The Crestone Eagle, March 2004:

POA–GAC open a dialogue —'Time to work together’
by David Nicholas

About 35 people turned out on Monday night, February 23 to “create a greater common good for our community”. The dialogue, facilitated by Baca resident Ken Nelson, between the POA Board of Directors (the Board) and the Governance Affairs Committee (GAC) came as an attempt to resolve the deep rift of mistrust which had developed over the last six months between the two organizations.

Nelson had structured the dialogue by starting out to ask four questions: What is the mission or purpose of your organization? How well is your organization achieving its mission or purpose? What does your organization want from the other organization? How can the two organizations best work together to achieve the greatest good for the community?

“Let’s not get into personalities or individuals and focus on organizations,” Mr. Nelson said.

In case anyone decided to dip into personalities, Nelson produced a spray atomizer of flower essence, specially prepared for the meeting by Judith Long.

What is the mission or purpose of your organization?
POA President Clyde Lovett opened with a statement. “The Baca Grande Property Owners Association exists to create and protect value for the property owners at a reasonable cost, while generating mutually beneficial relations within the POA community and the surrounding communities.”

Greg Griffin said that the GAC was “created to keep the membership informed and apprised of current and ongoing operations and services of the Baca Grande POA. This additional service was requested by the membership and is intended to provide a fair and impartial forum to achieve a balanced and thorough multi-faceted perspective in an effort to facilitate clear and accurate communications within the organization.”

How well is your organization achieving its mission or purpose?
Wooddora Eisenhauer and David “Dee” Laird spoke of the GAC’s mission, the group’s immediate aims, the successes and failures of the goals within the mission, and the recent negative comments made by some POA board members.

POA Director Michael Miller responded that the current Board of Directors does not have power issues and he likes the people he works with. Director Lee Mitchell said the structure of the Carver plan for governance is marvelous and a good structural basis for creativity.

What does your organization want from the other organization?
Director Lovett, speaking for the POA, said he wanted unbiased communication from the GAC and not partial information but a full and clear exchange. Ms. Mitchell made the point that the GAC does not represent a wide, full spectrum of the membership.

After Will Porter’s introduction, Joanne Kaiser of the GAC asked what do we want our board to be? She had nine or so responses: professional, communicative and open, thoughtful, discerning, courteous/generous, responsible, inclusive, making timely responses in regard to accounting and legal enquiries, honesty, maintaining integrity, and lastly, with a smile and good humor at appropriate times.

How can the two organizations best work together to achieve the greatest good for the community?
Many people in the room spoke to this question and some good suggestions were made. People who spoke of their experience and perceptions included: Robert Philleo, Greg Griffin, Lee Mitchell, Jeff Sorensen, Kate Steichen, Marce Murino, Pat Johnson, Kizzen Laki, Paula Smith, Maggie Mesinger and Anne Marie Lindsey.

After 2 1/2 hours, it was left for Mr. Nelson to sum up the evening. “There’s a lot that has been given out tonight,” he said. “The fruits of tonight are going to be expressed on how we relate hereafter, individually and between organizations, and I hope it’s much more positive. Maybe some dialogue will develop that continues in the community.”

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