Zoom Video Conferencing for HSVPOA meetings?
Property Owners received word in an October 4, 2019, eblast Digest from the HSVPOA that the next Board Budget Meeting, which is being held on October 10, 2019, is not physically open to the whole community. Rather, they are holding this meeting in the POA Administration Conference Room and using Zoom Video Conferencing.
While this may sound nice on the surface, as it will be more convenient for some folks to sit at home and watch the meeting, we see some problems with this.
Not everyone has internet & it is not always reliable
- Some folks in the Village do not have internet and rely on the meetings being physically open to the public. Also, the internet service in the Village is not always reliable. It is well known that internet service in the Village is sporadic and subpar in a lot of locations. Is our Board of Directors just going to throw these Villagers under the bus?
Is this first Zoom meeting a test for future board meetings?
- As we are all aware, the Board members and management received an alleged “threat” letter via the United States Postal Service. There is a $10,000 reward offered to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the said culprit. It is unclear as to who all in management received such a letter and whether the term “management” means only the CEO or includes others. It is also unclear as to whether this is a legitimate threat as the excerpt that Buddy read does not constitute a real threat (in our opinion) and was also taken out of context. Is the Board/management having a Zoom Video Conference meeting, with no physical participation from Property Owners at this meeting, because of this alleged threat? Is this Zoom meeting a test and a foreshadowing of possible plans by POA Board/management to hold future Board meetings by Zoom Video Conferencing? We really do not know, but consider this to be a possibility. We hope this suspicion proves to be wrong. Time will tell.
This is the alleged threat
The following is the excerpt Director Buddy Dixon read to the standing-room-only crowd at the September 18, 2019 Board Meeting regarding the alleged threat letter each board member received.
“I am certain there are folks that know where each of you reside, eat, shop, and spend your leisure time. I would hate to think that your incredible lack of commonsense and total disregard for your position would lead one of our Bible-thumping, gun-toting, hillbilly deplorables to take matters in their own hands to rid the Village of your kind.”
Director Dixon stated, “Folks that is a threat! And this was made September 6.”
How does this look to prospective Villagers?
- How does this look to prospective tourists and buyers of property or prospective business owners? If the HSVPOA Board/management is in such fear for their safety that they must hold our Board meetings away from the physical presence of the public, do we have a safe community? That is one of the major reasons that people are attracted to Hot Springs Village – the perceived safety of the community and the gates and all that implies. If indeed, our risk is within the Village, why even move here for safety reasons?
Release alleged threat letter to the public
We ask that our police chief and CEO release the full content of this alleged threat letter, instead of only a paragraph that is taken out of context.
2020 Enterprise Goals DOA
So much for achieving our Enterprise Goals if the physical meetings are terminated. Every single goal could be affected by shutting down the physical-presence public board meetings.
Note: This article is not to make light of any threatening letter/violence or unacceptable behavior. We are only questioning whether we are headed down the path of Board meetings being closed off to the public and if so, whether there is a legitimate reason for this to happen. We still believe HSV is one of the safest places to live and suspect the alleged threat is being spun to shut off property owners from participating in face-to-face public HSVPOA Board meetings. This is an opinion piece and hopefully, the Board does not plan to physically shut out Property Owners from Board meetings.
By Cheryl Dowden, October 6, 2019
Update October 11, 2019
I am very happy to announce that the next Board Meeting is a regular Board Meeting in Ouachita Room at Ponce de Leon and not a Zoom meeting. This BOD meeting is Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.