Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Riviera Community Association calls new election

KELSEYVILLE – Due to ballot errors, the Clear Lake Riviera Community Association will hold a new election to fill slots on its board.


The announcement was made at the association's July 15 meeting by President Alan Siegel.


The election will be limited to the original seven candidates and will be conducted in September, Siegel said. The ballots will be counted on Sept. 16 and the annual meeting will be conducted on Sept. 20.


The attending candidates at the meeting agreed to the new election. Until a new board is elected the current board will remain in office.


The errors that were brought to the attention of the association office by several residents were twofold.


In the instructions on the ballot it said to vote for four of the candidates, however it also said in another part of the ballot to vote for only two.


The ballot also called for a signature so it was no longer considered a secret ballot as required by state law.


In an attempt to remedy the situation the association office sent out an additional mailer to clarify the ballot. However, because the ballot required a signature it was conceded to be invalid by the board and a new election was called.


Lynn Farmer suggested at the meeting that the association should look into using a mediator to help resolve some of the issues between property owners and the association.


“We can use all the help we can get and it is something that we should look into,” said Siegel.


During the president's comments near the end of the meeting, tempers began to flare with over half the audience on their feet because of a heckler who was disrupting the meeting. Two people left the meeting during Siegel's remarks.


“There are about six to eight people who are very vocal against the association,” said Siegel. “They have conducted a letter writing campaign and some were given guest commentaries in the Record-Bee. They are bullies that are mean to the association, they are mean to the secretaries, they are mean to everybody and they need to be stood up to.”

He continued, “There are less than 30 violations that are currently going on and these people want to disband the association. The association is working hard to protect the property owners rights … they would have to be incredibly stupid to do away with the association.”


At the end of his speech Siegel got a round of applause from many of the 35 or so who attended.


Siegel later remarked that his life was threatened in an online forum by one of the dissenters. “If they are such a large group, why didn’t they all show up?” he asked.


Much of the current controversy in the association stems from conflicting acceptance of its covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) which can be viewed on the association's Web site, www.clrca.com.


Darrell Watkins, a candidate for the association board, stated, “When CC&Rs have not been amended according to the governing document and the association says they have, that's fraud. They're deceiving the homeowners.”


According to the state, the current CC&Rs and bylaws are outdated and require new ones to be drafted and approved. This needs a majority of a quorum to ratify.


The current CC&Rs state that, “Approval by written ballot is valid when the number of approvals equals or exceeds a majority of the ballot votes cast, and the number of ballot votes cast equals or exceeds ten percent (10%) of the membership eligible to vote.”


Watkins, John Stoddard and others insist that the quorum needed is 50 percent of the votes plus one to ratify. They hold that there never has been a quorum reached so the current CC&Rs are invalid.


The association has spent thousands of dollars to write new documents and made several attempts to get them ratified but fell short of 50 percent plus one.


“This is the same problem that the Mt. Konocti Water Co. has,” said Siegel. “They can’t reach this quorum to change from being a ‘for profit’ to a ‘not for profit company.’”


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