Thursday, January 18, 2007

An Overview of the Post June 5, 2005, Meeting Sequence of Events

In the near future, this post will be completed to provide an overview of the steps that I took after the June 5, 2005, Board meeting, our successful election at the 2006 Board meeting, and the resignation of the management company.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Villas of Cornerstone Commons Case Study

This case study will be used for succeeding posts that will discuss the conduct of the Board members and the management company that was employed by the Cornerstone Commons Homeowners Association during the Board year 2005 - 2006. This first post will provide some background into the Board member dynamics, a summary of the events that took place around June 5, 2005, and will conclude with the minutes from the June 5, 2005, Board meeting.

Looking back on the behavior of one individual Board member, it now becomes very apparent to me that, in my opinion, her sole purpose was to get her cronies on the Board so that she could dominate the Association. She was campaigning to have two Board members removed. One was a business professional and city council member who often had conflicting obligations and who could not attend all of the Board meetings, but was generally recognized to be a valuable resource. This campaigning Board member spent a lot of time with the future Board President, who became President of the 2005 - 2006 Board, but this campaigning Board member was also agitating behind her back to have her removed from the Board. Upon her installation as President, the 2005 – 2006 Board President rightfully set a very business like tone and made it clear to the management company that the management company was hired by the Board, was an employee of the Board, and took direction from the Board. This immediately brought her crosswise with the Board's management company representative and the President of the management company. As this story unfolds and all of the events that took place in 2005 and 2006 are presented, the reader may or may not agree with my opinion that this management company was willing to manipulate Board members for the selfish interest of the management company. This management company combined with the above the campaigning Board member to produce the events that will now be presented.

The Events around June 5, 2005
The Association's annual meeting took place in May 2005. By the time of that meeting, the campaigning Board member got what she wanted. The President of the 2004 - 2005 Board decided to leave the Board. He did not give a reason. One can only speculate that he had become tired of the conflict that the campaigning Board member had stirred up or that he had been overtly talked into not participating on the Board. In addition, the business professional ended his participation on the Board. At this point, the campaigning Board member got two of her friends to run for the open Board positions, which they got. From here, the campaigner went into high gear. Since I don't have any specific proof of the exact details of what happened, I can only report the actual events and then let the reader come to his or her own conclusions about who or what was the driving force behind all of this. A letter dated June 2, 2005, from the management company was received by the members of the Board. My copy arrived on Saturday, June 4, 2005. The letter served notice that the management company was terminating their management contract with Cornerstone Commons. On the afternoon of Friday, June 3, 2005,the Board President was told by J. W. (another homeowner who eventual took one of the Board sets which were vacated when the Board President and I were removed) that something big was going to happen at the Board meeting on Sunday (June 5,2005). This statement was made before the Board meeting was even announced by the Board President and it was made in the presence of one of the newly elected (from the annual meeting) Board members, M. R. In a June 7, 2005, letter that was sent by Mel G. of G. management, Mr. G. stated "As an aside, we wish to mention that it was not us, directly or indirectly, who initially mentioned, suggest or inferred that John Tweedy and/or the Board President should resign as board members. It was first mentioned by a board member when he initiated a telephone call to us upon receipt of our June 2 termination letter." I have to point out that June 2, 2005 was a Thursday. My copy of the letter arrived on Saturday, June 4, 2005. Even if G. R.'s copy of the letter arrived on Friday, June 3, 2005, G. R. could not have seen the letter until Friday night. Does Mel G. expect us to believe that it is customary for a new Board member like G. R. to call Mel G. at home on a Friday night or on a Saturday? In addition, as you will see in the Minutes from the June 5, 2005, Board Meeting, G. R. read an e-mail exchange that took place between him and Mel G. . Why did Mel G. refer to a telephone call and not mention the e-mail exchange that took place? Finally, Thomas Carlson the G. attorney that the management company persuaded the Board to hire, in his April 4, 2004, letter stated "With respect to your request for a copy of the Minutes of the June 5, 2005 Board of Directors meeting, I am informed that there was no meeting of the Board on that date."

Minutes for the June 5th Board Meeting
Location 3635 Lawndale LN
Unit #12
Plymouth, MN 55446
Five Directors of the VCC HOA Board

D. called the meeting to order at approximately 7:00 P.M. the Board President introduced the e-mail that I sent to Mel G. on June 5th. The Board President stated her objection to my e-mail. G. R. then stated that he felt that the Board needed to address the broader issue of e-mails. He made a direct reference to the e-mail exchange that took place between the Board President and Gerlach. G. R. said that he didn’t like it and that “we” consider the Board President’s e-mails to be “immature.” He then stated that he sent an e-mail to Mel G. expressing his disappointment that G. Management stated that they do not intend to renew their contract with Cornerstone Commons. G. R. then read from the e-mail that he stated that he had sent to Mel G. . He then stated that Mel G. stated in his reply email to G. R. that some of the Board members are "immature and dysfunctional." G. R. then read Mel G. ’s e-mail reply. To quote Mel G. ’s e-mail directly: “We are willing to remain with Cornerstone Commons if the two immature and dysfunctional Board members are removed from the Board.” G. R. then stated that “they” agree with Mel G. and then, looking at the Board President, stated that “we could like your resignation.”

At this point John Tweedy interjected that this wrong. He stated that in his opinion, the Board President was conscientiously performing her duties as President of the Board, that she was looking out for the best interest of the community, and that it was inappropriate for G. to interject himself into Board business in this manner. He then stated that it was his opinion that this was nothing more than a continuation of B. Z.’s attempts to undercut the Board President and other Board members. I then reiterated some of B. Z.’s conduct:

Within the first month of joining the Board, B. Z. started to lobby the Board President at that time, Shanker, to take away the responsibility for the landscaping from the Board President and give it to B. Z.. We found this out when the Board President and I dropped in on Shanker to discuss our concerns about B. Z.’s initial behavior. We had not even had one official Board meeting and B. Z. had been going around Shanker to give instructions directly to Gerlach. Shanker’s wife asked Shanker in front of the Board President “if this meeting was about B. Z.'s request to take over the landscaping committee.”

B.Z. lobbied both me and Shanker to have the businessman removed from the Board.

B.Z. repeatedly used large chunks of Board meeting time to lecture the other Board members on the importance of “listening skills.”

After the Board President became President of the Board, compelling evidence made it appear that B. Z. continued to go around the Board President to deal directly with Gerlach. Despite the fact that Board meetings are confidential and that Board members are dealing with confidential information about other homeowners, B. Z. revealed details of Board meetings to non-Board members. Emails were sent to her to bluntly state that her conduct was improper.

At this point G. R. looked at John Tweedy and stated that they also wanted Tweedy’s resignation. Tweedy told him no and that he could go to hell. Then, G. R. stated that he was proposing a Board resolution to remove John Tweedy from the Board. M. R. gave a second to the motion. G. R., B. Z., and M.R. voted in favor. Tweedy then stated that he expected to see all of this published in the Board minutes. the Board President then looked at B. Z. and stated that she had to say that B. Z was underhanded, had misrepresent the Board President statements, had inappropriately represented herself as being in a position to speak on the Board President's behalf, and that B. Z. was rude and inconsiderate of other Board members by subjecting everybody to her worthless lectures. Tweedy interjected that the Board President’s statement was extremely diplomatic and that for his part, the Board President was being too kind. M. R. harshly cut Tweedy off and reprimanded him for talking that way in her house. The Board President then concluded her statement and left the meeting.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mission Statement

This site is dedicated to exposing the lack of consumer protection that exists with the existing Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act. It will start with a detailed presentation of the facts related to the management of the Villas of Cornerstone Commons in Plymouth, Minnesota . It will give a detailed account of how the Board of the Cornerstone Commons Home Owners Association passively allowed the management company to take control of the Board.