Marina City condo board rejects petition by disgruntled owners
Loop North News

MARINA TOWERS
CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION

Photo by Steven Dahlman

(Above) The elevator lobby in Marina City’s west tower without carpet, ceiling, or finished walls. This demolition phase starts a $258,599 project to renovate the residential lobbies of both towers. (Click on image to view larger version.)

11-Jan-13 – Unit owners at Marina City may get to comment on a controversial renovation project next week at a regular condo board meeting announced on Friday, but Marina Towers Condominium Association has rejected a petition by owners for a special meeting on January 24.

The regular meeting is scheduled for January 15. An agenda posted on Friday includes a “unit owner comment period” and lists the lobby renovation project under “old business” to discuss.

About 250 owners signed a petition in late December, calling the special meeting at which to discuss the $258,599 renovation project and a design unpopular with many residents, including architects and a professional architecture critic. Organizers of the petition claimed the number represented more than 20 percent of owners – enough to call a special meeting, according to the Illinois Condominium Property Act and MTCA bylaws.

Without elaboration, the condo association added a note to the posted agenda saying its attorney, Daniel Meyer, “has reviewed the petitions and has advised the MTCA board in a letter dated January 10, 2013, that the petitioners failed to meet the 20 percent threshold.”

Condo board president defends project, accuses opponents of ‘unsavory tactics’

According to Donna Leonard, president of Marina Towers Condominium Association, the petition included many signatures delivered indirectly through proxy – in which a unit owner gives up his or her vote to a representative – which she says is limited to voting on behalf of owners who cannot attend a condo association meeting. Discounting the proxy signatures, she says, left the petition “well short” of the 20 percent needed to call a special meeting.

Photo by Diane Alexander White In a two-page letter to unit owners on January 10, Leonard (left) called the petition “ill-conceived and ill-fated” and accused the group behind the petition of spreading “false rumors” about the lobby renovation project – and using “unsavory tactics” such as “threats, intimidation, and other false statements.”

Leonard says she has heard complaints from owners who were allegedly called at work, harassed in hallways and elevators, and cornered at social functions. “Still others have reported threats, intimidation and other false statements having been made against or to them, all in an effort by the proponents of stalling the progress that this board is attempting to achieve in making MTCA a more pleasant and valuable place to live.”

She defended starting the project during winter months “since the work does not involve exterior renovation” and insisted the project – “much needed and well overdue” – would not require a special assessment.

[Updated 13-Jan-13]

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

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