Opinion: Hold management accountable for LW tax delinquency

Ron Kravits

I am writing in response to your front page Sun article of Thursday, May 12 regarding the late payment of property taxes by Leisure World Seal Beach.

Mr. Smith, the GRF president, said there was no attempt to cover up anything, and that the chief financial officers were notified that property taxes had been paid late.

I am the CFO of Mutual 15.

I was in attendance representing my mutual at the Treasurers (CFOs) Meeting of April 25.

Mr. Rodel Ual, the Controller of Leisure World, presented information on certain accounting changes being made that would appear on the Mutuals monthly financial reports.

At no time did he volunteer any information on the property taxes having been paid late.

Only as he was preparing to leave the meeting after completing his remarks was Ual confronted with the issue of tax payment.

It was in response to Mrs. Jo Ann Fellows, CFO of Mutual 7, when she asked “What about the late payment of property taxes?” that Ual first addressed this issue.  It was as if a bomb had been dropped in the meeting room.

All CFOs jaws dropped at this obvious failure on the part of GRF Management to fulfill both its management and fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders of Leisure World.

He could not offer a valid reason on why the property taxes were paid late.

Since the CFO meeting was held two weeks after the delinquent tax payments were mailed and the shareholders were not told about this problem, what would you call such a time lag in communications?

I call it a cover-up!

Mr. Smith, as President of GRF, certainly should have known the exact date of the Treasurer’s meetings.

They are held four times a year—not monthly, as he stated.  If he had just checked the “Regular Monthly Schedule” for Seal Beach Leisure World that is published by his office, he would have seen that it clearly indicates that the Treasurers Group Meeting is held four times a year on the fourth Monday of the month in January, April, July and October.

Finally, Mr. Smith states “there are a certain number of people who want to stir up trouble.”

He did not mention any individual or group by name.  I denounce his attempt to make the innocent shareholders of Leisure World the scapegoats.

In the almost 50 years that Leisure World has existed, this is the first time that our property taxes were paid late.  Those in top management must be held accountable for this fiasco!

Ron Kravitz is a resident of Seal Beach Leisure World and the chief financial officer of Mutual 15.