This Is our Village

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Another point of view:

Many of us were recently mailed a “clubs” documents that clearly show the true agenda of a candidate seeking your vote.

We all probably remember recent news stories of some acting as bullies picking on someone for the “fun” of it. This document seems to fit that mold as the details reflect very little factual information, rather opinion of issues by someone who desires to remain anonymous to all.

This critic seems to have all the answers about everything, even though the writer wants to remain unknown. Could it be a result of never volunteering at UCO and therefore knowing absolutely nothing of the expertise of the vast numbers of volunteers that spend their retirement helping UCO remain a volunteer organization? The volunteers are rarely thanked, rather brutalized for being “ninnies” (or worse) simply because the writer has an axe to grind over some things that the writer would have done better. Many critics just want to complain and insert their view how “you people” should do or should have done but not with their participation, they are RETIRED.

If this seems familiar – it is. Congress is plagued with similar critics who just want time to speak their criticisms while not developing any solutions or joining the team to help resolve any either.

Let us compare what UCO does with that of your Management Company. Most management companies have one checking account for paying all of your Association bills, and another “Money Market account” for designated reserves and surplus cash.

You might think “Surplus cash” is a dirty word reading this unknown writer, but it is cash that is not really needed for any current bills or next months bills either, and is therefore cash that could be used to cover something even the best of intended reserve schedules may have omitted. When any unexpected expense arises, this may well be the solution so your Association would not have to access your Unit Owners for needed money, without having to spend reserves and therefore increase repayment in future budget years.

When we were young we learned how to manage money, sometimes borrowing from “Peter to pay Paul”. As we have matured we learned to see the benefit of allowing some surplus cash to remain available for just such unexpected events as may crop into our lives. Even the term Bankruptcy is incorrect, as anyone nearing or having to file will quickly understand. When nearing Bankruptcy payments become late to everyone with whom we do business and we chose who gets paid on a cash available basis, selecting each to avoid late fees or threats of discontinued services. UCO NEVER HAD SUCH A problem – so let us compare how bad it really was or not! A former Officer spoke at one Assembly meeting that we need three months surplus cash in each of our 7 checking accounts as a safety issue.
Most Associations complain that the payments keep going up, not just because we require increases but to establish a cash hoard that may very well be unnecessary. Our Buildings are 40 years old; many have aluminum wiring and need attention to rusting steps, spindles, painting every 7 years that requires Associations to fully fund Reserves. We are increasingly more attentive to the 40-year look-back from Miami Dade County that could require major improvements and UCO’s cash hoard belongs in the hands of Associations so they may amply respond to the issues confronting them and their Owners. During many previous budget processes cash surpluses were used to offset either part or all of the increase, not so this year even though we ended the 2012 budget year with more than $ 1,012,000.00 CASH on Hand – nowhere near BANKRUPTCY!

 This year’s budget (2013) has a requirement for nearly $ 6,000,000.00 annual revenue to pay all of its budget items. (I did try to simplify this explanation by making adjustments in the numbers to make it clear.) Dividing the $ 6,000,000.00 by 4 (payment is received four (4) times annually from the Management Companies). I’ve rounded to make this a simple exercise, but that clearly shows we receive $ 1,500,000.00 In January, April, July, October. If we maintain the three months surplus of

$ 1,500,000.00 as of December 31st, Then in January we have $ 3,000,000.00 to pay $ 500,000.00 – leaving $ 2,500,000.00 CASH. In February we pay $ 500,000 leaving $ 2,000,000.00 and in March another $ 500,000.00 leaving $ 1,500,000.00 UNTIL APRIL when we receive another $ 1,500,000.00 leaving us $ 3,000,000.00! WHY does UCO require so much CASH when we receive ZERO income for the vast cash hoard and exceed the FDIC Regulations of a Maximum of $ 250,000.00 Coverage for all money deposited in the same named account????

Ed Black


  1. Thank you for a clear explanation that settles once and for all:

    The Village is financially sound and all those cries of potential bankruptcy and the need for borrowing money/lines of credit were politically motivated and bogus.

    The 7 checking accounts and inflated line items are unnecessary, not standard practice and in fact, this "cash hoard" does belong in the hands of associations.

    Attacks on the previous Treasurer have never been based in fact.In those years, like today, we paid our bills, controlled costs for unit owners, achieved significant savings and were never in danger of bankruptcy.

    Expect more shoddy claims and letters from those who know how to rip things apart but have no desire to be positive. These accusations about our finances make for good stories in a political year, but they are untrue and irresponsible because of the needless fear they create.

    Thanks, Ed, for the facts.

  2. Thank you Ed for the clarity of your commentary. UCO has certified statements, the reserves are being adequately provided for as per the schedules to the audited financial statments which had an CLEAN OPINION.

    The by-lays of UCO require that the cash postion be monitored and measured regularly. This monitoring has been demonstrated to be in place.

    Consideration might be given to combining some bank accounts to more effectively monitor the cash requirements. There are internal contol issues that the auditors may wich to be consulted on prior to such combination of accounts.

    Thank you for the commentary. I hope that it is ready by many. Maybe it could be a column in the REPORTER.

  3. Thanks Ed ,

    CV is lucky to have had you over the years. Most of your detractors have done little or nothing for the Village. Keep on, Keepin On.

  4. Glad you spoke up Ed, you are an easy target for jealous mudslingers because you are so quiet.
    People have no idea how much work you do, so I will list a few of your efforts I have noticed. In every case you have also trained, advised, done plain old work, repaired and $ saved.
    Ed is Chair of Security, also catches daily Security issues/headaches.
    Ed has done bulk of work on Channel 63 for many years.
    Ed led Investigations until recently, still takes the difficult questions and works closely with Claudette.
    Ed advises on all Association questions.
    Ed improves productivity by staying on top of the 41 computers at UCO and the UCO Reporter, lots of advice and repair.
    Ed is the first called when lightning or gremlins attack the guard house computers and gate arm systems. He goes out in storms at midnight to restart systems and save us from often waiting for service people to arrive. (Try that mud slinging malcontents)
    I like your business decisions that saved us on ambulance service (by negotiating that we could be self-insured) also paving, of course, it was the right business decision. It takes talent to look ahead.
    Ed catches jobs when others quit, resign or are ill. Treasurer, Channel 63, Investigations.
    One last snapshot from a few years ago. Ed up to his knees in hurricane flood water, standing on the West Drive directing traffic and clearing drains.

    We thank you and apologize that you have to put up with revolting anonymous libel from disturbed people who would never work for the village.

  5. On 2nd thoughts, I am only a casual observer, Ed has probably worked on every committee at UCO, feel free to add to my comments.

  6. Thank you for the rational explanation Ed. It is scary to think about how many irrational people are wandering around CV seeing conspiracies everywhere, disrupting regular meetings, holding fake "club" meetings that are really soapboxes for thier delusions...

  7. I like Ed's "cash hoard" word choice. Hits the spot. Sure, every HOA needs a prudent cash reserve, and adequate insurance to cover emergencies- but beyond that it should be "money in, money out" at UCO. When the "hoard" builds up beyond what the community needs for emergencies, surplus cash can be used for capital improvement, or reverted back to the Associations, where it belongs.

    A "lean and mean" UCO, which focuses on simplified resource and property management, rather than the accumulation of plies of Homeowner's cash and the juggling of a positively Byzantine system of bank accounts, will, over time, put an end to the absurd and adversarial condition that exists today, with large portions of every UCO meeting given over to the same small group of operatives staging arcane arguments over money. Simplify the system, reduce the Hoard, and these people will drift away, perhaps following the money back to their home Associations, where their toxic influence will be diluted by distance and time. No money, no arguments ABOUT money.

    If you want to keep raccoons off your porch, and flies out of your kitchen, move your garbage cans out to the curb.

  8. Good posting, Ed. Concise and clear. Anyone wanting to become a UCO president without ever having served on committees to get a feel for what it takes, is not someone to put stock in. As to those who do nothing but complain and offer no solutions will always be part of the problem. The Village has been seeing too much turmoil lately with no indication that there will be any improvement .....certainly not with a president who has no history, aside from being a resident. As to reserves, etc. if this is not understood now, it never will be.

  9. Never mind that Esther Sutofsky has not served on any committees in the Village here is what she is thought of in Rate The Teacher web spot. These are not my views as I don't know the woman and certainly don't want to:
    Nasty person who thinks she knows everything.
    You are the most unfair person with no manners about how to relate to parents and kids. You have no Derech Eretz! In fairness to her, she also had a few good ratings.

  10. Hi Grace,
    October 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM,

    Yes, she has an overall rating of 73%!
    Do we want a C teacher running UCO?

    Dave Israel

  11. Ed:
    Your post was LONG overdue...perhaps
    now the masses will understand, that
    multiple checking accounts are un-
    necessary.One is all that is required,to cover expenses,leaving
    the required balance that many
    institutes insist upon...All other
    income is deposited in interest
    bearing accounts, and transfered
    to checking, as needed.
    The hardest part of this, is the constant monitoring of who is offering the highest interest rate
    on both MM & CD accts..
    As for the "President Select" issue
    Her intentions may be good,however
    we all know who would be running the show, if Heaven forbid she won!


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