A House Divided – the spin doctor at work.

 

On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln, while running as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, made his famous statement, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Of course, here we are, 159 years later and we as a country are perhaps as much divided now as we were then, but still standing.

I point this out because Sun City Anthem, our little community, a microcosm in the scheme of things, is at this time, greatly divided. At the root of this division is the performance of the current HOA Board of Directors, the General Manager, and the HOA Attorney.

There are those in this community that believe the Board, GM, and Attorney are doing a wonderful job. However, there are over 800 residents who feel that “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

First let me address the fact that the NRS and the Sun City Anthem HOA By-Laws addresses in detail, the process by which the homeowners of this community can file a complaint against management and the Board, including the allowance for a petition to be filed for the recall of Board Members. These 800+ homeowners of Sun City Anthem have followed the rules and filed their legal petition. However, the Board, the General Manager, and the Attorney, in an effort to preserve their gravy train have done everything possible to prevent a fair recall election. I have pointed out one example of many in my blog article “How to Lose Control of Who Represents You on the SCA Board.”

One way that the Board is fighting the recall is through the use of a Spin Doctor in the form of longtime blogger David Berman. Mr. Berman has characterized this removal election as an ‘evil and traumatic injury to the body politic that is tearing the community apart.’ To that end, Mr. Berman formed an organization called OSCAR (Opposition to Sun City Anthem Recall) and has been publishing slanted half-truths to his readership on behalf of the Board and management. While the Board is certainly not paying Mr. Berman for his service, they are feeding his ego by making him an insider and feeding (or leaking if you prefer), key management and Board information for his nearly daily blog posts. Information, I might add, that is not posted in the Board Books or available to others in the community.

In fact, Mr. Berman uses this inside information to form hyperbole supposition and theories of doom and destruction as scare tactics to con his sheeple into believing that everything he states is gospel. But Mr. Berman’s rants don’t stop there; he personally calls out the names of people he feels are against his puppet board to ostracize them and calls for them to be banished from his kingdom.

In a piece published on October 9th, Mr. Berman used a thread posted by homeowner Bobbi Senneke on the NextDoor social app to prove that he is not the only person supporting the current Board, GM, and attorney. Apparently, there has been a growing conversation about the performance of the Board, GM, and the current state of the community that has frustrated Mrs. Senneke to the point of writing to Mr. Berman:

“I have finally had enough. The comments appearing on NextDoor from SCA residents, (names omittedby Berman) tipped me over the edge.  What follows is my posted response, with my husband’s blessing. I cannot muster the most meager kind thought for this gang.”

“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” stated Senneke. Then, in fear that she may also become the target of those displeased with the current administration, Senneke continued by admonishing everyone to,

“…bring it on, or you can do a kindness for yourselves and for those of us who appreciate and cherish what we are blessed with here in Anthem, and JUST MOVE!”

Instead of accepting each individual’s right to their opinion and to publicly state their concerns over what they feel is an injustice to the community, as well as their right to a recall vote; Mrs. Senneke and, through his publication, Mr. Berman,  are encouraging a degree of hate talk and separatist thinking that is dividing the community.

With this one post, Mr. Berman causes further division in the community. He deflects attention from his hand by blaming the community unrest, not on the precipitating problems, but on the petitioners for exercising their legal right to call for a vote. Mr. Berman uses the quote to continue the fantasy that there are no issues of mismanagement and malfeasance and to legitimizes the false claim that the directors facing recall are innocent of any wrongdoing. He does not acknowledge that the concerns the petitioners raised could have been avoided, or at least, that some attempt at solution or mitigation would have been appropriate. Mr. Berman simply discredits the unhappy owners who are exercising their legal right to call for an owner vote to remove Directors for mismanagement and malfeasance.

If you read the entirety of Ms. Senneke post online, the extent of Mr. Berman’s spin doctor mind-controlling influence becomes clear, as most of her comments are merely a regurgitation of his past posts.

In all actuality, recall elections must overcome huge hurdles and are rarely successful. You can read about the challenges faced in this article that addresses a number of state recall elections. Nonetheless, as I stated above, the ability of the homeowners of this community to ask for a recall is well within their right.

So what is it that the members of the community are complaining about? I have put “11 Reasons Why We Need To Recall The Board Members” on this blog site. In addition to the 11 reasons, the over 800 homeowners also submitted a petition to call for a vote of no confidence to the Board complaining about the performance of Sandy Seddon as the General Manager. The petitioners requested that the issues be addressed and that the document be placed in her personnel file. However, rather than addressing any of homeowner complaints, the Board chose to File 13 the petition against the GM for the next garbage pickup. Mr. Berman published a blog about how worthless it was so he obviously had access to it, but the document was never made available to the membership or even to all of the members of the Board who requested it.

We are not going to convince the sheeple that are under Mr. Berman’s hypnotic trance that anything is rotten in Denmark. However, there are still those independent thinkers out there who might not live in the community full time or simply have not kept up with all of the facts. It will be a tough battle these next few days, and I urge everyone to have civility. But if someone that you know is on the fence and looking for answers, lead them to this document and the other documents on SCA Strong, where I firmly believe that Owners should ALWAYS come first!