Sierra Canyon, Somersett, Villages, The Vue – Your Community Forum

Submitted by Ron Tracy, Concerned Homeowner

Candidates for the Somersett Board Who Are Equity Members of the Somersett Golf and Country Club do not disclose Equity Membership in Candidate Statement.  Nor do they include a statement that they if elected they will recue themselves from any activity from votes relating to the contracts between the SOA and the SGCC

 In the view of many homeowners and in opinion of this owner as well a vote for these individuals is the same as turning the keys the SOA’s bank accounts over to the 140 equity members of the Golf course who have a vested interest in protecting and growing the value of their private investment in the golf course at the expense of the great majority of the Somersett homeowners.

Contrary to comments made by equity members of the golf course, the members of Somersett United and the remainder of the community do not want to see the course go brown.  Our community needs to come together with a plan to save the course that all of us can support, the present situation where funds have been arbitrarily taken from SOA accounts to preserve the private interest of a small number of owners who are equity members of the golf course, without a community vote is unacceptable.

The following is a letter that was sent to the board, a similar letter was sent by two other owners.  As an inactive member of the Florida Bar, this writer was amazed at the response from Melissa Ramsey that the Associations Attorneys did not see a conflict here.  Consequently is up to you the voter to decide this issue.  The election of Equity Members of the Golf course to the SOA board will most likely result in litigation which will be expensive for all of us.

October 26, 2012
 
From:   Ronald Tracy
2289 Placerwood Trail
RENO, NV 89523
 
To:       Board of Directors
Somersett Owners Association
℅ Melissa Ramsey, Provisional Community Manager
7650 Town Square Way, Reno, NV 89523-4847
 
RMI Management Corporate Office  630 Trade Center Drive, Suite 100 Las Vegas,
NV 89119,
 
Attn.: Board of Directors
RMI Management 6170 Ridgeview Court, Suite C Reno, NV 89519

Re:   Failure of Board Candidates to list conflict of interest in candidate statement:

Following the concessions conceded on the video tape record of the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Candidate Night meeting on October 23, 2012, candidates that are equity members of the Somersett Golf Country Club (SGCC) have a “Conflict of Interest” as they benefit financially from contracts and/or leases that call for payments from the SOA to SGCC as equity members, they are part owners of the SGCC.

Under Nevada law this conflict should have been disclosed on the candidate statement that the SGCC equity member candidates submitted to the SOA. No disclosure was made.  Furthermore such candidates must state that if elected they will recuse themselves from voting on any and all contracts or leases between the SOA and the SGCC.  As an explanation of how they will comply with Nevada State Law NRS 116.3103 defining Fiduciary Duty.

Representing a group of concerned Somersett owners and in my capacity as a Somersett Homeowner we demand that all SGCC equity member candidates who did not disclose this conflict immediately be withdrawn as candidates from the ballot.

Should the election committee decide to extend the filing time for corrected candidate statements, the candidates that filed the incorrect statements should pay for the cost of doing a second mailing.  The correction will insure that we have a successful uncontested election.

Sincerely,

Ronald C. Tracy

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Comments on: "SGCC Candidate Statement Omissions" (15)

  1. Barry Lazow said:

    You really shouldn’t speak for other homeowners (“in the view of many homeowners”) as you have no idea what the majority of other homeowners are thinking about this issue, other than a handful of extreme individuals.

    You are indeed entitled to your OWN opinion, however I know the people you are referring to that are running for the board and it is an insult and blatantly wrong to insinuate or portray the potential election of them as “turning the keys to the SOA’s bank accounts over to the 140 equity members of the Golf course”. REALLY?

    Who do you think you are that you can speak for how these three individuals will vote when it comes to matters that have implications for BOTH the SOA and/or the SGCC? Part of the reason some are running is to temper the over the top, extreme, self serving and might I add “conflicting interest” agenda that the SU individuals have themselves in this election.

    I’ve spoken personally to all three of these candidates and have been told directly that they have no intention of voting on issues or budgets that affect the SGCC such that it would not be in the best interest of the Somersett community as a whole and such that it would ONLY benefit the SGCC. For you to insinuate so is unfounded and conjecture on your part and misleading to the community.

  2. Barry Lazow said:

    Another point worth considering is your contention that if a perceived conflict of interest exists that a person can’t run for a board or office of any kind….

    In our government and upcoming elections there are similar conflicts of interest in possibly every race. Does Harry Reid have a conflict of interest such that if a senate vote will affect his home state of Nevada (and possibly his quality of life) he shouldn’t be allowed to vote on it or hold an office that puts him in a position to vote on it? Should President Obama not have been allowed to run for office because issues relating to Illinois, or his personal agenda might come across his desk for signature or might involve his influence?

    Furthermore, does Jim Haar or Geoffrey Brooks have a conflict of interest because they live on the golf course (on one of the fairways) and their home values could be significantly affected by decisions made by them affecting the golf course? I would contend yes based on their statements here and some of the postings. Are they any more honest, ethical, forthright, impartial, or trustworthy than the candidates they claim have a conflict of interest? I would contend not…

    I know Curtis Chan well, and there’s not a more honest and genuine person in this community than him. I know Dave Hughes well and his only interest and motivation is to make Somersett a better place to live for all. I don’t know Ray Lee well, but everyone I’ve talked to about him that does says he is as honest and trustworthy as anyone… For those of you that monitor this web site and are making decisions for who you will vote for I can assure you that these three individuals will do what’s best for the Somersett community as a whole and not for the country club as some would have you believe.

  3. Joe Bower said:

    I understand that a comment from Melissa to one owner was that a complaint on this issue to the Board would have to comply with NRS 116.31087. Please know that this statute states: “If an executive board receives a written complaint from a unit’s owner alleging that the executive board has violated any provision of this chapter or any provision of the governing documents of the association, the executive board shall, upon written request of the unit’s owner, place the subject of the complaint on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the executive board.”

    As you can see, 31087 pertains to a violation committed by the Board and not by a Candidate and therefore is not applicable to those candidates who did not disclose they have a conflict of interest on their Board Candidate Statement.

    It is the candidates themselves who need to follow Nevada Law.

    NRS 116.31034.8(a) states that each person who is nominated as a candidate on the executive board must: “Make a good faith effort to disclose any financial, business, professional or personal relationship or interest that would result or would appear to a reasonable person to result in a potential conflict of interest for the candidate if the candidate were to be elected to serve as a member of the executive board.”

    Since that wasn’t done, perhaps the election should be suspended until the candidates submit a proper Statement and tell all owners why they are doing so. Statement only, no changes to their attached resumes. There is time as the ballots are now to be counted on November 15, but the new board doesn’t sit until January 1.

    All ballots currently received up to the time plus two days (to allow for those already in the mail) the suspension is announced would be frozen and those owners asked to recast their ballot.

  4. These equity owners from SGCC who are running for the board are our own version of Shelly Berkley. Crooked is as crooked does and they have no remorse for their conflict of interest stand.

    • Geoffrey Brooks said:

      Hi Barry

      It is probably just as well that neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney is a member of the SGCC, because I routinely empty my mailbox with one “whopper” after another – I like to use FactCheck.org to check up on “what may be believable or not”.

      Unfortunately, the SOA does not give us an open forum to “debate” the best possible future for Somersett.

      I have now watched the candidates night video and wish profoundly thank my dear friend Charnelle Wright for expressing my views.

      I am well aware that there is significant sentiment within our community for keeping it green – we are a golfing community because we own Canyon 9 – and anybody can play it as many times as they like. We all pay $15 a month for this privilege – all 2411 of us, golfers or not, and we knew this when we bought in beautiful Somersett ($84/month). The “lease” with the SGCC (another $15/month, meaning that we are paying 35% of our General Somersett dues for golf!), unfortunately is poorly crafted and does not offer value to the residents in the way that the C9 does. The SOA (perhaps due to pressure from the Ombudsman’s office) has now capped the “deal”, so it cannot go up. I do believe that the SGCC should offer better resident value anyway, more golf at insider pricing (special prices for residents when the course is not busy), maybe calling the Sunsett Grill – “The Residents Private Bar and Grill”. Organiszing a Bocce ball championship residents tournament – practising community outreach, to show that our dues are appreciated.

      Instead when we have the chance to control our own destiny, and make the community better than the developers wildest dreams, the SGCC have their own candidates who rather than campaigning for a better place for all, are trying to maintain things as they are. They should be embracing suggestions made by “Somersett United” and see that there can be a better future where all residents share in the value we are creating.

      Geoffrey Brooks

    • this would make a gresat reality show
      pathetic

  5. Geoffrey Brooks said:

    Bob

    Aspiring to make our world better for all – is that a crime, is that pathetic?

    No, I am just trying to act responsibly in our community. It is time for the private country club to practise outreach and help bring Somersett together – give residents something more for their support – other than threatening “brown” and “lower property values”.

    Geoffrey Brooks

  6. what is pathetic is the bickering, close minded, agenda driven
    lack of cutting through the garbage and getting to the issues and facing reality
    that the community comes first

  7. Geoffrey Brooks said:

    Hi Bob

    I agree with you that the community should come first which is what I want. We are a gofing community, it has always been so, it was when we bought here in 2006, it was when people bought in 2003 and will be so when people buy in 2013. I am fully committed to keeping it a golfing community.

    The bickering has been caused by the current developer controlled board, which has foisted two very high $ agreements on us, the “subsidy” and the “SGCC lease”, both signed by Ray Lee without a vote by the residents which is required under NV NRS statutes. Both these agreements are under review by the “ombudsman’s office” and we have to wait for their ruling. These are both issues to be dealt with by the new board in 2013.

    When there is a “bickering” over the facts, I like to ask the questions – have you read these agreements? – do you think they are properly constructed so that all the residents would be happy voting for the SOA to spend these “large” ammounts of HOA $? In the case of the “lease”, I have never seen such a poorly constructed document, the arrangement as currently crafted does not give the homeowners value for their money!

    In fact most residents seem to be unaware of the costs of owning and maintaining golf courses. I must confess when I bought here that I did not know what these costs were. I have been asked to explain them (see above) in more detail to provide greater clarity:

    Canyon 9 –
    Purchase (Paying Somersett Development over 20 years – dedication agreement) = $59,398/yr
    Operations (Paying the SGCC to maintain it) = $318,780/yr
    TOTAL = $378,178 (2012)

    The $84/unit paid by ALL residents yields $2,424,320/yr
    C9 represents 15.5% of the budget

    Community Access (for SGCC provided amenities) – $15/month paid by ALL residents
    $434,700 (2012)
    Represents 17.9% of the budget

    Please bear in mind that HOA’s are run on an accrual basis, not a cash basis. On cash basis the % for ALL golf would be higher. During 2012 the no. of assessed paying units has shrunk (less 4 due to amalgamations, and the 39 lots in the Vue purchased by the SOA). Running an association has all sorts of financial innuendos, all of which should be clearly explained.

  8. Geoffrey,

    To me its plain as day that these agreements are wrong, if not criminal. I can’t believe the perpetrators cloud this issue with rambling and cannot face reality. It stinks of impropriety.

    • Joe Bower said:

      Bob, Whoever you are, you betcha and one candidate running for re-election is the “brains” behind them. Watch out if he is re-elected.

      BTW he is the same candidate who has been serving illegally for the past two years. In August 2010 there was a board election for one seat. Per our Bylaws the winner was to serve out the unexpired term of the board member who had resigned in May. Instead the “powers that be” declared the winner would serve a full two-year term and no one paid attention.

      Like I say to you and fellow voters, watch out. The wool has been pulled over owner eyes in the past and it can happen again.

    • Geoffrey Brooks said:

      HI BOB

      Just to make sure I am clear – according to Blake Smith, quoted from the RGJ in March – The SOA approached the SGCC in order to enhance and commission new amenties for all in Somersett.

      Hence, the perpertrators of all the contention is the current developer controlled SOA board who have crafted the agreements without community involvement and a vote. Unfortunately these issues have been clouded by those who claim that the golf course will go brown (which it will not)!

      Geoffrey

      • Informed Resident said:

        Be careful in anything Blake Smith says. I was at a Board meeting when we were told that the SGCC approached the Board with a joint proposal for both Canyon9 maintenance and SGCC community access, which were then negotiated as seperate contracts. It should be noted that for the first time the Canyon9 maintenance contract with the SGCC was for three years and based on number of unit owners (i.e., increases with community growth) instead of a fixed price one year contract.

        Who really knows when and what transpired between the SGCC, Mr. Smith’s Somersett Development Company, and the SOA Board? All I know is that we have two questionable SGCC contracts in place that need to be revisited by the new Board, the SGCC Lease Agreement and the Canyon9 Maintenance Agreement.

        • I know we live in Nevada and many aspects of California are anathema to us. However, the California Department of Real Estate (which governs HOA’s – same as the Nevada Department of Real Estate) limitation on length of contracts (one year) while not a requirement in Nevada can be implemented within the Somersett HOA going forward and that sounds like a good idea to me.

          Typical CC&Rs in California contain a one-year provision for the length of contracts the association might enter into. Among other reasons, this prevents locking the association into long-term contracts, especially ones that might be partial to the developer in a developer controlled association.

          The length of all SOA contracts/agreements is something the new board needs to address; and that can be a little tricky in the case of SGCC if board members are also SGCC members, i.e. back to the conflict of interest issue.

  9. desperate people do desperate and despicable things
    if the residents dont know this, they are fools

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