Letters to the Editor

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Respect to ‘mystery’ man on paddleboard

I am a 22 resident of Seal Beach and read your paper weekly!  This week-end our family participated in the Save Our Beach community service event Saturday, Feb. 19, at First Street.  It was inspiring to see over 300 local residents participate.

I would like to share a photo with you of a man who happened to be paddle-boarding in the jetty and saw my granddaughter collecting trash.  He paddled over to her and asked for her bag so he could get trash out of the water.  He worked tirelessly and collected 4 large bags of trash and a huge wooden shelf, all of which would have floated out to the Giant Garbage Patch of the Pacific.  I wish I had taken a picture before he cleaned up the trash in the water, there was debris all over the place, and the water behind him is now all clean!

I was hoping you could find a space in your paper to recognize all of the participants and in particular “The Mystery Man” who came out of nowhere to help make the ocean in Seal Beach better.  That would be really special.

Thank you for your consideration

Dinah Hanna-Gomez

Seal Beach

A lot of money

Forty-million dollars is a lot of money. As reported previously, Leisure World is not one homeowners association, it is comprised of 16 housing corporations called mutuals. Forty-million million dollars is the combined annual budget of these 16 mutuals. The 16 Mutual Presidents and their boards depend on the Golden Rain Foundation, their management company, to help them spend and save this $40 million dollars annually.  Do they have the best management company available? While you can find many recommendations that homeowners associations employ professional management, Leisure World Mutuals stick to the belief that self-management is better. From where do they get support for this? Who recommends self-management for large homeowner associations?

The Golden Rain  Foundation Board apparently assumes their staff is the best available. The mutuals do not challenge this. The GRF board is obligated to review their staff annually to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to assure they are spending shareholder money wisely. How do they know that they have the best staff possible?  Are the 18 GRF volunteer board members qualified to do this review without outside help? Do the mutuals just accept the status quo without question? How do they evaluate the staff that serves them?

Who on staff is capable of looking for economies of scale.  Is there is no one to explain to the 16 separate corporations that a lot of money could be saved by working together?  This is NOT an argument to merge the mutuals. This is merely a suggestion that strong leadership could provide information to the mutuals to help them understand that they can keep expenses down by working collectively. There has not been and is not now such a leader.  It will not be the new executive director.

For one, that could be a long wait as the search is still underway.  Two, a  consultant, not a permanent staff member can and should do this job.  The consultant would look at all of the mutual financial statements to identify ways to save money. With $40 million on the table, there are undoubtedly savings to be had. Of course no one would force the mutuals  to do what the consultant recommends, but it might be hard to turn down significant savings. This is something that can be and should be done now even before a new executive director is hired.

Of the many issues that face the GRF Board of Directors, none is more important to the shareholders than keeping expenses down. To dodge the issue by saying the mutuals must request a review of their finances, is a Board excuse to avoid a professional evaluation of their staff. They alone are responsible for the staff.

A competent management company helps their client find ways to save money or they are replaced by a company who can. The GRF Board and the Mutual Boards owe the shareholders nothing less than managers who know how to save money.

Anne Walshe

Leisure World

Letters to the Editor