April 3, 2019 at 4:08 pm #5060
By: Jim Mayfield
I have heard from many of you that three practical issues are facing our community and that the board candidates’ responses are critical to choosing to whom to trust to govern of our homeowners association.
Transition to Active Enforcement of SCA Rules
The poorly executed transition process from passive to active enforcement of SCA governing document rules causes many people to feel that management is not competent to execute basic tasks. One of these tasks is to insure that the SCA rules, the purpose of which is to protect our home values,are enforced by properly trained and supervised employees who are guided by common sense within a well-planned, considerate process. You are further upset by board members who inaccurately use words like “fiduciary responsibility” and “legally required” to attempt to cover up their deficient oversight of management’s planning and performance, instead of looking out for the interests and feelings of SCA homeowners.
Planning for a Restaurant
Residents within SCA have repeatedly expressed their support for a restaurant and bar operation at SCA. Most of you have also expressed your expectation that a food and bar operation should provide basic, not fancy, food and bar services. It is now time to accept that even modest food and bar services will need to be subsidized if they are to be successful in the highly competitive and frequently subsidized local environment. Since all amenities (e.g. the pools, tennis courts, meeting rooms) at SCA are underwritten by the proceeds from your annual homeowners assessment, reasonable underwriting of a food and bar operation in a limited, closed market should be expected. What you do not expect is that the SCA Board and management should be willing to “give away the ranch” to a for-profit, commercial entity to satisfy the elaborate requirements of a very small group of residents who still believe a fancy food and bar operation concept—no matter the cost. You also do not support opening the door to special assessments to fund either the refurbishment or operation of food and bar operations.
Conservative Fiscal Operations
Recent Board treasurers, their handpicked members of the Finance Committee, and the over paid sycophants recruited by the General Manager to manipulate the SCA budget have constructed a story about why the accumulation of surplus funds is a good business practice, even though the accumulation of surplus funds is not permitted under Nevada law, specifically NRS 116.31151. By giving it a financially appealing new name, “minimum excess capital”, they obtained an opinion from the Nevada Real Estate Division (“NRED”) that charging you more for your annual assessment than is necessary of permissible under NRS 116 is OK because NRED doesn’t enforce the law it is chartered to support. They have also used a complex, frequently confusing, reserve study to support a significant reduction in the percent of funding of SCA reserve funds as the source for the creation of surplus funds. The question that homeowners should be asking is why are these manipulative budget devices necessary?
The “business as usual” candidates are running on a platform that their lack of answers to these issues shouldn’t be held against them and because they are experienced. Indeed, you should trust them because of their experience and lessons learned from their mistakes. Yes, experience is important, but only if it is valuable experience that has proved beneficial to SCA homeowners.
The New Traditions Team has offered new ideas and solutions to these issues that their opponents attempt to drown out by accusing them of being inexperienced in the way things are done at SCA.
But, the New Traditions Team’s positions on these key issues are not the primary reason that I support the New Traditions Team.
The current SCA board election process and its effects on our community define for me the need for us, as homeowners and members of the SCA community, to step back and determine the philosophies of governance and their related values that will serve as the foundation of how our community is to be governed, and more importantly its culture. Therefore, as a former board officer, board member and committee member and chair, I want to share with you some observations about the direction of SCA governance over the last eight years and the clear choice we have in this election.
What Has SCA Become?
Very few people I know, regardless of political party affiliation, approve of the mess of our Federal government and the US political process. The partisan process has become mean, and little progress is made to solve the critical issues of the day. The daily operations of government are rarely under the control of the people we elect; instead, “professional” bureaucrats have real power, and elected officials know not to cross them. Over the last six years, SCA has increasingly modeled itself after our Federal government.
Who Really Governs Our Association?
Under the existing governance philosophy, the role of the board and its committees is to project management, particularly the General Manager, from the homeowners and those who are critical of her performance. The board has never even adopted a set of criteria by which to objectively assess her performance or determine the basis for her bonus.
What is the Result?
Recent SCA boards punish its members who do not agree with the old-guard establishment majority currently in control. Secret meetings, under the guise of “officer meetings” are used to exclude dissenting board members for full participation in the governance process and access to timely information. The majority has even used various tools to intimidate or eliminate dissenting board members. One result of these oppressive tactics is that many members of our community no longer desire to become involved in volunteer service on the board, committees, or even the clubs.
So, What is this Election Really About?
This election is really about a choice of two diametrically opposing philosophies about the purpose of SCA governance.
Under the traditional philosophy, the roles of the board are to serve the SCA management bureaucracy and to deliver special treatment (i.e., fancy dining) to a select small group of insiders, regardless of the cost of the wishes of the many.
Under the New Traditions philosophy, the role of the board is to provide direction and oversight over the SCA management bureaucracy and to deliver cost effective outcomes favored by the majority of homeowners.
The choice is really this simple, and it is the reason I support the New Tradition Team.
In deciding for whom to vote, I ask you to consider the words of the first President of the United States, George Washington.
One of the difficulties in bringing about change in an organization is that you must do it in spite of the persons who have been most successful in that organization, no matter how faulty the system or organization is. To such persons, you see, it is the best of all possible organizations, because look who was selected by it and look who succeeded (and benefited) most within it.
Please return control of SCA to the homeowners and elect the New Traditions Team candidates to see that SCA is run for the benefit of the majority of homeowners.
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