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.

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