The Flip Side of HOA Wars

Article Courtesy of The Vegas Voice

By Rana Goodman

Published August 21, 2013


It has become common, when thinking of HOA (home owner associations) complaints, to assume that I am referring to an out-of-control board of directors. However this is a very different story - a story of an HOA with a board made up of 5 women. Three hardworking ladies that range in age from 50 to 83, the remaining two board members do not attend meetings, do their jobs or are willing to step down 

The three were determined to bring their community, Crossroads III, located at Stewart and Lamb , back to a place they can all be proud of. 

Enter center stage to this matter, the main protagonists - the two individuals every HOA board hires to guide them according to the Nevada Revised Statutes (known as NRS 116) - the attorney and the community manager, known as the CAM. 

Now let us be very clear about the rolls these two are supposed to play. 

The attorney advises the board when asked . He does not actually work for the association, although he is paid by association funds. 

The CAM takes instruction from the board, via the President usually, and runs the normal functions of the association as instructed by the board . 

In other words, "the buck stops" at the board of directors. 

Yet at this association, attorney William Wright and CAM Sherryl Baca of Community Management & Sales obviously forgot or ignored NRS 116. I was given copies of correspondence written to the community and the board from attorney Wright. 

He "apparently" took it upon himself to send letters to the entire community, claiming that their president was not qualified to sit on the board due to a legal technicality. He claimed that she did not own the unit and thus cannot be a board member. 

Not only was he over stepping his authority, he was totally incorrect. She always had documents to prove ownership and yet, she didn’t need to prove anything to him. 

Ms. Baca, on the other hand went so far as dictating to the board that they could not hold a meeting unless she said so. When the board notified the community of the open meeting, Ms. Baca sent out a notice cancelling it. 

I was invited to attend that meeting last month, (which was not cancelled, notwithstanding Ms. Baca's notice) and the room was filled. Ms. Baca, who as CAM must attend all meetings did not come , neither did board member, Maureen Nickel, the secretary/treasurer. 

You might think not attending would be no big thing, and you would be right, had Ms. Nickel given her required financial reports to another board member. However she did not and in not doing so, the community was not able to get any idea of the state of their finances. 

The board announced that during their executive session, attorney Wright had been fired. 

Mr. Wright had forwarded an outstanding bill for $4,000 and the board reported that it will only be paid when it is told who authorized those services. Apparently it was not one of the three ladies who regularly serve on the board, the only people authorized to do so. 

The most gratifying part of the incident for me was during public comment. A woman, rumored to be a friend of the CAM insisted on an explanation regarding the president’s eligibility. She was advised by the newly appointed attorney, “Quite simply, Mr. Wright is verywrong.” 

The board further authorized the new lawyer to send a letter to William Wright instructing him to stay away from the property. I also have a copy of that document and must say, it is the perfect one-two punch to deal with this "legal bully." 

Rather than performing his professional and fiduciary duties, as well as guiding the board to do what's best for the HOA, Mr. Wright behaved like a bull in a china shop and tried, along with Ms. Baca to take over that community. 

Personally, I think they should both find another line of business - perhaps in the penal system.