June 2009  

We do not make jokes, we simply watch the LA Times, the Orange County Register and CID/HOA board of directors and report the facts

     Desperate (HOA) Directors of Laguna Woods - The Facts Behind the Fiction

Posted by CotoBlogzz  | 06/05/2009 04:00 PM

Laguna Woods Village, CA - Exactly what happened during the June 2, 2009 Golden Rain Foundation (GRF) Board of Directors Meeting?  Because there were at least to differing accounts, we decided to present the facts behind the fiction.  We asked GRF board representatives, property management company PCM public relations representatives and residents alike to provide us their view of the meeting. 

But, first, some context: One year ago, almost to the day, we published various pieces with titles such as Abusive Residents or Abuse of Authority? and Uncivil Homeowners Association (HOA) Wars, as a result of the ongoing hostilities between GRF board members and residents, PCM  the property management company,  called the Sheriff during board meetings, “because the old fogies are getting unruly” – paraphrasing incident 08-101645 logged 6/3/2008 in the OC Sheriff Blotter.  At that time, the resident's ire renewed calls for the firing of the PCM, along with demands for an apology to grieved residents.  “PCM top management needs to be replaced now,”  reads in part a call to action:

"Once again, <former>GRF President Miller needs to put his hat in his hand and apologize to our community for 

(a) not controlling his board members (including Johns)

(b) allowing Director Pompous (Stuller), Heller, and Johns' to intimidate and name call, and now 

(c) for allowing PCM to call the Sheriff in a further act of "senior abuse" and apparent desire to cut-off all dialog from the community.  

The call to action then shines the spotlight on the local governing board

"It's shameful that no one on GRF has guts enough to put a halt to PCM's out of control behavior by requesting that a replacement GM and Finance Manager be sent over from Lake Forest.  Board members simply accept whatever PCM spits out as truth - too willing to believe we must have riots and owner thieves on the 2nd floor and so PCM must be protected.  There is no objective evidence of residents' misbehavior on the 2nd floor - but, there is plenty relating to PCM"

FileGate

When residents questioned the community’s  gate access procedures, a file with sensitive information was reported as missing.  According to published reports, PCM worked with OCSD’s investigator Barth Massey weeks before PCM finally reported it as   and  alleged burglary documented in the case 08-232487 on December 02, 2008.  In connection with this case we called FileGate a  “lawyer  letter”  was sent to the group of ten Laguna Woods Residents we refer to as the VillageTen People: Kay Margason, Katie McDaniel, Carol Moore ; Don Lippert ; Pamela Grundke ; Stanley L. Feldstein ; Joe Fischler ; Michael Curtis ; Dominic Burrasco ; Ray Barrett. Apparently the alleged stolen file went missing in November.  Not sure why it took so long for the PCM  to file the incident as a burglary report, even when assisted by an OCSD investigator.  Our conclusion then is that the OCSD is not responsive, even when a Public Records Act is file - After months of trying to get information on FileGate,  we tried to reach Lt.  Bill Griffin.  Since he would not return calls,  we tried to talk to Sgt. Lisa Von Normheim and Investigator Massey – they would not talk to us.  However, the event ended up being  “… documented in an Information Report, not a Crime Report” according to Lt. Bill Griffin.

The PCM Ultimatum to the Third Board

Then there is the Ultimatum, delivered by PCM to the Third Mutual Board of directors. In the ultimatum, Mr. Johns outlines certain conditions including  a a Shut Up Rule. In essence, a code of conduct for board members: Directors will not make demeaning or hostile comments about staff nor the general manager in any venue other than closed session meetings of the board."   However, Mr. Johns will be “very happy to ease these restrictions once the roles of the Directors and PCM as management agent have been reconciled to the mutual satisfaction of both parties.” so states the memorandum.

Removal of Katie McDaniel

When newly appointed Third Mutual director Katie McDaniel started to ask probing questions, including looking in to the handling of association affairs by PCM, the Third Board removed Ms Katie without cause. Ms McDaniel however, filed  a temporary restraining order.   On April 23, 2009, the presiding judge ruled on her favor. "Katie Wins! It’s the first milestone. Lets keep it going till we clean house of all those cheating/lying sellouts. Watch the coming attractions for it’s going to be a hot summer....Thanks Katie for your courage and commitment to this community. We respect your integrity towards your fiduciary responsibility” read a viral email announcing the judge's ruling on a preliminary Injunction  which prevents the Third Mutual Board from replacing Katie with someone else to the Third Mutual Board.

The Threat of a 73-Year Disgruntled Resident

More recently, when PCM employees, including Public Affairs Manager Wendy Bucknam and General Manager Milt Johns felt threatened by a 73-year old resident, PCM filed  a restraining order, subsequently withdrawn. However, even though over the past nine months, PCM has alleged that employees have been harassed by now-exiled community activist and United Mutual Director Michael Curtis, PCM simply banished him from certain community areas.

Cast of characters:  73-year old Lou Skogen - PCM filed a Restraining  Order against her Cast of characters:   In exile, Mr. Michael Curtis leads the fight to recall the United Board and fire PCM Cast of characters:  Sheriff Hutchens:  Laguna Woods residents have hand delivered to Sheriff Hutchens a list of grievances

 

Cast of Characters: PCM General Manager Milt Johns,  allegedly threatened by 73-year old Lou Skogen  Cast of Characters: PCM Public Affairs Wendy Bucknam,  allegedly threatened by 73-year old Lou Skogen 

 

Petition to Remove the United Mutual Board

This week and as promised, bright and early this past Monday June 1, 2009  United Mutual director Michael Curtis  during the Finance Committee Meeting,  Mr. Curtis did deliver a  Petition for Removal to the United President to recall certain United board members. When one GRF  director complained about the cost, Curtis reminded them that, according to Janet Price's own email, PCM was secretly payout as much as $20,000 per week ($1,000,000 per year).  As is now common practice Mr. Curtis was hooted down by fellow board members.

Questions about GRF Financials

Corky and Nony Eley regularly raise insightful questions about the way the local governance handles management issues.  The most recent ones are hot of the press.  In a letter sent to Janet Price, Finance director, M. Eley writes:

 

Cast of Characters: Katie McDaniel - Fighting city hall can be hazardous to your position as director Cast of Characters:  Noni & Corkey Eley - in hot pursuit of elusive transparency 

 

.

Thank you for referring my letter of May 14, 2009 regarding Laguna Woods Village a fictitious  name to the GRF finance committee. I am shocked at the answers given by you and the finance committee.

    

You informed the Committee all checks are mailed to Bank of America, file # 55252 lock box and are deposited into GRF depository account. You also stated that Bank of America has been directed to accept checks for eleven (11) different payees,i.e. GRF, Golden Rain Foundation, Third, United, PCM, Laguna  Woods Village, etc. Who are the other five payees?? There are several questions that need to be answered regarding the Golden Rain Foundation Trust.

 

Is the GRF depository account the Trust Account?? Why are all the eleven payees check going into the GRF depository account. Who has made this decision and Why? All maintenance fees paid by the homeowners of Leisure World/Laguna Woods  Village should go into the Trust Account. Checks made to Third, United  or PCM should not be put into the Trust Account. Who makes the decision as to which checks should go into which account? Does Bank of America control more than one account?  Does Bank of America post each manors check? Does PCM have employees in Los Angeles who are assigned to Leisure World/Laguna Woods Village???

    

You answered the question about marketing and selling property and stated neither GRF or the housing mutual are currently engaged in marketing and selling property. This is not true, you have a web site advertising Laguna Woods Village brochures, the names on the gates, stationary and PCM employees uniforms all with the Laguna Woods Village logo.

 

    Federal and State taxes are paid for Laguna Woods Village. The Real Estate companies are maketing and selling homes in Laguna Woods Village and the gates passes, coupon books, ID cards are for Laguna Woods Village a fictitious name.

 

    You also said both the current and the previous names were trademarked as the name of the community, but neither was registered with the Secretary of State as a business because neither was or is the name of a corporation or legal entity. This is not true, Rossmoor Leisure World Corporation Grant Deed was filed in December, 1961 with Orange County Recorder in book 5931, page586-534.

 

GRF, Third and United are corporations formed to manage, operate and maintain housing projects at Rossmoor Leisure World, Laguna Hills, CA. Articles of Incorporation are fiied with the Secretary of State for these corporations.

 

  There are no documents filed in the State of California for Laguna Woods Village, a fictitious name.

 

                                        Sincerely yours,

 

                                            Corkey Eley

 

 

cc:   Erwin  Stuller

        Bob Miller

        Milt Johns

        Chris Trapp

        All members

 

The June 2009 Golden Rain Foundation Meeting

This now takes us to the  June 2, 2009 GRF Meeting meeting

According to resident  Delsie Zizak, the June 2, 2009:

“.. GRF meeting was total Abuse against some of us residents and total dictatorship of power displayed by the General Manager & the President of the GRF  Board.  We need to have Mr Stuller and Milt John, General Manager removed from their powers as President and exofficio Board Members.  We as residents were treated with threats to have us removed by security just for trying to speak.  It is a sad day in the village when dictatorship has to be applied to residents to cover up their abuse of power.”
 

Desperate Directors of Laguna Woods - The Facts Behind the Fiction Part  One 

 

Whereas another resident writes

"NOBODY believes these people. KEN HAMMER stood in front of the opening elevator doors on the second floor and tried to block a resident who was getting off because he felt nobody was entitled to be on the second floor other than directors and employees. That resident was actually trying to attend a meeting in the Sycamore Room.

If Mr. Curtis did ANY of the things they spewed about today why didn’t they file charges THEN! In 2007? Oh, please.

Bob Miller has sat on the dais and said things about me that are purely untrue and used my name. EVEN WHEN CORRECTED at the same meeting( s) he continued to remain silent and unapologetic for what he said.

I just finished watching this bizarre spectacle being passed off as a GRF Board meeting and am simply aghast. I would love to know what went on behind the “recess” slide when we were unable to see what was actually going on.

More threats, more intimidation. More lies. They are attempting to defame Mr. Curtis  yet again. It was particularly entertaining when Stuller said nobody could use names “but I can.” I have to agree with the woman who spoke last, Jane Craney (sp?) who said in response to his snide aside about being removed that it could be arranged.

Johns threatened us and the OC Register"

 

 

In addition to the verbal abuse by Mr. Stuller, Mr. Curtis complains about physical abuse by Mr. Johns:

"This is the third incident, since 2005, where you have physically pushed me around.  Your 14 year old tough-guy mentality is too funny.  Perhaps, coming out of your closed-door get-together with GRF Board members this afternoon, you had OD'ed on your Starbucks or something, thought you had hair on your chest, and just could not control yourself.  I don't know.  Of course, you are stupid to do this - just stupid and childish. 

I have a right to discuss the old Administration Building land issues and investigation plans with Bob Miller, GRF President, without your interference and attempts to cut it off, and until he decides it should end. 

Your interference and control techniques (pushing and shoving me as you did) are physical assault.  I can assure you, if you try to physically assault me again, I will file charges with the OC Sheriff.  Cel phones, like mine, take great videos of any non-sense you might try to pull.  I am not going to stand for your childish physical abuse. 

Please stop it" 

 

Regarding today's GRF Board attack on me, here's what happened back in November 2007 - Milt was trying to stop my conversation with Bob Miller regarding PCM's involvement in the sale of the old Administration Building.  .
 
I never, in any way, prevented Bob Miller from walking on past me.  He was actually interested enough to stop and talk to me.  But, Milt didn't like Bob even doing that.
 
Read below for the truth ..   You can be assured, with their secret skimming of $5.4Million over the years, PCM will throw out all the lies they can.  These people are snakes.

 

Desperate Directors of Laguna Woods - The Facts Behind the Fiction Part  Two

.

 

Cast of Characters: Bea McArthur, GRF Secretary) of TV or not TV fame Cast of Characters: GRF President Stuller

 

Mr. Johns views the confrontation differently: "Please note that it was Mr. Miller and I that were assaulted by you, contrary to your accusations.  Numerous staff have made notations of their observations of the incident" - he writes in an email, drawing a swift rebuttal from Mr. Curtis:

'll say this, and then no more:

 

No Milt ... you know the truth. 

 

You purposely interfered with the discussion between GRF Board President Bob MIller and myself.  After listening from a distance, you walked up and stepped between Bob and myself as we were discussing his handling of a requested investigation of the Old Administration Building land sale, then started backing up towards me (while facing Bob) and physically pushing me backwards.  You kept it up even after I asked you several times to not push me.  Bob was not "assaulted" as you say - you were between he and myself. 

 

Why did you do this?  Because the topic being discussed could potentially turn into a very serious investigation regarding your actions related to the land sale.  I've attached my Nov. 9th letter to Bob - this was the reason he and I were talking together. You intended to put a stop to the discussion.  

 

It is my feeling that you should not be involved with this investigation whatsoever.  Honest, independent, and objective investigators should look into it and resolve the matter for the community.  Frankly, I was very disappointed to learn that Bob went directly to you for guidance instead of handling it outside of your office.  It would have been much smarter to go to Bill Hart instead of you.

Your "numerous staff" numbered two (Cris and Kim). 

Merriem-Webster defines "numerous" as "consisting of great numbers of units or individuals."  There you go again Milt - being untruthful and misleading  ... 

Get over it Milt.  Your motives are too obvious and cannot be defended.  Some "General Manager" of a $90M operation you are - acting like a 14-year old bully. 

Someone, at some point, will properly investigate the land sale and the truth will become known to our community.  You pushing me around, now on this third occasion, will not prevent that.

 

 

Cast of Characters:  June 2, 2009 GRF Meeting Cast of Characters:  June 2, 2009 GRF Meeting

Erwin Stuller, President

Don Tibbetts, 1st VP

Ken Hammer, 2nd VP

Bea McArthur, Secretary

Bob Miller, Treasurer

Ruth May

Ray Gros

Mark Schneider

Burns Nugent

Bob Hatch

Jim Matson

 

Mr. Curtis' Parting Words

Mr. Curtis' final word after a review of the two clips put the spotlight back on Mr. Johns

Stuller's statement ..   "harassing young women after hours and on Saturdays".  I don't see any way to defend my self against a charge of "harassing young women", other than to emphatically deny it.

"GRF LTR" is something you may find interesting from May 08.  Of course, this was after Milt's pushing incident the previous November 07. The effort here was to scare me off.  You can read, there is no reference made to "female employees" or "sexual harassment".  I responded with the "Sent to Miller" letter and did not hear of anything again until just after I became a board member.

Upon becoming a board member last October, the Board and I received the "Letter from PCM Atty".  This is where the phrase "female employees" was first introduced.  Keep in mind, the only employees surrounding Milt Johns and his office are females.  In this case, I had my attorney respond with "Letter to PCM Atty" and we have heard nothing further (until the other day). 

Last Fall, after our response above, Milt Johns had a closed circuit TV security system installed in the area of his office and the Directors Room.  That's right, the entire area is now monitored by Milt's security organization.  That system, I assume has been fully operational and recorded my every movement and words.  I believe that if this system has recorded cases of me harassing PCM employees, then they would have presented it to community.

By the way; I have no idea what Stuller means by "Saturdays".  I've never been there on a Saturday - ever. 

I usually get home from work about 5PM on weekdays, and would be over to check my mail about 5:15PM.  Up until last January, the 2nd floor was open to directors until 6PM - it was not "after hours" when I was in the office area.  The 6PM access for directors has been in place for decades.  Last January, they began closing the 2nd floor at 5PM, I think just to harass me.  So, up until they recently moved my mail box to the 1st floor, PCM Security would go up to the 2nd floor and bring my mail to me in the lobby

 

The Uncommon Denominator

Most common interest development/homeowners associations (CID/HOA), as can be expected, are characterized by a group of vocal residents despiteously moniker  disgruntled residents. In some cases the pejorative is warranted.  In most cases, it is not. This is the first time however that we see a service provider dictate to the boards what can and cannot be done.  Further, the uncommon denominator is that  PCM, the service provider apparently not only has uber-sensitive employees,  (if you want further explanation, just take a trip to your local retail store and see how the typical retail clerk is treated by the public in general) but is also dictating the terms of engagement: Consider the  Ultimatum delivered to the Third  Mutual board, demanding an apology to PCM employees, the restraining order against a 73-year old resident, and now complaints against PCM's number one critic. Not to mention a controversial incentive plan, which Mr. Curtis has been actively pursuing.  Wondering if the high unemployment rate will soften the otherwise sensitive employees?

You will not get respect from this board

Golden Rain Foundation (GRF) Board of Directors

 GRF Board Members are elected by the Directors of the community's housing corporations and serve three year terms 

Erwin Stuller, President Don Tibbetts, 1st VP Ken Hammer 2nd VO Treasurer, Bob Miller Bea McArthur, Secretary
Ray Gros Jim McNulty Bob Hatch Ruth May Jim Matson
Burns Nugent

 

 

 

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So THIS is what the Senate calls an "Open Meeting." How many Open Meetings have THEY been to? Obviously not many. ROTFLMAO!

 

CAN YOU OUTSWIM YOUR HOA SHARKS? or will you drown trying?
Owning, let alone living in an HOA is a tough JOB and requires you be physically fit, possess a certain sophistication of the processes, and have the character let alone stamina, that allows you to be persistent in a manner that indescribable to REAL...

 

HEY GRAY PANTHERS! YOU GOT IT WRONG!
(c) D. Vanitzian
May 16, 2007The Gray Panthers are on record as SUPPORTING A BAD BAD BAD BAD BILL: Senate Bill Number 948. SHAME ON YOU. Where the heck are you getting your information from?

 

The Law of Unintended Consequences: Legislation and HOA BOD Cause and Effect: Clueless in my CAR Coming off a most improbable but successful campaign to defeat SB 670 author and HOA advocate Vanitizian thanks supporters making a connection between the quality of legislation being passed in Sacramento, and the quality of life in most homeowners...

 

 

 

 

 


   

 

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