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Recap of 2016 HVPOA Annual Meeting

April 30th, 2016. The annual meeting was held at the Wilkerson Student Center @ BYU. Our president Randy Hill opened the meeting with Trust...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Valley attorney pushes new way to settle HOA disputes -

This is an interview with David Russel--the man who helped Hideaway in this last battle. David consulted with some of the people trying to help find a solution to the old board members who decided to they didn't want to give up power. David had lots of good advice and some of it paid off.

We owe a big thanks to Kurtis, president, Becky, treasurer, and Vicki our secratary--they were so calm and cool headed dealing with an intractable rogue board. And they had help from many members as well as help from national advocates in HOA issues. David Russel was one of the national advocates who helped. Here is the news spot done on him recently--he truly is a remarkable person and one who wants solutions--not just to bitch about what isn't right. Look at the nightly news spot!

Valley attorney pushes new way to settle HOA disputes - CBS 5 - KPHO: "new way to settle HOA disputes"

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Is this Hideaway's JUDD Witsom? or his clone?

Fraud Upon The Courts THE MISSING TRILLIONS on Vimeo:

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Murray American flag fiasco dies down as HOA president resigns |

I am so glad to see other HOAs in Utah raising up against the Bully Boards. Its time to unite across the country and say, "Hey new board member--YOU are my neighbor. We are business partners--we can talke to each other without lawyers. We can repsect each other and have common sense--if I ask you to serve on the board, I want you to remember that you are serving this business not turning to Gated Gestapo" We can get along, but it starts with each one of us! Read this great story of HOA victory below.

Murray American flag fiasco dies down as HOA president resigns | News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KUTV: "Murray, Utah — (KUTV) A fight over the American flag in a Murray neighborhood has ended with a white flag.

Six days after a heated confrontation, this battle in the Chestnut Place neighborhood appears to be over.

The Homeowners Association president has resigned, and the resistance against the American flag flying outside of holidays seems to be lessened.

"I wanted to fly my flag and not be harassed for it," said Erin Worthen, a resident of the neighborhood. "That's all I've wanted from the beginning.""

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

FINGER POINTING in HOAs--where is your finger pointing?

On the Commons Internet Radio: Where America Gathers for News and Views about Homeowner Associations

Millions of dollars unaccounted for, a neighborhood divided, law suites, shoddy repairs on some units, shunned members, bully boards, depreciating property values,lies, finger pointing and a thoroughly unpleasant place to live.  It must be a) a Bentley Little novel, b) a horror movie, c) an isolated incident or d) one of many dysfunctional homeowner associations across the country? If you guessed d, give yourself a pat on the back.  The stories, the details, the incidents just keep repeating themselves over and over again from the Atlantic to the Pacific and all points in between. Is it something in the water or do they clone incompetent people and put them in charge of YOUR home and your most valuable asset?

Nila Ridings joins us On The Commons this week.  Nila has been right in the middle of a fight to save her home, her sanity and her health.  She is a frequent guest  blogger and writes extensively on these issues.  She often hears from other homeowners who are having problems and looking for help.  Not surprisingly, finding someone  to explain the problems and offer help is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack.  Today Nila tells us, from her personal experience, what it is like being trapped in the crosshairs of an HOA that simply won't let go.  She also tells us how some of our best intentions can cause those we love some serious headaches.  And she shares  some valuable advice.

Written by Shu, the host of On the Commons

Saturday, September 19, 2015

HOA, homeowner at odds over dinosaur display |

Here's an article about a woman who thinks diversity in an associaiton is a good thing--she's using dinosaurs to prove her point--now she'll get fined and punished! Want to make a bet?

I think we have some dinosaurs in our POA.. read the story below.

HOA, homeowner at odds over dinosaur display | Fort Bend Southwest Star Newspaper: "Not everyone is happy about the dinosaurs, though. There has been some push back from the community – namely, the New Territory Residential Community Association. The area HOA wants the dinosaurs gone.
Hentschel said she brought them in knowing that they would not be uniform – a quality she believes the HOA wants homeowners to abide.
Her view is that uniformity and conformity do not add value to a community; people add value to a community. She thinks people together, can do great things for the community. And the people who have spoken to her understand the concept of community and want it."

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fight for your rights lost in HOA-Land | HOA Constitutional Government

Fight for your rights lost in HOA-Land | HOA Constitutional Government: "Author and advocate Shelly Marshall joins a number of other homeowner rights advocates challenging the misinformation about the real lives of HOA members: Jill Schweitzer (Buying into an HOA with your eyes wide open!), Ward Lucas (Neighbors at War!), Sara Benson (Escaping Condo Jail), and yours truly, George K Staropoli (HOA Common Sense: rejecting private government). There is also extensive material from Deborah Goonan on internet blogs." Read the full review of Shelly's book here..

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Judge rejects HOA's attempt to impose fines and jail time over backyard swingset

Great article on anHOA board gone amuck--they wasted sooo much money on fighting a family about a swing set! The insanity of little people with lots of power only grows worse. I am glad the judge saw it this way--the neighbors, suppsedly the ones the board was protecting, threw a BBQ for the family when they won the right to keep the swing set!

Judge rejects HOA's attempt to impose fines and jail time over backyard swingset: "A Missouri family, whose homeowners' association board threatened them with fines and even jailtime over their daughters' backyard swingset, won a legal victory last Friday after a judge ruled that the playset can stay.

Or, if you prefer: on Friday, a judge dealt a devastating legal blow to an embattled Missouri homeowners' association board that was only trying to protect itself from the dire threat posed by a children's backyard swingset.

Legal battle
Jack and Marla Stout live in the Raintree Lake subdivision, located in the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit, Missouri. Two years ago they installed a backyard playset for their two young daughters. The girls wanted to paint the playset pink, but they settled for purple. Marla Stout told KMBC-TV on Aug. 10 that she bought and applied a purple-tinted wood stain at Home Depot."

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Understanding Your HOA-Humor

Great sarcastic artical from Sarah--I love her take on this--her article is worth reading and gives rise to a chuckle or two.

Understanding Your HOA: "But, what exactly is an HOA? Originally a pseudo-government designed to prevent undesirables from ruining property values, these organizations are filled with locals passionate about the fences and lawns of others."

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What Causes a Trustee to Abuse their Position?

In the HOA Primer, this member speaks to a common propblem--the rogue board member. We often wonder why a board member will abuse their power, but what makes them do that?

We know that Roy Walker won't attend board meetings. He won't give over the records or check book to the new secretary and treasuer--he wants to disqualify ballots on tehcnicalities (he lost his presidency) and if that doesn't work, he lies about the candidates, he is making decisions for Hideaway that are not in a noticed board meeting, STRICTLY unlawful and spending our money on an attorney to keep himself in power, again without authority--what makes a man do that and then lie about the new board members in our ocmmunity that want to serve? It is senseless--everyone deserves a chance to serve our community, but Roy doesn't seem to think so.

Below is an insightful article from a property owner in another state who has dealt with our very same issues here in Hideaway--the article is well worth reading. Enlightening and gives insight into what may be going on with Roy.

This is as good an explanaiton as any:

The Board: "neighborhoods designed for neros
The Board is usually made up of eight to ten volunteers. These volunteers decide among themselves who will be the president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, etc., etc. In most cases, the Board will also include a representative from a Management Company. The management company is what you might call a “conflict for prophet” organization. But we’ll have to wait until the next chapter to expose those reprobates.

The purpose of the Board is to oversee the maintenance of the common area and uphold the CC&Rs.

However, I think you’ll find in most CIDs, maintenance comes in a distant second to covenant enforcement, which can become an absolute obsession.

The board has a fiduciary obligation (meaning they are being trusted by the rest of the homeowners) to act in the best interests of the association, but they rarely do.
If there were high levels of participation among the homeowners then, theoretically, you should have fewer problems. But in almost all cases, the homeowners have no time for, or interest in, neighborhood politics. These are the homeowners who have jobs and children and numerous other familial obligations. This situation creates a void, which will attract those most likely to abuse these positions of trust. This group would include those homeowners who, for whatever reason, have a great deal of time on their hands and a distinct inclination towards adversarial engagement. In a CID, the inmates really do run the asylum.

What I’m describing here, and what you’re most likely to get, is what is referred to as a “rogue board.”

And what’s so appealing about these volunteer, board positions to people of this sort? The answer is simple - complete power over one’s neighbors.

the keys to the kingdom
The CC&Rs provide board members with powers and perks that would make any third world totalitarian dictator emerald green with envy.

No experience is required. There are no minimum levels of education or competency required. Any idiot can be an HOA board member.

Freedom from prosecution. HOA board members cannot be held legally responsible for their actions while serving on an HOA board. There is no punitive incentive to hold those maniacal, totalitarian tendencies in check.

Personal vendettas are financed by the HOA. Board members can bring suit against a homeowner for any reason. The association pays all their legal expenses.

Democracy is no obstacle to tyranny. The HOA private, corporate government provides no system of checks and balances. HOA board members simultaneously occupy the legislative, judicial, and executive branches with absolutely no local, state, or federal oversight. The homeowners are sitting ducks. In disputes with homeowners, the board acts as accuser, prosecutor, judge, and jury.

barbarians at the gates
Now who do you think will be just dying to occupy these positions of boundless authority completely free of personal accountability and requiring no more qualification than a measurable pulse? Of course, it will be the neighbors from hell!

You know who they are. Every neighborhood has its crackpots, its loose cannons. Your parents warned you about them when you were kids. “Don’t go near their house on your way home from school, and don’t hit your baseballs into their yards.” Well now those crackpots are going to have complete control over your neighborhood, and to an alarming extent, your own personal property.

Any of your neighbors who shows a pronounced inclination towards aggressive, anti-social, adversarial, and authoritarian behavior is going to be fighting tooth and nail for a position on your board of directors because, for these personality types, that's where the action is. They’re drawn like a moth to a flame; It’s simple human nature at its worst.

Once on the board, these people tend to develop an adversarial posture towards the other homeowners, imposing on the association their own personal standards of neighborhood appearance and homeowner deportment. They will micro-manage your property through means of creative interpretation, and outright embellishment of the CC&Rs.

Our neighborhood, because it had almost no common area and no standardized appearance had few restrictions, but within a few years, our board had re-interpreted the CC&Rs to include every conceivable enhancement or alteration to be subject to board approval.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Emergency Meeting Called by the Board -

Emergency Meeting Called by the Board - hideawayvalley@gmail.com - Gmail: "If people are spending our money without authorization-isn't that theft or embezzlement?  They should be arrested.  They should be made to pay the association back, and pay for the spending themselves.  If we have to take them to court, they should be made to pay for all lawyer fees and court costs.
If the Board is acting inappropriately, we should be able to have a recall election or be able to impeach them.   And, they should not be able to run for office or hold office again.  I can't believe that Roy Walker was able to run again and hold office after the last time he was elected and cost the association a lot of money in lawyer fees.  If we don't have the rules to keep the trouble makers out of office, we should correct this problem.  (If they don't like it, they can sell their lots and move out.  We would be better off without them, then to keep putting up with what they are doing.)
Dennis S. Naylor
Lot D410"

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Day of Fasting and Prayer.

We would like to invite all those who would like to participate to join us in a Day of Fasting and Prayer

Since the last election there has been much conflict and disunity on the HVPOA Board of Trustees.  It appears the only solution to the conflict is a court battle.  This is not needed or wanted.  Before such measures are taken, let us petition the Great God of Heaven and Earth, the holy one who can bring peace and reason where mortals can not. 
We will be starting our fast after the evening meal on Saturday, June 6, 2015.  Please take the time to kneel with your families and open your fast by asking God to bring peace and reason back to our Association Business (which affects the personal peace of our families and neighborhood).  During your fast, let your thoughts be drawn to God in faith and just before your evening meal on Sunday, June 7th stop and thank the Lord and close your fast.
The courts of Heaven have a higher authority than the courts of the land, let us petition God first.  Nothing is too hard for our God.
Sincerely,  Vivian Kunz

Monday, June 1, 2015

Report from Vivian on the Ballot Verification

TO:Hideaway Valley Property Owner’s Association Board of Trustees,
        (Kurtis Zobell, President; Becky Peterson; Vicki Hill; Roy Walker; Brian Cook)
FROM:  Vivian Kunz
DATE: Monday, May  4, 2015


I was first made aware of the issues presented in the Complaint by Tom & Graciela Meyers during the Board Meeting held Monday, April 27, 2015. 

Tom and Graciela Meyers said they had reviewed the ballots at the home of one of the Trustees and had taken 30 hours to compile the data they presented to me on a spreadsheet.  He gave me a copy of it.  The spreadsheet appeared to be the master copy of what was used to compile the complaint table handed out in the meeting.
The purported allegations at first glance seemed serious.  I acquired permission to form a committee to research the allegations.  In the spirit of cooperation I asked for volunteers from both sides of the issue.  However, at this time I did not know who signed the complaint.  NOTE:  The committee was to be:  Vivian Kunz, Chair; Brian Cook, trustee; Randy Hill, Mr. & Mrs. Meyers; Fred Smith; and Tom LaFever. 

I compared the spreadsheet provided in the complaint against spreadsheet Tom Meyers had given me.  I did not have the ballots (they have never been made available to me for comparison).  I started to list the issues in order of importance and outlined objectives and possible division of responsibilities for the committee.  I then made several calls to research some of the most serious allegations.  I found in all cases the owners were open and honest in their response.  All issues on the complaint were addressed in a matter of less than 10 hours work.  It is my opinion, that if the Members were called initially there would have been no grounds for accusations of fraud, only procedural infractions.

Roy Walker and Brian Cook are signers to the complaint and the rest of the Board were candidates in the election.  There is not an impartial Trustee to serve on our committee.  The Meyers are also signers of the complaint.  I did not know who signed the Complaint when I asked for the committee to review the complaint.  So, I am now withdrawing my request for the committee and I am providing my findings for your review on a personal basis.  I have presented you with a copy of my findings; a review of our governing documents on the subject of title and voting rules; the facts as I saw them; and a copy of the spreadsheet provided by Tom Meyers.

There was no evidence of foul play.  The only infractions were honest mistakes by the Members themselves on their own ballots or proxies.  The infractions were procedural in nature, i.e., putting the wrong lot number, forgetting to sign the ballot, not understanding how to fill out a proxy form, owner in superior title position exercising their legal right of to vote.   I personally verified each issue and have provided my discoveries for your review.  

Many expressed feelings of urgency to submit their ballots in reaction to the inflammatory actions of some of the Trustees, i.e., refusing to let long standing members sign on meeting rosters, openly calling members illegal and unable to vote, and stating they were no longer considered Members.  It was the actions of individual Trustees as well as the use of Peter Harrison’s opinion as law to restrict Member’s rights.  This may have contributed to the large number of ballots filled out in haste and a greater number of mistakes made by the Membership.

Call after call, I found all the mistakes were made by the members themselves on their own ballots and where due to human error.  Each Member presented their ballots in good faith and they should be counted.  If you take the count provided by the spreadsheet Tom Meyers tallied, the outcome is the same. 

There is some question about the appropriateness of Members being allowed to review the ballots without a legal Board action, but more importantly to me is the privacy of individual Member’s financial institutions and account numbers.  It is a breach of privacy for the Trustees to let any Member look at another Member’s personal check. 
Tom & Graciela Meyers admitted they previewed the ballots at a Trustee’s home with his approval (they did not disclose who that was) and compared at least Dallas Peterson’s ballot to his personal check.  I do not know if more were compared.  I contacted Marty Deitz and Linda Wright and asked them if they saw the ballots or personal checks, both denied ever seeing or handling them.  They signed the Complaint based on being told there was evidence of fraudulent behavior and felt it a good idea to have the issues reviewed.  They did not disclose who presented the concerns to them.  I left a message with Dale & Diane Crotts for the same purpose and have not received a reply yet.  I suspect they signed the complaint under the same suspicions Marty and Linda did.  Marty Deitz mentioned that if there was a concern of fraud the ballots should be reviewed.  I applaud his caution.

It does not appear that there was any attempt to clarify the ballot issues, except in the case of Boyd Williams and Dallas Peterson.  In both cases, the attempt to clarify did not include calling the Member themselves. 

Many of the irregularities deserved review, and now that the allegations are cleared up, but it is my personal opinion, the complaint was generated by the outgoing Trustees to shed suspicion on the ballot and circumvent the voice of the Membership, or they would have made the same calls I did and found out the same information.  Roy Walker, Brian Cook, and Don Biery were in a position of trust and knew better than to let Members preview the private financial data of other Members.   Tom and Graciela Meyers had access to at least one Member’s private financial data.  The Trustees involved are extremely liable and their actions constitute a breach of trust in their duties. 

Note:  (Benny Lee was not involved in the complaint or in preventing the incoming Trustees from being seated.)


An Annual Meeting of the Members was held on Saturday, April 18, 2015.  It was duly noticed and ballots sent out and ballots were received by the Board of Trustees.  Roy Walker, President announced they had received a warning letter from Mr. Lungren, an attorney, stating the election needed to be done according to law or he was prepared to file an action against the Board.  Roy Walker explained they needed to nullify the election and call another one.  The Board had an attorney present to explain their position.  Members called for a vote to allow the count of the ballots.  A count was allowed.  The board was not prepared to count the vote so forms were made by scratch and the count was completed by Dan & Vivian Kunz, Tom LaFever, Troy Russell, Fred Smith, and Scott Williams.

Winners were Kurtis Zobel (73 Votes) for the one year term;  and Becky Peterson (82 votes) & Vicky Hill (71 votes) for the two year terms. 

Vivian Kunz announced the vote totals and asked for a vote of the members if there was any objection to seating the winners.   Vivian also asked a second time for any objections.  No objections were made and Vivian asked for the vote to be recorded in the minutes.  All the signers of the complaint were present at the meeting except Dale & Diane Crotts and Marty Duitz.

After the Members Meeting the out-going board canceled the duly noticed Board Meeting

Out-going Trustees  (Roy Walker, Brian Cook, & Don Biery) refused to seat the new Trustees.  Stating the new trustees did not take office till May 1.   Note:  Throughout the history of the association the precedence has been to seat the new trustees in the Board meeting immediately after the Member’s Meeting.   

Board Meeting was announced, Monday, April 27, 2015, with the intent to seat the new trustees.  Board Meeting was held as scheduled, where a complaint was brought forward and Roy Walker, Brian Cook, Don Biery refused again to seat the new Trustees (Bennie Lee was not in attendance).  Roy Walker left the room without closing the meeting and the new Trustees took their seats and conducted business.

Ballot complaint was dated Thursday, April 23, 2015.
Complaint was signed by:  Roy Walker, President of the HVPOA; Brian Cook, Vice President; Don Biery, Secretary; Dale & Diane Crotts; Marty Duitz; Tom & Graciela Meyers; and Linda Wright.Here is the complete and detailed analysis of the ballots.

Friday, May 29, 2015

HOA Election Humor

If you don't laugh, you'll cry.

We will help Roy if Roy will help the Association

Another board meeting has been called to deal with some issues:

Hideaway Valley Property Owners Association
Board of Trustees MeetingAll Members WelcomeSaturday, May 30th, 1:30p.m.Hideaway Valley Pavilion / Common Area
  • 1. Status of Association Documents/Checkbook/Mail
  • 2. Discussion of future course of action
  • 3. Update on road work

Important to go to this meeting

t's pretty important to go to this meeting. The prior board president is trying to claim that he is still the president and everything the new trustees have done is not valid. Roy has tried many tricks to stay in power:
  • After sending the ballots at your expense, he hired a lawyer with your money to try and stop the counting of the ballots and annual election.
  • Would not seat the new trustees at the annual meeting claiming they could not be seated until May 1.
  • A board meeting was called and noticed for April 27 and the officers positions were established. Roy was not happy with the results and chose to abandon the meeting taking all the corporate documents, checkbook, and records with him. Brian Cook chose to stay but was less than cooperative or congenial. Although he was voted in as the VP,  he refused the office and abstained from further voting.
  •  Without board authority or approval and unbeknownst to the newly elected trustees, got some other members to go over all the ballots and try to invalidate them with any tiny mistake they could find. 
  •  First he claimed that Kurtis and Vicki had not won the election and only Becky could be seated.
  • Later he claimed that Kurtis and Viki were valid but Becky was not.
  • Because he is trying to stifle the association as has been his pattern in the past, he has made efforts to stop any information or progress that the board should make, including personally interfering with the association mail at the post office without any legal documentation.
Our board needs our support to help rectify this problem. Roy is basically doing what he wants when he wants without board authority, contrary to the governing doucments.  Although there have been several board meetings, some he has partially attened and some he has blatently ignored, nothing he is doing has been decided in a proper board meeting with board authority-he appears to have gone rouge-- in total wanton disreagard to the membership at large. NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO DO BUSINESS AND SPEND OUR MONEY WIHTOUT PROPER BOARD ACTION. 
He is acting like a dictator, not a trustee. He fails to achknowlege that a trustee is a position of trust and service not power.

There has been no proper board meeting or action to allow this man to do as he pleases with our business, our money, and our community. This is totally improper and unnecessary--there are proper channels to go through if you disagree with things--but turning into a modern day bully who chooses to hoard records and checkbooks and won't let newly voted members take their turn at service...this is a blatant breach of trust.

As to to Peter Harrison/Vial Fotheringam, please be advised: There have been legally and properly called and held meetings that Roy Walker has not attended. At the April 27th board  meeting which Roy chose to walk out of, the newly elected and seated board voted and recorded in the corporate minutes that any expenses incurred by Roy without full board approval would be at his own expense. He currently is acting on his own and does not have authority to hide records, retain the check book, tell the book keeper not to talk to the board members, open ballets and show them to the neighbors, freeze the mail, and including talking to you and/or this firm. This is a state governed corporation with compulsory membership and close to 450 people are being victimized and mistreated at his whim. If he wants to contest anything, he must do it through the proper procedure, something he chooses not to understand. He is opening the association up to yet another lawsuit when it is so unnecessary to waste our money. Please do not encourage him.

One concernd member's opinion, Tom L

PS. Please try to attend and support this board for progress.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Who hired the attorney in the Notice?

This notice was posted at Hideaway and 4 people emailed it to the Hideaway Neighbors site. We post it here so all members can see what is going on. As such, I want to comment on it. The people who emailed it in all believe they know the person who wrote this--but it is not signed so we will go with "Anonymous." We can say for sure that this is NOT a board action because there has been no board  meeting and Trustees cannot take action on their own. The Trustees know that, right?

Anonymous proposes that we ensure unity by ignoring our Bylaws. I just don't see how that will help us in Hideaway. He or she wants us to use 7 trustees, instead of 5, and allow the candidates who lost to be on the board anyway. That's so sweet--even if you lose you win! Then next election we will have 7 winners but to make it "fair" we should let the other candidates serve too--so there will be 9. Then the next election it will be the same and we'll have 11! Pretty soon we'll all be on the board! Not a bad idea actually.

Trouble is, the Bylaws require that members VOTE on how many board members to have. So no, Anonymous. It is not a good idea. The better idea is to follow our Bylaws. That's the win for everyone.

Anonymous calls the first count of vote "unofficial." What planet does Anonymous live on? It was the annual meeting and the count was more than official.

Next our Anonymous poster says that there are concerns about the proxy votes. Really? Who was concerned with the 2 proxy votes? That's right. There were only TWO proxy votes--not enough to change anything in the election.

Finally, Anonymous writes that the Association Attorney is right now determining "according to the Documents and Bylaws" who will be allowed to vote in Hideaway. I have news for Anonymous. The Attorney is not authorized to determine who can vote. Not only that, the board has to have a board meeting and there has to be a motion and a vote if the attorney is to be hired to do anything. Since there has been no board meeting there can be no board action. Hiring the attorney with member money has to be a board action. So the board could not have hired the attorney to determine who can vote in Hideaway.

I expect the board to follow our documents. If Anonymous has hired the attorney, then Anonymous can pay the attorney. But the board better not use my money to pay an attorney that was not hired by a board action.

When we follow the documents we all win. When rouge Trustees do things on their own--we all lose. If a board member has hired an attorney to do something that is not in the minutes of a noticed board meeting, then that board member has to be billed by Harrison, not the association. Anonymous, tell us who hired the attorney. Thanks, Shelly

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Receivership anyone? Tom's Take on the Membership Meeting

No, I'm not proposing a receivership--but some one is--AGAIN. We'll get to him later.

These are simply my thoughts on the Hideaway Valley annual membership meeting, events not necessarily in the proper order, just the highlights of the meeting and a few thanks to those who stood up for our membership.

As members arrived, it did not appear that the board intended to stay for long. There were no snacks, water, a pop to drink. There were no tally sheets for the vote counters, as if no real meeting were planned...although Bryan Cook was taking ballots.

I asked if he was going to take my ballot since at the last board meeting, they informed me that I was no longer a member of the association. That was news to me as I had purchased my lot in 2003, served as a Trustee and even was Hideaway's corporate agent for a few years. Bryan said, "Well, uh, you just are not on the county records."

"Really Bryan?" I asked him. "When you were collecting funds for the Concerned property owners, I took you cash for the legal fund and you gave me a receipt that I still have. My name was on the association membership list for years and I paid my dues as Tom LeFevre until Roy Walker took my name off that list. I marched to Roys house and showed him my bill of sale..."

Bryan told me to put my ballot in the pile.

Before the meeting was called, discussions ensued around the room. Erik Peterson noticed a man sitting at the board's table he did not recognize--"Who are you?" The stranger answered that he was the association's attorney. Erik told him he was not a board member and he didn't want him sitting at the board table.

First big thanks goes to Erik Peterson.

The attorney went and sat at another table when someone wanted to know who he represented--the Association or the Board--he said the Association and he was here for us because some issues of voting had come up. I asked if he was telling us the responsibilities of the board were to legislate or to administer. He did not answer.

Members began quoting the documents of Hideaway when a question was posed about which Bylaws the members were quoting and Becky Peterson said they were using the ones legally voted in by the members in 2010. The attorney said they were not legal because they were not recorded and Becky pointed out that the law that required bylaws to be recorded was not enacted until 2011. Even so, she explained, nothing in the law invalidated the bylaws if they were not recorded, "And you know that." she told him, "These are our legal bylaws. And we have written to you about this issue signed by many members and your law firm just ignored us. I thought you were supposed to be working for us."

Becky Peterson gets a huge thanks for standing up to the attorney.

Vivian Kuntz commented, "You're not being forthright with us. He's not here for you", she turned to the members, "he is here to protect and support the board with your money. She turned to him and asked, "I worked for an attorney and I know about this. You can't even tell us what the board discusses with you, can you?" he affirmed that he works for the board and Vivian said "and he uses our money to do do it."

Next big thanks to Vivian.

Someone asked why an attorney needed to be there anyway and Roy Walker stated there had been a letter from an attorney who said if there were any improprieties in the election there would be legal action. Roy said they would postpone until some issues were resolved. The attorney said he dealt with many HOAs and resolving conflicts--and said at some point this was going to go before a judge and maybe now is a good time.

Fred Smith, one of the original developers stood up, and said, "I wrote those documents and if you need clarification I can give it to you. I know what they mean and so you don't have to hire attorneys and go to court. I know who is allowed to vote and who is not. Ask me. The attorney who wrote the documents isn't practicing but he's alive and I'll get him to write a clarification for the association records if that is what you need and it won't entail huge legal fees." He went on to explain the hierarchy of documents--Federal law, State law, county, then the plat map, covenants and bylaws. We are already governed by these and we don't need clarification. I know what I meant by these documents."

Thank you Fred Smith.

After 45 minutes of discussion, the attorney got up and left. Someone motioned for the members to conduct their own meeting since the board didn't seem to want one. Finally a member noted that the president really was supposed to chair, so Roy reluctantly agreed to chair the meeting and follow the agenda.

5 volunteers went to count the ballots. They were a bit handicapped as the board had not come prepared to count ballots with tally sheets and pens and a roster of members from the records. Fred Smith was one of the volunteers and officiated for the counters so it would be done properly.

During the meeting our acting president once again suggested that the only solution for Hideaway is a receivership--ra ra ra for the acting president. Every time it looks like he is not going to be in charge--like when Roy quit in 2009, like when he sued the association in 2011, and like when he was voted off the board by the members in 2012, he wants us to go into receivership. Same old same old.

I was asked to fill in with the counting when one of the counters had to leave so there's a bit of a gap here.

We came out with 3 clear winners, Becky Peterson with 82 votes, and Kurtis Zobell and Vicki Hill both with 73 votes. After the counts were announced, once again, our receivership advocate stated that 2 of the winners were not really winners because they did not get 51% of the votes represented at the meeting--the quorum was 150 and 73 was not 51% . Fred Smith put a stop to that nonsense. He stated that "majority" when voting for Trustees meant the ones with the most votes. Period. When Roy ran out of wiggle room to invalidate the outcome, Vivian again stepped up and asked the room, "Do we agree that the candidates with the highest number of votes are the winners? Everyone nodded in agreement. Does anyone disagree? No one disagreed, not even Roy. It was unanimous, Becky, Kurtis, and Vicki were declared the winners.

Then out of some child's fairy tale book, a new rule appeared. Poof. The new rules says that trustees are not to be seated until May1 for untold reasons. The acting president just shut the meeting down and said the next board meeting was to be May 1. For 33 years the new board members have been elected and seated at the annual board meeting--not with the fiscal year.

In fact when I drove to the meeting I saw the postings on the association bulletin board. It said, "HVPOA Annual member meeting at the Senior center in Fairview followed by the board meeting."

Roy has been seated a number of times and it is always immediately after he wins. It looks like if they don't get what they want, they make up rules to suit themselves. But that couldn't possibly be, could it? Their behavior in having an unauthorized, unnoticed board meeting on Friday and hiring an attorney without a legal board action had nothing to do with them wanting to stay in power, did it? Their attempt to take away membership in the association had nothing to do with trying to manipulate the election outcome did it? Or trying to rewrite the bylaws and covenants to give more power to the board and not the members who pay. Or getting the attorney to stop the vote count by hook or crook and invalidate the election and the bylaws that give members strong protection... they wouldn’t do anything like that, would they? Nah...

Maybe the new board will have regular meetings not in private homes and not during working hours so that members might attend. Lets hope.

Basic opinion and perspective from one member: Tom LeFevre

Sunday, April 5, 2015

FAIR ELECTIONS? HOW to rig an election without even trying

Apparently fraud is big in HOA elections. Recently in Nevada a huge investigation has ended in jail sentences and death for a number of those involved. Many elections, unless run by third parties, are often not fair--sometimes it is unintentional and sometimes not.

What about our elections?

Electing a Board of Directors to manage the Association is a complex and time consuming process. Despite the best of intentions, sometimes things slip through the cracks, whether it's the qualifications of someone on the ballot or the manner in which votes are collected and tallied. Often, it is inintentional, and often Directors who do not want to lose their grip on your rights fudge things so that they can manipulate an election without really seeming to. 

Our current board may have fudged a bit. We already told you about how they are disqualifying votes that members (not now considered members) who have voted for years, pay their taxes and their dues--now are persona non grata. We already told you Tom LeFever has been told he is not a member. Who is next? Here are some easy ways to "fix" an election.

So the first way to manipulate elections is to disqualify votes you don't want.  Instead of asking Fred and Don, the developers of Hideaway, if they intended for people buying on contract to be voting (which they did) our board interpreted the covenants for their convenience and now a lot of land buyers who last year were considered owners have lost that privilege

The second way to manipulate votes is to "lose" and "find" ballots way after the fact. We saw that after the 2013 elections--After one member won an election with 4 tellers, including 2 impartial students from BYU--the ballots were mysteriously opened MONTHS after the election--recounted--and viola--the man they wanted won. How 'bout that?

A third way to rig elections is to ignore rules and bylaws. For instance, our bylaws state you cannot even run for the board unless you are paid up, "a nominee must be current on his or her assessments before the election" Two of our current trustees were NOT current back then when they were written in on a ballot--so the sitting board just ignored the rule (had an executive session) and let them serve anyway. We don't really know what happened because they didn't provide any records. Not cool guys. If you owed the association money do you think you would be allowed to serve? Apparently only if you are their friend!

The fourth way to manipulate votes is a parlor trick on the ballot itself. Research shows that the people at the top of a ballot are most likely to get votes. That is why incumbents often win because they are listed first on most ballots. The only fair thing is to list names alphabetically and say so on the ballot--so people think about the order before they vote. On this ballot for 2015 trustees Vicki Hill is listed last. Why? With her name, she should be first.

I question the order in which the names appear because I think this board intentionally wants to manipulate not who wins but who doesn't. The last names on the ballot are the ones who talk about protecting members rights. So please read all the platforms carefully--call the candidates who have their numbers listed--get to know them-- I know who I'm voting for, the ones that this board has listed last on the ballots because I think they did it on purpose. Ask yourself why.

Go to the webpage and download a ballot and read about the candidates--don't let a manipulative board continue. 

But whatever you do, please vote. Informed voters make for a better Community.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

CAI concerned about growing strength of advocate arguments for HOA reforms? | HOA Constitutional Government

There are a growing number of advocates for homeowner rights around the country. The CAI (Community Association Institute) is an organization that protects lawyers, managers and other vendors that make money off our dues--they do things like recommend doucments that allow boards to make  decisions without the member vote, that gives major power to boards and makes it impossible for members to reign them in..I personally find them very offensive (I was a member for a while when I believed their hype that they represented owners--learned quickly that was far from the case). You can read about the CAI and some of its horror stories here:

You can read about the Community Association Institutive (CAI), an organization designed originally to "protect" and serve the industry,  and how it morphed. Now it seems that it mainly protects vendors at the expense of the owner. Read, in the HOA primer about why the CAI usually doesn't protect YOU, the owner, even though they like to claim they do:  The CAI: Putting in the Fix
20/20 did a great program on what went wrong in HOAs. The CAI went ballistic and claimed that ABC got it wrong. But an involved Homeowner advocate, Jan Bergemann, wrote her take on their take, 
The CAI is a trade organization trying to advance the monetary interests of their members, mostly attorneys, management companies, landscaping companies etc. For them HOAs are in existence to make money for them, since they have no invested financial interest...(Read Jan's full 'take' here)
Thank goodness HOA homeowner advocates are gaining ground. The CAI is designed to take in money for predatory vendors who suck cash out of homeowners for things they often don't want. They manipulate and scare untrained board members on how to "get" Members to behave--our Attorney Peter Harrison is the president of the CAI chapter in Utah and also is our collection attorney. Do you know what their website says about collections?

  • All accounts are followed with aggressive, professional, prompt action with a high rate of success
  • (the owner may not see their own account; only the association and manager has access)
  •  Individuals who are unable to meet their financial obligations are forced to decide if they should make their car payment, mortgage payment, or homeowner assessment payment. With so many people facing financial strain, it is important that homeowner associations let their owners know their bill must be paid first and, if it is not, there will be serious consequences.
  • In order to aggressively collect, associations need a plan-of-attack. 
  • once they hear of the hard approach that the association is taking—they will think twice about choosing to not pay their dues. Finally, remember: when taking the hard line approach of aggressively collecting assessments, not only are you attempting to collect from the delinquent owners, but you are also sending a message loud and clear that the association must be paid on time from each and every owner.

These are the words from OUR COLLECTION company that was misprepresented when we were asked to vote on it. Is the above the way you want to treat your neighbors? I hope not. Remember--if owners cannot pay for some reason, we get the money when they sell! Every year the association collects from $20 to 30 thousand when lots sell...When the collection agency is involved WE DO NOT COLLECT ANY MORE MONEY, it simply means that they get a high high fee for collecting it from your neighbor next door who has fallen on hard financial times, and now we have increased their financial burden--now why would we treat our neighbors that way? It is time to change this travesty. Become an advocate with us for homeowner rights.

Attorney George K. Staropoli shares how the CAI is getting nervous--GOOD!

CAI concerned about growing strength of advocate arguments for HOA reforms? | HOA Constitutional Government: "CAI can be beat easily with fundamental constitutional arguments and avoiding CAI’s narrow real property approach to community government. CAI still speaks of community associations while arguing HOAs are businesses. Doesn’t make common sense, does it?  Just demand CAI answer this obvious contradiction, reminding them that advocates are not stupid."

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