Pine Mountain Lake Recall Petition Moves Forward
Groveland, CA — ‘Trouble in paradise’ at Pine Mountain Lake has residents preparing for a recall ballot.
Local resident Michael McEvoy, who spearheaded the recall effort, reports that approximately 400 PML homeowners association members signed the petition. “We got more than twice as many than needed and the board currently will be subject to a recall vote on July 27,” he tells Clarke Broadcasting.
While a $2.5 million refurbishing of the PML bar and grill is at the center of the issues, McEvoy says it comes down to the current board’s governance in violation of HOA by-laws. “It is not just that the members have identified a problem but that very significant leaders within PML who said they were not planning on running but that we need a sound board to basically be able to…work for this community and follow the by-laws.”
A pro-recall packet produced by a group called the PML Recall Team, now circulating through the community, lays out the alleged violations in detail; it comes with a paper trail of legal letters dating back through 2018.
In it, Bay Area-based Clark Hill, a law firm representing one of the recall team members, lists nine specific HOA by-law violations. Among these were failures to hold special membership meetings and conduct a vote before proceeding with the grill project. The recall team also took issue with the board not getting bids from at least two contractors for the required work and purchases, and failing to formally authorize the spending of an additional half-million dollars to cover current project cost overruns.
Among those aiming to replace the current board are five PML members. Of the group, two are former PML board presidents and one is a former finance committee chair. They describe their platform as standing together to represent all PML members, and specifically to “follow the bylaws, CC&Rs, and governance to the letter.”
Former Board Director Describes ‘Differences’
PML Board Director Pauline Turski, who was elected in 2016 and recently resigned her duties over ongoing differences with other board members over decision making and processes, says she was not in favor of the recall. “I never wanted to see this happen but now that it has happened — and I am surprised in a good way, I think — that there are many people that did take an interest.” Concurring with the recall team findings, she adds, “We did not follow the rules. We did not let the members have a say…members felt like they were left out.”
The recall ballot package will be coming out early next week. Once members receive them they will be able to fill out and return their responses in advance or on the actual voting day. The packet includes two ballots, the first of which asks whether there should be a recall. If the majority responses are affirmative, ballot workers will open and the second ballot, which provides the checklist of candidates running to replace the current board.
Turski, who became a PML property owner in 2000, says the situation is a first for the HOA. “It is sad that we went to a recall…it’s a shame even after the [grill] project was approved and bids were granted that the board took no steps to try to try to unite our community.”
She recalls that the project received significant community input the board did not incorporate. As the grill prepares for a July opening, she says the work is receiving mixed responses. “It’s the heart of our community…where you go to dine…we have people who play bridge and cards and use it all day,” Turski says. “I feel our community is far too divided over this, and that is not good because we are small. There is a lot of anger and it’s not necessary,” she laments.
“It has divided people and friends…whatever happens we have to reunite, and we need leadership to do it. This is up to the board to help unite the community — and they can do that by engaging the membership,” she says firmly. She also expresses hope that, however the vote turn out, the recall experience will get HOA members to push the board for more transparency.