January 23, 2008
6:35pm-8:05pm Minutes

BOD in Attendance: Steve Greenbaum, Laura Madonna-Pilch, Irmgard Bocchino Homeowners in Attendance: There were 17 homeowners present, three less than needed for a quorum for voting purposes. Alan Vordermeier and Becky, VMC Realty, and Ron Gunsberger Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office Minutes submitted by: Irmgard Bocchino The meeting was called to order at 6:35pm. The December 21, 2007 and January 9, 2008 minutes were approved. President Steve Greenbaum welcomed homeowners and thanked them for their attendance. He also noted that there were not enough homeowners present for voting purposes but that the meeting could be held. (20 homeowners must be present for a quorum and 34 must vote to approve the Screening Amendment whether in person or by proxy for it to pass). Steve stated that Irmgard and he have asked Laura Madonna Pilch to serve as the third BOD member and would appoint her as per the process stated in The Ellington HOA By-Laws. Steve then announced that we would hear from Ron Gunsburger, our guest speaker, and asked Irmgard to introduce him. Special Guest Speaker Ron Gunsberger, General Counsel for the Broward County Property Appraiser’s Office: Irmgard Bocchino introduced Ron by stating that he is a Civil Trial lawyer and a graduate of Vermont University’s Law School and had worked for three property appraisers over a period of twenty years. Ron, also a Victoria Park resident, discussed a number of issues of interest to Ellington Homeowners and shared his opinions and those of the Property Appraiser’s Office regarding the upcoming vote on Amendment One on January 9, 2008: The Save Our Homes Amendment, the Post-Wilma Flat Real Estate Market, The Portability Provision in Amendment One, and the 2nd $25,000 Homestead Exemption. Ron also stated that for the first time in January 2008, there were more foreclosures than home sales in Broward County. Ron also recommended that those in attendance check out the www.BCPA.net website for handy tools that would help each homeowner to see the impact of Amendment One if it is approved by the voters. Ron answered many questions and was generous with his time and supporting details. OFFICER REPORTS: President Steve Greenbaum: Thanked Ron and turned the first part of the meeting over to BOD members Laura Madonna-Pilch and Irmgard Bocchino to review some of the “BOD Accomplishments for 2007” (see attached doc.)


Vice President/Secretary Irmgard Bocchino: Irmgard noted the creation of the www.EllintonHOA.com website was a major accomplishment for 2007. She thanked Jeremy Brown for his hard work on creating such a polished and jazzy look for the Ellington notices and letter-head and for the outstanding features of our new website. In addition she thanked Jeremy for working with her and the BOD on a new feature in the Fall: eLetters sent to homeowners with news items after the BOD meetings. Irmgard also noted the new pool signage and doggie signs. She also discussed her efforts with some outside landscapers whose expert advice helped the BOD to save the crepe myrtles in seven yards on the west side of the property. This was a great cost-savings to the Ellington HOA. Irmgard also thanked Steve Wigod for his work in tallying garage totes which made it possible for cost savings by decreasing to half the number of totes collected biweekly. Irmgard also thanked Steve and Deborah Greenbaum for their research and negotiation of an excellent recycling program for The Ellington, which has resulted in additional savings for the HOA. Vice President/ Treasurer Laura Madonna Pilch: Laura reviewed additional accomplishments and noted the success of the new CPA firm, Vitale and Miller, hired by the BOD in August 2007. The firm was instrumental in filing the 2006 Taxes, reviewing our financial statements and working with Laura to institute tighter and more accurate book-keeping procedures. Laura also noted the success of the BOD in working with Alan Vordermeier to achieve a surplus through aggressive cost-cutting measures. She thanked Terry Pilch and Steve Wigod for their help with the budget and financial committee work. Laura reported that four landscaping bids had been completed and thanked Eric Pertzog and Marcus Keane for their help at various times with the landscaping committee. Laura also reported the good news that there is now a 2007 surplus due to our costcutting measures, a healthy reserve fund and a contingency fund. She also shared the very good news that consequently there will be no increase in maintenances fees for 2008 and that a special assessment will not be needed at this time for the planned painting of The Ellington buildings in Fall 2008. Laura stated that the BOD has filed liens on two homeowners who have not paid their quarterly maintenance fees for 2007. She shared excellent news about the budget: there is a surplus in the Operating Budget of approximately $24,000 (pending final year-end tabulation of the account balances). The surplus will be transferred to a high interest-bearing account for capital expenses; such as painting. Laura also stated that income exceeded expenses by $6700, primarily due to the water restrictions and reduced water costs. Finally, Laura cautioned that a slowing economy could hurt us and our financial projections. We will need to be aggressive on collections.


VMC Reality: Alan Vordermeier, owner and General Manager reported on some of the accomplishments of his management company on behalf of our property in 2007: Significant savings were achieved through cooperative Work with the BOD on windstorm insurance and flood insurance, the pool gas heater was replaced with an electric heater. Other improvements were noted, among the most recent, the strengthening of the pool gates and better springs for automatic closure and new pool signs. The BOD thanked Alan for his management of the property. COMMITTEE REPORTS: Landscaping/Aesthetics: Laura reported that LawnLogic sent a list of properties for the BOD to visit. The BOD plans to visit some of the properties in January. In addition, Steve stated that there is one quote in of $500 for removal of the dead royal palm from Lawn Logic. Recycling: The BOD also discussed some problems with the over-flow of material in the recycling bins. In order to enable the BOD to make a decision at the February meeting, Steve will get information about the costs involved with two possible solutions: an additional recycle bin or the scheduling of a second weekly pick-up. Vacant Honda Dealership: Finally, the BOD wishes to thank Jeremy and Eric for their clean-up efforts at the unsightly and vacated Honda property. These good Ellington neighbors took it upon themselves to sweep up all of the garbage into the Honda garbage bin and put a chain up in order to contain the debris. This made the frontage along NE 7th Avenue more attractive for the Holidays and for all of the Ellington residents located near the closed Honda dealership. The problems with the vacant property, such as vagrants and unsightly garbage, have also been reported to Code Enforcement. One immediate result has been the posting of “No Trespassing” signs on the property and it is hoped that other measures will be taken. The situation will be monitored. Communications: The BOD also wishes to thank Jeremy for the great job he did maintaining The Ellington website in 2007 and for the e-letters and meeting reminders that he has posted to all the homeowners. Thanks Jeremy! Open Forum: Various homeowners shared praise and also raised concerns about some interior issues, such as maintenance of the gas water heater unit on the roofs. Steve Wigod shared information about how to clean the contact (pull the cover off the water heater unit by removing the two screws, use a heavy duty scrubbing sponge to clean the contact area and then spray with a little WD40 or alcohol to improve the contact. The meeting was adjourned at 8:05 PM.


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