by Glen Grussaute, Published September 12, 2019
HSV POA Board of Directors:
Although I have been told not to expect a response to a message that is critical of the BOD and/or its CEO I am hopeful that you may do so.
My wife and I have lived in the Village for approximately 1 1/2 years. Unfortunately, we did not realize that there were major areas of concern among many residents regarding the direction that the BOD and it’s CEO were planning to follow. After learning of the dispute I spent time meeting with the CEO, the past President, Tom Weiss, several of the candidates running for election this year, and with John Cooper. I also spent a considerable amount of time digging into the financial statements of the POA. That proved to be quite an adventure because in my 32 years as a CEO in the Non-profit world, I have never seen such poorly constructed statements and in particular such a flawed budgeting process. In my conversation with Mr. Weiss and with Mrs. Nalley, I realized that they really did not have a handle on a best practice budgeting process. I have known several people with accounting degrees over the years who did not understand budgeting. Likewise, I was also fortunate to have several CFO’s work for me who did understand the best practice approach to budgeting.
The direction for the Village being pursued by the previous 7 BOD Members and the CEO, in my opinion, and, that of virtually everyone I have spoken to was clearly rejected by the membership in two distinct elections. First, the proposed amendments to the Declarations and Articles of Incorporation were soundly defeated last fall. Likewise, with the election of three new BOD Members, all who ran on the position of opposition to the direction being proposed, it should have been made clear to the new BOD and the CEO that the majority of property owners are not supportive of continuing down that path. Yet in a recent message by the CEO she, in a belligerent tone in my opinion, stated that she plans to proceed “full steam ahead” with her plan. Regarding our CEO, I can not begin to express my disgust and disbelief with the manner in which Tom Weiss structured her contract as he was leaving office and with new BOD Members coming on board two weeks later. I can only say that the 7 members serving at that time should be ashamed of such shoddy practices. To require 6 of 7 BOD Members to alter her employment status goes against the grain of ethical practices for a Non-profit BOD.
So, that said, my questions are as follows:
1. Knowing the widespread dissatisfaction among residents with the direction the previous BOD was taking us, will the current BOD continue down that path this year?
2. When will the BOD and Senior Management construct a budget that is based upon best practices rather than the flawed process that is in place?
3. When will the BOD and Senior Management implement a cost/benefit analysis for large capital projects prior to implementation? I would seriously doubt that, if done prior to beginning construction, the swimming pool would not have passed that type of analysis. Likewise, the proposed renovation of Balboa Golf Course and Clubhouse, though a good idea on the surface, is being pushed at the community with very little time for discussion. In reading the highlights of the proposal last month, I did not see a lot of analytical data to support what was said.
4. When will the BOD begin listening to the discontent that exists in HSV regarding the management of our community?
In closing, Hot Springs Village has a lot to offer, especially to people who are retired and those getting ready to retire. However, we are a community facing a financial “train wreck” because of the serious deficits in funding depreciation of existing assets. Facing that, how can the BOD and Management continue adding assets that require a lot of money to maintain (the swimming pool for example) and, a $6 Million renovation of Balboa?
Your time and consideration in reading my message is appreciated.
Glen Grussaute, Published September 12, 2019