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OC Cttee Chair declining to come clean on project costs.
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09/10/2018 - 5:50 pm
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Brand new to this. And Melbourne. Apologies for the length. Some basic questions below. Background: have moved into a bldg where the OC cttee undertook in 2017 an expensive foyer redecoration, without the project appearing in either the long-term maintenance budget or expenditure figures for 2017. Nevertheless, the C’ttee report to the 2018 AGM blithely recorded that such work was undertaken in line with the LTMP. (In fact the LTMP suggests that 20 lift lobbies and main foyer be attended to in 2019/20, with blinds and furniture to be replaced in 2025/26.)

Not a murmur at the AGM from long-timers. This new boy naively enquired about the cost? The Chair’s dismissive response was ‘at least I can tell you it was less than the original fit-out’. End of meeting.

Earlier a lone owner complimented the c’ttee on the ‘renovation’. Rendered in the minutes as:

    ‘members (plural) congratulated the c’ttee on magnificent renovation which adds value to etc …’.

The hyperbole drawn to the attention of the OC Manager by at least two owners drew the response:

    ‘The OC will review and any amendments required will be noted at the next AGM when the minutes are ratified’.

Subsequent digging revealed that the cost of the redecoration was around $140,000, ‘accounted for’ in the 2017 LTM expenditure figures within the heading ‘Capital Purchases’ (without any corresponding provision in the 2017 budget).  Efforts to engage the Chair in further discussion have so far proved fruitless (We can’t be going into that sort of granular detail. If you want to go into that sort of detail you need to come on the committee we don’t go into detail in the maintenance budget. Followed by a walk-off.)

Our Chair, incidentally, is a corporate high-flyer previously Chair of two quasi government instrumentalities et al. and currently a Director of two ASX 100 companies and CEO of a quasi government instrumentality. Reputation for chairing a quick meeting and getting things done. Revered by long-term owners.

Where to from here, apart from finding others prepared to drop from the Xmas card list?

Questions. Are OC managers (ours seems to dance to the Chair’s tune) responsible in any way for keeping c’ttees on the straight and narrow? Or are they only there to do the paper work and lick the envelopes?  

The implication in Consumer Affairs Victoria guidelines is that an ordinary resolution at a general meeting is required for money to be paid out of the maintenance fund for items listed in the maintenance plan. But would the delegation granted to the OC cttee at each AGM of ‘all powers and functions’ automatically empower the cttee to do as it finds fit, including undertake non-essential maintenance projects not anticipated in any budget – or yet in the LTMP?

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