In the two months since we started publishing these ‘THINGS TO KNOW’ messages, we’ve received numerous questions and comments from our homeowners – and we hope you continue to send them. Below you’ll see some of the comments we’ve received. Some are positive and some are negative. All are insightful and deeply appreciated as we navigate this process.
The purpose of this column is to provide you with the data you need so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to vote on whether to approve the fees necessary to support the Reorganization Plan. You can find all the ‘THINGS TO KNOW‘ e-communications on our website here.
As we have previously discussed, once the disclosure statement and Reorganization Plan are filed with the Bankruptcy Court, we intend to hold a town hall meeting where we will be able to discuss specifics regarding options for special assessments and/or annual dues adjustments. This town hall meeting is currently scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23 via Zoom.
Here’s a sampling of the comments we have received:
Homeowner Comment: Charging the homeowners for an advance fund would be unacceptable to me. This would only fund a slush fund for further irresponsible spending that got us into this mess to start with. Time to make massive cuts. Start with the golf course. Too many times I’ve seen workers on the course sitting around talking on their cell phones. Make the cuts.
Board Response: There’s a lot to unpack with this comment, so this response will be a little longer.
- There are critical differences between a “slush” fund and reserve funds. Slush funds are intended to circumvent accountability and proper financial management. Reserve funds are used to finance current and future obligations over time and are subject to strict accountability. Last year, Continental Country Club hired a reputable firm, Reserve Advisors, to conduct a comprehensive reserve study. We’ve previously written about this study here. This study addresses one of the key items that led us to file for bankruptcy protection: a lack of reserve funds. Reserve funds are recommended as part of a sound financial operation.
- CCC’s financial situation was primarily created by low annual dues, which cannot be increased without member approval. Our current CC&Rs make no allowance for regular increases to dues or cost-of-living adjustments. This resulted in chronic underfunding of our association (including the inability to establish appropriate reserves). Our annual operating expenses have increased over time, but our revenues have not kept pace.
- Regarding the golf course, earlier this year when an outside party expressed interest in purchasing the CCC Golf Course, the board agreed to meet with the party and answer questions they had about the golf course. The party eventually disengaged from further discussion. The strict deadlines imposed by the Bankruptcy Court do not allow us to approach the sale of our golf course in a responsible manner while we are still going through the reorganization process. If it makes sense, a possible sale of the golf course can always be re-evaluated after the approval of fees necessary to support the Reorganization Plan by the members.
- Finally, many organizational communications are done via cell phone. The use of cell phones is approved for business contact and is an effective way for the service teams to communicate about potential problems or needs on the course. Using a phone for personal use during work hours is limited to employee breaks or communication regarding urgent family matters.
Homeowner Comment: Hello. I am wondering what has been determined for residents’ cost, fee or “liability” to resolve the bankruptcy issue. I have been looking through Board documents but there is so much to look through that it is not easy to find this information. Per your email today, can you share with us what the cost would be for homeowners if they (we) approve the proposal?
Board Response: The fees that will be required to resolve the bankruptcy issue will be discussed with all of our members at a town hall meeting currently planned for Saturday, Oct. 23 at 9 a.m. via Zoom. It will be primarily dedicated to presenting different options to our members so that they can provide feedback. This meeting will be recorded so that anyone unable to attend the online meeting can access it. Feedback from the meeting will be taken into consideration in presenting the final fee structure to members for approval.
Homeowner comment: Great job on the letter! Please keep the e-mails coming to ALL stakeholders in the CCC pointing out that a Chapter 7 will result in a significant devaluation of their property!!! And it does not matter where you live on the CCC – golf course v. non-golf course – ALL property values will be negatively affected with a Chapter 7. All residents need to step up and do the right thing. Thanks for all you do!!
Board Response: Thank you for your comment and appreciation. Your Board is also very concerned about the possible effect a Chapter 7 bankruptcy would have on our property values if forced into a Chapter 7 liquidation. We are all dues-paying members of CCC. Some of us live in townhomes/condominiums and some of us live in single-family homes. All of us appreciate our neighborhoods and the amenities offered by the CCC – even if we don’t use them!
Please continue to send your opinions, comments, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate hearing from you.