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Wednesday, September 23, 2015


NOTE:  I will relate what occurred to the best of my ability.  As always, I highly suggest that you go to the tape of the meeting at the WPA website, or The Wedgefield Times, to verify information for yourself.  COMMENTS, are provided in red,  and noted as such.

Treasurer, DeMarchi had been prepared to offer a 2016 budget based on a $525 assessment at the August meeting.  He was asked to prepare a budget based on a $500 assessment for the September board meeting.  As he began to speak to the budget he was about to present to the board, he said that he felt there would be a huge shortfall in the future, if we didn't raise the assessment in increments.  Cline asked if there would be a short fall for 2016.  DeMarchi said no.  As the discussion moved on, it was noted that the reserve study indicates the need to incrementally raise assessments, to meet the projected expenses, in maintaining critical areas of the association.  He projected serious shortfalls for roads, by 2021.  Garrison, said when DeMarchi presented the budget in August, he objected (based on $525 2016 assessment).  Garrison said things like, you can't spend what you don't have, future boards will have to decide, assessments will have to go up, etc.  There was arguing back and forth.  At one point it was mentioned that the Finance Committee invited the board to attend a meeting, as they discussed the 2016 assessment, and budget.  Garrison said, "It was the strangest finance committee meeting that I ever went to.  Witnessed the committee spending most of the meeting fighting with each other."  COMMENT:  It could appear that in an effort to avoid holding open meetings, that the board has developed a new plan to keep discussion, and operating in the open for members to observe, at a minimum.  The committees of the board now invite the board to a meeting to discuss critical issues, rather than call an open meeting.  They've done this with roads, and now finance. It appears that there are only two members to the finance committee, as only two names were mentioned, and the board doesn't provide a list of the names on the website, or minutes from their committee meetings.  Why is it, that when the Water Amenities Committee wanted to build a second dock at the landing, that that was an open meeting, and these aren't?

As the discussion continued, John Walton began to question the fact that we paid to have a reserve study done, and now everybody wanted to renege on what it required.  Later he asked, "why did we pay to have the reserve study done?"  A motion was made to accept the 2016 budget (based on $500 assessment), as presented. The vote to pass the budget was unanimous!!!!  

The next item of business was for Garrison to make a motion to set the 2016 assessment at $500.  Four board members voted no.  They were Walton, Cline, Johnson, and DeMarchi.  Someone at the board table asked John Walton how he could have voted yes on the 2016 budget, and he said, "you have to vote yes for something."

COMMENTS:  In Part I of the series of articles, I asked if a man is a good as his word?  It is a phrase that I have heard since I was a child, and generally entered a discussion, if someone had said something that sounded principled, honest, thought out, and left those hearing it, the impression that that was their genuine thought, feelings, on moving forward, and then operated totally against what was said.  When the speaker acted against what they had said, it was said that "they spoke out of both sides of their mouth", and couldn't be trusted.  Listen to the tape of the meeting, this seems to apply as to how the board operated during the September meeting.  Go back and listen to the tapes of several meetings, and it applies to most of them.  

The decisions made at the board table regarding the 2016 budget, and assessment, do conflict with the reserve study.  The words spoken by some of the board members, conflict with their vote.  The question is as simple as this, how can you unanimously vote yes on a budget based on the assessment, and vote no, for the assessment?  If you take it a little deeper into this very meeting, where votes took place regarding $20,000 in drainage projects, if you are DeMarchi - Treasurer & Drainage Chair, how can you speak to what the reserve study requires out of one side of your mouth, as it relates to finance, and ignore it in drainage?  What do I mean?  The reserve study calls for professional services, as in engineering, many times.  We are back to a one bid, expensive project, and when questioned about some of the items on the bid, he says, "If we can get the grade right, we might not have to do it!"  He's declared himself as the expert, defying the reserve study, and the word "if" speaks to his expertise.  Yet, your board, elected as individual board members, who heard it all, speak out of both sides of their mouths, don't stand by their own words as they vote.

PLEASE NOTE:  As I was doing research for this article, I went to The Wedgefield Times, to listen to portions of the tape.  I read The Wedgefield Times highlights of the meeting.  The editor appears to have spent a good deal of time and thought, on his facts and figures.  Take some time and read through the article.  It is time well spent.  What I found to be interesting, amongst many things, is that in one portion of the article when the editor writes about a visit to his home by DeMarchi, in his role of Treasurer, I was left with asking the same question, I've asked through these articles, is a man as good as his word?  I have not conferred with the editor of The Wedgefield Times, nor has he asked for my opinion, or endorsement.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


NOTE:  I will relate what occurred to the best of my ability.  As always, I highly suggest that you go to the tape of the meeting at the WPA website, or The Wedgefield Times, to verify information for yourself.  COMMENTS, are provided in red,  and noted as such.

New Business - Drainage
The Drainage Chair, DeMarchi presented two projects.  The first was on Ricefield and the other on Live Oak.  The chairman stated that he had contacted 3 other contractors for bids, but only had one bid for the two jobs.   He presented the bid.  The project on Ricefield would cost $9,335.  The Live Oak project was $10,380.  He began to make a motion to approve $20,000 to XX Landscaping (initials changed to protect the contractor) for the two projects.  Garrison, Vice President/Legal Chair suggested that he present the projects, one at a time.

DeMarchi, then motioned to award up to $10,500 to the vendor, for the project on Live Oak.  There was a second on the motion, and the board moved to discussion.  Garrison, asked how this compared to other drainage projects.  DeMarchi stated that there really wasn't another comparative, but the project included dirt, and pipe, like like the pond, but was a different project.  He said, "I tried desperately to get (name of a vendor), but he wouldn't bid."   Anderson, said he lives on Live Oak, and asked where exactly were they talking about?  DeMarchi mentioned lot 58, and draining all the way to the canal, and low areas on the road.  Ebert asked if we could get the property owner to participate.  Anderson, said he would feel better with another bid.  McMillin asked if they had talked to the property owner.  Ebert, asked if it had to be done right away?  Could we wait to get another bid?  DeMarchi, says he has been trying for a year.  Johnson, asks to look at the bid.  President Walton, says that he personally feels that everything possible has been done.  The board votes, and the approval is unanimous.

DeMarchi, begins to discuss the project on Richfield, saying that it would cost up to $9,500, involves multiple lots - 10 & 11, and water accumulation.  McMillin says there has been flooding in the past.  Ebert, mentions that the work calls for a pipe under a drive way, and inquires why it wouldn't be the owners responsibility.  There is something said about the biggest problem is that it fills with debris.  Ebert, asks again, about the owners' responsibility.  Garrison wants to know if we have been in contact with the owner.  DeMarchi, says that he has tried, but been unsuccessful.  In regard to the drive way pipe, DeMarchi, says if we can grade right, we might not have to do it.  Garrison, says that he agrees with Ebert, that replacing the pipe is not our responsibility.  Johnson, looks at the bid, and asks, what part of this is pipe?  John Walton, says that if we are going to do the job, that we have to do it right.  President Walton asks if we're going to sit, and wait, and damage the road we just repaired for $200, because the home owner doesn't want (broken sentence, because it is interrupted).  McMillin, asks if they bring it to functioning, could they make the homeowner maintain it?  Garrison, (looking at bid) says the problem is that you can't see $200 (pipe under driveway), as real cost.  Soon after, the board vote is unanimous to fund the project!

I've couldn't contain myself as I typed this mess!  Where is consistency, truth to word, good judgement, sound business practice, adherence to governing documents, and the thought by this board, that the membership, as individuals, or a group, just might have a functioning brain????? I forget myself.  Some on this board have used terms, to those who dare to question how they operate, such as moronic, or legislating for idiots.  The behavior of this board in the two transactions noted above, meets the definition of both those terms!

I attended the meeting.  I behave myself in the meetings.  I don't shout out, talk to the people next to me, etc.  All things that I've seen happen, in the history of attending meetings here over the years.  When Ebert questioned the resident's responsibility, I could have cheered!  When Garrison questioned the owners responsibility, and the fact that that they couldn't find the expense of the driveway pipe to confirm the related expense on the bid, I was pleased beyond belief!  This board had everything they needed demonstrated at the table, to delay these projects, or turn them down!  That would have taken each of them considering what was presented, and voting as an individual elected to do all the things noted above - using CONSISTENCY, TRUTH TO WORD, ADHERENCE TO GOVERNING DOCUMENTS, ETC! IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!  THEY CAST IT ALL ASIDE, AND COHESIVELY VOTED - A UNANIMOUS VOTE, TO IGNORE THE FACTS THEY HAD GATHERED.

Why bother, take our time at meetings, except for showmanship, to say:
*Isn't it the resident's responsibility?
*I'd feel better if we had another bid.

Why ignore ridiculous statements like:
*If we can get the grade right, we might not have to do it!
*Are we going to sit and wait, and damage the road we just repaired, because the home owner doesn't want...
*Have we been in contact with the owner?
*Three board members who looked at the bid could not find the expense for the driveway.

This is a $20,000 approval!  President Walton's question about waiting, and damaging a road we just had fixed, is ridiculous.  The fact is that our Drainage Chair has been doing his projects, in the area of his home, and lots first.  Small projects, a few hundred dollars here and there, for months, so now we have to hurry to spend $20,000?  Did this board review the request for bid process, the specs, the expertise of who designed the specs, or just plain review the specs, the effort to contact the residents involved, and their responsibility according to the governing documents?  Apparently NOT.

This business - funny business of "I've tried to get three bids", is an old song, by many of these board members.  At one point during this meeting President Walton says that they can't get bids, some have bid before, and didn't get the job.  This board has wore  potential contractors out with their illegitimate efforts, laughing at bids at the table of genuine skilled contractors, deciding to use volunteers instead, etc.  Note, there were three bid requests for the gatehouse over 2 years!  Why would good contractors waste their time?  The guilt lays at their very feet, under the board table.  When we first watched McMillin at the board table, he issued legitimate requests for proposals, sealed bids, and no matter how little the project, he had at least three bidders, often more.  He knows how.  Look to Anderson.  He insists on engineering, oversees real requests for proposals, and a sealed bid, and proper award process.  Look at the Water Amenities Committee.  When they wanted to spend slightly over $20,000 on a dock for the landing, they had engineering, proper request for proposal, sealed bids, and proper contracting, etc.  Look once again, at McMillin.  When he put the recent Grounds contract out to bid, he went as far as to post an ad in the newspaper.  Some have demonstrated that they know how to do the right thing, but in their cohesiveness, good old boys operating, they'll vote for this mess!

Our Drainage Chair, has made himself, expert, engineer, and judge, as to which residents pay, and those that don't, with no credibility, as it relates to the governing documents.  Things got so beyond reason, or common sense, at this meeting, that your board just accepted and voted.  For instance, at one point when questions were being asked about whether the owners had been contacted, it was stated that attempts were made, but to no avail.  Still later, it was stated that there was a renter in the home, and uncertainty as to who the home owner was.  Another stated that the home had been sold about 7 months ago.  Our Drainage Chair stated that that might be the reason he wasn't getting a response.  Do you seriously believe that a real attempt was made? Do you believe that this board can't find out who owns the home? Who are they sending the assessment billings to, or does this owner owe us money????  If you believe any of this - sorry - crap, there is a bridge in NY that I want to sell you.  What is sick, is that this board believes that you would buy the bridge, if they wanted to propose the sale to you.  

In PART I,  of this article, I asked you if you had heard "a man is as good as his word"?  Review this boards words.  Go to the tape of the meeting, and verify them for yourself.  I don't believe the words of this board hold truth, honesty of character, backing the words that come out of their mouths.  As for the one woman on the board, she cackled through a lot of this.  Maybe it is a nervous habit, caused by what is being said at the board table.

Stay tuned for PART III of the September 15 WPA Board Meeting Highlights.  We'll be covering the 2016 budget, and assessment vote.  Prepare yourself, because once again, their words are just thrown in the air, of this polluted Board Meeting.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


NOTE:  I will relate what occurred to the best of my ability.  As always, I highly suggest that you go to the tape of the meeting at the WPA website, or The Wedgefield Times, to verify information for yourself.  COMMENTS, are provided in red,  and noted as such.

The September WPA Board Meeting was called to order at 7:00pm, with all nine board members in attendance.  12 members were present.  For the most part, the board flew through officer & committee reports, often with "no report", or little content, if presented. 

The highlights of these reports follow:

*Secretary's Report:
The board approved 2 more people for the election committee. The second husband and wife team, to the committee. COMMENT: Not sure that should be, but with the conflict of interest issues that hang over this board table, along with poor management, single bids, etc, why raise written questions to this board about integrity, and operating without a hint of impropriety?

The materials for the annual meeting packet will be printed soon. One of the hold ups to moving forward, is the legal opinion on the By-law changes/additions, submitted by residents.

Pastor Justin, has offered to participate with the Wedgefield Rd clean up.

*Treasurer's Report:
We still have $71,000 in past due assessment receivables.  3 more residents have paid their past due accounts.

*Legal Report:
The Legal Chair reported that the board was still waiting for an answer from the attorney, regarding the By-Law change/additions, submitted for a vote on the ballot.  He had been trying to reach the attorney for 6-7 days.  That was all that was reported, folks.  COMMENT:  What is with the attorneys this board hires?  "WAITING", is the key word, for this attorney, and those who proceed him, hired by this board.  You might say, "SO".  There are three key items, that we have been waiting for, for way too long, and quite frankly, demonstrated past experience, as key exhibit, in the fairly recent past, is key. I would dare to say, if the item/case, had contained the words "canal dredging", and we were left waiting for answers, the meetings would have been full, and the members in attendance, rioting, and shouting their suspicious comments, including doubting the attorney, and the board.  The three items are:  (1) the case of the canal lot owner who refused to pay the $5,000 assessment.  Your board voted to SETTLE this a YEAR ago, and yet we have no final ruling.  Why? (2)  The board attorney of record is involved with the two lots that ownership fell to the WPA under foreclosure, after an auction of the lots, overseen by our attorney.  At least one resident has written the board about how they will be presented for sale, when the final papers are presented. What is the status?  (3) The opinions regarding the By-Law change/additions.  One of the proposals, adds the requirement, that the board bring all future dredging to the vote of the full membership.  For those who say "the Wedgefield Examiner, can't get past the lawsuits of the last dredging", it would be  the pot calling the kettle black.  It appears that there are others, on and off the board, that want to use the board, and our governing documents for "their own non dredging agenda."  It could appear that this board has furthered that agenda through their handpicked, delaying tactical, non dredging, or answering attorneys.

I have to pause in the report, and stay with this.  First, why does our board continue to pay, using our money, inefficient, sometimes almost criminal professionals, to handle our associations legal affairs, time after time?  Could we ever have our business conducted legally, ethically, utilizing our governing documents, without intrigue, and a not so silent hidden agenda?  

Think that is hard?  Well, here's a quick review.  Remember, the bulk of this board has been around for most of this, and their righteousness at the table excuses, just doesn't cut it.

In 2010 the board attorney of record was fired, and Lawyer "M" was hired.  The lawyer who had previously been here for years.  He introduced us crudely, and rudely to state law, passing over our governing documents.  He was the greatest, and the best in their world, until he advised the board that the 2011 petitioners, who petitioned under state law, could move forward with a recall of 5 board members.  Two board members (both listed to be recalled), unauthorized by the board, went to attorney M #2, who advised them that the petitioners should not be allowed to move ahead.  The board advised these two board members, that they would not pay for the advice of attorney M #2.  In the end, they did pay him.  The president of the board explained that attorney M (first one), was not the attorney he use to be, and made insulting claims about his personal, and professional life, from the board table, and then attempted to have the meeting tapes erased of the evidence.

Attorney M #2, then became the attorney of record, delayed answering the board on many items, including the case regarding the canal lot owner.  Attorney M #2 was disbarred, and this board hired his partner, attorney M #3, in the two person office, and he failed to file appropriately in the courts, in regard to the canal case, and failed to respond to the board at all, on many issues.  He was fired, and now we have  attorney C, who appears to lag on cases, and fail to answer the board on our issues.

P.S.  All three attorneys' last names started with M.

This article will have to be published in two parts.  Part II will take us to drainage projects, 2016 budget & assessment, and new ARC policy manual first reading.  Part II, will be published by end of day, September 17.  

Have you ever heard, "a man is as good as his word"?  I'd like to leave this article with words spoken at the board table during the September WPA meeting.  You'll have the opportunity to see what resulted, after these words were spoken by members of your board.

*In regard to the drainage contract discussions (over $20,000 awarded in contracts).
"Shouldn't the resident have to pay."
"We're not sure who owns that property"
"I could only get one bid"
"We just can't get people to bid"
*In regard to 2016 budget & assessment, and finance meeting the board was invited to attend
"It was the strangest finance committee meeting that I ever went to.  Witnessed the committee spending most of the meeting fighting with each other."
"Why did we pay for a reserve study to be done, if we aren't going to follow it?"

Stay tuned.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015


NOTE:  I will relate what occurred to the best of my ability.  As always, I highly suggest that you go to the tape of the meeting at the WPA website, or The Wedgefield Times, to verify information for yourself.  COMMENTS, are provided at the end of the article, and noted as such.

The meeting was called to order with 7 board members at the table.  Present:  McMillin, Anderson, Cline, DeMarchi, John Walton, Garrison, and President Walton.  Absent:  Ebert, and Johnson.  9 members attended the meeting.


*The minutes of the July meeting were unanimously approved, despite the fact that the copy provided in each board member packet was incorrect.  When a board member asked if each board member had received the correct copy via email, prior to the meeting, Garrison laughed and said that some board members claim that they don't have email.  

*President's Report:
President Walton, announced that there were three people who had turned their resumes in to run for board.  They are the same three people on the board, whose terms are ending - DeMarchi, Anderson, and John Walton.

*Vice President's Report:
Garrison reported that while the nominating process is complete, that he had concern that with an uncontested election, residents might not vote.  It is important that we all turn in our proxies, or vote the day of the election, because there are important items on the ballot, and if enough people don't vote, and there isn't a quorum, we'd have to have a do over.

*Secretary's Report:
Cline reported that all the printing for the annual meeting packets would be done in house.  A motion was made and passed, to purchase the necessary supplies, not to exceed $1,700.

Cline announced that Peggy Phillips would serve as the election inspector, and named the following as the election committee:  D. Aguilera, C. McBride, J. & M. Sasso, V. Segelken, M.Cavanaugh, S. Hastings.  She would like two more people.

*Treasurer's Report:
DeMarchi announced that the 2016 proposed budget had been presented to the board, and would be voted on in September.  The budget was based on 2016 assessments at $525.00.  Discussion by Garrison, brought concern about the assessment, and it was agreed that DeMarchi would redo the proposed budget based on the assessment staying at $500.00.  

Articles will follow regarding the confusing, and proposed changes to the percent of allocation to each of the categories of the reserves.  Safe to say, regarding the 2015 budget, funds from Marina, Landscaping, and Drainage, will be reallocated to a total of $101,000, to Roads.  This may allow the board to contract with the recently approved road contractor, and complete more of the areas on the road repair list.  Last month, the board approved over $150,000 for a road contract that would repair 13 areas, on a list of over 25.  

As the board was discussing the reallocation of percentage of reserve categories, a resident in the audience yelled, "take it from canals".

*Legal Report:  
Garrison reported that the board had received 3 proposed  changes to our governing documents, for the annual meeting ballot.  They would be forwarded to the attorney for review.  This wasn't to determine whether they were good ideas, or not, but whether they were legal.  Briefly, they are:

1) By-Law change to require the board to contract with a CPA to perform bookkeeping/accounting functions (my words).  Garrison  stated that this was about the third time this was presented for a vote.  (Comment:  Thanks persistent resident!)

2)  By-Law addition, that would require the board to take canal dredging to a full membership vote, if it were proposed.

3)  Covenant proposal, that would allow changes to the covenants, with a vote of 60% of the eligible voters, rather than the 100%, currently required.

It should be noted that the board held a closed meeting, to discuss "legal issues", and Garrison did not report that the meeting was held, who attended, or what it was about.

*Drainage Report:
DeMarchi opened a bid for proposed work on Francis Parker, and Joanna Gillard Lane, for $600, and made a motion to award a contract to the bidder.  The motion passed unanimously.

Grounds' Report:
The most important part of this report, given by McMillin, is that a bid to fix the exterior of the gatehouse, not to exceed $4,400 was opened, a motion made, and approved to go to contract.  The work would include items such as putting in the windows that have been in storage for over two years, extension of roof line, gutters and down spouts, filling in of openings in brick grout, new doors and frames, etc.  (Comment:  This is like the good, the bad, and the ugly.  The good - finally it looks like credible work will be done.  The bad - it has taken two years, conflict of interest, and a some what prior, appearance of corruptness, and poor board management to get to this point.  The ugly - even when you think you've gotten past the poor management issues, McMillin would like to give the contractor money in advance, if you had looked at a road contract he authored a few years ago, you'd have had fear in your head for what he proposed.  Cline, President Walton, and Garrison, spoke against it.  Thank you!)

*The Bookkeeping Proposal:
DeMarchi presented two bids.  One was for $600 a month, and the other from the CPA who had performed our audit for the last two years, in the amount of $150.00 a month.  A motion was made, and passed to go to contract with the $150.00/month.  We'll do an article later on.

*A Resident's Comments, Brings DeMarchi Back To Speed Bumps!
During resident comments, the resident who has spoken about speed bumps three months consecutively, stated that he wasn't asking for speed bumps, but continued to have concerns for the dangers of turning left from the stop sign, at the corner of Wraggs Ferry, and Wedgefield.  DeMarchi stated that he had consulted several entities, all of which indicated that speed bumps were the answer, and he felt that it should take a vote of the FULL board.  (Comment:  DeMarchi can not let speed bumps GO.  The board voted with 8 members at the table.  The vote was 4-4, and the motion was not approved.  If he can't accept that, then the question to him is, "What are you proposing to do about ALL the votes that have been taken with less than nine members at the table, with a quorum, or is this nonsense just because it didn't go your way?


Monday, August 17, 2015



Call to Order – President
Attendance - President
Quorum- Secretary
Approve – All Board Members- Approve July 2015 minutes

Officer Reports
President – Jacky Walton 

Vice President – Bob Garrison 
Secretary –Janine Cline 
Treasurer – Al DeMarchi
Committee Reports
ARC – Keith Johnson
Legal – Bob Garrison
Finance – Al DeMarchi 

Communications- Janine Cline 
Community Liaison- Adam Anderson 
Welcome Committee- Inge Ebert Drainage – Al DeMarchi
Water Amenities- John Walton 
Roads- Adam Anderson 
Condo Liaison- Inge Ebert 
Grounds – Larry McMillin 
Compliance- Bob Garrison
Old Business
  •   2nd reading Policy, Section XIV- Welcome Committee
    Section XIV- To Add: 1.05- The committee may mail sympathy or condolence cards to the families of WPA members who pass away upon receipt of notice of the member's passing."

  •   Bookkeeper proposals
  •   Gatehouse Proposal

    New Business
    Security Camera at Entrance
    Notification of the next Monthly Meeting- September 15, 2015
    Comment Section- Resident Comments Adjourn – Jacky Walton