By Cheryl Dowden, May 5, 2020
In an interesting email sent to Villagers yesterday afternoon, an ex-leader of the community announced that he/she is back and voiced his/her opinion. Ex-leader started off by saying that so many people had told him/her that they were appreciative of being kept informed of upcoming Board deliberations and he/she wished to encourage Villagers to make their voice heard by the Board.
Supposedly all bias was removed from this individual’s commentary. In the same spirit, I will give you my unbiased commentary.
Some of the subjects covered in the ex-leaders email are bulleted below:
- The Board retained the services of Rose Law Firm. The ex-leader stated that Rose Law Firm represents Cooper Communities, Inc.
This is incorrect. CCI WAS represented by Rose Law Firm in the past. (*Correction below) According to their website, Rose Law Firm is the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi River and traces its beginnings to November 1, 1820, before Arkansas was a state. Part of Rose Law Firm’s mission is to provide “innovative, personalized legal solutions delivered through” their “commitment to excellence.”
- This ex-leader also went on to talk about the Special Meeting held on April 20 in which the Board had 14 motions on the agenda. This ex-leader said some Board members had not received these motions (and supporting documentation) until less than two hours prior to the meeting.
This is only partially true. ALL Board members were provided with documents at the same time. Ex-leader omitted the information as to the reason why the Directors and Officers did not have the documents. What is not stated in ex-leader’s email is that the POA staff still had not set up the secure email accounts for the new Board Members. Due to this curious delay by the POA staff, Chair Podawiltz chose to distribute the agenda and motions all at one time to everyone. Undoubtedly it was not originally planned to have such a late distribution of the documents. Currently, as of Sunday, May 3, there were still reports of problems with Board Members’ email addresses with Board emails bouncing back to the senders. Hopefully, the POA staff has the Board email situation straightened out at this point in time.
- Nine of those motions were tabled and two were withdrawn during the meeting. The Board passed three motions, which were: elimination of the Governance Committee, elimination of the Finance Committee, and the establishment of the Finance and Planning Committee:
Let’s address each of these motions:
- Elimination of the Governance Committee- This committee was initially in violation of HSVPOA’s governing documents. At one point, the ex-Chair temporarily suspended HSV’s By-laws to get around this. In the opinion of many, this committee was controlled by the CEO and used to control the Board.);
- Elimination of the Finance Committee- This committee was chaired by staff, which in my opinion gave full control of this committee to the CEO. The old Board had previously changed the By-laws so that staff and Board were full-fledged voting committee members and no longer only liaisons;
- The Finance Committee was replaced by the establishment of a Finance and Planning Committee.
Admittedly, the new Board had an overly ambitious agenda for their first meeting, but we can see that they are on the right path to representing the Villagers who voted them in. This is a refreshing change from some past Boards majority Members. The past few Boards did not seem to feel that they needed to represent their constituents and proceeded with their own agenda which appeared to be in line with the agenda of staff.
- The Board announced they will be holding Discussion Sessions, the first and second Wednesdays of every month from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. During this session, the Board Members will discuss pertinent predetermined topics and then answer questions from the community on those topics from 4:00 to 4:30 p.m. All questions submitted by the community must be governance-related. Any operational issues should be taken up with HSVPOA staff. Click here for more information about the first Discussion Session.
- Of particular note, ex-leader mentioned the Protective Covenants and the Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP). Ex-leader stated that the elimination of our Protective Covenants, which are referenced multiple times in the Declaration, would have far-reaching implications for Village property values. “Property Owners should watch closely to see what form any new protective covenants take.”
At the Special Board Meeting, the new Board announced their intention to get further input from the community before proceeding on these particular issues. I do not believe anyone is suggesting that the community be without Protective Covenants, but only that the Protective Covenants be restored to something closer to the pre-CMP Protective Covenants. In regard to the CMP, it is obvious the new Board believes the community should have a plan, but that the CMP, as it stands now is not the RIGHT plan for us. This has been stated by numerous Board Members.
The community majority has expressed their desire to be rid of the New Urbanism Comprehensive Master Plan and the accompanying new 119-page oppressive Protective Covenants. Folks, please continue to let the Board Directors know how you feel about these two issues. One good opportunity to do this will be at the first Discussion Session to be held tomorrow, May 6, 2020. Questions and comments may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Of special note is that this email address also goes to the CEO.
All-in-all, the new Board had a great start at their first meeting. Ex-leader, we thought you were through with Village politics, but I guess not.
*Correction due to being told misinformation. Both CCI and HSVPOA are represented by Rose Law Firm. If there is a time when this is a conflict, Rose will represent neither CCI or HSV.
This is my opinion and yours may vary. Thank you for reading. Be sure to bookmark this website so you don’t miss any upcoming articles.
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