In a special meeting on February 23, Carol Thompson was appointed to fill the vacancy on the Board in a unanimous vote of the four members present. Board president Jim Bailey and member Laura Corbin did not attend. Vice President Bernie Paiz presided over the meeting. He said that the Board had waited over 72 hours from the resignation to fill the vacancy, as if there were some great urgency to the matter. In the past vacancies have remained open for months. Paiz stated that in the Board’s new efforts to foster transparency, an email had been sent to solicit residents who wished to submit their names for consideration for the post. Here is the email message that was sent.
|Dear Rancho Viejo South Residents,
This message shall serve as notice of a
Special Meeting called by the Board of Directors.
Below please find the details of the meeting:
Date: Tuesday, February, 23rd
Time: 3:00 PM
Location: Rancho Viejo South Association Office
55 Canada Del Rancho
Purpose of Meeting: Board Vacancy/Appointment.
Per the Associations By-Laws no other business shall be discussed.
If you have any questions and or concerns please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rancho Viejo South
Do you see an invitation in this message? Me neither.
In my previous post I suggested residents submit their names if interested. One person did actually apply and two minutes before the meeting started people in the audience were asked if they wished to submit their name for consideration and two of us did. That’s what the Board considered a fair and open process.In reality nobody other than Carol Thompson was ever considered.
Ms. Thompson was nominated by Jonalynn Grover who stated her reasoning for nominating her was that Ms.Thompson had received the next highest number of votes in the last election. Community Manager Montoya said her reference to the election would be stricken from the motion so as not to” set a precedent” of filling vacancies according to vote tallies. That’s because if there is another Board opening and they follow this process the next person in line would be someone they really don’t want to be on the Board – me.
RVS residents received an email from community manager Vince Montoya on Friday about a special Board meeting February 23 to fill a Board vacancy. Eric Sanders, who was elected to the Board in November, has resigned.
I have no doubt that Carol Thompson will be appointed to his seat. The stated rationale will be that she received the next highest number of votes during the November election. Ordinarily that would make sense. But in the last two years when there were vacancies, individuals who did not run in the elections were appointed and those next in line based on votes in the previous election were passed over.
This is the second year in a row that Carol Thompson did not receive enough votes to gain a seat on the Board and yet will likely again be serving. In the 2014 election the community manager, Mr. Montoya, altered proxies that were eligible for quorum purposes only, appointed himself proxy, and voted for Carol. That allowed her to edge out Dave Pfeiffer by about 13 votes. In early 2015 when a vacancy occurred, the Board refused to appoint Dave who should have been given a seat based on the rationale that is now being employed. It took over two months for these appointments to be made. Mr. Sanders was one of the individuals appointed. Now he appears to be stepping aside to allow Carol to assume what some Board members believe to be her right — to serve on the Board as long as she wants, even if that is not the preference of residents.
In both 2014 and 2015, residents via their votes made it clear that they did not want Carol Thompson on the Board. The next Board meeting is in March and the right thing to do is advertise the opening and solicit residents who may wish to serve. A replacement should be appointed at the March meeting. There is certainly no reason to rush to hold a special meeting next Tuesday to fill the vacancy as there is no Board business until then.
The special meeting is being held during the day when fewer residents can attend the meeting. The regular March meeting will be held in the evening when attendance might be greater. The Board is clearly trying to thwart the wishes of voting residents. All the lip service about being more transparent is a lie. This is an example of the same secret backroom shenanigans that have been going on for years.
I suggest the Board establish a clear policy regarding how vacancies should be filled. The process should not be left to the whim of Board members who take different approaches based on who they like.
If you are interested in being appointed or wish to voice your views about this appointment and process, contact the Board through Jim Bailey, the president, email@example.com before Tuesday.