From David McMenamin: I sent this email to all Boulders North board members on 11/14 and requested that it be posted to the BHOA website. As of 11/21, one week later, I have not received a response from any board member, nor has it been posted to the website. Many of us are trying to be transparent and get the message out about the true issues that are concerning Boulders North homeowners. I am therefore requesting that Carefree Unity post this email.
Thank you for volunteering your valuable time to be on the BHOA. As a retired business owner and member of, for profit and not for profit boards, I understand the time and personal commitment that is required to be a constructive member of a board.
Donna and I chose the Boulders as our preferred retirement location and have lived full time in this wonderful neighborhood since July 2018 and have met many people who have become friends.
I am concerned about you, the present board and many of the boards actions. Below I am going to express these concerns in the categories that I believe have caused division in the Boulders.
Water is a very controversial topic in the Southwestern U.S. and specifically in Arizona with the growing population. I understand the present and future needs for water and the need to update the infrastructure systems to meet demand. As more people move to North Scottsdale and specifically the Carefree, Cave Creek and Desert Mountain areas, the demand for good quality water for all residents, will become a major topic of discussion, with differing points of view. The approach that the present board has taken regarding the below ground water tank, is in my opinion, unprofessional and totally unacceptable. The personal attacks, misinformation, misrepresentation and inability to have a rational adult discussion about the issues shows the ineptness of the current board to work with individuals or topics that differ from the boards’ position. I understand the amendment to the CCRs that was implemented with homeowner approval and provided the board with the ability and steps to address eminent domain. What the amendment did not do is provide the board with an open checkbook. It is outrageous that approximately 20% of the reserve fund(over $100,000 of the $600,000 fund and continuing to increase) has been spent on legal costs on this issue without any consultation or input from the HOA members and residents in an open forum.
As you are aware there have been issues with the 2021 financial statements, which as of the date of this email(11/14) have not been fully corrected. These issues were brought to your attention by Donna McMenamin and other accounting professionals who reside in the community. Instead of addressing these issues in an collaborative manner you have chosen to make disparaging comments as referenced in the last paragraph of the email you sent me on 9/27.
“Lastly: I am the President of the BHOA, not the micromanager of every aspect of its finances (or, in fact, of any other areas). It is the duty of our Treasurer to handle Association financial matters, and that of our external accountants to provide him with accurate data to be able to do so. It also is not the duty of any of us to suffer harassment from a retired accountant who clearly has too much time on her hands and raises the same inconsequential issues monthly. It would be exceedingly refreshing to witness her waiting with a modicum of patience for the professional auditors to provide an explanation – which happened on Friday.”
The reckless disregard for fiscal responsibility is unacceptable: Spending over $100,000 on unnecessary legal fees. Potentially spending $100,000 on landscaping the west gate. With the recent expenditure for road maintenance of $158,000 these combined expenses could exceed $358,000. The reserve fund as of 9/30, as shown on the financial statements, is $609,209 and after these expenses could be reduced to $250,000. According to the reserve fund report (RDA Report dated April 20, 2016 on the HOA website) the projected ending balance for 2021 should be $762,602 with a fully funded reserve amount of $1,032,281. Reserve funds are established to cover future expenses not as a slush fund or piggy bank. It appears legal fees are continuing to increase. This is fiscal irresponsibility in my opinion. You indicated in the October board meeting that the HOA could be assisting Mr. Schwarzkopf with legal representation for comments he made personally not as a board member. Is that true? Is the HOA paying the Ryans legal expenses?
It is my opinion that your board is so focused on the water tank issue that you have not maintained other areas of our community. There has been little or no transparency regarding the AARC meetings. There are examples of violations thoughout the North HOA that are too numerous to list here, but fall into painting, visible equipment and parking violations among others. As Mr. Schwarzkopf mentioned in the October board meeting there are violations and stipulations that need to be enforced. When will these violations and stipulation be enforced?
It is my opinion that an HOA website should be for HOA business, communicating with members and for members to communicate with each other only. It should not be used as a political forum. It should not be used as a forum for one way opinions. It should not be used as a pulpit for an agenda that all homeowners might not agree with. It is apparent to me that if you do not agree with Mr. Schwarzkopf’s thesis you do not get your opinion posted. This is unacceptable. Ms. Benedetto’s postings regarding the City of Carefree political issues have no place on the HOA website. These need to be taken down immediately. The website is improving but shows little transparency. If I recall correctly a stated mission of the new board was to increase transparency. Transparency as defined by Wikipedia is –
“Transparency, as used in science, engineering, business, the humanities and in other social contexts, is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed. Transparency implies openness, communication, and accountability”.
I do not see this board is anywhere close to this definition. What is your definition of transparency?
Politics thrives on conflict. Success thrives on compromise. BERNIE, PLEASE LET’S BE SUCCESSFUL NOT POLITICAL. As stated earlier I have participated on for profit and not for profits boards. I understand the issues of maintaining a balance of varying opinions. From my observation this board has no idea how to manage this delicate process. There is little or no civility or respect when some members of the board(who are homeowners) talk to other homeowners. This is unacceptable and has created a big divide in the community. It is my understanding that you have experienced this personally in an incident on 11/4 from an upset homeowner. The Boulders is an upscale community where residents have vast experiences in many areas of business, legal, accounting and education. Please respect these homeowners backgrounds. I am personally involved in some local organizations in Carefree and it is now embarrassing to let people know I live in the Boulders. As you have seen or heard in some local press articles Boulders residents regardless if they live in the North or South are now know as “BOULDERS PRIVILEGE”. Bernie, what you and the board have done is unacceptable. Could you and the board please tone down the rhetoric, be more civil in your communication, be more transparent, be more respectful to homeowners who might have varying opinions, be more professional in running a structured board meeting and manage the BHOA as it should be by addressing all the issues and not just focusing on the water tank.
Again thank you for taking your time for being involved in the BHOA. I understand it can be difficult at times. Please post this email to the BHOA website. If you would like to meet to discuss this correspondence please let me know.