You must be the change you wish to see in the world
— Mahatma Gandhi

PVHA Election Feedback Poll

Results

The recent election for Palos Verdes Homes Association Board of Directors (held on January 10, 2017) fell short of generating a necessary quorum – only 1589 out of 5420 homes voted. As such, the PVHA Board decided not to open and count the ballots, and appointed themselves to serve another year. It has now been 8 years since there was a valid election, and three of the five directors have never been elected.

John Harbison wrote a Guest Commentary in the Peninsula News on January 26, 2017, asking the PVHA to extend the election, mail new ballots, and seek judicial intervention to lower the quorum threshold from 50% -- thus bringing back a democratically elected leadership to PVHA (click here). PVHA Board countered with a Guest Commentary in the February 2nd edition, declaring that the vast majority of those not voting had done so out of support for the current Board (click here).  PVHA Board voted on January 24th not to take any further action in this election.

This poll was intended to shed some light on public sentiment on the matter, since the PVHA has refused to open the ballots received and refused to disclose to the public how those voting feel about who should be their representatives. 

Anyone who is a member of Palos Verdes Homes Association was invited to take the poll-- whether or not you voted, and whether or not you support the incumbents. Our hope is that all eligible voters would participate.

The Poll was confidential and took place between February 16, 2017 and March 17, 2017. There were 88 Respondents, and all but one said they were PVE residents. 89%  of the respondents had voted in the recent PVHA Election, and the others provided input on why they did not vote:

reasons_for_no.jpg

The Survey shows that members are deeply concern over most aspects of the PVHA Board's performance::

Here are all the unfiltered comments on the "primary factors that cause you to give that rating" [on performance]:

  • “PVE is exceptional - people who've been here too long don't know how good they have it - especially by L.A. standards.”
  • “Low ratings based on observed interactions with residents and handling of parklands (sale)”
  • “Have researched as well as done work requiring approvals - very helpful”
  • “Very unhappy that this organization is not responsive to the community it serves.  There is a swamp in this board and the election rules need to be changed.  They operate in secrecy.  Very few people know what it going on”
  • “My interaction with the directors very positive. The office personnel outstanding. Via Panorama parkland issue is debatable. However I support the decision of the City Council”
  • “The handling of election process and parklands management: fail.”
  • “FACTS”
  • “Bad experience with PVHA/Sid Croft during (failed) view restoration process w/ neighbor”
  • “Self appointed board protects special interests, not the interest of homeowners”
  • “Experience of dealing with the HA”
  • “Selling of parkland, huge houses going up in the area, etc.”
  • “No action on complaints and issues with neighbors re-grading and house paint color (black!!) and this after making us pick from different shades of a color that meets their approval.  Stupid of us to even have asked!!”
  • “Personal experience”
  • “The current board does not represent the residents of PVE and are completely corrupt. They defy the wishes of their constituents. This is not democracy”
  • “This self appointed board has only their own self interests and political agenda in mind”
  • “Stop selling Parkland & stop spending money on lawsuits”
  • “Parkland”
  • “Have lost trust in their integrity”
  • “Parklands, lack of fiscal responsibility, lack of transparency, need new blood”
  • “Illegal selling of parkland”
  • “Our city is losing its small town feel and natural beauty because of city decisions. I don't feel like resident voices are being heard. I was extremely disappoint with the errors in the recent election and was equally disappointed with the way response and lack of remedy!”
  • “The way election was handled & sale of parkland”
  • “Arrogance of the board of directors.  They operate as if they have no sense of responsibility to PVE citizens to ensure their processes and decisions are beneficial to the community.  The recent land giveaway to a private citizen reeks of cronyism; yet the board doesn't appear to give a damn.”
  • “Arbitrary rules for the HOA, which change according to one's architect or the mood of the board.”
  • “The appeal regarding the parkland sale is not what residents want done or funded”
  • “Sale of parkland”
  • “Poorly run election with minimal resident consideration"
  • “The HOA and City Hall serve the residents with the most clout and political influence.  Standards and enforcement are subjective and influenced by political agendas.  I hear neighbors in this community and outside this community who have knowledge of how politically motivated the actions of ALL persons who serve the city residents including the police.”
  • “Disappointed that elite have benefitted from PVHA actions and angry that PVHA discounts homeowners concerns, lack of transparency and unethical behavior. PVHA has circumvented open government, created adversarial environment and continues to behave in a manner that benefits them and not the community.”
  • “They're crooks!”
  • “There's a level of service being expected of in this zip code.  Job was done adequately as should be. Nothing exceptional and had room for improvement”
  • “Poor transparency. Doing what board thinks is right rather than representing community interests”
  • "Lack of election process review.”
  • “Lack of CC&R understanding"
  • “Unwillingness to make elections transparent and fair and democratic. Willingness to forgo our protected parklands”
  • “I think they are all self-serving, and all of them need to be voted out. A prime example is the 'back-door' deal to 'give-away' public parkland at a fraction of it's value. Additionally, we have NO ENFORCEMENT of any traffic laws (speeding) violation of building codes, dogs off leash, etc.. Palos Verdes has turned into a 'lawless' unsafe place to live”
  • “Extremely poor impression of PVHA, their lack of concern for public interest and complete lack of transparency”
  • “PVHA's support for the sale of parkland to a private party”
  • “PVHA needs new blood--would love to know how people voted-- everyone I know voted for the new people!”
  • “Primary factors:  illegal sale of parkland; complete lack of transparency; corrupt and self serving agenda of current board members; efforts by Phil Frengs to create voter suppression by sending false narrative to community and limiting opportunities to vote (as well as questionable tactics regarding mail in ballot to Sparky’s Pet Salon with no way to verify if ballot had been received by appropriate address and counted)”
  • “Currently encroachments on parkland are many and nothing has been done to enforce boundaries and remove fences, patios, and other structures”
  • “Enforced deed restriction with PVPUSD lawsuit over lots C & D then sold parkland on Via Panorama. Little experience with office/tree issues”
  • “Very dissatisfied with virtually everything the PVHA has done, especially with regard to the elections and sale and appeal of the parklands.  Reminiscent of other cities where residents have suffered the consequences of the leadership/management decisions.  I want better for my city!”
  • “Giving away parkland....backdoor dealings”
  • “The selling of parkland and refusal to conduct a proper election for the Directors of the PVHA Board”
  • “Sale of the Parkland issue is very disappointing”
  • “Sale of public land and no attention to Neighborhood Compatibility”
  • “Only dealt with homes association once when I remodeled my home.  Very subjective experience. Although all went smoothly, I believe it was only because I approached them with a "you're the boss" attitude.  I followed all their rules and even when I thought the process was almost un-American, I just did as I was told.  In the end I really like my house now, but I could see the power they hold over a very subjective, artistic, opinion based undemocratic process.  And the rules can change when ever the Art Jury sees fit.  We are at their mercy.  Luckily my project went well...just dumb luck I think.  I was scared every time I went into that office.  Not even sure who is there now.  I followed every rule they made up just because I was scared of my project getting held up.”
  • “Their actions of selling parkland to private citizens and their willingness to spend our money on appeals”
  • “Selling public property”
  • “Need new blood”
  • “Too controlling and nickel and dime us for small things. Then you drive thru the neighborhood and see so many eye sores  it's hard to understand why”
  • “PVHA has always been helpful in providing guidance to me. However, I am concerned by the illegality of the three party transaction involving the transfer of parklands to a resident”
  • “Land swaps of protected and private land. Hiking trail issues”
  • “Inbred group that has their own self-interest, power and greed in the forefront”
  • “Unhappy with current PVHA communications”
  • “No elections being held- nothing ever changes”
  • “What is the acronym CC&Rs?”
  • “Supporting selling off public parkland, non responsiveness to community, obtuse/ oblique arcane rules & regulations”
  • “Egregiously violating CC&Rs, then filing lawsuit in judgement against them for selling parkland, and for doing all they can to impede opposing views and efforts, while avoiding accountability” 
  • “Selling the parkland and trying to defend a indefensible action”
  • “Personal experience!”
  • “This Board is arrogant and disrespectful to residents of PVE”
  • ”Do not follow the their own rule and no communication!”
  • “They appear to make their own rule for their own sake."
  • “Sale of Parkland in 2012, and then the decision to appeal after Judge ruled PVHA actions were illegal”
  • “Election process and old ‘boys’ network in leadership”
  • “Arbitrary decisions of the Homes Association”
  • “Three reasons:
  • Sale of PVE protected parkland
  • Inconsistency in approval/denial given to homeowners.
  • Candidates for vacancy on Homes Assn. Board are selected by the Board.  Candidates have never run for office and sent info to citizens re: their positions on issues of interest to the citizens.  I did not vote prior to the Parklands Debacle because I felt that if the candidates didn't care enough to seek my vote then I didn't care enough to vote.  I told the Homes Assn. for many years that I would not vote until candidates supplied me with info about their positions on various issues”
  • “Selling our Parklands is absurd.  Not counting the ballots is absurd.  The whole Art Jury process is absurd”
  • “Lack of transparency and lack of fiscal responsibility.  Also, we need term limits!”
helpfulness.jpg
votes.jpg

Here are all the unfiltered "additional comments" provided:

  • “Hope PVHA does not interfere with park lands in the future. In the next election Harbison should run for PVHA director spot - he is very passionate”
  • “Get the old boys and girls out and put all new people, change is good!”
  • “Stop spending money on the art jury; disband it completely”
  • “I would just like to see a real vote every time there is an election and that anyone can nominate a candidate and that the candidates are expected to give us a reason why we should vote for them. Just straight forward democracy, nothing more, nothing less”
  • “The quorum currently set at 50% makes it unrealistic to ever expect a democratically elected board. The current board is corrupt and needs to be removed.”
  • "The results of the PVE CC and treasurer votes is telling.  Change is being demanded.  PVHA will be held accountable and the stewardship of our community will see ppl committed to what residents want, rather than what individuals in their arrogant, exclusive tower think they can continue to operate under.”
  • “Multiply these answers times 2 for all the adults at our location.”
  • “After so many years, it is time for new/change leadership.  I was very unhappy about the parkland sale.”
  • “Keep up the good work”
  • “We live in a democracy!”
  • “God bless the folks who took on the fight to keep the parklands safe from City Hall selling it off and who work to preserve those parklands, they are what make the City feel rural in the mist of urban sprawl.  Without our parklands, the City would not be so special.  The City itself brags in its promotional literature about how many acres are dedicated to open space/parkland--yet they turn around and neglect the parklands (i.e. Via Tejon/Dunes trails and the parkland {alleyways} trails encroached upon by surrounding neighbors) and they sell it off to the politically influential.  I hope for every city staff member and every city elected official who asserts they are ’serving the city’ take a hard look at their actions; if they ignore the beauty and the benefits of the parklands, and cannot be bothered to promote the maintenance of those parklands then search your motives for ‘serving’ the residents and resign--that includes council members and city staff.”
  • "I think the election should be redone for several reasons: 1) the change in the election process was unknown to many HO (it differed greatly from past) 2) the physical address mistake created doubt about the receipt of ballots and the failure to make the error pubic and address the situation proactively furthered the doubt, 3) the different election date and the Jan meeting date made no sense other than to prevent a quorum, 4) a reduction in the quorum number should be considered since the PVHA has failed to reach one for many years”
  • “Demand that the PVHA open the envelopes so that residents know if their vote was counted and if not why not?”
  • “Voted for the candidates you suggested.  Assume that was the non-incumbents”
  • “I don't really understand how all this affects me directly and I'm not sure I have an opinion on the matter. Sorry if that makes me sound dumb.....”
  • “Change the system, it is not working”
  • “At the heart of this matter is PVPUSD's lawsuit and appeal to sell lots between PVIS and PVHS that did not belong to them. They should have raised funds in a more honorable way. Because of that, I *refuse* to support the school district because they have wasted PVE residents' taxpayer money on lawyers (for both sides) an issue that they were never going to win in court. To me, the school board at the time as well as those in charge at the district are the true villains. I found it laughable when I heard that the school district needed two superintendents because one was needed to deal with legal matters. Our city and homeowners' association were put in a very bad position so I think that they were trying to do the best that they could given their position. Still that doesn't make selling parklands right, but I sympathize with their position”
  • “I would strongly encourage Jennifer Laity to rejoin the ballot”
  • “The actions of the current board are shameful. They should all be recalled”
  • “We need new blood on the PVHA board!”
  • “We need new members to affect real change”
  • “We need a greater effort to reach residents who have become complacent and nonparticipating in our elections”
  • “Extend the election, which is our right!!”
  • “PVHA Board should count the ballots and appoint the top 5 vote getters - even without a quorum”
  • “The lack of interest and follow through on the part of the public is not limited to local issues; this election was well advertised”

For the full report , click here.