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Will the POA Listen?

Editor’s note: The following email from HSVPOA property owner, Clark G. Vernon, is in response to comments made by Vice-chair Dick Garrison at the November board meeting and reported on in an article in the Hot Springs Village Voice. This article was written by Lewis Delavan and dated Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Click here to read the Village Voice article.


FROM:  Clark G. Vernon,

DATE:   December 1, 2020

TO: Board of Directors, Charles King

SUBJECT: * Building Trust / Re: Your “Delavan” article in the 12.1.20 “Voice”

Dick, I totally disagree with your comment that you’ve (the Board) had accomplished nearly all you wanted in the last 6 months, and are now ready to move on to bigger things. 

In fact, I find that the tenor or the article referenced is sounding more and more like the old “Legacy Board.”

If you want trust I suggest you start with:

1.  Amending the Articles of Incorporation (which right now only the Board can do) to give the property owners the right to vote on issues substantive to them as the stakeholders of this community, and most importantly give property owners the right of Board Member Recall.

2.  We have just crawled through more than 15 years of abusive “Legacy Board” domination, irrational leadership, and irrational spending.  During that period of time and before – we have never had a complete “Control Audit.” But we have had Board members and Staff who have controlled our accounting function, changed systems, and written accounting policy.  What we do not have is definitive proof that the accounting system, accounting policy, and controls meet our expectations.  Since we have no knowledge of whether we have adequate accounting controls that are both effective and being followed – who do we trust until an appropriate control audit is performed by appropriate accounting professionals?  Give us this and we can begin to trust.

3.  During the aforementioned period of time and back even further, the Village has languished in a partially developed state, but with “built-out” status of some of its amenities.  I refer to Golf.  The Golf operations have never made money to the best of my knowledge but been a continuous cash drain.  Before you come to us for more money, do something about a perennial loser.  If you expect the population to support paying more dues, then first do what you can to improve the situation.  Failure to do so just shows us we continue to lack good management with the gumption to do what is right.  And, this forces the exercise of what should be rule number one – “Don’t give more money to bad management.”

Golf courses need to be closed.  Want an outline?

a. Find the 3 or 4 greatest annual losers.

b. Determine the impact on the lot and built home values of converting from an active golf course to maintained green space/ maybe even a Frisbee Course.  How do you do this – hire a reputable and appropriate appraiser. (From the history of sales in the Village, I think you will find the incremental value of homes on the golf courses – particularly on the homes surrounding the 3 or 4 greatest losers will be less than you imagine.)

c. Include the club/house/restaurants in this.  After all, until Nalley split the restaurants out they were part of the golf courses.  She only was trying to make the golf operation losses look less, by moving another losing operation to the side.

You can’t ask homeowners and lot owners for more money to continue this suicide mission you’ve been on.  Sure some golf course frontage property owners will be upset – so be it.  It will be exponentially fairer to the great majority of stakeholders, and when you’ve been fair to them – then you will find their support. 

Some random comments: **I noticed your new Article 15 – who are you to determine when someone is verbally abusive?  It comes with the territory.  Do your job, and you will have less of it.  Continue on this path, and you will find yourself sideways to “Freedom of Speech” issues, and you will end up costing us a whole lot more money. (This really smells like “Legacy Board” action and the not so distant scent of Nalley.)

The 3 minute Board meeting presentation rule was adopted to ward off the population and keep them at bay – want trust – do away with it!  Give priority to folks who notify you in advance they would like to address Board and Management.  Don’t start back up by pushing them off again!!

This is not a normal HSV/POA that you can routinely compare to others like you, our new manager, and Board have recently been doing.  You take a 1,000 lot POA/HOA that is only 25% built out and 70% developed from an infrastructure standpoint, and it would be out of business in less than 5 years period. 

Our management/government has been incompetent and over-bearing for way too many years – you need to fix that – but do not come around for more money until you have done your job and represented all the stakeholders here to the best of your ability.

Want a way to ease the pain of golf course closure?  Ask me. 


*Additional Editor’s notes: Below is a portion of Vice-chair Garrison’s commentary that Mr. Vernon refers to:

“We’ve been – the new board – at this for about 6 months now, and I want to say we’ve accomplished most of the short-term objectives we had, and the people out there had for us,” Garrison said. “We’ve spent a lot of time lately discussing our long-term objectives. We don’t have a finished product yet, but we’re working very hard on it.”

“You hear Charles (King) say earlier that he and his staff are working to build reserves that we can use for our long-term needs – and I’m talking basically about our infrastructure needs.”

“In our discussions, something came out that’s very real to me, and it’s that most of you out there spend more money on your cell phone monthly than you do on your assessments; most of you out there spend more money on your cable service than you do on your assessments.

“Most [home-owner, property-owner associations] pay for everything through assessments, we only pay for about half of what we do here,” Garrison said.

“So we’re going to need an assessment increase, and I’ve said for a couple of years now that we need to earn the right to ask you for an assessment increase, and we will do that.”

**The comment Mr. Vernon makes regarding Article 15 has to do with the following change.


* * *

Click here to visit Clark Vernon’s website, “Americana When dot com.

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