At Tuesday’s regular meeting of the CLPOA Board of Directors, Corporate Counsel Scott Levine provided three informative presentations.
Lake Lease Website
In the first presentation, he directed residents to a new website that provides information on the Lake Lease history and litigation. The website can be accessed via www.canyonlakepoa.com. Links in the Lake Lease website include “Myths vs. Facts,” “Lake Lease 101,” “In the News” and “Legal Documents.” The legal documents are time stamped .pdf copies of all documents related to the Lake Lease litigation on file with Riverside County Superior Court.
Levine said Canyon Lake’s Legal Counsel Silldorf & Levine LLP filed a motion this week to disqualify EVMWD’s Legal Counsel Best, Best & Krieger who at one time represented Canyon Lake, particularly with reference to the second amendment of the lease that gives the CLPOA the right to extend the lease. Levine says the firm is now trying to invalidate that amendment. The hearing is set for November 4.
Members can sign up on the Lake Lease website to receive emails with the latest updates.
Main Gate Arbitration
In his second presentation, Levine informed members about the Main Gate construction ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) initiated by the Board of Directors. The two sides in the arbitration procedure are the CLPOA Board and a party of five individuals represented by Lawrence Neigel.
The Board approved the Main Gate construction, contending that the costs are within the limits allowed by the CLPOA Bylaws without a vote of the membership. The citizen group opposes the construction on the grounds it violates CLPOA Bylaws. A judge will determine who is correct.
Levine and Neigel had a hearing with the judge by phone Tuesday in preparation for the hearing on October 21. They learned the procedures and timeline; each side identified who their witnesses would be and a brief summary of their legal positions. All supporting documents from both sides will be placed in binders and given to the judge.
Levine explained that, during the ADR meeting, the opposing parties will sit at a table with a judge. There will be opening statements by both sides, witnesses for both sides, and cross examination by both sides. The judge presiding over the ADR told Levine he thought he would make his decision by the end of October.
Because of recent incidents involving member interactions with employees and/or vendors (people under contract), Levine provided another lesson in member behavior within the Association. He explained some members have the mistaken belief that they can tell POA employees or vendors how to conduct their business; however, this can create liability issues for the Association and must stop.
“Members are members, not employers,” Levine explained. The POA has employees who report to the managers. The POA has a general manager who reports to the Board of Directors. The GM is the one who makes sure employees/vendors do their jobs. If members have concerns about employees or vendors, they should take it up with the GM.
“Don’t interfere with employees or vendors who are doing their job; don’t threaten them and don’t harass them . . . it’s inappropriate,” he said.
Some contracts include a tort called “Interference with Contract,” he explained. The interference can be intentional or negligent. If the interference is intentional, and the contractor decides to sue the Association, it could cost the Association hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Interference includes harassment or telling someone how to do their job. If the Association gets sued because of what one or two members do, everyone loses, Levine explained. Therefore, if a member sees another member harassing an employee or vendor, they should step in and stop it.