Category Archives: Transparency

Issue of BOD disclosure to residents

Transparency and the RVS Community Manager

Our HOA community manager Vincent Montoya became an owner and resident of RVS in April 2016. We previously had a community manager — Jessica Pfeiffer — who was also a resident and this was publicly known. There are certainly advantages to having a manager who lives in the community but some potential drawbacks and potential conflicts of interest also exist.

The previous Board of Directors chose to keep secret the fact that Mr. Montoya and his family moved to RVS. That secret started to unravel when the Montoyas’ house was broken into and Mr. Montoya’s wife Tina posted about the incident on the NextDoor Windmill Ridge website. Several days later she posted a critical comment about the new Board (which had not yet appointed officers or had an official meeting), not doing anything about the spate of thefts in RVS. However Ms. Montoya posted her comments using an assumed name, Roland Alarid, who I believe is a relative.

At the Annual Meeting when the issue of security was discussed, President Paiz referred to “something that cannot be revealed,” presumably the fact that the Montoyas’ home was entered. Publicly available information on the Internet shows that the Montoyas live on Madre Mountain. As a resident, Ms. Montoya is entitled to criticize the Board, but she should use her own name and not pose as someone else. Both posts have since been removed and the name Roland Alarid has been changed to TL Alarid on the Windmill Ridge NextDoor site.

By trying to keep it a secret that the Montoyas live here, both the previous Board and Mr. Montoya created an unnecessary problem. To avoid any other difficulties in future, I suggest that Mr. Montoya publicly reveal to RVS residents — perhaps via an email blast — that he and his family live here.

I also suggest that the new Board speak with Mr. Montoya about transparency and possible conflicts of interest, particularly regarding the election process. The Board should clearly set forth his different roles as an employee community manager and a resident.

 

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Another Board Resignation

Posted for Annie McGovern by Moderator:

Word on the street is that another Rancho Viejo South board member, this time Jim Bailey, has resigned from the board. No eblast has been sent by the RVS board or Community Manager, at least I have not received one, notifying residents of this event. This makes three this term.  When Eric Sanders resigned, the board appointed Carol Thompson, a direct slap in the face to residents who obviously voted otherwise during the election.  When Barbara Boyd resigned, no action was taken, even though Marcia Kaplan had the next highest votes in the election.  Why the double standard?  Am I correct that according to Roberts’ Rules of Order, though not mandated, the person with the highest number of votes in the previous election should be the next to fill a vacancy?  And does anyone know why Jim Bailey’s resignation is all so hush-hush? My understanding is that he resigned more than a week ago – and we’re sorry to see you go,  Jim.

RVS Board Appoints Carol Thompson to Vacancy

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
  Suite E
         

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 vmontoya@hoamco.com.

Thank you,

Vince Montoya
 Community Manager 
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.

 

 

A Couple of Positive Actions by the Board

Perhaps the Board is listening to residents’ concerns. Next year it will be holding meetings every two months instead of quarterly. Additionally, meetings will alternate between days  and evenings, allowing people who work during the day to attend meetings.

These are two commendable actions. Now if only residents were given time to speak about issues on the agenda….

 

RVSCA Annual Financial Comparison

See below for a comparison of Income Statements from 2011 to Sep 2015 for our community.  Per HOAMCO, we received an “unqualified” audit this year and last, but that does not mean either audit was perfect.  In 2014, a former board member discovered errors in the audit and contacted the audit firm to schedule a meeting to discuss the errors.  The meeting was cancelled by the Board.  A new audit firm was hired after the former firm declined to audit our financials this year.  In the same time period, resignations, re-appointments, and a changing of the guard occurred.  In 2015, after a County investigation into unlicensed businesses, it was discovered that no Gross Receipts Taxes were paid on Advertising Revenue in the RoundUp newsletter since 2008, which could lead to fines and penalties.  A resident asked about this issue at a Board meeting this year, but did not receive a satisfactory answer.

It is HOAMCO’s responsibility to track financials, produce reports, guide the Board, and ensure transparency – especially when we have had no Treasurer since July 2014.  Make sure you ask about the financials at the Annual Meeting – and make sure you get your proxies to the Community Manager before 5PM Monday or your votes may not be counted at the Annual Meeting.  Last year’s photo of the Community Manager altering proxy votes was pretty embarrassing for the Board – don’t expect more transparency this year.  Last year, they cheated to win.  Let’s hope we won’t have to endure another “rah-rah” speech from the Association Attorney and the HOAMCO CEO again this year.  What did Einstein say about the definition of insanity?  Keep voting for the same people, folks ….

Click HERE to download a copy

FC 2015 Pg 1

FC 2015 Pg 2

 

Effluent Water Homework Group

When the effluent water issue is decided, according to the proposal one person will oversee administration (not operation) of the venture in the name of all the HOAs. That person needs to be someone who has proven effective as a team player, has extensive administrative experience combined with a reputation for integrity and transparency, and who has openly supported all options being seriously considered, not just that $1.9 million bond which could sink residents.

The question is, will residents of all three HOAs vote for that person, or will the decision be made by a small group of insiders who appoint a crony? We know the South has historically not supported transparency, evidenced in this issue by the blast sent by the RVS HOA manager disparaging the planned recent (and as it turned out highly informative and objective!) information meeting at the fire station as “premature” and “non-sanctioned” while the North and La Entrada sent blasts to all residents informing them of the meeting and encouraging participation!

So who will be the overseer (czar)? What would be the interests/benefit to that person? Who would want to do it, and why? What should be the qualifications? Remember, this would be a master HOA supposedly representing all three HOAs for the effluent water issue. Bear in mind that part of the reason, stated by Warren Thompson at the meeting as a reason that Ranchland Utility is selling, is the absolute impossibility of the three HOAs to work together toward resolution. From what I’ve heard, the South has been particularly cantankerous and uncooperative, moving the homework to the last minute before elections, etc. We need someone residents can trust to do the job right, honestly, and transparently!

Irrigation Engineering Study

Ranchland Utilities requested an engineering study (each association paid  ~$5K for the MolzenCorbin study) to examine repair and maintenance costs, and make recommendations regarding future upgrades to the system to ensure that the entire community has irrigation water as growth continues.  Please click on this link: Irrigation Future to go to the page on Irrigation and download a copy of the MolzenCorbin study.

Educate yourselves, residents!  The character of our community is at stake.  None of these costs were anticipated in the audit that was published at last year’s RVSCA annual meeting – nor are they in any reserve studies.

Ranchland utilities is proposing much needed “Homework Group” meetings and needs residents to participate.  They have asked each association for $2000 to pay for these facilitated meetings.  The RVSCA BOD decided at the April BOD meeting to ask R.U. to reduce the cost – indicating to some residents that they are not prioritizing this issue to the level it deserves.  Contact your BOD and ask them to publish the final study and support the Homework Group meetings – then get out there and attend the meetings!