Directors’ Board Meeting Changes
November 4, 2018
Board Meeting Changes: We had our first "Board of Directors' Discussion Meeting" this month. The discussion meeting is where we will discuss issues of a general nature and subjects that will be coming to the "Regular Board of Directors' Business Meeting" for final approval. We had some awkward moments, with no one really having anything to say. I think in radio they call it dead air time. We were more casual about how the audience interacted and they seemed to enjoy the interplay. This was a smaller audience and they were very courteous. A larger group might force us to exercise more control.
What did we learn? We will do a better job of defining the subjects, identifying the intended outcome from the discussion and creating a discussion framework for critical areas to be covered. We are considering using a volunteer runner with a portable microphone to make members more comfortable about speaking up and being heard. We may even arrange the Board table in more of a horseshoe shape to encourage interaction. With the tables laid out in a line, you can't see who wants to talk and the all-important body language. Anything to improve communication is fair game.
It is important for members to understand that subjects like Clubhouse painting or buying picnic tables for the parks will be debated, as they were in this meeting. If you have an interest and want to make your views known, this is the time to speak up and make an impact. When these same subjects come forward for a decision in a following Regular Board Business Meeting, the Board will focus on any additional information developed since the Board Discussion Meeting, including incremental member input. Regular business meetings should be short … we hope.
Litigation: We have two areas involving litigation where I can provide limited information. Please understand that confidentiality agreements and the legal process limit the amount of detail we can disclose at this time.
We must once again thank our Lake Committee for their outstanding work on the E.coli issue. With their leadership we had a lake water testing program and, after a great deal of effort, were authorized to initiate a program to somewhat limit our resident population of geese. After we were advised there may have been E.coli 0157:H7 in the Commodore Beach area, our team stepped up testing and has implemented breaking new testing methodology to identify the 0157:H7 strain more rapidly and efficiently.
We continue to engage the appropriate public agencies and push for response and involvement in addressing this outbreak and efforts to identify the source. We recognize this process is taking time and the members of Lake Wildwood have been limited in their use of the Lake and incurred economic burdens addressing this outbreak.
Our team is reaching a point where it appears we have done about as much as we can within the Association boundaries. The findings from the 2018 testing season increasingly support a belief that the geese are playing a major role in our problems with E.coli. Although we still face legal challenges regarding the outbreak, we have excellent legal counsel provided by our insurance carrier, and we recently communicated with Nevada County and NID at a counsel-to-counsel level requesting help with testing in the watershed beyond our boundaries and supporting us in efforts to manage the numbers of resident geese in and around Lake Wildwood.
Bob Bumgarner and Byron Maynard have filed a petition for a writ of mandate with the Superior Court. The objective of this legal action is to secure a court order to have the Association place Lucinda Price back on the Board. The two members claim they voted for Ms. Price and they contend that the Board improperly vacated her position. Therefore, they claim they were denied having her on the Board. Again, we have excellent legal counsel provided by our insurance company, but the deductible is $10,000 and we are incurring some legal fees to transfer information to the new legal team. We recently attended mediation and the legal process is ongoing. These disputes unfortunately take up time and treasure.
Odds and Ends: Feedback from the first two sessions of the HOA governance "Informed Members" program are very positive. There has been a good turnout and people are becoming educated and engaging in the art of HOA governance. This will not be a one-time program. The CRC will take learning from this series and make improvements for next semester.
I am very pleased with the way this Board is working together and we are determined to make it a model for the overall community. We can hold and express different views on an issue but after a Board vote we must align and support the decision for the good of the total membership.
We will have another Board workshop meeting on the development of our objectives. We need to have clear direction going into the budget cycle. We are listening to each other and individual Directors are looking for ways to contribute their talents to reaching these shared goals.
I would like to thank the community for the improved tone, respectful questions and comments, and giving this Board a chance to get up and running. We will try our best to deliver on the expectations we set.
We are starting to plan our first town hall meeting. It has been suggested by one of the committees that we select the top three issues and organize community discussions around these current topics. The Board could organize and moderate the event but rely on involved experts to make the discussion interesting and fact based. If you have a set of three issues you want us to consider, please send them to email@example.com. — Mike Doscher, President, LWA