SEPTEMBER 16, 2020
Dear Fellow Owners,
Since the September 12, 2020 update notice was posted, there has been some discussion on the Costa del Sol owner Facebook group by approximately 5% of our ownership. Additionally, the Board has received a number of emails from owners.
The Board does not engage on social media pages; however, each email directed to the Board will be responded to. While some owners have expressed their concern over the housekeeping restructuring, many understand the need for the change. Also, there is some misinformation in the posts, and in this newsletter we will attempt to address the comments.
The Board of Directors and the General Manager have been working diligently to improve efficiencies, maintain/reduce expenses and to ensure a safe and clean resort for our owners and guests.
This year is a particularly challenging one with a number of Board and staff changes and the onset of COVID-19. Keep in mind that when the 2020 budget was prepared, there was no sight of a pandemic which has brought new operational direction provided by the Florida Governor, Broward County, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, CDC etc. In fact, Costa closed for a period of time, and upon re-opening was restricted from short-term rentals.
The Board members are volunteers who give hundreds of hours per year providing oversight and leadership to the Costa del Sol Resort Condominium Association, Inc (Costa). The Board seeks representation from owners with skill sets to support the business of a resort. There are five Director positions which are elected by the owners.
There are approximately 1,100 owners and it would be impossible to govern a resort business with all owners. It is these 1,100 owners who have the opportunity to annually elect a Board of Directors who take on this responsibility on their behalf.
Since January, three Board members have resigned – all for personal reasons and none relating to the operation of the resort or disagreement with the present operation. In the Costa by-laws (which are posted on the Costa owner website) Board vacancies (Article IV-Section 4) it states that a successor shall be chosen, and this person will hold office until the next Annual Meeting (in our case, November 10, 2020).
Presently, there are two elected Board members – Doug Rousell (elected in 2018) and Barbara Turley-McIntyre (elected in 2019) and three mid-term appointed Board members who will hold office until the November 10, 2020 Annual Meeting.
The annual call-for-candidates (and we followed the same timeline as in previous years) went out on August 24, 2020 with a September 4, 2020 deadline for submission of interest. The owners who sent in their interest to be a candidate will be eligible for election to the four open Board positions. The Annual Meeting package has been prepared with the election documents and 2021 proposed budget. The mailing is going out within the next couple of days. This gives the owners time to receive their packages and return their voting document prior to the November 10th Annual Meeting.
Administrative Staff Changes
Rosalba de Paola Penza resigned in August to return to her home in Italy. Chandra Rapelya also left the resort to pursue other opportunities. This provided an opportunity to review the operation of the Front Desk and Bookkeeper roles. In the near future you will learn about how this process will result in new efficiencies and reduced expenses.
The Board and Management studied the housekeeping roles (supervisor, maids, housemen/women and laundry attendant). During the time Costa was closed, all staff received their full salary and upon their return to a Covid environment they received training on the new processes and protocols. Also, we no longer needed a full complement of maids, given the reduced daily maid service.
At this time, the opportunity to outsource the function was explored and Equinox was engaged on a trial period beginning in July. Their staff worked alongside our maids on Saturday turnovers. The Board and Management reviewed the situation and made the decision to sign an agreement with Equinox to take over all the housekeeping functions beginning September 13th.
We appreciate the service of our former housekeeping staff; however, moving forward the outsourcing of this function is in the best interest of the resort. Many of us feel the staff is like family – the reality is the Board is responsible for overseeing a business and ensuring its long-term resilience. These decisions are challenging and not taken lightly, but rather with the best interest of the resort.
The details of this restructuring are confidential as these are personnel matters. The housekeeping staff were given severance packages and as said earlier well taken care of during Covid. They will have the opportunity to also apply for unemployment insurance coverage and of course receive reference letters.
Remaining Staff Positions
There are NO plans nor were there ever any discussions or plans to outsource other Costa resort functions including the General Manager, Bookkeeper, Front Desk, Maintenance & Pool. These positions will continue as they have for years.
According to the Costa bylaws/articles, the owners have access to the annual audit – Article VI-section 8 – the 2019 audit is posted on the Costa owner website. Additionally, the proposed operational budget and reserve fund budget for the coming year is mailed to every owner in the Annual Meeting package.
According to the Costa bylaws/articles, there is no requirement to provide monthly financial statements. The Board is ultimately responsible for the financial management of the resort and takes this role very seriously.
The Board members are also owners of Costa and will always act in the best interest of the resort. In these unprecedented times, we appreciate the support from the owners and seek to provide the best possible oversight and guidance possible.
Stay safe. Best to all,
CDS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Barbara Turley-McIntyre, President
Dave Cornelison, Vice President
Anthony Silva, Secretary
Doug Rousell, Treasurer
Fred Glazier, Director