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Not LMS 1328
This web site is not sanctioned or controlled in any manner by the Strata Council LMS 1328.
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Preface to Web site.
I was very frustrated with the searching and sorting through documents of the Strata Council. I started thinking of creating a web site so I could find documents and other information quickly. By this time I had realized that documents such as minutes and other strata distributed documents needed to be content original (every attempt has been made to do so).
Yet to be useful to me the documents needed to have the ability of referencing and jumping directly to places within the documents, One way to do that is to create the document in html. Clash of needs, creating the need for two versions, the second, the html is very time consuming to create (Bylaws have been created in HTML) and opens the possibility of not being exactly the original. Realizing that these documents all had an original electronic format, it really is too bad that form was not available as the tools used today all have a save as html function. I had but the paper form.
I and my spouce particularly were skeptical of the notion that there would be any real value or desired result of all this work. I clung to the idea of relearning html as the value of the work. A result where others could share in the benefits of this work was and still is discounted to near nil.
I will not donate my effort to the Strata Council for free, what have they provided most Owners is a lack of real information, harrassment, using the owners finances to meet their personal agendas, not the desires of the devlopers of this webpage.
This Council continually breaches it's own bylaws, rules and flagrantly breaches the Strata Property Act and the Strata Regulations. I cannot respect a Council that continually breach Bylaws, Rules and the Laws of the Province.
No ads (not much yet). No agenda, of course I have an agenda! No strings attached, yes there is, I hold copyright to this effort.
As this developed, I was constantly asking myself, what is missing, what have I forgot, then it turned to what is missing from the Strata Councils reporting, here and in other Strata Councils.
Minutes of meetings are very vague, nearly impossible to really make any claims about the actions of the council, because you really dont know what they based their decisions on. Often mention of documents presented to council, but never distributed to the owner/reader. Basically there is no financial reporting for a year end. Estimated sure. Audited no. Then when an audit is done, the audit document and the audited financial statement are not released to the owners.
Why did I not consult with the Strata Council or the Property Manager?
Firstly I find that the property management firm stands to loose revenues between $10,000 and $20,000 annually by having a web page. (An equal savings to the owners.)
Secondly, the Strata Council and Property Manager will likely not want better communication to the owners, they would see it as extra work. Not realizing a saving of mailing costs estimated about $3,000 annually to the owners.
Thirdly, the fear of the unknown, both the Strata Council and the Property Manager are likely not sure what the net result of a web page would be. No, they do not want an easy and open feed back mechanism, no they dont want people to ask educated questions. Both concepts would require better performance of both parties. The one fear they have voiced in minutes is security, taking the assumption that this would be a privacy issue, other web sites do not have a problem with it. If the current minutes have a privacy act issue, then the web site would have that same issue.
Fourthly, there would be a difference in their agenda and my agenda. I am for openness and transparency, I doubt the Strata Council and Property Manager share that goal.
The result of involving the Strata Council and Property Manager would likely be bureaucratic red tape and indecision, and none of the above factors would promote the development of a project like this. Skip that!
Would it be to the Strata Council's and the Property Manager's best interests to control the web site. You bet! Do they think no one would build one independantly? I have not found another unofficial Strata web site.
The organization of materials, inclusions, exclusions are mine alone, blame or praise, mostly the first. Yes, I looked at other sites and what I thought they did well, and what they lacked. However, the rules I used for organization and inclustion came from my work experiences, in document writing, training, accounting and management reporting. I only hope for a bit of self respect for the attempt.
We all still have the rights to freedom of speech and of print. Bylaws in this strata council do not allow for opinions posted on the bulletin boards, nor any paper dissemination within the complex. This web site stands outside of those rules that in essence tend to muzzle the owners and prevent effective free speach from owners.
The Strata Council and the Property Manager started looking into a web site after suggestions at the Jan 2009 AGM, just short of two years ago. I started this project as a hobby September 2010, the basics were in place by November 2010. Yes, I intend to keep my day job.
The forms and php were added in the January to May 2011 period, as a further learning execise. This includes the installation of PHP and MYSQL, the learning of both to a crudimentory degree. These two tools add a completely different dimension to usefulness of this website. A usefulness and direction the current council and property manager have little or no understanding of, or should I say a usefulness that does not promote councillors with a personal agenda. These additions ask the owners for their input, something the average strata council does not want. These additions also allow owners to post thoughts and see the thoughts of others. Our current council and our bylaws, do not allow owners to communicate in any method. See the rules/bylaws on posting on bulletin boards, see the rules on soliciting. The rules introduced by council are designed to force owners to keep their thoughts to themselves. The only thoughts allowed are those of the council and property manager, the dissemination of which all owners pay for from strata fees.
Current maintenance time to add minutes etc each month is about and hour or two per month.
Should I decide to make this a viewable website, I can only hope it is of some use to others and perhaps help to guide a revisited version. Of course there is room for improvement!
Tools used to create this web site include, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Notepad. Plus some Adobe photoshop picture edits, all tools are older versions, turn of the century stuff. Plus good old fashioned desire!
My opinion anyway, for what its worth,
Steve Kaliel November 2010,
Further development December 2010 - May 2011 (inclusion for working Forms) and
PS. Please use the forms to send messages and votes, they work!! No one is getting them as email!
The Voting Page has the link to get the vote results. Development of dealing with posted issues continues. (Addition of Log In security means all input forms to be re-thought).
Areas that could see significant development include, (in no particular order):
- reporting and posting of owners opinions,
- add navigation to the main pages to other main pages rather than just back to main menu. (Most are done, further Improvements are numerous),
- further development of financial reporting,
- further development of Rules page,(some done, lots to do),
- redevelopment of the Bylaws page.(Most done, further review possible),
- adding the missing documents and improving the image quality of some,
- converting documents to be fully html to improve linking from other web pages, (Policy Issues Arrise),
- shrink the size of the many PDF files to improve performance.(some done, lots to do)
- rescanning of the Engineering Drawings,
- develop forum for buy and sell of goods and services, as part of the Bulletin Board,
- Potentially adding logon id and password requirements, (Done but needs tuning) however, I see many Strata Web Sites that are fully open and believe them to be the best method. why, because these sites ensure appropriate minutes are written, strata councils are less likely to write garbage minutes and post them to the world. In fact no strata council should be writing minutes that cannot be posted to the world. If a council wants to hide something, owners in that council have a problem with their council. I now see one with security but there is no content in it that requires security.