Thursday, August 14, 2008

California Lawmakers Don't Speak CID- Zilch, Nada!


California Lawmakers Don't Speak CID- Zilch, Nada!

August 14, 2008


California Lawmakers Don't Speak CID - Common Interest Development, that is.

The Orange County board of supervisors want to pull a "Russian Georgia": The BOS and LAFCO want to obliterate unincorporated communities such as the three unincorporated sections that make up Midway City, Ladera Ranch and Coto de Caza. Midway City has been fighting the move for more than 50-years to remain independent.

The California lawmakers do not speak common interest development. Some even characterize the disenfranchised voters as "disgruntled homeowners".

The Orange County DA's response is "throw the bums out!" referring to the incumbent homeowner's association board of directors, which happens to be the response Mr. Robert McDaniel, a Laguna Woods resident got when he spoke to Lou Penrose, listening in for Congressman John Campbell.

"Just as you were unable to keep the House in session when you wished to address energy issues, we (who live in Laguna Woods Village) wish to have our concerns heard in open meetings and have our governing agent and boards be responsive to our needs. Mr. Penrose insisted that all we had to do was fire the managing agent. Can you, by yourself, fire the Speaker? It sounds good, but without help and support it is impossible, especially when you have to pay all expenses involved. As I tried to explain to MR. Penrose (who was not interested in listening to my issues but wanted instead to give me his simplistic statements)" reads in part a letter sent to Congressman Campbell by Mr. McDaniel.

In addition to the obstacles faced by Mr. McDaniel, residents who want to remove unresponsive or otherwise incompetent directors, face other challenges. Unlike other elected officials, there are no comparable built-in checks and balances in a common interest development - in essence, a good number of these communities are turned into personal fiefdoms, where the only rule of law is the one the directors decide upon.

When disgruntled homeowners, as Assemblyman Spitzer might say, do elect independent directors, board of directors can resort to political assassinations, such as the recent political assassination of Stanley Feldstein when he was removed as Third Mutual president, or Coto de Caza's Steven Zipperman.

We contacted Mr. Penrose about Mr. McDaniel's plight. Mr Penrose promptly called us back and confessed he did not know what to do. It was clear from our conversation, that Mr. Penrose has no idea how unincorporated communities are managed at a local level.

Meniffe's own Therese Daniels et all have been fighting an uphill battled against the Sun Civic Associaton. In an open letter to Mr. Tom Thurman, President of SCCA she calls Mr. Thurman a liar: "My statements are quite true. If you can prove other wise, I will then and only then take back my words and apologize" - she writes. Not having a response from Mr. Thurman, she then sends an open letter to the assocation, reading in part:
Every week I broadcast Menifee Valley Talk Radio, a program that deals with issues that affect Sun City and Menifee. .......

I have repeatedly invited Mr. Thurman to be a guest on the program to share his insights about SCCA and the value of a 55+ only community. He has conveniently ignored me. Therefore, I am writing to all of you to ask if Mr. Thurman for whatever reason does not want to be a guest on the program, perhaps one among you would enjoy the opportunity to represent SCCA on Menifee Valley Talk Radio"

We have tried to reach the association and Mr. Thurman, but have not heard from anyone.

Trying to close the gap between Laguna Woods. Mr. McDaniel and Congressman John Campbell, we asked Mr. McDaniel to summarize the actions he would like the congressman to take:

We have paraphrased his request below:
There are 5 things:
1. Federal legislation since this is a NATIONAL issue. And, since the state is unwilling or unable to enforce their laws.

2. Get a federal agency to start a RICO investigation since our funds are being misapplied systematically and there is a conspiracy to cover up where these funds are going and exactly how the state laws are being avoided/circumvented.

3. Get the IRS in here to do an audit.

4. Chuck DeVore has ignored us for years. Through his offices the Congressman can put pressure on our state officials to uphold the law that is in effect and to protect senior citizens and the estimated 25% of the State of California who live in Common Interest Developments.

We are tired of being ignored by the elected. We do not need tickets to tour the white house or a flag flown over the capitol....our only son's severe disability in Afghanistan is contribution enough! The VA does not support him in his pain and disability and none of the legislators helped us help him when he was first retired from the army. NONE. State or Federal.

Walters was scheduled to come here to speak at one point over this summer (after the primary) but she didn't show up..... we get hot air promises and NO action. Penrose promised in his e-mail that he'd forward the concerns to DeVore and have DeVore get on things. It's been a week and we don't have so much as his phone number on our Caller ID. Yeah, they just really jump on things.


5. Blatant discrimination is taking place...both age and race. People of color who have historically been discriminated against and for whom many laws have been written have not been able to make or meet the arbitrary financial requirements placed on people who desire to live here.



In other words, the congressman more than likely will not do much

On the other hand, Supervisor Bates does know how independent communities are governed - she was involved in turning one into a city - a major stepping stone for most wannabee politicians.




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Laguna Woods Village - Having Fun in Paradise?


Laguna Woods Village - Having Fun in Paradise?

August 14, 2008

In a recent letter to the editor, community activist (some may call him a disgruntled homeowner), Mike Curtis raises questions about the community's property management company's motives in obtaining a general building contractors license, and asserts that "Professional Community Management, Inc. is a corporation formed exclusively for the management of our home owners associations. Our management agreements specify this, and further that our General Manager is not supposed to be doing other business activities - particularly within our community and using our resources (remember, we own everything - office space, all equipment, telephones, files - we own it all)"

We have asked property management company representatives to comment on Mr. Curtis' conclusion, but have yet to hear from them.

Mr Curtis' letter prompted another community activist to ask rhetorically:

"Since it seems to be in the best interest of (?who?) for PCM to get a General Contracting License (obviously (?) to do contracting work for LWV) maybe they should get a "Roofing License" so that they can do our roofing, too. Let's see now, if we do our own general building contracting our costs are based on a "zero based budget" (per the GM) with no overhead included. If this new entity is doing our work, would PCM (a for profit company) charge us overhead (profit), or do Disbro and Olsen work for nothing?"

Click here for complete rhetorical question.



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Friday, August 08, 2008

What Coto de Caza is Doing for Public Safety


What Coto de Caza is Doing for Public Safety

August 8, 2008

We are currently following up on various traffic incidents registered in Coto de Caza during July and have asked the CHP to confirm the investigations are still open in the cases listed below

We are pleased to see that finally, the CZ Master association board of directors has indicated a willingness to do something about public safety. The August 2008 CZ Newsletter includes a message from the president board of directors outlining what the association has done, including:
Unlicensed drivers operating motorized vehicles within Coto de Caza


1. The association has hired a “…..licensed engineer who conducts traffic and speed studies to certify the seven major arterial streets so that the California Vehicle code is enforceable..”

Apparently the certified engineer has not noticed the most dangerous intersections in Coto de Caza, requiring engineering action. For instance, the intersection of San Miguel and Rolling Hills is in dire need of a stop sign.

2. The association has “… contracted at a cost in excess of $130,000 per year with the CHP to enforce speed limits on these roads..”

What the association has not done is to present a “public spectacle”, such as the one put on by Ladera Ranch for example. The implications are that the CHP enforcement hours are at its lowest point, since the Varo/Mezger administration fired the CHP without a suitable alternative.



3. The association has undertaken useless “Saturday Delegate Walks” CC&R changes, to justify landscape budget work. It has even considered changing CC&Rs changes to address home businesses. What it has not considered are Social Host CC&R changes to address underage drinking – factors apparently involved in recent stabbing and traffic incidents.

Thousand Oaks, Mission Viejo, Irvine and Lake Forest continually rank at the top of the list of the safest cities for the size in the nation by FBI reporting standards. In fact, the 2004 FBI person crime risk index for Coto de Caza was twice that of Lake Forest. Now Mission Viejo is tackling underage drinking by making parents responsible by passing a Social Host ordinance – a law that makes adults responsible for alcohol consumption by underage drinkers on their premises.

Apparently the question is: “Do not ask what the association can do for public safety in Coto de Caza, ask what residents can do”



Open CHP Investigation –traffic incidents in Coto de Caza

1. Date: 7/-04/2008 or 7/13/2008, 03:55 hrs

Location: Coto de Caza Drive

Description: Male driver of a gray Honda Prelude lost control of his car while travelling northbound on Coto de Caza Drive. The driver, Jason Rooney, 25, was not hurt. Another driver, Christopher Scholl, 22, also stopped at the scene. One driver listed their residence as on Via Barcaza and the other driver listed his residence as on Cambridge, both in Coto de Caza.

Status: CHP investigation open – conflicting reports



2. Date: 7/22/08 at 0200 hours

Location: Solo vehicle (Ford Explorer) traffic collision with one major injury. DUI not a
factor in the collision

Status: CHP investigation open

3. Date: Unknown

Location – Coto de Caza Drive. 18-year old male had to be rescued from his car using “jaws of life”, currently in the hospital. According to the CHP, driver was going in excess of 80 mph on Coto de Caza drive

Status: CHP investigation open



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The Varo anti-CHP Sentiment continues: CHP GO HOME, KEEP OUT OF OUR DUIs!
The Coto de Caza gates, including the automated ones are as reliable as the public utilities in the outskirts of Baghdad, yet the association continues paying for services barely-rendered, no questions asked.



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The Enemy Within Coto Caza: The CHP - CZ BODs



CHP DOES ITS JOB – CZ BOARD PLEASE DO YOURS! - Despite the public abuse the CHP has received from the Coto de Caza board of directors ever since the board was coerced into bringing the CHP back for pro-active traffic patrol, figures indicate that the CHP is doing its job: Trend for accident rate is down and close to pre-firing levels. Just as important, the number of Coto residents arrested for DUI is down. See chart below for actual accident rate.



Law Enforcement – Evil, Necessary Evil, Or Noble Profession and Role Model? In open societies, we posit that law enforcement follows Winstren’s Law: Law Enforcement Goes Where it is Needed and Stays Where it is Wanted



I am concerned about safety and nuisance, as these toys can reach excessive speeds and be overly loud.

CZ Master Enforcement Coordinator: Unlicensed drivers are not allowed to operate any motorized vehicle within CZ Master including, but not limited to golf carts, mopeds, motorbikes, motorized skateboards, etc. Golf carts, motorized skateboards and similar vehicles may not be operated on the streets in the CZ Master Association.

Resident: What do you do when Unlicensed drivers do operate motorized vehicle within CZ Maste"r - kids regularly do so in the Hillsboro district in general and up and down Torrey Pines in particular, usually during weekdays and between 2:00 -6:00 pm.

CZ Master Enforcement Coordinator: If witnessed and kids in area for a bit you could call patrol at 949 888-3800 to come and try to contact kids and tell them they are not allowed to operate these types of motor vehicles within the community or you could fill out the attached rules and violation report form and forward it to me if you have the names/addresses of children and I will sent letter(s) to the homeowners.

Resident: Thanks - I would gladly file a report if I had the name of the kids.

I am not sure calling the patrol would help - my daughter called that number few days back to report a disturbance at around 2:00 am - she got the first degree, so she gave up on whoever responded. She would not wake me up at that time and nothing was done. Not the first time

Your response implies that the patrol has not filed any complaints in the last few weeks for this issue - right?

CZ Master Enforcement Coordinator: I have not received an incident report from patrol as of today's date about motorized scooters. You would have to call them at 949 858-2290 to see if they have received any phone complaints about motorized skateboards.


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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Trabuco HS: All's well that ends well - OC is Not Stand and Deliver County



All's well that ends well - OC is Not Stand and Deliver County

August 6, 2008

Stand and Deliver, starring James Edward Olmos is based on a true story set in East LA in an environment that values a quick fix over education and learning. Jaime A. Escalante is a new teacher at James A. Garfield High School in Los Angeles County, California determined to buck the system, Escalante challenges his students to a higher level of achievement.

Despite concerns and skepticism of other teachers, who feel that "you cannot teach advanced math to illiterates", Escalante nonetheless develops a program setting higher expectations where students take AP Calculus by their senior year.

After taking the AP Calculus exam, Escalante's students are overwhelmed when they find out they have all passed, a feat done by few in the state. Later that summer the Educational Testing Service (ETS) calls into question the validity of their scores when it is discovered that similarities between errors is too high for pure chance. Outraged by the implications of cheating, Escalante feels that the racial and economic status of the students has caused the ETS to doubt their intelligence. But in order to prove to the ETS, and to the nation that the scores were not a fluke, the students agree to retake the test. In this case, the students are given only one day to prepare. The students all pass the test. No celebrity attorney, no lawsuit, no media coverage.

The Orange County version of Stand and Deliver is quite different. In this case, not only is cheating by certain students confirmed, but cheating allegation can perhaps be substantiated based on cheating studies: ETS threw out 385 students' AP exams last month after school officials discovered numerous testing irregularities. A total of 690 exams were invalidated.

As a result of the ETS' actions, a coalition of affected parents and students, backed by a certain celebrity attorney, sue ETS arguing that the environment was conducive to cheating - never mind that at all times, each and every student had a choice to make: Cheat, stand and deliver, or walk out, for instance.

The coalition recently lost the case against the ETS but the Trabuco High School principal has now been demoted, and students are back retaking the AP Tests.

All is well that ends well, or is this much ado about nothing?



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California Association of Realtors: Pick a Lane!


California Association of Realtors: Pick a Lane!

The CAR that doesn't know what lane it's in

August 6, 2008



by Donie Vanitzian, J.D.

Assembly Bill 2259 is a farce, a contradiction in both terms and alliances.

Yes, it's no secret! I've written my share of letters to the legislature and to the California Association of Realtors (CAR) explaining problems with their sponsorship and introduction of assorted legislation pertaining to deed-restricted residential common interest developments, e.g., condominiums, co-ops, timeshares, and so on. As expected, I'm ignored with equal silence.

I laughed out loud as I read this August 4, 2008 quote from Alex Creel, Senior Vice President and Governmental Affairs Chief for CAR, a sponsor of Assembly Bill 2259, "This is a straight forward property rights issue." [FN4] Straight forward? Property rights? The article's author Gary Quackenbush speaks of "covering disclosures upon sale of property . . . to provide protection to owners who are opposed to leasing restrictions by giving them vested rights." Gee, I wonder where they all picked up THAT phrase?

Forget for a minute that in 2006, I mailed to the California Association of Realtors and to the L.A. City Council, and hand-delivered to Mayor Villaraigosa, and Congressman Rosendahl's office, a lengthy letter detailing that very problem and noting a decline in available rental properties and the lack of incentives for being a landlord. I demanded emergency legislation to effectively ban restrictions on rentals imposed by homeowner associations, namely prohibiting associations from amending, restating, rewriting or altering their governing documents and covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) in any way that would prevent titleholders from renting out their properties.

The concept of deed-restricted titleholders having a "vested interest" and "vested rights" in their property was first introduced in the book Villa Appalling! Destroying the Myth of Affordable Community Living, by D. Vanitzian and S. Glassman, published in 2002. I delineated the "Vested Rights Dilemma" in greater detail in the reference book Common Interest Developments- -Homeowners Guide, Expert Series, by D. Vanitzian and published by Thomson-West.

In Villa Appalling! authors D. Vanitzian and S. Glassman, posit that "the solution to the tragedy of the commons can be found in what they term the 'Vested Rights Dilemma.' That Dilemma recognizes what the deed-restricted development purchaser believed all along, that is, the titleholder has certain rights which vest upon purchase. That deed-restricted titleholder cannot be deprived of his rights by covenant, rules, bylaws or any other folly of an association’s board of directors or even the legislature. Those titleholder rights were coupled with an interest, bought and paid for with legal tender. [FN1]

"The Dilemma is that the owner living inside the deed-restricted development believed he had all the rights of an owner living outside a deed-restricted development, namely, traditional home ownership. Not only are the rights of the one living inside severely limited or eliminated, those few remaining rights, which he believed were vested when he paid for his 'space,' [FN1,2] are revocable at will--the board’s will, not his. [FN1]

"What courts and legislatures do not want to recognize is that, at the time of purchase, those 'rights' became vested. The owner bought and paid for them. Either the owner has these rights or he doesn’t. If the owner has them, they are vested and they cannot be 'taken,' either by legislative caprice or covenant, i.e., by any means not applicable to all property interests. And a non-governmental homeowner association certainly could not take those rights away. [FN1]

"On the other hand, if the owner doesn’t have them, then they also cannot be 'taken' from him by a board or the legislature or the courts. [FN1]

"That’s the dilemma. Either the owner has them or he doesn’t. Either way, they should not be able to be taken away." [FN1,2]

Quite beyond coining the terms, I have fought to have titleholder interests not only recognized and respected but strengthened and codified, in contrast to and against CAR which fights to erode owner interests, to reduce them to pawns in the developer-realtor- management industries’ hegeomony.

Remarkably, Assembly Bill 2259 now contradicts provisions written into Assembly Bill 980 sponsored by none other than, the California Association of Realtors (CAR).[FN5] It didn't matter how many letters I wrote to the legislature and all the relevant Committees, and to CAR: all were ignored and none were listed in public Opposition to the bill despite the obligation to do so. Nor did it matter how many treatises I wrote, how much research I did on the laws and crossovers, how many requests I fulfilled to send them the underlying information- -except to maybe "borrow" some of my extensive research that did not appear in any of the earlier legislative drafts--CAR and the legislature paid attention to none of it. Thus, CAR excised ALL residential deed-restricted common interest development property transfers from the protections of fee disclosures mandated in Assembly Bill 980. What does this mean? Simply put: ANY property-related title issues for this now inferior sub-group of titleholders is exempt from the laws meant to protect all other "real" property owners. [FN 2,3] So much for CAR's being "straight forward."

But suddenly CAR and the California legislature want it both ways. They apparently believe that THEY -- not the board of directors -- can decide whether or not a homeowners association can amend, rewrite, and restate covenants, conditions, and restrictions as it relates to renters and rental property. "No" to transparency protecting owners from bogus transfer fees but lots of it lest deed-restricted property not be rentable -- hey, they want us to be able to rent out property out don't they? Gee, thanks for the break . . . that's really no break at all because it conflicts with a myriad of other laws. Just as CAR appeared to have failed in performing the vital due diligence in pushing Assembly Bill 980, so too, they failed to perform the proper due diligence with Assembly Bill 2259. The difference this time? I refuse to tip them off as to what conflicts exist.

Bad law forces consumers to pay higher prices, clogs our court system, and casts a pall over this type of property ownership.

But I digress -- Respectfully, it is this author's opinion that the only reason why Assembly Bill 2259 is now coming to the fore despite my years of writing about these problems for at least the past twelve years, obviously, in my view, it is because of the housing crunch. Agents and brokers are hard pressed for sales. Leases and rentals are the new market. With so much housing now within common interest developments controlled by homeowner association boards of directors who interfere with individual rentals . . . well, you get the picture. Apparently what CAR wants CAR gets, no matter how flipped their flops.


About the writer: Donie Vanitzian, JD, co-authors the Los Angeles Times’ Associations column and is co-author of Villa Appalling! Destroying the Myth of Affordable Community Living. She is author of Common Interest Developments- -Homeowners Guide, Expert Series. She can be reached by writing to Post Office Box 11843, Marina del Rey, CA 90295.

Works Cited

[FN1] D. Vanitzian & S. Glassman, Villa Appalling! Destroying the Myth of Affordable Community Living, A Textbook for Understanding Common Interest Developments (2002).

[FN2] See D. Vanitzian & S. Glassman, Villa Appalling! Destroying the Myth of Affordable Community Living, A Textbook for Understanding Common Interest Developments (2002); D. Vanitzian, Common Interest Developments- -Homeowners Guide, Expert Series ed. 2007-2008 (Thomson-West) ; www.vanitzian. com. See also Civil Code § 1351(f) (re: "space").

[FN3] S. Glassman & D. Vanitzian, What's Really So Bad About Rental Units in a Condo Complex?, L.A. Times, July 2, 2006.

[FN4] Gary Quackenbush, Bill Would Prevent Homeowner Groups From Banning Rentals, Aug. 4, 2008 No. Bay Bus. Journal.

(http://www.busjrnl.com/article/20080804/BUSINESSJOURNAL /706798998/ 1207/BUSINESSJOURNAL02)

[FN5] D. Vanitzian, Veto Assembly Bill 980 Before There's No More Gold in the Golden State, CentralValley Bus. Times, Sept.18, 2007.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Meniffe's 55+ Not a Very Good Year(s)


Meniffe's 55+ Not Very Good Year(s)



Open letter to Mr. Tom Thurman, President of SCCA



August 5, 2008

Responding to a post by SCCA president Tom Thurman on Meniffe247.com, Therese Daniels writes:

Open letter to Mr. Tom Thurman, President of SCCA

“Therese Daniels' statements, as quoted, on menifee247.com June 13,2008 are untrue.”- Tom Thurman

My statements are quite true. If you can prove other wise, I will then and only then take back my words and apologize.

“She is accusing a deceased former SCCA board member of chicanery involved in the recording of the Sun City Civic Association's First Amended & Consolidated Declaration of Restrictions. She even accused her of doing something illegal.

If Ms. Daniels would do a little research she would see that Mrs. Roberge did not sign any recorded documents in 1997.”- Tom Thurman

May Jean Roberge rest in peace. It still doesn’t alter the fact she headed up a project approved by the SCCA Board called “Project 55” for the purpose of obtaining 250 signatures on a petition to get the CC&R’s amended from age 18+ to 55+. According to the SCCA bylaws of that time the petition was required to get the amendment put on a ballot so members could vote approval or not. (everything has been convoluted so many times by the board and its attorneys since then, who knows what they say now) Where is that ballot? Where if there was a ballot is the voting results of the ballot? How come you are not aware of “Project 55”? Why was “project 55” ever begun if SCCA already had a 55+ only status?

What you do not know, Mr. Thurman, is that I saw a document filed with the county recorder signed by Jean Roberge with only her signature on it. My only mistake was to fail to get a copy of that document when I had the chance. If you research the minutes and other documents during the years of 1997 through 2001, you may find abundant information that will substantiate my claim. However, I think you would prefer to make me bad and wrong than admit the mistakes of the SCCA Board.

“The documents were in fact signed by Glen L. Roark President of the SCCA on 03/07/1997 and filed and recorded in Riverside County on 03/11/1997. As the separate tracts in the core approved the amendment requirements they were consolidated under the Consolidated Declaration. The process took a couple of years. The last annexation was dated and signed by Glenn L. Roark 2/1/1999 filed and recorded in Riverside County 2/22/1999. Most of the tracts required an approval vote of 2/3 of the total lot owners.”- Tom Thurman

Now here is where this mess gets tricky. Where is there a copy of the ballot asking for the approval vote? It may have been sent, but I don’t remember it. The 1997 consolidation to which Mr. Thurman is referring was created by very clever attorneys at the behest of the SCCA Board members. The attorneys were paid with SCCA membership money. Do you really think the membership was consulted about the content of this consolidation document? Who approved it? The majority of the SCCA Board? Or did the 2/3 of the membership approve it-- which is what is required when CC&R’s are being amended? The SCCA Board simply adopted the age 55+ restriction and included it in the consolidation and passed it off on the membership without a ballot and without membership full knowledge and understanding of consolidated declarations of 1997 tracts allegedly signed. Again, I ask where is the ballot asking for an amendment for an age restriction that the membership was to vote upon? Show us that ballot? Show us the ballot that gave SCCA Board then authority to hire Epsten & Grinnel to rewrite the whole enchilada!
“Jean Roberge, President and Betty Jo Adney Secretary of the SCCA signed an amendment to the First Amended & Consolidated Declaration on 08/23/2001.. . . It was filed and recorded on 9/17/2001 in Riverside County .”- Tom Thurman

Once the Epsten and Grinnel brought SCCA Board legally along that far and this very questionable document recorded, it was all over for the membership to ever hope to fight a legal battle as to what and how they did this. Though at the time, I am certain no one ever thought to fight the Board or the document. Most members just fell into place like sheep.

“. . . The signing of this amendment was authorized by a majority vote of the Board of Directors of the SCCA at a meeting on 08/16/2001.” - Tom Thurman

Check it out. Mr. Thurman admits the Board-- I repeat the -- SCCA Board of just seven members signed this document. At this stage you can argue that it is the Board’s duty to sign on behalf of the membership. That I would agree. However, at what point did the Board get permission from the membership to do so? I was around then. I don’t remember being asked. Show me where 2/3 of the membership voted approval for and signed an amendment to the age restriction!

“ . . .This amendment was required to maintain compliance with the current requirements of State and Federal law applicable to housing for senior citizens.”- Tom Thurman

It is interesting that SCCA Board failed to comply with its legal obligations after Jean Roberge obtained her 250 signed petition, to place this amendment on the ballot to obtain a 2/3 membership vote; but SCCA is so concerned about maintaining compliance regarding senior housing. Could it be there is something wrong with this picture?

“It is my opinion that Ms. Daniels has self-interest in her desire to open the core to all ages as she is a real estate person, and her primary concern is her pocket book and not the welfare of the homeowners in the core.”- Tom Thurman

Isn’t this a standard response when people don’t know what else to say. She is a real estate agent and has self interest and wants to make a lot of money. I normally ignore such stupidity but I am going to answer it this time in hopes it enlightens people to reality. The majority of the years I practiced real estate was in Los Angeles where the big money is. A realtor isn’t confined to one little tiny area like Sun City Core where the property values are among the lowest in California and the deals are the most difficult to close. The real money properties are built all around and right to the borders of Sun City . They sell for more money, less aggravation, and no the added problem of age restrictions. Any realtor can make a great living without ever having to sell one 45+ year old property in the core when the market is just a little better than the one we are in.

“Stupid is what stupid does.” Forrest Gump

So Mr. Thurman, take you head out of the sand and look around. After that, take a Fleets enema, to clear your head. Sun City is obsolete with its 40+ year old properties, perma rock landscaping, and oleander bushes cut to only six feet. I have no personal agenda to get rich on the poorest, most difficult properties in the state of California .

Yes, it is true. You bet I would like to see the core opened to all ages. So would a whole lot of other SCCA members. This would be in the highest and best interest of every property owner and member in the core. It will also bring fresh and new energy to this tired old core. It will help us transform into the new Menifee City and the 21 first century. In case you haven’t noticed, Mr. Thurman, times, life styles, attitudes, and needs have changed since 1964. It is time SCCA awaken, step out of its time capsule and change come into the 21 first century. If you want to accuse me of ulterior motives, Let me go one better. I would like to see entire SCCA dissolved. It is no longer needed and except for the 300 to 500 people who still use the facilities you so affectionately call “the Campus”, no one cares about the activities. This is a different world. People are into computers and gyms. SCCA is nothing but a money pit. It offers no services of any value to me and over 4,000 of the rest of the members. Yet we are forced to pay for the rest of the dinosaurs who are still living in prehistoric times.

Housing is the economic backbone of America . When the housing market gets in trouble, the entire economic balance of the country tumbles down with it. Home ownership is the great American dream. It is family shelter and its investment. For most people it is the greatest investment of their life time. People are entitled to get the highest and best value from their properties. This is not only good investment, and the American way, but it is moral, ethical, and right. Any one will agree with these thoughts except for the SCCA Board and a handful of recalcitrant members.

SCCA is the perfect example why deed restricted titles are inferior to all other titles. People cannot control their investments because the investments are in the control of Boards of Directors who think they know-- but don’t know the first thing about property value.-- The SCCA’s board minimized, depreciated, and devalued the real estate of its own members when it imposed the 55+ restriction. Isn’t it disgusting, Mr. Thurman, that the people who bought into this community with their life savings trusted the SCCA Board of Directors to safeguard their investment only to see it fail? Isn’t it pitiful, Mr. Thurman, that people bought into Sun City Core hoping it would be a good plan for their old age only to lose it in foreclosure because of a minimum market created by age restriction? Isn’t this, Mr. Thurman, the ultimate betrayal of the SCCA Board to its members? Where is your concern for the welfare of the members. Money is a very real need. Without it, people soon become homeless. You know what happens to the homeless. Where have all the members gone who used to live in these abandoned homes?

The sad reality is SCCA members have been harmed by the 55+ restrictions in many, many ways. There are families whose older children who have fallen upon hard times these past few years who can not help their children by sharing their home because of the age restriction. There are others who were counting on the sale of their property to take them into another life style who couldn’t sell their homes and lost them in foreclosure. There are several abandoned homes because it is easier to just let them rot than to attempt to sell or rent because of the age restrictions. The people in the core cannot refinance because values are so low. The families with gorgeous homes at the borders of the core cannot refinance either because the core neighborhood depreciates the value of their property. These are just a few reasons why age restricted communities are not in the highest and best interest of titleholders. The horror stories go on and on and on. What about the welfare of these good, innocent and somewhat na├»ve families, Mr. Thurman? Don’t you care about them? I do.


“We are allowed to discriminate based on age as a Senior Community in fact, it is encouraged by State and Federal laws.”- Tom Thurman


That statement is a crock of manure. This is a classic example of how facts are twisted and convoluted to suit any one’s purpose. No wonder it is so difficult to get accurate information about anything. The state and federal laws neither encourage nor discourage age discrimination. It is merely a permission given by state and federal for those seniors who choose to create a senior community. If you really understood anti discrimination laws, you would know age discrimination is forbidden unless a community has met the standards to be an age restricted community. Sun City Core failed to meet the required standards to qualify for a senior only community. However because Sun City was built prior to the Unruh Act, the standards were waived!

“There are no laws that would allow us to lower the age limit to 18, 25, or 45. This would be illegal discrimination and we would be in violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1988.” Tom Thurman

You are quite correct when you say there are no laws that would allow SCCA to return to the original adult only age 18+ status when Sun City was first developed. The Unruh act erased that. However, there is nothing stopping Sun City From removing the 55+ restriction and start to restore property values so members could enjoy some equity.

Menifee Valley Talk Radio plans to do several programs about the benefits and liabilities of age restricted communities. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to be our guest speaker so you can tell us all about the many benefits there are to age restricted communities. Please let me know when you can do this so we can set a date. Remember, this isn’t meant to be negative publicity. It is merely meant to expose and disclose the truth and reality about the stupidity of age restricted communities. People need to know.

Please, show me the ballot SCCA sent to the membership to ask for their 2/3 voter approval on the 55+ age restriction amendment.

Therese Daniels , SCCA Member



COMMENTS



We have forwarded a copy of this letter to the Mr. Tom Thurman via the SCCA homeowners association and asked for comments.



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If you would like to make a comment about a specific news article, editorial or commentary and have it considered for publication in the CotoBuzz Journal as a Letter to the Editor, please send it to buzz@cotobuzz.com --. Do not send attachments- or mail to Letters to the Editor, c/o CotoBuzz, P,O. Box 154, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678

Letters should be brief, and may be edited for clarity and length.. They become the property of CotoBuzz Journal and may be republished in any format. Please include your full name, mailing address and daytime phone number (your number will not be published).



COMMENTS



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LWV Open Board Meetings Memo


LWV Open Board Meetings Memo



August 5, 2008



We received a follow up letter, posted below, to a GRF resolution outlining rules of engagement for open board meetings (click here for copy) scheduled for approval today. We asked Ms. Donie Vantizian, co-author of the long-standing Los Angeles Times column "Associations" to comment on the merits of such letter, and have included her response under Comments below.



Subject: OPEN BOARD MEETING RULES

Assembly Bill 512, introduced by Assembly Member Bates became effective January 1st, 2004.

At that time, Assembly Member Pat Bates issued the following announcement:

"I am pleased to announce that I am authoring AB 512, a bill requiring community associations to follow fair and reasonable procedures when adopting operating rules and reviewing homeowner requests.

We’ve all heard horror stories about homeowner associations that abuse their authority. My bill takes dead aim only at these tyrannical associations, not the ones that already respect the rights of homeowners.

AB 512 would implement proposals by the California Law Revision Commission requiring that an association’s board of directors act in good faith and provide members with advance notice and an opportunity to comment before adopting or changing an operating rule. In addition, AB 512 would allow members of an association to reverse a rule change in the first 30 days after it is announced.

By ensuring fair and reasonable rulemaking, AB 512 will reduce the excessive number of disputes and lawsuits currently arising between homeowners and associations. As a result, it will reduce reliance on our overworked courts, saving money for all involved -- including the taxpayer.

It appears from the videos and written material circulating in the public domain, that in the past four and one-half years, Pacific Property Management (PCM) and the Mutual Boards have adopted resolutions completely ignoring the provisions of the Davis Stirling Act.

Simply put, the Davis Stirling Act states that the Resolution shall be in writing and mailed by first class mail at least 30 days in advance to all owners before takes its first official action leading to adoption of the rule.

The board's decision on such proposed rule changes must be made at a board meeting after consideration of any comments by association members. As far as the Davis Stirling Act is concerned, the following recommendation by Staff is not valid.

" Staff recommends that a motion be made and seconded to accept the resolution and allow discussion to ensure that the resolution reads to the satisfaction of the Board. Staff then recommends that a Board Member table the resolution to the next available Board Meeting no less than 30-days from the tablement to comply with Civil Code 1357.130”

Note: there is nothing is Civil Code 1357.130 that requires the adopted resolution to be tabled for 30 days. This is a mere figment of PCM's Staff's imagination. They should know that you can not table a motion and then ask for comments until the motion is removed from the table. But that comment is besides the question. The main question is whether PCM and the GRF Board of Directors are misleading the Community. I say they are:

1. The Resolution was not mailed to the 12, 736 members!

1350.7.

A document shall be delivered by one or more of the following methods: First-class mail, postage prepaid, addressed to a member at the address last shown on the books of the association or otherwise provided by the member.

2. The rule was not in writing. In fact, the only members who were aware of the existence of the rule were those in attendance in the board room. Mr. Ridgway has also indicated in the local paper that only about 22 % of the community watch the Board meetings

1357.110.

An operating rule is valid and enforceable only if all of the following requirements are satisfied:

The rule is in writing and in the possession of all 12,736 members

3. This resolution was voted on and approved without written notice to the members of the community.

1357.130.

(a) The board of directors shall provide written notice of a proposed rule change to the members at least 30 days before making the rule change.

1357.150. (a)

This article applies to a rule change commenced on or after January 1, 2004.

For the purposes of this section, a rule change is commenced when the board of directors of the association takes its first official action leading to adoption of the rule change.

The fact is -- that the initial notice would have to be sent to the members at least 30 days before it is placed on the meeting agenda.

Civ. Code § 1357.130 (added). Rulemaking procedure Comment. Section 1357.130 provides the procedure to be followed when making a rule change.

Failure to provide notice to every member will not invalidate a rule change if the failure is minor and inadvertent.

Finally,

This is not a case where the failure to notify was in good faith "minor and/or inadvertent."
They know exactly what they doing!!!


Joe Fischler



COMMENTS



Ms. Donie Vantizian's, (co-author of the long-standing Los Angeles Times column "Associations") reaction to Mr. Fischler's letter:
"Board directors appear by presumption to be 'rational and reasonable' human beings for no other reason than they were supposedly 'elected' by a majority of titleholders in a 'fair election' and are therefore placed in positions of trust and great--nearly unlimited--power.

That presumption is based on the indemnification insurance for homeowner association boards of directors and its nearly ipso facto defense fund provided for errant directors. I do not believe in that so-called presumption-by-default mantra of 'rational and reasonable' as it applies to board directors because time and again it appears to be proven wrong on many fronts. With nothing more, it presumes an election was fair and makes such elections prima facie with little effort. That is why I termed the latest fiasco taking place in Leisure World Laguna Woods the "SHUT-UP RULE." In Leisure World-type projects everywhere, but especially here in California, because it is a predominately retirement development, it is plausible that the majority of these so-called 'rational and reasonable' human beings are bringing good will and good faith along with some sort of past work experience with them. However, what appears to be a blatant abuse of laws by those in control against those who are not in control, is a grotesque disappointment.

As we noted in 'Villa Appalling! Destroying the Myth of Affordable Community Living,' the abuse of laws meant to protect are a big concern of titleholders who are forced now to live under a regime of 'rulers' and be treated as serfs rather than the bona fide homeowners that they are. It is EASIER for boards to be law abiding than not."



CotoBlogzz Tagzz - use any number of social networking managers to share this (or any other articles in the Internet) with others...click here and select social bookmarkings threads

RELATED STORIES

LETTERS

LWV Open Board Meetings Memo
We received a follow up letter, posted below, to a GRF resolution outlining rules of engagement for open board meetings (click here for copy) scheduled for approved today. We asked Ms. Donie Vantizian, co-author of the long-standing Los Angeles Times column "Associations" to comment on the merits of such letter, and have included her response under Comments below

GRF Rules of Engagement Good For Folsom? First, does this new "SHUT UP!" Rule (click here for copy of GRF resolution dealing with rules of engagement) ) apply only to the Folsom Prison inmates at Leisure World or does it apply also to the residents?


GRF Rules of Engagement Innovation, or Self-preservation?If you would pay attention ((click here for copy of GRF resolution dealing with rules of engagement) ) to what the residents are telling you, you wouldn't have to be so scared and try to impose illegal sanctions against the people who are paying the bills. The residents would not be angry.

GRF Rules of Engagement Restrict Resident Participation The GRF resolution (click here for copy) about to be finally approved at the next GRF Board meeting - Tuesday after next (August 5th), is an effort to greatly restrict resident participation in their meetings. Click here for additional information

Different Homeowners Association, Same Issues
I assume that you are a member of the Walnut Creek Leisure World Association, or is this another HOA in the area? We have had many comments of similar problems by HOA's who happen to run into our website and I'm glad that you contacted me.

The Right LWV Leadership for Such a Time as This?
Is this general manager (Milt Johns) over his head in his management skills? Can someone come out with only experience from the garden to manage a 90 million dollar business without a conflict of interest? When is the last time Mr. Johns lowered our costs...

Working to Serve, Or Serving To Work - Letter to OC Register Columnist
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To Destroy a Community, or to Destroy the Status Quo?XThat is the Question in this Letter to the Menifee SCCA Board of Directors
First of all I have no intentions or no desire to destroy "our community". However, I must ask you to please define what you think the community is, what it is you think I am threatening to destroy?Secondly, Sun City has been declared a "blighted...



If you would like to make a comment about a specific news article, editorial or commentary and have it considered for publication in the CotoBuzz Journal as a Letter to the Editor, please send it to buzz@cotobuzz.com --. Do not send attachments- or mail to Letters to the Editor, c/o CotoBuzz, P,O. Box 154, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92678

Letters should be brief, and may be edited for clarity and length.. They become the property of CotoBuzz Journal and may be republished in any format. Please include your full name, mailing address and daytime phone number (your number will not be published).



COMMENTS



CotoBlogzz Tagzz - use any number of social networking managers to share this (or any other articles in the Internet) with others...click here and select social bookmarkings threads

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Different Homeowners Association, Same Issues
I assume that you are a member of the Walnut Creek Leisure World Association, or is this another HOA in the area? We have had many comments of similar problems by HOA's who happen to run into our website and I'm glad that you contacted me

The Right LWV Leadership for Such a Time as This?
Is this general manager (Milt Johns) over his head in his management skills? Can someone come out with only experience from the garden to manage a 90 million dollar business without a conflict of interest? When is the last time Mr. Johns lowered our costs...

Working to Serve, Or Serving To Work - Letter to OC Register Columnist
Another good column. I was wondering if there was ever any serious consideration to any non-union government employee for the position of publicly elected Sheriff by either the Register or Supervisors? That is all I see in your Top Five selection and...

To Destroy a Community, or to Destroy the Status Quo?XThat is the Question in this Letter to the Menifee SCCA Board of Directors
First of all I have no intentions or no desire to destroy "our community". However, I must ask you to please define what you think the community is, what it is you think I am threatening to destroy?Secondly, Sun City has been declared a "blighted...



















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