Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast256
Below is a synopsis of this episode.
Good morning residents,
Pools: We were required by State and County Order to close the Indoor pool. The Board met on Monday with staff on how to implement the outdoor pool schedules given the increased demand with different types of swimming. Some people want to walk, some want to lap swim, some want float around, etc.
Beginning January 4:
The Montecito pool will start with a 45 minute time slot for 8 people, then a 15 minute break, then a 30 minute time slot for lap swimming only for 3 people, then a 15 minute break, and then it will repeat.
Santa Rosa Pool will start with a 30 minute time slot for one person in the area, then a 15 minute break, then a 30 minute time slot for 2 people in the Pool and 1 person in the spa.
We will keep the same hours to start and see if the reservation system becomes full, in which case we will then decide on extending hours beyond 6 pm.
Let us know how it goes during this time so if we need to make adjustments it can be done.
The spas are open at both pools but only for one person at a time or for members of the same household.
Email from Marie Devito: Sometimes the Board and I receive messages which attack our character and question our integrity. I don’t see any value in responding to such messages, but I want to share one such message in the hope we agree such messages serve no useful purpose. We want residents to volunteer, to help, and such messages as this do nothing to help promote that outcome. It is one thing to ask the Board why they reach a decision, or to offer information to help reach a decision, but it is quite another thing to attack the character of the Board or its members because you disagree with a decision. That serves no useful purpose. The following message was sent to Kim Fuller on 12/19/20:
It is amazing to me that you feel it perfectly okay to compare SCSH to SCPD when it comes to the Covid -19 Virus.
Why is it that you were not willing to compare SCSH to SCPD when they negotiated a deal with Spectrum for $43 per month for internet, cable and telephone; even though a majority of the residents in a survey wanted Spectrum. Why have you not compared SCSH to SCPD when they negotiated Dewey Pest Control for $12. per month. We do not.
SCPD self manages and therefore make decisions on what the majority of the residents want. Not SCSH – You make decisions and I quote your rude answer to me at an open meeting “Because I can.” I have been told by another resident that when she said she didn’t understand something your answer was “You don’t have to understand.”
Your name here has become “Fuehrer Fuller” and it is rightfully deserved.
I shall respond to the different points one at a time.
We compare information from SCPD with ourselves all the time to compare best business practices. That does not mean that SCSH will follow the policies of SCPD, they are a separate business, and each will do things the way they think best.
We did compare SCPD’s Spectrum plan with all proposals given to us by all companies. This information was discussed at the Town Hall meetings. This is responsible planning and makes the final decision on how to proceed more informed. If you all recall it was Spectrum that stopped all negotiations for months while we waited to get a new proposal from them. There is nothing we can to about that process, it was out of our hands. Spectrum then changed the proposal to one with reduced services and an increased price. Originally Spectrum plan was favored by a great majority of residents, but after the Spectrum plan changed, the number of residents in support declined. The Board’s unanimous decision was to try and not impact in a negative way so many residents. 40% of the residents polled did not want the Spectrum plan for a variety of reasons. It is true 60% of the residents still wanted Spectrum, but the increased cost to the other 40% was just too high. Some people use Dish, some streaming, some have no TV at all, and a $50+ per month increase in the HOA dues seemed unreasonable. 97% of the residents have internet, so an internet only plan would benefit 97% of the residents with a negative impact to only 3%. The Board’s role is to evaluate the positive and negative of any decision on how it affects everyone. The Frontier internet-only plan would benefit 97% of the resident while only impacting in a negative way 3%. The Spectrum plan would benefit 60% of the residents, but the negative impact to 40% of the residents was too high. The Frontier plan benefits more people with less impact to a few, so the Board’s unanimous decision was Frontier.
The residents then had the ability to vote by ballot if they wanted to go forward with Frontier and that vote passed by 71% approval. The Board understands there will not be universal agreement on any decision, and hopefully residents understand and respect that just because the Board did not vote your way does not mean they deserve an attack on their character.
I cannot comment on the Dewey Pest Control contract but if you make a request, I am sure the appropriate committee will begin an investigation as to the merit of such a request. The Board has no information, nor has the Board investigated such a proposal at this time. Once again, I don’t think because the Board has not acted upon a request never received, that it deserves an attack on their character.
SCPD is self-managed while SCSH has currently decided on hiring a management company to supply staff. Marie’s inaccurate assumption is that self-management means they make decisions for the majority of the residents. This concept is just simply false. Both management structures have their good points and bad points, but both structures have a Board and it’s the Board that makes the decisions. Self-management is irrelevant to this process.
When SCSH had a case of staff embezzlement, the HOA was fully reimbursed plus additional money for the damages by the management company. We were not only made whole but got additional funds for the inconvenience, etc. In the case of the embezzlement of SCPD, the entire cost was born by the HOA.
Marie further describes Board decisions as my decisions, and this again is simply false. The President does not make decisions, the Board does, the President is just the person to carry out the decisions. To blame the President for any decision means you don’t understand the governing process, which is the Board makes decisions and the President is to implement them. When the President makes an operational decision, which can be done according to the governing documents, the Board may override that decision at any time. So Marie, the decisions are not mine, but belong to the Board.
Marie states I have been rude in my answer to some question she posed in an open meeting. Extremely hard to respond since I don’t know the meeting, the question, the context, or circumstances. Once again it is possible for people to make up what they want to attack the character of people when you don’t like the outcome of a decision. But since Open meetings are all recorded, why don’t we just look it up. Marie, give me the meeting you describe, and the question you asked, and we can look up what happened. You are not the first person to make accusations with no supporting facts. Just like you quote a friend with no supporting facts so how is one to respond to such accusations which I have shown in the past can be totally false.
No matter what the outcome of these accusations are, which currently have no facts to support the claim, it is no reason to state the President or any Board member is the same as a person or group that is responsible for the murder of over 6 million people. The Board members are volunteers, just trying to help, residents just like everyone, and just because you don’t get your way on a decision does not mean it is appropriate to attack the character of people and equate the members of the Board or myself as a murderer. To claim we are Nazi’s is just unacceptable.
We want residents to volunteer and help. No need to wonder why so many decline when residents like Marie Devito make such comments just because she does not get her way on a particular decision. I hope and have faith the majority of residents will agree with the Board that Marie’s comments are out of line and should never be tolerated.
Frontier Update: Over 1100 installs have taken place so far. I will hopefully have information soon about when phase 1 will open for installations. Again, if you are having any difficulty let us know and we will put in you touch with the onsite supervisor.
So far, my information is 90% of bills are saving $40 and up. I have seen a few bills at a savings of only a few dollars or breakeven, but they do get the increased speed for the same cost. I have not had documented yet a bill that was going to cost the resident more money once the promotional price was gone. Please check to be sure you use your promotional pricing up before you make the conversion. You can install anytime so do that is best for you.
COVID Rules: I want to further explain about the implementation of the State Order on Common areas such as streets. The current State Order does not allow for any gatherings at all, indoor or outdoor, nor in any venue, even on private property. There are still questions about why can’t guests walk on the streets so let’s talk about that one.
If there are not supposed to be any guests or gatherings at all, how there can be a guest on the streets, they are not supposed to be here according to State Order. The Board is trying to follow the State and County Order for your own safety as well as the safety of all residents.
The additional problem I have tried to explain is one of the legal liability. We always have an issue to be sure we are not placing the HOA in a possible legal claim for not following the law. In the case of COVID requirements there is no insurance available for a COVID claim, insurance policies exclude all claims for virus. The Board is and needs to be keenly aware of this issue.
Let’s give an example: If the Board allowed residents to walk with guests on the streets, which are common property controlled and supervised by the HOA, and if that resident were to become sick and die from COVID, the family could make the claim it was the HOA’s fault for the sickness and death of the person because the HOA did not follow the law. This becomes one of the biggest and most dangerous parts of implementing the restrictions. In this case the family files a claim against the HOA and since we don’t have insurance, we would have to pay for all defense costs and then any awarded damages. All these costs would come from the HOA and if no insurance depending on the amount of the claim, we would have to ask each resident to pay a portion. Now imagine given the virus is growing exponentially at this time, there were multiple claims from residents because the HOA did not follow the State Order. It is possible damages could amount to millions of dollars given many people are now dying from this virus. Our only defense is that we implemented the Order correctly and followed the law. Given this issue, there is no room for the Board to allow for exceptions, we must follow the law if we are going to protect the financial health of each resident. So, there is not only the health and safety issue we must discuss, but there are legal and financial impacts which must be considered to keep everyone out of harm’s way.
Cases are growing extremely fast. We have more reports of COVID within the community. Last few are from gatherings. We will never know the accurate number because many do not want to report that they contracted the virus, but we do hear from neighbors, but we can’t verify that information. I do believe by watching SCPD we are probably going up by the same percentage given similar demographics. SCPD went up by 12 cases yesterday compared to Friday. All anyone wants is for everyone to be safe, and gatherings are the biggest problem with over 70% of the spread coming from such gatherings. The HOA is not looking for violations of the State Order on private property, but we hope you will carefully consider any gathering during this time. The HOA will investigate any complaint and will enforce the State Order on Common Property.
I had one person say the virus was all a hoax, I kid you not. I said we did walk on the moon and Elvis is dead. I could not think of any other response. Everyone, it is real and very deadly at this time, please be careful.
I, the Board, and all the staff want to wish you a Happy Holiday Season and want everyone to be safe and healthy as we approach 2021.
Take care and please be safe.