Sunday, April 30, 2006

Coto de Caza (BOD) May 2006 President's Letter

-----Original Message-----
From: Morabito, Joe
Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2006 2:27 PM
To: Cary Treff; J Harkins
Subject: CZ - Varo's Newsletter

Hello All: Since in this month's newsletter, presumably Bob Varo made reference to me and others in Coto who have been critical of CJ Klug and James Harkins, I thought I would address Varo's comments. First, as a former CZ Board Member I have had personal experience with four Executive Directors and three other attorneys. In some sense, I am one of very few dues paying CZ Members who can make that statement. With considerable thought and after several months of observation, I have called for Klug and Harkins to be fired for a variety of reasons. I believe Klug, who is being paid more than normal, has cost us a lot of money. The Board keeps retaining high priced Consultants to do what past Executive Directors always managed which I see as a complete waste of money. I also saw with my own eyes the unprofessional job Klug did managing the Security company bid. In addition, when questions are submitted to Klug which I have done on numerous issues, Klug never seems to do the homework to answer the questions.

Specific to Harkins, he justified on a phone call to me keeping those Oakview/Oakknoll gates open even though there is a legal agreement in place that was a condition of development which exposes our Members to unnecessary liability. There is also the Cowbird Mitigation requirement which I also hate; but it a requirement. I am sorry; but I do not believe that Kannen/Harle or Dick Fiore, our prior attorneys would have allowed the Board to ignore a legal agreement. I also don't believe that Harkins has done enough to keep the current incompetent CZ Board out of trouble as evidenced by the Welcome Home Center fiasco, the accident lawsuit that is pending, liability related to firing the CHP etc.etc. Harkins also apparently does not see a conflict of interest with using Association monies for Mezger to sell his wife's services at our gates and the whole idea that CZ Board Members who are all Delegates can veto their own Recall. Harkin's further must be sanctioning the subsidizing of outside groups and involvement with CotoCAN which exposes our Members to unnecessary liability. These are not just political differences as asserted by Harkins in my phone call with him. I believe some of these actions violate both the spirit and intent of our governing documents and the laws governing HOA's. As such, I have a real problem with all of these issues.

Last year, presumably at the CZ Board's request, Harkins sent out threatening letters to the Board's critics designed to silence us. If anything, that letter made it more necessary for us to speak out against all the mismanagement and fiascos that we have seen, particularly since we do not have democracy in Coto. If Klug chooses to sue the Association as a result of this criticism and the Association has any liability, it is because the current incompetent CZ Board, by their actions, has made him an employee in fact. As an employer, I have warned Varo & Company of the danger in doing that in many e-mails. Klug as a CZ employee, in fact, could sue for Unlawful Termination, Age Discrimination, Member Harassment, Stress and/or could be the basis for a Sexual Harassment lawsuit, as the person in charge, if another Keystone employee were ever to make such a claim. For all these reasons, the current incompetent CZ Board should have had no involvement with the selection, hiring or management of CJ Klug, instead of choosing him as our "city manager" reporting to them.

In any case, if the current incompetent CZ Board chooses to sue a Member who has been critical in an attempt to silence that Member, it will not only be a complete waste of money and time( I am insured against such lawsuits just like Bill Clinton - same insurance), it would cause me to react like a cornered rattle snake with the resources I have at my disposal. Instead of threatening those of us who are paying the bills, it would be better for the current incompetent CZ Board to just start properly minding the store in accordance with our governing documents and the laws governing HOA's. I am busy. That is all I need to shut me up. When and if that happens, I for one will stop writing e-mails and be happy to support the Board and our suppliers because I fully understand the hard work involved in managing the Association. Until then, and as long as I am required to pay CZ dues, I will exercise my freedom of speech rights. While our CZ Board electoral system is still very corrupt, the US Constitution and the first amendment do not stop at our gates. Our suppliers work for us and if they do a poor job, it is our right to criticize them and the current incompetent CZ Board. What else can we do, short of taking Varo & Company to court, to force proper governance. Joe Morabito

P.S. Remember, this is the CZ Board who would not appoint Terry Corwin as chairperson of the Safety Committee because she refused to give up her freedom of speech rights. This is not about any one individual; but really all Members who choose to criticize. If I receive any correspondence from CZ on any of these issues, they will all be made public. Trying to limit the right to criticize an HOA or its suppliers as a quasi-governmental body, could be a good case for the ACLU. But, it would just be that many fewer dollars the Board has to spend on Landscaping Replacement so I hope the current incompetent CZ Board exercises better judgment rather than emotional reaction to their critics.



As long-time CotoBuzz readers, from time time and to make sure we can follow arguments presented by the current Coto de Caza board of directors, we continue to update a glossary of terms used exclusively by the board.

Today’s word is “intense”.

Application: “Then, when the Board does contract for CHP enforcement in Q1 2006 and generates a lot of citations, the Board is criticized for being less “safe” than Ladera Ranch (who does not contract for intensive traffic enforcement with the CHP and consequently has lower citation statistics)” – Jerry Mezger, April 28, 2006

Discussion: Based on CHP, February 2006, schedules for Ladera Ranch, the CHP averaged 5 - 6 units per shift on Day Shift and Swing Shift, and 3 units on Graveyard Shift.

Because the board of directors allowed road certification to expire, there is only one road that the CHP can patrol – according the Mezger – that is intense patrol and not Ladera Ranch’s


The current Coto de Caza board of directors came to power with the help of non-resident Paul Young. Young is executive vice president with the CRI. CRI has been accused in the past of financial irregularities, which allegedly triggered an investigation by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). A brief Internet search of CRI, yields a large number of hits, including the ones listed below:

Until a few weeks ago, Paul Young was still listed in the CZ Master Association web site as chairman of the Delegate and Other committee, even though we communicated directly with those responsible for maintaining the site, that it was not being properly maintained. When Mr. Young was still residing in Coto, contrary to statute, he was allowed to count votes (only an inspector is allowed this), allowed use of association facilities (we were denied access to hold a Security Town Hall Meeting). Mr. Young also worked with the current board to expand the term “community”, to initiate a failed Delegate Stacking amendment scheme – all of this from a person who has nothing to lose.

We advised the board to refrain from hiring a security consultant, as the only practical application would be to use the consultant to manipulate the Orange Country Register – our words turned to be prophetic. More appalling, since the same board hired, then fired a volunteer public safety committee composed of concerned volunteer Coto residents – The reason: They would note give their free speech rights and refused to put the board’s personal agenda’s over the community’s public safety.

We have also written volumes about service providers having lost their moral compass, simply to do as told by the board.

It should be clear to all that the only ones responsible for any good or bad decision the board makes as a result of a non-resident’s input or service provider is not them, but Coto residents.

Now the board in addition to bringing in overly paid and underperforming consultants and service providers, want to bring in-- again – non-homeowners to stuff the ballots in committees – while they systematical have denied independent minded residents a chance to volunteer in a number of committees.

Metzger in his typical response to our public safety concerns asks the following question: “Do you guys really take our residents as dumb enough not to see through this?”

An objective view of the current boards legacy would have to be, but of course, Coto residents are dumb. However, we firmly believe that it is not cognitive skills that is at issue, but the board’s systematic approach to mis-inform and mislead.

Partial Results of Google Internet Search for Young, Hanegraaf and CRI

Weblog: Postal Service Denies Hanegraaff Fundraising Letter ...
CRI executive vice president Paul Young sticks by the letter, saying there ... Young Christian men 'are sexually active' | A research report has found that ...
1-CRI paid Kathy Hanegraaff, Hank’s wife $3.141 for miscellaneous ... 4- CRI paid for Hank Hanegraaff’s vitamins and for flowers he sent to his mother ... - 14k - Cached - Similar pages
Hank Hanegraaf & CRI Continue To Endorse Rick Warren
Hank Hanegraaf & CRI Continue To Endorse Rick Warren ... Team including the Deception In The Church web site will no longer support CRI and Hank Hanegraaf. ... - 33k - Cached - Similar pages
Thinklings » 2003 » July
CRI paying $66000 in July 2002 for a blue Lexus SC for Hanegraaf’s use – CRI paying Hanegraaf’s wife $3141 for “miscellaneous personal expenses” ... - 75k - Cached - Similar pages

Christian Research Institute ~ Home of the Bible Answer Man, Hank ...
CRI News. ::, Bible Answer Man (BAM). ::, About Hank Hanegraaff. ::, Inside CRI. ::, What Are The Essentials? ::, Radio Offers. ::, Kids Connection ... - 58k - Apr 28, 2006 - Cached - Similar pages
Christian Research Institute (CRI) and Hank Hanegraaff ...
Subject: Christian Research Institute (CRI) and Hank Hanegraaff • First posted: Jan. 13, 1997 • Last Updated: Jan. 22, 2005 • Editor: Anton Hein ... - 35k - Cached - Similar pages
Christian Research Institute (CRI) and Hank Hanegraaff ...
Hank Hanegraaff and Plagiarism Off-site Link . Apologist and former CRI employee Robert ... Hank Hanegraaff's rebuttal Off-site Link was published in CRI's ... - 37k - Cached - Similar pages
Hank Hanegraaff - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
After Martin's death from heart failure in June 1989, Hanegraaff became president of CRI. As part of his role as ministry president, Hanegraaff assumed the ... - 30k - Cached - Similar pages
Christian Research Institute (CRI) and Hank Hanegraaff ...
... If I learn of any future libelous conduct on your part with respect to Hank Hanegraaff or CRI, I will have no choice but [to] advise my clients to take ... - 37k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages
Christian Research Institute (CRI) and Hank Hanegraaff ...
stitute (CRI) and Hank Hanegraaff. Apologetics Index. ... - 38k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages Bible Answer Man (Hank Hanegraaff) - Today's Broadcast
Hank Hanegraaff serves as president and chairman of the board of the California-based Christian Research Institute International (CRI). He also hosts CRI's ... - 47k - Cached - Similar pages

Paul Young, executive vice president with the CRI said that they were able to ... Mail Fraud Investigation Launched Against CRI and Leader Hank Hanegraaff. ... - 28k

Walter Martin's Religious InfoNet - CRI Connection

Postal Service Denies Hanegraaff Fundraising Letter Regarding Lost ...
... CRI executive vice president Paul Young sticks by the letter ... fill a postal bag." Longtime CRI critic Bill ... US Postal Service, alleging that Hanegraaf's letter is ... - 12k -

Godlike Productions -- Confusion On End-Times Nonsense
Sparks also alleged Hanegraaff used CRI´s confidential donor mailing list for ... Mail fraud and wire fraud were said to be involved, including the illegal ... showdate=2/11/06&messageid=118291&mpage=1 - 83k

Postal Inspectors Continue Mail Fraud Review of CRI
Alleged CRI - Hanegraaff Mail Fraud Case Going Nowhere -- For Now ... problems -- alleged wife abandonment -- of Hanegraaff's right hand man, Paul Young) ... - 49k

On January 20 and 21, he spoke with CRI executives Paul Young and John Stoffel ... CRI paid Kathy Hanegraaff, Hank's wife, $3141 for miscellaneous personal ... - 84k

World Magazine Blog: Comment on Mail mystery
... messages above really an alias for Hank Hanegraaff or Paul Young at CRI? ... Lavonne's name only appears in various reviews praising Hank Hanegraaff or agreeing ... mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=12159 - 30k - Supplemental

CRI Provides Evidence to Dispute Claims of Mail Fraud Launched by ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
mistakenly received CRI mail at least once. In his letter, Hanegraaff reported, “…To ... Vice President) Paul (Young) went over there and picked it up. ...

Coto De Caza BOD Communication ERRATA

The May 2006 issue of the Coto de Caza President’s Letter contains an error that can have a significant impact on the 2006 board of director’s election:

The message reads in part “The newly elected Delegates from the 45 CZ Master Districts will be voting to fill two Board of Directors position in May. There are six candidates running and a “Meet The Candidates” nigh is scheduled for Thursday, May 11”

The problem is that there are only four candidates currently running – NOT six, as stated in the letter. George Barnes and Brett have withdrawn.

Given recent past history, most district delegates will either vote via proxy, or will abstain. Ditto for Candidate’s Night: We expect little to no interest in this meeting, since this is largely ceremonial.

If the district delegates are under the impression that the six original candidates are still running, given that cumulative voting will be used, the net effect is that proxies will be diffused, advantage the house!

Now of course, we know what the possible excuse will be from those responsible for managing the elections and communications with Coto de Caza residents: “The candidates who dropped out, did not follow proper procedure, so we cannot publish unofficial documents” – this coming from the same people who actively solicited district delegate candidates, directly benefiting the current board. The same people who have conveniently neglected to return calls from independent minded delegate candidates. The same people who conveniently sent out incorrect delegate candidate information to mislead residents in areas where in depended minded delegates had a chance to win! – Makes sense!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Justice Coto de Caza Style


We just had a constructive, and at times very heated, conversation with Orange County’s Deputy District Attorney, Susan Schroeder regarding the tragic accident that occurred March 12, 2006 at the intersection of North Hampton Place and Lexington Way in Coto de Caza, resulting in the death of 75 year-old Morteza Manian, as he was struck by an under-aged hit-and-run driver, eventually arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run and resisting and delaying or obstructing an officer.

Our position in this case to Susan is that justice has not been done – Immediately Susan went on the defensive stating that justice was being done – citing California Rules of Court, Rule 1423. Confidentiality of records (§§ 827, 828 and California Bar Association Rules of Professional Conduct, among a litany of other state and national statues. Our response? We know of quite a few attorneys whose behavior seems to violate every single rule contained in the California Bar Association – to which she agreed, that there is a significant number of non-conforming attorneys.

We also informed Susan that certain board sympathizers are placing the blame on the victim, who is unable to defend himself: “Another teen runs down an old man on a bike. The old man is violating the vehicle code, and the teen runs away after the accident. Is that right?” – writes this board supporter. The same person also admits to being new to the community, having little background when it comes to public safety issues, not having read the countless comprehensive security proposals rejected by the Coto de Caza board of directors – yet he is wiling to give the board a pass and condemn the victim!

So our question to Susan is: Given that there are people within Coto de Caza who are blaming the tragedy on the victim, who cannot defend himself, while at the same time, the Orange County DA is not able to say anything about the case – is that justice?

Anyone with information on how to contact Mr. Manian’s family, please send info to :
P.O. Box 154
Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678

Monday, April 24, 2006

Coto de Caza BOD Elections – Down to Brass Tax

We regret to announce that Brett Muiter is withdrawing from the 2006 race.
Due to personal issues, we have been informed that Brett is dropping out from the 2006 Coto de Caza elections. Of the initials six candidates, the remaining ones could not represent a more stark contrast:

For Status Quo
George Haggard:
Long time Coto resident. Has served in the Varo/Mezger CZ boards and like other members of the current board, hold district delegate seat, as well as seat on the board.

Steven Zipperman:
Three year Coto resident and practicing real estate lawyer. Has indicated sympathy with board’s regarding public safety, and has admitted lack of historical perspective in this area.

For Change:
Xochitl Yocham:
Long time Coto resident (16+). Experienced running multi-million dollar product line. Feels “ is important to bring new and independent views into the governance of Coto….”

Betty H. Olson, PhD
Long time Coto resident (16+ years). Professor on main campus and Medical School at UC Irvine.

Assuming there is a minimum number of “hit and run” district delegates (those who for ulterior motives vote for status quo, then hide), the community is actually well-served by Brett’s withdrawal as independent delegates have a real choice, and less of a chance that their vote will be diluted through the use of cumulative voting.

We hope/expect to see Brett back, but for now, we trust all his issues will be taken care of soon!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

THE CALL OF THE WILD: A Call to terminate Coto de Caza's General Manager

THE CALL OF THE WILD: A Call to terminate Coto de Caza's General Manager
A dialogue in the Coto Discussion Forum between a former Coto de Caza board of directors and a current district delegate with the argumentation that C.J. Klug, Kestyone Pacific’s employee assigned to manage Coto de Caza’s affairs should be terminated:

-----Original Message-----
To: Kesytone Pacific
Subject: CZ - Certifying Our Streets

Cary: Prior competent CZ Boards spent the money on Traffic Studies and proper signs to certify Coto De Caza Drive, Vista Del Verde and the main streets that connect them. Since Keystone Management and our current incompetent CZ Board allowed some of those certifications to lapse, I would think Keystone should be on the hook for some of this cost to re-certify those streets that were allowed to lapse. We do need new traffic studies for all of South Ranch because CZ had not taken over those streets when we did the initial certification and no doubt there are signs there that will need to be changed out in order to implement pro-active CHP traffic enforcement. I know the current CZ Board is incompetent; but that is no excuse for Keystone Management. Keystone staff members should have been on top of this. So, if your people including Klug blew it, which is no surprise, now Keystone should foot part of the bill to fix the problem. When we did the contract with Keystone, I think we inserted an indemnification provision that should cover this screw up. Varo and Company don't have a clue; but Keystone should have known and done better. Joe Morabito

P.S. Klug, our "Executive Director" should have caught this. This is his fault. And, though our incompetent CZ Board selected and hired him, he is on Keystone's payroll at higher than normal salary. Keystone must take responsibility for your employees. It really is pretty simple.

From: @CotoBuzz
Subject: [COTO] CZ - Certifying Our Streets and Many More Breaches!

Hi Joe: You are not only right on, holding Keystone and the CJ Klug responsible for the expiration of road certification, but may we humbly suggest that this is way overdue? - you have consistently given Keystone the benefit of the doubt, and turned out to be not deserving of it. We have documented Keystone being front and center of every major mishap affecting the community, yet nothing has been done about it. Here is a summary: Public Safety:When CJ Klug first came on board, we volunteered to meet with him and to provide him with all the information we had regarding public safety, including CHP statistics, William Pilot’s seminal White Paper on the State of Coto security (click here for copy State of Coto Security, a White Paper) critical of Keystone personnel and the board, and copies of a number of comprehensive security proposals which include traffic control, crime and vandalism prevention and invasion of privacy issues. He refused. OCR coverage of traffic controlWhen other Coto concerned residents invited CJ Klug to see first hand the dangerous driving conditions within the community, he refused. After the first fatality, OC columnists and reporters started using the terms, “The CHP published traffic statistics”, and more recently, in the 04-21-2006 issue of CanyonLife, OCR reporter Mark Eeades. Writes: “Recently, the California Highway Patrol sent a letter to C. J. Klug, manager of the CZ Master Association of Coto de Caza describing the amount and types of citations the CHP is writing. According to the letter, the CHP issued 64 citations for people failing to stop at stop signs, and 67 speeding tickets. All in all, the CHP spent 158 hours patrolling in Coto in the month of March and handed out 149 citations and 33 warnings” and in covering the April 13, 2006 Coto de Caza board of directors meeting that “CZ Master Association Manager C.J. Klug reported on continuing speeding problems along Coto’s main roads, and said people continue to run stop signs" Conveniently, no mention of the recent fatality that did not occur on a main road, and that all main roads are not traffic patrol worthy because he felled asleep at the wheel and let road certification expire H"e presented a California Highway Patrol report which showed the CHP issued 64 stop sign citations and 67 speeding citations within Coto in the month of March.” First, the CHP is not in the business of publishing traffic statistics. The CHP is the official state agency chartered with the collection and investigation of the traffic incidents. CHP management will go out of their way to provide communities with the information they need to prevent traffic accidents: When we have asked for daily reports, the CHP has provided the information. When we asked for weekly reports, the CHP obliged. When we asked for monthly reports, the CHP responded! – yet the board of directors calls the CHP extortionists and refused to provide them board meeting time for public awareness campaigns, but readily turn over control of board meetings to the producers of the Freaks! “Published” reports or not, these are the same CotoBuzz has been publishing for years and which we had asked Keystone and the GM to publish – we were ignored. In fact, Keystone’s senior management told CotoBuzz that Keystone did not have the authority from the Board to use meaningful public safety statistics! We should also mention that Klug met with CHP management, early on, and even then refused to publish CHP data! “Official Published Sheriff’s Report”By the way, we have also commissioned a report dealing with crime and vandalism, from the Sheriff, identical in format, to the one we worked on with the CHP, and have now started to make it available to Cotobuzz readers. No evidence of due diligence in firing largest private security company in the worldKeystone and CJ Klug participated in the firing of the largest private security in the world, in Securitas and replaced with one of the smallest in the region in UPS. When Klug was asked about due diligence, he mentioned having received six quotes, but an audit revealed no signs of due diligence ever used in the process. When we started to question the Securitas-to-UPS transition plan, we were told that the GM was responsible for the transition plan. We never did get a copy of such a plan, and we all know what happened. Transponder FiascoNot unlike the Transponder Fiasco. When we asked the GM for a copy of the Transponder Plan, his response was “define what you mean by plan”! Participation in the Sheriff is coming ruse – working with the Coto de Caza board of directors in support of Orange County Supervisor’s Trojan Horse, that allows the board to turn Coto into a city, as an excuse for not having the CHP in place. Use of Keystone’s List of Prominent Coto ResidentsWhen we first reported on Keystone’s List of Prominent Coto Residents, Keystone refuse to provide us with the data in the format we requested to confirm UPS management’s denial being erroneous, that their employee had never used the term. Arbitrary Decisions Architectural/LandscapingWhen we reported to Keystone various architecture/landscaping issues the response was “the association is not doing any work” in that area – we have the “before” and “after” pictures documenting otherwise. Keystone election manipulationWe have documented a number of instances where Keystone has participated in election irregularities, including the counting of ballots by non-residents, non-inspectors and “verbally approved results by legal counsel”. Irregularites in the 2006 elections include: Keystone employees soliciting proxies and delegate candidates on behalf of the board, using mis-marked and manipulated district delegate ballots, encouraging collection of proxies after election deadlines, etc., etc. – yet the GM claims no responsibility Other breachesOther Klug breaches include ignoring Coto resident’s request simply because these residents are critical of his or the board’s performance – a classic case of the tail wagging the dog! Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2006 8:09 AM
To: Kesytone Pacific
Subject: RE: [COTO] CZ - Certifying Our Streets and Many More Breaches!

CJ Klug should be FIRED. Keystone is going to have to deal with Klug and soon or they should be FIRED too. I can't continue to give Keystone a pass if they do not manage their employee even if it means confronting our current incompetent CZ Board. Remember, our former attorneys walked away from CZ business rather than work with this Board. As a former CZ Board Member, who has worked with four or five property management company "Executive Directors", I can say with some authority that Klug is not up to the job. Klug just does not have the energy, temperament or skills to do the job. If he was an Account Director at my company, first he would never have gotten the job; but second if he did get the job, he would have been fired long ago for his behaviors. This is particularly aggravating given that Klug is earning a higher than normal salary. This is just one more example of many of the fiscal mismanagement we continue to see at the hands of our current incompetent CZ Board. In addition, since Klug can't do the job, CZ must retain high priced Consultants to do it for him which is a double whammy for our Members. Specific to the failure to maintain our street certifications, of course the buck ultimately stops with our current incompetent CZ Board. This is just one of many fiascos we have seen from Varo and Company during the last four years. Yes, the Varo/Mezger/Thagard Team is incompetent; but Keystone is not off the hook on this one either. I am pretty sure I installed an indemnification provision for screw-ups just like this one in the contract I did with Keystone five years ago. And, assuming the current incompetent CZ Board did not take that provision out of the contract in later versions, I believe that Keystone should be paying for any additional cost that CZ incurs to get those streets re-certified. Ultimately, as the so called "professionals" in this picture, they must be held responsible as well for this mission critical failure. Joe

Friday, April 21, 2006


The April 21 issue of the CanyonLife reports that “Fred Lisanti of Pacific Oak Security, security consultants to the ( Coto de Caza) board, presented a report indicating the official crime rate in Coto de Caza is low when compared to other communities of its size.

This after CNN/Money in 2004 reported that according to FBI and other agencies, the Coto de Caza crime rate was higher/per capita than any other neighboring gated or un-gated community. Even so, CNN/Money had Coto de Caza in their list of the Best Places to live, alongside Rancho Santa Margarita. As of 2005 CNN/Money dropped Coto de Caza altogether.

The CanyonLife then goes on to “report” that “Lisanti said one of the reasons for the low rate was that people within the community usually call Coto’s security department rather than the sheriff’s department, even when security advised residents to call the sheriff.” – As Cotobuzz had predicted, the only practical use for a “security consultant” is to manipulate the local media! – By the way, Coto residents, who was responsible for the recent Transponder Debacle? Exactly!

The Real Picture


Totals Reports (Part I, II & III) 18 22

Part I
Aggravated Assault 0 2
Burglary 2 2
Larceny/Theft 4 2

Part II
Other Assaults 6 1
Fraud 2 5
Other Offenses 1 3
Suspicion 2 0
Vandalism 0 3
Vehicle Violations 0 1

Part III - Non-Criminal Incidents
Prank 1 0
Other Non-Criminal 0 3

Total Number of Domestic Violence Cases
Domestic Abuse 1 3

Total Number of Arrests 1 0

Age Breakdown for Suspects Jan-06 Feb-06
17 years and under 0 2
18-20 years 0 0
21-24 years 0 1
25-29 years 1 0
30-34 years 0 1
35-39 years 1 3
40-44 years 1 0
45-49 years 0 0
50 years or older 0 0

Local and National Coverage of Coto's March 2006 Madness:

USC Teacher Charged in Real Estate Investment Scam
March 25, 2006
By Mai Tran / Times Staff Writer
A USC lecturer who teaches at the university's business school was arrested Friday by FBI agents for allegedly bilking investors — many of them his students — out of more than $1.5 million and spending much of the money on show horses. Barry...

Just Real Life, With a Larger Bust Size
March 24, 2006
Dana Parsons
Time was when a good solid rain on Trabuco Creek could make the only road into Coto de Caza impassable and shut it out from the outside world. This week, a Coto resident told a national cable TV audience she'd had breast augmentation that pumped her up...

Boy Says Paintball Attack Felt Like 'Fire'
March 22, 2006
By Juliet Chung / Times Staff Writer
A 13-year-old boy partially blinded in a drive-by paintball shooting faced a bank of TV cameras Tuesday to describe what it felt like being hit. "It was a sharp pain," like "fire," Sam Applegate, his right eye covered by a silver mesh patch, told...

Where my community went wrong with kidsIn which I pretty much force my own exodus from Coto.
Thursday, March 30, 2006

USC lecturer held in scheme
Associated Press
LOS ANGELES -- A part-time business lecturer at the University of Southern California was arrested Friday for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme that authorities say bilked at least $1.5 million from real estate investors, some of them students who took his class.

Barry Landreth, 36, was taken into custody at his home in the gated community of Coto de Caza in Orange County. He was jailed Friday in lieu of $500,000 bond, said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller. A preliminary hearing was set for April 7.
FBI agents also seized assets Landreth allegedly acquired with his victims' funds, including a luxury car and several show horses

Myrtle Beach Herald
News Index. Front Page ... Landreth was arrested at his Coto de Caza, California home on charges that he had defrauded a number of people out of over $1

USC business lecturer arrested in fraud case - Today's Paper ... is the online news site of The Bakersfield Californian, ...
custody at his home in the gated community of Coto de Caza in Orange County. ..
East Valley Tribune | Daily Arizona News for Chandler, Gilbert ...
Even if it’s hyped, all the news about identify theft has had the advantage of ... Heather Harding, 34, of Coto de Caza, Calif., learned the value of alerts ...

NBC 4 - Slideshows
One or more suspects in a paintball attack in Coto de Caza that left a 13-year-old boy with ... Get E-Mail News Headlines When YOU Want Them. Breaking News

Bravo's perception violates my realityAnd now, class, Mr. Mickadeit has a very special test for you children from Coto.
Friday, March 31, 2006

The Real "Desperate Housewives"...
LA Times | Paul Brownfield | March 21, 2006 at 05:07 PM
"Eighty-five percent of the women around here have had breast implants," says Kimberly, matter-of-factly. It's what passes for a census study behind the gates of Coto de Caza, an O.C. development for the nouveau riche and the setting of Bravo's sad and highly watchable new reality soap, "The Real Housewives of Orange County."

reality blurred + Blow Out returns, The Real Housewives debuts on ...
... the ABC’s housewives—and their families in Coto de Caza, a gated community.
... reality blurred is a daily digest of reality TV news written, produced, ... Latest News. ... including those in nearby Coto de Caza, setting
for Bravo's upcoming reality show The Real Housewives of Orange County

'The Real Housewives of Orange County' - 'Housewives' in a ...
Zap2it is your source for entertainment news, TV guides, ... Coto de Caza, according to its website, is one of Orange County's older planned communities Residents Want Answers Amid Paintball Attack
COTO DE CAZA - Residents of a gated community raised the reward to $5,000 for information on a suspect or suspects whose paintball attack left a 13-year-old boy with with eye damage that might be permanent. - Reward Offered To Catch Paintball Shooter
CBS 2 / KCAL 9: Your Source For Southern California's Breaking News, Weather, ... To help the investigation, the Coto de Caza residents raised their $3000 ...

The News Tribune (Lite) - ‘Housewives’ riles some in Orange County
And that means trouble in the resortlike development of Coto de Caza. ... Why did he pick these women to represent Coto de Caza? ...

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Focus on Coto de Caza Public's Safety
Focus on Public’s Privacy

According to the April 20, 2006 issue of the Wall Street Journal, in February 2006, the Justice Department named Jane Horvath its first privacy and civil liberties officer, making her responsible for developing and...
Breaking News: South Orange County Public Safety Round Up
RSM- During the April 12, 2006, Rancho Santa Margarita City Council meeting, the council adopted an ordinance that will prohibit people from walking on city street medians. Under the ordinance, pedestrians will not be allowed to step, stand, sit or...
Breaking News: WMP Found during CZ BOD Meeting! FEMA , the Sheriff’s Office and UC System to help solve Coto’s Problems!
Various weapons of mass persuasion were found during the Coto de Caza Board of Director meeting held last night in the Coto Golf Club:
Teen Driver Safety: CHP's StartSmart Program
According to the CHP, Teen drivers are found at fault in 66% of ALL FATAL collisions that they are involved in, although they only represent 4% of the state's licensed drivers, and the leading cause of DEATH for Americans 15 - 20 years old is motor...

Focus on Coto de Caza Public’s Privacy

New US Post Aims to Guard Public's Privacy

According to the April 20, 2006 issue of the Wall Street Journal, in February 2006, the Justice Department named Jane Horvath its first privacy and civil liberties officer, making her responsible for developing and ensuring compliance with privacy and civil-liberties policies.

While even critics of the administration applaud the effort, they question what authority these officials have. “We have been supportive of this concept, but the administration has to give these people more leeway to play the role that has been pitched,” says Caroline Frederickson, director of the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Closer to home and diametrically opposed to this pitch, the Coto de Caza board of directors, after two traffic accident fatalities and a shooting with a deadly weapon, among other tragedies has failed to articulate a comprehensive public safety program for the community that includes pro-active traffic control, crime and vandalism prevention and guarding against invasion of privacy – even after numerous proposals have been submitted for consideration. In fact, the board instead fired a volunteer public safety committee for refusing to give up their civil liberties and instead pursue the board’s personal agendas over public safety.

As recently as April 13, 2006, during the last Coto de Caza board of directors meeting, it was reported that the new and improved public safety committee is still working on a mission statement – apparently keywords “civil liberties” are excluded, as well as “safety” and “prevention” from such mission. Instead the current Coto de Caza board of director’s crime and vandalism prevention program is for Coto residents to bypass the private security company and directly and immediately call the Sheriff’s office, for anything and everything.

The board reasons that if the Sheriff gets flooded with calls from Coto residents, then the Sheriff will emulate the Coto de Caza budget process and immediately increase funds for additional services to the community.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Coto - Scott Dunlop Should Run and Hide

TO:Frank Mickadeit @ OCR

Mr. Mickadeit: I read with interest your Orange County Register article about the Desperate Housewife’s and families of Coto Reality TV show produced by Scott Dunlap, a 19 year resident of Coto. While I am sure, as is the case in any affluent community, that we have a contingency of shallow, self-absorbed, botoxed, dysfunctional families in Coto some of whom are trust fund babies as is portrayed in Dunlap’s chronicle, I can assure you as a resident of Coto since 1996 and former CZ Board member that most families in Coto have worked very hard for what they have, regularly attend church or temple, share their blessings with numerous charities and live in normal, healthy families with sound values. Mr. Dunlop, for money, has chosen to portray the worst of our community rather than the best because there is no sensational news in normal families. Scott Dunlop should run and hide in the shadows of our community because what he has done for money is a real embarrassment to our community and generally disgraceful. He should be ashamed of himself. Be assured, we are certainly ashamed of him and his TV program.

Finally, there is an interesting correlation between the “problems” in Coto that have been described in the news in the past four years and the most incompetent, ethically challenged CZ Board in office for the past four years in the history of Coto. CZ Board Members Bob Varo, Jerry Mezger, Mitch Hill, who has missed many Board Meetings, George Thagard, running for reelection, and appointed CZ Board Member after last year’s corrupt CZ Board election, Lyle Schlieder have really made a mess of things. These errant CZ Board Members have ignored our governing documents and the laws governing HOA’s, squandered our revenues, exposed us to danger and liability on our streets, fired the CHP ignoring the speeding problem and rising accident rate until recent tragic deaths on our streets forced them to rehire the CHP and ignored legal agreements.

As a former CZ Board Member, knowledgeable about the workings of our Association, sounding alarm bells for the past four years about the only governing body in Coto, our master Association, I can say that Varo & Company are generally guilty of fiscal mismanagement and of simply not minding the store. The “problems” we have experienced in the past four years will not go away until Varo and Company go away which is not likely to happen until after we have state legislature mandated direct elections in Coto next year. In the mean time, in addition to the Desperate Housewife’s of Coto, regrettably, we will continue to endure the mismanagement of our community that we have seen for the past four years. Hopefully, some time soon, both stories will be relegated to an unfortunate, ugly saga in Coto history. Joe Morabito

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Breaking News: South Orange County Public Safety Round Up

Public Safety Round Up:

RSM- During the April 12, 2006, Rancho Santa Margarita City Council meeting, the council adopted an ordinance that will prohibit people from walking on city street medians. Under the ordinance, pedestrians will not be allowed to step, stand, sit or lay upon any city street median, reportedly because by doing so, pedestrians tend to distract drivers.

The CHP, in hopes of reducing the number of teenage driver fatalities on California roads, is using a group of parents to help spread the message contained in the Start Smart Program, a Teen-Driver Safety Awareness and Training Program. The Smart Start program was launched earlier this year and has not expanded to South Orange County: Start Smart classes are being held by the CHP on April 20, May 24 and June 29 at the San Juan Capistrano CHP Office, 32951 Camino Capistrano. Call 949-487-4000
The Sheriff’s High Tech Services Reserve Unit made an Internet Safety Presentation

Sheriff – Vital Tools for Parents, on March 28, 2006 – Sheriff’s Department reserve deputies—members of the High Tech Services Reserve Unit presented to parents at Shorecliffs Middle School on the subject of Internet safety. The evening presentation for parents was sponsored by the Shorecliffs Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Reserve Captain Mark Hertel explains, “Parents will learn some of the ways they can protect their children from the pit-falls of the Internet. This presentation addressed popular web pages like”

The Sheriff recently (03/17/06) issued a DUI Roving Patrol Event. The goal of the program is to reduce the rate at which the citizens of Orange County are killed or injured in DUI related collisions

Lake Forest – ON March 21, 2006 - The City Council discussed speed limits as well as adding or replacing old speed-limit signs. According to a city staff report, 103 street segments were considered in the study. Of those, 73 would retain their posted speed limit.

Coto de Caza - CotoBuzz: We have delivered a number of comprehensive public safety proposals to the Coto de Caza Board of Directors, including County and State agencies. We regularly published CHP traffic accident statistics and most recently commissioned the Coto Crime/Vandalism Trends, as a community management tool.

Coto de Caza - Coto de Caza Board of Directors - If you attended the board of directors meeting April 13, 2006, you would know that the board, after registering a significant increase in traffic accidents since they fired the CHP without suitable replacement, then let all road certifications expire (except CDC drive), then having 2 traffic fatalities (none had been registered in the last ten years), and having the highest crime rate compared to any other gated or un-gated community, and firing the Safety Committee, is busy working on a Mission Statement for the New and Improved. Safety Committee.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Breaking News: WMP Found during CZ BOD Meeting!

FEMA , the Sheriff’s Office and UC System to help solve Coto’s Problems!

Various weapons of mass persuasion were found during the Coto de Caza Board of Director meeting held last night in the Coto Golf Club:

First, In Mezger-speak, (fallacious reasoning explosives - FRE), the argument was presented that Coto residents need to increase the number of calls to the Sheriff so that the Sheriff’s office will then realize they need to increase their budget, so they can allocate more resources to service Coto. The board reasoned that since the percentage of calls to the Sheriff coming in from Coto were the lowest of the communities around, then it follows that Coto must be the safest one! Of course this line of reasoning is not only irrational but the facts to not support it: According to data (obtained from various sources, including the FBI), CNN/Money had Coto listed at the community with the highest crime rate than any other neighboring gated or un-gated community. To be sure we have the facts at all time, the management tool for Coto de Caza we commissioned is now ready as shown below – consistent with the CHP report, a significant number of perpetrators are not kids! We as adults are setting the example – sort of like the Freaks we write about!

Of course it also follows that by residents calling the Sheriff instead of the private security company, that would free them up to deal with Keystone’s List of Prominent Coto Residents much better – Coto’s $2,000,000.00 security budget at work!

We are working to obtain similar tools for other neighboring communities such as RSM, Ladera Ranch, Lake Forest, etc.

In other FRE instances presented during the board meeting: it was suggested by certain board candidate that FEMA come to the aid of Coto residents, as well as the UC System, given that the safety problems are beyond the cognitive skills of the community. Perhaps it could get started building a website.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Teen-Driver Safety: Start Smart Program

Teen-Driver Safety: Start Smart Program

According to the CHP, Teen drivers are found at fault in 66% of ALL FATAL collisions that they are involved in, although they only represent 4% of the state's licensed drivers, and the leading cause of DEATH for Americans 15 - 20 years old is motor vehicle collisions. Coto de Caza residents can certainly relate to this statistics, given that the last two fatalities within the last three months have involved teens.

Hoping to reduce the number of teenage driver fatalities on California roads, the California Highway Patrol is using a group of parents to help spread the message contained in the Start Smart Program, a Teen-Driver Safety Awareness and Training Program. According to the CHP, The California Highway Patrol's Start Smart program is a driver safety education class which targets new and future licensed teenage drivers between the age of 15 - 19 and their parents/guardians. All of the parents involved in the initial program, lost children who were killed in accidents caused by speeding and recklessness. The number of dead makes up a sobering statistic. California has the nation's second-highest number of teenage driving fatalities.

The Smart Start program was launched earlier this year and has not expanded to South Orange County: Start Smart classes are being held by the CHP on April 20, May 24 and June 29 at the San Juan Capistrano CHP Office, 32951 Camino Capistrano. Call 949-487-4000

Related Stories:
Second Coto de Caza Traffic Fatality In Three Months
Coto de Caza recorded its first traffic accident fatality in ten years in December of 2005. In less than three months, the second fatality has occurred.

Coto de Caza Silent Majority 1 – CZ Board of Directors 0
In spite of all the road blocks the current CZ Master board of directors has artificially created in order to promote their personal agendas, the silent majority has spoken: The CZ Master Board of Directors was coerced by the silent majority into...

Coto de Caza Late Breaking News from the Los Angeles Times
In an article published January 23, 2006, Daniel Yi, LA Times Staff Reporter has done what the OC Register has been unable to do in over two years: present a balanced view of traffic control within Coto de Caza.

Chasing Red Herrings, Chasing Votes, Chasing Pork and Supervisor Wilson's Trojan Horse.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors continued the debate on the fate of Ordinance 6-4-200 of the Codified Ordinances of the County of Orange, California, assembled at the Civic Center in Santa Ana California January 10, 2006. A repeal of the ordinance...

Ladera Ranch Residents Seek More Traffic Patrols to Deter Unsafe Driving
Aggressive driving, including speeding and disregard for traffic laws are top traffic safety issues in Ladera Ranch, according to a recent survey of residents conducted by the Ladera Ranch Transportation Club. Along with this message, the residents also...

Teen Driving Website and Coto de Caza Drivers- Since the Coto de Caza board of directors headed by Robert Varo/Jerry Mezger, is encouraging Coto residents to snitch on their neighbors, perhaps at the same time they can snitch on teen drivers? – See below for new website:

Coto de Caza, Desperate Freaks Show Hired Saint Paul’s Bureaucrats

CotoBuzz has received unsubstantiated reports that Saint Paul Minnesota city councilwoman Kathy Lantry and Human Rights Director Tyrone Terril are heading to Coto de Caza to consult for the Desperate Freaks. Lantry and Terrill directed the removal two weeks ago of decorations in the council lobby bearing the message "Happy Easter" because they believed it could offend non-Christians.

The Saint Paul Human Rights Office said the director has no further comment on the Easter bunny controversy.
Interestingly enough even the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota do not fully agree with Lantry & Terril’s positions: “… according to case law, the Easter bunny is secular while the greeting Happy Easter is deemed religious. And when it comes to the issue of allowing a bunny at city hall, the ACLU says it is probably not something they would have challenged”, said an ACLU spokesperson.

Given the publicity the Freaks show has received across the country, the producers think that any discussion about values, morals, or lack thereof, simply offends the Freaks and its followers. Therefore, Lantry and Terril will be working to position on an initiative to make it a felony to use the words V and M in public!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Conversation with Cotode Caza BOD Candidates: George Barnes

George Barnes withdraws from 2006 Coto de Caza Board of Director's race, due to health reasons!

Like the other candidates featured in CotoBuzz, CZ master association is fortunate to have volunteers with the talent and experience such as the one George Barns brings. In addition to his corporate experience as the CEO of Cuisinart and a Guillette business unit president, George has a wealth of Coto Institutional Memory. One of the most knowledgeable residents with regards to traffic control, George has advocated a desire for the Coto de Caza board of directors to provide timely, accurate and relevant information, such as posting meeting minutes in the Coto Discussion Forum or any other for that matter. His idea is that some residents are simply not able to attend meetings physically, but are more than willing and ready to keep up with association affairs if the information is conveniently accessible.

The bad news is that he has informed CotoBuzz that he is withdrawing from the board of directors race due to health reasons.

The good news is that a lot of use were concerned about his health when we learned about his decision to run, so we happen think that we made the right choice.

A side benefit is that the board now has one less multiplier to use – assuming they continue with the election process, which we have challenge and plan to contest.

Thanks George – and we look forward to your wisdom and large association affairs knowledge base – we wish you could write a book for the benefit of the community!

Varo’s Nights and William's Shadow

Varo’s Candidate’s Night and Williams Shakespeare’s Macbeth’s Shadow:

As Cotobuzz readers know, we have already predicted the winners of the 2006 CZ Master Association BOD Elections, and the reasons we can do this with a high degree of certainty is cumulative voting in connections with the ethically challenged process used by Keystone and the board. The latter due to either ineptitude or simply ulterior motives. There is significant documented evidence that it is the latter.

In our request to nullify the 2006 elections, we provide clear evidence that in our humble opinion, shows an ethically, legally challenged electoral itself, not new news!

Hence, the Candidate’s Night, where the Coto de Caza board residents get to ask questions of the candidates, as entertaining as it might be, is worth as much as Macbeth’s Shadow: A Tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!

The reason? – the district delegates, the one who decide on who is ging to be on the board, have already slected the "right" candidate and have decided whom they are going to vote for. Why?, Because the current board selected the delegates! – not the residents!

Varo’s Candidate’s Night and Williams Shakespeare’s Macbeth’s Shadow:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Mr. Manian Tragic Death and a Tale of Two Coto de Caza's

Mr. Manian Tragic Death and a Tale of Two Coto’s

On Sunday 3-12-2006, at 1.30 pm, 75 year-old Mr. Manian was riding his bicycle and was struck by a 16 year old female at the intersection of Lexington Way and North Hampton Place. The teen was subsequently arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run and resisting and delaying or obstructing an officer.

We are in constant contact with the Orange County DA responsible for prosecuting the case, and have asked the DA if the teen will be tried as an adult. However, by law, the DA is unable to discuss the case, until such a time as it is determined she indeed will be tried as an adult. Meanwhile, we are also in touch with the CHP to see if they have anything new to report.

On March 21, 2006, the Sheriff registered a “ Suspicious Persons/Circumstances, 1:40 p.m. Coto de Caza. Suspicious, threatening mail on Lexington Way at Northampton Place” – we happen to think that the two incidents are related. We contacted the Sheriff’s detective who indicated having no knowledge of the fatality – we are now trying to coordinate the CHP and Sheriff to determine whether the two incidents are in fact connected or not.

We have been trying to contact Mr. Manian’s next of kin, as we want to make sure that his story is told, but we have yet to reach anyone. One of the drivers for our crusade is the perspective of a local lawyer supporting the current board as he thinks the board has done nothing wrong to merit criticism for the poor state of public safety within Coto. He writes “Another teen runs down an old man on a bike. The old man is violating the vehicle code, and the teen runs away after the accident. Is that right? What exactly did the Board do wrong there? Prove to me that any action by the existing Board would have prevented that old man from violating the traffic laws, or would have prevented him from getting hit in the first place. I don’t think you can. The Board appears to be trying to compromise between taking reasonable measures to assure a safe environment, and spending excessive amounts of money to get there”

Interesting that an attorney is already convicting Mr. Manian for violating the vehicle code, and absolving the board – all of this when we have more contextual information than even the CHP, the DA or the Sheriff’s office put together!

Related to this is the fact that after two fatalities and a shooting with a deadly weapon, Coto still does not have a safety committee! – In fact, the current “legal committees” are listed below. Talk About priorities – but what do you expect when the board supports the Desperate Freaks over Public Safety Awareness!

Anyone with information on how to contact Mr. Manian’s family, please send info to :
P.O. Box 154
Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678

· Aerobatic/Aviation Committee –Board Liaison: Bob Varo, Committee Members: Jeff Dawson, Steve Plochocki

· Architectural Committee – Jeane O’Connor, Michelle Barnes, Janan Pisano, Maria Foulke. Management Support: Toni Mora at
· Community Events / Coto C.A.N. – Chair: Marla Carlson, Board Liaison: George Thagard

· Landscape & Trails – Co-Chairs: Ron Eger & Greg Metcalfe , Committee Members: John Bernards, Susan Bower, Tom Forbes. Management Support: Tracy Williams at

· Sports Complex – Chair: Larry Mount, Committee Members: Bob Grich, Bruce Warren e-mail:

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Coto de Caza Board of Directors Elections: Scam? Sham? Bam!

c.c.: James Harkins
c.c. Coto Discussion Forum
c.c. OC Register
c.c. LA Times
c.c. State and County Agencies.

This is to officially request that partially based on the information provided herein, you 1) invalidate ALL proxy statements for electing district delegates and 2) invalidate the 2006 CZ Master Association Elections and start from scratch:

Either by design, convenience, ignorance, negligence or incompetence or a number of other drivers, it does not take President Jimmy Carter to figure out that the irregularities witnessed so far in the 2006 CZ Master Association 2006 do not meet the spirit nor the law of the association CC&Rs or California Corporate Law:

Withholding and misleading Information – Although there are a number of tools available to the association - such as the association’s website, CotoVoice, the President’s Letter and the entrance message boards - to communicate with Coto residents the electoral process, it has failed miserably to do so and in fact the information advanced is misleading and used instead to promote personal agendas:

CC&Rs call for residents to elect district delegates based on a quorum formula. District delegates then elect the board of directors.

The board in a sign of arrogance, prematurely announced that cumulative voting would be used to select two new BOD members. Common sense follows that residents would be more interested in finding the right delegate, since once the delegate is elected, there is nothing else the resident can do – it is then up to the delegate to elect the board.

However, ALL the focus has been placed on promoting board candidates, and every effort has been made to keep residents in the dark with regards to delegates and the process used to elect them. As the Keystone, - the property general manager assigned to the association- puts it “it is up to the resident to request delegate qualification” – This is presenting a solution without figuring out what the problem is in the first place, then because the residents do not know what they do not know, they never ask the question!

The delegates are supposed to be the ones with the community context and the ones who have a pulse on their districts. They are the ones who know the problems and the ones who are in the best position to select the right board candidate that can address such problems – not the average resident! – at least that is how corporate law and CC&Rs have structured this form of local governance!

· The current website in the What is New Page (, features community activities in great detail and a link to the board candidates’ bio – NO information about district delegate candidates – see figures 1 and 2.

· The March and April 2006 issues of CotoVoice have the Easter Egg Hunt in the front page and board candidate bios somewhere in the body – NO information about the election process or district delegates. The President’s Letter contains the same information as is found in CotoVoice.

· The entrance announcement boards feature the Easter Egg Hunt – candidate elections were never mentioned.

What is the message being sent by the association to the residents? Forget about the district delegates, we already know who they are going to be, and they are the ones who are going to elect us the two Candidates we want:: Thagard and Zipperman!

In other words, assume we have passengers, pilots and airplanes, where the airplanes are the board candidates, and the passengers are asked which plane they want their pilots to fly, without knowing if the pilot eventually selected can fly that airplane!

The outcome is predictable as indicated by the questions the dismal attendance present during the April 6, 2006 district delegate elections asked. No one knew what the process was, or what to expect. At that time the general manager mentioned that he personally had called residents asking them for proxies to meet quorum and for volunteers for district delegates.

Another example is the email message we received April 7, 2006:

How do we get our new delegate??
The whole thing is sooooo incredibly confusing.
We do NOT want our old delegate back!!

Other irregularities include the following:
1. The district delegate meeting was being run as a board meeting. In fact, the combination of Keystone employees and the board, as well as the projected new director, outnumbered the attendance and all of the motions were either moved or seconded by Varo/Mezger or Thagard! Additionally, Varo was barking instructions as what could, or could not be done! Surely not consistent with the spirit and/or letter of the CC&Rs!
2. The GM’s own admitted that Keystone has participated in the solicitation of proxies and candidates assuring the status quo. Consistent with the established pattern of behavior, Keystone management states “There seems to be a misunderstanding about who was called and why. In an effort to have delegates elected in every district, CJ asked our staff to call the existing delegates to encourage them to re-run. If the existing delegates did not intend to re-run, our staff encouraged the delegates to talk to their neighbors about possibly running”. This action, even in a banana republic is election tampering. Guess whom the existing delegates voted for? Guess whom the existing delegate neighbors are going to vote for? Do we need to bring in a Ph.D. to sort this out? During the meeting, the attendance was discouraged from using ballots and instead encouraged them to use proxies. Given that audit of previous elections found these were “validated” by a foreign entity and a non-homeowner, and “verbally” approved by legal counsel, this might elicit one or two questions about Keystone’s integrity and or competence!
3. Keystone/the board are proceeding with the existing proxies – not consistent with spirit and letter of CC&Rs!

Figure 1: Website What is New Page Retrieved from 04/08/2006

Figure 2: CotoVoice Cover April 2006

Friday, April 07, 2006

Conversation with CZ Master BOD Candidates: Dr. Betty H. Olson

Conversation with CZ Master BOD Candidates: Dr. Betty H. Olson

Dr. Betty H. Olson’s resume reads like it belongs in the Who Is Who of National Luminaries and a Coto de Caza Board of Directors would be extremely fortunate to have such a brilliant mind on board – talk about an extreme contrast: On the right we have the brilliant mind of Dr. Olson, and on my Left…. – the visuals are tantalizing!
Dr. Olson’s motivation to run for the board is that she attended one board meeting last year and wants to help residents create user-friendly access to websites, and thinks the 4th of July Parade is just dandy and “The Board and residents have done an excellent job making Coto a wonderful place to live” (CZ, 05/06)

As intriguing as it is to see Dr. Olson on a Coto de Caza board her ideas contained in theCZ Candidate’ss Statement of “developing innovative technological solutions for traffic control problems through partnerships with nearby Universities would benefit the Coto community…” simply indicates that there would not be that much difference after all – if you drive around the community, you see plenty of blind spots where countless of near-miss accidents have been registered and sadly enough the place where a fatal hit an run accident. The board has been notified to do something about this blind spot, such as trimming of trees, yet nothing has happened. Reminds us of candidate Xochitl Yocam’s statement “public safety is not rocket science, it is common sense”.

After several attempts at contacting Dr. Olson through email, we tracked her down to her lab, expecting to get in touch with Frankie. Turns out that neither Dr. Olson nor Frankie were available and Dr. Olson has either not had time or inclination to return our calls.

On balance, Dr. Olson is providing the needed “dilution effect” needed make our forecast for the 2006 CZ Master Association a reality: Her being in the ballot, and because of cumulative voting, simply gives the board a multiplier effect. Then independent district delegates looking for change may vote for Dr. Olson, thereby diluting the “change vote”

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Apathy Reigns Supreme! – In Coto de Caza District Delegate Elections

Of 46 districts, requiring 25% votes to constitute quorum, only districts 9, 11, 21 and 46 came through, and their respective delegates were confirmed by acclamation, during the CZ master association district delegate elections held today at 6:00 pm at the Club House.

Judging by the questions being asked by the pitiful attendance, and responses provided, it was evident that apathy, as well as chaos reigned supreme. How are residents informed? What is the follow up? How are candidates informed? Do residents understand the implications? Etc., etc.

The delegates elected with a reported quorum are:

District Name
9 Xochitl Yocham
11 Terry Corwin
21 Robert Curran
46 Robert Varo

For those districts without quorum, a meeting has been scheduled for April 27 at 6:00. The quorum requirements drop significantly to a whopping 5%

But then again, why bother? Since the only official district delegate duty is to elect and recall board members and we have already called the election, perhaps we can save all the money go directly to installing the new board members by acclamation?

Conversation with CZ Master Association Board of Directors Candidates: Brett Muiter

Conversation with CZ Master Association Board of Directors Candidates: Brett Muiter

Brett is a Construction Management and Real Estate Professional with first hand information on consequences of poor public safety initiatives: His father was hit by a truck and killed 17 years ago. Needless to say, there is absolutely no ifs and buts – his first priority for Coto de Caza is public safety.

He does think that the board has done nothing with regards to public safety and has been squandering the money on the trivial many while neglecting the critical few, or as he puts it, “frivolous spending”.

As a construction professional, he questions the wisdom of playing the “Coto de Caza Musical Trees” game, where certain trees are planted in areas that create litter and are never kept up, while others are butchered and yet others moved from one place to another.

Although quiet and un-assuming, when talking to Brett, one could easily assume that he would do as told by any board. We happen to think that Brett would be his own man and would bring in a fresh perspective.

The drawback is that Brett is a dark horse with little to no name recognition within the community.


Thagard , Zipperman Elected to 2006 Coto de Caza Board of Directors!

Thagard , Zipperman Elected to 2006 Coto de Caza Board of Directors! May 25, 2006 Elections Results Available Now!

In the CZ Master Association meeting to be held May 25, 2006, George Thagard, current district delegate and board member will be elected to a new term and so will new-comer Steven Zipperman. CotoBuzz has been calling the Coto de Caza elections, weeks before they take place, for the last four years and have been 100% accurate. Actually it is not rocket science – it is cumulative voting:

In this case, through the use of cumulative voting, the fact that six candidates are running for two seats and the fact that all seating board members are also district delegates, the current board can dictate who gets elected. Assuming that each delegate in Coto represented the same number of homes, in this election, the delegate has six votes (because of the six candidates), that they can use: Either all on one candidate, or spread out. Having six candidates simply allows for independent, un-organized delegates to dilute their vote, while the board can focus on two candidates of their choice.

Eternal optimist and former board member Joseph Morabito believes the current “CZ Delegate Electoral System is corrupt which is probably the reason that the state legislature with the Governor's signature passed SB 61 which will take effect in July 2006 to finally end this farce for all and us in 2007”. We of course share Mr. Morabito’s views in this regard and fought to pass SB 61 and fought to eliminate cumulative voting from Coto de Caza.

Although we share Mr. Morabito’s optimism, there are various forces of influence acting against homeowner’s interests and association’s electoral reform. The strongest being industry lawyers- who have the most to win from the status quo- backed by Senator Battin, who has introduced SB 1560 to force the use of cumulative voting. As the April 2, 2006 Adam & Kesler Newsletter reads “ The new election requirements are creating a lot of disagreement in the legal community about what they mean and how to implement them”. Another element is the California Legal System: A press release dated March 27, 2006 reads “West Virginia, Louisiana, Illinois, California, and Texas were among the worst states for legal fairness, while Mississippi is improving after enacting legal reforms, according to a new ranking of the best and worst state legal systems released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR)”.

Then we have the county elected officials such as Orange County Supervisors Thomas Wilson, who already has a Trojan Horse firmly in place, which allows the Coto de Caza Board of directors to turn Coto into a city, seamlessly.

So, the moral of the story is that the more things change, the more they stay the same: Welcome George and Steven and Congratulations!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Conversation with Cotode Caza BOD Candidates: X.Y


For the last few days, we have been having on and off conversations with the newest candidates for the CZ Master Association board of directors. There seems to be a common denominator:

All have expressed a strong desire for collaboration among residents, delegates and board members, and a strong aversion to name-calling. They typically describe themselves as being independent and willing and able to speak their mind when required and a dislike for cronyism.

Public safety seems to be at the top of everyone’s list. With various views on how to achieve it, but all agree that simply more patrol is necessary but not sufficient. They want to see accountability and parental involvement.

Xochitl Yocham is a long time Coto-resident who believes that the community is ready for and needs to change. For her, public safety is a priority and would like to see Security Town Hall meetings where possible solutions can be discussed openly, rationally and without fear of retribution. She wants to see a value-based approach to managing the association affairs and wants to demonstrate she can walk the talk, for the benefit of the community and her siblings.

Shortly, we shall be publishing our view on other candidates.

Conversation with Coto de Caza BOD Candidates: Steven Zipperman

Coto de Caza is indeed fortunate to have most qualified candidates like Xochitl Yocham, and Steven Zipperman.

Steven is a self-described professional fighter, assuring he comes with a clean slate and has expressed a strong desire to legitimately and honorably serve the community to the best of his ability. And he reasons that surely “…the current Board has done something right. I never see any Board member get any ataboys, only criticism. And not constructive criticism either. Most of the comments are not intended to make things better – they are merely the venting of a few malcontents who will never be happy, regardless of what is done on their behalf”.

He does think that the board has done a good job managing reserves and that “…reserves have increased substantially, so that all of our community is more safe, and our properties are more saleable”. He also initially questioned the wisdom of hiring a General Manager, but he thinks that in retrospect “I think hiring this General Manager was a good idea, since the Board members are not always available to get the business of the Association done. So far, it appears that C.J. has done a pretty good job of doing a responsible job on our behalf..”

Public safety appears to be one of this top priorities and believes that the recent spate of accidents cannot be blamed on the board of directors. He support and applaud the hiring of a retired Sheriff to research and set up an emergency program. “I have seen him at a Board meeting, and he seems to be the right man for the job. This is a positive thing. In the future, each Delegate may have an emergency hand-held radio, with pre-determined places to go and things to do in the event of a fire, earthquake, or plane crash”

With regards to was the Safety Committee Fiasco, he believes both sides mangled it: The board and the committee members. “ First, the Board should have thought about what they were doing before just reacting to the circumstances. The committee should have been formally appointed, with directions as to what it was supposed to accomplish, and what, if any limitations were expected of those who served on the committee.”

Again, just like Xochitl, Steven is well qualified and willing to do right by Coto. Steven does wonder if being too too opinionated and politically incorrect could exclude him from consideration for the Board. “I truly hope to do some good”

A drawback may be that Steven does not have the benefit of the institutional memory previous board president John Zarian has spoken to. Paraphrasing the old adage “failing to study our history assures us of repeating the same errors…” An example, is that Steven is running as a delegate and for the board at the same time, and has not seen any of the various security proposals floating around.

A Coto de Caza Horse is a Horse, of Course, Of Course, Unless it is Repoed!

The Case of the Coto de Caza Repoed Pony, Passing as a Theft:

An Orange County Register’s columnist writes in the March 31 2006 issue of The CanyonLife

“This past week has been a little wilder than most here in Coto de Caza. Suddenly we have gone from a serene, bucolic community that no one outside of Orange County knew existed to a place splashed all over the national news. Not only are we now nationally known as the home to some as the most “Unreal Housewives” on the chest, uh, I mean face of the earth, we are now also famous for being a gate-guarded community with horse thieves”.

The references to horse thieves is the alleged theft of a Pony from the Coto de Caza Equestrian Center, then he proceeds to describe the announcement of the pony’s disappearance: “Last Wednesday we were all just waking up with this image hangover from the premier of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” when we were hit with another blow to our collective ego. Most of us were just sitting down with our first cup of coffee or taking the first steps on the treadmill at the gym when we see the lead story on the national news is a 10-year-old Coto de Caza girl pleading for the thieves that stole her pony to “please bring it back.” In one day we went from a virtually unknown location to being recognized as the epicenter of plastic surgery, blatant materialism, flirting housewives, egotistical men and spoiled children. All this behind gates so secure that thieves can steal away a horse undetected”. We checked with the Orange County Sheriff’s office April 5, 2005 to get an update on the reported pony theft, and a Sheriff’s spokesperson told us that the it turned out to be a civil matter and not a theft after all! Although a much more palatable situation, still speaks volumes about the emerging “Coto Culture”

Paintball Assault:

With regards to the assault with a deadly weapon, which the Coto Board refers to a game, and which has partially blinded a Coto kid, the Sheriff has credible hot leads – but as Sheriff’s spokesperson puts it, “no handcuffs’ yet – we expect arrests shortly.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Real Coto Desperate HouseOwner

CC: "Buzz @CotoBuzz"
Subject: Real Desperate HouseOwner

April 4, 2006

Dear Mr. Mickadeit,

I read your article yesterday. It made me realize how little most people know about the Coto Homeowner's real desperation.

Five years ago my husband and I looked in San Clemente for 8 months for a home we could afford. At that time there just wasn't anything in our price range. Both my husband and I are native Californians, I from the Pasadena (San Marino area) and my husband from Anaheim Hills.

Brett, my husband brought up this place called Coto. I said "where?" He said "oh this really expensive area and it is gated". I said "no way". Sounded too ominous ( a word better describing Coto Culture, than desperate). After 8 months of looking in San Clemente, with no luck, the almost brand new, shiny home, in such a lovely area seemed practical.

I wish I could say I was a "desperate housewife", sounds so glamorous, but I work full time. I am a licensed clinical social worker. I have a private practice in Rancho and one in San Clemente (needed a breather twice a week from Saddleback). But I think what mostly defines that I am not a privileged housewife is our uncooperative and obstinate Homeowners Association Management, Keystone Pacific and our Board Of Directors.

For two years I have been writing letters and making complaints about our commonplace hillsides, in our humble neighborhood of Montecito. For some reason two years ago Keystone and the board decided they did not need to prune or care for our trees. Our trees have become so overgrown that the premium most of us paid to have a view is null and void. The trees have shrouded us in, there is now little sunlight that can peek through, constant debris and claustrophobia setting in.

Part of the problem is the delegate in our area. Last year she claims to have put a notice, in all the neighbors’ mailboxes, that there would be a walk through about the trees. None of us ever received one. She did the walk through with Lot ( the landscape superintendent) and between the two of them they decided the trees were dandy. I called Lot after I realized the trees missed their annual trimming/pruning and he claimed it was the wrong time to trim them (too hot in July). Two weeks later I saw them trim the same Chinese Lantern trees on a street two blocks away ( a much fancier neighborhood). After that I complained and Lot said well the truth is "it's just not in the budget". I asked "when is it in the budget?" He said next year. That brings us to yesterday.

After two years, and 50-60 letters of complaints from all the neighbors, being humiliated and ridiculed by rude board members (Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah we get to ruin your home value), messages that we would call the newspapers, run an ad in the penny saver saying, not do you have a psychiatric complaint, but "do you have a Coto Homeowners complaint, please call...), Keystone, who hires Mosaic Landscapers, who hired Tree Arborists came out and started hacking our trees. Not pruning or trimming, but hacking. AAAAAAAAAAAH! The trees look smaller but still reflect no light through them and forget about a view.

I mentioned the view one day to a board member and he flipped out. You can't worry about the view, it's the trees we care about. Evidently that is a lie. And there are more lies.

Lies about our safety. Number one in crimes in Saddleback Valley. Deaths from high speed limits, and no safety plan implemented to protect drivers and pedestrians. Lies about why the board doesn't have money to trim and prune trees, yet can "save" trees from Ladera Ranch, truck them over and plant more trees in Coto. Trees that drop more leaves, which the gardeners spend all of the fall season sweeping up, because they don't trim and prune the trees when they are supposed to.

The real story about Coto is the story about desperate homeowners. With Frustration,

Marla Stone-Muiter