First, let us say that this current board is trying to work together. If everyone reviews past General Board Meeting minutes since March 2016 you will see over 90% of the decisions are 5-0 votes.
At our last board meeting, on June 27, 2016, there was a spirited exchange between directors Kessler and Hedlund, and the rest of the board. While we invite you to review the tape for the full details (and to come to your own conclusions), we want to advise our membership regarding our perspective. Agi and Erica both complained that they were being excluded from full board participation. The answer is: they are. But for good reason. Like most qualified comments, this requires explanation.
In 2015, when Erica was elected to the board she brought to the attention of the board a possible conflict of interest regarding Martin Stone, and the entire board responded by establishing a subcommittee of the board to deal with legal/litigation issues. Erica and Agi claim they have an unqualified legal right to participate in all board activities. That simply is not true. The board can establish limits on a director's right to participate, where to do so is legally appropriate. The majority of the board continues to believe their action was appropriate, and necessary, to protect the association and its members.
All issues discussed in this committee are issues that deal with current or potential lawsuits with the Association. Agi Kessler gets a full set of the approved minutes each month of this meeting so she knows what has transpired and Erica gets redacted minutes so she also can know what has already transpired. Also, this committee has had multiple members since its inception: first it was Stu Stryker, Joan Dzuro and Greg Middlebrook then Stu, Joan and John Council and with the new election it has become Joan, Barbara Stocky and Carey Thompson and changing members in the future (until the committee can be dissolved) is very likely.
Agi then mentioned that the board has accused Erica of divulging confidential items mentioning an example of Food and Beverage Request for Proposals (RFPs). The process we follow in our community for RFPs is that once the board decides we need to look at sending a contract out for bid, our General Manager and his staff put together RFPs and then sends them out to as many potential contractors as possible. The proposals that are received are then reviewed and discussed by the board under the contracts section of the Executive Session. After a vetting of the proposals, the board votes on the contractor. In the situation Agi mentions, the RFPs had been sent out by Ceasar and Erica had called Joan to ask who they were sent to. Joan had just asked Ceasar but had not written them down so she gave Erica the list as she could remember but told Erica there were others with the understanding that this information would be kept confidential until the contract process was complete. It was not.
Another example, as to why the current board has concerns is that an email that a board member had sent the entire board about a confidential personnel issue was forwarded by Erica to friends, of which one friend posted it on Next Door.
Boards do not keep things confidential to hide things from residents. One of the reasons confidential executive sessions are important is to prevent the entire association from being sued. For example, the board may discuss the qualifications of a certain vendor, including criticisms of the vendor's performance. If that information is shared with third parties, and the vendor claims he was wrongfully injured by the criticisms, that vendor can sue the association. Similarly, if an owner's personal financial information, such as assessment delinquencies, are made public, the owner could sue for wrongful disclosure of such private information. The board is determined to share what information it can with the members, and does so, regularly, in writing and on the internet, and by means of preserving the entire board meetings on video.
This board will continue to work for the best interest of all members of our association. That is why we were all elected to the board by the residents of this community.
Toward that end, here are some of the items this entire board has accomplished since being formed in March of 2016.
- We have two new well qualified and enthusiastic Directors in our community. Chet Sheehan for fitness and Chris Fizer for Lifestyle.World renowned golf and food and beverage vendor, Troon to take over our golf and food and beverage venues starting July 1, 2016.
- Working on a Golf Master Plan to improve not only the look of our course but the playability of our course with the goal of increasing the revenues received.
- Posted on the website are the goals the board has created for the board and PCM staff to work on over the next 15 months.
- We will have a remodeled HOA office that will give the community an additional meeting room, extra space for our residents to wait comfortably in the HOA office while their needs are being addressed, and the staff will be able to more efficiently process their assignments with adequate work space in which to do their tasks.
- We are working through the transition of having Pulte turn over all items and make sure that the punch lists are done before signing off on the bond in Phase 3.
- We have two CPA’s on our finance committee, along with a former investment banker, and with the new C3 accounting system it should make the detailed review of our finances easier for the members of the Finance Advisory Committee as well as board members.
- The treasurer has set up to answer all finance questions in writing and add those items to the website so everyone who is interested can see the Q & A sessions.
- We will have a new dog park before the end of summer in Phase 3 to help our pet owners have an additional place to have fun with their pets.
- We have a new emergency preparedness committee that is moving forward on setting up a system to give some help to our residents should a major disaster hit our community.
The next big project for the board will be the budget for 2017. With health care costs increasing, minimum wage increasing (causing wage compression issues that need to be addressed) and the 90% water rate increase these budget sessions will be critical for all.
The budget study sessions are open to the members and members are given an opportunity at the beginning of the session to address the board. Then the members can see each line by line item being discussed by the board as we look at our budgeting needs. We hope that you will attend and see how this process unfolds. Check the website and the View for announcements on these meetings.
The board is looking forward to a bright and fun fall and hope that all of you have a safe and enjoyable summer.
Joan Dzuro Barbara Stocky Carey Thompson