Question: Where does your intererst in condo associations come from?
Alderman Osterman: I'm not sure "interest" is the correct word. I serve a constituency of about 55,000, many of who live in condominiums. To the extent that city law affects them, I'm interested. The same with any other homeowner or business, as needs arise, I'll do what I can to address them.
Question: What do you think of this form of homeownership?
Alderman Osterman: I think it's a perfectly fine way to live.
Question: Do you live in a condo building yourself, or anyone in your immediate family?
Alderman Osterman: I live in a single family home. Some of my relatives live in condominiums.
Question: What do you hear about when they invite you to association meetings?
Alderman Osterman: When I attend Condo Association meetings, I'm asked about changes in the neighborhood mostly. There are a couple of city ordinances that affect condominiums, and if those or any new ordinances are in the pipeline, I'm asked about status of them.
Question: Are there “high-end” condo buildings in your ward as well as those in which the owners are ordinary working people?
Alderman Osterman: Perhaps 30% of the Ward population lives in high-rise condos, and another 10 or 15% live in low rise or three-flat condominium buildings. High-end isn't a term I use to describe the high-rise condos, but their being located along the lakefront puts them in a different market space from the others.
Question: Is it your impression that condo associations have a lot of conflict? What seems to be the cause of the conflict?
Alderman Osterman: I imagine condo associations have conflict just like any other organization where the members are affected by Board or Management decisions. I often experience conflict with my city council colleagues, and we try to resolve our differences when possible. Conflict often arises from disagreement over interpretation of the impact of change.
Question: Do a lot of people call your office to ask for help with their condo disputes?
Alderman Osterman: My office receives some calls for help with condominium disputes, but I wouldn't cite that as a significant reason for calls. Most calls are about city services.