Monthly Archives: October 2014

Annual Board Meeting Agenda —A Closer Look

At the annual meeting, our HOA Board intends to continue its practice of excluding resident input into HOA governance. We are going to be spoken to, not listened to, like children who should be seen but not heard. Look at the agenda. Item 4 lists two guest speakers in a 15-minute period. Lynn Krupnik will be paid her full hourly rate of $225 for the 7-10 minutes she will speak, according to Carol Thompson.

Usually at least 60 residents attend the annual meeting. We will have a paltry 10 minutes to ask questions of Ms. Krupnik and Justin Scott, president of HOAMCO. Since Mr. Scott never responds to residents who contact him by phone or e-mail, there may be many questions for him. And let’s make sure that Ms. Krupnik earns her full hourly rate.

At the last Board meeting in September, president Carol Thompson promised to provide a 2014 year-to-date budget/expenditure analysis in the Board packet. It is not there. Only the 2015 budget is included. A budget is just a plan. What is more important are the expenditures and whether there are categories that are over budget. Those who attended our last community meeting were shown the categories that were heavily overspent, the most notable being the legal expenditures. I am certain that the reason that the expenditures are not included is that the current Board does not want residents to see those figures.

CONTACT CAROL THOMPSON carolath@msn.com AND DEMAND THAT THE BOARD MAIL OUT THE 2014 YEAR-TO-DATE EXPENDITURES TO ALL RESIDENTS AS PROMISED.

At the end of the meeting, residents are allocated 10 minutes for comments and questions. That is a ridiculously inadequate and insulting amount of time.

RESIDENTS: YOU ARE THE HOA. THIS IS YOUR ANNUAL MEETING. DON’T LET THE CURRENT BOARD TELL YOU THAT YOU SHOULD BE SEEN BUT NOT HEARD.

A sheriff’s department representative will be present at the meeting. You are paying for his presence. The Board is doing this to intimidate us. Don’t let that happen. If you have questions that don’t fit into the 10-minute allotment, stand up and demand that your question be answered. Support other residents who also want to ask questions. Be polite and non-threatening but assert your right to have your questions answered. This is your meeting and your Board is answerable to you.

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BOARD CANDIDATE FORUM – Thursday, October 30th, at 7:00 pm at the Rancho Viejo Fire Station

Rancho Viejo South Residents:

Our 2014 Annual Meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 18th in the Jemez Room at Santa Fe Community College. A critical outcome of the meeting will be the election of candidates for the four open Director positions on the Board.

We live in a large community where it is not possible to know all our neighbors, and the annual meetings don’t allow for sufficient time to become acquainted with the candidates, and support those who best represent Ranch Viejo South.

In order to provide an opportunity for all members of the community to meet the various candidates and hear from them their view of important issues, you are invited to attend a Candidate Forum on Thursday, October 30th, at 7:00 pm at the Rancho Viejo Fire Station. Each candidate will have 3 minutes to introduce themselves, and speak to their goals as a Director, followed by a facilitated Q&A session from the audience.

We encourage all Rancho Viejo South residents to attend. There are some major issues on the horizon such as the three HOAs purchasing the irrigation system now run by Ranchland Utilities. This will have a major financial impact on residents. Find out what the candidates think.

Do We Have an Association Manager?

Since August, our HOA manager has been out of the office for five weeks. The first four in August and September were for medical reasons and last week there was a sign on the office door saying that because of “technical problems” the manager would be working from a satellite office all week. I don’t know what kind of technical problems take a week to solve and I think “satellite” is a euphemism for his home.

When the RVS manager shared an office with the RVN manager there was always a back up. A resident could drop something off or ask a question. Now that the offices are separate, there is no back up. If Mr. Montoya has medical issues, then he should take a leave and somebody else should fill in and take on the responsibilities. RVS residents pay for and deserve the services of an on-site manager, not somebody you can just communicate with sometimes via e-mail.

The Board has included a $9,000 raise for Mr. Montoya in the 2015 budget. According to two Board members, no performance review was ever conducted. I think we have to hold the Board and HOAMCO to a higher standard.

October 2 Meeting Recap

The October 2 meeting was well attended, despite the fact that our meeting notices were taken down by the HOA manager and possibly Board members.

I provided an update regarding what had happened since the last meeting – Ranchland Utilities did not renew its contract to provide irrigation water for landscaping although they are still providing water on a month-to-month basis. R.U. wants the 3 HOAs to take over the infrastructure and service. An engineering study by MolzenCorbin, funded by the 3 HOAs at ~$15,000 is now in process.  Warren Thompson is supposed to speak at the Annual Meeting about a potential public bond.

At the December Board meeting, a vote will be taken as to whether to change the meetings from once every two months to quarterly. Residents were urged to sign a petition to the Board to not do that because of concerns regarding transparency.  (Note: The September meeting lasted over 4 hours.)

RVS is awaiting the results of the first audit in 3 years. A reserve study is also being conducted. We hope to see the results prior to the Annual Meeting.

Paul Keaton, a former Board member, expressed his concerns about how the Board is now operating and read a letter he had sent to Carol Thompson, Board president about her actions against other Board members.  She did not respond.

Board member Dave Pfeiffer gave a presentation on the proposed 2015 budget, along with 2014 and 2013 expenditures. Expenditures for legal fees are already way over budget in 2014. I pointed out that our legal expenditures are running about five times those of the North Association.

The budget preparation meeting was held in private; residents were not allowed to attend. The 2015 budget contains a $9,000 increase in salary and benefits for Vince Montoya, the HOA manager. No performance evaluation was conducted.

There is no HOA dues increase in the 2015 budget. The current Board wants residents to believe that this is due to excellent budget management. In truth, the HOA received a $150,000 settlement from Univest a couple of years ago and $50,000 was put towards operating costs while the remainder was put in the reserve fund. That was a one-time event; in future if we continue to overspend the budget or if our reserves are deemed to be underfunded by the company doing our reserve study, our dues will have to go up.

Election process: It was explained that proxy ballots could be used for different purposes. Directed proxies include votes for candidates and can be mailed or given to neighbors to take to the Annual meeting. A ballot that is mailed in but does not contain votes for candidates is supposed to be used for quorum purposes only.

At the September Board meeting I had asked the Board to allow mailed ballots to be sent to a neutral third-party rather than HOAMCO, which has shown itself not to be neutral, but that request, was denied. It was suggested that residents attend the Annual meeting and submit their votes in person to lessen the possibility of tampering.

Lynn Krupnik, the association attorney, will speak at the Annual meeting. She will be charging her hourly fee of $225. Residents can ask questions of Ms. Krupnik at the meeting.

We intend to hold a Candidate Forum prior to the election so Board candidates can present their views and residents can ask questions. It will likely be held at the end of October.

WHY Would Our Board President Refuse To Negotiate With Ranchland Utilities?

An important question/revelation occurred.  While driving through our Community yesterday, it dawned on me. WHY did Carol, our Board President, refuse to negotiate with Ranchland Utilities for the reclaimed/irrigation water?  Let alone also disband the Cooperative Task Force working toward a solution with Ranchland, without notice?  We all know what the outcome would be.   SO DOES CAROL.   And there you go.   Her quest for importance, power, she WANTS to be in charge of this.   Did she intentionally sabotage our relationship/service/contract with Ranchland Utilities, to try to FORCE the Community to take over, build, run and manage the reclaimed water and irrigation, of which she will be in charge?  (See Ranchland.)

We as a community have no way to do this.   We cannot take on a private enterprise, or such an endeavor-the cost of having to build our own facility and system, operate and manage. And surely to add, not an unfair set up where all the Estate lots receive free reclaimed (gray) water that the other residents pay for.   This is an unacceptable scenario forced upon by Carol and it’s on her hands that we no longer will have irrigation for our Community. We are not in the business and will not be held liable for such an uncontrollable cost and maintenance that we shouldn’t be in as a residential Community. The end result will be, anything able to survive naturally without irrigation.  Our landscaping costs will decrease paying only for maintenance of remaining self sufficient landscaping.  If it dies, it gets removed, and/or covered with rocks.   And that will be the only choice we have without Ranchland.

RV Moderators: 1) Regarding estate lots and gray water; while there is one estate lot in the Capitol Peak area that receives irrigation water, this is not typical policy for all estate lots.  2) The president disbanded the 2013 Infrastructure task force that was holding discussions with R.U. and is currently meeting with them in closed sessions unavailable to residents.  Despite contract expiration R.U. has continued to supply gray water on a month-to-month basis, and recently requested that additional residents be included in discussions pertaining to irrigation infrastructure (and a presentation for the Nov. 18 annual meeting).