A message from owner Gene Solon, 10/6/05
STRAIGHT TALK: Long ago, in an early spring public presentation at a meeting of the Harbour Square Board of Directors, I expressed my deep disappointment that a contractor had just obliterated the EXISTING BEAUTIFUL WOOD GRAIN PATTERN on the outside of my unit entry door by applying a thick coat of dark brown stain. I asked that the applied coat be thinned out so that the original grain pattern could again be seen. My comments spurred board members’ examination of my unit door (and others’) soon after the aforementioned board meeting – but I got no response from board or management for months.
HOGWASH: Contents of a September 22 letter I received from Bill Kekeris, Project Manager at Harbour Square: “As you may know, some of the unit entry doors did not respond well (emphasis mine) to the refinishing done as part of the corridor renovations”. “We have ordered replacement doors for these units and are in the process of preparing them for installation.” “This notice is to provide you advance notice that sometime during the month of October we will be in touch with you to remove your old unit door and install the new door.”
STRAIGHT TALK: If my beautiful door could have, indeed, “responded” to the contactor’s heavy-handedness, it would have protested on the spot. If Harbour Square board and management had monitored the contractor’s work responsibly, early in the refinishing process, my door and others’ doors would have been treated more gently, more professionally. And if Harbour Square board and management had been more careful with owners’ money, they would not have agreed to pay over $650 (an exorbitant price, research shows) for each of 60 new doors! Instead, they would have required the contractor to correct its heavy-handed work under normal “punch list” rules, at no cost to the members of Harbour Square Owners, Inc.! (It took a full week for Ms. Taylor to answer my question about the cost of the new doors – over $39,000, according to her.)
HOGWASH: (1) Harbour Square president Rebel’s public response to my inquiry at the last membership meeting: “We do not, and will not, pay for punch list items.” (2) Mr. Rebel’s delayed response, at the last board meeting, to my report of receipt of the Kekeris letter: “We bought new doors to replace only doors with structural defects.”
(3) Contents of a letter from Harbour Square general manager Taylor to me, dated October 4 and received on the afternoon of October 5: “Mr. Solon, in your case, the door refinishing was not successful, it looks more like a paint job and the natural wood grain of the door is not enhanced. This is due in part (sic) to the sun damage and bleached doors on the breezeway corridors that are subject the sun (sic) all day long. The structural defects Mr. Rebel referred to were the bleached, sun damaged doors.” “…we will proceed with replacing your door as scheduled on October 5, 2005.”
STRAIGHT TALK: On October 3, I had already personally told Ms. Taylor that I do not want my door replaced. Yet she arranged to have her “October 4” letter placed in my gatehouse box. Also on October 3, I stated to her that my door had no structural defects – to which statement she said “I know.” Yet her “October 4” letter says that my door would nevertheless be replaced “as scheduled on October 5, 2005.” By the evening of October 4, I had informed Harbour Square officials Youngblood and Rogers by phone that I did not want my door replaced – and Ms. Rogers had connected me to Mr. Kekeris who told me that my door had been scheduled for replacement for reasons of esthetics,” and “not for structural reasons.” (!) I asked him not to replace my door, and he finally said “It’s your choice, sir.” (Hmmm, I think we should all have had a choice – before new doors were purchased! Don’t you agree?)
Early in the morning of October 5, to head off possible disaster, I placed on the knob of my door a sign reading as follows:
“DO NOT REMOVE THIS DOOR. It is in excellent structural condition. Expensive replacement is not required, and it is wrong to force my neighbors to pay for replacement! The contactor simply needs to correct bad recent staining work – and this is a “punch list” item that Harbour Square should not pay for!”
In her letter to me dated October 5, Ms. Taylor finally states “At your request we did not install the new door on your unit.”
HOGWASH: But Ms. Taylor’s October 5 letter also states “We understood from your previous conversations with the Project Manager that you were not happy with the refinish job, and we shared with you that we were working on a solution. Some unit doors, especially those in the corridors facing the sun all day, did not refinish well through no fault of the contractor.”
STRAIGHT TALK: Ms. Taylor just cannot bring herself to shed the spin! The truth is that my door faces north, and that its beautifully grained surface had not been marred by exposure to sunlight! Its marring was indeed the contractor’s fault! Please see the first paragraph of this message – its in extra large print !
ON THIS ISSUE AS ON MANY OTHERS, WE OWNERS OF UNITS AT HARBOUR SQUARE HAVE SUFFERED APPALLING BEHAVIOR ON THE PART OF MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS AND BOARD MEMBERS – AND HAVE BEEN FED APPALLING, SELF-CONTRADICTORY HOGWASH FROM BOARD AND MANAGEMENT IN THEIR ATTEMPTS TO COVER UP THAT APPALLING BEHAVIOR!
IT MUST STOP! WE MUST DO ALL WE CAN – UNDER OUR OWN CORPORATION LAWS AND OUTSIDE STATUTE – TO PUT AN END TO MIS-COMMUNICATION AND MIS-SPENDING HERE! WE MUST FORCE THE CONVENING OF OPEN MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS ON RENOVATION AND OTHER ISSUES – MEETINGS WITH FAIR AND JUST RULES, MEETINGS AT WHICH BINDING VOTES MAY BE TAKEN BY OWNERS! THE LAW IS ON OUR SIDE! AT LONG LAST, LET US ALL – NORTH AND SOUTH BUILDING OWNERS ALIKE – WORK TOGETHER TO SEE THAT THE LAW IS FINALLY OBEYED, AND THAT OUR HOUSING COMPLEX IS GOVERNED AND MANAGED HONESTLY AND PROPERLY!