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Letter: VOCA charades?

Editor:

The Village of Oak Creek Association held its 2017 Annual Meeting on April 25th.

Prior to the meeting, packets were mailed to all VOCA owners. As an owner of two VOCA properties, I received two packets. The first one I opened didn’t contain an Agenda for the meeting, which I thought strange and maybe it was an assembly fluke so I opened the second one – no Agenda there either!! HOW can a homeowner association hold an Annual Meeting and not inform all owners what will be discussed at the meeting so they can decide if they want to attend or not?

Well . . . the world of VOCA revolves a different way evidently. An Agenda is required by the VOCA Bylaws! As I reviewed the meeting materials more thoroughly, there was a multi-page ballot requesting a vote on changes to 2 sections of the Master Declaration [CC&Rs] and 6 sections of the Bylaws. Nothing unusual for a homeowner association to submit changes to owners. Then I started READING . . .

A proposal to change Section 8.02 of the Declaration to add a $500 “Working Capital Fund Assessment” to all sales transactions was described in the President’s letter included in the packet as needed to increase the Reserve fund with this quote:

The Board is recommending approval of establishing an assessment to be paid by the purchase on the sale of property within VOCA in the amount of $500. . . . This action would result in NO added expenses to the present VOCA members . . . .

Apparently, the Board is out of touch with real estate transactions in which ALL such costs are negotiated by the parties (Buyer and Seller) so the impact on a current VOCA owner could easily be $250 and perhaps $500. They also missed the point that if two comparable properties are being looked at by a Buyer and one has a $500 fee and the other doesn’t . . . NOW how much has it cost the current VOCA owner??? The sale of their property to that Buyer! This is certainly not “NO cost” as portrayed in the letter.

A Proposal to amend Article V, Section 7 of Bylaws not only contained a typo, but it REMOVED the existing requirement that an Agenda must be posted prior to a meeting!!! There was not a complete reprint of the existing wording with changes indicated for an owner to truly understand what they were voting on. This PASSED and I believe the voters were mislead on this, perhaps on purpose?? It gets worse . .

A Proposal to amend Article V, Section 8 of Bylaws changed the notice requirements for Special Board meetings and removed the number of days in the current Bylaws and instead referred to the Arizona Planned Community Act – but didn’t list a statute reference, etc., making it more difficult for owners to truly understand the change. I wonder how many owners actually read the existing document to notice this change??

Finally, there was a ballot proposition to sell a parcel of land that VOCA owns – without an Assessor Parcel Number (APN) or even a MAP of where the property is located! WHO would ever buy or sell a piece of property without knowing exactly what it is and where it is? This also PASSED so apparently VOCA owners either don’t care or trust their Board – the same Board who now does not have to post an agenda of meetings and has removed the rights of owners to file a petition to hold a meeting of members to address issues.

There were other irregularities with these Annual Meeting packets with address requirements contrary to Arizona HOA law and a “see Note below” on the last page of the ballot – there was nothing there . . .

I’m not sure what is going on with the VOCA Board of Directors, but I assure you all VOCA owners need to wake up and pay close attention!!! Any Board who proposes changes to association documents and doesn’t FULLY disclose what the changes are should be ashamed of themselves and owners should replace them at the earliest opportunity. Owners MUST start attending all Board meetings and speak up – if you know when and where they are being held and what is being discussed. Oops, that would require a posted Agenda . . .

Dave Norton

Village of Oak Creek

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