Lago Vista Independent School District (LVISD)

 

Private LVPOA park sale meeting occurs, a later joint public meeting request stopped by Mayor Randy Kruger

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? And so on.

July 08, 2010 1:39 PM Gary Gates emailed me "Thanks for your thoughts. Confidentially the Board has had a second wake up call from all of your efforts. The City is collecting money from developers for Parks. They have spent the money no one knows. The city has no idea what they will be doing about parks. The Board is starting to force the city's hand by asking for a PUBLIC MEETING with the city and council. Mr. Kruger says OK, but wants the meeting private. We are saying no way, PUBLIC. We offered to sell the city Green Shores Park , under used and next to city property for a Fair market value of around $950,000. Thant would go a long way toward building a new Activity Center . Mr. Kruger said no, not interested, but the POA should give the City Bar K of a $1. I think you see why more folks need to get involved. Stay tuned about the PUBLIC meeting in early September if it comes off. See you tonight."

Notice here, he is talking about a meeting that has already taken place, and the public meeting has not occurred.

The public meeting announcement came out hours later July 08, 2010 4:07 PM, and Dave Freeman forwarded it to his undisclosed recipient list, which included me at July 08, 2010 4:46 PM.. The Gary email above was sent July 08, 2010 1:39 PM which is several hours earlier. In fact, as you can see below Gary and I exchanged several emails before the Public meeting one came out. The point is they kept trying to say there was no private meeting when there clearly was.

This is a park sale! There should have been public discussion but there wasn't. Much later in the November 11, 2010 Board meeting, we learned they were working out the numbers privately to present to us as a fait accompli. More on that later, below.

July 8, 2010 2:15 PM, I responded in part "I will keep it confidential." Unfortunately as I explain in this article there came a point where that proved impossible. I continued "May I suggest an alternate idea? We are going to suggest tonight we keep our parks, the new neighborhoods create their own POAs, and the city not get involved. I'm VERY glad you wrote because I was unaware the city had park money. Still, some people love POA's, others don't like POAs, we think that' why developers give us a choice of neighborhoods so we all can choose. If the City buys one, all will pay, not just the people who use it. We'll lose a park, board get that heat. People who moved to avoid a park/POA get one, board gets the heat for that too. Plus, the community has gone nuts with commercial in neighborhoods, and the board would be stepping in the middle of heat as well. On the city side they step in the same stuff. Couldn't the city buy land that's not ours? That gets our POA members and the board out of it, leaving it with the City and public to decide it separately from our board. Basically, we think people should be able to choose to live with amenities they want. And we think they have by buying where they did. Some get confused we know from the newsletter, but we could fix that by educating the realtors, putting a marked/platted map on the POA website, etc. We find out how people missed it, and put copies wherever they might look."

In addition July 08, 2010 2:25 PM Gary told me "Good thoughts. What the BOD is trying to do is get this mess out in the open. We think Park money went to the golf courses but no one knows for sure. The City would like to take over the POA and there are folks who feel this is good. This can't be done because it violates the Charter of the city with the POA paid for long ago"

In that same July 08, 2010 2:25 PM email Gary made another statement that turned out to be false. I don't know if that is his doing or the board's but it doesn't matter, because I found out, it wasn't true "In case I confused you, there is no POA property for sale and it was an idea to see if the city would be interested and is a dead issue."

It may have been "dead" in the sense they weren't actively pursuing it that very second, but it certainly wasn't off the table because as time went on, they continually refused to expressly rule it out. By that logic, I'm a free and single guy now because my girlfriend is in the other room. I mean we aren't technically together so I am a single person, right now, this minute, right? That is their logic. It is not mine. It makes it very hard to get a straight answer without a lot of persistence.

I did keep Gary's emails confidential until it was clear enough time passed that the LVPOA Board was still not releasing the original meeting information. In the same timeframe we could not confirm the park sale was dead, since they were pursuing a public meeting and not saying. I hoped the public meeting would be a public discussion as to whether to sell or not and that the earlier meeting information would come out there. That way, it would be all in the open.

Another reason I eventually broke confidentiality is because Gary was saying confidentially they were trying to get it out in the open, but they had many chances, and didn't. They have a website, or they could have put it in the meeting request, so it could have come out many times in many ways.

Gary and the Board used the secrecy to say one thing in public and another in private. For one thing there were Letters to the Log, where Gary spoke against us in public while complimenting us in private, which conflicted with statements he was telling us privately.

As I've said all along and you've seen above, once the private meeting blew up, a public meeting was requested. It took a while to get the City of Lago Vista City Council's reaction.

Mayor Randy Kruger shut down the above request for a Joint Public Parks meeting, on July 20, 2010. It was reported here in the North Lake Travis Log.   No mention was made of the earlier meeting.

Notice Mayor Randy Kruger was willing to meet in secret but when it became public he would not meet. Only a few months later when the lease came up, he would meet again in private in a COLV Committee meeting. That lease was reported in the January 13, 2011 LVPOA BOD meeting minutes, but the lease is another story.

At that point, I knew I was holding information that materially affected all the other shareholders because I believed the deal was not dead and there would be no open meeting. Events proved I was correct when it resurfaced as a park lease. Information which was not only not being communicated, but was being denied, or when questions were asked it seemed they were distracting around them instead of answering. So, the primary obligation was to all the other LVPOA shareholders in my opinion, and that obligation outweighed the confidentiality of some emails.

I sent two email threads to the North Lake Travis Log, one on 7/22/2010, and another on 7/23/2010, but the Log didn't run the story. I've not linked to those emails because their decision is ok with me, I didn't even ask why because I felt it's their ink and paper which makes it their decision. I mention it only because it is relevant to my breaking confidentiality here and also because people keep asking me why I didn't go to the Log with this information. But, I did go to the Log and it wasn't covered. I did not go to the Austin American Statesman, simply because I live in Lago Vista, and I didn't think of them.

I handled it by emailing the prior and current board and by telling people personally. Had I not done so, the LVPOA Board of Directors would be denying this meeting ever happened to this day as evidenced by the fact Blaine was denying it in emails leading up to the November 11, 2010 meeting and even after as I'll explain in a later post.