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May 2021

From The President's Desk - May 2021

By John Mcguinness
The Board and myself have spent a great deal of time this past month in an effort to respond to individuals who have presented a series of questions (purportedly representing a few shareholders). The time spent included an approximate four hour meeting with the HCB attorney present. His presence was necessary to explain any matters of privacy that might have risen. I later received a text showing a post pertaining to that meeting. Most of what was discussed at the meeting was not fully reported. Please, if any shareholder has a question, complaint, or an issue, contact me and I will answer you to the best of my ability. No one needs to go through a third party. 
The board is made up of volunteers, some of whom were appointed by an Ocean County Judge, to get our Association out of receivership. We did. Every member here has this community’s best interest at heart. I personally answer 30 to 40 complaints a week and truly attempt to answer each one. Every board member has a job and we all share some jobs. There are times when we disagree, but we always discuss the issues thoroughly before voting. 
It's easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize.  Recently there were at least 20 or more emails sent to our office manager with questions; some emails sent directly after the four hour meeting.
Our office manager has her work cut out for her on a daily basis. To spend additional time responding to repetitious questions is a waste of her time and (THE SHAREHOLDERS) money.  I would like to leave you on a good note and say that we all on the same team, working towards the same goals…..remember, we live here as well!  
Thank you and to all the Mothers of this community, Happy Mother’s Day!
PS   Here are some questions and answers that we have received from Mr. Paul Meier, resident of HCB:
1. Why were the dues increased for 2021 when there were no activities or planned events for the 2020 season...(no pools open, no chem was used, no pool party, no events of any type) Mr. McGuinness’s article regarding the increase was in the January issue of the Clubhouse Bulletin.
2. What would be the justification to spend $17.000.00 for a wall that will most likely cost at least $20.000.00 by the time is all done. The wall was a refurbishment and also includes a retaining wall at Clubhouse 2
3. Who approved the cost of 2 wooden gazebos at the cost of $14.000.00 with labor, and no one uses them. The gazebos purchased in 2019 (approx.. cost was $11,000.00) and they are smoking/resting areas and are used every day during nice weather.
4. Why arent the postings of bids for mayor repairs and construction put in the HCB paper for the shareholders to be informed. We will look into that, thank you.
5. Is it true that the assn pays a watchmen $25.00 per hr. No, and we do not have a night watchman.
6. There has been a count of over 20 CCTV in and around the club houses, if all of these units are working why do we need to pay a night watchmen. We do not have a night watchman and Security is here to lock buildings upon closing.  The Chiropractor, Realtor and Investment offices are open.
7. As part of the posted P&L it is listed that there is a fee of $300.00 for TV service in 2 closed club houses, why would the members be paying over $3600.00 per yr that they do not get to use? We have a commercial plan and services plans cannot be altered.
8. Is the rv storage coming back and if so when? No, not by HCB, but contact the First Aid Squad.
9. Why is there a janitorial service when the club houses are closed.  The buildings still require cleaning.  Offices are open, bathrooms being used etc.
10. How many people work in the maint dept.? Four.
11. Why are the pools closed if the weather is still warm and people can enjoy them (after labor day the reason given was cant pay for chems)? We provide the State of New Jersey through the pool testing Company with our open and close dates every year and those dates need to be adhered to.
12. I put in 3 complaints on how the lawn service was doing damage to my lawn not once did the board member whose in charge of lawn service ever come out and look. The complaints are sent directly to the grass contractor to correct.
13. Why do all the handrails around the club houses look dirty with brown stains..(white).... soap and water would clean that I am sure. The stain comes from the ground water, which is well water and we have tried to remove it, but it does not come off.
14. Two new board members were added to the board. Why wasn't this postponed till the share holders could have voted, seems very underhanded and sneaky, there were sufficient board members to cover business to wait for open elections.  The Board is allowed to appoint vacant seats on the Board
15. Why aren't there term limits on board members (no more than 4 yrs)? The Board’s terms are three years and we don’t receive enough interest every year from homeowners to fill the vacancies
16. The elect sign was refaced again (can't someone get it done right)? It was damaged and needed to be repaired.
17. Why was the HCB sign replaced and what was the cost to do that?   No one was told it was going to be replaced..Charlie Nilson and the Bingo Board paid for the electronic sign as well as the installation. 
18. How much money has been spent on the repair to club house 2 and how much money has the association gotten back from the insurance company as of 02/31/2021? This information can be found in the monthly Clubhouse Bulletin in the Budget Report under the line item Clubhouse 2 Fire, also provided on the Budget Report last year.
19. What will the total cost to repair club house 2 and what is covered by insurance and what will be the burden to the association? Claim is not yet completed.
20. When will the repair to club house 2 be done appox date? We would like to be open for Memorial Day.
21. When will there be new elections? November (Notices of elections are always posted in the Clubhouses and the newspaper).
22. By looking at the P&L the hour pay rate to the night watchmen is $25.00. That seems very high as to most that pay $12.00 how many hours does the night watchmen work and how many of these do we have? Three part-time Security, no night watchman
23. I bought a house on the lake why cant i have floating dock, when the house was bought I was told i could, then got letter saying that you can not have a dock of any type (listing of the house was water front). DEP will only allow for repairs, not new construction (letter from DEP on file).
24. What is the name of the new lawn service, and who will pay for damage to homes or lawns? All shareholders should have a copy of the insurance and workers comp. High Tech Landscaping- we have their certificate of insurance on file and because the Corporation hires the Contractor all damage must be reported to the office
25. Why is there no handicap ramp at the front door?  The handicap ramp was built when the building was built and it is on the side of the building (each building is handicap accessible).
26. Why is there no handicap lift for the pools? We are not mandated to have one, if we were we would not pass inspection every year.
27. The office is open 10-2, that's 20 hrs per week. How do people get to the office who work during the day. We make arrangements for anyone who is unable to come in when we are open.
28. New projects should be posted in the HCB paper and the total cost of any repairs or construction detailed. All projects are in the Maintenance report that is in the newspaper every month and the costs are reflected on the Budget Report also in the newspaper every month.
29. The association bought a snow plow for the truck. Why does the association pay someone else to plow the parking lot? Seems like the association is paying twice for the same job. If its part of the lawn service contract than it should removed as the assn has the man power and the equipment to do the work. There is not cost for snow removal at the clubhouses it is included in the landscaping contract and they plow over 5 inches.
30. For the past 10 yrs (that I have lived here) HCB has spent approx, $120.000.00 plus on Christmas decorations that includes labor. Question asked to the board by shareholders: Why?  Answer: We want to look good and stand out..and be number 1..OVER KILL ITEMS.....57 lawn cut outs painted, santas workshop built in garage for children, christmas trees in every room both CH1 and 2, apzx 3000ft of lights (roof, doorways, alley ways, pool storage sheds, trees, signs, storage units, pool areas, bocce ball frames), spot lights, hand made santas sled towed around parking lot, 30 blow up lawn decorations, 1000s of ft of extension cords, labor paid for after hrs work on cut outs, 60 plus med size road cones bought just for holiday use that has neer been used agian) 30 units exterior 4X8 plywood (over $1500.00 just in plywood) strings of lights on hand rails (hand rails are there so people can get up and down stairs. I personally went to the office and asked the lady who was working to have them removed as they are dangerous hand rails, are to be unobstructed per ADA laws. Answer I was given: Greg does what he wants to do, the lights were never removed. Shareholders asked where all this stuff comes from, was told its given to us from people living here (donations) should have taken pictures of bags and bags of stuff from Lowe's and Home Depot and in the storage area and the back of the pick up truck. I don't think Lowe's and Home Depot gives anything away. One tree in the lobby, few lights around main door, the place doesn't need to look like Christmasland and cost the shareholders money who don't leave there house after dark in the cold weather).
31. Question was asked at last meeting with board...the elect ad sigh has been repaired  many  times? Was told it was damaged by a trailer.  how much did the ins co pay to have it repaired (by the owner of the tailer) how was that posted on the P&L the sign was refaced only, no other damage to the frame or the standing legs, you hit something with a trailer that big and long I would think there would be a lot of damage, but there wasn't? The brick facing on that sigh has been repaired every year for the past 3 yrs. 2 yrs ago 4 men went out to pick up the bricks that fell off.
1 man with a bucket and the other 3 layed on the grass to get a suntan. I drove past the sign going to Shop Rite, returned 1 hr and 30 mins later all 4 were laying on the lawn getting a suntan. We had discussed this at the previous meeting you had with the Board and it was answered numerous times
31. $17,000.00 wall (not complete). Earthquake? Refacing with 3/4 thick decorative stone on cinder block wall does not reinforce a wall. The wall is straight, there is no washout of soil around the walls, side walk has no major cracks and no back full soil added to wall area, when asked at the last board meeting, was told we want to make it look pretty. It's an alley way to a pool room, no more and no less. If a cinder block wall is showing signs of movement or damage it is repaired or removed. If repaired the use of thicker footings are in stalled or wall bracing are extended from mid wall to approx. 20 to 30ft out at post latitude.
32. Wood gazebos #2 cost approx. $14,000.00 with labor. Why, who uses them? More junk the shareholders didn't ask for. They are used every day in nice weather
33. Pools 1 & 2 for the past 10 yrs i have lived here these 2 pools have had a complete paint removal from the walkways, decks, and seating area. I believe that has happened at least 
4 times to each one. Yes, paint does crack and peel. That's why a wire brush and touch up paint is sold. Pool area using approx 10 units of paint (5gal each @ $125.00) 4 men 40hrs=160X2 weeks=320hrs labor and material apx $7000.00 ea time its done 4X=$28,000.00 for work that could be done with touch up paint as needed. Pool decks are power washed and repaired as needed
34. HCB main sign replacement has been asked by countless number of shareholders. Why? HCS sign gets painted approx every 3 yrs, the sign is over 30 yrs old and still standing. approx $350.00 for paint and labor of 2 men for 20 hrs approx.  $400.00= $750.00 that's about $250.00 per yr....CAREFREE...10X5 metal sign repainted as needed approx. $500.00, last time it was painted / refaced was 4 yrs ago. (make work project again) HCB sign is grey stone
35. HCB elect ad sign (sign, wiring, control unit, brick facing ) approx. $12, read the sign you need to stop your car or park your car. Don't think to many shareholders do that.
HCB main sign - remove old sign and replace with new sign approx $20,000.00  (labor, meterial, rental of equipment). HCB sign same size as HCS clean up, but HCB spent $32,000.00. WHY? (make work project agian) This sign was paid for by Bingo and the Bingo Board
The last 7 questions or statements are generated for the reason that I feel, along with so many others, that this assn is out of control or the lack of control. The statement comes up we do this part time maybe there should be a full time management team. I do not question the back round of any members of the board or there integrity, what i question is who is running this assn.
For 10 years i have been here and for 10 years all I have heard from the shareholders are the maint people run this place, it's what they want to do, how they want to do it. In what I see and my back round I have to agree. I see make work projects over and over again, I see projects that could be completed in half the time, and half the larbor cost, the damage that was done at CH 2 never should have been given to an in-house crew, that project should have been contracted to a professional company, it would have been done by now, yes there were upgrades needed, but a professional company would have had the experience and the backround on who to contact to get things done at a fast pace, and for less money. The faster the job is done the faster they get paid, the maint dept way. Make the job last as long as you can, they keep getting paid.
Ref to question #23
The following conversation was with owners of the home on the lake that ask if they could install a floating dock for the small paddle boat.
The owner of the home went to the office to ask about putting in a small floating dock as they were told they could when they bought the house... ( the house was listed as house on waterfront property)
When she went to the office there was man in front lobby, (not wearing a shirt and tie). She asked if he worked there, his answer was "yes, I do." She asked who she should talk to about putting in the floating dock. The man in the lobby said you can't. She said to him, "but I was told we can - that's one of the reasons we bought there, and all we needed to do was tell the office what size." She asked who else she could talk to, he repleyed with, "lady i run this place and when I say no it means no." With that she turned around and walked out. Having met these people they are very shy and not the aggressive type and i can see why she walked out...(FEAR) there are other stories like this, not the same problem but the same attitude and the same person - and I am very sure you know his name. In 2007/2008 the EPA sent a letter to Holiday City Berkeley that the docks were wetlands and run from Westbrook to the Toms River and to the Bay
Personal story....some months back before the pools were to reopen or when they were waiting for the approval to reopen for the season there was a young man working on the top pool, I pulled my car in as he was walking across the parking lot and asked him if he knew if they were going to open. The man was very polite and said no sir we don't, i said well thanks and you have a good day, he said you to sir and I drove off. A few weeks later I got a letter from the board as to why I was talking to a man who works in the maint dept, I don't remember the letter word for word but it was keyed to your not to ask any questions of the how did they know it was me? well that's pretty simple with all the CCTV around here and the maint sup (Greg) going over the tapes its easy, talk about big bother watching. When I got the letter to say the least I was pissed, I believe in the letter it said i was hindering him from his work or something to that nature. End of story was (John) Paul don't worry about it, well he was right I didn't worry about it now or than...see the reason was i wanted to talk to that man with the board there, wonder why they didn't want that. I wonder why the rule was set that no one could talk to a maint worker, hiding something that comes to mind real quick. When you fire someone or they leave and are not happy, a lot of times they seem to open up about things going on and that has happen more times than not, and it has happen here.
If the maintenance workers were stopped by every resident that had a question, they would fall behind in their work.
Carefree has a Pool Company
Holiday City South has a Pool Company
Holiday City at Berkeley has a Certified Pool Operator
I am sure that the board will say i am off on some pricing or the amount spent on items or labor, this may be true to a small part. one of the reasons for that could be the board does not list the cost of any items they all seemed to be grouped everything with out a breakdown.
Please let me point out a few issues that you may or may not know.
I have been living here for the past 10 years, all I have heard is there is no trust in what goes on. I have been to one meeting years ago and what I saw at that meeting turned me off to how this assn is run. At that meeting I saw and heard people on the board telling people to sit down, to be quiet, shut up, they were told they were asked too many questions, they'd call the police, if you don't like what we do, you run for the board. Yes, I know people can get upset if they feel they're not getting answers, but it takes 2 sides to start uncontrolled mayhem.
I well understand that members of the board are not there to be abused or insulted, everyone wants to be treated with respect, but that goes both ways. The shareholders today do not feel as their being told what is really going on, they are afraid to speak up, they feel that oh I am going to get a letter or a fine...that feeling isn't what people deserve. In the past 12 years 
Mr. Meier has not attended any Shareowner’s or open Board meeting and is not informed of such matters
At the meeting I had with the board a few months back I thought it was going well, I talked, the members who were there talked, than things turned....I called it the evil eye look, the I am up here and your down there and you need to work your way up, trust me that would never happen, someone's job or position doesn't put that person at a higher step in life. To many years on the working side of the street, to many years being around men who would step over people to get the job done, and i look back and say that was the road I am glad i walked. 
Mr Paul Meier
70 Falmouth st
Toms River NJ 08757
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