Submitted by Jim Haar – SOA Board Candidate
At the “Meet the Candidate Night”, Board Candidate Dave Hughes stated that “we need not to be spending $40,000/year in legal fees on items being brought to the Board by a small group of people … a waste of money”. I contend that this was an inappropriate and misinformed comment for the following reasons:
- Every homeowner has the right to bring issues/complaints before the Board, have them placed on the Board Agenda and request a response. If they feel that Board response is inadequate and that their homeowner rights have been violated, they have a further right (per Nevada Law) to file an Intervention Affidavit with the Ombudsman’s Office of the Nevada Real Estate Division for Common Interest Communities. What may be considered frivolous to some (as Mr. Hughes would suggest) is serious business to others.
- The $40,000 of legal fees that Mr. Hughes subscribed to this “Small Group” (interpret as Somersett United) was a mistatement of facts. A request for all legal fees paid by the SOA to its attorney (Maddox & Associates) resulted in the following tabulation through the first seven months of 2012.
- Summit Engineering & Moana Litigation $ 8,792
- Homeowner Claims $ 11,191
- General Counsel $ 12,406
- Collections $ 945
- Developer Board Control $ 1320
- 2012 Election $ 358
- SGCC Lease Agreement $ 1,565
- TCTC Pool Solar Cover $ 303
- SDC Subsidy Agreement $ 690
The above totals $37,570, which I assume is the $40,000 Mr. Hughes was referring to. However, only Items 5 through 9, which total $4,176, can be subscribed to Board agenda issues brought forth by this “Small Group”. As one can readily see, Items 1, 2 (which represent individual homeowner claims unrelated to generic issues), 3 and 4 make up the vast majority of the SOA legal fees.
As a further point of information, legal fees paid by the SOA for the three-year period 2009 – 2011 totaled $163,313. This, before the existence of the “Small Group” Mr. Hughes alluded to. All of the above figures are documented on the SOA website.
As a SOA Board Candidate I fully support homeowners bringing issues before the Board, either a complaint or otherwise. The Board is not a dictatorship, to pick and choose what homeowner issues they wish to respond to, but rather a servant of the community. Obviously, in responding to many of these issues the Board may want to seek legal counsel, a wise approach, which is just a normal part of SOA business.