Confusion reigns in ASPOA as sides fight over election legitimacy
One side asserts Saturday’s election to recall eight of the nine Alta Sierra Property Owners Association board members will lead to the dismissal of nearly all the sitting members of the decision-making body — but the board members themselves continue to assert the election is illegitimate.
“The recall vote was a landslide,” said Kathy Monteiro.
Initial tabulations, which were presided over by Churchwell Tax & Business Services out of Auburn, indicate that participating voters overwhelmingly voted for the board members’ ouster to the tune of an average of 92 percent, according to an email provided to The Union.
Unofficial results of the election show about 140 people participated, meeting the quorum established in the bylaws, Monteiro said.
“Contrary to what the now-former board has been circulating, the eight members were legally removed at a duly noticed and held meeting with the voting tabulated by an independent accounting firm,” Monteiro said.
The highest vote for not recalling one board member was 15, Monteiro said.
Last week, legal representatives for the ASPOA board attempted to obtain a temporary restraining order blocking the election, claiming it was legally defective and, if allowed to proceed, would only cause confusion, anger and chaos.
Nevada County Superior Court Judge Tom Anderson did not grant the order but conceded he saw the logic in an argument that the legitimacy should be established prior to the election rather than afterward.
“That makes sense but is not necessarily what the law directs me to do,” Anderson said.
Instead, the court has assigned a tentative date of Nov. 7 to rule on whether Saturday’s election conforms to statute.
On Saturday, Don Bessee and other board members gathered at the Alta Sierra Country Club, where the voting took place, and distributed pamphlets that explained why the board believed the election was not binding.
“They could’ve done this the right way,” Bessee said. “We’ve wondered all along why they just didn’t do the paperwork correctly.”
The pamphlet states that Monteiro’s group failed to submit proof that 5 percent of member signatures were gathered, and that no special meeting to conduct the recall and an election was requested.
Also, the election was not properly noticed, the pamphlet said.
Monteiro and her fellow recall proponents will hold another election Nov. 2 to decide on replacements for the eight seats, she said.
“We anticipate more legal moves from the board to try to keep their positions,” Monteiro said. “Trying to stop elections through legal technicalities and deny the results of elections is a waste of time and effort, and it’s really sad that they are plundering the treasury to do it. It will take years for the treasury to recover and bring back the great programs this organization offered. It’s all been wasted on attorney’s fees.”
The ASPOA board, if it still exists, has scheduled a Dec. 2 election where Kathleen Carey, Paul Hoefler and Jim Barrilleaux will term out, leaving their seats open. Ballots are scheduled to be sent out Nov. 6.
For now, confusion reigns.
“An elderly gentleman called me twice last week, asking if he was a member in standing and eligible to attend ‘the meeting,’” said Julie Siegenthaler, the only current board member not to be involved in the recall election. “When I asked him which date he was referring to, he replied, ‘I don’t really know.’
“Until a judge tells us otherwise, we will continue to perform our duties as board members,” she said.
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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