I just filed, since it should not have been necessary to file another motion to get the association to comply with the order. If fees are awarded by the judge, rack up another thousand dollars.

The Pool
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As I assume everyone knows, the pool had some serious issues in 2018, and the opening was considerably delayed as I worked very hard to resolve all the leaks, bring the plumbing and electrical up to code, and make other minor improvements. Everything was inspected and working fine by August, except the pool plaster was cracking and needed to be replaced much earlier than expected. Not wanting to touch the pool any more that year, I told the board I would deal with it in the spring. Obviously they fired me months before that, so they got to deal with the re-plastering themselves.

Mary Thomas, who is one of the candidates this year, became very upset with me over the pool being closed for repairs, essentially blaming me personally for all the problems with the pool. She had many unkind comments for me - a little out of character I thought at the time, but eventually I realized that's just the way she actually is on the inside and can't always hide it. She couldn't understand why I didn't tear the pool apart earlier or during the off-season. I explained to her multiple times that the leak seemed to have worsened considerably since the prior year, and that it was no longer practical to keep putting in new water to compensate. At one point she decided that I didn't know what I was doing, and became very disrespectful towards me. When the pool needed re-plastering this year, she apparently took the lead in finding a contractor to do the work since she was now the pool expert. Her choice appeared at a board meeting in April and shortly thereafter the board voted to hire him for the re-plastering. I should point out that his proposal included a lot of other recommended work for the pool, totaling nearly $60,000! Fortunately, the board only approved the re-plastering, but I mention this as yet another example of how contractors try to take advantage of condo boards. I'm sure after talking to Ms. Thomas for only a few minutes he could see a sucker coming and tried to take advantage. The additional work was mostly overpriced cosmetic improvements that wouldn't last (wanted to re-surface the concrete decking which I'm sure would crack in this climate, replace some retaining wall timbers, and replace the coping).

I smelled trouble, and sure enough, Ms. Thomas's contractor went missing for several weeks in the spring when he should have been working on our pool. The weather wasn't very good, but he could have gotten something done. When work finally started, it quickly became clear that the project was much more involved than originally realized, which caused further delays. Weeks passed, and Memorial Day passed, and the pool was still no where near ready. Finally when the plastering was done it was discovered that the hole where the stair railing goes had been plastered over. Rather than lower the water 18 inches and re-open the hole (an almost trivial procedure - could have been done with removing only a few inches of water actually), someone decided to replace the railing with an entirely different design. As soon as this was done, all the bonding and grounding connections had to be retested and re-certified. During the course of the re-certification, the electrician reported that several of the brand new bonding joints, that had just been replaced 8 months earlier, had all failed. The probability of 8 brand new ladder socket bonds to a brand new bonding wire all failing simultaneously after only 8 months is so astronomically remote that something either had to be wrong with the electricians meter or we were just scammed. Unfortunately, and this is what still burns me up to this day, the electrician's findings were never communicated to the board, or at least not to me, so I was not aware of this problem before they tore everything up. Had I been made aware, I would have immediately gotten my ohm meter and checked the connections myself. While I would not expect our brand new $120,000 year management company manger to understand electrical bonding and appreciate the statistical improbability of what she was told, I would expect her to report such an issue to the board. She thought to report all the prior unexpected equipment repairs and other expenses to the board, but for some reason not this one. As a result, your board wasted almost another $10,000 between the new railing, the installation, the replacement of 8 brand new ladder sockets, the removal of the brand new handicapped lift socket, the bonding re-certification, and the thousand dollars of good sockets that were removed. Four of the replaced ladder sockets were custom made by me and the crew out of marine-grade stainless steel embedded in a foot of concrete. They were designed to last forever, and the boding points were intentionally located just below the surface of the pool decking so if anything went wrong with the boding connection they could easily be serviced without removing the entire socket. Guess what they did? The idiots actually chiseled out all 4 of those brand new custom sockets and replaced them with the older brass version that only last for a few years. How on earth did they not notice the bonding point right in front of their faces? This is another small example of the stupidity that is going to end up costing us millions of dollars if these people remain in control of this association.

The Management Company
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After some searching and a few interviews in the spring, your board suddenly gave up on the idea of directly hiring a new manager to replace me, and instead started interviewing management companies. It wasn't long before the board approved a contract with Town and Country Management, effective May 1, putting Society Hill once again under the thumb of a property management company. Stacey Cole is our new on-site property manager. The contract was for $120,000/year, plus incidentals. The finances were not part of the contract, as the board planned to transition that portion at the end of this year, for another $30,000/year, which would bring the total contact to $150,000/year for 2020.

I was surprised that Mr. Zhou went along with this, as he seemed to be obsessed with pinching every penny, and here he was replacing a $60,000/year plus overhead expense with a $120,000 expense. I probably cost the association around $80,000 with all the taxes and benefits taken into account, so I was just replaced with someone that knows far less about the technical operations, isn't going to do any design work, and isn't going to manage any large projects, but costs us $40,000/year more. This is Mr. Zhou's concept of saving money?? Can anyone explain this to me? Is the management company providing us with an additional $40,000/year in added value? We could have hired two people at the same price. Again, where is the logic? And again, if this same kind of thinking is applied to all the board's decisions, we are going to be wasting a lot of money.

I was a little curious to see if there was any change in management companies over the last 10 years, and was hoping that this one would be a little better than the past one. Unfortunately, my assessment is that things have actually gotten worse. Town and Country is strongly promoting the same general purpose executive session meeting concept that Taylor Management promoted, with no constraint on topics. This is the one-hour secret board meeting prior to the board meeting that is open to the homeowners. I was very disappointed to find that Ms. Radom also supports the same concept. Boards are allowed to have a private meeting, but only on certain matters defined in the Open Meetings Act, but no such rules are applied here, and these private sessions cover many topics that should be handled in an open meeting. While this may sound like only a theoretical concern, it is actually much more than that. The intent of the Open Meetings Act is to allow you to observe the board in action because ultimately you are the one deciding on who should and shouldn't be on the board. If all or even a part of the meetings are done in private, and cover topics that should not be private, you are being deprived of vital information you need when it comes time to vote. As I saw 10 years ago, and am seeing again today, this practice tends to get extended to doing other things in private, like behind-the-scenes decision making by individual board members or a sub-set of board members.

Past managements and managers had a very hard time staying out of the politics, and again I am seeing signs of this now. Most of my email requests to management are ignored, so I rarely bother asking for anything anymore. Obviously, management has either been directed or independently decided to participate in the freeze-out. That is hardly remaining neutral, as Ms. Cole claims to be. The board meetings have reduced to almost nothing, with all the big decisions being made behind the scenes by Mr. Zhou. The October meeting package has a copy of the financial statement - that's it. Imagine if I sent the board such a meeting package when I was in the office? No mention of the 2020 budget, which in past years was a hot topic by October - I wonder why they aren't talking about it now? I smell another fee increase. Nothing about the annual election and all the procedure that the board should be sorting out before the meeting - they changed the proxy again, but who is updating the proxy/ballot counting procedure? Nothing about all the collections work. No delinquency report. No capital reserve statement. The board is being cut out of its decision making responsibilities.

What appears to be going on though, is that our $120,000/year management company manger is actually not running Society Hill - Mr. Zhou is. I hear that he is camped out in the clubhouse again this fall, most likely soliciting walk-ins for their votes, directing our manager and crew around, and otherwise micromanaging the association. If he wants to do this then what do we need a manger for? We could just hire someone for $15/hr to answer the phones, and save another precious $90,000/year.

The Audit
---------
By law, the association is required to perform an annual audit of its financial records. The 2017 audit was being conducted last summer by Matthews and Nulty, who had been the association's auditor for a number of years. As part of the boards campaign to get me out of their way, they used the auditor to further promote their narrative about how horrible I am and how horrible the finances are. Somewhere during the audit process, and before it was completed, I was told that Mr. Zhou and Mr. Nulty (auditor) got in to some kind of an altercation and Mr. Nulty ended his engagement with the association. This was after the association had already spent over $4,000 on the 2017 audit, and now thanks to Mr. Zhou, the audit wasn't finished and he wasted another $4,000.

Eventually a new auditor was located, and by that time the 2018 audit needed to be done as well, so this new firm, Mirra and Associates, was contracted to handle both the 2017 and 2018 audits. I have a draft copy of the 2017 audit. After all the complaining and speculation about me and the finances last year, and all the investigations that the board supposedly launched and conducted, the final conclusion of the audit is that there was no fraud. They still couldn't resist getting one dig in there about the WEB site and the homeowner accounts, implying that I'm somehow responsible for a $50,000 discrepancy, which is fake news again. They just had to come up with something to avoid looking like complete idiots for all the nasty things they said about me last year.

The Condo Walkway Project
-------------------------
I already talked about this above - your board recently approved a $40,000 contact to replace 2,500 square feet of concrete walkways in front of the 12 condo buildings on Hampshire, Lancaster, and Canterbury Courts. This is to just replace the deteriorated sections here and there. If it were to replace the entire sidewalks, 2,500 square feet of concrete is only enough to do 2500 / 4 = 625 feet of sidewalk, or about 3 buildings worth (buildings are about 200 feet long). At this price, it would cost around $160,000 to do all the condo walkways.

While this was the only bid, there was another older bid to do condo building walkway work but I believe it was to replace all of the walkways at all 12 buildings (I asked but never got an answer from Ms. Cole). I believe the total was $80,000. Interestingly, this is half of the $160,000 I just extrapolated based on the $40,000 bid. This supports my claim that we were charged at least twice what we should have been.

Of all the things that need to be done, I have to say this one would not have been the burning priority in my mind. The state inspections were about 2 years ago, so we still have another 3 years before they come back, leaving plenty of time to replace cracked sidewalks if that's all we are going to do. The patches help with the aesthetics a little bit, but there are still large sections of old concrete of a different color, and the breezeway steps and breezeways were not part of the project. Several of the steps are deteriorated and would fail inspection, so additional work is going to be needed at some point in the future, increasing the patch-work look. If we were going to blow $40,000 to make things look nicer during the election, I would probably have focused on washing the buildings, and how about that giant lump growing in a parking lot on Lancaster.

The original plan was to do these walkways with pavers, like was done in the rest of the complex, and to also address several of the chronic issues with the condo walkways including drainage problems, re-freeze problems in the winter, run-off water, tree roots, handicap accessibility, and snow stacking space. The $40,000 just spent is only a bandaid, and does not address any of these problems. The thaw and re-freeze problem is serious and will eventually lead to a slip and fall injury. By the way, those paving stones cost us about $1.50 a square foot, so 12 condo buildings with 200 feet of walkway each, 4 feet wide, is about 10,000 square feet, or $15,000 worth of pavers. So we could have bought paving stones for all the condo buildings for less than half the cost of the concrete repairs. There is more labor involved, but the other $25,000 buys at least 1,000 hours of labor, which is 3 workers for 2 months. That's enough time to get through most of the buildings, and with a little more money, enough to get all new paver walks instead of patched concrete. Eventually when the rest of the walkways need to get replaced, all this work is just going to get ripped out because it's not worth trying to pour around a bunch of existing patches scattered here and there. This was a dumb waste of money all the way around.

The Wasted Money
----------------
Below is a summary of all the money wasted in the last year, at the hands of Mr. Zhou and Ms. Thomas, directly or indirectly. Many of these were mentioned in the flyer or the postcard, but I can provide more detail here. Again, the current board has a very difficult time with logic and what makes sense. Ironically, I'm sure they think the same thing about me - so you will have to be the judge.

Management company vs. employee: $40,000
Unnecessary pool work, ladder sockets: $10,000
Unfinished 2017 audit: $4,000
Condo walkway overcharge: $25,000
Ms. Radom handling election lawsuit: $2,807
DOL claim for my vacation: $900
Aidan's engineer: $3,250
Aidan's recycled concrete give-away: $400
Mr. Cutolo's "free" WEB site lawsuit against me (never filed): $1,843
Ceiling truss repairs, contracted out: $19,069 - $1,000 materials

Total: $106,269

The $14/month fee increase that the board approved earlier this year will increase the association revenue by $14 x 12 months x 545 units = $91,560/year. So congratulations - they already wasted the entire increase.

Notably missing from this list is the $400,000 that they just flushed down the toilet by cancelling all the capital improvement projects, so the total is more like $506,269 wasted.

They also spent several thousand dollars on vehicle and machine repairs over the last year. In the past, most of that work was handled in-house by me and the crew. We still had to buy the parts of course, but the labor was in-house. I'm sure there is another couple thousand dollars of extra cost in there.

The new board leadership has also cancelled all staff overtime hours, or at least that is what they claimed. After the staff wasn't happy about this, the board had to increase their hourly rates to compensate. So in the end, the total payroll cost was about the same as it was with the overtime, but we are now getting less work done because the crew is working less hours. Brilliant move again by the board, and wasting more money even though in their mind they are saving money. I should add another $40,000 to the wasted money list.

And now there is the forensic audit they have ordered. Figure on another $10,000 down the drain. And I just remembered a couple thousand more dollars from not properly winterizing the irrigation sheds last fall - several components were not drained so they froze and cracked.

The Saved Money
---------------
As previously mentioned, over $800,000 was NOT spent on the Chesterfield/Buckingham walkway and bike-path project, that would have been spent if the same work had to be contracted out.

The association has no attorney on retainer from 2008 to late 2018. When we needed an attorney for an opinion, we went and found one. Retainer is usually $12,000/year, times 10 years, is another $120,000 NOT spent.

The association used custom property management software since 2010. A commercial package is usually $15,000 to $20,000 a year. Figure another $150,000 NOT spent.

The Township of Piscataway was going to unilaterally extend the all the affordable housing controls in Society Hill, robbing the former affordable owners of over $10,000,000 in equity, and depriving the association of another $150,000/year in income. After litigation, another $150,000 every year additional revenue.

There were countless failures in the irrigation system over the last 10 years, all of which were repaired in-house at significantly less cost. Back in 2007/8 the irrigation repairs were running about $25,000/year. We spent about $10,000/year on parts. Extrapolate that over 10 more years - another $150,000 NOT spent.

There were two major hurricanes over the last 10 years, each with considerable tree and other damage. All handled in-house. Contracted clean-up would probably have been $50,000.

There were three bad winters over the last 10 years, with significant snow falls. All were handled in-house, at a cost of around $20,000 a winter. Contracted out, those winters would have cost us well over $100,000 each, based on past experience with snow removal contracts. That's another $300,000 NOT spent on just those 3 winters, and more not spent over the other 7 winters as well.

There were countless other projects large and small, which were all handled in-house, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. An equal amount was NOT spent because the contracted work averages at least TWICE our in-house cost.

The Separation
--------------
It is worth going in to some detail on the aftermath of my separation from employment with Society Hill. I'm doing this so you can get a better idea of the personalities that are currently running our association. Immediately after termination, I filed an unemployment claim. There were some complications but eventually the money was coming to me until mid November when it completely stopped. After investigation, I discovered that the association made a significant mistake on the wage questionnaire, reporting my net income rather than gross income. It is hard to imagine how the management staff at the time did not know the difference between the two. There were also a few weeks where no wages were reported, even though I work continuously during the prior 4 quarters. When the payments resumed after 3 weeks of nothing, they were significantly reduced. I had to go through all kinds of appeals and extra aggravation before the issue was finally resolved in March of this year, almost 5 months after the error was made.

At the time of separation, I had accumulated some unused vacation days as I often did not take any vacation time over the past several years. I was on the 2 weeks/year with the cash-out option, some of which I cashed out, and some of which I left unused. I asked the board to pay me for my unused days but they refused. All the other departing employees in the past received pay for their unused days. They didn't even pay me for the 7 unused days from 2018, which couldn't possibly be in dispute. Instead, they presented me with some kind of termination agreement, written by Mr. Cutolo (former association attorney), asking me to give up ownership of the WEB site and various other rights in exchange for $5,000. The owed vacation was around $9,000. I declined, and instead filed a Wage and Hours claim to get the issue in front of a judge. Eventually I agreed to drop the claim in exchange for another settlement agreement between me and the association, also relating to the Society Hill WEB site and my unresolved vacation balance. A settlement was reached between me and the board with the assistance of Mr. Zhou and Ms. Radom (association attorney), and it was signed by both parties. In the last minute, Mr. Zhou decided to deduct $900 from the settlement amount, because Wage and Hours billed the association $900 of the claim that I filed with them that was eventually withdrawn. I did not agree to the $900 deduction, so that settlement agreement is still in limbo. The $900 is nothing compared to all the money the association wasted in the last year, and now all of a sudden $900 is the end of the world. I have not released ownership of the WEB site, and the association has not released any money. I still allow the association to use the WEB site, at no cost, which would otherwise cost them between $15,000 and $20,000 a year if they had to buy licenses for any other commercial property management software. They had this free for the last 9 years - that's $150,000, minimum. More money that was NOT spent that they will never acknowledge. Instead they are screwing me out of my accrued vacation.

A few months prior to separation, I had filed a formal grievance with the association, in an effort to resolve the conflict between me and some of the board members. One in particular, Mr. Zhou, was acting way beyond his authority as an individual board member and was being abusive at the same time. There were 3 altercations between him and I. On the first one I advised him that direction to management really needs to come from the board as a whole, that individual board members have no power, and that he should call a special meeting of the board if he really thinks I should be directed differently. There was a meeting and the board ended up ordering me to do some things differently with respect to temporary staff. The second altercation involved another order to me, which I don't even recall but I ended up agreeing to keep the peace. The third altercation involved an order to me to do something that I thought was illegal so I refused, pending further investigation, and he blew up on me. Zero to 100 in about 3 seconds. That being the third time, I responded likewise. The incident ended with him calling the police on me. From that point forward, Mr. Zhou made it his mission to remove me as manager. The order he issued to me was to charge all future prospective employees for pre-employment medical screenings. It turned out that I was correct, and this practice is illegal in New Jersey. In response to these incidents, I requested a formal hearing with me and other neutral members of the board, to get this guy under control, or at least keep him away from me and the staff. After several weeks of reminder emails, the board was never able to put together such a hearing, so with the request and the issues still on the table, they eventually fired me. I hope everyone can see what kind of a personality I was dealing with here, and that I am not making this stuff up. He is now running the entire association.

The Thanks I Get
----------------
I have gotten to know so many owners and residents over the last 15 years. I have helped dozens of them with various problems and requests over those same years - and I mean personal help, not related to helping them with association matters. I never ask for anything in return. The vast majority of them are nice, rational people. But there are a few, who for whatever reason, react very oddly to me.

For example, when Mr. Zhou's 14 year old daughter showed up at my front door one night 6 years ago, I could have simply not opened it. Or I could have told her no way, can't stay here. Or I could have called her mother or the police and she would have bolted. That night could have turned out a lot of different ways, some of them very bad. But I tried to help out, and did what I could to stabilize the situation and try to make things turn out OK. When her mother needed time off from work to deal with the aftermath, for years, I didn't say anything. When his same daughter was looking for recommendations for school and other opportunities, I provided them. Now I am not looking for any favors in return. But I do expect some level of common decency, favors or not. The way I was treated by this board last year, in which Mr. Zhou, and Ms. Zhou, and Ms. Thomas were all entwined, was despicable. They can spin it however they like, but I did not do anything illegal, I did not take any money from the association, I did not commit any fraud. If you go back and look at some of the things they wrote about me last year, and knew about some of the comments they made that filtered back to me, you would think I ran off with millions of dollars. For all the things I did for them, and all the things I did for the association over all those years, these people, and a handful of others orbiting around them, have a lot of nerve and should be deeply ashamed of themselves.

Now I know that a lot of people didn't believe what was being said last year, but enough were swayed that it probably had an impact on the outcome of the election, and it certainly had an impact on my credibility and my reputation. Several owners have encouraged me to sue - and in fact that complaint was already written, but never filed. Someone should be held accountable for what was said - they're lucky I don't have the time. In the end, the disagreement is over two different philosophies on how to run a condo association. It has nothing to do with me personally, although a bunch of people took it there to achieve their political and moral ambitions. Some of them had been sniping at me for the last few years, doing whatever they could to subtly undermine me and undermine the crew and undermine the work I was doing. Rather than helping out to make things work and solve the problems, they decided to destroy everything instead. There are always ways of making things work, if one is clever enough to find them. If all their destructive ambitions were re-channeled in a positive direction, I'm sure we would already be enjoying many improvements to the community. Instead, everything is in pieces, and we lost an entire year of repair and improvement work. We are going to get behind again on the maintenance, just like we were 10 years ago. I have to ask - is this the type of people you want running the association?

I have encountered many such individuals over the last 30 years, most of them running things they should never be running. I don't know exactly what it is about positions of power and these personality types, but they just can't help but gravitate towards them. It's like a drug. It is somehow deeply rewarding for them. It's beyond just giving back and making things better. For them, it's satisfying some primal need to dominate, to control, to intimidate, perhaps as they themselves had been controlled. They are emotionally disabled, lacking the ability to sense how other people are feeling and probably don't even think they are doing anything wrong (Mr. Zhou publicly thinks he is a nice guy - wow). They lack perspective and the ability to see themselves through the eyes of others. Politics is full of these people, at all levels. This is one of the great failures of democracy, or any form of government, which doesn't filter them out and prevent them from attaining positions of power and control. I'm not saying they are necessarily bad people - that's a separate issue, but I am definitely saying their personality is not suited for leadership roles. They can be very toxic to everyone around, which drives away the normal people, creating a vacuum which is inevitably re-filled with more similarly wounded individuals.

Capital Repair and Improvement Projects
---------------------------------------
My critics constantly complain about how the capital reserve fund has gone down over the past several years, implying that I wasted the money and we didn't get anything for it. That is simply not true. My job was to spend money, not sit on a huge pile of cash while the property crumbles, so philanthropic board members could feel good about themselves as they give half of our money away to their favorite contractors. Below is the list which was sent to the Board in September of 2018, enumerating the numerous repairs and improvements since 2010. A considerable investment has been made in approvals and designs for several projects which the current board has unilaterally cancelled. Those investments, as well as any future revenue or savings resulting from them, will be lost. However, the past membership approvals for the improvement projects are still in effect, and technically the Board of Trustees is still obligated to follow through on those plans as per section 3.11 of the association's by-laws: "...The Trustees shall be governed in the making of capital expenditures by decisions made by the Members...".

- Replacement of all the Buckingham and Chesterfield Drive bike-way and sidewalk with paving stones
- Retaining walls along several sections of the Buckingham and Chesterfield Drive bike-way and sidewalks
- Benches along Chesterfield and Buckingham Drives
- Installation of communications conduit under all the Buckingham and Chesterfield Drive bike-way and sidewalks
- Reconfiguration of all irrigation zones along Buckingham and Chesterfield Drive
- Installation of drip irrigation zones for berry plantings along Buckingham and Chesterfield Drive
- Installation of communications conduits to junction boxes at each building
- Installation of pull-strings in all communications conduits
- Installation of a 4" reclaimed water main under several sections of the Chesterfield Drive sidewalks
- Installation of communications conduit and junction boxes down Hampshire Court, and across Lancaster Court parking lots
- Dredging of the pond
- Installation of reclaimed water intake field under pond
- Installation of 4" reclaimed water main from Lancaster irrigation loop to future pump shed at building 17
- Stacking of pond dredging and walkway project spoils at end of Lancaster Court
- Hundreds of irrigation system repairs, including replacement of almost all of the 135 zone valves and cracked PVC tee fittings.
- Several pinched irrigation poly pipe re-routing around trees
- Re-siding the left end of building 31
- Re-roofing of building 3, gutters, leaders, chimneys, vents, satellite dish mounts
- Installation of communication conduits and wiring in building 3 for existing CATV, Satellite, and future IP services
- Design of community-wide internet system
- Design of reclaimed irrigation water system and pumping station
- Site plan engineering drawings and architectural drawings for maintenance garage
- Shop drawings for maintenance garage
- Site plan application for maintenance garage
- Amended site plan application for maintenance garage plan, pond landscaping improvements, reclaimed irrigation pump shed, dumpster corrals, condo building walkways, and Hampshire Court speed impediments
- Purchase of JCB 2CX12 loader, JCB 416 loader, CAT 256C loader, Bering box truck, Freightliner dump truck, Ford Ranger pickup truck, Ford F250 pickup truck, Ford E250 van, Honda CRV
- Many repairs to capital heavy and other equipment
- Purchase of numerous other landscaping and maintenance equipment, including lawn mowers, leaf blowers, snow pushers and plows, concrete mixer, welders, chain saws, leaf vacuum, leaf blowers, string trimmers, golf cart, gator
- Recent repairs and improvements to swimming pool
- Resurfacing of pool (needs to be done again!)
- Over 100 townhouse walkway replacements
- Several condo building breezeway concrete partial replacements
- Replacement of several sections of breezeway carpeting
- Numerous common-element pipe and internal damage repairs
- Internal structural repairs to units
- Repair to concrete throughout complex for DCA inspection
- Repair to several breezeway steps for DCA inspections
- Fabrication and installation of "pigeon netting" for many of the 192 second and third floor condo units
- Numerous repairs to roof vents, pipe vents, chimney flashings, and step flashings
- Repairs and replacement of condo building decks
- Repairs to siding
- Numerous repairs to gutters and leaders
- Repairs to building soffits
- Repair, replacement, and installation of street signs
- Reinstallation of electric meter panel
- Replacement of electric meter panels
- Re-painting of parking spots
- Repair of numerous potholes
- Major repair to asphalt and base on Norwich Court
- Replacement of both playground surfaces
- Installation of 9 "poo bins"
- Extensive repairs to shed by pool
- Repairs to rear clubhouse office
- Clubhouse security system upgrade
- Total reconstruction of all four irrigation pump sheds
- Tennis court net post replacement

Kevin Wine, Trustee - 11/5/2019

515:129:6:1:651


DATE: Tuesday, November 19, 2019
TIME: 4:10 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Community Meeting November 21, 2019 @ 7PM
TYPE: Community News

Please join us for an OPEN session meeting on Thursday, November 21st @ 7PM in the community clubhouse.

Please note the time change to 7PM this month, rather than 8PM.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Thanks,
Management

514:129:6:1:650


DATE: Thursday, November 21, 2019
TIME: 4:02 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Say Anything, Do Anything Editorial
TYPE: Community News


The November "Newsletter"
-------------------------
Echoing the "say anything, do anything" style of our national politics, your board of trustees recently distributed yet another character attack piece against me. In case you missed it, here is a link to their most recent excuse for a newsletter:

http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Newsletter/2019/NewsletterNovember2019.pdf

I now know how to get an editorial in the newsletter - just chisel it in to the sidewalk. It is also interesting how they suddenly decide to start sending newsletters right around election time, after sending nothing for the prior several months. They did the same thing last year. Not a word from them about my prior editorial - no surprise there. Maybe they are still reading it. I received 7 comments directly - five positive, one negative, and one I'm not sure what to think.

Over the last two weeks, I have been debating whether it is worth spending the time to respond or not. As it turned out, I addressed a lot of their comments in the email editorial I sent a few days prior to their newsletter, so why repeat myself. On the other hand, I feel an obligation to call them out on their lies and there is some new information to report. This will be brief.

Yes, it is true that I created the "accounts receivable software system". By the way, this probably saved the association over $100,000 over the last 8 years, but leave it to this bunch to twist that in to something negative. No, it is not true that I was "...the only person who recorded and had control for all entries...". This is an outright lie - an "intentionally false statement of material fact", and they know it. Posting of the maintenance fee checks was handled by the association bookkeeper, Linda Zhou (wife of current board president Tong Zhou). This fact is captured by the system - everything is logged. That responsibility was intentionally separated from me. The debit/credit card payments were handled automatically by the system, and I did originally write and maintain the code that processed those payments. In the alternate universe in which some of our board members reside, it is apparently possible to divert some or all of those payments to foreign bank accounts in my name. Clearly, they have no concept or understanding of how electronic payments are processed and thus do not realize the extent of their delusion.

The "...differences noted with regard to accounts receivable balances..." have nothing to do with the WEB site or its processing of those payments. The association's accountant, with whom I intentionally had very little contact and left to Mrs. Zhou (division of responsibilities), was trying to separately track the monthly late-payments and pre-payments, rather than just handle the maintenance fee receivable accounts in the traditional accounting manner. I assume this was done to satisfy the curiosities of some of our board members who don't understand basic accounting principles. The problem is that such an accounting is very tedious, and they screwed it up somehow or another. I looked at the discrepancy in detail several weeks ago and sent an email to the board with my analysis. I was able to decipher everything the accountant was doing except for one question, which the board and management have still not answered. That email is appended to the end of this editorial.

A significant amount of our payroll cost was indeed charged to capital, as the crew (including me) were doing a significant amount of capital repair and improvement work. A list of all that work was provided at the end of my prior email editorial. The "supporting documentation" is that list, and the work that was done which should be evident. Most of our board does not understand what was was done, let alone how long it takes, and therefore in their mind nothing was done, so they are jumping to all kinds of false conclusions. That is literally how they think - the reserve money was spent and nothing was done.

It is true that I "approved" most of the invoices, however there was no formal invoice approval system in place. While I didn't check every single payment, I would occasionally see the checks and review the bank statements. There were no "questionable invoices". Again, this paranoia arises from the fact that most of the board, and especially the current board leadership, has absolutely no maintenance, construction, engineering, design, landscaping, machinery, or building background. With our setup, every single item we buy comes through on an invoice somewhere - nothing is hidden - but they don't know what most of the items are, so in their mind it's all "questionable" when it is really just a matter of ignorance. No one has asked me what any of these allegedly "questionable" invoices were for - wouldn't that seem to be the first step, before jumping to wild conclusions?

It is true that our former auditor did write a "farewell letter" to the board, prior to resigning after some sort of alteration with Mr. Zhou. The former auditor, Mr. Nulty, was listening to a small group of individuals who had an agenda. I was disappointed at the extent to which Mr. Nulty indulged these individuals and took up their cause, and further disappointed by the fact that he never once reached out to me for the other side of the story. Not very professional. Regardless of the psychosis from which these individuals suffer, the bottom line is that there was no theft or fraud, and any claims of such are totally false and made with the very deliberate intent of damaging my reputation and character so that certain other individuals can feel better about themselves. Politics is not the study of political science or civics or public administration - it is the study of abnormal psychology.

The board is moving forward on indulging their paranoia with the hiring of a forensic auditor - I know there were interviews with two such firms this week. I am beginning to doubt the board even understands what a forensic audit is all about. Has it not yet occurred to them that I had nothing to do with the accounting!?? The accounting was handled by an outside accountant, who is far more a friend of Mrs. and Mr. Zhou than of me. Furthermore, I was not involved with any of the financial data preparation and communication with that accountant - that was all handled by Mrs. Zhou. So these geniuses are about to order a forensic audit on themselves and waste another bunch of our money. Nice.

The November "Board Meeting"
----------------------------
The board was trying to cancel the November board meeting, after an email from our property manager Ms. Cole a few days ago stating that there is very little business to discuss. Now it appears that they have decided to have the meeting after all, but starting at 7PM and with no secret executive session. It is still unclear as to what kind of a meeting this will be, what the agenda is, and what surprise guests are planned. As of 8 AM Thursday, no agenda or board package has been delivered to the board.

I can tell you one thing that I'm sure will NOT be on the agenda - the 2020 budget! Typically by this time of year a number of individuals are all excited about the budget, but not a peep this year. Wonder why? I'm sure they are discussing the budget privately and are planning another fee increase, so they don't want to say anything about it until after the election.

I also doubt the 2019 annual election procedures will be discussed. There is currently no written procedure for processing the new proxy and ballots in this year's election. They are just going to wing it on the night of the election. The secret ballots require very careful handling, because if anything is done wrong - even one thing - it could compromise the entire election. They have already compromised this election by allowing only one person un-restricted access to all the election envelopes. And they have scheduled the next election attempt 5 days before the maintenance fee due date (December 15th). This is going to result in a large number of units being unfairly disqualified who pay between the 10th and the 15th.

There is a chance that the association's current/former insurance broker will be at this meeting. By total surprise, a sub-set of the board, without the knowledge or motion of the entire board, changed insurance brokers on the master property and liability policy last week. Imagine if I did something like that when I was in the office. The new insurance broker seems to be somehow linked up with Town and Country, so here we go again with the management bringing in all their friend vendors.

These people are a bunch of hypocrites. What ever happened to all the things they were nagging me about last summer that I wasn't doing to their every satisfaction - the personnel manual updates, the cost accounting, the project reviews and estimates, the personnel hiring policies, the employee reviews, the overtime? They were complaining about me being on the board and in the management office, and yet now here we have the new association president camped out in the management office all day with his wife as the bookkeeper, his personal attorney representing the association, and a management company who was the former employer of his wife. And suddenly all this is OK??? Oh - as long as it's not ME doing it, then it's fine.

By the way, has anyone checked the on-line reviews of our new management company?

https://www.google.com/search?q=town+and+country+management+red+bank+nj&oq=town+and+country+management+red+bank+nj&aqs=chrome..69i57j0.7023j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#lrd=0x89c22fd2f6269c31:0x813a784b52e1872a,1,,,

One of the 5-star reviewers appears to work for Town and Country (Debralee Marchese), and another one admits to working "with" Town and Country. I know these on-line reviews always have to be taken with a grain of salt, but the scary part is that I see several of the same complaints we experience here with past managements - poor service and high fees.

2018 Election Lawsuit
---------------------
The court granted me a further three hours of inspection time with the 2018 election documents. This will be taking place in the very near future, and should be very illuminating.

For this year's election, I still have no idea how many proxies have been received because the board and management are refusing to release this information. Unbelievable. And that has to be illegal somehow, but again they don't care. If you don't like it, sue them - that's their attitude. This is a very dangerous attitude to have, as they should already be aware, but seem unable to comprehend. They complain that I informed our insurance carrier about my lawsuit, and yet they still use Mr. Zhou's attorney to defend the association, which is costing us money. The premium cost on the Director and Officers policy is a few thousand a year - nothing compared to the nearly $300,000 we spend on insurance every year. The impact of a claim would be minimal.

Photo Gallery
-------------
Since we are putting pictures of concrete in the newsletter, I couldn't resist doing the same. I guess the $40,000 wasn't enough to get everything fixed:

http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Concrete1.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Concrete2.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Concrete3.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Concrete4.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Concrete5.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Concrete6.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Concrete7.jpg

And the area around the "vandalized" concrete, that they left out of the picture:
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Concrete8.jpg

They complain about all the stuff left in the breezeways, well this box belongs to Mr. Sanford (board member) and has been here for a couple of years at least, outside his neighbors unit no less:

http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Breezeways1.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Breezeways2.jpg

Your board made a very conscious choice to cut/eliminate the Saturday crew hours, since they are paranoid about overtime like it's some disease, so the dumpsters got no attention over the weekends. Here's how that ended up looking:

http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Dumpsters1.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Dumpsters2.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Dumpsters3.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Dumpsters4.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Dumpsters5.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Dumpsters6.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Dumpsters7.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Dumpsters8.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Dumpsters9.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Dumpsters10.jpg

Remember the 10" tall grass this spring? If you don't live on-site you may not have seen this. It is a bit difficult to get the full height feeling from the pictures, but here is what that looked like:

http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Grass1.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Grass2.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Grass3.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Grass4.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Grass5.jpg

There were several things I had planned for last year but they fired me - one of those plans was the powerwashing. They had over a year now to take care of this, but waited till the last minute and made excuses about no water available. Here's what it looks like now (just a small sample):

http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Buildings1.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Buildings2.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Buildings3.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Buildings4.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Buildings5.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Buildings6.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Buildings7.jpg
http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Buildings8.jpg

And check out this tumor growing in one of the parking lots on Lancaster:

http://www.societyhillpiscataway.com/Maintenance/Photos/Roads1.jpg

Looks like any paving work has been replaced with new breezeway steps, railings, and carpets. For some reason that's suddenly the priority, probably at Mr. Sanford's request, as Mr. Zhou continues to patronize him in exchange for his voting support on the board.

Copy of Un-answered AR Analysis Email
------------------------------------

From:
Date: 10/30/19 12:09 pm
To: Ginger Pitaccio, Stacey Cole and 2 others

Board, and Others,

So I finally just looked at the AR issue, for November and December 2017. Hua is posting owner AR in lumps throughout the month, matching the cash deposits to operating - debit cash account, credit maintenance fee revenue ledger account (no AR ledger accts because we are tracking it at that level on the WEB site). Then Hua is _deducing_ the delinquent AR by subtracting the deposited AR from the expected monthly maintenance fee income of 545 x $171 = $93,195. For Dec 2017, she did $93,195 - $95,909.91 = -$2,714.91, so delinquent AR dropped by $2,714.91. The problem is that she is assuming $93,195 is the amount that was billed, but that is not necessarily the case. There will be many other charges on the accounts that are being paid, such as late fees (yes, some late fees actually end up getting paid), parking spot rentals, and legal fees. To be accurate, the delinquent AR calculation has to use the monthly maintenance fee charges _plus_ any of the extra charges in that month to get an accurate dollar amount that should have been collected, before you subtract what was actually collected. If the extra charges are missing, the delinquent amount on Hua's report is going to appear less than the actual delinquent amount.

On the WEB site, the code calculates the actual delinquent amount and reports it at the bottom of the page. You just had to add up the 4 aged amounts - I added another line with that calculation done for you. Note that this will be different than the sum of the balances column, because that sum includes all the pre-paid accounts which would distort the delinquent AR. On the WEB site AR, the additional monthly charges _are_ taken in to account when calculating the delinquent amount, so it should be an accurate reflection of how much money is owed to the association.

Furthermore, it is not clear how Hua handles the pre-paid accounts. She tries to track pre-pays in another ledger, but I cannot figure out where she gets the numbers from on the spreadsheets. In any given month, some new pre-pays come in, and some past pre-pays are consumed. I assume the monthly pre-pay delta would be the difference between these two. The new pre-pays coming in can be totaled. December pre-pays are $3,931.60, and November pre-pays are $9,100. The consumed pre-pays are not that simple, and it is not immediately clear how this number could be extracted from the spreadsheets.

The WEB site reports a pre-pay amount as of 11/30/2107 of $28,658.21 and a pre-pay amount as of 12/31/2017 of $25,136.21, which is a delta down of $3,522. I would expect a debit column entry of this amount in the 12/31/2017 statement but instead I see a debit amount of $5. Hua's pre-pay ledger account has a 12/31/2017 balance of $29,802.21, and the WEB site reports $25,136.21, which is a discrepancy of $4,666. If the pre-paid amounts are not accurately tracked, then the deduced AR amount is going to be off.

Again, the WEB site does _not_ include any pre-paid amounts in the delinquent AR calculations. On Hua's statement, the maintenance fee deposits are posted in their entirety to the maintenance fee revenue ledger account, which is going to include some amount of pre-paid fees. If the pre-paid amounts are not tracked, this is going to create a second distortion in Hua's delinquent AR reporting. When she goes to subtract what was actually received from what should have been received, the actually received number is going to be artificially inflated by the pre-paid fees, causing the delinquent amount on her report to again appear less than it should be.

Over some number of years, it is conceivable that these two distortions would accumulate to a considerable amount.

I continue to maintain that the WEB site is an accurate accounting of delinquent AR.

Kevin

513:129:6:1:649


DATE: Monday, December 9, 2019
TIME: 8:56 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Annual Meeting Reminder 12/10/19 @ 8PM
TYPE: Community News

This is a reminder that the Annual/Election Meeting is Tuesday 12/10/19 @ 8PM in the Community Clubhouse. If you have not already voted, please join tomorrow night to cast your vote.

It appears the SHP website has been hacked. A police report has been filed. If you have any questions about election procedures, please call the Management office or attend the meeting tomorrow evening.

Thank you!

513:130:6:1:650


DATE: Monday, December 9, 2019
TIME: 8:56 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Annual Meeting Reminder 12/10/19 @ 8PM
TYPE: Community News

This is a reminder that the Annual/Election Meeting is Tuesday 12/10/19 @ 8PM in the Community Clubhouse. If you have not already voted, please join tomorrow night to cast your vote.

It appears the SHP website has been hacked. A police report has been filed. If you have any questions about election procedures, please call the Management office or attend the meeting tomorrow evening.

Thank you!

513:130:6:1:650


DATE: Monday, December 9, 2019
TIME: 8:58 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: Annual Meeting Reminder 12/10/19 @ 8PM
TYPE: Community News

This is a reminder that the Annual/Election Meeting is Tuesday 12/10/19 @ 8PM in the Community Clubhouse. If you have not already voted, please join tomorrow night to cast your vote.

It appears the SHP website has been hacked. A police report has been filed. If you have any questions about election procedures, please call the Management office or attend the meeting tomorrow evening.

Thank you!

513:130:6:1:650


DATE: Friday, December 13, 2019
TIME: 12:00 PM
TO: All Residents
SUBJECT: 2019 Election Results
TYPE: Community News

Good Morning!

As of Tuesday December 10, 2019 the Society Hill @ Piscataway Board of Trustees Election results are IN!

Candidate votes were as follows:

Matthew Phillips - 105
Bharat Rangolia - 100
Mary Thomas - 165
Tong Zhou - 173

CONGRATULATIONS to Mary Thomas, Vice President and Tong Zhou, President on your re-election!

Have a nice day :)

513:130:6:1:650

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