PostHeaderIcon Presidents Letter 2017

San Francisco Suites on Nob Hill

March 20, 2017
Palm Springs, CA

Dear San Francisco Suites Owners,

It is my privilege to introduce myself to you as the new President of the Board of Directors. I consider myself one of the newer, second generation of owners at the Suites, having purchased my first share about ten years ago, and the more often I have stayed at the Suites the more closely it has become linked in my mind to my love for the City.  I have been serving on the Board for several years now, first as Secretary during President Tom Weber’s tenure, and then as Vice-President and again as Secretary during President Chuck Meibeyer’s terms of office.

I am proud to have been associated with these two Boards for their many accomplishments, most notably the remodeling of the bathrooms and kitchens in all the suites, and recently the refurbishment of the “4” suites, necessary projects that required much planning and expenditure of dedicated funds but which did not result in any special assessments or significant increase in the annual dues. I trust all of you have seen the newer kitchen and bathrooms and perhaps the “4” suites and will agree that these projects, while protecting our investments, have enhanced the experience of staying at the Suites. The Board does not anticipate any new major repairs or remodeling although you will soon notice that our beloved vintage elevator has received a long overdue interior restoration.

One area that does demand immediate attention is our governing documents: our Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions  (The CC & Rs), and our Rules and Regulations (The R & Rs). Neither has been updated or revised in over a decade. Soon you will receive notice of the Board’s recent revision of the R & Rs, whose purpose primarily is to clarify what previously had been vague or confusing, especially regarding reservations, weekend booking, Bonus Time, and guest use. The new R & Rs also provide answers to frequently asked questions and offer guidelines for owners about gratuities, the afternoon wine service, Board Room rentals, pets, and other matters. Please read the R & Rs closely and let me know if there are any aspects of it that might be improved.

The Board’s decision to slightly amend the CC & Rs has been prompted by the efforts of some new owners to rent out their yearly share time rather than to use the Suites as “their home away from home.” These owners seemingly purchased their shares with the sole purpose of selling their nights on commercial websites, and the result has been difficult for us, to say the least, and could be potentially disastrous. First, short-term renters create more problems for the Front Desk and the housekeepers due to their unfamiliarity with our rules and our traditions, and they do more damage, than do owners and their guests who have a personal connection to the Suites. Moreover, these renters change the intimate atmosphere of the Suites, where owners and their guests know, respect, and love the staff whom they see several times a year, to one more like a hotel where institutional anonymity and professional distance prevail. As you well know, San Francisco Suites was incorporated primarily to provide its owners with a comfortable, even luxurious place to stay in the City, and the commercial renting out of its accommodations to strangers undermines the very reasons many, if not most of us, purchased shares in it.

To be clear, the amendment to the CC & Rs does not infringe on the ability of owners to offer nights to family members or friends, to exchange their share year, or to purchase Bonus Time for themselves or others they know, only to prohibit the commercial rental of suites to strangers.

Amending the CC & Rs, unlike changing or updating the R & Rs, requires a majority vote of the ownership, a daunting task for the Board. In other words, the amendment will need 409 positive votes to be adopted. Once you receive the voting packet, please read the proposed amendment carefully and fill in and mail the ballot according to the instructions provided. The Board believes this amendment to be so important that you might receive during the voting period a follow-up telephone call or email. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about the amendment, contact any Board Director or the General Manager, Cynthia Reid, for more information.

I apologize for devoting so much of my introductory letter to discussing these pressing matters, but they are that important to our future. Even so, I’d love to talk to you about any other issues regarding the Suites. I’m fortunate enough to be at the Suites many times a year, and I enjoy meeting owners, especially in the lobby during the wine service. So let’s sit down and have a glass of “M Squared” together.

 

Sincerely,

Geoffrey Bellah
President of the Board of Directors
San Francisco Suites on Nob Hill

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