Sunday, April 29, 2007

CHP in Coto - Big Mouth Bob

CHP in Coto - Big Mouth Bob

By Joseph Morabito, former member CZ Master Association Board of Directors

April 2, 2007

Hello All: I have heard that CHP officers are not volunteering to work in Coto even for the time and a half pay they would earn. So, we are not even getting the 40 hours a week that was the original deal under Glisson/Rose. It would seem that Bob Varo though his big mouth, open and public hostility to the CHP has turned them away. Folks, we need pro-active traffic patrols in Coto.

We have had two tragic deaths on our streets in the time period there was no CHP in Coto. CZ is in the middle of a very serious lawsuit over an accident in Coto that we could lose.

What we don’t need is Bob Varo sitting on the CZ Board for another term. At the moment, the only realistic avenue open to Coto is the CHP. Varo and his friend Supervisor Pat Bates want to raise our taxes through formation of a Community Service District that would allow the county to add Sheriff hours in Coto for even more of our money. Varo will now use the fact that the CHP is not interested in our business because of his actions as an excuse to vote for a CSD which would raise our taxes. Isn’t it bad enough that Varo/Mezger have raised CZ dues two times in two years because of their fiscal mismanagement and nothing more. Now Varo wants to raise our taxes too.

Clearly, we need a CZ Board President who can properly represent CZ Members to the CHP. Who can blame the CHP for walking away from CZ given Bob Varo ’s intemperate remarks? Mr. Varo after all did refer to the CHP as “extortionists”. The only extortionists I know in Coto are Bob Varo and Jerry Mezger who have taken another $800,000 from our Members in the last two years through two dues increases that could have been avoided. Now that really is extortion. Joe Morabito

Hi Joe:

Reading Mezger’s candidacy statement (for a seat on the 2007 CZ Master Association Board of directors) and your perspective on pro-active traffic patrol, people would think you have your facts wrong – or a matter “of policy” as board supporters may argue.

According to Mezger, “safety has never been better”! – so just turn Coto into a City!

On the other hand, according to Schlieder’s candidacy statement, Keystone is in dire need of help with contract preparation and purchasing. If a service provider paid to do a job needs help from a part-time volunteer domain expert, we are doomed.

The facts of course are on your side. How can the board even come close to telling the CHP the number of enforcement hours needed in Coto, when the board has failed to follow the Supplier Relationship 101 Guidelines? – calling CHP management extortionists in open board meetings, is not only plain stupid, is just plain moronic!
Hello All: I would say normally if one is trying to develop a business partnership, calling the potential partner an Extortionist is not the best way to further the relationship. Varo has made it known on numerous occasions that he dislikes the CHP and would rather have the Sheriff in Coto. I really don’t care who provides pro-active traffic patrols in Coto as long as my CZ dues and property taxes are not raised to buy the service since I know we already pay more than enough of both to pay for these services. Bob Varo inappropriately endorsed Pat Bates as CZ President. He bet right, so now he needs to bring home the bacon. We need about $400,000 from the county to pay for 50% of the Sports Park maintenance and 80 hours a week of CHP time (assuming an adult on the CZ Board can make peace with the CHP so we can get it the hours from them). Big Mouth Bob needs to use his Big Mouth with Supervisor Bates to get this money for Coto. If he can get it done, even I would extend congratulations. After all, Glisson/Rose which Varo/Mezger continue to deride got blow dried Supervisor Tom Wilson to pay for the first year of the CHP in Coto at $120,000. Glisson/Rose scored. Varo/Mezger have a big goose egg to show for their political acumen. I guess if you want a job done, you have to send in a smart woman to make it happen. Xochi, the only one on the current CZ Board that fits that description is you. Joe Morabito



P.S. It is appropriate for Lyle Schlieder on some one on the CZ Board to head up a Supplier Selection and Contract Management committee if that is in the works. Industry insiders no matter who we use as our property manager are too cozy to properly represent our interests. It does need to be a Board Member and CZ Members to get the job done properly. Trust me on this. I saw it first hand.

Agreed with you on al counts.

From all the evidence we have available, we do not trust Keystone as a property management company.

We also agree that a board member should oversee the Supplier Management activity.

We continue to emphasize that the board needs to develop key business metrics to hold service providers accountable, including Keystone. I our opinion, and contrary to Schilieder’s statement, the focus should not be “to help Keystone with contract preparation and purchasing” - Buzz













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The CotoBuzz Journal P.O. Box 154 Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678 (509) 355-8895

Saturday, April 28, 2007

How many times must the CZ safety committee be formed before it can be called an association committee?

How many times must the CZ safety committee be formed before it can be called an association committee?

April 28, 2007

A 2006 CZ newsletter proudly announces that the “CZ Master Association Champions Public Safety Committee”,

During 2006 general CZ board meetings, the board appoints a chairman and various public safety committee members.
A 2007 CZ stupid lawyer letter states the safety committee is not an association committee

The May 2007 CZ Presidents letter refers to the “recently formed public safety committee …undertaking the task of defining and drafting Emergency Preparedness plans and programs”

All this after the first two traffic fatalities in the history of the community.

All this after the highest crime and vandalism rate in the community.

All this after the Sheriff mounted units have been deployed to patrol the horse trails and the private security guards help kids cross the streets and the CHP patrol hours dropped from 150/month to only 50/month!

As Joe Morabito might ask: Who is minding the CZ public safety store?

How many times must the CZ Safety committee be formed, before it can be called a CZ association committee? The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is in the corrupt CZ election process!

Does anyone know if there is a Safety Committee? If so, who is on it? Who is the Chairman or Chairwoman? If the Committee exists, what is their function? Do they report to the Board on a regular basis with recommendations? Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing? Or as Costello once said to Abbott, “Who is on first”? Perhaps, Jerry Mezger or another CZ Board Member can answer these questions. This topic certainly should not be very controversial! ! JM

For what is worth, the “safety committee” recently replaced the CotoCan committee in the CZ website days ago, – as shown below:

Not significantly different from the one announced by the CZ board in 2006.

Public Safety Committee - Chair: Phil Mitchell; Members: Kurt Vasentine, Bill Bushek, Yo Orduno, Andrea Owen, Mike Channing, Gary Markowitz, John Walsh, Elizabeth Zipperman – as shown in the CZMaster.Org as of April, 2007.

Unless we get an explanation from the board, we are assuming the stupid lawyer letter stating the safety committee is not an association committee refers to the one above. Buzz

So there is a Safety Committee? What are they in business to do? Has the CZ Board that appointed them given them a charter? Is there to be some report within some period of time or is this just another “Feel Good” exercise. Look the reality is that we probably need double the number of CHP hours that we currently contract for because the original 40 hours a week that was purchased by the Glisson/Rose Boards was before we took over the rest of South Ranch. So we now probably need 80 hours a week. And, rather than have the Sheriff patrolling horse trails, the sheriff should be patrolling our streets. Gosh what a common sense idea? Further, maybe we should have Neighborhood Watch in Coto. The Sheriff’s Department will come in for free to help set that up. Finally, we have many bad curves and dangerous blind spots on Vista Del Verde that need some attention, caution signs, mirrors etc. So, what else does the Safety Committee have to talk about? JM

CZ Master Association Candidates Night May 10, 2007

CZ Master Association Candidates Night May 10, 2007

April 28, 2007

The CZ Candidate’s Night has been scheduled for May 2007 at 6:00 pm at the Golf and Racquet Club.

Contrary to the spirit and the law of the recent democratization of Common Interest Developments, such as the CZ Master Association, the three open seats in the (2007) CZ Master Association board of directors will be filled during the upcoming meeting of the CZ delegates scheduled for May 24, 2007 at 6:00 pm in the Racquet club.

Varo, Mezger and Schlieder are seeking a new term.

Mezger: One of Mezger’s self-described accomplishments is the fundamental recognition that CZ Master Association is much larger than most homeowner’s associations, and despite the first twp traffic fatalities, the CHP& Sheriff’s data and stupid lawyer letters, the situation with publics safety “has vastly improved over the last four years”



Varo: Continues to make the argument for turning Coto into a city



Schlieder: Wants to work with Keystone on contract and bid preparation and purchasing – Is this the Fox watching the hen?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Less Orange County Register Paraphrase, More Feeling?

April 27, 2007

Is it coincidental that fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency, including funding of the Sports Park have dominated the Coto Discussion Forum for the last couple of weeks, and then what do you see on the cover of the April 27, 2007 CanyonLife?

You guessed it? Volunteers cleaning up the Sports Park!

Also interesting that the byline does not go to OCR reporter Mark Eades, but to Eugene W. Field.

In addition to OCR’s City Editor Melissa Jones and reporter Mark Eades missing in action (MIA), MIA is also the paraphrased Sheriff’s Blotter – the version contained in this issue of the OCR includes the un-paraphrased entry as follows: “Suspicious persons, 1:30 a.m. Coto de Caza: A woman on Via Colinas complained that she heard what sounded like seven gunshots coming from either a rifle or pistol. She said that it also could have been a car backfiring. The woman also complained that she had called the Coto de Caza security, but had to wait an hour before being told to call deputies”

We know that Ms. Jones no longer works for the OCR, and although we predicted that reporter Mark Eades would follow suit, is he simply MIA? Does it matter? Will the community continued to get More Paraphrase and Less Feeling reporting, or the other way around?

Questions Raised RE: Marina Hills Audited Financials/Property Management Company Behavior

Questions Raised RE: Marina Hills Audited Financials/Property Management Company Behavior

Marina Hills and Coto de Caza use same property management company.

April 27, 2007

Hans Strupat, a dissident member of the Marina Hills homeowners association (MHPCA) board of directors has raised questions about the audited financials prepared by independent auditor Robert A. Owens.

In a letter to Mr. Owens published in the SaveMarinaHills.org website, Mr. Strupat writes: " ....often, I am the only director who does not immediately and completely understand the matter to be decided upon. In fact, I am the only board member who has not yet approved your report. Before I can approve your report I need to understand it". Mr. Strupat then outlines a number of questions including questions raised because of the differences in accounting methods used by the the MHPCA and Mr. Ownes, making it nearly impossible to verify whether the audit report is acceptable or not.

Mr. Strupat also outlines issues with the MHPCA property management company, Keystone Pacific as follows:

" I also want to make you aware of the following facts, that you, as auditor, might be interested in. In August 2002 the MHPCA and the management company Keystone Pacific entered into an agreement, that among other things contractually specified the monthly compensation, along with a calculated yearly increase of that compensation, specifically an increase tied to a particular edition of the CPI as reported by the US Department of Labor.

In 2004, and 2005 Keystone side-stepped the agreed-upon compensation and presented the directors with a compensation plan over and above the compensation agreed in the 2002 contract. The then-directors violated the 2002 negotiated compensation plan and paid Keystone more than the CPI would have warranted. On top of that Keystone accidentally increased their own compensation during 2004 and 2005 even higher than the 5% the then-directors had (in violation of the 2002 contract) conceded, and certainly much higher than the 2.6% CPI increase would have warranted. Both these facts were discovered in the October/November 2006 timeframe. As a result, and after some considerable discussion, Keystone returned $3,472.00 excess fees for the 2004, 2005 accidental overcharge. This was reflected in a lower December 2006 management fee. However, as of this date Keystone has not yet agreed to lower the monthly compensation to the level that was negotiated in the 2002 contract, thus every month Keystone takes more money from the MHPCA than was agreed upon. As a result, the accumulated balance, owed by Keystone to the MHPCA, as of December 31, 2006 is $9,136.

The balance owed increases every month. Keystone's monthly charges to the MHPCA are 26% higher than in 2002"

Following up on allegations of diversion of funds with the CZ Master Association, we have written auditor Schonwit & Associates, but have not from them.











Is anyone on the CZ Board minding the store? This letter (from Mr. Strupat to independent auditor Robert Owners) is several more reasons why Varo and Mezger should not be re-elected. Joe Morabito

A Coto Discussion participant writes in part: "Most of what you cite as malfeasance constitutes nothing more than differences in policy. In this most recent example, I fail to see how an alleged issue in Marina Hills has anything to do with Coto. Yes, we have the same Association Manager, but the connection ends there unless you have any additional information"

.......You mean like Keystone “accidentally” overpaying the private security company, then not doing anything reasonable to prevent something like this from happening? Or how about supporting the multimillion dollar firing of Securitas without due diligence? Or what about the meddling of their employees in the 2006 elections? Or what about a “typographical error” that took two years to “correct”, which can have an impact on 2007 elections? Or what about blaming a tickler file for road certification expiration…….and there is plenty more. Those who do not see a connection, I have a Brooklyn bridge for sale! - Buzz



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CZ Master Association Alleged Corruption and Malfeasance

CZ Master Association Alleged Corruption and Malfeasance

By Joseph Morabito, Former CZ Master Association Board Member

April 20, 2007

Responding to a Coto Discussion Forum, Mr. Morabito writes:

Hello All: Since Dave asked me to be specific concerning Varo/Mezger corruption and malfeasance, I thought I would provide a list as follows:

Election manipulation to deny a candidate a board seat when Larkin resigned just one week after the last election. Varo/Mezger knew very well that Larkin had relocated. They did this to manipulate an appointment rather than an elected board member.
The Oakview/Oakknoll Gate issue. The Varo/Mezger CZ Board is ignoring a legal agreement that was a condition of development breaching our security and exposing our Members to unnecessary liability.
Firing the CHP with nothing to replace them when the speeding problem was well documented. The end result was two tragic deaths on our streets during the time period we had no pro-active traffic patrols in Coto.
Subsidizing various outside groups with CZ dues money.
Selling Mezger’s wife’s services at our expense at our gates.
Varo endorsing a political candidate as President of CZ.
Hiding the true cost to maintain the Sports Park .
Hiring an Executive Director placing CZ in the employment practice litigation chain which includes the reporting relationship to the board.
Failing to properly use competitive processes to buy goods and services.
Using the Association attorney in an attempt to silence critics.
Lying about bringing Sheriff’s services into Coto which never were going to happen.
All the games with Committees.
The Welcome Home Center Assessment fiasco when there never was a deal.
The “Free Trees” that actually cost $45,000.
The recent silly study at our expense to determine that we pay taxes.
Using high priced Consultants instead of lower priced staff i.e. a Landscaping Supervisor that has always been assigned to us by the property manager until Varo/Mezger.
Involvement with CotoCAN including having a Keystone employee act as Activities Coordinator at our expense exposing CZ to liability.
Involving CZ in a serious lawsuit specific to one of the accidents on our streets.
Dave, it is late in Portugal ; but if I sleep on it, I am sure I can add to this list. Joe Morabito

Even though all these items have been previously discussed in the Coto Discussion Forum, Jerry Mezger asks for clarification from Mr. Morabito, and get it:

Jerry: YES! YES! YES! Has it taken you all these e-mails over many months to figure out that I and others are accusing you and Varo of Malfeasance that is actionable? Both of you should have been impeached long ago for the many reasons that have been cited on numerous occasions. I am in Spain now and too tired to go over the whole list of your actions that constitute Malfeasance and violation of fiduciary responsibility to represent the interests of CZ Members. Read the list I recently e-mailed to Dave and/or go back two or more years and read all my e-mails to refresh your memory or better yet, I will put another e-mail together with the list just before the next election for all to see. Joe Morabito













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More Homeowner Association Financial Audit Irregularities

More Homeowner Association Financial Audit Irregularities

April 27, 2007

Marina and Coto and other HOA residents may benefit from the GRF ooking at independent financial audits.

Following are excerpts of a letter sent April 25, 2007 to a committee formed by Golden Rain Foundation president George Porlock to look into alleged mis-use of credit cards by property managing company PCM employees:

“ We all may have aged but we are not stupid. ..

The Association of Certified Fraud Auditors found detecting fraud in homeowners association is less likely to be detected by audit. For example, Detection of 46 percent of fraud in small business was detected by accident or whistleblower than through an internal audit. The bad guys know the tricks and we must probe the community to come up with whistleblower evidence for conviction.

We have some very professional and dedicated people to help you in solving your credit card puzzle. We have contacted (Feb. 07) the Treasury Department Internal Investigation Department to investigate credit card embezzlement and the illegal sale of Leisure World property.

There is a reason we as a nonprofit corporation do not have to pay millions of dollars in taxes. PCM has put Leisure World in a position to lose our exempt status for some greedy PCM employees.

We cannot accept responsibility for PCM credit card charges it violates 501 ( c ) 3 Conflict of Interest corporate codes.

George Portlock says,” This what the other boards did in the past and I just followed the same procedure.” We estimate over one million dollars in credit card charges have been made. This arrogance and deceit is overwhelming. You honorable directors can bring back our trust in this community. Please be diligent and help us clean our house before we lose our exempt status.

RELATED STORIES

Laguna Woods Residents Outraged by Use of Credit Cards Issued to Property Manager Employees! Concerned Residents Speak Up About Fiscal Mismanagement
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Homeowner Association (HOA) Lawyer Factoids
The Davis-Stirling Act is a part of the California Civil Code. In the Davis-Stirling Act:The term "attorney fees" is codified/mandated: 22 times.The term "homeowner" is merely mentioned: 3 timesIs it any wonder that we see so many stupid lawyer...

More HOA Micromanaging - Of Correa, Kingston, CAI and Corrupt Politicians.
When the governor signed legislation to bring direct elections to Homeowner?s associations such as the CZ Master Association, the president of the board called this legislation ?micro-management?, and proceeded to ignore the spirit and the law.

From Safety Committee to Committee to Turn Coto de Caza Into a City - Overview
This brief starts with the firing of a volunteer (early 2006) Public Safety Chairperson for her refusal to give up her free speech rights and promote Coto for city, before public safety.The president of the CZ Master Association board promises to fire...

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When is a Homeowner Association Committee not a Committee?
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CZ Master Association Waste of Money - Letter to Pat Bates by Joseph Morabito, former member CZ Master Association BOD
Sergio: As Supervisor Bates representative, I am writing you as a long time Coto resident and former CZ Board Member to complain about Supervisor Bates agreeing to

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Homeowner Association (HOA) Lawyer Factoids

Homeowner Association (HOA) Lawyer Factoids

April 21, 2007

The Davis-Stirling Act is a part of the California Civil Code. In the Davis-Stirling Act:

The term "attorney fees" is codified/mandated: 22 times.

The term "homeowner" is merely mentioned: 3 times
Is it any wonder that we see so many stupid lawyer letters floating around HOA board of directors?

Is it any wonder that the CZ Master Association board has been using an unprecedented number of stupid lawyer letters?

Might this the reason why we have filed six different complaints with the California Bar against attorneys associated with the CZ Master Association for violations such as:

Rule 1-120. Assisting, Soliciting, or Inducing Violations
Rule 3-310 Avoiding the Representation of Adverse Interests
Rule 3-110 Failing to Act competently
Rule 5-100. Threatening Criminal, Administrative, or Disciplinary Charges

Does this give you an idea as to how effective the industry's lobby is, AND, where their priority $s are?

Is this the reason why CZ does not have direct elections as the state legislature mandates?

While the homeowner has a vested interest in his property, the industry has NO bona fide vested interest in anything other than a pay check through a contract.














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Friday, April 20, 2007

Laguna Woods Residents Outraged by Use of Credit Cards Issued to Property Manager Employees!

Woods Residents Outraged by Use of Credit Cards Issued to Property Manager Employees!

Concerned Residents Speak Up About Fiscal Mismanagement

April 20, 2007

A group of concerned Laguna Woods residents got together April 5, 2007 at the clubhouse to discuss a number of issues including mis-information, intimidation and fiscal mismanagement. There was even talk of the Orange County District Attorney convening a grand jury and the possibility of a class action law suit.

There were over 200 residents in attendance, including a number of various volunteers working on “discovery’ – a research group dedicated to the compilation of factual evidence to support the volunteer's case.

Prominent was the charge that credit cards issued to employees of Managing Agent Professional Management (PCM) employees strictly for emergency use, were being mis-used regularly. Examples include the use of credit cards to purchase $1,316 for candy from the Sees Candies and $981.00 meal at the Claim Jumper. The data presented included a number of outstanding questions as well as recommendations such as:

Who authorized the credit cards/charges issued to PCM staff?

Can the board of directors be held accountable for misuse of credit cards?

Given the reported irregularities, it was suggested residents insist that the board of directors initiate a forensic audit.

A press release dated April 11, 2007, issued by the Residents Voice, a community activist group, follows up on the substantive matter covered during the meeting and indicates that use of the credit cards is a breach of fiduciary responsibility.

Repeated calls to PCM General Manager Milt Johns and PCM CEO Jeffrey Olsen to comment on the allegations were ignored. We did get a call back from a board representative stating that the credit card charges themselves were known to the board for quite a while, and that the board was working on a press release of their own - no time was given for the release of such information.


















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Thursday, April 19, 2007

The end of a Prostituting,.. err Paraphrase Era?

The end of a Prostituting,.. err Paraphrase Era?


April 19, 2007

Prior to the arrival of Melissa Jones to the Orange County Register as City editor, we had extensive discussions with Lyn Montagna (Jones’ predecessor) on the type of responsible community journalism needed for Coto de Caza.

We collaborated with one of Montagna’s reporters, Matthew Green, often. Admittedly he did not enjoy the same access to the CZ Master Association Board of Directors as other OCR reporters, but his work was always well researched and the content balanced. We have yet to see this type of reporting since. What we have gotten instead, is a Varo/Mezger (CZ board of directors) cheerleading squad.

Mark Eades’ (current OCR reporter) predecessor, expressed an interest in delivering such balanced reporting, but we warned her that “is a cost-benefit issue. If you indeed present a balanced view of the issues, ½ of the residents will be on your side. The other ½ will be against you. However, 100% of the residents will know you are honest, ethical and trustworthy. And more than likely, this position may not be consistent with the Register’s management views” – she moved to another position shortly thereafter.

Since then Eades’ “reporting” has been often “paraphrased”, by deed or omission – consider that the tragic death of Mr. Morteza Manian has never been mentioned by the CanyonLife!

So, now that the Jones’ era as the CanyonLife City editor is over, (taken over by Theresa Cisneros), is this the end of a paraphrase era as well?















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The CotoBuzz Journal P.O. Box 154 Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678 (509) 355-8895

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More HOA Micromanaging – Of Correa, Kingston, CAI and Corrupt Politicians.

More HOA Micromanaging – Of Correa, Kingston, CAI and Corrupt Politicians.

April 17, 2007

When the governor signed legislation to bring direct elections to Homeowner’s associations such as the CZ Master Association, the president of the board called this legislation “micro-management”, and proceeded to ignore the spirit and the law.

This year CAI has changed its tactics, co-authoring with outside groups like: CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS!!!. It has already backdoored senate and assembly bills so they don't fly on the homeowners' radar screen, for example: Senate Bill 670 AND Assembly Bill 980

CAI has a new lobbyist: RON KINGSTON. Kingston used to work for California Association of Realtors

His contact info: 916-447-7229 and 916-806-7229 <= he needs to hear how angry we Homeowners are!

RON KINGSTON'S NEW BOSS IS NO OTHER THAN CAI'S LONG TIME LOBBYIST - SKIP DAUM!

SENATOR LOU CORREA IS IN BED WITH CAI - HE WROTE THE BILL AND PUT HIS NAME ON IT: Phone: (916) 651-4034

Presently there are several REALLY BAD BILLS HE HAS MANAGED TO PUT ON THE DOCKET, including Senate Bill 670 AND Assembly Bill 980

KINGSTON has gone on record to say that didn't matter what anyone wanted BECAUSE the BILLS WERE A DONE DEAL!!

HOMEOWNERS NEED TO SHOW HIM AND CAI THESE BILLS ARE NOT A DONE DEAL AND ARGUE HARD AND FAST AND QUICKLY THAT WE DON'T WANT THESE BILLS.

Senate Transportation & Housing Committee: Tel: 916-651-4121 * Fax: 916-445-2209



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Friday, April 13, 2007

Direct Democracy in Coto de Caza?


Direct Democracy in Coto de Caza?

CVSC an object lesson in direct democracy

April 13, 2007


California is arguably the leading direct-democracy state in the US - just look at Sacramento.

Yet, even when the state legislature mandates direct elections for Common Interest Developments such as the CZ Master Association, AND we propose the elimination of cumulative voting and a corrupt delegate systems, the board of directors simply ignores our request.

Current board members and supporters often use the argument “if you do not like the way things are run, either volunteer for a committee or run for the board” – what is not said is that if you volunteer to serve on a committee, but are not willing to give up your free speech rights, your application for a committee is not even acknowledged - Wit the firing of the Public Safety Committee Chairperson in early 2006 - a committee that as it turns out is NOT a committee of the association - but that is a different story!

We chronicles the numerous election irregularities during 2006, some of which have surfaced again in 2007. Further, given that all board members are also delegates, and the use of cumulative voting, simply means that the more candidates for the board there are, the easier it is for the current board to control the outcome of the elections – which is why our predictions have been consistently dead on.

However, long-time Coto residents Randy Brusca and Randy Smith, via simple direct mailers have forced a special meeting of the shareholders of the Silver-Bronze Corporation (SBC), which owns the Coto Valley Sports Club (CVSC) and the Coto de Caza Equestrian Center. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 18, 2007. If the a motion to recall the board of directors is successful, then there will be an election of a new board of directors.

Regardless of the SBC’s general meeting outcome, this should be an excellent object lesson for the CZ Master Association: If there is a core group of CZ residents willing to fight Cityhood movement, it can start with a direct mailer to CZ residents – and copy Pat Bates!













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Thursday, April 12, 2007

When is a Homeowners Association Committee not a Committee?


When is a Homeowners Association Committee not a Committee?


More than 85 cents of every CZ dues dollar goes to either the gardener or the private security guard. Regularly either the OC Register, the CZ newsletter or the CZ president’s letter extol the virtues of the gardener, the private security guard or the member of the landscaping or public safety committees.


For example, a recent newsletter announces that the “CZ Master Association Champions Public Safety Committee”, then during general CZ board meetings, the board appoints a chairman and various public safety committee members.


When we asked the board to let us see landscape and public safety committee meeting minutes, the response was “Because the Public Safety Committee does not have any records of minutes prepared from January 1, 2006, it is not a committee of the board”!


In keeping with the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Open Meeting Act, the neither the landscaping nor the public safety committees are exempt from providing notice to titleholders of meetings, and generating and distributing minutes from these meetings to the membership.


So the question remains, when is a homeowners association committee not a committee?


Apparently the answer is, as long as the committee is a CZ committee, it is not a committee

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

CZ Master Association Waste of Money - Letter to Pat Bates


CZ Master Association Waste of Money - Letter to Pat Bates

by Joseph Morabito, former member CZ Master Association BOD

April 10, 2007

Sergio: As Supervisor Bates representative, I am writing you as a long time Coto resident and former CZ Board Member to complain about Supervisor Bates agreeing to waste $20,000 of tax payer money and $5,600 more dollars in CZ dues money to conduct a “study” to determine how much Coto residents pay in taxes presumably in order to see if we are getting back what we pay in. This study was no doubt motivated by Bob Varo, the current President of the CZ Master Association, who clearly has demonstrated on many occasions that he does not have a clue concerning the workings of our Homeowners Association and the way government works.

Any one with a brain knows that we pay in far more in taxes than we get back. We don’t need a costly study to tell us that. Obviously, wealthy communities subsidize those who are not wealthy. It is called “income redistribution”. Further, our property tax bills clearly tell us where our money is going which is primarily to support public schools, assessments, the county, fire authority etc. Sales taxes that we pay to surrounding cities go to support those cities so none of that money is coming back into Coto any time soon. In addition, even if the county wanted to take money from the poor in Orange County which other supervisors will correctly never vote for and spend it in Coto, everything in Coto is privately owned which I assume would prevent monies being spent in Coto.

This study is a complete waste of money. If Supervisor Bates can muster the votes, what we need in Coto is more pro-active Sheriff’s patrols and/or paying for the CHP patrols we are buying today. The cost would be about $240,000 a year to get the CHP hours that we badly need. The county did pick up the first year of CHP service when I served on the CZ Board which should have been continued. In addition, since we allow the public to play at our Sports Field at a considerable cost to our dues paying members and subsidy to outsiders and the county, it would be great if the county could pay for 50% of the maintenance of our Sport Park in the proper spirit of community participation which I suspect would be about $150,000 a year. Since we are allowing the public to use this facility, a county contribution can and should be justified. I can’t tell you the 50% amount for sure because the Varo/Mezger CZ Board refuses to reveal the actual cost to maintain our Sports Park . This current CZ Board actually hides the numbers from us because we only charge users about $12,000 a year to use the facility which is grossly less than the actual maintenance cost. This along with general fiscal mismanagement by our current CZ Board is one of many reasons we have experienced two CZ dues increases in just two years.

Finally, while I have nothing against Supervisor Bates and wish her well in her new job, Mr. Varo inappropriately endorsed the Supervisor as CZ Board President. If this study is the pay-back for that endorsement, it is not sitting well with many voters out here in Coto Land . Political endorsements are just not done by ethical members of our CZ Board because our Board should not be involved in politics. As such, many of us are very unhappy with Mr. Varo’s performance as CZ Board President for this and many other reasons. Our fervent hope is that he will be voted out of office in May when we have our elections. Be advised, hopefully you could be dealing with a lame duck. We are mad as hell and we don’t care who knows. Joe Morabito

P.S. We would fervently fight any attempt to create a Community Services District and/or city for Coto that would raise our taxes as proposed by Misters Varo and Mezger. We don’t need an overlay of government in Coto since our Homeowners Association is responsible for all common area property in Coto. A CSD or city for Coto would serve absolutely no purpose that I can see because it is virtually impossible for our HOA to turn over any common area property to any other entity. So no matter what you are hearing for misinformed Varo, forget about it. It will not happen without a major battle. And, if it requires a two thirds vote, the votes will not be there to pass it.

ATTENTION COTO DE CAZA RESIDENTS:

If you are as concerned as we are about this waste of money, send letters to Pat Bates representative Sergio Prince at: sergio.prince@ocgov.com

CHP Patrol Hours Down, DUI-related Accidents Up: Coto de Caza

CHP Patrol Hours Down, DUI-related Accidents Up: Coto de Caza

Traffic Accident Trends - 1Q2007

April 10, 2007

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reports a total of 6 collision for the first quarter in 2007, one injury and 5 property damage only traffic collisions, for the un-incorporated area of Coto de Caza. Two of the collisions were DUI related.

On an annualized basis, the 1Q2007 rate is identical to the one registered in 2006. - see figure below


Traffic Collision trend - source: CHP


The CHP Public Arrest log shows an increase in DUI arrests for the Canyon Communities, including Trabuco Canyon, Ladera Ranch and Coto de Caza - see figure below

CHP DUI ARRESTS: PERIOD: August 2006 - April 1, 2007
COMMUNITY DUI ARRESTS
San Juan Capistrano 53
San Clemente 46
Santa Ana 25
Laguna Beach 22
Lake Forest 19
Mission Viejo 19
Irvine 17
San Diego 17
Dana Point 15
Los Angeles 13
Huntington Beach 10
Ladera Ranch 10
Oceanside 10
Trabuco Canyon 10
Long Beach 9
Aliso Viejo 7
Anaheim 7
Capistrano Beach 7
Fullerton 7
RSM 7
Newport Beach 6
Tustin 6
Arcadia 5
Carlsbad 5
Costa Mesa 5
Coto de Caza 5
Laguna Nigel 5
Orange 5
Torrance 5




The February 2007 CHP indicates a significant reduction in CHP patrol hours from an average of 150 hours per month to only 50 hours per month. The number of citations averages roughly 1 citation per patrol hours - this may mean that over 100 Coto residents got away without a citation! - that is the good news - the bad news as we previously indicated is that the number of DUI related accidents went up during 1Q2007. CHPs Sgt. Saulman attributed the significant drop in patrol hours in Coto de Caza to a CHP manpower issue. However, this is just another indicator, that pro-active traffic patrol is a necessity within Coto de Caza - much more so than horse trails patrols, for certain.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RELATED STORIES

Coto de Caza?s Bastard Child: Public Safety
In just 15 short months, the community witnessed the absence of the CHP for proactive traffic patrol followed by two tragic traffic accidents. In the last one, the board blamed the victim, although the teen driver eventually pleaded guilty.

CCase for More CHP Hours to Patrol Coto de Caza
Hello All: Last week one night, we got a call from our son Brian because some young kid driving on Coto de Caza Drive attempted to run his girlfriend off the road. Brian reported it to our Security which of course was worthless. I advised him to report...

NY Times "Paraphrase" Military Rape Story - CZ "Paraphrased" Story on CHP Firing
On March 18th, the New York Times published a piece titled ?The Women?s War?, centered around the plight of several female Veterans of the war in Iraq.

CZ Master Association Piggies are Still Fat and Happy and the Chinese V-Factor
Hello All: The good news is that CZ is finally charging non-CZ Members an annual transponder fee. While it is a start, the bad news is that the fee is apparently
















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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Coto de Caza’s Bastard Child – Public Safety

Coto de Caza’s Bastard Child – Public Safety

April 7, 2007

In just 15 short months, the community witnessed the absence of the CHP for proactive traffic patrol followed by two tragic traffic accidents. In the last one, the board blamed the victim, although the teen driver eventually pleaded guilty.

Then there was the firing of the public safety chairperson, allegedly because of the potential for “undue concentration of power”, when in reality it was because she refused to place the board’s personal agenda over public safety.

When the board was coerced into bringing back the CHP after the first traffic fatality, the property manager allowed road certification to expire, nullifying any legal pro-active traffic patrol. Instead of anyone having the intestinal fortitude and admit accountability, the blame immediately went to a missing tickler file.

Then there was the board’s initiative aimed at training the private security guards after numerous complaints. This was followed by an announcement of a new deployment of the security guards to help kids cross the street and the Sheriff’s mounted units to patrol the horse trails. Meanwhile the crime and vandalism data shows the highest rate for the community, ever.

The CZ Master Association’s May 2006 Newsletter prominently announces that the Board of Directors “is formulating a Public Safety Committee in an article with the ambitious title “CA Master Association Champions Public Safety Committee”.

During the July 2006 General Session, the board unanimously approved the appointment of an interim Chair of the Public Safety Committee. Then in the August 10, 2006 General Meeting, the board names 8 members to the Public Safety Committee. Most with little to no experience in public safety, while at the same time denying membership in the same committee to a career public safety professional.

We will not go into the “paraphrased story” by the Orange County Register on the firing of the CHP.. But, then the board tightens the strings on the CHP and holds them to a three-month contract renewal period.

When the board is asked for the 2006 public safety committee meeting minutes, the response is: “Because the Public Safety Committee does not have any records of minutes prepared from January 1, 2006, it is not a committee of the board”! – does this mean that Public Safety is Coto’s Bastard Child?

RELATED STORIES

When is a retraction not a retraction? When it comes from the OCR! In the August 4 issue of the OCR’s CanyonLife, hidden under a picture of the Pet of the Week, appears an inconspicuous paragraph titled Clarification that reads”

“Coto resident Ed Caruso and Board President Bob Varo of the CZ Master Association disagreed on whether Varo, in a private meeting, told Caruso that he planned to fire the California Highway Patrol from traffic duty within the community. A story in the July 14 edition of Canyon Life/Rancho Santa Margarita

Coto de Caza’s Public Safety, A Job For The Mounties - A Paraphrase of the Orange County Register – But, why waste scarce, precious resources patrolling horse trails?

It is no secret that the Orange County Register has been an ardent supporter of the Varo/Mezger administration. There is evidence that the editor collaborated with the board to silence critics, including the CotoBuzz Journal: The OCR board of directors failed to respond to the CotoBuzz Journal complaints for depraved indifference exhibited by the Coto de Caza administration, immediately after the first traffic fatality in December of 2005

First 2006-2007 Coto de Caza Board of Directors Meeting, Standing Room Only! - The first 2006-2007 Coto de Caza Board of Directors Meeting, can best be described as standing-room only, with the local media well represented. A political junkie would have felt right at home, as you could sense the excitement, the energy and the tension in the air!. Failed candidate Dr. Betty Olsen thanked Yocham and Zipperman for their success and wished them the best.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Leisure World and Coto de Caza - One Small Small World!


Leisure World and Coto de Caza - One Small Small World!

Concerned Resident’s Meeting Minutes

April 5, 2007

A group of concerned residents got together at the clubhouse tonight to discuss a number of issues including mis-information, intimidation and fiscal mismanagement. There was even talk of the Orange County District Attorney convening a grand jury and the possibility of a class action law suit.

There were over 200 residents in attendance, including a number of various volunteers working on “discovery’ – a research group dedicated to the compilation of factual evidence to support the volunteer's case.

Prominent was the charge that the landscape budget was grossly mismanaged, but the pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance was the fact that credit cards issued for “emergency purpose only”, were being used for daily emergencies!. Completely absent was any coverage by the community journalists, even though the issues have been ongoing.

Did we mention that this meeting was held at the clubhouse in Leisure World, and not Coto de Caza? Do the issues seem to be the same, with different names?

Does this support the notion that otherwise upright residents, once they become members of a HOA board of directors immediately start behaving like the guards in the Stanford Prisoner Experiment. Regardless of the community they are supposed to represent?