Comments from a Concerned Citizen

Posted by a Concerned Citizen

A flyer was placed at our door yesterday.  Two couples contributed to the flyer, one couple from Somersett and the other from Sierra Canyon.  I appreciated that they took the time to compose and deliver these flyers, even though my opinions are in opposition to theirs.  It is good to see people taking an interest on such important issues.  I am pulling out “quotes” from their flyer for clarification/discussion purposes.

For the Somersett couple, they are:

1)  “. . . . two unnamed candidates” were referenced.  (Since you are supporting Kirby and Huff, the two candidates can only be two out of the following three:  Fradrowsky, Kanyr or Meyerson.)  You wrote:  “We have a concern with postcard flyers that we have received regarding some candidates that are running for the Board and we are worried that these individuals may not reflect the values that make our community such a wonderful place to live”.

  • This comment makes me think that you do not believe Somersett is worthy of people who have attained difficult and impressive accomplishments, such as CPA’s, Attorneys, Ph.D’s, and/or successful business careers.    Is this what you meant?

2)  “At our own expense, we decided that we wanted to distribute this flyer and encourage you to vote for candidates that reflect your values.”

  • Do you mind explaining your values as they pertain to the filling of two Board positions?  I don’t understand how such accomplished people would have values that would be undesirable.  Will you take the time to clarify?

3) You wrote “While having financial or legal experience are good qualifications for some positions in life, and casting negative judgments about other candidates may be an approach to get oneself elected, we believe that it’s equally important that the SOA Board members reflect the perspectives and values that our community holds as well, and that brings us all together.”

  • This one really confused me.  I tried, but could not come up with a situation where a financial and/or legal background would not be beneficial for BOD positions in an Owners’ Association.  These qualifications should enhance, not detract from their qualifications for a governing Board of Directors position in a Homeowners’ Association.  When I read your comment that financial experience may be good qualifications for some positions, a funny saying came to mind “Money is the answer, what was the question?”
  • “. . . and, casting negative judgments about other candidates may be an approach to get oneself elected. . . . .” Would you, please, provide negative comments that any of the candidates have made?  I haven’t heard one disparaging comment from any of the candidates.  The only negative comments I’ve heard have come from the President of the golf club in his email supporting your two candidate choices:  Huff and Kirby.

4)    The expression “bring us all together”.

  • Would you please clarify what this term means?  Could it mean providing amenities that the survey indicated the property owners wanted, for example, and indoor pool, expanded exercise equipment and facility, safety and security measures to protect the children of Somersett (and really for all residents of both Somersett and Sierra Canyon)?  Would those improvements bring us together as a community versus the large fissure caused by the illegal* payment of approximately $440,000 per year (Approximately $7 million over 10 years–with all the other caveats–) from all property owners without their knowledge and consent to a privately held golf club.  (*The NV Attorney General’s Office determined the lease agreement is illegal.)

Now, to the claims made by the Sierra Canyon Homeowners:

1)  “We moved here from D’Andrea, in Sparks, after the golf course closed.”  “For example, the home we sold at D’Andrea lost $50,000 in value, when the golf course closed.”

  • Did you sell at the bottom of the housing bubble in Reno (NV was deeper and longer than most of the rest of the United States)?
  •  Was it purchased as a short sale for about $.30-$.40 on the dollar for the purpose of “flipping”?
  • Was the asking price a reasonable asking price based on a bona-fide appraisal at that point in time, whether the golf course was there or not?
  • How often do homes in down markets, when bankers aren’t lending money, sell for the asking price?

2)  “Have you noticed all the new homes being built in Somersett?  The builders can barely keep up with the demand. . . . .”

  • I am concerned that we are not making comparisons at the same points in time.  If you sold your home “after the golf course closed”, that means more than 2 years ago.  All of Reno’s housing market was still totally depressed at that time;   virtually no one was building then.  Now, however, building is going on all over Reno.  Note:  two (2) separate, distinct points in time.

Based on the lack of information, a cause and effect relationship cannot be established that your $50K was lost due to the closing of the golf club.

19 thoughts on “Comments from a Concerned Citizen

  1. Do the Sierra Canyon couple whose names appear on the flyer as Sierra Canyon Homeowners actually live in Sierra Canyon? Last I was aware their house is a rental.

  2. I agree with the writer of this comment. I think that Dan Kanyr, Steve Myerson and Joe Fadrowsky are all excellently qualified to fill the position on the board. Mr. Kanyr and Mr. Fadrowsky have been involved in Somersett issues such as attendance on the finance committee and with their applicable backgrounds, they would be excellent additions to the board. I have not heard any candidate making inappropriate comments about any other candidate.
    In regards to D’Andrea, one example does not make a trend. I have several friends that have lived at D’Andrea before and after the demise of the golf course and they do not share your opinion at all. So, as the writer of this comment has explained, I personally know too little about your situation to verify your statement and I prefer to believe my friends. But, I also applaud your willingness to write your statement. Thank you.

    1. Unless the sale in D’Andrea happened in the last two months, that would be normal for the price. I process sales everyday for the Assessor’s office and I see the values of the property. Until the last two months there was still a downturn in sales from $30,000 to 70,000 per house. Even only recently in our own area did the prices start increasing.

      1. REALITY CHECK – Once again, a Somersett realtor had a home in escrow for $350k when the homeowner vote whether to support the golf course was taking place. The day after the homeowners decided to not spend the extra ~$350/year (or whatever the exact amount was) the buyer backed out of the sale. Three months later the same house sold for $300k (a loss of $50,000!!!!). If that $50k loss of homeowner equity can’t be directly attributable to the decision by the homeowners to not support the golf course at the center of their community I don’t know what is. It will take that homeowner 143 years of saving $350/year to recoup that $50k. I hope he/she have good health care…

  3. It is strange to hear a Sierra Canyon owner/renter make comparison with D’Andrea.
    Which part of Sierra Canyon has direct view of the golf fairways? None.
    Sierra Canyon by Del Webb is a senior active-living community. Besides the general market sentiment, home prices in SC are on the up-swing because it has a good brand name, it appeals to seniors, is self-sufficient in amenities, and has really nice people/homeowners. These factors are here to stay.
    So, how does Somersett golf club going the way of D’Andrea affect home values in Sierra Canyon? Northgate going brown did not impact even a hair.

  4. Flyers and postcards aside, let’s cut through all the B.S. and address what these endorsements for Kirby and Huff for the BOD, and Yes on the CC&R Amendments are all about. The campaign for these candidates and approval of the CC&R Amendments are primarily a campaign on the part of the Country Club. Why you ask?

    1. One of the CC&R proposed amendments gives the BOD the authority to inter into lease agreements without limit and without homeowner approval as long as they do not increase annual assessments over 15% or special assessments over 25%. This is within the boundaries of what the BOD previously put forth for a re-negotiated Country Club Lease Agreement. That is, an 8.5 year lease at $15/mo per homeowner. In this event, no homeowner vote would be required under the proposed amendment.

    2. Giving the BOD this authority is only half the battle, now they need to assure that the BOD members would authorize such an agreement. Hence the campaign to elect Huff and Kirby, who they know will most likely do their bidding along with the other two Country Club members on the Board. Otherwise why the endorsement? Certainly not because Kirby and Huff are more qualified. This B.S. about diversity on the BOD is nothing more than a smokescreen.

    3. What this is really all about is maintaining SOA subsidy of the Country Club, so the equity members can protect their investment and continue the lifestyle they have become accustomed to. It is not about keeping the Country Club “Green” as there other options here. It is about keeping the cost to the Country Club equity members down. Are you aware that their monthly dues were decreased after initiation of the current lease agreement?

    Pardon me for being cynical, but I believe actions by the Country Club and the current and past BOD’s justify my cynicism.

    1. We need to look forward, not backward. To compare the current BOD to past BODs is comparing apples to oranges. This is the first BOD of all homeowners, not a developer.

      The current BOD has stated repeatedly that any agreement with the golf course will be voted on by the homeowners laying out the schedule of first getting a letter of intent, then having meetings, then getting a draft contract, then have more meetings to insure that there were no significant changes from the letter of intent, and then having a vote by the homeowners. How much more openness do you want?

      Facts about changing the CC&R’s
      (1) eliminates the developer from any aspect of the HOA purchasing land or asset. (makes sense to get rid of Developer in our decisions)
      (2) Limits the BOD’s authority to purchase or annex land to $500K or less without Homeowner vote. (limits BOD’s powers vs. current CC&Rs)
      (4) Allow the BOD to set up Capital Accounts. (the survey responses all talked about various additions to current activities and facilities). Capital Accounts are a way to accumulate funds (without government taxation) to pay for facilities, (Would you prefer Special Assessments?)

      The current BOD has among other things:
      (1) settled the Moana issue collecting $375,000 for the HOA
      (2) won a lawsuit brought by homeowners and collected $20,000 to offset our legal costs,
      (3) set up committees of homeowners to work on issues to improve our community,(fostering openness, involvement, and communication)
      (4) sold foreclosed lots to add to cash but also insured that those lots were paying monthly dues.
      (5) have spent hours upon hours trying to work with the developer and
      the golf course to come to some sort of agreement to present to the Homeowners for a vote.

      If you are still cynical of the current BOD based upon everything they have done, it would be interesting to know what it would take for you to have confidence in your neighbors.

      Mike Slattery

      1. Mike Slattery has repeated almost verbatim the words of the SOA president and appealed for trust.
        I say: TRUST but VERIFY.
        What the president did not clarify are:
        (a) rationale for the $500k limit on property leases etc when past experience indicated that $250K is more than sufficient to run the board without homeowners’ vote.
        (b) that the CC&R amendment would reduce homeowners’ majority vote from 50% +1 of TOTAL 2478 homeowners to a quorum as defined in NRS 116.3109, where a quorum would be 20% of 2478 or 496 homeowners. This translates to 248 majority votes to carry any motion.
        Why is there a need to reduce majority vote to 248, especially when far-reaching issues such as SGCC Lease agreement, assessment increases etc. are voted on?
        How would the Board safeguard homeowners’ interests against Special Interest Groups?
        (c) in past meetings, the President had indicated interest in exchanging SOA lease payments to SGCC for the real property of the golf club as well as access to SGCC amenities. Is the Board still pursuing this in the new agreement?
        (d) under current lease agreement SOA pays $436k to SGCC, a figure just under $500k. Is the $500k limit plus escalation provisions related to future lease agreements?

        Clarity regarding the convergence of information relative to SGCC will reduce the unease regarding the proposed CC&R changes.

        I agree the Board has worked hard on a number of fronts and should be commended. But…. CC&R amendments deserve a lot of scrutiny and thought.

    2. You couldn’t be more off base if you tried. Stay tuned and you will see what is really coming out of the BOD and the SOA and you’ll eat your words. It’s just amazing to me how you people like you can continually come up with these bizarre conspiracy theories. If you’re so unhappy why don’t you just move out. I heard it’s a good time to sell.

      BTW, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but you moved into a golf course community….

      Dues decrease? Really? The dues decrease (which was modest) had NOTHING to do with the lease agreement.

      1. Barry,
        Why are you always telling folks to move out of Somersett?

        Lets be clear what constitutes a golf course community.
        A true golf course community is one where:
        (1) home purchases include full golf club initiation fees and obligates owners to maintain monthly dues of the whole golfing community, including the golf course
        (2) the golf course community infrastructure is provided from Day One, which includes permanent buildings for a golfing country club complex, over and above the social club house, swimming complexes and various other amenities such as tennis and squash courts, restaurants, cycle and walking trails etc.
        (3) due to its inclusive nature, it is a gated community and visitors require visit passes. In turn, homeowners can move around within the gated community in road-certified golf carts.
        (4) prospective purchasers know what they buy into or not at all.
        (There’s no need to tell folks to move out.)

        Now, lets look at Somersett.
        (1) Its a hodge-podge of properties built by different builders. (some providing their own gated developments) There is no single identity of a golfing community. Its more a township.
        ( 2) The Golf Club does not have a permanent building with country club facilities. In fact, the golf Club operates from trailers and the parking lot is not even paved (dusty environment)
        (3) Golf membership is never a consideration (I mean monetary consideration) for prospective home buyers.

        So, why don’t you move out? There are seriously great golfing communities in the nation. For proximity, you may want to start by looking at Montreau Country Club and Genoa Lakes Country Club.

        Oh, don’t ask me to move out from Somersett. I plan to enjoy both my homes, here and in Texas, where I enjoy true country club facilities in a gated golf community, with 2 club houses and three swimming pools, restaurants etc.

        1. Obviously you are not well informed. A golf course community does NOT require “home purchases include full golf club initiation fees and obligates owners to maintain monthly dues of the whole golfing community, including the golf course” and does NOT have “infrastructure provided from Day One, which includes permanent buildings for a golfing country club complex, over and above the social club house, swimming complexes and various other amenities such as tennis and squash courts, restaurants, cycle and walking trails etc.”

          I belonged to Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage. The gated community homes did not come with a golf membership, or a tennis membership or a social membership. There are three world class 18 hole golf courses inside the gates of the community a world class tennis facility and other great community amenities but the only way to get access to them is join Mission Hills as either a golf, tennis or social member.

          You happen to be in a unique golf course community in Texas where those things might be all tied together.

          And since you think Somersett is a “hodge-podge of properties built by different builders. (some providing their own gated developments) There is no single identity of a golfing community. Its more a township.” apparently you don’t seem to care for our hodge podge of properties, so stay in Texas please.

          BTW, Mission Hills is also (in you words) a Hodge Podge of properties as it has been developed the same exact way. I wonder of the Kraft Nabisco corporation (sponsor of the Ladies LPGA equivalent to the Masters) looks at Mission Hills as a Hodge Podge of properties or the same way you look down on Somersett.

  5. I agree with your comments. I too received the flyer promoting the current board members. I have been watching this lease issue closely and as a lawyer practicing in the ethics and compliance field, I am appalled at the lack of transparency, conflicts of interest and self dealing. I think Dan and Joe exceed the qualifications necessary to approach these issues in a balanced, transparent and financially sound manner. No one want to see the golf course go “brown” (and I front a green), but whatever solutions are proposed cannot place an unreasonable and unwarranted burden on homeowners who live on fixed incomes and cannot tolerate runaway assessments and dues increases. I golf and would like to use the course, but I am offended by the price ($55) and limitation (2 times per year with no carryover) when outsiders are being offered a rate of $45 with, to my knowledge, no restrictions on the number of times they play. The advocates who disparage homeowners who merely desire transparency, lack of conflict of interest and lack of self dealing are not doing their cause any good. I intend to vote for Dan and Joe and against the CC&R Amendments. CC&R’s are very important documents. Every homeowner should pay very close attention to any amendments to CC&R’s-they can come back to bite you at any time.

    In my humble opinion as a 25 year practicing lawyer, every real estate professional showing or selling property in Somersett should be disclosing to potential purchasers the current state of the issues surrounding the Lease Agreement and the involvement of the Attorney General’s office. Any failure to disclose these issues to potential homeowners may trigger a potential legal cause of action against the real estate professional who is in a unique position to know if these issues.

    1. Offended by a $55 price? Really? it doesn’t take much to offend you. And NO, outsiders are not being offered a rate of $45 with no restrictions on the number of times they can play. There was an offer through living social for $45 that ANYONE could have purchased (even an offended lawyer like yourself), but other than that the general public cannot just call up and book tee times for $45.

      Dan and probably Joe are part of a small group of disgruntled Somersett homeowners who have their own self centered agenda to do whatever it takes to hurt the SGCC and possibly even take it brown. I wonder what your green would look like if they got their way.

      And BTW, no one cares about your humble opinion regarding disclosures as it is so off base it’s ridiculous. You’re talking about a handful of residents in a community of ~2300 homes who have nothing better to do than to spend countless hours bitching and moaning about everything in the community, whether it be the SGCC, a new park, the SOA, rocks in front of their yard, or $55 greens fees at one of the premier golf courses in the Reno area. The lease agreement represents a whole $15/homeowner towards the addition of new amenities for the community. Legal action? Really? Only from an attorney would a statement like that come…

      1. So, does the Living Social special require a commitment to subsidize the golf course, in perpetuity, for all who sign up? How often are they run? Once a month? Once a quarter? Any way you cut it, it seems like a better deal to complete strangers than residents who have already invested, and continue to invest, in the SCCC, all without a transparent process or a say in the decision.

        You may disagree with the legal aspects of the overall dispute, but every real estate agent who sells in Somersett and reads this post is now on notice. A Nevada state AG potential complaint is not something that can casually be ignored by anyone who holds a license and who might be a potential defendant. Think how you would feel if you were a naïve prospective buyer and had no idea that their was any kind of issue with the beautiful green golf course that threads through the community until after you closed.

        1. For an attorney you don’t seem to be very well informed regarding the contract between the SOA and SGCC. Where does it say that there is a “commitment to subsidize the golf course, in perpetuity, for all who sign up”? The contract is a three year contract that can (not must) be renewed after three years. And again, it’s NOT a subsidy – Never was and never will be.

          And the only disputes are between a few disgruntled homeowners and the SGCC. You make it sound like there is this huge uprising against the SOA, which is nothing further from the truth.

          With the latest announcement from the SOA all this will soon go away with a new SOA/SGCC agreement that replaces the old one and will be voted on by the homeowners and approved because the majority of Somersett homeowners are not conspiracy theorists, anti SGCC activists and love their community and ALL the amenities it offers

  6. Just came from the Somersett HOA board meeting and have several observations to share:

    Roughly 95% of the “Concerned Citizens” in attendance were over the age of 60. And those “seasoned” citizens shared life and professional experiences which elevated the discussion.

    For one and one half hours Somersett citizens engaged in a civil pro/con review of the items up for consideration.

    Seemed to be a group of problem solvers with no bomb throwers.

    Well Done!

  7. Ennis took my thoughts out of my mind. We are be scammed, Vote NO on the CC&Rs and vote for Dan and Joe.

    1. Scammed? Really?
      Yeh, that’s right the elected board of Directors of this community are scamming the homeowners…

      Are you serious?

  8. I was at the Tuesday meeting.

    I trust in what I read, and how that may be interpreted. Lawyers are excellent for finding loopholes. If we are paying our lawyer a $1000 + to review each CCR, and due to this expense, we can’t afford to send an envelop to return our vote, then the board should do as Chuck Walker suggested.

    Recall the current ballots. Have a committee of owners who can draft understandable rules
    (No gee we missed it, trust us comments). Have town halls to discuss and then vote on changing all the CCR s that are ambiguous, in clarity and authority. What’s the rush?

    Why are many suspicious? Under the quorum rules a minority could vote in expenditures that all would make, which could be used to further minority community interests. For instance a new SGCC agreement could be voted in by the 250 members and 300 builder /realtor/developers – the quorum is reached with 550 votes – over the 496!

    This may happen under the new CCR s and the current ones. One reason for a change to clarify the rules for important fiscal votes.

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