Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor Day

Labor Day. Not much hoopla over Labor Day. Not like our military days, which now number about five. Patriotism has outdone labor. This is a capitalists last laugh: to send our labor and young men overseas, and still have us wave the flag and sing the song back home.

One in four hungry in Arkansas

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. "
 Dwight Eisenhower

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Despite Focus on Convention Floor, Major Decisions at RNC Made by Wealthy Donors Behind Closed Doors

Despite Focus on Convention Floor, Major Decisions at RNC Made by Wealthy Donors Behind Closed Doors

Quote of the Day

"Paul Ryan has delusions of adequacy."  The Peever

Here are some dangerous liberal questions that even I hesitate to ask

  • Is it possible for an American to retire in at least reasonable comfort after working a lifetime for minimum wage?
  • How can anyone who doesn't live in lala land believe that American corporations will reglate themselves and protect the environment?
  • By indiscriminately killing people, is it possible to save humanity and bring about peace?
  • Which came first, George W. Bush or terrorism?
  • Is it possible that some of the things we do in the name of capitalism and global imperialism might just provoke much of the world into hating us?
  • Can we imprison every immigrant and minority person in America and still claim to be a democracy?
  • If what is currently going on is called fighting for freedom and democracy, can someone please explain to me the meaning of tyranny?
  • Shouldn't it be as easy to spend money to pay for quality health-care for every American as it is to spend money to wage war?
  • How much money does it take to retire in the Village?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."   Martin Luther King, Jr.


I see the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church and the Village Bible Church have put up crosses for those wrongly sentenced to death by our archaic death penalty laws. I'm impressed.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Reply to Editorial

I have talked to some of the guys working on the golf courses, which, by the way, they have done an excellent job this summer, who report terrible salaries. They make more by working significant overtime. They should be making a living wage, which they don't. I will be recommending that they get a bonus after the summer. They deserve it. I have played some courses in Missouri that were burnt out. Lowering our assessments at the expense of the local people working here is something I cannot support. Sure, we want to keep our expenses down, I agree with most of your points. Marketing is useless. The place markets itself, if prices remain fair and amenities continue as present. Filling up this place by defining progress using continued population growth will kill this place. I would not go beyond 20,000, or so. It will turn into a municipality if any bigger. Big is not good in the case of Hot Springs Village. For a gated community, it is just about at its peak.


Fees should be reduced not increased. 

The Board/POA should pay attention to neighboring cities that exhibit more efficient budgets and organizations than HSVs with larger populations to serve and cannot increase resident’s costs impromptu.  Their Capital budgets are ¼ of ours, perhaps it’s time to sit down with our neighbors and learn something about managing revenues in a responsible manner.  Apparently HSV could lean something from good city management.

235 employees in 2013, 5 reduction more than offset by part time additions???; the budget contains 240 fulltime personnel in 2012 and 2012/2013 have 317 equivalent fulltime employees by utilizing part time personnel. 

Subsequent to Board initial review, the Budget contains the additional $3 increase in the auto decals (as was predicted that the leadership would pursue from last year).  Decals proposed to go from $12 to $15 in 2013, this increase should be scuttled.  Revenue from decals will likely decrease again this year, as some Property Owners will opt to not purchase decals as many did last year.

Fee increases contained in the out year budget plan assume no decrease in utilization, this is an erroneous assumption and should reflect a reduced utilization with fee increase as has been evidenced over the past years.  With return to normal Arkansas weather patterns and these increased fees, rounds/revenue will be down.  This does not represent responsible revenue management.

2% Cost of Living Adjustment for employees (2013 and beyond); last year a generous catch-up of 5% was given to employees for this year.  Stated CPI for Southern Region was to be used which was in aggregate 1.6% for the past 12 month period.  Given our financial issues with lot delinquencies a 0.5% pool is all that is affordable and divvy that up based on merit performance, it’s always easier to shirk responsibility and give across-the-board raises (probably bonuses also, which aren’t deserved given our high pay scale) which does nothing to instill good performance.

Converting the “Advocate” into an electronic publication is admirable assuming the POA has email accounts for all lot owners.

Camera monitoring at all gates is a good thing for the POA to implement.

Before time and money is expended on a land use and development plan the POA should first determine how to implement any changes and inform the Property Owners how this will be accomplished given that a land use and development plan was given to all buyers at purchase date (becoming a part of the contract) and buyers bought with the knowledge of what was going to be around their property.  Before you spend Property Owner money and pursue any changes you are obligated to get Property Owners approval, it is not your money or your land.

Adding an Employee Safety Specialists to our overhead (which is already larger than it should be) is extravagant and probably will be ineffective.  Safety is important but each area of work has unique equipment and processes.  It would be much more effective to have the department heads outline areas of potential hazard and assign a department employee to build safety awareness themes around those.

Capital Improvements in 2013:
-         DeSoto Golf Course was just put down for renovation a few years ago and is in good shape, it seems the greens are being neglected and poanna is being allowed to flourish instead of responsible preventive maintenance.  It is wasteful of Property Owner money to continually spend hundreds of thousands (and millions) of dollars and shut down golf courses for extended periods instead of performing responsible ongoing maintenance.  A prime example of responsible management is Ponce golf course where ongoing maintenance during operations has greatly improved that course at much less expense and prevented lost revenue.  Save much of the proposed $525,000.
-         Any needed Balboa improvements should be handled in the same manner as Ponce was done.  Save a major portion of the $2,300,000.
-         These golf course proposals amount to spending $31/year/per lot (in good standing) or 7.1% of assessments, that is to much and unnecessary!  The Board should not be raising fees to pay for this.
-         If the Board decides to move forward with this then the Board should require a definitive statement of work for golf course renovation of sufficient detail that it can be bid by outside subcontractors to ensure the best bang for the Property Owner money. 
-         Replacement of the HVAC at Coronado Center, this was a disaster the first time around and I hope the Board will ensure a definitive contract is written this time and get a contractor to sign up for a satisfactory total completion.  The POA does not have the expertise to dabble in new adventures at our expense.
-         The Board should insist the POA take a good look at IT outsourcing, most major companies have come to the conclusion that outsourcing IT services is a money maker for them and have improved efficiency, provided equipment replacement and software updates in a timely and cost savings manner.
-         This same approach should be taken with golf carts, I believe that too much value is lost in our early trade-in and we could save money by outsourcing to a supplier for golf carts at our golf courses.
-         Before you settle in on Fleet replacement, it was suggested several years ago that an equipment inventory be created with maintenance and replacement cycles estimated to ensure we get our value out of our (the Property Owner) investment.  This has never been accomplished to my knowledge and it appears that when a new vehicle is want the POA just declares the old one for trade-in.  We need responsible oversight and expenditure of our money.
-         DeSoto pool renovation should be strongly reconsidered and reviewed as an agenda item for public Property Owner input.  From usage data it appears that a large number of guests and a small number of Property Owners utilize the pool which may not be worth renovating, or at least to the same scale that is currently there. 
-         The Board should insist that the Golf Dept get competitive bids for contracting with an outside vendor to provide golf carts for the golf courses.

-         POA Assessment General revenue has built into it an automatic 2% increase in following years.  Even though the Property Owners authorized the capability for the Board to increase the annual Assessment by the CPI, I think it is irresponsible for the Board to dial this in considering the never-ending fee increases the Board seems so fond of.  Perhaps a more appropriate number would be to increase by ½ the current CPI schedule included.
-         Your revenue projects for amenities represent unreasonable fee increases each year; tennis 4% growth, fitness center 3%, golf growth 7%, etc.  The Board should be holding fees steady once the COLA increases become available.
-         Why is there no Marketing personnel or expenses for 2011 and 2012, we had marketing directors in both years and this year the budget was $400,000 per Kosoglow edict.  Furthermore, the budget calls for $400,000 in each year when the agreement was $250,000 for the Assessment increase and we have NO indication that we are doing any better now that we are spending $400,000/year.  Where is the accountability????  I have yet to see a Marketing Plan; the only document I’ve seen is an ad campaign outlined in a PDF presentation with no measurement/feedback for how effective the POA is in spending $400K of Property Owner money each year.
-         All in all is seems that our Club Services is costing the Property Owners less for the services provided.  But we need the POA to get a full time vendor into DeSoto Club and Balboa Club, the POA should tap some Property Owner resources in residence to figure out how to get a reliable vendor in these facilities and provide a menu that will work in HSV!

Your responsible actions will be appreciated.

Larry Frazer
A Concerned Property Owner

Sunday, August 26, 2012


There appears to be the promise that a hurricane might blow the republican  national convention away. Hot dogs! I wonder if they are thinking that God might have something to do with this?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Raging: On Legitimate Rape | Common Dreams

Raging: On Legitimate Rape | Common Dreams

Quote of the Day

"Capitalist production, therefore, develops technology, and the combining together of various processes into a social whole, only by sapping the original sources of all wealth-the soil and the labourer."  Karl Marx


The Republican National Convention is about to get underway. I always thought hell would be a Republican National Convention. Now I'm sure of it. Mitt Romney and his boy wonder Ryan. Let's see what kind of nonsense they can think up. Hopefully the hurricane will wipe the whole thing out. That would be the best possible outcome.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Why are you a Republican?

Only about 10% of the country should be Republican. That would be the ten percent who are the wealthiest. Most of these individuals would be white, Protestant, males. Their scam is to get others to believe that they will represent them. They play on the ignorance and stupidity of others who follow them over various issues that they raise. Abortion, for instance. It doesn’t take a very intelligent person to realize that a woman has the right to control her own body. While males may get upset by this fact, it is inevitable and will not be changed by law. Take health care as another. The wealthy get people to argue that universal health care is not going to be good for them. It is socialism, or somehow too costly to provide for everyone. Of course, all of them have health care. They can afford it. Most the people that they get on board to argue with them don’t have health care, their kids don’t, and their grand-kids don’t. But they get conned. The list goes on and on: Government is bad, social security is bad, Medicare is bad, regulations are bad, immigrants are bad, the 40 hour work-week is bad, minimum wage is bad. Ends up, any money spent on the middle or lower class is seen as bad. Somehow, these people can’t figure out that they are being duped. Stupid is as stupid votes.


Don't assume I share you're right-wing opinions.

CEOs Earn More Than Their Firms Pay in Taxes

CEOs Earn More Than Their Firms Pay in Taxes

The Pursuit of Julian Assange Is an Assault on Freedom and a Mockery of Journalism

The Pursuit of Julian Assange Is an Assault on Freedom and a Mockery of Journalism

Thursday, August 23, 2012


"Patriotism is the last resort of scoundrels."  Emma Goldman

A few things I've learned over the years

  1. Never bend over in front of a Republican.
  2. If you're going to get into politics, make sure words will never hurt you.
  3. When you are prioritizing your goals, always keep golf towards the top.
  4. Always look forward, particularly when you're walking.
  5. LIfe is not set up to be fair. It is set up to be challenging.
  6. Each of us must come to understand God in his or her own way. No one can do this for you. Otherwise, you would come to know God from the outside in rather than from the inside out.
  7. Dumb only looks good on a blonde.
  8. Men's butts turn into bellies.
  9. Never pay cash when you can charge it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Romney and Ryan

What a pair. The Republicans must let Rush Limbaugh pick their Vice-President. Ryan will make it impossible for the Republicans to win. Anyone with half a brain will not vote for them, which unfortunately doesn't not eliminate a lot of middle class Republicans. Should they somehow manage to screw up the vote, their only possible strategy, we can all kiss our ass goodbye.


"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."  Martin Luther King, Jr.

Misinformed Republicans

-I continue to hear people cry about all the welfare money for people who are dependent on the government. While I do agree that there are some families that have been on welfare from generation to generation, the amounts are so small that it is almost laughable. Most welfare recipients are non‑black, adult, single mothers, who are on welfare less than two years at a time. To think otherwise is to be misinformed. And misinformed is what right-wing Republicans hope you are.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You don't stand a chance against my prayers

     * You pray for peace through warring, I pray for peace through compromise, negotiation, mutual respect.
     * You pray Obama fails, I pray he succeeds.
     * You pray for a good crop of industrial corn, I pray our farmers plant food.
     * You pray that guns are the answer, I think education and inclusiveness are the answers.
     * You pray for the good-old-days, I pray for today.
     * You pray Christian prayers, I’ll take any.
     * You pray that Jesus will make it right, I pray that we will.
     * You pray a better day will come, I ask why not today?
A prayer is not just a prayer. There are fundamental differences in what we ask and hope for. I’m glad I’m not God. Maybe she doesn’t pay any attention to all our asking?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One in four hungry in Arkansas

"Religion and feeding the hungry should not be served on the same plate."  The Peever


I love it when people complain about wakes on a lake.  Tiny tsunamis, eroding their property into oblivion. Frankly, I think they have a point. They should have never expected that, buying or building a house on a lake.

Likewise, we have people who complain about their home being hit with golf balls on the various courses. And people actually walk onto their property to retrieve a ball. I personally think this is quite callous and rude. Anyone buying or building a home on a golf course should not have to put up with this type of behavior.

My answer to such inexplicable bad behavior on the part of boaters and golfers is to hit them right where it hurts. No more boating on the lakes. That’s it. No boats, no wakes. The property owners will be happy, the fish will be happy, and the boaters will be gone.  Likewise, the end to dents in the siding, broken windows, and trespassers is to kick the golfers off the courses. The homeowners will be happy, the deer will be happy, and the rude golfers will be gone.

You can thank me later.

NBC’s War for Fun and Profit | Common Dreams

NBC’s War for Fun and Profit | Common Dreams


In the POA’s efforts to increase revenue from our amenities there has been a push to market/contact groups to come play our golf courses.  This is a good way to generate additional revenue and utilize unused tee times, as long as the Property Owner interest and rights are observed.  HSV amenities belong to the collective Property Owners are funded and exist for their benefit and use.  This is not a resort or public vacation destination but a private community where residents live their daily lives.

I have personally been impacted and others have related to me similar instances where groups were loud, disrespectful of our properties, rude, inappropriate language, and treated our facilities with disregard and acted as if they were the only ones present, most recently on Aug 5th the Couples Group (which start teeing off around 11:30am) was forced to have a 5+ hour round due to a reported corporate group (which means the corporate group had a priority tee time, morning).

Additionally, when course marshals have been asked by Property Owners to speed up play while following these groups, the marshals implied that they were instructed that they could not enforce the pace of play on outside groups.  If this is true, then it is unacceptable!

Guest groups are just that, guests.  That means they are here to enjoy our amenities as the Property Owners guest and as guests are expected to conduct themselves in a respectful manner while enjoying our amenities and under the same rules as Property Owners.  If groups cannot abide by this behavior then, I for one don’t want them in our community.

I ask the Board to instruct the Golf Dept to institute a policy/process whereby guest groups will agree, in advance, in writing to conduct themselves in an appropriate courteous manner and are bound to abide by the same rules as Property Owners, including pace of play, thereby agreeing to pickup and move forward at a marshal’s request if they cannot keep the course pace and are holding up play.  Any groups reported to have conducted themselves in a disrespectful or inappropriate manner should be barred from future tee times.

I trust the Board will look into this matter and ensure our Property Owner interests are maintained.

Larry Frazer
Have a Great Day!!


"To listen, you have to give up the notion that you already know everything there is to know."  The Peever


Hot Springs Village is an anomaly when it comes to neighborhoods. We are not set up in a well defined, neighborly way. Still, if we set our minds to it, we could establish meaningful neighborhoods. Geographically, one can define a neighborhood in numerous ways, using roads, rivers, railroads, as boundary lines. Here in the Village, a cal-da-sac is most frequently used. However we would define the neighborhood, it would be of great benefit for us to do so. It would seem more beneficial and helpful for everyone to know one another, interact on a regular basis, and work towards both a safe and livable neighborhood-Village. With the neighborhood concept, we could also use "down-towns," or places to congregate. In the Village, this would play itself out by developing 5-6 places developed to draw people to it. As examples, these might be the East and West gate areas, around Coronado Center, the corner of Desoto and Ponce, around the Desoto Club area. This would require an area for sitting, similar to a town square, restaurant, ice cream parlor, coffee shop, etc. Outside of the family, the neighborhood is the smallest social group that we live in. If we cannot get long as neighbors, and work to one another's benefit, I have no idea how we can expect to get along as a village, city, state, or nation. It won't work.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Paul Ryan Vision of America: Ban Abortion, Defund Contraception, Outlaw In Vitro Fertilization

The Paul Ryan Vision of America: Ban Abortion, Defund Contraception, Outlaw In Vitro Fertilization

Quote of the Day

 “Agitators are a set of interfering, meddling people who come down to some perfectly contented class of the community and sow the seeds of discontent among them. That is the reason why agitators are so absolutely necessary.”  Oscar Wilde


-There are no easy answers. There are no easy problems. Everything seems connected to everything else. The web of life has been woven tightly and reverberates with every move. To focus on a single problem with hopes of solving it is a distant memory. The complexity of our world requires problem solvers to look beyond singular solutions and envision multiple answers to complex problems, any one of which may need to be brought forward  only after it has been discussed how it will affect our great-great-great grandchildren. Most of our problem solving takes into account only us. We are not visionaries. We tend to be reactionaries. Ethanol is a good example of our short-sightedness. So, for that matter, is our insistence that war can bring about a peaceful world, or that guns can make us safer, or that drugs will go away if we put everyone in jail. All are elementary miscalculations made by short-sighted thinkers. Conservative thinking. Visionaries of what already has been.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Funny The Way Things Are

  • During my 64 years, there have been few that a war of one type or another was not going on. Korea (50-53), the cold war (45-91), Vietnam (61-73), Grenada (83), Bosnia (94-95), Kosovo (91), Desert Storm (91), Iraq (03-12), Afghanistan (01-present). Surges, drones, land mines. Torture, Blackwater, civilian casualties, lies. Nowadays we don't even have the guts to call them wars, what with marketing experts and all. We accept the killings as though it were a backyard squabble.
  • When did health-care become a commodity? Who would have ever thought that you could go bankrupt due to your health? Today, if you can pay for it, you'll get it. If you can't, you'll also "get it", only in a slightly different way. When is it exactly that the people in the insurance, managed care, and health-care professions will be satisfied with the amount of money they are making? When does a doctor say enough is enough? When will we say enough is enough?
  • It was said if you worked hard, you could eventually retire. The way it ended up, you are expected to work hard until the company no longer sees you as an asset. Then you are supposed to go away, most often with no retirement benefits.
  • We either are one bad people, or we got way too many prisons. Locking someone up is not the only form of punishment. Rehabilitation is a thing of the past. today it is considered too costly. We don't seem to want to solve the problem that lead a crime. We just want to lock it away. We bat things around the courtroom forever, helping way too many lawyers make a living. today we put the mentally ill and drug users in prison, who both should e receiving treatment, not punishment. Funny how we've turned out so many bad apples. And what's really amazing is how few of them are white and how may of them are poor.
  • It's funny how we've ended up so far away from where it is we would like to be. From where it is we dream about. How lackadaisical we are about what we want to leave for our children, and their children, and their children. Look in a mirror. The change starts there.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Model Democracy? Really? | Common Dreams

A Model Democracy? Really? | Common Dreams



* Throwing away food that could be used to feed the hungry.
* Cars that get 30 miles per gallon.
* Taxing everything known to mankind.
* A right-wing Republican.
* The Chamber of Commerce.
* Wishing for the good-old-days.
* Electing the same idiots every time we go to the polls.
* Thinking your generation was better than any other.
* Believing war will bring peace.
* Thinking the rich need help getting richer.

Monday, August 6, 2012


I just saw a commercial for a reality show that is going to put 8 celebrities in combat situations with soldiers. General Wesley Clark is promoting it. This has really got to be a new low for reality TV and the military. To go along with such crap is just pitiful. For any soldier who has ever served, this is a clap in the face. UNBELIEVABLE!

Straight line winds did a pretty good number on Hot Springs yesterday. Quite a lot of damage, a lot of trees down. I didn't hear anything about rain. Here in the Village, nothing. In my 64 years, I have never seen such a lack of rain. It acts like it can't. Almost every night, thunder, lightning, and no rain. Since June, I have only measured a quarter-inch of rain here on the T-box of number 4 on Granada. I have proposed a group rain dance, which I think is an idea someone needs to take up. RAIN. RAIN. RAIN.

I been watching the Olympics. A lot of the athletes, after they win, point toward the heavens. Just once, I'd like to see someone point down. What a mess that would make.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

3 Big Lies Perpetuated By the Rich | Alternet

3 Big Lies Perpetuated By the Rich | Alternet

* No more war. We know it's stupid. Nobody wins. It of late hasn't been about freedom, or liberty, or democracy. It's about oil, money and power. Rich folks, generals, presidents, congressmen, they all sing the song and wave the flag, while tens of thousands of people are killed, including our own soldiers, in the name of peace and justice. My dream keeps telling me this is wrong and needs to end.
* Crap, that was scary. I dreamt our politicians were public servants, not public nuisances.
* In my dreams, I can see the Earth, and it seems to be doing fine. But I don't see any humans. Darn the luck.
* The other night I had a dream that all our young people love school, and are excelling. They get along with one another and the teachers. What the hell was that all about?
* I had a dream that all the churches were actually doing something to make the community a better place to live. I got to quit drinking.
* I can only remember certain parts of sexual dreams, and it's never the good part.
* I had a dream just last night. When I woke up, I just couldn't quite make sense of it. It had something to do with the POA.

"The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself."  Rita Mae Brown

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Hot Springs Village. This place is sure full of white, Christian, right-wing Republicans. They must like golf.

I've been looking around to see how we take advantage of the local people. We do help the school districts, which is a good thing. Both the Fountain Lake and Jessieville school districts do quite well. I'm glad the young kids benefit from the Village. The local people who work in the Village is another story. The people who keep up our golf courses are sorely underpaid. They put in long hours in tough conditions and if not for the overtime, would barely be making a living wage. Another group of poorly paid workers build the homes we buy. Several builders are now employing Mexican workers, and paying them poorly. They put in extremely long hours, are highly talented, yet make pitifully little for their labor.

As a benefit to workers in the Village, i hear they get free amenities if they are at a pay grade of 10 or above. Seems that's mainly management. Pay grades 1-9 should get the free stuff.

I'm not so sure the POA directors understand their job or who they are working for. They seem to think the manager is in charge. We do not elect the manager. We elect them. You would think the last election would have taught them that. We hold them responsible, not the manager. The manager is their problem. They give their authority to the manager. They had better taketh back.

I'm going to be sixty-five come April. In today's society, getting to be 65 is a big deal. Medicare. Another ugly, evil, socialist program almost everyone in the Village partakes of. This place is practically a commune, what with all the Social Security and Medicare recipient's. Damn us Village socialists.

Living behind closed gates is something you have to get used to. In the end, I guess I'm as fearful as everyone else. It's the darn unforeseen: Old age, people of color, disease, financial ruin, change of any sort. It scares you. So we close ourselves in.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Most of us call ourselves Christian, yet I get the distinct impression we give little thought to what that means. We take from the Bible what fits our ideology, and leave the rest. The Jewish people fled Egypt, freeing themselves from the corruption of the Pharaoh and his system of scarcity.  (Little food, little family time, 18 hour work days, little justice). The Jewish people fled to Sinai, the Promised Land, and received rules by which to live. (The Ten Commandments). They were to pay homage to God, be good neighbors, and take a little time off from those 18 hour work days. It was no longer necessary for you to struggle to feed yourself and our family, God would provide, which didn't mean you were to sit by and pray for the best, but to give thanks for the bounty that was possible through your hard work, devotion, and commitment to community building. As it happened, Christ entered the picture and challenged the hierarchy of the Jewish leaders, who he believed had strayed away fro the Promise. Challenging those in power is never a good thing, as we are finding out today in the occupy movement. Anyway, Christ emphasized the common good, being a good neighbor, and devotion to God, not man. As Christians, we were moved from a place of bondage, scarcity, submission, and land obedience, to a place of abundance, hope, freedom, the common good, and the promise of community and neighborhood. All we need to do is remember.
 EDITORIAL-dated June 24, 2012

I think the Board has enabled the POA to lose sight of the fact that this is a Property Owners Association established to preserve the value and maintain the “common properties” for the benefit and in the interest of Property Owners, not a municipality or other entity.  The Goal should be to manage costs to preserve interests and frugally control expenses for Property Owners/Residents!

At the retreat it was made painfully clear that most Board members (notably continuing members) not only had not read the Declarations or Covenants but also didn’t know where to find them.  Amazing!

Retreat Action items (are these in the interest of Property Owners?):

• The Research and Special Projects committee will help develop comparison data for golf fees and assessments for communities similar to the Village;

I hope that this time around the purpose is stated, a creditable comparison is defined, and a realistic analysis is performed.  Who on the RASP has the knowledge or background to guide a rational well thought out creditable research project like this?  What is the purpose/goal of this?  Is it in the Property Owners best interest?  This analysis should be used as a marketing or promotional tool; but I am concerned this will be just another propaganda move by special interests or certain Board members to justify unwarranted fee increases? If residents (or potential residents) want comparable fees they would have stayed at their previous locations and paid fees at “for profit” golf facilities there, as a Property Owner in HSV the assessment they pay rightly pays a portion of the cost and any “profit” percentage should stay in the pockets of the Property Owner.  Property Owners deserve responsible fiscal management and good value for assuming their portion of the financial responsibility of HSV.

• With the next time assessments can be changed without going for a vote being January 2014, the board remained committed to the two-percent cost-of-living adjustment that’s currently in the financial plan and agreed property owners should be educated on the matter;

Why is it that the Board is so intent on spending Property Owners money to the extent that fees (or assessments) have to be increased every year in an attempt to support funding of nonsensical projects resulting in mismanagement of our limited resources?  The Board’s focus should be on controlling costs and growing our only reliable revenue source, “more residents”; not how much money can be spend on nice to have non-essential items that few if any want, and only promotes increasing fees that makes HSV less attractive.
• As for administrative fees, general manager Scott Randall is to provide the board with Declaration language and gather a list of all possible fines and fees, with board directors sending any fine or fee ideas to Randall;

Administrative fees are probably warranted but with the secrecy and certain actions that have been perpetrated in recent history do the Property Owners trust that the current management will implement a responsible process and penalty fee structure?

• A review of the needs and costs of installing the 40th Anniversary design for the East Gate was discussed and a full plan was requested;

This is another item that is NICE TO HAVE that could wait until better times but the Board cannot seem to comprehend “responsible fiscal management”!  If one fee has to be increased then expenditures such as this should be put off.

• Concern was expressed about comparing senior-level salaries with surrounding communities and the need to base them on a national scale. As for employee fringe benefits, an outside benefits consultant will review the current plan and make any recommended changes;

The Board should be very careful in erroneously increasing overhead costs for the Property Owners.  There are very few jobs that require special unique skills in the POA that cannot be replaced quickly at our current salary and benefit levels and this includes our upper management positions (which some are probably overpaid currently considering responsibilities and operating environment). 

• Yucuis was charged with making sure fees were considered earlier in the 2013 budget process, allowing enough time for recommendations from committees;

The Board should focus on living within the current fee structure and revenue stream instead of increasing fees and the financial burden on “residents” to fund pet projects and degrading the attractiveness of HSV for potential residents!

• Randall and Yucuis will develop a 20-year capital improvement plan, including road maintenance;

This is a good plan to have, one was previously on the website but removed when it was critiqued for irresponsible projects that were not in the best interest of Property Owners.  Property Owners should be made aware of planned future expenditures with their money.

• Yucuis will see if bonding in order to fund the waterplant project is possible, while putting the $4.4 million saved for the plant in reserve;

This makes no sense at all, to borrow money and increase Property Owners assessments to spend more of their money for no reason (or is there an alternative agenda behind the scenes here?). Property Owners have paid for this reserve fund to finance the water system over prior years; now the Board wants to double charge the Property Owners and expand the debt obligation against each lot. 

• With Randall stating the POA has only two revenue streams, assessments and user fees, and the only areas in which the POA breaks even are water, sewer and trash, the board and Randall were to consider a consultant to develop the future business modeling for the Village; staff will look into the cost of a Metro Plan or Municipal League doing a study on alternative governance of the Village, with the cost going in the 2013 budget;

34,000+ lots were sold to individuals and investors as a Property Owners Association; there is no funding problem, there is a spending and management problem.  We break even on all expenditures!  The Property Owners pay for everything, either through assessments or fees or both!  If the reference is about amenity operating revenues covering expenses, then this is a mute irrelevant point!  Golf is the only amenity that comes close to revenues covering expenses, all other amenities are heavily supported by assessment dollars as a percent of operating cost, and that is as it should be, that’s why we pay the assessment.  Assessments are paid to maintain “common properties” (I guess Randall hasn’t read the Declarations either). The GM and POA staff is just a necessary overhead cost, which should be minimized.  POA mismanaged requires that fees be increased every year to pay for POA incompetence in handling of Property Owner money and assets.  The Assessment is supposed to contribute to the operating cost for amenities that represent a “common asset” and to ask “residents” to pay full cost of amenity assets owned by all Property Owners would be criminal and dishonest!  The assessment dollars spent on POA management compensation may be a bad investment for Property Owners if they cannot do their jobs within the framework of the organization, the current BUSINESS MODEL!  There is nothing wrong with the current business model, is this endeavor an attempt to conceal mismanagement? A POA is probably the best and most flexible business model for a community to determine it’s own direction free from outside influences and constraints.

• Randall will send out requests for proposals this summer to city planners re- garding a land-use plan for the Village, with town hall meetings serving as the forum to review the options;

This activity is way outside of the POA authority; this is not a municipality and with a review zoning laws; you will find there is no legitimacy in this endeavor.  This will be a waste of limited POA resources.  Expend our resources on legitimate POA activities.

• Director of public safety Laroy Cornett reviewed operations of the gates and said ultimately he would like to have two lanes at the entrance to the west gate, with a kiosk in the middle;

I feel sorry for whoever gets stuck in the kiosk; especially when one of our “good” drivers loses control and drives through it.

costs of installing cameras at the gate entrances were also requested;

This should be a priority item, won’t be that expensive, all gates should be video monitored and would be of much greater benefit to Property Owners than some of the items money is spent on currently.

• After hearing about a dog-park proposal from Joe Moreau and Rolland White, director Keith Keck was assigned coordinating with Randall and maybe bring the issue before a town-hall meeting; and finally,

This is likely not good value for the money and effort.  First of all finding a place where you don’t have an outcry of neighbors who don’t want the noise and perhaps smell next to them; secondly expecting people to drive many miles to walk their dogs is unrealistic.  People will continue to walk their dogs in the neighborhoods and multitude of undeveloped or open spaces near their homes.  Do your research before you waste Property Owners resources.  Dog parks are only good ideas in high-density population communities where there are NO green spaces; we have plenty of green spaces!  If pet owners (and there is an estimated 5,000 dogs in HSV) want this so much then let them contribute dollars to fund construction and maintain it (assuming of course you can find a suitable location).  If you can raise the money as contribution from dog owners then it might be utilized, but I’m afraid it would end up being like trails; it will be there, a maintenance liability on Property Owners, and few will use it!

Property Owners, especially residents, should speak out and let the Board members know of their concerns and desires, since Board members are elected to oversee POA operations for Property Owner interests.  These are my issues, concerns, and desires concerning Board/POA focus on these action items.

Larry Frazer
A Concerned Property Owner

Thursday, August 2, 2012

MARKETING 101 The owner of Chick-fil-A should worry a whole lot more about the conditions that the chickens he cooks are subjected to and a whole lot less about what two consenting adults do with their personal lives. But his bold misguided Christian view did sell a lot of chicken. I congratulate him for such fine marketing.

Take a look. From a new HBO show, "The Newsroom."


Now is the time. It just doesn't want to cut loose with any rain. Get outside and whoop it up. A rain dance is kind of easy to do. You don't need any ballroom training. Just kind of jump around a little bit and raise your hands and arms towards the sky. You can yell and holler and scream, that's ok. Seeing many of us are older, don't hurt yourself. This can be done in the nude, but in the Village, I wouldn't recommend it. Let's all pitch in. We need rain.

In a recent survey, the gates are taunted as the most important reason that new people move to the Village. All things being equal, that's sad. Gates are used to keep people out. Presumably, we want to keep people out because we are fearful. We have money and our egos are big, but we are afraid of disease, old age, poor people, people of color. So we close ourselves in.

I understand as a benefit to workers in the Village, they get free amenities if they are at a pay grade of 10 or above. Seems that's mainly management. Pay grades 1-7 should get the free stuff.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


"Abundance, The future is better than you think," is a book you can't afford to not read. It is the answer to all the pessimism that drives the Tea-partiers and  right-wing Republicans.
"In Abundance, space entrepreneur turned innovation pioneer Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler document how progress in artificial intelligence, robotics, infinite computing, ubiquitous broadband networks, digital manufacturing, nanomaterials, synthetic biology, and many other exponentially growing technologies will enable us to make greater gains in the next two decades than we have in the previous two hundred years. We will soon have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet."
Abundance for all is within our grasp. Don't let the naysayers and doomsday goons take you down.

Here's a beauty. Equally helpful from the duffer to the pro. From the table of contents:
Chapter 1-How to properly line up your fourth putt.
Chapter 2-How to hit a Nike from the rough when you hit a Titleist from the tee.
Chapter 3-How to get more distance from a shank.
Chapter 4-When to give the marshall the finger.
Chapter 5-Using your shadow on the greens to maximize earnings.
Chapter 6-Crying and how to handle it.
Chapter 7-How to find that ball that everyone else thought went into the water.
Chapter 8-How to get your spouse to care about the eagle you got on the fifth hole.
Chapter 9-When to let a foursome play through a twosome.
Chapter 10-How to persuade your group that a mulligan is clearly allowed on the first hole, and a    do-over on each consecutive hole, as long as you buy everyone a beer at the end.
Chapter 11-When to suggest major swing corrections to your opponent.
Chapter 12-How to explain a 74 score when you  have a 17 handicap.
Chapter 13-When are the right conditions for having a beer before 10am.
Chapter 14-The proper style for throwing a club.
Chapter 15-When to regrip your ball retriever.
I wish I could say I was the author, but I'm not. This is going to be a big one.

Golf is not the most sought after amenity in the Village. That's peculiar. However, it's not surprising that lakes win out. A lake is a lot easier to keep up than a golf course. And I'm guessing mainly the wives of golfers fill out the survey. At any rate, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference. Both lakes and golf are equally important to the survival of the Village. Both should be treated with the utmost of care. And both need to remain reasonably priced for both residents and their families. Golf courses are expensive to operate. It is reasonable, if you want eight of them, to expect the POA to subsidize them, at least to an extent. The "extent" is what we need to determine, not that they should be subsidized. That will have to be a given. Should people not want to pay a subsidy to keep them up, perhaps we could dam them and fill them with water. More lakes. A win-win situation. Except, of course, for the golfers.