Home Forums Property Related Expense Reduction Group – Initial Ideas & Participation Options Reply To: Expense Reduction Group – Initial Ideas & Participation Options

Kristine Savona
Post count: 6

Great post Vince, thanks.  I want to remind you that I am still holding you to that one hour of time you pledged monthly to pitch in! {wink-wink} This is a great starting point to getting the community to understand the issues and get them involved.  I have to say that we have attempted to open such conversations with the Board but they have been resistant.

To speak to that point, I would like to clarify, why the dues have increased this year.  While the cost to operate the community certainly do increase each year, its incremental.  The recent increase is due to the low levels in the reserve accounts and the need to save for the planned re-pipe of our fire suppression system.  The prior year’s increase was due to AB968, which I cannot emphasize enough, that we need to reverse.  Typically, I am the sole homeowner at the meetings and I have to say none of the serious issues we currently face have been discussed during the homeowner session.  At best, it was briefly touched on.  Only my attendance at the My questions and concerns go unaddressed and seem to be dismissed.

I did obtain the financials – meaning, I compared the annual projected budgets beginning from 2012 to 2017 to the actuals (P&L).  There were some misrepresentations in the budget and there was a mysterious line item in the actuals that I have yet to obtain an answer on what exactly the expense entails.  I see no intentional malice but there does seem to be room for improvement on how the dues are spent.

I also reviewed the reserve studies where I identified concerns in the calculations.  I am happy to share with everyone what I have identified.

The immediate concerns I identified that would get us back on track would be as follows:

  •  Reverse AB968
  • Alternate solution to the unfeasible re-pipe solution currently in place.  Were you aware that currently the Board’s plan is that we save for 24 years, intermittently re-piping one building every 6 years.  Which building goes first?  Well, they will be tossing a coin (!). The current increase is to fund the reserve account for this re-pipe.  Our budget simply will not survive chasing leaks until all the buildings can be re-piped.  A more rational cost effective solution would be epoxy.  It is cheaper, non invasive (a re-pipe requires cutting into everyone’s walls) and would not require the additional expense of relocating residents. It is also warrantied and estimated to last for 30-50 years. I have spoken with several vendors that can provide this service and verified that our city is APPROVED for this.
  • We have identified potentially that Fire Safety First, who maintains and repairs our sprinklers is doing our community a disservice when they repair leaks.  They should be replacing pipes joint to joint.  Instead, they cut into a compromised pipe and fuse a new section to it.  The stress of the repair can and does cause a secondary leak.  I have personally experienced this situation this year.  It was a needless additional expense.  These scenarios are draining our reserves.

Michelle and I have done our homework.  What you have outlined eloquently is exactly what we and a few other homeowners have discussed among ourselves adnausium over the last several months.  Questions of this nature posed to the Board are routinely unanswered or dismissed.  I am perplexed by certain seemingly systematic expenses when our reserves are so low.

In order to get us back on track, at this point in time, and to effect the action items you identify, we need a changing of the guards so – to – speak, hence the recall effort.  With the current Board in place, I don’t see a path to resolve.