Should we, at Aquarius, go back to 2015?

Should we, at Aquarius, go back to 2015?

This whats was happening at Aquarius in 2015. The recently elected Board  was eventually, recalled. The recall did not happen by the majority of the votes. The recall was result of the Board not to properly respond to an inquire of the DBPR/FL.

TV Channel 10 visits Aquarius Condo. Broadcasted June 17, 2015 | Aquarius Condominium, Hollywood Florida (

Should we, at Aquarius, go back to 2015?
In 2015 Aquarius had the East Deck and Pool not usable. The roof of the Lobby had collapsed and was not usable. The entrance was only pssoble by the Service Gate in the North end of Aquarius.

We believe the lock of supports on the structure, the corrosion present on the supports due to several years of water leaks from the upper deck and the water increosing the weight of the stucco finish, have make the area collapse. Andre Caycedo, President of the ACG Engineering Inc.

The new Board, in 2015,  decided to make these two areas livable again. For that a Special Assessment was proposed. The reaction of a group of owners was not positive. The idea was that the previous resources had not been properly used, and the new attempt would have the same disappointing results.
In reality both projects were completed on time and on budget and some money left to repair the ceiling of the gym and other details of the gym. Before the end of 2015, the West Deck, the Valet Deck and the East Pool were open for enjoyment. A couple of months later the Lobby was back to use.
What happened? It seems that Aquarius had for many, many years a maintenance budget that did not cover the current expenses. Some 3.7 million received from the neighboring Trump Building had been used to cover the day-to-day operations in the course of 6 years. Aquarius had a regular assessment (maintenance fee) that was a fraction of any building of the neighborhood would charge.
A very good explanation of the use of the money received by Aquarius from the firm next door is given by    Sam Schmuter Responds to TV Channel 10 report June 24,2015 | Aquarius Condominium, Hollywood Florida (
Why the number of problems at Aquarius accumulated over the years? Insufficient maintenance fees (regular assessment) and projects done without the necessary funds to be properly completed. The frustration of the owners is understandable. What is not understandable is the permanent ignoration of the real costs of proper maintenance.
It seems that the old sentiment of unsustentable low fees has now has gained again some new strength. The idea that a building may go on for years and years of without proper maintenance has had sour results. Champlain Towers has tragically shown to all of us what may happen.

Champlain Towers, Surfside, FL, after the June 2021 tragedy

Minor problems if not treated immediately tend to become large problems with increased cost.
Should you go back to 2015 or should we confront the reality and keep the building in its proper shape? 
2025 sentiments were caused by total lack or reserves and underfunded budget for day-to-day operations (regular assessment). Do we prefer to pay as we go or have large special assessments with repairs that could have a much smaller cost if treated as they become needed?
Let’s think about it! To do the same thing and expect different results is not a sign of sanity (A. Einstein).

If you like music, if you like the movies this clip is for you


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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1 Response to Should we, at Aquarius, go back to 2015?

  1. Eugenia Aulov-Volchek says:

    Dear Cecilio, what is the idea of your post ?
    Why do you remember 2015 events? We are already in the Autumn of 2021 approaching 2022. Starting from 2016 we have the same Board of Directors which cannot count money and overspent 5.3 million according to their calculation. In reality, based on July 2021 financial report, the deficit today equal 10 millions ( 7.5 million drawn and unpaid from 2017 loan-credit line and 2.5 million loan-credit agreement taken in 2019 to finance cost overruns).

    You complain about our low maintenance fees. Don’t worry, the board took care of this also by increasing our maintenance religiously every year for a total of 24,5%. The upcoming another 6.2% increase in 2022 budget would be in addition to that.

    What is your opinion about newly proposed by the board Special Assessment? Do you know the total amount of it? First it was 14 millions with refinance. Now, I believe, it is 9,3 million together with illegal collection of 1,8 million for reserves. Do you think your vote is needed for reserves or not?
    Is it clear to you the terms of the new Special Assessment loan-credit line?

    Do you know that 2.5 million included in the new Special Assessment is already fully spent in 2020-2021. Beside that, the board already signed 2.5 million credit line for 15 years, 4.6% interest,
    with monthly payments starting December 1, 2021 and ending November 1, 2036. The board never informed us about that. I got this information from 2020 Audit report.

    Everybody understands that 48-year old building needs maintenance and repairs. Everybody appreciates the repair and renovation already done. What everybody request from the Board is transparency, collective opinion and consultation, proper analysis and proper planning, proactive actions and completion on-time and on- budget. There are a lot of active, with skills and brains unit owners willing to participate and help. The board should use this resource. Relying only on managements company suggesting brought us to unlimited spending and continuous Special Assessments.


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