Thursday, December 09, 2004

in case you missed.....

The Board is giving more than just services to CotoCAN. Until some one
tells us the truth, I estimate that the amount of revenues going to CotoCAN
must be between $100,000 and $200,000 a year for the Sports Park Rental,
CotoVoice ads, Map ads etc. etc. It is only logical. That is our money as
far as I am concerned because CZ Members are the basis for this revenue
generation. Joe Morabito

-----


The Conclusion of the letter did state that it was to "persuade" Joe to be
more neighborly in his criticisms of the Board, which was then followed by
"Otherwise legal remedies..." I do not consider this to be anything other
than a threating warning. The letter did confirm that the Board was giving
revenue, in the form of provided services, to CotoCan, in the interest of
the community. That in itself is outrageous, particularly with the proposed
Dues increase.





Beg to differ;
Having been just been involved in a civil suit (as a witness) wherein a
friend of mine was sued for supposedly slandering a competitor in the course
of doing business, I believe my friend would have welcomed a letter such as
the one sent to Joe BEFORE he was sued.
He would have discovered just what was perceived offensive to the other
party and could have addressed the issue and protected himself before over
$100,000 was spent on a defense.
Freedom of speech is not absolute. (The classic example being one cannot
yell "fire" in a crowded theater when there is no fire).
The "letter" does not force Joe to agree with the legal opinion that was
given. It just states the reasons why the lawyer believes that some of Joe's
statements may be false. Joe may have a different legal interpretation and
is perhaps perfectly "in bounds" with his statements.
>From my past experience, I think the letter is an appropriate way to inform
Joe that he should check his facts and have a reasonably sound basis before
leveling serious charges like fraud. In fact, I believe the attorney did Joe
a favor by informing Joe of the exact reasons why he is taking exception to
some of Joe's comments. Now, Joe cannot get blind sided the way my friend
did.
I fail to see any threat whatsoever in the letter to silence criticism. The
motivation of the letter, at least to me, is aimed at addressing FALSE
statements that are also derogatory. I fail to read into the letter any
threat to silence any legal criticism. It merely states where the boundaries
are.





Message: 2
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 19:04:00 -0800 (PST)
From: "Buzz @CotoBuzz"
Subject: Re: Vox Populi Vox Dei


In legal disputes, there are at least two sides to the story. When
attorney's get involved, by definition, finding the truth is next to
impossible.
In the case under consideration, one can simply discard it as an isolated
nuisance. But when several individual raise similar concerns, the old "Vox
populi vox Dei" comes to mind.

jguffre@aol.com wrote:Beg to differ;
Having been just been involved in a civil suit (as a witness) wherein a
friend of mine was sued for supposedly slandering a competitor in the course
of doing business, I believe my friend would have welcomed a letter such as
the one sent to Joe BEFORE he was sued.
He would have discovered just what was perceived offensive to the other
party and could have addressed the issue and protected himself before over
$100,000 was spent on a defense.
Freedom of speech is not absolute. (The classic example being one cannot
yell "fire" in a crowded theater when there is no fire).
The "letter" does not force Joe to agree with the legal opinion that was
given. It just states the reasons why the lawyer believes that some of Joe's
statements may be false. Joe may have a different legal interpretation and
is perhaps perfectly "in bounds" with his statements.
>From my past experience, I think the letter is an appropriate way to inform
Joe that he should check his facts and have a reasonably sound basis before
leveling serious charges like fraud. In fact, I believe the attorney did Joe
a favor by informing Joe of the exact reasons why he is taking exception to
some of Joe's comments. Now, Joe cannot get blind sided the way my friend
did.
I fail to see any threat whatsoever in the letter to silence criticism. The
motivation of the letter, at least to me, is aimed at addressing FALSE
statements that are also derogatory. I fail to read into the letter any
threat to silence any legal criticism. It merely states where the boundaries
are.







Message: 3
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 19:09:34 -0800
From: "Morabito, Joe"
Subject: RE: "Legal Truth" and Nothing But The Truth - But When?

John: The problem with your assumption is that I have been trying to get
the facts for months. Both CotoCAN and the current CZ Board have refused to
definitively answer questions. They will now stone wall on the CZ Master
Audit questions that I have posed. I assume the reason is that the answers
would be self incriminating and only prove the points I have been making all
along. What else can be assumed? We really do have our own CotoGATE. If
it was not costing us all money, it would be funny. If that were not the
case, I would think the answers would be forthcoming if nothing else to
discredit my accusations. But, I would bet my $10 per month dues increase
that the current CZ Board will not allow our suppliers to answer the
questions necessary to complete this audit any time soon because the numbers
I see so far demonstrate the fiscal mismanagement that I have been talking
about. Answers to my questions will only serve to further validate my
claims and Varo, Mezger, Hill, Thagard and Larkin certainly do not want that
to happen. And, in reference to threat of litigation to silence critics, if
George W Bush sued every one that has criticized him, I think he would have
had to sue the 51,000,000 people who called him every name under the sun and
voted against him. However, it is clear that when some one enters the
public arena, they must be prepared for harse criticism, particularly when
they refuse to come clean. It just comes with the job as it did when I
served on the CZ Board. I would never have thought of using Association
monies to threaten litigation against any CZ Member no matter what they may
have said about me. That really is a misuse of Association monies.
Regards, Joe Morabito

-----

Beg to differ;
Having been just been involved in a civil suit (as a witness) wherein a
friend of mine was sued for supposedly slandering a competitor in the course
of doing business, I believe my friend would have welcomed a letter such as
the one sent to Joe BEFORE he was sued.
He would have discovered just what was perceived offensive to the other
party and could have addressed the issue and protected himself before over
$100,000 was spent on a defense.
Freedom of speech is not absolute. (The classic example being one cannot
yell "fire" in a crowded theater when there is no fire).
The "letter" does not force Joe to agree with the legal opinion that was
given. It just states the reasons why the lawyer believes that some of Joe's
statements may be false. Joe may have a different legal interpretation and
is perhaps perfectly "in bounds" with his statements.
>From my past experience, I think the letter is an appropriate way to inform
Joe that he should check his facts and have a reasonably sound basis before
leveling serious charges like fraud. In fact, I believe the attorney did Joe
a favor by informing Joe of the exact reasons why he is taking exception to
some of Joe's comments. Now, Joe cannot get blind sided the way my friend
did.
I fail to see any threat whatsoever in the letter to silence criticism. The
motivation of the letter, at least to me, is aimed at addressing FALSE
statements that are also derogatory. I fail to read into the letter any
threat to silence any legal criticism. It merely states where the boundaries
are.






[

Message: 4
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 19:16:10 -0800
From: "Morabito, Joe"
Subject: RE: Digest Number 105

Hello All: I am not worried about my critical statements concerning the
current CZ Board because they are based on facts, actions or inactions of
the CZ Board, which are documented, and general ledger numbers. Cards talk
and so does the Association's financials from 2002 - 2004. The picture is
not pretty. It is easy to see why the $10 dues increase that will take
place in January will take be necessary. Expenses are out of control and
revenues have been used to subsidize other organizations. It really is
pretty simple. I full report will be provided in the next month. Regards,
Joe

iJohn;
Your calm, quiet voice amidst all this clutter is most welcome
gk

----- Original Message ---i -
Patti:
I think you should re-read the letter sent to Joe. There was no express or
implied threat to Joe to stop publishing comments.
The "threat" to use all available legal remedies was specifically tied to
false and derogatory statements, not criticism. And, in the same letter, Joe
is given the association's legal opinion regarding certain issues to give
him a better basis to conclude what is true and what is false.
I did not think the letter was out of line in any way whatsoever.
In any suit claiming slander, truth is an absolute defense. If the
statements are not false, Joe has nothing to be concerned about.











_____




[
Message: 5
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 23:52:51 EST
From: jguffre@aol.com
Subject: Re: "Legal Truth"

Joe:
I recognize your frustration that you have been trying to get the facts for
months, but your statement, in and of itself admits that your recent
comments
have been based on your assumptions, since you admit you did not have the
facts.
I also remember well when you were on the board and the association was
suing the Pinnacles over their fence locations and, at board meeting after
board
meeting, attendees were refused information on the issue because the board
claimed their attorney advised them not to share information with the
general
population.
Now here was a clear case of the board spending a LOT of money on a law
suit
aimed against a specific neighborhood that seemed to the vast majority like
a total waste of money.
As I recall, the general population went for over a year with absolutely no
feedback from the board on how much money was being spent on the suit or
even
the status of the litigation.
Now THAT is, in my opinion, a total waste of the associations money.
In the end, after how much???? who knows, perhaps $250,000 of association
money, what was actually accomplished by the board??? NADA.
There were many people frustrated with a lack of dissemination of
information from that board, all of whom were eventually replaced. And, I
believe it is
a fair assumption that the Pinnacles fiasco is the main reason those board
members are no longer serving.
If you and others are frustrated with a lack of information from this
board,
then vote to replace them. But the lack of information flow from the CZ
board is not a new problem, it certainly existed when you were a board
member
because I remember hearing the complaints about it month after month at the
association meetings, along with the complaints about not knowing how much
the
Pinnacle litigation was costing the community or how much the countersuit
could
potentially cost the homeowners. I know that you felt strongly that you were
doing the right thing, but how did everyone else know? Basically they were
asked to trust the board even if the board refused to give out any
information.
I fail to see how the complaints against your board are different than your
complaints about the current board. We were asked to trust your attorneys,
you
are being asked to trust their attorneys. I can understand that you don't
like that, I didn't like it either when you assured people that you were
doing
the right thing by suing the Pinnacles, but refused to supply details.
This is a volunteer, unpaid board, and to expect perfection from them is
unrealistic, regardless who the board members are. I think it is safe to say
that every past board and every future board has and will waste some money.
But
I believe that is an unavoidable cost of doing business with volunteers.
In manufacturing, it is a common belief that the relentless pursuit of
perfection, can, in the end cost a lot more than living with some
imperfections
and paying the cost of "warranty repair" later, This is not a space
shuttle
mission where the slightest flaw in execution can cause disaster. It is
simply
a community. Does everyone complain as much about the imperfections in
their
cell phone service as they do about the imperfections of the board? The
answer is no, they have learned to accommodate some inconvenience and
imperfection. I believe the same attitude should be extended to a volunteer
board,
regardless who is on it.


[

Hi John:



You have struck at the Achilles Heels of the Common Interest Development
structure when you say that "this is a volunteer, unpaid board, and to
expect perfection from them is unrealistic, regardless who the board members
are. I think it is safe to say that every past board and every future board
has and will waste some money. But I believe that is an unavoidable cost of
doing business with volunteers". This inherent weakness in CID has
engendered a multi-billon dollar interest, bringing together CID attorneys,
politicians, developers and service providers, forming a closely coupled
alliance. Also why some critics called residents such as Coto, the ATM
machines of the property management companies, such as Keystone. "After
all, CID management are simply incompetent volunteers who cannot find their
way out of a match box!" Simply check the CID registry, CID Newtwork ,
California Law Revision Commission, CID Development,

CID Attorneys, etc. to get an idea where your monthly fees go.





I like your contrast of two philosophical approaches to manufacturing. The
one who settles for living with some imperfections we will call them
"Detroit". The ones in relentless pursuit of perfection we will call
"Japan" (Germany fits well here too). Detroit followed its strategy in the
60's and lost bad to Japan. The along came the SUV, and apparently Detroit
did not learn much from their previous experience. Having lectured on
continuous improvement in the US, China, Korea and Taiwan, we believe that
the relentless pursuit of perfection is the right strategy, with the right
leadership. Consider Columbus when he landed in America. One of his first
leadership acts was to burn the ships, so his men would not have a "less
painful" solution and go back when the rough got going.



Our point is that by asserting that a volunteer board by definition will be
lacking is a fallacy and simply giving in to the CID lobby salivating at
those monthly dues. What would have happened if Columbus had not burned his
boats?



We assert that a volunteer board can work, (just like a volunteer army is
working), with the right leadership, and this is CotoBuzz' raison d'être


jguffre@aol.com wrote:Joe:
I recognize your frustration that you have been trying to get the facts for
months, but your statement, in and of itself admits that your recent
comments have been based on your assumptions, since you admit you did not
have the facts.
I also remember well when you were on the board and the association was
suing the Pinnacles over their fence locations and, at board meeting after
board meeting, attendees were refused information on the issue because the
board claimed their attorney advised them not to share information with the
general population.
Now here was a clear case of the board spending a LOT of money on a law suit
aimed against a specific neighborhood that seemed to the vast majority like
a total waste of money.
As I recall, the general population went for over a year with absolutely no
feedback from the board on how much money was being spent on the suit or
even the status of the litigation.
Now THAT is, in my opinion, a total waste of the associations money.
In the end, after how much???? who knows, perhaps $250,000 of association
money, what was actually accomplished by the board??? NADA.
There were many people frustrated with a lack of dissemination of
information from that board, all of whom were eventually replaced. And, I
believe it is a fair assumption that the Pinnacles fiasco is the main reason
those board members are no longer serving.
If you and others are frustrated with a lack of information from this board,
then vote to replace them. But the lack of information flow from the CZ
board is not a new problem, it certainly existed when you were a board
member because I remember hearing the complaints about it month after month
at the association meetings, along with the complaints about not knowing how
much the Pinnacle litigation was costing the community or how much the
countersuit could potentially cost the homeowners. I know that you felt
strongly that you were doing the right thing, but how did everyone else
know? Basically they were asked to trust the board even if the board refused
to give out any information.
I fail to see how the complaints against your board are different than your
complaints about the current board. We were asked to trust your attorneys,
you are being asked to trust their attorneys. I can understand that you
don't like that, I didn't like it either when you assured people that you
were doing the right thing by suing the Pinnacles, but refused to supply
details.
This is a volunteer, unpaid board, and to expect perfection from them is
unrealistic, regardless who the board members are. I think it is safe to say
that every past board and every future board has and will waste some money.
But I believe that is an unavoidable cost of doing business with volunteers.
In manufacturing, it is a common belief that the relentless pursuit of
perfection, can, in the end cost a lot more than living with some
imperfections and paying the cost of "warranty repair" later, This is not a
space shuttle mission where the slightest flaw in execution can cause
disaster. It is simply a community. Does everyone complain as much about the
imperfections in their cell phone service as they do about the imperfections
of the board? The answer is no, they have learned to accommodate some
inconvenience and imperfection. I believe the same attitude should be
extended to a volunteer board, regardless who is on it.


essage: 7
Date: Thu, 09 Dec 2004 14:33:13 -0800
From: "Mike Channing"
Subject: Re: "Lawyer letter" sent to Joe Morabito

Folks, let's get real. The "lawyer letter" sent to Joe Morabito was of
course intended to create a discussion chill. I have not seen the
letter, but knowing something as I do about these kinds of letters (more
in a second about that), and reading Joe Morabito's paraphrase of the
contents of the letter in a recent, detailed e-mail, I know, and I'm
sure many of you do too, that this is the kind of form letter sent, upon
request, by lawyers for the purposes of "clarification," but at the
same time making vague, oblique references by strategic word choice to
possible negative repercussions if the contents of the letter are
disregarded. These kinds of letters walk a fine line between being
informative and neutral and in fact putting forth "subliminal" threats
to chill activity or discussion.

Joe Morabito's situation reminds me of a very similar occurance at the
South Orange County Community College District a couple of years ago,
when a controversial administrator and the Board of Trustees of the
District were the object of an on-going newsletter which strongly (and I
mean strongly) criticized their decisions and procedures. The
administrator and the District sued to enforce a "cease and desist"
order, but the editor of the newsletter was defended in Superior Court
by the ACLU. The court determined that the administrator was a "public
figure" in the community and that the editor and the newsletter had
First Amendment rights of free speech and could not be silenced. The
District appealed, but they lost at the higher level for the same reason.

The basic facts here, at both ends of the sprctrum are simple: it's
predictable that the legal representatives of the CDC governing board
will send these kinds of "lawyer letters," in the hope that the
recipient at the other end will get cold feet and disappear; and at the
other end it's clear, at least to me,that the explicit and implicit
threats expressed in such letters would fail of enforcement if it came
to a court hearing, based on the First Amendment. It's a standoff,
waiting for who is going to blink first. I believe---I am not a
lawyer!!---that Joe Morabito would prevail in court, but it would be an
expense. From his communications and from what I know, he probably has
the resources to go the distance, and he certainly has the emotional
stamina. I suppose that a peace-making attitude would be to recommend
that people pull back for awhile during the upcoming season and think
about getting back into discussion early next year when we approach the
governing board elections. As a relatively new resident of Coto who, as
I've said over and over, loves the place it's disheartening to witness
so much hard feeling, even when it's concerning importrant issues. I'd
hate to see happen here at Coto what happened at our local commu nity
colleges, Saddleback and Irvine Valley, both of which were torn apart
from within by internecine fighting betwen saff, administration, and
Board of Trustees, which went on for years, and is still lingering. In
any case Joe Morabito has been raising some important subjects and
asking important questions, all of which seem to me to be non-libelous
and might in fact prove healthy for the long-range interests of Coto de
Caza and its residents. He might get under the skin of some people, but
that's life, and if he is proven wrong after discussion, then that will
be that; and if he is right, then he will have helped improve things
here. Michael Channing mchanning@saddleback.edu
______________________________________________

Message: 8
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 14:52:34 -0800
From: "Morabito, Joe"
Subject: RE: Re: "Lawyer letter" sent to Joe Morabito

Michael: All levels of government seek to hide information when called to
task. The CZ Master Association which is the closest thing to government
that we have in Coto is no exception. However, the internet makes
controlling the news impossible which is the reason that dictatorships
and/or corrupt governments can no longer prevail. In reviewing CZ
Financials for the last few years, I can say without any doubt that the $10
dues increase we will experience in January is the result of fiscal
mismanagement. I will give more details in an audit report. It would be
better if the Association answers my questions to prevent assumptions; but
either way the numbers are there and what is not there can be assumed. i.e.
It is probable that CotoCAN is getting somewhere between $100,000 and
$200,000 a year from revenues coming from renting the Sports Park,
advertisements in CotoVoice and on the maps etc. etc. As far as I am
concerned this money belongs to all CZ Members since we are the basis for
this revenue generation. The dues increase will raise about $450,000. I
just found a chunk of that money with more to come in the audit report I
will produce in January. Clearly, the current CZ Board in addition to
failing to properly manage expenses has given away revenues sources which
has made a dues increase necessary. It really is pretty simple. More to
come in the near future. Regards, Joe Morabito

P.S. The very idea that any public official would threaten to sue some one
because he/she has been criticized specific to the job being done in the
public capacity would never stand up in court. And, be assured, I do have
the means to defend myself if ever necessary. If litigation was every filed
against me or any one else in Coto for criticizing a CZ Board, a recall
effort would be organized immediately for misuse of CZ funds which is
malfeasance in office.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Channing [mailto:mchanning@saddleback.edu]
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 2:33 PM
To: CotoBuzz@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [COTO] Re: "Lawyer letter" sent to Joe Morabito



Folks, let's get real. The "lawyer letter" sent to Joe Morabito was of
course intended to create a discussion chill. I have not seen the
letter, but knowing something as I do about these kinds of letters (more
in a second about that), and reading Joe Morabito's paraphrase of the
contents of the letter in a recent, detailed e-mail, I know, and I'm
sure many of you do too, that this is the kind of form letter sent, upon
request, by lawyers for the purposes of "clarification," but at the
same time making vague, oblique references by strategic word choice to
possible negative repercussions if the contents of the letter are
disregarded. These kinds of letters walk a fine line between being
informative and neutral and in fact putting forth "subliminal" threats
to chill activity or discussion.

Joe Morabito's situation reminds me of a very similar occurance at the
South Orange County Community College District a couple of years ago,
when a controversial administrator and the Board of Trustees of the
District were the object of an on-going newsletter which strongly (and I
mean strongly) criticized their decisions and procedures. The
administrator and the District sued to enforce a "cease and desist"
order, but the editor of the newsletter was defended in Superior Court
by the ACLU. The court determined that the administrator was a "public
figure" in the community and that the editor and the newsletter had
First Amendment rights of free speech and could not be silenced. The
District appealed, but they lost at the higher level for the same reason.

The basic facts here, at both ends of the sprctrum are simple: it's
predictable that the legal representatives of the CDC governing board
will send these kinds of "lawyer letters," in the hope that the
recipient at the other end will get cold feet and disappear; and at the
other end it's clear, at least to me,that the explicit and implicit
threats expressed in such letters would fail of enforcement if it came
to a court hearing, based on the First Amendment. It's a standoff,
waiting for who is going to blink first. I believe---I am not a
lawyer!!---that Joe Morabito would prevail in court, but it would be an
expense. From his communications and from what I know, he probably has
the resources to go the distance, and he certainly has the emotional
stamina. I suppose that a peace-making attitude would be to recommend
that people pull back for awhile during the upcoming season and think
about getting back into discussion early next year when we approach the
governing board elections. As a relatively new resident of Coto who, as
I've said over and over, loves the place it's disheartening to witness
so much hard feeling, even when it's concerning importrant issues. I'd
hate to see happen here at Coto what happened at our local commu nity
colleges, Saddleback and Irvine Valley, both of which were torn apart
from within by internecine fighting betwen saff, administration, and
Board of Trustees, which went on for years, and is still lingering. In
any case Joe Morabito has been raising some important subjects and
asking important questions, all of which seem to me to be non-libelous
and might in fact prove healthy for the long-range interests of Coto de
Caza and its residents. He might get under the skin of some people, but
that's life, and if he is proven wrong after discussion, then that will
be that; and if he is right, then he will have helped improve things
here. Michael Channing mchanning@saddleback.edu




'




age: 9
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 15:03:43 -0800
From: "Morabito, Joe"
Subject: RE: Volunteer Board and Incompetent Board?

John: Mixing the Pinnacles case with requesting information concerning the
workings of the CZ Master Association is mixing Apples with Watermelons.
Successive Boards pursued the Pinnacles case with unanimous votes because to
have done otherwise would have led to chaos in Coto concerning all easements
and significantly more legal fees than were incurred. Further, the
Pinnacles homeowners in losing that case were required to pay $90,000 of the
Association's legal fees, so the cost to the Association while not totally
covered was substantially subsidized by this judgment.

As a former Board Member, the issues I have raised are based on facts that I
know to be true. I fully understand what I am looking at in the CZ
financials. I am also very familiar with various supplier issues. Jim
Harkins requested that I submit any clarification questions to the
Association before drawing any conclusions. I thought that was reasonable
and that was exactly what I did. Now of course that the Board sees the
questions, they are stone walling because they know that the answers would
only further support my claims of fiscal mismanagement. With or without the
answers I can draw various conclusions based on my knowledge of the workings
of the Association and I will do just that in the weeks ahead. Be assured,
unlike current CZ Board members, I did my homework while serving on the
Board. I know what I am talking about as can be verified by other former
Board Members. Regards, Joe Morabito





Hi John:
You have struck at the Achilles Heels of the Common Interest Development
structure when you say that "this is a volunteer, unpaid board, and to
expect perfection from them is unrealistic, regardless who the board members
are. I think it is safe to say that every past board and every future board
has and will waste some money. But I believe that is an unavoidable cost of
doing business with volunteers". This inherent weakness in CID has
engendered a multi-billon dollar interest, bringing together CID attorneys,
politicians, developers and service providers, forming a closely coupled
alliance. Also why some critics called residents such as Coto, the ATM
machines of the property management companies, such as Keystone. "After
all, CID management are simply incompetent volunteers who cannot find their
way out of a match box!" Simply check the
CID registry, CID Newtwork ,
California Law Revision Commission,
CID Development,

CID Attorneys,
etc. to get an idea where your monthly fees go.

I like your contrast of two philosophical approaches to manufacturing. The
one who settles for living with some imperfections we will call them
"Detroit". The ones in relentless pursuit of perfection we will call
"Japan" (Germany fits well here too). Detroit followed its strategy in the
60's and lost bad to Japan. The along came the SUV, and apparently Detroit
did not learn much from their previous experience. Having lectured on
continuous improvement in the US, China, Korea and Taiwan, we believe that
the relentless pursuit of perfection is the right strategy, with the right
leadership. Consider Columbus when he landed in America. One of his first
leadership acts was to burn the ships, so his men would not have a "less
painful" solution and go back when the rough got going.



Our point is that by asserting that a volunteer board by definition will be
lacking is a fallacy and simply giving in to the CID lobby salivating at
those monthly dues. What would have happened if Columbus had not burned his
boats?



We assert that a volunteer board can work, (just like a volunteer army is
working), with the right leadership, and this is CotoBuzz' raison d'être



jguffre@aol.com wrote:


Joe:
I recognize your frustration that you have been trying to get the facts for
months, but your statement, in and of itself admits that your recent
comments have been based on your assumptions, since you admit you did not
have the facts.
I also remember well when you were on the board and the association was
suing the Pinnacles over their fence locations and, at board meeting after
board meeting, attendees were refused information on the issue because the
board claimed their attorney advised them not to share information with the
general population.
Now here was a clear case of the board spending a LOT of money on a law suit
aimed against a specific neighborhood that seemed to the vast majority like
a total waste of money.
As I recall, the general population went for over a year with absolutely no
feedback from the board on how much money was being spent on the suit or
even the status of the litigation.
Now THAT is, in my opinion, a total waste of the associations money.
In the end, after how much???? who knows, perhaps $250,000 of association
money, what was actually accomplished by the board??? NADA.
There were many people frustrated with a lack of dissemination of
information from that board, all of whom were eventually replaced. And, I
believe it is a fair assumption that the Pinnacles fiasco is the main reason
those board members are no longer serving.
If you and others are frustrated with a lack of information from this board,
then vote to replace them. But the lack of information flow from the CZ
board is not a new problem, it certainly existed when you were a board
member because I remember hearing the complaints about it month after month
at the association meetings, along with the complaints about not knowing how
much the Pinnacle litigation was costing the community or how much the
countersuit could potentially cost the homeowners. I know that you felt
strongly that you were doing the right thing, but how did everyone else
know? Basically they were asked to trust the board even if the board refused
to give out any information.
I fail to see how the complaints against your board are different than your
complaints about the current board. We were asked to trust your attorneys,
you are being asked to trust their attorneys. I can understand that you
don't like that, I didn't like it either when you assured people that you
were doing the right thing by suing the Pinnacles, but refused to supply
details.
This is a volunteer, unpaid board, and to expect perfection from them is
unrealistic, regardless who the board members are. I think it is safe to say
that every past board and every future board has and will waste some money.
But I believe that is an unavoidable cost of doing business with volunteers.

In manufacturing, it is a common belief that the relentless pursuit of
perfection, can, in the end cost a lot more than living with some
imperfections and paying the cost of "warranty repair" later, This is not a
space shuttle mission where the slightest flaw in execution can cause
disaster. It is simply a community. Does everyone complain as much about the
imperfections in their cell phone service as they do about the imperfections
of the board? The answer is no, they have learned to accommodate some
inconvenience and imperfection. I believe the same attitude should be
extended to a volunteer board, regardless who is on it.


age: 10
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 15:06:36 -0800
From: "Morabito, Joe"
Subject: RE: Volunteer Board and Incompetent Board?

John: One more thing. Once litigation is in progress of any kind, no Board
can comment on details in an Open Session Board Meeting regardless of the
case. However, you are right, all the attorneys and companies who work in
the HOA industry seek to protect their revenues sources which is the reason
for all the secrecy. I had to finally get on the Board to get the whole
picture and that is exactly what I did. Joe Morabito

Subject: Re: [COTO] Volunteer Board and Incompetent Board?







Hi John:



You have struck at the Achilles Heels of the Common Interest Development
structure when you say that "this is a volunteer, unpaid board, and to
expect perfection from them is unrealistic, regardless who the board members
are. I think it is safe to say that every past board and every future board
has and will waste some money. But I believe that is an unavoidable cost of
doing business with volunteers". This inherent weakness in CID has
engendered a multi-billon dollar interest, bringing together CID attorneys,
politicians, developers and service providers, forming a closely coupled
alliance. Also why some critics called residents such as Coto, the ATM
machines of the property management companies, such as Keystone. "After
all, CID management are simply incompetent volunteers who cannot find their
way out of a match box!" Simply check the
CID registry, CID Newtwork ,
California Law Revision Commission,
CID Development,

CID Attorneys,
etc. to get an idea where your monthly fees go.





I like your contrast of two philosophical approaches to manufacturing. The
one who settles for living with some imperfections we will call them
"Detroit". The ones in relentless pursuit of perfection we will call
"Japan" (Germany fits well here too). Detroit followed its strategy in the
60's and lost bad to Japan. The along came the SUV, and apparently Detroit
did not learn much from their previous experience. Having lectured on
continuous improvement in the US, China, Korea and Taiwan, we believe that
the relentless pursuit of perfection is the right strategy, with the right
leadership. Consider Columbus when he landed in America. One of his first
leadership acts was to burn the ships, so his men would not have a "less
painful" solution and go back when the rough got going.



Our point is that by asserting that a volunteer board by definition will be
lacking is a fallacy and simply giving in to the CID lobby salivating at
those monthly dues. What would have happened if Columbus had not burned his
boats?



We assert that a volunteer board can work, (just like a volunteer army is
working), with the right leadership, and this is CotoBuzz' raison d'être



jguffre@aol.com wrote:


Joe:
I recognize your frustration that you have been trying to get the facts for
months, but your statement, in and of itself admits that your recent
comments have been based on your assumptions, since you admit you did not
have the facts.
I also remember well when you were on the board and the association was
suing the Pinnacles over their fence locations and, at board meeting after
board meeting, attendees were refused information on the issue because the
board claimed their attorney advised them not to share information with the
general population.
Now here was a clear case of the board spending a LOT of money on a law suit
aimed against a specific neighborhood that seemed to the vast majority like
a total waste of money.
As I recall, the general population went for over a year with absolutely no
feedback from the board on how much money was being spent on the suit or
even the status of the litigation.
Now THAT is, in my opinion, a total waste of the associations money.
In the end, after how much???? who knows, perhaps $250,000 of association
money, what was actually accomplished by the board??? NADA.
There were many people frustrated with a lack of dissemination of
information from that board, all of whom were eventually replaced. And, I
believe it is a fair assumption that the Pinnacles fiasco is the main reason
those board members are no longer serving.
If you and others are frustrated with a lack of information from this board,
then vote to replace them. But the lack of information flow from the CZ
board is not a new problem, it certainly existed when you were a board
member because I remember hearing the complaints about it month after month
at the association meetings, along with the complaints about not knowing how
much the Pinnacle litigation was costing the community or how much the
countersuit could potentially cost the homeowners. I know that you felt
strongly that you were doing the right thing, but how did everyone else
know? Basically they were asked to trust the board even if the board refused
to give out any information.
I fail to see how the complaints against your board are different than your
complaints about the current board. We were asked to trust your attorneys,
you are being asked to trust their attorneys. I can understand that you
don't like that, I didn't like it either when you assured people that you
were doing the right thing by suing the Pinnacles, but refused to supply
details.
This is a volunteer, unpaid board, and to expect perfection from them is
unrealistic, regardless who the board members are. I think it is safe to say
that every past board and every future board has and will waste some money.
But I believe that is an unavoidable cost of doing business with volunteers.

In manufacturing, it is a common belief that the relentless pursuit of
perfection, can, in the end cost a lot more than living with some
imperfections and paying the cost of "warranty repair" later, This is not a
space shuttle mission where the slightest flaw in execution can cause
disaster. It is simply a community. Does everyone complain as much about the
imperfections in their cell phone service as they do about the imperfections
of the board? The answer is no, they have learned to accommodate some
inconvenience and imperfection. I believe the same attitude should be
extended to a volunteer board, regardless who is on it.


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