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THE ANNUAL MEETING/ELECTION:  IT’S NOT A BOARD MEETING!

THE ANNUAL MEETING/ELECTION:  IT’S NOT A BOARD MEETING!

THE ANNUAL MEETING/ELECTION:  IT’S NOT A BOARD MEETING!

by Steven J. Weil, Ph.D., EA, LCAM, President, Royale Management Services, Inc.

What then is “the Annual Meeting?” 

By law Florida condo associations must have an Annual Meeting each year; but, conversely, they need not have an election every year if there are no new candidates.  What can be somewhat confusing is that they are two separate things with separate quorum requirements and with a rule that they must be held on the same day. Further, conduct of the Annual Meeting should not be confused with that of a Board meeting.

The statutory requirement for an annual meeting (which seeks to give owners a “voice”) was written to ensure that the residents are well informed, especially in communities that have very few board meetings.  It’s a members’ meeting.  No Board business, board action or voting may be conducted; but there may be reports, and there may be a “State of the Association” speech to highlight events of the previous year.

Board members are not even required to attend the Annual Meeting. Although a Board member could chair the Annual Meeting, he or she would be doing so as a resident, not a Board member.  As a rule, the Meeting is chaired by an appointed impartial resident, the Property Manager, or, if deemed necessary, by the association’s attorney. Any Motions that are made are passed by a show of hands of those present.

If there is an election, residents may vote either in person by placing their ballot in the ballot box or by mailed-in ballot. The proxy that is sent to residents in advance with the meeting announcement has nothing to do with the election. Its only purpose is to establish a quorum for the Annual Meeting.

There are two separate quorum requirements for the Annual Meeting and the Election. For the Annual Meeting, it’s 50% of the resident population plus one. For the election, the quorum is only 20% of the resident population.

How To Conduct the Election

Assuming there are candidates or Directors with expiring terms, and an Election is needed, it may take place simultaneously with the Annual Meeting. Once the Annual Meeting is turned over to the impartial Chair and the Chair has determined that a quorum has been met, he or she introduces the Inspector of Elections.

The Inspector then introduces the ballot counters and confirms that, per the Election rules, they are not Board members or Board candidates, nor are they related to Board members or candidates.

Before the counting can begin the Inspector is asked to confirm that there was a quorum for the Election. If a 20% election quorum does not exist, ballots are not opened and the current board remains in place for the coming year.

The Inspector, along with the ballot counters, also confirms that the signatures of the outer envelopes mailed in advance to residents for voting purposes have been verified and are unopened.  Those envelopes are required to provide the unit number, name of the voting member and be signed on the outside. Units with more than one owner, units owned by a trust, LLC, or units owned by a corporation must have a voting certificate on file that shows who is authorized to vote for the unit. Outer envelopes should contain the sealed ballot envelopes.

Proxies should not be placed in the ballot envelopes. No identification or markings are permitted on the inner ballot envelopes.  When an outer ballot envelope is improperly completed, it is marked “disregard” and left unopened.

Ballots may no longer be accepted once the first ballot is opened.  The polls are closed by the Inspector once there are no more new voters confirmed by a Motion from the floor to close the polls.  The residents pass the Motion by a show of hands. Ballots cannot be accepted once the counting process begins.

That being done, the Inspector turns the meeting back to the appointed Chair, who begins the Annual Meeting while the ballot counting takes place in plain sight of residents.  Anyone may observe the vote counting but may not interfere.

At the conclusion of the counting and verification, the results are announced by the Inspector, after which the Chair may adjourn the Meeting.  All election materials must be kept for one year.

It should be noted that in most associations, newly elected board members begin their term immediately once the vote has been concluded.

It is also advisable to schedule an Organization Meeting of Board members immediately following the annual meeting so that directors and officers can be appointed or reappointed and take their positions without a lapse in leadership.

 

 

 

SFPMA MEMBER - Find us on the Members Directory
Royale Management Services, a registered and licensed community association management corporation in Florida, works with association Boards of Directors throughout South Florida to oversee the daily activities required for proper management, helping to educate them on their responsibilities, duties, and obligations. Royale’s team members are highly trained in all aspects of community association management and customer service to ensure that proper procedures are followed that keep the association in compliance with all of the rules governing elections, budgeting, accounting, operation, collection and assessment. The firm and its president are members of the Community Association Institute (CAI) and the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.
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Speed Queen Commercial Laundry Machines vs. Whirlpool Commercial Laundry Machines

Speed Queen Commercial Laundry Machines vs. Whirlpool Commercial Laundry Machines

It can be a tedious task searching for the best line of commercial laundry equipment to suit your multi-housing property’s needs. We break down the ins-and-outs of two popular commercial laundry machine lines to educate you on the best choice of merchandise.

Aaxon Laundry Systems is a leading multi-housing laundry service company in the state of Florida. For more than 40 years, Aaxon has been transforming condo and apartment laundry rooms for the better statewide. If you are deciding between Speed Queen and Whirlpool laundry machines for your property, Aaxon’s caring multi-housing team will guide you toward making the best decision for your residents’ needs.

Speed Queen Commercial Washers and Dryers
Speed Queen is a top laundry equipment manufacturer for both commercial and residential grade laundry equipment. Speed Queen commercial washers and dryers are made in the U.S. and guarantee durable American-made quality. The company began in 1908 in Ripon, Wisconsin, which remains to be the company’s headquarters today. Trusted to perform to the highest degree in laundry rooms across the world, Speed Queen is Aaxon’s number one choice for multi-housing properties. Speed Queen understands your commercial washers and dryers will undergo a high degree of wear and tear daily from residents. Not to mention, Speed Queen solely produces laundry equipment, giving complete focus on developing and perfecting the finest equipment for customers. Choose the line built to last and serve your residents!

Speed Queen Commercial Washers and Dryers:
1. Have been tested to last 25 years or more.
2. Are available in card or coin-operating options.
3. Are available in original white or sophisticated stainless-steel color options.
4. Are energy-efficient- keeping utility costs low for your property.
5. Dryers are available in stackable or stand-alone form.
6. Power-surge and failure safe.
7. Are built better to last longer for both multi-housing and OPL (on premise laundry).

Whirlpool Commercial Washers and Dryers
Whirlpool is an American commercial and residential laundry equipment and appliance manufacturer based in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Founded in 1911, Whirlpool is mainly a home appliance manufacturer but is also involved with producing commercial laundry equipment for multi-housing properties. You may even have a Whirlpool home appliance in your home, whether it’s a microwave, dishwasher, or oven. One of the main differences between Whirlpool and Speed Queen is Speed Queen is 100% committed to laundry equipment development and manufacturing industry while Whirlpool is not.

Whirlpool Commercial Washers and Dryers:
1. Are energy-efficient.
2. Are available in card or coin-operating options.
3. Are available in multiple sizes, including front loaders, stackable, stand-alone options.

Researching and choosing the best commercial laundry equipment for your residential building can be a cumbersome task. We hope this helped steer you in the right direction for your multi-housing property. Contact us today for a complimentary laundry equipment Lease Analysis.

Hundreds of Florida multi-housing communities trust Aaxon Laundry Systems with all of their laundry needs. Read some of our Success Stories!

 

 

SFPMA MEMBER - Find us on the Members Directory
Amber Perkins Kanak is Marketing Coordinator at Aaxon Laundry Systems, one of the nation's innovators in coin/card laundry design and development, multi-housing laundry room solutions and on-premise laundry equipment applications. Amber works closely with Aaxon’s multi-housing team to tell the stories of multi-housing laundry room transformations, laundromat retool projects, and new entrepreneur success stories. A University of Central Florida alumna, she has nearly a decade of experience in the writing and communications fields.
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Aaxon Success Story: Janet Kayan, Casa Verano Condominium

Aaxon Success Story: Janet Kayan, Casa Verano Condominium

Just a few blocks west of the Atlantic Ocean is the;

Casa Verano condominium community located in sunny Pompano Beach, Florida.

Janet Kayan, a board member of Casa Verano, chose to work with Aaxon due to its continuous professional services, from its “office personnel to service people, to the gentleman that collects the money from the laundry machines,” says Janet. “If you have a problem, they will resolve it” she adds.

Aaxon transformed all five of Casa Verano’s laundry rooms into high-functioning, and clean-operating laundry rooms all 100+ residents enjoy by replacing old equipment with ten new Speed Queen machines. When asked about Aaxon’s technical service, Janet says, “Their service is absolutely great. The fact that you can email for service and receive it within 24 hours, or sometimes less, is outstanding! I would highly recommend choosing Aaxon for all your laundry room needs.”

Ready for a fresh, clean laundry room? Contact Us Today.  (954) 772-7100

http://www.aaxon.com/

 

SFPMA MEMBER - Find us on the Members Directory
Amber Perkins Kanak is Marketing Coordinator at Aaxon Laundry Systems, one of the nation's innovators in coin/card laundry design and development, multi-housing laundry room solutions and on-premise laundry equipment applications. Amber works closely with Aaxon’s multi-housing team to tell the stories of multi-housing laundry room transformations, laundromat retool projects, and new entrepreneur success stories. A University of Central Florida alumna, she has nearly a decade of experience in the writing and communications fields.
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LIST OF THINGS NO VENDOR CONTRACT SHOULD CONTAIN:

LIST OF THINGS NO VENDOR CONTRACT SHOULD CONTAIN:

HERE IS A LIST OF THINGS NO VENDOR CONTRACT SHOULD CONTAIN:

1) An automatic renewal clause. While it’s ok for an agreement to continue on a month to month basis it’s wrong to saddle future board with an obligation to track and cancel an agreement on a certain date or between certain dates to keep it from automatically being extended for an additional term.

2) A right of first refusal. This allows an existing vendor to match the price and terms of any new vendor proposal and thereby force the association to keep them. Most often an association gets proposals from new contractors because they are unhappy with more than the price and terms and giving a vendor a right to stay because they agree to match price and terms, does not solve the problem and can only lead to litigation.

3) Contracts with unnecessarily long terms. While a vendor that has upfront cost for things like equipment like a laundry vendor bringing in new equipment who needs to recover the equipment cost agreement terms should be kept as short as possible. Five years might be ok for the laundry contract but would not be for a landscaping contract in this case a one year term would long enough.

4) Cancellation only for “cause” clause. Proving cause only makes the lawyers richer and can be hard to do. The best solution is to build in a “cause free” ability to cancel with a 30-day notice.

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RMSCondo/

Learn more on our Website:  http://royalemanagement.com/

Find us on SFPMA Members Directory:  http://sfpma.com/listing/royale-management-services/

Royale Management Services, Inc, is a full-service, CAM (Community Association Management) licensed, residential property management company, specializing in management, consulting and accounting for Condominium Associations and Home Owners Associations.

 

According to firm president, Steven J Weil, PhD, EA, CAM,

“The expansion into Community Association and Home Owner’s Association management was a natural move after a number of our clients serving on condo boards asked for our help with their associations accounting, budgeting and management, due to increasing operating cost and sloppy accounting records maintained by their current bookkeepers and managers.”

Our mission is to help the association hold down costs while improving the quality of life for the residents. We work closely with the elected board of directors to make sure that the goals of the association and its residents are achieved.

 

 

 

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ASSOCIATION’S LAW FIRM’S INVOICES BE MADE AVAILABLE TO ITS MEMBERS UPON WRITTEN REQUEST?

ASSOCIATION’S LAW FIRM’S INVOICES BE MADE AVAILABLE TO ITS MEMBERS UPON WRITTEN REQUEST?

  • Posted: Feb 20, 2018
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An association member wants to review the association’s lawyer’s bills sent to the association over the past year. As a result, the member submits a written request to access those records. But, is the member actually entitled to see them? Pursuant to the relevant sections of Chapter 718, Chapter 719, and Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes, regarding condominiums, cooperatives, and homeowners’ associations, respectively, all members (or their aut

Art_Billing-450x253horized representatives) have the right to access their community association’s official records for inspection and copying. However, this right is not absolute as there are several official records which are exempt from member access.

Among these exempted official records are records protected by the attorney-client privilege, as described in section 90.502, Florida Statutes, and any record protected by the work-product privilege. Generally, the attorney-client privilege protects communications between a lawyer and the lawyer’s client; whereas, the work-product privilege protects, for example, a record prepared by an association attorney or prepared at the attorney’s express direction which reflects a mental impression, conclusion, litigation strategy, or legal theory of the attorney or the association and which was prepared exclusively for civil or criminal litigation or for adversarial administrative proceedings or which was prepared in anticipation of litigation or proceedings until the conclusion of the litigation or proceedings.

While these exceptions to official records access are expressly provided in the relevant sections of the Florida Statutes, questions arise as to whether or not a community association’s legal invoices are protected by the attorney-client privilege and/or the work-product privilege. Moreover, can the association redact its legal invoices to keep privileged information provided in the legal invoices from access by the member? You bet the association can!

This issue was decided in the arbitration case of Jandebeur v. Marine Terrace Association, Inc. (Arbo. Case No. 2014-03-5716) in which the association, in the end, was represented by Kaye Bender Rembaum, Attorneys at Law. (This case involved a cooperative under Chapter 719, Florida Statutes, which is substantially the same as Chapter 718, Florida Statutes. Arbitration is not applicable to Chapter 720, Florida Statutes.) The law firm took the case over from the association’s prior counsel who, on behalf of his client-association, advised the board not to provide access to his law firm’s billing to the association, claiming the entire bill to be privileged.

In this case, the member made written requests to inspect the association’s official records, including legal invoices from the association’s prior law firm. Upon the advice of the association’s prior attorney, the association refused to provide the owner with access to the requested legal invoices claiming that they were inaccessible, in their entirety, because they contained attorney-client privileged communications and attorney work-product.

In deciding the matter in favor of the member, the arbitrator held that refusing access to the entire legal invoices was improper; however, the arbitrator made it patently clear that “[i]f attorney work product is contained in an invoice, e.g. a description of work performed reveals the attorney’s thoughts, etc., regarding the litigation, that information may be redacted.” Therefore, the arbitrator in this case clearly and expressly opined that portions of legal invoices may be redacted to remove information protected by the attorney-client privilege and/or the work-product privilege.

Given the official records exemptions from member access as discussed above, the arbitrator’s decision in this case is in line with the statutory exemptions provided by the relevant sections of Chapter 718, Chapter 719, and Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes. Therefore, do not be surprised if, upon a member’s written request to inspect the association’s law firm’s billing, invoices are presented only after significant redaction to protect both attorney-client and work-product privileges.

While arbitration cases decided by the Arbitration Section of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes, do not create binding precedents on any other parties (meaning, the same issue could be decided differently in another case) and are not applicable to homeowners’ associations, they are often relied upon for guidance, as many community association attorneys do. Therefore, when presented with a written request for access to your association’s legal invoices, you may want to have your association’s attorney review the requested invoices to see if there is any privileged information which should be redacted to protect the privilege prior to the member’s inspection and copying of the official records.

Jeffrey Rembaum, Esq. of Kaye, Bender, Rembaum attorneys at law, legal practice consists of representation of condominium, homeowner, commercial and mobile home park associations, as well as exclusive country club communities and the developers who build them. He is a regular columnist for The Condo News, a biweekly publication and was inducted into the 2012, 2013 & 2014 Florida Super Lawyers. He can be reached at 561-241-4462.

 

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We publish information daily to all of our Social Media Pages; Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest,  LinkedIn …..

We publish information daily to all of our Social Media Pages; Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn …..

  • Posted: Feb 19, 2018
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We publish information daily to all of our Social Media Pages; Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest,  LinkedIn …..

Along with the pages that SFPMA uses to inform our members and our Followers, we have Groups that are open to everyone. This way we can send out and promote the information about us and member companies that work together in the Property Management Industry. One of our goals is not letting our members just sit on a directory. Supporting each member company and information; getting this information out to readers new members and our industry is important to us!

When most companies do not realize how important it is to let others know what you do on a daily basis. We watch, we visit many of the social media pages for our members. What we see is alarming!. Far to many companies do not utilize what Social Media has to offer them. This is why we are always looking for posts that we can reshare we realize you are not!

By utilizing Social Media Clients get to know and trust that your company is here to stay! These visitors and past clients we will reshare details you post about workmanship, advances or just new work you have performed.

 

Find many of our pages we share daily to; Changes are being made to these pages, we are removing old posts for companies that are no longer with us, and updating information about SFPMA – Thanks

   Facebook:

State of Florida Property Management Association: Keep up to date with information through Facebook.  LIKE AND JOIN WITH OTHERS

Find-A-Service: This is one of our pages we use to promote our Directory and the members that are listed.  DIRECTORY MEMBERS 

Find-A-Service Group on Facebook: Members can join and post up to date company information. FIND-A-SERVICE; SOUTH FLORIDA GROUP

Property Management Group on Facebook: Many company’s post and interact with members through the group. PROPERTY MANAGEMENT – SOUTH FLORIDA

   Twitter: @SFPMA

SFPMA – Our Twitter account: As we publish blog articles the get posted on all of our pages including twitter. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

Find-A-Service Florida is our page we we have, Its a hold page for the Member Companies  FOLLOW FIND-A-SERVICE ON TWITTER

 

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SFPMA-State of Florida Property Management Association: Follow us on LinkedIn.  SFPMA ON LINKEDIN FOLLOW US

Find-A-Service.com (Showcase Page): Used to promote Directory Members & Companies about Services they provide. FOLLOW FIND-A-SERVICE.COM

Florida Rising Magazine (Showcase Page): Page show’s articles in that months edition, Members, Advertisers and Sponsors  FLORIDA RISING MAGAZINE

SFPMA Group on LinkedIn: Great mix of Articles, Events, Information by Group Members for our industry. SFPMA GROUP ON LINKEDIN

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SFPMA Association page on google+ : We share about members on these pages, https://plus.google.com/+Sfpma

SFPMA COMMUNITIES: We have a sfpma community page where we have different information for each area  https://plus.google.com/communities/106182643873612560662

Our Brand Acct State of Florida Property Management Association  https://plus.google.com/b/116736294765654037812/+Sfpma

Google+ page for our Magazine – Florida rising Magazine   https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/112330967542949978915/+FloridaRisingMagazine

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SFPMASfpma MembersFollow On

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Find us, Like Us, Keep up to date with the Association.

We have been keeping our Clients in the Property Management Industry up to date with Changes, Management, Business and Services in the State of Florida.

 

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“We give investors and clients the information to make an informed decision about which property management company to use”

“We give investors and clients the information to make an informed decision about which property management company to use”

  • Posted: Feb 19, 2018
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“We give investors and clients the information to make an informed decision about which property management company to use”

  • They learn about how hiring a professional management company helps them.
  • They find out what fees are associated with management.
  • They read and learn about maintenance issues and repairs for their property.
  • Other information including what questions to ask potential management companies. We know that with real estate comes non paying tenants, evictions fees, collecting rents, vacant units, inspections, contracts and leases, payment matters from tenants and your monthly money.

Addressing these questions with owners and board members helps them to understand what a manager does, and how important it is to take the time to find the right company that will care for the properties like they would.

LOOKING FOR A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY OR A CAM MANAGER TO MANAGE YOUR INVESTMENT PROPERTY, CONDO, OR HOA.

 

learn what to look for in a Property Management company, the benefits, the services they provide, how they collect fees, how repairs are addressed, laws & licensing.

Read and learn what our members can do to help you with the management of your buildings. Managing properties can become quickly overwhelming, even for experienced investors. There is always something going on that requires attention and it takes very little time for things to get out of hand. Hiring a Property Manager can provide an opportunity to regain control and restore stability to both your properties and possibly life in general.

We understand the importance having income real estate to you and your family. We are here to help you with the selection process for hiring the right company for the management of your buildings. Your Property Manager will make critical decisions on your behalf making it extremely important that you do your homework during the hiring process.

Ultimately, your decision to hire or not hire a property management company should hinge on whether or not it is a good fit with your lifestyle, and makes sense financially.  Individual investors will have to assess the opportunity cost of both options based on their unique circumstances.

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NEW PROVISION REGARDING FINING AND USE RIGHT SUSPENSIONS

NEW PROVISION REGARDING FINING AND USE RIGHT SUSPENSIONS

  • Posted: Feb 19, 2018
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NEW PROVISION REGARDING FINING AND USE RIGHT SUSPENSIONS

Prior to recent amendments to the procedures for fining and use right suspensions for non-monetary violations,  there was a gap in the Florida Statutes regarding the manner in which a community association’s board of directors and its fining and suspensions committee coexisted, meaning there was no clear guidance with regard to whether the fining committee would first meet and then the board would levy the fine or if the board would first meet, determine the amount of the fine and then the fining committee would meet to provide the offending owner his opportunity to appear. That said, it was clear that if the fining committee did not agree with the fine, then the board could not authorize its levy against the offending owner. Well, now there is great clarity as to the procedural requirements.

Pursuant to the recent amendments to Chapters 718, 719 and 720 of the Florida Statutes, regarding condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners’ associations, respectively, the association’s board of directors must first levy the fine or use right suspension for non-monetary violations at a properly noticed board meeting. After the board of directors has levied the fine or use right suspension for non-monetary violations, the person who is to be fined or suspended must be provided with at least fourteen (14) days’ notice and an opportunity for a hearing before a fining and suspensions committee. The fining and suspensions committee must be comprised of other owners who are neither board members, nor persons residing in a board member’s household. The role of the fining and suspensions committee is limited to determining whether to confirm or reject the fine or use right suspension for non-monetary violations levied by the board of directors.

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GET IN LINE – ASSOCIATION ASSESSMENT LIEN PRIORITY

GET IN LINE – ASSOCIATION ASSESSMENT LIEN PRIORITY

  • Posted: Feb 19, 2018
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GET IN LINE – ASSOCIATION ASSESSMENT LIEN PRIORITY

At issue in today’s column is a subject we recently addressed regarding whether an association must record its assessment lien in the public records of the County in which the community is located in order for it to be effective and whether such lien relates back to the initial date of recording of the declaration. At least, as to a surplus that results from a tax foreclosure sale, the answer, in most circumstances, is that the association does not need to record its assessment lien in order to argue entitlement to the surplus, and the lien will relate back to the date of initial recording of the declaration, as was the outcome of a recent Fourth District Court of Appeal case, Calendar v. Stonebridge Gardens Section III Condominium Association, Inc., decided December 17, 2017.

In this case, Mrs. Calendar was the unit owner who lost her home as a result of a tax foreclosure. After the foreclosure sale, Mrs. Calendar asserted that she, and not the condominium association, was entitled to the surplus that resulted from the tax foreclosure sale. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed the trial court’s decision to award the surplus to the condominium association. In so doing, the appellate court cited section 718.116(5)(a), Florida Statutes (2016), which provides:

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