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July 10, 2016

 
 

Dear Directors,

I’m writing this to strongly recommend that apartments be issued additional key fobs. I appreciate that replacing keys with key fobs addresses the unaccountable proliferation of keys resulting in unaccountable access to our buildings. I know that the transition to key fobs required labor and expense, working with the electronic security provider to coordinate the doors and hardware and software systems by which each key fob can be managed, etc. Although the transition to key fobs should be paid for out of our capital improvements budget, an expensive omission in our policy puts shareholders in the position of paying for what the policy fails to provide, and at a huge mark-up. The policy needs to be corrected. Specifically:

  • The policy must provide one spare key fob for each apartment. A spare key fob is not an extravagance. Having an out-of-town guest is not extravagant, nor is a friend watering my plants when I'm out of town. The policy should anticipate and provide for a spare key fob to be issued to each apartment for such routine use at Shareholders’ discretion. Per the policy, if all 1,700 apartments were to obtain such a spare at the cost of $25.00 each, it would cost Shareholders a total of $42,500.00, rather than the undoubtedly more modest per-key fob fee that was paid out of the capital improvements budget. Whether it is our management company that is positioned to take the lion’s share of these post-implementation fees as revenue, or even if a portion of the revenue is allocated to SPC's account, why should anyone profit at Shareholders’ expense on what should have been included and freely dispensed in the first place?
     
  • Providing access for various of Shareholders’ services, such as household help and dog walkers, is and should be a function of our security staff, and our security staff should continue to provide for such access, even if procedure updates are determined to be necessary. Instead, this service is being bundled together with a requirement to purchase and register additional key fobs. Restricting access to such services while in the process creating a revenue stream at Shareholders’ expense is thus a compounded disservice to Shareholders.
     
  • Finally, although apartments might have differing number of residents and shareholders it seems normal and right that a key fob be allocated based on the higher of either the number of shareholders or the number of residents, plus one spare per apartment.

After these preliminary policy considerations, yes, Shareholders should be charged for extra key fobs and lost key fobs, etc. Not before.

The individualized survey circulated every year with shareholder information, reporting on the status of steam trap replacements, waiting lists, and key track information should also include a list of the key fobs registered to the apartment, and any further registration information for the shareholder to confirm – problem solved. The new policy is overly restrictive, expensive, and overshoots its utility.

The $42,500.00 on the horizon is for starters. Over time the policy as drafted suggests serious and costly practical considerations were overlooked, which therefore should be redressed at the outset, before starting out down this road. I urge that the Board consider the issues raised herein and: move and vote to amend the policy to provide such additional key fobs per apartment; move and vote to amend the policy so that our security staff may exercise their professional discretion to admit Shareholders' guests per the instructions of the respective Shareholders; and to publish a policy amended accordingly.

I would be glad to discuss any of these points.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Sincerely,

GS





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