*We would like to thank Board Director, Cindi Erickson for meeting with Hot Springs Village People on April 11, 2019 at the Balboa Clubhouse. We learned a lot and had an enjoyable couple of hours with Cindi. We also would like to thank Patricia Short, manager of the club for kindly allowing us to use the space and preparing and serving refreshments.
Those in attendance were Monica Impellizzeri, Kirk Denger, Linda Anderson, Peggy Willis, Cheri Nelson, Tormey Campagna, Tommy Williams, Janey Williams, Linda Van Scotter, Mary Etta Williams, Melinda Alvord , Joe Dowden and Cheryl Dowden. (If I missed anyone, please let me know.)
The meeting was lively and informative. Cindi Erickson spoke as an individual and stated her opinion. She was not representing the Board.
The information below is from the conversation and was not necessarily stated by Cindi.
Some of the topics discussed were:
Cindi Erickson background
1. Cindi Erickson is a co-founder of Boomers Rock. She retired when she was 54 from John Deere and came here from Iowa. She is an independent thinker and will not “do us versus them thing”. (Meaning the present remainder on the BOD vs the three new members)
In 2015 POA Close to Financial Abyss
2. Cindi Erickson stated that in 2015, the POA was close to a financial abyss with zero reserves. Our CEO, Ms. Nalley has turned this around. We now have one million in public utility reserves and one million dollars in operating reserves.
(These are the specific facts: Investments –
Operating Reserves 1,541,000
Public Utility Capital Reserves 300,000
Non-utility Capital Reserves 942,514)
The CEO has also instituted a computerized accounting system and an auditing process. We have independent audits and an internal audit system, which was initiated by Ms. Nalley. We have had two clean audits in a row and no material misrepresentation of financial statements.
3. Cindi’s goal is to get false rumors eliminated.
4. Condition of the Balboa Clubhouse – Some people thought the clubhouse was in good condition, but others noted some problems. Tommy Williams and Janey Williams felt the condition of the facility has greatly deteriorated over time. The parking lot needs to be resurfaced and repainted. There are some engineering and structural issues, of which Cindi Erickson cannot speak of as she has not seen a report.
POA run restaurants
5. Issues with the POA run restaurants – Linda Van Scotter had a problem with the high subsidizations to these enterprises. There is a problem with finding and keeping vendors. When we use outside vendors, they don’t always pay their taxes and then the POA is responsible. The restaurants require subsidization as they do not break even or make a profit. It would be impractical to close down nonprofitable restaurants on the golf courses as the golfers expect to have a place to enjoy refreshments after a game of golf. Closing the restaurants at the golf courses would most likely lead to fewer rounds of golf.
6. The gate system – Mary Etta Williams stated that it is common knowledge outside of the Village that it is very easy for outsiders to enter the Village. It was also said that some people enter by tailgating. A suggestion was made that in order to stop tailgating, one should enter the gates and then stop if they were being tailgated. Cindi Erickson did not agree with this and said we should talk with Chief Middleton. Cindi said that Chief Middleton says that most of the problems (crime) in the Village come from people that are authorized to be in the Village and not from outsiders. She stated that the Village is a safe place to live, much more so that in many areas outside of the gates. Cheri shared that the gate guards never allow her daughter to come in and they must always meet her at the gate.
Budget and Finance Committee
7. Peggy talked about the budget and stated that Ms. Nalley’s standard answer is that “it is in the budget”. She mentioned the budget is purposely vague and wants a line item budget. Peggy believes that Cindi stating we passed the audits is “garbage in and garbage out”. Cindi Erickson said she would not vote for a budget that comes together this way again. Cindi said the budget is not infallible but it is a trusted system and that she believes we can trust Ms. Nalley to represent us.
Linda Anderson suggested that it is a “corporate budget and we will never understand it.” This was information relayed to Linda from her sister who owns several corporations. The budget is determined by a person who is an accountant. We need a finance committee to help with the trust of the Villagers. Cindi Erickson is very open to discussion about a finance committee. Tormey Campagna says we will most likely get a Finance Committee.
Outdoor swimming pool
8. Pool discussion – Cindi Erickson stated she was in favor of building a pool and is confident the design and location are fine. What Cindi felt was needed were more bids. When the proposals came back for the pool, Carrother’s had the most complete proposal.
Hold Board accountable for actions
9. Cindi Erickson believes that property owners should hold the board more accountable for their actions. In other words, don’t blame (only) the CEO for an unpopular decision if board action is required to approve a proposal by the CEO. The responsibility lies with the Board to make decisions for high impact and expensive issues. Cindi says to hold the Board to a higher accountability.
Board does not control day-to-day operations
10. Lesley Nalley has full control over staffing and hiring. The Board is responsible for setting strategic goals and then measures Lesley Nalley against these goals (whether the goals were fully or partial accomplished, etc.). The Board should not control day-to-day operations. In other words, the Board should allow the CEO to manage the Village and not micromanage her.
11. Marketing – we should not market to too broad of a base. Linda Anderson said, “we have an identity crisis” about what type of community we are. (retirement, golfing, active lifestyle, etc.)
Cindi strongly supports CEO
12. Cindi Erickson stated, “I very strongly support my CEO but do not agree with everything she does.”
13. “Managed Subsidization” – Cindi believes in this. For practically every amenity in the Village, a certain value accrues to all of us. In order to retain the value in the Village, we must subsidize amenities. We should “embrace the notion that the amenities have value to us”.
14. Golf – we should concentrate on bringing golfers here. Don’t eliminate golf and we need to keep the golf restaurants open as golfers expect this.
15. New Urbanism – this became a little heated. Kirk Denger explained his take on this. The group attempted to explain that the CMP was a New Urbanism plan and we talked about the new hire, Ms. Jamie Caperton and the position of CMEO. Monica Impellizzeri gave Cindi Erickson a handout of an example of a pocket community by Habitat for Humanity.
Suggestion to market on television
16. Cheri suggested that the Village should be marketed on television. She feels we are making a big mistake in discounting television ads.
*The above report is based on my notes from this meeting. While I attempted to take complete notes, I was unable to write down everything said. The information above is not necessarily representative of my opinion on said subjects, nor Cindi Erickson’s opinion. I apologize for not mentioning everything said by everyone. Everyone there had great ideas and thanks to all of you for coming
Written by Cheryl Dowden