Three officers of the board, including president Margaret Thomas, accuse board member Hayward Rigano of using threats and bullying tactics as he tries to win control of the nine-member board.
Rigano denies ever threatening anyone.
He said the old guard on the board is not qualified to run the building and incapable of making proper business decisions.
The two sides don’t even agree on the issues between them. Is it the 40-year-old heating system that needs major repairs? Or the HOA dues? Or the attempt to cap the number of condos that can be rental units?
Rigano insists he is a peaceful Christian who never threatened anyone. But he admits his year on the board has been stormy as he educates them about the proper way to run the HOA.
His main issue is the hotel operation. When the Satellite opened in 1969, it was the closest hotel to the Colorado Springs Airport. Not anymore. Today it’s 76 hotel rooms sit mostly vacant, leaving little work for the housekeeping and round-the-clock front desk staff.
He said the HOA subsidizes the hotel operation at a cost of $250,000 a year.
Rigano wants to convert those rooms into 35 new condos to be sold with the profits used by the HOA for expensive maintenance.
But Thomas is adamant Rigano is out of control in his dealings with people. She said she is afraid of him. Afraid for her life, even.
She said he berates board members, staff and vendors. She accuses him of bullying and threats.
Elections next month may resolve the issue. Rigano hopes to solidify his majority and gain greater control over the board.
Here’s a nice story former Gazette columnist Rich Tosches wrote about the Satellite Hotel in 2004.