The Crestone Eagle, May 2004:

Group moves to recall POA Board

 by David Nicholas,
POA Affairs

They call themselves Total Recall, and they have come together to recall the current POA Board. Petitions are being circulated in the community, and a mailing is planned to go out to the POA membership.

Greg Griffin speaks for the recall group. The group is made up of some of the same people who are involved in the Governance Affairs Committee, “with some additional people expressing interest,” said Mr. Griffin. “Basically as a result of wanting more information, people have now come to the realization that there are things that are problematic in the POA. As a result, these problems have grown to the level of the membership looking at the issue of recall based on the by-laws contingency for such a thing—if there is a general feeling that people are not working within the parameters of the agreements.”

Specifically, Mr. Griffin said that: there were violations of by-laws; the newly employed Carver method is not being followed; there are personnel problems; and there is a general lack of communications between the membership and the administration.

Mr. Griffin continued, “The means for recall exist with or without cause, if people simply feel there is some better option, or if something is not being done the way they think it should be done. It is plenty of grounds for a recall. So I see long standing policy being disregarded, and I see current policies being undefined and a lack of clarity to both the membership and the people in the office.”

How many signatures has been gathered? “We are somewhere between 150 and 200,” said Mr. Griffin. “I believe the number needed to obtain a recall is around 558.”

Who is on the recall slate? “We are coming up with bios. People have to submit bios at this time, and we hope to have six or seven candidates,” Mr. Griffin explained. “A lot of people have expressed an interest, if there is an entirely new slate with newly defined parameters on how business meetings will be conducted, the tone of the meetings, and just the basic civility issues. There are plenty of people willing to participate in an equitable, consensus-based process, based on mutual respect and adherence to these rules.”

The Board responds
Speaking for the POA Board, member-at-large Robert Philleo said, “I am comfortable—if they (Total Recall) identify issues that are reasonably concrete that the folks out in the field can relate to. I think the POA has a very good story to tell in terms of delivery of service and finance.”

Mr. Philleo made the point that at the meeting between the POA and the GAC in March, people seemed to want to cooperate and to work together.

“Glen (Ennis, the POA General Manager) did the primary development of the MAGIC proposal,” said Mr. Philleo. (MAGIC is a board level committee formed to increase communication between POA members and the board.) “I thought that was a very intelligent way to look at community issues and priorities, so I liked it. But there wasn’t any response from the GAC. The recall thing came right after it, so I don’t know what the correlation is between them.”

Noting that one of the objections that Total Recall had was the difference between “what the board said and what they did”. Examples were the Vajra Vidya application, which was reviewed by the E&AC, and the Community Center easement, which was not and which appeared to be on purpose.

“I am not aware of the E&AC dealing with easements in the past,” replied Mr. Philleo. “Maybe they did, but I am not aware of it. To the best of my knowledge—I think with every easement I’ve been aware of, and this really goes back to the late (19) 80s and (19) 90s—it’s been the Board that has dealt with this. The E&AC has very technical guidance in dealing with house sites. I don’t know of any record anywhere dealing with board guidance on easements.”

Said Mr. Philleo, “My experience has been that the board has in the past (and certainly the current board feels they need to do the same) taken responsibility for easements. It’s a much bigger political issue than for a technical committee like the E&AC. But that’s my perception.”

In conclusion, Mr. Philleo added, “While there may have been some inter-personal exchanges which left a residue, and I am sorry if that happened, but I don’t think that is a strong enough basis to remove a board right before an election.”