Confusion mounts in Alta Sierra Property Owners Association saga
There are two boards vying for the right to run the Alta Sierra Property Owners Association, after a resident released the results of Saturday’s election to elect eight board of directors members to replace the eight members who were ostensibly recalled Oct. 19.
The current or former board members, depending with whom you speak, deny the legal efficacy of both the Oct. 19 recall and Saturday’s vote, saying both elections were improperly noticed and conducted and did not conform with the association’s bylaws.
“We followed the rules and the bylaws and we held a recall and an election to replace the board members,” said Kathy Monteiro, who led the recall efforts and resulting elections.
On Saturday, about 180 people cast votes and elected Gerald Gates, Laura McLeod, Steve Hurley, Fred Crowder, John Noone, Keith Harris, Brad Peceimer-Glass and Brad Dixon. The results were captured and tabulated by Churchwell Tax & Business Services out of Auburn.
On Monday, eight board members met and elected officers, with Dixon elected as president, Peceimer-Glasse as vice-president, McCleod as secretary and Harris as treasurer.
“Our first order of business is to straighten out the mess, frankly,” Dixon said.
There is no shortage of bad blood between Dixon and members of the current/former board, as its president Paul Hoefler strongly denied Dixon’s claims that the board secretively set about consolidating their own power and increasing the enforcement power of the neighborhood’s election.
Hoefler told The Union that Dixon was spreading untruths about board members and was formally asked to resign after it became clear Dixon was undermining fellow board members in public.
Dixon agreed to resign and was replaced by Julie Siegenthaler, the only board member not to be recalled on Oct. 19.
Siegenthaler said after the October election that the current/former board members — Hoefler, Lee French, Kathleen Carey, Jim Barrileaux, Don Bessee, David Johnson, Gene Jovich and John Keefe — would continue to operate in their normal capacity.
In circulated materials, the board said a court order must be issued for the newly elected board to be certified operators of ASPOA.
A Nevada County Superior Court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21.
Alta Sierra resident Ronald Horne said the most overlooked aspect of the embittered dispute that has wracked the South County neighborhood since May is the silent majority, whose voice is not being heard.
While commending Monteiro for raising important issues relating to the board’s conduct, he said that much of the community is simply confused and desires stability.
“The confused majority doesn’t understand what is happening,” Horne said, adding he wished Monteiro and her group would have waited till a judge ruled on the legitimacy of the recall election before proceeding with the vote held Saturday. “This disenfranchised group represents about 80 percent of the community … (and) it is permeated with widespread confusion and frightening uncertainty caused by the rapid fire rhetoric and rushed, confusing elections.”
Horne also questions whether the full will of the community was represented in Saturday’s election, noting that only 180 people out of 3,100 households participated in the election.
“Statistically, they embody a very vocal but borderline insignificant number,” he said. “They clearly do not represent the majority view of the community.”
Monteiro said the election conformed with the association’s bylaws, which requires 141 residents to establish a quorum.
“This association typically has low voter turnout,” she said. “Also the (current/former) board told people not to vote and posted signs that the election was canceled.”
If the past two elections are found to be legally defective as the current/former board claims, they will conduct an election Dec. 2 to fill three seats. Hoefler, Cary and Barrileaux have termed out. Ballots are scheduled to be sent out Wednesday.
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4239.
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