Under the supervision of state election monitors, Nine Island Avenue condo residents chose a new board Wednesday, rejecting three incumbents.
The new five-member condo board: lawyer Jeff Stokols, recording engineer Michel Webe, philanthropist Blanka Rosenstiel, real estate agent Mora Israel and current secretary Boris Klopukh, the only incumbent returned to office.
The new board quickly met to appoint new officers. They chose Stokols, the top vote-getter, as president, Wehe as vice president and Klopukh as secretary. They nominated Jim McLean, the incumbent treasurer, to continue in that role, but not as a board member. McLean and Klopukh had tied for fifth place in the election, but McLean conceded his position to Klopukh, rather than compete in a runoff election.
“I yield to Boris,” McLean said.
The nomination of McLean as treasurer was initiated from the floor by former board president Jon Recicar, and advanced on the new board by Mora Israel. The decision to ask him to serve as treasurer was unanimous. It’s unclear if he’ll accept the position. McLean was no longer in the Bay Room when the board suggested that step, and the board decided to make a final decision at its first full meeting.
After officers were chosen, Stokols and Israel called on condo residents to work together.
Here are the vote tallies:
Jeff Stokols: 93
Michel Wehe: 85
Blanka Rosenstiel: 84
Mora Israel: 83
Boris Klopukh: 72
Jim McLean: 72
Cecelia Vasquez: 70
Chris Growald: 67
Richard Goldstein: 59
Jon Recicar: 57
Dmitri Andonov: 17
David Rosen: 7
The counting of ballots took about three hours to complete. The election auditor, Nan Green from the state Department of Condominium Ombudsman office, selected four unit owners to serve as election monitors to assist in opening, verifying and counting ballots. The monitors had to be unit owners, but could not be current board members, candidates or partners of board members or candidates.
“I’m here with Gerry because 15 percent of the unit owners signed a petition requesting that the state sent a representative to ensure you have a fair and reliable election,” Green told about 35 Nine Island residents gathered in the Bay Room at 7 p.m. Green explained how the counting process would work, what the process would be to certify ballots from records of the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser and books of voting certificates from the condo association.
“We will make sure that the person who owns the apartment is the person voting,” Green said.
Wednesday’s result reflected a backlash at Nine Island over a variety of issues, including a series of assessments during the last six years to cover the costs of repainting the building, renovating the balconies, repairing the roof and other projects. The balcony project in particular resulted in extended delays and cost overruns.
Last week, at a candidate forum, the division among the 11 candidates became clear. You can read a recap of that meeting here, as well as a summary of candidate positions.