April 28th SOA Board Meeting Recap

recap 1

Following is a recap of topics discussed and/or approved at the April 28th Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (Board) Meeting. Only three Board members were in attendance (Board member Baker was missing and there is an open slot due to Board member Hanson’s resignation). Homeowner presence was low with only 11 participants. 

The reader is referred to SU’s previous post of  April 24th, 2021 “April 28th SOA Board Meeting” for a copy of the Meeting Agenda and supporting information derived from the Board Meeting Packet, which is available on the SOA website (http://www.somersett.org) under the “SOA Board and Committees/The Board of Directors/2021 links. Following is a meeting summary, with Agenda items noted.

2. Homeowner Comments on Agenda Items

There were no Homeowner comments on agenda items.

3.  April 14th, 2021 BOD Meeting Minutes

The minutes of the April 14th Board meeting were approved with no amendments. See SU Post of April 18th, “April 14th SOA BOD Meeting Recap” for a summary of the April 14th meeting.

4.  Committee Reports

4.a.  Budget and Finance  –  No Report

4.b.  Communication  –  1) New signage for the Canyon9 golf course has been completed and will be installed by May 1st, which is also the date at which Canyon9 will be no longer public, but open to residents and quests only. 2) Twelve ompanies have expressed interest in advertising on the SOA website. 3) Photo contest entries have been printed and will be displayed at TCTC.  A gallery of these photos will be published on the SOA website for voting on by residents. Prizes have yet to be announced. 4) The new Zen Planner reservation system for TCTC is about eady to go. Emails with instructions for downloading the app and creating new passwords will be sent to all residents currently using the old system.

4.c.  Strategic & Facilities  –  The speed survey devices installed on the Somersett Parkway and Back Nine Trail locations did not indicate a systemic problem that would support the installation of speed calming devices, at least in the mind of the City of Reno. However, being a private street, Back Nine Trail speed calming devices could still be installed at the discretion of the SOA. Also, that the results of the pedestrian survey at Roundabout 3 did not support installation of pedestrian crossing safety devices. 

4.d.  West Park Garden  –  All plots have been assigned and two orientation sessions conducted. Additional rabbit fencing is being installed. The seed packet fund raiser has been extended thtough May.

4.e.  Community Events  –  A plug for the Car Show scheduled for July 10th at the Town Center. Residents are encouraged to participate by signing up (four have already done so) on the Somersett website. There was also a budget concern implying that the Commirtee’s planned events may need additional funding. This to be discussed at the next Board meeting.

5.  Financials  –  No report

6.  Unfinished Business

6.a  Legal Updates  –  On the SOA’s Rockery Wall lawsuit against the Somersett Development Company, et al. it was reported that the oral arguments scheduled for May 4th may be available online through the Court’s website system.  On the Preston Homes Rockery Wall lawsuit against the SOA (see SU Post of April 20th “Preston Homes Lawsuit Against the SOA”), it was reported that the SOA’s insurance company will handle the litigation.

6.b.  1880 Dove Mountain, Common Area Slope Repair  –  It was reported that a new design for the rockery wall repair/placement has been generated, but that only one vendor is willing to do the work, perhaps by early/mid June, no cost data was presented. Also, that BrightView will be submitting a proposal for landscaping the slope and that other contractors may be involved before project completion, which has been on-going for over a year now.

6.c.  Snack Bar Update  –  The Snack Bar Lease Agreement with the Peavine Taphouse has been signed and insurance obtained.  The required equipment list has been adjusted but not yet purchased. This not an issue as it encompasses readily available equipment. A “plug” was put in for the May 20th Poolside Spring Social featuring live music, beer and wine, plus a showcase of food selections from the new summer pool menu.  Price is $20 with limited space, residents may register on-line via the Somersett website. Options for posting signs advertising this and other special events were discussed.

7.  New Business

7.a. Village at the Greens Common Area Turnover – A walkthrough of the property uncovered a few minor items that need addressing. Board tabled turnover approval until the next Board meeting.

7.b.  Proganix Soil Proposal for “The Cut” Hill Side Stabilizer  –  This pertains to the East entrance hillside. Apparently when the rock fall mitigation work was performed, a test area was hydro-seeded with a grass-matte ground cover product. This proposal (cost not revealed) is to do more of the same on other areas of the hillside, which would require some irrigation to support. Concerns were raised on the following issues: 1) grass could create a fire-fuel hazard for the homes on the top of the hill, and 2) given the steep slope, irrigation could loosen the soil creating the potential for both grass and rocks sliding down the hill.  Proposal was declined.

7.c.  Pool Equipment Proposal  –  This $12K proposal from the SOA pool maintenance vendor, Lee Joseph Inc., covers the purchase of spare parts to be placed within SOA inventory.   Purpose is to cirmcumvent extended shutdown of the TCTC pools due to equipment failure and the time to locate and purchase replacement equipment. Discussion focused on the following issues: 1) The SOA could save $3K if bought ourselves rather than through Lee Joseph. 2) If bought ourselves, Lee Joseph would not warrant its installation. 3) for an additional fee, have Lee Joseph quarantee availability of replacement parts from their inventory. 4) A concern that SOA purched parts could become obsolete before usage. Proposal was tabled to allow Board member Williams to consult with Lee Joseph regarding item 3. 

7.d.   TCTC Server Upgrade Proposal  –  This $21K proposal from Logically to upgrade the SOA’s network  server architecture was also tabled. This to address the questions as to why the current system is outdated and what will the SOA gain from the upgrade? Also to explore other options such as moving to a “cloud” server architecture, which, although subscription based, could be less costly than our current server support services.

7.e.  Review of Approved Plants and Mulches Used in Somersett  –  This agenda item in response to homeowner requests and suggestions for looking into and modifying approved plans for trees (availability issues), plants (fire-fuel concerns), use of rocks ( size issues), etc.  Discussed doing a survey of landscape companies doing business in Somersett for their input on these issues. Decided to refer to the AGC to look over owner suggestions.

8.  Board Member Comments 

A statement of appreciation to Dave Alexander for his recent service on both the Facilities and Finance committees.

A discussion initiated by Board member O’Donnell on mechanisms in place for the Board, or a Board member, to initiate an emergency action. GM Fields responded with a summary of in-place mechanisms.

9.  Homeowner Comments (paraphrsed with apologies for any misstatements)

A suggestion to consider formation of an owner committee to address item 7.e, rather than refer to the AGC and its “paid” consultants. Response was that the Board has no intent to pay AGC members to look into this inssue, rather they are leaning to surveying landscape contractors doing business in Somersett.

A question as to what process (i.e., appointment, leave vacant or hold a special election) the Board will pursue in filling the open Board position.  Response was no formal decision yet. However, if interpreting Board comments correctly,  SU believes the leave vacant until the next annual election cycle option will prevail.

A request from a Toll Brothers representative that the the SOA accept turnoner to the SOA of the streets and gates at The Ridge. Basis being that Toll Brothers are paying full Private Gates and Streets assessments to the SOA on 120 lots, but in addition, are also paying for street snow removal and gate maintenance costs on these streets due to the SOA not accepting turnover. Apparently a past request was denied as long as construction was on-going. Therefore, Toll Brothers feel they are paying the SOA for a benefit that are not receiving. The representative advised that Toll Brothers would be willing to indemnify the SOA for any damage caused by construction traffic. The Board appeared to be a little taken back by this request and advised they needed to look into the turnover process and past actions.

SU felt this request via the “homeowner” comment portion of a Board meeting to be a  bit strange and out of place. Was this representative a Ridge owner or a Toll Brothers employee? Perhaps both.

April 28th SOA Board Meeting

hoa board meeting

Following is the Agenda for the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (Board) Meeting to be held at The Club at Town Center (TCTC) at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, April 28th.

April 28th BOD Meeting Agenda

Given that TCTC is still operating under some COVID-19 restrictions, Owner participation will again be via “Zoom” videoconferencing. Video access instructions are available in the above meeting agenda copy.

The Board Meeting Packet (i.e., as of April 25th) providing background information on some of the Agenda items is available on the SOA Website (www.somersett.org) under the SOA Documents/Board Documents/2021 links.  April 28th Agenda Items and comments derived from the Board Meeting Packet follow:

3.  April 4th, 2021 BOD Meeting Minutes

The Board Meeting Packet referenced above contains a draft summary of the April 14th Board meeting minutes.  As usual, these meeting minutes contain little of what was discussed, only the results. For a more detailed recap, one may access SU’s previous post of April 18th entitled “April 14th SOA BOD Meeting Recap”.

4.  Committee Reports

4.a. Budget & Finance, 4.c. Strategic & Facilities, 4.d. West Park Garden, and 4.e. Community Events  –  Nothing contained within the Board Meeting Packet for these Committees. It appears that these agenda items are included on every  Board meeting agenda as placeholders, whether or not a report actually exists.

4.b.  Communication  –  Reported that: 1) photo contest entries are being printed for display at TCTC for voting on by owners, 2) communication to owners on use of the new Zen Planner Reservation system is in the works, 3) they are finalizing how commercial advertising will be presented on the SOA website, 4) more  surveys are on the way, and 5) as a result of Board member Hanson’s resignation, a new Board member be assigned to the Committee.

4.e. General Manager Report – The reader is referred to the Board Meeting Packet for information and updates on: 1) AGC activity, 2) Community enforcement data, 3) Owner communications, 4) TCTC events and club usage data, 5) BrightView Landscape reports, and 6) Engineering project updates. It was noted that conversion of the Canyon9 golf course to use by residents and/or guests only will become effective May 1st.

5.  Financials –  No financials were included within the Board Meeting Packet.

6.  Unfinished Business

6.a.  Legal Updates  –  Nothing new to report on the Somersett Development Company Rockery Wall lawsuit. With regard to the recently filed lawsuit against the SOA by Wits LL and Preston Homes LLC, the SOA Attorney Letter of April 14th, contained the following:

“SOA was recently served with a lawsuit filed by Wits, LLC and Preston Homed, LLC in late December, 2020 (both entities have common ownership), in which it is alleged, among other things, that Ryder Homes of Northern Nevada, Inc has constructed a retaining wall that intrudes upon an as yet undeveloped lot owned by Wits. In addition to Ryder Homes, SOA, Manhard Consulting, LLS and Versagrade Inc. are named in the lawsuit. SOA has tendered the defense of this action to its insurance company, but there has yet to be a decision as to whether coverage will be provided. WRSSR has obtained an extension to respond to the action to May 14,2021, pending the insurance company’s decision regarding coverage.”

SU Note:  See SU’s previous post of April 20th entitled “Preston Homes Lawsuit Against the SOA” for a copy of the actual Complaint filed with the Court,

6.b.  1880 Dove Mountain Common and Slope Repair, and 6.c. Snack Bar Update  –  No supporting info included within the Board Meeting Packet on these agenda items.  Perhaps just a carryover discussion from the previous Board meeting.

7.  New Business

7.a  Village at the Greens Common Area Turnover  –  The Developer of the Greens at Town Center has apparently completed all “punch list” items and is requesting the conveyance of its designated common area property to the SOA.  For those interested, Deed information and some accompanying Engineering Reports are contained within the Board Meeting Packet

7.b.  Proganix Soil Proposal for “The Cut” Hill Side Stabilizer  –  No supporting information contained within the Board Meeting Packet.  Therefore, difficult to determine if this is a discussion only or action item.

SU Note:  Per Nevada Law NRS 116-31068 4(b):  “The agenda for a meeting of the units’ owners must consist of: (b) A list describing the items on which action may be taken and clearly denoting that action may be taken on those items ……”.  Therefore, in an apparent CYA statement, the Association has taken to include the following statement for all agenda items, regardless of the intent: “Action May Be Taken On Listed items – and all other items properly related thereto”.

7.c.  Pool Equipment Proposal  –  A proposal from Lee Joseph Inc. in the amount of $12.091.67 for miscellaneous pieces of TCTC pool equipment (e.g., heaters, sensors, pumps).

7.d.  TCTC Server Upgrade Proposal  –  A proposal from Winxnet LLC (“Logically”) in the amount of $20,932.20 (Labor $9936.00, Hardware $8540.89, Software $1602.00, Taxes & Shipping $853.31). to update the SOA’s server infrastructure.  Update includes replacement of two existing servers with a single host and migrating all server roles and content to the new system.

7.e.  Review of Approved Plants and Mulches Used in Somersett  – No supporting information contained within the Board Meeting Packet for this agenda item. Same comment as in agenda item 7.b.

Preston Homes Lawsuit Against the SOA

lawsuit 2

At the April 14th Board Meeting under Agenda item 6.a “Legal Updates”, it was reported that the SOA has been named as a co-defendant in a new lawsuit by Preston Homes.  This regarding damages suffered by Preston Homes resulting from a rockery wall constructed by Ryder Homes on Preston Homes property. The original lawsuit (CV20-02124) was filed with the District Court on December 31, 2020 and listed Witts LLC and Preston Homes LLC as Plaintiffs and Ryder Homes of Nevada LLC as defendant. However, and amended complaint was filed by Witts and Preston Homes on April 4, 2021, which listed the Somesett Owners Association (SOA) and two others (VersaGrade Inc. and Manhard Consulting Ltd.) as co-defendants. A copy of the amended complaint is accessible via the following link:

CV20-02124 Amended Complaint

The amended complaint addresses SOA culpability under Article 17 as follows:

“SOMERSETT had a duty to investigate the veracity and proprietary of Ryder’s application for the proposed construction, and the impact of the proposed construction, and to not enable the illegal and tortious construction of the retaining wall or to facilitate Defendants’ intentional and/or reckless disregard of Plaintiffs’ property rights. SOMERSETT reviewed and approved RYDER’S application to construct the unpermitted retaining wall on WITTS’ property without any request or consent of, or any notice, to WITTS. SOMERSETT has refused to provide meaningful response to requests for information related to the approval process and/or submittals provided, only highly redacted and useless information.”

The amended complaint sounds like a lot of BS to SU, but that is for the lawyers to address.

Witt Storage at Somersett – Phase 2

The following post submitted by Warren Lyons. (SU note: This post was submitted earlier but overlooked by SU. SU apologizes for the late posting but Mt. Lyons has advised it is still relevant).

“The proposed Witt Family mini storage project at the Somersett I-80 entrance area received a mass grading permit on February 22, 2021.  The permit and mass grading approved plans are available now at the City of Reno web site. The mass grading permit Number is “BLD20-09309E”

The permit description of Work to Be Done text says “Commercial grading & Site Improvements.. Mass Grading, Retaining Walls and Drainage. Improvements for future mini warehouse storage site.” The permit is attached.

witt storage building permit

Earlier project drafts, no longer on the City of Reno building permit web site, described the project as having slightly under 500 storage units with associated lighting, drainage and re-vegetation of the project area. This earlier concept building plan document was listed on the Building Permit application tracking file but it was not released under a public records request in October, 2020;  the current building permit file no longer lists this document.

Apparently, the mass grading permit does not provide for public review and comment on this phase of the project but hopefully the public can provide comments and concerns on the actual construction plans.

The Somersett AGC is listed in the City of Reno building permit tracking with a review and comment document; the City of Reno has to date declined to provide this document through a  public records request.

SOA AGC – Witt Storage landscaping plan

There are questions and action items that could be asked by our Somersett and Sierra Canyon homeowners.”

Board Meeting Audio-Visual Recordings

recording

The “Gwen in Somersett” comment makes a good point in that the Board of Director Meeting minutes are generally very brief and document little of all that transpired at the meeting. This in addition to not being readily available. Hence the recaps published on this website.

However, if one wants to hear all that went on and to capture the flavor of the meeting, obtaining a copy of the audio recording, or as in the current case an audio-video recording, is the way to go.  Be prepared that, given the length of a typical Board meeting, they can be somewhat tedious to listen to, but one can always scan through them.

Recordings are generally available the day after the Board meeting on the SOA website (www.somersett.org) under the “SOA Board and Committees/The Board of Directors” tabs. Alternately, one can request a copy from the FirstService Residential management staff (e.g., Robin Bolson – Communications Coordinator or Michelle Powers – Administrative Assistant).  SU has always found the FSR staff to be very prompt in responding to this and other requests,

April 14th SOA BOD Meeting Recap

tmeeting notes

Following is a recap of topics discussed and/or approved at the April 14th Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (Board) Meeting, held via a Zoom Video Conference with Association members.  The reader is referred to SU’s previous post of  April 11th, 2021 “April 14th SOA BOD Meeting” for a copy of the Meeting Agenda and supporting information derived from the Board Meeting Packet, which is available on the SOA website (www.somersett.org) under the “SOA Board and Committees/The Board of Directors/2021 links. The following recap references the Board meeting agenda items.

2.  Homeowner Comments on Agenda Items (paraphrased with apologies for any misstatements)

  • Two owners submitted written comments on Agenda Item 7.c. “Discussion and Consideration of SOA Management Consultant” in which they expressed their concerns and questions not only on the hiring of a Consultant but on the self-management issue in general. Rather than paraphrasing their comments, their submittals may be read by accessing the following link: Homeowner Comments on Agenda Item 7.c.
  • A homeowner affected by Item 6.b. “1880 Dove Mountain – Common Area Slope Repair” expressed concern over why the scope of the project has changed from a lot stabilization project to an erosion mitigation project which addresses only 10 feet of the 50 foot slope. The original successful bidder of the project, which was cancelled due to bidding issue raised by the Board, has apparently declined to rebid because of an opinion that the erosion mitigation solution is not sufficient to stabilize the slope. Owner requested and was granted a meeting with the Board to further discuss.

3.  February 24th, 2021 BOD Meeting Minutes  –  The minutes of the February 24th Board meeting were approved with no amendments.

4.  Committee Reports   –  No Committee reports were submitted

5.  Financials  –  The reader is referred to the Board Meeting Packet for the 30+ pages of SOA financial data. The February 2021 financial statements were approve.

6.  Unfinished Business

6.a  Legal Updates  –  It was reported that the SOA has been named as a co-defendant in a new lawsuit by Preston Homes.  This over a rockery wall constructed by Ryder Homes has affected their development.  No explanation or apparent reason as to why the SOA was also included in the lawsuit. It was also confirmed that oral arguments on the appealed Somersett Development Company Rockery Wall lawsuit will be held on May 4th.

6.b.  1880 Dove Mountain, Common Area Slope Repair  –  Board member O’Donnell advised that the Board has reached out to Parsons Walls for an integrity assessment and rebuilding of the Rockery Wall on the affected slope. Also with Geotech to determine if the slope is actually moving.  Board member Hanson questioned if Parsons Walls was affiliated with Parsons Brothers Rockeries, a defendant in the SOA Rockery Wall lawsuit. No definitive answer was provided.

6.c.  Snack Bar Update  –  Board member Williams provided a progress report wherein he advised that the lease agreement with the Peavine Taphouse, the City of Reno permits and plumbing contracts have not yet been finalized but are moving along with no anticipated problems. Read off the posed menu items, which were extensive. Speculated that the project would come in under budget.

7.  New Business

7.a.  Irrigation Head Replacement Proposal  –  The Board approved a BrightView proposal in the amount of $67,000 to provide and replace 1675 existing spray heads along the Somersett Parkway between Roundabouts 5 and 6. Approval based on water conservation benefits.

7.b.  Snow Removal, Additional Locations and Pricing  –  The Board approved adding snow removal responsibility on Association maintained sidewalks to BrightView’s existing snow removal contract. BrightView has estimated the additional cost at $10,000 to $15,000 for each event.

7.c.  Discussion and Consideration of SOA Management Consultant

The Board approved the hiring of Somersett owner Nancy Kerry at $6,000/month to provide consulting services on Association management options (i.e., Professionally or Self-managed). Motion was passed on a 4:1 vote with Board member Hanson voting NO.

The Board President started off the discussion by introducing Ms. Kerry and having her present her proposal, experience and qualifications (an unusual event as SU cannot ever recall a proposed SOA vendor doing so), as well as his reading of a letter of recommendation from a previous employer. Board member O’Donnell, after what he defined as mis-information, asked Ms. Kerry to address the term “conflict of interest” as it pertained to her. After a lengthy response in defining what a conflict of interest was, she did not believe one existed. Board member Baker further addressed the conflict of interest issue by stating that if the Board elected to adopt the self-management option there may be an expectation that Ms Kerry would apply to be the paid General Manager of the Association. She responded by stating she was not currently licensed to do so, but if licensed in the future she would most likely apply for the job, but on a competitive basis.

Board member Hanson’s dissent was based, among others, on the following issues: 1) an open ended unwritten contract with no defined deliverables or schedule, 2) an objection to the “sole source” approach with no consideration of interviewing other more qualified candidates, and 3) her lack of experience in the HOA management arena.  He described the process as un-professional and un-ethical.

In response to Mr. Hanson’s objections Board members Capalongan, O’Donnell and Baker strongly defended the sole source approach citing “the best person to do the job” (O’Donnell) and timing constraints (Capalongan and Baker) associated with the expiration of FirstService Residential’s management contract.

8.   Board Member Comments –  None offered

9.  Homeowner Comments (paraphrased with apologies for any misstatements)

The following comments all related to Agenda item 7.c.

  • An agreement with Board member Hanson that other consultants should have been considered, that there may be others in the Community that might also be very well qualified. Also disagreed on the timeliness issue and disregarded the notion that we must act promptly or be locked into FSR for another three years. That negotiations to extend FSR’s contract be considered while the self-management issue is investigated, or if we have issues with the current contract to negotiate changes.  In response the Board President advised that if the FSR contract is not re-signed,  it will automatically renew on a month to month basis. To which the owner responded then why the rush to self-management.
  • A comment on why the need to hire a consultant and an expressed opinion that all the Board’s dialog was nothing more than smoke and mirrors to support their predetermined decision to transition to self-management, regardless of what Ms. Kerry comes up with. That if her report does recommend self-management, for self-interest considerations, she be precluded for applying for the General Management position. In response Board members Capalongan and O’Donnel disputed the premise they were rushing into things, that there was a lot of work to be done, and advised they were applying the proper due diligence in investigating the transition to self-management.
  • The Board was elected based on their competency and backgrounds and therefore, we have to have confidence in what is being proposed and that they are going down the right pathway. Supported their discovery process in assessing the Association management issue, stated the Board is making an excellent first step, and criticized the previous Board in not doing so by just rubber stamping the FSR renewal contract without any discovery.
  • A former Board member, with consulting experience, also questioned the process employed in hiring Ms. Kerry and supported some of Board member Hanson’s objections. He disagreed with Board member O’Donnell’s characterization that it would be embarrassing to hire a Consultant (Ms. Kerry) then fire after a short time. That in reality, the life of a Consultant is always one of uncertainty as to the length of time of engagement, and that the customer establishes the set of needs and requirements the Consultant works to. Felt that the Board was giving short shrift to the scope of work and finding the right participants to help us get to the right decision. In a response to a question by Board member O’Donnell as to whether the previous Board had looked at self-management or the FSR contract, the reply was that the Board at that time was looking into re-negotiating the FSR contract to include some performance based initiatives aimed at improving FSR’s customer service.  This was not carried to completion due to concentrating on overriding financial issues.
  • A concern over FSR’s performance and willingness to extend their current contract given they are under the gun from the current Board regarding performance and the perceived opinion the Board has already made up their mind to transition to self-management, this despite their assurances to the otherwise. Also, questioned, after such a short time on the Board, how they have come to this conclusion. Opted for more time to listen to homeowners.
  • An expressed opinion that the Board has already made up their mind to transition to self-management but are presenting it as if they have not. What is the point?  Also, a comment that this issue has only reached a fraction of the community.

A question on where the $1M to pay down the Association debt came from. Response by Board Treasurer Baker was that $500K was in the budget for this purpose and the Association saved $800K in operational costs due to the COVID lockdown.

SU Note: There was a lot of dialog between individual Board members and owners with regard to the transition to self-management and the process the Board has and will be pursuing. Needless to say there was a lot of questions, controversies and Board responses, a good portion of which is not captured in the preceding meeting notes. Therefore, the reader is encouraged to access the audio recording (video tape not available) on the Somersett website under the SOA Board and Committees/Board of Directors tabs. For some reason, the video recording of the April 13th Town Hall meeting on Association Management and the PowerPoint presentation used by the Board. is not yet available on the SOA website. Given the common knowledge that these meetings only attract a very small percentage of owners (lapproximaely100 combined these two cases), and the significance of this initiative, it is confusing as to why an owner survey was not conducted as was done for the Snack Bar and Special Event initiatives.

Item 7c SOA BOD Meeting April 14, 2021

The following post submitted by Vince Loving, Association member:

” Initially I had a plan to compose and submit a positive letter for the April 14 SOA board meeting, but time got away from me and I missed the 3pm deadline.

With that said, I felt it was extremely positive that the board was actually going to follow a process to arrive at the best solution related to the renewal of the contract with First Service Residential. I saw the move to measure and research was a move in the right direction compared with previous issues that have all been treated with complete subjectivity.

To think the board was improving THEIR performance with this was an error on my part.

I sat through the “Townhall Meeting” on Tuesday April 13th, becaming more puzzled as that presentation unfolded. The meeting seemed to only be promoting why the SOA should move to internal management, almost no mention of selecting a new vendor to replace FSR or retaining our vendor FSR.

I must share that I have no love or dislike for FSR, but every interaction with this vendor has been respectful and helpful. They have always been positive in resolving any issue.

Fast forward to the April 14th Board meeting, it turns out that the newest 3 board members have been gathering information to support their desire to kick FSR to the curb at year end, they have been doing so since October 2020 when they were running for the board, despite stating they had no plan to change anything major, they just wanted Somersett to be “happier”.

It seems replacing or eliminating the management company is quite a major change.

When providing the board’s initial data there were 3 case studies cited, one was a 55+ community in the Las Vegas area, another was a failed hybrid model in the Stockton, California area (not Sacramento) and the third was our neighbor Caughlin Ranch, which has always been internally managed.

Caughlin Ranch is possibly the closest model, but it took the homeowners forum at the end of the board meeting to bring out the fact Caughlin Ranch is taking a hard look at bringing in a management company to handle the community.

The board meeting became quite interesting after the intro to the “consultant” that the board has identified to steer the board to a decision and possibly through the transition to internal management. There were several folks who have raised concern over a conflict of interest, me included. It was really terrific to be “educated by the “consultant” on the meaning of “conflict of interest”, this from someone whose resume indicates a career in the public sector, we all know politicians have a different view of ethics than most people do.

Speaking of ethics, it was interesting when Craig Hanson brought up that the board had made zero effort to look at anyone beyond the appointed “consultant” to consult on this project. Craig pointed out the completely unethical optics surrounding the selection of this individual and lack of a formal RFP. The Gang of 3 pushed back that they would be embarrassed to present our RFP to anyone outside the community, yet they repeatedly mentioned that Somersett is a small city unto itself. It was however classic, when Terry Retter, retired from PWC corrected the Gang of 3 on their wrongheadedness on this topic.

Thank you, Mr. Retter and Mr. Hanson, for being the voice of reason.

So here we are AGAIN. The Gang of 3 is driving the bus, they have made up their minds on how an issue will be resolved and only go through the motions for optics and perhaps because the law requires it to some extent. Any integrity the Gang of 3 had, is now lost, as they have proven they are only working for their own self-interest.

As I write this, I can only reflect on some of the statements that the Gang of 3 has made over the last 5 months, the top 5 are as follow:

People in custom homes have different tastes and motivations than those in tract homes.  Bill O’Donnell

If you don’t like what we’re doing hire an attorney.  Mark Capalongan

The law says we don’t have to take input from anyone to make these decisions.  Mark Capalongan

People who complain must have had unhappy childhoods.  Bill O’Donnell

Some people complain just to complain.  Bill O’Donnell

SOA Vacant Director Position

Director appointment

With Mr. Hanson’s resignation there is now an opening on the SOA Board of Directors. How will it be filled?  There are apparently three options for the Board to consider: 1) hold a special election, 2) leave vacant until the next election (held annually in November), or 3) appoint an interim Director until the next scheduled election. However, are there really three options? The appointment option has been a subject of controversy in the past, wherein it has been determined both a legal and non-legal option under the Associations Governing Documents, which we shall quote as follows:

Nevada Law: NRS 116.3103 2(c)

 2.  The executive board may not act to:

      (c) Elect members of the executive board, but notwithstanding any provision of the governing documents to the contrary, the executive board may fill vacancies in its membership for the unexpired portion of any term or until the next regularly scheduled election of executive board members, whichever is earlier. Any executive board member elected to a previously vacant position which was temporarily filled by board appointment may only be elected to fulfill the remainder of the unexpired portion of the term.

SOA Bylaws:  Article III Directors

Section 3.03 ELECTION AND TERM OF OFFICE:  …………….  Upon the death, resignation, or removal of a director during his or her term, the Board may call a special meeting of the members to elect a new director to the unexpired portion of the term or the Board may leave the position vacant until the next annual members’ meeting, at which time any unexpired vacant director’s term shall be filled by election of a new director. ………….

As can be seen from the above , Nevada law permits the appointment of Directors to fill vacated terms “notwithstanding any provision of the governing documents to the contrary”. Given that it is clear the Bylaws do not provide the Board with the right to appoint Directors, which rule applies? SU will leave this interpretation to others.

Interpretation of rules aside, logically speaking, unless we are very close to the annual October election cycle, appointment by the Board of an interim Director makes the most sense. Leaving the position vacant for a long period of time places undue burden on the remaining Directors and compromises the quorum requirements. Conducting a special election is a complex, costly and time consuming process that should be avoided. 

If the appointment option prevails, SU would suggest reaching out to previous Board members who have remained active in community affairs, or perhaps a Committee member whose expertise complements those of the existing Board members. Especially important if the Board decides to move toward a self-managed Association.

SOA Board Member Resignation

Board Member Craig Hanson has resigned his position on the Somersett Owners Association Board of Directors with the following statement (reprinted with Mr. Hanson’s permission):

After careful consideration about the recent Board actions to transition the association to Self Management I feel it is in the best interests of the Somersett Association for me to resign from the Board effective immediately. To achieve a successful transition it requires full and unanimous Board commitment which I cannot and will not give. While I truly believe there is merit to convert to self management for fiscal savings, I cannot support the unilateral selection of the consultant and extremely likely appointment to Association manager by a single member of the Board. I suspect there will be many future “sole source” hires, purchases and contracts which I cannot ethically or professionally support. 

I also want to express my gratitude to those who voted for me and ask their forgiveness for leaving my term prematurely.  With the current three vote block of the Board, I am afraid my ability to promote any measure is severely limited and impotent. 

I wish the Board luck and success in their efforts to improve Somersett.

Respectfully 

Craig Hanson

SU can empathize with Mr. Hanson’s position, not because of an opposition to assessing whether or not self-management would be beneficial to the Association, but due to the apparent disingenuous manner in which the Board President has approached this issue.  More on this when SU publishes it’s recap of the April 14th Board meeting Minutes.

Mr. Hanson’s voice of reason on the Board will be missed.

The SOA – Self vs Professional Management ?

self management

From the tone of the April 14th BOD Meeting Agenda Item 7.c “Discussion and Consideration of SOA Management Consultant” and the 6:00 PM April 13th Town Hall video conference meeting, it is apparent that the SOA Board (at least some members) are considering moving from a Professionally managed (e.g., FirstService Residential) Association to a Self-managed Association.  As indicated in our previous post, this would be a gigantic leap not to be taken lightly.  There is a vast difference between “Governing” and Association and “Managing” an Association. In our previous post SU pointed to the following website for an article on the pros and cons of self-management:

www.hoamanagement.com/self-managed-hoa-pros-and-cons/

In addition it the above, the following website articles provide some additional perspectives on the subject:

Self Managed HOA vs. Professional HOA Management (spectrumam.com)

Self-Managed VS Professionally Managed HOA’s – Hoamco

Self Managed HOA vs HOA Management Company: What’s Best For You? (clarksimsonmiller.com)

One of the overriding pros for self management appears to be the potential for saving money, especially applicable for low density Associations with few amenities. One of the overriding cons is the amount of time, expertise and motivation required by a “volunteer” Board to properly manage the Association. The current Board may have these qualities, but are they sustainable given the yearly elections?

Our readers are encouraged to access one or more of the above articles, form your own opinions and express them at the April 13th Town Hall and/or the April 14th Board meetings:

Video Access instructions for the April 13th Town Hall Meeting are as as follows:

Town Hall Meeting: April 13th at 6:00 pm

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8748557381?pwd=K1pKbHRMMmc3TCszWlI3bm9xYUlWQT09

Meeting ID: 874 855 7381

Passcode: 12345

Video Access Instructions for the April 14th Board meeting are as follows:

BOD Meeting: April 14th 5:30 pm

https://zoom.us/j/98476057473?pwd=cmFXMlA1bjRGNVhYd09vWGNNT3dlUT09

Meeting ID:  984 7605 7473

Passcode: 980167