If they had only known… Part 3

Owners pay a high price for Board ignorance

Basic ground rules the Board must learn by heart
  1. Association exists to serve the owners.
  2. Board exists to speak for the owners.
  3. Board may hire agents to act on behalf of owners.
  4. Association does not exist to serve the Board or management.
  5. Owners pay even when the Board or SCA agents make mistakes.
  6. Agents, including SCA employees, have no rights superior to owners’ rights.
  7. Rules exist to protect owners.
  8. Board must protect owners.
  9. The Board needs to learn the rules and follow them.

How can NRED training help the Board do right?

  1. Without proper training, the Board is ignorant.
  2. The Clarkson Law Group trained the Board to consult attorneys before ANY decision to the point of letting attorneys decide.
  3. Being ignorant, the Board has failed to protect owners from agents’ actions.
  4. Board needs to learn the rules set up to protect owners and follow them.

The process determines the result

Poor process = poor results

Board failures of the “duty of care”

The costly mistakes described below could have been avoided had the Board taken the training about the proper way to hire experts:

  1. The GM did not sign a management agreement with terms required by NRS 116A.620.
  2. The Clarkson Law Group hired as SCA debt collector without an RFP for  debt collector issued.
  3.  CPAs Ovist & Howard were paid $85,000+ to replace the volunteer Election Committee on the 2017 removal election without legal authority:
  4. HOA Lawyers Group LLC hired as SCA debt collector to replace the defunct and bankrupt Alessi & Koenig LLC
      1. without an RFP,
      2. without a Board-approved contract
      3. without competing with NRS 649 licensed vendors.

Board must learn the rules

Click here for the NRED training all directors should take to know how to prevent SCA being controlled by agents instead of by the elected Board: Hiring Experts and Professionals


Lessons the Board has yet to learn

1. When SCA became “self-managed”, the GM/CAM were hired without of a management agreement.
Not okay.

Absent a management agreement, the GM is an “at-will” employee and has no other rights than those bestowed by the SCA Employee Handbook.

2. RFPs are required for professional services not just construction or maintenance contracts per NRS 116.31086.

2.  The GM wasted $85,000+ for an unknown CPA, Ovist & Howard, to take over the recall election:

  1. without an RFP,
  2. without a Board-approved contract,
  3. without funding to pay for a CPA to do the recall in the adopted budget,
  4. without the Board amending the Election & Voting Manual to strip the Election Committee of its duties, and
  5. after the GM and attorney were both the subjects of active complaints that they were interfering with the independence of the Election Committee
  6. which resulted in diminishing the integrity of the election process.

Guess who benefitted. (P.S. It wasn’t the owners.)

  1. Four of the six Board members who allowed the GM to usurp the Board’s authority benefitted personally from unlawfully hiring a CPA to replace the Election Committee.
  2. Owners’ right to lawfully petition for a removal election was besmirched by the subjects of the petitions who wrongfully blamed the owners who petitioned for their recall for the huge cost of hiring a CPA that was done solely, 100%, by the GM under their watchful, grateful eye.

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”   – Newton’s 3rd law

Hiring a CPA wasn’t the only way the GM sashayed in to usurp the authority of the Board, but to really take over, all dissent had to be crushed. These are things a properly trained Board would never have tolerated.

Action
As the liaison to the Election Committee,  I tried to get the GM, President Rex, and the attorney to leave the Election Committee independent and neutral to do their normal job during the recall.

Reaction
I was removed as the Board liaison to the Election Committee by the very people accused of interfering with the Election Committee’s independence.

Action
As a non-conflicted Director (not one signature, not one petition against me), I was one of the three Directors who should have decided

  • how the recall election was to be conducted,
  • whether the Election Manual should be amended for this one election
  • how best to protect the integrity of the election process

Reaction
The GM and the attorney decided to relieve the Election Committee from its duties despite having no legal authority to do so.

Action
I gave the Board notice of my intent to file a complaint of harassment and retaliation for all the actions they had taken against me in retribution for my recommending that the attorney and the GM be fired.

Reaction
The Board took the law into their own hands and kicked me off the Board without notice, process or appeal.

Kinda the same way Putin handled the one serious challenger to his re-election.

3. Restaurant RFP mistakes

  1. GM and one Director met with one competitor to give a leg up prior to RFP.
  2. Board was not informed of GM + director actions until it was a fait accompli.
  3. RFP issued to a hand-picked group of possible bidders
  4. Bids were not opened at a Board meeting.
  5. Bids were not not submitted on the same terms.
  6. After the number of vendors dropped to two, the “operating parameters” were adopted.
  7. Winning bidder who negotiated with GM in advance was allowed to change bid after the other bidder dropped out because the terms had been changed.
  8. No other bids were sought nor considered.

4. Last two debt collectors shouldn’t have been hired without RFPs

Doesn’t it seem like it’s a problem that

  1. HOA Lawyers Group became SCA’s debt collector without issuing an RFP to replace the defunct Alessi & Koenig, LLC?
  2. The Clarkson Law Group became the SCA debt collector without a RFP?
  3. The Clarkson Law Group, hired via the RFP issued to replace the Leach law firm as SCA legal counsel, used its “authority” as the SCA legal counsel to  “rule” that its own selection as the SCA debt collector did not require a separate RFP?

Who cares about debt collection?

We all should. Debt collectors are the source of huge expenses for HOA owners because of the weird way the Nevada courts allow HOA foreclosures to extinguish the bank’s security interest. While you might think this is good for HOAs, it is actually only good for the debt collector.

Remember, abdicating debt collection is:

  • a huge cost to owners
  • a violation of SCA bylaws 3.20 and 3.18(a)
  • foolish
  1. The cost of collection exceeds the amount recovered.
  2. HOA homeowners pay for the debt collectors’ fight with the banks.
  3. The loss of property value to each and every home in a Nevada HOA is, according to the UNLV 2017 study commissioned by the Nevada Association of Realtors, is 1.7% per foreclosure for delinquent dues.

 

 

 

If they had only known…Part 2

Board training is a MUST

NRED Power points are available for anyone to view on the training section of the NRED website. Check them out all out there or though future blogs.

Why be trained by NRED?

Learning from these FREE resources will reduce costly mistakes and transgressions by the current Board. In contrast, the attorney Clarkson trained the 2017 Board into handing over OUR wallets.

Look at this NRED training below that clarifies the Board’s job as the ounce of prevention that will save SCA a pound of excessive legal fees. A well-trained Board is a big – and necessary- step toward bridging the community divide.

Willful ignorance is a failure of duty of care

Here are two essential governance lessons that the 2017 Board REFUSED to learn.

  1. The buck stops with the Board. The Board MUST learn what its job is. The Board is not relieved of accountability by pretending  that management or the attorney have decision-making authority.
  2. The Board is restricted by law from delegating ultimate  accountability. The Board MUST define IN WRITING limits on the authority and actions of management and agents.

What’s wrong now?

Now, blurred lines allow the GM, the attorney, and individual directors (rather than the whole Board acting officially) to make decisions that ONLY the Board acting as a unit has the legal authority to make.

Requirements for a Board vote to be valid

Skip any of these steps, and no official Board action has been taken
Board action = motion, resolution, OR Board action item (BAI)
  • Notice to all Directors who ALL get to vote
  • Notice to all members who get a chance to speak
  • Agenda that clearly defines the action the Board is voting on
  • Minutes that say how each director voted

What if the GM says, “the Board decided…”,

but it didn’t follow the rules required for a valid Board decision?

THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS FAILURE TO ACT AS A FIDUCIARY

Here in SCA, these actions the GM took during the recall election diminished the integrity of the removal election process and could have biased the outcome in favor of the Directors who support her.

The modus operandi of malfeasance

  1. GM served the four Directors facing recall by removing people from the process who were dedicated to protecting the integrity of the recall election process (me as a Board member and the entire Election Committee).
  2. GM took away the authority of the volunteer Election Committee without approval by the only legal authority, i.e., vote by the non-conflicted Directors was required to change the Election Manual and spend un-budgeted funds.
  3. Rex worked with OSCAR to lie to the Election Committee to get them to remove me, a non-conflicted Director, as the liaison to the Election Committee after I attempted to protect the integrity of the election process.
  4. GM spent >$100,000 on a CPA and attorneys to do the volunteers’ job.
  5. GM allowed the paid interlopers to “lose” two pages of signatures which would have put Bob Burch on the recall ballot.
  6. GM disenfranchised the 2,001 voters who voted for me and kicked me off the Board without an official Board vote (on fake charges) at the EXACT SAME TIME as the recall process should have been controlled by me and the two other non-conflicted Directors.
  7. GM never officially notified the Board of the receipt of petitions to call for a removal election of four Directors who approved the GM’s double-the-market pay.
  8. GM never officially notified the Board of the receipt of a petition of no confidence against her.
  9. Right after the GM refused to notify the Board the petitions had been received,
    1. the GM used the association attorney to quash a subpoena in her divorce to prevent the petitions from being released in discovery
    2. AT THE EXACT SAME TIME that those petitions were released to OSCAR, the opponents of the recall of the Directors who support her excessive pay.
There is no end to this cycle without a properly trained Board.
Click here for the Powerpoint:
Executive Board Responsibilities & Fiduciary Duties
Click here for Powerpoint
Responsibilities of the Community Manager
Without training, SCA is doomed to repeat history.
  1. 2015 Board, including Rex and Tom, hired the GM at double the market pay.
  2. Rex claims that, as President, he has the right to control which directors get to participate in Board decisions and routinely excluded Directors with dissenting opinions.
  3. Rex appointed Aletta and Bob to study committees.
  4. On the advice of the GM and without consulting owners, Aletta and Bob decided that owner committees should be weakened or abolished under self-management.
  5. GM’s power isn’t controlled by written executive limits.
  6. Independent candidates are discouraged from running for the Board.
  7. Independent Directors will not run for officer positions.
  8. Rex and Bob keep the leadership roles.
  9. Rinse and repeat.

 

Why SCA now pays so much in unnecessary legal fees

Adam Clarkson trained the Board,

and he has convinced them that the budget doesn’t matter when it comes to legal fees.

The Board, following Rex’s leadership, foolishly insisted that the 2017 Board training be conducted in secret by Adam Clarkson.

Despite the excellent free training programs available through NRED, the Board refused to allow owners to see how they were being trained to abdicate their decision-making authority.

And the the Board certainly didn’t want owners to be able to comment on the self-serving training that was provided by Clarkson so it was deemed “attorney-client confidential” even though the training packet began with a legal disclaimer.

NRED complaint still pending

The secret Clarkson training was a self-dealing disaster. It bordered on elder abuse, and my complaints about the abusive conduct at that July 25, 2017 “attorney-client-privileged, not-an-executive-session workshop” are still under investigation by NRED.

Naturally, Adam Clarkson is billing the association ($325/hour, thank you very much) to defend himself and the other perps from my complaints about being bullied and harassed in that session in retribution for my telling the lot of them that they needed to straighten up and follow the spirit as well as the letter of the law.

What was wrong with the way Clarkson trained the Board?

Setting aside the for the moment the attorney-led misconduct of the participants (shunning, threatening and bullying me), Adam Clarkson twisted the interpretation of the law so far as to assert that it was a violation of the Board’s fiduciary duty to act ON ANYTHING without the attorney’s blessing.

Reward for complicity

Adam Clarkson rewarded the Board members who fell for his money grab, by creating a punitive cone of silence around non-confidential, discoverable SCA records against the non-compliant Director. Clarkson has also given his blessing to the unlawful claims that

  • the GM controls which owner or Board member can access SCA records and can withhold records at will, including in violation of a court order
  • the GM, President or Secretary
    • can exclude a Board member from Board meetings, and
    • can prevent a Director from voting,
    • and can block a Director from placing items on a Board meeting agenda
    • and can falsify the minutes of those meetings
  • the President does not have to follow Parliamentary procedures and
    • can magically use non-existent “substitute motions” and
    • can block a vote on a Director’s seconded motion and
    • can prevent a nomination for an officer position that would compete with the President’s pre-selected slate.
  • Annual reporting of gifts is voluntary

What does “fiduciary duty” mean?

Adam Clarkson actually gave this self-dealing definition of fiduciary duty saying that being guided by legal professionals was required by law AS IF only lawyers were experts on every subject.

The legal requirement is actually to consult with appropriate experts of all types (not just attorneys) when it is prudent to do so. This means reserve specialists, HR experts, accountants, construction experts, not just attorneys. There is no legal requirement for a Board to delegate its decision-making authority to attorneys. In fact, it is prohibited by both NRS 116.3106 and SCA bylaws.

“Consult with appropriate professionals as necessary before making major decisions…”

And the definition of fiduciary really is focused on the duty of care that the fiduciary has to ACT SOLELY AND EXCLUSIVELY IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE MEMBERSHIP.

A fiduciary is personally accountable for a duty of care and using good judgment to serve owners, not oneself.

It does not cut it to do (or not do) something that hurts the membership and then claim,

“The attorney made me do it.”

Defy the ruling of Judge (and jury) Adam Clarkson at your peril!!!

According to Adam Clarkson, attorneys are justified in verbally attacking and threatening a Director who tells the other members of the Board that:

  1. attorneys don’t have the expertise to assist on ALL Board decisions and that
  2. it is the individual Director’s responsibility to use common sense and ethical principles to evaluate courses of action to decide how to vote.

Give me a break. That’s idiotic.

We are actually paying $325/hour for that type of inane self-dealing pronouncement against a Director who tells the attorney to knock it off.

Guilty until proven innocent

“Unauthorized practice of law” for “advising other members that legal counsel is not necessary”????

“… will be deemed to have committed a prima facie violation of NRS 116.3103”?????

Prima facie”  =  fact presumed to be true unless it is disproved.

Quid pro quo = “something for something”

Quid

“Guilty until proven innocent” is the Clarkson pro forma edict he uses to bully Board members who are not in his or the GM’s pocket.

Quo

At the same time, Clarkson has protected the interests and defended the unlawful actions of the GM and those Board members who unquestioningly have agreed to pay whatever he bills with OPM (other people’s money).

“Prima facie” = “presumed guilty”

Here’s what NRS 116.3103 actually says

Clarkson is wrong

Telling the Board that the buck stops with it, and not with the attorney, is NOT a violation of a director’s fiduciary duty.

It is a true statement made on an informed basis, in good faith, and in the honest belief that

  • getting attorneys out making decisions for management or the Board, and
  • preventing attorneys from self-dealing or
  • serving the personal interests of a few individuals over the interests of the membership

is acting in the best interests of the association.

SCA Board officer selection orchestrated again

Officer elections over in a flash

  • No competition
  • No owner input
  • No surprise
  • No hope 

President            Bob Burch
Vice president   Rex Weddle
Secretary           Candace Karrow
Treasurer           Forrest Quinn

Why was last year’s officer election so bitter?

Simple answer. I committed the ultimate sin.

I volunteered to fix what I saw wasn’t working right in the transition to self-management. I told them the truth.

Unfortunately, changing the tone at the top means regime change.

OMG! Shut up!! You did not!

Yes, I did. Unlike this year’s newbies, I was totally unaware of SCA’s political realities. I never dreamed that volunteering to share my expertise would be treated as a capital offense.

How low will they go?

Frankly, I was surprised to see that Rex and his cronies would do anything – even break the law- to crush a political opponent.

And yet, here we are.

We have a full year of evidence that proves this point. This past year, we have seen VERY clearly many examples of how they have spared no expense (owners’ money, of course) to keep a death grip on the reins of power.

So, Dona Quixote, what did you say to tick them off?

I told them the incumbents were the bottom vote-getters so it was…

a mandate to improve the effectiveness of the Board as a unified governing body

That’s really bad.  What other evil did you spew?

I caused an uproar of outrageous indignation when I said that the vote showed an interest in changing the “tone at the top”

Yes, horrible as it was, I also said

the Board needed to be trained together to be guided by common, articulated goals.

You said what!!?

Actually, what I said is exactly what happened. The Board predictably devolved.

“…(absent proper training)…this Board will predictably devolve and return to a pattern of making backroom deals, abdicating its policy role to management, creating dissent in the community, and interfering with operational decisions which should legitimately be handled by staff.

Examples of how my fears were realized.Obviously, you can’t be trusted to keep a secret.
Remember,

Snitches get stitches.

On the advice of counsel
Unbelievably, Adam Clarkson or his underling, John Aylor, said these things directly or helped the GM and her buddies on the Board do them.

  • the Board can act without voting
  • the GM has rights that exceed those of the membership
  • directors facing recall have more control over the recall election than directors who were not named in petitions because the attorney says so
  • it is okay for the GM to use the attorney however she likes, including to get rid of a director who is too nosy about her pay and protecting the directors who like her from getting recalled
  • owners must pay whatever the GM and the attorney sayYou are so arrogant and mean, and you lie.

Even if I were arrogant and mean, I am not lying. Everything I say, I will eagerly say under oath.You deserved to be kicked off because, obviously, you are making a profit from doing this.

Seriously. They said that.

No decent Board member should have to work with you.

Well, that hurts.

It shows how stunningly effective a marketing campaign to demonize me has been. It persuaded a lot of people to agree with both that unfair assessment of me and with the ridiculous claim that other directors are above me and special.

It’s really sad, but the smear tactics have been led by,
Guess who?
current and former members of the Board, with the full support of the GM and the attorney, and funded by guess-whose money.

I was forced to become a blogger to respond to GM-initiated defamation and threats of litigation.

And now, Rex put out another self-righteous editorial claiming that it is the bloggers that have destroyed our property values.

Exhausting.

Since Rex has aggressively blocked anyone having equal time to debate his self-serving prostelyzing on the Spirit, the website or at meetings or any other forum, the only way to get the other side of the story out is to blog.

Will Bob write patronizing, insulting President’s reports?

If his diatribes during director comment periods at Board meetings are any indication, he will invest a great deal of energy in verbally assaulting anyone who disagrees with him that tries to speak up.

But, I’m pretty sure the deal he made with Rex, our new Vice -President, was to be a version of co-Presidents so Rex can keep a grip of the reins.

By my best guess, as far as the written word goes, Rex will continue to treat the Spirit as his personal snide blog as he ghost writes the President’s reports next year for Bob.

Previously, Bob complained that he finds writing boring when, on May 1, 2017, immediately before I disturbed the peace of last year’s pre-determined officer election, he wrote

“I have no desire to be President. In my entire military and civilian careers, I have never found writing reports or articles in magazines very interesting. Therefore, writing monthly Spirit articles, monthly Board meeting recaps, etc., is not something I would look forward to doing.”

So, President this year,

Way to take one for the team, Bob.

Paying attorneys to disappear political opponents

Lesson 3 – Create a false narrative to win

or as Chuck Lorre, the creator of Big Bang Theory crudely put it in Vanity Card #586:

(Quote redacted)

Item 11 E – Quarterly Litigation Reports

Now that I have your attention, let’s discuss how item 11 E – quarterly litigation reports – is an example of how the Board wastes lots of our money to use the many SCA lawyers to control who sits on the Board. (I’m sorry. It seems I have to offend some people to keep everyone else awake.)

Only one Board candidate seemed to notice problems

In member comments, Board candidate, Gary Lee, pointed out some inadequacies in the reports.

Of the 15 cases reported, 9 are foreclosures. Is there a problem with the way we are handling foreclosures? There are inconsistencies.

Gary did not know what I’ll tell you below. In my case, that the defamatory and false statements were used as the pretext for kicking me off the Board and that the Board has refused my repeated requests to correct “errors” for a year.

Clarkson, SCA legal counsel and debt collector, lies like a rug

Clarkson Law Group has given the same false report for the last five quarters on the case that supposedly disqualified me from the Board.

Wrong!

  • The current status of the quiet title case is not as of 2/1/17. That is the date when the original cross claim was filed, but dismissed on 5/25/17.
  • This ignores that the claims of the Gordon B. Hansen Trust, by Nona Tobin, individual and trustee,  were dismissed by Judge Kishner at a hearing on 5/25/17, and that the order (due in June 2017) was not filed by the SCA attorney until 9/20/17, a month after I was ambushed and kicked off the Board on 8/24/17 .
  • The mere existence of this case is what Clarkson falsely claims disqualified me from serving on the Board. More importantly, what this lie has achieved is keeping my nose out of his debt collection business.

The Lipson law firm’s report is defamatory.

I was not removed from the Board “for cause”.
This is a horrible, hurtful lie.

It brands me “guilty!” without any finding of fact. It is a continuation of the harassment and retaliation I have been subjected to for over a year.

I was unlawfully removed by the other six Board members in a secret meeting based on the totally false and unsubstantiated allegation that I was making a profit from my position on the Board. Poppycock.

The FACTS

  1. SCA was a named party in 2015 by the plaintiff Jimijack, who has possession of the house and been collecting rents on Bruce’s house since 2014.
  2. Nationstar filed a second lawsuit against the buyer at the foreclosure sale of 2763 White Sage Dr. in January, 2016 and completed a failed mediation with  SCA a month before I showed up as the third lawsuit.
  3. On behalf of the Gordon B. Hansen Trust, I entered the case on 2/1/17 as a defendant in intervention on the two existing cases in order to regain the title for the trust.
  4. The 2/1/17 cross claim against SCA was to get SCA to void the defective foreclosure sale from which SCA’s former agents unlawfully kept $60,000 that should have been distributed to either Nationstar or the GBH Trust after paying SCA only $2,701.
  5. On 5/25/17, all claims against SCA were dismissed ($2,701 paid SCA in full in 2014 so SCA has no financial stake in the quiet title dispute), but the Lipson attorney did not file the 5//25/17 order until 9/20/17, a month after I was kicked off the Board on the pretext that the mere existence of this case disqualified me from being on the Board.
  6. I did not, and could not, make a profit from my position on the Board.

And yet, the Lipson report brands me

My request to correct false reports was not heard.

Click here to link to the request I intended to, but did not, bring to the Board.

I stayed silent.

The tone of the meeting and the mood of the crowd made it clear that there was a zero% chance that the Board would see through their prejudices and willful ignorance to treat me fairly.

There was a standing ovation for Jim Coleman who was shaken and outraged at being falsely accused of voting to kick me off the Board by lying, probably racist, Mr. (name redacted) blogger.

There was zero acknowledgement that I existed in the room, let alone was deserving of compassion as the falsely accused (of making a profit off my Board position) and the actually-injured (kicked off the Board without a trial or finding of guilt) victim.

Who cares?

Good question. The issue is way bigger than me.

The precedent puts homeowners in all 3,000 HOAs in Nevada at risk of losing control over who sits on their Boards if who they elect can be “disappeared” without cause, a trial or an appeal on a pretext.

Let’s face it

I was kicked off the Board because the GM and the majority of the Board did not like me telling them they sub-standard in their  implementation of self-management and that they were breaking lots of rules and needed to straighten up or I would tell on them.

So, they made up a story to get rid of me

If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere

All the directors in any HOA would need to do to get rid of a Board member they don’t like would be to deem their position vacant by operation of law.

It’s easy to kill a political opponent if you have attorneys willing to ignore all the other laws that exist to protect homeowners from arbitrary and capricious abrogation of their rights.

This precedent is especially risky for the state because Adam Clarkson is the president-elect of the Community Association Institute and claims that his firm represents 300 HOAs, 10% of those in Nevada.

Good-bye, democracy.

Being serviced by SCA attorneys is painful and pricey

This is the second blog in a series about lessons learned at the April 26 Board meeting.

Lesson 2-
When we don’t get what we paid for, we should send it back.

This blog is about how it is always “lose-lose” when the SCA Board abdicates to attorneys instead of being guided by:

  • common sense,
  • NRED Board training,
  • owner oversight and
  • professional management standards of practice.

This blog is about the overuse and wrong use of the SCA attorneys to protect individual Board members and the GM, and actively, purposely hurting owners – all on owners’ dime.

Special thanks go to Rex Weddle and Sandy Seddon for setting the mean-spirited and divisive tone at the top that has prevented all neighborly, amicable resolution of differences on their watch.

Highlights of legal expenditures

  • First quarter 2018 $101,300  more than double the $48,750 budget
  • 2017 quarterly budget was $22,500, so $101,300 was nearly five times what was expected to spend in a quarter last year
  • In 2015, before self-management SCA actually spent $116,292 for lawyers
  • In 2014, $52,219 was spent for the whole year.
  • In 2016,the whole year of lawyers was $118,861, but that was before buckets of money were extracted from owners’ pockets in 2017 to pay to be aggressively serviced by the Clarkson Law Group

Again, a special thanks to Rex and Sandy for their utter disregard of best practices and fair play to make owners pay attorneys to keep your dirty little secrets.

What are we getting for our money?

Can we figure it out from the budget variance “explanation”?

“NRED, FAS, Director liability, policy updates, etc.”

Pretty unsatisfactory explanation, I’d say. I’ll also say these ridiculous legal fees are not necessary expenditures. They are only necessary if the Board is duped into doing everything the hard way instead of opting for the ounce of prevention.

Some of these fees are also caused by individual Board members and the GM using the attorneys in inappropriate ways, and the attorney leading, or going along with, unfairly stripping owners’ of their legal protections. The attorney makes big bucks as a quid pro quo for the Board abandoning even the appearance of controlling budget policy.

SCA leaders refuse to be transparent about what they are doing, but I think you all should know what you are buying.

And remember, unlike blogger # 3, Mr. (name redacted), who was drummed out of the legal profession for forging a judge’s signature, I will swear under oath to the truth of what I say, and I will, willingly and openly, back my words up with evidence.

I’ll show you in Lesson 3 why attorneys’ lies about me are so serious and why doing this to one owner hurts ALL owners.

 

 

 

 

Board meeting as self-serving bully pulpit

Lesson 1 from April 26 BOD meeting

“What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.”                                             -Mark Twain

Blame the bloggers

At least the first hour of the meeting was dedicated to blaming bloggers for all that is wrong, including the loss of SCA property values. It was a stunning example of how the Board marches lock-step against  owners rights and reflexively resists holding itself and the GM accountable for fixing problems of their own making.

Board beliefs vs. an alternative point of view

Tom Nissen listed his beliefs – all concerns shared by the Board – as his parting gift to the membership.

My beliefs offer another, albeit unwelcome, perspective, to show the way I think the Board and GM could better create value for owners.

Click here to link to the article about the UNLV study on HOA foreclosures referenced above.

Next time, I’ll share with you my planned request to correct the false and defamatory statements in the April SCA litigation reports. I didn’t speak up at the meeting because I was afraid I’d get lynched for complaining.

Making owners pay to fight owners knowing how our money is spent

A point for transparent Nevada

The R-J just won a victory for transparency when the District Attorney was required to release information about how much the DA’s office was compensating witnesses in criminal trials.

Public interest
Using taxpayer cash to fight the taxpayer
Click on photo to read full editorial

 

“To sum it up, the taxpayer-funded prosecutor’s office sought to conceal from taxpayers certain payments it made with taxpayer money – and then eventually cut a deal that will cost taxpayers $55,000 (in attorney fees).”

 

“Wouldn’t it have been easier – and cheaper – for those in the DA’s office to simply have made the information available in the first place? Instead, the default setting is always to retreat into the shadows and make liberal use of other people’s money to fight against open government.”

Sound familiar, Mr. Clarkson?

It should.  Sun City Anthem Board and GM are misusing the SCA attorney to hide their sins, and he is laughing all the way to the bank.

SCA’s leaders are wasting owners’ money to hide information which should be easily accessible to us at virtually no cost on the website.

SCA’s brand of mean-spirited opacity- hiding actions and expenditures from owners and making the owners pay the attorney fees for hiding what could even be unlawful or fraudulent – has more elements of sleaziness than I saw in the government’s efforts to avoid transparency.

SCA has gone beyond the practice of merely blocking freedom of information requests as described in the R-J editorial to being outright abusive to owners who just ask for information they have a legal right to receive and distribute as they wish.

For example, the claim on the new SCA Records Request Form that SCA records that might be requested, such as employee compensation, are “private and confidential records of the private entity that is the association” is simply false.

Those records can’t be confidential by Nevada law in Sun City Anthem and not confidential by that same Nevada law in Sun City Summerlin.

Threats of litigation?

I don’t see that the Public Employees Retirement System threatened the R-J with punitive sanctions for just submitting a Freedom of Information Request like our mean-spirited leaders are doing to SCA owners, threatening litigation for even asking for information the GM or individual Board members want to be publicly known.

GM’s “privacy rights” bigger than owners’ rights?

I also don’t see that the government officials ever claim that freedom of information requests violated some imaginary and legally-unsupported “personal privacy rights” as SCA’s attorney has done on behalf of the GM.

Only withhold records from certain parties?

I don’t see that the District Attorney claimed the requested information could be withheld from the R-J, but that it could be released to the R-J’s competitor? SCA has done this very thing repeatedly by providing information to OSCAR (recall opponents) that was withheld from others who were not in that camp.

Making up laws?

I also don’t see that the District Attorney just made up some bogus legal  requirement that the R-J acknowledge that the information can’t be used in ways the DA would consider harassment or even just embarrassing. The new SCA information request form contains multiple ridiculous “acknowledgements” which have no basis in law.

The SCA attorney is lying to owners about what owners’  rights are. Fines and other sanctions are threatened against  SCA owners for requesting and disseminating information, both of which are within fully within owners’ legal rights.

For example, the claim that SCA CC&R 3.6(h) and SCA Rules & Regs 9.4 would be violated and an owner subjected to penalties for violating any of the totally fabricatedduty, restriction and/or obligation provided herein” is a double whammy of threatening an owner for violating restrictions the attorney just made up out of thin air. 

Magically creating privilege?

I also don’t see any egregious claim by Clark County that documents, actions or conversations become privileged just because the secretive official wishes that they were legally protected from public view as the Clarkson Law Group, the GM and individual members of the Board ludicrously and repeatedly do to unlawfully attack owners for exercising our legal rights.

 Ask any Discovery Commissioner

The burden of proof that documents, conversations or actions are legally privileged falls squarely on the party who is seeking protection from disclosure.

Not the other way around.

Being accountable for being good neighbors

Is a criminal-to-excellence measuring scale hard to understand?

It seems to be hard for the people currently in power here to grasp.

But, the association (meaning the membership) faces a very high risk if the Board, GM, and attorney are not held accountable for being ethical and fair.

With so much a secret, who can be held to account?

I invite you to look again at my  blog, The Cautionary Tale of the City of Bell.

Although SCA is a non-profit corporation that privately delivers municipal services rather than a city per se, SCA has hallmarks that mirror the City of Bell’s textbook case of municipal corruption:

  • laws are bent to serve executive’s private interests
  • those in power act in concert for self-interest
  • excessive executive compensation
  • disenfranchising of unsophisticated and inattentive voters
  • election interference
  • lack of transparency

Mmm…how can I make this clearer?

I know. Let’s discuss a fun fact about bestiality.

Did you know that until AB 391 passed last year, and became effective October 1, 2017, it wasn’t against the law in Nevada to have sex with a dog?

It’s pretty weird that it wasn’t illegal until a few months ago, but, I think we can all agree that,

just because you could have, doesn’t mean you should have.

Let’s take this tale a step further.
What if…

…before Nevada’s anti-bestiality law passed, a neighbor was disturbed by the noise of a dog whining. When the neighbor realized what was happening, he complained around the neighborhood that such conduct should not be allowed.

The neighbor complained strenuously that it was cruel and abusive to the animal, and offensive to community values.

Instead of apologizing or showing any shame or remorse, the “dog lover” was rude and insulting to the neighbor, flaunting his “rights” and saying in an arrogant and condescending tone:

“Shut up. I can do to my dog whatever I want. I do not have to change my ways just because some whiner complains about having to witness how much I really love my dog. My attorney says the law is on my side. You have invaded my privacy and defamed me. I’ll tell everybody you are a horrible busybody, and they’ll hate you. I’m going to sue you, and you will have to pay all my attorney fees.”

Your Ethics 101 Exam Questions
  1. How would you rate the dog lover‘s behavior on a criminal-to-excellent-neighbor scale?
  2. How would you rate the neighbor’s behavior?
  3. Should the neighbor have to pay the attorney fees?
  4. How could this situation have been handled better?

Even if the selfish dog lover had not technically broken any Nevada law, I think we can all agree that he was wrong to abuse the dog, and that he made everything about the situation worse by unfairly stomping on the aghast neighbor.

The moral of this tale

What the Board, the GM, and the attorney did felt to me as exactly comparable to how the dog lover retaliated against his neighbor for complaining. They bullied me, shunned me, threatened me with litigation and liability for attorney fees for speaking up when I saw things that were just plain wrong – just like the dog lover treated his neighbor.

SCA leaders must be held to a higher standard.

You can help. Vote. Raise our standards.
Bob Burch and Aletta Waterhouse should not be re-elected just because they have not had sex with their dogs.

How to make your vote REALLY count!

You must vote.

No matter how disenfranchised you feel.

This envelope will be in your mailbox today or Monday.
No problem recognizing your ballot this time.

Do you want to drain the swamp?

Well, your vote will ONLY help clean up this place  if you

DO NOT vote for Aletta Waterhouse or Bob Burch, the two tone-deaf incumbents,

who wiggled out of the recall by allowing the GM to use our money

  • to pay $85,000 to a CPA to takeover the job of the volunteer election committee, and
  • to use the association attorney at $300,000++ in 2017 for reasons unknown, including LOTS of $$$ to screw over owners who weren’t in her corner and  $15,000+ to make sure your vote didn’t count in the removal election process

Vote like this.

Ironic signs have been posted.

(I don’t have time right now to expand on the irony. My grandson’s here for the holiday, and we’re going to see a different magic show tonight.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Easter! Time for renewal and rebirth!