Comments Regarding the Article Titled: “President’s Report” on pages 1 and 2 of the September 2013 Issue of the Continental Ranch newsletter—the Windmill (John Lambert, President)
The article continually compares the work of the present board to failures and shortcomings of past boards. While there is no doubt things around Continental Ranch look good and the present board appears to be doing a good job financially as they have reported, there is no need to denigrate past boards to applaud oneself. [Refer to my Concluding Comments at the end of this document]
The first line on page 2, states: “By making sure we competitively bid all projects….” [emphasis added]. This statement is not true. The board recently awarded a sole source (not competitively bid) contract in the amount of nearly $80,000.00. Ms. Roxanne Ziegler from the Marana Town Council was in attendance at the August 2013 board of directors (BOD) meeting and addressed this issue during the Homeowner Forum element of the meeting. She reminded the board that this was a large dollar value contract, which should have been competitively bid, as is routinely done by the town. There were no comments or discussion from the board—only stares and silence.
The second paragraph on page 2, states: “It is really too bad that some people do not have the integrity to stand behind their thoughts and instead choose to mail ‘anonymous’ letters; typically filled with inaccuracies to which the Board has no way to respond. The latest one is so utterly over the top and absurd I thought I would share portions.”
This comment is misleading and untrue, as well as arrogant. I am aware of homeowners who have forwarded signed comments to the board and have never received the courtesy of a reply in any form—including myself. The board does have a way to respond—it could be written or even verbal discussion during the monthly BOD meetings—they choose not to respond. I have been to the last two BOD meetings and have not seen the board engage in any discussion with speakers during the Homeowner Forum. Typically what happens is the board members do not look at the speakers, or alternately stare at the speaker and one another, and refuse to enter into any discussion. It begs the question; why do we even have a Homeowner Forum segment of the meetings if the homeowners talk to nonresponsive BOD members and nothing is ever discussed or resolved? Might as well just, as the saying goes; “Talk to the hand….”
Other than to ridicule someone, why would the President choose to waste nearly half the space of his entire written report commenting on something he has admitted “…is so utterly over the top and absurd…? I believe the President needs to be a bigger man, not in stature, but in treating people with respect.
Near the bottom of page 2, the statement: “Also disconcerting to me, is how the former president of the seniors group is now insisting that we consider abandoning use of winter rye grass in CRCA.” [emphasis added]
Once again, the president chooses to identify and isolate an individual, then vilify and ridicule the person for voicing an opinion. Yes, I said opinion! I believe the incident being referenced occurred at the August 2013 BOD meeting where an individual spoke during the Homeowner Forum element of the meeting. The individual did not insist on anything, he merely made a suggestion regarding ways to conserve both water resources, as well as cost. While this may be “disconcerting” to the president, it was nevertheless, merely a suggestion. Are homeowners not allowed to offer suggestions or present options without fear of public vilification, and ridicule? This must stop!
The foregoing are classic examples of the CRCA president employing “Rules for Radicals” strategies commonly used by community organizers to incite people and nurture unrest. “Rules for Radicals”, written by Saul D. Alinsky, is a pragmatic primer for realistic radicals. It has the distinction of being the manual used to train community organizers, as well as the playbook under which they wreak their havoc, with the ultimate goal of divide and conquer. As Continental Ranch homeowners, I believe we deserve better treatment and respect from our elected Community Association board.
I fully realize that the forgoing comments will classify me as persona non grata with the BOD, but I truly believe things need to change regarding how homeowners are treated in Continental Ranch. It is my hope that the BOD will take my comments to heart and alter the way they choose to do business. I believe in giving credit where credit is due, but I also will take you to task when it is warranted. As I noted at the beginning of this correspondence, I believe overall the BOD has done, and is doing, a good job—things around the community look good and the financials are reported as good. Now, the president, and board need to focus on improving their people skills. Character, honesty, ethics, integrity, and communication are necessary qualities for any elected official…. I do believe you represent, and are accountable to Continental Ranch homeowners, not the opposite.
To paraphrase the president’s condescending remarks near the bottom of page two of his September report in the Windmill: I am not an anonymous writer. I have the integrity to stand behind my comments, which are based upon facts. And, oh yes, Mr. president, the board does have ways of responding to homeowner concerns—all you need to do is implement them….
Mr. president, should you feel any of the issues presented in this correspondence are inaccurate, I am open to discuss them with you at any time.
DA 3 September 2013
Continental Ranch Homeowner