Monday, August 18, 2014

Sher's July & August 2014 'Newsletters'

Three days after receiving Mr. Sher's August 2014 'Newsletter', Cedar Run homeowners received another mailing from Sher, labeled as the July 2014 'Newsletter'.  We won't even try to understand this one.....but this is just another sign of what a classy operation Sher is running.

The tone of desperation in these letters should give you a good idea of how confident Robert Sher is in his performance as a property manager.  He knows that an election is inevitable despite his insistence to the contrary. He also knows that there is a very real threat of him losing such an election, thanks to the mobilization of Concerned Homeowners.

While we realize most of you are fed up with the back & forth accusations, rebuttals, arguments for and against x, y, or z policy......There are many outlandish statements in these mailings that we cannot leave without a reply.

In the coming days, we will post a fully reply to the lies and accusations contained in Sher's two mailings.  But for now we will leave you with a few points to ponder after reading the letters.


  1. These mailings are not 'Newsletters', as they contain no actual news (aside from a small portion of the parking information in the August mailing).
  2. The mailings are actually best described as CAMPAIGN ADS supporting Robert Sher.  Moreover, they are NEGATIVE ATTACK ADS, attempting to defame and demonize anyone who has or does openly oppose Robert Sher in any way.
  3. These mailings are printed on high quality, full-color glossy paper....professionally printed, bound, and mailed to all 408 homeowners by an out-of-state vendor.
  4. We estimate the combined cost of these two 'newsletters' as anywhere from $3000-$5000, all paid from Cedar Run homeowners' funds.
  5. Like it or not, by simply paying assessments, all 408 Cedar Run homeowners are essentially contributing members of a Robert Sher SuperPAC.
How does that feel??

We've touched on this before, but we will reiterate this same point.  When reading through Sher's attacks, accusations, insinuations, conspiracy theories, and empty promises....look back at his past performance, and then decide if he is a credible source of information.

Consider his motives for maintaining (and attempting to expand) his power over Cedar Run. Cedar Run is a BUSINESS VENTURE and INCOME SOURCE for the Sher/Shaw family....and a significant one at that.  We will touch on this in greater detail in our full response.  But for now, feel free to look at at all the checks written to Sher from 8/2012 through 6/2013 by clicking HERE.  Or, take a look at lines 12, 13, & 16 of Sher's own budget mailing by clicking HERE.

If you're as fed up as we are with all the conflict that has plagued Cedar Run over the past two years, then please join us in removing the primary cause and instigator of this very conflict.  Please visit our How to Take Action page by clicking HERE, and help us put an end to this nonsense.  Together, we can truly Restore Cedar Run!

VM/Text (224) 544-9058

Friday, August 15, 2014

Another Outrageous (and expensive!) Newsletter

By now, Cedar Run homeowners should have received another glossy, color-printed, professionally bound newsletter from our friend, Robert Sher. It probably cost a few thousand dollars to print and mail this newsletter.  We hope you enjoy reading it.....

It contains the usual self-aggrandizing propaganda and lies about key facts that led Cedar Run into its ongoing crisis.

Please stay tuned for our response to each topic.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Property Taxes

To all Cedar Run Homeowners:

By now, you should have received your second tax bill for your 2013 property taxes.  Most likely, you'll notice something about this's very low!!  We've had homeowners report bills as much as anywhere from $200-$300, and some even got a bill for $0!!

If your second installment tax bill looks like any of the above, this is likely because your Phase Association appealed your property taxes on your behalf.

Your phase board retained a law firm specializing in tax appeals (Worsek & Vihon, LLP).  They appealed to both the County Assessor and the Cook County Board of Review to maximize your savings.

Wondering how much they saved you?

Your first installment for 2013 was for 55% of your total tax bill.  So your second installment should have been about 82% of that amount.

Example using typical numbers:
John Q. Homeowner received the following  tax bills:
1st installment:  $950
2nd installment: $270

Without the appeal, Mr. Homeowner should have received a second installment bill for $777.27.  Therefore, he saved $507.21, thanks to this tax appeal.

Now, how does that compare to the $120 per year that Robert Sher boasts about saving you??

(224) 544-9058

Tell us how  what your tax bill looked like!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Recap of 6/26 "Annual Meeting"

For those unable to attend the meeting, this is what you missed....

As we had previously stated, this meeting was not a true Annual Meeting of the Members (which would have been an election).  It was just another one of Sher's typical propaganda-filled power point presentations with a Q&A at the end.  The only difference is that copies of the budget letter were handed out. We actually gave Sher way too much credit when we predicted that he might call an official meeting to order and conduct some board business in the presence of homeowners.  We predicted that this 'Annual Meeting' would actually be October of 2013's Budget Meeting.  It wasn't even that.....we stand corrected.

Sher continued to boast about what an excellent job he has done, continued to blame every problem on his predecessors, and concocted more conspiracy theories about his predecessors and his current opposition.

Sher continues to try and divide the community along racial lines.  He reiterated his claim that anyone who opposes or disagrees with him is doing so out of racism toward his "Minority Board". Not only that, but he seems to be obsessed with the notion that his predecessors and his current opposition are part of a German group, with a white supremacist agenda.  Seriously folks, we're not making this up.  Several slides of Sher's presentation had the word GERMAN in all caps.  Why the emphasis on the word 'German'??  Probably to insinuate that anyone opposing Sher has some sort of Neo-Nazi affiliation, which would explain their racism.  This accusation is quite disgusting.

Important Observations

At this meeting and the last one in March of this year, Sher did all the talking, with Daniel DeLeon translating Sher's rhetoric for the Spanish-speaking homeowners.  Prior to the March meeting, the Sher group enlisted board members to do most or all of the speaking (exclusively in Spanish), with Sher periodically interjecting when he saw fit.  By having board members deliver the presentation, Sher hoped to give the illusion the Cedar Run was governed by a Board of Directors, and that Sher serves at the pleasure of this board.

The mask is now off.  We've contended that the board serves and reports to Robert Sher, not the other way around.  We stand by our statement that all letters, slideshows, and announcements are the words of Sher, rubber stamped as being from "The Master Board".  With Sher doing ALL THE TALKING for two straight meetings, it should be blatantly obvious who is running the show.

For the first time EVER, we actually saw two directors on Sher's board stand up and state their opposition to some of Sher's rhetoric.  More specifically, they stated that they oppose Robert Sher's use of RACE as a central theme in his message to homeowners.  We applaud these directors for speaking up and (publicly) opposing the racial division that Sher keeps pressing. 

But this further underscores one of our main concerns about Sher's unchecked power.  Despite the dissent from two of his directors, Sher continued to push forward with the same message about race and German-led conspiracies.  Again, who has the real control over the board's actions, words, and decisions??  The answer to that is self-evident - Robert Sher!

Major Flip-Flop
Sher is now preaching that Master Board funds be used to pay down our phases' construction loans.  Does anyone notice the 180 degree turn that Sher has taken from his previous stance on the loans??  Not even six months ago, Sher was still claiming that the loans were illegal.  He continued to stand by his assertion that he could make the loans go away and even get back a large portion of what was already paid toward these loans.  Now he's talking about paying them down??

Dear Robert, where was this plan two years ago?!?!?  Where was this plan before the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on lawsuits with the banks??  The irony is truly amazing.


We will post more information with a further analysis of the Sher's "Annual Meeting" as time permits.  Please contact us if you'd like a DVD copy of the meeting video.
(224) 544-9058

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Please help us take action
If you've had enough of Robert Sher, please CLICK HERE for instructions on how you can help vote him out.  It was homeowners that brought him to power, and it's homeowners that can remove him from power.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Enough is Enough!!!

Thank you for visiting our blog and thank you for your continued support.  Despite Robert Sher's vehement denial, we are getting closer and closer to the election that will let us, the homeowners, determine the future of Cedar Run.  Don't let Sher fool you......this election WILL HAPPEN SOON, long before August of 2015.

Tired of all the bickering back and forth?
We are too!!  We're tired the same baseless accusations and falsehoods that Sher continues to spew.  We'd gladly reply to each and every one of them, but truthfully, homeowners are simply tired of reading point after point, counterpoint after counterpoint.  For those disgusted with the process and not sure who to believe, this Blog's for you!!!

It all boils down to this.  Who is a more credible source of information?  Robert Sher or the seemingly anonymous authors of this blog?  We feel that history should thoroughly answer this question.

In the summer of 2012, Robert Sher literally promised homeowners a 50% reduction in the assessment with no loss of services.  He promised that he would make our construction loans go away.  He promised transparency and checks & balances.  He insisted that he had no interest in managing Cedar Run and that he was merely serving as a volunteer to 'save the community'. These are only a few of the grandiose promises or claims made by Sher.

How many of the above turned out to be true????  That's right...NONE!!!

Here we are two years later, paying more for our total assessment and getting less (See our 2013 blog entry on insurance).  The grounds look like a weed farm. We've endured two winters of short-staffed, poorly equipped snow removal service.  We're on our forth parking program and our third round of being forced to register our cars - in just two years (last time was only about six months ago).  No pool for a whole summer, still no pool one month after Memorial Day.

We are trapped in endless lawsuits (see our previous blog entry on this topic).  The construction loans have certainly not gone away.  In fact, they've grown as a result of all the lawsuits.  Sher has now flip-flopped on the loan topic, now talking about plans of paying them down instead of fighting them (where were those plans two years ago??).  Sher continues to cut off our collective nose to spite our face.....continuously & unjustly shifting costs and responsibilities to the phase associations.

With Sher and Shaw being on the payroll for two years now, they've certainly become quite comfortable with the supplemental income that they enjoy as members of the "oversight committee".  Now that their positions are being challenged and their livelihood is at stake, they will use any means necessary to preserve the income they now enjoy.  It's no wonder that things have gotten so ugly and that Sher is desperately trying to scare homeowners from supporting his opposition.  Sher's motivation is purely out of self-interest, and that speaks volumes about his credibility.

Uncovering the Truth
We, the authors and contributors to this blog have shown you Sher's true colors, and we've backed up everything with facts and solid evidence.
  • We showed you the check images that undeniably proved that Sher was being paid from day one and how he used our money to finance his campaign.  Sher took legal action (and lost) against anyone he suspected of helping us obtain these subpoenaed check images.
  • We've shown you check images to prove that the Master Board has been subsidizing phases 5 & 10 to give the illusion that their assessments are lower.
  • We showed you the bogus bylaws that Sher tried to pass off in order to secure his employment and justify his dictator-like powers (which he never showed to a single homeowner, let alone let them vote on its adoption).
  • We've been transparent about what we intend to do with your signed petition and/or proxy, and we've made our plans very clear.  And NO, Alma is NOT part of these plans.
  • We've reported/relayed any pertinent information submitted to us by homeowners to keep everyone in the know.
Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Does a well-run association need to send out mailings to constantly tell you what a great job it's doing?  Shouldn't the results be self-evident?
  • Does strong leadership mean constantly "passing the buck" and blaming your predecessors, even two years later?
  • Should a "self managed" association pay $30,000+ more in direct management costs than a professionally manage one?
  • Is it in Cedar Run's best interest to defy the Village of Wheeling's ordinances, constantly rack up fines & violations, and agitate village officials?
  • Does a good leader make impulsive legal decisions (like picking a fight with the banks) without first investigating the consequences?
  • Should a board of Directors delegate virtually all of its authority to four members of one family (R. Sher, B. Shaw, A. Shaw, J. Shaw), who only represent one of Cedar Run's 408 condo units??
  • Does an honest leader conceal the fact that he is being paid for over a year, then try to sue/depose/punish those that exposed the truth?
The answers to the above questions are key to helping you decide whether you stand for or against Robert Sher's regime.  Remember - credibility is key!  The election will be upon us before we know it, and it's important to decide how you plan to exercise your right to vote as a homeowner.

It's time to turn the page and move on from the angry tirades, temper tantrums, and fictional conspiracy theories that Sher sends us with every newsletter, notice or announcement.

We encourage all homeowners, whether offsite investor-owner or owner-occupant, to unite together for the common cause of delivering a responsible, inclusive, volunteer-based board of directors.  Please visit our "How to Take Action" page for details and on how you can help our cause for the greater good of Cedar Run's future.

Let's End This Madness Together!!
Let's Restore Cedar Run!!

Questions and comments are always welcome!!
Voicemail or text: (224) 544-9058

PS - We will be at the so-called "Annual Meeting" on Thursday 6/26/2014.  Come on out and chat with other Concerned Homeowners about 30-45 min before the meeting starts.  Proxies and petitions will be on-hand.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sher's "Annual Meeting" and Budget

By now, Cedar Run homeowners should have received Robert Sher's most recent mailings: One to announce the postponement of what he is calling an Annual Meeting, the other purporting to be a fiscal budget and financial statement.

Both of these mailings are filled with the usual self-promotion, blaming everything on his predecessors or those who dare to disagree with him or question his decisions.  The meeting notice is especially disturbing to read, as it's akin to watching a small child throw a temper tantrum.  The budget & financials are preceded by five pages of the same temper tantrum, mixed with self-aggrandizing rhetoric and empty, baseless accusations.  Is Robert Sher even capable of sending out a single notice that has actual, objective information???  Apparently not......

For now we will spare you a long-winded rebuttal to each one of Sher's statements (each one more ridiculous than the last).  If you are tired of all the bickering, we assure you , we're tired of to too.

The primary focus of this blog entry is the budget and financial information contained in these mailings.  We saw some interesting things that homeowners should take note of.

See the budget letter HERE.
See the meeting date notice HERE.

First off, Sher claims to be sharing this information with you as part of his pledge to give you transparency.  This is simply not true; he was FORCED to do this.  He hasn't given us a budget for two straight fiscal years, and the legitimacy of Sher's board has finally come up in court because of this (and many other issues).

Not convinced?  Then take notice of a phrase on page 4 of the letter, section entitled, "THE CORPORATION AND THE STATE OF IT'S FINANCIAL FUTURE".  Notice how Sher refers to the Budget Statement as containing "future expected income and spending".  Now look at the dates on the budget statement, and you'll notice the budget covers dates from "Nov 1, 2013 to Oct 1, 2014".  Future???  WE ARE ALREADY MORE THAN HALFWAY THROUGH THIS FISCAL YEAR!!

By law, this budget information should have been in our hands BEFORE the beginning of the fiscal year.  If this were done properly, we would have gotten proposed budgets mailed to us in early October 2013, which would have included a date/time/location of the board meeting (open for homeowners to attend) where the board would vote on approving of the budget.  How many open board meetings has Sher conducted??  ZERO!!  This budget was likely drawn up no more than one month ago.

"Annual Meeting"
We went over this in greater detail in our previous blog entry.  An Annual Meeting of the Members IS AN ELECTION!  This is NOT an Annual Meeting; this is October 2013's Budget Meeting being held in June of 2014.  Sher is being pressed in court on why he hasn't conducted a true Annual Meeting (election) in two years.  He figures that by branding this as an Annual Meeting, he can show up in court on July 2nd and make the issue go away.  Don't bet on it!!

"Mgmnt Staff"
Check out Line #16 of the financial statement.  $52,409.80 paid to Sher and Jack Shaw for FY 2013, $60,000 slated for FY 2014.  Like we've stated all along and had to prove with the check images (thanks to Sher's lack of TRANSPARENCY), those two are still being handsomely paid for their part-time work, and their pay rates keep rising.  Now look up at line #4 and notice that we are paying $25,000/year for "Office Assistants".  So according to the latest figures for FY 2014, we are paying $85,000/year to be "Self-managed"???  (not including the $7K in office supplies we must now purchase for management purposes) Whether you loved or hated Alma, do understand that their management fees were just shy of $52,000/year....period.

Legal Expenses
Line 12 - $65,0000/year  (and another $50K contingency set aside just in case). We don't need to tell you where this money is going.  That's right, Anne Shaw.......err, uhh, make that the Law Firm of Shaw and Associates.  You get the picture.  Sound like a lot of money??  Well it's pocket change compared to the growing legal bill for all the lawsuits spurred by Sher.  Most of this bill is being tacked onto the construction loan principle and amortized with interest.  See our blog entry entitled, "The Hidden Costs of Robert Sher's Decisions" for further details.

Clubhouse Renovation
Line 34 - $200,000?!?  Do we really need to spend that much on "improving" the clubhouse?  Does the clubhouse not already serve its purpose as a meeting location and party venue?  Aren't there more important maintenance items to focus on?  You be the judge.

Insurance Expense
Line 11 - $98,710.29 for FY 2013, reduced to $17,000 for FY 2014.  How did Sher drastically reduce this cost?  Pure Genius?? NOT!!  He reduced it by dropping the bundled policy that also covered your building insurance.  Now, instead of a bundled, discounted single policy,  your phase associations must now pay for higher cost, individual policies to cover the buildings.  This is the primary reason that phase dues had such a sharp increase for FY 2014.  Did Sher pass this $81,000+ savings onto you by reducing your monthly assessments??  Of course NOT!  This should have translated into about a $17/mo assessment reduction.

Are these financial figures accurate?
We have no way of knowing.  Should you take Robert Sher's word for it, or should you be skeptical? Were numbers doctored?  Figures altered?  Is there a second set of books?  Unless/until we see a report from a CPA or  Certified Fraud Examiner who performed a complete financial audit, compiled everything on an accrual basis, and reconciled bank records with Sher's accounting records, we will take these figures with a grain of salt.

Sher was very critical of his predecessors for opting to have their financials reviewed in something called a "Compilation Report", rather than a full audit.  He vowed to ensure that the new board would have their books fully audited every year.  Here we are two years later, without an audit, review, or compilation report.  Only now Sher claims to be considering having an audit.  We will see if anything tangible comes out of it.

What doesn't add up
Sher claimed that Zink/Alma left him with zero dollars in the bank, and over $100,000 in unpaid debt in August of 2012.  On line 44, he shows a surplus of $96,283.74 for FY 2013.  Then he shows a deficit of $213,200 for FY 2014, claiming that the deficit is balanced/offset by the previous years' savings???

If Sher was left with nothing in the bank after taking over in August of 2012, banked a surplus of $96,283.74 from November 2012 through October of 2013, where is he getting the $213,200 of "savings" from the previous years???  It just doesn't add up.  How much money did Sher really inherit from the previous board?  Probably not -$100K.  This also makes Sher's claim (or constant reminder) of having $450,000 in the bank look questionable.  And if the $450K claim is true, and he sticks to his budget, a majority of this money is already earmarked to be spent.  More than half of it will go into the clubhouse alone ($200K + $30K contingency).

Does this look right to you??
If not, please visit our How to Take Action page.  If you're tired of having your association run by a group led by someone who consistently passes the buck, blames everything on his predecessors (even two years later), threatens anyone who dares to disagree with him, publishes an "enemies list" once or twice a month, ignores the law and our bylaws........all while drawing a salary from your assessment dollars, then we ask you to consider signing our proxy.

Are you disgusted by Sher's performance but not convinced that there is a viable alternative?  Then we encourage you to read our article entitled "If not Sher, then Who???", where we discourage homeowners from taking an "Anybody But Sher" stance.

It's time to put an end to the bickering, finger-pointing, and angry tirades.  It's time to bring responsible, critical-thinking adults into the mix so we can finally Restore Cedar Run.

Questions, comments?
(224) 544-9058

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Desperate Actions of a Desperate Man

Despite stating in his most recent newsletter that he will be holding his typical "Homeowners' [aka propaganda] meeting" on June 18th, Our friend, Robert Sher has now posted notices on our garage doors that the meeting is now scheduled this Wednesday, Jun 11th.  He is also now calling this an Annual Meeting.


First off, he can call it anything he wants, but it is NOT an annual meeting.  An Annual Meeting of the Members IS AN ELECTION.  You'll see from the agenda of this meeting that it says nothing about an election.  The agenda claims to be focused on budgeting, although it looks more like Sher's typical propaganda.....boasting about accomplishments, making excuses, finger-pointing, etc, etc, etc.

Why is Sher calling this an Annual Meeting?
It's actually quite simple.  Very soon Sher will likely be ordered by a judge to conduct a true annual meeting.  Sher's board has not conducted a single Annual Meeting since taking power nearly two years ago, and the judge has given them until July 2nd come up with a plan to correct this.  Between 2013's and 2014's Annual Meetings, most of the positions on the HOC board should have been up for re-election.  Obviously Sher's livelihood would be at risk if the board were turned over.

By cramming this sudden meeting down our throats and re-branding it as an Annual Meeting, this is just a half-hearted legal tactic.  Expect Sher and Anne Shaw to show up in court on July 2nd and claim to the judge that they already conducted an Annual Meeting and then request that the case be dismissed.  They may even file a Motion to Dismiss a week or two before the court date, which could explain why they want the meeting conducted earlier.

IT WON'T WORK......Here's Why:
  1. An Annual Meeting is an Election, not a budget meeting.  Budget meetings should be in October, just before the start of the Fiscal Year on November 1st.  (FYI, we haven't seen one of those either)
  2. Inadequate Notice.  A properly called Annual Meeting would have notices going out anywhere at least 15 days in advance.  It would also include nomination forms for anyone wishing to run for a position on the board and provide sufficient time for homeowners to send in the nomination forms.  Remember, it's an ELECTION. **UPDATE, SEE BELOW**
  3. Improperly Delivered Notice.  Tacking notices on garage doors is not an acceptable means of delivering official meeting notices.  Postal mail is the proper way.  Courts have ruled consistently this way.  What if an owner lives off-site?  **UPDATE, SEE BELOW**
Bottom line is that Sher is getting very desperate, and he is willing to try every possible shady tactic  to avoid the inevitable election and maintain the steady flow of income he now enjoys. You've seen the check images.  You get the idea.
What to expect at this meeting??
Don't expect an election; that's for sure.  Expect the same power point presentation, spinning the same non-sense as always.  Since the agenda mentions budgets, might we actually see one?  Might we actually see the board conducting its business in the presence of homeowners?  Both of the above are doubtful, but if we see either of them, it will be pure theater.

What to watch out for at this meeting:
Beware of sign-in sheets.  If Sher plans to fudge some paperwork in order to make this meeting look like a real Annual Meeting, he will probably require homeowners to sign in.   The sign-in sheet would be used to show that he has established quorum, which is the minimum number of homeowners who must be present for a proper Annual Meeting.  Again, Quorum won't mean anything in  court because of the above three reasons. But if we can keep the sign-ins at 40 or less, it will make Sher look like an even bigger fool in front of the judge.  Bottom line:  Don't sign in!!

So come to the meeting Wednesday, and come early.  Cedar Run Concerned Homeowner volunteers will be there with clip boards, petitions & proxies that will count toward a REAL election, one we get one.  As always, we will be recording video of the meeting.

Questions, comments?
(224) 544-9058

Don't forget to visit our 'HOW TO TAKE ACTION' page, and our proxy!!

So apparently Sher has suddenly changed the date of this meeting to June 26th, at least according to the sign posted at Cedar Run's entrance.  As of the morning of 6/10/14, the sign said that the Annual Meeting will be on 6/11/14.  By late afternoon, the new date of 6/26 was posted. So in just a few days, the meeting date has changed from 6/18 to 6/11 (re-branded as an Annual Meeting) to now 6/26 (still branded as an Annual Meeting).  Two date changes in three days....sounds like Sher's running a real smooth operation...NOT!!

Why this latest move?  We can only speculate.  Was he advised or scolded by Anne Shaw for for such a pompous idea?  Or perhaps he read this blog and learned that he hadn't called a proper meeting for the 11th.

Dear Robert.........YOU'RE WELCOME!!

In all seriousness, we must wait until notice is delivered.  It should be done by postal mail, and it should be postmarked by 6/11 at the latest.  Assuming that's the case, we'll see if the mailing speaks of a proper annual meeting (i.e. election).....highly doubtful, but still a possibility. 

Please check back to this blog, as new information will be posted when available.