Yesterday I posted, under my name, an item with proof that an individual who was appointed to the Board the previous evening was not a resident of RVS. Owning a home here or spending a few weeks a year here is not the same as living here.
One of the Board members, Bonnie Houston, had this to say about my posting:
“This is just another example of this anonymous groups use of conjecture and innuendo to malign a resident. Why? Fear of the unknown? Pure meanness? Or just because they can ….from behind the curtain?
Obviously this was written by someone who attended last night’s meeting. Someone that would have heard that the newest member of the board is a resident – a basic requirement for serving on the board – but this anonymous author has chosen to talk trash the board as well as the newest member. If this or these poor souls are so miserable living in this community, why don’t they move?”
Hmmm. I’m not anonymous. My name was on the post. Maligning somebody? Conjecture and innuendo? I don’t think she understands LinkedIn. I posted Mr. Zipperer’s profile, something that he wrote and that is publicly available. He identifies himself as someone who lives and works in Houston, Texas. These are his words, not mine. And Ms. Houston thinks that is trash talking.
Here is the link to his profile.
I do believe you have to be signed up with LinkedIn to see it. I copied a screen shot from the site but Ms. Houston thought I made that up.
I’m not moving, Ms. Houston. I would prefer that you move. I will be working to make Rancho Viejo South a better community with a Board of Directors that does not treat residents with disdain and contempt.
I was curious to see what problems HOAs are having in other states so I did a Web search. The two states with the largest number of associations are California and Florida. Both states have better laws for resident protection than New Mexico but Florida still seems to have the worst abuses. How do boards get away with it? Residents’ indifference and apathy. And our Board has, like the Board mentioned below, held private Board meetings that excluded two Board members.
Look at this story:
DECEIT AND THEFT IN A CONDO ASSOCIATION…PART 2 IT GETS WORSE!
Written by Mitchell Drimmer on July 22, 2014.
When we last left Tim, Joe and Rita they had committed a mountain of sins against their own community association. By having private board meetings they had violated state statutes. When they diverted rental revenue to their own bank account they were guilty of grand theft. When they drilled the locks on abandoned units and rented them out they committed an act of breaking and entering. Worst of all they had violated the trust of their neighbors and partners in Gonif Condo association, but this was just the beginning.
Like most criminals who get away with a crime the greed is too much for them to resist and they start to look for other ways to unjustly enrich themselves. This pattern followed the board of Gonif Condominium Association and Tim, Joe and Rita became like a school of sharks on a feeding frenzy.
Gonif Condo was without a management company so the association did need to have an office staff which Rita was only too willing to occupy so that this rogue board could maintain their control of the association. Last year office supplies cost the association $750.00 but this year the costs skyrocketed and the expense of running the office went up to $ 12,000.00, which is not bad because after all they were saving on paying a management company. Part of those expenses went to buy some beautiful new laptop computers and printers (three of each to be exact) and although they were delivered to the association’s office they did wind up in the apartment’s of the board of directors.
Tim was an engineer who had a lot of connections in the construction industry (cousin Jimmy) and the association required some “emergency” repairs. To keep things looking honest three bids went out but it was a cousin Jimmy that received the job, and under the table cash did change hands. The association needed new rugs in the hallways and Rita found a company that would install them (her sister in law Susan). For that consideration Tim, Joe and Rita each got new floors installed in their private units at no charge (cousin Susan had impeccable taste in marble floors). Petty cash was another revenue stream for the board and as long as they did not raise the maintenance fees nobody complained. They raided the reserve fund to pay for the carpeting and so called emergency repairs. The association was kept clean, services were maintained, and nobody complained or even cared.
Tim, Joe and Rita no longer even bothered to hold board meetings and just managed the building over the phone, email and if they had to meet they would do so privately in one of their apartments. Aside from the revenue stream realized from skimming the rents on the apartments that they were renting the total cost to the association for the hard work performed by their board of directors amounted to another $130,000.00 in their first year and nobody said anything and the rape of Gonif Condominium Association continued.
Last night the Board of Directors appointed a new Board member to fill a vacancy. This individual was not present at the meeting and was not interviewed by the full Board. In fact, some Board members had never met the individual. He supposedly owns a home in Rancho Viejo but it appears he lives in Texas. Following is a synopsis of his LinkedIn profile and a link to the profile.
I think before the Board appoints someone as a Director, that person should be interviewed by the full Board. And, with hundreds of residents living in RVS, can’t the Board choose someone who actually lives here and can attend meetings?
2012 – Present (2 years)Houston, Texas Area
If you read the meeting notice for the July 22nd BOD meeting, we were wondering if the board President had already made an “executive decision” as to who would succeed the Treasurer, Paul Burguieres, who resigned on July 4th. That is exactly what happened!
Director Buhl motioned that David Pfeifer be accepted as the new RVSA Treasurer based on his previous experience as Treasurer in another association, his extensive knowledge of Rancho Viejo from his past experience working with the Developer, and his current responsibility as director of the City of Santa Fe’s Department of Public Works and it’s multi-million dollar budget. President Thompson and Directors Corbin, Houston, and Kerr voted no to deny Director Pfeifer a role that he is imminently qualified for. When residents asked why, the three directors refused to reply. The President explained that she had already talked to the current chair of the budget and finance committee, Carl Baldwin, about the position.
Why are we not surprised? The President believes that she has the divine right to make executive decisions for the BOD despite the ByLaws. Director Pfeifer has been very persistent in asking for certain financial and legal records and his requests have been very persistently refused by the President. She and the Community Manager frequently consult legal counsel without full BOD approval and she probably doesn’t want a Treasurer that challenges her on legal budget overruns … hmmm.
By the way, the next BOD meeting is in September, so the Association could be without a Treasurer for another two months.
In May, an off-leash pitbull attacked a shitzu on RVS trails and the shitzu could not be saved by emergency personnel. The State of New Mexico has filed criminal charges against the pitbull owner who will be arraigned in Magistrate Court on July 23. See drop-down under “Meetings and Notices” tab for more details.
Update: Link for 7/22/2014 article in the New Mexican:
Posted for: email@example.com
I am growing increasingly concerned with how our board president is conducting herself and conducting association business. The board president is denying a board member access to records. This is a red flag! Per the association Bylaws, all board members absolutely have the right to any and all association records. This does not require permission from the board president or any other board member! The board president is in violation of the Bylaws once again. She continues to abuse her power and authority, as her mantra is, “Because, I am the president and CEO!” Wow! It seems the power has gone to her head and she has no problem with violating the Bylaws. As for certain board members, they blindly follow her lead as if they are under her spell.
“A lie doesn’t become the truth,
wrong doesn’t become right and
evil doesn’t become good,
just because it is accepted by a majority.”
I ask this simple question …. what is it that she is trying so hard to hide? If there was nothing to hide then why can’t this board member have access to all records? This can only lead to the conclusion that there is misconduct and perhaps illegal actions or transactions occurring. The scary part is that before anyone knows about it, it will be too late and it will be the RVS homeowners who pay the price.
Those of us (including 2 board members) who ask questions and take a stand against this abuse by the board president and certain board members, are ostracized. We are treated poorly because these board members are afraid of what we are discovering. I encourage you to question expenses and the actions of your board members, but beware you may be ostracized too. If you would like to be informed, attend a board meeting and witness for yourself what is going on.