I am a shareholder in a small low-income coop with an extremely corrupt board, where the board president has also been manager and building broker for over two decades.
The annual shareholder meeting has been scheduled for early December.
Throughout the year(s), there has been no board communication, misinformation or lack of information from the board of directors to shareholders. Important issues have not been dealt with and year after year the same people get elected and are controlled by this one person.
I want to know if there is a way to legally postpone the annual shareholder meeting because issues of importance have not been addressed, possibly getting outside help to educate the shareholders of alternatives. Who can I call upon for help?
I hope this question is clear. And thanks to all for any advice.
There is a rental building with a chinese restaurant whose kitchen door faces the rear units in our co-op. For many years we have been calling the restaurant owner and the managing agent complaining of chronic--we're talking 7 days a week cooking smells that permeate our rear units all the way up to the roof. The guy that owns the restaurant uses his back kitchen door to vent the 12 hour a day stench, shareholders call him, he says he closed it-for 5 minutes, then opens it again. City inspectors are useless--one comes over and says he has a cold and can't smell anythng! Any suggestions how your building may have solved a similar problem short of legal action? Would a formal letter from our Board or managing agent to the managing agent of this building faciliate any resolution?
Who can think of, or has successfully used, incentives to convince more residents to serve on the board?
Some ideas I've heard:
--Term limits (to break up entrenched boards);
--requiring a certain term of service as a condition of membership, or levying a fee in exchange for non-partipation;
--paying nominal honoraria;
--Waiving a month of MT fees.
Our boards tend to attract mainly people who want something; we've had incidents of board members harrasing their neighbors, self-dealing and outright theft.
The smart people seem to steer clear, refusing to serve, and sometimes moving rapidly away.
How can we turn this situation around?
I know many buildings have faced similar issues.
--Need (smarter) participation
I went to the CNYC conference last weekend and to the treasurer sessions, and I'm still a little confused on the different accounts we 'should' have and the purpose of each. My understanding: 1. operating fund (not a lot of excess in here, basically a checking account for regular expenses) 2. Reserve Fund (3 - 6 months of operating expenses as a hedge against emergencies) 3. Capital Reserve Fund: based on your 5 year plan for upcoming expenses and major repairs (boiler, elevator, local law #11, etc) or major initiatives (new roof garden, gym, etc).
Is this breakout what most people are doing? Do you then also have separate savings accounts or CDs or something for a portion of these funds so you're earning some interest within each of these funds (except Operating)?
Advice/guidance/sample splits and targets appreciated!!
Does anyone know what the standard (and not too expensive) accounting software is for management companies? And, how do you review your invoices, payments, reports? What kind of access to the system do you have? I.e. it seems like there should be a system where an offsite user/treasurer could see the accounts, current balances, run reports, click for details, etc online--rather than receiving paper or pdf reports. Does anyone know if a system like that is available or widely used? Thanks.
9.15 to 11.15 a.m. 6.BREAKING THE GRIP OF AN ENTRENCHED BOARD Some cooperatives and condominiums cease to function in the democratic way provided by their governing documents. A self-perpetuating board does not communicate with residents, nor call annual meetings, nor hold elections. Then there are those boards dominated for years by investor owners and sponsors, with the issues of resident owners largely ignored. Residents become so disheartened or fearful of the power of the board, that they accept this diminished situation. In some instances, there are very serious repercussions, including depressed re-sale prices and increased costs in obtaining financing. But change is possible. Attorneys Theresa Racht and Alfred M. Taffae will provide advice on how shareholders or unit owners can organize to break the grip of an entrenched board. 69 additional seminars available. Learn more and sign up by visiting http://www.cnyc.coop or calling 212-496-7400
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