The CotoBuzz Journal

Community Journalism, Newsletters and  Blogs Covering South Orange County, CA

The CotoBuzz Journal is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and NAHJ


June  2007 Issue

We do not make jokes, we simply watch the LA Times, the Orange County Register and the Coto de Caza Board of directors and report the facts!


 CZ Master Association Board of Directors Candidates Night – A Voice Of Reason     

May 10, 2007

Vince Hylka emerges as a breadth of fresh air, not seen in a CZ board of directors in years!



The traditional annual meeting where delegates meet to hear candidates to the CZ Master Association board of directors prior to deciding how to cast their votes, was held May 10, 2007 at the Coto de Caza Golf and Racquet Club.


The general manager hired directly by  the Varo/Mezger board of directors, Vinnie Davies, was introduced as an employee of Keystone Pacific, and was the one asking the candidates previously selected questions, after the obligatory candidate’s introduction. At other times, Mezger has introduced Ms. Davies as a CZ board employee.


Candidates introduction:


Mezger described himself as a successful businessman with over 25 years experience and current CEO of a high-tech medical device company.  He listed delegation as a major contribution during his tenure in the CZ board.  He described how decisions are delegated to the landscaping and safety committee  “when to plant a bush, where and when to plant it” are decisions made by others, and not the board.  Meztger used a General Motors analogy describing how a GM CEO does not make a decision as to what type of carpeting is used.  Of course this directly contradicts the Varo/Mezger attorneys who claim that the safety committee is not an association committee and that the landscaping committee has not recorded any actionable items.


Schlieder, with 30 years procurement experience in city government wants to focus in writing procurement procedures for Keystone.  In our previous government experience supplying world-class supercomputer equipment to the aerospace industry, including NASA, we found that major procurement problems are not corrected by writing procedures.



The first three questions asked of the candidates by Ms. Davise were: 1)  How to handle subsidies to the Estates/Villages, 

2) Taping of open board meetings for distribution on the association’s website and 

3)  Use of funds to pay for UPS to write parking tickets versus paying for the CHP for proactive traffic patrol.  


The logic used to ask these questions, in this particular order, we have yet to figure out!


Taping of meetings:  Mezger is concerned about legal ramifications.  Varo thinks that what happens in Coto should stay in Coto – that is, Coto is NOT a government – although most courts will agree that the CZ master association is as close to a local government as it gets, and will rule accordingly.  

Schlieder does not like it because he wants to avoid getting eggs thrown at him in case he makes an unpopular decision.  

Zurovski does not care.  

Hylka, with previous government experience argues that if people do not have anything to hide, then there should not be a problem with taping.


Direct Elections:    Schlieder argues that since there is widespread apathy, it is best not to have direct elections – in other words, continue with Appalachian style of in breeding.  

Zurovski – agrees with Schlieder.  

Mezger thinks direct elections are too expensive, since the board would not be held accountable and  take measures to prevent fraud, money better spent elsewhere.  

Varo likes the fact that a minority can control the results without direct elections.  

Hylka was articulate and no nonsense:  He was surprised that cumulative voting was still being used, and would like to have direct elections


Fund UPS to write parking tickets or the CHP for pro-active traffic patrol: 

Zurovski thinks that accidents happen.  

Mezger emphasized that the association is paying the CHP for proactive traffic patrol at the rate of some 160 hours per month, but the CHP officers are volunteers and their approach is “if it its Christmas time, then we call to get the additional time”.  The facts do not support Mezger’s statement.  In fact, CotoBuzz has documented a CHP ‘cause-effect” correlating more to the boards treatment of CHP management having more of an impact on the enforcement hours, than the time of the year.  Mezger further argued that CHP enforcement hours are at a premium and Ladera Ranch is getting the lion’s share, because Ladera “is making a pubic spectacle” in order to get additional CHP patrols.  Mezger is proud to have UPS issue parking tickets, because “that is what makes Coto unique, does not look like a used car lot”.  

Varo agreed there were may issues an agrees that because of additional demand, Coto will be getting “at the short end of the stick” when it comes to allocation of CHP enforcement hours – wonder if the fact that Varo calling CHP management “extortionists” and refusing to sing a yearly contract have anything to contribute to “getting the short end of the CHP stick”? .  And just like Varo has been promising for four years, he says that the Sheriff is coming!  

Hylka again avoided platitudes and stating that “more CHP is desirable”


Clearly Vince Hylka is a breadth of fresh air, something the community has lacked for more than four years.  With only one year in the community, Vince supported our notion that managing a  community is not rocket science – it is all about values, transparency, accountability and common sense.


We urge the non-aligned delegates to use cumulative voting to elect Vince Hylka – that is, use all you allocated votes to elect Hylka.  Any other combination will results in re-electing the incumbents.














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