(Usually, there are no minutes taken at an Owners’ Forum. But thankfully, I had put this together for the board members to answer the questions put forth from Owners. Then I used the finished document with the Parliamentarian on Zoom. Frank Jung also had a copy so he would know when we would be needing his expertise for answers. -EC)
FOR APRIL 14, 2021 OWNERS’ FORUM
- Complaints re: Emails 4
- Complaints re: Annual Meeting 6
- CC&R (pro and con) 3
- Bought because of HOA 3
- Concerning proxies 2
- Individual questions/comments 8
Complaints Re: Emails
- How is it that we received a mass email from a non-board member? Where did they obtain our emails? Was this authorized by the board? If not, is this person going to in any way be reprimanded so that others will not do the same?
- Could the Board please explain (or defer to someone else) how residents’ private, personal emails were compromised and given to a person or persons to be used for submitting unsolicited emails to Pualani Estates homeowners prior to the board election and meeting on 24Mar? In my view, this was, at the very least, unethical and inappropriate. Apparently someone felt they were entitled to that information without the express permission of those homeowners. To many of us, this represents an egregious breach of trust, lack of respect, and does not cast a favorable light on those responsible. These are NOT attributes we look for in someone running for a seat on the board. An answer, along with an apology is in order.
- I would like to know how Ms. Wunschel and the listed members on her Feb. 26, 2021 email and/or Pualani Estates Ohana obtained and then thought it was ok to use our personal email addresses? The March 12 email from Pualani Estates Ohana to Dee Wunschel with Bcc: to an Owner’s email address without permission is unethical! I believe it is an ‘invasion of privacy’ and based on my conversations with my neighbors, no one gave Ms. Wunschel or the listed others or Pualani Estates Ohana, their consent. Again, these are disrespectful and maybe even illegal actions (for others to follow) and needs to be stopped. Can our Association attorney be consulted on this and some kind of action (to cease and desist this practice without consent) be taken?
- The Board as a whole did not release nor disclose your confidential and personal email information to anyone, at any time.
- Your private and confidential email information, held by Hawaiiana Management Co. is compiled strictly for Board/Association business and related communication use.
- The Board has contacted the Association’s attorney. This matter is being pursued and we will try our very best to get to the bottom of this issue.
- The Board sincerely apologies that this invasion of privacy and lack of good judgement by others has occurred.
- If you have a different or new email address and you would prefer to have on record with Hawaiiana, please contact Aleah Llanes at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Frank Jung answered these email questions also.
Complaints re: Annual Meeting
- I attended the Annual meeting on March 24th and found the rudeness and personal
attacks of some audience members to be repulsive, mean spirited (no pono or Aloha) and completely out of order. These are business meetings and should not become a display or platform for disrespectful bad behavior. Will the Board please take the actions needed to hire a Parliamentarian for the 2022 Annual Meeting and other meetings if necessary?
Yes, we already have voted on and hired a Parliamentarian for next year’s Annual Meeting. And we will hire a parliamentarian if future needs arise for meetings, Owner’s Forums or training.
- Why did the coalition disregard the Covid-19 protocol? Every homeowner received by mail a packet from Hawaiiana Management explaining the purpose of the meeting and Covid restrictions.
It’s unknown why, and only those who did not observe the rules can account for their actions. Due to Covid restrictions and the Sheraton’s policy, the Annual Meeting was to be for Business only, and that’s why the Owner’s Forum was moved to a later date via Zoom.
- Why was the law being challenged without understanding it in the first place?
We are unable to answer the why. Counsel was present at the meeting.
- Why were issues brought up for voting when the purpose of the meeting was to vote for officers only?
Not all must have understood what a Meeting Agenda is and the business on the Agenda.
- With the exception of the current board members running, why didn’t the other candidates offer any solutions to their accusations or inform the attending owners about what they would do or offer to our community?
Each candidate is allowed 2 minutes to speak, and each can say whatever they want in that 2 minutes.
- We heard a lot of talk about aloha, where was it at the HOA meeting?
Sadly it was an evening where Aloha was not always present and we are very sorry that happened. Annual Meetings can often become intense and controversial. And though we have written meeting rules and the rules are made known to all, it ultimately it is the responsibility of each member to control their actions and be respectful.
- I want to add to the forum discussion my comments regarding the Membership Meeting last month. My impression was that the comments made by a number of people in attendance were made without recognition, were made without substantiation and were entirely out of order. The control of the meeting seemed to have been turned over to the “mob” on several occasions. As a former Board President and the Chair for a number of Municipal Boards I never allowed the members of the “audience” to speak as was allowed or put up with during the meeting. I hope the minutes from that meeting reflect who was making the comments and what the comments were about.I really appreciate your having the Attorney for the HOA present. He did a great job in clearing up some of the innuendo put forth by several of the “unrecognized” and “uncontrolled” members of the audience.
FRANK PESTANA, as Parliamentarian, explained that minutes do not contain comments or notes of who makes comments.
- There was a lot of “energy” at the last meeting, a lot of criticism of the Board but not a SINGLE suggestion on what members of the Community would like to see their community “as”. It seems to me that it was all about “attacking” rather than putting forth ways to make our Community a real Community.
- All the board members have signed a code of ethics which ensures us homeowners that to the best of their knowledge, all statements are truthful and factual. Why were homeowners allowed to distort and mislead those of us attending the meeting? Where was their code of ethics? How am I supposed to believe those people when they displayed nothing but disrespect and childish temperaments?
- Overall, I was embarrassed by the actions of some homeowners who seemed more intent on constant complaining and the childish demeanor. Yelling and trying to provoke arguments in a meeting is not the actions I would expect from an adult.
Board members at the meeting conducted their demeanor at the head table as they should have. And though personally attacked, they held to their code of ethics and the rules of order. They didn’t have the floor until called upon for their 2 minute speeches. In short, actions and reactions are subject to different opinions. Each member has to judge for themselves what behavior, words, and actions they like or dislike in others.
CC&R (pro and con)
- I am in lot XXX. My family and I have been the sole owners from the beginning. I have returned my proxy and also was considering attending the meeting (if there is one). I have seen this community continue to express frustration with how we are being managed. It is now manifesting into these e-mails and letters to owners trying to essentially “overthrow” or “curtail” the HOA for lack of better words. While I am not paying much heed to the blustery part of the communication that has occurred, it should signal to you and board that there is something that needs to be fixed. I think this boils down to what seems to be an over-reach by the HOA with the policing of “violations”. I have spoken with several owners and the consistent theme is that they are more resentful of the type of ambiguous and subjective “violations” that has seemingly increased over the years. For example, I received a “violation” for a water mark on my garage that occurred after my sprinkler head from my lawn sprayed it in the morning of the “inspection”. By the time I got home, it had dried. I had to go down to the office and speak with Angela as I could not believe we were wasting time on this. My “violation” was easily resolved with a pic of the dry garage door, but I was threatened with a fine and essentially told to repaint my garage. The default reasoning from the HOA and essentially our management company is always the same. Your job is to protect the value of our homes. That is a very convenient reason since who wouldn’t want to maintain and increase the value of their investment? However it seems the type of “violations” that I have experienced along with other owners wouldn’t affect property values at all. If someone has a wreck of a car outside their house for a period, a rock wall that is falling down, rubbish in their yard, or something that is large like that, OK. I don’t think someone could effectively argue that. But obvious water spray on my garage to mailbox angles from the developer seem to be a bit of an over-reach. However, people are getting more and more upset with the subjective things that don’t really fit a specific violation. The owners I have spoken with have gotten to a point where they overtly question their neighbors’ motives when they are walking around the neighborhood, wondering what they are seeing. We dread seeing the HOA car come by with the sign on it, not because we have an obvious violation, but rather when the camera comes out and takes a pic, we wonder what is wrong in the eyes if the judge/reviewer who is taking that photo at that moment. That is the current atmosphere in our awesome community. Is that the feeling that the HOA is OK with for the “protecting our investment” value that it has been using as a blanket? I hope not. I can sympathize and agree with reasoning and frustration that the owners who are sending these letters are expressing. Hopefully the reasoning behind their actions are seriously being discussed as many feel that the communication is one-way. I wish I had suggestion as to what could be done to help the homeowners who feel this way. We just feel something is not right and that common sense for our community has been suffering under the umbrella of “protecting our investment”.
- Some Owners are grumbling about Hawaiiana conducting our Community wide reviews. I’m ok with a third party keeping a reasonable review eye on the properties, this only makes good sense. I remember a time when Board/CCR committee members, Tony Simonelli, Barbara Hussey and Pat Van Every went around trying to do this job and the problems that occurred; back then, some owners got letters, while others only got a phone call (that came to light at a Board meeting), and then there was the ‘being neighborly idea’ with a one-on-one conversation (before a letter was sent). That didn’t always work and the problem wasn’t fixed or only grew worse. Don’t these 3rd party Community-wide reviews help eliminate finger-pointing to “selective enforcement”? If the Board considers “owner self-regulating” and violation letters only occur if one Owner files a complaint about another Owner, wouldn’t the Community standard of upkeep deteriorate and selective enforcement become a problem?
- Virtually all CC & R’s, covenants and by-laws in every state and subdivision are written requiring any changes require large percentage of homeowners to approve. Why do some homeowners seem to think that these can be removed or rewritten without following the legality of doing so? If some homeowners don’t like the CC & R’s, by-laws and covenants, why don’t they move somewhere else? Have any of the homeowners who are not happy with the CC & R’s and covenants ever volunteered to serve on any of the committees or learn about what goes on behind the scenes? I have seen what happens to a neighborhood or subdivision when the CC & R’s and by-laws are no longer enforced. Is this so-called coalition going to keep this from happening here?
Thank you all for your many comments, concerns and questions. We are now looking for suggestions and ideas and hope you will help us find ways to rectify the issues raised. This work is going to take more than Board decisions, it means members have to start getting involved in Committee or task force work. It means devoting time to work together, evaluating what has worked, what didn’t, why it’s this way or that way, what should be changed or updated, what’s acceptable/what’s not. It means being proactive not reactive. The meeting today includes the CCRs/ review/evaluation/Charter update to get this process started.
Bought because of HOA
- I purposely bought in an HOA and knew what I was buying into and accepted the Community Documents as part of the deed and deal. I also see in the Bylaw Section 1.5 that the Community Documents could be amended from time to time and would still constitute an agreement that would be strictly complied with. So now some want to make changes to the Declaration (CCRs).
- Can a survey be done and see how much interest there is in changing/updating the Declaration?
Yes and that service will be available through the website as soon as more owners register.
- Has anyone submitted an outline of proposed Declaration changes (as a prelude)? BOD Answer: No
- Who determines and justifies what wording will be changed?
BOD Answer: Unknown at this time.
- Would the Association Attorney be involved in the process if this project is going to be done?
BOD Answer: Yes.
- We moved to Pualani Estates because of the HOA existence. It’s important to us that the community keeps up appearances and maintenance for maintaining home values. Every homeowner was given a copy of the CC & R’s and by-laws when they bought their home, which by the way, are also easy and readily available to access on the web site, so every homeowner is aware of what it So, what is the problem??
BOD Answer: Rules owners don’t agree with would seem to be the problem.
- We have lived in Pualani Estates since 2013 and are original homeowners. One of the draws of Pualani Estates was the fact that there was an HOA at a very reasonable monthly cost. This is the fifth home we have owned over the last 40 years, the first three homes in neighborhoods without HOA’s, the last two with HOA’s. Looking back on the three neighborhoods without HOA’s, while most homeowners took pride in the appearance and maintenance of their properties, there were always the occasional homes where the properties were NOT maintained to the community standards, such as poor landscape maintenance, unsightly exterior paint colors, un-permitted exterior additions such as canopies to cover autos or recreation vehicles, all which impacted the aesthetics of the community and negatively impacted property values. The only remedy was to rely on Code Enforcement from the City, which is usually somewhat unresponsive. An HOA with reasonable CC&R’s and reasonable enforcement and/or compliance efforts is exactly what we have come to experience in Pualani Estates, and is what we ask to continue. It has been brought to our attention that there is an organized effort to reduce or abandon compliance with the CC&R’s, or possibly eliminate the HOA entirely. Every homeowner who purchased in Pualani Estates bought with the clear understanding that their purchase included a Homeowners Association and the standards that included. Any effort to dismantle the HOA or take other steps that will inherently diminish the value of our properties or the quality of life we all enjoy in Pualani Estates is unacceptable.
The HOA and the Community wide standards that exist overall are what bring value to the properties. Though the Declaration is 17 years old and some things are outdated, it still is the foundation document for our Association. If changes are determined to be made to it, then you the Owners should play a very large part in that whole process. Again, this means becoming involved in proactive ways not reactive ways. Begin submitting your suggestions and ideas to get the process started.
- I have had people coming to my door asking if I have filed my proxy yet. This is an invasion of privacy and certainly not the reason that I chose to make Pualani Estates my home. It is incredibly confusing and irritating. I have no idea who to trust. Please put an end to this or take me off your list. It is beyond ridiculous at this point, I won’t even answer my doorbell if I don’t know who it is. This year, has been stressful enough!
I’m sorry that those individuals caused you to feel that way! The Outreach Committee decided NOT to walk for Quorum this year BECAUSE of that. But if they had, please remember that their protocol is to procure a quorum, not signed-over proxies. Each member signs a Code of Ethics and wears an ID badge and only goes to those owners who ask for assistance or have not already sent in their proxy.
- Given that at 11:19 am on March 22, 2021, Matthew Gordon informed member Renee Inaba by e-mail that “Both proxies are valid,” having already received several proxies after the printed deadline date of March 19 but prior to the statutory deadline of 4:30 pm on March 22:
- How many proxies were determined to be invalid as having been filed after the printed deadline of 4:30 pm on March 19, and when? (please indicate day and time)
BOD Answer: All of the following answers were provided by Matthew Gaskill of Hawaiiana
39, based on the legal opinion from Frank Jung on 3/22/21 at 6:37pm
- Specify all persons who participated in making the determination that the proxies filed after March 19, 2021, were invalid.
BOD Answer via HMC: One person, Frank Jung
- How many members whose proxies were so determined to be invalid were so notified, and when? (please indicate day and time)
BOD Answer via HMC: Not part of the services provided by Hawaiiana
- How many of the members having signed those proxies later so determined were present at the meeting?
BOD Answer via HMC: Not known
- Referring only to the remaining proxies determined invalid whose signers were not present, specify the number of votes accorded each candidate for the Board of Directors.
BOD Answer via HMC: Not tracked
FRANK JUNG ELABORATED
- Thank you Board of Directors for reviewing, deferring and answering what you can by the 14th.
BOD Answer: You’re welcome!
- I have seen and heard the words ‘harassing’ and ‘harassment’ used in describing presumable actions related to inspections/violations.
- Has any evidence from Owners regarding such harassment been brought to you or HMC?
- What wording in the violation letters or the violation process could be construed as aggressive pressure or intimidation?
The whole board recently reviewed the letters that Hawaiiana sends out to owners and did not find them to be in anyway harassing, aggressive, nor intimidating. Complaints sometimes use the word “Harassment” but no evidence of harassment has been presented. Harassment is taken seriously and is not tolerated and a Harassment Policy is in place.
- Regarding logging in or setting up an account on the new Hawaiiana/PEK/FRONTSTEPS website(s), is this mandatory to receive homeowner information? What if a homeowner doesn’t have access to the internet? In other words will a homeowner be excluded from information made available to other homeowners if they do not register on the website?
If you don’t have internet, you will have to contact and receive information via Hawaiiana. And some, but not all information can be accessed through the Newsletters, posted on the Bulletin Board or mailed.
Will questions raised at this homeowner’s forum be summarized and sent to all homeowners?
Owners’ Forums do not have written records nor minutes. VERBAL answers are given to questions received via email in categories. (Thankfully, I had put this together for the board members to answer the questions. Then I used the finished document with the Parliamentarian on Zoom. Frank Jung also had a copy so he would know when we would be needing his expertise for answers. -EC)
- What was the final vote count on BOD candidates from the Annual Meeting?
Janet Cataldo – 78.1 Eileen Celeste – 74.1 Ron Cole – 129 Bill Culhane – 63.8
Laurie Freeman – 73.1 Joel Gimpel – 64.4 Maria Hansell – 66.8 Deborah Pardi – 71.1 Michael Tran – 60.8 Rico Ventenilla – 67.8 Sharly Ward – 74.1 Michele Wauson – 72.1 Dee Wunschel – 64.8
- How can HOA members find out if there are/were any litigations in the past 5 years against the HOA such as lawsuits? How are these reported to HOA members?
According to Hawaiiana, pending litigation is reported on the sales transaction documents. If an owner called to ask, they would disclose the general nature of pending litigation.
- Items that I would like to see addressed and discussed at this meeting:
- Reconsideration of the Floodway Mural
- Discussion to create a study group to consider a multi-use sports court at Pualani Park (our HOA is a Friends of the Park). The Board needs to make every effort to solicit volunteers for this ad-hoc study group who purpose should be to determine Community Interest and Development ideas.
- The solicitation of neighborhood volunteers for neighborhood watches. Last year volunteers were sought but only 1 person came forward. This lack of effort/participation on the part of the community is symptomatic of the lack of community that currently exists.
- Discussion / Committee to organize a Community Wide gathering whose purpose it is to get neighbors to know neighbors, share ideas, share food (potluck).
These are agenda-driven items that we will take under consideration for future meetings. Having said that, the floodway needs to have a Reserve Study done before spending money for a mural. Also, we have regularly been asking for volunteers within the community and have not received much response – if you have a good idea, please let us know!