Former ABM board
member responds to critics
My family and I have lived in Ahwatukee for 43+ years and I love this community. Yes, I have spent countless hours volunteering and serving in many capacities to try to “give back” to do my part in being a productive, involved member of this community. Thank you for your acknowledgement of my involvement. It is much appreciated.
My response to your letter to the editor published in the Ahwatukee Foothills News June 10 concerning the Ahwatukee Board of Management’s decision to accept funds from the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act’s Payroll Protection program is as follows:
The Arizona Corporation Commission designates ABM as a homeowners association. An HOA is not a business open to the general public. Its sole purpose is to maintain a high quality of life for the lot owners.
Upon request, Arizona State Statute 33-1803 allows lot owners to receive almost all documents of an HOA. On May 5, I requested a copy of ABM’s Small Business Administration application form and related documents necessary to apply for the funds. I received a copy of the application on May 15, two days after ABM’s “emergency” board meeting was held in which the board voted to accept the funds.
My intent was to attend the ABM May 20 monthly board meeting (as listed on our website at the time) to voice my concerns but learned that the board held an emergency “secret” meeting. (That is the actual word used when I was informed.)
On the application, ABM is listed as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The ABM is not a nonprofit charitable organization. The application also lists two employees of the ABM with titles as secretary and assistant treasurer. That section states “list all owners of 20 percent or more of the equity of the applicant.” In reviewing the Arizona Corporation Commission listing of the ABM, I do not find their names listed.
Also, the corporate annual report has not been updated since April 2019 and there is at least one board member no longer serving still listed.
Why haven’t the lot owners been advised of the names of the new board members as the result of the annual election last March? They are not listed on the corporate documents with the state nor did I find them listed on the ABM web site.
An addendum page was attached to the application noting that the bank lending the funds advised the employees on how to fill out the U.S. government’s loan application including what titles these employees be given.
It concerns me that this application was manipulated in order to get it through the system. There is an “additional owners’ section” in the loan application but no lot owners were listed.
An HOA is “owned” by each individual lot owner, not an employee.
One of the executive officers of the board has stated that the funds are a “grant.” In reviewing the SBA Promise to Pay Note document, it states that the “loan” in the amount of $178,750 has an interest rate of 1 percent with a payment starting in seven months in the amount of $10,059.40 and thereafter monthly.
I cannot find the word “grant” anywhere in the application or the note.
Bullet point 9A under general provisions of the note, among several other points, states, “All individuals and entities signing this note are jointly and severally liable.”
Also, as prescribed in our HOA documents, any loan request over $100,000 requires the approval of at least 51 percent of the lot owners.
As I was leaving the board in April 2019, there was a committee formed to plan a separate budget for the Community Center for the purpose of understanding income vs. expenses in that operation.
I have not been able to locate such budget as of this writing. The recently posted ABM 2020 annual budget (01/01/20-12/31/20) on their website is listed as $2,083,989.
Your letter erroneously states the budget as $2,104,216. In reality, that is the budgeted income for ABM! Our annual income comes from numerous sources, such as apartment parcel assessments, currently about $200,000, RV rental storage $89,250, documentation/inspection fees $69,000 and Desert Montessori land rental $4,463, to name a few. It is true that our homeowners’ assessment income totals $1,121,555.
ABM’s 2020 budget does have almost $900,000 allocated for salaries for 21 employees. This does not include health/life insurance of $108,650, disability insurance of $6,960 and pension contributions of $73,386. Nor does this include sick time or vacation time provided to employees.
This money comes from our annual income budget. In the event of extenuating circumstances, such as COVID-19, a budget can be revised just like the ABM board revised their budget in the economic collapse in 2008. In five minutes, looking over the 2020 budget, I found $280,738 that could be reallocated if need be.
I have questioned, and am able to find solutions, to budgetary issues because of my many years as an executive member of the ABM board. I am also concerned for the two ABM employees who have possibly placed themselves in a financial liability position by having their names on the federal government’s documents.
Grateful for AFN, community support of Swaziserve
I just want to say thank you so much to AFN for publishing the article on our non-profit, Swaziserve, and the work we do in southern Africa.
I also want to express our deep gratitude to our Ahwatukee community for your generous donations towards those in desperate need. We love our wonderful neighborhood!
Foothills candidate urges bylaw change approval
I am running for a seat on the Foothills Community Association’s Board of Directors in the upcoming elections.
For years, I have been following the Association’s activities and regularly attending board meetings. Last year, I spoke at the annual meeting stating that money in the Association account is not our greatest asset.
We as community members come from many walks of lives, with skills and expertise in a multitude of areas. By reaching out to the community and encouraging members to get involved, the Association can tap into the most valuable resource our community has.
If elected to the board, I will strive to bring members into the work of the Association.
One way is through the creation of committees, such as the Bylaws Amendment Committee (on which I serve) and the ad hoc committee working on the 14th Way and Dry Creek erosion issue. These are great models of what can be done.
One of the first new committees should be charged with revising the Etiquette Policy adopted last year so as to make it more “member friendly.” This alone would help welcome member involvement.
I also propose periodic meetings, perhaps quarterly, where members could bring their issues to the board’s attention. As currently formulated, the board’s monthly business meetings simply do not facilitate in-depth discussion of key issues.
Another big step toward transparency would be for the Association’s management company to make non-sensitive documents routinely available on the website.
This would benefit members, and it would spare the Association the time and expense of processing document requests.
Community involvement with complete and easily accessible transparency for our community will be the tools needed to ensure the Association overcomes its current problems and is able to move forward.
Finally, I have been a strong supporter of the ongoing reform campaign. The bylaws reform amendments vote in the affirmative is a very important step to ensure the Foothills Community Association moves in the right direction.
I hope all members will join me in voting “Approve” July 16 and I would appreciate your vote in the board election that follows.
Racism is a weed that’s not been eliminated
Racism is true as with most things in life, like in gardening.
If you chop off only the top of weeds, the roots are still there to grow.