June 26th BOD Meeting Recap

Following is a recap of issues discussed and/or approved at the June 26th Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting. Related Agenda items are noted. The full meeting Agenda may be accessed via the following link:

June 26th BOD Meeting Agenda – Final

Homeowner Comments:

Homeowner comments (paraphrased) addressed the following:

    1. Sierra Canyon (SC) Common Area expense contributions to the SOA and what they are dedicated to, especially with regard to the SGCC, the trail closure in SC due to a rockery wall issue, status on the AGC and ARC talks with a suggestion that they continue, and that the SOA and SC Boards get together to discuss allowing the SOA Board Member “Terry Talk” forums to be held at the Aspen Lodge.
    2. A question on the future status of the SOA/SGCC Tolling Agreement that expires on June 30th (see Agenda Item 6.a below for Board response).
    3. A concern over the “morphing” of the original Ad-Hoc Water Committee formed back in March (i.e., to address responsibilities for golf course water supply system equipment maintenance) into the newly defined SGCC & SOA Water Management Advisory Committee. Given that there is no question as to the SGCC’s responsibilities under the existing Water Facilities Agreement, why the need for this Committee, which diverts attention away from the SGCC’s responsibilities under the Agreement. The SOA Board should simply enforce the provisions of the Water Facilities Agreement and take legal action if necessary. Also, a stated need for more Board transparency on results and that Board members who are also SGCC members (Retter and Strout) should recuse themselves from actions related to this and other SGCC issues.
    4. A comment that in approving the BrightView and EPS proposals (see Agenda Items 7.b and 7.c below) on a sole source basis (i.e., no competitive bids), the Board was violating its recently approved Expense Policy, which states “Those items over $12,000 will be generally sent out to bid and reviewed by the Board of Directors for approval”. True, the Board has some discretion here, but for these cases, the work is very common and could have been performed by a variety of vendors. If the $12K figure is deemed too low for competitive bidding, then change the policy.
    5. A concern over lawn maintenance along Somersett Parkway
    6. A suggestion that the Board consider annexing the Ventana Ridge Development into the Somersett PUD.

Committee Reports:

4.b. Facilities/Strategic Planning Committee – Recommended appointment of Jaime Villarino and Steve Cader as Committee Members, who were subsequently approved by the Board.

4.c. AD-HOC Water Committee – Renamed as the “SGCC & SOA Water Management Committee”. Committee recommended approval of a “Mission Statement & Goals” document (see Agenda Item 7.e below). SOA Board Members Leto and Fitzgerald (who are on the Committee along with unnamed SGCC members) commented on the following; 1) A water facilities tour that was very educational, 2) Met with the SGCC to discuss upcoming projects, 3) SGCC meetings have been positive and cooperative with a dedication on both sides to see to it that everything required under the Water Facilities Agreement is performed properly, 4) Some additional comments on water rights issues (SU Note: Water Rights are covered under a separate provision from the Water Facilities Agreement and represent an entirely separate subject from maintenance responsibilities of water supply system components).

Old Business:

6.a. Legal Updates

      1. In response to a homeowner question, the SOA GM stated that the SOA/SGCC Tolling Agreement, which expires June 30th, will be extended, without changes. The Tolling Agreement had put litigation between the SOA and SGCC (i.e., over SGCC’s perceived liability for Rockery Wall repairs) on hold for one year, pending outcomes of the SOA lawsuit against the Somersett Development Company et. al. (SU Note: A copy of the Tolling Agreement may be accessed via the following link:   SGCC Tolling Agreement 2018)
      2. With regard to the Rockery Wall lawsuit, the SOA GM reported that all required documents required by the Court for a ruling on the Summary Judgements requested by the defendants have been submitted. However, no date for when the ruling may come down. (SU Note: For an update on the Rockery Wall litigation status see previous SU post of June 19th entitled “Rockery Wall Litigation Update (5)“)
      3. Although not addressed at the Board Meeting, SU has learned that the SOA’S liability for payment of the James and McCullough legal fees has been satisfied with a SOA payout of approximately $120K. (Note: See SU’s previous post of March 13th entitled “The Northgate Neighbors Verdict Is In” for background on this litigation)

6.c. Rockery Wall Update – Nothing significant was discussed. The Gypsy Hill Rockery Wall repairs have been completed and monitoring in other areas continue.

6.c. Discussion on Finance & CSC Charter – The BOD voted to accept the proposed changes to the Finance & Budget Committee Charter amended to exclude the provision that Board Members on the Committee are prohibited from voting on matters that woud require subsequent approval by the full Board. However, they ignored the proposed changes to the Community Standards Committee Charter and voted instead to abolish it via a 3:2 vote. (Note: See SU comment below for additional details and comments regarding the CSC vote).

6.d. Discussion on Easement Access Offer for Ventana Ridge – At the May 24th BOD Meeting, the Board approved a counter offer to the Ventana Ridge Developer for access rights through a portion of SOA property. However, the counter offer was not acted upon citing concerns over asset evaluation and whether or not a unit owner vote would be required. A motion was subsequently passed to obtain proposals for an asset evaluation, while other issues are looked at.

New Business:

7.a. The Board approved the $8.7K proposal from CartBarn for the purchase of a new utility (golf) cart to support SOA maintenance activities.
7.b. The Board approved the $20.5K proposal from BrightView to replace 100 missing or dead trees, primarily along the Somersett Parkway.
7.c. The Board approved the $18.5K proposal from EPS for Somersett Parkway entrance shelf clean-up (i.e., accumulated rock removal).
7.d. The Board approved the $8,5K proposal from Kane GeoTech for rockery wall and slope stability monitoring equipment rental & maintenance for another year.
7.e. The Board approved the SGCC & SOA Water Management Advisory Committee “Mission Statement & Goals” document, which may be accessed via the following link: SGCC and SOA Water Management Advisory Committee

SU Comment on Dissolution of the Committee Standards Committee:

The accompanying BOD Packet for this agenda item contained a copy of the Community Standards Committee (CSC) Charter reflecting some suggested minor changes. However, instead of addressing the proposed change, Board Member Leto circumvented any Charter discussion by making a motion to dissolve the Committee its entirety, with its responsibilities to be performed directly by the Board. In response to the motion, Board member Roland made a point of order that they could not vote on a motion to dissolve the Committee as it was not on the agenda. His point of order was ignored, and the Board passed the motion on a 3:2 vote, with Board Members Leto, Fitzgerald & Strout voting YES and Board Members Roland and Retter voting NO. Board member Retter also questioned whether or not the Board could devote sufficient time to assume the CSC duties. No explanation was provided as to why the Committee should be dissolved.

This raises the question as to whether the BOD acted appropriately in voting to dissolve the CSC. Why is this an issue? Not that the Board does not have the right to create and dissolve committees, but that the method they did so with regard to the CSC was in violation of NRS statutes. To quote NRS 116.3108 Section 4:

“The agenda for a meeting of the units’ owners must consist of:

(a) A clear and complete statement of the topics scheduled to be completed during the meeting ……..
(b) A list describing the items on which action may be taken and clearly denoting that action may be taken on those items …”

Therefore, Board Member Roland’s point was well taken and should have been heeded (i.e., if it’s not identified clearly as an agenda item, you cannot take action on it). It is difficult to understand why the Board majority would assume that a “Discussion on the CSC Charter” agenda item could also be interpreted as an “Approval for Dissolving the CSC” agenda item. From the reading of the motion, it was apparent that it was prepared prior to the meeting. Therefore, not properly identifying their real intent to unit owners when publishing the BOD Meeting Agenda. This is somewhat disingenuous, seeing as how CSC operations are “dear to the heart” of many, who may have wanted to address the Board with regard to its dissolution. The Board provided no pertinent explanations as to the necessity for dissolving the Committee. So much for increased transparency that the Board committed to!

4 thoughts on “June 26th BOD Meeting Recap

  1. Re comment on annexing 50% of Ventana Ridge (~34 units)
    The developer will pay all the costs for this (including mailing costs for homeowner vote (+ revised CCR’s?)) in lieu of buying access and property belonging to SOA for the only access road under the current proposal

    This means that this development would join a gated part of the community pay monthly dues for the TCTC gates and common areas

  2. The dissolution of the Community Standards Committee (CSC) will lead to the lessening of board member time available for other matters and even delays in owners getting heard on their alleged violations. Also, it is not right that the board conduct hearings and then appeals to hearing rulings unless there will be no such thing as “in-house” appeals, thereby forcing owners to seek arbitration/mediation through the Nevada Ombudsman’s Office at their expense.

    1. Mr. Bower makes a good point regarding appeals. With the CSC,if a homeowner disagrees with an action placed upon them by the CSC, they could appeal to the BOD. However, with the BOD now rendering these actions,there would obviously be no appealing within the Association. Homeowner Appeal rights are currently addressed by SOA Compliance Policy SOME.003.02, which references the CSC. With the abolishment of the CSC, it will obviously require change.

  3. As an attendee of the June 26th Board meeting – a question was asked about what will happen when the SGCC Tolling agreement ends on June 30th.

    Given the fact that we have already spent over $200K on legal fees on wall litigation – with out any contribution from the SGCC as yet (that I am aware of) – I would like to suggest that the country club members start making a voluntary payment towards wall repair of ~$1700 each to pay for their wall repair.

    We have two Board members who are SGCC members who could start the ball rolling, setting an example for the ~300 other members.

    After all over 3100 owners have had to pay $1200 in a special assessment already.

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