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.

 

If only they had known…Part 1

New Director training

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

Learning from these free resources will reduce unhealthy over-dependence on attorneys.

Click here to link to blog:
Why SCA now pays so much in legal fees

Click here for NRED presentation:
Welcome to the Board 

If the 2017 Board had taken this class from NRED instead of being trained by attorney Adam Clarkson, would directors still have acted outside authority granted by NRS and the SCA governing documents?

Election Recommendations

 

Election Recommendations
The SCA View Newsletter by Ron Johnson

Vote for Coleman, Karrow, Lee and Wigen

It’s that time of year again and your vote is needed to determine who will best represent the interests of our community. On the heels of the results of a very divisive recall petition, where a substantial number of members voted to throw Bob Burch and Aletta Waterhouse off of the board, your vote is more important than ever. While that petition failed to meet the very high threshold needed for a director’s removal from the board, this election campaign has provided voters with another opportunity to demonstrate their concern.

It’s my position that the community would be far better served by electing three new members to the board rather than returning any of the old directors who had been previously elected. Let’s say goodbye to Bob Burch and Aleta Waterhouse and vote for JAMES COLEMAN, CANDACE KARROW, GARY LEE AND CLIFF WIGEN. Director James Coleman was not elected but was appointed to the board last year.

My concerns about Burch and Waterhouse stem from the board’s questionable and potentially illegal actions in approving if not directing management to adopt certain accounting gimmicks. Those accounting gimmicks have resulted in the deferral of almost a million dollars annually in scheduled repairs to the following year(s).

Such unreported deferrals amount to self-serving efforts by the board to avoid increasing assessments, thereby helping those directors who are running for reelection.

While one prominent blogger has been eager to pass along management’s assessment that the Association’s finances are in “excellent” shape, that assessment is grossly misleading. That assessment failed to reflect what’s been really going on behind the scenes in what I view as an unorthodox effort to provide millions of dollars over time for unanticipated and unfunded repair projects at Liberty and Anthem Centers.

One method management adopted was to defer almost a million dollars in previously scheduled repairs from one year to the next year. Such deferrals have a cumulative effect on subsequent scheduled repairs in the following years, which is exacerbated when there are recurring unplanned events in the following years, like the Anthem Locker Rooms, forcing management to annually push scheduled repairs forward year after year. As reserve funds are expended for such unplanned repairs, the reserve fund keeps going down by that amount. At some unknown future date, that reserve deficit will have to be replenished.

Meanwhile, the board will continue to rely on members not paying close attention to what’s going on behind the scenes in the accounting room as your money get “created” and spent for unbudgeted purposes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restaurant Rumors
Did the board or management influence G2G (Denny’s) to drop gaming in order to assure their likely selection as a tenant?

Club Rumors
Some residents are looking forward to the possible creation of the NEW YORK CLUB.

Administrative matters
My new Email address is: rljohnson32@coxÆnet
My new phone number is: 702-413-6026

Copyright © 2018 The SCA View-Journal, Inc., All rights reserved. The SCA View Newsletter

Published by Ron Johnson, Email: rljohnson32@coxÆnet, Phone: (702) 413-6026

 

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!

We are VERY lucky the restaurant choice is obvious

Two years the restaurant has been closed, and the process being used by the GM and a couple of Board members to make a decision seemed doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Three proposals from the 9 invitees

Click this link for the PDF of the spreadsheet below. It’ll show you my very quick review of the responses, but the decision is, frankly, a no brainer.

Recommended Proposal: Village Pub

The Village Pub offers the only opportunity for a successful enterprise. They have accepted all the risk because they are confident in their model and the effectiveness of their marketing. They will put up $750,000-$1 million to  the cost of renovating the facility for their use. They have a solid, tested program, and would pay $3,000/mo. rent.

Best of all – they expect to only need to meet with management once a year. This inspires true confidence that the GM and the Board would stay out of their business and let them succeed here like they have elsewhere.
G2G Proposal

I was turned off immediately by the first paragraph.

“The Club”…is also reflective of the Country Club style restaurant we have been discussing with you for a year.

The GM’s interaction with one vendor bodes ill for an arms-length transaction. It also totally chaps my hide because when I was on the Board, the GM would not work with me on the restaurant as she only favored working with Tom Nissen and Forrest Quinn, Board members who “treat her right.” When I told them I had heard that they were meeting separately and playing golf with one of the potential vendors for the restaurant lease, they blew me off:

You are not authorized to be work on the restaurant even though you are a Board member. The GM is in charge, and Rex did not put you on our little Restaurant Space Board Work Group. Thank you very much, but no thanks.

Your concerns about our cozying up to one competitor are just silly. We don’t think we are creating a biased or inadequate selection process that creates future problems and conflicts of interest. Therefore, we’re not. So go away. Your comments have been duly noted and round filed.

Given this personal context, I’m sure you’ll see that it was hard for me to look favorably on G2G who, from all appearances, had a leg up. So, I’ll let his proposal speak for itself.

Annie’s Gourmet Proposal

Annie’s is a very small operation, and selecting Annie’s would present SCA with an unacceptably high level of risk with a promise of considerably less reward than we could get from the Village Pub.

Remodel for alternate use of the space

Table this. Save the money that would have to be invested in remodeling. Save the time that would be sent in further dithering.

Let us have a restaurant that people like and can afford and that owners don’t have to subsidize.

If the Village Pub pays up to $1 million for their own renovation and setup, doesn’t rely on SCA for any marketing support, pays $3,000/month, and runs a business like they are running in 13 other successful locations in the valley.

Don’t interfere with their business. Let them do it. They know how.

Save owners the $4,000/month we are wasting while the GM dithers.

 

 

 

 

 

Who will allowed to speak at today’s 2 PM SCA Board candidate forum ?

Who is running and deemed eligible?

10 owners self-nominated for the Board
7  cleared whatever vetting the GM and attorney dreamed up
2  did not pass muster, but will remain unnamed for unknown reasons
1  was declared ineligible in yet-another $325/hour attorney letter.
4 candidates who did not show up on 2/13 were included in the drawing for ballot position
2 of the 4 no shows on 2/13 did not send a rep and did not send regrets
1  candidate (Nona Tobin) showed up on 2/13, but was prohibited from drawing for a ballot position because, of course, she is a monster.

What happened to the other two nameless candidates who were gone in the first round?

The unnecessary secrecy makes me suspect that the GM’s implying that 3 owners were ineligible (deeming anyone ineligible to run is unprecedented) was a sham to cover up how I have been singled out and wrongfully disqualified by the attorney asserting the same false charges used to unlawfully kick me off the Board last August which was done without legal authority, without a requested open hearing and without any appeal or equal time to contradict the defamatory statements they’ve published about me.

Who are the 7 candidates whose names will appear on the ballot?

The candidates are listed  above in the order assigned to them by which lot was drawn for them at the 2/13/18 Election Committee meeting.

Two of the listed candidates – Vickie Lisotto and Cliff Wigen – did not show up for the drawing, Nevertheless, the Election Committee drew ballot positions for them without knowing whether Vickie or Cliff were even still interested in  running. They thought it was the only fair thing to do since they were absent. They apparently didn’t see anything wrong with prohibiting me from drawing a ballot number even though I was present and I had submitted an appeal.

What if there are only five candidates and four openings?

If Vickie and Cliff drop out, or were shills to begin with, and the Board is vindictive and disingenuous enough to insist I am a such a financial threat to SCA that I must be kept out of the race, there will only be five candidates for four seats.

This means that at least one of the two incumbents, Aletta and Bob, will get re-elected, despite the fact that they usurped the rights of the 2,000 owners who voted for me when Aletta and Bob voted to unlawfully kick me off the Board at exactly the same time that they were themselves were the subjects of recall petitions signed by 800+ owners.

Don’t forget that Aletta and Bob voted to spend almost $90,000 of owners’ money to pay a CPA and the attorney to botch the recall election so they could keep their seats and the attorney and the GM could keep their big, fat jobs.

Very convenient for Bob Burch and Aletta Waterhouse who have tried to ruin my reputation by saying that I deserved to be kicked off without any recourse and who personally benefit from knocking me out of the competition.

I guess nobody in power sees a problem with that.

Notes on Incumbents

  • Robert (Bob) Burch has been on the Board one term. He has not been an officer, but he has been instrumental in causing serious deterioration in owner oversight, the personnel and compensation policy areas, has aggressively attacked owners who signed the petitions of no confidence in the GM or who signed petitions to recall four of the directors. He failed to disclose that he has lived across the street from 2763 White Sage, the property that is subject to my quiet title litigation and two other lawsuits.  and he voted to force me to recuse myself from all collection matters even though he voted against me and voted to kick me off the Board over the litigation about that same house. Bob should be questioned about his reasons for refusing to address any of the owners’ concerns listed in the petitions for an election to remove him from the Board.
  • Aletta Waterhouse is Board Secretary and a two-year incumbent who was the subject of a petition and a vote for removal from the Board. She needs to be held accountable for her failure as the Secretary to ensure that the agendas, minutes, and other documents were not corrupted by error, negligence or fraud.
  • Both Bob and Aletta should be questioned and need to be held accountable for their actions as Board members in kicking me off the Board, refusing to respond to any of the concerns owners raised in their petitions, for concealing information that is legally accessible to owners, and for harassing and retaliating against me, for tolerating significant misconduct on the part of the GM is threatening frivolous litigation, using the association attorney as her personal attorney, and for allowing the GM and attorney to expend unbudgeted funds
  • James Coleman was hand-picked last August without any competitive process in violation of SCA bylaws 3.6 to fill my Board seat after the 6 other directors unlawfully kicked me off. Jim was not involved in any of the decisions that led to my being kicked off unlawfully off the Board and did not vote on any of the myriad foolishness the other two incumbents participated in.

Why can’t I be a candidate for the Board?

My latest rejection letter

I’ll translate it from legalese into what they are really saying are my fatal flaws:

The Election Committee and the GM predictably refused to acknowledge my appeal in the same manner they treat all complaints. Send to the round file. Don’t listen to both sides. Don’t do anything to resolve the situation. Treat the appellant like dirt. Call the attorney. Make the owners pay him $325/hour to get rid of the pest.

SCA GM published defamatory statements against me last August

How can they do that? OPERATION OF WHAT LAW?

The attorney is totally off base. And, in doing this, his conflict of interest is showing. He is not serving the owners who are paying him. He is serving the interests of the GM, himself as SCA’s debt collector, and individuals on the Board.

For him to be right, dozens of laws, CC&Rs and bylaws provisions would have to be violated or “deemed vacated”.

Not to mention the facts that:

  • the allegations that there are matters before the board from which I could make a profit are beyond false to the point of being absurd.
  • I’ll bet that I’ve spent more defending myself from these unreasonable attacks than all the other Board members combined have spent to serve as a volunteer, probably including all Board members since the SCA began.
  • I have made all the required disclosures and a full page of litigation disclosures and court documents have been posted for a year on nonatobin.com/litigationdisclosures.
  • I have no monetary demands against the association.
  • I have not, and have never intended to, pursue claims against the association through mediation.
  • There is zero financial risk to SCA from my service.
Why would the other Directors do this awful thing to you?

Because the GM and the attorney want me gone. They want me to stop asking why the GM, the CFO and the Facilities Manager are paid double the market. They want me to stop telling owners that the GM and the attorney have struck a devil’s pact to take unlawful control of the SCA’s budget.

I am all over them about the GM’s and attorney’s undisclosed conflicts of interest, but they have the full support of the Board President, Rex Weddle, who tried every which way to Sunday to make himself into a king and me into a second-class director who he did not authorize to get the same information or participate in Board deliberations which he only “real” Directors to participate in.

These three “leaders” have fed the Board a line of BS about how evil I am and that I have told their secrets. It is nonsense, of course, but it was very convenient for the other Directors to swallow it because it fit the “Us against her” model that they used from day 1 to marginalize me.

All of this drama is what really allowed them to feel self-righteous  declaring me ineligible for the Board. Claiming that I was making a profit from being on the Board was merely a pretext.  All the conflict between us was related to me blowing the whistle on their shenanigans. Only after I informed them that I intended to file an intervention affidavit with the Ombudsman to complain about harassment and retaliation did they start falsely accusing me of a secret profit motive.

In fact, the letter to dump me off the Board last August was clearly in retaliation to my intended complaint of retaliation against me for prior complaints about their multiple statutory violations, secret meetings, and the GM using the SCA’s attorney for her own private benefit.

99% of you can stop reading here. The rest of this blog is primarily links to laws and rules that were violated.

This detail is for the benefit of the NRED investigator to facilitate her completing the investigation with the required 60-day lead time before the June CIC Commission meeting where, hopefully, these issues will be adjudicated. 

The serious risk here is that a negative ruling could set a bad precedent for around 3,000 HOAs in Nevada if Boards or attorneys or managers could bypass voters and dump owners off the Boards for political reasons without any recourse.

What laws were ignored and what lies were told to get rid of me?

To “deem the board position held by Nona Tobin vacated as a matter of law” to be valid, legally-enforceable act, the following preposterous notions would also have to be true instead of the big, fat lies that they are:

  1. That I actually had made a profit, or tried to make a profit, or placed matters before the Board from which I could make a profit, when I did not;
  2. That I had failed to disclose a financial interest so that I could sneak up on the Board to catch them unawares to make them unwittingly vote for something that made me money;
  3. That the attorney or the GM or 6 members of the Board have the authority to deem me ineligible for the Board by declaring that I have a disqualifying conflict of interest and that they have the authority to impose greater eligibility, disclosure and recusal requirements on me than  the law ( NRS 116.31084(1)(a)(b)or NRS 116.3103(1)(a) or the SCA  bylaws 3.6, or SCA Board Policy Manual 4.4A(1)(2) impose on them;
  4. NRS 116.31036 and SCA bylaws 3.6 (both define the only legal way to remove a director) protections only apply to 6 of the 7 SCA directors, and those same 6 got the legal authority, magically from some unknown source, that permitted them to strip the 7th director of her legal protection from removal by any means other than by  a removal election;
  5. That NRS 116.3013(2)(d) (limitations on board power to define a director’s authority or term) and Board Policy Manual 4.3  (Director Authority) do not actually mean that 6 directors are prohibited from ganging up on a director by claiming that she is not “authorized” to act like, or be treated as, an equal director with an equal vote and with equal access to the same information and deliberations needed to make Board decisions.
  6. That the other 6 directors could simply decide in secret that I stood to make a profit from matters before the Board, and their decision superseded the conflict of interest provisions in NRS 116.31084 and  NRS 116.3103(1)(b) or SCA bylaws SCA Board Policy Manual 4.4A(1)(2)  that one would think applied equally to any Board member;
  7. That the 6 directors were acting as fiduciaries (acting solely for the best interests of the association membership) even though they failed to provide me or SCA owners ANY of the owners protections guaranteed by NRS 116, NRS 82, or SCA bylaws;
  8. That my quiet title litigation is inherently disqualifying regardless of the fact that SCA has no financial interest in the title, i.e., there is zero financial risk to the SCA regardless of whether the 8th district court  quiets title to me, or the bank, or the dentist who has possession;
  9. That my filing a notice of intent to file an intervention affidavit with the Ombudsman alleging harassment and retaliation constituted putting matters before the Board from which I stood to make a profit when I have no monetary claims for damages against the association;
  10. That my motion to correct the SCA litigation reports was putting matters before the Board that could make me money when the motion was to correct the willful misstatements of SCA attorneys to misrepresent the actual status of the quiet title litigation (all claims against SCA were dismissed on 5/25/17 and SCA has no financial risk in the remaining title dispute);
  11. That the secret vote of 6 directors was actually an official action of the “Board” as a whole in the 8/24/17 executive session despite there being no item to remove a director on the 8/24/17 executive session agenda and that the minutes provided were completely redacted to conceal that 6 directors kicked me off the board without due process by a secret vote in direct violation of NRS 116.31085 (3)(4)(5)(6) and, ironically, in explicit response to my notice of intent to complain about harassment and retaliation.

 

What’s being human got to do with it?

We are all more irrational than we think

I don’t know if anybody clicked on the links to psychological studies in my last blog about the 2/13 Election Committee’s hostile reaction to my appeal of my unfairly being excluded from the 2018 election process. But let’s assume nobody did.

Anyway, here’s the point.  These important psychological studies contributed to our understanding of how people conform to roles or how people tend to obey authority figures even if they hurt innocent people. This research contains valuable lessons that we all need to learn– but these are particularly important lessons for those in SCA power positions — if we are ever going to heal our community divide.

Why am I talking about this?

My goal is to encourage people in our community to re-frame the way we approach conflict resolution. None of us can be trusted to be completely objective and completely rational 100% of the time so we need to have a fair and objective governance system that’s strong enough to make sure those in power don’t abuse it.

Those in power can’t be allowed to run roughshod over anyone more vulnerable for any reason. And the only way to guarantee that is to have a system that won’t let them get away with it.

We are wasting our limited time, money and emotional resources on attorneys who cannot fix what is wrong, and who are, in my view, a big part of the problem.

Study #1: The Milgram Experiment

The Milgram experiment (1961) was designed to test how readily people acquiesce to authority even when it is in conflict with personal conscience. The goal was try to understand why so many “good Germans” just went along with Hitler’s horrific actions.

Conclusion

“Ordinary people are likely to follow orders given by an authority figure, even to the extent of killing an innocent human being.  Obedience to authority is ingrained in us all from the way we are brought up.

People tend to obey orders from other people if they recognize their authority as morally right and/or legally based. “

This Milgram study concluded that people obey authority figures even if it hurts innocent people. This can easily be applied to what happens here in SCA, given that we are all humans.

How could we use this knowledge?

So, to me personally, giving more power or “authority” to a small group of people is not the answer. The answer is having a governance system that will control those who have the power to prevent them from abusing it.

And to have a system that requires the uniform application of the rules to everyone to ensure that ALL owners are protected from any form of abuse, regardless of who is in power.

Study #2: The Stanford Prison Experiment

Stanford Prison experiment (1971) demonstrated how quickly people adapt to their assigned roles. Students randomly assigned to be the guards began acting aggressive and authoritarian and rapidly began feeling justified in being abusive while those randomly assigned to being prisoners took on so much of the fear and agony of prisoners subjected to abuse that the experiments were stopped for ethical considerations.

Today’s Communication workshop and yesterday’s Board meeting yielded some examples of how people conform to their roles, respond to authority, and conform to norms that are placed upon them that I will discuss in a future blog.

Right now, I just want to recommend a book to anyone who would like to explore a little further how we as humans behave irrationally and how we need to have strong social norms and systems in place to protect us from ourselves and the limitations we have from just being human.

The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty
How we lie to everyone – especially ourselves

How could this book help SCA leaders grow into their roles?

I think Dan Ariely’s entertaining and informative writings (and other research I will suggest later) could teach us concepts and skills that we could use to help ourselves and to resolve some of our SCA community’s deepest divides.

I love listening to this guy’s books while I’m hiking. He describes about experiments that test and analyze theories about the many ways:

  • we humans are a lot less rational than we think,
  • how we’ll do something completely irrational and then just make up a reason to justify it,
  • how we all have blind spots,
  • how much our expectations can influence what we see, feel, or can learn.

Polly Anna speaking here:

It might encourage those in power to be more open to handling conflict in a more constructive way that might prevent exacerbating problems until court is the only answer.

The price we all pay

Refusing to openly discuss and fairly resolve owners’ concerns “on the advice of counsel” creates a litigious environment in which only the attorneys profit.

The price ALL owners pay is much larger than just the attorney fees. We pay for it with our most valuable resources: peace of mind and sense of belonging and joie de vivre.

Election Committee TOMORROW 9 AM – pick order of names on ballot

Concord Room Anthem Center
9 AM Tuesday, Feb. 13
Election Committee
Board Candidate Orientation
Candidates draw for ballot order

I’ll be there despite Clarkson’s challenge to my eligibility. I have requested that I be treated as a candidate unless a State of Nevada official with proper legal authority rules that I am not eligible to be a candidate.

As you can see in the email below (which I sent to the SCA Board, the GM, the Ombudsman, the NRED investigator and others), I have requested, in respect for my advanced age and frail heart, that I not be treated unfairly or be subjected to a hostile surprise attack, be escorted from the room or face any other bullying or humiliation because I have the temerity to insist on my right to volunteer to serve as a member of the Board.

I encourage you to come if you are interested in ensuring that SCA is not the kind of place where a homeowner in good standing, acting in good faith, can be treated shabbily for simply trying to be of service.

Remember, this is not about me. 

This is about having a system of governance that is fair, open and protects ALL homeowners equally – no matter who is in charge.