Jun 282011

Guest post by Stephen Carbonaro

Recently, the Directors of the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association began a quest for a replacement for retiring Administrator Nancy Van Huffel. A job announcement was created, listing the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job. Within a few weeks, the association had received 50 applications. The Board of Directors, acting as the selection committee, narrowed the 50 down to three applicants.

Upon offering the position to the first applicant interviewed, the candidate decided to not take the job for personal reasons. At this point, the selection committee decided to deviate from the universally accepted step of interviewing the second candidate on the list. Instead, they decided that numbers 2 and 3 were “not as qualified as we had previously thought”.

Kathy Martins

It was then decided that the president of the BOD (selection committee) was the best candidate for the position. So Ms. Kathy Martins was selected to fill the $60,000 per year position, as soon as she resigned from the BOD. So Ms. Martins made the transition from the voluntary, unpaid position of president to the job of Administrator.

Now, to me this sounds like a sweetheart deal. Except for the handful of members who attend every meeting (I like to call them HOAZealots), there was no public outreach to the membership, even though the HOA has a website on which it could have posted the information. But not a word was spoken of this. In fact, the newspapers would not have known had they not been informed by a very concerned and irate citizen.

I believe this represents a new low in the already dismal performance of the SLVHA leadership. When the normally accepted procedure would have been to promote the individual who had been working for over a decade under Ms. Van Huffel, the BOD decided to take the unethical step of appointing one of their own to the job. While Ms, Martins claims to have only the most altruistic of motivations for making this “sacrifice”, I think it’s easy to see what’s really taking place here; a consolidation of power by the existing leaders, without any consideration for the desires of the members. In fact, I believe we have witnessed the death of Democracy in San Lorenzo. May it Rest in Peace.

The only hope for this village is that enough members will become informed of this coup d’etat, and will rise up and express their disappointment, anger, and disgust for the way this Association has been run for the past several years; that they will show up at the next membership meeting July 21 at 6:30 and make their voices be heard. The future of San Lorenzo depends on it.

In desperation but with hope,

Stephen Carbonaro

A 24 year resident of San Lorenzo

  11 Responses to “Scandal at San Lorenzo Village”

  1. I want to note that the San Leandro City Charter prohibits any City Council member from taking a paid job with the city for a year after being in the Council, exactly to avoid situations like this.

  2. I am so grateful to have a change in the office. Before we pass judgment we should ask ourselves is she the best person for the job? I would call or email the office and never hear from them. I have emailed Kathy Martin twice. Each time she has quickly helped me with my problem. Anything is better than what we had.

    • I think that’s like a second marriage; a triumph of hope over experience. But who does call the shots? The Board or their employee, the Administrator? Who do you think should be?
      Personally, I’d like to see the membership calling the shots. That’s Democracy.

  3. Haha, reminds me of Dick Cheney. Who was summoned to find W a VP, only to come to the conclusion that he was the best man for the job. One would assume her subordinate would have been promoted. I don’t know much, if anything, about SLVHA, but it seems, at the very least, transparency is lacking.

  4. Kathy Martins absolutely represents the entrenched white protestant majority that was what Boihannon wanted when he built his whites only community in San Lorenzo. The CC&R’s maintained the white only character of San Lorenzo a long time, almost as long as the Jack Maltester San Leandro lasted. There was no diversity in San Lorenzo until the Nineties. There are still no synagogues though the Mormons are there with a stake house.

    Kathy Martins is the end of the line for the white people in San Lorenzo. In a few years the real diverse majority of the good folks who live there will claim control. Martins and the SLVHA are a dying remnant of Jim Crow.

    • I see churches becoming diverse and multi-denominational, and one closing up awaiting demolition. Is there not room for a synagogue? Is there a local population demand for one?
      I find it offensive and racist for you to say “Kathy Martins is the end of the line for the white people in San Lorenzo”. It sounds like you have a problem with white people. I don’t have a problem with any color people. But I have a problem with unwavering haters like you guys. I also find it offensive and racist for you to say “Martins and the SLVHA are a dying remnant of Jim Crow”. Kathy Martins and the SLZVHA Board are good people who care and are involved. If all goes as it should, the caring involment will continue with whoever you say is “the real diverse majority who live there (who) will claim control”.
      At a recent SLZVHA meeting, Carbonaro stood up and asked for a round of applause for Kathy Martins because of the fine job she was doing. I wonder who or what has changed his mind. I will let him state whether he was sincere about it or not. I haven’t read anywhere here, on the SanLorenzoPatch, or in San Leandro Times that he has apologized or even retracted any of the mean-spirited things that he said there about her or anybody else.

      • P.S. “Scandal”, my eye! Carbonaro did not even attend the meeting where this was announced, even though HE was “the very concerned and irate citizen” who immediately contacted the media to strike first with another of his negative, inflamatory, anti-SLVHA rants that he began doing during his anti-recall campaigning.

  5. And it goes on and on., while the sycophants come out of the woodwork to defend the SLVHA,
    Pres. Martins needed to be replaced. They could have simply appointed a board member as Pres., but instead director A. Wylder resigned his position, term up in 2011, and was immediately appointed to the BOD as Pres., effectively extending his term by 1 year and violating Sec 7220(a) of the Corp. Code. There goes all moral authority to enforce the CC&Rs. And Barros, stick to the issue, and it’s not me.

  6. san lorenzo still super racist in 2020. i can’t believe these comments were from 2011 and nothing changed for the better

  7. what are the legal rights? can the county do anything?

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