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 2010 2nd Quarter Update From Yash

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Anette K.N.



Posts : 147
Join date : 2009-04-23

PostSubject: Re: 2010 2nd Quarter Update From Yash   Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:41 pm


October 19, 2010


The mailing group received a very nice update from the APC President about what is going on in Costambar.
I miss this information on this forum please!!
Yash writes some great news about working together - APC with the JdeV and even with Vallarino.
I am impressed really!! Finally somebody has realized how necessary it is NOT to turn other people down and try to work together..
Now I just miss the information on this forum, where EVERYBODY, who might be interested can read about it - and not only on the mailing list, which is not for everybody.
Thanks a lot.
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Anette K.N.



Posts : 147
Join date : 2009-04-23

PostSubject: 2010 2nd..   Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:11 pm

Suzanne, with all my respect, but where are all these talented board members working running and improving Costambar ? As far as I know most of them are gone for the summer!

If I had more time, I would run around in Costambar making pictures for you all to see, how bad most of Costambar is looking right now! But I am leaving tomorrow and I cannot find time for this right now.
And because I worked on the board I know it is a hard work and we cannot have board members, who are not even here…

If every board member pick a task and dedicate at least half of the day - every day - then you can make a difference.

With the small fees that are paid, it is a MUST, that the board members not only meet to take decisions, but also supervise the daily work. Because of the fact that APC doesn’t have a real Project Manager to supervise the employees.

Bethania is called “Project Manager” but she is actually just a secretary and accountant! Furthermore she is alone at the office and she cannot leave the office.
I REAL Project Manager, working hard almost day and night would cost at least 1500 US$ per month + car and phone and meals and a place to live. (I know Project Managers elsewhere in this country) APC can never afford that!

I just cannot understand WHY the people in charge of security aren’t able to go to the green gate and tell this little child and the woman to go home! I was told today, that she is the security employees wife and the child is theirs.. Where on earth can you go to work bringing your wife and your child? It would take 10 minutes to fix this problem!
I already told you in a previous message, that all the street borders can be kept clean with 2 employees and 2 trimmers IF somebody is supervising…It is not a big deal - however it is not done.

Having meetings, talking and talking and bringing up brilliant ideas are NOT enough if nobody is there to do the job!

At this point I really believe it is very difficult and almost impossible to gather the property owners again, for the single purpose to create a nice community. There are many reasons for that : People, who really wanted to help were turned down; the rules were not followed and everything was about personalities…
Furthermore we have the problem as Mark is saying, with the cheap people !! They don’t want to hear !

I am sure, that everything will be cleaned and cut before Christmas as usual. Then the “people” are coming back. Apparently the rest, who live here all year around are “invisible“ or non existing! And don’t say NO, because this was the usual procedure always.
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suzb



Posts : 108
Join date : 2009-04-10

PostSubject: Re: 2010 2nd Quarter Update From Yash   Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:22 pm

Well if you are Fritz, Mark or Gymbar does not really matter does it :-) I think somewhere along the way you realized that we must all work together or we are "nowhere" Right now we have 3 organizations running Costambar, that's OK as far as I'm concerned as long as everyone works toward the betterment of the Community.
Anette I don't think you can deny how hard this APC Board is working running and improving Costambar, we have some very talented people on the Board and they are doing a good job. I know you understand that they cannot work on everything at once especially since you served on a Board. My husband served for probably ten years and we realized very early on that we can only do our best and improve one thing at a time well maybe two :-)
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gymbar



Posts : 142
Join date : 2009-09-08

PostSubject: Re: 2010 2nd Quarter Update From Yash   Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:30 am

You're right Anette I was ffritz on the previous forum. Things were much livelier then lol.

The main change since then is that we now have a business in this town. It makes you think daily about how to make the town more attractive to people, how to put "bums on seats" if you will.

As regards maintenance fees, they are an on-going problem in Costambar because the majority of people who live here, renters & owners, are cheapskates. Sorry to be blunt but it's true. Any businessman in this town will tell you the same, try to charge a sensible price for food. drink, property or rents & nobody buys! This of course has a knock-on effect throughout the town. It doesn't help that business is VERY seasonal - 3 or 4 months at most at the moment. This, combined with low rents & OLD buildings is a problem for apartment owners & the principal reason the Junta de Vecinos has such a strong following at the moment.

As regards Los Mangos helping with the maintenance, all I can say is that every morning I look at their office building at Condominio Luperon & wait for the roof to cave in. Yash however seems to be more optimistic than me regarding their abilities.

The current board seems to have increased the collections rate of APC fees. The only way this town is going to improve is if we ALL pay our way & work together.

Personally I don't see it happening - I meet too many people to have any faith left in human nature ...
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Anette K.N.



Posts : 147
Join date : 2009-04-23

PostSubject: 2010 2nd...   Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:27 pm

I might see things from a different point of view than you do “Gymbar”. I would like sooo much to see positive things going on - I just cannot find many of them right now!
I don’t want to defeat anybody and I only want Costambar to be a nice place to live.

I worked for APC for around 4 years and I really spent many hours of my time every day. Not because I wanted to receive any award, but frankly because I wanted Costambar to be nice. I hardly know any of you in person and I never had any intention making the big show out of my person.

The problem is that I know many things from the “inside”, because of my years at APC..

I don’t think that I am wrong, when I say that you were “Fritz” on a previous web page in Costambar ( I apologize if I should be wrong!)
But this “Fritz” had a completely different opinion about APC than “Gymbar” has now!!
What made you change your mind so drastically if I may ask?
Because this “Fritz” and his wife were insulting ANYBODY talking FOR APC on the previous page !
It is great that it is possible to make somebody change his mind actually, so it is not in order to criticize you.

It makes you happy that you pay 30% less than before; your street lights are apparently working and nobody was murdered lately!
That is not good enough for me!

My fee is the same as before!
As another example I have to mention Liana Swerdlin, who is paying MORE than before, because she is paying for her lots, that she maintain herself and NOBODY picked up her really nice organized garbage for several weeks!

Normally people didn’t get killed every second day either in the past ! The time I spent in APC we had very few really serious crimes in Costambar. We also apprehended several thieves and criminals in the past.
I say this, because with this issue we will always have good and bad times - up and down!

As a difference to your opinion I prefer higher fees and better service! For me the maintenance and the cleaning of the area is a MUST.
Without raising the fees the problem could be solved having WORKING board members!
Right now almost no board members are here I believe and the most important part of the job - supervising the employees - is not done!

By the way, the 10 year old child is still operating the green gate and some woman is hanging around in a chair next to the gate… Not appropriate according to my humble opinion.

The community was split during the last 2 ½ years and I think we all know why by now, so I don’t want to go into the details again.
What takes a hundred years to build you can destroy in a minute!

How do you suggest we pick up the pieces?

Meanwhile we have 3 different “companies” taking “care” of Costambar right now:
APC, The Neighborhood Association and Los Mangos.

How do we get these 3 groups together? Or who decides what group is the right one?
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gymbar



Posts : 142
Join date : 2009-09-08

PostSubject: Re: 2010 2nd Quarter Update From Yash   Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:17 am

Just as a counterpoint to Anettes' post ...

This year there are two new street lights on C. Cadiz, our APC fees have reduced by 30% at the bar & security is much more visible in the number of patrols I see day & night along the street.

Nobody's been murdered this year & at least 3 known criminals have been apprehended BEFORE commiting further crimes.

The problems of Costambar are a legacy of the last 30 years & will not be solved in 6 months, if ever. Let's applaud the good & work together to build a community united because there are many who want to see us defeated.

Defeat is not an option in my book!
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Anette K.N.



Posts : 147
Join date : 2009-04-23

PostSubject: 2010 2nd...   Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:05 pm

“10. Maintenance-- we have selectively stopped picking garbage of several non-paying property owners. Also, the grass along and near these delinquent properties is being allowed to grow at the moment. “

This information is according to my understandings “upside down”..
Are you aware of the fact that several residents have stopped paying their fee, because NO decent maintenance service is provided?
In some areas the borders were not cut and cleaned for months!!
Costambar is definitely not nice looking in most of the streets right now!

I see a conflict here with the information that APC charged 400.000 pesos more in this period compared to last year.
I guess that nobody is supervising the maintenance of the areas, because with such a high increase in the income it should be possible to maintain at least the street borders!

In addition to the bad maintenance in some areas, many street lights are not working and I already wrote my concerns about the security under the topic for this issue.

NONE of my direct neighbors are paying right now and therefore I also put my maintenance fee on hold so far. ( I have to drive down the street borders with the wheels of my car!!)
I did the same thing last year ( for reasons mentioned at that time). I gave up, because nobody were interested in the reasons - only in the fact that I didn’t pay!
I paid up everything I owed at that time.

This time it is different, because I cannot find any good argument if I should decide to try to convince my neighbors to pay.. NOBODY wants to pay almost 2000 pesos per month just to get the garbage picked up a couple of times per week.
APC should be able to do better than that please.
It is not good enough constantly telling the residents “ you pay or you don’t talk” or “ we put a lean against your property if you don’t pay” - come on !
I would be happy to pay really and I would gladly pay tree times as much just to have clean and nice surroundings .So I will have to pay one or two workers out of my own pocket ( maybe with the help of my neighbors) to get our area cleaned and cut.
You all know by now, that there IS an alternative to get the garbage picked up..
This might not be the most “popular” way to do things, but right now I don’t see any other possibility.

There is a lot of talk about security, however the high grass on the lots and around peoples properties are perfect hiding places for thieves!!
Amalia told me she had paid the year when she left for the summer, however you cannot see her house, because of the high grass in the back and at the side of her property and she will not be happy if somebody tells her that!
The lots and the street borders around Lóase and Felippo Boscos property are not maintained either and I believe these people pay their fee.
It is “el pez que muerde la cola”. APC is saying they don’t give service, because people don’t pay and I say, that I don’t pay, because I don’t receive any service!
So what now?

Where are all the volunteer board members, who accepted the job ? - yes THE JOB. Because why would you take a job if you are not going to do it anyway? I wonder!
Only one single board member is necessary to control the maintenance of the area daily!
2 workers and 2 trimmers can maintain all the street borders if somebody is supervising!

This is a disgrace!
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Bob
Admin


Posts : 84
Join date : 2009-04-06
Age : 79
Location : #50 Paseo de la Laguna

PostSubject: 2010 2nd Quarter Update From Yash   Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:19 pm

Hello Everyone:

Since Raf is in the United States I am providing this quarterly update.

These last few weeks have been rather busy. Several measures, especially concerning collective security were taken.

1. The project of installing security plaques on those properties that pay dues is progressing satisfactorily. About 40 % of such properties have been covered. Many more will be covered when owners return during the winter.

2. Sandro and I have taken several measures to streamline and optimize security operations. The guards at the main and the green gate have been unified into a single unit, with rotational duties at each gate and elsewhere in Costambar. The number of security personnel have been optimized and their duties and the number of guards and supervisors serving at any given hour or day of the week have been carefully adjusted to reflect the security needs of Costambar. This streamlining will result in greater efficacy, efficiency, and savings.

3. All security personnel of APC are now covered by Social Security insurance as of July 1, 2010. The insurance consists of medical, disability, and old age insurance that covers the workers and our risks. In the event of an illness or accident Social Security will pay a percentage of the wages and APC will be absolved of the responsibility of paying such compensation.
Upon retirement the workers will receive a pension from Social Security assuming they have contributed for the required number of months.. The workers and their families are covered by a basic health insurance plan.

4. Additionally, others workers of APC are also being covered by the Social Security insurance. This measure of insuring APC workers and providing them with social security benefits will cost APC approximately 15% of the workers payroll. Previously only Bethania had this benefit. Now almost everyone will be covered.

5. The distribution of the radios and the training of those handling the radios will begin after the July 4 week end. The security radio network consists of 12 employees of property owners and 6 Security guards and their supervisors on duty. Each one will have a radio. The repeater system installed earlier is working beautifully.

6. Sandro informs me that there has not been a single incident of successful theft or robbery in the past 2 months. With the new network of radios and streamlined deployment of security personnel we all can expect Costambar residents to continue enjoying a comfortable level of peace and tranquility.

7. Each one of the APC workers is now required to sign a contract of employment. The process has begun as of July 1, 2010 and will be completed by next week.

8. As for the financial situation, one of my major effort and preoccupation has been to cut costs and enhance revenue wherever possible. The streamlining of the deployment and use of personnel is a major part of this effort to control and reduce fixed costs. I am pleased to inform you that this process is now almost complete and its results will be felt strongly in the 3rd and 4th quarter financial reports, but are noticeable even in the following report for the first 6 months.

Short Summary of Income and Expenses from Jan 1, 2010 to June 30, 2010 and its comparison with the same period in 2009. The numbers are approximated to the nearest 1000.

2010 2009

Total Income from Dues (excluding miscellaneous) RD$ 2,844,000 RD$ 2,440,000

Total Expenses (Excluding Miscellaneous) RD$ 2,208,000 RD$ 2,376,000

A comparison of the income/expense statements for 2010 and 2009 shows we received about RD$400,000 more in 2010 compared to 2009 and spent about RD$168,000 less in 2010 than in 2009 for the first six months. The increase in income in 2010 is all the more significant considering the fact that for most properties the dues in 2010 have been reduced from those prevailing in 2009. The income increase is roughly 18%.

The reduction in expenses is in fact greater than the nominal RD$168,000 obtained from a simple comparison of the total expenses for the 2 years. In 2010 APC incurred an additional cost of about RD$122,000 in payment of employee separation costs compared to the year 2009. Therefore, the reduction in recurring expenses was almost RD$290,000 in 2010 compared to the same period in 2009.

Going forward in time, however, the reduction in in fixed expenses will be tempered by the fact that we have added a cost of 15% for worker benefits beginning July 1, 2010.

From the perspective of financial well being it is noteworthy that in 2009 we ended the second quarter with only RD$ 66,000 of surplus of current income over expense as compared to more than RD$ 630,000 in 2010 for the same period - that is by a factor of almost 10 greater than in 2009.

We are obviously pleased with the financial performance for the first six months of 2010, but despite our current surplus we are not completely out of the woods for the next 6 months of the fiscal year. We all know that the June to October period is a lean one for income and we do not expect this year to be any different. Only time will tell how well we are able to navigate this period and end the year. The good news is that we have done substantially better than last year up to now.

If anyone is interested in receiving detailed income and expense statement he or she can contact Bethania, our office manager.

9. The decision in the court case against Villa Mexico for non-payment of APC dues is due any day. Both parties have submitted the closing arguments and it is now up to the judge to render a written decision. Will keep you informed.

10. Maintenance-- we have selectively stopped picking garbage of several non-paying property owners. Also, the grass along and near these delinquent properties is being allowed to grow at the moment.

11 Junta de Vecinos -- Have not heard anything newsworthy as to their operations.

12 Wall along the beach - work on this wall has apparently come to a stand still. For the past 6 days I have not observed any progress westwards much beyond the El Carey restaurant, contrary to my earlier observation.

13 Main road entrance -- No work is presently being done on the main road to Costambar. Will it ever resume in the near future?

For now this is all. If any questions do not hesitate to write. For those in the United States have a great 4th of July.

Hemu and I will be away in the United States and South America from the end of July to the middle of September.

Regards
Yash Aggarwal
APC President
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 2nd Quarter Update From Yash   

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2010 2nd Quarter Update From Yash
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