Page 11 - CooperatorNews Chicagoland Winter 2022
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CHICAGO.COOPERATORNEWS.COM  COOPERATORNEWS CHICAGOLAND  —  WINTER 2022    11  MyQ Business  Safely indentify guests  Manage facility access  Activity monitoring  Convenient database management  Accessible 24/7  >  >  >  >  CAPXM   Scan for   More Info   Scan for   More Info  High definition display >  >  Integrated video  Weather & scratch proof  MyQ App interface  >  >  >  Intuitive Interface  CAPXM  Smart Video Intercom       REMOTE MANAGEMENT           with MyQ Bussiness  Serving the Chicago     Area Over 30 years  ISS Chicago Sound & Communications inc.  773-528-4070  We  Control Doors  >  tial buildings,  any online  communications  um fi nds that his or her air conditioning unit   module for co-op and condo communities  isn’t working. Maybe they moved in during   should include the same fundamental com-  ponents: “Th  ere should always be a market-  place to post items for sale,” he says, “and a  the management, who may say it’s not their   space for announcing community events. It  problem, or that it’s a construction problem   should be monitored, and must never turn  and you need someone in the trade to cor-  into a gripe board. A cutting edge app of this  rect it.  But the owner of the unit has no idea   type would also include something akin to a  who to call. Th  is new app will function like   newsfeed for the community—again, prop-  erly moderated, of course.”  Disconnecting the Megaphone  Th  e nastiness pointed out by Schuster  etc., and then determine who can help you.   and Kestenbaum that so oft en infects social  It’s algorithm-based, and designed to short-  media discourse can hurt more than just  circuit the negative complaint loop. It allows   feelings. In the world of real estate, a long list  everyone to get to the right person before \[an   of complaints about a building on sites like  issue\] gets to the point of a negative com-  Yelp may make a prospective buyer think  plaint that lives forever on the internet.”  twice about purchasing a unit in the building   or HOA—and that’s the last thing any co-op  thing for condo owners and cooperators to   or condo community wants.    To prevent frustration over internal is-  sues like maintenance needs or a less-than-  responsive board from getting aired out in  ing sense of satisfaction in the moment, but   public, says Schuster, “we are working on a  everything on social media lives forever—  project  right  now  called  Antenna  that  will  and could eventually erode not just commu-  off er a whole new dimension to online-  based community interaction. Residents will  value and saleability of your own unit.            be able to leave comments on a closed so-  cial platform that can then respond to their   problem, so it doesn’t get to the point where   they just leave an angry, negative review” on   a public forum.   “For example,” Schuster says, “say the   owner of a recently purchased condomini-  the winter and never checked it. Now it’s   hot. So they call the super, and then perhaps   a customer hotline. Antenna will link your   address and identity to determine whether   it’s a sponsor problem, a management issue,   And that, perhaps, is the most important   remember: Writing a scathing review of your   building, or publicly venting your spleen at   your board or management, may give a fl eet-  nity spirit between neighbors, but the actual   n  A.J. Sidransky is a staff  writer/reporter with   CooperatorNews, and a published novelist. He   can be reached at    could be a conflict of interest. Further-  more, if there is a transaction involving  have explained to clients that that is not   the director or the director’s family—say  necessarily  a  conflict;  there  could  just   a contract for some type of work for the  be different interests at play. In the end,   association—under Illinois law, ‘family’  it might not be a conflict of interest, but   includes any member of the director’s  it still might not be okay.” What it really   household with an ownership interest of  breaks down to, says Brooks, especially in   25 percent or more, \[and it\] must be dis-  closed. The director must notify all own-  ers in that case of intent to do business.  engineer,” he says. “If the board member   The owners have a right to file a petition  or the board member’s cousin is an en-  and vote on the situation.”    “A board member has a conflict when  qualified?”  he or she has a financial interest in the   subject matter being decided,” explains  situation is not automatically a problem—  Mark Hakim, an attorney with New York-  based  law  firm  Schwartz  Sladkus  Reich  the recommended person or entity fits   Greenberg Atlas. “Examples include a  the bill for what the board is looking for.”   board member (or possibly someone in a  This could pertain to a board member, a   board member’s immediate family) hav-  ing an interest in the building doing busi-  ness with a specific company, or a board  firm or a brokerage company as well. “If a   member  who  is  also  a  broker  handling  board member is the best snow plow guy   sales in the building. Such conflict must  you can get and the price is competitive,   be disclosed, and can be waived by the  let him do it,” says Brooks. “As long as it’s   board—but disclosure is the key. Board  on the up-and-up. If he charges a premi-  members must disclose their conflict, and  um—well, that’s a problem.”  if it’s not waived or waivable, must recuse   themselves from the matter.”   Richard Brooks, a partner with law   firm Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks   in Braintree, Massachusetts, expands fur-  ther: “It’s not always as simple as it looks,”   he says. “A board member may want to   be involved in a multimillion-dollar re-  quest for proposal (RFP). In the past, I   a co-op or condominium setting, is who   has the necessary expertise. “You need an   gineer, the question then becomes: Is he   Brooks goes on to say that “this type of   if the board member discloses it, and if   contact of a board member, or even a di-  vision or subsidiary of a managing agent’s   A Matter of Optics  While  boards  and  their  advisors   CONFLICTS...  continued from page 1  continued on page 12 

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