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Coto de Caza, California is a census-designated place and guard-gated private community in the unincorporated Trabuco Canyon area of Orange County, California. As of the 2000 census, the CDP had a total population of 13,057

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Coto de Caza Cumulative Voting - Just the Facts Ma'am

February 26, 2006  

     

 Hi Joe:

 

From time to time, a Coto Discussion Forum reader opines that he prefers to hear facts and not personal opinion – so here are some of them with regards to cumulative voting:

 

Our audit of cumulative voting records kept by Keystone show a number of irregularities:  For starters, the only record available to us was a tally sheet with only Paul Young’s signature.   When questioned, a Keystone representative stated that legal counsel had given “verbal approval” to the process used.  Young is chairman of the Delegates and Other Committee, the committee responsible for bringing Coto de Caza the current board of directors and its disastrous consequence.  It should also be noted that the D&O committee is sanctioned by the current board, AND the CZ Master Association website still shows Paul Young as the Chairman, that Young has not been a homeowner, but Jerry Mezger “believes” it is illegal for spouses to serve on the same committee.  So apparently somewhere in Mezger’s gray matter, it is better for a non-homeowner to make decisions about community public safety and how to spend resident’s money, than the more rooted spouses!

 

The current board of directors bowed that if elected, they would not hold dual seats:  As district delegates and as members of the board.  Well, now ALL current members of the board ARE both district delegates and board members.  The net effect is that without free, democratic elections, and with cumulative voting, this most ethically challenged minority has a strong grip on how the CZ Master Association affairs are conducted.

 

Because of the irregularities we have witness with regards to cumulative voting, we sent a proposal to the board to ban this practice.  We also campaigned for election reform at the state level.  Results:  The state legislature approved the spirit of our proposal, yet the board NEVER even acknowledged receipt of our proposal.

 

 

Below is an excerpt of the proposal we sent the board

 

Whereas cumulative voting concept emerged out of corporate law where it was used to protect the rights of minority shareholders: A large corporation would have to accept an individual shareholder representing a minority interest, as opposed to the typical slate of corporate executives.  By banding together with other shareholders with similar interests, they could all cast their votes by share-totals for one candidate to guarantee at least one representative on the board who could speak on their behalf, and

 

Whereas another use of cumulative voting is to save a director who is a target for removal from the board.  [Illinois General Not For Profit Corporation Act, 805 ILCS 105/108.35(c)(2)] and

 

Whereas it is common knowledge that cumulative voting is often abused in a power grab to get a seat at the table and then systematically destroy the Association as other board members resign, or are pushed off, to be replaced by like-minded nominees of the rule thy neighbor crowd such as has been done with the current CZ Master Board of Directors, and

 

Whereas most of the current members of the CZ Master Association Board of directors in what can be described at best unethical move are also district delegates, allowing them to vote themselves into office and pre-empt a valid recall,

 

Therefore it is here proposed that no member of the CZ Master Association Board of Directors be allowed to hold a district delegate or alternate district delegate position.

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Morabito, Joe [mailto:JMorabito@paragongri.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2006 1:10 AM
Cc: Cotobuzz
Subject: FW: Davis-Stirling.com Newsletter

Hello All:  Note the recommendations below specific to the new election rules which will take effect in July, 2006 related  to HOA elections.  Particularly, the recommendation that cumulative voting be eliminated.   Unless our current incompetent CZ Board plays games with this which given their history would not surprise me, we may actually have real democracy in Coto.   Joe Morabito 

 

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COMMENTS

To: CotoBuzz@yahoogroups.com
CC: "Cary Treff" <ctreff@keystonepacific.com>, "Lani Kaneshiro" <lkaneshiro@keystonepacific.com>
From: "Buzz @CotoBuzz" <cotobuzz@yahoo.com>   
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 17:14:25 -0800 (PST)
Subject: RE: [COTO] Davis-Stirling.com Newsletter - Cumulative Voting - Just the Facts Ma'm
Hi Joe:
 
Is it any surprise then, that we have not had an official response form either legal counsel, the board or Keystone on our message below:
 


Cary Treff <ctreff@KEYSTONEPACIFIC.com> wrote:
Buzz
 
I have referred your message to CZ Master’s legal counsel for his opinion.  However, I don’t believe CZ Master Association is responsible for preparing minutes of the Safety Committee.  The Safety Committee has not been sanctioned by the board nor has it been delegated authority to make decisions for the board (both of which are standards that lead to the requirement to keep committee minutes).  I don’t believe two board members attending a non-sanctioned committee meeting meets the standards that requires minutes.  However, these are my layman’s opinion based on discussions with legal counsel in the past.  I have asked CZ Master’s legal counsel to clarify if minutes are required in this situation.
 
Cary
 

From: Buzz @CotoBuzz [mailto:cotobuzz@yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 3:20 PM
To: Buzz @CotoBuzz; cotobuzz@yahoogroups.com; Cary Treff
Cc: J Harkins
Subject: Re: Safety Committee Meeting Minutes
 
Hi Cary:
 
Jerry Mezger was gracious enough to point out the error of our ways, and we stand corrected:  We meant to ask for the meeting minutes for February 8, 2006, and NOT February 9.
 
While you are it, perhaps you can clarify for us and for the benefit of Coto residents, whether it is legally and morally defensible, the current board’s practice of making committee membership conditional on potential member’s renunciation of their free speech rights, especially when the board (reference February 2006 CZ President’s Letter) encourages Coto resident’s to snitch on their neighbors, while the board places a gag order on committee members.
 
Also, whether Jerry’s belief that it is illegal for spouses to serve as volunteers in association committees, is legally and morally defensible. 
 
Especially while current board members hold dual seats as district delegates and board members.  Additionally, the Mezger household is benefiting from board decisions to fund CotoVoice (see the February 2006 issue of CotoVoice, not only for premium placement, but for “TOP OF PRUDENTIAL” propaganda, including using association resources to distribute real estate sales literature.
 
Finally, Jerry seems to imply that the meeting minutes are not required in this case because he was acting as an individual and not a board member.  Perhaps you can clarify whether the association has name tags for  board members so that when they attend meetings, those in attendance can distinguish  the “resident” from the “delegate” from the “board member

 


 


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