Emergency BOD Meeting

San Francisco Suites on Nob Hill

San Francisco Suites BOARD MEETING AGENDA

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Emergency Open Session Meeting

Zoom Meeting Conference call in

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83096595301?pwd=GAr8BJd2wio1SBiBn1Q63LDVLVFvAz.1

Meeting ID: 830 9659 5301- Passcode: 174614

4pm- Open Session

4pm – President calls the emergency zoom open BOD meeting to order to approve the

newly revised 2024 Rules and Regulations.

Welcome; Roll Call; and establishment of a Quorum

President’s Report – (GB) June 2024 Rules and Regulations

  1. Approve 2024 June Rules and Regulations (Action)

Adjournment

Geoffrey Bellah, President of the Board

Letter to Owners

May 15, 2024

Greetings to all Owners and Friends of the Suites,

I’m always reminded of how special San Francisco Suites is when I call to make a reservation. Unlike almost all of its peers in the hospitality industry, I do not have to submit impatiently to a recorded anonymous announcement listing numbered options preceded by the admonition to “listen carefully as our numbers may have changed,” followed by a long wait punctured by repetitive advertising or insipid music. Instead, I’m greeted by a front-desk person whom I know and who knows me, and I’m able to have a real, live conversation where I can discuss my upcoming visit, state my preferences for certain suites if available, and share what’s new in my life with someone who cares about me. Later, the uniqueness of the Suites reaffirms itself upon my arrival when I am welcomed by the front desk concierge with a smile and an offer to accommodate any special requests: help with my luggage? valet parking? a dinner reservation at a popular new restaurant? a daily newspaper? The personalized attention continues throughout my stay, with housekeepers calmly waiting to clean my suite in spite of my late start, with the houseman allowing me a glass of wine after the wine and cheese hour has passed, with a kind inquiry from the General Manager about my dog’s wellbeing, and so on.

I’ve just read in the New York Times that hotels are moving toward a check-in process that foregoes the sign-in at a desk, with guests only needing a code they received online upon booking to gain entry to their room, similar to checking out where one just leaves by closing the door and walking away, without any communication or a goodbye. And daily housekeeping at hotels has gone the way of the dial telephone. At my last hotel stay, I was informed that my room would be cleaned only after I checked out. What about dirty towels? What about the overflowing wastepaper basket where I had left the remains of a fast-food lunch? “Sorry, but we don’t have staff for daily cleaning, and if we did, that would be an extra charge on your bill” was the reply.

I’m sure that most owners did not purchase their shares because they thought of San Francisco Suites as a good deal; they bought their shares because they love San Francisco, and the Suites offer convenient, comfortable, even luxurious accommodations while they are in the City where they can work, enjoy the culture, entertain guests, and just relax. I mentioned “peers in the hospitality industry” above, but I’ve come to believe, and I hope you do as well, that the Suites has no peers, for personal service, atmosphere, location, and amenities, in San Francisco, and few in this country.

You are probably aware that the Board has recently made three revisions to our Rules & Regulations, a document available to you at our website, which provides guidelines for owners, guests, and staff in our everyday operations. The most significant of these derives from a change in ownership which has been slowly but steadily making itself known to us. The San Francisco Suites on Nob Hill was established in 1982, almost 42 years ago, and many from the first generation of owners, those who bought their shares from the original developers or soon after, no longer can travel, no longer wish to travel, or have passed on. The result is an unprecedented number of owners (or their heirs) who want to sell their shares, to deed them back to the Association, or, in the worst cases, to walk away from their commitment and court collections and possibly foreclosure. Our budget depends on the receipt of the full assessment from all owners, a promise they made upon buying their shares; and when many shares no longer produce revenue because they are deeded back to the Association with no likelihood now of being sold or adopted, or because their owners refuse to pay the assessment, then the entire Association suffers. And the number of non-performing shares this year has increased egregiously.

Thus, the Board after consulting with our attorneys, has decided to rent out some of the time held by those shares deeded back to the Association or by those shares whose owners cannot or will not pay their assessments. In doing so, we hope to make up for the anticipated budget shortfall and avoid having to severely increase in the coming year the annual assessment, to reduce service or amenities, to lay off staff, or to impose a special assessment. Renting out share time through Airbnb or similar agencies will not diminish the ability of owners to reserve time at the Suites, it will not change the character or quality of the Suites, it may introduce new, potential owners to the Suites from all over the world, and most importantly it will help us fulfill our financial obligations. (As a point of comparison, all the other timeshares in our neighborhood successfully rent out unused share time.)

Our CC&Rs, in an amendment passed a few years ago, expressly forbid City Share owners from renting out their share time for commercial purposes through a third-party agency. With this in mind, the Board asked our attorneys at Adam Stirling if the prohibition applied equally to the City Share Association. Two attorneys, working separately on this question, reached the same opinion: the City Share Association is not the same legal entity as an individual City Shareowner, and must act for the financial security and betterment of the whole Association. Unlike City Share owners who would rent share time as a source of personal income, the City Share Association, as a non-profit, might rent share time not to increase revenue beyond the budget but to offset revenue loss to meet the budget requirement.

I’ve taken some time to explain the reasoning behind the new Rule #13. (Please keep in mind that it is not a rule change, as the attorneys agreed that our CC&Rs never excluded the City Share Association from renting, only the individual City Shareowners. Rule #13 seeks to summarize and clarify then what is already stated and implied in the CC&Rs, like many other rules.)

I can promise you as President of the Board and as a loyal owner that I will do all in my power to maintain and enhance the experience of staying at the Suites so that it remains that special and unique place I described at the beginning of this letter. I can also assure you that every Director on this Board is committed to a productive year of service to the Association, to guide the staff, to respond to owners, and to ensure the Suites’ financial integrity.

Sincerely,

Geoffrey Bellah
President of the Board of Directors
San Francisco Suites

Rules and regulations announcement

Greetings, Owners,

I would like to call your attention to three proposed revisions to the Rules & Regulations which the Board discussed at its May 4, 2024, meeting. If you need clarification for any of these changes, please contact General Manager, Cynthia Reid at creidgm@sfsuitescsa.com or me at gpb1999@gmail.com. You have 28 days from this announcement to reach out to Manager Reid or to me if you have any comments. After this 28-day period, the Board will formally approve them, and they will take effect 15 days later.

1. The first revision slightly changes the fee for renting the Board Room. Previously the rule differentiated the rental fee of $30 for a reservation from the two set up and breakdown fees at $23 each. Although it may be possible to reserve and use the Board Room without needing set up or breakdown or any staff assistance, this is rarely the case. The new flat $100 fee includes the set up and breakdown and insures the availability of a staff person. Of course, there is still no charge for casual use of the Board Room not requiring a reservation.

2. The second revision changes the advance time needed to reserve Bonus Time from seven days to fourteen days. This change will allow some owners who live farther from the Suites and who must make travel arrangements, such as airline reservations or car rentals, a better chance at Bonus Time. It will also mean that all owners who plan ahead can more easily take advantage of Bonus Time. Certainly, the hope is that as more owners, their designated friends and family members, and share adopters use Bonus Time, the more revenue will be generated for the Association’s operating fund.

3. The third and last change to the Rules & Regulations is an added rule. Rule #13 under “Miscellaneous Rules” summarizes and clarifies the Second Amendment in our CC&Rs, which prohibits individual City Share owners from renting out their share time to unknown third parties through agencies such as Craigs List, eBay, Airbnb, and VRBO for commercial purposes. The rule also allows the City Share Association, however, to rent out time from non-performing shares, whose owners are unable or unwilling to pay their annual assessment. By doing so, the Association hopes to offset any loss in assessment revenue which could result in a reduction in services or amenities, staff layoffs, significant increases in the annual assessment, or a special assessment.

Here is the newly added rule:

13. Can I rent out my share time on Craigs List, eBay, Airbnb, VRBO, or other short term vacation rental agencies? No. Individual City Share owners cannot rent their regular use or bonus time to third parties without any pre-existing relationship to the same owners or the Suites, nor can they rent out share time, regular or bonus, for commercial purposes. Owners with unused regular share time might consider offering this time to other owners on the Suites’ website or exchanging their Use Period through one of the Suites’ Exchange services. These rental restrictions on individual city share owners do not apply to the City Share Association, which may rent non-performing shares in order to make up for an anticipated deficit in the annual budget.

Thank you for your attention,
Geoffrey Bellah
President of the Board of Directors
San Francisco Suites

General Manager April news letter

April 30, 2024

The City by the Sea – San Francisco

April in SF brings the promise of Spring with the super bloom, cherry blossoms, basketball, and baseball but it is also National Poetry Month which brings me to George Sterling, SF Poet Laureate during the turn of the century. His poem, The City by the Sea reminds us of the unique geographical location of a city, on a peninsula, surrounded by water and the intimate relationship it has to the maritime environment. I invite you to read the poem below where he evokes the beauty of the bodies of water seen at the eastern edge, where the rising sun can be found, and then the fog that swirls in from the west. Just imagine viewing sailing vessels with their masts (spars) and yards sailing in and out of the Bay, seen from afar on the hilltops against the blue water. The poem ends evoking the evening and nighttime, as the sun sets, and the stars appear. The wind that had blown in from the ocean now returns, carrying the ships back home to the city’s waterfront. The ending enforces the cyclical nature of SF’s relationship with the sea, as the stars that sink into the Pacific are the same ones that rise over it in the east.

“At the end of our streets is sunrise;
At the end of our streets are spars;
At the end of our streets is sunset;
At the end of our streets are stars.”

The City is made up of such beautiful vistas, but the negative media stays focused on the failing of downtown and financial district which has been brought on by the massive tech layoffs and change in work culture that allows for remote working from home.

“With US cities struggling, San Francisco has become a shining model of recovery “

The article in The Hill, written by John Bortz and Alex Bastion continues;

‘In the SF of spring 2024, you instead find commuters grabbing coffees and heading into their offices; tourists admiring the streets comprised of unique Edwardian and Victorian architecture; friends enjoying the fresh fish at outdoor restaurants; and families playing in the beautiful parks. There is less crime and a greater presence of police and city ambassadors.’

There is some good news. Union Square is looking forward this summer to the opening of Michelin star Chef, Bruno Cheme’s new French bistro, Le Parc Bistrobar on 185 Sutter at the site of the recent Gaspar Brasserie.

The Ikeia food court at the end of Market is flourishing and Warrior fans are heading to Chase Stadium via the new Central Subway Station on Powell at Union Square. Do not forget to book a table at the Miller and Lux Steakhouse for a classic steak dinner.

“At the end of our streets is sunrise;”

The recently redesigned gardens, ponds, restaurants, and walkways in the Presidio make for a delightful afternoon stroll ending at the Tunnel Tops, where you can pick up a freshly made focaccia sandwich and a coffee or a glass of wine from Il Parco and then sit on the bluff, in an oversized red garden chair and watch the sailboats on the Bay and catch a view of the top of the GG Bridge, as the fog swirls by.

“At the end of our streets are spars;”

  • Il Parco 215 Lincoln Blvd

  • Sessions at the Presidio 1 Letterman Drive

  • Dalida romantic Mediterranean 101 Montgomery Street, Presidio

The Board of Directors arranged a farewell dinner for retiring board members, Chuck Meibeyer and Jeff Reichel at the Waterbar Restaurant on the Embarcadero. A sumptuous feast was laid out on a long table which ended with a window view of the sparkling Bay Bridge. Many toasts, poems and tributes were made to honor Chuck and Jeff who both served as President and Treasurer during their time in office. In his farewell address at the end of the board meeting held on March 9th, Chuck Meibeyer listed the many improvements made to the Suites during the last ten years.

“At the end of our streets is sunset;”

April is also tax season, and the SFS property tax #2 installment was due on April 11. Please contact me if you have moved or did not receive your tax bill and I can help you pay it online.

Lastly, I would like to invite your friends or family members for a complimentary night at the Suites, if they are interested in owning a little bit of San Francisco. We have parlors for $100 + $1,727 which includes 2 weeks rather than 7 days during the first year, however, caution is advised, since once they step into the lobby and experience true hospitality, they will fall in love and want to become an owner.

“At the end of our streets are stars.”

I invite you, as a San Franciscan, to make plans to celebrate the Spring in the City, to look up and away from the challenges and discover and rejoice in the beauty of this great City and the beauty of your “home away from home” at the San Francisco Suites.

As George Sterling reminds us.
“At the end of our streets is sunrise;
At the ends of our streets are spars;
At the end of our streets are sunset;
At the end of our streets are stars.”

Happy Spring,

Cynthia Reid
General Manager
San Francisco Suites

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Past President, Chuck Meibeyer’s list of Improvements at the Suites 2014-2024

Exterior repainting

Decorative window metal grills

Protective metal grills on Powell Street door

Frosted windows along Powell Street

Powell and Pine Street awnings

Flag poles and flags.

Pine Street Gate

Security cameras interior and exterior

Decorative trees outside

New street trees

Remote door openers

Staff dressing room improvements.

Storage rooms improvements

Concrete floor repair in boiler room

New water heater

Upgraded computers.

WIFI upgrade

Improved cable access

New wallpaper in all lobbies

New carpet in lobby, hallways, and boardroom

New hardwood flooring in the lower lobby

Back office and wine storage room improvements

Covid screening

Defibrillator

Upgrades in boardroom

Keurig coffee maker in the boardroom

New lower lobby rug

New gas fire log fireplace

Furnished lobby with Chinese and crystal decorative items


Plumbing upgrades

4” units fully remodeled

All new kitchen appliances

Kitchen cabinet refacing to eliminate oak surfacing, and changed from oak to cream-colored cabinet and doorway trim color.

Elimination of brass fixtures and installation of nickel fixtures, white ceramic sink and soap dispensers.

Toto toilets

Upgraded shower curtains and more spacious shower curtain rod shape.

New grab bars in all tubs and make handicapped shower seats available.

New sofa beds

Upgraded cushions in the living room and bedroom window seats.

Privacy shades between living and bedroom in “1” and “2” units

New flat-screen TVs in all units

Furniture and artwork repair

New gazebo furniture

Added cushions for lower lobby and boardroom chairs that had inadequate cushioning.

Upgraded roof deck access and railings.

Gazebo repainting Replaced roof plants.

Upgraded electrical outlets with USB plugs.

Installed air purifiers in the lobby and board room.

Digital Fire Alarm System Upgrade

New Roman shades in all units

New carpeting in all units

 

Hiring of General Manager with extraordinary hospitality experience who upgraded staffing in many positions which resulted in substantial improvements in Guest Service for our owners an improved work environment for our staff.

————————————————————————————-

The City By the Sea — San Francisco

At the end of our streets is sunrise;
At the end of our streets are spars;
At the end of our streets is sunset;
At the end of our streets the stars.

Ever the winds of morning
Are cool from the flashing sea—
Flowing swift from our ocean,
Till the fog-dunes crumble and flee.

Slender spars in the offing,
Mast and yard in the slips—
How they tell on the azure
Of the sea-contending ships!

Homeward into the sunset
Sill unwearied we go,
Till the northern hills are misty
With the amber of afterglow.

Stars that sink to our ocean,
Winds that visit our strand,
The heavens are your pathway,
Where is a gladder land!

At the end of our streets is sunrise;
At the end of our streets are spars;
At the end of our streets is sunset;
At the end of our streets the stars.

George Sterling

Annual Meeting March 9, 2024

San Francisco Suites
Association Annual Meeting
March 9, 2024

1. President Chuck Meibeyer called the Annual Meeting of the City Share Association of San Francisco Suites on Nob Hill to order at 11:00 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; Jo Ann Trembath, Owner; Don and Mrs. Thomas, Owners; Sue and Max Jocelyn, Owners.

2. Board Election: President Meibeyer announced the election of two new Board members, Jo Ann Trembath and Nancy Hudson, to fill two upcoming vacancies on the Board. Because there were only two announced candidates for the two openings, the Board could forego holding a vote by the membership, and Trembath and Hudson won by acclamation.

3. Owners Forum: One owner commended Manager Reid and the Board for taking safety measures and preparations in case of emergencies. Another owner urged the Board to consider including San Francisco property taxes in the annual assessment. A third owner praised the new lobby wallpaper and suite carpeting and alerted the Board to several maintenance items.

4. President’s Report: Longtime Board member and outgoing President Chuck Meibeyer presented a listing of accomplishments while he has been serving on the Board.

5. Approval of Minutes: The minutes for the January 6, 2024, open meeting of the Board were unanimously approved, following a motion and a second by Munroe and Reichel.

6. Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Walker stated that with the exception of one owner, all receivable accounts were paid at the end of 2023, with a “bad debt” expense of $35K. Operating expenses for 2023 were over budget by $106K, due to the above “bad debt,” insurance increases, and payroll for overtime. (The latter has been remedied for the future.) The Reserve fund benefitted from $26K in interest income. We will continue to earn interest income for our Reserve Fund deposits in 2024. At the end of January 2024 there were still 134 shares whose assessments had not been paid, and Walker urged owners to pay their assessments when due. A motion by Munroe to open a new account, with a second by Reichel, for the investment of operating funds passed unanimously.

7. General Manager’s Report: Manager Reid reported that the Association currently owns 32 shares, with $55K in lost assessment revenue. However, we have four Association-owned Master shares currently in escrow. One master share and one Parlor share are posted for sale on RedWeek, and we have adopted three Masters for the coming year. At this time we have 15 Deed Backs, with lost assessment revenue of $26K. Regarding the 2024 assessments, 97 owners have yet to pay, and a 10% late fee has been added to their accounts. These delinquent owners have been contacted, and some have agreed to payment plans to avoid foreclosure proceedings commencing in April.

A new parquet kitchen floor has been installed in 45. A water leak from the second floor was discovered during the wallpaper removal in the upper lobby and repaired. Several instances of poor or faulty carpet installation were corrected in February.

8. Ongoing (formerly “Old”) Business: During the scheduled January 2024 closure, two major improvement projects were completed: the replacement of both lobbies’ wallpaper, and the installation of new carpeting in all suites, with the exception of the “4”s. Two shares, a Parlor and a Master, have been posted for sale on RedWeek, and there has been some interest generated there.

A motion to change the Rules and Regulations to allow a Bonus Time reservation two weeks ahead of arrival (instead of the current one-week) was made by Bellah and seconded by Munroe. After some discussion of the benefits to owners in accessibility and the Association in revenue, the application of the weekend reservation restriction to Bonus Time was raised. Since the R & Rs do not clearly address this, the second was withdrawn and the motion was tabled until the full language of the R & Rs regarding Bonus Time can be revised.

President Meibeyer urged the Board to try to contact private clubs in the vicinity as a potential new market for sales. The Board also affirmed Manager Reid’s ability to offer potential new owners complimentary nights in a suite, if there is availability and no owner would be inconvenienced.

The proposal to install body wash and shampoo dispensers in the bathrooms was postponed until a future meeting.

9. New Business: President Meibeyer summarized the situation of many longtime owners at the Suites who may have liens on their shares due to their taking out loans when they first purchased their shares, which may or may not have been paid back. Given the time that has elapsed and the fact that many of the original lenders are no longer operative, it is important that these owners accept the need for bond insurance from the title company when they sell their shares. Of course, it is not required; anyone can buy a share that has a lien on it. But there is a legal risk, albeit a small one.

Meibeyer moved and Munroe seconded a motion to affirm the Association’s commitment to sell shares only with titles clear of liens unless the buyer is willing to sign off on the share purchase knowing it has a lien. The motion passed unanimously.

Israel Garcia, the Suites’ maintenance manager for over 20 years, was acknowledged as “Employee of the Year 2023” by the Board and given an honorarium. Garcia said that he’s motivated by a love to help people.

Manager Reid reported that four Master shares with large tax bills have been adopted.

According to legal counsel, in the absence of a Board election, the Board can vote to approve the IRS Revenue Ruling 70-606, which allows the Association to move any income into the following year’s operating account. Munroe moved and Bellah seconded a motion to make such a move, and the motion passed unanimously. Manager Reid reported that legal counsel also claimed that the IRS Revenue Ruling doesn’t to have to come up to a vote of the membership in the annual Board election but can be voted on by the Board.

10. Forward Planning: President Meibeyer recommended that the replacement of the hallway and staircase carpeting in 2025 be delayed, given the recent major expenditures and the possibility of finding some way of repairing the worn areas on the lower steps.

As a preliminary to adjournment, both Meibeyer and Reichel spoke of their appreciation of and love for the Suites. After Reichel’s motion to adjourn and Meibeyer’s second, the meeting adjourned temporarily, to resume with the new Board in order to elect officers for 2024-2025.

11. Officer Positions: After resumption, the new Board, with Munroe chairing as Vice-President, elected the following members to these officer positions:

Geoffrey Bellah, President
Fred Munroe, Vice-President
Nancy Hudson, Secretary
Dwight Walker, Treasurer
Jo Ann Trembath, Member at Large

The Annual Meeting adjourned at 12:56 PM after a short discussion about holding a Board retreat.

BOD Meetings for 2024-2025:

May 4, 2024
August 10.2024
November 2, 2024
January 18, 2025
March 8, 2025

Respectfully,

Geoffrey Bellah, Secretary