Letters to the Editor: Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017

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Coyote snatches local’s cat
I just read your article in this week’s Sun and wanted to let you know about an incident my neighbor had on Nov.15 with a coyote in Rossmoor.

She was walking her small dog near Weaver Elementary school at 10:20 at night with her cat following behind when a coyote grabbed the cat and ran.

They could find no remains of the cat.

This incident was reported to an Orange County website and I just reported it also to the Long Beach government website in your article.

Karen Ashlock

Rossmoor

Leisure World resident claims budget overcharges its residents
On Nov. 16 Leisure World residents received 2018 Golden Rain Foundation (GRF) $12,108,155 Budget. Three days later the Finance Director, CPA, presented to Finance Committee proposed Insurance Premiums for 2018 in amount of $1,925,354, which are $427,806 below $2,353,160 budgeted in just distributed Budget. The difference will result in $5.40 overcharging GRF and Mutuals Shareholders/ Members in monthly Assessments.

In my comments at the Finance Committee Meeting, and a week later at GRF Board meeting I said that keeping the extra $427,806 in the Budget is illegal and it’s violate the Davis-Stirling Law, which is very specific (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”. I proposed that the Finance Committee and the Board immediately amend the 2018 Budget, based on Premiums, presented by Insurance Broker, and reduce GRF Assessment on $3.56 and Charges to Mutuals on $282,138.76, which will reduce Mutuals’ Assessments on $1.84.

As usual, the Committee and the Board ignored my suggestions. The worst in the situation is that nobody from eighteen Board Directors even asked a simple question – “Why the Board should violate the Davis-Stirling Law by overcharging 9,000 elderly residents on $427,806 or $5.40 in monthly Assessments? Why not amend the 2018 Budget?”

An identical situation took place three years ago, but at that time GRF had a different Board, majority of which were committed to present interests of members/shareholders, who elected them, and do not violate the Law. In 2014 the Board, unlike the current, used their wisdom and courage, stayed by the Law and amended 2015 Budget. The same should be done now with 2018 Budget.

Mark Pogrebinsky

Leisure World

Episcopal Church says its forced out of LW
When is a religion the same as a club?  When you live in Leisure World Seal Beach.

The Leisure World Governing Board has decided that religions are ‘clubs.’ When using space in the clubhouses, religious organizations must adhere to the rules and regulations that apply to all clubs. If you can’t make your religious practice fit the ‘club’ model, there is no place for you in Leisure World.

Recently, the Golden Rain Foundation Board has been unnecessarily demeaning and insulting to the members of St. Theodore’s Episcopal Church, a church that has been meeting in a custom designed space in the Lobby of Clubhouse 3 for 54 years.

Now relegated to ‘club’ status, Sunday services have gone from a joyful occasion to an absolute nightmare.

For six months St Theodores has tried to get the Board to understand the specifics of their service.

The Board has shown no respect for the traditions of the Episcopal Church.

Last month the Board cut off any further discussion and forced St. Theodores to move into a small space separating the service space from the storage space, making it impossible to conduct a service.

This GRF Board is completely indifferent to the fact that they are preventing shareholders from practicing their religion.

They have no concern for the angst they have caused.

Their callousness shows that they do not care about religious practices in general or for the individual shareholders who practice a religion.  These eighteen individuals, the leaders of the community, appear to be most proud of their power and ability to push people around.  Is that leadership?

The complicated governing structure in Leisure World makes it hard for  shareholders to understand how their government works.

The Board, of course, is happy with this arrangement and eagerly makes decisions FOR the shareholders rather than WITH them.

Just look at the globe as an example of their hubris.  Look at the LW News, where shareholders used to be able to express opinions.

Now unless you have nothing but praise for wonderful things the Board does, member opinions are not published.  This is tyranny.

St. Theodores tried to get help from the Churches that have been assigned to rooms where St Theodores has storage closets with items necessary for conducting a service.

These other churches did nothing.

They are as responsible for forcing the Episcopal Church out as is the GRF Board.

There should have been a meeting of all parties to discuss possible solutions.

Instead there was a meeting where St. Theodores representatives were treated with rudeness and hostility by the staff and Board member who were in attendance.

What has St Theodores done to deserve such disrespect?

It is long overdue for shareholders to challenge the GRF Board to permit honest conversation and when necessary, dissent.

The Board members, for the most part have NOT been elected to the Board.

They serve on the Board by default because most shareholders want nothing to do with an 18 member volunteer Board and their committees.  It’s not an effective model for governance and very obviously leads to an abusive use of power.

Leisure World must have a new governing model that is transparent and responsive to the shareholders. People with vision and courage are needed to serve and make the changes necessary to keep Leisure World a sustainable and viable community for the future.  It is time to bring in the expertise that only comes with the use of experienced property management consultants.

Don’t Leisure World Shareholders deserve to know if they are getting the very best management available for the money that is being spent?

Fifty-five years have gone by with no examination of the wasteful, inefficient governing structure that keeps Leisure World stuck in the 20th Century. It is too late for St. Theodores, but who will be next if this Board is not held accountable?

I may not have many answers, but I suspect that I am not the only one who has a lot of questions about the way this property is managed.
Anne Walshe

Leisure World

Letters to the Editor: Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017