Female voice was heard during initial Surfside search and rescue efforts, fire chief says – Asia Despatch

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Search and rescue teams dig through rubble on June 30.
Search and rescue teams dig through rubble on June 30. Giorgio Viera/AFP/Getty Images

The majority of the Champlain Towers condo board decided to quit in the fall of 2019 following disputes over the lackluster response in tackling repairs needed in the condominium complex, The Washington Post reports. 

The Post cites minutes from an Oct. 3, 2019, Surfside condo board meeting and the resignation letter of Annette Goldstein, the then-president of the condo board.

Goldstein was among five members of the seven-member board who decided to resign, the Washington Post reports. 

“We work for months to go in one direction and at the very last minute objections are raised that should have been discussed and resolved right in the beginning,” Goldstein wrote in her September 2019 resignation letter that was obtained by the Post. 

The resignations took place about 11 months after a structural field survey report raised concerns about structural damage to the concrete slab below the pool deck and “cracking and spalling” located in the parking garage.

The firm that performed the survey, Morabito Consultants, said it provided an estimate to “make the extensive and necessary repairs” to the condo association. The report didn’t indicate whether the structure was at risk of collapse. 

Goldstein’s letter appears to indicate growing frustration in trying to resolve the issue and pay for the repairs, which were estimated to be about $9 million in 2018. But those costs had grown to about $15 million by the time the work was approved by the board in 2021, according to an assessment letter obtained by Asia Despatch. Those costs would be paid by the residents.

“This pattern has repeated itself over and over, ego battles, undermining the roles of fellow board members, circulation of gossip and mistruths. I am not presenting a very pretty picture of the functioning of our board and many before us, but it describes a board that works very hard but cannot for the reasons above accomplish the goals we set out to accomplish,” she wrote. 

Goldstein and the other members of the board who decided to resign did not return messages seeking comment, according to the Post.   

The reasons for the resignations of the other four members were not clear in the documents that the Post reviewed.  

Goldstein and some of the others would later return to the board, with one of the members returning just three weeks after stepping down, documents indicate, the Post reported.

“Efforts to reach virtually everyone who has served on the board since 2018 were unsuccessful; at least two of those members have been reported missing,” according to the paper.  

The New York Times also spoke to a former board member who elaborated on the departure of board members.   

“People were quitting, and there were new people, and there was all kinds of stuff that was going on that was not pleasant,” said Max Friedman, a former member of the board. 

“I guess part of it was because of the project. There might have been personalities involved. There was all kinds of ugly stuff.”

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