Why your interests are not represented by the current board
Let’s start by being clear. We believe every current and past board member should be sincerely thanked for their hundreds or thousands of hours they have put into maintaining our community. These are fellow owners who are genuine in their intent and have taken an interest in the community, but yet we have important issues that are not resolved (see The Biggest Issues to know more). So why are we here?
No one on the board represents part-time/seasonal owners:
Res 1 has 1344 properties. Of those, 905 have opted in to receive email communications about our community, and of those only 252 have their primary address listed in PGA West. So, of the people receiving these messages, 653 have PGA as their second or part-time residence. That’s an overwhelming 72% of our ownership that are part-time owners and their perspective is represented by 0% of our board. Let that sink in. If all three incumbent board members were replaced by the three prospective candidates, the vast majority of our ownership would be represented by 43% of the board. That is still a little skewed, but at least a balance and that’s good for discussion and democracy.
The board makes no effort to regularly hear from its membership:
As we thought about how an amazing board would conduct themselves, we envisioned one that listened to and represented the entire community. That seemed obvious, so we considered how the current board understands the pulse of the community. With so many properties and nearly ¾ of them being part-time owners, meeting all the neighbors would be difficult and only provide a very small sampling of the people they represent, which led to an obvious question:
Why don’t we receive satisfaction surveys every year?
Isn’t great leadership compelled with understanding the needs of its members first, then acting on them, and finally measuring their success with satisfaction surveys?
The board ignored the membership’s vote from the last election:
This is the current board’s most telling fail. In the April 2020 election, our membership voted in four candidates, and three were in the second year of their term. One of those people was Bob Shipley. About a month after the election, Mr. Shipley moved from PGA West and resigned which was noted in the June 2020 minutes (BODMeetingMinutes06-18-2020.pdf (pgawest.org) pg. 2) which left his position vacant. It seemed the obvious actions of the board might include:
leaving the position vacant until the next election,
having a byelection, or
selecting the candidate with the next most votes from the election that had been completed one month earlier.
This is where you want to pay attention. They did NONE of these. The board chose to handpick someone from our community and appoint them to serve. That person is Ken Ulrich, and while Ken may well be a wonderful board member, the point is simple:
The board ignored the candidate we voted for with the next most votes
The board ignored every candidate who ran in the election and wasn’t elected
The board chose someone with no process or transparency
Every board member except Wayne Leblanc voted in favor of this action
During the Meet The Candidates meeting earlier this year, this topic came up and the board’s answer was equally disturbing to anyone who respects the democratic process. Our president, Jan Van Willigen, stated that what they did was not against the bylaws (which is absolutely true). Not one apology from any board member for being short-sighted. Not one admission that the process ignored our voting rights.
Limiting your access to what is happening at the board level:
At some of the recent board meetings, a few fellow owners asked the board to consider three things to allow better participation and awareness in our membership. They suggested three things:
Continue using video conferencing of our meetings (this finally started with COVID protocols in 2020)
Move the meeting to the evening so owners who are still working can attend
Record and make available the meetings so those who cannot attend a meeting can see unedited/unaltered proceedings
We cannot think of any reason this wouldn’t be a high-priority item for a board seeking inclusion, transparency, and accountability. We know Robbie Banks, Tim Bendokas, and Bill Winn are supportive of these changes.
Are you starting to wonder why we need change?
Do you want to know how to enact that change?
See our other blogs on:
What is Res 1 and how our community works