This Is our Village

Saturday, September 14, 2013

TREASURER SCANDAL - VEHICLE TRANSPONDER STRIPS SOLD AT OUTRAGEOUS MARKUPS!

-
Madam Treasurer please stop gouging our Unit Owners!
-
Residents all; how much did you pay for your Transponder strip?
-

Did you pay $16.00 - Well, that is a markup of 147%
-
Wait, you have not heard anything yet!!!
-
Did you pay $26.00?? - That is a markup of 240%
-
OUTRAGEOUS!
-
Despite my repeated directives to sell them at cost, which is currently $10.85,
-
She continues the gouging, a real scandal!
-
Demand your refund, and in future, only pay actual cost.
-
-
Above is the most recent Transponder order form
-
 
 
Dave Israel
-
 


34 comments:


  1. how can you ,with a staight face, sit there and write that bold face crap on this blog? where was your outrage at the assemblies all this time? where was yout outrage at the executive board meetings all this time? where have you been all this time????

    because there is nothinbg else except maybe a personal agenda you have, that you need to blame the treasurer for this>> where were you when ed was treasurer? the cost was the same then.

    come on pei=ople, you all know better than to listen to a childish tiraid.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Phyllis,
    September 14, 2013 at 2:47 PM,

    What did you pay for your transponder strip?

    I had no idea of the outrageous rip-off until I recently was asked to sign off on the Transponder strip order form and saw the actual price.

    This whole issue came into focus when a complaint came to me last week about the outrageous $26.00 cost of the strip.

    It is good to see that you support the outrageous gouging of our Residents, that along with your repugnant attempt to kill Wi-Fi should garner you lots of votes in pursuit of the UCO Presidency, which you have so desperately sought for years.

    Keep this sort of copy coming, but if you can't be civil I would recommend you post along with your friends on the Libel & Defamation channel AKA the Malcontent BLOG.

    Dave Israel
    -

    ReplyDelete
  3. Don't forget that you can't use them 24 hours a day now.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a perfect opportunity to find out who is telling the truth and who is not. I paid $26.00 for my transponder. I have two simple, straight forward questions for Ms. Richland: 1. Is/was the cost of the transponder $26.00 or another amount?
    2. If it is/was less than $26.00 what is the underlying authority to charge more than the price to recoup costs.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If there is a refund coming, I'm in line because I paid $26.50.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here are my three questions, and I don't care who answers them:

    1- is UCO legally empowered, under it's own incorporation documents, to derive a profit from items or services required by it's own members?

    2- if UCO is entitled to derive a profit, is 247 percent an excessive amount?

    3- Where does this money go? What is it used for?

    One more question- What is the profit margin on investigations performed by UCO for the Associations?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Phyllis I think you are wrong. How much profit does UCO have to make on our backs. You are so for the poor who live in the village that you could not vote for WiFi but berate Dave, our president, for the outrageous profits. Maybe if they were cheaper then you might not mind paying a few dollars for wifi. Where are your priorities??

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi ejs2283,
    September 15, 2013 at 6:20 AM,

    I have posted the Order Form on the main BLOG.

    Have a look.

    Dave Israel

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Don4060,
    September 15, 2013 at 8:59 AM,

    Our Incorporation Charter is to be found in the sidebar.

    We are not a "For Profit Corporation".

    The gouged monies are apparently used to pay for other items in the budget.

    Investigations income requires analysis, as some simple background checks are well under the $100.00, but some foreign investigations, can go into the hundreds of dollars.

    Also keep in mind that the excess funds the legal cost of your Association deductible if you are sued over a rejection of a purchaser based on your following our Attorneys advice.

    Dave Israel

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi David- I suppose that if profit derived from transponder sales was used to fund other services provided to CV Homeowners, then it could be argued that no actual profit was realized. Money went in, in the form of transponder fees, and money went out, in the form of UCO services to Homeowners.

    Still, a 247 percent markup is just plain ridiculous, and perpetuates the negative feelings that many CV Homeowners have about UCO. That feeling still persists, despite serious effort to eradicate the "Culture of No". Reducing or eliminating that markup would go a long way in this regard.

    I believe that much of that negative feeling begins on Day One, when prospective residents submit to their pre-sale background investigation. Nobody likes being "investigated"- it is an invasion of privacy- neccessary, usually harmless, but an invasion nonetheless. Having it happen during a potentially stressful real estate transaction, and having to pay one hundred dollars for the privilege is a recipe for disaster, and UCO gets the blame. More openness and information regarding this neccessary function would be helpful to new residents, and would help create a better Homeowner/UCO relationship from the most important Day One.

    From your explanation, it sounds like the "profit margin" on investigations varies, depending on the specific circumstances of each individual applicant. A blanket one hundred dollar fee applied to all applicants sounds to me like some applicants are subsidizing the more complicated investigations of others. From the point of view of an individual Homeowner, this is unfair.

    A new system, which would have prospective residents paying a third party investigation service directly, would take UCO "out of the loop" in terms of money, and eliminate, or at least reduce, the periodic "what does UCO do with my money?" questions (like this one). It would also alllow each applicant to directly pay for their own investigation, according to each applicant's unique circumstances. The point is for UCO to stop being "the Bad Guy" on the most important "Day One", when permanent impressions are made.

    How often does UCO refund an Association deductable related to a rejection related lawsuit? How many times has it happened in the past year? The last five years? Is there a separate fund where "profit" derived from investigations is kept in reserve for this purpose, or are these excess funds used to purchase an insurance policy to cover these anticipated payouts?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Don4060,
    September 15, 2013 at 5:03 PM,

    I would argue that the common expense lines supposedly funded by the Transponder fee excess should be properly budgeted to show true cost, and the Transponder strips should be sold at actual cost rather than attempting to increase income by ripping off our Residents.

    There is a comment on the Libel and Defamation channel about the monies funding Edie's salary; well, I suppose that means that the Employee salary line proposed at $140K for 2014 should be reduced!

    That comment is ludicrous, as the employee salary line should accurately reflect the actual employees aggregate salaries, God forbid we might have some transparency in this budget.

    This is a typical Tetro puffed up budget and needs to be scrubbed by someone with an actual stake in our Village (SOMEONE WHO IS ACTUALLY DOMICILED HERE)a bit of Accounting experience would be helpful.

    And by the way, how about the Delegates ALL get to see this budget prior to having it dumped in the their lap for the first time at the meeting and being expected to understand the hundreds
    of lines and seven ludicrous checking accounts. The entire affair is designed to obfuscate and confuse.

    On the matter of the Investigations data, I will have the stats pulled up soon.

    Dave Israel

    ReplyDelete
  12. Indeed, making sense of hundred of budget lines sitting on your lap, in theatre lighting, bifocals perched on nose tips, with Malcontent drama playing out down front- not an easy thing. And set up that way on purpose.

    This year, maybe a little easier. Focus on on one line item THAT IS NOT THERE, and motion accordingly.

    PUT WIFI BACK INTO THE 2014 BUDGET!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Where does a person rent or buy and not be subjected to some sort of investigation? It is SOP and personally, is a positive action -we currently are experiencing the negative results of assns. who are not subjecting prospective renters/buyers to investigations thus endangering all of us - and subjecting us to undesirable characters. The present protocol is efficient and trustworthy and having UCO back up in case of a rejection is essential.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Mag. I agree, but people still don't like it, and writing that check is the first indirect contact that new people have with UCO.

    You and I both know that UCO only performs this necessary service on behalf of the Associations, but that is not how the process is represented to new residents by the Agents, the Condo Officers, or the new resident's new neighbors.

    I am tired of hearing the services offered by UCO referred to as a "racket". "Rackets" imply money. As you said, investigations are "SOP", and applicants should expect them. Let the applicants pay directly to a third party for their investigation, remove money from the applicant/association/UCO equation, and end the "racket" talk forever. Nothing else would change- only the way the service is paid for would be different. New residents would still bitch, but the bitch would be directed at the agency, not UCO.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gee, does that mean I am getting a refund?
    how's this...keep it and put it towards WIFI for the ones that can't afford the $3 but are willing to pay $40 for themselves, just so they don't feel that they are paying for someone else. As Mrs. Gump would say, stupid is as stupid does.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree that the need for investigation may tend to give a negative to new rentes/owners. However, I have had the background checks done almost yearly at times. I needed them when I was teaching in school. I needed one for my volunteering at the American Red Cross. I had to have one done when I was licensed to the ministry. This is all a part of life.

    As for the budget being reviewed. Having been an auditor for books at one American Red Cross Chapter, I feel that yes everyone should be able to review the budget before the meeting. The issue I see is that just having the budget in front of us is not enough. We need to see a more detailed explanation of some of the line items that tells us why the costs are what they are. Possibly a town Hall meeting before the budget is completed and publish the budget in advance for all to see. I would not publish in the Reporter as that is information we would not want in the general public's hands I know the Reporter goes outside the village.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello Anitra-

    Colonoscopies are also "part of life", but nobody enjoys having one. Coverage and sedatives make submitting to that particular "background investigation" bearable, and reduces resentment afterwards. This is all that I am suggesting in regard to the UCO investigation process.

    Letting applicants pay their fee directly to the outside agency that performs the background check may reduce post operative resentment for new residents, and may reduce the onus on the Association and UCO. It would also eliminate, or at least reduce, the politically motivated attacks that are the unavoidable result of handling other people's money. By reducing that constant institutional "static", UCO operatives would be better able to attend to business.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thanks for posting the invoice Dave. There was no doubt in our minds who was providing the accurate information. I was hoping that Ms. Richland would have responded to the two simple questions. But, at this point, there is no need.

    One additional note on the investigations of prospective renters/owners. If there is going to be a change in how payment is paid, we should also be working on a strategy to ensure condo corp compliance with the findings of the investigation.

    As many have read in some of my other postings, it is more than frustrating to learn that negative investigation reports still result in some condo corps selling or renting units to folks who do not qualify to live here. The lack of a credit check on prospective renters is particularly disturbing. If prospective owners must demonstrate financial stability/security so should renters. We should not have different standards for renters and owners.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Last time we rented a unit I asked for a full investigation not just criminal. I was told no. I believe this to be a big problem in the investigation department

    ReplyDelete
  20. I am all for investigations and no I did not mind being investigated when I was buying. If the prospective new owner does not like it they can buy elsewhere. Over the years we have denied a few people to buy as they lied on their backgrounds and we kept out a few people with criminal backgrounds.

    ReplyDelete
  21. No one wants to eliminate investigations.

    No one wants UCO to stop providing this important service for the Associations.

    Like the transponder fee, the investigation fee is a perennial bone of contention, partly because of the indirect way that the money is routed to UCO (applicant writes check to Assn- Assn writes check to UCO), and partly because everybody knows that 100 dollars is higher than the actual cost of the service. The "analysis" work at UCO is done by volunteers- there should be no markup on their labor.

    All I am suggesting is that UCO get out of the business of collecting the money to pay for the investigations.

    Let the Associations, the Real Estate Agencies, and the prospective homeowners be responsible for direct payment, and for making the background investigation available to the UCO Investigations Department, who will then analyze the report and provide a "yay or nay" recommendation to the Association. UCO may select the service or services that are to be used, and may even negotiate a bulk price.

    Other Homeowner Associations and Property Management Companies do it this way, and most of the major background investigation companies have systems designed to accommodate direct payment by the applicant and applicant authorized access by the HOA or Mgt company.

    ReplyDelete
  22. And Grace, I am curious- out of the five or six applicants that your Association rejected, did any of them sue you?

    Was it ever necessary for your Association to recover an insurance deductible from UCO because of a lawsuit from a rejected applicant?

    This assurance appears to be the primary justification and selling point for the 100 dollar UCO investigation. I am not aware of such a lawsuit ever being filed against my Association, going back to 1975.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi Don
    The funds over and above the investigation fee go into a kitty which pays the lawyer if you are sued as long as you remember to follow that lawyers instructions. Our association rejected and potential buyer just two weeks ago.
    UCO Investigation department handled the entire matter With the attorney. I applaud the UCO investigation department

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you Ken, for your direct response.

    My Association has also rejected applicants. All Associations are occasionally faced with this legally delicate task.

    My curiosity centers around how often rejected applicants sue the Association that rejected them, and how often UCO reimburses for that expense.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Years ago when there was an abundace of funds in the Investigation Fees account, the amount was reduced for future buyers. When it became necessary, it was increased. With the way things are going today, I don't think there could be enough funds to handle those who are questionable.

    ReplyDelete
  26. @Ruth- spot on!

    If the applicant dealt directly with the investigation company, and authorized access by UCO and/or the Association, there would be no worries about cost- that would be between the investigation company and the "questionable" or "complicated" applicant. UCO and the Association would get the report, as always, but would lose the accounting headaches and fiduciary responsibility. No money, no arguments ABOUT money.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Considering the Original Topic,
    of "Transponders"....as 1 who has
    purchased 3 from 2002 thru 2006
    I should like to know when MY
    Refund check is expected!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello Bettie- I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Our expatriot Treasurer has posted her "story" on the Lunacy Blog.

    It is a very long story, but as near as I can decipher, it involves an additional charge levied on Homeowners to pay for equipment that was purchased in 2005.

    There was also mention made of a salary of a paid UCO employee, who I assume spends at least part of her time administering the transponder system.

    Some of the rest of this long "explanation" involves reference to past UCO operatives going back to 2003. The other Lunatics are lining up to post their support of this "story" as we speak.

    Is it any wonder people think the whole thing is a racket?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Don4060,
    September 18, 2013 at 1:12 PM,

    The equipment was of course paid out of the budget long ago, thus the "story" is ludicrous.

    As for Edie's salary, I have to ask what the $140K line item in the draft 2014 budget is for???

    Dave Israel

    ReplyDelete
  30. If memory serves me correctly, and
    it usually does.....Issusing transponders, was 1 of the many
    functions performed by Edie, ages
    ago, when UCO was located at Camden Pool ( current Reporter location) and excess transponders
    funds, were not applied to "Salaries" which at that time
    consisted of several employees..
    Line item, on Budget....so once more, when can I expect my check?

    ReplyDelete
  31. This item should not be left in doubt as to padding, please obtain a proper breakdown of the $140K line item from the Bookkeeper (allowing for appropriate consideration of personnel).
    Sounds as if all lines should be subjected to deconstruction and analysis.

    ReplyDelete
  32. They should move the transponder operation to a tent next to the tennis courts, because the whole thing is a racket.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Don4060. I never heard a word from the applicants that we turned down. I think they realized we found out about their having lied about criminal backgrounds.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.