This week we get tangled up in the wiring as we examine the effect of Zoom meetings and electronic voting on the democratic processes of strata committees … and the House of Lords.
The chat was sparked by this forum post which alleges all sorts of skullduggery – okay, maybe not skullduggery but it suggests that a Zoom-based AGM was used to push through an excessively expensive window replacement contract.
And it seems like some people may be taking advantage of the pandemic to sneak things past people who aren’t tech savvy and/or who have other things on their minds … like how to avoid the virus and feed their families, maybe?
By the way, in the pod cast, I say the meeting was an ordinary general meeting – in fact, it was a Zoom AGM. Danger, danger!
Brush with a painter
I was going to make a joke about painting over the cracks but that would do our guest this week an injustice. Paul Williams, general manager of Dukes Paint, joined us online to talk about paint in all its glories.
He answered questions about whether a new paint job really makes that much difference to the value of the apartments inside the block and whether or not paint was an important part of the maintenance, regardless of the aesthetics.
Did he ever discover paint had been used to cover up potentially serious defects (like concrete cancer, for instance) and what was the conversation like when he said “I’ve discovered problems, prepping the paint job, but I can fix them”?
Are there different kinds of paints for different circumstances? How has paint technology changed in the last 10 years or so? How often should the owners in a high-rise paint the exterior? What happens if they leave it too long?
On a lighter note, we asked if there are new trends in colour schemes and whether he had ever advised a strata block against using a colour they’d asked for?
We asked what the oddest request he’d had when painting a building and what was the one piece of advice he’d give apartment owners when it comes to painting their building.
All in all, it’s a painting masterclass, and if you are even just thinking your block might need a freshen-up, you should listen in.
By the way, at the end of that segment, there’s a snatch of music from the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, playing “My Pink Half of the Drainpipe,” a situation Paul has encountered more than once when two adjoining homes can’t agree on a colour scheme.
Following that, we answer a question about how you should present your case at a Tribunal (based on this Forum post). Keep personalities out of it and stick to the facts is our advice.
Join the pod
And that got us thinking … if you want to be on the podcast, record a sound file (on your phone?) of you asking a question and we’ll play the clip and try to answer it in the podcast.
Send your sound files to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give them a listen. Just give us a name – maybe not your real one – and the state where you live, and we’ll do our best to answer your question or offer a solution to your problem.
While, we’re at it, if there are any strata issues you’d like us to discuss (rather than direct questions – that’s what the Forum is for), send us a note to the same address and we’ll see what we can do.
Moving on, our “Hey Marthas” this week are about Todd McKenney’s project Todd Masks, getting theatrical costumiers and dressmakers to make covid masks and sell them online (all the money goes directly to them).
And Jimmy Zooms in on a clip from the end of this week’s Insiders on the ABC that shows high office doesn’t render you immune from technical incompetence.
If the link doesn’t take you straight there, just search for Flat Chat Wrap, click on subscribe, and you’ll get this podcast every week without even trying. And please give us a rating or review … it all helps to keep us going.