Sam Fox Resignation Letter Publicly Surfaced by ACT

Introduction by R. Duncan

The letter below typifies the attitudes of the editors and staff of ACT. The letter, a ‘PRIVATE’ communication between an obviously disgruntled person and the ACHOA Board need never have been presented to the community. ACT appears to be continuing in the vein of divisiveness for the ArrowCreek community that they have professed to want to be ‘together.’

The summary of this letter is “…I will not compromise my position on any of these subjects….” For anyone in a position of authority elected by his constituents to have this attitude is a travesty. We, the governed, expect compromise for the betterment of our community. To resign because of a lack of compromise, that’s a shame. The issues referred to were and are not insurmountable. The issues that brought this letter to the light of day remain. They are:

1.) Relationship with the Golf Course: This relationship is imbedded in our CC&R,s and By-Laws with respect to a ‘Non-Residential’ area. The ‘issue’ of bankruptcy was intended for the previous owner to shed unwarranted debts and influence. It wasn’t going to go ‘brown’ and D’Andrea, a non-gated community, was never an appropriate example of what would happen in ArrowCreek. The Non-Residential area is now owned by the FOA and is doing quite well without the HOA’s funding. Does ArrowCreek need the golf course? That’s still a question that perhaps lies in the future.

2.) Use of ArrowCreek Name: The words ‘ArrowCreek’ appear in numerous places and publications. What the ‘failure’ to compromise brought about was a true community web site that allowed people to present their own views on the goings on within our community. It is not a ‘sterile’ management communications tool. Management did not appreciate the fact that they were being challenged to justify their words and actions. There is not, nor has been, any violation of copyright/trademark protections. In fact, the ACHOA Board should consider licensing agreements if they are indeed concerned about the image of our community. Who has rights and who does not? People need and want information, suppressing it only leads to distrust and rumors.

3.) Distribution of Welcoming Flyers and Newsletters by the CNA: The ACHOA, post the Declarant’s/Developer’s transition out of ArrowCreek, rightfully focused on ‘managing’ the development. It has done a fair to good job in those functions. However, the members of Concerned/Caring Neighbors of ArrowCreek perceived that more could be done to build our community. One of those activities was to begin welcoming new resident owners. Many communities already have this function in place and since the ACHOA Board presented itself as ‘hostile’ to CNA suggestions (again ‘no compromise’), we struck out on our own initiative. it’s been demonstrated that that apprioach has had a positive effect and the ‘New’ Board is considering setting up and doing that function. That would be a great improvement that costs the property owners nothing. Lastly, there isn’t a CNA newsletter. Where that BS came from is someone’s figment of imagination.

4.) Administrative Committee: This tirade appears to come from a person who has no clue about the dealings of government contracting. The practice within government to have a ‘Best and Final’ competition for work to be done is a long standing method applied to get the best technical/management support for the least price. Indeed, the Administrative Committee followed exactly that process and did get the community the best solution for the least price. Complaining because you didn’t understand a process or were unwilling to compromise is a very poor example of leadership.

So, Thank You ACT for publishing this most private communication two months after the fact. I’m certain we’ll get many responses, not necessarily to your liking, but it will be from the COMMUNITY.

We’re now beyond this, so let’s begin acting like a community! Ron Duncan

REPOST:

Sam Fox, ACHOA President, Resigned

by A Community Team (ACT)

It is with great regret that the community learned of Sam’s resignation earlier this year. He was wise and fair president of the HOA for many years. We thank him for his service, and although he resigned over a month ago, we are posting his letter for two reasons: the community has a right to know why he resigned, and the controversial issues in this letter may not be fully resolved.

The ACT team sees the Board working together well now, and has every reason to believe they will continue to do so as discussions and issues arise this year.

Dear fellow Board members,

I have spent the previous week pondering over several major issues facing the Board this year. Following are my thoughts on what I perceive to be the major issues facing the ACHOA:

Relationship with the Golf Club

The relationship with the golf club is a symbiotic relationship. The golf club provides an attractive draw to people looking to live in an attractive beautiful community. While only 25-30% of our residents may be actual golfers, realtors tell us that over 50% of people buying in ArrowCreek like the idea of living in a golfing community. Those same realtors have described the golf course as the “jewel” of the community. The community provides excellent homes for those who want to be close to a golf course, and also provides other amenities such as walking paths, open space, pool, tennis etc. Given this relationship I believe that a close and friendly relationship with the golf club is very important. I was very surprised and disappointed when several of you did not want to publish an article in the bimonthly newsletter talking about the mutual cooperation that now is taking place between the two entities. I can only assume that some of you do NOT want this cooperation to continue. Some of you have said, and rightfully so that, “this is a private corporation”. I would like to point out that this corporation is also owned and controlled by our friends and neighbors. Since they have a vested interest in the community this makes the corporation different from a company in another state. The previous owners of the club ran it into the ground before they declared bankruptcy. Had it not been for the intervention of the FOA you would all be looking at 500 acres of dead grass. If you cannot imagine that, take a trip to D’Andrea and see what it looks like. An independent study concluded that a failed golf course could have a negative effect on housing prices of up to 20%. Despite the heroic efforts of the FOA in saving the communities most precious asset I hear some of you saying things like, “we need to keep them last arm’s length”. Instead of finding innovative ways to work together, it appears that we are going to take a “what have you done for me” approach towards the Club. I am totally opposed to this policy. It will only serve to bring down the community as a whole.

Use of the ArrowCreek Name

The name ArrowCreek is trademarked. It can only be used by the ACHOA and the Golf Course. Over the past year two additional web sites have come into existence as a result go the golf debate. ACT ( ArrowCreek Truth) and ArrowCreek 411. I, along with the rest of the Board decided not to challenge the use of the ArrowCreek name during the debate as we did not believe in stifling free speech during the debate. Now that the purchase of the golf course property is history, both of these web sites should be told to remove the ArrowCreek name from their titles. (ACT has already done so; therefore this site.) As I pointed out in a recent planning session websites serve as communication within the community but also, and more importantly, serve as a window to the outside world. Prospective buyers looking for information about ArrowCreek would have gotten three different web sites to look at. The official ArrowCreek web site, ACT and ArrowCreek 411. ArrowCreek411 is basically a blog which often contains inaccurate information, rumors and hateful comments. Is this really the website you want future buyers to see? The official ArrowCreek website should contain only the information and policies approved by the ArrowCreek Board. A failure to enforce this is an abrogation of the Board authority and in the end will be detrimental to the community. Both websites should be contacted immediately and told to change their names. Some of you are reluctant to do this so we are now using the “legal” approach to justify an action we have every right to take. Apparently we are afraid to approach members in our own community on this subject. Failure to act on this only serves to weaken the Board’s authority.

Distribution of Welcoming Flyers and Newsletters by the CNA

I was stunned to hear that the CNA is now distributing welcoming letters and starting their own newsletter. The fact that they did not consult or even advise the Board prior too starting this project tells me how little respect they have for the ArrowCreek Board. They are free to publish anything they want and you have no say in it’s content. Even if you continue allow them to publish their own material, at minimum, the material should contain a disclaimer saying that “the information provided here has not been approved by the ACHOA.” If this is allowed to continue different neighborhoods will be publishing their own newsletters and, once again, the authority of the Board will diminish.

Administrative Committee

As you all know I am in favor of eliminating this committee. Its main function is to obtain competitive bids for outside services. This function can and should be moved to the Budget and Finance Committee. This is a committee looking for something to justify their existence. Several members took it upon themselves to start designing a Community Plan. There is no need for a community plan as the ACHOA functions perfectly well at the present time. We have a sound financial plan, and an excellent reserve plan. We also have in place an excellent operations group which handles our maintenance and security. What is needed is a plan for the long term vegetation which will be planted and cared for in our common areas. Community plans have the long term effect of limiting the power of future Boards decisions. Future Boards will be limited by what the “plan” dictates.

I realize that my views on the above subjects are diametrically opposed to the opinions of some members of the Board. I feel very strongly about the issues I just discussed. I will not compromise my position on any of these subjects. Therefore, effective immediately, I am resigning from the ArrowCreek Board. I am also resigning from the Reserve Committee. I wish you all the best in the coming year.

Respectfully,

Sam

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2 Responses to Sam Fox Resignation Letter Publicly Surfaced by ACT

  1. H. M. says:

    All good points. Yes, we are in a better place than we were before the elections, but there is a lot of work to be done. Best of luck to the board.

    Like

  2. Ellie says:

    HOPEFUL REFLECTIONS
    Thanks for the unofficial synopsis of the recent HOA board meeting on 2/16/16 and for the reblog of the document on HOA and golf club collaboration by Sam Fox, former president, new golf club member, and Paul Burkett, member of multiple AC committees, golf club member, on the acommunityteam.com website, (the old FOA sponsored “ArrowCreek Truth”) aka old/new ACT site. Thanks for posting Sam Fox’s resignation letter. I concur with questioning its informational value at this point in time other than opening up old wounds with what we knew already: his unwavering support for the golf course purchase despite growing opposition, and his stance against reassessment or improvements to keep the status quo and with it old, favored power structures in place. And thanks for your continued vigilance in observing developments within our community, and for continuing to be inclusive in posting comments representing differing points of view while protecting people’s privacy if desired. All of it is very much needed. Here are some of my observations regarding the HOA board meeting (now available on video) and reflections on the state of our community.

    1. New HOA Board appointments
    The HOA Board was acting within its authority to select Al Liebman, new golf club member, as our new president. He supported the purchase of the entire golf club property in the past. It was also within the board’s authority to appoint John Krisch to fill the vacant slot on the board left by Sam Fox’s resignation. John Krisch voted no on the golf course purchase proposal: perhaps that is wherein the balance lies. However, the appointment process was questioned by several homeowners during the HOA meeting on 2/16/16. Since there was no public announcement, possible candidates were excluded from being appointed. Even though the board followed bylaws and the NRS, and acted within its rights, perhaps it may not have been the best way of going about the board appointments. Based on the reaction at the HOA meeting, people perhaps were hoping for more or were expecting something different, especially from the three new board members that were elected based on the promise of more transparency and open communication. Nerves apparently are still quite raw. Let’s hope, the new board, under Al Liebman, can restore our community.

    2. Collaboration between HOA and the Club at ArrowCreek (TCAC)
    About 8 years after the developer sold the ArrowCreek golf club to Charles Leider, and more than one year after the FOA bought the golf course out of bankruptcy, we are looking into updating our CCR’s. Part of that effort is to clarify and legally define the collaboration between the HOA and the golf club owner, and the rights and responsibilities of the golf club owner versus those previously held by the developer, or declarant. Pertinent language left by the developer in our community documents is vague. The area of particular interest is the monthly fee for road usage and security that TCAC pays to the HOA. The working hypothesis is that the golf club has been overcharged, as per Joyce Seelen, board member, Governing Documents Committee member, HOA/golf club liaison, golf club member. The going basis for calculating the annual fee for road usage and security of about $15K is 6 equivalent lots.

    All traffic, within AC and coming in from the outside to the club house of TCAC, such as from staff, vendors, service men, is needed for the golf club to run its business and to create revenue. It includes the traffic and revenue generated by non-resident club members, their guests, tournament players, and by non-resident activities at the club, such as weddings, birthday parties, and the like. The number of cars and trucks going to the club house easily surpasses the traffic generated by “6 equivalent lots”. The Finance and Budget Committee was tasked at the board meeting to determine the “real numbers” on an annual basis. Apparently nobody knew until now that this task existed in the CCR’s. What factors other than road usage will go into the calculations? Since the equivalent lots come with voting rights, what voting quota would be fair? Resident FOA members would get to vote as residents and as owners of the golf course with/for the FOA.

    To sort it all out, again legal services will be requested by the board. A homeowner suggested on 2/16/16, since the issue at stake pertains to both the HOA and TCAC, that the cost be shared. One should take this point one step further and ask the HOA board to explore the possibility of equitably sharing with the FOA the “just shy of $50K”, quoted by Paul Burkett, finance and budget committee, spent in legal fees and projects in 2015 related to the golf course purchase proposal. Both, the FOA and the HOA board were the entities driving the decisions regarding these expenses, but it was only the HOA residents that ended up footing the bill. Of course, most FOA members are dues paying residents. Before the December 2015 HOA board elections, there was no attempt to find out how many residents would be in support of spending money towards the golf course purchase. Based on election results, that number was somewhere around 230 residents. Let’s hope, a solution can be found regarding all these issues that is fair to all.

    The HOA may get a new website with a quick survey application. This tool can be helpful in the future before any major decision is made. Let’s hope the board will use it.

    3. A new direction for ArrowCreek
    The newly elected board members promised a new direction for AC and improvements of services and existing amenities. The one encouraging decision in this regard that came out of this first HOA Board meeting since the election is the creation of an Activities Committee. As much as this is needed and wanted based on homeowner comments in the past, it seems curious that volunteers have to fill in and do the work of very well paid personnel with Jeff Anderson, Operations Manager, Brenda Rodriguez, Activities Coordinator, and Jeanie Tarantino, Associa Management Company. However: forming an HOA Activities Committee is a step in the right direction. Let’s hope for more of that kind of positive, community building HOA board action.
    But how about also going back to basics by reviewing and updating job descriptions for our employees, establishing performance standards, conducting routine performance oversight (including regular quality control walk-abouts), and regular performance reviews of all of our employees, as well as a review of our current contracts with service agencies and companies? The Administrative Committee, that Sam Fox wants to eliminate as per his letter of resignation, has expressed support for this idea. The ACT site promises that they are “here to make sure our HOA dollars are spent wisely, in the interests of the entire community”. This seems to be an area where we can all agree. Let’s hope the board is listening.

    We have an opportunity to learn from the lessons taught by the last two years of back and forth arguments regarding the golf course purchase. We have a chance at a fresh start and at getting our community affairs in order. Let’s hope this 1st HOA board meeting in 2016 laid the ground work.

    Like

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