The July Board Meeting was a mixed bag. It was cordial, but after a statement by Pres. Paiz that this board gets along well and he doesn’t anticipate any more resignations, Director Corbin read a list of grievances on how she was being treated by other board members. These issues included:
- No board communications with Director Corbin since April. Meanwhile, the “no emails between mtgs” policy was violated by two other directors.
- Directors Corbin and Bailey were left out of two meetings which could have been rescheduled. She believes that personality conflicts and lack of common business consideration are factors. [Directors Buhl and Pfeifer were also left out of board meetings during their terms.]
- After calling Atty Krupnik, she didn’t receive a call back; the Association Attorney should be supporting all directors. [Directors Buhl and Pfeifer received similar treatment during a previous term.]
- Dir. Thompson cut her out of Neighborhood Watch communications, wouldn’t allow her to be the Treasurer, and didn’t post two requested notices. Note: NW is an organization separate from HOA management.
- Five directors blocked her from the dispute resolution meeting that removed Jim Bailey from the presidency. Pres. Paiz claimed this was out of the board’s control because the Atty recommended it. [Directors Buhl and Pfeifer received similar treatment during a previous term.]
- BOD Meeting scheduling should allow all residents to attend. Dir. Corbin does not think the board should treat some residents less well than others; they need to stop preventing residents from serving on Committees when they are capable and willing.
It appears to this former director that the Association Attorney continues to run our HOA. It’s way past time for the board to resolve old conflicts, end the power plays and resignations, follow the bylaws, and include all directors in decision-making. Doing otherwise is unprofessional and expensive.
Other Meeting Highlights:
- Pres. Paiz. agreed to alternate daytime and evening meetings – and change which day because of the fire department’s schedule, if nevessary.
- Barbara Boyd resigned to pursue retirement goals. Her vacancy will not be filled, despite M. Kaplan being next in number of votes during the election.
- Per Vince Montoya, new HOAMCO software is causing problems with website.
- Infrastructure: seal coat is done. Final pmt pending. Question over price of oil and impact on quote. Windmill Ridge 2 quote was over 150K. Need other bids. Planning for next June/July. Paying out of reserves, but fee increase expected. Budget & Finance Comm looking at it.
- Chris Schatzman and Bruno are negotiating with Ranchland Utilities. Aging, maintenance, operations, and pond are issues. Spending money on upgrades – we have to maintain filters and lines that HOA is responsible for. Inoperable valves are being repaired.
- Financials thru June – irrigation and landscaping expenditures are impacting budget. Reserves decreased $60K from pavement preservation. $93K lower in total cash and A/R, operating account, plus reserve expenditures. Balance sheet is within parameters. Income slightly ahead of budgeted because of billing cycle. Expenses better than last month. Net Income at a loss (1933.93), but improving – running behind last year. Delinquencies were previously 113K – down to 95K. [This is up from $60-80K in previous years.]
- Landscaping: Had an ABQ company look at irrigation clocks to better understand system. Filters were compacted from pond algae blooms. RU says pond is HOA resp. Really affects WR 4. Pressure dropped to 20 psi – couldn’t run pop-ups. Asked RU to boost to 35 – they refused. Unexplained lack of water in mid-July turned out to be failed pump motor. Repairs/shut-offs mean street-scapes not getting water; RU installing variable drives. Water Buffalo planned for stressed trees in WR4 and spine park. Chair Trujillo asked for money for add’l cleaning of filters. Installing gravel at Panther Peak park. B&F Committee approved. Per resident, Heads-Up removed a tree at end of Chili Line – suggested replacing with xeric plants.
- Safety Comm: recent bobcat sitings.
- DRC: no issues.
- Communications: saved $4K. New newsletter format. Donna Naes solicits articles from residents. Defined “Ex-Officio”. Committee of one is a committee.
- Town Homes: new driveways. Going to meet every other month. Budget OK. Pigeons still an issue.
- Neighbor to Neighbor Food Drive motion introduced by Dir. Thompson. Heads-Up would drop off grocery bags at front doors – HOAMCO would pay for bags. Concern over absent owners and potential crime. North decided against because they didn’t want to set a precedent for other groups. No second on motion – died.
- Donna Naes application for Communications Committee was accepted.
- Glen Smerage asked why people keep resigning from board. Pres. Paiz said that people don’t understand time commitment and sometimes personalities don’t meld well; this board gets along well and he doesn’t anticipate more resignations.
- Discussion about RV Blvd and NE/SE Connector – up to County and State. Funding is an issue.
- Annie McGovern asked to reconsider gravel at Panther Peak because of safety and liability issues. Schools do not use gravel. Also creates hot spot.
In summary, the good news is that the board, committee chairs, and HOAMCO are making progress on infrastructure and repairs. The not-so-good news is the price tag and its impact on reserves. Assessment increases are certainly in our future.
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.
Last week RVS residents received a “landscaping newsletter” from Vince Montoya. A newsletter usually provides information. This “newsletter” from Heads Up, our landscaping contractor, was nothing more than a free advertisement for their services. I assume the RVS Board approved this. The ad is apparently going to be a monthly occurrence. If Heads Up wants to advertise its services it can do so in our quarterly newsletter and pay for the ad, just like any other business. Does the Board think residents are so stupid that we can’t see this is a blatant subsidy of Heads Up?
There are many cases of HOAs across the country having too cozy a relationship with their vendors and service providers. Sometimes kickbacks are involved. I hope that is not happening here but I can’t be sure based on the past behavior of our Board.
If you object to this clumsy attempt to fool us and want it to stop, notify the Board president, Bernie Paiz: email@example.com
End of East Chili Line Road
Annie McGovern and her granddaughter were playing Pokemon Go on Tuesday and captured more than they bargained for! Caught on photo by our intrepid adventurers was the Bobcat everyone keeps talking about. See those black markings and big, bushy tail? It’s taller than the average feline, compared to the upright on the gate.
Posted for Jim Bailey:
I am attaching a copy of a county ordinance that was adopted in May, requiring trash haulers to also pick up curbside recycling. Initial information from our vendor is this may increase our solid waste fee by 50 percent, from $49.50 per quarter per home to $74.25.
Map of Service Area
While serving as president of the board, I encouraged board members to become informed of and active in county affairs, however there was a bump in that road, and as a consequence the board and management are just now dealing with this ordinance that was enacted three months ago and is set to be in force November 1st. Community Manager Montoya is exploring all options.
Please be advised that the board, NOT the treasurer, NOT the Budget and Finance Committee, is responsible for setting the 2017 HOA dues.
RVS Board work:
Posted by Moderators for: Anniemcgovern@aol.com
Our third annual FirewiseUSA Community Day, held Saturday, May 7th, was a resounding success with 79 volunteers signed in. This included seven ATC students/parents and 3 three from Amy Biehl. Twenty-two student posters from the Amy Biehl project were displayed and Judy Reinhartz, a North resident, who wrote a “Firewise Curriculum To Spark Interest” (piloted at Amy Biehl this year) talked for three hours with visitors to the exhibit. Thanks, Judy! State police, La Cienega firefighters, landscapers, residents, and HOA representatives all volunteered for this expanding community effort. Thanks so much, everyone! Together we are creating a firesafe community.
Simmering tensions exploded at Tuesday’s Board of Directors meeting and unless you were there, I doubt you will ever find out about the sheer nastiness of the evening. The minutes will never reflect what actually happened.
The tone was set at the beginning when, in his president’s report, Jim Bailey stated that he thought conflict was a positive thing and then highlighted the changes he had made to make the Board more open and enhance communications between the Board and homeowners. He compared his approach to that of former Board president Carol Thompson and criticized her style of Board leadership. Carol — who was recently appointed to the Board —objected, saying that his remarks in a public setting were inappropriate. The two of them had a sharp exchange and Carol’s supporters in the audience started shouting at Jim, all identifying themselves as “friends of Carol.”
Remarkably, after that the Board went back to regular business until at the end of the meeting, under new business Board member Barbara Boyd introduced a motion to remove Jim Bailey as president. The motion was immediately seconded and Mr. Bailey ruled it out of order according to the Bylaws, stated that it would not be acted upon and tried to adjourn the meeting. Total chaos erupted. Jim, who was sitting next to Bernie Paiz, touched Bernie’s arm and Bernie shouted at Jim not to touch him. Bernie then said he was taking over the meeting and called for a vote on the motion. Jim shouted that a vote was out of order and would not take place. Residents were also shouting; some spoke in favor of Jim, others against him. Bernie repeatedly shouted at Jim to shut up. Jim threatened a lawsuit and Bernie told him to “bring it on; I’ll see you in court.”
The meeting was adjourned without a vote. If there is a lawsuit, legal fees will be paid by residents, at least for one side of the dispute.
Board members seem more interested in plotting against each other than representing the interests of homeowners. We deserve better. I hope more residents will show an interest in running for the Board when the next election comes around.
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.
Posted for: Anne McGovern
Request or Comment: Congratulations to Teri Buhl, Windmill IV resident, for being elected the 2016 President of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, a branch of the National Association of Home Builders! This is a huge honor, and it’s wonderful that Teri’s many skills have been so publicly acknowledged.
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….
All HOAs have a committee that reviews home improvement projects to make sure they are within the guidelines of the community. The Stubbs family apparently went through the approval process in Huning Ranch, but 6 years later, they’ve been fined by HOAMCO and are being told to tear down their cabana.
Click on Cabana to see KOB News article