Some of the original residents who worked on the contents of this blog have moved away and some remain part of the community. Small improvements have been made relative to governance and a lawsuit in 2016 served as a wake-up call to some, but until more residents decide to become active in the governance of their community, significant positive change is not possible in any HOA. A great deal of work is involved in maintaining and moderating a blog, so until such time as new people who care for their community (rather than individual power) step forward to continue posting and maintaining the blog, it is being retired until further notice. Thank you for following us, but it is time to move on.
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Why Are We Publishing This Blog?
To provide an ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION SOURCE for residents who live in and near the South Association of Rancho Viejo. It’s a place where people can share ideas and have discussions about community issues in an open environment that encourages transparency and accountability. In October 2013, the Board of Directors voted 4/2 to publish highly abbreviated minutes that only include motions and votes without discussion or context. This means that residents will be unaware of important community issues (that are not voted on) unless they attend board meetings. For example, assessments may increase as aging infrastructure requires upgrades, but this may not be reflected in the meeting minutes. At the same time, the board voted to ban email between board members, making it next to impossible to conduct business between meetings which were further restricted in May 2014 to every two months. As of 2015, the BOD meets once per quarter – in 2016 this was changed to every other month. Why should you care about this? Board actions are supposed to be openly, clearly communicated to residents and made in a timely manner.
A former President and some members of the 2013 board also supported censorship decisions by the Communications Committee to remove a “Letters to the Editor” column from the RoundUp newsletter because it was too controversial. “Vocal” residents have also been prevented from advertising in the newsletter that they pay for. Several residents and Committee Chairs have also experienced what they consider to be excessive censorship on articles and reports written for the newsletter. In addition, several board members and the community manager have retaliated against residents by filing harassment charges against them (Sheriff reports are Public Record). Reporting these incidents on this Blog and holding the Board and HOAMCO accountable for their actions had curtailed this practice, then in Nov 2015 a resident received a threatening letter from the Association Attorney to take down a blog post. Actions like these are happening in HOAs across the country. (In 2017, Secretary Laura Corbin oversaw the correction of many abuses, significantly reduced costs of the RoundUp, and made the newsletter more accessible to residents, however, the BOD still is not in favor of letters to the editor.)
The people who have created this discussion forum believe in open, lively, and informative discussions about community finances, development, infrastructure, education, safety, and recreation. Having said that, the Blog will be moderated toward constructive change in the community. Racist, sexist, libelous, or inflammatory statements are not welcome and will be prevented to the best of our ability. “Snarky” individuals beware: monopolizing conversations to the detriment of others may revoke blogging privileges.
Disclaimer: This Blog is not an official publication of the Rancho Viejo South Association, Inc. The opinions or statements expressed on this Blog are not necessarily the opinions and statements of the originators or moderators; accordingly, the aforementioned cannot be held liable for public or private comments or errors made by others.