Jim Mayfield writes:
We received the annual mandatory budget mailer in today’s mailer. I have reviewed the budget in detail as well as the materials sent with the budget mailer.
1. The “Summary Budget” does not contain any information that compares the 2018 draft budget to the adopted 2017 budget. Furthermore, a comparison is not provided of the 2018 draft budget to the projected actual financial statements for 2017. Without these comparisons, unit owners have no way access the expected actual to budget performance for 2017 OR to see how spending priorities are budgeted to change between 2017 and 2018.
2. The Budget mailer does not include a proxy form or return envelope for unit owners to use to vote for or against the budget. This is a change from prior years. Instead, the cover letter states that if a unit owner desires to vote for or against the budget, the unit owner should see NRS 116.311. (So much for transparency and encouraging unit owner participation in the governance of SCA.) The strategy is obvious: Don’t raise the dues and hope the unit owners don’t care how their money is spent and find it too hard to find out to bother.
3. The capital budget includes an authorization of $45k for “chairs, outlets, storage shed, BBQ tables and benches for the Pickleball court area.
Notes from Nona on saving some bucks
I haven’t received my budget mailer, but I want to address easier voting described in NRS 116.311 as they can be used as an example of how SCA could avoid most of our huge legal bills. The Board and the GM are not competent in preventing owner problems using the attorney as their sole guide. They should shift from paying for secret attorney opinions defining the legal minimum to asking owners to help develop popular “best practices”.
The NRS 116.311 code section is entitled,
“Voting by units’ owners; use of absentee ballots and proxies; voting by lessees of leased units; association prohibited from voting as owner of unit; voting without a meeting.”
This section offers ways in some situations that voting could be made easier on owners – like absentee ballots, proxies and voting electronically. Even though simpler, more convenient methods are available, doing things in the most “user-friendly” way doesn’t seem to be much of a priority for the Board or the GM even if not doing it the easy way is more costly.
The default seems to be just knee-jerk asking the attorney for an opinion. The attorney’s opinion generally veers toward advising the Board or GM what is the minimum that can be legally done. Conceptualizing a problem in terms of improving customer service is simply outside of the attorney’s paradigm, training and expertise – and yet he is their top-dollar “Go-To Guy”.
The GM does not seem to be inclined to focus on improving owner relations or utilizing owners’ expertise to research and recommend “best practices”. Instead, just handing over $325/hour for the attorney to rule on what the Board and GM can probably get away with is her counterproductive modus operandi. The Board has a total blind spot to this failing.
A better way of doing business would be to evaluate EVERY Board or management decision by asking owners BEFORE taking action,
“Is this action in the best interests of the membership?”
Then, if there are lots of owners who disagree, listen to them and remedy the problems. This could be done easily and systematically by utilizing the expertise of owners in a re-invigorated committee system. It certainly would be more cost-effective.