By Dan Carrick (Original post is on the Voices to the Webmaster page)
I attended the ACHOA Community Meeting this past Tuesday evening (July 7) and was struck by the way I have emotionally responded to what was presented. Let’s just say that I am irritated, irritated by the ACBOD, FOA and the approximately 900 property owners who weren’t there.
Ostensibly this was a meeting of the AC Communications Committee representing the interests of the HOA.
It is my opinion that only the interests of the FOA were represented.
The advertised thrust of the meeting was to discuss the alternatives to having a golf course environment by transitioning the two golf courses to become brown native open space, a park-like environment with trees, pavilions, etc. to possibly having outdoor sports incorporated which would charge money to the public for participation.
The presentation was moderated by a professor at UNR and had as participants a landscape representative of Moana Nursery and the Washoe County Operations Superintendent (Parks & Rec). The purpose of the professor was to be a neutral person, the purpose of Washoe County was to discuss what failed golf courses were turned into and how they are managed and Moana discussed the estimated cost of going brown or conversion to another purpose (spreadsheet identified it was prepared for FOA).
The short synopsis is that nobody would ever want an expensive park which would charge money and be open to the public and it was shown to be clear that it’s much more cost effective to purchase the current golf club than doing anything else including a return to nature.
This whole exercise was a sham! I assume paid for by the HOA, you know, us, to positively show us that the FOA needs to be bought out!
Nowhere was there a whiff of the option of encouraging the FOA to become a raging success. Clearly it isn’t an option to the ACHOA BOD. Why not? Who drives these people to pursue what a whole lot of home owners don’t want. Is there any daylight between the BOD and the FOA? I really don’t understand what’s going on here; it’s enough to make me a drunken conspiracy theorist.
I have tried to attend as many of the HOA presentations and monthly meetings as possible. What has become clear is that participation in these community meetings is heavily weighted to people who have golf interests. Based on this past meeting I would say it’s probably 90% golf, 10% non golf. Someone stood up and pointed out that when a pro-golf person speaks it’s followed by clapping, when somebody else speaks it’s silence, sometimes with an air of disapproval (I am paraphrasing).
It’s clear to me that these community meetings are just sales pitches that will lead to only one conclusion. Somebody the other night wanted some hard numbers of what it means to our monthly fees. Well, so far the only answer is that nobody knows yet but it’s being worked on. Let’s face it, the hard number won’t be presented until the FOA finishes it’s sales campaign and the membership has been softened up a bit.
OK, here is my other gripe: People out there, where are you? What is this apathy?
I don’t understand it. Don’t you care? I personally am conflicted, it may well turn out that buying the property and leasing to APMG is the correct answer going forward, it may not. But why don’t you participate? Quite frankly the ACHOA BOD really only hears approval or disapproval of their actions from the golf interests. Is it such that if the HOA comes to you and wants a bump of any amount of money, say $10.00/mo., the answer is automatically NO! Well, that might not be very bright either, would it?
I would like to hear from others out there. Why aren’t you at these meetings?
Ellie, at 5:30pm, some, but not all people, have a glass of wine, some have lemonade. Non club members at these meetings are the guests of the Club and are certainly welcome to purchase a glass of wine, cocktail, diet coke or whatever from Redfield’s Bar. It has not been anyone’s intention to make a we – they division. Perhaps it should have been made clear that the bar was open to anyone over 21.
The Resident’s Center cannot accommodate the large crowds these meetings have attracted. One of the perks of The Club membership is to schedule meetings at The Club. A member of the Club invited the HOA Board and ArrowCreek residents as guests to hold the meeting in the Terrace Room. Not exactly neutral territory but the only alternative is to rent out the all purpose room at Hunsberger. I agree, perhaps a 6:30 meeting time would be more appropriate to accommodate those that are working and commuting.
Also, I was remiss in my remarks not to clarify my point. When we moved here 2 years ago, we made a personnal choice to join The Club to support this ammenity in this community. Our Club dues include the social and golf memberships. I was not implying you should subsidize the golf courses so I can play golf. As long as the Club is operational, everyone gets the beautiful landscape and the fire protection the golf courses gives us all.
These are just side issues. I am also tired of this division. I love this community and have many friends that are not golfers, social members and a lot of friends that are not members at all.
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Thank you Connie,
You expressed well a sentiment that many of us share.
First and foremost, THE CLUB at ArrowCreek is NOT an amenity. No matter how often it’s said nor in what forum, it is NOT an amenity. If people want it as an amenity, then tell the Board, elected by club members, to modify the Articles of Incorporation!
All of us would like this controversy ended and let us live our lives in peace and harmony. So, again tell the pro-golf ACHOA Board to terminate this talk of acquisition and let the club remain in private hands.
Alcohol should be absolutely prohibited at ANY ACHOA Board sponsored function, period.
After today’s postings, what I have to say seems unimportant, but I wanted to thank Connie for her comments and clarification. Good to know there is some common ground. I do however have trouble understanding why the HOA has to buy the Golf Club or why “the Club has to be operational, so everyone gets the beautiful landscape and the fire protection the golf courses gives us all” as you say. If by landscape you mean the golf course, its fairways and putting greens, only a minority (about 30%) of properties adjoin the golf course. I do not see the course on my way in and out of AC, or when I actually go for a walk here. What I see most of is native desert land, which I understand comprises a good part of the 545 acres of GC property. So, as far as my ability to enjoy the AC landscape, nothing much will change for me whether the course is green, brown, or converted back to native land. Fire protection is of course a concern, but the HOA board just announced in its latest newsletter its current efforts and future plans for fire protection. Whatever fuel management is needed within the golf course property, whether it is native land or the golf course, I believe is the responsibility of the owner. Until I am educated otherwise, again I do not see any change in my life here in AC regarding fire protection. What would change if we bought the course, would be my cost of living here.
The only fair and unbiased way I see to meet in the middle, is what has been said here before: let free enterprise rule. There should be no involvement of the AC HOA board and its multiple committees. A distant second option would be to grant people with different views equal time at HOA meetings to speak, and equal access to HOA funds to hire expert consultants and lawyers. I do not know if our governing documents would allow for that. I have a feeling if they did, someone would have seized the opportunity by now. This would protract this already long process and increase cost. So why the resistance to simply allowing marketing to do its job and let golfers, believers in the golf industry, and in “ the control your destiny”, and “home value” theories join the golf club, and the FOA ? The Club at Arrowcreek is close to its membership target. Congratulations! Having read recent postings on this site describing the actions of the HOA board, the FOA, and their supporters, I am asking myself more than ever: what is the reason compelling the HOA board, the FOA, and golf club supporters that they still feel the need to reach for my wallet? The information provided in the recent postings on this website is very concerning to me.
Is it really any wonder that we have received biased information, pseudo-information, and been misled by omission of truth ? We know that at least 5 members of the HOA board were elected by FOA support. The Arrowcreek Communications Committee and the Club Committee are heavily populated by club members, FOA members, and board members. (Details were previously provided by someone on this website under the title : Synopsis and Addendum). A quick internet search of the speakers selected by our representatives to make us feel that due diligence is done revealed:
Jennifer Budge- Washoe County Park Operations Superintendent, presented at 7/15 meeting: on google: Jeremy Budge is related to Ms.Jennifer Budge and is named as the AC Director of Golf and Golf Professional on the Club of Arrowcreek website.
Scott Gescheider – General Manger of Landscape Services at Moana Nursery, presented at 7/15 meeting: on google that lists Mr. Gescheider and various other members of his family as active Moana Nursery corporate members, Mr. J. Petite is listed as an inactive member of corporate management of Moana Nursery, past principal of Moana Nursery. Mr. Petite has an AC address, is an FOA member, listed as creditor in the AC Golf Club bankruptcy.
Is the course of action taken by the HOA board with regards to the purchase of the GC, the people they choose to involve all mere coincidence? You decide. I certainly hope, that the realtor who was picked to speak during one of the next meetings does not have any personal or business interest here in AC.
The following are suggestions, questions, and requests made during the 7/15/15 meeting by several homeowners, to be pursued and answered during upcoming meetings. I would like to put them on record here:
1. Request to the board: consider a study and analysis by an independent expert of costs of all options as it appears the HOA board and the key committees have a vested interest.
2. Request to the board and committees: bring us an analysis and projected budget figures for monthly/annual costs per homeowner for the various options.
3. Request to communications committee: present to homeowners the option of doing nothing, as in not purchasing the GC property in any fashion, because it is an option that has been kept out of the discussion
4. Request to audience: please help non-golfers not feel like outsiders during meetings at the Club House and refrain from applauding pro GC comments.( Perhaps if we all refrained from applause and other utterances more people would feel comfortable speaking up during the meetings and we could actually have a real discussion.)
I would add 2 more related requests:
Request to the board: disallow alcoholic drinks at HOA sponsored meetings or allow it for all of us. Having some people (club members) walk in with wine glasses and other alcoholic beverages while the rest of us get to partake in the lemonade offered by the HOA board fosters the “we- vs –they” mentality dividing our community.
Request to the board: move the meetings back to the Residents’ Club where we were all equals and consider different meeting time allowing everyone to attend, not just retirees, that statistically are strongly represented in the golfing population. At least in part because of the timing of the meetings, golf club members and supporters tend to be in the majority influencing the tone and outcome of the meetings.
5. Suggestion: all supporters of the AC Golf Club living in or outside of AC: join the FOA and create a new LLC and leave the rest of us alone.
6. Question to the board: What is HOA’s obligation or requirement with regards to the property of the GC? I would distinguish: presently while owned by the FOA, and in the future should the GC fail and the FOA decide to walk away.
I appreciate the resident who asked this key question during Tuesday’s meeting: the answer to this question by each of the HOA board members may help all of us understand why the board is still motivated to pursue the purchase of the GC property even though their own demographic study showed that only a minority is interested in golfing in our community. There is no legal obligation to buy or support it: the golf course is privately owned and operated. With the expiration of the letter of intent on 5/31/15 there should not be any moral or ethical obligation either to the FOA or the golfers and their interests. The arguments of “controlling our destiny” and property values have been discussed ad nauseam without any clear winner. There are research studies and statistics supporting both sides. So dear HOA board: why are we doing this?
I disagree with Ms Ghysels’ analogy saying that subsidizing the club with increased HOA fees is the same as paying HOA dues for the amenities we all agreed to pay for when we moved here, whether we use them or not. The GC has always been a separate and privately owned entity located in our community . Membership has always been a voluntary, individual option, not automatically tied to owning property in AC. Paying our HOA dues allowing us to use the AC amenities is different from paying to finance and be part owners in a risky business like a owning and operating a golf course.
Be careful with your research. Mr. Pingle is not related to Mr. Pringle of ACHOA. The UNR professor was apparently nominated by J.R. Rodine and that is/was Prof. Pingle.
Thank you Ron and my apologies to all. I copied and pasted the name from the invitation posted on 5/18/15 in my search. Could you please correct the error by taking out the respective paragraph. Thank you!
Ron, if the golf club fails, I would think Washoe County would pass those fire protection maintenance costs to the ArrowCreek residents. The money has to come from somewhere. Who knows at this point because the Club is not even for sale right now.
I went to the presentation as an ArrowCreek resident. The presentation showed us what the potential maintenance costs would be if the golf course went brown and to give the residents more information IF we are asked to vote to buy the Club.
If Washoe County is responsible for the land and fire protection service at that point, I would not think they would maintain former cart paths as walking trails for ArrowCreek residents only. Perhaps they will make the walking paths open to all of Washoe Count residents. There goes the need for the gatehouse.
I hope the Club is successful and when this is behind us, everyone can be friends again without this “elephant in the room”. .
Mike, please don’t lump Club members into “drunken spoiled college kids” name calling is not productive if we are to have constructive conversation.
I am from California and could have taken serious offense to the facilitator that dissed California. He set the stage for a further divided audience from the get go. The facilitators’s comments, like name calling is not necessary.
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I call it how I see it, which may offend people, but get over it. One of the big problems in this country, sensitive self entitled people, which is what is happening at Arrowcreek. It would be nice if we could have an objective discussion about this with facts and commonsense instead of the, “my way or the highway” attitude. I’m not lumping club members into anything, I was once a member. The spoiled drunken college kids (even though they are well past college age) were the ones at the meeting acting just like that. It’s not the first time they’ve been there and it won’t be the last. It’s not our fault they are mostly FOA members, it just is what it is.
He who owns the property is responsible for it, PERIOD. Especially here in law-less Nevada. CA attitudes, and yes I too was offended by the moderators comments, don’t fit the Nevada way of doing things.
As for the vote and a choice of going brown, keeping green open space or a golf course the committee could have done a much better job of identifying our current situation, i.e. a private investment group owning the club and course, versus a hypothetical situation of the ACHOA acquiring the assets and then determining what to do with them. Since we already own 504 acres of common space, why would anyone want to increase that by 525 acres and do NOTHING with it?
The ACHOA doesn’t have a ‘plan.’ All they’re trying to do is reimburse friends who invested in a losing business. Did the ACHOA try and assist any property owner who was getting ready to be foreclosed? No. Then why is the ACHOA trying to ‘salvage’ this business? Property values can’t be the reason as it has been shown, both by current Washoe County records and the UNR study of D’Andrea and Northgate, they are not affected by a course closing. It can’t be that some people are mired in the fifty’s where golf was ‘king.’ So, exactly what is it that keeps driving this Board’s obsession? your guess is as good as mine as they have been less than candid with the owners.
Let the club stay as private enterprise and if the county owns it they will take care of it. In fact the county already co-owns, listed a secondary owner, of two of the Golf club parcels. By-the way, ArropwCreek already allows bike riders access to our roads without restriction, as a result of county open space access requirements. Hikers would be a logical extension.
Lastly, ACHOA meetings should be held without alcoholic libations. Perhaps then people will be a tad more respectful and serious.
Most homeowners absolutely care what is happening. However, the meeting times are not convenient, and as someone else pointed out, a waste of our precious time when a lot of us have busy lives with jobs and children to raise. I personally, have faith that the CNA is watching out for my interests and letting me know when key meetings and votes are taking place. I do take time out for those. Why are we still discussing this? I attended a meeting not too long ago and this issue was “off the table”. Maybe because so many of us showed up to protest and they didn’t want a public fight? Now they are re-introducing the issue again when they think we are not paying attention??? I think we made our point before, there will NEVER be enough people who want this to happen to garner the necessary votes. Give it up!
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Dear Tired of This,
Our beleaguered President Fox was not forthcoming with the truth if you heard him say the matter of acquiring the the golf course was “off the table.” Perhaps the question of a joint venture with Arnold Palmer Golf is off the table, but our illustrious Board and its acquisition hungry Committees are actively working toward owning the GC.
Seems that a number of their members are visionary, and see GC ownership as a way to “control our destiny”. It all sounds very romantic, but the financial reality simply doesn’t support GC ownership.
So then they babble about preserving property values, but not a single visionary has addressed what happens to property values when HOA dues rise significantly to subsidize a cash burning GC operation, and when special assessments are issued to us to cover major capital projects like roof, greens, and sprinkler replacement.
I’m tired of this also; I’m sick and tired of it. And I will continue to raise concerns and demand answers and transparency.
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I have attended all but one of the meetings and cannot agree that it is totally lopsided in favor of FOA. In fact, the first one was mainly attended by those in opposition to buying the Golf club and this one the other night was relatively neutral, just boring. I am not a member of the Club and have only lived here for 7 months, so am just trying to figure out all this animosity and division between neighbors. So sad! We moved here because we love the mountains and views and how well kept the entire development is. I’m hoping that the next meeting will be more informative and get down to the bottom line of what the different options will cost to us homeowners. One of the problems I see is that most HOA members don’t really care what’s going on. I know I’m the only one in my neighborhood who is interested. That’s very typical of any homeowners association.
In my opinion, the Brown or Green presentation was offered to ArrowCreek residents as another brick of information for the foundation of knowledge we must build to make a decision if the purchase of the Club at Arrowcreek ever comes to a vote. The information did lean to the Club’s side. Keeping a Golf Course brings in revenue and is less expensive and more beautiful than maintaining brown fire breaks for protection.
I was there to find out what the cost might be to my HOA dues should the golf course go brown.
The presentation did err by not doing the bottom line per resident. But the high and low ends were presented and simply math would give the answer. Which was done orally by a few in attendance.
Bottom line, we, the Homeowners are obligated to maintain the space and PAY for the maintenance should the FAO walk away. The FAO can sell it and perhaps we would get a great owner or not.
I agree, there should be more homeowners attending to see the presentations. Perhaps they could be taped or the information distributed through email.?
I am a Club full member. I pay my HOA dues and do not use some of the recreational facilities at the Resident’s Center. But I am happy the tennis courts, pool, dog runs etc are a part of the ammenities for for those that do use them. I pay my full member dues to the Club and have pleasure of participating in the club social activities and to golf. The Club at ArrowCreek is once again the heart of our community. I support the Club by being a member, for the beauty of the Golf Courses, the active social life at the Clubhouse and for the added fire protection the greens provide.
These HOA Communications meetings are giving us the opportunity to make an informed decision.
By the way, there was clapping for remarks made by both points of view.
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I could be wrong, Ms. Ghysels, but I don’t believe we would be liable for maintaining the golf course property should the owners abandon it.
The presentation cannot provide a bottom line cost per resident because the Committee doesn’t know. It only has estimates, projections, and guesses. You are free to believe what you want.
The Club may be the heart of your community. It decidedly is not the heart ArrowCreek. But I do wish it much success and a willing buyer if the owners choose to sell.
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We are so pleased that you support The Club and we don’t have to!
However, you clearly have some misconceptions regarding the options. First, the presentations on Tuesday were slanted to a perspective that the property owners had already agreed to acquire the Club and its assets (the 525 acres of the golf course and make them ‘common property.’). That most definitely has not been agreed upon so the premise of the meeting was false from the beginning. Then as you point out, there’s the issue of costs. To get a true set of facts is and will be difficult. However, we were informed that the club is losing about $1,000,000 per year at the meeting. IF the ACHOA were to own it, with the current membership rates, we could expect to each share in making this a zero loss. On-the-other-hand, if the ACHOA backs off and lets the club remain in private hands we don’t have to ‘pay’ anything out-of-pocket. In fact, the UNR study of D’Andrea and Northgate indicates no loss in property values if the courses were abandoned. Northgate closed at the beginning of the Bush recession and D’Andrea closed in the middle as property values were already trending toward the market. Also, it would not be the ACHOA’s responsibility for the land, it would be Washoe Counties problem as they would be the owner’s (this is part and parcel of Nevada’s property rights issues).
IF we can get a more balanced set of presentations before the owner’s available to hear them, then we just might be able to have an informed electorate, without the alcohol and catcalls form a biased audience.
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I wish people would listen to what’s being said and done right under our noses. Going to the meetings is pointless. I’ve attended several, taking valuable time off work to attend (I work from 0800 to 1800 in Carson City). We’ve voiced our concerns several times about having normal meeting hours. But, the board could care less. The board could really care less what we homeowners think, as evidenced by spending our money to entertain the FOA, get non-disclosure agreements, pay lawyers to research buying the club and finally, dismiss the survey sent out where over 75% of respondents could care less about golf.
I agree, these meetings are a sales pitch, backed by the FOA and ACHOA who want this golf course deal to happen at any cost. This board and the FOA have made it clear the focus for “our community” is their way or the highway. Both only seeing dollar signs for themselves.
Thankfully, there is a group of Concerned Neighbors of Arrowcreek who daily demonstrate the back door dealings between the FOA and ACHOA. If you want to make a difference, Dan, reach out to these brave citizens and join their cause. Or keep going to the meetings where we piss in the wind and watch grown adults act like drunken spoiled college kids.
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