Are these advertisements part of the reason for the frequent battles over our Lago Vista Property Owners Association LVPOA private parks? Why doesn't our Board protect our interests?
Why do members of a private entity keep having to fight off people who believe their private Lago Vista Property Owners facilities are public resources? Could it be intentional?
Ask yourself, do these two public advertisements cause the Lago Vista Property Owners Association facilities to appear to be public recreation and tourism resources in the eyes of the public? They do appear to be inviting the public to the Lago Vista Property Owners Association facilities. You'll notice there is no notation the LVPOA parks or facilities are private, the LVPOA private facilities are listed on the same page and in the same manner as the public items such as the Balcones Canyonlands, Lake Travis, and the golf courses. You can view both of these in their original context on the originating websites by clicking each of the two advertisements and paging through the brochure to the advertisement page.
These advertisements are designed to attract the public. The Lago Vista Property Owners Association facilities are private.
There have been questions and concerns about these two advertisements being misleading for months, but the questions have not been answered, and as of today, months later, they have not been corrected.
Is this intentional misdirection, intended to imply private facilities are public?
Is it any wonder some continue to believe the private facilities are public?
For answers, the email thread referenced here covered several questions I posed to the Lago Vista Property Owners Association General Manager.
For clarity we'll focus only on the two advertisements here and the Lago Vista Property Owners Association General Manager email thread. There are other items in the same email thread which are covered in a separate article.
In addition, I have contacted the Lago Vista City Council on this matter, that is covered in a separate article. You can read about that here.
I have contacted the Lago Vista Economic Development Alliance as well, that is covered in a separate article. You can read about that here.
According to Deborah Sorchevich, General Manager at the time, my questions, including my concerns about the two advertisements were passed on to the board who took no action. Deborah Sorchevich has since resigned. Since that time, Nancy Oliver, LVPOA Board President, and Interim General Manager is the listed recipient of the firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox, according to the LVPOA website "contact us" page.
The LVPOA office had moved following the April 14, 2011 Lago Vista Property Association Board of Directors meeting. I allowed some time for unpacking, and for move related items to be resolved prior to sending my initial request for information. Also, since that time, in an effort to be fair, I have allowed an extraordinary amount of extra time following for the questions to be answered. Here are the results to date.
On June 02, 2011 4:46 AM I emailed Deborah Sorchevich, General Manager saying,
"3) The Economic Development Alliance STILL has a PDF on-line which appears to indicate the privately owned LVPOA is a public city wide resource. As a shareholder, I'd prefer it not be listed at all, as it is not a city resource, but if it is listed, then any reference should specifically say it is a private members only organization, and not leave it open to interpretation. This is reasonable. Any company will protect it's trademark, goodwill, shareholder value, and equivalents, the LVPOA, is not shared community property, it is privately owned property of the shareholders."
"The LVPOA should take action to have this corrected to preserve shareholder value. It is at this link, look on page 6."
"4) The City of Lago Vista STILL has a PDF on-line which appears to indicate the privately owned LVPOA is a public city wide resource. As a shareholder, I'd prefer it not be listed at all, as it is not a city resource, but if it is listed, then any reference should specifically say it is a private members only organization, and not leave that fact open to interpretation. All that does is give people the wrong impression which has caused us untold amounts of trouble, and will continue to do so in the future if it is left unchecked. Fixing this is reasonable, and any reputable entity will respect the rights and marks of others.. Any company will protect it's trademark, goodwill, shareholder value, and equivalents, the LVPOA, is not shared community property, it is privately owned property of the shareholders and both the EDA and COLV are aware of that fact."
"The LVPOA should take action to have this corrected to preserve shareholder value. It is at this link, look on page 7."
"Since 4 and 5 are several months old, there is no reasonable reason both of them should not have been corrected already, so there is no reason to accept any more delays. Whether or not, the EDA, or COLV respected our rights as shareholder owners, the offending parties should be required to remove those items immediately."(BW note: The 4 and 5 referenced is verbatim from the original email. I had intended to type 3 and 4, not 4 and 5.)
"As a shareholder I am asking you that they be asked nicely one last time, while giving them a reasonable day or two dead line to remove the online items and to destroy all printed copies, while telling them in the same communication that we're trying to be good neighbors but if they don't cooperate, the next thing will be a formal cease and desist letter. Then, if they act properly, there is no harm, and if they do not, then we have no regrets on taking harsher action because they were nicely informed several times over several months. This is completely reasonable since anyone who respects our right of ownership will understand, especially the business people. People can't appropriate the marks of other entities."
"We have a right as owners to expect others to respect our marks and not interfere in our rights of ownership. As I've said before, among other reasons, allowing anyone to either imply, or leave the impression, the LVPOA is public may decrease shareholder value - both in the organization itself, and may reduce the perceived need in a potential buyer's mind to pursue buying our LVPOA footprint lots so long as potential buyers are lead to believe that now, or in the future, they might have LVPOA access no matter where they buy their lots. The LVPOA should be a selling point for the LVPOA lot owners, and private for the members. Leaving these items up, also forces the continual fighting since as long as the lines are blurred, some will think they can take advantage at some point. Shareholder value is typically preserved by maintaining a fiduciary responsibility towards the organization, and the shareholders of protecting shareholder ."
"I would also argue that the EDA and COLV have known about this for months, so since they have had plenty of time to take these down, so not removing them by now, shows ill intent towards our rights of ownership as member owners."
On June 08, 2011 1:18 PM Deborah Sorchevich, General Manager replied, saying "I had an opportunity to share your concerns with the Board at its Work Session on Monday". The email covered several subjects, later in the email she continued, "As far as the Economic Development Alliance, I have looked at their website, and I would say two things: I believe they are trying to promote Lago Vista as a whole for which they are to be commended in my opinion and it appears, from the documents to which your links directed me, that the Alliance has very clearly stated that the amenities and facilities listed are properties of the LVPOA."
On June 09, 2011 5:03 PM I emailed Deborah Sorchevich, to follow up. I said "The EDA and COLV links I gave do not show the LVPOA property as members only, the LVPOA is listed as a public resource like the golf courses. There has been an ongoing problem because some people and organizations trying to make the LVPOA a public item. Some claim that to this day which is causing ongoing problems in the community at large and for the membership. Saying it is property of the POA does not say that it is a member's organization. The LVPOA's value to the members is that it is a member's only organization. The POA board and it's GM have a fiduciary responsibility to protect shareholder interests. I would argue that includes not letting others degrade the value of the organization or it's value to the members by promoting it as public, when it is members only. I doubt anyone on the board would allow any organization to promote their personal property as though it were available to the public. They have a fiduciary responsibility to us to take the same care with our shared property as they do with our personal property."
I continued "Under long established Texas common law, Directors and Officers of Nonprofit Corporation HOAs are considered fiduciaries of the corporation, who owe certain fiduciary duties to the Nonprofit Corporation HOA and its Member-Homeowners." "These duties are also commonly described as the duties of obedience, loyalty, and, due care. The duty of loyalty requires that Directors and Officers must act in good faith and must not allow their personal interest to prevail over the interest of the Nonprofit HOA". "Such duty of loyalty is often described as requiring an extreme measure of candor, unselfishness, and good faith on the part of Directors and Officers" Page 125 – "Texas Homeowners Association Law" copyright 2010, by Gregory S. Cagle, a legal expert on the subject in the state of Texas"
I further explained, "I will refer to the minutes on the other item. But, that brings up another point. There have been inaccurate and misleading minutes approved by this board. For example refer to the November 2010 meeting, the minutes list the opposite of what happened in the discussion about the parks. In the discussion Dave clearly stated the meeting did occur, and it was clear in the board meeting the meeting did occur. There are also emails about this meeting with two POA boards over several months. Yet, in the November 2010 minutes, it is written as though the meeting never occurred and the concerns were unfounded, which is clearly misleading and untrue. This board approved those minutes. In some cases, the April 2011 minutes do not reflect key points speakers made. My point is, I'm going to be following up more from now on. I don't want to be contentious. I will be fair and factual, but I will be pursing shareholder owner interests. I do appreciate your response, but I do need more information."
Not long after the last email was sent, Deborah Sorchevich resigned. Nancy Oliver, LVPOA President, has been using the exact same inbox as Interim General Manager since then, so my request has remained in Nancy Oliver's Interim General Manager email@example.com mailbox, according to the LVPOA website "contact us" page.
Nancy Oliver, Lago Vista Property Owners Association, Board President, and Interim General Manager remains aware of my request for the shareholder owners to have a simple correction of the advertisements to show the Lago Vista Property Owners Association LVPOA facilities are members only private facilities. As of this writing, it is now August 3, 2011. There is still no further response. The advertisements remain unchanged.