Settlement AchievedWe have some good news for Alta Sierrans. Realizing that a prolonged legal battle was not good for the Alta Sierra community or any party to the conflict, we entered into a mediation to investigate an end to the prolonged conflict. On November 6th the case of ASN vs. ASPOA, Inc. was mediated under the apt guidance of retired Judge Albert Dover and an agreement was achieved. There were several issues that both sides rapidly agreed would benefit the membership. These solutions look to the present and future wellbeing of our community and are listed in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) and summarized below:
Both sides value the importance of resolving disagreements with respect and civil dialogue. We recognize that we may reasonably disagree with one another and agree to avoid disparaging remarks toward each other. We are neighbors in a great community!
The BOD will implement a Conflict Resolution Committee to receive, review, and decide issues presented to it by any member of ASPOA or any lot owner of Alta Sierra. The Committee will develop and use a fair, efficient, and reliable process for the resolution of conflicts so that members do not have to resort to more costly methods of resolving disputes.
The BOD will survey members before undertaking “large” expenditures to provide members a voice in the financial control of ASPOA.
The BOD will establish an “election protocol”, beginning in 2014 to ensure elections reflect the value of civility, honesty, integrity, and the need to use dialog as a way of exploring disagreements over direction for the association.
The BOD will take periodic polls of the membership to ensure it is connected with the priorities of the membership.
Additionally, the lawsuit filed by the Alta Sierra Neighbors, as well as the counter- suit filed by ASPOA will both be dismissed.
There were two areas in dispute resolved during the mediation session by both of the parties agreeing to submit to binding arbitration for resolution before the end of November: First, the validity of the recall elections and, second, the authority of ASPOA to enforce Declarations of Restrictions for the Alta Sierra subdivisions.
With regards to the elections issue, there are three possible outcomes under arbitration:
1. The recall was invalid which will also nullify the election on November 2nd. In this event, the current Board remains and the December 2nd election for 3 board seats will happen as scheduled.
2. The recall was valid but the November 2nd election was not. All 8 recalled Directors would be removed from the BOD, and are unable to run in a valid election to replace them, to be scheduled as soon as permitted under the bylaws.
3. Both the recall and the November 2nd election are valid. Those candidates elected on November 2nd will immediately assume their eight seats as new members of the BOD and the scheduled December election will be cancelled.
The other conflict to be settled through arbitration is whether ASPOA has authority to enforce Declaration of Restrictions (DR) in the subdivisions of Alta Sierra. Both sides agree that authority to enforce the DRs was initially given to an Architectural Committee governing the DRs in the various sections of Alta Sierra. The conflict arises over whether this authority was appropriately shifted to ASPOA and the Architectural Review Committee that exists under the ASPOA umbrella. If the Ruling is that authority was shifted to ASPOA, then this Ruling, or abstracts of it, may be recorded against the 21 subdivisions making up the Alta Sierra Estates.
While we await the Rulings above referenced as regards the election, the “original board” will continue to conduct the affairs of the Board. However, no expenditures other than normal business shall be made. The estimated time frame for the arbitrator to determine the resolution to the above issues is on or prior to November 29th, 2013.
We are hopeful that the end of these conflicts will lay to rest the issues that have divided us, put our community back on the path towards peace, and that our agreements will enhance our ability to resolve any future differences in the fairest, most efficient manner possible.
To see the entire MOU go to www.ASPOA.org.