Condo council will advise lawmakers to abolish proxy voting
25-Mar-09 A committee organized by state lawmakers to recommend changes to the Illinois Condominium Property Act will recommend that voting by proxy in which a unit owner gives up his or her vote to someone else be abolished.
A preliminary report released Tuesday by the office of State Representative Harry Osterman (D-14th District) recommends the Illinois General Assembly abolish proxies immediately, allowing votes one vote per unit to be cast only in person or by mail.
Voting by email might be allowed if it was approved by the condo board.
At Marina City, critics of proxy voting have complained that board elections are usually decided by two people who, between them, control most of the votes.
Last October, the chairman of the Condominium Advisory Council, Jordan I. Shifrin, told Marina City Online that proxy voting is the single most abused concept in the Illinois Condominium Property Act.
Proxies are more often used in quantity to guarantee a candidates election, or re-election, said Shifrin (left) in an email to Marina City residents who attended a public hearing on October 7. It is a major corporation concept that probably does not belong in condominium law.
Condo ombudsman recommended
The report includes numerous recommendations. Among them, that a new state office be created to help resolve disputes among condo owners, boards, managers, and developers.
The office of Community Association Administrator would review complaints involving condominiums and refer them to the appropriate government agency. A mediation panel would try to resolve disputes.
According to the report, the office would act as an arbiter of condominium disputes whether it is for an election, rules violations or misconduct.
The office would be paid for by contributions from condo associations, managers, and developers.
There are state statutes but nothing to enforce it, said Shifrin last year. There is only one alternative, and thats to go hire a private attorney. There should be a place perhaps to have minor disputes resolved without having to go to court.
Osterman seeks public comment by April 3
Five public hearings were held last year and, according to the CAC, hundreds of people participated. Besides Osterman and Shifrin, council members include one other state representative, two state senators, and two veterans of condo boards.
The report has not yet been submitted to the General Assembly. Ostermans office has asked the public for feedback on the preliminary report before it is finalized. Comments may be sent by email to email@example.com.
The Illinois Condominium Property Act was first adopted in 1963 and revised in 1978 and 1983. The CAC estimates there are currently more than 44,000 condominium communities in Illinois.
Read the report: Recommendations and Revisions to The Illinois Condominium Property Act
The Illinois Condominium Property Act
Related story: Proxies most abused concept in condo law, says chairman of legislative committee
By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | Published 25-Mar-09 3:25 AM