Sunday, February 07, 2010

What lurks beneath?...In Laguna Woods Village

Posted By K. McDaniel

Goings On LWV February 7, 2010
What lurks beneath?

Laguna Woods Village, CA -Milt Johns was asked to resign as General Manager of Laguna Woods Village. Since he learned of the request coming he has made tracks to imitate Chicken Little in his most frantic attempts to scare the members into thinking the whole place will crumble without him. He had conducted a hyperactive PR campaign by attending numerous coffee klatches and propaganda meetings to get the word out about what a hale fellow he is. The question each and every resident here in Laguna Woods Village should ask on Tuesday at the United Board meeting is this: WHY? What Lurks Beneath?

What has been discovered above and beyond the incentive plan and the general misbehavior of the past on the part of PCM? What frightens the United Board members so badly that the majority are willing to violate confidentiality? What is the big secret? What lurks beneath?

WHO is indispensable? What makes a person indispensable? History has told us that the only indispensable people are those who build an organization based on the cult of personality. When the leader makes ALL decisions the next echelon has no power and no understanding or fears to make a decision lest it be contrary to the wishes of the leader. Is this the case? Can you think of a time in history when you saw this happen? This is the situation in Laguna Woods Village.

How many residents who work for PCM in relatively menial positions are afraid? Afraid to express their opinions, afraid to ask questions, afraid to take any action. Aren’t these indications of cult behavior?

This is why it is vital to get rid of Milt and PCM entirely. Why is that important? They would have you believe we will crumble without them. WE WILL NOT CRUMBLE WITHOUT THEM. WE WOULD THRIVE. Any organization that cannot, will not, or refuses to change is already dying. We need fresh blood, fresh perspectives, fresh solutions and above all someone at the top who admits that the FIRST priority is the residents not the for-profit organization that pays their salary. If our management is unable to work under a new manager they do not deserve to be working at all. Let them find other jobs in other places.

What do the PCM promoters on United know? Are they afraid they will also be prosecuted for any crimes they have been aware of and have allowed? Are they so afraid of PCM and threats of lawsuits that they will defend Johns/PCM even to the point of a cover up that only begins with the mass dissemination of confidential information? Why is United still preventing the community from having full information? What minority United Board members are presently being treated as pariah and prevented from participating for fear of legal reprisal when whatever the truth is when it comes out? Ask yourself: What lurks beneath?

Why is PCM pretending the community will crumble? Is it because they CANNOT AFFORD to lose our business and let a full accounting and investigation of their behavior and management go forth? If only Johns is removed his underlings left behind working under Disbro, Disbro and Olsen will make it APPEAR the structure is dissolving and then in panic Johns would be reinstated. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Even an entire boro bridge can be made to disappear. That would be PCM’s ideal situation. They would then be back only stronger than ever.

Is United going to continue to turn a deaf ear and ostracize the minority on that board as they have in the past but for no cause and without due process? Perhaps the United Board members should consult individual lawyers to determine their personal liability. What lurks beneath?

ALL RESIDENTS/MEMBERS should go to the United board meeting on TUESDAY and express their demand that the United Board work FOR the membership NOT FOR PCM.
Keeping PCM is wrong. It is morally wrong. It is wrong to make that kind of business decision when the message is so obvious that PCM is doing more harm than good for this community. Forty years and there hasn’t even been a new bid for services. Despite what PCM would have you believe there are management companies and non-profit managers who are able, qualified and willing to take on the job; challenges and all. What lurks beneath?

Laguna Woods Village/Leisure World belongs to US. IT DOES NOT BELONG TO PCM. If you want to simply sell your home for a kiss and a bouquet of flowers to fawning admirers of Milt Johns then go ahead. Otherwise STAND UP and ask the question: WHAT LURKS BENEATH?

Editor’s Note:

So exactly how can a person pry the Laguna Wood Village’s hood open and answer the questions Katie is asking here?

Having covered and written about the community for years, we think we can respond to Katie’s questions by simply reading archived issues:  Wit  Milt Jones’ infamous Ultimatum to the United Mutual Board in essence telling the board:  “We tell the board what to do, take it or leave it.” -  And the board took it, to the persecution of Michael Curtis, FileGate, TapeGate, etc., etc.  This however, is too boring and time consuming, so we went asking other residents familiar with the internal machinations of the community.

This is what we got from not only reliable sources, but also consistent with our own understanding.  Note that multiple attempts to have the various board, legal counsel and the management company  to make sure that what we publish is accurate, have gone unanswered.  In one instance, we did get a response form Mr. Milt Johnes:  When we asked him to comment for a story he had a one word answer:  “Stupid
    “It’s all about Money. Who has it and who wants it. They have spent 40 years ….4 decades!! Trying to get their meat hooks on LWV/Leisure World. Barbara Copley presented to Bob Miller a package at the last GRF meeting that held the information he has denied having that discusses the reality of CC&Rs and the information privy only to parties in the mediation.”

    “Milt is running around like a maniac trying to save his hide. I don’t think PCM can afford to keep him at his salary but they can’t afford to let him go because he KNOWS everything that has gone on and probably more! It is being said that he will leave the property and lurk in the wings while his loyal staff sabotages the community at which time the boards will scream “uncle” and let him back in thereby making PCM stronger than ever. He and Noel Hatch acted like hale fellows well met during their giggle fest at Friends of the Village last week. Yet, once again, Hatch refused to answer a handful of questions,  which had been pre-submitted. He has said before at an FOV meeting that he won’t answer controversial questions. That was printed in a comment by RIO8Code in an comment to an OCR/LWV article.”

    “It is my opinion that the members of the United Board are so completely and totally incompetent that they cannot run a clockwork toy let alone an entire mutual and they are completely and totally dependent on Milt and his merry band. I would be willing to place money on their having been promised legal repercussions if they don’t toe the line as well. That is the method of operation I became acquainted with a little too closely at one point.”

    “Long ago and far away we experienced a similar management situation. Unfortunately I made the mistake of calling the “executive director” on a bogus budget that had been submitted to a volunteer board. This person was accustomed to having budgets simply passed without question by boards in the past. This time I got it stopped before it happened and questions were asked. That person was asked to resign before criminal charges were filed. The resignation took place but not without warning that “the organization would be sorry.” The dregs of that director’s staff had remained in site and began a campaign to destroy the organization from the top down while keeping very careful track of what should actually go on so that the former director would be called back to “save the organization.” Unfortunately for all involved the questions were being answered even as the plan went forth and it was discovered that funds from this non-profit organization had been taken and used for the director’s personal use; that is to cover margin calls that could not be met when several investments turned against the hoped for rise.  The person who took that director’s place was found to be using the corporate credit card for personal expenses. EVEN THOUGH those monies were only used temporarily and the plan was always to “pay it back” it is illegal. Ultimately the entire staff lost their positions and new directorship was found and to this day the organization is continuing forward but THIS TIME with serious checks and balances in place.”


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