Foothills resident takes HOA board to task
In August, I wrote an open letter advising homeowners of the Foothills Community Association (FCA) our HOA is in trouble.
Last week’s board meeting drove home how troubled our association is and it provided shocking examples of why homeowners cannot trust the board.
I pointed out that the contractor ProQual, working on a million-dollar irrigation replacement project, had received a citation and been fined by the Arizona Corporation Commission.
I was quickly interrupted by the board’s attorney who vehemently insisted that I was wrong; he stated emphatically that ProQual had not been cited or fined.
This supposedly non-existent citation is now posted on our website, www.thefoothillsinfo.com, along with the consent agreement that stipulated payment of the fine.
I confronted the attorney about statements he made at the August Board meeting defending the late mailing of absentee ballots for the recall election in May.
When he reaffirmed his position, I read him the very Arizona statute that he had cited, and this clearly said the exact opposite of what he had claimed.
A transcript of his earlier statement and the text of the statute are also on our website.
A truly unbelievable exchange occurred regarding the board’s failure to comply with Arizona’s Open Meetings statute. We challenged the board to explain how it had met in closed session to discuss legal advice from its attorney for 38 minutes BEFORE the attorney arrived.
The Treasurer initially responded that the board was discussing non-legal matters that are covered by other exceptions listed in the statute.
We then pointed out that the statute stipulates that the board must give advance notice of the exceptions that justify a closed session, and the board had only listed the ‘legal advice from an attorney’ exception.
The board President then switched the story and asserted that the board had been discussing a letter from the attorney. I doubt that even the board’s few supporters at the meeting could buy that the board spent 38 minutes behind closed doors discussing a letter from the attorney before the attorney actually appeared.
Sadly, the board’s dismissive attitude toward homeowners was again on full display. In two minutes, it discussed and moved to pass its 2020 budget.
Of course, determining how to spend nearly $2 million of our dues is one of the board’s most important functions, but it spent only one minute per million dollars on this during the meeting.
The only information provided to homeowners was a one-page summary made available at the start of the meeting, and there was absolutely no discussion of any details.
This made meaningful input from the homeowners impossible.
The board did pass a much-needed written procurement policy (which it acknowledges was in response to pressure from homeowners). This should have been a good thing.
But like the budget, the board had developed this policy on its own, and it rejected our appeal for an opportunity for proper homeowner review and input.
Amazingly, within minutes the board approved some $30,000 of our dues for a new FCA magazine in violation of its own new procurement rules.
In all fairness, it was the leadership—specifically the president and treasurer—who were the problem. Some other of the Board members seemed genuinely interested in helping the Association.
Reprinted from the October 2 edition of the Ahwatukee Foothills News