Category Archives: Election – Annual Meeting

REMINDER—ANNUAL MEETING, TUESDAY NOV. 15th 6 p.m.

Please attend the annual meeting next Tuesday. If you cannot be there, please vote by filling out the blue proxy form in your annual meeting packet. If you do not assign an individual to be your proxy, your form will be used only for establishing a quorum and your vote will not count. Remember to sign the form and give it to the person you have assigned as your proxy or send it to the HOA office.

You must be in good standing (not in arrears on your assessment) to be able to vote.

 

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Why I’m A Candidate for the HOA Board

First, I would like to thank the residents who turned out for the Candidate Forum last Saturday. Some very thoughtful questions were asked. I also want to reach out to residents who did not attend.

I am running because we currently have a Board that is totally dysfunctional. Between December 2015 and September 2016, three of the seven Board members resigned. The Board has spent at least $6,000 of our money on legal fees related to internal disputes among Board members. The HOA attorney is representing some Board members against others. That is not what our legal budget was meant for.

Residents of RVS deserve better. You deserve rational, sane individuals who commit to representing your best interests. My objective is to have an honest, competent Board that is receptive to resident input.

Several residents have told me that they don’t get involved in politics and therefore are not interested in the activities of the HOA or voting for Board members. This isn’t about politics; it’s about money. Your money.

Your HOA Board gets to spend the money from your assessments and if you are not interested in how they spend it, there is opportunity for abuse — like the $6,000 mentioned above. Our assessments are increasing in 2017, mainly because of the County implementing a curbside recycling program. We should be looking for ways to cut costs to offset the increase, not wasting money.

For the third year in a row I have asked the Board to furnish residents with year-to-date expenditures for 2016 in the Annual Meeting packet, not just the budget for 2017. For the third year in a row they have not complied although they said would do so. Despite giving lip service to transparency, members of the current Board do not want residents to receive certain information, including how your money is spent. I want to know why. Don’t you?

Apathy is the greatest threat to an honest and accountable Board of Directors.  If residents show no interest in how the Board operates and how it spends your money, the Board can make decisions not in your best interest and waste your money as well.

We’ve had too much discord in our community over the past three years; we need Board members who can create a more harmonious environment to better serve the people who live here. I can help accomplish that.

It would be helpful if all candidates for the Board would post their views on the issues facing RVS on this blog. And I urge all residents to vote, either in person at the Annual Meeting on November 15, or by appointing a proxy.

 

 

Clarification about Election Letter From RVS Resident

Vince Montoya, the HOA Community Manager, sent out an e-mail blast today about a letter that was sent by a resident of RVS to other residents regarding the upcoming election. The letter was actually very straightforward and the author, Glen Smerage, identified himself as a resident and never said that he represented the HOA. Mr. Smerage provided his address, telephone number, and e-mail address and anyone that wants to can contact him directly.

Some people had questions as to how their addresses were obtained. One possible way is from a mailing list broker. Names and addresses are public information and brokers obtain them and segment them by zip code and many other criteria. Anyone who wishes can purchase a mailing list from a broker.

Surely, like me, many of you receive several postcards a month from real estate agents describing house sales and listings in Rancho Viejo. How did they get your name and address? From a mailing list broker or from County records.

Regarding Mr. Smerage’s offer to act as a proxy for those who do not want to attend the Annual Meeting, this practice has been going on in RVS on an informal basis for years. If you don’t attend the meeting in person but still want to vote, you have to designate a proxy.

In his e-mail Mr. Montoya positions himself as the source of “direct accurate information.” I have statements from residents who reported that prior to the 2014 election Mr. Montoya called them and said that their proxies were not filled out correctly and that he would be more than happy to come to their homes, help them fill out the forms correctly and act as their proxy. That solicitation is no different from what Mr. Smerage did. And Mr. Smerage actually lives here. Mr. Montoya does not.

There is nothing underhanded or nefarious going on.

I should note that I am a candidate for the Board and Mr. Smerage endorsed me. I did not ask for his endorsement, and did not see the letter before it was sent.

Meet the 2016 RVS Board Candidates October 29, 2016 from 10AM – 12PM

Click HERE to download flyer

forum-flyer-sfcc

RVS Open Director Positions

In regards to RVS Community Manager’s email “Notice of Interest – Board of Directors” sent October 4, 2016, I believe there is an error in the identification of vacancy term lengths.

How Many Board Director Positions Are Open? What Are The Terms Of Service?

It is no surprise that given the spate of resignations from our RVS Board this year, 2016, as well as last year, 2015, there is some confusion as to who must run for the open Director positions at the next Annual meeting, and how long will the term of office be.

The terms for Board members are two years and they are elected in alternate years. Three Directors run for office one year, followed by four Directors who run the subsequent year so that some continuity is maintained on the Board. (See By-Laws, 3.3, paragraphs ii. iii, and  iv.)

What Happens When There Is A Vacancy?

According to RVS By-laws:

In the event of the death, disability, or resignation of an Owner Director, the Board may declare a vacancy and appoint a successor to fill the vacancy until the next annual meeting, at which time the Voting Delegates entitled to fill such directorship shall elect a successor for the remainder of the term. (See by-Laws 3.5, 4th paragraph.)

Thus, any Director who was appointed to a vacancy as a result of a resignation will fill the vacancy until the next annual meeting which in this case will be November 15, 2016. At the Annual meeting a successor (who may be the appointee, if s/he chooses to run) will be elected to complete the remainder of the term (which in the case of filling a 2-year incomplete term, means holding office for one year).

Past practice has been that open 2-year Director positions are filled by the top vote getting candidates, and the 1-year incomplete successor term(s) is filled by the next highest vote getting candidate(s).

This is not the first time the question has arisen as to how many positions are open and for how long. 

A Brief History

2014 Election

At the Annual General meeting of the RVS HOA in November, 2014, there were four open Director positions filled:

  • Three 2-year terms filled by Bernie Paiz, Jonnalynn Grover, and John Zipprich;
  • One 1-year term to replace Paul Burguieres’ position (who resigned and was not replaced by a board appointee). Carol Thompson had completed her 2-year term as a Director and was running for a Board position. Since she received the fourth highest number of votes of the eight candidates running, her term was for the open 1-year successor position for Burguieres .

Continuing 2014 Board Members were (1-year term remaining for each):

  • Bonnie Houston,
  • Laura Corbin,
  • Jim Kerr

2015 Election

In January, 2015, we learned of Laura Corbin’s resignation (1-year term remaining of a two year term), and in April we were informed of Bonnie Houston’s resignation (1-year remaining of a two year term).

At the April 28, 2015 RVS Board meeting, Laura Corbin was appointed to fill her previously resigned position, and there was no appointment made at that time to fill Bonnie Houston’s position.

Then, we were informed of John Zipprich’s resignation (2-year term) sometime in August, 2015.

As of August 20, 2015, we were informed of the successor appointments of Rev. Dr. Barbara Boyd and Eric Sanders to fill the vacancies of Bonnie Houston and John Zipprich.

So, there was a full Board of seven Directors present at the September 22, 2015 Board meeting.

What did that mean for the election of Director candidates for the November 17, 2015 Annual meeting?

It meant that there were five Director candidate positions open for a seven member Board:

  • Four 2-year terms to replace the expired terms for Houston, Kerr, Thompson (who was the successor for Paul Burguieres’ position), and Corbin (successor for herself),
  • One 1-year successor term to complete Zipprich’s term.

The Election Results of the Annual meeting of the RSV HOA in November, 2015 for the five open positions (in vote tally order)

  • Eric Sanders: 71, term = 2 years
  • Barbara Boyd: 66, term = 2 years
  • Laura Corbin: 58, term = 2 years
  • Jim Bailey: 57, term = 2 years
  • Jim Kerr: 50, term = 1 year — to complete Paul Burguieres’ position which had previously been filled by appointee Carol Thompson.
  • Carol Thompson: 48, not re-elected
  • Marcia Kaplan: 38, not elected

Continuing 2015 Board Members (1-year terms remaining for each):

  • Bernard Paiz
  • Jonnalyn Grover

Upcoming 2016 Election

In Spring 2016 Eric Sanders (2-year term) resigned; Carol Thompson appointed successor for the remainder of 2016.

In June/July Barbara Boyd (2-year term) resigned; no action taken to fill vacancy.

in September Jim Bailey (2-year term) resigned; no action taken to fill vacancy.

2016 current Board members:

  • Bernard Paiz (end of 2-year term),
  • Jonnalyn Grover (end of 2-year term),
  • Laura Corbin (one year remaining),
  • Jim Kerr (successor-completes 2-year term for Burguieres)
  • Carol Thompson (successor for Sanders),
  • Two unfilled Director positions; each have a 1-year successor term open through November, 2017.

How Many Board Director Positions Are Open? 

By my count there are six openings:

  • Three 2-year terms (to replace Paiz, Grover, Kerr/Burguieres’ successor);
  • Three 1-year successor terms (to replace Thompson/Sanders, Boyd-unfilled, and Bailey-unfilled).

Thus, only Laura Corbin need not run for a Director position.

I hope this summation helps to clarify Director openings and terms of office.

Related Content:  Election Results 2014  and   Election Results 2015

Annual Meeting Recap

Despite having an agenda with 20 minutes allocated to resident questions and comments, for the second year in a row, no resident input at the end of the meeting was allowed. What did the Board consider more important?

The Board hired the facilitator of the irrigation meetings to conduct a silly group exercise. We were also treated to a 10-minute picture presentation of the Community Manager driving around the community. Yes, those two things were way more significant than answering resident questions or listening to their comments.

The firm of Swain and Grieco made a presentation of their recently completed audit. They stated there were no material findings. However, the audit contains the following language.

“An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. The procedures selected depend on the auditor’s judgment, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, the auditor considers internal control relevant to the entity’s preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Association’s internal control.”

Also we now have a situation where the one individual fills both the Board president and the treasurer positions. That is not a good practice from the standpoint of checks and balances.

2016 President is Also Treasurer

This is a very tricky subject, so first let me say that I think Jim Bailey will make a good Treasurer.  Let me say further that I believe him to be a fairly ethical person despite some of the things he has said about me on public blogs.  He also has the kind of folksy friendliness to get along with the other directors and probably will make a good president.  He gave a committee report at the Annual Meeting that was witty, informative (especially in sharing delinquent account data), and could have been better if it had been a bit shorter.

Jim has my best wishes for success whether he needs them or not.  After being on the board for two years, I know that serving this community is no easy task.

I also know that all across the country, when HOA’s get into trouble with financial misdeeds (not saying we are), it is often the President who is found guilty, especially if granted access to HOA cash or funds.  Most boards of directors, HOA or otherwise, do not allow the fearless leader to also “handle the books” – at least, not without further checks and balances.  It is very puzzling that out of seven board members, no one else volunteered or was nominated to be president, so that Jim could concentrate on being Treasurer.  Since no one else obviously felt comfortable volunteering to be Treasurer, I hope the rest of the directors and HOAMCO are up to the task of providing helpful oversight, since they ALL have fiduciary responsibility for the Association (no matter what letters they have – or not – after their last names).