By Missy Masterson, October 15, 2021
At the meeting where the “policy” was unveiled, the pointed question was asked, “Can you guarantee this policy will be adhered to by future Boards and the POA?” THEIR ANSWER WAS, “NO, ANY POLICY CAN BE OVERTURNED BY A SUPERMAJORITY VOTE OF ANY FUTURE BOARD.” This was said in front of hundreds of witnesses and is on the official video of the meeting.
I think most people who are voting NO have zero trust in the governance and management of the Village because of the recent track record of poor fiscal responsibility, poor management, and broken promises. The very last assessment increase was “sold” to Villagers based on extensive infrastructure repairs that were direly needed. I’m pretty sure those slick and expensive marketing materials are still available if you need proof. The assessment almost doubled, but once it passed, the money was diverted to new amenities, salaries, and fringe benefits for upper management, and pet projects, and the infrastructure sat unrepaired and continued to deteriorate. I believe this concern is the key issue… not the fact that an increase could be useful.
Although the name of the committee is “Future Revenue Task Force” there have been few suggested new revenue sources and cost-cutting measures planned. I believe we are sitting on a goldmine here, and should not overlook new sources of revenue. One option suggested regarding prudent management of our most precious resource, our frontline non-management employees, was to cut the fat (salaries, fringe benefits) at the top by 20% and use that savings to increase the salaries of our frontline workers. This never even made it to a BOD discussion.
Are you aware the last GM brought in was unsatisfied with the POA-Owned vehicle he was offered so he bought a new one with our money? I don’t drive a new, or any age, vehicle given to me to use for free that is paid for by my employer… do you?
How about the $500,000+ dollars wasted on a Comprehensive Master Plan to turn this Village into a New Urbanism complex, which most residents did not want!
Are you aware the recruiting firm chosen to search for a new GM specializes in employees for grocery stores and other retail concerns?
Are you aware The DeSoto Club required very expensive repairs because this asset was so poorly managed that no one thought to turn off the water and drain the pipes before a huge freeze hit?
Are you aware we’ve already had to pay huge amounts to repair new amenities (pickleball courts, outdoor swimming pool, etc.) because their construction was so poorly managed?
How about the recent new trash truck debacle – was this really a prudent new project to spend millions of dollars on at this time? These are just a few examples of recent poor management here in HSV.
A Special Assessment option was requested because it can be enforceably guaranteed to be spent on infrastructure repairs. But this request of many residents was ignored and not even put on the ballot as an option. Many find this suspicious. If this had been an option, I would have voted YES. However, as it stands now, an unenforceable policy is the only assurance offered that the money will be spent prudently and on infrastructure repairs as promised. I cannot support that and will be voting NO for my properties.
I want to preserve and maintain our beautiful Village. The people who are voting yes say they believe they must do so to preserve and maintain our Village. However, if this is true, the yes voters must also realize there is NO guarantee as to how this money will be spent, which includes this unenforceable policy. It was done to placate concerns, not because it would guarantee where the money goes. A Special Assessment would have guaranteed where the money goes, and could not be overturned by a supermajority vote of this or any future board.
Hindsight is 20/20 and those like myself who have lived here many years (23 for me) see an abysmal track record in the recent past. Trust must be earned, especially once broken. A compromise would be to offer HSV a Special Assessment option, which I believe would garner much support, and let us see how the money and infrastructure repairs are handled. This would be a perfect opportunity to regain the trust of the residents.
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