Dear San Francisco Suites Association Members,
In March 2020 the Suites closed to guests, following the mandate imposed by the mayor of San Francisco on all hotels, lodges, short-term rentals, and timeshares. Then, in September, the Suites was permitted to reopen, with strict safety protocols and reduced occupancy. Now, we are closed again, effective December 6, ordered to do so by the mayor in response to alarming increases in infection rates combined with a serious reduction in available ICU spaces in the city.
As before, we remain in operation with a skeleton staff, to maintain and protect the facility and to answer calls, to cancel and rebook reservations, and to prepare for the eventual resumption of full operations. We learned when the facility was closed to guests for seven months that it needs continuous attention, especially when unoccupied, lest major systems such as plumbing and electrical fail due to inactivity. We also realized that the task of running the Suites is ongoing, whether we are accommodating guests or not, from scheduling and completing repairs to preparing for upcoming elections.
For example, during the time the Suites was closed, decorative grillwork was placed at the Powell Street entrance, providing more security to an area increasingly vulnerable to intrusions. (A planned gate for the Pine Street entrance is currently under review by the city.) The Board Room’s wallpaper, which last year had been damaged by a water leak, was replaced. A new, more powerful wifi system was installed. A second bannister was added to the stairwell between the fourth floor and roof. And, equally significant, protective plexiglass barriers were erected at the front desk to ensure that our staff and guests are safe during interactions.
General Manager Cynthia Reid has been working closely with the staff to ensure they understand the importance of following the health guidelines, whether they are at the Suites or at home. She has also continued the business of the Association, monitoring sales of shares, conducting auctions and adoptions, preparing the budget, anticipating future projects, and maintaining contact with the Board.
We are fortunate that we have such a loyal, dedicated staff who are committed to performing their duties to the highest professional standards, even when doing so might risk their health and perhaps their lives. And on behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the on-site staff for their diligence and commitment to the Suites during these very difficult and dangerous times. Also, to thank the staff staying at home but promising to follow the recommended health and safety guidelines as we eagerly await their return to work.
The Board has also been busy during these past nine months. As you know, the long anticipated and once-delayed election for revised bylaws is currently in process, and you should have received by this time your voting packet and ballot. These revised bylaws define and describe us much more accurately than the current version, which under the strictures of California’s Davis-Stirling Act governing HOAs inappropriately places us in the same category as condominiums and corporate timeshares. I urge you to read the letter from the Suites’ attorney Wayne Louvier summarizing the positive changes in the new bylaws which will unbind us from Davis-Stirling and allow us to function more efficiently and independently, especially with respect to elections.
The deadline for returning your ballot is Saturday, January 9, 2021. Please complete your ballot soon, and send it to The Inspector of Elections, signed on the pre-paid envelope that we have provided. The Inspector of Elections, with whom we’ve contracted to conduct this election, will show the ballot count via Zoom on January 9.
As a reminder, you may access the “refreshed” San Francisco Suites website to read the latest information on the pandemic from the Mayor’s Office and the San Francisco Department of Health as well as the current and past editions of the Board meetings’ minutes, the General Manager’s News, and President’s Letters.
I wish you all good health and happiness in the coming year. I know I speak for everyone at San Francisco Suites – staff, management, and the Board – when I say that we look forward to seeing you once again at “your home away from home.”
Geoffrey Bellah, President
Board of Directors