Guest Column: Golden Rain president defends insurance fees

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As I wrote in Letter to the Editor (Sun Newspapers, Dec. 7, 2017), 2018 Budget overcharged Leisure World Residents only on Insurance Premiums on $427,806 or $5.40 in monthly Assessments.

The same time I sent a Letter to GRF President and Board of Directors, in which I proposed to amend the Budget and reduce monthly Assessments on $5.40.

Finally I received a very disappointing but not surprising response, signed by the GRF President, in which she refused to amend the Budget.

In the Letter the President stated that (quote), “The Board and staff take your allegation seriously, which is why this has been discussed with legal counsel.”

But there are no Board meeting Agendas or Minutes with a related item on the Board’s Webpage. So where and when did the Board discuss my letter? Budget is not a subject to discuss in the executive session.

In defending the decision not to amend the Budget and overcharge Shareholders/Members on $427,806 on unchangeable during the year item the President refer to California Court case “Watts v Oak Shores Community Association (2015).” I read the California Court of Appeal decision 2d Civil No. B240337.

It is clear that there are no similarities with the GRF current situation.

The dispute in Watts v Oak Shores Association is about the Association’s rights to adopt reasonable rules and impose fees on its members, relating to short term rentals.

It is exact what GRF has done in Mutual 17. That decision is in full compliance with Davis-Stirling Law, (quote): “§5600b. An association shall not impose or collect an assessment or fee that exceeds the amount necessary to defray the costs for which it is levied.”

An expert, represented Oak Shores Association, testified in the Court and, (quote) “… concluded the fees were fair, reasonable, and in compliance with the Law. They do not exceed the cost for which they are levied.”

My complaint is about a completely opposite situation in Leisure World, and very sad that GRF legal counsel did not see it.

GRF included in the 2018 Budget Insurance Premiums, which are on $427,806, exceeds the amount necessary to defray the costs for which they are levied.

The difference resulted in $5.40 overcharging in monthly Assessments.

The Insurance Premiums quotes GRF received at least in mid-November will be unchangeable during the 2018 year.

In the Letter GRF President stated that (quote), “the redaction of insurance premiums is a symptom of the relentless work of GRF’s Board, staff and insurance team.” Is this not staff’s professional duty, for which Leisure World residents pay generous salaries, benefits, now were added bonuses and additional paid Holiday?

A 22.2 percent mistake, which makes 9,000 Leisure World residents with an average age over 77 years victims of overcharging, is unacceptable, illegal and must be fixed immediately.

Fixing a mistake is never too late. Nobody is above the Law.

Mark Pogrebinsky lives in Leisure World.

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