Friday, June 7, 2013

AC at the AGM

My condo board's annual general meeting was last week.  My husband and I try to be responsible homeowners, so one of us always attends.  This year I was lucky; my husband volunteered. The meetings aren't terrible, but after a day at work the last thing I want to do is rush off to another long meeting.

Our condo board is lead by a lovely Persian man.  He's somewhere in his 60's, and has a very sweet, grandfatherly personality.  He's soft-spoken but sensible, and he can be firm when it comes to keeping order in meetings.  Anytime I hear him speak I always have to fight an urge to run up and give him a big hug.  With him in charge, I feel our condo corporation is in good hands.  The other board members are also good people.

Our nemesis at these meetings is Barry Whatsisname, a.k.a. Mr. Paperclips.  We call him that because his questions are along the lines of "How many paperclips did the board of directors use for these handouts?  What is our price per unit on paperclips?  What is the budget for long-term paperclip refurbishment in the reserve fund?"  He's always got dozens of picky questions, and meetings always run right to the last allotted minute because of him.  Ken reports that he was in fine form, as usual.

The biggest issue on the table this year was air conditioning.  When our condos were constructed in 1996, customized AC units were built to accommodate the specific design of the complex.  They were meant to have a lifespan of 20 years.  17 years in, some of them are already failing, and depending on the layout of each unit, it's difficult to impossible to find a replacement.  The condo board is working with a technical company on a plan to have replacement units designed and installed en masse for all residents who wish to participate.  (Inexplicably, some residents don't seem to want to participate.  I guess they want to live without air conditioning?)  Anyway, you can bet your rubber duckie that I will be in on that deal.  We're just praying that our current unit lives to see its replacement installed.

The board also wants to install small roofs overhanging the entrances to the ground-floor units, on account of the enormous, heavy icicles that tend to form on the eaves four stories up.  On sunny winter days you risk being impaled through your skull by a three-foot long ice spear, if you use the outdoor walkways.  Up until now, the maintenance staff have dealt with the problem by riding around in a cherry-picker, whacking giant ice stalactites off the roof with a hammer.  This is great entertainment for the residents, but perhaps not an ideal solution.  Looks like the maintenance fees might be going up so that we can take steps against the chance of suffering "adult fontanelle".

Thanks, Ken for going to that meeting so that I didn't have to.  Now we're all up to date with condo life.


DarcKnyt said...

Sounds RIVETING. How do pass these up? :D

Have a wonderful weekend, because you're a wonderful person.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

It's not the paperclips that costs the most, it's the staples. They may be smaller, but you use a ton of them.

Granny Annie said...

Your are actually fortunate that you only have one Barry Whatshisname. Most of these organizations have at least five and the one hour meetings can go well into the wee hours. When I served my one term as president I pounded the gavel to begin whether everyone was ready or not an pounded again to end the meeting at the one hour mark and said we would cover the rest of the business at then next meeting. I would then leave. Needless to say I was not re-elected.

G. B. Miller said...

Sounds like one of my typical staff meeetings, except that the topic in yours actually applies to you.

Jameil said...

Meetings are slow, painful deaths. I absolutely abhor them. There's always at least one Barry/Barryna asking stupid, useless questions he thinks make him look smart.

Sparkling Red said...

DarcKnyt: Thanks! :-) Did I mention that the meeting room is always freezing cold and the chairs are uncomfortable?

Ron: DO NOT MENTION THIS TO BARRY. Or I will come after you with a loaded staple gun.

Granny Annie: Good for you. One thing I admire about our condo board chairman is that he does insist on adjourning the meeting after 2 hours, even if he has to talk over Mr. Paperclips to do so.

G.B.: Yeah, sometimes I even learn something at these meetings, such as the latest technology in roofing materials, or what the technical challenges are to building poured concrete stairs. No sarcasm there - I'm genuinely interested in that kind of thing.

Jameil: I think our Barry feels that he's doing us all a favour by keeping track of the details. I mean, if he didn't do it, no one would, and then think of the terrible consequences!

LL Cool Joe said...

Sounds a bit like our church meetings. ZZZZzzzzZZZZZzz I haven't been to one for years. And there's always at least one Mr Paperclips bleating on about something that no one else cares about.

Lynn said...

I do not like to go to condo board meetings either. They are just as you describe. There's a Barry in every crowd. Ours is a woman (can't think of her name), who has bought up several of our condos and rents them out (one to her ne'er do well son. :)

Vanessa T said...

How awesome that your beloved volunteered to go this year! And you still got blog fodder out of it, lol. :D

I'm praying your A/C hangs in there too. I know we would die without it, and I imagine it gets hot and humid up there by you, as well.