Candidates are questioned on variety of topics

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 Final Meet the Candidates event will be held Monday, April 20, at 7 p.m. at the Lodge.


A number of residents took advantage of opportunities this week to hear from the POA Board candidates on a variety of topics – first at the Senior Center on Saturday and then at the Holiday Bay Room on Monday. Both meetings were well attended, with extra chairs having to be added at Monday’s “Speak to the Candidates” event.

Attendees found the forums to be well organized and informative, though not everyone would have considered Monday’s event “civil.” When it comes to politics in Canyon Lake, there are a few individuals and groups in the community who are strongly divided. Some of them are vocal about their disdain for current or past leadership.

Though, for the most part well controlled, some at Monday’s forum still managed to make their personal vendettas heard, either through audience outbursts of applause or boos, or in the form of questions asked.

The rules for Monday’s meeting were written and stated out loud that questions were to be civil, on point, with no personal attacks, that questions should take no longer than 30 seconds to ask and one minute to answer – and that applause should be held until the end. These rules were broken quite regularly in spite of somewhat uneven attempts by the moderators, marshals and time keeper to enforce them.

(Time limits weren’t a problem at Saturday’s meeting where moderator Janine Schrufer of the Senior Work Group flat out shut people off mid-sentence if their time was up. The candidates were good-natured about it.)

Questions at both forums could be directed to all the candidates or to individual candidates.

Several questions dealt with the rewrite of the Bylaws, specifically the rule that limits part-time residents from serving on the Board, rules on cumulative voting and proxies, rules on spending limits and rules having to do with property rights and corporate or LLC ownership of property.

At Monday’s meeting, candidates who said they support the Bylaws as written were Ted Horton, Dale Welty, Bruce Yarbrough and Larry Greene. Candidates who said they would vote “no” on the Bylaws as written were Lawrence Neigel, Tamie Mongold, Paul Queen, Harold Larson and Eric Spitzer.

Several questioners asked about particular amenities, the way they are operated and the subsidies that support them, specifically the Equestrian Center, Lodge and Country Club. One person wanted to know why certain projects that have been approved in the past still aren’t built, such as the dog park, tennis building and restrooms at Roadrunner Park.

One person asked about the Board’s recent decision to make the Golf Course “public.” Someone asked about whether legal fees could be reduced. Another asked how security could be improved. One wanted to know what could be done to provide activities for the youth of the community.

One person questioned whether the current Board is exceeding spending limits laid out in the Davis-Sterling Act with regard to the administration and maintenance of amenities.

The two candidates who faced the most personal questions about past actions were Bruce Yarbrough and Lawrence Neigel.

Both meetings ended with each candidate allowed time to restate their priorities if elected. Space constraints prohibit providing every candidate’s answer to every question. The candidate forums were taped and can be viewed at www.canyonlakepoa.com. (Click on Governance, then click on 2015 Board Election and scroll to the bottom.)

Watching videos of the candidate forums is helpful, but being there in person allows one to experience the drama of community interaction, as well as the opportunity to talk to the candidates in person.

The next chance to do so is at the Meet the Candidates Night at the Lodge this coming Monday, April 20, at 7 p.m. This event will be hosted by the Home Owners Club and will have a different format from the previous two forums. Written questions may be submitted anonymously to the moderator, with the moderator directing the questions to the candidates.

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Sharon Rice