Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Laguna Woods Village to do the unthinkable: to fire its property manager


Laguna Woods, California

Dear Members and Friends,

The GRF board's action on June 29, 2015 in notifying Associa of termination of GRF's management contract touches many people's wishes and hopes of eliminating the inefficient and unnecessary operations many of us experienced under PCM's management.  ACC also likes GRF's goal of eliminating PCM/Associa and moving towards self-management, but in order to reach that goal, we must design a new governance structure that is effective.  We also need to be able to hire the current PCM employees to work for us.  That is a complex decision and process requiring professional management, financial, and legal consultation.  GRF has just hired a labor attorney to find out if they can even approach the PCM employees and what's the costs of the liabilities under either the stock purchase or hiring the employees scenario. At the same time, Associa has told their employees on July 20th that they might be getting a termination notice (WARN act, worker adjustment and retraining notification ) on 10/22, 2015.  No doubt GRF has so far just ideas and concepts.  There is no detail plan to get there.

ACC also supports the 3rd Mutual's four options to be evaluated: (1) Terminate PCM as the service provider, create a new management company owned by GRF, Third Mutual, United and Mutual 50, and hire PCM’s employees; (2) Contract with a new management company that would employ and utilize the current PCM employees; (3) Hire a new management company to replace PCM; (4) Negotiate a new contract with PCM with better terms that address the concerns shared by the corporate members and residents of Laguna Woods Village.  

Going through the evaluation of various options, not only it provides us with a back up plan but also forces us to consider all risks and benefits and costs and savings.  We also recommend bench mark other Leisure World facilities.  Rossmoor Walnut Creek has a good self management model, we should first learn how they converted from professional management to self management.  Seal Beach had converted but is now back to professional management.  How do we learn from their mistakes?

On July 20, Third mutual board sent GRF a letter requesting:

1. GRF’s contract with PCM be extended until such time as all four of the Laguna Woods Village corporate entities have agreed on a uniform termination date for all of their contracts with PCM/Associa;
2. Within two weeks of the date of this letter GRF presents to the Boards of the three Mutuals a detailed implementation plan, not a conceptual plan or ideas, for the transition of services from PCM/Associa to another entity(ies);
3. GRF ceases all of its unilateral actions, regroups and works through either the existing task force or the collective Boards of all of the four entities.

The task force has reconvened and has met last Friday focusing on solving issues at hand.  GRF rejected the #1 request and requested #2 to be extended to 4 weeks when the labor attorney submits his white paper.

3rd mutual members are doing their fiduciary duties to protect their members.  GRF members are trying to improve our governance.  For now we need to stop shooting the messengers and launching political attack on board members who are volunteering their time and working hard to improve governance, management, and conditions at Laguna Woods Village.  ACC supports collaboration among all boards; ultimately, the solution we decide upon will require coordinated action by all boards.  The input of individual as well as clubs is needed.  ACC asks that we treat each other with the same respect as we wish ourselves to be treated.

Please attend the related board meetings and let them know that you care. 

Sincerely yours,

Ed Tao,
President, ACC

ACC, Association of Condos and Co-ops is a club dedicated to addressing the common concerns, issues and problems affecting us all.

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