34 comments

  • Given how well attended the Candidate forum was, it was really disappointing to see so few people at the HOA board meeting tonight.

    The best way to know the truth, or not, of any of the allegations that have been expressed here, and to see what kind of board members we have, is to attend the board meeting.

    As we’ve seen time and time again in national politics, there’s a big difference between campaigning and governing. The job of the board is to govern, and the only way to really make a judgment about how the incumbents are doing that is to see them in action.

    I really hope that the momentum from the recall/election carries in to greater involvement in the HOA from everyone.

    But the attendance at tonight’s meeting does not bode well.

    It’s too bad, because it was very well run, there were a lot of good ideas shared, and Hale Richardson, Jean and Theresa provided very constructive input, and were heeded.

    Regardless of what side of this whole election you’re on, and regardless of how it goes, unless you are involved in an ongoing basis, you will always feel that it isn’t “your” board.

    It’s OUR community, we need to all pitch in and be involved.

    Tom Byrnes, new Alternate Neighborhood Rep for Woodley’s Glen.

    • Tom, my friend if you had regularly attended HOA meetings you would see that Hale Richardson provides what you call “constructive input” on a regular basis, you said it like you were suprised……I can assure you it’s nothing new, not to mention she’s the most experienced member on the board.

      • I am not surprised that Hale Richardson provided constructive input. What you read as surprise was my seeing in how last nights meeting went disproof of the allegations made here that the SEH4 sideline and ignore her, as well as the Walters staff. Quite the opposite.

        Is there really any reason to be so snide and ad-hominem in every one of your posts?

        If you have such a strong set of feelings, why are you not running for the board?

      • Tom – where in Dub’s post did he make an ad homien attack?

      • I dunno Sue; how’s “Tom, my friend” for snide, given our prior exchanges?

        How about the addressed to me, rather than the issues I raised, which is the definition of “ad hominem”, which for those who can’t read Latin (I had 6 years of it) means “To the man”?

  • Come on Tom, you really think the current board is dumb enough to alienate the Developer and Walters when the election results are still looming. Don’t be ridiclous. It’s a pretty safe bet they will be on their best behavior for the next few weeks. Their shady but their not stupid. By the way this my first post so don’t lump me in with everyone else just because we all seem to have similar views.

  • Val, I don’t impugn people’s character based on facts not in evidence. That means, in addition to not crediting the rumor, innuendo, and character assassination of the current board; I also don’t lump you in with the others here who are engaging in it. I said, it’s clear from your post that you are an individual, and that you aren’t a shill.

    I merely corrected your assertions regarding what I said about the candidates, how and why I check up on the astroturfers, and defended myself against the allegation of being a bully.

    I still wish more people would actually attend the board meetings.

  • Had you been at the 1/4/10 meeting, you would have seen and entirely different attitude of this current board. Not once did Jeff Tuller or Mike Young refer to Hale unless it was to snipe or contradict her. They were called on it in the homeowner comments. Their behavior that night bordered on boorish. This is not an ad homien attack, but the truth. Ask ANYBODY who was there that night. They know they are in trouble and they are on there best behavior.

    I was unable to attend last night but my husband was there. I trust his judgement to tell me factually what happened. I find it very interesting that at the 1/4/10 meeting, when someone asked what they plan to do in the immediate future (ie, change landscape or management companies), Jeff denied he would take any action until the new election is completed. However, at last night’s meeting, Jeff was on the verge of asking for bids on landscaping companies and was basically stopped in his tracks by Hale and Jean who explained the proccess and time it would take. He backed up and then asked for benchmarks on the costs. That to me smacks of saying one thing and doing another.

    Hale has been there since the beginning and can recall dates, conversations, circumstances. She knows more about this development than anybody. She is definately an asset to the board.

    • Asking for bids is a normal way to make sure you are getting the best price from a contractor, and is proper due diligence and governance. I was there too, and what I saw was a board doing their job in properly benchmarking the actions of the prior board, and ensuring proper supervision of vendors. What I saw in the discussions with Hale and Jean was a new board president learning how things happen in this particular entity, and industry, while trying to apply years of experience in properly discharging his duties on the boards of commercial companies.

      It’s pretty clear that you, and others here, don’t really understand the proper role of a board, or the fiduciary responsibility to get multiple bids, and engage in constant oversight, when dealing with vendors.
      If you have ever been responsible for contracting in any governmental agency, or public company, you will know that single source, no bid, contracts are generally complete no-nos when you are managing money that isn’t yours.

      It was one thing when it was the developer covering the landscaping cost, as Hale pointed out has been the case for most of SEH’s history, then they can do as they please (although they may have issues with their shareholders), but it is absolutely appropriate for the new board, and the board that replaces them; in fact it is their DUTY, to ensure that we are getting the best value for money, or that, at the very least, we are within the bounds of normal for the situation we find ourselves in.

      You guys are all seeing the worst possible motivations in things that, in any properly functioning board, are the normal and correct way to run things.

    • Regarding the 1/4/10 meeting, as I’ve said elsewhere, I wasn’t aware of it, or I would have attended.

      It turns out that the way Walters sends out the notifications matches the standard MS Outlook SPAM filters. I’ve advised them that they should send meeting requests instead of an almost all caps text message, as that would be more likely to be seen, and can more easily be added to people’s calendars.

      That having been said: considering that the recall petition had been signed 2 days after the election results were published, I can understand why Jeff and the new board members may have thought that Walters and HomeFed were behind it, and would have been pretty angry about it.

      Also, from what’ I’ve heard, the discourse from the mob present was even more nasty than what’s posted here, so the whole situation wasn’t conducive to much productive getting done.

      The fact is, the board hadn’t done anything that merits a recall when the petition was signed and submitted (since they hadn’t done ANYTHING at all, except campaign and win), and IMO, still hasn’t.

      No argument that Hale, Jean, and Theresa all know their stuff. That doesn’t change the fact that they all have conflicts with what may be in the best interest of the SEH HOA, and their responsibilities to their employers; especially Hale, since Homefed is not selling new lots, and isn’t planning on doing so in the foreseeable future (from their most recent SEC filings).

      It may surprise you to know that, if Walters and/or Homefed were behind getting the recall petition signed, I wouldn’t blame them; in fact, I’d say that they were doing their job, for their EMPLOYERS, given the platform the SEH4 ran on, and for which the community voted.

      The people who failed in their responsibility to those they owe it to are the Neigborhood reps who signed it, and spent $8K that didn’t need to be spent, and pitched our association into an uproar, for no reason that rises to the level that justifies a recall: that they didn’t’ like the way the campaign was run, and that some of them didn’t understand the rules on how votes were counted and therefore failed to properly represent their neighborhoods.

      On the basis that: the recall petition was premature at best, and frankly obviously sour grapes by sore losers; the reasons offered for it are, even if true, not serious enough to warrant a recall; and that the recall passing sets a dangerous precedent that, without any actual malfeasance, and without any consultation of the neighborhoods or signatures from even 1% of homeowners (5% would make more sense), one or two neighborhood reps (or even those representing less than 50%, as happened here) can invalidate a duly conducted election before the new board even takes office: I am vehemently opposed to the recall, will vote NO, and urge anyone who believes in good governance, losers respecting elections, and financial prudence, to do the same.

  • Those are the types of things that we can expect from Jeff unless we get his “yes-men” off the board. That way he would actually have convince 4 other members that his method of thinking is the right one.

    BTW – Great post Sue!

  • This is all about the pine trees!

    Jeff and his cronies want to get rid of the pine trees!

    Stop them with this recall.

    They are the only trees that survive in this climate without water and constant sun. Otherwise the hillsides would be barren.

    Recall Jeff’s Gestapo, or the secret HOA meetings will continue.

    • Not once have I seen Jeff or anyone say that we should get rid of the pine trees. I have seen them mentions SOME pine trees that appear to have not been properly emplaced and are in danger of falling over.

      I do understand the issue with Pine trees in the interface to likely wildfire zones, as they are highly combustible, and their needles make excellent flying embers.

      There are plenty of native plants that survive well here, so saying pine trees are the “only” ones is clearly false.

      As far as “Gestapo”: the only Gestapo like tactics, and secret meetings, I have been aware of are on the pro-recall side. Most of you won’t even say your names in public, which is the ultimate in “secret” behavior.

      I guess this whole thing has clearly reached the level of absurdity, given the “Gestapo” comment, as Godwin’s law has once again been proven.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

      • >> As far as “Gestapo”: the only Gestapo like tactics, and secret meetings, I have been aware of are on the pro-recall side. <<

        You're conveniently forgetting the secret meeting the board had on December 22. Remember that one? The one that violated community bylaws?

        Also, you did not see or hear Jeff request to get rid of the trees because you have not attended the multiple HOA meetings where he made the requests.

      • You mean the meeting 11 days after the petition was filed but before the first actual board meeting?

        Where the candidates who had just been elected met to see what they could do about having the duly conducted election respected, before the first scheduled board meeting?

        Really, that’s Gestapo? Seems more like resistance to the Gestapo, who, of course, never held a “meeting” despite there being 10 signatures on the petition, to me.

        I guess if Jeff has a barbecue and Mike Y. and Tom C. are there he has to invite Hale and Jean too? The Brown act doesn’t apply here.

        I seriously doubt Jeff has gone to all this trouble just to get a couple of trees cut down. It would have been much cheaper, less stress on him, and likely more effective (since it would be difficult to point to the prior requests), to simply bankroll others under the table.

        Anyway, Godwin’s Law says that once we’ve degenerated to Nazi analogies, the discussion is, at least in terms of anyone making any real points, over.

      • Look, Tom, YOU said it’s only the pro-recallers who’ve had a secret meeting. So I simply reminded you about the board’s meeting on 12/22.. A meeting which, by the way, is just one example of why this board cannot be trusted.

        But nice of you to conveniently continue to make accusations you can’t back up with facts.

      • I guess I should have been more clear: Only the pro-recallers had a secret meeting about official business of their office: the actual recall petition.

        The SEH4 simply met to decide their personal strategy in response to the recall, after that recall, which was filed 2 days after the election results were public, had already been filed.

        Since they had yet to actually have a board meeting, and no resolutions were advanced or ratified in their gathering, I don’ t see where the problem lies in the Dec 22 meeting. It certainly wasn’t “Gestapo” like.

        On the other hand, the Neighborhood reps acted ex-officio, without so much as an informal poll (at least in my neighborhood’s case) of their neighborhood, in signing the recall petition.

        So who should we trust: people mostly appointed to their office, or at best elected by a tiny percentage of the voters who voted for the current board, who take official action in a small group without any public comment or input, and won’t even admit they had a “meeting”; or the duly elected board who have taken no official action outside of a duly convened board meeting?

        This is a power grab by the prior club, pure and simple. I feel sorry for Gary, because he actually seems to me to be a principled, nice, guy; who got sucked into this by an experienced political operator of the east coast school finding his hot-button and pushing it.

      • >> The SEH4 simply met to decide their personal strategy in response to the recall, after that recall, which was filed 2 days after the election results were public, had already been filed. <<

        Really? The election results were announced Dec. 8. According to the timeline outlined at the 1/4 meeting, the board scheduled their secret meeting on the evening of Dec. 21. The recall petition wasn't even submitted until Dec. 22.

      • Funny how the whole thread with the actual timeline, and the accusations made, is no longer here.

        My understanding is that the signatures were gathered on the 11th.

      • The thread, with all 137 comments, is there, three pages back. And there’s a post from Ron, dated 12/23, which says: “Third, the signatures were gathered this past weekend and were submitted to Walters Management to send to the Board yesterday (Tuesday) morning.”

  • Tom thanks for the common sense business 101 crash course, I’m hoping people are educated enough to realize this recall wasn’t about the new board seeking bids for services of the community. What about all the deception and the misrepresentation on all the facts the SEH4 had in it’s mailings for starters. And for the 100th time your “vehemently opposed to the recall” we get it, not sure why you still bring it up every time, like it’s a broken record, its going to happen so stop losing sleep over it.

    • Since the recall was filed 2 days after the election, what was it about then?

      It certainly wasn’t about a meeting that happened 11 days later, or a board meeting that happened the following month.

      Do you really think that the reasons advanced in the petition are of the severity that merit a recall and re-election?

      Seriously, I doubt that’s the real reason that Ron wanted a recall (he said as much in private correspondence with me), and the reason Gary Gidner gave me for his signing it: the negative campaign, is nowhere on the petition.

      In fact, that seems to be the reason you give for supporting it here.

      Don’t be so certain that YES will be the vote on the recall. Most people I’ve talked to, most of whom are too busy to attend meetings, are opposed. One thing the silent majority in this country deplores is the endless electoral high-jinks of the political class.

      • >> the reason Gary Gidner gave me for his signing it: the negative campaign, is nowhere on the petition <<

        Have you actually READ the petition? Here's point 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."

      • The negative campaign is very different from “I voted and want to change my vote.” You vote, it counts. Your side lost, and now you want a do-over.

        When you lose the recall, are you going to put us through this all over again?

      • BTW: If the recall proponents had got the signatures of the unnamed residents who wanted to change their votes as an exhibit to the petition, and they amounted to any number that might have changed the result of the election, I would actually think there might be some shred of merit in the petition, even though I believe in the sacrosanctness of ballots and elections as a matter of principle.

        However, these “some people” aren’t even named, counted, and there is no evidence of their existence other than the assertion by Ron in the petition.

        IOW: The assertions in the petition fail the “if true” test, never mind the “even if true” which is very much in doubt.

        What’s telling is that there is no assertion anywhere, even by the proponents of the recall, that accepting the votes not counted due to the non-appearance of the neighborhood reps, and/or allowing those who wanted to change their votes to do so, would have changed the outcome of the election.

        Despite your best efforts, it looks like, at worst, you will replace one or two of the current board, and probably not with anyone who was running in the prior election.

        In any case, Jeff Tuller is likely to remain on the board, and you’ve awakened a sleeping giant in me.

        I WILL continue to keep the lights on, and hold the HOA to account for our $, and make sure that our VENDORS (who need to stop treating us like chattel, as Jean does), recognize their place and improve their services to us, long after this mess is over.

    • As far as broken records, which is worse: My expressing how I’m going to vote, or your character assassination of Jeff and the incumbent board in almost every post?

      At least I’m not libeling people under cover of anonymity.

  • What about your character assassination of Jean – “who need to stop treating us like chattel, as Jean does”. That comment was completely uncalled for Tom. You also are guilty. Quite with your holier than thou attitude. It’s getting REALLY old.

    • Saying that Jean talks down to homeowners, which she does, isn’t character assassination.

      I, at least, feel that she treats us as if we were apartment dwellers, and she the apartment manager working for a landlord, than as the owners of the community, and she a vendor retained by our board.

      Accusing people of having hidden agendas, planning to give contracts to their neighbors, calling them “shady” and worse, IS character assassination.

      There’s a bid difference between complaining about someone’s behavior, and accusing them of being dishonest. I have done the former about Jean; you, and others on the pro-recall side, have done the latter about Jeff and the current board.

  • Now that the Board has approved the minutes from the January 4 meeting, they’ve been posted in the Library section of the San Elijo Hills community site. Here’s an interesting section for those of you who couldn’t make it:

    “Upon motion made by Jeff Tuller, seconded by Michael Young and unanimously carried, the Board supports for the recall election and encourages voters to vote yes for the recall and to vote for the homeowners running in the election.”

    Looks like our duly elected Board thinks the recall is in the best interests of the community.

    • Did they have any other choice???? Looks like Jeff is up to his tricks with his mailers. First the fire issue flyer and now the “Homeowner Assoc Landscaping Costs Reduced by $360,000K.” However he doesn’t say that he did not have anything to do with the reduction. THE PREVIOUS BOARD DID!!!! What a smuck.

      • Where does he mention the $360,000 reduction? I know at the board meeting on Feb. 4, it was announced that the O’Connell contract had been reduced by $30K/month, effective this past December.

        Since that’s the case, as you indicate, the reduction must have been negotiated by the previous board (you know, the one with the evil developer at the helm). Is he implying he had something to do with the reduction?

        In either case, this further calls into question the accuracy of Tuller’s campaign point in the first election flyer that “our landscaping costs have been increasing, resulting in our dues being raised.”

    • Just because Jeff makes the political calculation that going along with the recall is better than fighting it, doesn’t make the recall, or how it came about, right.

      You continue to confuse what is legal, or what you can do, with what is right, or what you should do.

      Put another way: If the board opposed the recall, what would your next move have been? Given the bylaws, there wasn’t much they could do about it, except spend even more of our money, and drag the process out even longer.

      As I said when I posted about the letter I received from Jeff advocating Yes: he doesn’t get to decide how I should vote, or what I consider the right thing, any more than you do.

      Yes on the recall validates the reasons given for the recall, which by any normal standard do not rise to the level of impeachability.

  • We received a new campaign flyer last week with that headline. It was dropped on our doorstep. He’s something else. I threw mine away, if I can find another, I’ll make sure I send it to you. I’m sure I can find you. 🙂

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