Numerous Areas to Address
Our Hot Springs Village Property Owners Association is in trouble. This has been made clearly evident by the resounding defeat of the POA / BOD proposals in the November 2018 Declarations vote.
–Tormey Campagna, HSV POA BOD Candidate, 2019
This is not to say that everything within the Village is a problem, but there are numerous areas which need to be addressed if the Village is going to grow and be financially sound. I believe if changes are not made in a very short/near term, the Village will become a significantly less desirable location for individuals to retire.
The following is a list of the short- and near-term areas which need attention if the Board and POA Management is going to gain the trust and respect of property owners both resident and non-resident. This list is not all inclusive but a starting point. As a Board Member I will strive to accomplish all of these and more:
CMP must be totally revisited. All activities other than current infrastructure expenditures must be suspended. The Village is not and will not become a location which will attract 30- and 40-year old individuals. Any plan of the magnitude of the CMP should be voted on and approved by the property owners not forced on us by an unaccountable Board and POA.
2019 Budget must be revised. It was built upon misguided assumptions. As approved, it will cause the Village to be further in the hole in the area of required infrastructure repair and replacement. There needs to be a significant reduction in non-infrastructure expenses. I believe there is $3 million to be saved in the 2019 Budget. This money should be redirected to essential areas of need. Continuing to kick the can down the road on infrastructure issues will dramatically reduce the attractiveness of the Village to potential residents, and in turn reduce our property values.
Finance Committee must be established. It will be comprised of volunteers with finance and budgeting experience. The mission of this Committee will provide direction and guidance to the POA and Board. The Finance Committee must be assigned the authority to not only recommend but demand changes they deem required.
Top heavy management structure must go. We have far too many Directors and Managers and clearly too few line workers. Without knowing the compensation and benefit details of our management I also strongly suspect that the management staff are being paid above market.
Cost reduction and/or total elimination must occur. Areas where this applies include at a minimum:
- POA real-estate and development activities
- POA run restaurants
- East and West entrance gates outsourcing and security
- Troon Agreement
Monthly Board working sessions must be reinstated. These working sessions need to be open meetings such that the Board can get direct input from the property owners. The two-minute rule for individuals to speak needs to be greatly increased. Roberts Rules of Order need to be followed and not be adhered to only when it suits the Board’s interest. The Board Packet needs to be publicly available at least one week prior to the monthly board meeting.
BOD Executive Sessions must be dramatically curtailed. The current Board hides behind too many Executive Sessions. Executive Sessions should be the exception rather than the rule and used in only two situations:
- Personnel issues
- Legal issues
Minutes (redacted where necessary) must be available and published for every Executive Session.
Clear, Measurable Direction must be provided to POA Management. The current ‘Enterprise Goals’ are far too lengthy, vague and full of un-measurable, feel good, verbiage. Furthermore, they all revolve around the CMP. New milestones need to be in place and there needs to be consequences when they are missed. Any business manager is expected to provide value to the organization. In the case of the Village this is not painting rosy pictures, but delivering results that further the growth and success of the Village. As an example, a goal of selling 60 POA owned lots in a year is less than 2% of inventory. No company/corporation could stay in business if it turned 2% of its inventory per year. There is a business saying that says “expect what you inspect”. Nowhere near enough inspection has taken place by the current Board or the Boards of recent past. Ongoing inspection must be a constant activity by the Board.
Marketing Must Take Top Priority. What marketing, we now have is misdirected and totally insufficient. A Marketing Committee should be established. The Village has many individuals with past marketing experience who would be more than willing to provide their expertise on a volunteer basis. I have seen several marketing plans developed by some of these individuals. Some focused increasing lot sales while other focused on increasing golf round from non-property owners. Both concepts would attract new individuals to the Village who would see the great place this is to live.
Real Transparency and Freedom of Information. There needs to be a complete change in availability of information to the property owners. Property owners need unrestricted access to:
- All financial information
- All contracts for both employees and vendors
- All salary and payments to all POA employees and management
Background and Summary
My wife and I purchased our first property in the Village on a Cooper paid for visit in 2000. Every year thereafter we would rent a house for a week in a different month of the year. Doing so allowed us to experience what the weather was like at different times of the year. In 2005 we purchased our second lot when we realized that the first lot would not accommodate the house we planned to build. We moved to the Village in July 2009 and rented a house while our home was being built. We now live on the 5th hole of Granada and have never regretted our decision to move to the Village from Chicago.
There are individuals within the Village who believe that a Board candidate needs to have served on numerous committees to be viable. I have served on the Golf Committee, but in reality, this does not make a qualified candidate. It is past experiences and skills that add value which is desperately needed to guide the POA Management and the Village into the future. By reviewing my qualifications and experiences I’m sure you will agree that I have what it takes to be a valuable Board Member.
Final Thought: With the right individuals on the Board this ship can be righted. It is going to take hard work and commitment. I have a firm commitment to my part to make it happen. I am your Board Candidate.Tormey Campagna, HSV BOD Candidate, 2019