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”.
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,
A 24 year resident of San Lorenzo