Wednesday, May 10, 2006

[COTO DE CAZA] Free $45,000.00 Mature Trees – a couple of immature kids thrown in as bonus

FreeCoto.Com and Jerry’s Good Deal
To go along with Varo’s Compelling Offer and Program

We had heard that if you are conducting business over the Internet, it is highly recommended that you include the word “free” someplace in your website – this word is then used as a hook to attract naïve and unsuspecting customers, so you can then pull a switcharoo. The beauty is that one is born every second, which is why the keyword “free” is indexed at the top of the list by major search engines.

What we did not expect, is that the Coto de Caza board of directors would fall for this scheme – but they did: They fell for a $45,000.00 Free Trees, that Jerry Mezger describes as: “It was a good deal”. Jerry Mezger, April 25, 2006.

As implied in our introduction, of course, Jerry is not alone in falling for the “Free Mature Trees” ruse – a simply Internet search (below) yields websites with “”, “”, etc. So now, we are starting a new website that we have called FreeCoto.Com. If our predictions are correct, the two seats for the 2006 Coto de Caza board of director will go to Thaggard and Zipperman, then the FreeCoto.Com will be used to promote “free products” to the board. In the unlikely event that Thaggard and Zipperman are not elected, we will use it to explore the virtues of a Free Coto: where Coto resident’s invasion of privacy and constitutional rights are upheld.

But getting back to Jerry’s Good Deal: This prompted a response from former board member, Joe Morabito:

“Jerry: Paying $45,000 for just 12 trees no matter how mature was an incredibly dumb deal. First, crowding those trees into our median on Coto de Caza Drive probably made no sense. Second, did we really need any more trees at all that will require future maintenance. And, third, if we did need more trees which I seriously question given all the other areas in Coto that look like hell, 48 inch box trees at a $1,000 each installed would have been just fine. They do grow after all. And, Varo and Company has reduced the monies going into Landscaping Replacement to about half where it was when I left the Board. You spent more than half your budget for 2006 on these trees. Are all of you smoking Oak leaves? This current incompetent CZ Board just has no sense when it comes to spending our money. The continuous, blatant fiscal mismanagement is really amazing. This Free Tree fiasco is just one of many examples of wasting our money. Please think real hard before you spend our money. Pretend you are spending your own money before you vote to waste ours. If you had done that, I doubt you would have spent $45,000 for 12 trees even if they were the size of Sequoias” Joe Morabito, May 1, 2006

Of course, crtics may charge that Joe Morabito is simply biased and does not understand the benefit of $45,000.00 Free Mature Trees, so we tuned to a more objective analysis as follows:

“If the giver of the trees wanted to remove them from their property they would have had to crane them onto a truck, transport them to a different location, then crane them off the truck and then plant or store them for another buyer.

Coto should have provided the holes to put them into and installation plus a nominal fee for each tree.

Let’s figure we expedited the digging by employing a backhoe versus laborers to dig the holds. Worst case is cost for backhoe and operator no more than $5000. One day is required to dig 12 holes. Also assume it took 6 laborers and a supervisor to help manage installation, figure $150/day for each laborer and $500/day for supervisor and installation took three days. To be safe add soil treatment, insurance and permits @ $3000. These are all generous allowances. So the subtotal would be $12,000. Now add huge overhead and profit fee for landscape contractor at 50%. That totals $18,000. Let’s also give provider of trees $1000/tree. CZ cost should have been only $30k in the worst case.

Alternatively, we buy 24” box trees at $200 each including delivery. Installation at $500 each, worst case. Still, be safe figuring each tree cost $1000 installed. That means we could have purchased 48 trees. Far more bang for the buck having 48 additional trees versus 12 that will require significant pruning within 24-36 months.”

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We do not make jokes, we simply watch the Coto de Caza Board of directors, the LA Trash and the Orange Crud Repository and report the facts

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