The State of the Suites – January

San Francisco Suites on Nob Hill

The State of the Suites – January 2024

My very warm regards to the San Francisco Suites owners. I am finishing my 9th year as a member of the Board and my fifth year as President. Due to other commitments I am not running for another three year term. Before I step down, I wanted to share some thoughts with you.

The Suites’ faces a number of challenges. Many of our owners have reached an age where they do not come to the Suites as often, and many in the younger generation do not have the same feeling about the Suites.

Inflation has impacted our ownership; and increased insurance costs and the costs of maintaining and upgrading a 113 year old building require increased Assessments. San Francisco’s reputation has declined due to economic struggles – particularly in our backyard around Union Square and formerly vibrant areas such as San Francisco Center which has lost most of its businesses. And there is no doubt that homelessness, mental illness, and drug addiction are a terrible tragedy in San Francisco.

But Cynthia’s General Manager letters remind us all, however, that San Francisco is still a beautiful City with wonderful restaurants, art, culture, and sports teams. It also has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world with world class beautiful sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field, the new Tunnel Top park, Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, and the Embarcadero. Cynthia and the staff will continue to inform our owners and their guests that there is still much to love about San Francisco. And the ongoing improvements to the Suites make it a comfortable and elegant “home away from home” for our owners.

As I step off the Board, I want to share with you my belief that we have the best collective Board membership that we have ever had during my service.

This Board is cohesive, thoughtful, intelligent, and hard working – constantly thinking about what is best for the Suites and its ownership. We have faced surprise costs and other challenges, but we have been proactive and creative in managing the Suites and its finances. Jeff Reichel is “termed out” and I am leaving, but the three remaining Board members – Fred Munroe, Dwight Walker, and Geoffrey Bellah – share many leadership characteristics that will provide a solid foundation for the next Board. I hope that those who run for election, and those for whom the owners vote, share those characteristics.

  • Collegiality and Respect. The entire Board works well together because we respect the other Board members, the staff, and the owners, and have worked collaboratively on problem solving. That has not always been true in the past, but it is essential for an effective Board to address the important issues we face.

  • Expertise. Dwight provides in depth and comprehensive financial information that helps the Board carefully plan for the future, and to pivot when circumstances change. Fred’s work in the travel industry provides important insights into how small lodging facilities can provide better services to their guests. Geoffrey served several years as Board President and is dedicated to the aesthetic qualities of our property.

  • Selflessness. None of these Board members are serving on the Board to achieve some personal agenda. Their decisions are made with the best interests of the owners and the staff in mind.

  • Energy. While there are only five Board Meetings in a year, there is a substantial amount of research outside of meetings through various Board subcommittees. Board members need to be hard working to help guide the management of this 113 year old building and complicated lodging operation.

  • Passion. These Board Members have (and those joining them must have) a love and passion for this beautiful property, and the well-being of those owners and guests who stay here.

When voting for new board members – PLEASE choose candidates who share these qualities. The Suites will be much better off if you support those kinds of candidates. It would also be helpful to have women run to serve, the Board needs a balanced membership to reflect the interests and needs of all owners and guests.

I thank Jeff Riechel for his service on the Board. After earlier Board membership (including as President) I reached out to Jeff and asked him to rejoin the Board in an emergency. He has been a valuable Board member and has become a very good friend.

Last, but not least, I have to shine the spotlight on Cynthia Reid, our General Manager. In my nine years’ service on the Board, my most important action was being President when we hired Cynthia as our General Manager. When you read her GM letters, or talk to her in the lobby, it is obvious how much she loves San Francisco, and this incredibly special property. Cynthia joined us after having served decades as the Chief Concierge at the Huntington Hotel and she helped elevate the quality of the customer service provided to our owners and guests. In recent years she has become incredibly effective at helping to find solutions to financial and estate planning challenges faced by our owners, while helping to maintain the financial health of the organization.

I love this property, and I am very honored to have had the opportunity to participate in helping preserve, protect, and enhance the building, and the people within. Thank you so very much for allowing me to have this opportunity.

Sincerely, Chuck Meibeyer

SFS Open Meeting Nov. 4, 2023

San Francisco Suites
Board of Directors Open Meeting
November 4, 2023

 

1. President Chuck Meibeyer called the meeting to order at 11:04 AM. The Board Directors present were:

Chuck Meibeyer, President
Fred Munroe, Vice-President
Dwight Walker, Treasurer
Geoffrey Bellah, Secretary
Jeff Reichel, Director-at-Large

Others present: Cynthia Reid, General Manager

2. Owners Forum: No owners were in present in person or via Zoom.

3. President’s Report: President Meibeyer wanted the membership to know that the Board did everything it could to limit the increase in the 2024 assessment, given the necessity to secure business and property insurance after Farmers’ non-renewal of our policy. The new coverage translates to $123 per share, with only $49 going to operations, meaning a $172 assessment increase per share for 2024.

4. Approval of Minutes: Vice-President Munroe moved, and Treasurer Walker seconded the motion to approve the Minutes from the September 16, 2023, open meeting. The motion was approved unanimously.

5. Treasurer’s Report: Walker explained that after the higher insurance premium is paid later this month, there will be a need to draw from the incoming revenue from 2024 assessments to finish the calendar year’s operations. Also, although the Reserve fund is currently healthy, a number of high-priced commitments for January 2024 (new lobby wallpaper, new suites carpeting, new digital fire alarm system) will draw down that balance. Walker also recommended closing down the Axios account in Reserves and place the money in an interest-generating account. There are 22 Shares whose assessments were not collected in 2023, meaning approximately $23,000 in lost revenue for the Association. Even so, revenues are good, based on Bonus Time and Share sales. Walker suggested that the Association restrain as best it can any spending from Reserves for 2024 beyond what’s already been planned.

6. General Manager’s Report: Reid first summarized recent discussions regarding the street closures’ impact on the Suites and surrounding neighborhood due to the upcoming APEC meeting. Our Powell Street entrance will be closed, but the Pine Street entrance open, thus limiting access for guests and staff. (With most major streets on Nob Hill closed, Pine Street will become a major artery for traffic.) These restrictions will make it very difficult for staff and guests, in getting to, parking nearby, or leaving the Suites. Reid is suggesting that those guests with reservations during APEC to reconsider their stay, and the Front Desk is contacting them to let them know of the challenges they may be facing.

Regarding the Association’s inventory of unsold Shares, there are currently 15 Shares to be adopted. However, Reid has successfully collected all of 2023’s assessments, through owner payments or adoption. She has recently sold three Parlor Shares and one Master Share. Also, four Parlor Shareowners have recently deeded back their Shares to the Association, and those Shares will be sold by the Suites for $100 plus the 2024 annual assessment of $1727.

A VOTA auction of thirteen foreclosed Shares (eight Masters and five Parlors) that have been delinquent in paying their assessments will be held on January 9, 2024, at City Hall. Reid will send notices announcing the auction with the minimum bids, including fees and possible taxes owed, to all members sometime in December.

The Employee of the Quarter is Cinthia Meilo, whose hard work on behalf of the Suites was praised by President Meibeyer who then presented her with a cash award on behalf of the Association.

7. Old or Unfinished Business: President Meibeyer presented the draft proposal for the 2024 budget, which includes a $172 increase per Share over 2023. He attributed this increase to the higher cost of property and business insurance ($123 per share) and a modest $49 increase in operations. There will also be a $122,000 contribution to the Reserve Fund, which needs financial support, especially after the January 2024 expenditures of new lobby wallpaper, new carpeting for individual suites, and a city-mandated digital alarm system. Walker moved that the Board accept the budget proposal, Munroe seconded, and the motion for the 2024 budget passed unanimously.

Reid explained the costs, timing, and dates for the aforementioned January projects, during which time the Suites will be closed to guests.

Reid reviewed the 2024 Draft Reserve Study and pointed out two items suggested for replacement, hallway and stairway carpeting and mattresses, which the Board took under advisement. Walker moved that the Board accept the draft of the 2024 Reserve Study, Bellah seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Reid announced the year-round 2024 Parlor sale, which offers the transfer of a Parlor Share for $100 plus the $1727 annual assessment. The two Shares posted for sale on Redweek generated some interest, but Redweek’s intransigent policies regarding early use and assessment payment prevented the completion of any sales. The four deed-backed Shares whose assessments have been paid may be good candidates for Redweek.

Meibeyer recommended that the Suites continue the policy of paying taxes due from some foreclosed Parlor Shares prior to their VOTA auction to keep the penalties from becoming higher and thus hindering their future sale. The Master Shares will probably sell at the auction in spite of the taxes owed.

8. New Business:

Meibeyer reminded the Board that approximately $600K in Treasury notes is about to reach maturity. So, he and Walker are recommending that we reinvest the money in a staggered manner, taking advantage of currently higher interest rates, with some notes maturing at 1 year or less, some at 2 years, and some at 3 years, a plan that would lock in the higher rates and provide flexibility, in allowing us to withdraw from the Reserves when we need to, in case of an emergency, but without the egregious penalties of early withdrawal from longer-term notes. Meibeyer suggested that the Board form a subcommittee to study and oversee this proposal and return to the subject in January 2024.

9. Meibeyer adjourned the open meeting at 12:21 PM with the Board’s full approval.

Respectfully submitted,
Geoffrey Bellah, Secretary
San Francisco Suites

vota foreclosure auction

Dear San Francisco Suites Owners:

The 2023 delinquent assessment foreclosure auction will be held on

Tuesday, January 9, 2024 at 1:30 pm.

Please find below the 13 shares that will be up for auction with the minimum bids.

The new owner will also be responsible for the past due property taxes on some of the shares and the 2024 assessment which is $1,727.00.

Master

 408M $2,280.50 ($282.34(tax due)

224M $2,200.50 ($807.80)

357M $2,200.50 ($807.80)

123M $2,200.50($807.80)

20M $2,340.50 ($208.76)

284M $2,340.50 ($158.76)

58M $2,340.50 ($200.32)

282M $,2340.50($200.32)

 

Parlor

263P $2,200.50 ($393.24 tax owed)

196P $2,200.50 ($721.90)

278P $2,200.50 taxes paid

345P $2,340.50 ($259.06)

103P$2,244.50 ($246.26)

The shares will be sold at auction as follows:

Vacation Ownership Title Company will hold the auction at:

Outside the Memorial Gates
by Van Ness between 301 and 401 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA.94102

Tuesday, January 9, 2024 at 1:30 pm

The estimated minimum bids are located above.

Please be advised, that there may be additional costs.

You are invited to bid, and the highest bid will sell for cash payable at the time of sale in lawful money of the United States, in cash, or cashier’s check drawn by a state or national bank, state or federal credit union, state or federal savings and loan association, savings association or savings bank specified in Section 5102 of the Financial Code and authorized to do business in the State.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

January 1, 2024 

San Francisco Suites Owners, 

As we begin a new year, we are preparing for our Annual Owners’ Meeting to be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024, and for the election of two (2) Directors. We encourage those interested in serving on the Board of Directors to complete the accompanying application and review the Board Directors’ commitment pledge. You may also include a one page resume. A candidate must be an owner in good standing and meet the qualifications outlined in the Association’s By Laws. (located on the web site www.sfsuitescsa.com). 

We are a self-managed Association, and Directors are required to attend scheduled Board meetings at least five times a year and to actively participate in the business of the Association. The Board establishes policy, manages the financial affairs of the Association, and works closely with the General Manager, who oversees the daily operations. The Board is also responsible for strategic planning and special projects. Serving on the Board requires a commitment of time and effort, but it can be very gratifying while providing an important service to the Association and the Suites. 

Applications from all candidates must be returned by 5pm on February 1, 2024, in order to prepare the voting packets for mailing to the membership on February 9th, 2024. Applications received after 5pm on February 1 cannot be included in the election. 

Please send your application to: 

Cynthia Reid, GM
San Francisco Suites
710 Powell St.
San Francisco, CA 94108 

The Inspectors of Election has been hired to mail the election materials, ballots and to count the ballots during the March 9.2024 BOD Meeting which will be held on zoom. 

Thank you for your consideration, and please remember: VOTE! 

Sincerely, 

Chuck Meibeyer
President, Board of Directors
San Francisco Suites City Share Association