I've been nominated as the Treasurer for my strata again. I wasn't able to attend the most recent AGM and I thought, 'Oh well, guess I'll just have to sit on the sidelines this year...'.
Fortunately the EC(Executive Committee) members who were able to attend the AGM re-elected themselves also re-elected me back into the position of Treasurer despite my absence at the AGM. Everyone on the EC is a volunteer and we've all contributed many hours into maintaining the place. It's a smaller team this year so decision making will be fast and swift with five members compared to the eight members that we had last year. Last year was difficult to achieve Quorum and gain majority vote due to the inactive members. Why even get elected into the EC if you're just gonna sit on your bum and do nothing?!
When I first bought into my lemon block of apartments - it was a lemon because the Admin Fund was in deficit for a few consecutive years prior to our current EC team going on board. Fortunately the Sinking Fund was in decent condition. The expenses were sky high. Vendors overcharging for their services and raising their fees beyond the annual CPI each year because they thought they could get away with it. Also, there was the general sense of 'every man for themselves' kind of entitlement attitude when it came to dumping rubbish randomly. This resulted in clean up fees that our strata had to pay when the property owner should be responsible for their tenants dumping rubbish.
After these recent few years of belt tightening and ditching old vendors for competitively priced ones who provide equivalent quality services, an EC member kindly patrolling the block and scolding those who randomly dump furniture and rubbish onto the grounds, finally for the first AGM since I've owned the place, we finished the reporting year in the black.
If expenses don't escalate and we don't get hit with another random four digit plumbing fee, we can start to look at investing the surplus funds with the view to developing more eco-friendly facilities such as rain water tanks for the gardens, solar panels and lighting that is motion sensitive as opposed to being switched on all night. All these 'ifs'...everything takes patience and as Rachel Stewart used to say in those Ads, "It won't happen overnight, but it will happen."
I haven't raised those eco-friendly ideas to the EC yet but I'd like to see them on the Agenda in the next one to two years. Not only are they eco-friendly developments but also will hopefully slash our water and power bills by up to $10k per annum.