The Condo AGM…

Tonight is our Condo Corporation’s AGM meeting.

At one level, I look forward to the updates from the Board, seeing what is happening for the coming year with the condo, etc…

Of course, Board elections are always fraught with drama except maybe for last year and the year before – this would be our 5th AGM.

We’ve got this one guy who puts his name in for election every year, and looking at his chicken scratch that’s handwritten, it’s almost like he’s applying to be High School president.

In AGMs past, there was this one guy who is  Nuclear Engineer, aparently, who wants to run on the board.  He’s so vitriolic, he’ll never get on the board, and if he did he would create such a divide.  He’s quite the bully.  Anyone who knows me, knows that it takes a lot of button pushing for me to truly speak my full mind without filter.  I literally went up to the guy and, essentially, called him an asshole to his face.

I saw him this past Saturday in the elevator and he asked everyone if they were going to the AGM, and then he said something about going to the meeting to complain.  Given my mood and a speech I was giving this past weekend thanking a portion of my community for recognizing my work in community building, this got me down but it also has fired me up.  Here is a portion of that speech:

“If you are here to do nothing but criticize without providing options and potential solutions – and I have seen that a lot over the past few years – how about diverting your energy towards partnership… don’t forget, most of us are voluinteers and I can guarantee you those efforts would be accepted with open arms”

I’m not one for heckling but in this case, I’m wondering if I need to constantly reminding people what I pretty much said above speaking up and saying, “What is your solution?  What would you like to see happen?  If all you’re going to do is complain, sit down”. I’m done with the high school politics and rhetoric from both sides from a group of older people who are well in their 50s and 60s.  They should know better.

I have considered running on the board as a member-at-large.  I was involved with the Communications Committee once before the Board completely dismissed it without communicating to anyone who was part of that committee.  I’m not sure I have the capacity, but I could potentially be a good mediator.  That said, I really hate politics and politicing.

The condo building has been through a lot this year with:

  • the construction fiaso out front – screw ups by the construction company necessitating rework on the parking lot roof.  It’s still not done.
  • replacement of all three elevators which seemed to drag on.
  • one or two gas leaks related to a boiler that was decommissioned – which I am most concerned about given Scott and I live on the top floor.  I’ll be demanding more information on this.
  • a fire that also happened in the boiler room – there aren’t a lot of details other than papers left by a contractor… I’ll be demanding more information on this.

As usual with AGM time, prospective new board members, and “concerned citizens” send out all kinds of fliers.

One was from the guy who is running on the board.  I will give him that english is not his first language, however, please get someone to proof read your ‘newsletter’ and your application.  It shows that you’re not connected to your community and won’t reach out for help.  How can you expect to work with a board then?

The other newsletter we received was from a member of the board – maybe inapropriate, but if this person is whistleblowing then I will support it.  That said, I also realize that there is probably way more to the picture than was presented.  In this he raises his concerns for

  • the roof of the building that is in need of repair.  The board argues that the repairs are not as bad as first thought.
  • the discussions had around giving a special assessment for all condo members to pay.  Scott and I have been through a special assessment and I know I’m not impressed by them.  We also have a lot of older folks in the building that cannot afford the board to throw money around and be willy nilly with the spending.  For example, there were plans to clean up the drop ceiling on the 16th floor.  The guy doing the work said that a bunch of plumbing work had to be done before he was willing to put in the new ceilings. Where is the money coming to do that work?  Yes it’s nice to get new ceiling tiles on our floor, but was it necessary?  Not right now.
  • construction fatigue – going through the elevator work and the parking garage construction has been a huge pain for everyone in the building, especially older people in the building.

The letter was quite well written and I appreciate his candor – certainly not something we’re hearing from the board.  That said, I get why a board needs to balance how transpearant it is, especially given the nutbars like the nuclear engineer who will do nothing but complain and be a gadfly.

Not that complainers and gadflies are not welcome.  As someone said to me this weekend, we sometimes need them and it does open up an opportunity for them to potentially play some role in the community.  Just not on the board, in my opinion.

I think tonight will get pretty heated.  I know I am going to have to watch my emotions and language so that I can be much more effective in my communication, and supporting the community that I live in.  That said, I refuse to deal with idiocy.

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