Tuesday, February 3, 2009

'To Manage'

Our newly washed carpets

We, the tenants need, and you, the taxpayer needs Housing to hire Building Managers who do a lot more than we are getting and that taxpayers are paying for. Below is a portion of that same job description that appeared in yesterday’s post. I have highlighted three lines that are pertinent to today's post.

• Maintaining financial status of the condominium unit by having input into forecasting requirements; preparation of annual and long-term budgets; monitoring variances; identifying trends; recommending actions to board; controlling costs; identifying current and future community requirements by conducting surveys and discussions with residents.
Resolving resident dissatisfaction by investigating complaints; implementing appropriate solutions; enforcing the terms of the declaration, by-laws and rules and regulations which may be amended from time to time; securing the building by establishing and enforcing precautionary policies and procedure; installing and maintaining security devices and lighting; contracting with monitoring services; responding to emergencies; consulting with the Board with respect to any changes to by-laws, rules and regulations.
Maintaining common areas of the condominium unit and guest suites; facilitating guest suite bookings, and collecting payment for same

Above is a picture of part of our carpet. All five floors are carpetted. When it was a Senior's Residence, the carpetting lasted for more than 15 years if what I hear from the long time seniors is correct. This carpet is comparatively new. What you are looking at is how it looks less than two months after it was last washed. It's worse near the elevators where the addicts, watching for their pushers at the windows, chain smoke and then butt out on the floor.

Who is to blame for it being so filthy dirty and burn marked already? A handful of tenants! And what can we do about them and their destructive behaviour? Absolutely nothing! How do I know this? Well I, for one, have complained to deaf ears at Ottawa Housing. Last year I wrote OHC a letter, complete with pictures, and in there one of the things I mentioned was returning the ashtrays at the elevators. Since there is no one here to enforce the City By-law about smoking in the halls, it seemed to me that it was far better and cheaper to put the ashtrays back. But the City would prefer to cut off their noses to spite their faces - with YOUR tax money! Of course, who ever chooses the tenants who come here, could use some criteria besides first come, first served. How about "House trained" as criteria?

And since they apparently do use the 'first come, first served' method, then perhaps a visible Building Manager who actually walks around the building more than once a year couldn't hurt. I have no idea what OHC paid for this carpet - 5 floors in a 200+ unit building - but I can promise you it wasn't the price of a bag of chicken feed. Add to that the amount they pay for a Building Manager who does not manage - that is one hefty price tag. It is also counter Accounting 101 at any reputable school in the country. If the City of Ottawa feels bound to house a bunch of bums and thieves, couldn't they put them all in a separate building instead of wrecking every building they have with a few in each?

The verb 'To Manage' means to watch and direct; to deal successfully with; to be in charge of; to achieve a goal. Would someone please tell the person who manages this building what it means. I do not think that person knows!

In fairness to OHC, last year they did come out and race around fixing holes in the walls and broken windows. With perfectly normal people, that might have worked. But drug addicts are not perfectly normal people. At least not the ones here. They break things just 'because they can'. So, within a month, we were back to the status quo. Perhaps if OHC is going to take on drug addicts, they should take a course on drug addiction so they know what they and we are dealing with. You cannot just fix things up and expect them to stay fixed up with drug addicts around - not the ones we have here anyway. Not any of the ones I have ever encountered.

Shame on you Ottawa Housing Corporation!
Shame on you
Ottawa! Shame on you, Ontario!

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