Category Archives: Owners’ Forum

GIVE ALL OWNERS ALL THE FACTS

This post was written by Charles Lea and has been posted on the Hawks Nest website. For those of you who have not been able to secure access to the Hawks Nest website, here it is in full:

The recent letter sent out as the President’s Letter does not provide adequate information for owners to make the major decisions called for in the letter. The letter is incorrect, confusing , ambiguous and misleading.

1. The President states that no meeting is required, when quite the contrary the Declaration of Condominium (DoC) requires that a meeting must be held (See section XIV B 6 (c)) which states – after receiving reliable and detailed estimates (more than one), as well as the expected amount of insurance proceeds, THE BOARD SHALL CALL A MEMBERSHIP MEETING. At such a meeting the owners will have a right to ask questions and discuss the information among themselves PRIOR to any consideration of a vote on decisions of this magnitude. Don’t the owners have a right to ask questions and seek other data/options?

2. The owners need detailed and reliable estimates (plural, more than one) as required in the DoC – not an estimate that the Board has had “whiteout” put on it so that owners don’t know who it is from nor when it was issued. Provide all the REQUIRED information PLEASE. The estimate from Keystar was issued a year ago. Has anyone asked them to provide more details? As I recall, there was another estimate provided by ACG in the range of $6,500,000. And in 2018 the President stated that he had obtained estimates approximating $4,000,000 and that the owners might expect to receive some reimbursement. Willthe Board please provide all four of these estimates, with reliable and detailed information? Will the Board also please provide the reliable and detailed estimates totaling $1,559,700 for other items than the building?

3. Did the Board obtain any estimates to demolish the current building and REPLACE it with a NEW building. It seems inconceivable to me that it would be wise to invest approximately $10,000,000 into a building that is 40+ years old. Has the Board contacted an architect to draw some basic, varied scenarios that would meet Monroe County legal requirements (no more than 3 stories, to new code, minimum setbacks, etc.). One owner has suggested a crescent shaped building that would stretch oceanfront from property line to property line, three stories high (would accommodate current 28 unit requirement) with the other facilities realigned as well. Some argue that it would take a couple of years to build a new building. I suggest to repair the building would take longer. Which is better from an investment perspective if timing is the same?.

4. The DoC DOES NOT require the owners to make a vote NOW as the President implies. Ir simply states that a meeting be held to discuss information to help them form a decision. Asking owners to vote on the current limited and incorrect information isn’t fair to the owners. The owners shouldn’t be required to vote until all facts are provided. If an owner votes for a Special Assessment, it does not mean that they are required to pay such assessment. Likewise, if an owner ultimately votes against a Special Assessment, it does not mean that they cannot pay the assessment and retain their rights. The vote is to make a Special Assessment, not to require payment. When the vote is called, if a majority (50% +1) of all votes (1393 votes) are cast in favor of a Special Assessment, such assessment shall be made, per DoC. If an owner does not pay said Special Assessment, per DoC section X111 (page D7 – D8), the Board shall have the right to enforce said assessment, if unpaid, up to and including foreclosure on that unit. It simply is not correct to say that if 49% do not approve a Special Assessment that the others would have to pay $12,000. If, for example, all those that voted “no’ had their units foreclosed then the Hawks Nest would own about 700 prime units of Keys timeshare units. How much could these be sold for? $10,000 each would produce $7,000,000 for the Association. All of these avenues should be put out as possible scenarios for the owners and FULL information/options provided. It just is not as simple as the President implies!

5. As to the additional lawsuit, it was filed 4/13/21 and totals approximately $3,000,000. Given the magnitude of this lawsuit, would the Board inquire of our attorneys to seek their best expectation of the timing and expected outcome of this lawsuit, This lawsuit was FILED AS A PART OF THE ORIGINAL CASE – same case number, same Judge who is knowledgable of the case, etc.). We would NOT be starting all over again. For details on this lawsuit, follow the link on Gary Rumberger’s 5/1/21 Hurricane Update and click on the Doc dated 4/13/21. This amount of money makes a huge difference in any proposed special assessment. We have waited three and a half years, what’s a little while longer to decrease any Special Assessment by $3,000,000?

6. The President’s letter states the payout to owners, if the Hawks Nest is terminated, would be in the amount of $3,200/wk and this would “increase depending upon the sales price of the land”. Has the Board obtained reliable appraisals of the value of the land? I have heard a number of $3,000,000 being thrown around which I personally believe is far too low. Again, do we have appraisals of the bare land? If so, please provide them. I have also heard that due to the prohibition on development in the Keys that each current unit carries Certificate of Occupancy which is transferable to any future buyer and that the value of said COO would approximate $100,000 per unit, thus another $2,900,000. If correct, this could increase the payout to owners from $3,200 to $6,500 per unit week. These are not small amounts and the owners again need to know what can really be expected.

In recap, we seem to have other options rather than just simply Repair or Terminate now. The Board should first provide detailed estimates and other information as noted above. Once this detailed information is provided, the Board should call a meeting for all owners to discuss the data. We should not vote until we meet and until all owners have had an opportunity to have all their issues and questions addressed. We should consider building a new building and consider how additional fundings noted above would help pay for this new building rather than the President’s simple “vote for or against a Special Assessment to repair a 40+ year old building”. In my opinion, THE OWNERS DESERVE BETTER.

BILL BEAVER

MOst of you probably don’t recognize this name, but Bill Beaver was a celebrity Of sorts in Marathon. He’s the man who most often could be seen on Sombrero Blvd behind the Publix. He may have been homeless, but was always well dressed and friendly. Over the years many of us have spoken to him or given him a ride.

The past few years he has been hitchhiking back and forth between the Keys and the West coast.

According to this post on the What’s Happening in Marathon Facebook page, Bill passed away in Arizona recently. He will be missed.

Bill Beaver

BILL McLENNAN

I am very sad to say that we have lost another Hawks Nest friend. Bill McLennan, long-time partner of Owner Sue Fleming, passed away in Ottawa, Canada Sunday after a short illness. Sue had provided loving care to Bill during his illness.

Bill and Sue were our close friends for many years at the Hawks Nest, and we continued seeing them for the last several years at New Smyrna Beach.

May he rest in peace

To see Bill’s obituary, please click Here.

You may send condolences to Sue at:

Susan Fleming
43 Kinmount Private
Kanata, ON K2T1K3
CANADA

Please note that U.S. Forever stamps do not work on mail to Canada. First Class postage for one ounce or less is $1.20.

UPDATE: It turns out that you can use Forever Stamps. At present, 3 Forever Stamps will be sufficient to send a one-ounce letter to Canada.

KAREN NORVAL

It is with a very heavy heart that I tell you that our very good friend, Karen Norval, long-time second generation Hawks Nest owner, and wife of Graham Norval, passed away Sunday, March 8, 2020 in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

She succumbed after a relatively brief but valiant battle with cancer. Karen and Graham sold their weeks at the Hawks Nest a few years ago, but still maintained the many friendships they formed there over the years, and followed the news from the Hawks Nest, sad as it has been.

She will be missed not only by her family, but all of us that were privileged to know her and Graham.

For details on her obituary, click here. Condolences can be sent to Graham and her family at
11 Ravine Crescent
Townsend, ON N0A1S0

    CANADA

P.S. US Forever stamps do not work on mail to Canada. First Class postage for one ounce or less is $1.20.

RESPONSES FROM AND TO MIKE OOSTMEYER

After my letter to the board of February 13, Treasurer Mike Oostmeyer responded to me.

Below are his response, and my response to him.

Bob–

I am writing this to clarify some of the information contained in your email dated 1-29-2020.

While I agree that the Board has not formally responded to the questions in the “Document” dated 1-29-2020, I believe they have stated earlier that they would do so after we know the actual amount of the insurance settlement. I also believe some Board members have informally responded.

I believe that Keith Gilliver had a discussion with you covering the questions posed in the Document.

You and I had a conversation Monday, February 10, 2020, where I thought the questions had been
answered to your satisfaction.

You and I had a phone conversation Thursday, February 14th, 2020 about both your email and the Document.

I also spent some time with a group of concerned owners that Joe and Cathy Shipman brought together Wednesday, February 5th, 2020, in Marathon, where I distributed copies of the Document and then used it as my outline/notes to make sure I covered everything with them.

Further, I remain as I always have, available to any Hawks Nest owner(s) to discuss the
situation and status of where we are, and where I believe we are going in this process.

It might be helpful to make my cell phone number available to your group of owners. That
number is 231-349-7648.

Mike

——————————————————————————————-

Dear Mike,

First, I want to say that I’m grateful for all you have done and are doing for the Hawks Nest and the owners. I hate to think where we would be without your efforts. You are correct that both you and Keith have been in contact with me and we have had several discussions on the subject of what needs to be done at the Hawks Nest.

Respectfully, while you and Keith are board members, you are not the entire board, and don’t even constitute a quorum. The letter was written to the board and was signed by owners representing over 250 unit weeks. To my knowledge, the board has not responded to them, and apparently doesn’t intend to. All the owners, not just the ones who signed the letter, deserve answers to these questions just as soon as it is appropriate, so that we may make informed decisions as how to proceed.

We all know that there are certain questions that cannot be fully answered until we have a final settlement, and we understand that. We did ask a number of questions that can be answered however, and they should be addressed without delay, in writing, to everyone.

Unfortunately, it seems to me that several of the board members have not been active in the affairs of the Hawks Nest for quite some time, and I understand that there may be good reasons for that. However, the owners need and deserve a complete, fully engaged board, and I fear that this is not currently the case.

Best Regards,

Bob Hogg

SAD NEWS

Adam Clausen, Son of Hawks Nest owner, Kathy Clausen and grandson of original owner Van Adams, passed away Tuesday Morning. He was always a friendly young man, and was very helpful to us back when we were having the pig roast week 11. If you wish, you may send condolences to:

The Clausen Family
1807 N. Park Dr.
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056

Kathy has told me that in lieu of flowers, donations in Adam’s name to the Turtle Hospital in Marathon would be appreciated.

Lack of Response From the Board of Directors

Due their lack of response to our letter, the following was sent to the board on February 13:

Dear Board Members:

The email below was sent to you on January 29, 2020. To date, the 109 owners representing 254 unit weeks have not received answers to any of the questions/issues raised in the “Document”.

The answers to 1, 2, 10 and 11 of the “Document” should be readily available for you to answer immediately.

Answers to 4-9 of the “Document” will require the opinion qualified legal counsel. Have you requested that opinion? If not, when do you intend to do so?

You also have not provided any estimate of costs to reconstruct a five-story building and the source of said estimate, assuming that we would be allowed to rebuild such. Do you have such an estimate? When do you intend to get one? If not, why not?

Reconstruction/redevelopment of a new five story building apparently would require the Hawks Nest to obtain a variance from code. What is the Board’s plan to obtain such a variance?

Have you determined whether ROGO credits are available to the Hawks Nest and if so, in what amounts if the property has to be redeveloped? If not, when do you intend to determine the amount? If not, why not?

These are some issues that need be answered:

1. Has the Board determined that “Very Substantial” damage has occurred? If so, on what date?

2. Have “reliable and detailed estimates of the cost of repair and restoration” by a qualified expert been obtained? If not, it should immediately be obtained. Before any meeting is called to vote on how we proceed, the Owners must receive that information. We ask that this be provided to all owners immediately at the conclusion of the arbitration process and settlement.

3. Before any such meeting the Owners will need to know the final net amount of insurance that we have to use for “repair and restoration”. We ask that this be provided to all owners immediately at the conclusion of the arbitration process and settlement

4. Will we need a quorum for any such meeting? If so, what will constitute a quorum?

5. Will the majorities required in i. and ii. above be based upon the total number unit owner votes cast or upon the total number of units (i.e. 1456)

6. How will the unit weeks that are owned by the Association be treated in any such vote?

7. Will the votes essentially be treated as in an election?

8. How, when and where will votes be counted? Written procedures must be developed and a document explaining the ballots should be developed and provided to the owners as a part of the voting process?.

9. Items 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, should be answered by a qualified Florida licensed timeshare condominium attorney. The law firm of Lobeck and Hanson in Sarasota, Florida is so qualified and is still legal counsel for the Hawks Nest based upon a Retainer Agreement entered into in December 2016. The Owners should receive the written answers to these questions on the law firm’s letterhead prior to the meeting and prior to voting. We would further ask that the law firm develop a written document listing ALL required timelines and considerations owners should be aware of 30 days prior to voting so as to be fully informed on the consequences of their votes.

10. What is the current balance of the Hawks Nest cash on hand?

11. The Owners will also need to know the amount of ongoing expenses that the Hawks Nest is required to pay going forward, thus reducing our cash on hand.

12. Immediately upon conclusion of the arbitration ruling, please provide a detailed report on the conclusions of said conference.

13. We also ask that the following be provided to all owners immediately at the conclusion of the arbitration process and settlement and a copy posted to the Hawks Nest website:

a. A copy of the wind claim as filed by Keys Consulting.

b. A copy of the contract between Keys Consulting and the Hawks Nest.

c. All property appraisals (pre and post storm values) obtained by the Hawks Nest.

d. Engineering report provide by ACG Engineering.

e. Any estimate of costs to reconstruct a five-story building and the source of said estimate, assuming that we would be allowed to rebuild such.

14. Once the course of action has been determined, we would request that the Board publish the expected steps and a timeline for said activities to conclude the activities related to Hurricane Irma.

This is the most significant event in the life of the Hawks Nest and the owners listed below, on behalf of all owners, request that the Board of Directors take immediate steps to provide information, as requested, to all owners to aid in their decision making on this critical time.

Best Regards,


Bob Hogg
bobhogg@gmail.com