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Somersett United

Somersett United

The lawsuit filed against the BOD alleging the CC&R Amendment Voting process was unlawfully conducted, has resulted in a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO).  A court hearing has been set for December 18, which is open to the public. The issued TRO prohibits the BOD from engaging in the following activities:

  • Officially recording the amended CC&R’s
  • Moving forward on any activity associated with the proposed SGCC Purchase Agreement.  Such as, ballot solicitations, counting of ballots, or BOD mailings supporting its approval.

The Judge hearing the case has, however, permitted the BOD to vote on extending the deadline for ballot submittals and to negotiate with the SGCC on extension of the December 31st “Outside Closing Date”, which if not met would immediately terminate the agreement.

As a result of the TRO, the BOD issued the following directive:

“ Because there is a temporary restraining order in place, the Association and its agents are not allowed to undertake activities to encourage voting.  We have to take a conservative reading of the temporary restraining order to be safe. Our attorneys advised us that the acts of a committee member or other volunteer may arguably be imputed to the Association, which means no committee members or Association volunteers should take any action to encourage voting in order to ensure that such activities do not potentially violate the temporary restraining order.”

This raises the question about the recent mailing homeowners received from Rob Ducca and Diana Hicks that contain information on the proposed Country Club Purchase Agreement, in which they argue for an Approval vote. The Ducca/Hicks mailings also included the SOA’s “Proposed SGCC Agreement Ballot” and an envelope for mailing it in. Given that Mr. Ducca is Chairman of the BOD’s Communication Committee and in frequent contact with BOD members, it is fair to assume that the BOD was aware of and approved inclusion of the SOA Ballots within the Ducca/Hicks mailing. If this is the case, and since the included SOA Ballot document contains a BOD recommendation to approve the Agreement, this could bring the NRS “Opposition Equal Space” requirement (NRS 116.31035) into play.

In a response to a homeowner email questioning any BOD involvement with the Ducca/Hicks mailing, the SOA’s attorney provided the following quote:

  1. “The board did not participate in or pay for the mailing. No board member reviewed the mailing or what was going to be said or contained in the mailing.
  2. The board did not approve the inclusion of the ballot in the mailing.
  3. The board believes the specific owners named on the outside of the envelope or others who do not represent the association compiled and sent the materials, including a copy of the ballot.
  4. The mailing, with the inclusion of the ballot does not trigger any rights under NRS 116.31035 because the association did not prepare, authorize, sanction, pay for or send the mailing.”

Logically speaking, only the SOA should disseminate ballots and conduct voting under a strictly controlled process. Although apparently not illegal, for others to do so should not be condoned by the BOD.  For others to pass out ballots indiscriminately raises the concern about the potential for duplicate counting, conflicting results or improper handling. In response to this concern, the SOA attorney also provided the following:

  1. “The association has not sanctioned or authorized the handing out of any ballots by anyone. In fact there is a TRO in place prohibiting the association from doing so.
  2. The association has a mechanism in place to ensure each owner’s vote is counted only once. Additionally, such mechanism is set up so that only the first ballot that comes in from an owner will be counted. If a second ballot comes in from an owner who has already voted, such ballot will not be counted.
  3. There is a place on each ballot for an owner to sign. Therefore if an owner uses the original ballot provided to him by the association or if he uses a copy of the ballot, it will still have the owner’s signature, and as explained above if duplicates arrive only the first is counted. If any fraud is alleged, the owner can always testify as to how he voted.”

As a Committee Chairman subject to the above quoted BOD directive, hopefully Mr. Ducca conducted his mailings prior to BOD receipt of the TRO.

 

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Comments on: "CC&R Amendment and SGCC Purchase Agreement Restraining Order" (13)

  1. One should also question as well the letter sent by Geoffrey Brooks with his “opinion” about the vote, not only encouraging homeowners to vote no, but even going so far as to encourage those who might have voted yes to contact the SOA and ask that their votes be returned and changed to a no vote. In addition to Mr. Brooks letter through this website to homeowners encouraging a no vote, Mr. Brooks did not disclose that he is in fact a part of the lawsuit against the SOA which is causing these actions. One could also only assume that Mr. Brooks hopes to gain financially from such a lawsuit and has at the very least caused the homeowners to spend significant amounts of money on attorneys to defend the frivolous lawsuit he and his cohorts filed.

    Last but not least, Mr. Brooks spouse (Patricia Brooks) attempted to secure a position on the BOD of the SOA by running for said position and failed to disclose on her statement that she could potentially have a conflict of interest because of her part in a lawsuit against the SOA. Every other person that is part of the lawsuit (Geoffrey Brooks friends and partners in their never ending pursuit of harm against Blake Smith, the SGCC and anything else they perceive to be good for the country club) listed their spouses as part of the lawsuit, EXCEPT Geoffrey Brooks and his wife. One would only have to wonder why the omission of her as part of the lawsuit, while she runs for a board position????

    Thankfully, she lost her bid to obtain a board position…..

    • Geoffrey Brooks said:

      A quick reply to some of Barry’s comments

      1) My wife, when the suit was filed in October, did not know of my involvement and she disapproved of my action when she found out – if elected she would have recused herself. Husbands and wives do not necessarily agree on everything.

      2) If the Board had followed the NRS statutes and given equal space to opponents of the SGCC purchase, in my opinion, it is likely that there would have been fewer “yes” votes and more “no” votes. If some one wants to change their mind, after having had a chance to consider the “facts of the purchase” – either way – they can surely ask.

      3) The fact that the SOA Board would spend money to defend itself when it has knowingly broken the law and NRS statutes – does not speak to their fiduciary duty to all homeowners.

      4) All legal costs pale into insignificance, when compared to all homeowners being obligated to spend $2.75 million to buy a golf course for a private club. Especially, the horrendous financial implications if the private golf course fails. When we bought here, Ryder homes assured us that we would never have join the Golf Club, unless we wanted to. The CCR’s – still in place – support this contention as they clearly state that the SGCC is a private separate entity outside the Somersett PUD. When joining the club was optional – as it was in 2011 – before the “infamous lease” agreement – we joined. That was a voluntary gesture of support on our part. I really don’t like being forced to pay things I was told that I would not have to.

      5) I cannot speak for 450 or so unit owners who have voted against this “purchase”, but I actually believe that the private country club has done many things well to put their business on a sound footing – at least that is what we have been told by you (Barry). It is my belief that not having a ‘handout or entitlement” will actually ensure that the club continues doing the right things to be successful…and then the country club land will not be developed.

      6) I believe that Blake Smith did a great job developing Somersett, there are still over 1000 new houses to be built and sold. This community is still dependent on developers doing the right thing. I can assure you that they will, as they will make a lot of money from their investments that way. The Developer Board did a great job keeping the HOA solvent during the great recession, when property values plummeted 60% (Half a Billion $ in value vanished!)…Now it has been turned over, it is incumbent on the elected Homeowner Board and Management Company to follow the CCR’s (&NRS), and maintain our communities assets – natural beauty – landscaping – and existing amenities (which we are still buying from the declarant); whilst keeping it on a sound financial footing so we can avoid a disaster in the next recession.

    • Reply to Barry said:

      Barry, Two points:

      1. To suggest that Mr. Brooks hopes to gain financially from the lawsuit is a ridiculous statement. In fact quite the opposite will be true.

      2. You could learn some gentlemanly decorum from Mr. Brooks. But then again we have all become accustomed to your malicious rhetoric.

    • Mike Slattery said:

      It certainly did not look that way at court on the 18th.

  2. Marty Waldo said:

    How did these people get all of our addresses? This mailing, to me, appeared to be totally illegal.

    • I C McNeill said:

      Actually I’m not sure how they got it, but most information can be gotten off the Washoe County Assessor’s site. It’s all public information.

  3. Possible newbee said:

    All this is very scary talk. I have a home pending in Sommersett and this all makes me a little nervous.

    • sharon slattery said:

      Dear Possible Newbee. You picked the one blog around Somersett that is Negative. With about 7 angry people who have filed a lawsuit and who like nothing better than to cause the rest of us to spend money on lawyers. It is obvious to me they love spreading wrong information and never have anything nice to say about Somerset Golf Course or the developer. You will enjoy living here and will soon come to know all the nice positive people who live here. Somersett is a great place to live and the other people who live here are very positive and nice to be around. Do not worry about this blog. I am not afraid to post my name.

    • Mike Slattery said:

      Newbee,

      Sorry this makes you nervous. Somersett is a wonderful community and I am sure you will enjoy living here. I believe that the current issues are short term. Currently over 1100 voters/residents want to proceed with certain items and a small group who opposed the items have taken it to court.
      Hope you enjoy the community as much as my wife and I do. Welcome

  4. Mike Slattery said:

    Some people believe that the glass is half full, others believe that the glass is half empty. Patrica Brooks obviously believes that the glass is half empty. The repayment of the loan would be less than 5% of revenue which is significantly lower than the ratio of mortgage payments to income of most people. To believe that this would put the HOA in jeopardy is either foolish or a scare tactic. Since Pat can predict a recession in the next 15 years, I would love to know when and to what degree that recession would be. Has she calculated how may homeowners would have to default to cause a major income issue for the HOA?
    Short term, it appears that the golf course is solvent. I believe that people should look long term. I do not want to take the chance that we as Somersett homeowners have no say as the what happens to the land and water rights if the golf course does not succeed sometime in the future. In my opinion her “wait and see” attitude is not financially prudent. What will she be “planning”for since we will have no say in the matter.

  5. Letitia (Tish) Neff said:

    I guess I’ve really been in the dark as I’d not seen this website or blog site previously.

    When I bought here in 2008, as a widow coming from the Chicago area, I loved the fact that Somersett was like a small town community offering the beauty of the land and open spaces surrounding it including, the golf course.

    I would like to know how this website/blog can give the impression to those like a “New Bee” (or an older bee like myself) that it can represent or stand for all of Somersett, Dell Webb, The Vue and The Village homeowners as an encompassing whole “United Group”.

    I guess I’m a little annoyed that (and I quote) this “Small group of individuals” would think they have the right to represent themselves on my behalf or, anyone else’s behalf of the entire community especially, if we the homeowners do not know they even exist.

    I try to attend each Board Meeting to get the facts on issues and see what is happening here in Somersett. I have loved living in Somersett the past 2 years and encourage everyone owning property here to be or get involved in your community.

    Remember: IT IS everyone’s right to have their own opinion and vote as they wish on all issues.

    In my perfect world, and maybe my Christmas Wish List would be to see Somersett have:

    1 – Home Owners Association (for entire Somersett… to eliminate confusion, time and monies spent on behalf of homeowners and different boards)
    1 – Set of Bylaws and CCNR’s
    1 – Board of Directors and Committees
    1 – Monthly Assessment Fee for it’s members/residents (combine fees for better support)
    1 – Monthly Board Meeting (of all residents) or meetings as BOD feels is required.
    1 – (or more) Homeowner’s Discussion Group (each major area could have a group for their individual needs)

    “Life is Good” and hopefully will continue to improve even more with homeowners involvement in this beautiful Somersett Community.

    Respectfully,

    Letitia (Tish) Neff

  6. Jutta Tracy said:

    IGNORANCE IS BLESSED ???

    What our LITTLE GROUP tried to accomplish is to bring all the facts to light so every Somersett Home Owner can make an intelligent decision as to the future of our community. It is obvious that a lot of people don’t agree with our views as it is the right of every individual to voice their opinion or concern.
    Unfortunately some people interesting enough they happen to be members of the Country Club have resorted to name calling, nasty comments as well as slanderous remarks and threats.
    All of that because we (Members of Somersett United) have voiced our reservations in regards to the passing of the CC&R’s and the purchase of the Country Club our goal was to make sure all Somersett Home Owners were aware of the Pro’s and Con’s before they cast their votes.
    Our fight was all about getting heard and having the opportunity to get all the facts out to the rest of the community which was very successfully delayed by the SOA until 80% of the votes for the CC&R’s had been cast.
    I invite everyone to come to their own conclusions !! As far as the United States being a free Country and every person having the right to voice their views I suggest that certain individuals remember that.

  7. Jutta Tracy said:

    Unfortunately you are one of few, for the most part people don’t take the time to question or find out the facts. The apathy and lack of interest in most of the Somersett Home Onwers is scary. It becomes obvious when one see’s the number of Somersett Residents actually attending Board Meetings or for that matter the meet of Candidates nights during the last elections. Actually, during the last meet the Candidates nights in Del Webb there was also a Wine Tasting Party going on at the same time which had an attendance of at least 30 people. For the meet the Candidates event maybe 4 from Del Webb ??

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