Published on this blog August 11, 2012, Valerie Cawley of the Clearwood Community responded to a Letter to the Editor published in the Nisqually Valley News from Deborah Baker and Vic Espinosa. Cawley said in-part:
“Deborah Baker, past president, wrote to the Nisqually Valley News in defense of the old, illegal democratic way of voting versus following State Law RCW 64-38-25. What is that all about?
In 1995 communities like Clearwood, built in the 1960s and 1970s were running down after thirty years of use and abuse, without Reserve Funds for the repair and upkeep of amenities. Members balked at Assessment increases. Maintenance was deferred and Property values tumbled. This was a problem for communities that manage their own water systems. Some communities, unable to properly maintain their water systems, have were subjected to a State mandated takeover costing their members dearly. Other communities are borrowing to fund repairs. One option in Clearwood is to impose a Special Assessment on all members, but if we follow the RCW it will not be necessary.
The State enacted the RCW 64-38-25 (3) (ratification of the budget) to protect the rights of property owners in such communities, against a lawless hillbilly takeover, deferred maintenance, and falling property values. The Law allows members the RIGHT TO REJECT any unfair Budget increases with 50% (plus one member) voting against the increase. Members opposed to Budget increases need to get out and vote.
By failing to follow this RCW Clearwood has been unable ratify Budget increases taking it back to pre-RCW conditions: the Reserves are underfunded, dues barely cover employee salaries and the Board has deferred maintenance to the infrastructure. A/C (asbestos concrete) water mains lying under the roads must be replaced, roads repaved the and old wooden docks, cabanas and bathrooms replaced.”
I have spoken with several Clearwood Assn. members & officials in the last month and everyone who comments to this blog on-the-record says this situation has deteriorated significantly in the last year and one-half, since the time of my last Clearwood Assn. report on this blog.
On January 23, 2014, I wrote to this Deborah Baker for comment:
“I have seen the documents from attorneys to the Board about following the RCW [the Board was informed they were not following state law] and have been in contact with former past–President Bob Owen. Now that I have been informed by Bob and Valerie Cawley and provided the public documents submitted to the Board, I am writing to request your response to Mrs. Cawley’s letter, in particular about the 2014 Budget, where officially, the Clearwood Community has none (attached).
I am also asking you for your view on why you feel the actions you and the Board are taking are in the best interest of all of the community members, against attorneys’ recommendations and to the detriment of Water Reserves and other budgeting resources, which are the standard for quality financial planning.”
“I am currently not the acting President, Linda Doucette, the President is in town and I am forwarding this onto to her.”
Of course and as expected, Doucette has not responded as of today.
Reserves are virtually depleted for the required community water systems work and the Community Assn. Board has not legally approved a 2014 operating budget. With an Assn. Board not following the RCW as verified by independent attorneys, the Clearwood Community Assn. has some urgent budgeting challenges that must be met immediately, requiring a cohesive Board to work together in following state law for the betterment of their community.
Stay tuned for more on this issue!
Blog write Klein & his wife own property in the Clearwood Community.