Hot Springs Village People

Working Together to Improve Our Village Because HSV Matters

Time to Take Back the Village

By Frank Leeming, October 1, 2019

Garrison will run for one of three seats

HSVPOA BOD candidates needed

In two months Villagers interested in running for three seats on the POA board of directors will begin filing petitions to support their candidacy for the election next March.

Dick Garrison, fired in unprecedented fashion from his seat on the board, tells the Voice today he’s going to run for one of the seats.  He decided not to fight his firing in court. Garrison said the battle would be expensive and continue well past the vote in March.

“My campaign will, of course, depend on finding two other electable, like-minded property owners to serve on the board with me,” Garrison said.

Time for Property Owners to step up

The best message for candidates:  After four years of divisiveness, it’s time for property owners to step up and take back our Village.

The only way to do it is to elect three candidates who, above all else, believe in open government.  We’ve had enough secret meetings and decisions made outside public view and then ratified in board meetings with virtually no discussion between directors.

The Village is home to thousands of bright, caring property owners who want to understand and be part of the governing process.  They’re angry because this and the last few boards have shut them out and acted like they have all the answers.  We’ve become polarized for the first time ever.  This has to change.

Sensible campaign platform to accomplish needed changes

Here’s a campaign platform I believe could begin to accomplish the kind of change the Village needs and deserves:

  • Abolish the governance committee, which is a secret board within a board.
  • Abolish recruitment committee.  For most of our 50 years, Villagers have done just fine finding good folks to serve on the board.
  • Abolish the POA’s real-estate operation.  It’s losing money.  It conflicts with a major Village industry.  It has accomplished little.
  • Create a marketing committee reporting directly to the board.  Village growth has been flat because nobody knows we’re here.  We all moved to the Village because we thought this was the perfect place to live.  We have a great story to tell.  Let’s sell it.
  • Create a finance committee reporting directly to the board.  One of its primary long-term goals will be to determine how the POA can remain solvent over the next 20 years.  Another is to make the POA budget more understandable, accurate and accessible.
  • Have staff revisit recommendations of the Food Services Committee and come to the board with plans to get the POA out of the food-service business.
  • Re-establish monthly board work sessions.  Use them to talk about issues so Villagers know what’s going on and why.  Give property owners time at these sessions to tell the board what they think.  Have committee chairs and department heads come in and make regular reports.
  • Streamline monthly board meetings.  Do away with droning, self-serving reports by the CEO, CFO, COO and CMEO. Their reports are published online.  Have director comments at the beginning of each meeting, not the end.  Move public comments up on the agenda.  Have all meetings and work sessions broadcast on YouTube like was done at the last meeting.
  • Hire a new law firm to represent the POA.  Have an attorney attend all regular board meetings and serve as an impartial parliamentarian.
  • Instruct the new law firm to review all bylaw and other changes made in recent years to identify which ones are impeding transparency and board freedom.
  • Begin digitizing all POA board and committee minutes, reports and other historical documents.  They are rich in detail and valuable to decision-making.  Redesign the POA’s woeful website and establish a Google-like search engine so Villagers can dig into our history and find useful information.  There is a vast treasure of historical information about our Village inaccessible today to property owners.
  • Re-establish the policy of resurfacing 30 miles of roads each year.
  • Begin a year-around crack-sealing program on Village roads; find out what happened to the $50,000 crack-sealing machine the board approved purchasing in 2015.
  • Oppose all secret meetings that do not strictly comply with state Open Meetings Law.
  • Explore purchase of the medical-center building at DeSoto and Carmona to use as police headquarters and house other POA offices.

Proposed 2020 budget is overly optimistic and lacks full detail

The proposed 2020 budget made public last Friday is more forthcoming with details.  It will be useful in budget meetings beginning today.  Revenue projections for next year are still too optimistic.  And line items for each department should be included so property owners understand where the money will be spent.

I urge you to click here to open the budget.  (Or see pdf below.) Save it to your computer for future reference.

HSVPOA 2020 Proposed Budget

132020-Proposed-Budget-V1-Consolidated-1

Let’s talk weather

maple leaf hsv cooler weather
HSV – cooler weather coming

Are you ready for some cooler weather?  A year ago we’d already opened the house a couple of times to enjoy the fresh air.  Maybe by Friday, they say.

It only rained on six days in September with 3.1 inches of precipitation.  Average for the month: 4.09 inches.  Year to date through nine months we’d recorded 55.18 inches – 14.7 inches above average, or 36.3 percent.

By Frank Leeming, October 1, 2019

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