Friday, November 10, 2006

Coto de Caza Board of Directors Touched by a Woman

Coto de Caza Board of Directors Touched by a Woman
October 4, 2006

Trying very hard to find something positive to say about the Coto de Caza board of directors, former director Joseph Morabito writes:

“For the past several years, I have argued that we needed a woman on the CZ Board. Varo, Mezger, Hill, Thagard and Larkin have often been color blind and tone deaf while serving on the Board. And frankly, these old guys have caused many fiascos in the past five years because they just have not done their homework. They have been lazy and sloppy. Since I worked with two strong, hands-on, detailed oriented women when I served on the CZ Board, I came to appreciate their ability to get things done. Xochitl Yocham may be cut from the same suit. I know that Xochi has been involved in the most recent plantings in our parkways on Coto de Caza Drive . Some of the new plantings with carpet roses and flowers, instead of those ridiculous Arizona desert plants, look great.

The Boys on the CZ Board have acted like they were running General Motors delegating away decisions to outside Consultants and others that they should be making themselves. The end result was those Arizona desert plants and many other fiascos and squandered money. Ok, Xochi, now you have to do something about those Arizona desert plants. I would ask the high priced Consultants who chose those plants to remove them at their expense and to install the same palate that has been put in down the street so it actually looks like our plant palate has been coordinated by a landscape architect who knows what he is doing. In any case, it is nice to have a CZ Board Member with some taste and common sense for a change.

Why not appoint another woman to get more balance on the CZ Board. The last thing we need is another old man who needs help with matching his sox. And, take note of the crumbling streets on Coto de Caza Drive that were just repaired. The CZ Board needs to go back to the contractor for remedy. I hope this was not one of Varo's "compelling offers".

However, as much as we love diversity and natural beauty and we agree that pretty flowers are inspiring, we prefer to focus on substance – pretty flowers do not a pretty board make:

Condoning name calling (and engaging) and anti-social behavior does not constitute an effective board.

When it is said that the board is doing great things, but these things are simply not visible, is disingenuous, despotic and insults resident’s intelligence

In a day and age when the role of directors (for profit and not-for-profit corporations) is changing, we prefer a constructive public discourse and engagement of residents and directors on the most important issues of the community, rather than the secretive, close-door deal making that has characterized the Varo/Mezger boards.

Consider that the USC’ Center for Effective Organization research, as reported by the October 2, 2006 issue of the Wall Street Journal, describes how directors are increasingly showing more backbone and speaking up. The extreme is the unfolding HP debacle. Following is a tabulation of such research:

2 0 0 3 2 0 0 6

Yes Yes

Do board members voice opinions that 17% 24%

conflict with the CEO’s views?

Do board members act with courage and take 29% 37%

appropriate action as needed?

We continue to appreciate all the hard-working volunteers dedicated to improve the community. But as we used to constantly tell Paul Young (a self-described community activist who supported the election of Varo/Mezger, who was the “official ballot counter” and who had unprecedented access to association facilities and funds, only to have Mzger claimed not to know anything about it) while he was here: “ everything that is hidden will be revealed”

Analogous to the Paper Roses song - pretty flower are merely an imitation of how a board should be run...So we posit that Conflict can be Healthy, if there is a culture of Law and Order, Tolerance and Fairness. Plant more flowers, but make sure public safety is priority one!

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