Thursday, April 12, 2018

My Dad, My Taxes, and a Dreaded Co-Op Board Meeting.

I don't know if you've been to the DIA museum in Beacon NY.  But if you did, you've likely seen the permanently installed Frank Serra metal sculptures on site.  These large sheets of metal have been twisted into shapes which produce interesting effects when you see them up close. But they also cam be a pain in the ass if installed at the wrong location - which happened years ago in lower Manhattan.

One of the biggest complaints about this work was that it interfered with commuters getting to work in their building at Foley Square.  After a lot of wrangling, this work was removed and never displayed again.  (Like many artists, this artist can be a total ass, as he didn't care about the inconvenience his work caused for people in the area.)  I'm glad it's gone, although I can appreciate his other work still on display at places such as DIA.

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You might be asking yourself:

"Why did I open this entry with a mention of Frank Serra and his art?"

I would have to answer that there are certain people and things that are a pain in the ass to deal with, and I expected some of them to come up today.
  1. Lili has been hounding me to see a dermatologist.  She volunteered to make an appointment for me, and she may have scheduled an appointment with someone not on my insurance plan.  This would have to be fixed ASAP.
  2. My taxes need to be filed, and I have to drive to Queens to see my accountant.  The problem is traffic. I need to first go to see my dad in the nursing home, and then meet my accountant as early as possible to get home in time for the co-op board meeting.
  3. The co-op board meeting has a high likelihood of shareholders holding our collective feet to the fire.  Our managing agent has not performed up to par, and we have ongoing issues with several troublesome shareholders.  As much as I'd like to speak about most of these issues, my duties to the board and shareholders prevent me from doing so. However, I can comment on one thing that is known to all shareholders - our yearly election and annual meeting mailings were performed in an unprofessional manner, and that made the board look very bad as a result.
At the beginning of the day, I had no idea where the first problems in the day would come from. But I had to be prepared for them as they came up.

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My first instinct was to panic was in regard to the Dermatologist appointment.  When I tried to clarify whether the doctor was on my insurance plan, I couldn't even find him in the system.  But I handed this task off to Lili, telling her that I couldn't find him on the web site and that he wasn't known to the people in the local office, and I needed her to expressly confirm whether the doctor took my insurance.   Lili did this, and told me that they do take my plan, and I'll hold her to this if I have any problems later on.

Next on the docket was my visit to Long Island.  On the way down, I talked to HWV for a while, making sure we were prepared for the problems I expected at today's public board meeting.  We ended this call as I was approaching my dad's nursing home.  Since I got there at 12:30, we didn't have that much time to chat because they were wheeling people into the dining area to eat. But that was more than enough for me, as I wanted to get to the accountant as soon as possible.  

(My Accountant's Desk - Even more messy than mine!)

When I reached the accountant, I had to hunt for a parking spot - and miraculously had several spots to choose from. Once I had the chance to chat with my accountant, she said that I was ineligible (by 3 months) for a New York State pension exclusion on New York taxes for the year one turns 59 1/2. I told her that I turned 60 last July, and she recalculated my New York Taxes.  Instead of paying the state roughly $400, they will be sending me $800.  Not bad for a short visit.  She raised her rates a little, so I'll have to give her a little more than expected.  But with the extra work related to the family homestead financials, it was worth doing business with her again.

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After coming home to rest for a while, I went to the co-op board meeting.  Although we didn't have any serious problems with shareholders, we did get an attitude from our managing agent.  I'd love to say more, but as a shareholder (and not as a board member), I can say that I am unhappy with the flaws in the service I've seen lately, and hope that things get fixed one way or another before too long.

Once done with the board meeting, I was finally free to take care of myself.  So it was off to the Chinese takeout place to get some Won Ton Soup, then home to get some rest.

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