San Elijo Hills Ballot Reminder

Neighborhood District Meetings will be held on March 10 at 10:00 a.m. at Walters Management in order to open the ballots cast by individual residents.  Ballots must be RECEIVED prior to the closing of the polls at 10:00 a.m.  Ballots submitted after the polls are closed will not be opened.  Homeowners who have not submitted ballots are encouraged to mail them to the Inspector of Elections so that they are received prior to March 10, drop them in the ballot box located at the Visitor Center prior to March 10, or bring them to the meeting scheduled for March 10.  The only business that will be conducted is the counting of ballots for individual neighborhoods.  The official results on the potential recall and election of new directors will be held during the Special Meeting of Neighborhood Representatives, scheduled for March 18, 2010.

If the Inspector of Elections does not receive enough ballots from a neighborhood to constitute a quorum, the Neighborhood District Meeting will reconvene on a later date.  If this date is determined and announced on March 10, and no additional notice will be sent to the Membership.

The Special Meeting of Neighborhood Representatives is scheduled for March 18 at 6:00 p.m. at the San Elijo Elementary School.  During this time, the Neighborhood Representatives will be asked to cast the votes of their respective neighborhoods for the potential recall and election of Board members.  They will cast an official ballot for the Neighborhood that includes the votes of the neighborhood exactly as they were cast.  Attention Neighborhood Reps and Alternates: If you are not present at the Special Meeting, the votes from your neighborhood will not be counted.  It is very important that you attend.


  • Did anyone else get the email from Jeff Tuller this week, the one that includes the endorsement from current PTO president Charles Zahl? Doesn’t it seem strange that the Mr. Zahl would endorse Jeff Tuller and not past PTO president Mary Russell? Is the entire PTO in agreement with this endorsement? And isn’t it interesting that there seems to be a “CZahl” in the SEH community directory who lives on Misty Sea Way? Right down the street from Jeff Tuller, and who says in his endorsement that he knows Tuller personally? Did Tuller promise anything in exchange for this endorsement?

    • I want to make clear that the endorsement was NOT from the PTO, but was from me as an individual. Jeff asked me for an endorsement, and since I know and respect Jeff, I gave it to him. I have worked closely with Mary Russell and hold her in the highest esteem. If she had asked me for an endorsement, I would have gladly given it.

      Jeff has in no way promised or implied any sort of favor to me or any organization that I am associated with, for my endorsement. I am more than willing to discuss this further with anyone who may have questions or concerns. Finally, we should remember that we are all neighbors and love this community. It is important to have open, honest discussions during these elections and when debating any measure that effects the neighborhoods. I believe it is dishonest and counter-productive to make anonymous posts with unfounded accusations.

      • I liked the posts when they were constructive and agree that we should treat all our neighbors with respect. The most infomative posts were when you guys were discussing the candidates, who you are voting for, and without tearing people down. I read the posts, and watched the candidate night videos. Even though more than half the election posts are about Jeff Tuller, they did only one thing for me, and that was to confirm that I’m voting for him. It seems that single handedly, he has caused our community to talk more about the issues in the past 4 months, than we have during the past 8 years.

        I think Lori Drake said it best “I want someone that has a strong voice”. And when you look at what everyone is saying, Jeff Tuller helped support the fight against Walmart, he supports the PTO, he’s adamant about fire safety, and he lead the campaign against the developer and got homeowners on the board. Even when the recall came about and meant he could get voted off the board, as Ron G. said, Jeff Tuller was positive towards the reps that signed the petition. When you put all these things together, it seems that Jeff Tuller has only one side, and that is to be on the side of the community. So if you’re putting together a team for the world series, then you want the strongest hitters that will always swing the bat hard for the team.

        I’m also going to vote for Torin Snyder. I like the fact that Torin has already dedicated his time for several years on the landscape committee. That shows he’s not just a flash in the pan, but that he cares about the community. I think his engineering background is good because the association deals with a lot of vendors and contracts. He also came across as very level headed in the candidate videos.

        My third vote goes to Thomas Cappellazzo. I thought Jeff Tuller’s information about landscaping costs showed me that we spend a lot of money on landscaping, and so having Cappellazzo on the board gives us someone that has a landscaping background. I thought he came across in the candidate videos as being down to earth and sincere as a family person that cares about our community.

        The last vote is a complete coin toss. I liked what people said about Stephen Kirkland and Adam Riffe. They both presented themselves well on the candidate night, and I like both of their backgrounds. A lawyer or an accountant would both be good assets to the board. Only hesistations are they are new to the community, but then again we were all new to the community at one point. Michael Young also presented well and he has demonstrated involvement in the community by being a rep and serving on several committees.

        Sarah Vollrath presented herself well, but I like the idea of having new blood on the board, and I haven’t seen any comments on the posts highlighting what she has accomplished for the community during the couple years she was on the board. Tim Minjares seemed like a nice guy on the candidate videos and Lori Drake says she believes he will seperate the press from his role on the board. That’s really my only concern about him, because he does seem like he supports the community and has a vested interested by owning the newsletter.

        The three clear votes are Tuller, Snyder and Cappellazzo. I may end up tossing the coin on the other vote, but would like constructive views from others on why I should place my last vote for either Kirkland, Riffe, Young or Minjares.

      • I agree with you David. It would be great to get back to some constructive discussion and mutual respect in these last couple of weeks before the votes are counted.

        Anyway, because you asked for other opinions, my feeling is that it’s good to have a mix of people with different backgrounds and different (but not redundant) areas of expertise. You make a good point about Tom Cappellazo, but I’m going with Torin Snyder because of his landscaping AND architectural experience.

        Between the two community newbies, I’m going with Adam Riffe as opposed to Stephen Kirkland, because I value Adam’s financial background over Stephen’s legal one.

        I’m going with Sarah Vollrath, because while I think new blood is important, I also think it’s important to have at least SOME homeowner continuity to the previous board. Selfishly, I also feel it’s important to have at least one board member who lives in one of the SEH townhome communities, because they comprise over 20% of the entire SEH population and the townhome lifestyle does bring some of its own unique issues.

        My last (and easiest) vote goes to Tim Minjares. I believe his dedication to this community is unquestionable and unparalleled, and I do not believe his ownership of The Fountain raises any conflict of interest issues.

        Regarding Jeff Tuller, I’ve respected his willingness to support the recall, and I do think that there are some valid reasons to vote for him. However, I can’t, specifically BECAUSE “he led the campaign against the developer.” The developer is not now, nor has ever been, the enemy, and Jeff’s confrontational relationship with an entity on whom this community still relies (and helped make San Elijo Hills the community we all love) concerns me.

        So, my votes go to Torin Snyder, Adam Riffe, Sarah Vollrath and Tim Minjares.

      • Great post David. Too bad that the recall has been about nothing more than a visceral dislike of Jeff Tuller by some sore losers from the last election. Don’t expect them to stop assassinating his character, since that is the only thing that unites them.

      • Finally Ron posts what he is for. No surprise none of the current board are included, and 3 out of 4 are candidates that lost in the prior election.

        Ron even is in favor of Sarah Vollrath on the board, despite her failure to properly discharge her duties as Secretary of the prior board in timely ratification and posting of board minutes.

        I think that says all that needs to be said about why this recall has happened, and why it should be defeated: it’s about losers looking for a do-over.

        If you believe in the basic principles of representative democracy, which include that we don’t invalidate elections unless they are fraudulent, or remove people from office, except at the next election, unless they are malfeasant, then NO on the recall is the only principled vote.

      • Regarding contingent votes: Given that this recall has shown serious deficiencies in our governance, and therefore that we need to change the legal structure of our community association, IF the recall succeeds, despite his possible conflicts of interest, I think we need Stephen Kirkland’s expertise on the board.

        This is in order to help us change the cause (the fact that the HOA can block people’s view with no recourse, and that people’s votes don’t’ count if the neighborhood rep has a car accident or a cold) and the means (that at most 2 neighborhood reps can recall the board, with no requirement for polling their neighborhoods) by which this disastrous failure of due process, total waste of time and money, and scar on our polity, has come about.

      • I also love Ron’s assertion that the condo-dwellers should have some sort of guaranteed presence on the board, due to their “special situation” and “20%” of the community.

        Ron, didn’t you say that one good reason for the recall was that only 19% of the community voted in the last election? Why should 20% of the community, from a specific small section, be more guaranteed representation than 19% taken from a broader swath?

        I’ve sensed that a lot of this is about the “urban” versus “suburban” community, but what you advocate is Balkanization.

        I grew up with a version of that (Ireland 1966-1984), and can tell you that identity politics makes life worse for EVERYONE.

        You really need to decide if you want to live in small-town SEH where we wave at each other and all try to make things better together, or endlessly relive East Coast sectarian partisanship. If the former, then stop it now, if the latter, please take yourself and your ways back from whence you came.

      • Regarding TIm Minjares: while “The Fountain” is a great resource, it is a basic rule of our society that you can’t be a journalist and a politician. I guess Ron didn’t bother to read the code of ethics of the NY Times that I posted in another thread, or just doesn’t care that if Tim is on the board his paper will, of necessity, be unable to engage in the proper function of a newspaper in reporting on the actions of the board.

        As for “return to constructive”: the tone of this recall has not been constructive since day 1. It started with accusing Jeff of subterfuge; and has gone downhill from there, with endless character assassination, personal insult, and libel, all under cover of anonymity. Ron still hasn’t posted the original e-mail he circulated that led to it.

        Ron is entitled to his opinion that the developer has done nothing wrong, but those of us who voted for the SEH4 disagree, specifically:

        1: Endless delays in building the downtown.

        2: Fobbing off the cost of building the community/worship center on one church, as opposed to building it and then leasing it for multiple uses, like the visitor center, which is what we were all sold on.

        3: Major changes in the landscaping from “Coronado” with California Oak and Sycamore to Pine, and lots of bare rock.

        Regardless, the developer has their one rep on the board going forward. Due to stacking the prior boards with their non-resident employees, and token pliant homeowner, they have had free rein to make whatever changes to the plans they wanted until now. It is in the community’s interest that the new board actually take the community’s interests into account, as opposed to rubber stamping whatever the developer decides, as the past one did.

        One thing I do agree with Ron on is that we need a diversity of talents and perspectives on the board. To me that includes some business executive with experience and P&L (not advisory, but actually bottom line) responsibility for the sort of budgets we have. The only candidate running who fits that bill is Jeff Tuller.

      • I don’t know why I continue to respond to Tom, just to watch him twist what I write, but here goes:

        I’ve never said that “condo-dwellers” should have a “guaranteed presence on the board.” I said – even prefacing this with “selfishly” – that it’s important to have someone who can represent the issues that townhome owners DO face. We pay over 200% higher HOA fees than most other neighborhoods. We have a higher population of renters than other neighborhoods, bringing with it a unique set of challenges. In my neighborhood, many of our front doors directly face the San Elijo Speedway, the bright, noisy and dangerous gas station, and once the middle retail section is complete, busy storefronts. Are you saying that people shouldn’t vote at least partially based on how a certain candidate will represent their interests, just as, for example, homeowners who have trees blocking their views are likely to vote for Jeff Tuller, because he faces the same issues they do? There are a LOT fewer homeowners with trees obstructing their views than number of people who live in townhomes, yet you seem to be okay with Jeff running on a platform that will give a voice to THEIR unique issue.

        Next. . . I’ve never said that the developer has done nothing wrong. In fact, I was part of a homeowner task force back in early 2006 that regularly beat up HomeFed for the long delays on the Town Center. Ask Lori Drake, Laura Meyers, Nicolas Jonville and others, including Jerry Backoff from the San Marcos Planning Division . . . heck, ask Curt Noland . . . they were there, they remember. If not for the pressure we put on HomeFed and the City Council, the Town Center would likely not even be as far along as it is now.

        Next. . . The Fountain is not, and has never been, a “newspaper” whose “proper function” is “reporting on the actions of the board.” It’s essentially an advertising-supported community-building vehicle.

        The defense rests.

      • After reading Ron G’s post, it’s only confirmed to me that Tuller is the correct person to be voting for. I find it interesting that Ron G. who I understand penned the petition which says the recall petition is “not about who either won or did not win the election” but is about the process. And even though almost everyone that voted in the last election voted for Tuller, which means that the community supported Tuller’s desire to have homeowners on the board, Ron G. now states the reason we should not vote for Tuller in this recall election is because essentially Tuller stood up for what the community wanted. Or in other words, Ron G is now saying it is about who won or didn’t. I agree with Tom Byrnes in that Ron G. should post the email so we can understand Ron’s true motives, otherwise I’m skeptical now about anything Ron G. says.

        I also think that we need to realize that Lori Drake probably knows a lot more than she can tell us about what went on behind the scenes during the three years she was on the board with the developer, and that’s probably why she supports us voting for Tuller because she sees a need to have a strong voice like Tuller that doesn’t cower in the presence of the developer.

        I went back and watched the candidate videos again, and Tuller is articulate and very professional. He said that he was recently voted as president of another board by Google and some other big internet companies. Seems that everyone reputable likes the guy and wants him on boards and leading things, probably because he gets things done.

        I also went to Tuller’s website, and I don’t buy all this talk about him having one agenda. Tuller talks about traffic safety and wanting to solve the speeding on San Elijo Hills Road. I would have thought Ron G. would have liked this since Ron said it was an issue in his neighborhood. Tuller also talks about water conservation, cutting spending, and improving events. I think Tom Byrnes had it right again in that Tuller is the only one that’s put together an agenda of what he’ll do for us. As I said in my last post, the more people talk about Tuller, the more it confirms that he’s one of the people we need to have on the board. Besides, with Tuller on the board at least we’ll know what is going on with our association, because he’s going to tell us.

        I also think that we need both Cappellazzo and Snyder on the board because of their landscaping expertise. I don’t buy Ron G.’s argument that we only need one. If we were putting together a transportation board, then it would benefit us to have 2 or 3 people with traffic and transportation engineering expertise. Well our association spends most of its money on landscaping, and so having two people with landscaping expertise will help make sure we are spending the money wisely and making good decisions. Both Cappellazzo and Snyder have landscape expertise, and that’s why I’m voting for both.

        I plan on sending in our ballot tomorrow, and after reading the last posts, I’m now going to vote no on the recall. I’m going to for sure give my three contingency votes for Tuller, Cappellazzo and Snyder. I’m currently leaning towards giving the fourth vote to Kirkland.

        After watching the videos again, Kirkland comes across as an independent thinker, and because he’s a lawyer for associations, he knows how boards should run. I’m not at all concerned about conflict of interest. Kirkland said that his law firm does business with Walters and also with every other management company in Southern California, probably just like all law firms do, and so this is no big deal. What is important is that he said they don’t do business with the developer. I like the idea of having an attorney on the board, because it’s like getting free legal advice, and I felt his answers on candidate’s night were thoughtful and pragmatic on what our association can do for us.

      • David . . . I think you may have misunderstood my point, which is driving my vote only, and is not necessarily the opinion of the other petition-signers, much less the overall voting population. As I consider the qualifications of all the potential candidates, their ability to work with the developer and Walters (and each other) is crucial. I’m just concerned about Tuller’s ability to work with an entity on whom the community still so greatly relies. However, like the rest of the community, I believe that the board should be populated by a homeowner majority, and voted as such in the first election.

        For what it’s worth, I do believe it’s not about who won or lost. I’m not blindly against the SE4, and had wanted to vote for Mary Russell. I wish she had participated in the “Meet the Candidates” night so I could have gotten to know more about her position on the issues, but I’ve sensed that her heart may not really be in it. And if Torin Snyder were not running, I would probably have voted for Tom Cappellazo because I think we DO need landscaping expertise. It’s just that with only four open spots — and a landscaping company who are the true experts — I just felt a more well-balanced board was crucial.

        I’m not sure, though, how you can say you’re going to vote no on the recall, while simultaneously saying you think it’s important to have Snyder on the board and talking so positively about Kirkland. If you think they’re two of the most qualified candidates, at the end of the day, isn’t that the most important thing?


      • Ron, Morgan’s corner DOES have special representation for the additional money they pay, in their own association, which you are the President of.

        To say that, in addition to having your own HOA, you are somehow justified in special treatment in the master HOA, is really pushing it

        The dues to the master HOA are the same, as far as I know, for everyone.

        Please feel free, in your capacity as the PRESIDENT OF YOUR HOA, to represent the special sectional interests of your specific community, and to work on issues that are specific to it.

        I hope that those don’t include agitating against having a vibrant downtown nightlife where there are some social activities suitable for adults, so we can have gathering places to help build community. I had noticed that you raised objections to the wine and beer license for Peppertree a while back.

        The master HOA is about issues that affect the whole community, and the big ones are the downtown, crime/safety/fire prevention, and that the landscaping we have is nothing like the landscaping we were promised

        We all are concerned about traffic. If you think downtown is bad, you should see the lunatics who run the stop signs at the park and go 50 MPH on Questhaven, frequently causing us to have to run as we cross to go for a hike in Sage Hills, or over 35 MPH in 25MPH zones in our neighborhoods, cutting corners short where our kids are riding their bicycles.

        The only candidate who mapped out a specific plan for dealing with these issues was Jeff Tuller. Remind me again why you want him recalled and replaced with people who have articulated no plan at all?

      • Ron, you keep saying “at the end of the day”, as if all that matters in this is some scorecard at the outcome, as opposed to how we want to be governed, and how we deal with each other.

        At the end of the day, the ends don’t justify the means. The means of how this recall came about, and the character assassination of the current board by you and others in the campaign, must be repudiated. That is why the correct vote is NO on the recall, even if, as I do, you believe that we could get a better board if the recall succeeded and the best candidates from the current field are elected.

        The matters on the ballot are FIRST whether we believe the reasons advanced in your petition merit recalling the board. They don’t, and they arent’ event the real reasons you circulated, and the other reps signed, the petition anyway. The truth is you lot just don’t like Jeff Tuller and/or disliked how the last campaign went.

        To stop this naked power grab, and make the point that recalls have to be for serious malfeasance or in case of electoral fraud, the recall needs to fail, and I will be voting NO.

        The second matter on the ballot is , IF the recall succeeds, who should be the new board.

        Since, if the recall succeeds, there is no point in some Quixotic wasting of my vote, given that we have some new cadidates who are very impressive, and one current board member who clearly doesnt’ really want the job, I will vote for who I think are the best candidates of the current field.

        That means Jeff Tuller, Tom Capellazzo, Stephen Kirkland, and Adam Riffe.

        I hope the recall fails, and I hope that Stephen and Adam maintain their interest, and run next time.

      • Tom, please. I never raised any objections to the wine and beer license for Peppertree. What I said was that I was under the impression that those licenses can’t be granted to venues that are within 600 feet of a school, and was concerned that we WOULDN’T be able to finally get something around here that was suitable for adults.

        Anyway, I do find it interesting for you to say that “the master HOA is about issues that affect the whole community.” Can you tell me, then, how someone’s ocean views affect more than just a handful of homeowners?

  • What freaks me out is the shameless fervency with which Tuller is seeking this job. He actually went through the trouble of, one by one, cutting and pasting into a serviceable mailing list 1,150 emails off the community website. Who in the world does that? (And DOESN’T realize how alienating that will be to people to whom he then emails his unsolicited promotions of himself?) His whole campaign is so wildly disproportionate to the nature of the position he’s after that there’s just no way it can be motivated by anything good. I wasn’t surprised to learn the guy makes infomercials for a living. He sets off more alarms than a bank on fire.

    • I get the impression Jeff doesn’t do anything by half measures.

      You may also want to look into how easy it is to cull e-mails from websites. I do agree that sending the e-mails might be seen as SPAM, except for the fact that everyone who has their e-mail up on the site had to actively opt into displaying it, so as to be reachable by other members of the community.

      What’s wrong with doing infomercials for a living?

      How is that less ethical than say, being a Realtor, or being co-owner of a community advertising supported newspaper; and in any way a disqualification for a job on the board?

      At least he has executive and board level experience with the sort of $ amounts this board deals with.

      I really don’t understand why this is such a personal thing with everyone. I can understand the “I like the pine trees, Jeff doesn’t, I want the pine trees to stay”, but the completely unsubstantiated character assassination based on rumor, innuendo, and how hard he’s campaigning is just sickening.

      Jeff wants to be on the HOA board. He is clearly passionate about several things he feels the prior board did wrong, one of which is planting trees that block views that he, and others, paid a lot of $ for, that he wants to change. SO, if he is willing to put in the time and effort to do that, and he has the means, then more power to him.

      If you, or the people you support, disagree, then campaign already, and not with the endless sniping that goes on in this blog, but by putting forward an agenda and actually getting it out there.

      So far, the only real campaign effort by anyone other than Jeff has been Sarah Vollrath, who has baggage of her own related to not getting the minutes out timely when she was the Secretary of the prior HOA board, and Adam Riffe.

      It’s a pretty sad commentary on the pro-recall crowd that, despite putting the community through this mess, you lot haven’t got an organized platform and slate as an alternative.

  • A few thoughts

    First, I must disagree with a statement from Tom on this thread. Jeff is not the only candidate with business executive experience as well as non-profit experience that has direct responsibility for a operating budget of over $2M in revenue (like our HOA). I cannot speak for any of the other candidates, but I fit that role as well.

    Secondly, I’d like to encourage our homeowners who have questions about my candidacy, to ask any additional questions you would have or feel you need before you decide to cast your ballot. I have answered all questions posed to me prior to the Meet the Candidates night and will continue to do so publicly on this site. If you prefer to ask questions off line you can email them to me at

    Lastly, regardless of the outcome of this election, I encourage all of our homeowners to cast a ballot. Less than 20% of homeowners cast ballots in the last election and our current board did an outstanding job by making this election more accessible to our community by allowing candidates to have a Meet the Candidates night that is available for all residents on this sight and our HOA site.

    Please Vote and encourage your neighbors to do the same!

    Have a good night

    • Adam, it was my impression that you were CFO, not line manager, and so weren’t the P&L head to roll. If I am incorrect, I’m sorry.

      In any event, I find you impressive, and you will be getting my contingent vote. I hope the recall fails, but I encourage you to stay involved and run again next time. We could really use you as Treasurer, so that OUR money will be managed by US, and not by someone who has a divided loyalty to a developer that has decided they have better uses of cash than improving, or marketing, SEH (from their most recent 10Q).

  • Is it just me or does it feel like Jeff Tuller has a secret agenda? Why is it so important to be on an HOA board? I have seen much smaller campaigns to run for President. I don’t want to hear that he wants to help the community. He has his own agenda. The fire danger issue is just a platform for cutting down common area trees for his own view and benefit.

    Is all this about your view Jeff? I have a canyon behind my property and have had the fire chief out to discuss the fire loads and I am fully confident that we are in compliance and in no safety danger. Stop the BS!!!

    Why do people try to attack the developer. They have 100’s of millions of dollars at stake in land to be sold going forward. Don’t you think their coordination of this development is in our best interest as well. I actually wish the developer had control over this entire community so we wouldn’t have crackpot candidates try and screw everything up for their own secret interests.

    What else is up his sleeve? I would much rather have honest board members that shoot straight with the community. I am sick of boards with claimed experience, when they don’t know squat. We aren’t selling ShamWows Jeff, this is real life.

    I think our community is fantastic, not a single complaint with the way this place was built, developed or managed.

    Tuller is a loose cannon and I don’t them to make bad changes that WILL affect the community. His responses or lack of responses to the public shows a secret agenda. Don’t buy all the hype. Change is not always good. Don’t buy in to the propaganda. We are not fools Jeff. You will do nothing but damage my community.


    • Why is it that the only thing you, and the rest of the frothing crackpots in favor of the recall, can do is attack Jeff?

      What would YOU do if you were in office? Why don’t’ you run for it if you feel so strongly?

      Nah, that would require being FOR something, and getting involved; as opposed to just engaging in ad-hominem attacks, and wanting someone else to do everything for you.

      Go read HomeFed’s 10Qs to see why the developer and our interests are not currently, and are not going to be for the foreseeable future, aligned.

      They’re investing the $62M in cash and cash equivalents they have elsewhere, because they see no benefit to selling lots at this time, and have no idea when it may become beneficial financially.

      Even though they are, effectively, doing NOTHING, they gave themselves all nice raises and bonuses last year.

      • San Elijo homeowner

        For someone who has been using the phrase “ad hominem” a lot, it does not mean what you think it means. Here’s the ad hominem structure:

        1. Person #1 makes a point
        2. Person #2 has some issue with Person #1
        3. Therefore, Person #1’s point is not valid

        Ironically, you are the master of this, constantly attacking people for things unrelated to the point at hand. Let’s try one hypothetical example:

        Person #1: “I believe that Candidate A should not be on the board, because he has an unreasonable hatred of the developer.”
        Person #2: “Of course you would say that, you think that neighborhood reps should be able to sign petitions without polling their neighborhoods.”
        Person #1 “What does that have to do with my point about Candidate A?”
        Person #2: “That doesn’t matter, the real issue is that the neighborhoods weren’t polled.”

        That, my friends, is an ad hominem attack. Sound familiar?

      • I refute the points they make. They also make other points, so you turn around and quote the point I didn’t refute with the refutation I used for another point. Nice trick.

        The ad-hominem structure is to ignore the point, and attack the person.

        So far, that’s been entirely on the pro-recall, we hate Jeff Tuller (the latest reason being because he helps women feel sexy), side.

        I’ve been told to get a life. Seriously, the people who have nothing better to say than why they hate someone are the ones with no life.

      • Tom,
        Isn’t “frothing crackpots” an ad hominem attack? PLEASE practice what you preach. Also, If you think that Adam and a few other are impressive, why don’t you just bite the bullet and vote for the recall. I would think you’d want the best HOA board. Mary didn’t bother to make it to the MTC night. Do you really think a so-so board is better than a really good board, with impressive members, because you happen to disagree about the way it came about? Sometimes I think you’d cut off your nose to spite your face. But your double talking posts do keep me amused, even if they are filled with attacks, mistated facts and opinions disguised as facts.

  • They have every right to give themselves bonuses and pay increases. This isn’t Wall Street vs. Main Street. I am glad they are making money. I wouldn’t want an underperforming developer in charge.

    Do you want them to lowball land prices to unload it? They are keeping the investment in San Elijo. When the market recovers they will sell it. They are actually some of the smartest investors in the world. You may want to look them up.

    By the way, do you even know what Jeff sells? He sells stripper workout videos that in my opinion are degrading and disrespectful to women. Check it out:

    You want this guy running “our” community? Maybe we can get stripper poles installed in the town square???

    • I have the Flirty Girl videos and they are completely fun. They are exercise dance videos and have nothing to do with stripping. They are totally cool and are like Lady Gaga and Pussy Cat Dolls dancing. I love them and its totally in.

    • The smartest investors in the world are often very bad for the communities they “invest” in. George Soros made his fortune shorting the Pound Sterling. The resulting IMF bailout destroyed the UK’s Steel, Coal, and Auto Industries, and led to double digit unemployment for nearly two decades.

      I don’t think David Bren made too many friends in the development of the Irvine Ranch, and the quality of life there isn’t what any of us here in SEH want.

      Yes, the “Leucadia National” crowd are smart and make themselves and their (mostly New York based) investors a lot of $. They also leave a trail of dissent, and wrecked environment, in their wake.

    • Actually, since they are a publicly traded company, their pay structure is not at their own whim.

      Giving themselves bonuses and raises, given that they have made it clear that they are, effectively, suspending their operations, is really pushing it.

    • Homefed are LOSING money @ -$1.19 a share, and have lost 18.75% of their share value in the last 30 days, but the execs are still paying themselves big salaries and bonuses, despite not actually doing the things the business is set up to do.

      It’s a typical pink sheet, solely for the benefit of the insiders, company.

      I’d short it, but shorting OTC:BB (which professional investors say as “Broken Bat”) is a fools game due to the tiny volume, and there are no options available on it.

      I wonder if, since they haven’t sold a single lot since 2006 (yes, they did sell the visitor center, for a $1.85M pre-tax gain, last year), we could get the SEC to rule them a REIT or Mutual fund as opposed to an operating company? That would require that they end the cross holdings Borden has with Leucadia, or force his hand into actually doing the business he incorporated HOFD for to avoid having to comply with the investment company acts.

      Hey Jason, you still think I have no economics or finance background?

      • If we COULD get them to have to convert to a REIT, as I understand it those NOL carry forwards on their books would flow to the shareholders, so if lots of SEH homeowners bought their stock, and petitioned to force them to convert to a REIT, and we succeeded, given the ARRA NOL provisions, we could all get a partial tax holiday.

        @ a total Marklet Cap of 176M, the NOLs represent almost 17% of the value in the company, which trades for less than it’s book value (if you believe what they value their real estate at), and only 2.83 x cash and equivalents.

        There’d also be the advantage of making Borden actually talk to us, instead of sending his minions.

        Note: because shareholders have no real ability to control this company, and because of the management, despite the surface numbers looking good, I would not recommend buying HOFD.


        Disclaimer: I am not an investment professional (I was once), I am not YOUR advisor, I am not a shareholder in, vendor or customer of (other than being a SEH homeowner) of Homefed, Leucadia National, or any of their affiliates, market makers, or related companies. I have no position now, nor have I ever (except in holdings by open ended mutual funds that I may not know about) had any interest in the stock of HomeFed. The opinions above are solely my own, and are based on generally publicly accessible information. Use at your own risk, perform your own due diligence, don’t ask me for personal advice (I won’t give it), do ask your own advisors.

        We now return you to your regular hating on Jeff Tuller, and flaming of me.

      • Ok Tom,
        Your post about the investments and not giving advice was funny. I’ll give you that one…

      • Sue, since I have held NASD/FINRA licenses in the past (including being on the BOD and Investment Board of a RIA), I have to disclaim any time I post anything that might be construed as investment advice.

        I’ll agree that the whole “theater of compliance” in the securities industry is ridiculous, and does nothing to protect investors. In fact, it seems to merely deter the honest, due to the burdens of compliance; and embolden the crooks (who just post the verbiage without actually doing the work), due to the lack of real enforcement.

        I don’t make the rules/law, but I do have to follow them.

        Do your own fact checking on what I’ve posted, and make your own decisions.

        I’ll say one thing for HOFD, their SEC filings are clear, complete, and obviously truthful.

        I still think Borden taking a salary+bonus higher than what they are spending in landscaping in SEH, when they have effectively suspended operations, is really pushing it. Especially since he doesn’t need it, and could actually do himself, and his shareholders, a favor by converting to a REIT and passing through the NOL this year or last, given the ARRA provisions.

        I get that Hale, Erin, and (although less IMO) Curt need to get paid, but as a CEO, I find it unconscionable to pay myself if my company isn’t making money, and find CEOs who do, while their shareholders take it in the shorts, reprehensible.

  • I’m guessing that you never took an economics class in school Tom. You mean to tell me that you would rather have the developer sell the land they are holding at a much lower price just to unload it? That is exactly what they aren’t doing. You may want to rethink your statements Tom. I would rather them hold the land until the market recovers than have them flood the inventory with cheap land and lower priced homes. I’m sure they could, but they aren’t. Thanks developer for helping preserve our home values!!! Now what are you mad at them about again?? I’d really like to hear this answer.

    • I would rather the developer deliver on the common facilities they promised a long time ago (the downtown), and do something to minimize the blight of the partially improved lots on the north side of Questhaven. Even some temporary planting or leasing the land to a nursery would be better than what’s there now, which reminds me of an urban warfare training center.

      The developer isn’t preserving our home values, they’re hoarding their cash and investing it at higher rates of return in more liquid investments. They may yet unload the land in a fire sale, especially if RE stays flat, and inflation takes off.

      You don’t seem to understand that their interests, and ours, are not aligned.

      • Tom

        You so don’t know what your talking about.
        The blighted land on questhaven was originally sold to a builder for $60 million! They went bankrupt and the developer (Thank God) bought the land back for $6 milion.

        Yeah they are sitting on the profit ($54 million) investing it, and won’t sell the land til the value is much higher. If another builder bought it instead, we would have a shanty-town there.

        The developer holding off on the towncenter is a smart choice in the long run. Otherwise right now, 1/2 would be forclosed, and the shops empty. Now when they build it in the near future, we have something that will bring our real estate values up quicker and higher then other parts of the county. And hopefully it will last.

      • So, they OWN the blighted land. Doesn’t that mean that they should, and if they fail to do so the HOA can force them to, maintain it in some state other than an urban warfare wasteland?

        I don’t think they bought it back for 1/10 of what they sold it for out of the goodness of their hearts. My guess is they had some clause in the sales contract that entitled them to do that, if the builder didn’t built it out. Otherwise, I’m sure someone would have come in and bought it for more.

  • They cannot change zoning to agricultural, you are not very educated in real estate Tom. I would recommend you stop leaving these stupid posts that make your argument look worse and worse.

    What are you talking about not being aligned? Yeah Tom, they want their land values to go down. Do you realize that an inflationary period would increase home values. Just stop posting Tom. If you are posting for the SE4, you sure are a good representation of the types of lunacy this group is fighting for.

    I would love to have a debate with you or any of the SE4. You guys are make up arguments to just stir the pot. You guys have no idea what it takes to develop land, deal with city codes or zoning, timelines for building out a project of this magnitude and knowing how good we have it here. Don’t screw it up Tom. Maybe you bought the last house at the peak, I wouldn’t be surprised. What do you do for a living Tom?

    • Jason, small scale, temporary horticulture isn’t agricultural. If they can’t lease if for that, then they need to do something to mitigate the blight that THEIR LAND is causing.

      To understand how RE can not appreciate at the rate of CPI when there is high inflation, go read about the “Stagflation” period of the late ’70s and early ’80s.

      The basics: High, and especially increasing, inflation, pushes up interest rates. This makes bonds much more attractive than assets where return is based on appreciation, like stocks and real estate. For Real Estate, it also adds the double whammy that mortgages become much more expensive, thereby further reducing demand for homes.

      For a developer, whose carrying cost is usually tied to interest rates, as most land and construction loans are variable, interest only, there comes a tipping point at which unloading the liability of the land, even at depressed prices, is better than the carrying cost and risk.

      There are plenty of case studies about the effects of the interest rates and inflation of the 1974-1982 period on RE development and, particularly, construction practices (some of the pathological behavior from that time is still common practice, and at least partially led to the most recent boom/bust cycle).

      The current situation, and the policy espoused by the government, is eerily similar to the 1968-1974 period that caused “national malaise”.

      Google me. What do you do for a living, and what’s your full name, Jason?

  • Guys, what does this all have to do with the election? The only thing that’s going on is a continuation of the name calling that marred the first election, where people were called ‘ghosts,’ ‘goblins’ and “not true homeowners.” Can’t we at least have this discussion be about the candidates and their qualities? I was enjoying this thread up to now.

  • Sorry, I just want people to know the facts and I believe there are forces doing and saying anything to get elected and it makes me sick. Let’s get back to the election:

    1. What does the SE4/Jeff Tuller think they are going to do about traffic?

    My answer: Nothing, they are public streets, call the city and ask. There is nothing the public can do to control public city streets.

    2. What does the SE4/Jeff Tuller think they are going to do about fire safety?

    My answer: Nothing, they have spoken to the city and other entities about this and they have been informed that there is no fire danger and their claimed fire risk is non-existant. The HOA maintains fire loads around the entire development mandated by the fire department and city. They are using this entire platform to try and get their trees cut down to help with their views. I hope people see through the shenanigans.

    3. Why do they say they hate the developer? What is their justification or EXACT reason, they have been asked numerous times and Jeff has constantly dodged the question.

    Let’s talk about this, it is very important that we know what their real motives are. I am concerned the campaigning, constant bloggers (ie Tom) trying to trash the developer without any substance, and the must send everything out to bid is really a plan to gain control to do whatever they want to do to the development. It’s really scary when these candidates taught their make believe experience in risk management and fire safety without any basis. What jobs exactly included risk management? From what I understand Jeff sells infomaercial stuff for 20 years. Did he do a stint at the fire dept, NO! They know how to do a smear campaign and mass market, but don’t tell me you are more knowledgeable than the fire department. Most people in San Elijo are genuinely happy with the community. I really don’t want a rogue board trying to change everything for their own benefit. Sure, there is always room for improvement, but take small steps that don’t radically change the CC&R’s, management, landscapers and other vendors that ultimately got us to where we are. What are the real issues we need a change? We need a debate…I would love to ask some questions and get some answers. So far Jeff Tuller has not answered any questions regarding his behavior (see videos on this site), operating against the will of the board and HOA attorney, sending out materials without prior consent of the board and against the information of the city/fire dept, lying about qualifications and creating smear campaigns that have false arguments and false fears about the community. It is wrong. I guess since his business in real life is selling smut, I am not surprised. This is not someone we should have on the board at all.

    • I was right there with you on your post until the last two sentences, then you went negative. It was a great post til then.

      • The truth can be negative. Live with it.

        Flirty girl is smut. The DVD comes with a stripper pole.
        6 second abs is cr@p.

      • What’s wrong with smut in the privacy of your home? It’s not like the target market is drooling old men in trench coats. This is about women feeling sexy about themselves, and keeping their man coming home.

        I’m all for it!

        BTW; While “6 seconds” is bogus, 30 crunches in the morning, every day, makes a big difference, you should try it.

      • OMG – I actually agree with Tom in his last post. Hell is freezing over as we speak!

  • Darn

    They are installing the road in the towncenter. That is all. No buildings yet, in the near future.

    • You forgot to add: if ever.

      Since they have decided to, once again, change the residential/commercial mix, it’s back to square one in the permitting, and bidding, process.

      • Tom,

        You obviously have the time, energy and stamina to rail the developer for the final phase of the Town Center.

        I encourage you to make it happen. Gossip is that word of a ‘class action suit’ is what made the developer build along Albertsons.

        Maybe, (hopefully) Genuine Legal action will make the developer build the crater. We (SEH) need a leader to spearhead this. You clearly have the endurance to do it.

        We all want it finished and to be a success.

      • Concerned, diplomacy is warfare by other means, and thankfully, in our society, there are many kinds of warfare short of actual violence. Lawsuits are the least efficient of the non-violent methods available.

        HOFD has a problem under the securities laws if they spend 3 years with more of their revenue and expenses being from investments outside of their operating properties rather than improving and selling property.

        That’s a much more expeditious way to force their hand. So, if, since they haven’t sold a lot since 2006, they fail to actually sell an improved one this year, we can buy a few shares of stock, and sic the SEC on them.

        Or if they are reading this, they will get a clue, and start to actually deliver on the town center, since doing so would make it clear they were still actually an operating company, as opposed to a REIT or Mutual Fund..

      • Actually, what made the developer fast track (if you can call something that’s years late “fast tracking”) the retail next to Albertson’s was pressure from the San Marcos City Council, not the rumored threat of a class action suit. If the delays go much longer, that may be the more effective approach. Threat of legal action rarely makes someone want to work with you.

        However, they can’t even lease out all the shops on the Albertson’s side, the Marketwalk condos are not yet sold out, and there are still foreclosed homes all through San Elijo Hills, so I’m not sure that building out the middle section will give us the “if you build it, they will come” result we all want.

        At least they’re building the road through the center section, so that people will hopefully stop using the gas station as a cut-through street. With no traffic light and limited visibility, THAT’S a major accident just waiting to happen.

      • While there may be a glut of retail and residential space, there’s actually a shortage of “professional office” space in San Marcos, East Encinitas, and South Carlsbad.

        There’s lots of “mixed industrial”, and medical office space, but something in the sub 3000 sqf range, that isn’t dilapidated (’70s clapboard style) and has good Internet connectivity is actually hard to come by.

        I have found people using the Gas Station as a cut through really silly, since you can take Elfin Forest East, and make a right in the back way (when you pass the Marketwalk garages before the stop sign for the peace memorial), which is completely safe, and almost always faster than fighting through the mess in the gas station and then trying to dodge the traffic that is still speeding coming into town, and has the added benefit that the parking on the east side of the building is almost always nearly empty.

      • Agree with you on the gas station issue, particularly regarding cars coming down the hill who seem to not know that Elfin Forest heading east will take them through the easier (and safer) back entrance. The bigger problem, though, is the people from the apartments who head straight through the gas station as a shortcut to get OUT of San Elijo Hills, therefore saving themselves the extra six lights they’d have to deal with to get around the square. Whoever designed that gas station — the entrances/exits and internal layout — was clearly asleep at the wheel, no pun intended.

      • Hell is still freezing over. Ron and Tom actually agree on the gas station shortcut issue.

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