Old Mail : Letters and Envelope

The Edge has posed a false choice for Club West

I know we should reserve judgement on the Edge’s plan for new housing on Club West golf course land until we actually see the plan. But when will that be? 

There has been nothing stopping the Edge from posting their detailed plan on their website, but they haven’t. Instead, during the past two weeks the Edge’s representatives Mike Hare, Bill McManus and Matt Shearer have written two opinion pieces for Ahwatukee Foothills News that skirt around providing their full plan but do present a false “choice” between two bad alternatives.

I suggest that my neighbors consider this: Follow the money. The Edge is coming for yours.

What we do know about the Edge is that they want to build houses on the Club West golf course land.

Their recent opinion pieces make one other thing clear. The Edge is trying to frame a false “choice” for the community between a little housing and a lot of housing on the golf course land. 

If you want just a “little” housing like the 45 they’ve mentioned – plus maybe open space or a parkland – you’ll probably have to cough up millions in special assessment fees.

If you don’t want to contribute to such a plan, then you’ll have to agree to allow them to build a lot of houses – probably their original plan of 162, or more. Those are the two choices the Edge is offering the community.

What kind of “choice” is that? And why are they coming out with only snippets of this plan (while obfuscating the truth)? 

Maybe they don’t want to lay out their complete plans because they know their scheme will be very unpopular and that might keep their friends on the HOA board from getting re-elected.

Here’s what they are saying, even though it is hard to believe they would actually voice this. 

Mike Hare said, “Two sources of funds remain to finance any re-development plan.” He said land and lot sales is one, and the other can come through “member contributions.” Those, he lays out, could be in “various forms, including special assessments, voluntary contributions, and/or various debt instruments.” 

Hare also says, “The Edge and CLS are 100 percent indifferent as to how the community votes to finance the agreed-upon redevelopment solution.” It’s obvious the Edge is coming for your money.

 It is not the Foothills Club West Community’s responsibility to pay one dime toward a profit enterprise’s efforts to make millions. The community does not need to “finance” anything.

Hare recommends, “At the end of the day, take a step back and consider the potential outcomes of your vote [in the Foothills Club West election]. Vote responsibly and understand the true motivations of the candidates.” 

It’s crystal clear the intent of the two opinion pieces from the Edge were to influence the Club West HOA Board election. The Edge wants people elected to the board who will support their new housing initiative. 

This includes the four incumbent board members (Geist, Kaiser, Moroz, Neese) and two people strongly affiliated with the Edge: a former Edge business partner in a water pipeline project (Maize) and a member of their hand-picked “Advisory Group” (Lake).

Yes, do vote responsibly. It is time for new blood on the board. Vote for Thomas Bell, Anthony “Beau” Burgess, Kristy Rockafellow, Jim Siart, and/or Julie Tyler, who will bring new ideas, the willingness to listen to homeowners and move our community forward, a stance against housing on the golf course land and a determination to keep the Edge from getting your money. 

-Hal Elliott


These Club West residents urge vote for change

As original residents in the Foothills Club West Community, we have seen both positive and negative changes in our area over the past 27 years.  

The situation our community currently faces with the golf course land and HOA Board is divisive and discouraging.  The upcoming HOA board member elections provide opportunity for change.  

The four incumbents running for re-election, Paul Moroz, Fred Kaiser, Chris Geist, and Martha Neese, have all been on the board 20, 20, 12 and 6 years, respectively, and the current HOA President, Mike Hinz, has been on the Board for 14 years.  

Four open seats on the board allow for change with four new faces with fresh ideas.  There are seven new candidates running for the four open seats on the board:  Thomas Bell, Anthony “Beau” Burgess, Kristy Rockafellow, Jim Siart, Julie Tyler, Richard Lake and Steve Maize.  

Selection of our HOA board members is vitally important to remedying the current issues and securing the future of our community.  The very divisive dilemma of the golf course land and the dissatisfaction with our HOA board and Vision Management may be the main influences on voters in this election.  

The residents who are opposed to development of houses on the golf course property need to carefully evaluate each candidate. There are only five candidates who have publicly stated they will enforce the existing CC&Rs that protect the golf course land from building houses.  

Additionally, they will listen to and work with the community, function with transparency, keep association expenses low, and support implementing term limits for board members. Those candidates are Thomas Bell, Anthony “Beau” Burgess, Kristy Rockafellow, Jim Siart and Julie Tyler.   

Before you vote, you should be aware that the other two candidates, Richard Lake and Steve Maize, both have connections with the investor group that wants to build houses on the golf course (the Edge/The Park at Club West/Community Land Solutions).  

Richard Lake’s candidacy letter in AFN’s Jan. 20 edition states he is open to all options for the golf course. It is also publicly known that he is one of the 12 residents on the Edge’s Golf Course Advisory Committee. 

You should also be aware that most of these 12 residents that were hand-picked by the Edge for their committee have expressed their openness to new houses on the golf course in social media.  

Steve Maize also said he is open to all options for the golf course in his candidacy letter in the AFN’s Jan. 27 edition and public records indicate he had business affiliation with The Edge. 

Your ballot will be arriving soon, and very different than in past years, we have many candidates to choose from in this election. You can vote for the same people who have been on our board for decades and led us to where we are now, or you can vote for new candidates who offer a fresh start, transparency, willingness to hear residents, and determination to work with mutual respect for a better Foothills Club West Community.  

-Niles and Barb Gaston


Conservancy has blocked

viable course solutions

This election will determine if the honest, fair and equitable solutions engineered through community collaboration and extensive expert consultation are allowed to advance ... or if a new “CWC Board of Directors” gains control of your assessments for their “own backyards” and potentially ties the property in litigation for many years like The Lakes.

The Club West Conservancy does not agree with the work we have done. They have blocked your ability to consider potentially viable solutions. They have controlled the narrative through litigation and prevented informed decisions at the ballot box. 

The CWC has gone to great lengths to assure you only hear one side of the story. Now, they seek to pack the BOD with their candidates.

All five CWC candidates live very close to each other on the former golf course. Consolidating fiduciary power to this tiny area effectively gives them your money for their own backyards. The lawsuits at The Lakes were, for example, privately financed by those willing to participate. If successful in packing the BOD, the CWC can force you to pay their legal bills.   

Is it fair to assess all homeowners to finance litigation beneficial to a few? 

The current board of directors has been attacked by the CWC for resisting demands that homeowner assessments be spent on the property. This is evidence that the CWC is inconsiderate of the vast majority of our homeowners and demands your money be spent to litigate and restore what they openly call their “own backyard.”

The CWC’s recent attempt to “set the record straight” continues their tradition of misleading the Homeowners:

“… it is illegal to raise our dues by more than 10 percent in one year without a supermajority (75 percent) vote of all residents. Therefore, Hinz’s claim that the CWC wants to ramp up annual dues is just a ridiculous ‘scare tactic.’” 

The CWC knows this is not true. They are well aware of the ability of the board to unilaterally assess any amount to fund litigation. We have all seen their pleas for your money to support their lawsuits. They know they can “pack the board” and effectively bill the Homeowners as their legal fund. 

They have not properly disclosed their abilities if allowed to control the board. Regardless, by their own acknowledgment, the CWC can unilaterally increase your assessment to $546 in just three years … in addition to the massive costs of litigation.

Remember – the CWC could simply say they will not use homeowners’ assessments to finance mitigation of or litigation on what they consider to be their “own backyard.”  This simple statement, which the CWC has been asked about for months, is missing from every single piece of their propaganda.

Are you willing to let a board controlled by the CWC assess you without your approval?

Would you prefer to hear the existing solutions at no cost to the homeowners?

The HOA also did not change the requirement for re-purposing the land as the CWC regularly claims. Until the HOA board obtained the declaration rights from a builder, that builder had the ability to re-purpose the land. This sounds as bad as it was – the HOA board should be praised for proactively obtaining the declarant rights and protecting the land. 

The board did the right thing in obtaining the declarant rights and conveying those rights to the homeowners via the 2018 Amendment. Even local attorney, frequent NextDoor poster and witness for the CWC’s litigation Ellen B. Davis agreed:

“This amendment is good news in the prior declaration had an expiration clause and this one does not. The prior declaration had no restriction on the “Declarant” rights to amend / void the land use restriction. This one does.”

Furthermore, although not required to convey those rights to homeowners, the board did so anyway because it was the right thing to do. 

The copy-and-paste rhetoric from the CWC consistently and intentionally misinforms Homeowners about the Declarant Rights as well as voting structure.

The truth is that all of us (100 percent) can decide to re-purpose the land if we all choose to participate, but a minimum of 31 percent must actually care enough to vote in order for the outcome to be valid. To say 16 percent of homeowners could decide for us, (as in every piece of CWC propaganda), reveals an intention to mislead our neighbors as 31 percent is the required minimum. 

What does this matter? Besides simply being truthful, what if the community decides a sustainable park is indeed a better option to the dirt lot? The super-majority the CWC demands accomplishes their “Do Nothing” platform because a super-majority requires 1,950 homeowners to approve a measure – 1,950 need to not only vote, but actually vote “YES.” 

Think about that! This means that in an association of 2,599 homeowners, (where the most who have ever voted is 598), … 1,949 could vote “yes” with zero “no” votes and the measure would not be approved! 

We hope everyone will take a fresh, honest look at the central debate here. Every  single homeowner whom we have presented the facts to has changed their mind and now agrees that obtaining the declarant rights and conveying them to the homeowners via an amendment was a “good thing” that should not be undone. To do so risks everything. 

Please elect only one CWC candidate to maintain fiscal control and equal representation.

-Keith Schott


Bolick must expect favorable treatment on appeals

There is nothing in the US Constitution to stop a future Arizona legislature from nullifying a Presidential election and choosing their own Electors.  Shawnna Bolick must believe that with the expanded Arizona Supreme Court, and with the new justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, much of her legislation would survive judicial review. 

Bolick’s astonishing quest for attention and power sets her up for political advancement.  Unlike voters in a general election, the legislature has no secret ballot, so non-conformists to the party line could be punished.

Meanwhile, citizens might not bother to vote if they were to favor a presidential candidate with a party affiliation contrary to that of the legislature’s majority.

What we see here is not conservative (a useful cover term) but is essentially reactionary.

-Richard Sibley

Legislature proves down-ballot voting needs attention

Do you like the idea of guns everywhere without registration? Do you like the idea of Legislators supporting the attack on our Capitol as we witnessed Jan. 6? 

 Do you like the idea of any woman needing an abortion to be convicted of murder? Do you like the idea of our state having a billion-dollar surplus, while so many of our residents are preparing for eviction and are going hungry? 

Do you like that lobbyists are pushing these radical bills with some of our legislators in order to satisfy those special interests who paid for their elections?

These are the some of the hot topics in the 2021 Arizona Legislature.  They are a result of Arizona voters not knowing who their local candidates were, enough to bother voting for them.  

Arizona saw a remarkable 80 percent turnout in last November’s election. Unfortunately, many voters did not bother to vote past the presidential and senatorial candidates, and left the rest of their ballot blank!  

That blank ballot means we are stuck with many legislators who do not represent Arizona values. 

There are so many resources available to all parties during election season, to inform who these candidates are and the values they represent. The website az.gov will take you to all the information you need to get acquainted with what’s going on.  

For the next election, take the few minutes to read about who your “down-ballot” candidates are and what they’re up to.  Your life, your livelihood and our democracy may depend on it!

-Ann Lutz

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