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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, 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


  1. Thank you so much for keeping all of us up to date on the shenanigans of our Board.
    Hopefully the new board members can make a difference.
    Tom's blog is amazing and so are all the folks that stand up for us.
    Love you all!
    Diane McCarty, Lot A-50

  2. I think it's important to understand that if we just follow our documents, we would be OK. The bylaws that were put together by our members which included the Cobabes, Meyers, Holzworth, myself, and a few more wonderful members, were diligent in protecting member's rights. It was thoroughly reviewed by our associaiton attorney. These bylaws were voted in by the members in 2008 and then the updated version with a few corrections, some minor clarifications and a few added member protections was approved in 2010. But the versions are almost identical.

    In any case, if the documents are followed, many "misudnerstandings" would not occur. For instance, the board did not seat the new board members or have a board meeting as prescribed in our bylaws:

    Section 3.7: Notice to the Association Members of Meetings of the Board of Trustees: The Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees is deemed noticed to Members by the notice of the Annual Meeting of the Members.

    Roy announced the next board meeting would be May 1. Why? It causes members to be suspicious of his motives. For 33 years newly elected board members have taken their position at the election in the board meeting following. Roy has been through this for years and he knows what the bylaws say and exactly how it is done.

    Members think he is trying to pull somehting. This also brings up the illegal meeting he call on the Friday before the election. He is supposed to give memebers 48 hours notice. He hired an attorney to come to the meeting and that was not a legal board action and did not follow our doucments which say:

    Section 3.2: Meetings of the Board of Trustees
    the word "meeting" means the convening of a quorum of Members of the Board of Trustees that has been duly Noticed to the Members, where Association business may be conducted, and where the Trustees may vote on agenda items.


    The word "Meeting" does not mean any chance or social gathering of Trustees. A chance or social gathering of Trustees may not be used to circumvent the provisions of these Bylaws. The word "Meeting" does not include a gathering of less than a quorum of the Trustees, since no voting can take place, since no funds can be appropriated, and since no other formal action can be considered. If a quorum of Trustees is assembled at a gathering that has not been noticed to the Members of the Association as a Meeting of the Board of Trustees, in accordance with Section 3.7 "Notice to the Association Members of Meetings of the Board of Trustees," the Trustees shall not discuss Association business.

    You see--if it is not a noticed board meeting "since no voting can take place, no funds can be appropriated, and since no other formal action can be considered.." They did not have the legal authority to hire an attorey to come to the meeting.

    Follow the doucments and we won't have these problems. The upshot is that the board is acting on their own. They did not have the authority to hold a private board meeting (there was no emergency), they did not have the authority to hire the attorney and waste our money, they did not have the authority to try to invalidate the votes (and members put a stop to that), and they did not have the authority to circumvent the documents by postponing the board meeting and not seating the new electees.

    Honestly, when we follow the rules it is fair for everyone. Lets get serious about following the rules in Hideaway. You will make the difference as did the members at this very important annual meeting--the members came prepared. Standup for our doucments and you stand up for us collectively.

    Tom's blog is amazing.

  3. Thanks to Tom for providing a clear recap of the issues and actions taken at the Members Meeting. I was there and his recall is accurate.

    It was clear upon arrival that the Board was not prepared to have the ballots counted. They had made up their minds not to count the ballots prior to coming and had brought their attorney to try and convince the membership of the rightness of their decision. The majority of those present would not hear of it and pressed a vote. The attorney asked the Board to step outside so he could advise them. Bennie Lee said he would not go. He expressed the feeling he did not want the membership to think he was working against them.

    When Roy Walker, Don Biery, and Brian Cook came back in, Roy Walker allowed a ballot counting committee to be formed. There were no preprinted forms and everything did have to be created by scratch, and it took longer than normal to finish, but it was accurately completed. There were a total of 5 volunteers and 4 at any time verifying the count.

    Afterwards, the president refused to seat the new trustees and even told the new members they could not attend the meeting afterwards. This is unprecedented. A few years ago I served on the board as an appointee. At the next election I ran on the ballot (as was appropriate), and lost. Gary Jordan and Don Biery, who had won the election, came immediately to the front of the room and took their place on the Board. I turned over the checkbook at the end of the meeting to the new trustees as I should have.

    May 1st is the start of our fiscal year not the beginning of terms of office. When the voice of the membership is heard through an election, the outcome takes place immediately, except in the case of the budget which is a fiscal issue. Seems like the majority of the outgoing Board are stalemating. It is interesting that the Board did not appoint another trustee when Adam Mercer left office. That decision was not in the members best interest.

    This is a critical time. Our Governing documents are being rewritten. In the meeting Graciella Meyers gave a report on the Documents Committee. She stated that the committee welcomes anyone who wants to participate in the process; And that no one has come forward desiring to participate. This is not accurate, yet the Board approved the report without correction. I have been requesting to be put on the committee since November of 2013. For a year and a half the Board and the Committee (Mr. & Mrs. Meyers, Mr. & Mrs. Roy Walker, & Don Biery) has done everything in their power to keep me from participating.

    I recently found out that Utah State Law does not require voting on budgets for associations. However, if the right has been spelled out in the governing documents it is required. Is this what the Documents Committee means by "Updating Obsolete Governing Documents." If that is taken out of our Covenants we would have no control over what we were billed. No one has had the privilege of seeing the drafts but the committee. The Documents Committee has repeatedly told the Board that they are working for the memberships best interest, but are they. Could they be like the attorney working for the Board's best interest not the membership?

    They have also reported that the first request to Peter Harrison for a rewrite of the Covenants came back with a document written for a condo association (this shows incompetence on the side of the attorney since he has worked with us for years and knows we are not a condo association); then the committee sent it back to the same attorney to rewrite the Covenants again (wisdom would say that the incompetence was now on the side of the Board and the Committee themselves). And who paid for each rewrite, us.

    Part 1 From Vivian Kunz (legal owner on title with the county for Lot A-25)

  4. Part 2 from Vivian Kunz (legal owner on title with county for Lot A-25)

    Prior to the vote on the 2015 budget, I went to a Board meeting at Brian Cooks house on a Friday at 9am. Bennie Lee was not present. I asked for clarification on the budget which did not add up to me. I was given clarification by Roy Walker on two important bits of information:

    1. He said he calculated the proposed budget by taking the amount needed and dividing it by the number of PAYING LOTS not by the total 452 lots as it should be. That is why the proposed budget was an arbitrary amount.

    2. I questioned the large amount proposed for legal fees. I was told the amount for document review, review by the same attorney who wrote the documents (remember this is the same attorney that wrote Covenants for a condo association). And we got the privilege of paying for every step of this process. No suggestion was made to use another attorney for review.

    I personally, am deeply concerned by the lack of transparency, the lack of wisdom taken in managing our funds, and the unwillingness to allow the new trustees to be seated. How can we trust the process with the current turn of events.


    Vivian Kunz

  5. liked your blog. Missed a few things but the overview was humorous. Maybe/ hopefully the two remaining board members will do something really stupid so we can start with a completely fresh board.

  6. whoo hoo--we won! thanks Tom--by the way, I know you are a member. How come they don't??? thanks for sticking to your guns.

  7. Hello, my name is Diane Francis and I am the wife of Gary Francis. I will finally be able to join Gary and live here full time starting in June. I am really looking forward to being here and I am looking forward to getting to know our neighbors.
    Gary and I bought a lot here in Hideaway Valley years ago knowing that we would like to retire in a peaceful place. We have found it to be peaceful, with one very sad
    exception....the contention between neighbors over the POA.
    I will not assert that we understand fully the bylaws or the complicated relationships between neighbors. Let me instead tell you why Gary ran for the board.
    He was approached by several people about running. The two names I remember are Don Bierry(hope I spelled that right) and Shelly Marshall. He heard two different accounts of things going on here in Hideaway and his first reaction was to stay clear of the mess. I encouraged him to run hoping he could bring a new perspective that would help calm and unite the valley.
    Gary was unable to attend the members meeting due to a health issue. He feels grateful to have received as many votes as he did. The accounts of the members meeting posted here are both amusing and disheartening.
    Most of the writers seem to have a gift for expressing themselves and expressing their feelings quite clearly. I found some of the comments disheartening. The stated rules for writing on this blog are be respectful, no name calling or innuendos. The tone in the comments seems to be contrary to these rules.
    I hope I do not offend any of you. I have not had the pleasure of meeting any of my neighbors yet. I hope to do so soon. I will want to be involved in all parts of the Hideaway Valley experience as soon as I am here full time. I hope to be able to call you friends.

  8. Diane--Welcome to Hideaway. I am so glad to hear from you and hope others read your post too. You are the kind of neighbors we want. When Gary helped me with my ditch--I was so grateful to see him as a new neighbor. We are here to help each other and I hope I can return the favors also. That is why I wanted to help Gary run and helped him write his platform and took the pictures of him. I was hoping to offer some of the neighborliness back to him he so freely gave to me. He didn't win this time but he will in the future, I'm sure. We should all take our turn at service.

    There is a bit of contention here. But not as much as one might think. For the most part we pull together--and even when we disagree one day, like a family, we usually make up later. The biggest divide we have is that there are two visions for Hideaway--one group would like this to resemble Park City and another is more for individual property rights and "leave your neighbor in peace." The biggest battles are over giving the board more power to rule over us or have Trustees in a posiiton of trust to administer what the members want. That's it in a nutshell.

    You will find friends in both camps no doubt and that is good. We are not all alike and diversity is a good thing. Again welcome. Judging by my interactions with Gary already, I know you are the kind of neighbors I want. Shelly


Any one is allowed to make comments. You can use your real name and lot or an assumed name. Please be respectful of everyone, especially our trustees who donate a lot of work for us. Even if you believe they are not acting in our best interests or following our documents, stick to the facts--no name calling or innuendos and unfounded accusations. We want to set a good example for our trustees.