C.B. from Palm Beach County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our complex is almost 50 years old, we more than 200 units on about 6 acres. Our maintenance man has been here 21 years, and for about 10 years, he has gotten bids on any work that needed done here; going directly to the paver, window company, plumber, whatever company does the kind of work we needed, that he could not do or needed a permit to do. He used to have a desk, computer and phone in the back office for just this. He has seen many Condo Presidents, and office worker come and go. He is no longer allowed in the office.
But with our newest President and her sister, the Treasurer, and their friend, the new (unlicensed) office manager, they hire family members and friends for all association projects.
They have already spent over $300k and plan on spending another $1.8 million.
I spoke last month the local coding office about a riling repair project we are undertaking, and they said if we remove the railing we would have to replace them with the new code railings, but if we could do the repairs, without removing them, then we did NOT need new railings. Of course, the scoundrels insist on NEW railings so they can charge us more. Lawyers are so expensive but we need help.
Mister Condo replies:
C.B., nepotism is alive and well in your condominium association! The best way to end it is to remove the President and Treasurer so that they no longer have the power to hire family members and friends for jobs that should be put out to bid. I wouldn’t think it would be too hard to find a better volunteer leader for your association and I would think homeowners would not like to see their money squandered on projects and paid to family members and friends of the Board. Of course, if there is apathy on the part of the rest of the association, there is little to be done. Nothing will change unless the players change. Focus your efforts on voting out the scoundrels and voting in some leaders who will handle the business of the association in an appropriate manner. All the best!