April 4, 2017 at 3:37 pm #3484Rana GoodmanKeymaster
By James Mayfield (un-edited)
The purposes of my three articles on transition to self-management are to summarize frequently expressed perceptions by homeowners about the transition to self-management (Part 1), to express my assessment of the root cause driving these perceptions (Part 2), and to examine the role of homeowners in insuring better governance and management at SCA (Part 3).
Part 3—The Roles and Responsibilities of Homeowners
It Is Your HOA—How Do You Want It Governed?
Over the last six years, I have observed two contradictive views expressed regarding the governance on SCA. On the one hand, homeowners express a desire to have an active voice in governance decisions made for SCA. On the other hand, only a small group of homeowners attend Board and committee meetings to demand greater voice that their wishes are heard regarding Board decisions. In addition, only half or fewer of the homeowners vote in the annual Board election.
This Third Part of the series speaks to my views about the essential role that homeowners must play in the governance of SCA. Remember that public apathy is the mother’s milk of bad government.
Six Suggestions on How To Be Involved
- Run for the Board or Serve on a SCA Committee. The best trait of SCA is the people who live here. I am constantly impressed with the impressive backgrounds of the people in our community. Yet, our “best & brightest” are not consistently seeking to serve on the Board or committees. While I am grateful to those who have offered their services, my candid assessment is that the number of suitable candidates who want to serve in governing SCA for the right reasons has declined the last few years. I full well understand that most of us are retired and have an expectation of living a rich retirement life. But, public service can be a fulfilling part of retirement. Even if you don’t believe that serving on the Board or a committee is your cup of tea, encourage your friends who you think would be good Board or committee members to do so.
Communicate. I have frequently heard that the HOA needs to communicate better with homeowners. Certainly, SCA’s communication with homeowners can be improved. But, it is adequate.
Communication is a two-way street. SCA offers many ways to make your views known and to influence Board and management decisions. Examples of avenues available to you include
- Email your Board members; their SCA email addresses are in the Spirit,
- Use the blue/green/tan card system to report problems you observe,
- Read the monthly Board agendas and Board Book and attend a Board meeting if a topic in which you are interested is on the agenda, and
- Attend committee meetings and public workshops.
Petition the Board. Nothing motivates politicians who want to believe they are serving their constituents or bureaucrats who want to keep their jobs like a petition with several hundred names on it. Circulating a petition takes efforts, but if an issue is really important to you and many of your friends, a petition is a powerful way to influence SCA governance and management decisions.
Know Your Rights. Nevada law and the governing documents provide homeowners with influential ways to report and seek redress of violations of your rights. One of the best actions you can take is to file an Intervention Affidavit (“IA”) with the Office of the Ombudsman in the Nevada Real Estate Division. Each IA that is filed is reported to SCA and investigated by the Ombudsman. Another way is to quote a reference to State law or the SCA governing documents in your complaint notices to the SCA Board and management. You, the homeowners, also have the right to remove a director who you do not believe is serving you well.
Cast an Informed Vote. The number of homeowners who vote in the SCA election is usually 50% or fewer. Equally, disturbing is the number of people who tell me they rely on the recommendation of others, including the blogs, for determining for whom to vote. Don’t rely of self-serving information sources, such a the blogs or candidate flyers, to determine who will serve you well on the Board; attend one of the candidate interview functions and make them answer your questions. Then, send in your ballots. The election ballots are mailed to your home, and it doesn’t take but a few minutes to vote and mail your ballot or leave it in a collection box at one of the centers.
In several SCA elections (including last year), the results of the election have been determined by fewer than twenty votes. Yes, every vote counts, and elections have consequenc
Keep Your Contact Information Current. The most basic way to be involved in the governance of SCA is to make sure your mailing address, email address, and telephone number in the SCA records are up to date. If you live away from SCA for a few months of the year, change your mailing address before you leave town and change it back to your local address when you return. By taking this simple step, you will insure that you receive all official notices and communication materials, such as the Spirit, so you stay informed. Another important step you can take is to sign up of E-Blasts. E-Blasts are used to inform you of immediate issues and information.
Final Thoughts and A Thank You
I firmly believe that “we the people” get the government we deserve. Be active homeowners, get involved, and make your voices heard. You are the foundation of all governance. Public service at all levels of government is an honor, and I thank you for having allowed me to serve the homeowners of this community.April 11, 2017 at 12:14 am #3502Norman McCulloughParticipant
Dear Director Jim Mayfield;
I can’t believe you really said this.
4. Know Your Rights. Nevada law and the governing documents provide homeowners with influential ways to report and seek redress of violations of your rights. One of the best actions you can take is to file an Intervention Affidavit (“IA”) with the Office of the Ombudsman in the Nevada Real Estate Division. Each IA that is filed is reported to SCA and investigated by the Ombudsman. Another way is to quote a reference to State law or the SCA governing documents in your complaint notices to the SCA Board and management. You, the homeowners, also have the right to remove a director who you do not believe is serving you well.
Really Mr. Mayfield?? If you really believe that filing an Intervention Affidavit will be the “Magic Wand” that solves a problem and if you really believe that our current Board is impressed when you quote a reference to Nevada Law you are badly mistaken. The Nevada Real Estate Division (NRED) has one of the most dismal records of Any State in the country against the Homeowners.
Do you really believe that if you quote a reference to Nevada Law that the Board members will cringe in terror and invite a complaining homeowner to a tea party to “Talk things over”?
And — Your reminder that “You, the homeowners, also have the right to remove a director who you do not believe is serving you well.” Granted it’s good advise but perhaps you are unaware that less than 75 percent of all the residents really vote when there is an important issue facing the residents. For one example — Do I really have to remind you that there are only 162 Villa home owners in SCA and that even if they voted 100 percent to remove a director for misappropriating their Reserve Funds do you really think they would lose any sleep at night?
I would be absolutely amazed Mr. Mayfield if you were even aware that our current Management and our current Lawyers have recently spent a TON of the residents money to have a complaint moved from The Las Vegas Justice Court to the Henderson Justice Court. All that money is approved by the Board of Directors so maybe (just maybe) you can tell us WHY?
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