March 8, 2019| Chris Bachman
As you may hae heard, the voting came in showing a record turnout. Congrats to all who voted, thank you.
The strong and passionate voice of those voting against the proposed CC&Rs was an interesting balance to the number of non-voters, 20%, many of whom indicated they just didn’t know what to believe. Read Survey Summary
The SSL survey, independent of the HOA, which was run directly after the voting ended resulted in a flood of owner comments, the majority of those comments indicating a growing concern with a specific handful of issues as well as a feeling that they lack adequate representation at the board level.
So now that the proposed CC&Rs were voted down…what happens next? Here is what we at SSL think should happen next and we hope the BoT agrees.
Step 1 – Conduct a more detailed survey
At the February 11th BoT meeting it was proposed by many that a survey be taken to discover how people felt about the CC&Rs and why they voted the way they did, this despite the fact a survey had already been taken.
Step 2 – Involve Owners from outside the BoT circle to participate on the committees.
It was also brought up at the meeting that the BoT needed to include more owners in the committees, not just a few handpicked by the board. It was noted that some “committees” only had one person on them. Paul Reddy, President of the HOA, opened the floor to volunteers to be on a number of committees and some new faces now are part of several committees. The CC&R rewrite committee was not included in the volunteering process with Paul opting to “pause” that process.
Step 3 – Form a NEW CC&Rs Rewrite committee with more non-BoT affiliated owners.
The CC&R Rewrite committee until now typically consisted of just one or two people. The same people who served as the Underdrain committee. Several people at the February meeting pointed out that not only did that number barely constitute a “committee” at all but that the fact that these people were so enmeshed in the HOA that maintaining an unbiased perspective would be difficult at best. It was strongly and repeatedly suggested that the BoT make sure that going forward the CC&Rs rewrite committee embrace a wider spectrum of the owners at large.
*Note: SSL hopes and expects that at the March 11 BoT meeting that the board will establish a non-partisan Survey committee, along with a new non-partisan CC&R rewrite committee, embracing a range of owners from both sides of the fence.
As we close in on the final days of voting on the proposed CC&Rs rewrite, there are a lot of you who are undecided. About 50% of owners still need to vote. So I thought that sharing my personal opinion on why I voted the way I did might give those of you interested another perspective.
I have been to just about every meeting there has been on this topic, sat in on Board of Trustee (BoT) meetings, spoken with dozens of owners, had email comments from others…and, I have read through the various versions of the rewrite as well as any of us can. I therefore offer the following personal evaluation of how I see things...
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This one is a solid win for everyone. Gone is the old process where the Nominating Committee selects the people it wants to support, and those people get pushed to the top of the list of candidates. That resulted in a perpetuation of a certain ideology within the BoT. The new definition of the Nominating Committee is one where the role is to encourage and support anyone and everyone who wishes to submit their name.
Now, the Bad. Here is the long and the short of it. Responsibility is different than Ownership.
Responsibility: The HOA has been maintaining the underdrain for several years now, which seems to be the accepted norm. This carries with it an assumption of at least some level of responsibility. It seems the dust has settled on this part of the issue and the prevailing feeling is that “fine, go ahead and maintain them”. Note that even just maintaining them is at odds with virtually every outside source from County to non-involved attorneys.
Ownership: Let me ask you this: If you were buying a home wouldn’t you insist on knowing the condition of the home first? How about how much the taxes and insurance were going to be? What about the mortgage? You would want to know all of those things before agreeing to take ownership, wouldn’t you?
Well, we have a similar situation with the underdrains. You are being asked to take ownership by way of including them in the CC&Rs, yet you aren’t being given any details about costs. And, the cost is NOT $11/lot/year. That is just what the HOA has been spending recently on some minor annual maintenance.
I posed a list of Unanswered Underdrain Questions to the HOA and the Underdrain Committee back on January 6th expecting they would provide answers in a timely fashion. They have, however, declined to answer these questions. The best I can get from them is that these questions can only be answered once we take ownership. Huh? Why? And, no, the information on the official SSSFHOA website does not answer these questions.
Home Rentals Lease Term – 12 months minimum
Whoa! Hold the presses…apparently, this requirement does not exist!
At this week’s BoT meeting, neighbor Richard Callahan brought to the board’s attention that there is no minimum 12-month lease requirement in the CC&Rs. In fact, the only recording pertaining to rentals clearly indicates that the minimum lease term is one (1) month. This was confirmed at the Wed. Q&A session, where the actual document was produced and Paul Reddy conceded that there was no 12-month lease requirement they could produce to substantiate their repeated claims of same. The fact is that we have this right already and the proposed CC&Rs take it away!
That this restriction has been touted as the existing standard when Richard and Hunt both claim to have shared this fact with Brian Zilvitis (i.e., the BoT) back in the fall of 2018, makes it an UNQUESTIONABLE DEAL BREAKER.
While it would be a unique situation requiring the HOA to be dissolved, we have the right to do so. This clause would try to take that right away. Here is the problem…It isn’t legal.
Utah Community Association Act Section 57-8a-104(1)(a)(i)(A) of the Utah Code expressly states: “To amend the governing documents, the governing documents may not require . . . the vote or approval of lot owners with more than 67% of the voting interests.”
We are currently at 51% vote required to pass something like this and the way voting goes around here, that seems like more than reasonable. Trying to change this to 100% is simply insulting, not to mention unenforceable.
Lastly, and sadly, is an issue which came up a week ago when I learned that the board had availed itself of voting records and then used those records to send a targeted message to those who hadn’t voted.
Prior to the voting there was concern amongst residents that the voting for a matter as important as this be handled in a fair and impartial manner; i.e., that neither the board nor anyone in the association should have access to voting records or be allowed to use those records to sway the vote. In order to facilitate this, the board retained the John Richards Law Office to oversee the voting. We even had John Richards himself assuring owners that the board has not had access to the voting records.
So, what happens? The board accesses the records and then sends out a targeted email to non-voters attempting to sway them to vote in favor of the proposed CC&Rs. Ethics, anybody?
What they should have done was send a blanket (blind) email to ALL owners encouraging them to review the proposed docs and to cast their vote either way. HUGE thumbs down.
Silver Springs Owner & Editor of Silver Springs Life
I am a Silver Springs resident (1554 Meadows Connection) and frequent user of our awesome transit system. Unfortunately due to the recent changes to the transit lines, the HUNDREDS of residential units in Silver Springs are now stranded, with little to no options on the public transit line. We as a neighborhood need to raise our voices to let the Transit Center know these changes hurt our ability to use public transit....
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