CHRISTMAS at the Huntly Wynd

Luke 2: 14-20

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

And so it was, one day in a lowly manger in the town of Bethlehem that a little child was born.

Today, more than 2000 years, in December, the whole world celebrates His birth. And the many homes at Huntly Wynd are lit with colorful lights. Evergreen trees and bushes twinkle with festive adornments.

But what is the significance of Christmas and Jesus of Nazareth?

As we look at the world today, we see many people frantically leaving chaos in their war-torn villages with nothing but clothes on their back, leaving hundreds and thousand of their dead loved ones. It is a catastrophic calamity of the modern world. As brothers are killing brothers, and beheading innocent human beings in the name of allah, we have never seen the world in such a great turmoil.

As it is written, the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, is to bring light into this world and save mankind from itself. The ever green tree in the midst of darkness during the winter months, decorated with lights, signifies the unchanging love that our God has gifted to us through his only Son. It is a promise of salvation, of peace throughout eternity.

Therefore as we ponder the true meaning of Christmas; as we celebrate His birth here at Huntly Wynd, through the colourful lights throughout the community, let us be united in prayer for our brothers and sisters in the middle east and everywhere in the world where there is suffering; that the light will shine upon them.

Let us also pray for goodness and kindness within our community; pray that our leaders, the Strata Council, would receive divine guidance as they fulfil their stewardship to serve Huntly Wynd.

For the rest of the year and into the first two weeks of the New Year, let us focus on counting our blessings and set aside differences pertaining to the direction where our community is headed. Let us allow ourselves, through prayers of enlightenment, that we can forge these differences and achieve harmony.

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What went wrong?

Is it possible that neither The President of the Strata Council nor any of its members is familiar with Parliamentary Procedures or the Roberts Rules of Order?

Just what are parliamentary procedures? They are universally accepted principles that allow organizations to conduct meetings so that,

  • business may be carried on with ease, dignity and dispatch
  • the interest of the organization as a whole may be preserved
  • the view and rights of the individual may meet due recognition
  • decisions reached by vote are made with the least possible friction

While the rule of the majority prevails, the heart of these principles dictates that respect for the minority is to be recognized at all times.

The President

The government of Manitoba has published its own Parliamentary Order of Procedures. In it, the role of the President is clearly established. Some of the interesting provisions are:

  • The president precedes at each meeting in such a way that all members will feel free to take part
  • The president may be re-elected but it is not good practice to keep the same president for more than two consecutive years
  • Cast a deciding vote in case of ties
  • If the president wishes to take part in the discussion, he may assign someone else to occupy the chair. It is not good procedure to give opinions while in in the chair
  • KNOW THE SIMPLE RULES OF PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURES
  1. Did the president act following these principles?
  2. Do you feel that the interest of the shareholders were preserved
  3. Were decisions made with the least possible friction?
  4. Did the president remove himself from the chair before taking part in the discussions about Resolution #1?
  5. Did he cast a deciding vote, or was he or anyone else at arms length with him hold substantial number of proxy nominations to influence a vote?
  6. Was he listening? Or dictating proceedings?

Did the AGM contribute to HARMONY within Huntly Wynd, or has the community become more fractured than before?

 

The Truth Hurts…

When the HUNTLY WYND AGM convened on December 8, the crowd in the small main room of the clubhouse could not have numbered more than 40 in attendance. It is less than half of all shareholders of the corporation.

RESOLUTION #1 – Allow Bayside’s Property Management Contract to terminate

After a brief presentation by its author, the lengthy retort by the Council President clearly indicates the position the Council is taking on the issue. It is a total disregard of strong evidence gathered validating allegation of mismanagement by the Property Manager and gross discontent in his demeanour in handling disputes and issues within the Strata Corporation.

The President used scare tactics to support retaining Bayside’s services. He appealed that “without the services of the Property Management Company”, the Strata Corporation is bound to experience hardship in fulfilling administrative functions.

In effect, he was saying that shareholders must continue to subject themselves to the condescension, rude behaviour, and idiotic and inept handling of issues that many within the community have experienced with Scott Unger – because the Council needs him!

Is he also saying that without Scott Unger of Bayside, Huntly Wynd is doomed to castastropic failure? That without him, the Council is in itself is so corrupt and helpless that it cannot function? Is the Council in bed with Bayside?

That report by the President and position by the Council clearly demonstrate that shareholders of the corporation do not matter!

Now, you might ask, how could you say that when the resolution was defeated by a vote of 67 against 17?

CORRUPTION AT ITS BEST

In 3rd world countries, depots go around the village with rupees, pesos, or baht, buying votes. It is hard to swallow that the practice is alive and well at HW. With less than 40 shareholders in attendance, how could a resolution be defeated 67 against 17?

At HW, they call it proxy! And who holds those proxy nominations. Let me give you three guesses: the president, the vice-president, the treasurer, or all of the above?

I always thought that a Strata Council is suppose to represent the best interest of the shareholders of the corporation?

Well, vote them out of the Council, you say? Oh sure, let’s do that on the next AGM. Get rid of the corrupt members of the council, especially those who have been accused of bylaws violations and conflict of interest. Hey, but if the Property Manager “protects” you, you got nothing to worry about right?

Ah, besides, those despotic vote-buying techniques…ops…sorry …proxy nominations, always come in handy.

When asked if this action by the Council and its President is within legal boundaries, Tony Gioventu of CHOA writes:

“It isn’t illegal, if the owners want to terminate the management company they need to sign a 20% petition demanding an SGM and a 3/4 vote resolution for the termination of the management agreement. If the resolution is successful, there are 60 days to search for a new company. If the strata is thinking about self management, they would require the consent of the owners by majority vote and need to seriously consider how operations would be managed. Reagrds,Tony”

Thanks, Tony! You did not complete your subtle inference…”It isn’t illegal….. but it is immoral”.

Pray for HW. Because at the rate that this Council is masquerading as a fox dressed in lamb’s cloth, those proxy votes will keep power where it is.

Hey, you should not be writing this because you are causing prospective buyers to stay away from Huntly Wynd!

Oh really! TRUTH HURTS, doesn’t it? Does HW deserve better? Not for as long as certain shareholders OR COUNCIL MEMBERS remain blind to the truth.

God bless Huntly Wynd!

 

A New Beginning with New Ideas

newbeginning

Effective communication

Perhaps one of the most challenging issues within an organization is how to establish effective communication. Especially when problems occur.

This is an area that requires a great deal of thought and perhaps new insights.

Two significant items that have been dealt with properly are those dealing with service requests: maintenance and landscaping. A form is made available at the gatehouse in 4 parts with the “pink” copy retained by the owner. The staff on duty distributes the form as required.

But what if problems or related problems arise? What if the issue has nothing to do with either of these service areas?  What if Mrs. Par Excellence does not approve of Mrs. Or Dinary’s exotic cooking that permeates the air on a bright sunny afternoon? What if Mr. Joe Owner has issues against Ms. Sally’s dog?dogs

In many professional sales seminar, what is considered the most daunting and challenging problem is “how to deal with customer’s objections”. What do you say when a sales prospect says, “Let me think about it!” The untrained salesperson might reply, “What is it that you want to think about?” When the prospect says, “Everything!”, there goes the interview and the sale!

Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Dr. Stephen Covey and many others have covered this topic in many of their books and seminars.

Social interactions are beset with challenges. They come in the form of  misunderstanding, intolerance, lack of patience, arrogance, biases, prejudice, and last but not least, simple disagreements.

Those experts agree on the most important initial response – “listen”. (With your eyes and your heart!) It is the key to effective communication.

Determine the validity of the problem. Identify its level of difficulty. Step into the shoes of the “complainer” and genuinely understand what sentiment is being expressed. Dr. Covey says that there are two sides to a coin. A good illustration of that statement is covered here (beautiful lady or old woman).

Perhaps the most despised piece of paper at Huntly Wynd is a letter from Scott Unger in a Bayside letterhead alleging infraction of bylaws.

Perhaps, if the key to effective communication – LISTEN – is utilized, many of those letters may never have left Mr. Unger’s desk. If complaints are skillfully handled so that the “plaintiff and defendant” in the case are both given the opportunity to be sincerely heard with a genuine effort to seek immediate and satisfactory resolution, the Strata Council’s task would be a lot more rewarding.

“Exceeding the 15 kph maximum”? Could a son be responding to an emergency call from his mother at the time? Or a husband is in distress? We never knew, did we? We just quickly pulled the trigger!

 

“Give unto Ceasar….”

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To focus solely on issues facing our community is to be short sighted.

Huntly Wynd has made it this far in its existence to remain one of the most desirable adult communities in the city of Richmond. Infrastructures, while beginning to require greater attention and care have been kept well maintained.

Landscaping, which encountered a short term issue in 2013-2014, seem to have been resolved with the contract being awarded to Coastal Pacific. Entrance to our community is beginning to look nice and colourful as it always used to be.

Problems with the water system remain an ongoing challenge until dependency from the city reservoir is resolved.

Traffic safety on roadways (speeding) has drawn great attention and efforts to increase awareness have been made.

The clubhouse, the pool, and the billiard room are frequently utilized.

And with levies and fines for bylaw infractions kept to a minimum, Huntly Wynd has a relatively efficient management record.

With very few skillful and willing volunteers to do the “tough responsibilities” of a council member, those who have bravely accepted nomination to the council need acknowledgement. Regardless of differing opinions, those volunteering their services to the Strata Council over the last several years deserve respect, recognition, and appreciation.   Thank you!

“….Give unto Ceasar…….”

 

Be KIND!

bekind

Have you ever wandered about at Huntly Wynd? On foot? On a bicycle, maybe?  Well, most of the time, people wave and smile. A few others walk straight ahead. To the clubhouse. For a meeting.

Is it possible that these few are beset with worry and stress that they succumb to feelings of emptiness and aloneness? Or could it be aloofness? Maybe a combination of both.

In 2008, an incredible discussion, The Rethink Conference, brought together 30 world leaders and distinguished “influencers and thinkers in media, politics, faith, science, business and technology”. It was led by Dr. Robert Schuller and held at his Crystal Cathedral. Among those invited were Pres. George H. Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Gary Smalley, and George Foreman – all acknowledged to be community leaders.

Christian News Wire writes: “Community leaders who really want to make a difference in today’s culture need a fresh perspective on our ever changing world and their place in it.”

It continues: “Never before have we gathered such dynamic leaders who will challenge us to think outside the box as we grapple with a changing culture and our response to it.”

Bill Dallas, executive director of the conference adds: “This conference will confront outdated and pre-conceived ideas, offer new perspectives and connect us with our shifting culture without compromising our core values.”

As I read these statements, they jumped off the page. Could my “Aha” moment have led me to The Rethink Conference so that I could share its objectives and ideals here? Especially to those ….few looking ahead, nonchalant, looking so unfriendly….. on their way to a meeting at the clubhouse …at 6:00 pm.

Two words stand out on Conan O’Brien’s quote above: “Work hard, BE KIND, and amazing things will happen.” He did not say, Work hard, be grouchy….

A STARTING Point of the Paradigm Shift

“Aha” moments of inspiration continue to flow as this effort to initiate change at Huntly Wynd begins in earnest.

Corrie Ten Boom lived an incredible existence in the Netherlands. Her story is chronicled in many books of faith and in a dramatic book that she wrote, “The Hiding Place“, published in 1971 and made into a film in 1975. She and her family were credited with saving many Jews from death by the Nazi’s. She was honoured by Israel by naming her “Righteous among the Nations”, and knighted by the Queen of the Netherlands for her work during the war.

As we contemplate on what future awaits Huntly Wynd, let us be guided and inspired by this quote from Corrie Ten Boom. Let us rid the community of unspoken resentment, bitterness, and selfishness; and of the greedy need for power. Let us instead focus on doing great service that benefits everyone.