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Is it fair that one resident serves on multiple committees while another resident is denied -- numerous times -- the opportunity to serve on just one?
Why would some units in the community have representation on two to four committees?
When other units have none…
Competent and knowledgeable residents have applied to serve on committees. Yet these qualified residents have been denied numerous times. At least one resident who applied (directly to the Board) to serve on a committee received no acknowledgment or explanation as to why they were being ignored. Others who applied to that same committee were contacted and interviewed.
Most recently, there have been appointments to multiple committees with no Board outreach to the community for volunteers.
There should be equal opportunity for all qualified residents to apply if a position on a committee becomes available.
Is the Board punishing the residents who challenge them? Must you be a board sycophant to be given a chance to serve on a committee?
Why deny accomplished and experienced residents willing to serve on a committee the chance to contribute to the community?
The board has announced they have formed an "Asset Management Project Team." Not an original idea or timely decision. There has been a lack of action for TWO YEARS and it is costing homeowners thousands of dollars.
We are long overdue for proper inspections and a proactive, preventive maintenance plan. Reactive maintenance isn't working.
WE ARE VOLUNTEERING TO WORK WITH THE BOARD AND HELP THEM IMPLEMENT OUR IDEAS AND SUGGESTIONS!
A POSITION PAPER ON THE RECENT ELECTION AT SEWICKLEY RIDGE
The recent election at Sewickley Ridge was a mockery of the election process. Residents have described what happened as “an obvious fix”, “appalling”, “a dishonest and underhanded fiasco”, “unethical, wrong, and sleazy”, “disreputable”, “exploitation of a questionable guideline in the Bylaws”, “an abomination”, “disgusting”, “a set-up”, “pathetic”, and a “Banana Republic election”. Those of you who cooked up this scheme should be ashamed. You did not get away with it.
What happened was this: four candidates went through the prescribed vetting process and then the current Board pulled a bait and switch scheme at the last minute to add their preferred candidate to the slate. He won handily with a tally of questionable statistical probability. This blatant subterfuge was designed to prevent competent women who have demonstrated extraordinary smartness and independent thinking from serving on the Board. As to the question of why the perpetrators did this, I will let you draw your own conclusions, but I think I know. Call me if you want to talk about it.
What now? My position is that there should be a new election following Best Practices for HOA Board Elections that includes an independent entity to run the election to keep it above reproach.
The new Board is now morally illegitimate and lacks credibility because of the cheap trick that determined the outcome. Respect for the leadership is now impossible. The spirit of the community is threatened by this toxicity.
In the past, those who have offered constructive criticism of the leadership here have been labeled as disgruntled troublemakers. To ignore those who are trying to tell you the truth is dangerous.
Our election was hijacked. Lets do it over.
--Resident, Patriot Lane
This website does not publish names and addresses. If you are a Sewickley Ridge resident listed in the community's directory, you can submit a request for information about this resident by clicking on the button below.
The Board needs to do better.
Annual Meeting, April 11, 2019: A homeowner asked the Board to please update us on the Maintenance Bond which pertains to our roads and storm water management -- the Board knew nothing about the current status of the Bond, the amount, or end-date.
It is important and a fiscal responsibility for the Board to stay up-to-date on the Bond (as it pertains to roads in our community). The Board President had indicated there were roads in our community in need of assessment and repair.
Fortunately, a resident and non-board member, was able to provide the information about the dollar amount and end-date (which is very soon) to the Board.
A suggestion was made that the Board try to be more attentive to important issues and opportunities that benefit homeowners.
"Our Board treats homeowners (especially women) with dismissive arrogance. Shame on the bootlicking Board toadies who participated in fixing the election." --Resident, Independence Way 4/14/2019
"I also believe that the Board vacancy vote was just a popularity contest and I am appalled that this neighborhood felt they would be better off with two male members and no female representation. We need to see all sides of issues, not just the ones certain males think are important. Also, this nomination from the floor will set precedence--no one will want to go through the process of getting signatures, making resumes of qualifications, etc. in the future. We should all just want to be nominated from the floor. I believe all the women running for office were bamboozled." --Resident, Liberty Boulevard 4/13/2019
"I was appalled by what took place last night. I served 11 years as CEO of my company and 10 more years as Chairman of the Board of the multi billion dollar Company we merged with and have never witnessed such an obvious “fix’” as happened. Please keep your advocacy website.. it’s the only hope we have as residents." --Resident, Freedom Lane 4/12/2019
"What happened last night was a blatant admission by the impotent bullies who control this "Board" that they are terrified by smart competent women who consistently outthink them and expose their corruption and stupidity. Shame on everyone who participated in this sham. I am going to make sure that this goes public so that everyone knows what goes on in this community." --Resident, Patriot Lane 4/12/2019
"I too, do not think it is fair to have a nomination from the floor minutes before the vote was taken. He just briefly stood up and all we saw was the back of his head. From what others have said, it is legal, it’s in the bylaws. But I find it appalling that the other candidates had to spend hours getting signatures, preparing a speech about how they would contribute to the board and then spend an hour answering questions from the home owners; when the nominee from the floor did nothing to get elected. I also was appalled when you asked a question about bond money that was going to expire in May and the board knew nothing about this. And then the quickly adjourned the meeting. I feel they don’t want anyone on the board that will question any of their decisions. Please continue your site and co [sic] to use your research into issues that concern this community. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into keeping us informed." --Resident, Independence Way 4/12/2019
"Nothing was more appalling than what I witnessed at last night's Sewickley Ridge board elections. What a dishonest and underhanded fiasco. After four initial candidates went through all the required steps and executed due diligence to hopefully get elected, this one individual was permitted to throw his hat into the ring last minute without going through the proper procedures. Not only was this unethical but oh so WRONG. And, sleazy. I can't believe this was allowed. First, what are his credentials? Is he qualified? What is his experience with HOA? He didn't even have the intelligence, integrity or wherewithal to tell the attendees what he could do for the community as a board member. As far as I am concerned, the board has lost all credibility." -- Resident, Patriot Lane 4/12/2019
"After an unbelievably disreputable Board “election”, I can only express my total disappointment in this community as a whole. The Board and a select group of residents exploited a questionable guideline in the Bylaws. They had no interest in fairness and doing what would be best for the community. Their concern was only playing by their rules to suit only them. We are not looking at a representative democracy but an autocratic democracy. It is time we band together to vote for people with skills and abilities to do the job rather than how many social events they go to. The Board’s lack of integrity has me personally embarrassed for our community. I will do whatever I need to do to hold people accountable. With every good and talented person I have met here there has been an incompetent buffoon with an unwarranted high opinion of themselves." -- Resident, Independence Way 4/12/2019
"This election was an abomination and unethical at the very least". --Resident, American Way 4/12/2019
"What else is new, would one expect anything different from this board and it’s leadership. Doesn’t surprise anyone." --Resident, Victory Lane 4/12/2019
"I was shocked what happened last night, too. I was planning on voting for you. So sorry to hear the results... I thought for sure you would win." --Resident, American Way, 4/12/2019
"We were at Soergel's this morning and met a couple who live on Freedom....They also were disgusted and shared with us that several other residents shared our views." --Resident, Independence Way, 4/12/2019
"WHAT A SET UP! BLATANT! We are reeling. Don't give up trying to make "right" out of the "wrongs". Pathetic group here!" -- Resident, Independence Way 4/11/2019
"I resent that they think we are stupid…I am so sorry that you were not elected…At least you care about the direction that this HOA is going. When you asked the question about the bond issue, they all shrugged their shoulders. TOA is laughing all the way to the bank. They [the Board] are going to raise the monthly fees…And the best part is that no one cares!" --Resident, Freedom Lane 4/12/2019
"What is this? A banana republic?" --Resident, Independence Way 4/11/2019
"The only words I have about tonight is Bullshit!!!" I am really sorry. You would of done an amazing job." --Resident, Freedom Lane 4/11/2019
"We were so SHOCKED we were speechless and confused as to what was happening.We had no idea this rule was allowed. Now they r exposed and when u run next, this shouldn't happen. Thankfully u r maintaining the advocacy website. Today fair minded people will be outraged and talking. This wont be forgotten! Can't believe the herd mentality here." --Resident, Independence Way 4/12/2019
"Trust me if I had been there I would of said something...They just showed me once again they care about their select group. I hope God holds them accountable for their dishonesty!!! I am happy you are going to stay strong and continue the fight. Hope you have a great day." --Resident, Freedom Lane 4/12/2019
NOTE: The election secretary was the board vice-president. Certainly not an independent and impartial "official."
Common sense and observation would dictate that all candidates be treated equally. But fairness was never what the Board (and their minions) had in mind....
1. Provided NO NOMINATION FORM
2. Provided NO STATEMENT OR BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
3. DID NOT DELIVER A PRESENTATION
4. DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN Q&A
He won handily with a "write-in" ballot tally of questionable statistical probability.
"Please provide me with a copy of the community's current maintenance plan. Not the new "matrix", but the current, comprehensive property maintenance plan that has been executed since January 2017.
If it is available in electronic form you can send it to this email address. Or, if there is a website where the plan is located, please provide the URL.
Please send me a copy of the existing Property Maintenance Plan no later than Tuesday, September 25, 2018.
Homeowners collectively pay for ongoing maintenance and repair of all of the following:
Keeping storm water facilities in good repair is costly. Proper maintenance of storm water systems is critical to their performance, as it ensures the structures remain effective as designed. All systems require continuing operation, inspection and maintenance.
We rely on storm drains to carry large amounts of runoff from roofs and paved areas to nearby waterways. In urban and suburban areas, much of the land surface is covered by buildings and impervious pavement, which do not allow rain and snowmelt to soak into the ground.
For example: In our community, construction with impervious materials will interfere with the function of a storm water management element such as a swale. This then adversely affects neighboring homes and common property and leads to costly remediation that must be paid for by the HOA (which is you the homeowner).
TOA at Sewickley Ridge Declaration definition: "Storm Water Management System" means all storm water drainage facilities to collect or control water on the Property and facilities related thereto such as detention basins, storm water conveyance pipe, inlets and controls, Rain Gardens, drainage easements, drainage swales and related facilities shown on the Plan from time to time located outside of legal rights of way of dedicated streets."
Declaration Article 6.1 (h)(ii) "...all such Storm Water Management System shall be kept in good working order and repair at all times. The Association is perpetually responsible for maintenance of the Storm Water Management System. This obligation shall run with the Property and be binding on the Association. These maintenance obligations shall include mowing the grass, maintaining the basins, swales and Rain Gardens, and maintenance of the plantings and ground cover in the Storm Water Management System."
BMPs [Best Management Practices] are structural, vegetative or managerial practices used to treat, prevent or reduce water pollution. Cleaning, inspecting, and maintaining storm water BMPs is far from glamorous -- but it is essential.
We need everyone to do their share in maintaining a safe and healthy environment.
(Source: audit correspondence and the HOA Board's "Guest Speaker", September 20, 2018 Board Meeting)
*We're not kidding, this was actually said by an accountant regarding a $94,170 error.
THE BOARD ALSO SAYS THE REMOVAL OF ICE (AND ICE DAMS) FROM UNIT GUTTERS WILL BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE HOMEOWNER.
Homeowners are losing another "amenity" (exterior maintenance) they were promised when purchasing their homes.
However, some "lucky" homeowners received special consideration: There are ten months of Board-approved Property Reports that have recorded inspection, maintenance, and repair of gutters for "select" homeowners (at no charge). Why not provide the same maintenance and service to all homeowners?
$36 per year to have the HOA provide gutter/downspout maintenance. The Board Treasurer stated that $3 would need to be added to your monthly assessment fee if the HOA provides preventive maintenance of your gutters. This additional charge is unnecessary and a result of poor budget planning.
[The Board has decided to spend $4,000 to add a new sidewalk at the left side of the Clubhouse that a majority of residents do not think is necessary. Few homeowners will use the sidewalk; all homeowners have gutters that require maintenance,]
[Remember: You are paying for exterior maintenance that should be provided by the HOA.]
Maintenance is 70% of the community's 2019 expenses. Is that money being spent wisely or are homeowners' needs being ignored?
Being open and honest about decisions, funding, services, maintenance, and more is essential to fostering communication. By working towards these initiatives, we can effectively increase HOA Board transparency within our community .
We advocate for homeowners by holding the HOA Executive Board and the HOA management company accountable for their fiduciary duty and responsibilities to Traditions of America at Sewickley Ridge residents.
This website is an independent, informational resource for residents. It provides a communication alternative.
Our goal is to be proactive and productive. We welcome your interest and involvement. We will do our best to utilize a variety of resources to uncover, organize, and present information. We are committed to keeping residents informed about developments and issues that affect their finances, property values, safety and health.
Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.
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