It appeared that if the offender was one of "ours" that names were no longer to be named. In my humble opinion, that violated commitment to good governance, stated goals, etc. As members of the community, we elect Board Members to govern, openly and according to our Association's By-Laws, Covenants, Policies, and with strong business judgement. If the intention of a publication is to keep our members updated on exactly what is happening at the Board table, then we provide the facts exactly as they occur.
When Board Members speak, write, or vote from their Board seat, they should do so with such conviction that they have no problem when their actions are discussed. They should speak, write and vote with strong ethics, adherence to By-Laws, Covenants, Policy, and such integrity, that they are willing to stand behind their decisions.
That wasn't the case with the documented story. The style of writing was consistent with the writing approach to over 70 articles. I received numerous calls and emails after previous articles were published, asking what's next, great article, keep going, etc. What was different this time? There has been a dramatic change at the Board table since the Concerned Citizen element of the Board removed Jacky Walton as President, and John Mc Bride as Legal Chair. The first evidence appeared at the June Board Meeting when the Board voted to change the Policy requiring a CPA handle our accounting, opened bids, lowered the bid requirements to select a contractor, in one big swoop.
For a time, I was as guilty of the actions I'm about to discuss, as others. I didn't write about poor business judgement, a rush to change, etc. because the Board Member who pushed the change, was "one of ours". Many of us who had been involved in the community talked about the problems related to the action, but decided to stay silent. During the July Board Meeting, the actions of "one of ours", added to the momentum of the down hill slide. I wrote a general article, leaving his name out of it, and it was published. Still no problem. By the time we reached the August Board Meeting, silence wasn't an option. I wrote an article, in my usual writing style, naming all the names. It passed through our standard of editing procedures, no edits were requested, it was posted, and a named Board Member had it taken down.
The names in previous articles, had been documented as responsible for the actions detailed in the article, and often were the Concerned Citizen element of the Board: Wilson, Thomas, Huggins, Barrier, and Walters. It does cause one to wonder whether if one of them had made the call, if the article would have been pulled down.
I will continue to write with documentation. I am not great with computer technology. I will detail how I documented an article and advise you where you can go to review documents, listen to tapes etc. In all cases I will have proper documentation in my files.
HERE IS THE ARTICLE:
THE WPA BOARD "TURNS A BLIND EYE" TO CRITICAL ISSUES DURING THE AUGUST 16TH BOARD MEETING
If you didn't attend the August 16th monthlyWPA Board Meeting, please take the time to listen to the tape of the meeting. The lack of ethics, adherence to By-Laws, Covenants, or any sound business judgement, has disappeared from the landscape of our governance. What is even more alarming, is the cast of characters, the usual subjects of unethical behavior, has increased. Wilson (did not attend but left his foot print), Thomas, Barrier, Walters, and Huggins were aided by the silence of McMillin, Walton, and Garrison. Mc Bride was left to his own devices, all but ridiculed and made fun of, as he attempted to go after the issues.
More often than not, it wasn't the issue of a vote, but your Board turning a blind eye to critical issues.
Garrison Acknowledges Wilson Did Ask The Staff Secretary To Erase A Portion Of The June Meeting Tape: To view concrete details of Wilson's request, please read, "The WPA Board Majority Elected George Wilson for His Leadership?" , at The Wedgefield Times. As reported earlier, during the July Meeting, under questioning from McBride, Wilson admitted to asking Kathy to ease a portion of the tape. Garrison touched on the fact during the August Meeting. No one on the Board raised questions about what actions should be taken. Why? Where is ethical representation? Has our administration fallen to such a degree that this is OK? Your Board turned a blind eye, and moved on. Many of you have experience serving on Boards, if this situation played out at one of those Board tables, what would have happened?
MinutesVersus Transcripts: Wilson has been "burned", caught red handed, two months in a row, because there is a tape of the meeting and he knew it would be transcribed. During the June Meting, he made some potentially litigious statements abour Attorney Moran. During the July Meeting, he is on tape admitting that he asked Kathy to erase part of the June tape. Real transcription from the tapes to an official record, isn't working for them. What do they do? They enter into a discussion led by Jacky Walton about transcription versus minutes. They can't remember why the Board went that route. They offer a few suggestions as to why it might have been implemented and decide that the Board will review this and decide which format is better. If you can't erase the tape, then let's give a reason for cutting out items in print, in the permanent record.
Your Board Is Preparing To Turn A Blind Eye Once Again, Because They Want To CoverUp Their Regular Unethical Bloopers. First a little history. Most of us know what minutes look like. For the most part we have had transcripts. Why? During 2009 when bad behavior, misrepresentation of what Board Members had said, lawsuits were flying, etc., it became increasingly important that our records reflected exactly what was said. This must have made sense to former Board Secretary Barrier, as he requested funds to purchase a system to make transcription easier for the staff secretary. At least one Board Member questioned the effectiveness of the computer program that was supposed to make the minutes easier. He ignored the advice of resident technology experts and the system was purchased. Now it appears that system isn't functioning the way it was thought it would - another bad expenditure?
The lawsuits haven't been resolved, hard copy files disappear from the office, and now after two months of problems, it may be time to return to the brevity of minute taking??? Remember, Wilson wanted to secure a different type of recorded record. From the August 17, 2010 Minutes, "Andy Bass has been asked to tape this meeting at the direction of, and for the personal use of, the President George Wilson." Wouldn't you think that a Board who allowed the President to video tape "certain residents", would understand the need to transcribe at this point in our history? This is highly suspicious?
The $55,000 Blind Eye: Board Treasurer McMillin very briefly announced that he is not going to pursue the liens on the 11 canal lot owners who haven't paid their $5,000 dredging assessment. Why? These liens were placed on the properties on the advice of our attorney. McMillin states that he'll wait for a ruling. This is the song sung by Wilson, Thomas, Barrier, Walters, and Huggins, against the advice of the attorney. In fact Barrier allowed these individuals, who were in arrears, to vote in the 2010 election. McMillin's action is a surprise to many. He voted for the individual assessment, paid the individual assessment, and now against the advice of the attorney, has aligned himself with the other five. In a previous meeting he reported that he had collected it on a William Screven property. Is it legal to pick and chose? This is an injustice to all of us who paid and did the right thing. No one asked questions, they turned a blind eye. Why, will these 11 property owners who are in arrears, who have had liens placed on their property, vote with you and me again this year?
The Blind Eye To Added Accounting Expense: During the July Board Meeting, McMillin reported on all the volunteer time the new "accounting person" was spending to get the in house accounting up and running. He stated that she was invested in us. Now, we get to the August Meeting and he announces that start up wasn't included in her contract and she would like to be paid for 80 hours, for a total of $1,000, in installments, over a three month period of time. Your Board voted and approved it. How? They turned a blind eye to the contract and billing and payment procedures. Where else but Wedgefield, can you declare you are a volunteer, back track, and ask for payment for a portion of your volunteer hours?
Virgil Winn's contract did not include start up. He mentioned it. was reminded that it wasn't in the contract, and he made no attempt at billing it. Where is your Board's decision making?
The following red lines were added to the original story. Before the vote to pay the additional $1,000, one of the Board Members asked McMillin how much the accounting contractor had found? He reported $40,000. Where is the $40,000? It hasn't appeared on the financials?
Garrison Turns a Blind Eye To Huggins Payment To Attorney Moody: Please read, "The WPA Board Has Hired A New Counsel, Mr. Moody Or His Invoice For Services Pre-Dating The June Meeting Has Arrived!", at The Wedgefield Times. You'll note that during the June Board Meeting, Garrison goes after Huggins for lawyer shopping for an opinion from Attorney Moody. Garrison further reminds Huggins that he has no authorization to incur expense from Moody. Huggins says there won't be any. You'll note that Huggins and Wilson, receive the Moody invoice and pay it. During the August Board Meeting, Garrison asks Huggins, if there was a billing for $250 for the advice. Huggins says he'll have to check. Garrison and the rest of your Board turn a blind eye and let it drop. Review the invoice presented in the article referenced above. First, the charges exceed $250 of expense, prior to a Board vote to engage Moody, as the Board Attorney of Record. Remember what Garrison, Barrier, Wilson, and Huggins tried to do to Reames and Wijthoff, without justification? Garrisson laid out all the facts on the Moody invoice and yet, your Board let's Huggins off the hook, with "I'll check on that". What is there to check? Did Huggins sign the invoice OK to pay," without reading it? Doubtful?
The Blind Eye Road Repair Vote: Please review the article,""Can Some Board Members Spend Our Monies Correctly?, at The Wedgefield Times. During the April 17, 2011 Board Meeting, the Board voted to approve up to $20,000 on road repair, with a contract. Huggins never had a contract, the contractor was overpaid, to date, failed to return for months, etc. During the July Meeting McBride stated he had done some research and felt that the cost per sq. ft., under the current vendor was high. At the same time, despite the fact that the vendor had been absent for almost two months, Huggins wanted approval for another $9,000. He did not receive approval for the current vendor. Garrison challenged McBride to get quotes for the $9,000. The Board added appropriate detail calling for a priority list, contract, etc. Huggins never had bothered with the details.
Fast forward to August. McBride had talked to several vendors, encouraged some engineering suppport to get the job done right, and would bring more information to the September Meeting. Your Board could not wait. Despite the fact that Huggins' vendor had not shown up since the July Meeting (actually hasn't shown up in over 3 months), your Board awarded the $9,000 to Huggins' absent vendor. Why? Huggins told us we had to hurry, winter was approaching. We don't live in New Hampshire. After all these months of delays and mismanagement, your Board will storm ahead and give your money to another mismanaged project and poor vendor, to the tune of $29,000 - total. McBride was the only one to vote against it.
Are you familiar with the medical term, legally blind? The individual has limited vision, sometimes diminishing over time, and struggles to live, function, and see the world around them. Most just keep working harder and wiser to get the most benefit out of the vision they have. In the past it appeared that Wilson, Thomas, Huggins, Barrier, and Walters were intentionally blind folded by their Concerned Citizen agenda. We counted on the clear vision that Walton, McMillin, McBride, and sometimes - Garrison provided. Their vision appeared to be supported by ethics, moral standards, following the law, By-Laws, and strong business judgment. If you haven't already, listen to the meeting tapes of June, July, and August. Ask yourself whether they have become victims of legal blindness, or are they being fitted for blind folds? McBride has been left struggling like an abused guide dog, working to move things forward legally and ethically.
END OF STORY, COMMENTS FOLLOW
All of the information provided in the article was documented. The facts are the facts. You can write an article with varying approaches, my approach has been relatively consistent, and accepted, when it was just those"other guys".
The intention of the blogg is to continue to provide information that is documented, and as Bob Grant, radio personality coined, "the rest of the story". I've been known to write positive articles about Board Members who were Concerned Citizens, and did the right thing. I've even interviewed Garrison, promised he could review and approve the article, before it was submitted. If your Board Member doesn't like the fact that their vote, motions, or writings, "make them look bad", perhaps he/she should vote, make motions, or write - what they can be proud of.