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  • #49873
    AvatarFromthenorth
    Flatchatter

    I am sorry for posting various topics over recent weeks as our 8 unit strata in Melbourne is very dysfunctional.

    I am looking for advice on how to handle the following tricky problem:

    I am treasurer and have been having conversations with the new chairperson. The chairperson and another unit holder have been pushing for the removal of the current gardener/maintenance man with the previous man. When I have challenged the chairperson on the horticultural qualifications and the excess charge for materials by the previous gardener, she has swept the questions under the carpet. She seems to have a vendetta against the current gardener.

    Recently the chairperson held a hastily notified meeting (less than 1 days notice) where there was 1) a vote on removing the current gardener and 2) vote for installing the previous gardener (as this is the cheapest quote from 3 quotes excluding the current gardener). With 4 Yes and 3 No for 1) the motion was passed to remove the current gardener. I did not stay for the second vote.  One person did not vote. When I left the meeting I met this person – they said they would vote No for removing the current gardener. We have received no communication from the chairperson about the results of these votes.

    In all of this, the chairperson has not acted fairly and objectively.

    Subsequently the strata manager told us that the meeting was invalid as 3 days notice wasn’t given and no agenda was provided.

    It is most likely another meeting will need to be held with a proper agenda. What can I do to make sure everything is done fairly and objectively?. When the agenda comes out, I was thinking that I reply with 1) the suggestion that all quotes including the previous gardener should be assessed against criteria (such as qualifications, experience, services provided and costs) and 2) cost comparison between the current gardener and the previous gardener showing the current gardener is much cheaper than the previous gardener.

    Your thoughts and suggestions are most welcome.

     

     

    • This topic was modified 5 months ago by .
Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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  • #51707
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Im in Qld. If Vic is similar the titles of Chair, Sect and Treasurer dont carry any more sway than other committee members other than a couple more duties. But in short they are of no higher value or status.

    I can think of a couple of significant differences.  In Victoria, the chair carries a deciding vote in a tie, and in Qld the office-bearers are elected by the owners as a whole (before the committee election).

    Even so, it comes down to how individuals behave and being armed with the law of the land does help.

    In my NSW scheme the chairman turns up for committee meetings with the minutes pre-prepared (although the secretary is allowed to suggest changes) and is also treasurer.  That said, most owners think the building is well-run, so who am I to argue?

    #51693
    AvatarFlame Tree
    Flatchatter

    Im in Qld. If Vic is similar the titles of Chair, Sect and Treasurer dont carry any more sway than other committee members other than a couple more duties. But in short they are of no higher value or status.

    Many dont appreciate that as a fact, so dont feel 2nd class or that they are entitled to any extra weight in your committees choices. I say that so you can feel to throw your equal weight to the degree they do.

    I also suggest you google and download your State’s b corp related Act/legislation which is the text that counts for your operational approach and is the basis of any outsider adjutication. Knowing it, quoting it and pointing to it tends to seperate fact from opinion.

    It’s surprising how much erroneous thought intentionally or ignorantly is used to blind the masses. And any decisions shovelled through shown to breach the legislation can be forceably reversed which would embarrass the folks in the wrong so theyd want to avoid that. Anyways all the best and i hope it helps in some way or other.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by .
    #51589
    AvatarAustman
    Flatchatter

    By the way, in NSW there is no such item as “any other business” allowed on meeting agendas as that is a loophole that allows all sorts of nasty decsions to be made without prior notice. I’m not sure but it may be the same in Victoria.

    It is most definitely allowed.  But with limitations.   Eg some Strata Managers will state similar to the following:

    Items under this heading are to be submitted to the manager at least 7 days before the meeting so that they can be discussed by the members at the AGM. The General Business Agenda Item is a forum for discussion only and no resolutions of the owner’s corporation will be facilitated within this item.

    And that was the intention of my advice. To bring up the matter, as I said, for “discussion” by the owners attending the AGM.  That discussion should at least be considered by the committee when they make their decisions.

    Campaigning for the committee is a good idea.   But with a committee currently of just 3 (the minimum size for committees in Victoria) even just joining it would mean move direct involvement and influence in their future decisions.

    #51591
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Thnks for clarifying the “any other business” rules.  That seems like an excellent compromise.  Sometimes I wish all the relevant ministers around the country could just get togehter and pick the best laws out of each state’s legislation and come up with one decent universal Act.

    #51590
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    Thnks for clarifying the “any other business” ruels.  That seems like an excellent compromise.  Sometimes I wish all the relevant ministers around the country could just get togehter and pick the best laws out of each state’s legislation and come up with one decent universal Act.

    #51583
    Jimmy-TJimmy-T
    Keymaster

    One item wthat definitely WILL be on the agenda wiill be the election of a new committee.  Daisy needs to organise a ticket of people in numbers large enough to remove the problem members and create a majority.

    For instance, if there were nine seats on the committee, she would wrangle five candidates and add the four least unacceptable current members to her ticket, then campaign energetically and aggressively to get as many votes and proxies as she can before the AGM.

    By the way, in NSW there is no such item as “any other business” allowed on meeting agendas as that is a loophole that allows all sorts of nasty decsions to be made without prior notice.  I’m not sure but it may be the same in Victoria.

    #51581
    AvatarAustman
    Flatchatter

    ZOOM AGM coming up. How can I get the other 50 lot owners to care?

    You might have left it a bit late if the AGM agenda has already been decided.

    Else it’s to put an item on the AGM agenda and campaign the other owners to support it.  You can get their contact details from the strata roll.

    If the AGM agenda is set already, you can bring it up if there’s an “Other Business” item. Again, campaigning enough other owners to support a such a discussion with some specific directions for the committee should help.

    And of course, joining the committee is always a good idea.   In Victoria, committees have considerable authority outside general meetings.

     

    #51561
    AvatarDaisy55
    Flatchatter

    I sympathise. From Victoria. My strata Committee replaced our award winning gardener in my lucury golf resort with their 2 unqualified husbands. In 5 years all the grass has died and trees that are protected in the Shire are struggling.
    At a committee meeting of just 3 people they drew up a contract showing no understanding of the landcsape.
    The environment I purchased is now trash.
    ZOOM AGM coming up. How can I get the other 50 lot owners to care?
    The chairman writes her husbands pay slips. He is lazy unpopular and disrespected.
    How can i get rid of him and that commitee?

    #50005
    AvatarAustman
    Flatchatter

    What do we do if no one wants to be a chairperson ? Is there such a thing as an independent chairperson ?

    In Victoria the lot owners must elect a member to be the chairperson of the owners corporation. Without a chair, any committee decisions might not be lawful so they’d be no point in having a committee.

    So technically, without a chairperson, the OC could only be run by the strata manager or by the whole OC itself with decisions made at general meetings.

    Many smaller stratas  (eg 3 or 4 lots) are actually run that way.  Rather casual but if no one complains, it just carries on…

    SMs charge fees according to their contract of appointment.

     

     

    #50002
    AvatarFromthenorth
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    The chairperson was the only unit owner amongst the eight of us who was willing to take the role.

    Unfortunately the chairperson has acted recently without fairness, honesty and objectivity.

    What do we do if no one wants to be a chairperson ?  Is there such a thing as an independent chairperson ?

    Who would this be ?  the strata manager ?  How much they charge per hour ?

    #49880
    Avatarg-g
    Flatchatter

    I would suggest that you urgently place a motion on the agenda requesting approval/extension of current contract. You could add your quotes and reasonings so that owners will understand. That way, owners are prepared and fully informed BEFORE the next meeting.

    The Secretary/SM cannot refuse to add your motion to the agenda as long as it is worded appropriately and received prior to next agenda.

    As well, others may correct me here, but I would have thought that a general meeting is required to terminate a contract  – not a committee meeting.

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