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.