COMPLAINTS, COMPLAINTS, COMPLAINTS?

Are we at Huntly Wynd plagued with this problem?

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HW – No Strata Council

For the first time in its history, HW does not have a strata council.

The mass resignation of strata council members is the culmination of a vicious attack against leadership, as well as unfounded allegations of misdeeds by individuals serving the council voluntarily.

This was preceded by petitioners calling for a Special General meeting to vote on two motions:

  1. To remove the strata president, and
  2. To elect to council a replacement

With this development, these motions have been rendered mute or invalid. (A) The president has resigned along with everyone on the council. (B) The 2nd motion is deficient since the strata corporation is now faced with nominating and electing an entirely new council.

This presents a very serious dilemma. With very little time between the resignation of the entire council and the timing of the SGM, the strata is placed at a critical point whereby unscrupulous individuals who may have been directly complicit with these series of events could essentially wrestle control of the strata to the detriment of majority of owners.

Under these very stressful circumstances, there is a need for calm and perhaps for grieving over what constitute very grave concerns. It is not a time to COME TO A VOTE. Not for anything. It is time for owners with great wisdom, and genuine concern for the future of the strata, to raise an alarm over all that is going on and gather all others to find a path to resolve conflicts, restore civility and mutual respect, and seek advice and support from dignified and well-respected members of the community.

IT IS NOT A TIME TO HOLD A SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING

Herewith is a general letter intended to be shared with all owners of HW:

HUNTLY WYND is wounded but not broken

Huntly Wynd was built to be a safe, secure, supportive, peaceful, and stimulating environment where owners enjoy healthy and clean surroundings, and a variety of facilities. Where neighbours demonstrate caring, dignity, and respect for all individuals.

The events of the last several months have led to severe, damaging, and unprecedented consequences: With the mass resignation of the entire members of the strata council, for the first time in its history, Huntly Wynd is left without an administrative body to help govern the complex requirements of our community.

As a result of the recent events within our community:

1) We are divided

2) Mutual respect amongst neighbours/owners has suffered

3) Hatred and mistrust have taken a stronghold over attitudes

4) Great discontent and anxiety prevails

5) Friendships have been fractured

The legal remedies for problems of strata governance are simple and contained within the provincial strata legislations.

Problems affecting social and interpersonal relationships, as well as community living are more complex to resolve. An environment where mutual respect is missing; where bullying is present in many forms; where prejudice and contempt is ever present; a community is reduced to a barren place, overcome by suspicion and injurious attitudes.

This is not what Huntly Wynd is all about.

Pledge of support for community ethics

Our rights in our community: to enjoy our wonderful natural settings; to live peacefully and safely within our homes; to enjoy the mutual respect and friendship of our neighbours; to enjoy access to wonderful resources and facilities.

Our responsibilities: to demonstrate commitment to community living; to demonstrate dignity and respect for all individuals; to be truthful and honest to each other; to consider the needs of others and balance them with our own; to respect not only our home but properties common to each other; to respect individuality and learn from our diversity; to contribute to an atmosphere of positive encouragement and mutual respect; to be prepared to learn from those around us and give others the respect and tolerance we expect in return.

If you agree with our premise of what Huntly Wynd is all about, join us and pledge your support for these community ethics by signing below against your name and strata unit. Let us move our community forward, united in spirit and in deed, to help mitigate, alleviate, or remove risks against HW.

Our community needs honorable, skillful, objective and respectable individuals willing to serve as leaders in these difficult times. Let us bring our hearts and minds together to help restore civility and mutual respect for each other.

GHOSTS of the Past Reappearing Venomously?

What has been happening in this “beautiful community” is very difficult to fathom.

What describes an act that solicits to remove a person from voluntary service to the council with less than three months to serve on her term?

To answer this question required some meticulous search for an apt description of such deed. To be precise, this is not a condemnation of a person, or group of persons, but rather an evaluation of the act that “intends to harm” and/or “diminishes goodness”.

Quoting a Christian apologist Greg Kouki, he wrote: “Human freedom was used in such a way as to diminish goodness in the world, and that dimunition, that lack of goodness, that is what we call evil.”

Essentially, therefore, evil is a “lack of goodness”. In the article read, the author continues: “Moral evil is wrong done to others, and it can exist even when unaccompanied by external action. What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come.”

With all that is now happening everywhere in the world: the senseless killing of innocent people in Las Vegas; the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; has the spread of evil crept into this community? Is this the work of the ghosts of the past?

All of this is incongruent to the beautiful nature and people that this community has been built. It is a mind-boggling revelation.

And the consequences are scary: In Psalm 34:21, it is written, “Evil shall slay the wicked and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.”

Let us hope and pray that goodness returns to HW; that the ghosts of the past embrace and welcome the arrival of new, young, warm, and wonderful people with fresh ideas from which this community can thrive well past our lifetime. Isn’t it about time we all demonstrate how much we love our community and respect each other instead?

What Now, My Love?

In this morning’s paper, Tony Gioventu, Executive Director for the Condominium Home Owners’ Association (CHOA), responded to a inquiry. Something he wrote struck a note. In 2016, CHOA did a survey of 16 buildings in Vancouver to identify impact on housing affordability, occupancy and rental bylaws. Here is a quote from his response:

“A 2017 update of the data has not indicated any substantial shift in the data, but there is one significant impact that several strata councils identified. By maintaining their rental bylaws, they have built communities with lower transiency in both tenancy and ownership and have been capable of maintaining the integrity of the nature of their communities.

Our community comprises of individual townhouses. It is not a multi-storey apartment building where “rental bylaws” impact residency, turnover, and speculative investing, (Rental restrictions have not been an issue with us.) But the highlighted statement above, interestingly, describes HW to a “t”: Since inception in 1978 (41 years ago) HW has successfully “maintained the integrity of the nature of our community“.

Nonetheless, the events at the last Special General meeting deserve some evaluation and of course, so goes the title: “What now, my love?”

Last February 22, I wrote about Embracing the Process of Change and what it takes to succeed with goals and objectives, quoting Harvard Business Review resources. The chart illustrating The Change Process is again shown below.

The short question to ask therefore is, “Where are we now?” What did we learn from what took place last August 30th? How far ahead are we today after so much hard work by several members of our community and members of our council during the last six months? Where does all this take us? Have we become victims of the “Ghosts of the past”?

Here is re-quoting Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s words from the article she wrote in the HBR:

  • “The ghosts of the past are always lying in wait to haunt us. As long as everything is steady state, they remain out of sight. But the minute you need cooperation for something new or different, the ghosts spring into action. Old wounds reopen, historic resentments are remembered — sometimes going back many generations. Leaders should consider gestures to heal the past before sailing into the future.

Socrates had this to say:

Examining what took place since the new council began their tenure and up to this minute, and looking at the “timeline” above (The Change Process chart), where are we today?

More importantly, considering the majority consensus we delivered at the SGM, are we much better off today than we were 5 years ago? 10? 20 years? 41 years ago? If this consensus takes us to an “old” status quo, what bright prospects are there to look forward to years from now?

The issue we voted upon on August 30th is not about changing carpets, replacing window coverings, modernizing furniture and fixtures, or solving the problem of moods and mildew at the pool, etc. It is about ASSET MANAGEMENT. It is about VALUE MAXIMIZATION and CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT. Asset management is about identifying the impact of the total life-cycle cost of an asset and about considering what is crucial to sustaining and improving its value. It is about provisioning for future contingencies that impacts its usage and longevity.

In the overall context, it is about maximizing the value of our community, now and into the future.

Over the last 6 years, we paid more than $6000 for engineers to assist us in ASSET MANAGEMENT Planning (by rendering Depreciation Reports). Their recommendations are supported by financial statistics. Although we may not take everything they suggest at face value, one item that can not be disputed is this: At their present state, the objects (clubhouse/guest house facilities) of the motions at the last SGM are in very poor state. They are 41 years old! They are not in keeping with the “integrity and (beautiful) nature of our community”.

I ask all 51 objectors this: If the facilities were your home, would you live in them at the state they are in? Would you be happy living there another 5, 10 years?

If you renovated and updated your home and it cost you $100,000 to do it 10 years ago, how much more would it cost you to do the same thing in 2017? 2027?

TENANCY and HOW it Impacts a community

We have a community of long-time dwellers and a very low rate of ownership turnover. However, our community cannot be sustained forever by an aging population. An unselfish community perspective must accept that like it or not, we will all be supplanted in the future by a new generation of owners. Actually, they are here now, trickling slowly to be among us. Who they are or will be will impact our enjoyment of our community for the rest of the years of our lives.

If we are selfish, cold, and unfriendly, so will they. “Birds of the same feather flock together.” Those who do not belong will eventually leave.

Our conduct and demeanour determine who and what kind of people we are. Unwittingly, we either become victims or beneficiaries of the way we handle our affairs and respect each other.

 

 

 

There’ll be some Changes Now

For there’s a change in the weather
There’s a change in the sea
So from now on there’ll be in change in me
My walk will be different, my talk and my name
Nothin’ about me is going to be the same
I’m goin’ to change my way of livin’
If that ain’t enough
Then I’ll change the way I strut my stuff
Nobody wants you when you’re old and gray
There’ll be some changes made

These are the lyrics of a song made famous by Tony Bennett and Billy Holiday.

Forty years! One of the new nominees elected to council last night asked: “Is there anyone here who has owned a property for forty (40) years and never spent a penny to upgrade or renovate their dwelling?”

“Nobody wants you when you’re old and gray”
“There’ll be some changes made” – that describes the reality about HW’s amenities. Yet, one person who had presented himself as “a realtor” cast a shadow of doubt about the findings of the committee which conducted an extensive research on adult communities. “At most, upgrading HW amenities could maybe raise the value of units by $400!”, he said.

Let’s have more fun! He raised hell because Guest Suite 2016 budget of $5,000 was raised to $8,000 for 2017 (actual income was $9,830). “What makes you think you can realize $3000 more (from this source of income)?”

Just for clarification as to what a “budget” is: “An estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time”. Rosemary Peavler writes, “Without a budget, the business owner is literally shooting in the dark when it comes to trying to create an action plan for a company“. In a management and profitability planning sense, a budget is targeted goal to achieve. “Thoughts are things” according to Napoleon Hill. By developing a budget on the basis of which we plan to act, we are creating a momentum towards its achievement!

$8,000? $10,000? $20,000? There is absolutely nothing wrong about planning to “reach the moon”. If you fail, you fall amongst the stars! Patrick, you and your team did a great job!

Fortunately, at the AGM, there were many sensible questions and proper decorum was observed. Clearly, the President and her council members prepared well in presenting the results of their unselfish work for the benefit of the community.

With most of the proposed resolutions getting votes of approval from owners, a paradigm shift at HW is now evident.

Although there were valid and justifiable concerns about the merits of the proposed changes, supporting evidence pointed to positive outcome:

  • Upgrading of amenities would enhance community perception of HW
  • Increase enjoyment of facilities
  • Add aesthetics and longevity to infrastructures
  • Enhance ratio of cost of living space to average sales in line with other adult communities in Richmond
  • Address the  risk of AirBNB
  • Improve perimeter security measures
  • Eliminate insurance liability risks
  • etc.

The WILL of HW was expressed last night. It is a step in the right direction. With the council having announced (2) meetings to take place within a week of the AGM, we are all assured that it is determined to see goals set to be achieved.

Let us not watch the changes unfold. Let us participate in the excitement of great things to come. Let us do what Dr. Wayne W. Dyer advocates – let us all “think” these objectives to reality. Volunteering to help any which way we can is also highly desirable!

Council 2017 – “A well-oiled machine”?

Gotta give credit where it is due! He said that first! 🙂

This was written in a previous post: “We have a lot of talented residents here at HW, but I am not sure we have qualified professional geo-thermal engineers and geotechnical engineering experts with Building Science Specialist accreditations to assist in expertly evaluating our waterway system and other infrastructures to offer us guidance.” (Here is the link: https://huntleywynd.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/signs-of-good-things-to-come/)

It goes to show that there is a greater need for community get-togethers – to get to know each other better. The latest Council communique about the upcoming Strata Council Election announces a pretty impressive line up of new nominees for Council.

In addition, one of the nominees prove the quoted statement above wrong! We do have in our midst someone with the stated credentials (geological/geotechnical engineering).

In fact, with their professional and business accreditations, all the new nominees could very well be in the Huntly Wynd WHO’S WHO! For that matter, it would not be surprising if the 2017 AGM discussions were to proceed smoothly.

Here is extending a hearty congratulations to the nominees (and the continuing members of the council) for accepting the leadership challenge at HW. There certainly seem to be “many signs of good things to come”.

HW owners will be……..

Embracing the process of CHANGE

At the eve of the 2017 annual general meeting at HW, it is interesting to review the calendar year past.

  • A new council was formed and a new president presided
  • Bayside was replaced by Wynford
  • Coastal Pacific was replaced by Meridian
  • The new council sought assistance from volunteers to tackle major HW projects
  • Major motions are now tabled for consideration after many months of research and collaboration

(We have covered in previous posts some of the “exciting” events and there is no need to rehash.)

On March 1, 2017, will there be a “New Status Quo” at HW?

Let me quote from a Harvard Business Review article: “Leadership is about change, but what is a leader to do when faced with ubiquitous resistance? Resistance to change manifests itself in many ways, from foot-dragging and inertia to petty sabotage to outright rebellions.” (Does this ring a bell?) Continuing: “The best tool for leaders of change is to understand the predictable, universal sources of resistance in each situation and then strategize around them.”

The same HBR article written by Rosabeth Moss Kanter enumerates several (10) reasons why people resist change. Rather than identifying them, let me instead quote the essential attributes of leadership that help nullify resistance to change:

  • “Leaders can help people maintain dignity by celebrating those elements of the past that are worth honoring, and making it clear that the world has changed. That makes it easier to let go and move on.
  • “Leaders should over-invest in structural reassurance, providing abundant information, education, training, mentors, and support systems.
  • “Leaders should acknowledge the hard work of change by allowing some people to focus exclusively on it.
  • “Leaders should enlarge the circle of stakeholders. They must consider all affected parties, however distant, and work with them to minimize disruption.
  • “The ghosts of the past are always lying in wait to haunt us. As long as everything is steady state, they remain out of sight. But the minute you need cooperation for something new or different, the ghosts spring into action. Old wounds reopen, historic resentments are remembered — sometimes going back many generations. Leaders should consider gestures to heal the past before sailing into the future.
  • “Although leaders can’t always make people feel comfortable with change, they can minimize discomfort. Diagnosing the sources of resistance is the first step toward good solutions. And feedback from resistors can even be helpful in improving the process of gaining acceptance for change.”

GHOST OF THE PAST

I particularly appreciate what is written and how true it is: “…..the minute you need cooperation for something new or different, the ghosts spring into action“.

From an objective point of view, it is my opinion that many of the leadership attributes above have been exemplified by the tremendous efforts of the current council.

HW is a beautiful community; a rare jewel in the City of Richmond. The proposed changes are bound to elevate community perception, enjoyment, and value never before experienced. Let’s embrace change!

change