PostHeaderIcon Meeting Minutes March 5, 2017

Minutes of the Open Meeting of the San Francisco Suites Board of Directors

Sunday, March 5, 2017

San Francisco Suites Board Room

Call to order: The Open Meeting of the Board of Directors started at 9 AM, with Board Secretary Geoffrey Bellah calling the assembled group to order.

The following Directors were present:

  • Cynthia White, Vice-President
  • Jeff Reichel, Treasurer
  • Geoffrey Bellah, Secretary
  • JoAnne Trembath, Director-at-large

The following owners were in attendance: Max and Susan Josselyn.

Establishment of Quorum: With four Board members present, Secretary Bellah determined that a quorum was reached and that the Board could conduct its business at the meeting.

Board of Directors Election: Bellah instructed the appointed Inspector of Elections, Sue Jocelyn, to begin counting the votes for the election of new Directors for the Board and the two resolutions. After doing so, Bellah adjourned the Open Meeting until 11 AM.

Resumption of Open Meeting: The Open Meeting of the Board of Directors resumed at 11:08 AM, with Board President Chuck Meibeyer asking the assembled group to come to order.

The following Directors were present:

  • Chuck Meibeyer, President
  • Cynthia White, Vice-President
  • Jeff Reichel, Treasurer
  • Geoffrey Bellah, Secretary
  • JoAnne Trembath, Director-at-large

Cynthia Reid, General Manager was also in attendance

The following owners were in attendance: Dan Berger, Juliann Savage, Jim White and Gail Thornberry.

Re-establishment of Quorum: With all five Board members present, President Meibeyer determined that a quorum was reached and that the Board could conduct its business at the meeting.

Owners Forum: Meibeyer then announced the Owners Forum as an opportunity for owners to address the Board regarding general issues and concerns but limiting their comments to three minutes. Owner Thornberry had several comments and criticisms of the newly modeled “4” Suites. She thought the new island counters were too small to allow two people to sit side-by-side, that the new stools’ feet need padding to prevent scraping the floor. She requested that each Suite be provided with a microwave plastic cover to keep food from splattering and with a make-up mirror. Additionally she felt that the fabric softener used to wash linens was too strong and affected her sinuses. She also wondered if the period for reservations could be extended to a year, rather than the current 270 days, to help owners depositing their share time with an exchange company. Treasurer Reichel responded to the last suggestion by explaining that the 270-day limit was instituted to prevent some owners from reserving the same holiday week or weekend every year.

Approval of the Minutes: Meibeyer called for the approval of the minutes of the January 15, 2017, meeting. Reichel so moved, Trembath seconded the motion, and it carried unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report: Reichel described the current financial situation as “decent,” with the small increase in the annual assessment helping to add to the operating budget and the reserve fund. Both need reinforcement since there may be a new hire in the coming year and there’s always pressure to improve the balance of the reserve, as mandated by law. There are no new major projects anticipated – the recently remodeled “4” Suites being complete – although the interiors may be due for painting, full or touch-up where needed. He emphasized that when money is spent on projects that have been identified in the reserve study as possibly requiring replacement or refurbishment (and thus allocated for), it’s less of a concern than when unanticipated expenses come up. For example, several years ago the windows throughout the Suites failed and had to be replaced, at a tremendous cost; however, the reserve study had not identified the windows as a potential problem area. Reichel also pointed out that the health insurance premium covering the Suites’ employee’s medical benefits remains low. And he emphasized the importance of selling the Suites-owned shares, or at least adopting them until they can be sold. To summarize, in spite of the several major projects completed over the past two years – remodeled kitchens and bathrooms, refurbished and refreshed “4” Suites – the Suites has maintained it’s financial “status and solvency.”

General Manager’s Report

Financials: Manager Reid reported that the 28 Parlors owned by the Suites have all been adopted. Of the 2017 assessments, the Suites are still owed approximately $72,402 by 30 owners, who have been sent letters reminding them of their delinquency and imposing a late penalty. Secretary Bellah asked if the number of delinquent owners was higher than usual, and Meibeyer replied that it was fewer than last year. 28 SFS Parlors owe $33,090 which will be adopted or sold during 2017. Reid assured the Board that most of the delinquencies will be paid in the coming month, and the few that aren’t will be prepared for foreclosure.

With the Board’s approval, Reid hopes to inform owners of the online auction by the city of San Francisco on April 21 of two Parlor Suites.

The “Winter Clearance Sale” of three recliners formerly placed in the “4” Suites netted $230.

Maintenance: The remodeling of the “4” Suites has been completed. With the exception of today’s comments at the Open Forum, Reid said that most occupants had expressed positive impressions of the new “4”s As for the elevator, the new floor has been installed but grouting around the edges and interior painting remain to be done. The total cost for the “4” Suites remodeling and elevator refurbishment projects was $72, 418.  The scheduled annual roof repair was done recently at a cost of $1886.

A large 19th century painting in Parlor 10 fell off the wall and was sent to Antonio’s  Antiques for repair. The painting, whose value had been previously appraised at $1200, was minimally damaged; however, if the repair costs are excessive, far exceeding the appraised value, the Board thought that Reid should determine if the repair is warranted.  Reichel recommended that other large paintings in the Suites be inspected was a safety precaution. Reid also brought up that in Suite 21 the large chandelier may need to be re-hung as it is separating from its ceiling medallion. And that in Parlor 44 the floor squeaks.

Other Concerns: Reid next raised the issue of what many owners thought were confusing ballots and envelopes. For example, the return envelope doesn’t have a section in the upper left corner for the voter’s return address. The Board agreed to correct this omission since the address helps identify the owner voting whose name is often illegible.

A more egregious area of confusion is on the inner envelope where voters are asked to “Write number of shares.” This statement is ambiguous as some will write their share numbers rather than the number of shares they own. The Board decided to revise the wording to avoid identifying the voter on the ballot by share number by adding “owned” and deleting the unnecessary word “enclosed.” Finally, Bellah asked that the Board of Directors application form be corrected so that “fell” is replaced by “feel” or “believe.” Again the Board agreed to make the change to “believe.”

(There was a brief discussion about whether the Board had approved new kitchen shades in all the Suites or just in the “4s.” The January minutes indicated the latter, so the matter was deferred to later in the meeting under “New Business.”)

Personnel: Staff reviews are ongoing with Spanish-speaking employees being provided with Spanish Employee Handbooks to sign in March. David Bairan, the longtime Houseman who has been on medical leave, will return to work on March 6. The Board has approved and Reid will start to look for a part-time House person.

The Employee of the Quarter is the newest hire at the Front Desk, Daniel Vargas. Vargas was brought into the Board Room and commended by Meibeyer for his technical savvy,    his positive demeanor, his dedication, and his deep knowledge of San Francisco. Vargas thanked the Board and commented that he appreciated the closeness between owners and staff at the Suites, unlike the “distance” he experienced at other hotels where he had worked.

Elevator: Meibeyer next brought up the subject of the elevator’s interior painting and new chandelier. The Board had already approved the painting, but the decorator’s selection of colors for the side panels, brown and pink, had raised some concern. After some discussion, the Board decided to defer to the decorator’s expertise and allow the handyman to paint the interior, including the cage, for approximately $800. However, the Board thought the current chandelier was fine. The red diamonds painted on the shaft wall will have to remain as the elevator maintenance company advised against opening the cage.  Also, Reichel suggested that the Board thank the decorator, Pamela Murphy, for absorbing half the cost of installing the new elevator floor.

Voting Results: Sue Josselyn, the Inspector of Elections, reported that, with 788 eligible share votes possible, 284 ballots had been cast, for a 36% participation rate, sufficient for a quorum. In the Board of Directors election, Lynne Spivak received 256 votes, Jeff Reichel 272 votes, and Jo Ann Trembath 251votes. Regarding the two resolutions, the one allowing the deposit of surplus funds into general reserves passed with 203, and the other allowing the transfer of the elevator fund, which was a special assessment, into the general reserves passed with 191 votes. After her report, Meibeyer thanked Sue Jocelyn for her work on behalf of the Suites.

New Rules and Regulations: Bellah presented the latest draft of the revised Rules and Regulations, pointing out areas where he had made changes in response to  the Board’s comments at the January meeting. Under “Terms” to be defined, two were added: “Guests” and “Designated Guests.” A credit card requirement was imposed for checking in and for Bonus Time use. Under “Weekend Use” a clarifying phrase “per share” was inserted, and holidays will no longer be considered as part of a weekend period. Concierges will now begin receiving reservations at 7:30 AM instead of 7 AM.  And the statement regarding the occupancy of Parlor Suites was clarified.

Meibeyer suggested revising some of the requirements and charges for using the Board Room in the Rules and Regulations to cover real costs and prevent confusion. Reid proposed devising a reservation form that would specify the charges and obligations for the owner who reserves the room, and keeping the current per-hour and per-use charges rather than leaving them vague or to her discretion. A long discussion followed regarding the compensation for employees who set up serve, and clean up after a Board Room event. Do these duties take them away from their assigned work and is the compensation fair? And is the current linen fee adequate? The Board decided to include in the Board Room reservation form a provision for reimbursement for any breakage, extraordinary service, or incidentals.

Another issue involves the complimentary afternoon wine service. Recently, some owners who had reserved the Board Room permitted their dinner guests to drink the provided wine to the point where over ten bottles had been consumed and some guests were apparently intoxicated. And when the wine was cut off early, for reasons of economy and liability, the same owners pointed to the Suites’ Guest Manual where the wine service is described as being offered between 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM. The Board thought that owners should remember that the wine service is a tasting, not a “Happy Hour,” and that it is not the obligation of the Suites to provide alcoholic beverages for Board Room guests. Accordingly, the Board added a provision, suggested by Vice-President White, to the Rules and Regulations defining the purpose of the afternoon wine service and the responsibilities of those owners and guests who partake of it.

White then moved, and Bellah seconded that motion, that the revised version of the Rules and Regulations be adopted by the Board, sent to the owners, and posted for thirty days before going into effect. The motion passed unanimously.

Amendments to the Covenants Conditions, and Restrictions (CC & Rs): Meibeyer pointed to the proposed amendment to the “First Restated Declaration of the CC & Rs” which includes restrictions on owners’ City Share use. Namely, it intends to prohibit owners from advertising their share units on websites, such as Craigslist, AirBNB, VRBO, or eBay, for commercial renting purposes to third parties, meaning people other than owners’ family members or friends. After some further revisions of the draft, for example, the exclusion of the Suites’ Message Board, an area limited to owners, from the general website prohibition, the Board approved. Meibeyer indicated that the Suites also protects itself in the new Rules and Regulations by requiring owners making reservations to provide a credit card, thus insuring against the nuisance, abuse and loss that  “renters” with no personal or business relationship to the Suites create.  Meibeyer reminded the Board that approval of any amendment to the CC & Rs requires a majority of the shares, not just a majority of shares who votes, a minimum of 409 votes. And White stated that Board Directors have committed themselves to “getting out the vote.”

Bellah then raised the possibility of deleting another Section, 5.8, of the current CC & Rs, and putting it before the ownership for a vote. This section requires the Association to collect a $50 security deposit annually from each owner and to place this deposit in a special account. And for any incidental charges to be deducted from it. The deposit then is to be replenished buy the owner each year. Since this security deposit requirement has not apparently been enforced, and the issue of security deposits for incidental charges is to be handled now by the credit card requirement in the new Rules and Regulations, Section 5.8 should be removed. The Board agreed that this amendment to the CC & Rs should be part of the other vote on prohibiting commercial renting of Share Units.  White then moved that the two amendments to the CC & Rs be placed before the owners for a vote, Bellah seconded that motion, and it passed unanimously.

New Business: At the January meeting the Board had approved new shades for the kitchens in the “4” Suites to increase privacy and to keep out sunlight in the early morning. Meibeyer suggested that similar shades are needed in all Suites’ kitchen areas, especially in some Suites where the current shades’ fitting is poor. White reminded the Board that the current shades might be repaired rather than replaced at a lower cost. Trembath moved for the purchase of shades for all the Suites; Reichel seconded; and the motion passed, with White voting no.

Adjournment: Trembath moved that the meeting adjourn; White seconded her motion; and it passed unanimously at 1: 25 PM.

Reconvening the Board: The newly elected Board, with the exception of Director Lynn Spivak, who was absent, reconvened at 1:30 PM to set up a meeting schedule for the new year. After much review of personal and official calendars, the Board set the following dates for meetings during 2017-2018:

June 11, 2017

September 17, 2017

November 5, 2017

January, 21, 2018

March 18, 2018

 

The Board then discussed the officer positions for the upcoming year. Director Lynn Spivak was appointed Secretary, Trembath, Reichel, and White retained their positions as Director-at-Large, Treasurer, and Vice-President, respectively, and Bellah was voted President.

 

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270 Day Calculator
Click on this link to see a calculator that can be used to find out the date 270 days out from today or any other date. There is also a calculator that you can use to see the number of days between two dates. Hopefully this will aid in figuring out future reservations.
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