The Biggest Issues
We have highlighted the board ignoring our democracy when they appointed Ken Ulrich to replace Bob Shipley (see our blog on Why your interests are not represented by the current board). The point of today’s message is simple. Is there anything wrong with PGA West and is it important to you? Here is some of what we see.
Our community has become divided.
You may have noticed several political signs on people’s lawns this past spring, or if you follow the sentiment on social media (like the PGA West Facebook group or Nextdoor.com) you will see our community has become divided and unwelcoming to guests and fellow owners alike. Whether we think of owners, visitors, family members, or renters coming to explore and enjoy our community, PGA has historically been a welcoming, inclusive community that has changed dramatically in the last year.
COVID may be contributory to the issue, but the source of the issue is around an identity of what our community is about and how we encourage solutions to ensure everyone’s peaceful enjoyment. Do we value respectful guests or not? Is tourism critical to the golf course community? How do we retain a feeling of respect and connection with our fellow owners? These are all important questions that need leadership from our HOA boards to enable communication, facilitation, conduct expectations, and enforcement, and the animosity on this issue clearly indicates we have failed.
We have committees that address many important issues in our community like landscaping, compliance, finance, communication, etc. It is unimaginable that we do not have a committee around rentals. One that has access to accurate data to understand the size of the problem. One that recognizes most rental owners don’t cause issues in our community. One that provides best practices to challenged rentals so they can improve. One that bridges conflicting priorities between those that do and do not wish to rent and one that encourages enforcement when any of our community rules are violated. Fresh board members lead to fresh solutions.
2020 Compliance complaints were at their highest levels in our history.
Empirical measurement is a simple, unbiased way to determine the effectiveness of our management. Did you know that 2020 had the highest number of complaints and citations in our community in its history? Whether we have a lack of awareness of our rules and values, a lack of tolerance between community members, or a lack of enforcement, we need change. These statistics emphasize that the status quo has failed and we need to try innovative solutions.
Some of our problem is awareness. We still have owners who aren’t aware that walking their dog on the golf course at night is trespassing. No one at PGA wants to be burdened by excessive noise (especially at night). Guests (of owners and renters) are more often at fault for violating our rules, so why don’t we register every guest and send them an electronic email with our most egregious offenses affecting everyone’s enjoyment? Why do we only talk of enforcement and punishment for violations rather than encourage knowledge, compliance, and respect?
Our board doesn’t have a balanced perspective.
Balance is a phrase we hear time and time again in all aspects of our life. Work, family, diet, mental health, the list goes on and on. Similarly, we need balance on our board and currently, our board is skewed 100% with full-time residents. We’ve previously given the demographics of the ownership in Res 1 highlighting nearly ¾ of our owners are part-time residents (see our blog on Why your interests are not being represented by the current board). By balancing our board to better match our membership, we can expect better representation. Balance will bring different perspectives and create constructive debate. Debate leads to better accountability and better decision-making. Just as we believe having every board member be a part-time resident would do a disservice to our membership, so does having none.
Unanimous Approval of recent CC&RR Changes.
Occasionally, the three HOAs and the Master Association agree to amend our Combined Community Rules and Regulations (CC&RRs). These are intended to ensure common values are upheld in our community. In the last month, the four boards all ratified some amendments. That is correct. They are unanimously approved but we haven’t had any chance to digest if they make sense. No details of these changes have been presented to the membership for input and comment. How can our boards agree to something without input? This sounds a lot like the lack of democracy and process in the appointment of Ken Ulrich (see my blog on Why are your interests not being represented by the current board).
At the March Res 1 board meeting, some high-level details were shared. One of those was around noise violations. Apparently (because the details haven’t been shared at the time of ratification) the boards have decided that noise at the edge of your property in excess of 60db will result in a fine of at least $700! We say at least, as that was the previous fine and apparently the boards are increasing fine amounts as well. Did you know that 60db is common conversation? Do a simple google search and you will see everyone defines 60db this way. Don’t laugh with your neighbor. Don’t have your kids or grandkids come run and play. A noise level is absolutely critical, but clearly, our board is not educated with what they are approving or believe that no one should be able to sit on their patio and visit.
Do you agree there are issues at PGA that need addressing? Robbie Banks, Timothy Bendokas, and Bill Winn all represent accountability, balance, and fresh ideas for our board. Help drive change by voting for new representation on our board.
See our other blogs on:
What is Res 1 and how our community works
Why your interests are not being served by the current board