Sunday, August 19, 2012

Coto de Caza Gates: Utility, Security or Futility?

Posted By CotoBlogzz

Coto de Caza, CA – CZ Master Association dues-paying members pay a private security company some $1.8 million per year.  The question is, what do the members get in return:  Utility?  Security?  Futility?

You be the judge:

The association subsidizes other residents and businesses at the tune of $3.0 million per year.  If you patronize a business within the gates, you get  a free pass, no questions asked. On the other hand, if you are a dues- paying CZ Master Association member and you are using a service vehicle, are hitching a ride, or just bought a new car, before you are allowed inside the Coto de Caza gates, you must provide the attendant not only you address, but also you password.  At that point, the attendant, a person you do not know, has access to all your most private information.

Now, forget about doing any work around the house on the Sabbath – apparently residents are not  allowed to have service providers in during the Sabbath, while guests of subsidized business have not such restrictions.

So exactly what do residents get  for $1.8million per year? 

As published in the CotoBuzz Journal December 2003

Residents are continuously reminded by the board and or the property manager  that if they witness a crime, or see something suspicious, to NOT call the private security company but instead call the Orange County Sheriff (OCSD) or 9-11.  This in word and deed makes the gate attendants Coto's subsidized businesses' free welcome hosts, and the patrol services glorified meter-maids.  On the other had, the newest CZ board member in a piece by the Orange County Register titled “Coto de Caza’s Security Service is quoted as saying: 

“The private security’s  “….sole responsibility is not just to enforce the CC&R's, but to provide other safety and security services throughout all of Coto. During a recent automobile accident, a boy drove his vehicle into a Sycamore tree at approximately 70 mph. Personnel from Universal Protection Services and others rendered aid until paramedics arrived, or possibly the family would have lost a son. We certainly don't need another family to go through that horror.  Remember the Santiago fire, their service personnel went on immediate fire watch for all of Coto. In addition, they limit access to Coto so that more cars cannot be stolen, and more homes cannot be burgled and vandalism can be curtailed."  Paul Mitchell

There are many problems with Mr. Mitchell’s assertions, including his appeal to emotion.  The facts are that the only one law enforcement agency that provides the best value for the Coto security Buck is the California Highway Patrol (CHP) – CHP gets less than 8% of the total private security budget –  or as former resident Bob Bellamy might say when looking at the 2005 security budget:

".... the life of me, I do not feel that I am getting what I am paying for.... Maybe I am doing my computations all wrong, but  Coto residents are paying the private security company a total of $218.69 per hour! 
     Coto's annual budget for Gate Attendant is $1,236,700. Taking 365 days per year times 24 hours per day, that is 8760 hours per year. If I divide the $1,236,700 by the 8760 hours, then Coto is paying $141.18 per hour to staff the gates.
      Coto's annual budget for Patrol Service is $322,432. Taking the same 8760 hours per year and dividing the $322,432 by 8760 hours, then Coto is paying $36.81 per hour for Patrol Service.
     Coto's Transponder Installation budget in $84,654 for 2005. The Sports Park Office is open 40 hours per week. Taking the 40 hours per week times 52 weeks per year gives 2080 hours per year. Dividing the $84,654 by 2080 hours gives an hourly total of $40.70 to install transponders!
     Adding up:
Gate Attendant---------$141.18 per hour
Patrol Service-----------$  36.81 per hour
Transponder Install----$  40.70 per hour

Total to Securitas       $ 218.69 per hour

     When I break down who is making what based upon what I see in manpower hours, I see 7 employees as Gate Attendants, 1 North, 3 west and 2 at each South Gate. That equals $20.10 per hour for each person on duty.
     Patrol Service is anybody's guess. Two patrols on duty for 24 hours a day equals $18.40 per hour for each person.
     For Transponder Installation at the Sports Park, on a good day there are two people. Those two Sercuritas employees hit the jackpot making $20.35 per hour.

     In my humble opinion, Coto de Caza is paying far too much for the caliber of sercurity we get here. Surely there is enough fat in this budget to bring back the CHP for a lousy 40 hours per week!"
Further, the data clearly shows that CHP presence as predicted, is a deterrent to moving violations.  In fact, when the CZ Master Association fired the CHP for pro-active traffic patrol, the traffic incidents started to climb so fast, that various members of the community appealed to the board, legal counsel, the California Attorney General and other public agencies begging.  We sent a letter to the board and legal counsel one week before the tragic death of 16-year old Rhianna Woolsey.  All for not.  This prompted us to demand that the Orange County Register  and its parent company, Freedom Communication, Accepts Responsibility for the tragic accidents.  See also letter to Coto Residents at the end of this document.

As if that is not enough, the CZ Master Association, in deference to a subsidized business, installs golfer crossing signs at two of the ten most dangerous curves in the community, in essence encouraging golf-club patrons to cross a street they should not, while at the same time, denying residents a request to install “Caution, Children at Play Signs”

Implicitly encouraging visitors to cross dangerous curves without street crossing signs

A second CZ Master Association board member, Lyle Schlieder,  intimately familiar with the firing of the largest private security in the world only to be replaced with one of the smallest ones,  had a different view as described in a letter by former Coto Resident Bob Bellamy published by the CotoBuzz Journal:

 “In today's Canyon Life (June 2, 2006) there was an article about Lyle Schlieder's leaving the BOD. Lyle was quoted as follows: "There are no patrols anymore. I am not sure if what we are dealing with is just a pretty face at the gate that we pay a lot of money for." So is that the "compelling offer" that the BOD received from UPS?  Is this what security in Coto de Caza has been reduced to? If a member of the BOD does not know what is going on with the security company in Coto, then who does?

     Friday, June 2 at 5:30 PM, the line to get into Coto at the west gate was backed-up to Antonio. After finally getting to the gate, I saw that the pole for the left gate was lying on the ground, the middle gate was blocked off and the pole for the middle gate was lying on the ground, and the only gate open for residents with transponders to go through was the right gate which is the slowest gate we have. There was a gate attendant doing the usual job of getting visitors through the left gate, but nobody attending to the center lane and the right lane. Has the staff of UPS been reduced so greatly that there is no one to come out of the guard house and try to get residents in, or do UPS employees just not know how to function in out-of-the ordinary situations?    

      So Mr. Varo and Mr. Klug, I must ask you once again, where is the over $1.5 million dollars budgeted for security going? Is anybody on the BOD or in Keystone monitoring the continuing lack of security in Coto? Is it true that a security consultant been hired for Coto, or is this just another rumor, and if so, what has he contributed to betterment of Coto de Caza? Why are the CC&Rs not being enforced in Coto any more, ie. on the street parking, trash dumpsters allowed to be left on the street and not in driveways, business signs placed along major Coto streets? We do not want the standards upon which Coto de Caza was built to be ignored. We do not want our property values to decline because of poor service, lack of security or lack of enforcement! If either of you are not aware of what is going on here and since both of you have refused to walk around Coto and see what I see while walking in Coto, I will offer to gladly drive both of you around Coto and show you the lack of enforcement.”

But wait, there is more –

 It is not just the individual board members who may be confused about what more than $1.8 million/year in the security budget should buy.  Just days after a new security director was introduced to the community with much fanfare, the CZ master association board of directors adopted revised rules explicitly stating that it was not providing security.

As published in the CotoBuzz Journal  February 2004

Now, consider that more than 60% of the total citations issued in Coto de Caza, May 2011 went to people 40 years and older, and 28% 50 and older, we continue to make the argument that the Coto board of directors has a public safety ticking bomb on its hand.

Let's hope it does not turn into a fatality, such as when we issued the prophetic warnings in 2005 -   Rhianna Woolsey died (December 7, 2005) in the first traffic fatality in Coto de Caza in the last ten years, followed three months later by a traffic accident that claime Mr Morteza Manian’s life.  Refer to letters sent to the board, its legal counsel and its property manager

As published in the CotoBuzz Journal December 2005

Now, if you are a dues paying resident and want to host an event at your home, apparently there  is a 4-guest rule.  What this means is that you must choose whether to use an online registration service to register your guests and risk your privacy and that of your guests, or limit your guests to four, while no such rule exists for patrons of subsidized businessess.  We asked to association for a rationale, and we have yet to hear anything.  Now, what is this privacy stuff?  Not a big deal, right?


Again, you be the judge:

In the contract between the association and the online registration services,  Exhibit B states that it is up to the discretion of the CZ Master Association the content of the website.  The terms and conditions for use of the website include the following:
(a) TRAFFIC DATA COLLECTED. We automatically track and collect the following categories of information when you visit our Site: (1) IP addresses; (2) domain servers; (3) types of computers accessing the Site; and (4) types of web browsers used to access the Site (collectively "Traffic Data"). Traffic Data is anonymous information that does not personally identify you but is helpful for marketing purposes or for improving your experience on the Site - This is misleading - an IP address is my computer's social security number - the same one I use in online banking, for example
 (b) PERSONAL INFORMATION COLLECTED. In order for you to access certain services we require you to provide us with certain information that personally identifies you("Personal Information"). Personal Information includes the following categories of information: (1) Contact Data (such as your name, mailing address, and e-mail address); and (2) Demographic Data (such as your zip code, age, and income). If you communicate with us by e-mail, post messages to any of our chat groups, bulletin boards, or forums, or otherwise complete online forms, surveys, or contest entries, any information provided in such communication may be collected as Personal Information
 (c) SALE OF INFORMATION. In order to accommodate changes in our business, we may sell or buy portions of our company or other companies or assets, including the information collected through this Web site. If Company or substantially all of its assets are acquired, customer information will be one of the assets transferred to the acquirer.   Read more: 

Now, according to California  CIVIL CODE  SECTION 1798-1798.1  
1798.1.  The Legislature declares that the right to privacy is a  personal and fundamental right protected by Section 1 of Article I of  the Constitution of California and by the United States Constitution  and that all individuals have a right of privacy in information  pertaining to them.  The Legislature further makes the following  findings: 
   (a) The right to privacy is being threatened by the indiscriminate  collection, maintenance, and dissemination of personal information  and the lack of effective laws and legal remedies. 
   (b) The increasing use of computers and other sophisticated  information technology has greatly magnified the potential risk to  individual privacy that can occur from the maintenance of personal  information. 
   (c) In order to protect the privacy of individuals, it is  necessary that the maintenance and dissemination of personal  information be subject to strict limits. 
Now, from where we seat, the board may not be compliant with the Business Judgment Rule by allowing patrons of subsidized businesses unfettered access to the community and at the same forcing residents to choose between privacy and access to the community  -  The Business Judgment Rule requires that decisions by directors be in good faith, including reasonable inquiry, as an ordinarily prudent person, a person exhibiting common sense,  in a like position would use under similar circumstances according to Corp. Code §723 1(c).
Now tell me again what you get from some $1.8 million dollars per year?


From: The CotoBuzz Journal
Sent: Saturday, December 17, 2005 3:27 PM
To: Cary Treff
Cc: Buzz @CotoBuzz;; J Harkins

Hi Cary:

I am extremely disappointed that I have not heard form anyone regarding the issue of security monitoring.  Do we agree that this is the number one issue Keystone/UPS should be focused on?  Or is the board directing you otherwise?

As you know, the response I received form CJ Klug regarding business metrics, would be risible, if this was not a serious matter.

I suggest that UPS/Keystone effective immediately keep track of all accidents – even the ones that are not reported to the CHP.  Then monitor trends (up/down) and correlation to special events, holidays, etc., as well as top three roads (more likely, Coto de Caza, Drive, Vista del Verde and San Miguel) – this requires some analysis, as the reports from the CHP may not be written consistently.  As CotoBuzz readers know, I have been collecting, monitoring and reporting on this information. 

Secondly, keep track of the citations, and trending.  For example, as of this past Thursday at around 10:30 am, the CHP had issued 70 citations.  Most for speeding and two for seat belts…. they were not even focusing on people not stopping at stop signs!  Of these, there was a repeat teen offender who most likely will lose here license!

Thirdly, establish a threshold.  If the threshold is exceeded, a call is placed to the Security Committee Chairman.  Is this committee still active?  If not, it should be! – Compare these recommendations to what the GM/UPS are currently doing, and refer to CotoBuzz reprint below from October 2004 on the same subject – Yet the GM is none the wiser! – Pathetic and irresponsible!

Finally, has the board convened the Security Committee?  If so, then there should be “actionable” minutes available – if not, why has the committee not met?  Is the security issue not that important?

Look forward to hearing from you ASAP!

Cary Treff wrote:

As you know, the board of directors of CZ Master was elected to run the association and make business decisions related thereto.  The board has the authority to hire and direct a management company to carry out the decisions of the board.  Keystone Pacific manages the business affairs of CZ Master at the direction of the board of directors.  I do not have the authority to implement the procedures you are suggesting below.  I will, however, forward your suggestions on to the board of directors for consideration.  As always, you are welcome to come any board of directors general session meeting to discuss your suggestions directly with the board.

Cary Treff


As most of you know, Keystone Executives, on behalf of the board informed us that rather than having a Security Town Hall Meeting on January 6, 2006 as we requested, the board decided to cancel the  meeting scheduledfor that day.  
We then asked the board to let us make use of the facilities, so those of us interested in the security and safety of Coto could start a dialogue on the subject, since the facilities were already scheduled.  The board denied our request.  

It should be noted that the board readily subsidizes groups and organizations not officially part of the association, but for some reason, has consistently refused any and all of our requests to address the security issue.

Therefore, via this note, we officially cancel the Security Town Hall Meeting scheduled for January 6, 2006.  Instead, it will be held whenever the board decides to hold their next meeting.
Given that the board continues to promote their personal agenda (turning Coto into a city), with apparently un-conditional support from the OC Register, legal counsel and Keystone Pacific Property Management, over Coto residents', personal safety and well-being,  we have been left with no choice, short of litigation, and have filed a complaint  with Freedom
Communications, Blackstone Group & Providence Equity Partners Inc, owners of theOC Register -- You can make your own decisions on this regard if you compare the reporting found at, and CotoBuzz Newsletters available at (links also shown at the end of this message) and Blog content  at:  
We have also filed a complaint with the California Bar and the California Attorney General.  These complaints are scheduled to be published in the January 2006 issue of the CotoBuzz newsletter and in other media outlets.
Meanwhile, if you care about a comprehensive security plan for Coto residents that addresses important issues such as accident prevention, crime prevention, vandalism prevention, and how your personal information is being used, please contact your district delegate, the board or both and let them know that you feel the board should stop immediately in promoting their personal agenda.  To send delegates an email, simply access the Coto website at  Below is the information we have regarding how delegates stand on the issues - if there are any errors or omissions, please let us know.  We plan to have an updated list for each of the coming board meetings, until we bring back Law and Order to Coto!


December 21, 2005 – Letter to Freedom Communications

Board of Directors
17666 Fitch,
Irvine, Ca., 92614-6022
RE:  OC Register’s Most Unethical Practices

Ladies and Gentlemen:

For your review and action, following is an overview of a complaint against The OC Register in general and OC Register/CanyonLife’s staff specifically:  Melissa Jones, Christa Woodall and Steven Sickler.

The complaint against the OC Register involves conflict of interest, false, misleading and irresponsible reporting, and collaboration with the CZ Master Association’s board of directors - responsible for managing/governing a roughly 13,500 resident gated community in South Orange County, CA, commonly referred to Coto de Caza - to create an environment where civil liberties are being trampled upon; personal safety is being compromised, where the accident rates have doubled each year for the last three years and will set an all time record by the end of 2005. Where the crime rate is greater than any neighboring community, gated or un-gated, where we  have experienced the first traffic fatality in over 10 years, and recently a miscarriege occurred under questionable circumstance, without any consequences.

I am a 12-year+ resident and shareholder of the CZ Master Association, and function as district delegate.  I facilitate an online discussion forum for residents, and publish CotoBuzz, a community journalism e-newsletter covering Coto de Caza.

Rather than providing evidence of what the CanyonLife staff has, or has   not done, we will simply provide you enough context, as well as hyperlinks to access the CanyonLife’s work, as well as other independent sources, so you can get a 360-degree view of the situation.  Then if you wish to follow up, the CanyonLife staff should be able to provide the Freedom Communication’s board with their own perspective.  At that time, we would then be glad to meet with you individually or the Freedom Communication board for a brief  presentation, or to present any evidence you or the board may require to make a final determination on how to proceed with this complaint.

Background and Highlights:

Keystone Pacific is the property manager for the community and it maintains a website located at

The CZ Master Association board of directors has the fiscal responsibility for a budget of roughly $10,000,000.00 per year.  The current board essentially took control of the board roughly three years ago:

As the first major action, the board terminated a contract with the CHP to provide traffic control, with no suitable replacement.  A real reason was never produced, but it is generally acknowledged that the board has an extreme dislike for the CHP to the point of calling them extortionists in public, and during open session board meetings.  Given the OC Register’s unconditional support for this board, it naturally follows that the OC Register, also believes this about the CHP. 

Multiple calls to the board for restraint and warnings about increasing accident rates went unheeded by the board, as well as by the OC Register.

Consequently the accident rate has doubled each and every year, will set an all time high for 2005, produced the first known traffic fatality within Coto de Caza in the last 10 years, crime rate is up, vandalism is up, and private confidential information is being mismanaged at best.
Multiple comprehensive security proposals have been presented to the board, and not one has ever been considered.  Yet the board has failed to articulate one of their own.   To counter our argument the CZ board of directors and CanyonLife staff collaborated on an article with headlines,  “Coto de Caza has traffic-patrol plan”  (as recently as) April 29, 2005 issue of CanyonLife.  We asked the CZ board and the OC Register/CanyonLife staff for a copy of such plan and to date, we have been ignored – with fatal consequences
For over two years, and as recently as days prior to the fatality, we warned the CZ board of directors, legal counsel and the OCR Register, that the board’s intransigence would create tragic consequences.  It did! – We asked the association’s legal counsel (and so informed the OC Register) weeks prior to the first known traffic fatality in 10 years within Coto to compel the board to take action – nothing happened.   We also requested to do a security audit, which proved beyond a reasonable doubt the incompetence and negligence of Keystone, the association’s property manager, the CA board and the unconditional support for the board from the OC Register/CanyonLife’s staff.
We warned the board, legal counsel and the property manager that we would hold them responsible for any serious accidents.  We now hold them responsible for the recent fatality.  We asked the OC Register/CanyonLife to accept a share of the responsibility for the fatality and retract a related story.  Instead, they run a second story – once again, false, misleading and irresponsible: Refer to the Dec. 16, 2005 issue for the CanyoLife’s coverage, and perhaps compare to the stories contained in the CotoBuzz Newsletters available at  You may find Blog content on the subject at:  Additionally, please find our latest request to the CZ board, its legal counsel, property manager and the OC Register – for not!

Paradoxically enough, when national attention is intensely focused on corporate accountability and the Patriot Act debate, where the assembly and senate debate over how best to protect citizens, such as the ones making international calls to places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria, evidence links the OC Register/CanyonLife staff is collaborating with the CZ board of directors, through threats of intimidation to discourage residents from engaging in public discourse. In 1992, the California legislature first enacted ani-SLAPP legislation noting, “ The Legislature finds and declares that there has been a disturbing increase in lawsuits brought primarily to chill the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition for redress of grievances. 

A highlight of issues  with the CZ Master Association that the OC Register/CanyonLife seem to have pledged unconditional support, based on the reporting to date:

1. Crime rate in Coto de Caza is higher than any neighboring community, gated or undated.
2.  Community rules and regulations are applied selectively.  For example, a member of the board unilaterally has ordered to have his district gates open, against the advice of former members of the board, to avoid association’s liability
3.  There is documentation that links the OC Register and the Board in attempts to deny their exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and petition of redress of grievances
4.  The board has not responded to complaints of harassment lodged against association service providers.  Requests to the association’s legal counsel to follow up have been ignored.  Miscarriage has occurred in this instance –not sure if it is coincidental
5.  The association has placed their political interest ahead of the personal safety of Coto residents by holding security hostage:  The board argues that since the CHP are extortionists, the board needs to bring in the Sheriff for traffic control, but in order to bring in the Sheriff, since the association cannot contract for these services directly (it can with the CHP), Coto residents need to go through an extensive process to turn Coto into a city – and exposing them to double taxation.  It then follows that the board, with OC Register’s support, would argue to use toll roads for free, since residents already pay taxes for infrastructure purposes.
6.  Most major decision the board has made, we are confident would not pass the Best Business Judgment/Judicial Deference Rule, if held to scrutiny.

The pervasive state of lawlessness in Coto de Caza has claimed a traffic fatality and in a case of harassment, a pregnant person lost a baby – we have alerted the CZ board, its legal counsel and the OC Register – no response to date.

Now therefore, since Coto residents personal safety is at stake here, and since it is axiomatic in Continuous Improvement Circles that if you find an instantiation of an ethical lapse,  (such as the OC Register pretending to deliver news, when in fact it is delivering advertising, collaborating with boards in multiple cover-ups and to conspire to trample civil liberties, the impact is far greater than just Coto de Caza residents, this now becomes a state and national issue - we in fact have already received similar reports from other communities that we will be looking into.

It is possible that if you take any action, you may find that the OC Register/CanyonLife’s reporting is consistent with the Freedom Communication’s Code of Ethics – we would appreciate receiving a copy for our records.  It then may follow that this type of reporting is more intended to sell advertising at all costs – and may we then respectfully suggest that the money derived from this advertising is blood money?

For references, we have reviewed the The New York Times Code of Conduct and find it diametrically opposed to the type of reporting generally associated with the OC Register’s community reporting.

In any case, I look forward to hearing form you at your earliest convenience.


Joseph Lewis Aguirre



January 18, 2006 – Letter to Various Agencies by Joseph Morabito

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
California Department of Justice
Bill Lockyer, Attorney General
Attn: Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550

Assemblyman Todd Spitzer
Assembly District 71
State Capitol
Room 2111
Sacramento, CA 95814

Department of Real Estate
Jeff Davi, Commissioner
2201 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818-2500

Senate Minority Leader
Dick Ackerman, Senator 33rd District
17821 E. 17th St., Suite 180
Tustin, California 92780

The State Bar of California
Office of the Chief Trial Counsel
1149 South Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-2299

Assemblyman Dario Frommer
Assembly Majority Leader
43rd Assembly District
620 N. Brand Boulevard, Suite 403
Glendale, CA 91203

Senate Majority Leader
Senator Gloria Romero
State Capitol
Room 313
Sacramento, CA 95814

Assemblyman Kevin McCarthy
Assembly Minority Floor Leader
Assembly District 32
4900 California Avenue,Suite 140A
Bakersfield, CA 93309

Office of the District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, Orange County DA
401 Civic Center Drive
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Office of Supervisor Tom Wilson
Orange County Board of Supervisors
10 Civic Center Plaza
Santa Ana, CA 92701

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing on behalf of Coto De Caza Concerned Citizens and as a former Board Member of the CZ Master Association, a 3,500 member homeowners association located in Orange County, California.  This letter constitutes a formal complaint against the CZ Master Board of Directors, and their agents CJ Klug at Keystone Pacific Property Management, 29883 Santa Margarita Parkway, Rancho Santa Margarita, California 92688 and James Harkin, representative attorney at Cane, Walker and Harkins, 17821 East 17th Street, Suite 140, Tustin, California 92780.  The current CZ Master Board of Directors and their agents have consistently acted in violation of their fiduciary responsibility, our governing documents and laws of the state of California specific to homeowner and corporate governance codes and statutes as follows:

1.             Refusal to respond to specific and numerous questions about the finances of the Association in violation of the law.  Overall failure to disclose specific financial and other information concerning the workings of the Association.
2.             Irregular accounting procedures including slush fund accounting and failure to properly account for a major common area facility in order to purposefully hide such expense.
3.             Providing and/or otherwise subsidizing outside organizations with Association dues money in violation of our governing documents.  Actually giving legitimate Association revenues away to outside organizations.
4.             Commercializing our Association through the use of outside organizations to shelter revenues from taxation.
5.             Exposing our Members to increased liability by sponsoring/coordinating activities of other organizations.
6.             Attempting to stifle criticism in violation of First Amendment Rights by sending threatening legal letters to our Members.
7.             Disregarding developer binding legal agreements that were a condition of development of certain tracts and the overall master development.
8.             Implementing a Special Assessment which had to be rescinded since the purpose for the Special Assessment never existed.  (the purchase of a property)
9.             Providing an outside organization our names and addresses, for commercial purposes in violation of our privacy rights.
10.         Ordering our property management agent, Keystone Pacific staff members to support and otherwise work the events/business of outside organizations.
11.         Consistently discussing Open Session issues in Executive Session Board Meetings
12.         Failure to keep adequate Board Meeting Minutes.
13.         Purposefully manipulating the 2005 CZ Board Election in order to cheat the one candidate who ran against them out of a Board seat.
14.         Purposefully acting to make Recall from the Board virtually impossible as a result of a corrupt Delegate Electoral System in which all current Board Members sit as Delegates who can overrule any Recall vote.
15.         Instituting a discriminatory common area fee structure which benefits outside organizations at the expense and to the detriment of our Association members.
16.         Exposing our residents to danger on our streets by terminating a CHP contract put in place by former Boards in order to protect friends from potential DUI’s without any other option in place to implement proactive traffic patrols.  The end result was a significant increase in traffic accidents and a recent tragic death on our streets.  The Board was recently forced by outcry to reinstate the CHP.
17.         Failure to properly bid out major Association contracts some of which result in expenses of one million dollars or more per year.
18.         Consistently lying to our Association Members concerning various initiatives and the workings of the Association.
19.         Using Association resources to promote and/or otherwise organize political activities specific to formation of a Community Services District or potential Cityhood movement.
20.     Failing to maintain proper street certifications to allow for pro-active traffic enforcement by the CHP or Sheriff.

As a result of these serious issues and many more, I am requesting that appropriate state authorities take action to investigate the workings of the CZ Master Association, a quasi city like organization that controls an $8.5 million budget and our streets, security, gate access, common areas, architectural review and approval, etc. etc.  The CZ Master Association is not the typical homeowners association; but rather functions much more like a city impacting over 15,000 residents and therefore should fall under additional laws governing cities.  The current CZ Master Association Board and their agents continue to act in violation of their fiduciary responsibility, our governing documents and the state laws governing HOA’s like no other CZ Board before them.  As a result, state action is required.

Further, it is clear that additional Sarbanes-Oxley type and other laws are necessary to govern homeowner associations and their agents to provide more stringent financial and criminal penalties for Association Board Members and their agents who do not act in accordance with governing documents and various current state laws already on the books.  Since most new developments in California involve Home Owner Associations and many are quite large as is the case with the CZ Master Association implementing city-like functions, a fresh look is required to determine the proper role of government in over seeing these major Associations.  If this does not occur, the courts will be clogged with litigation from Member groups suing their own Associations which is not the best way to handle constructive community relations and management.   Please act on my complaint as soon as possible as these matters are very serious.


Joseph Morabito
Coto de Caza Concerned Citizens
18 Claremont Lane
Coto de Caza, California  92679
949 858-5385

P.S.      I fully expect the current CZ Master Board to do everything possible to subvert the new law, SB 61 requiring direct election of board members after July, 2006.

Letter to OC Register

From: The CotoBuzz Journal
Subject: [COTO] CanyonLife Must Accept a Share of Responsibility for Teen Tragedy
Date: Friday, December 9, 2005, 12:23 AM
As you know, in the past, not only have we used the CanyonLife as the subject of our satire, but we have also communicated directly with CanyonLife reporters to inform them that their type of community reporting had a lot to be desired.  By painting the actions of the CZ Master Association BOD in strictly a positive light, regardless of the facts, makes this type of reporting irresponsible and unethical. As a result, Coto residents have been led to believe that the CZ BOD actions with regards to pro-active enforcement are meritorious.  A brief sampling is provided below.  However, should you required it, we can summarize about three years CanyonLife’s unbalanced coverage of the CZ Master Association.
In previous CotoBuzz articles,  we quoted Jon Garfunkel “And in a Common Interest Development Blog, Jon Garfunkel writes on May 7, 2005 at 1:07 PM - "But he believes the reason why newspapers are losing circulation is that too many traditional journalists are willing to quote politicians and business executives even if they're blatantly lying - merely for the sake of perceived objectivity."  Although we do not know for sure the motivation for the unbalanced CanyonLife coverage of the CZ Master Association, conversations with previous CanyonLife management, leads us to believe that Mr, Garfunkle’s observations apply here as well
Therefore, we strongly believe that the CanyonLife staff owes an apology to, and we demand one, to the Woolsey family, friends and the rest of Coto residents, as this brand of reporting may have helped promote a Groupthink syndrome within the CZ Board and a sense of complacency with the rest of the residents, ultimately leading to the 12/08/2005 fatality.  Bear in mind that we have published factual data challenging not only the board, but also the CanyonLife coverage – we did not get anywhere with either. 
We also request that henceforth, the CanyonLife reporting portrays the CZ Master Association BOD not as thy want, but as the facts may lead – the facts we have paint an arrogant, incompetent, irresponsible, unaccountable board.


The August 12, 2005 issue of CanyonLife quotes the Lyle, the newest member as saying:    I believe we are headed in the right direction. “I’d like to see security be tighter in such a large gated community.  I think we’re moving in that direction by hiring a new security company”, and “I stake my reputation on honesty, and I believe that a community is as good as the residents who love there”, even though there were major issues with how the CZ BOD handled Lyle’s election:  By July 15, 2005 we all knew that Lyle had been anointed as the newest member.  On July 15, the CZ GM sent out invitations for volunteers to the board.  The GM himself in writing, indicated that no one had been appointed!   In the same issue, to the CanyonLife’s question of “What are the challenges you see facing Coto de Caza?”, Lyle responds: “Traffic Control.  There are too many people driving ridiculous speeds because there is no police enforcement….I blame that a lot on soccer moms”  This is after concerned residents had been begging the CZ BOD for more than 24 months to bring back the (fired) CHP and to adopt a pro-active traffic control program. Although several programs were proposed, none was even considered that we know of.
In other issues, CanyonLife quotes former CZ BOD president John Zarian agreeing with the security approach taken by the current board, although John Zarian has admitted in the Coto Discussion forum that in hinsight, it was a bad decision - and the board has had more than two years to rectify, but has failed to do so!

The CZ President Bob Varo in the August 2005 CZ Masters President’s letter states that Varo met with Sheriff Corona regarding traffic enforcement in Coto.  He goes on to say that  “this issue of traffic enforcement is one that has evolved because Coto is not an entity that is capable of contracting with the Sheriff’s Department for police services” . But fails to mention that he was instrumental in firing the CHP allegedly to protect his Club buddies from DUI citations.  He also can be instrumental in bringing back the CHP, but has refused to do so.


January  18, 2005

TRAFFIC ABSOLUTELY OUT OF CONTROL Today, an accident at Luistano and Codro de Caza Drive may be the accident that changes the cavalier attitude of the CZ Board of Directors. At least that may be the way future directors will regards their responsibility of management. This one will cost the community
December –2005 - CanyonLife  12-09-2005

A popular teen is mourned after a crash on the gated community's main street.


COTO DE CAZA – She was a beautiful dancer who never stopped smiling, friends said.

Breaking News: WMP Found during CZ BOD Meeting! FEMA , the Sheriff’s Office and UC System to help solve Coto’s Problems!
Various weapons of mass persuasion were found during the Coto de Caza Board of Director meeting held last night in the Coto Golf Club:

January 2006

January 13, 2006  
Last night, December 12, 2006, the CZ homeowner’s association board of directors held their regularly scheduled open session meeting.  Present were representatives from the LA Times and Freedom Communications.

As board members Thagard/Mezger attempted to explain the impact the Orange County Board of Supervisors action with regards to repealing ordinance section 6-4-20 might have on Coto de Caza, the conversation to gravitated toward the exact wording the CHP:  Would the CHP “guarantee” a maximum of 40 hours per week?  Would it be a minimum of 40 hours per week?

The board also reported that patrol worthy certification of certain Coto de Caza streets had expired.  When questioned why such certification had expired and when it could be taken care of, CJ Klug, Keystone Property Management company employee explained, that he did not know that certification had to be kept current The board was unable to provide a reasonable answer as to when the certification could be taken care off.  Allegedly, it was all in the county of Orange’s hands.

June 2006

In its continued commitment to public safety, on June 1, 2006, CotoBuzz unveiled a Crime and Vandalism Management tool (see below for first installment), containing key metrics and a side-by-side comparison between Coto de Caza and Ladera Ranch. “This is valuable information for our communities”, said Charles Gibson, President of the Ladera Ranch Public Safety Committee.

December 7, 2005

Grief behind Coto's gates

Friends and family remember crash victim Rianna Woolsey amid a proposal to bolster traffic enforcement.

By MICHAEL CORONADO and CHRISTA WOODALL / The Orange County Register
COTO DE CAZA — She was a beautiful dancer who never stopped smiling, friends said.
Rianna Woolsey was a light to many of her classmates at Tesoro High School and the friends she made inside her Coto de Caza community.
“She was always happy,” said Lisa Mahaffey, a fellow songleader with Woolsey last year. Mahaffey was placing pink roses at a curbside memorial this afternoon on Coto de Caza Drive.

Rhianna Six Month’s Anniversary Mr. Manian’s Three Month’s Anniversary

It has been six months since Rhianna Woolsey died (December 7, 2005) in the first traffic fatality in Coto de Caza in the last ten years. Sadly, this week also marks the Three Month Anniversary of Mr. Morteza Manian’s death, as he was struck by a...

Bicycle Safety Within Coto de Caza
During the June 8, 2006 Coto de Caza board meeting Yo Orduno described a public safety situation in the Summerfield district including a warning about an increase of rush hour cyclists in and around Vista Del Verde, some even riding pairwise making the...

Coto de Caza - New Election Laws - Call for Candidates
Dear CZ Board Members:

In July, 2006 the new state law governing HOA elections will take effect. That means that shortly thereafter, the Board should send out information concerning the mechanisms the Board intends to implement in 2007 to comply with...

First 2006-2007 Coto de Caza Board of Directors Meeting, Standing Room Only!  …and Coto de Caza’s Tar Baby
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...

In its continued commitment to public safety, on June 1, 2006, CotoBuzz unveiled a Crime and Vandalism Management tool (see below for first installment), containing key metrics and a side-by-side comparison between Coto de Caza and Ladera Ranch....

May 2007

Taxes? What Taxes? Where do the CZ Master Association Taxes Go?, Let's Tax residents so we can find out!

The CZ Master Association Board of directors has announced that the County Board of Supervisors has agreed to pitch in with some $20,000 of the roughly $26,000 budgeted to "figure out where the association taxes go" - The County Clerk has no record of any request for funding from the board. Further, this "where the taxes" go is simply a way to develop propaganda to convince Coto Residents to turn Coto de Caza into a city!

COTO DE CAZA- SecurityAreNotUs
In today's Canyon Life, there was an article about Lyle Schlieder's leaving the BOD. Lyle was quoted as follows: "There are no patrols anymore. I am not sure if what we are dealing with is just a pretty face at the gate that we pay a lot of money for." So...


The April 21 issue of the CanyonLife reports that “Fred Lisanti of Pacific Oak Security, security consultants to the ( Coto de Caza) board, presented a report indicating the official crime...

CotoBuzz March 2006 Newsletter
First Traffic Accident Lawsuit Filed: Coto de Caza Public Safety Bandwagon is filling up Fast- Hop In!: . We just received the February 2006 CHP report – as previously reported in the Coto discussion forum, we had our first traffic accident in...

Lawless, Clueless Coto de Caza
Last night, December 12, 2006, the CZ homeowner’s association board of directors held their regularly scheduled open session meeting. Present were representatives from the LA Times and Freedom Communications.

As board members Thagard/Mezger...

Lawless, Values-less, Spiritual-less Coto de Caza
When we first moved to Coto de Caza over 12 years ago, we really thought there was No Place Like Coto. Shortly thereafter CNN/Money discovered Coto as well and included it in their list of One of the Best Places to Live/Best Places to Retire.

Sovereign Socialists HOAs of Coto de Caza | Red County 

Most recently CotoBuzz reported the firing of the ... It has been six months sinceRhianna Woolsey died (December 7, 2005) in the first traffic fatality in Coto de Caza ...

Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Coto de Caza’s Varo Board must goCoto de Caza's Declaration of Independence, July 4, 2012

Coto de Caza, CA - The June 2006  issue of the CotoBuzz Journal includes a letter to the CZ Master Association members from former CZ master Board of  directors Joseph Morabito reading in part:  

Dangerous Coto de Caza Roads and Intersections
The changing Coto de Caza demographics have had a major impact on the collision pattern as shown below. Whereas for the period from 2000 through November 2004, 75% of the collisions in the community involved three roads, current collision distribution...


July 2012

Tie a Red Ribbon ‘Round that Old Coto Oak Tree If you do not see anything wrong, you just qualified for a seat on the CZ Master Association board of directors.

Coto de Caza, CA – On Sunday July 1, 2012 we are notified that the old Oak Trees by Summerhill have received the death sentence and that Keystone is prepared to send the death squad sometime Monday to cut down the trees with what appears to be a Pelosi-esque rationale:  Gotta cut down the oak trees to find out who owns them.”

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...

Coto de Caza, 2Q2007 CHP Collision Summary
The newly elected CZ Master Association Board of directors? president has vowed to improve the relationship between the board and CHP management, a minimum requirement in order to increase the CHP traffic patrol to at least 2006 levels. We think that...

1Q2007 Coto de Caza Crime and Vandalism Report
A comparison between the 1Q2006 and 1Q2007 Crime and Vandalism reports shows that a favorite Coto de Caza crime is fraud, that the Peter Pan Syndrome continues to be alive and well (crime is evenly distributed between kids and adults) and a criminal...

Teen Hacker Endangers Lake Forest Couple
According to the Orange County DA, Randall Ellis, 19, Mulkiteo, WA, is charged with one felony count of computer access and fraud, two felony counts of false imprisonment by violence, one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting a crime, and two felony...

CZ Master Association CC&R Violator's List
We continue to receive a flurry of complaints from Coto residents regarding soliciting and door-to-door distribution of service sales literature, including maid, painting, landscaping, remodeling, (etc.)

The Maturing of Coto de Caza-Coto de Caza is no longer GRUP City!
Age distribution in the crime & vandalism and collision statistics for Coto de Caza, indicate that an underage person is as likely to be involved in a crime or collision within Coto, as is a senior citizen. This fact has led us to the conclusion that...

Coto de Caza's Equus trailus patrolus publicus (horse trail patrols paid by the commonwealth)
We were befuddled by the recent announcement by the CZ Master Association board of directors of the impending deployment of mounted units of the Sheriff?s department to patrol the horse trails and fire roads that surround the community. After all, all...

It is Official: Coto de Caza Mounties are here! - A CZ Master Association BOD decision making framework
According to the March 9, 2007 issue of the Orange County Register?s The CanyonLife, the Mounties have mounted a ? coordinated patrol effort on Saturday, March 3, on the county?s trails in the hills around Coto de Caza and Holy Jim Canyon. The high...

Coto De Caza, Ladera Ranch, Safest Communities in the Canyons ? Not!
According to the OCSD, Coto de Caza registered the highest incidence of crime/vandalism for 3Q2006. On the other hand, Ladera Ranch ended 2006 with a significant reduction in crime and vandalism.

1Q2007 Coto de Caza Crime and Vandalism Report
A comparison between the 1Q2006 and 1Q2007 Crime and Vandalism reports shows that a favorite Coto de Caza crime is fraud, that the Peter Pan Syndrome continues to be alive and well (crime is evenly distributed between kids and adults) and a criminal...

Coto de Caza CC&Rs and Potential Federal Law Violations
We sent the note below to Keystone ? We have yet to hear from them, and if the trend continues, Keystone will not respond. So we decided to contact the service supplier directly. Their response is

A Tribute to Mr. Morteza Manian On The First Anniversary of His Tragic Death
As Mr. Morteza Manian was riding his bicycle on a lazy Sunday afternoon, just like he had done so many times before, a 16 year old female driver of a Nissan Frontier approached the same intersection at Lexington Way and struck the left side of Mr. Manian.

Coto de Caza's Equus trailus patrolus publicus (horse trail patrols paid by the commonwealth)
We were befuddled by the recent announcement by the CZ Master Association board of directors of the impending deployment of mounted units of the Sheriff?s department to patrol the horse trails and fire roads that surround the community. After all, all...

The CotoBuzz Journal May 2007
CHP in Coto - Big Mouth CZ Bob- By Joseph Morabito, former member CZ Master Association Board of DirectorsHello 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...

The Enemy in Coto de Caza's Midst - The CHP!
Considering the history of Coto de Caza, Can you name all the service providers that have been on a quarterly review (rather than yearly review) ? to make sure the service it provides is acceptable? Can you name the members of the board of directors when...

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.

Former Assistant Sheriff, Dove Canyon Resident Convicted Of Perjury & Misappropriation Of Public Funds
SANTA ANA -- Contrary to what certain Coto de Caza Board of Directors may think, there is semblance of law and order in Orange County.

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