Board President Explains Price’s Removal
July 25, 2018
President's Report by Bambi Flanigan:
Due to the importance of the issue regarding the Board's action to remove Cyndi Price from the Board, I have been asked by the Board to include the following message in my Ebits article so that the Membership may have a greater factual understanding of what has recently transpired.
The last several months have been a very difficult time for the Board and the community. The Board acted on violations of the Code of Conduct by Cyndi Price in compliance with our governance documents, California law and compassion for the individuals involved. The Board strongly believes that it acted in the best interest of the Community.
During this period things were said about the Board that were untrue and have cast an undeserved shadow over the Board. The Board was restrained from openly communicating replies to these false allegations and statements.
In my President's report I will share some insights regarding the recent events surrounding the censure and removal of Cyndi Price from the Lake Wildwood Board of Directors. The intent is to present this information in a way that removes some of the shadow with facts and starts moving the community toward healing.
On Wednesday, July 11, 2018 an open hearing was held for the sole purpose of reconsidering the appropriate remedy in response to the determination made on June 8, 2018 that Director Price had engaged in behavior and had taken actions in violation of the Director's Code of Conduct.
Bob Bumgarner has publicly claimed that this was a meeting and therefore the membership should have been allowed to speak. Member notifications and statements by the Association lawyer at the start of the disciplinary hearing made it clear that it was not a meeting with member comment.
This open hearing was held based on demands by Cyndi Price and others. We wanted to provide as much transparency as possible and to provide Cyndi with the opportunity to present new rebuttal arguments that could possibly convince the Board to impose some other penalty or sanction short of removal from the Board.
There was no new credible evidence presented during this hearing.
Cyndi agreed to the July 11th hearing date and the Board was advised that Paul Towne would speak for Cyndi. However, shortly before the meeting Cyndi advised the General Manager that she would have an attorney present. After the meeting started the Board was informed that Cyndi's attorney had a conflict in his schedule.
The Association lawyer said that the request for a continuance would be required before the meeting was set and long before it was underway. Cyndi is a licensed lawyer, but when her attorney did not show up, Paul Towne made the slide presentation as originally planned along with his personal commentary for over 30 minutes.
Cyndi didn't make any statement or present evidence during the hearing. In fact Paul candidly stated that all the material had been presented and he was just stalling until their lawyer arrived. Contrary to the statements from Bob Bumgarner and others on social media, there was no rush to a decision and ample time was allotted to Cyndi to provide her evidence and no decision was made by the Board until approximately an hour and a half after the meeting began.
Unfortunately, Paul Towne made allegations during the hearing that were untrue and they are now being retracted on social media. It is difficult to "unring a bell" but here is some corrected information for the membership to ponder:
• Paul stated at the beginning of Cyndi's defense that she had not signed the Code of Conduct, he was shown a signed copy of the document by Cyndi.
• Paul stated that the Code of Conduct was not an official document and that Cyndi had tried to make it part of the Rules in a March Board meeting and the Board stopped her. Looking at the agenda and the minutes for that meeting this subject was not on the agenda. This allegation was retracted. The Code of Conduct was approved by the Board in a September 2015 meeting.
• Paul, Cyndi and others have referred to four illegal "secret meetings" on social media and that was brought up once again in the hearing. Paul has now remembered that posting of our meetings is not always done in eBits due to timing and all of the four meetings were in fact noticed in compliance with the Davis Stirling Act.
• Paul stated that three Board members had a meeting with Cyndi and pressured her to resign. He went on to say that she offered to resign only if the Board would agree to Cyndi's demand to "no disparaging remarks." Paul was at that meeting and seems to have forgotten the three other demands and the fact that she retracted that offer via email just after the meeting. The four demands were:
1. No disparaging remarks (Board members said make it mutual)
2. She be given complete freedom to work on a project with Paul such as the possible purchase of property from the Pleasant Valley School or Holub Ranch
3. Although the code of conduct was dismissed as not being a binding document, Cyndi demands the code to have teeth and to be made part of the rules
4. Finally, she demanded that her replacement on the board should be elected by the members, rather than appointed by the Board.
The Board remains confident that due process was followed, and the decision would stand a court test if necessary.
However, the Board remains open to any reasonable offer to reconcile the threatened lawsuits by Cyndi, Bob Bumgarner and Byron Maynard. On July 19th I received a request from Cyndi Price to meet and have a talk.
At that meeting Cyndi presented a verbal settlement proposal which, if accepted, would result in a withdrawal of any further threats of litigation. Pursuant to the proposal, Cyndi would be reinstated to the Board and then immediately resign from office. Cyndi said that she would also drop her small claims lawsuit. I requested it all in writing so I could present the proposal to the Board.
True to our history in this saga Bob Bumgarner and Byron Maynard, who were financing her threatened litigation, sent a settlement letter demanding Cyndi's reinstatement to the Board and $2000.00 for their expenses, along with other demands. This offer was not acceptable.
I hope that this will help the Community understand how the Board came to the decision to remove Cyndi Price from office for not one, but several significant violations of the Code of Conduct which she had signed at the beginning of her term of office.
It was no easy choice to vacate a Board Member and I remain hopeful that we can find a way to avoid the Community pain of more conflict from a lawsuit brought by members determined to put her back in the seat.
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