In Steve Spanier’s Candidacy Statement in the February 15 edition of the Oakmont News in reference to “Administration Accomplishments” since April 2018, he appears to be taking personal credit for these supposed accomplishments. Other Community members to whom I have spoken definitely had this perception, assuming his claims to be true.
I have verified certain facts from multi-year Board Minutes, former Board Members, and other documentation and would like to either clarify, appropriately attribute credit, or distinguish items that are on-going functions that every Board and Administration attends to on an continuing basis.
In order to both illuminate and simplify I have separated his claims into three categories, indicating misrepresentation, correct assignment, or continuance of projects, tasks, or initiative begun by previous Boards as supported by the above stated documentation. In order to avoid repetition at times I simply refer to the item number as stated in Mr. Spainer’s Candidacy Statement.
- Items that were a Continuation of Previous Board’s initiatives:
- Financial Policies Review started with the 2017-2018 Board (item 2)
- Bylaws Revision Committee the endowment of previous Board(s), most recently the 2017-18 Board (item 2)
- Fire Safety – Being the stewards in place during the October 2017 Wildfires, 2017-18 Board made this a priority for the rest of their term, including holding workshops to gather community concerns and input, investigating the possibility of a siren system, recognizing and honoring our First Responders, attempting to build a memorial park to honor those heroes, actively trying to insure each neighborhood had a notification system for emergencies, and making Fire Prevention and Safety a priority in researching and selecting a new General Manager. (item 2)
- The introduction of an open forum associated with each board meeting agenda item was originally initiated by 2017-18 Board Member Ken Heyman (item 5)
- Workshops on a variety of topics including: By-law revisions, Pickleball, Berger, East Rec Balcony, Fire Prevention and Safety and so on, have been an ongoing staple of numerous Oakmont Boards for many years, including the 2017-18 Board. In addition, a number of Boards, notably the 2015-16 (Frank Bachelor, President) held more informal “Fireside chats”. (item On #9)
- The East Rec Renovation was initiated under the 2017-18 Board, however, numerous costs overruns were approved by the current Board, including the replacement of a/v equipment, at considerable costs, which had been entirely replaced and upgraded only two years before. Essentially, “throwing out” equipment, etc., that was practically brand new ” and replacing it with a system costing three times more. (item #10)
- Despite the offer of free dog park privileges at the kennel on Hwy 12 across the street from Oakmont. Dog owners concerned with traffic, parking, other issues appealed to the 2017-18 Board to explore the option of a Dog Park within Oakmont. A Committee was appointed by that Board with a Board Member providing information and contacts for grants for both the development of and maintenance of community dog parks, as well as grant funding for dog proof fencing. No action was taken by the Committee or the 2018-19 or the current Board to utilize sources to reduce costs to Oakmont Residents for this amenity. (item 12)
- Mr. Spanier “neglected” to take credit for the work of the 2017-18 Board in resolving years of conflict within Oakmont, by “Completing” Pickleball Courts at the East Rec, providing an additional two courts for players, while saving the OVA hundreds of thousands of dollars over the projected four courts at the CAC.
- Resurfaced CAC parking lot, CAC Pool and upgrades to a saline system, these projects were a part of the Reserve plans of previous Boards and have been built into the budget during the appropriate years based on usage and age. Thus this is an ongoing process that should be maintained and planned for by each and every Board. To take credit for something that has been planned, and allotted for years on a regular basis is to assume credit for the ongoing maintenance established, overseen, and executed by previous Board and to presume the OVA membership is either “uninformed” or worse.
- The Berger A/V improvement also falls into the framework outlined above. This in ongoing regular maintenance that every Board should be aware of and plan for accordingly, it is simply business as usual, unless there is a maintenance impediment. (item #25 )
- Again, business as usual, the Fitness Center equipment needs to be and is constantly replaced on an ongoing basis by every Board depending on the usage, age and warranties. (item#29)
- Staff Responsibility
- The installation of new shuffleboard court was a Board directive required of the Facility Manager during the 2017-18 tenure, however, despite clear and frequent instruction and intervention, this was stalled/road blocked by those hired to ensure this took place (item #27)
- This also applies to the long delayed Horseshoe courts at the West Rec., as well as, the renovation of the Putting Green area and the walk way behind the Maintenance Building , these are the responsibilities of the Facility Manager, Rick Aubert, which are still incomplete after nearly three years. The lack of maintenance of this area creates a Fire Hazard during many months of the year, thus endangering the entire community.
- One of the responsibilities of the General Manager is to provide information, clarification, and correction pertaining to California Code, Davis Sterling, and HOA law to the Board of Directors, Committees, and OVA Staff to ensure compliances with those requirements and provide guidance in whatever “gray areas ‘ that may occur. This is an ongoing requirement and responsibility of his job since his hire in January of 2018, thus providing this to the previous, current, and any newly appointed Boards until separation from the OVA. Therefore the “spotlight reports” are an ongoing and required function of his job and have been employed since his hire in January 2018. (item#23)
- When the Community Church was “temporarily” moved from the Berger and placed in the CAC, it was with the commitment of Steve Spainer and this Board that they were guaranteed a return to the Berger Center where the Community Church has held service for 50 years. Clearly, relegating them to another space, which has imposed great hardship on the clergy and congregation, as well as betraying a promise made, is NOT a Resolution, but a breach of honor and commitment by the Board to the Church.
- Equally disturbing is the “claim” that a small claims court case was WON. As an attendee to this hearing, much relevant information was withheld, denied, or outright lied about by the “defendants”, that is, those who testified on behalf of the OVA. To utilize misinformation and misrepresentation to manipulate outcomes doesn’t change reality. (item #19)
- Hired new corporate legal council: The irony of this statement is that a number of the current Board Directors campaigned on flyers attacking the 2017-18 Board for dismissing the Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller, & Moskowitz LLP as legal counsel. This was completely inaccurate, for well over 20 years Malcolm Manwell served our community in this community and then after a brief hiatus Martin Hirsch, also on staff with the above named law firm continued in this capacity. However, quickly after the 2018 election the current Board dismissed the Legal Council that had kept them out of lawsuits for over 24 years. (item #22)
The sad fact is that for the past two years this Board has been wasteful, extravagant, violated OVA By-laws, swept things under the rug, and have failed in their fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of our commonly-held community of which every one of us is an equal holder, examples of this are:
- the pending Dog Park is estimated to cost well over twice the amount necessary for a viable project as demonstrated by other similar projects.
- commitment to buying 5-AED devices that will cost $9000/yr. in maintenance, without the statistics and sound procedures for implementing this plan of action. [“the package” included $150/md./unit X12md. X 5 units= $9000/yr. for maintenance alone]
- motions towards creating a “New Berger” we are ensures of many years of debt, assessments of upwards of $5,000 + per household, ongoing conflict, and for those whose homes will over look the former putting green/or lawn bowling court, reduced home values since their view will consist of concrete, asphalt and a larger building, not to mention those that will be forced out of their homes by unnecessary and extravagant spending.
- Both last year’s Election and the one currently in progress are in clear violation of the OVA By-laws which state: … that there must be a minimum of two more candidates than the vacating seats”, ergo a minimum of 6 candidates [By-Law 5.4.1].
- Additionally, no other OVA Election Committee has had sitting Board Members on the Committee. Clearly, this is an unprecedented “Conflict of Interest” and an abomination of the Election Process. In essence, the only real function of this Election is to determine which of the four candidates has the least votes and will thereby serve a single year. Fundamentally, this is a “Mock Election” which sadly has happened two years in a row – Truly a Black Mark in Oakmont’s history.
Boards are not autonomous. They are a continuation of “ shared attributes”. Based on these facts I am calling these candidates into accountability. Mouthing words like “accountability” or “transparency” while acting in one’s own self-interest or self-desire remains a “Conflict of Interest” requiring removal from the discussion and Board voting process.
You, as Board Members, MUST represent and protect our “greater” community and become truly transparent in your decision making process with ramifications, impact and consequences of your resolutions, which is your fiduciary duty of “Loyalty and Care” of this entire community.
I recommend not voting in this election so a quorum cannot be reached, thus requiring another election in which our By-Law requirements are fulfilled – that is at least two more candidates than the vacating seats or 6 candidates not chosen by sitting Board Member, so all of Oakmont actually has a “choice”. This would also require a Nominating Committee not composed of standing Board Directors. What we now have is a single “slate”. And the fact that Candidates Evening was originally scheduled for the ERC that seats max. 150 members speaks to the importance that this Boards put on that event. [see 1/21/20 membership packet pg.177]
NB. I sent an email to Board President Spanier & GM Kevin Hubred challenging the 1 yr. position for one of the 4 candidates, which conflicts with our By-Laws 5.3, 5.3.1 & 5.5; but I haven’t heard back from them yet.