BOD Member Conflict of Interest??

An issue regarding a potential “conflict of interest” by a Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board Member raised its head when the Sierra Canyon Association (SCA) President, Loren Farell, opined that SOA Board Member Jason Roland should resign or take a leave of absense from Board duties until the SOA’s lawsuit against the Somersertt Development Company (SDC) is settled. This based upon Mr. Rolands wife being enployed by SDC. In this regard, Mr. Farell submitted a letter to the SOA Board (i.e., on behalf of the SCA Board) formalizing their request for Mr. Roland to take leave of absense. A copy of Mr. Farell’s letter may be accessed via the following link:   SC President Statement

Mr. Farrell’s letter to the SOA Board obviously required a response, subsequently provided via a “To Whom it May Concern” memo from the SOA Attorney, which basically stated that there is no valid reason for Mr. Roland to take a leave of absence. A copy of the SOA Attorney memo may be accessed via the following link:  To Whom it May Concern

Editorial Note:

As stated in a previous Blog Article, SU concurs that the request by SCA Board members for Mr. Roland to take a leave of absence is unwarranted. All Somersett Owners in good standing have a right to serve on the SOA Board when duly elected. If conflicts of interest arise it is then the responsibility of the Board Member to recuse himself/herself from all activities pertaining to the source of the conflict, as Mr. Roland has appropriately done. Given the SDC Rockery Wall litigation will most likely take years to resolve, a leave of absence would result in a SOA Board with only four members for an extended period of time (not good for getting majority votes) and deprive the SOA community of a BOD Member they elected to serve. Unacceptable!

Nevada Law under NRS 116.31084 addresses abstention from voting by HOA Board Members, which is quoted below for reference:

NRS 116.31084  Voting by member of executive board; disclosures; abstention from voting on certain matters.
1.  A member of an executive board who stands to gain any personal profit or compensation of any kind from a matter before the executive board shall:
(a) Disclose the matter to the executive board; and
(b) Abstain from voting on any such matter.
2.  A member of an executive board who has a member of his or her household or any person related to the member by blood, adoption or marriage within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity who stands to gain any personal profit or compensation of any kind from a matter before the executive board shall disclose the matter to the executive board before voting on any such matter.

Clearly, Mr. Roland has not violated the above with his recusals and no evidence to the contrary, even though his obtaining any personal profit from the lawsuit settlement is highly questionable. The SCA Board should have recognized such. So why their request? Perhaps just a frivolous offshoot from the ongoing SCA disatisfaction with the SOA on the whole Rockery Wall issue!

SNPPA Wine & Roses Gala

The following memo by Joe Morabito posted in support of the Sierra Nevada Performing Arts Association (SNPAA).

Hello: I am pleased to invite you to our Sierra Nevada Performing Arts Association Wine and Roses Gala on April 27 at the Atlantis Casino Resort. (Details below). This year we are doing a great dinner and dancing to toe tapping music favorites, which should be fun. Tax deductible monies we raise, as always, are used to fund scholarships for talented students graduating from our local high schools pursuing higher education in the Performing Arts. Since our founding, 24 Scholarships have been given out to date. We also support Performing Arts Schools in Northern Nevada.

You can buy tickets one of three ways by going on to snpaa.org and ordering the tickets you need. Or, by becoming a Sponsor, letter attached (2019 SNPAA Sponsorship Letter). Many Sponsorship Levels come with Reserved Seat Tickets. You can also use the same letter to buy tickets by check in the mail. If you have already purchased tickets, or made a donation, thank you. We will have many auction items and Movie, Music and Political Memorabilia that go up in value each year available for purchase. These collectible items come beautifully framed and are authenticated by certificate. And as always, we will implement our 50/50 Raffle. Feel free to invite family and friends to our Gala. Hope you can make it and or if not, a donation is always appreciated.

P.S. Our SNPAA Washoe County High School Performing Arts Competition is scheduled for Saturday, May 18 at Damonte Ranch High School. Tickets, available on snpaa.org are $10 for adults for the whole day, students and children under 18 are free. Our summer Wine Sharing Underwriting Party is scheduled for Saturday, August 24th ; mark your calendar.

Joseph Morabito
President Sierra Nevada Performing Arts Association
+1.949.500.0753 Cell
jmorabito@paragongri.com

 

 

 

 

 

February 27th BOD Meeting Update

The previously published Agenda for the February 27th SOA BOD meeting has been updated to include a few more items. The BOD Meeting Packet supporting the meeting is also now available on the SOA website at http://www.somersett.net via the SOA/Committees & Meetings tab. The revised Meeting Agenda may be accessed by clicking on the following link:

February 27th BOD Meeting Agenda – Revised

New items include the following (see previous post of February 18th for original item discussions):

Old Business:

  • 6.a  Committee Charters, Proposed Change(s) – At the January Board Meeting, the Board approved changes to all SOA Committees. However, it appears that some minor revisions to the approved AGC Charter have been proposed. The previously approved Charter called for the reduction of AGC members from seven to five (i.e., two Board Members, one Civil Engineer, one Landscape Designer & one Architect). Eliminated were the Construction Manager and Homeowner positions. Board members were identified as a “Primary” and an “Alternate”, one of which must be present for the AGC to hold a meeting. The revised version does not change the reduction in membership, but adds the clarification that Board members shall only vote in the case of a tie vote. (Note: no reference as to how this applies to the Primary and/or Alternate Board members if one or both are in attendance).
  • 6.d  Back Nine Speed Calming Devises – At the January BOD Meeting, the Board approved a motion from some Back Nine Trail owners for the installation of “Speed Calming Devices”. This based on the observation of speeding vehicles, which they believe to be a danger to pedestrians and children at play. Owners have volunteered to pay for installation themselves, but future maintenance would be paid for by the SOA. However, the Board subsequently met with some Back Nine Owners who are opposed to the idea, citing more community involvement should have been undertaken. Perhaps the Board is reconsidering its previous approval.
  • 6.e  8643 Gypsy Hill Common Area Planting Request/AGC Recommendation – At the January Board Meeting, the Board took under consideration a request by a Somersett Homeowner to plant eleven trees on SOA Common Area property adjacent to their property. Homeowner would pay for the trees , installation costs and irrigation cost via extension of drip lines from their property. The Board subsequently referred the request to the AGC for review and recommendation. The AGC has recommended turning down the request due to easement requirements and liability concerns.

New Business:

  • 7.a  Discussion of AGC Fee Reduction – The BOD Meeting Packet did not contain any discussion information regarding which, and how much, fee reductions are under consideration

Homeowner Comment Time

The following submitted by Joe Bower, SC Homeowner and SOA Member

At the February 13th SC board meeting, the board president announced, at the start of the meeting that the Homeowner Forum at the beginning of the meeting is limited to 30 minutes “per NRS.”

That was a false statement as there is nothing in NRS that says anything about a time limit of any length. Board officers need to know and speak facts and not opinions, nor make up stuff; and they should cite section numbers, article numbers, or even page numbers for the documents they are referencing so owners may read for themselves exactly what the document says.

Boards can set reasonable speaking time limits for owners and by practice that has been three minutes. There is no reason that number can’t be raised or lowered depending on how many owners wish to speak, unless the number of allowed minutes is written in a governing document, which it should be. However, whatever the number is declared to be for a given meeting then each owner wanting to speak is entitled to that much time no matter how long it takes for all them to have their say.

Perhaps the 30 minute limit was announced because there were a lot of supporters present who wanted to say something on a controversial issue and the Board wanted to limit total owner discussion time, thereby cutting off unsaid comments. That would be unacceptable.

Joe Bower – SC Owner & Member SOA

SCA Poll Results Post Formatting

To all our followers whom receive SU posts via email, our apologies for the emails faulting formatting of results.  Our website formatting was proper, but for some reason the email formatting turned out different.  Please visit the website directly for a better view of results  –  Thanks for your understanding  –  SU

SCA Poll Results

The “Future of the SCA Poll” (see previous post of February 11th) is now closed. A total of 204 votes were cast with the following results:

Note: Be advised that this was an unofficial poll undertaken by this website to get a feel on where Somersett owners stood with regard to the controversy over organization of the adult Sierra Canyon Association (SCA) community, both within and without Sierra Canyon. Whereas, the poll has some built in protections over duplicate voting, it is not foolproof. Obviously, the poll results reflect only a small percentage of the Sommersett owner population. It is expected that the SCA Board will conduct a more comprehensive survey of all Sierra Canyon owners before embarking in any direction.

Sierra Canyon Owner Results                                                                # Votes      Percent

Secede from The SOA & form an independent association                72                 50
Maintain current relationship with SOA as a sub-association           42                 30
Dissolve the SCA & merge into the SOA                                                28                 20

Balance of SOA Owner Results                                                              # Votes        Percent

Secede from The SOA & form an independent association               22                35
Maintain current relationship with SOA as a sub-association          28                45
Dissolve the SCA & merge into the SOA                                                12                20

So where does the SCA go from here? Hopefully cooler heads will prevail with the SOA and SCA resolving their differences and maintaining the master/sub-association relationship, as the other two options are fraught with complexities and potential high legal fees.

COULD BULLYING BE A CAUSE OF RESIGNATION???

The following observation submitted by Joe Bower, Sierra Canyon Homeowner

Over the last few years three board members have suddenly left the SC Board shortly after being elected/appointed to it.

The first stood up from the board table during an open session meeting and in front of owners in attendance verbally announced their resignation to the the other board members and subsequently moved out of the community. The second announced their departure while attending a closed session of the board, however still lives in the community. The third resigned and moved out.

Strange goings on!

SU Note: Emotions appear to be at a high level regarding some Sierra Canyon Association issues.  Whereas it is SU’s policy to publish all comments pro and con, civil dialog is always encouraged in replies to postings or comments by others.

 

Aesthetic Guidelines Committee Charter

Ms. Slattery’s comment offered up some good reasons for not eliminating the SOA Homeowner position on the Aesthetic Guidelines Committee (AGC). In addition to the elimination of the Homeowner membership, the “Construction Manager” professional position is also being eliminated, perhaps because the SOA Board feels that home construction within Somersett is coming to an end and therefore, this position is no longer necessary. Of the two Board Member positions, one Primary and one Alternate, only the Primary Board Member has a vote. This along with the three professional positions being retained (i.e., Civil Engineer, Architect and Landscape Designer} provides for four votes on any issue. The Alternate Board Member only has a vote in the case of a tie or in the absence of the Primary Board Member.

Why the change? Was this just a decision of the SOA Board or were the other members of the AGC consulted?

Rather than eliminating the Homeowner membership and decreasing the AGC from seven to five members, why not increase homeowner representation? Given that the Civil Engineering position is currently held by Seth Padovan, who is beholden to the SOA Board for income, can he really cast a vote independent of a Board position? Also, what makes one believe that the “professionals” on the AGC (non-Somersett residents) will look beyond the PUD (last recorded back in March 2009) and the current Somersett Aesthetic Guidelines in their enforcement thereof, rather than addressing current homeowner and building realities and approving variances when warranted? Could not homeowners provide a more balanced perspective here?

All points to ponder, homeowners out there who may have strong positions on the makeup of the AGC are encouraged to attend the February 27th BOD Meeting and express them. Being an Agenda item, this may be accomplished at the beginning of the meeting before the discussions and/or approvals by the Board.

February 27th SOA Board Meeting

The Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) open meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 at 5:30 PM at The Club at Town Center (TCTC) Sports Court. The Meeting Agenda may be accessed by clicking on the following link:

February 27th BOD Meeting Agenda

Note that Agenda items are sparse with no New Business items to be discussed. However, based on past practice, an updated agenda may be in the offing between now and the Boaed Meeting. Also, the BOD Meeting Packet, which contains details associated with Agenda items was not available at the time of this posting. This posting will be updated if a new Agenda is released and/or the BOD Meeting packet is made available.

Regarding the Old Business items on the Agenda:

  • 6.a  Legal Update – It is not anticipated that any update on the Rockery Wall Lawsuit will be discussed, as no new Court Dockett entries have been posted since the previous update.
  • 6.b  Committee Charters, Proposed Change(s) – The Board approved changes to all SOA Committee Charters (Aesthetic Guidelines, Community Standards, Finance & Budget, Facilities & Communication) at the January BOD Meeting. However, the revised Charters have not yet appeared on the SOA Website. Perhaps some reconsiderations here? Especially with regard with the Aesthetic Guidelines Committee wherein the membership was reduced from seven members (two Board Members, one Civil Engineer, one Landscape Designer, one Architect, one Construction Manager & one SOA Unit Owner) to five members (two Board Members, one Civil Engineer, one Landscape Designer & one Architect). The elimination of a SOA homeowner on the Committee was not without controversy.
  • 6.c  Rockery Wall Update – Speaks for itself, probably with regard to the Gypsy Hill work progress and the Roundabout 2 wall monitoring.

At the urging of the Sierra Canyon Board, the December and January SOA Board Meetings were well attended by Sierra Canyon owners intent on expressing their displeasure with some of the SOA’s policies and practices, good for them as this is what Board meetings should encompass. However, we all know that disenters are more vocal than those who have no axe to grind. Perhaps those who support SOA policies and decisions should also speak up, as any homeowner has the right to speak their piece (three minute limit) on any subject following conclusion of agenda items.

Response To SC Bullying Policy Post

Steve Guderian, Sierra Canyon Owner and Sierra Canyon Association Board member, provided the following comment in response to the previous SU Post entitled “Sierra Canyon Bullying Policy”.

SU, ask and you shall receive. The part about having an SC Board Member respond. But, I think you knew that I would. So, I am just going to address the SU Post first and then I will address the other posts individually as separate posts. Lets start with the bullet points:

1. Given the existence of NRS 116.31184, this policy document is not necessary

My Response to this, absolutely this policy is necessary. In your opening you mentioned that subsection 2 was not included in the bullying policy….. that is because this section makes NRS 116.31184 a misdemeanor crime. So my question to SU is this how does the SC BOD enforce a misdemeanor crime…. IT CANNOT. In order to use NRS 116.31184 the INDIVIDUAL who believes that they were a VICTIM of this CRIME would have to call the police, get a police report filed and then have it reviewed by the city attorney. (NOTE: Notice my use of the term INDIVIDUAL here and not BOD.) Odds of all of this happening are not very good, which means that home owners can pretty much get away with anything if this were the only recourse.

2. Owners were not consulted on or properly advised of its existence.

My response to this, I am surprised that SU is going down this path. SU is very much aware of what GOVERNING documents require home owner input and what documents do not. This one clearly falls under the section of home owner input not needed. Taking this a little further, SU is also very much aware of NRS 116.31085 which sets CONFIDENTIALITY for the home owner unless the home owner submits IN WRITING that the hearing be held as an OPEN HEARING. So, there is no way that the SC BOD can legally discuss the need for this type of policy as that would be violation of home owner confidentiality.

3. The Policy is meant to stifle opposition to BOD proposals or decisions.

My response to this, I really have to believe that SU is now following the words of somebody else here because this claim is completely unsupported and very much out of the well thought out information the SU normally puts out. There are so many safe guards in place for this it is not even funny. The 3 minutes to speak before and after every board meeting, the right for a home owner to have an open hearing on any complaint….. Here is my position on this, if the BOD can file a complaint in order to “stifle” opposition, then anybody can file a complaint against a BOD member for being stifled. According to the SC atty any formal complaint has to be in writing. And, if the SC BOD were to stifle a home owner that owner would have cause to go to NRED for a violation of NRS 116.3103.1 and its associated sections. And, this position is flawed on its face, the BOD cannot file a complaint under this policy.

4. Penalties and process are harsh and not consistent with other SCA controlling documents.

My response here is wait, wait wait a minute. #1 above starts out with the SC BOD not following the sections in NRS and now the SC BOD is being hammered again when it specifically followed NRS. I would refer you to page 2, section 2(b) that says fines will be established in accordance with NRS 116.31031. SC BOD is still following the NRS as it should!

5. Policy oversteps the power that the Board should have with respect to the conduct of members.

My response, first how so? Refer to #1 above where is was stated that the SC BOD should be following the NRS which specifically address the topic… little bit of a conflict here, you can do it as stated in the law but you cannot do it when you simply remove one section that allows the SC BOD to actually follow the law…..On a personal note…. I would so love to be able to share with the SC and SOA community all that I have been put through and some of the documents in my possession…. but as stated above NRS.116.31085 is protecting the home owner and prohibits me from saying anything. And, I really do not care what people say or do to me. I knew what I was getting into when I VOLUNTEERED to be on the BOD. But, drag my wife into some of these things, this is going to far as she does not do anything to anybody in the community. Involve my wife and I will fight back. Let me give you an example of what the BOD faces, this was a quote taken from a post on Nextdoor, “This is BS. Why do these people have so much power. We need to start a petition and have everyone sign it. Can’t we impeach these Nazis?” Really, this person does not know me or the board members but they can judge based on a single partial story from one person. Oh and by the way, I am not filing a complaint on this and neither is the SC BOD.

6. The BOD is accuser, judge and jury. What protects SC members from BOD Bullying?

My response, this is categorically false in all aspects. The BOD cannot file a complaint under the bullying policy, only a person can. And, if a BOD member files the complaint, they will have to by other parts of NRS 116.3103 recuse themselves from the hearing. ANY HOME OWNER can file a complaint under this section not just an INDIVIDUAL BOARD MEMBER. It is also important to keep things in perspective as the policy also includes the words/actions THREATEN, HARASS, CAUSE HARM OR SERIOUS EMOTIONAL STRESS and HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT.

Lets be clear about this, board members are also home owners and have all of the same rights as EVERY OTHER home owner in the community. Simply because they volunteered to be a board member does not make them a target for any reason. AND LETS BE PERFECTLY CLEAR, the SC BOD does not have the authority to file any type of complaint against any home owner for a violation of this policy. Only another home owner as the right to file under this policy, the fact that this home owner is a board volunteer is completely immaterial.

As I said earlier, I would love to give every home owner in our community all of the facts associated with the happenings in SC… but I cannot. My request to the community please do everything you can to get all of the facts and don’t judge a fellow home owner, board member or not, based on a single piece of information.

Respectfully
Steve Guderian.

Note:  SU appreciates the preceding response from Mr. Guderian. It is not often that either a SOA or SCA Board Member, will participate in discussions on the SU website pertaining to community issues.