I’ve been living in the Foothills since 1997, when I moved my family here from California.
Up until recently, most homeowners in the community (except a few of my close neighbors) would have not even known my name.
But now, because of full page paid advertisements in the Ahwatukee Foothills News, as well as recent mail campaigns directly to homeowners, — both regarding a recall petition — homeowners are recognizing my name for the wrong reasons.
I retired in early 2018 and with more time available, I thought it was time to get more involved in community activities and decided to run for election on the Foothills Community Association Board of Directors in April 2018.
I wanted to give my time and experience to help the community in any way I could. I was not successful in that election, but then in December 2018, I was contacted by the FCA Board to see if I was still interested in contributing as a board member.
As explained to me, they were expanding the board from five to seven members in order to resolve challenges they were having reaching quorum as well as having more resources available for community projects.
The board appointed me (along with Mark Moskal) as additions to the board at the Dec. 5, 2018, board meeting pursuant to By Laws Article 4 Section 4.4 regarding special appointments.
It’s important to note this was not a vacancy, which would have likely either required an additional election (at an additional cost to FCA) or postponing the expansion until the annual board meeting nearly six months later.
The board chose to take expedient and appropriate action so as to resolve their concerns for quorum (which would have otherwise stalled FCA business) as well as have additional resources to focus on improving communications and other projects.
Then came the recall petition, which in my opinion was frivolous with no real obvious motive other than to just undo what had been done by the FCA Board.
In the recall petition, in addition to trying to remove the two legally appointed board members, the FCA President Bill Fautsch was also attacked, listing some past business issues to justify the recall.
I’m not going to comment on those issues because in my opinion, Bill Fautsch did that sufficiently at a recent FCA Board of Directors meeting with some homeowners present.
I have yet to see any evidence of wrongdoing regarding his actions over the past decade on this board.
There have been insinuations by a small group of homeowners but I have not seen any proof. I accepted this appointment with my eyes wide open.
But I should also say that I didn’t know any of the board members with the exception of Gary Reny before actually taking my board position, even though I’ve been wrongly portrayed by the small group leading the recall petition as someone who would automatically side with the current board members.
Then came the April 29, 2019. annual board meeting.
At that time the small group that had been promoting the recall delivered enough (10 percent) signed petitions from our homeowners to start the 30-day period required by law to move to a special meeting.
This special meeting, which any member has the right to put forth, is now diverting staff and resources from other activities and will cost the FCA about $4,000 (funds from all homeowners).
It is also being put forth without proof of a single allegation regarding the conduct of any board member relative to their FCA Board position.
That is frustrating to me as a new director, since all the board is trying to do is the best for the Foothills Community.
The FCA Board Members are unpaid volunteers and we are all bound by a code of conduct to ensure our actions are legal, transparent and to the extent possible, communicated to all homeowners in the Foothills Community Association.
All of us on the recall ballot would like to continue to serve the Foothills and continue to improve the relationship with ALL homeowners in any way we can.
To that end, I encourage everyone in the Foothills Community Association to vote no on the HOA recall!
Let the board continue to do its good work for you.
-Gary Walker is a member of the Foothills Community HOA board.