Advisory Committees are a place where your neighbors and friends volunteer to address issues and discuss possible solutions to any problems we might have in the community. Often there are differing opinions on matters -- but in the end the committee generally comes to a recommendation. And that final recommendation is then made to the Board, for the Board to vote on.
For example, the Safety Advisory Committee researched the fine structures in other communities in the CV, and recommended to the Board that to solve the safety hazard we had with excessive speeding and failures to stop -- that fines should be increased. The result of course has been a 59% decrease in speeding tickets and a 40% decrease in failures to stop. So it appears the committee was correct. The Board has recently asked the SAC to provide an updated report on fine structures in other communities.
The Landscape Advisory Committee checks the grounds on a regular basis and may make recommendations concerning tree and shrubbery replacement or turf removal projects.
The Information Advisory Committee may discuss new methods of ensuring residents get the answers that they are looking for in our community -- or have a mechanism for providing comments to the Board.
According to California Civil Code 4900 -- Open Meeting Act -- there is no law requiring that advisory committees hold open meetings or post agendas. The Open Meeting Act applies only to meetings of the board.
And indeed, last year our Board elected to close the advisory committee meetings. Why did they do that? These meetings are serious business. Members are discussing serious issues. A few residents attended several of our meetings and disrupted them -- talking aloud, shouting at members, making strange noises -- making it near impossible for the committee to function. One committee had to adjourn. Another simply took the abuse but several members wanted to resign.
The effectiveness of our operation depends in large part on the expertise of our advisory committee members and the recommendations they make to the Board.
When several different meetings were disrupted several times and some committee members felt targeted and no longer wanted to serve -- the Board decided that in order for these advisory committees to be able to do their job properly, these committee meetings would have to be closed. No one wanted to do this -- but it was necessary.
To ensure that residents would be kept abreast of what the committees were doing, the decision was made to post all meeting agendas and all meeting notes on our community website -- so that residents could be kept informed of what the committees were discussing. In addition, residents are encouraged to use the firstname.lastname@example.org email if they have any questions about what a committee is discussing.
That being said, if any resident has a legitimate concern related to the committee's charter and would like to attend an advisory committee meeting for the purpose of formally addressing the committee, any resident can email the chair of the committee and make a request. If the Chair finds the subject relevant, the resident will be invited to attend an advisory committee meeting.