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POA Board Majority Fires Director Garrison

by Frank Leeming, September 13, 2019

In another move never before seen in Hot Springs Village, the POA board today fired director Dick Garrison.

On a 4-3 vote in a secret meeting late this afternoon, the board kicked Garrison off the board.  No director has ever been removed from office in the 49-year history of the Village.

“I want to tell all of you who supported me that I am sorry I could not stay on the BOD and help deliver some of my campaign promises,” Garrison said in an email after he was ousted.

The narrow vote came five days before the board is scheduled to vote to revise its bylaws and require a two-thirds vote to remove a director from office – or five votes.

Late today, Garrison said he was exploring all possibilities to fight the board’s action.

Under board policy, vacancies may be filled by remaining directors.  This means the four-member majority is likely to become a five-member majority, thus insuring even more support for CEO Leslie Nalley.

dick garrison hsvpoa board member fire by ceo

Last March, just two days before ballots in the latest board election were to be counted, the outgoing board voted Nalley a sweetheart contract deal paying her $210,105 a year plus an opportunity to earn $63,031 in bonus money for achieving some vaguely worded goals.

More importantly, the new contract says it would take six of the seven directors to fire the CEO, a move considered highly irregular in corporate management.

Garrison was one of two directors Nalley filed grievances against earlier this year, claiming they were undermining her ability to run the Village.  The other director was Diana Podawiltz.

Attorney Mary Carole Young was hired by the board to investigate the legality of the grievances.  She has yet to report back to the board.

Villagers elected Garrison to the board earlier this year along with Podawiltz and Tormey Campagna in another property-owner repudiation of the direction Nalley and recent boards have been taking.  

Last fall voters voted down a long list of Declaration and bylaw changes.  Most agree the vote was a referendum on Nalley’s hallmark Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP), criticized by many as not representing what the Village is or should be.

The board will have its next regular meeting at 9 a.m. next Wednesday at the Ponce de Leon Center.

In addition to the controversy which is certain to erupt over the board’s action against Garrison, directors are also expected to decide on Nalley’s plan to spend millions of dollars to rejuvenate the Balboa Golf Course and perhaps tear down the Balboa Clubhouse.

by Frank Leeming, September 13, 2019

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