San Elijo Hills residents should have all revived this formal notification Saturday from San Elijo Hill’s Association:


The San Elijo Hills Community Association received a petition from Neighborhood Representatives of the community requesting the following (excerpts from petition):

Due to various areas of concern regarding the election, the neighborhood representatives hereby submit this petition to call a special meeting, the purpose of which is to recall the new Board and hold a re-election. The specific areas of concern that are driving this petition are as follows:

1.     There are residents whose votes were not counted because their Neighborhood Representative did not attend the meeting on December 8th.

2.     There are residents who were not aware that [a candidate] had withdrawn her name, and who otherwise would likely have voted for a different candidate.

3.     There are residents who voted prior to the start of the negative campaigning and who subsequently indicated a desire to change their votes, but were not allowed to.

This petition is about the election process itself, not about who either won or did not win the election.  It’s an effort to make the election fair to the residents casting their votes, and an opportunity to start fresh. It will be up to the individual candidates to make their own cases, and [we] would like to suggest that this happen in an open “meet the candidates’ question-and-answer forum.

The entire petition is posted on the Community Network at www.sanelijohills.net.  In accordance with Section 6.3 of the San Elijo Hills Bylaws, the Board of Directors shall facilitate the scheduling of the Special Meeting of Neighborhood Representatives upon receipt of a petition signed by Representatives from at least 5% of the community.  The petition was signed by Representatives representing 49% of the community and therefore met the threshold requirements. Just as in a regular election, all homeowners will receive ballots and have an opportunity to cast votes at the Neighborhood District Meetings. The ballots will include two measures: 1) whether the Board of Directors should be recalled; and 2) if a recall passes, the election of new directors. An independent Inspector of Elections will oversee and count the ballots, and the voting process will be consistent with the Association’s election rules and current California law. Following is a schedule of meetings needed to facilitate this process:

Meet the Candidates Night: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. at the Pepper Tree Hills Café

Neighborhood District Meetings: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at Walters Management

Special Meeting of Neighborhoods: Thursday, March 18 at 6:00 p.m. at San Elijo Elementary School

Additional information regarding each meeting as well as voting instructions will be mailed to homeowners, posted on the Community Network, and posted on the community bulletin board.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact Jean Salvia, Community Association Manager, at (760) 431-2522 or jsalvia@waltersmanagement.com.

If you would like to be considered for the Board of Directors should the measure to recall the current Board prevail, please complete and return the Candidate Nomination Form no later than Thursday, January 21, 2010. Please note: nominations must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on January 21st in order to be included on the ballot.


  • Vote NO on the recall.

    The board was duly elected.

    Prior to this preemptive strike against the agenda the new board were very clear about in their manifesto: to put the management and landscaping out for competitive bid, and to apply more pressure on the developer to deliver on the promises they are nearly a decade late on; the board had not done anything wrong. In fact, they had no time to do anything.
    If they misstepped when faced with a recall before they did anything, it’s a gaffe, but understandable.
    Because a small group of empowered (mostly due to our disinterest and lack of involvement) individuals, who made no attempt to sense their communities, decided they didn’t like the change from the “club” mentality that prevailed before to a new activist board, they took it upon themselves to reverse the expressed will of the homeowners.
    I just got off the phone with my neighborhood rep, Gary Gidner, who, despite the fact that most of the homeowners in Woodley’s Glen who voted voted FOR the SEH4, signed the petition, because he didn’t like the “negative campaigning”.
    Gary et al: You don’t get to try to reverse an election; ANY election, not just homeowner’s associations; on the basis that it needs to be “collegial”; as if the rules are any different in national, state, or local government; because you disliked the “tone” of the campaign. The campaign happened, the people voted, and they voted for the SEH4. If the SEH4 were campaigning for something you didn’t agree with, or in a way you disliked, then you should have run for office against them, and made your case.
    Note to all: Democracy is sometimes messy. If you thought the original election was ugly, wait until you get a load of the recall. Recalls are inherently nasty. Just look at the recent Jack Feller case in O-Side, or the Gray Davis one.

    If avoiding negativity is what you sought, then accusing a duly elected board of incompetence, conflict of interest, subterfuge, breach of due process, and illegality is not the way to go about it.

    Recalls are to remove incompetent or malfeasant boards, not ones you don’t like. Unless and until the board demonstrates either (and not in a panicy reaction ot the “Star Chamber” recall crowd, but in terms of how they actually run the community) let them do the job they were elected to do.


    And then, amend our Articles to abolish these undemocratic “Neighborhood Representatives”, and require 5% of HOMEOWNERS to sign a recall petition.

  • To sum it up: The recall is not based on any reasonable basis for a recall. Recalls are for gross malfeasance and incompetence in office.

    “Negative Campaigning” is not the basis to invalidate an election.


    Otherwise, every time some tiny minority (remember, it only takes 5%) doesn’t like an election, they can put us through this wringer again.

    • Tom,
      I feel your frustration. I’ve commented about this a few times. I am from a neighborhood that didn’t have its rep vote, but felt it was important to sign the recall. I agree with you that this recall was pre-mature in its timing. (let this board do something worthy of a recall before a petition is circulated) Sadly, there is nothing we can do about this process as it appears the rules in place allowed for it to happen and we all moved here effectively having the opportunity to know the rules even though some of them don’t make a bit of sense. Whatever happens with this recall and potential new election, is that the process needs to be modified, and it should be one of the first items the board works on (which as I understand need to be ratified by a majority of the homeowners).

  • I just received a letter from Jeff Tuller, that I’m pretty sure was sent to all homeowners, since the USPO messed up and put my neighbors in my mailbox (common occurrence).

    The basic pitch is: vote yes on the recall, and then vote for who you want on the board.

    Although I voted for Jeff, I have to disagree, unless, procedurally, if you vote no on the recall, your vote won’t count in the board election if the recall succeeds. Does anyone know what the case is here (I’ll ask Walters, and go look in the ByLaws)?

    We had an election. It was duly conducted, and there are no allegations of irregularities.

    Even the absence of the neighborhood reps that resulted in certain neighborhoods not being counted would not have changed the election.

    A few disgruntled individuals have turned our democratic process on its head, cost us $3.50 each (which would buy my son a happy meal, which I would MUCH rather do with the money), and dragged out what was already a difficult and contentious election, exacerbating the bad blood and creating a conflict that will not pass as easily as any issues caused by the election would.

    In order to send a message that a small minority of empowered individuals can not use procedural tricks to overturn a duly conducted election, I think it is necessary to vote NO on the recall. If the recall succeeds, we have set a precedent that could render SEH ungovernable.

    I’d be interested in hearing from others who got the letter, and supported the SEH4 in the election, as to their thoughts. We already know what the recall crowd think.

  • If you actually READ Tuller’s letter, which I also got, you’ll see that he AGREES with the recall, and asks that this not be a contentious election. You’re the only one keeping the “bad blood” boiling.

    • To the coward who To-Tos without posting their name.

      Tuller says to vote for the recall, not because he agrees with it, but because it is a fact of life.

      I am not the one who put the bad blood on the boil, but I will fight for good governance, and the proper rule of law, as opposed to the tyranny of the aggrieved minority.

    • I did READ Tuller’s letter. It may surprise you, since I voted for him, that I disagree with him on the matter of the recall, on basic good governance grounds.

      We had an election. It was duly conducted. The results should be respected.

      Our system of government requires that the losers respect the election, at all levels of society, otherwise we will have anarachy.

      The time to express your displeasure with your duly elected reps, absent clear violation of the law or responsibilities of office (which the Neighborhood reps who failed to be present or signed the petition despite their neighborhood voting for the current board have done), is at the next election.

      Note to TO: The bulk of the country now disapproves of Obama, should we recall him too? How about Congress (22% approval)?

      We have regularly scheduled elections with a decent amount of time in between for a reason: so we can govern in between.

  • Tom,. I have been reading your posts in the past. We do not agree on the recall. One of your major complaints is the cost. Do you not realize that the budget includes funds for a yearly election? The funds for this recall money has been budgeted (even before their was a recall)has been included for 2010. Also, saying no to the recall will not save the money. Voting and the recall process is included as one.

    The recall vote is going to take place regardless. Let’s make the best of it and stop the negativity.

    • My major complaint is the violation of any reasonable way to run an association that starting a recall almost immediately after the election represents. The negativity is caused by the recall, the reasons given for it, and the subsequent character assasination and innuendo targeted at the duly elected board. I didn’t’ do ANY of those things.

      I realize we don’t agree on the recall. You have no reason to contine to request me to “stop the negativity”. I’m incensed at what is going on here, and find it typical of the complete lack of respect for our system of governance that is epidemic in this country among the political and chattering classes.

      Recalls are, by their very nature, negative. If you and the pro-recall crowd wanted to raise the overall tone in the neighborhood, you did the exact wrong thing. Unless the board had engaged in malfeasance or abuse of their office, the time to change the board is at the next election.

      Whether the election is budgeted or not doesn’t change the fact that money that didn’t need to be spent, is being spent. If budgeted monies aren’t spent, they can always be used for other purposes, or better yet, put into the contingency fund. This “it’s budgeted” is typical political/government financial management.

      Most of us, whether something is budgeted or not, try not to waste money we don’t need to.

      I intend to make the most of the election: voting NO on the recall, and voting FOR the people I voted for the first time in case the recall passes.

      Defeating the recall is critical to stopping this very dangerous precedent of a small empowered minority overturning a duly conducted election in its tracks. If the recall succeeds, there’s nothing to stop one or two neighborhood reps from starting another one, and a dangerous precedent, that could render our association ungovernable, will have been set.

      • And instead of already deciding that you’re going to vote for the candidates you voted for the first time, why don’t you wait and see who is actually ON the ballot? While you clearly have an objection to the recall, why not use this as an opportunity to make sure that the board is populated by the most qualified candidates? There’s nothing to be gained by voting against the recall except continuing to keep your head in the sand. The money is going to be spent regardless, so let’s make the best of this unfortunate situation.

      • I am not going to dignify this circus with my support, so I am going to do what I can to make sure the original election stands.

        We had an election, and nothing has happened that shows me that there is any good reason to invalidate it.

        Furthermore, I want to send a strong message, and I hope the community will do so, that a future recall had better be for good reason: malfeasance in office.

      • Tom,
        I hear what you are saying in this post, and understand your frustration throughout this thread, and think you posed some very good questions to the candidates in a different thread, but I would hope that you will read the comments we answer and give everone consideration before you cast your ballot. There may be a candidate or two that you may wish to consider that were not on the ballot last election.

    • As a relevant point: I can understand why you agree with the recall Brenda, as you were one of the losing candidates. However, in the interests of good governance of our association, put yourself in the position of being one of the winning candidates, or one of their voters, and see how, especially given the scurrilous allegations Ron has made, there could be nothing but hurt in this recall.
      Your posting about “it’s budgeted so what’s the harm” indicates to me that you would not be a good steward of our community resources, so I think the voters made the right decision regarding your candidacy last time. Hopefully they will continue to do so.

      • Tom, I take offense to the notion that I am for the recall due to me losing an election. That is certainly not the case. I did not actively campaign and I had no idea that there were to be so many candidates. I ran because I thought I would be fun and I love this community and want it to continue to be a wonderful place to live. I am not running this time for reasons that have nothing to do with SEH. I love the community and I have been here since early 2001. If I was a winning candidate, I would most likely think that since I won the first time, my supporters would vote for me again. However, that may not be the case due to recent actions by the new board.

        I have attended the homeowners meeting in the past and I was at the January meeting. I was appalled at the lack of civility that the new board, with the exception of Mary Russell, had for Hale Richardson. Also, they have already crossed a line and violated bylaws. Two weeks prior to this meeting, the new Board had called an emergency meeting. Jeff Tuller (now the Board President) contacted legal to inquire about calling the meeting and it was advised that he not do so. He did anyway. During that meeting they asked Walter’s Management to leave the room and the developer Board Member (Hale) to leave the room because the Board wanted to discuss an item that they believed to be a conflict of interest. Lawyers were again called and it was determined that they could not ask the developer Board member to leave and the meeting itself was against the bylaws and could not and should not happen. They also had to call that original meeting a “gathering” instead of a “meeting” to correct their error, and had to push any action from that meeting to the Open Board meeting. Remember, no neighborhood reps, or the community, were notified of this meeting, as required by the bylaws.

        Because of the agenda items, the Board agreed that legal counsel would be present in person for the open board meeting. However, before the meeting, Jeff Tuller, took it upon himself and called the legal counsel to say that the BOARD decided that legal representation was not needed in person and if they were needed, a phone call would suffice. In fact, no one else knew of this action, which he admitted to..

        There were quite of few very angry homeowners at this meeting expressing their displeasure at this new board. I respect your right to vote no and stand by your support of your original candidates.

        As for your comment, “Your posting about “it’s budgeted so what’s the harm” indicates to me that you would not be a good steward of our community resources, so I think the voters made the right decision regarding your candidacy last time. Hopefully they will continue to do so:” I want to say I did not say “so what’s the harm” as you indicated in quotes. If you are going to make comments about me or my qualificatioms, at least get it right and stop making judgements you know nothing about.

        This is all I am going to say about this subject, but felt compelled to respond to your comments about my character.

      • I’m sorry you’re offended, but I made no assault on your character. I merely questioned your competence to be a board member, given your blase attitude towards the waste of $8K, never mind the annoyance and waste of time that this recall, which most certainly at the time the petition was first circulated (since the board had not had any meetings or done anything before the move to recall them happened), and in my opinion still, is completely unwarranted.
        I have extensive experience in fiduciary responsibility and governance, and I will tell you that it is perfectly reasonable to ask someone who has a clear conflict of interest, as Hale Richardson has regarding any matter involving the HOA pursuing legal avenues against the developer, or Walters employees have regarding competitive bidding for the management contract, to recuse themselves from such discussions and leave the meeting. Frankly, where I’ve had such conflicts, I haven’t had to be asked, as I know proper process, and don’t try to game the system.
        Perhaps the new board, in a panic after the recall was already afoot, acted rashly. However, since counsel was retained by the former board, and probably owes more allegiance to Walters, who use them in more than one association, than the HOA, I can understand the behavior, even if I don’t’ justify it.

    • You’re right Brenda, I shouldn’t have put the “what’s the harm” in double quotes, it was a synthesis of what I got from your post, and so should have been in single quotes. My bad. If you didn’t mean to trivialize the $8K expense, then I’m sorry I misread you, and I would welcome a clarification.

      That having been said, the fact is, you polled the lowest of all the homeowner candidates, and third to last overall (only Curt Noland, who has been a lightning rod for complaints about the developer’s tardiness in the downtown, and Erin Ruhe, another Homefed employee who doesn’t live here, got less votes) so it can safely be said that the voters have expressed their opinion of your qualification for the board, and it’s probably for the best that you aren’t running again.

      Nothing personal, or anything about your character. As a HR professional, I’m sure you can respect that you just are not qualified for the job.

      Al the best in your future endeavors.

      • Tom,
        I was not being blase about the amount. I was simply stating a fact that the amount is in the budget. I will not get into a discussion with you about my previous candidacy, my qualifications for the board or my character.

      • Once again Brenda, I have never said anything about your character, or anyone else’s in this forum for that matter. My sole comments have been regarding your attitude towards the waste of money and time that this recall constitutes, and what that says about your suitability as a board member, which I have then placed in the context of your failed prior candidacy.

        The only character assassination here has been of the incumbent board, who have been accused of conflicts of interest, malfeasance in office, and violation of the bylaws, without proof, by you and others.

  • Tom,

    If a recall is permissible pursuant to by laws, then by its nature is the recall not also part of the “system of governance” that you have repeatedly asked us to respect?

    • It’s legal, but it violates the fundamental spirit of how we run our country.

      I’m referring to the greater principle of representative democracy, which requires that the losers respect the results of an election, or you wind up with mob rule and anarchy.

      Recalls are for serious malfeasance, not so losers can get a do-over.

  • Mr. Byrnes,

    You yourself said that Democracy is messy. Recalls are part of the Democratic structure adopted at SEH. Perhaps you can respect this Democractic structure.

    • The recall is part of the anti-democratic tricks inserted into the article by the developer. Having neighborhood reps, who have mostly been appointed by the board, “representing” only 5% of homeowners be able to overturn an election is one of the least Democratic things I have ever heard of.
      I have no respect for how this recall has been conducted, and will oppose it, and do everything I can to make sure that it become impossible for a small group to launch this kind of Circus again.

  • Sage Bogenschultz

    I think its disingenous in characterizing the recall effort like a star chamber. Significant evidence came to light after many folks had cast their votes which lead to a considerable number of residents becoming uneasey with the results and desiring a recall. Those who disagree may vote against it. But tThere is nothing “star chamber” about this. Were that the case, there would not be anything democratic like the recall.

    • There’s nothing “disingenuous”, which means”lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere:” in my saying that IMNSHO, having a small number of people, in a backroom deal, without polling their neighborhood, overturn a duly conducted election, smacks of a star chamber.

      Star Chamber, to me, means that the duly elected board were tried and found guilty in absentia, and sentenced to a recall, by an elite acting in private, based solely on rumors, hearsay, and guilt by association (“SHE’S HIS NEIGHBOR”) which is exactly what happened.

      The recall proponents, however, have been disingenous, in my opinion, as they have yet to propose what they are, in fact, FOR.

      They started the recall process long before ANY of the other matters they advance as reasons to recall the board even happened (and those were in reaction to the recall). There’s clearly more to this than meets the eye.

      A very significant percentage of the population are uneasy with the actions of the President, should he be recalled? How about Sen Arlen Specter, who switched parties AFTER the election?

      In our system of government, you need a really serious “high crime and misdemeanor” in office to throw someone out of it, not a few people not liking the campaign or being “concerned”.

      • Sage Bogenschultz

        If 49% did it, how is that a small number? And if 49% supported this, isn’t it arguably “lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere” to suggest that its a “star chamber” or a small group of “elite acting in private” or a secret cabal of lint in your dryer, who is sullying this great nation by simply suggesting that a local SEH board election be given another go? Answer: Yes.

        *thanks for the condescending definition!

    • 49% of homeowners did not “do it”. 10 people, 3 of whom didn’t do their job by showing up to make sure their neighborhood votes were counted, did.

      In the case of my rep, who received exactly 1 vote as rep, but got to stay because he was the incumbent, and everyone else also got one vote, they signed the petition despite the fact that the votes cast went overwhelmingly for the SEH4, and made no attempt to poll the neighborhood before doing so.

      It was a backroom, shady, deal. To this day, no-one has posted the original e-mail circulated by Ron. That, in itself, is telling.

  • Should the President be recalled? No, because the United States Constitution does not ALLOW for a recall of the President. The SEH by-laws DO allow for a recall of the board.

    Additionally, although only 5% CAN call for a recall, 49% DID.

    What part of this do you continue to not understand?

    • What part of “just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you should” don’t you understand? It was constitutional to impeach Bill Clinton, but I don’t think most people think it was good for the country.

  • Well, Tommy B, it would seem that you respect the democratic structure and process when it fits your subjective idea of what is fair and when it is convenient for your arguments. You are inconsistent and all over the map and I think doing a disservice to the anti recall movement by hysterically making no sense. Prior to reading through your hysterics and hyperbole, I was inclined to oppose this recall. Now, I say let it go forward and let the chips fall. You strike me as a addle brained dunderhead. Like some of the jokers I fought along side in Korea.

  • My name is Tom, Gert. When it comes to making fun of people’s names, you really shouldn’t start the party.

    I’m very consistent: absent proof of malfeasance, a recall is unwarranted, even if it’s legal.

    While the recall meets the letter of the law, it clearly violates basic principles of sound governance, the underlying principles of our Republic, and runs counter to one of its stated objectives: civility.

    I won’t dignify the rest of your name calling.

    I too served, in the Army, for 13 years between active and reserve. I would never call any of my brothers in arms dunderheads, at least not anywhere except to their face; and certainly not in a forum where they couldn’t defend themselves.

  • Sage and Gert, funny how there are no Spielvogels or Bogenshchultzes in the SEH HOA member directory, or in the San Marcos phone directory , for that matter.

    I guess you’re making my point for me that the proponents and defenders of this recall are underhanded and disingenuous.

  • Trying to hold a civilized discussion with Tom Byrnes is like arguing with a drunk. I suggest we let him continue to babble by himself, and focus our energies on the election process, which is going to happen whether he wants it to or not.

    • Morgan, since you are probably more astroturf (my guess is these are all Ron Grietzer), like all the Tos, Sage, Gert, Thom, Tim Burns (no Burns in SEH HOA either), you ARE having a discussion with yourself.

      So what does that make you?

      • Per a private e-mail from Ron, he is not the various astroturfers here. I accept his statement, and retract my allegation that it is him.

        However, I think that, unless people are willing to post under their full name, and are actually SEH homeowners, they should not be allowed to post regarding this election.

        I know WordPress allows moderation and other posting restrictions, and I think, for matters related to the recall and election, it should be turned on, with the following rules:

        1: Post with your full, real name.

        2: Only those eligible to vote in SEH HOA elections may post.

        3: Ad-hominem, slander, and profanity (to include abbreviations that expand to it) are verbooten. IMO, “Dunderhead”, “addle brained”, and “joker” fit into that category.

  • Tom, I think you make a lot of sense regarding the spirit in which a recall should be undertaken. Just because one CAN create this kind of snarled mess doesn’t mean one SHOULD. A recall driven solely by a small minority of disgruntled failed candidates is not what was intended by the framers.
    Also, what is the definition of “temerity?”
    Just to help expand Sage Bogenschultz’s vocabulary…

    • Unfortunately, the only Garrick Dortman in the phone book in the US is in Sheboygan WI. He’s currently in the news for telephone harassment.

      While I appreciate the vote of confidence, I would like the end of the astroturfing.

      Post as yourself, or don’t post at all.

    • I’d say the most appropriate synonym for this whole situation to define “temerity” in this context is “effrontery”.

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