WILMINGTON, Del., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cliff House Condominiums in Wilmington, DE, were originally developed by Joseph Biden, Sr. who was one of the first two Council members along with Mary Lou Sheehan. The units sold well and Biden later left the council after the development was complete and qualified successors were chosen.
The current council is a far cry from the halcyon days of Biden Sr. Some residents are beginning to question the debt incurred and fee increases of late.
In 2002, Sidney Chudnofsky was treasurer of the condo association's council when it originally negotiated a loan for $300,000 from Wilmington-based bank WSFS. Previously Mr. Chudnofsky was the treasurer of Wilmington restaurant, The Spinning Wheel Inn, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under his tenure. In a resume that Mr. Chudnofsky passed out to council members before the loan was negotiated, he pointed out the fact that his daughter was a branch manager at WSFS. The loan has since ballooned to $690,000.
The mismanagement and corruption at Brite Realty Services, the Exton-based realty management company contracted with Cliff House, runs deep into the pockets of the Condo's residents. Martha Thornley, the 2005 treasurer who granted check writing authority to Brite Realty, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Current treasurer Thomas Prentice has had five financial judgments against him. His wife was sued by Citigroup in Oct 2009 for $14,000 in unpaid debt. Police were called to Cliff House when current member Leopold Mancuso was accused of forced entry and verbal assault in 2005 of an elderly widow. An attorney for a recent plaintiff in Delaware court maintained that the Council has tacitly admitted failure to follow its own budgetary requirements and refuses to state in writing that it will follow them in the future.
Financials released show that the Council has overcharged condominium owners over $85,000 in utility assessments since 2001.
On Monday January 18, 2010, residents of the Dorset Condominium received pleasant news that they will be refunded $40,000 from the overpayment of condo fees for the past two years after terminating its relationship with commercial real estate manager Brite Realty. The Dorset declined to increase Brite's management fee by the full 7% that Brite had requested.
SOURCE The Cliff House