RESPONSE TO ANTHEM OPINIONS ENDORSEMENT TO REELECT RICHARD POPE
On January 19, Anthem Opinions published an article endorsing Richard Pope to be reelected in our upcoming elections. I have a different opinion, and this article articulates my experiences with Mr. Pope, and outlines the facts that support my position. The January 19 article opens with a severe criticism of a SCA blogger.
For the past 10 or 12 years, I have only agreed with the referenced blogger (everyone knows it is David Berman) five or six times. I have now added one item to that list. Under no circumstances would I ever vote for Richard Pope. To all of your readers, please take the time to read my rationale, and if any of you disagree with any of my points, would like additional information, or simply ask me a question, please contact me, and I will do my best to expand on my rationale.
When Mr. Pope ran for election two years ago, I had numerous conversations with him, and at that time sincerely believed he would he would make an excellent board member. During those conversations, I expressed serious concerns about the oversight and accountability of the Anthem Community Council (ACC).
Shortly after he was elected, I received a call from Mr. Pope. His goal was to try and convince me that ACC was a legitimate organization, and tried to convince me that I should reconsider my position. That conversation did not go well for Mr. Pope.
I quickly learned that he could not accept facts. He continually referenced the ACC CC&Rs which are posted on the ACC website. But if you open those CC&Rs, you will discover that the title of that document is “Declaration of Covenants and Easements for the Anthem Community”.
That document was written by a Georgia law firm in 1998, specifically for the use by Del Webb. How do I know that? Because that information is listed in the upper left hand corner of the first page. After reading that document, which I have done at least 15 times, anyone will understand that it was intended strictly for the use by Del Webb, and in no way applies to SCA or any other HOA in Anthem.
ACC was founded in 1998, and was ruled by Del Webb until January of 2010, at which time it transitioned from developer control to the HOAs in Anthem. There are several important facts you all should be aware of. There are eight HOAs in Anthem, but during that transition Del Webb only included six.
The new HOA board tried to convince the other two HOAs to pay their fair share, but they declined. So, for the past 11 years those six HOAs have paid the price for eight. Second, there was no audit done on the Del Webb books at the time of transition, even though Del Webb had collected assessments for 12 years on every house sold in Anthem.
How much money was kept by Dell Webb, and owed to the new organization is something we will never know. Third, the Del Webb person in charge of ACC for 12 years was Randy Watkins, a SCA resident.
At the first meeting of the new HOA board in January of 2010, Randy Watkins was appointed and elected as the first Community Manager. At that meeting in January of 2010, I knew that SCA had dug themselves a hole, and to this day, that hole has only gotten deeper.
For 11 years I have tried to convince SCA boards to provide oversight over the funds we provide to ACC, insist that ACC be held accountable on how and what they spend the money they receive. I have been totally unsuccessful in that effort. As an aside, SCA provides 52% of ACC funding. During the past 10 years, SCA has provided over $6M to ACC. The SCA commitment to ACC in 2020 was over $633,000. That same figure applies to 2021.
Now to today’s situation. Last year ACC requested that the HOAs commit $15 to $20M over a 10 year period of time for additional maintenance and landscaping. Let me repeat that number – $15 to $20M.
Mr. Pope and the other members of the board agreed to fund that project. They also committed to pay $500,000 for their legal fees because of a legal incident that occurred here in Anthem. If you ever wondered why your quarterly dues increased for this year, now you know why.
I had always thought that ACC had some legitimate role in the Anthem Community due to the fact that ACC was mentioned in the City of Henderson’s (COH) Master Plan. But in one of my frequent meetings with the staff of the COH, I discovered in March of 2020 that the Master Plan had deleted the ACC from the Master Plan, and as a result was now not officially recognized by the COH.
This fact completely changed my mind set. I now believe that SCA and the other five HOAs should place the intended ACC funding for 2022 into escrow, meet with the president’s of the other five HOAs, agree to delete all ties with ACC, and split up any landscaping/maintenance responsibilities.
If the other HOAs resist, then have SCA go alone. My case is strong that ACC is the most corrupt external organization that SCA deals with. We can only fix this problem by ensuring that Richard Pope, and the other incumbents running for reelection, be defeated.
One final point. How many of you read the monthly Audit Committee report in the Spirit? How many of you have ever tried to attend an Audit Committee meeting? None of you have, including me. To the best of my knowledge, the Audit Committee is the only group not represented in the Spirit.
They are a complete and total secret organization that sets their own rules, when and where the meetings are held, what is discussed in these meetings, and the direction given to, in the committee’s words, an independent auditor. In my opinion, our auditor is not independent. We pay the same auditor every year.
That makes our auditor’s allegiance to the SCA Audit Committee, not the homeowners. The COH hires a different auditor each year, and places a new, independent CPA each year on their review board. That is what I consider independent. Our process is the same every year, every homeowner not knowing what is being said and directed in those meetings. And guess who is one of the members of the Audit Committee – Richard Pope. In my opinion, the Audit Committee is our most corrupt internal organization.
So why does Mr. Pope want to be reelected? What is his agenda? I have no idea. But what I do know is that his agenda is not in the best interests of the homeowners of SCA.