Rarely, it seems, are there graceful losers when Homeowners Association go to war. Some board members who can’t accept their defeat and scratch and claw trying to remain in power.
It’s kind of sad, really.
The community had just voted to flush the board by an overwhelming majority. A recall group collected 187 votes to oust the six board members. Just 20 voted to retain the board.
But there they were in court, their attorney trying to argue all the reasons they should remain on the volunteer board.
In the words of the late Hunter Thompson, it was all a lot of “niggling gibberish.”
Schwartz didn’t want to rehash all the battles that led to the recall effort. I’ve written about some of the issues that divide the 220 homeowners on 2,000 wooded, mountainside acres.
Folks in the lower park — many are older, longer-tenured residents — object to spending by the previous board to create a volunteer fire department.
The department was pushes mostly by residents in the upper reaches of the park. Many of them have lived in the park a shorter amount of time.
But Schwartz didn’t want to hear all the history.
He was there to determine if the recall election was legal. Did residents have “cause” for a recall? Did they follow the law in gathering proxies? Was their request for a special board meeting valid? Was their use of an independent account to certify the results proper?
His answer? Yes, yes and yes. The people have spoken. The vote is legit. The old board is out and the new, interim board, is in. Only until elections can be held to find permanent replacements at the regular annual meeting this fall.
Now, on to the Woodmoor Improvement Association.
Woodmoor is one of the largest HOA communities in Colorado.
I first wrote about the WIA and its board power struggles in January 2009. At that time, five board members had resigned in the prior months.
I talked to three previoius WIA board presidents who took turns criticizing the current board and its president, George McFadden. They called him “King George.”
Things got so bad in Woodmoor that a group of dissidents organized a coup this past January. A slate of three candidates ran against a slate of McFadden allies. The dissidents won by a huge margin. They joined three sitting board members to oust McFadden from the presidency. Next they got busy undoing many of his policies. Here’s my blog from that episode.
In the months after the election, McFadden and his two remaining board allies, Larry Goad and Mari Robbins, went missing in action.
They just didn’t show up for board meetings. So, in May, the board bounced them out and in June replacements were elected.
Funny thing is, McFadden, Goad and Rollins are angry. They say their ouster was illegal.
They wrote an “open letter” to the residents of Woodmoor protesting their removal. They even called on the new WIA president Chuck Maher to resign. Here’s the letter from the July edition of Our Community News.
I had a hard time reconciling in my mind how the three could be “faithful board members” when they never even show up. So I tried to call McFadden to ask him about the seeming contradiction.
As in the past, he declined to talk to me.
But he sent me a letter in which he explains his position: