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Snow Job

For those of you who are not familiar with this term here is the dictionary definition:

“Deception or concealment of one's real motive in an attempt to persuade”

In 2016/2017 a contractor was brought in to try and fix the leaking problem that the building had experienced for many years. When Paul returned in January of 2018 he called Edison Engineering to review the condition of our building. They basically reported that the work that was previously done was crap, and the leaking problem had to be readdressed.

When questioned as to why we did not go after the original contractor for the shoddy work, we were told, as there was no enforceable contract, nothing could be done. However, our fearless leaders assured us that going forward all contracts would be iron clad, and that no one was going to screw us again. After spending $250,000 one would hope so.

Going forward to this year, after the $6,000,000 window fiasco, we were hit with a $1,000,000 special assessment to correct the leaking issue. This assessment contained a contract for approximately $700,000 for the cladding project. This presented our fearless leaders again with a dilemma, as to how to get their hand on that other $300,000.

So they put their behinds, err, brains, together and came up with the Stucco Scam.

Initially, there was a quote to paint the balconies, but this only came to $87,000. By putting in the stucco enhancement for $135,000 and some other minor work they were able to get their hands on the rest of the money.

The balcony project should obviously have been a new contract. But that would have meant getting an additional assessment for that money. So, what they did is, they put that work through as a “change order” to the original contract. That way, they could grab the balance of the original special assessment money.

Now, I know that the owners here were just screaming to have their balconies painted, they also wanted the stucco applied so that they could have their balconies look like an Italian wine cellar. Many had already begun saving old wine bottles. Since Paul and the Board were psychic and knew exactly what the owners wanted, they moved ahead with this project.

If you look at the “change order”, you will see how amateurish it actually was.

Pursuant to paragraph 6.2.2 of GC 6.2 - CHANGE ORDER in CCDC 2 - 2008, the following is an amendment to the Contract stating the agreement between the Owner and the Contractor upon a change in the work and the adjustments in the Contract Price and Contract Time.

The painting section gives virtually no information as to the scope of work required. There is no prep work. In a typical paint job, the preparation is the bulk of the work and must be done meticulously to get a professional finish. We will be lucky if this paint job lasts 5 years. The stucco section is just as vague.

Neither of these sections provide for any performance guarantees. Thus, after this job is botched we will again have no recourse against the contractor. So much for iron clad contracts.

Someone may want to ask Paul as to why a special assessment of $1,000,000 was passed, when only about $700,000 was required to pay for the overpriced cladding project. It would not have anything to do with that 3% retirement fund that Paul was running, would it?


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