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February 7, 2023 at 6:58 pm #7794Rana GoodmanKeymasterINDEPENDENCE & INTERNAL CONTROLS
By Robert Stern
I posted about the audit committee. You can read that post where I talked about internal controls. On Tuesday morning I met with Greg Swenson SCA Treasurer and Board Member and CFO Theresa Gaudet. It was a meeting dealing with payroll and budgets from 2021,2022 and 2023. It was very cordial.
Near the end Ms. Gaudet shifted the conversation and we all had frank exchanges still maintaining cordiality. Mr. Swenson stated that he and Mr. Muha were offended by my post on the Audit Committee and would be responding on David Berman’s blog. Later that morning I read it and subsequently sent them 3 emails. Here they are as written. Some typos were corrected.
EMAIL #1 To Swenson and Muha
I am writing to you directly and will attempt to post on Berman’s blog. I urge you to correct your misstatements as Berman may block me. If not, then I will correct the record elsewhere.
Independence and the appearance of Independence are necessary for any Audit Committee to have credibility. Your response as far as the fox guarding the hen house misstates that I was the one who said that. I didn’t. It was the APPEARANCE AS CLAIMED BY OTHERS. I just came out of a meeting with Greg and Terresa where context was mentioned as important. HELLO! What I wrote about was INDEPENDENCE and the Appearance of INDEPENDENCE. That’s the context.
Gary Porter’s firms( two different companies) as auditor and Reserve Study specialist lack the appearance of Independence and violates the very basic principles of Auditing Standards. You could have easily chosen his Reserve Study company for SCA because of its software that you justifiably wanted so much and hired another firm for the audit.
I spoke with Gary months ago about his process for reserve studies and he disclosed that this year he gives boards a choice of between 3 1/2 % -6% for the inflation factor. That’s not independent. The board will likely artificially choose as low a number as possible to keep the pressure off assessments. The number ought not be less than 5% by any factual data.
And then in 2024, Gary’s audit firm will certify that 2023 reserves make sense. NO INDEPENDENCE NOR the appearance of Independence. Ok perhaps another partner leads the audit but the financial connections are real. Just not the right way to do it consistent with auditing standards especially if the board chooses 3 1/2% creating the appearance of a political decision.
And you beg off of the internal controls weaknesses to ensure that the governing documents are being followed as if you lack jurisdiction and also don’t have the manpower. I was talking about Governing Documents( NRS116 and Nevada statutes) not the financial statements. And it is your duty per your mission statement.
The fact that you don’t own it proves my point. Your myopic view on only financial accounting is near sighted. And then you criticize me for not volunteering to serve at anything in SCA and isn’t it interesting that you don’t inform the reader that I volunteered for the audit committee but was not selected but deemed more than qualified and I understand you got an excellent candidate. But to openly accuse me of not volunteering is an outright lie.
There were not any spurious charges. My accusations about abuse of power and failing to respect homeowners’ rights stand. That was one of the two main points. Appearance of Independence was the other. And both are part of your responsibilities. Yet you reject your written defined mission as you don’t have time or manpower for it.
Perhaps you should have had someone audit your comments because clearly you missed the mark.
As you can see David Berman deleted my response. And it was a fair rebuttal. I will give you until tomorrow to correct your misstatements if you wish. If not, I will email the community as well as post on Anthem Today and inform the Community and let them decide.
Are you performing for the Audit Committee and our community or have you chosen to be a pawn and participate in David’s political smear. Andy, I do not know you, but Greg I do. Frankly it appears you are both willing to join David’s political fight. Greg is that what you want? Did you both just get played? Greg did I misread you? Would appreciate clarity before I change my tact. Let me know.
—– Forwarded Message —–
From: David Berman <email@example.com>
To: Robert Stern <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at 12:15:58 PM PST
Your blog comment has been deleted, as will any future comments be deleted until such time as I am allowed to post to the AnthemToday blog.
From: robert stern <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>; Greg Swenson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at 03:28:27 PM PST
Subject: Re: Your blog post
In the old days issues mattered. Everything I said on my post I believe to be true. You could have written me and challenged me as I am challenging you first before I post my rebuttal. It’s all political crap now and David’s (perhaps yours) attempt to character assassinate.
Berman was rumored to a dishonest lawyer and clearly, he is a dishonest blogger when it comes to me. Did you sign up for that? And Greg did you willingly get used? I don’t know. I am going to stick to the issues and the facts and not spin.
Apparently, your misinterpretation of my comments on internal controls as to financial internal controls whereby it meant internal controls as to governing document compliance and you as Audit Committee members disavow any responsibility for auditing governing document compliance is not in my view what is best for homeowners.
The weaponized Clarkson firm under Sandy’s guidance is exactly the heart of this and there is no check on abuse of that power. So that question is answered. You are right that I haven’t examined internal accounting controls at SCA, nor did I intend to disparage them. I did comment on an all-inclusive financial statement for the restaurant and believe my comments are valid. You just jumped to the wrong conclusion. Perhaps an honest mistake. So, I am going to proceed to exposing this and if you allow David Berman to run without correction of your misstatements then I know where you two stand.
My effort will begin tonight if I don’t see your post taken down or a substantial correction by 5;30PM today. If you need more time let me know and I will wait.
This is not personal as it is with David against me. He is fighting for his power. I am going to Turks and Caicos and many other places. I am giving you an opportunity to clean this up if you wish.
Having not received any response I am posting. The smears will continue from Mr. Berman as he continues to spin the record and I have responded to his false statements, disinformation and more in the past. Remember he wants you to support his candidates.
This is a political fight folks for the future of your community dealing with competence, abuse of power, financial irresponsibility and who can you trust to best protect all of your interests especially financial and homeowners’ rights and due process.
I will continue to weigh in and you can decide whether what I say has value or not. Remember this management and board have not been transparent and misled you on key facts as to the restaurant and administratively as many of you complain about financial matters and unequal enforcement compliance of our governing documents.
The legal counsel is weaponized, and no homeowner should be victimized by this abuse of process. Mr. Anderson SCA President has his sights aimed on the key issues including communications and tight monitoring of restaurant performance. I have met with him, and I trust him.
He needs your help in having Directors that truly have the homeowners’ best interests in their sights and will abide by the Code of Conduct. Help him help you.
David Berman and his board allies (Paul Perlstein and Wendy Linow) are not the ones to trust based on their CODE OF CONDUCT violations. I am not the issue as much as Mr. Berman wants to deflect and smear me. Do your due diligence and select others as you meet and evaluate the candidates. Anyone tied to or beholden to David Berman ought not get your vote. It’s time to free our community from this linkage. Vote for change. Help Mr. Anderson. The pocketbook you save could be your own.
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