Rancor festers on ASPOA board
July 23, 2013
The ongoing strife involving the Alta Sierra Property Owner's Association board, which began in earnest about two months ago, has begun to take its toll.
Brad Dixon and Paul Hoefler, board members on opposite sides of the debate that has engulfed the South County neighborhood for the past two months, both expressed their exhaustion with the issue and said they will not seek another three-year term.
"It's like high school," Hoefler said. "It's supposed to be a volunteer organization for the good of the community."
Hoefler has been at the center of controversy as president of the association's nine-person board, which attempted to renovate the neighborhood's CC&Rs to provide more oversight over neighborhood standards.
“It’s like high school. It’s supposed to be a volunteer organization for the good of the community.”
Alta Sierra Property Owners Association board president
"After my term is up, I am not going to run for another three years," he said. "I have soured on it. I was trying to do something for the good of the community, but they proved to be easily swayed by a small group of people."
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Dixon criticized Hoefler Monday, saying the president willfully attempted to keep the board's desire to renovate the CC&Rs from public knowledge.
Dixon said that contrary to fellow board member David Johnson's claims, the board knew early on that it would have to invoke the Davis Sterling Act to be able to vest itself with the type of enforcement authority it felt it needed to correct egregious property violations.
In early July, Johnson said the board did not want to include the public in the discussion until the decision makers had a number of options available for consideration.
But according to Dixon, following the first brief meetings with ASPOA's attorney almost a year and a half ago, the board knew which direction it wanted to take.
Dixon said he then suggested the board divulge its intended direction — but Hoefler refused, saying it would "tip their hand."
Hoefler vehemently denied this.
"That is an absolute lie," he said Monday. "I don't know where he conjured that up."
Hoefler said the entire recall effort, headed by Kathy Monteiro, has been motivated more by personal vendetta than any concern over community benefit.
It was Dixon who behaved in a manner inconsistent with board ethics when he clandestinely undermined the board by attending recall effort meetings and not reporting his activities to fellow board members, Hoefler said.
"As a board member, to go out and actively and secretively work against what the board is doing is neither honorable or ethical," Hoefler said.
Dixon said the board galvanized against him because he was the sole voice of dissent the last year and a half.
Recently, Dixon called a meeting and asked the board to send ASPOA board member Don Bessee a letter asking him to resign.
Bessee has sent emails to Dixon and Monteiro of a vaguely threatening nature and has harassed neighbors and neighborhood businesses in the past, according to Dixon.
But the board instead opted to ask Dixon to resign.
Dixon said he plans to step aside in December in an effort to prompt an election and change the process of committee-appointed board members.
Bessee denied threatening Dixon or his wife.
Instead, he said, he sent Dixon a strongly worded email telling him to stop attending meetings where Bessee was a functionary and "spreading lies."
Bessee also said Dixon was distraught with board members for personal reasons.
Meanwhile, Monteiro has vowed to continue the recall effort despite the board all but formally acknowledging that their effort to renovate the CC&Rs bucked community desire.
At 9 a.m. Aug. 24, a special meeting for the purpose of discussing the board's current direction and goals will take place, according to a notice distributed by ASPOA Board Secretary Kathleen Carey.
A survey recently distributed to all 3,200 property owners asked if property owners wanted the board to have more enforcement capacity, renovate the CC&Rs and/or make membership mandatory for all lot owners.
While time is left for property owners to respond, the vast majority of respondents said no to all questions.
On Monday, Hoefler acknowledged the board's bid to increase enforcement was all but dead but did say that a future board could take up the issue if CC&R violations continue to be frequent.
Hoefler said he is extremely proud of his time on the board and his fellow members, whom he credited with starting the initial push for the medical marijuana cultivation ordinance that was passed last May.
"You can ask the sheriff. Alta Sierra is one of the safest communities in the county due to our neighborhood watch program," Hoefler said
Alta Sierra has become a Firewise Community and has begun forest fuels abatement on unimproved lots throughout the neighborhood, representing another accomplishment, he added.
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-477-4239.
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