Caton Ridge Homeowners Association Were Denied A Quorum Again!

Caton Ridge Homeowners Association Were Denied A Quorum Again!

Before moving on to some of my more typical political issues of the day I felt it only fair to keep those who read (and commented on) my last post be kept up-to-date as to what transpired at the Caton Ridge Homeowners Association (HOA) 2016 Annual Meeting. First - the Caton Ridge Homeowners Association Were Denied A Quorum Again!

However, this latest attempt to conduct a meeting wasn't a total loss and some good actually came from it.

So here are what I think were the good things:

(1) the remaining 2 Board of Directors, Dana Rosas and Robert "Bob" Galvan, as well as Foster Premier Property Manager Tracy Suntken, made themselves available for an extended chit-chat session after it was determined that a quorum had not been met this night and (2) there was a substantial increase in homeowner attendance in addition to having a fair amount of proxies which meant a quorum wasn't that far off and hopefully one will be reached at the next meeting.

Now according to the Common Interest Community Association Act (CICAA) Proxies can be valid for up to 11 months unless the proxy (instrument) says otherwise. And in the case of the proxies submitted for the April 21st Meeting they clearly stated they would only be valid for that date. Naturally I had to inquire as to why the board members kept telling attendees they would be good for a June Meeting when they should have known they weren't.

But just so everyone knows - Tracy Suntken of Foster Premier has confirmed via email that the April 21st Proxies will NOT be valid for any future meetings and if people don't want to attend the next meeting they will be required to submit a NEW Proxy.

So it will be interesting to see if the next meeting attempt will result in the Caton Ridge Homeowners Association achieving a legal quorum. Naturally I hope so because let's face it there is a cost associated with every attempt to have a meeting. And we certainly don't need to have our assessments raised for any silly reasons.

Besides, we have enough silly things going on as it pertains to the HOA. For instance, good things can get wiped out pretty quickly once a gathering gets a little acrimonious or a wee bit testy. And this night was no different in that regard.

So here are some of the bad things:

(1) certain board members (with one in particular) kept saying "that they had listened to the question(s) and now it was their turn to speak" even if it meant cutting people off in mid-sentence to do so, (2) reminding homeowners that they, after all, were "just volunteers" numerous times, (3) rejecting the help of a number of homeowners, as well as that of City of  Joliet Councilwoman Jan Quillman with the updating of our less than adequate website and (4) the board taking up one residents' request for 6 foot fences despite their ban on certain lots and the fact that a majority of those lots have already been built out with 4 foot fences per our Rules and Regulations (and after multiple rejections by the Board and Architectural Committee for larger fences dating back to at least 2003).

Now so far as the Board of Directors rejecting my and another person's offer to help them with their website I really couldn't care less. However, when it came to their rejecting an offer of help from City of Joliet Councilwoman Jan Quillman (whom I and others invited to the meeting) well I can't help but wonder what it is that they are thinking of or what they are afraid of?

But hey, City of Joliet Councilwoman Jan Quillman only came there in an act of good faith to offer the Caton Ridge Homeowners Association and its Board of Directors, the Property Manager and homeowners a number of suggestions as well as the full resources of the City of Joliet in getting out whatever information and communications that they desired as well as having other City Government Departments come to future meetings to discuss any concerns.

Sadly, whether the actions of the Board was merely a matter of ego, arrogance or simply just wanting to hang on to power for just a wee bit longer (since a meeting with a quorum will more than likely result in the election of 3 Brand New Board Members) I found their behavior to be shameful and embarrassing!

But hey I get it and take it for what it is. Power seems to have a way of altering people's perceptions. Still I have never appreciated that "damn everyone else but me and/or my voice of authority" spiel from anyone so that got old pretty quick that night. Especially when people are offering up some very good ideas.

Unfortunately, it didn't appear any one was writing them down for future reference. Especially if they related to the subject of our "less than adequate" Caton Ridge Homeowners Association Website.

Which, by the way, seems as if the remaining board members (and Dana Rosas in particular) have already made up their minds to scrap and abandon despite the fact Caton Ridge Homeowners have PAID FOR this website once before. Complete with a Letter from the (then) Board of Directors espousing: "As you can see we have a new webpage. This one is a lot easier to update and keep everyone informed of what is happening in and around our community."

Sadly the website has never lived up to that. But that isn't because it couldn't be done - it's just that nobody did what they were supposed to do to ensure it!

And in my opinion, this website is still probably the best vehicle for the Caton Ridge Homeowners Association Board of Directors and Management Company to keep homeowners abreast of "what is happening in and around our community" as well as allowing them to quickly get into compliance with 765 ILCS 160 Common Interest Community Association Act (CICAA) and the 2015 Revision calling for Homeowners to be given the option of "Electronic Transmission" for HOA Business including electronic voting.

Naturally the failure to comply with CICAA wasn't brought up on this night except in a veiled comment by Dana Rosas who more than once said that "we needed a professional to deal with this broken-down website." And that just confuses me because I thought the Caton Ridge Homeowners Association used a "professional" to build the website? So how broken-down can it possibly be?

Man I sure wish I would have been the proverbial "fly on a wall" when the Board of Directors met to discuss compliance with the CICAA. Then again I am also curious as to who they intended to hire as their next "professional?" Of course I have some thoughts and opinions about this but I think I will keep them to myself until we all find out exactly why our current website is "so screwed-up that it can't be fixed!"

Now don't get me wrong here - I understand the need to ensure that the website be secure enough so the membership can vote electronically but I really don't think it's in as bad a shape as they have made it out to be. Besides so far as updating the Community Website with what I consider to be the most basic or rudimentary of information well I know that that can't be such a big deal if someone had access to the Caton Ridge Homeowners Association Website not all that long ago to give us that very important UPDATE about the 2015 Holiday Lights Contest and 2015 Fishing Derby.

So why is it that the Board of Directors and/or the Management Company can't seem to figure out how to put up the latest revisions of our Bylaws, Covenants and all the Revisions to our Rules and Regulations (of which I believe there are 5 or 6) as well as all the Annual Financial Summaries, our important Phone Numbers and Email Addresses?

How is that even so?

But hey the Caton Ridge Homeowners Association Board of Directors has always seemed to operate to the beat of a different drummer. And that, my friends, should be troubling as hell and having you all asking why?

And just remember this. None of the information that I believe should be placed on the website is of a secret or classified nature! And if the truth be told, we are entitled to have it. Just as when Board President Lawrence "Larry" Bennett passed away without so much as a whimper by our Homeowner Association officials. Robert Galvan claims this was done at the request of the family yet there was a public obituary published in the local newspaper some three days after his death.

So I'm sorry Mister Galvan I am not buying that response.

Now as for what the future holds for the residents of Caton Ridge. Well I just haven't a clue. But I do know one thing - people will not support any Homeowners Association without a Board of Directors that is completely open and transparent with them.

Matter of fact I would even recommend that the Board of Directors have a copy of Roberts Rules of Order available to them when having a meeting as well as making them and/or any other parliamentary measures they may want to use available to all homeowners on an "Updated Website."

I would also abandon this notion to allow 6 foot fences along Theodore (where 20 of 24 homes already have 4 foot fences constructed), Caton Farm (where 21 of 29 Homes have with 4 foot fences) and Drauden (fully built out) unless they want to entertain lawsuits from all those who have received rejection letters regarding that issue dating back to at least 2003. It is just too late! Our Rules and Regulations have cited that certain lots MUST HAVE "Like and Same Fences." So unless the HOA (and the one homeowner requesting it) wants to bear the expense of tearing down those perfectly good 4 Foot Cedar Fences and Replacing Them With 6 Foot Cedar Fences this issue is dead on arrival.

What the Board of Directors should be working on, though, is how the Caton Ridge Homeowners Association can get enough residents to (1) come out and reach a legal quorum, (2) elect three brand new Board Members and (3) make some pretty important decisions regarding some of the issues spoken of above because it is time for Caton Ridge to move on!

But hey that's just this Average Joe's Opinion.

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  • I believe that the lack of representation involving the ending of such function, especially including the transference of monetary payment, should be public. Even if the previous president didn't earn money for his position, the ending of his job should and ought to be public knowledge. There's NO excuse for hiding behind weak rhetoric.

    It would seem that someone is hiding facts. If one fact is hidden, how many more? Just how many times will the story change about these golf carts? Who owns them? Who paid for them? Why are they used for official business? Why were people told that they belong to landscapers? Where are these golf carts kept when not in use? Why isn't receipt for these golf carts given to prove no wrong doing? Would an audit of the HOA accounts transactions since it was formed be a good idea?

    Additionally, why was the councilwoman, who came by invite, given such a rude welcome? Her ideas didn't seem to take interest, except for a few..... To save money HOA meetings should be held at a church to save money. There are plenty in the area....

    Lastly, the issuance of trust and confidence in HOA volunteer leadership; it isn't, and remains unlikely to be forthcoming from myself and many people in which I've communicated. There is no course of action, at this time, that can quell the dissent that has come to pass, regardless of causation of it.

    It may very well be the best option for the current leadership to give up.

  • In reply to Alabama Hammer:

    First & Foremost Alabama - it was a pleasure meeting you. As to your comments - I suspect you are spot on, although I would think a quorum brings the HOA a brand new 3 member board if enough people get involved and nominations are made from the floor and/or by submission of a candidate form. Curiously, though, I am still puzzled as to why a form for Stephen Sipot was included in the Meeting Agenda when it was over a year old - slight of hand?

    But as I said I think the issue of nominees / new members are wholly dependent on 3 quality people stepping up and "seconding." We certainly have some people in the community I would trust!

    The "GOLF KART" thing - yeah that bothers the hell out of me especially given the fact I saw that when I was coming home from the hospital that "painful day" with Board Members apparently having the time of their lives? Ahh perhaps I was a lil jealous huh? Um er NO I found it tacky and despite the answer I got from Tracy Suntken (and after a long delay at that) I am still not so sure about that whole thing. So yes - an audit is order once we have a new Board. And by the way - I would also be in favor of the new board hiring a new property manager.

    As to Councilwoman Quillman's treatment by the board? Shameful!

    To say there has been a breakdown in trust here is an understatement. We definitely need some new people who are committed to making the "right decisions" as well as giving "straight answers!"

    Thanks for the comments Alabama Hammer!

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    In reference to your title, we were not ''denied'' a quorum, it just didn't happen. It's not like they were refusing to let people come to the meeting or anything.
    As far as the whole Golf Kart thing, OMG, SERIOUSLY this is such a huge waste of our money. Not to be crass, but the passing of a certain person makes the ability for change to finally happen. But there are only 2 open positions from what they said, 3 total members and one is Dana.
    The meeting was a joke, nobody introduced themselves yet they assumed we knew who they were and where they lived. They were rude to the council woman who was there by not even listening to her but rather having their own conversation in the background. Despite her mentioning 3 times that the city would pay for the mailings needed for the next meeting the board didn't even know she had offered that when it was brought up after she left. Two of us nominees were in the audience, honestly maybe a 3rd as some people left once it was clear there was not a quorum. There were others on the list who sent in forms yet the board has said they will fill the 3rd position temporarily with someone they pick, who doesn't have ''an agenda''. IMO the only ones with a personal agenda are the current board members. I DO have an agenda by running for the board -- to cut our association fees, cut down on rules that don't make sense and to build a sense of community. This is the agenda the board should have had for the last 12 yrs.
    We started a facebook group that is not associated with the HOA. I encourage everyone to join that so that you can voice your issues and see that others feel similar to what you do.

  • Nora thanks for your comment sorry you aren't pleased with choice of title word but if enough people don't come out or submit a proxy then I see it as a denial or a rejection. Which apparently goes along with the rest of your comments about the last 12 years but I will take it under advisement for the next post - fair enough?

    I agree that Councilwoman Quillman was treated harshly and that that was shameful at best. But I am not surprised - Are You? Matter of fact someone said Robert Galvan claims I am the only NO on the 6 foot fence issue and that they completed their petition - but the last time I spoke with my neighbor they told me they hadn't returned to ask and if they did - well I think I know their answer since they aren't happy (but I will ask them again if anything changed when I see them). So I just hope Galvan can back up that claim of his or we may have a serious issue.

    Just so you and others know - we bought in 2003 and were first to build fences with neighbors - we requested 6 foot fences due to a "low berm" - as well as being able to build out to the "sidewalk iron" which we technically OWN! We were rejected by the Board and they cited the restricted lots along Theodore, Caton Ridge and Drauden. Okay we accepted it and built 4 footers of "like and same" construction. Now 1 homeowner wants to build something else? Hmm sounds like a lawsuit if you ask me - unless of course the Board and HOA want to pay for tearing down a perfectly good fence on 85% of those "restricted lots?"

    Last but not least - don't discount the question about golf carts it is a fair question to ask if HOA Officials bought them and without the knowledge of homeowners. And if not who owns them? Where are they? And why did Board have them for personal use?

    At the end of the day I want an open and transparent HOA and if that's too much to ask then I want the answers as to why! It's my money too. And by the way the Board shouldn't tell people proxies are good when they clearly weren't as specified by the CICAA (which Tracy confirmed as not being valid!).

    So I am just doing my due diligence and maybe the board can too?

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    as of half an hour ago -- both Dana and Robert have resigned their positions, they said they will finish off the fence issue and the landscape contract then be done and not run for re-election either

  • well that's their choice but given that the last Meeting Agenda called for an "election of 3 board members" it may very well have resulted in 3 completely brand new board members anyhow. As for landscape contract well that falls under their fiduciary responsibility and it must be done (if not already). Fence issue? Well that may be better left to a new board since that can become a legal can of worms given so many people have already erected fences after being denied larger ones in the past. So if it were me? Well I wouldn't do anything that could cause legal harm. But hey - that's just my opinion.

    Of course they could just as well stay on as caretakers (in the event an emergency decision is required) until a quorum is achieved. Either way it all rests with them right? I mean no one asked them to resign so far as I know.

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    and apparently they will be appointing a 3rd temp board member so that that person can call the meeting to order

  • I would have to see what CICAA and/or Roberts Rules of Order says regarding that but technically 2 (or even 1 if that's what remains) is a majority to conduct "existing business." Any NEW Business though requires a 3 person board from how I read Bylaws and CICAA.

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