When I moved here in 1998, there was a POA board of directors and an operations manager. The operations manager was responsible for the daily maintenance and operation of amenities. It did not have input into the five-year plan or decide what capital projects the members needed. It did not decide what the rate of return should be on reserve funds. It did not help create the capital budget. It did not give presentations to members or ask for rate increases. It did not give recommendations to the board on any action other than daily operations.
By definition, it is the responsibility of our board of directors to do all of the things alluded to in the previous paragraph. However, somewhere through the years, the board members got lazy and decided to change the definition of the operations manager to chief operations officer. By doing this, the board no longer has to gather data to make decisions. It no longer has to care about what is best for the members or worry about a long-term plan or expenditures. All the board has to do is listen to what it is told by the COO and follow his recommendations.
A perfect example is the Community Center. It was not the POA members' idea to build this center. The members were not asked if they wanted a center. They were asked only what they would like to have in the new center. It was the COO's idea and he told the board that we needed a new community center; and board members, as always, agreed with what the COO recommended.
In the approximately three years since our current COO has been here, he has spent all 12 million dollars of our reserves. He has opened up all of our amenities to the public. He is closing one of our golf courses. He has given more than one hundred miles of common property to the city to be used for bike trails even though this property was originally intended to ensure the beauty and privacy of our community. And, if you think this was a decision made by the board of directors, check the picture of the groundbreaking ceremony in the Sept. 19 edition of the Weekly Vista. It is the COO with the shovel; not a single board member is in the picture. (Hiking/biking trails are good, but using common property to create over a hundred miles of trails within our city limits is a little over the top.)
Ironically, even though the POA board members rely on the COO for every move they make, they do have the power to eliminate him. It has happened before. It is time for our board members to start doing the job they were elected to do and redefine the COO position to being responsible only for the daily operation and maintenance of our amenities.
The tail has been wagging the dog long enough.
Bella VistaEditorial on 10/10/2018
Print Headline: The tail is wagging the dog