There hasn’t been a lot of news about Kristin so far, but I can tell you she is home from the hospital with her jaw wired shut. Apparently she stopped by the Hawks Nest today for a couple of minutes. I didn’t see her, but I’m told she seems to be feeling pretty good. No news about when she is coming back to work, but Jay, Carmen and the crew are doing a good job holding down the fort. More later.
I’m sorry to report that the Hawks Nest General Manager, Kristin Herbst, was involved in an automobile accident on Saturday. As I understand it, a hit-and-run driver sideswiped her in or around Big Pine Key, where she lives.
As of 10:00 this morning, Monday, I’m told she is in recovery following surgery to repair her broken jaw. As far as I know, that is her most serious injury. She has been speaking with Jay and the head housekeeper, Carmen, by telephone over the last few days. For anyone who wishes to send her a get-well card, you can send it to her c/o The Hawks Nest, 1 Kyle Way S. Marathon, FL 33050.
On a lighter note, Sue & I have been down here for a week, and the building looks better than it ever has since I first came here in 1979. I will post more on my blog shortly.
According to Treasurer Mike Oostmeyer, the portion of your 2013 Maintenance bill attributable to property taxes, which may or may not be deductible, is $39.25 per week. Check with your tax preparer.
There is an article in the Key West Citizen today reporting that the City of Marathon, Monroe County and the Florida Department of Transportation have tentatively agreed on a plan to save the old 7 Mile Bridge out to Pigeon Key.
As most of you probably know, the bridge has serious structural problems which caused the state to close it to all traffic except pedestrian and bicycle, and even that was in danger of ending once it was determined that the problems were even worse than first thought. For example, there are apparently underwater holes in some of the concrete supports large enough for a SCUBA diver to swim through. The cost to repair the bridge and maintain it for the next 30 years has been projected to top $77 million.
That’s a lot of money, and the State of Florida initially suggested that the title to the bridge be transferred to Monroe County, and that the county be responsible for all the costs of renovation and maintenance. You can imagine how that went over.
One of the big heros in all of this is the group, “Friends of Old Seven”. They have been raising money tirelessly, showing up at meetings about the bridge, and generally keeping the issue on the front burner. If you have walked the bridge the last couple of years, you have probably seen a member of this group selling T-shirts and collecting donations. I think everybody realized that they would never sell enough t-shirts or collect enough donations to raise $77 million, but the publicity surrounding the effort apparently had its effect.
This is not yet a done deal. According to the Citizen, the City of Marathon and Monroe County are meeting soon to approve the deal. What worries me is that no real mention was made of the state, other to say that they are the ones to propose the overall agreement. No mention was made of any appropriations being made, so we’ll see if the State follows through with its offer.
I received word today that Lance Jensen passed away last Saturday, December 7th. Lance’s parents, Landes & Marcy Jensen, were original owners, and Lance and his wife, Susan were owners since 2001. Here is a link to Lance’s obituary http://tinyurl.com/m3v2ny2.
Well, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, and with any luck, it won’t be a train.
President Gary Tucker has posted an update on the Hawks Nest Website stating that the major construction has been completed. This includes the window installation, spalling repair, and the total replacement of the balcony and living room floor of Unit 501.
According to Gary’s post, the painting and sealing of the exterior of the building was to start today. Capital Painting is performing this work, and their estimate of the time required to complete the job is three to four weeks, but they will not be working during Christmas Week. If you are planning to be at the Hawks Nest in December or even January, it might be worth your while to go to the Hawks Nest Website, http://hawksnest-marathon.com to see more details about what will be going on during the painting and sealing phase.
These long-needed repairs have been a monumental undertaking. I know from my own experience that the work was started at least by the last week of February 2013, and possibly sooner, and has continued more or less continuously since that time. Many owners have been inconvenienced, some greatly. Some have been quite upset about the sheer magnitude of the project, and some felt that they had not been adequately prepared for what they were in for.
While we all were inconvenienced, this was a job that had to be done. The building was literally falling apart and it was getting to be a safety issue. It is a major accomplishment that this work has been done without (so far) a special assessment, and while the building was occupied. I have been told of other buildings such as ours where they just closed the building while the work was being done. In other words, “Don’t come down, but don’t forget to pay your maintenance fee.”
There’s still some work to do inside, such as finishing around the new windows and replacing some of the window sills, the hallways are being painted, and other items. But it looks like it’s starting to wrap up. Hopefully, the spalling is under control for some years into the future and the days of apartments flooding in a heavy rain are over. Additionally, the parking lot will have been repaved and have lighting that actually works.
I received word this week of the untimely death of Chris Chase. Chris and his wife Jan have been long time owners at the Hawks Nest, as have his parents, Stanley and Harriet Chase, and his siblings, Stan, Tim and Carol Sue. The Chase family has been an important part of the Hawks Nest for many years.
I have gotten to know Chris and Jan better over the last few years as our times at the Hawks Nest overlap. Chris was always friendly and happy. He will be missed.
For those wish, here is a link to Chris’s obituary: http://tinyurl.com/kx38c7z.
We just had our board meeting and it was great. I would like to hit on some of the highlights of it and other items going on.
A. We are finally accomplishing some items other board members also felt was as important as the existing board. I proposed the need to have handbooks of rules and regulations, policies and procedures and a copy be given to each board member and to be handed from leaving board members to new ones coming on board. Lew Werth took the lead on this and we will soon have these in place.
B. The building has the major concrete and spalling issues 90% complete and we have went though some very heavy rains with no water intrusion to building. New hurricane windows have been installed in entire building and are complete and came in about $18,000.00 under budget. They look great.
C. Financials were reviewed and our reserves are sound at this point and as of July’s statement everything has been paid for without any special assessments and none foreseen in near future.
D. We are working on putting together projects list as to 2yr, five year and 7 yr. maintenance plans.
E. Dan, our maintenance man, gave a two week notice leaving for another job so we held 5 interviews and hired two new maintenance men. Instead of two full time men we now have one full time (Steve Daniels) and one part time (Steve Wilinski)
F. New parking lots lights installed, including one for fishing dock, grill and tiki hut. They look great.
G new addition: We took advantage of the opportunity to install green lights under the fishing dock and it is beautiful there at night and you should see the fish they attract.
H. The next two items is paving the parking lot which we will resolve the poor drainage problem on the Sunset side of the building and getting a new paint job. We are staying with the same color of the building for many reasons. Hope to have these done by 1st. of Dec.
RULES TOWARD AMOUNT OF PEOPLE (occupancy ) HAS HAD A NEW CLAUSE ADDED. CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 3 YRS. OLD ARE NOT COUNTED AS AN OCCUPANT
I want to take this time to thank all owners for their understanding of the needed construction and being very helpful while you tried to enjoy your vacation time there while under construction. Also we are setting records of receiving maintenance fees paid on time (THANK YOU). We, The BOD, received letters from owners with concerns and some with great things to say about improvements and staff. These were addressed at the meeting and ones that need to have a response, will receive a letter from the BOD. We invite your input so keep them coming along with all the e-mails we receive. There will be a BOD meeting Sat. May 17th and annual meeting Sunday May 18th. 2014.
THANKS and enjoy serving you, Your President, Gary Tucker
For the last week or so, I’ve been reflecting on the recent election and some of the events that followed.
First, as you may remember, at the very beginning of my blog where I endorsed four candidates for the Hawks Nest Board of Directors, I stated very clearly that the opinions that followed were mine and mine alone, that I was not speaking for anyone else.
Unfortunately, as one of his last official acts in the open meeting after the ballots were counted, and the results revealed, President Marty Shapiro took me to task for endorsing the candidates and sending out emails in their support.
He claimed that in the mission statement of this website, I promised not to endorse anyone. Well, he’s wrong. The words that I used that day in 2007 when I was writing the home page for this website are as follows:
“The Hawks Nest Owners Group is not a place for non-constructive criticism or personal attacks. It is not a political entity. Candidates for, and members of the board will have a forum here, but the group will not endorse anyone.”
The operative words here are “the group”. “The group” will not endorse anyone. I can’t speak for “the group”. “The Group” is all of you, and you can speak for yourselves.
The meaning was very clear. I did not give up my right to support whomever I choose, but neither would I presume to speak for anyone else.
I have to say that Marty isn’t the first member of the board to try to tell me how to run this website, and probably won’t be the last.
Next, the board’s organizational meeting that had been scheduled for immediately after the owners meeting was postponed because Marty chose to ask for a recount of the votes, which was his right. Since he only missed being reelected by 10 votes that was not an unreasonable request.
The recount was held beginning at 8:00 PM Sunday night, and was conducted by owners Gary Galley, Scott Hetzinger and Chuck Baker. Several of the members of the board who were at the meeting attended the recount as well as Marty Shapiro, several interested owners and yours truly. After a couple hours of recounting the votes, there were several instances where vote totals differed from the original totals, however the top four vote recipients did not change. The result of the election was confirmed, and everyone present agreed that the outcome of the vote was correct. All expressed their appreciation for the time and effort spent by those who conducted the original vote count and the recount. The organizational meeting was then rescheduled for 9:00 AM on Monday.
So Monday morning, the newly elected directors, Laura Nettleton-West, Lew Werth and Kathy Clausen called in to be patched into the teleconference so that they could participate in the organizational meeting. After a period of time, they were informed that the meeting wasn’t starting right then and they should call back.
It turns out that Marty had not yet given up. He informed the board members that were present that he was contesting the election further.
First, he contended that his term wasn’t actually over until the end of the fiscal year on June 30. Second, he claimed that the election was conducted improperly in that each owner must receive a separate paper ballot for each week they own. And finally, he maintained that the election was invalid because Secretary Rosemary Smith handled the ballots.
I wasn’t in the room when all this was going on, I was on my way up to Miami to catch my flight home. The only thing I know about what went on is that Marty was shown the passage in the by-laws where it states that the expiring terms of directors who are not reelected end after the meeting where the ballots are counted. I’m told that he agreed with that. If there was a resolution to the other two issues, I’m not aware of it. I won’t comment unless Marty continues to pursue them.
The organizational meeting was finally held sometime between 10:30 and 11:00 Monday morning, but unfortunately, prior commitments prevented Laura Nettleton-West from participating. It’s too bad they couldn’t have had the meeting at the scheduled time regardless of the complaints about the election.
Once again, the owners who took the time to count (and recount) the ballots that day, Nell Sander, Gary Galley, Scott Hetzinger and Chuck Baker deserve a big “Thank You”.
Finally, also deserving our gratitude are the outgoing board members, Pete Stade and Marty Shapiro. Marty and Pete have devoted many years between them to the Hawks Nest, and are responsible in part for many of the improvements that we all enjoy today. If you see them tell them “Thanks” for all they have done for the Hawks Nest.
As you know, I did not support Marty and Pete during this last campaign, although I have supported them in the past. My position was and is that it’s time for some new blood and new ideas on the board. We now have that and time will tell if we were right.
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