Writing laws is easy, but governing is difficult
— Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Election by Mail to Elect Five to Board of Director of Palos Verdes Homes Association on January 14, 2020

There are six candidates running for five seats (in alphabetical order):

Marlene Breene (incumbent)


Positioning Statement:

‘Protect, Preserve, and Enhance’

As an Olmsted community we have a legacy to gift to future generations. Our Parkland areas, beautiful architecture and public amenities were all designed to work together to create a healthy quality of life for our residents. The role of PVHA should be stewardship of these resources.

I do have a short list of goals, some of which have already been set in motion thanks to my appointment to the PVHA board this past February.

1. Strategic planning for future challenges is the biggest item on my list. Without a roadmap of where we want to go, how will we ever get there?

2. Next comes the day to day business of the organization. Discussions are underway for improving the application process and facilitating the flow of approvals between PVE and PVHA. View/tree policy revisions are on the table.

3. Communication improvements and community outreach are crucial for transparency. PVHA is a living archive, lets acknowledge the past engage the present and envision the future.

4. Clean up the mess. We need better storage. Documents, including minutes, CC&R’s and Resolutions, need review, updating and archiving.


In 1985, my husband Patrick and I moved into our Lunada Bay ‘dream fixer’, with two young preschoolers in tow. After 35 years in the same house, we love our neighborhood and cannot imagine living anywhere else.

My background:

• A successful designer and business owner for 45 years

• My degree in Environmental Design from Parson’s School of Design included projects in urban planning, architecture, structures, landscape, interiors, and lighting.

• Special studies on the Olmsted firm, both at Parsons and through symposia by the National Association of Olmsted Parks, provide deeper insight into the history of our community, and inspiration for the future.

• Extensive volunteer efforts as a Board Member for the Lunada Bay Homeowners Association, Committee Chairperson for PTA, and Docent activities for the Palos Verdes Art Center and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, connect to community concerns on a day-to-day level.

• My excellent working relationship with the Art Jury, staff, and the City of PVE, displays knowledge and skill in navigating city process, seeking the best possible outcome for residents while preserving our high standards. Serving on the PVHA Board this year has required diligence and patience as we address major issues across many fronts and lay the groundwork to manage future challenges.

Our city, Palos Verdes Estates, is considered the jewel among Olmsted’s many projects. I am honored to be a resident, business owner, designer, and now a director on the board, contributing to our city legacy.

Gayne Brenneman, MD



In seeking election to the PVHA Board, I would be honored to continue her community service by contributing to the happiness, and tranquility found in PVE, and maintaining Olmsted’s vision:  “…PRESERVE, INCREASE, ENHANCE, AND PROTECT, the homeowners property values, views, trees and plants.”

BE FAIR: to all homeowners, no ‘favoritism’. Protect Views & parklands.

BE OPEN: record all meetings and make tele-conferencing available, add e-mails, and transparency.

BE COMPLIANT: stick to the ‘original’ CC&R’s, and enforce them..

BE ‘USER FRIENDLY’: streamline art jury regulations, add clarity.

Digitize archives, and upgrades. Quicken notifications on decisions.

BE SAFE: enforce against excess vegetation and be fire-safe, enforce against encroachments and overgrowth


I have been a resident of P.V.E. since 2000.  I graduated U.C.S.B., with a degree in political science, and a minor in Environmental Science, and went on to attend medical school, residency, and fellowship, out of state.  I am retired, but work part-time, as a cardiac anesthesiologist.  My husband, Bob, and I, moved to P.V.E. to raise our two children, due to the wonderful schools, safe neighborhood, and bucolic environment. 

My community service includes serving as an HOA President for the past 27 years, for our vacation home, and serving as an elected representative for anesthesiologists, in the 13th state district, for 6  years.  I have enjoyed contributing to cardiac anesthesia literature and The Battle Buddy Diet: Life-Style Battle Plan for Couples, a popular nutrition book sold on Amazon.  I have taught academic cardiac anesthesia at U.S.C. and U.C.S.D. and attended graduate courses on negotiating at Harvard Business School.  My husband and I have traveled extensively, lecturing on cardiac anesthesia, most notably to King Hussein of Jordan.

I would be honored to continue my community service by contributing to the happiness, and tranquility found in P.V.E., and maintaining Olmsted’s vision: “…PRESERVE, INCREASE, ENHANCE, AND PROTECT, the homeowners’ property values, views, trees and plants.”

W. Richard Fay (incumbent)



The PVHA exists to serve the membership. The membership is best served if the PVHA upholds, within the confines of current law, the Protective Restrictions.

The PVHA needs to do a better job of communication.

The PVHA needs to work closely with the city of PVE to make the approval process for new buildings and remodels efficient and in keeping with the architectural and safety standards.

The PVHA needs to have a framework and a documentation process that provides a basis for members to maintain or regain a view. The cost of the process needs to be borne by the members involved, not by the entire membership.

The PVHA needs to rebuild its reserves.

The PVHA needs to find a more effective manner of enforcement.


I first moved into Palos Verdes Estates in 1971. At that time I understood that the Homes Association was important and that the valuable parkland would never be sold. I had little involvement with the PVHA but was active in AYSO, Little League, PTA, and the athletic support organization. My two children attended PV schools from kindergarten through high school.

I worked for ARCO for 32 years, mostly in management positions in operations research, budgeting, planning and pipeline management. I served on the Board of several joint venture companies and was President of two of them.

After taking early retirement, I and a partner started a successful web development company which we ran for 15 years and then sold.

I was shocked to learn that parkland had been sold and that the sale was done with the community mostly kept in the dark. I got involved and started attending both PVE and PVHA meetings. I ran for the PVHA Board twice but neither election drew a quorum. I was appointed to the Board early this year.

I was born and raised in Philadelphia, have a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Duke University and a Master’s Degree in Applied Statistics from Villanova University.

I am now fully retired and live with my wife in Montemalaga. I enjoy traveling, photography, golf and following my favorite sports team as well as spending time with my kids and their families.

John Harbison



I would be honored to be elected to serve on the PVHA Board. In the recent Panorama parklands litigation, I fought for the protection of our CC&Rs, which is integral to the stewardship responsibilities of the PVHA Board. Now that the lawsuit is settled, I look forward to the potential opportunity to work together and channel my deep understanding of the CC&Rs and PVHA by-laws into protecting and implementing the vision established by the founders of our community in the 1920s.

If elected, I would work on the following types of initiatives:

  • Synchronize guidelines/rules/standards with the City and simplify the process

  • Streamline ADU approval process and present a united front to the State wherein restrictions on single-family residences are respected

  • Streamline the approval process on building and remodeling homes, and provide written guidance on acceptable architectural standards to remove wasted effort “guessing” what the Art Jury may approve

  • Work with the City to create a common clear delineation for homeowners of the functions performed by the PVHA vs the City, and publish that

  • Digitize all paper documents for fire/earthquake protection and to allow searching

  • Revise and update the Bylaws (for example, eliminate reference to services the PVHA no longer performs but the City performs instead) and seek approval of members

  • Improve the PVHA website and include timely posting of documents of interest

  • Simplify and reform the Election Process and be an advocate to lower the quorum to 25%

  • Increase communications with residents including emails, periodic open meetings to solicit feedback, etc.


I have lived in PVE and been a member of PVHA since 1992. As Chairman Emeritus of Tech Coast Angels – the largest Angel investor group in the US, I have invested in over 60 startups. I have served as a Director on Boards of many early stage companies and enjoy mentoring and helping those companies succeed. Previously I co-founded Next Autoworks, a disruptive new American car company, backed by investors such as Kleiner Perkins and Google Ventures. Before that I served as CEO of SilentRunner Inc., a network security software company, and as President of Raytheon Commercial Ventures Inc. where I launched four businesses in two years leading to two successful exits and a third company which introduced the first automotive blind spot radar and grew to $700 M in sales in 8 years. Earlier in my career, I was a strategy consultant and partner at Booz•Allen Hamilton where I led the firm’s Aerospace/Defense Practice and its Strategic Alliances functional practice -- both to global pre-eminence -- and opened its Los Angeles office. I have an BA from Harvard College, an MS in accounting from NYU Stern (resulting in a CPA) and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

My two sons grew up in the PV schools, attending Montemalaga, PVIS and Peninsula High. I have served on the Board of the Greater Los Angeles Council for the Boy Scouts of America since 1994 and was Chairman for two terms from 2000-2001.

L. Reid Schott



I would like your support to serve on the PVHA Board.  I have developed a comprehensive understanding of the PVHA Bylaws and CC&R’s over the past few years fighting for the PVHA to have democratic elections and to prevent our Parklands from being sold.  If elected to the Board, this knowledge will help in bringing needed to changes to restore responsibility to the PVHA -  as mentioned below and in my answers to the questions.

  • Election Process:  There has been no valid PVHA election for a decade because the quorum requirement is too high.  Consequently, I support lowering of the quorum to 35%.  Also, signatures required to be on the ballot should be lowered.  

  • View Policies:  They were changed and substantially restrict view restorations.  This damages the property values of many properties and needs to be revised. 
    Art Jury Process:  It needs to be simpler, more streamlined and devoid of conflicts of interests.  

  • Paper Records:  They need to be digitized and safely stored, to assure residents can access plans for their home since it was first built. 

  • Member Communications:  Improve the website with more content (e.g. meeting agendas and minutes, CC&R’s, Bylaws…), establish a social media presence and an email database of members. 

  • Coordination with the City of PVE:  This can reduce the time to make repairs and rebuild, helping increase our property values.

  • Finances:  Avoid unwarranted litigation that has cost the PVHA nearly $1million and be much more financial responsible.   

  • Transparency:  Make it easier for members to access information.      


I have had successful careers in commercial real estate and investment banking.  In conjunction with work, I have lived in Cincinnati, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles, before settling in PVE 15-years ago.  I have remained active with property management through my own firm and have been an angel investor with Tech Coast Angels for two decades.  My current positions include serving as a Director of non-profit housing corporation with 13,000 units, a Managing Director of a charitable foundation and a Board member of another Home Owners Association with financial and other issues that are similar to our PVHA.  My formal education includes liberal arts studies at Ohio Wesleyan and a business degree from the University of Denver. I have supplemented my education with graduate school studies, extension courses (at NYU and UCLA) and professional courses. 

My local and area activities include; being a Volunteer Parkland Ranger, a member of the PV Golf Club, a former Advisory Board Member of the Malaga Homeowners Association and a member of the Manhattan Country Club.

In making improvements to our home in PVE, it was necessary for me to submit applications to the Art Jury and the PVHA for: 1) changes to building's exterior, 2) rebuilding a porch, 3) installing solar panels and 4) view restoration.  This personal experience has provided me with important insight on the processes and issues involving the Art Jury and PVHA, and ways they can be simplified and improved. 

Charles Tang (incumbent)



My family and I have lived in Palos Verdes Estates for 25 years and have enjoyed its natural beauty as well as seen some of its unique challenges. There are various neighborhoods within PVE, each with their own unique characteristics. As a member of the Board, I want to preserve the natural qualities that make PVE such a wonderful place to live. The protective restrictions and standards are essential in accomplishing this mission.

PVE and the Miraleste area of RPV will face many challenges in the future, some even mandated by the state. As a Director of the PVHA, my responsibility is to be accountable to all the homeowners and look out for your interests. I believe the business of the PVHA should be conducted with integrity in a strategic and transparent manner. Policies should be developed and implemented in an open, fair, and collaborative manner. My extensive experience in working with non-profit organizations, commercial entities, and governmental agencies will enable me to be successful in addressing the complex issues of our community. 


After a successful 35 year career at The Aerospace Corporation, I became a serial entrepreneur and created several companies including a technology venture capital firm, a real estate investment company, and a nonprofit educational company to help disadvantaged people become financially literate. In addition, I continue to teach system architectures, technology startups, and managing engineering innovation at Loyola Marymount University and the University of Southern California.

My educational background includes a MBA from Pepperdine University and PhD/MS/BS degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California. All three of my grown children attended PV schools from Lunada Bay elementary to PV High and Peninsula High. 

In my spare time, I enjoy working on and riding my cars and motorcycles. My family and I love Palos Verdes Estates and I am looking forward to ensuring that the beauty and unique quality of life in Palos Verdes will endure for the enjoyment of future generations.

For responses by each candidate to specific questions about recent issues that have been controversial — click here

To return to the main page on the election — click here