SOA 2012 Legal Fees in Perspective

Somersett

Submitted by Jim Haar  –  SOA Board Candidate

At the  “Meet the Candidate Night”, Board Candidate Dave Hughes stated that “we need not to be spending $40,000/year in legal fees on items being brought to the Board by a small group of people … a waste of money”.  I contend that this was an inappropriate and misinformed comment for the following reasons:

  • Every homeowner has the right to bring issues/complaints before the Board, have them placed on the Board Agenda and request a response.  If they feel that Board response is inadequate and that their homeowner rights have been violated, they have a further right (per Nevada Law) to file an Intervention Affidavit with the Ombudsman’s Office of the Nevada Real Estate Division for Common Interest Communities.  What may be considered frivolous to some (as Mr. Hughes would suggest) is serious business to others.

 

  • The $40,000 of legal fees that Mr. Hughes subscribed to this “Small Group” (interpret as Somersett United) was a mistatement of facts.  A request for all legal fees paid by the SOA to its  attorney (Maddox & Associates) resulted in the following tabulation through the first seven months of 2012.
  1. Summit Engineering & Moana Litigation               $ 8,792
  2. Homeowner Claims                                                     $ 11,191
  3. General Counsel                                                          $ 12,406
  4. Collections                                                                         $ 945
  5. Developer Board Control                                              $ 1320
  6. 2012 Election                                                                    $ 358
  7. SGCC Lease Agreement                                               $ 1,565
  8. TCTC Pool Solar Cover                                                  $ 303
  9. SDC Subsidy Agreement                                               $ 690

 

The above totals $37,570, which I assume is the $40,000 Mr. Hughes was referring to.  However, only Items 5 through 9, which total $4,176, can be subscribed to Board agenda issues brought forth  by this “Small Group”.   As one can readily see, Items 1, 2 (which represent individual homeowner claims unrelated to generic issues), 3 and 4 make up the vast majority of the SOA legal fees.

As a further point of information, legal fees paid by the SOA for the three-year period 2009 – 2011 totaled $163,313. This, before the existence of the “Small Group” Mr. Hughes alluded to.  All of the above figures  are documented on the SOA website.

As a SOA Board Candidate I fully support homeowners bringing  issues before the Board, either a complaint or otherwise.  The Board is not a dictatorship, to pick and choose what homeowner issues they wish to respond to, but rather a servant of the community.  Obviously, in responding to many of these issues the Board may want to seek legal counsel, a wise approach, which is just a normal part of SOA business.

SGCC Candidate Statement Omissions

Submitted by Ron Tracy, Concerned Homeowner

Candidates for the Somersett Board Who Are Equity Members of the Somersett Golf and Country Club do not disclose Equity Membership in Candidate Statement.  Nor do they include a statement that they if elected they will recue themselves from any activity from votes relating to the contracts between the SOA and the SGCC

 In the view of many homeowners and in opinion of this owner as well a vote for these individuals is the same as turning the keys the SOA’s bank accounts over to the 140 equity members of the Golf course who have a vested interest in protecting and growing the value of their private investment in the golf course at the expense of the great majority of the Somersett homeowners.

Contrary to comments made by equity members of the golf course, the members of Somersett United and the remainder of the community do not want to see the course go brown.  Our community needs to come together with a plan to save the course that all of us can support, the present situation where funds have been arbitrarily taken from SOA accounts to preserve the private interest of a small number of owners who are equity members of the golf course, without a community vote is unacceptable.

The following is a letter that was sent to the board, a similar letter was sent by two other owners.  As an inactive member of the Florida Bar, this writer was amazed at the response from Melissa Ramsey that the Associations Attorneys did not see a conflict here.  Consequently is up to you the voter to decide this issue.  The election of Equity Members of the Golf course to the SOA board will most likely result in litigation which will be expensive for all of us.

October 26, 2012
 
From:   Ronald Tracy
2289 Placerwood Trail
RENO, NV 89523
 
To:       Board of Directors
Somersett Owners Association
℅ Melissa Ramsey, Provisional Community Manager
7650 Town Square Way, Reno, NV 89523-4847
 
RMI Management Corporate Office  630 Trade Center Drive, Suite 100 Las Vegas,
NV 89119,
 
Attn.: Board of Directors
RMI Management 6170 Ridgeview Court, Suite C Reno, NV 89519

Re:   Failure of Board Candidates to list conflict of interest in candidate statement:

Following the concessions conceded on the video tape record of the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Candidate Night meeting on October 23, 2012, candidates that are equity members of the Somersett Golf Country Club (SGCC) have a “Conflict of Interest” as they benefit financially from contracts and/or leases that call for payments from the SOA to SGCC as equity members, they are part owners of the SGCC.

Under Nevada law this conflict should have been disclosed on the candidate statement that the SGCC equity member candidates submitted to the SOA. No disclosure was made.  Furthermore such candidates must state that if elected they will recuse themselves from voting on any and all contracts or leases between the SOA and the SGCC.  As an explanation of how they will comply with Nevada State Law NRS 116.3103 defining Fiduciary Duty.

Representing a group of concerned Somersett owners and in my capacity as a Somersett Homeowner we demand that all SGCC equity member candidates who did not disclose this conflict immediately be withdrawn as candidates from the ballot.

Should the election committee decide to extend the filing time for corrected candidate statements, the candidates that filed the incorrect statements should pay for the cost of doing a second mailing.  The correction will insure that we have a successful uncontested election.

Sincerely,

Ronald C. Tracy