Let’s Make Aquarius Great Again by Samson Schmuter

LOGO LADY“Let Us Make Aquarius Great Again!” – sounds as a good political slogan.


But without the price ceiling it is an open ended exercise, not practical and, needless to say, is not fair to the most owners of the building who are elderly and have no sources of income except their savings.

Without the financial limitations, the consultants and contractors may contemplate various ideas, like constructing all new balconies, upgrading them with glass (or maybe “gold”?), enlarging and/or moving the swimming pool to a different location, etc.

How about establishing the financial ceiling that for the East Pool Deck and for the Balconies, we would not assess more than we already did in the two previous assessments together?

Samson Schmuter

Buck Gupta responds:

Oct 22 , 2016    To Samson S. and several others

The current Board of Directors was elected by a majority of unit owners, and as such, I will continue to carry out the necessary restorations based upon the majority opinion. I am quite aware that there is and will never be a way to please everyone or to have 100% agreement on any project the Board has to undertake.
To establish a financial ceiling without factual data is totally irresponsible. Let us not keep second guessing the professionals. We already know what kind of results we get by trying to find someone who can tell us what we want to hear.

Needless to say, it does not mean that we become wasteful or that we are not accountable as a Board. I am inviting any and all members of our community to join this Board in addressing the deteriorating conditions of our property, once and for all.   By doing so, we won’t need to have a special assessment every year.

We live  in a democratic society and therefore, each one of us have the right to express our own opinion; however, we must be governed by the majority.

Victor Rocha comments

Oct 22, 2016

Well stated, I wholeheartedly agree with our President. We must take care of Aquarius and repair all the damage which Aquarius has suffered through years of neglect. Anybody who denies what is in front of their nose needs to get real. The measliness of a few people cannot override the proper care required of Aquarius to which a majority subscribe. The project will go on, the proper and necessary repairs shall be made and if the proper majority of the residents demonstrates that they want additional upgrades we should pursue those as well. People, this is our home.

I for one, take care of my home and my investments. It would be utterly irresponsible to behave and conduct ourselves otherwise. When the necessary repairs are made and even if a few upgrades are added, everyone’s investment will increase exponentially to 2 to 3 times what they originally invested. Check the beachfront market prices for the Wave and this will be supported.



About Cecilio Augusto Berndsen

Information Technology, Management, Project Management and Public Administration are areas I am familiar with. I am also interested in photography, wine, sailing, politics, economics, and economic development.
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2 Responses to Let’s Make Aquarius Great Again by Samson Schmuter

  1. Alex Zoob says:

    To Buck Gupta, Victor Rocha

    There are several ways of paying Project Engineer for the services on construction phase of the project:
    1. Payment on Hourly Bases – Owner and Engineer agreed on number of Site visits and office work: for example 3 or 4 times per week and get paid as the project goes. Can be added “Not too Exceed”
    2. Lump sum – Engineer knowing the scope of work and the duration of the project negotiate the price with the Owner.
    3. The percentage of the Construction Cost. This method is usually used on the big projects where time is essential. In case of Aquarius it causes a Conflict of Interest, since the same company is doing the Condition Appraisal and get paid, for example 8% of of the total construction cost.
    If the Engineer estimates the cost of $4 mil. he gets paid $400,000,at $10 mil. he gets $800,00.
    If this not a Conflict of Interest, then what?

    Alex Zoob, P.E.


  2. Bhagwan S Gupta says:

    It is great to see unit owners showing interest by second guessing, and Monday morning quarterbacking to suggest how their opinion of what should have been the fee structures should have been used for engaging a professional engineering firm for our project. It would have been nice to hear the same level of concern at the time when this item was brought to a regularly scheduled Board meeting back in May.
    Now that the train has left the station,passengers who bought the tickets knowing the scheduled stops are questioning whether they agree with the cost for the trip. The same passengers have a choice, get off the train at the next stop and wait for the train that makes the stops they would like to see and only charge what they think is a fair price.
    . The time for negotiating a fair contract is prior to reaching an Agreement between two parties and not playing a guessing game after the fact. No one has a monopoly in identifying all the short comings of a negotiated contract. The final amount to be paid under this contract is not based upon estimates provided by Hillman, but based upon the bid submitted by various contractors engaged in this type of work.
    The time to question whether we should have hired Hillman for assisting us in assessment of projected scope of work is 5 months too late. There is nothing to gain by questioning the method of compensation after two parties have reached an Agreement. I have never known ab Agreement satisfying all parties not directly involved in negotiations.
    The Board representing majority of unit owners have approved this contract. Just my opinion.


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