Information asked to the Board of Aquarius

Information asked to the Board of Aquarius

The author of this message asked it to be posted in our blog. Here it is:


This email requesting clarifications (with few deletions) was sent to the BOD President Mr. Gupta almost 3 months ago. We have not received not only response but even acknowledgement of this email from the BOD.

 

Special Assessment

  1. Did you receive the latest engineering reports based on the Building Safety Inspection Program in accordance with the Hollywood letter dated 09/01/2021?
  2. Are the assessment costs based on these reports?
  3. Are the assessment costs based on guestimates or bids? I assume they are based on guestimates, please correct me if I am wrong. Do you have scope of work for all items?
  4. What is included in the $50k beach access door & ramp, $50k steel doors (are they special watertight doors?) and how is $50k each calculated?
  5. How many square feet are the (2) roofs (I assume it is for both buildings) and why the price is increased $155k from the previous price?
  6. What is the scope of work for the column repair and how is $200k calculated?
  7. Contingency in construction is a certain percentage of the total cost. How this contingency is calculated?
  8. Please explain why people who will pay entire assessment lump sum by 12/01 have to pay for the $2.5 mil. loan interest (5%).
  9. Please provide a breakdown of overages and how they are calculated.
  10. If all pricing is based on guestimates why we have to finalize it by December? After we receive bids from bidders the special assessment total price could be completely different and some people have to get another loan? Does it make any sense?
  11. Could you create a site where all current and future scope of work and bidding information will be posted and updated to keep it transparent? If not, could you provide this information to us?

 

2022 Budget

  1. Utilities. Have other providers besides Comcast been contacted and can we get their quotes?
  2. Contract services. Need more explanations and bids from different contractors rather than accept existing contractors increased contracts.
  3. Insurance. Our current agent increased $83,323 pricing. Why don’t we get bids from other insurance providers?
  4. Reserve income $675k. I understand it was rejected and we also would reject it.
  5. Cable income. How we get this income and who provides it?
  6. Valet services in the amount of $130k. Why is it such a huge amount? And our valet income is $6k only, we need explanation of this. This item is missed in the variance column and the contract services total is misleading credit of ($35,372) in lieu of additional amount of $94.628.

Hollywood, FL January 6th., 2022

Leonid Smilyansky, unit #607S.

lsmall5692@gmail.com

 

,o0o.

 

Posted in Board of Directors, Construction & 40 Year Inspection, Contracts, Finance | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Shots Fired across the street from Aquarius building Jan/04/22

Shots Fired across the street from Aquarius    Jan/04/22

 

It seems that the investigation is in progress. These news may be not the most accurate report of what is going on.

Suspect arrested, charged after man injured in Hollywood’s South Ocean Dr.  shooting

BY OMAR RODRÍGUEZ ORTIZ, UPDATED JANUARY 06, 2022 3:16 PM

UPDATE: Hollywood police arrested Romaine Kelly, 20. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony after a man was shot in the 2700 block of South Ocean Drive in Hollywood on Tuesday afternoon, Hollywood police spokeswoman Deanna Bettineschi said via email on Thursday.

ORIGINAL STORY: Hollywood police are investigating after a person was shot during an altercation in the 2700 block of South Ocean Drive on Tuesday afternoon. The individual shot was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Hollywood police spokesperson Deanna Bettineschi said via email. TOP VIDEOS

“There are no outstanding suspects,” Bettineschi said. At approximately 3 p.m., Hollywood cops responded to a possible shooting. A preliminary investigation revealed that the two individuals involved in the altercation knew each other.

Hollywood police did not immediately provide the names of the individuals involved.

This story was originally published January 4, 2022 7:49 PM.Read more at: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article257050952.html#storylink=cpy


Argument between 2 people leads to shooting in Hollywood

 

Police in Broward County responded to reports of a shooting on Tuesday afternoon.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Police in Broward County responded to reports of a shooting on Tuesday afternoon.
The scene unfolded along South Ocean Drive near Magnolia Terrace in Hollywood.
Investigators said two people who knew each other got into an argument.
Somehow, it escalated to the point where one of them was shot.
The victim was rushed to a Memorial Regional Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Police said they are not searching for any suspects but did not announce any arrests.
The investigation is ongoing.

Published: 


Daily Bulletin

Hollywood Police Department

AR 332201001815
1) Aggrav Asslt – Weapo…
Kelly, Romaine Dwayne (B /M/30) Arrest on chrg of 1) Aggrav Asslt – Weapon-w Deadly Weapon Without Intent To Kill (F), 2) Weapon Offense-use Display Etc Firearm During Felony (F), and 3) Carrying Concealed Weapon-firearm (F), at 2700-BLK S Ocean Dr, Hollywood, FL, on 1/4/2022 15:08.

.o0o.

Posted in Board of Directors, Social | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Aquarius Board Elections 2022

Aquarius Board Elections 2022

 

The elections for the Board of Aquarius will be Tuesday January 18, 2022. Votes must be in by 6:30 PM.

On Tuesday  January 11 there will be a ‘Meet and Greet’  with candidates. It will in the Cascade Room at 6:30. Zoom (online) participation available.

The candidates for the 2022 Aquarius Board of Director are:  click the name and you will go directly to the information written by the candidate 

 Leon Behar,*    Zinaida Bluband,*   Paul Finfer,    Elzbieta Fishman, *  Bhagwan Gupta,*    Keit Ngo, *    Judity Ort,    Victor Rocha,   Linda Satz,*   Mark Zeitser

* These candidates intend to participate presenting their positions to the community.

The quality of some pictures are not good. Candidates are encouraged to send better pictures to be posted.

Leon Behar, 1404S

My wife Rita and I moved to Aquarius in December 2020, after living in North Miami Beach for 34 years. I am a medical doctor and formerly operated a network of clinics in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. I also served as medical director for insurance companies in Florida. I have been involved with a Condo Board in Israel for the past 15 years.

I would like to use my management skills for the benefit of the Aquarius Board of Directors.

I would appreciate the opportunity to become a board member and I pledge to represent the unit owners with honesty and integrity to promote the needs of Aquarius.

Leon Behar (1404S)


Zinaida (Zina) Bluband. 902N

My husband and I have been residents of the Aquarius since January of 2013. In December of 1974, my family immigrated to the USA, settling in Minneapolis Minnesota. My education is in Master Degree in Mechanical Engineering. I worked as a Design engineer for two privately held companies involved in the in the design and development of material and air handling equipment for special applications including but not limited to mines and nuclear plants for 10 years. During those years, I was the owner and the president of Sir Speedy Franchise printing operations, business that we sold in 1986 for me to dedicate my career to the Mechanical Engineering that I loved. From 1986 to the 20081 had the privilege of working as a Valuation Engineer for the Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service. My responsibility was to provide professional and accurate development of technical issues related to Fortune 500 companies’ corporate returns as well as efficient and effective resolutions to more complex engineering and valuation issues. I held a certified general appraiser license that is the highest level of licensing allowing licensee to appraise all types of property with no value limit for federally related transactions. I completed numerous continued professional education classes on valuation of special purpose properties, historical properties, manufacturing facilities, intangible properties such as software and patents, building inspection, financial accounting, etc…

As an appraiser I provided Valuation assistance, including appraisal of tangible property, valuation of a business interest, stocks, or intangible property to Appeals, Counsel, and the U. S. Department of Justice and prepared engineering expert reports for the Courts.

As engineering member of Issue Team, I was responsible for performing risk analysis, holding issue discussions with the corporate officers, corporate attorneys and accountants and to resolve issues if possible or support alternative issue resolution.

I was the Treasurer on the Board of Directors for Bay hill Condominiums, Minnetonka, Minnesota until 2012, when we sold the property and moved permanently to Florida. In the capacity of Treasurer, I was fully responsible for reviewing financial reports of condo association and preparing annual budgets that were based on historical performances and future anticipated expenditures. The Aquarius is the only home my husband and I have. We are full time residents of the Aquarius and will remain as such for the foreseeable future. After moving to the Aquarius, In January 2013, I have been a member of the Budget committee, Social committee, Co-chair of beatification committee, Co-chair and the Chair of the Construction committee during the 40-Year certification project

I discovered a long time ago that running for the Board of Directors in the condo association is not a popularity contest I will not promise “no increases in the maintenance fees. Maintenance fees more than likely will need to be adjusted to accommodate the inflation that happens every year and to compensate for the increases in costs of material, labor and produce. I will not promise “no new special assessment’. After all, Aquarius has no reserves and any material replacement of the building component will require financing. I wish for the Aquarius owners to have the option to approve only partial funding of the reserves to cover deferred maintenance cost of the items with the replacement cost that exceeds $10,000. While the Aquarius property underwent extensive renovation during 40-year certification and is in much better shape today than it was 7 years ago, the fact remains that the Aquarius is 48-year-old property. In 2023 Aquarius will have to go through a 10-year 48-year-old. Although there was a tremendous amount of work done, the continued reoccurring maintenance could make 2023 recertification less financially painful. I have no personal agenda, and would like to assure all residents that I take fiduciary obligations of the Board very seriously and will do my best to make sure that the Aquarius is kept in proper operating conditions to ensure the safety and pleasure of the owners that invested significant amounts of money to keep their home up to date.


Paul Finfer, 702S

Education:

  • BS in Business Administration,1960, with honors, majoring in Accounting and Finance
  • JD degree in 1963; Admitted to the Bar in NY State that same year

Aquarius Experience:

My wife and I purchased our apartment in 1995 and became full-time residents in 2003.

Since 2004, I have had the honor of being elected to the Board eight times. I served as president for four years, VP one year, and for the last three years, as member at large.

During my first year as president, we were advised that the Trump Organization had purchased the land immediately North of us, land which had previously belonged to Aquarius. That land was sold years before to a company which then built a three-story motel. Upon reviewing the original sales documents, I noticed that the land was sold subject to a covenant that no building higher than three stories could be built upon it. We then filed a lawsuit against the Trump Organization and settled for 4.1 million dollars. Those funds were used to improve our buildings and to keep maintenance low.

The current board has successfully repaired, beautified and modernized our buildings through hard work and cohesiveness. It has been very rewarding to be a part of this winning team for the past three years. With your support, I hope to continue using my experience and expertise for the benefit of our association.

Sincerely,

Paul Finfer


Elzbieta Jankowska Fishman,  1104S

  • Married to Oleg Fishman
  • Purchased apartment and became fulltime resident in 2020

Qualifications

Full time resident of Aquarius Condominium

Expertise In organizational skills including 25+ years of managing a large Manufacturer and Production in Poland and running distribution & logistics centers in the broader US

Expertise in managing multiple commercial and residential properties

Extensive experience in successfully creating and operating large manufacturer and real estate budgets

Extensive skills in negotiating & managing contracts with large retailers and manufacturers, such as Costco

Wholesale Worldwide, Burlington Coat Factory, TJX Companies, Crate& Barrel, etc.

Extensive expertise In Engineering Design

Great Communication and interpersonal skills
Extensive Budget and Contract Negotiation skills
Multi-Tasking skills
Multilingual: English, Polish, Russian

BS in Engineering of   Science & MBA In Management and Economics — 2002 – University of Science & Technology—Krakow, Poland

Being the owner of a large Manufacturer and Production corporation, I would like to dedicate years of my knowledge and expertise in Engineering Budget Management and Contract Negotiation— to benefit the future of Aquarius Condominium. I believe that my extensive opulence in managing a group of employees at different levels and dealing with various issues can successfully contribute to a bright and prosperous future of Aquarius Condominium, as well as bring our community together and make It a better home for all our residents.

Hobbies and Interests
Business and Economics
Product Design
Reading
Culture & Arts
Cooking


BHAGWAN (BUCK) GUPTA,  S-804

 

Born In India, I came to the United States in 1961 to pursue advanced study by attaining M.B.A. and a Ph.D.

Taught Business courses at college level. Served as Chief Facilities Officer at Miami-Dade Public Schools. I oversaw projects ranging from $200,000 for renovations, to building brand new High Schools, Middle Schools, & Elementary Schools under a Bond Issue passed by voters for 1.3 billion dollars. With Annual external Audits completed each year, there was not a single incident where any questions were raised relative to misappropriation and/or mismanagement under my jurisdiction.

My wife and I decided to downsize our home in Coral Gables and elected to purchase a unit at Aquarius with the belief that this property has lot of potential based on its location. However, we must pull it together to achieve common goal. If elected, I will take my role at the Board seriously to represent all unit

Owners and not be concerned with trying to please everyone.

The current Board has completed 40 years recertification for Aquarius. Most recent projects completed were total Hallway renovation, Elevator modernization and completion of many amenities. The current challenges we face is to finish outstanding projects listed as part of the newly approved Assessment in 2021.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at bgupta1@yahoo.corn. tel.:  786-402 4269

December 14, 2021


Kiet Ngo, 1801N

I am honored to run for a director role on the Aquarius Board of Directors.

My wife, Mindy, son, Mikal and I moved to Aquarius during the 40-year certification early 2018 and are year-round residents. We bought and fully renovated our home with the vision most Aquarius homeowners have…that is Aquarius is a hidden gem and now that gem is shining brightly. We love everything here, from the building to the people.

I am currently the Senior Director of Enterprise Architecture and Integration for the largest homebuilder in the nation. Formerly before that, I was an IT Executive for a Fortune 500 company and have worked in the information Technology space for over 20+ years mostly in the State of Florida. I’m responsible for millions of operational dollars a year and lead projects that range anywhere from thousands to multiple million-dollar budgets. I also have experience as a Director on a Homeowners Association Board of Directors in Orlando, FL. in the early 2000s. The reason I bring up my experience is not only to show my background as a leader and a contributor, but I take my responsibilities and my ability to lead delivery of projects very seriously.

The main platform I am running on is financial thoughtfulness as we provide enhancements and ongoing maintenance while ensuring that Aquarius continues to not only be our loved home but also our growing investment. I will provide a new perspective along with experience around collaboration, communication, and accountability. We need to know our numbers and work not only with our property managers but the many different trades to provide more accurate quotes and timelines. We need to hear what our fellow neighbors are concerned about and provide feedback. We also need to make sure we’re working together and being held accountable towards delivering the same shared vision and goals for Aquarius. I want to do this and with your support, I would love the opportunity to be on this Board of Directors to continue making Aquarius the GEM it really is.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Kiet Ngo,  1801N


JUDITH ORT,  1605N

PERSONAL

U. S. Citizen, immigrated from Budapest, Hungary in 1956. Went to American University in Washington, D. C., where I met my husband of 53 years, Victor M. art_ I have two children and five grandchildren. We have owned our home and resided on Centre Island, Oyster Bay, New York since 1970. In addition, we owned a home on Prince Edward Island, Canada for over 35 years. Prior to moving to Aquarius, we owned in the Hallandale Beach/Hollywood Beach area since 1972.

COMMUNITY AND CIVIC SERVICE

I have been active in the Centre Island Association for many years and currently serve and have been a member of the Architectural Review Board and the Planning Board of the Village of Centre Island for the past 11 years. As a Board member, I am charged with reading blue prints, building plans, and site plans and approving and improving upon plans for subdivisions, additions and new construction in the Village. In addition, I work with the Town of Oyster Bay, County of Nassau, the Department of Environmental Control, Army Corps of Engineers and the State of New York. I have served on the Aquarius Board of Directors since 2016.

I was actively involved with the Boys and Girls Club of America for over fifteen years including serving as a Director and Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Oyster Bay/East Norwich Chapter. In addition, I am involved with and support many worthwhile charities.

PROFESSIONAL

Upon graduation I became pamphlet editor for the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai Frith both in New York City and in Boston, Mass.

In 1972 I began Stonlinpex, Inc. a constructor/ installer and import-exporter of stone, marble and tile. It became one of the first certified women owned business enterprises in the State of New York (MWBE). In 1984 I began Stonimpex Gallery as a wholly owned subsidiary. I closed both businesses in 2003 when I retired.

From 1981 to 1995 I worked in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York in Westbury, Long Island.

GOALS

I want to continue to keep our Aquarius Condominium the absolute best it can possibly be. I am thankful the 40-year certification is completed and I want to continue to augment the value of each and every Aquarius unit in the most economically viable way. I will utilize my many years of experience in negotiating contracts and in running a successful business to best accomplish this goal.


Victor Edward Rocha, 1404N

I have been a resident of South Florida since 1965 and I have seen it grow from a small town to a huge metropolis in one of the most beautiful, desirable areas in the world. I have practiced law here since 1983.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this community through the 40-year Re-Certification Process and the follow up regarding the project. I hope and I trust that the vast majority of our Aquarius community is pleased with the outcome of the work that has been done so far and I look forward to working on the projects that still remain, such as the new root new stairway to the beach and others. The hallways were completed and they look fabulous. The value of our property here at Aquarius has gone up significantly. This Board has been successful not only in accomplishing what we set out to do but also in developing a great and open relationship between the Board and the residents of the Aquarius Condominium Association. We have been exceedingly transparent in everything that we do and we publish every new expense that we incur for repairs at every Board Meeting. I believe that Aquarius has returned to its place as a pleasing„ Luxury, Ocean-Front Property as it was always meant to be.

In my time on the Aquarius Board of Directors, it has indeed been a pleasure to work hard and to serve the people of the Aquarius to the best of my ability. This experience has helped this Board to make the very important decisions that have to be made on a daily basis here at Aquarius. Thank you for your prior support and I trust that I have lived up to your expectations. I am very proud of the work this Board has done, especially with respect to the 40-year re-certification project.

Finally, I would like to welcome all of our new owners and residents to Aquarius. We have worked hard to make Aquarius a pleasing destination and we hope you enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed improving not only the property but the atmosphere here at Aquarius.

Thank you for the kind way in which you have treated me here at Aquarius. I cannot even believe how many wonderful, bright, happy and kind people I have met here. I look forward to your continued support.

Sincerely

Victor Rocha


Linda Satz, 1108N

Married to Robert Satz 

Current Board of Director 2015 2021.

Full time resident of Aquarius;

Expertise in organizational skill; Including 20+ years volunteer manager in a hospital.

Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Master of Science in Education
  • President of ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation and
    Training)
  • President of PTA.

Dear Unit Owners,

It has been an honor and privilege to be elected to the Aquarius Board of Directors. I have spent countless hours with the other board members assuring that our Contractors were diligently working on the jobs assigned to them. Our President, Mr. Bhagwan Gupta, has continuously gone outside every day at 5 AM to check on their progress and ensure the job is getting done. We can all appreciate the successful transformation this building has gone through. Although we have had to endure the endless noise, dust, and Inconvenience due to the construction, it has been worth it because we can see the beautiful results.

I am most happy about the coming together of unit owners as a community. There is peace and harmony, people are smiling and we talk to each other. That is a gift to be treasured.

I thank you for your confidence and faith in me that I can do the job. I am pleased to run again and ask for your vote.

Respectfully,

Linda Satz


Mark Zeitser, 203S & 301N

Hello fellow owners,

My name is Mark Zeitser and I am running this year for your board of directors here at Aquarius, where if I am voted in, I plan on being a proxy for you.

I have been an owner here at Aquarius since 2015, where I have split time between working here in Florida and back in my original home of Brooklyn, NY I finally made Florida my full-time home since 2020 and am looking forward to a bright future for our property.

I possess several bachelor degrees from Brooklyn College, both in Business and Psychology, which has served me well for my own companies, which entail and focus primarily on property management and development, as well as financial management. I am also a trained paralegal and was also trained as an EMT at one time back in New York. I believe my experience would be an asset to the Association and my neighbors.

If elected I plan on operating with full transparency and regard for my fellow owners, welcoming questions and meetings with any other fellow owner to discuss their concerns. I will have my personal number and email available to all owners. I will spend the time leading up to election in the lobby and meeting rooms for whoever would hie to meet with me. Come and say hello! I want to give Aquarius back to its owners. I can only do that with your vote

Thank You

-Mark Zeitser 203S & 301N    12/01/2021


eMail message sent on December 27, 2021 by the Management Office of Aquarius with information pertaining the elections including the candidates short presentations, ballots, etc. Seventeen pages


.o0o.

I really love this commercial by Google. No matter how many times I watch it my eyes get a bit wet. Always.   SEARCH ON!

.o0o.

Posted in Board of Directors, Legal Issues | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Eugenia Volchek, 3rd. Note, Financial Matters of Aquarius

Eugenia Volchek, Third Note, Financial Matters of Aquarius

 

Dear Proud Owners,

Let me present myself. I have been living in Aquarius for 12 years. I am a retiree with the following background: accounting, computer programming, real-estate sales. I also served on two different condominium boards. I am expecting any our discussions and opinions.

I would like all of you to be aware of some financial facts:

  1. Aquarius board and management deliberately misrepresented the amount of debt (5,3 million) they put the community in. Actually, today the condominium owes 10 million to Bank of Popular. This amount includes 7.5 million unpaid 2017 credit line and a newly opened 2019 credit line for 2.5 million.
  2. Hopefully, 7.5 million will be paid off by the owners currently paying monthly for future 15 years. 2019 additional credit line was taken to cover 2017 assessment overspending. This credit line has not been billed to unit owners and now it is included in 2021 new Special Assessment (SA). In the meantime, interest payments required by the bank have been made from our annual budget.
  3. This action does not seem to be legal according to Florida Statute 718 (Condominium Law). The Law does not allow commingling Special Assessment and Budget funds. Nevertheless, our authoritarian board and management do not care about Condominium Law compliance. Therefore, they originally wanted to include Reserves into 2021 new SA, ignoring the law of reserves. But they have been stopped by unit owners.
  4. New Project estimation increased in every publication from 2,1million to 2.5 million.
  5. There is an ‘Overages’ amount of 2.6 million in the new 2021 SA. Neither board nor management can explain this item. Is this amount covers waste of money in previous years, or this is a fund for future undefined spending?

It looks to me, the board again uses the failed approach: asking unit owners to pay the SA in-full (without interest). Instead of repaying the loan, they may use the pool of collected cash to produce a new debt.

Eugenia Volcheck, Apt. 802N
M  516.448.7290    H  954.458.6989
eugeniavolchek@gmail.com

.o0o.


Laughing Mater

Reality versus Linkedin

Reality:

I got my driving license

Linkedin:

I am honored and thrilled to announce that I have been selected among the top 5 applicants who participated in professional and the most-respected exam which evaluates the skills and ability to operate fuel-based vehicles. I cannot wait to see what the next chapter holds, and I cannot express my appreciation to the ministry of transportation, Wendy’s, Google, NASA, my neighbors who supported me during this difficult journey.

.o0o.

Posted in Finance | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Downtown Hollywood activities this Saturday October 16th

Downtown Hollywood activities this Saturday October 16th

FloridasHolywood.org/ArtWalk

.o0o.


Musical moment:

You are having a quiet and nice lunch at La Guerite, Cannes and then… …. surprise!

Cold Heart

Lyrics:

It’s a human sign
When things go wrong
When the scent of her lingers
And temptation’s strong
Cold, cold heart
Hardened by you (oh)
Some things lookin’ better, baby
Just passin’ through (no, no, no, no, no)
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no, no, no
And this is what I should have said
Well I thought it, but I kept it hid
Cold, cold heart
Hardened by you (oh)
Some things lookin’ better, baby
Just passin’ through (no, no, no, no, no)
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no, no, no (no, no, no, no, no)
And this is what I should have said
Well I thought it, but I kept it hid
Cold, cold heart (oh)
Hardened by you
Some things lookin’ better, baby (oh)
Just passin’ through (no no, no, no, no)
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no, no, no (no, no, no, no, no)
And this is what I should have said (and I think it’s gonna be a long, long time)
(‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find)
Well I thought it, but I kept it hid (I’m not the man they think I am at home)
(Oh no, no, no) (no, no, no, no, no)
Sugar (oh)
Sugar
Sugar (oh)
Sugar
(No, no, no, no, no)

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bernard J.P. Taupin / Elton John / Nicholas George Littlemore / Peter Bruce Mayes / Samuel David Littlemore
Cold Heart lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

.o0o.

Posted in Amenities, News from Around and Beyond, Social | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Dear Mr. W. Coleman, from Eugenia Volcheck

Dear Mr. William (Bill) Coleman, an open letter from Eugenia Volcheck

 

Dear Mr. William Coleman,

On October 4, 2021 before Aquarius Special Assessment Meeting, you, as well as board members, received my email outlining very big differences between your Presentation of 2017 Special Assessment collections/spending versus the same items in Aquarius financial reports. Many Aquarius unit owners also got this information either online or by a hard copy.

All unit owners have a right to demand serious answers. Whom should they believe: the board, the management, or financial reports? Usual BOD ignorance of unit owners’ communications must not work in this case. The fact that you hold a high position in AP management and you made this Presentation, makes it necessary for you to address each discrepancy one by one.

Everybody understands that something is wrong in Aquarius condominium. The following enormous statistics indicate the board’s uncontrolled spending and the board willingness to collect more and more money:

  1. Year 2017 – $ 15,000,000 Special Assessment adopted by the board
  2. Year 2018 – $ 1,194,000  Insurance deductible was collected
  3. Year 2019 – $ 2,500,000  New Line of Credit was opened
  4. Year 2020 – $ 1,314,562  Proceeds for IRMA hurricane claim received
  5. Year 2021 – $ 7,632,237  Special Assessment adopted again by the board

               Total        $ 27,640,799.

In spite of current 10 million deficit (7,5 million unpaid 2017 Special Assessment and 2,5 million 2019 credit line also unpaid), the Board was in a hurry to accept a new Special Assessment for 7,6 million dollars. The new projects estimation as well as inclusion of unpaid 2019 credit line summarize in 4,9 million. The rest amount of 2,7 million needs serious explanation, especially considering 1,6 million available cash reported by the board president.

We, Aquarius unit owners, insist on receiving ASAP a written explanation of every indicated discrepancy. This is our money and we cannot be indifferent in spending it.

On behalf of concerned unit owners,

Eugenia Aulov-Volchek
Apt.  802N

.o0o.


Laughing is good for your health:

God is watching!!!

.o0o.

Posted in Finance, Social | Leave a comment

Letter to Aquarius Board President by Eugenia Volcheck

This open letter was received October 4th, 2021.

Dear Mr. President Bhagwan (Buck) Gupta,

In your letter to unit owners regarding the new 2021 Special Assessment, you specifically mentioned that every penny is accounted for by professionals of AP Management producing our financial reports. I agree with that. But it also looks to me that Aquarius financial reality of 2017 Special Assessment is very different from ‘virtual reality’ presented to us by management and board. As I compared your presentation with financial reports, I found a huge discrepancy in every detail item of the expenses and funds to cover them. The differences range from few hundred thousand dollars to few million dollars.

According to financials, the board collected tremendous amount of money: $23,017,400. The detail description of each fund of money is shown below:

  1. 65 percent of community paid their share of $15,000,000 in full giving total of cash $9,750,000. Adding here 35 percent unit owners’ monthly payments brings the cash total to $11,549,000. This is the real amount billed and collected (as opposed to your unsupported presentation of $15,000,000 received)
  2. Immediately after hurricane IRMA, the board collected from unit owners Insurance deductibles amount of $1,195,000.
  3. During years 2017-2018, the total withdrawal from 15 million credit line equaled $10,000,000. In subsequent years, only $2,500,000 was repaid, leaving us with a debt of $7,500,000 payable monthly by 35% of community up to year 2032.
  4. In October 2019 a new line of credit $2,500,000 to finance cost overruns was taken by the board. This money has been spent already, but the payment should have been started the first of October, 2021. This loan is for 4.6% interest, 15 years term ending in year 2036. The board have not discussed this loan-credit line with the community and signed it without voting on a Board Meeting. The information about this loan-credit line in included in 2020 Audit Report. The payments have not been started and now the Board wants to include this amount in the new Special Assessment 2021.
  5. Hurricane Insurance claim settlement check #33251 was received in the amount of $1,314,562. Payments to MERLIN LAW GROUP PA for $495,394 and HURRICANE FUND BAL for $546,206 were deducted from that amount. Therefore, the correct figure of insurance claim is now $275,482 (as opposed to $1,314,562 in your presentation).
  6. Interest income on collected Special Assessment payments is reported in total of 9,157.

Expenses total, according to Balance Sheet is $22,563,500 (You presented total expenses $938,000 less, only 21,625,663).

 The amount of Special Assessment money left is: $23,017,400 – $22,563,500 = $453,900 (contrary to your claim of cash available $1,617,101). This fund needs to be explained in details by the board.

I also would like to note that the amount of Special Assessment 2017 for every unit owner according to his share in the property amenities was calculated from the total amount of $15,000,000. In reality, withdrawals from the credit line totaled only $10,000,000.

Therefore, unit owners who paid the 2017 Special Assessment in full, already overpaid their share of the loan. The other unit owners with monthly payments will overpay the total amount by the end of the loan term. This is not the only example of the board neglecting unit owners’ interest. The board behaves very ignorant, never confirms receiving any communications or any emails from the community members, and does not answer them. The board always rejects unit owner’s proposals and offers as well.

Mr. President, you also mentioned in your letter how hard the board wanted to be transparent in all dealing. This is simply not true. Until last week, none of the financial reports have been posted on the website. The two pages of Balance Sheet attached to every meeting agenda is not understandable to a person without accounting skills. Our treasurer V. Rocha never talked about Special Assessment overruns and always mentioned that we are in a good shape (not in red) in regards to collecting maintenance money. The Board during last five years practically was bathing in money, overspent significantly, and suddenly, out of the blue came up with a new Special Assessment of $14,000,000 with refinance, followed by $9,400,000 without refinance.

Why does this board like to take loans-credit lines? These instruments are very expensive. We have already paid for opening Bank Popular Lines of credit (we have two LOC) $19,760. In addition, total loan interest paid by community is already $1,485,500.

The new Proposed Special Assessment project list represents only estimates and wishful thinking. Nobody explained to unit owners emergency condition of any items included in the Special Assessment New projects totaling $2,439,800.

2.5 million credit line is already financed for 15 years with a good 4.6% interest rate.  There is no need to include it in the new proposed Special Assessment.

A mystery item of Overages 2.6 million needs to be detailed explained and seriously discussed.

Reserve Contributions of 1.8 million should be excluded from Proposed Special Assessment breakdown since unit owners voted against Reserves in 2021 and it is also against the condominium law (Condominium Statute 718) to fund reserves by a loan.

I also have to remind the board that 2017 Special Assessment 15 million credit line have a balance of 7.5 million.  Currently, 7.5 million is still available to withdrawals as needed. Therefore, the funds for every current new project could be taken from the existed 2017 credit line after specifications have been done, bids received, and contractor selected. These new projects are not needed to be taken all concurrently

In my opinion, the bottom line is:

THE PROPOSED NEW ASSESSMENT IS NOT NEEDED.

Eugenia Aulov-Volchek. Unit 802N, eugeniavolchek@gmail.com

.o0o.

Sway in Amsterdam. A moment of enchantment.

 

.o0o.

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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 (aquariusuno.com)

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 (aquariusuno.com)
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).
.o0o.

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

 

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A Report of Meetings with the Board of Aquarius and the Director of Operations of A|P

A Report of Meetings with the Board of Aquarius and the Director of Operations of A|P

This is a summary of meetings between some Aquarius Board members, the Atlantic Pacific Director of Operations and Aquarius Initiative Group:

  1. The Bord of Directors – BOD represents the Aquarius Condominium owners, and are held accountable to them. The Board and Management aren’t informative enough to residents about projects executed, spending, or financial operations. Condominium Owners would like to know in detail the contractors’ election procedures, invoices paid (not year’s later, when residents become debt hostages). At meetings we ask Management and Board members to communicate better in regards to new project details, financial assessment and bill payments. We also ask the Board to be more open using emails, websites, open discussion, taking advice or opinions from residents who had professional skills in construction, legal, technical and financial fields. The Board is an elected organization and should have a mutual understanding and trust with residents. Mismanagement: yearly maintenance requirements, hiring engineering company which caused conflicts of interest, and negligence in some ways. (So, it should be called bad Management). Why claim “Irma” only to the insurance company? No one called the construction company and engineers responsible for water damage, electrical problems, or for the negligence while removing the balconies. Nor for the roof condition after the construction left. This resulted in huge engineering and legal Fees.
  2. It was confirmed that the payment schedules presented are based on $9.3M and include an additional $1.8M reserve for possible future projects. Mr. Gupta acknowledged receipt of a letter from Aquarius residents with a request to not include these “Reserve” funds in the new assessment. It was confirmed that the collection of a reserve fund would be voted by all residents since currently it’s not a mandatory FL state requirement.
  3. The new assessment will include funds according to Mr. Coleman’s presentation: a total deficit of $5,311,101 and additional funds for new projects $2,112,800. Total of $7,423,901. The new assessment will be discussed and approved at the next Board meeting.
  4. The hallways expense of $2,385,708 was questioned since it exceeded the budgeted $1,500,000. It would be helpful if the Board provided a break down: work and amount actually included and how they were paid. A similar break down should be provided for the Elevator Modernization and Professional Fees since they substantially exceeded original budget projections.
  5. It was confirmed that the amounts for new projects are budgetary estimates. Actual work estimates will be solicited and selected based on a public bidding process. All bids obtained and scopes of work included will be presented for owners to review before acceptance.
  6. It was explained by Mr. Gupta that three financing instruments were presented in Mr. Coleman’s presentation: #1-New loan $4M, #2-Remainder of $15M loan and #3. $2.5M credit line would be consolidated into one loan.

Mr. Gupta informed that the Board had hired an independent structural engineer to verify completeness’ and accuracy of structural work managed by Hillman according to the contract as-built drawings.

Opinions here expressed do not necessarily represent the opinion of the editor of the aquariusuno.com site.

.o0o.


Laughing matter:

.o0o.

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