After considerable analysis, it has become blatantly obvious the HSV CEO needs to be replaced.
The lawsuits, the CMP fiasco, gate-gate, the Jessieville sewer endeavor, hiring inexperienced managers, mismanagement of POA funds, poor marketing acumen, a consistent and persistent march toward urbanizing HSV and a variety of other managerial debacles make it clear she doesn’t have the skills to manage HSV. She is grossly under experienced for this job and her management style is not conducive to seeking reliable guidance. I cannot imagine a CEO not availing themselves of the plethora of knowledge that is available here in the Village. One who refuses outside counsel and insists on “my way or the highway” approach to everything is bound to fail, especially when this is his/her first CEO job.
Good but not “stellar”
Increasing utility rates and the release of escrowed money from the two-tiered fee system were operational gifts. Achieving more favorable audit results, improving cash flow/reserves and striping DeSoto Boulevard are good but would have fallen under the functions of a CFO or operations manager. These are not “stellar” achievements, especially since we are in a dire need for revenue, and in no way are they the basis for extending an employment contract.
Why is CEO still here?
Why is she still here?
The problem we have is that the POA Board does not have the confidence nor experience to dismiss her and, most obviously, go about finding her replacement.
Hope for the new three board members
In general, we have mostly elected past board members (hope is alive for the three new members) based upon popularity and their inventory of “good ideas”. This works fine if their responsibility is mostly governance and maintenance oriented. In our case, where we have a marketing and revenue problem and our ultimate solutions are business-oriented, we do not have the expertise on the board to effectively manage Village affairs. Since the board does not have the experience to make CEO type decisions, they have been ineffective at managing or directing the CEO.
When you have a POA board that is under-experienced, and over their head, a strong-willed and control oriented CEO can, and will, manipulate the board. The POA board knows we have problems but they don’t know what to do about them. Most have worked in jobs where the revenue just showed up (including the CEO). They never had the need of building or fixing business revenues. Our current challenges exceed the board’s background and experience of deciding how many pencils to order next year or re-arranging a work schedule because Tom called in sick. We are facing business problems that few are capable of understanding. So, the board takes their leadership “from the CEO” versus providing direction “to the CEO” because she sounds like she may know what to do. And, they don’t have the experience, knowledge or fortitude to challenge her. She is very good at developing and sticking to her talking points. When she gets pinned down, she simply misrepresents the facts or changes the subject. If a board member or employee crosses her, she is quick to retaliate.
CEO is involved in most details
The CEO controls everything. She is on every committee, attends every meeting and corrects board members if they get astray of her message. We have witnessed her caustic admonitions of board members and how they seek her permission on everything they do. The board is afraid of her. HSV employees are afraid of her and she rules by intimidation and her “talking points”. The rehearsed “talking points” sound good, initially, but after further analysis appear weak, without substance and cannot withstand the scrutiny of those with established business experience.
Board afraid to cross CEO
The POA Board is afraid. They are afraid of the CEO! They are afraid to fire the CEO because they don’t know how to manage the Village. They don’t have any workable ideas on how to create revenue. They don’t have a clue about locating and hiring a CEO replacement, let alone dealing with her contract. Her contract was extended primarily because the board didn’t know what else to do. In fact, her original hire from CFO to CEO was because the board didn’t know what else to do. Making appropriate decisions would take experience in these matters which the board does not have. So, it is easier to defend her, and the CMP, and hope it somehow works out.
The board cannot even discuss her termination with legal counsel or others as she has complete control over those entities. And, they are afraid to cross her.
When people are faced with stressful situations and they don’t know what to do, they become irritated. They lash out, refuse to answer questions, fall back on the “we can’t talk about that issue” argument and, in general, develop a “we versus them” attitude. They dig farther into the hole and will do or say anything (even if untrue) to defend their positions and justify their decisions.
Change needs to happen
So, until the POA Board develops some leadership and decides to replace the CEO, nothing will change. The CEO and POA Board will continue to conduct their “Forward Together” forums, “Let’s Talk” sessions, using a CMP committee to promote a plan that cannot be implemented and hold meetings touting their manufactured “transparency”. These are all compensatory efforts to try and make the CMP a viable plan for HSV and to cover the fact that the CEO/Board are woefully under qualified for the job.
CMP will not work
The CMP is not a viable plan. It doesn’t matter how many committees we engage for its implementation, it still won’t work. You can surround the CMP with committees, add marketing and finance sub-committees and recruit members to direct its efforts. But, it is not going to be successful. On our current pathway, we will continue to waste money and time trying to arm twist the skeptical residents into buying in to the CMP. In the meantime, we will continue to throw money at it, with poor results, and lose the opportunities we should be pursuing. Not far behind will be more lawsuits, POA fee increases and “special assessments” as we try to kick start this impossible project called the CMP.
Waste of funds
We will seek developers for lodging and other CMP projects. It is likely in these negotiations, we will end up with the “short end of the stick”. We might get so far committed and disorganized that we end up becoming the developer. We want to pay cash for a pool, yet are considering borrowing money to pay for maintenance projects. We want to negotiate to buy out CCI, yet we can’t pay our maintenance bills. We have a water meter replacement project that, if properly implemented, could save us $millions in operating costs and generate cash to spend on hotels/pools/whatever. Yet, we ignore this and seek to waste money.
Need someone to get Village on right track
These are basic business issues. Neither the POA Board or the CEO can see the fallacy in how they are operating. We need someone who understands business and can get the Village on the right track.
But nothing will change until they replace the CEO.
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