Lago Vista Independent School District (LVISD)


Dave Freeman's infamous "Community Burden" email, also Nancy Oliver, Jo Anne Molloy, Gary Gates respond

When you're reading these, I hope you'll use your active thought processes to ask yourself some questions. Wouldn't an honest broker with no agenda simply answer questions? Are these logical responses to rational questions? Do the responses answer or obfuscate? Does it make sense that an event is considered too dangerous for members, while safe for the general public? And so on.

July 04, 2010 10:33 AM, this is Dave Freeman's infamous "Community Burden" email which states in part "Based on other feedback we've received, the LVPOA board, our General Manager, and LVPOA staff plan to have discussions on how we best address the issue of community type events in the future. I see the major problem with the LVPOA holding community events of this type is due to the City of Lago Vista not having any public park, lake access, or community type facilities where any type of public event can be held. This has led to the current situation where the LVPOA is carrying the "community burden" of holding any type of public event on private parks owned by our membership. Unless the COLV does something in the near future to resolve of not having any type of public facilities (other than golf courses), the issue of holding "Public Events" on LVPOA properties is only going to increase as the overall population of the COLV grows with the ever enlarging city boundaries."

This is astounding to hear from a director of a private company. Can you imagine someone on Sam's Club Board of Directors saying Costco didn't allow for enough warehouses, so now Sam's Club has a "Community Burden" to give Costco use of Sam's Club warehouses whenever Costco needs one? Of course not! That would never happen! But, this is the same thing. In other words, because other people don't prepare as they should, we have to give them our amenities, which we pay for. They are fond of saying only a few currently live outside the POA boundaries but there are many LOTs outside the POA boundaries. Those are put in place by other developers just as our lots were put in place by our developer.

Our POA is supposed to be a structure left in place by the developer to allow them to cash out while providing attractions to attract buyers to maintain an after market for our lots within the POA footprint.

If that is not true, then what are we paying for? What are we shareholders in? Other developers can shift their costs, traffic, and headaches to our LV POA developments. Why should other developers get a free ride at our expense?

Also, July 04, 2010 4:01 PM , Nancy Oliver's response is equally problematic. Nancy says in part "Your Chamber of Commerce came to the board and requested that they be allowed to have an event at one of our parks to help local businesses. I will look forward to hearing your opinion on why this is different then the rest of the events the Chamber of Commerce sponcers."(sic).

Nancy's reply was so far off base it took us two days to come up with a reply. Finally, July 6, 2010 10:06 PM we told her "Sorry about the delay. When we received your response we had to back off and ponder how to explain to you how commandeering private property for general public use is unacceptable. As today, if you don't understand, we are still at a loss for words"

Individual members pay for products and services at the LV POA. Just like any other purchase we make, we don't pay for items so they can be handed over to others or another business.

Jo Anne Molloy wrote on July 07, 2010 2:34 PM, "I am so sorry that there are so many that feel we have done them a grave injustice by allowing our Chamber of Commerce to use Cody Park and open it up to the public for this one time event. I really don't see this any different than the 4th of July, the regatta and the Casino night which are all open to the public. Had you rather that we not have the 4th celebration, fireworks, etc. as well as the other events that I have mentioned"

I wrote her back July 07, 2010 5:27 PM in part, " Speaking for myself, apology accepted, but the fact you don't see the difference, but many LVPOA homeowners independently do, itself argues for line item homeowner voting. So, we three sent two ideas - to let LVPOA homeowners vote, and to vote with our wallets where businesses is involved….Traditional events could come up for a vote, ..or.. perhaps traditional events could be safely grandfathered since no one objected to date. "

July 07, 2010 10:22 AM Gary Gates said "In response to the LVPD telling us they would not be available to work Trespass or similar enforcement, anticipating people seeing sanitary, drinking water, open space, and coming into the park from the water, also having no way of controlling walk-in, and believing the park would suffer trash and damage, the BOD was left with the choice of shouldering the costs [Private police, extra sanitation, damage repair, clean up] of park invasion, or accepting a proposal which would cover damage, insurance, police, clean up by allowing the Chamber to shoulder all these costs. This knowing that the cost to the members could have caused the Board to have to have a special assessment to cover costs. Would you have wanted to pass the burden to the Chamber or had the POA shoulder the costs?"

Notice again, it's all about damage, trash, with costs on us if they don't let strangers take our own parks over from us. He is saying there are road warriors out there but if we simply let them into the park, they will suddenly become docile.

Also Gary Gates said, "The second question is, the Chamber has their Regatta and Pirates of Lake Travis at Bar K, there is the 4th, The singers, players, The Women's Club Gala, Seton Gala, Chamber Annual Fund Raiser, Lions Events, and other times when the publice is allowed to come into our "Private Facilities". Does you group wish us to close out all of these events?"

Notice, the "private facilities" puts the private aspect in quotes! This wasn't Gary in isolation, it was a recurring theme in the July meeting as well, with the question coming up what do you mean by private? We explained it a number of times.

This time, I responded to him July 07, 2010 10:47 PM "We don't lead a group, we've just got an idea that we think is compelling. One thing, you say "private", but your rangers enforce private use all the time. Not to pick, but all along we meant private parks in the manner any of your rangers already understand and enforce the rules. Here are my personal thoughts because you asked one of us to explain. 1) If the board believes the Aquapalooza organizers can't assure the safety of the LVPOA properties, or endangers the community, then to protect the LVPOA homeowners interests, the event should have been formally contested until those concerns were resolved. If they had held the event regardless, from an LVPOA risk perspective, I would submit there would have been less liability had the board gone in the opposite direction and kept the parks open and private as usual" I also pointed out The board introduced a greater liability hosting the event. If someone gets hurt, or god forbid, drowns, grinds up a swimmer, or breaks their boat on a rock, we homeowners could be on the hook"…"If the board still believes the Aquapalooza organizers can't assure the safety of the LVPOA properties, or endangers the community, then to protect the LVPOA home owners interests, the event should now be formally contested until those concerns are resolved. You know you assume greater liability when you are aware of a risk and don't mitigate it right"…"Since the board is still stating it's not safe enough for a metal gate, or property, it's not safe enough for soft people." I went on to explain, "The board STILL doesn't understand many homeowners concerns about how this is different." And I told him "We'd not want to affect traditionally allowed member events, either." That last is actually a red herring, they used those and straw men a lot. As you can see from the various email proofs here, if you're winning the argument, they distract.

All of this because of the Board's position claiming a "community burden" and because of the Board's position on Lagopalooza which June 29, 2010 4:07 PM, Deborah Sorchevich stated was "For example, regarding the upcoming Aquapalooza, it would have been possible to keep Cody Park closed and wait for the public to damage the gate just to get in to the park, damage the grounds, create untold amounts of trash, and leave a sanitation nightmare. "

Think about those responses. What have we learned from our LVPOA directors on this page alone.

To hear the LVPOA directors and general manager tell it, the LVPOA forces us to pay for amenities out of our personal pockets because we live in the LVPOA footprint. This payment buys amenities that puts a community burden on us, so others are able to use our amenties for free that we paid for, because they chose not to purchase their own amenities. Our lives are disrupted because we cannot use our own facilities and we put up with the costs and headaches.

The other developers do not have to set aside expensive land for parks, they can make greater profits by selling all their land as houses or whatever. They put their expenses on us, but we do not get to share in their profits. Their residents will not have to ever worry about a public park next to them because the parks are all in our footprint. Their choice not to act in their own development leaves them without parks. That does not put pressure on them, instead it puts an increasing pressure on us to give them more access to our amenities. So, we're giving a free ride to other developers who give us their costs and headaches because our own board of directors lets them.

Our general manager, as well as the board of directors in the July board meeting, tells us an event is so scary we can't let members only parks be used by paying members because the public is anticipated to be so wild as to damage the gate just to get in to the park, damage the grounds once in, create untold amounts of trash while there, and leave a sanitation nightmare once gone, so we have to let them in to avoid problems. But, at the same time if we let them in, it's in the best interest of the community to invite them in because some businesses benefit, and the Chamber will fix it after.