Candidates now hoping for members’ votes

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Is the fate of the five candidates running for the Canyon Lake Property Owners Association Board of Directors safe in the hands of voters? They have given their time to answer questions for The Friday Flyer, speak at candidate forums, put up signs, replied to emails and phone calls and met with members personally when asked. Now, will voters take the time to mark their ballots and put them in the mail?

The last day it is recommended a homeowner mail in their ballot is Friday, May 4. To meet quorum requirements, 1,532 of 4,594 ballots must be received.

The Annual Meeting of the Members and Election of Directors will be held Thursday, May 10, at 8 a.m. at the lodge. Ballots may be dropped off between 8 and 9 a.m. If a quorum is not met on May 10, the alternate adjourned Annual Meeting date will be Saturday, May 12.

The five-member Canyon Lake Property Owners Association Board of Directors are collectively responsible for the management and operation of the CLPOA’s business affairs. The board members are elected for staggered two-year terms.

Two of the five seats are up for election on May 10 when the two-year terms of Paul Queen and Dale Welty expire. The candidates, in the order they will be listed on the ballot, are incumbent Dale Welty, Dudley Thompson and Jim Barringham.

In the weeks leading up to the election, The Friday Flyer featured a series of questions to the candidates. During this period, residents had the opportunity to hear directly from the candidates and learn what they hope to accomplish if elected to serve.

In this final installment of questions for the candidates, The Friday Flyer invited them to answer the following question in 500 or fewer words:

Question: Since this is the last question in The Friday Flyer’s series of candidate questions, what would you like to be your final thoughts to the community?

Dale Welty

Photo by Donna Ritchie

When elected to the Canyon Lake Board of Directors, the elected directors take on the responsibility for the financial stability and quality of the community. The POA is a complex organization; it owns or manages a lake, campground, golf course, equestrian center, two restaurants, miles of roads and a number of other amenities. Elected board members are rarely professionals or experts in all of the facets of running the community.

It is important that board members do the work required to understand the POA and communicate with the professionals that we hire and volunteers that provide professional recommendations.

The current Finance Committee consists of at least three members with master degrees in the areas of finance or business and committee members have experience in the financial management in large corporations, that is to say, people with real finance experience.

During budget time, committee members spend more than 200 hours meeting either with the staff or in their groups to review every page of the over 750 page proposed budget.  The members have been through the budget process a number of times and are very knowledgeable about the POA’s financial issues.

The Reserve Study companies we hire to recommend to complete our reserve studies are also professionals who have years of experience in HOA reserves. The reserve company we used for our last reserve studies has been in business since 1986 and has completed over 30,000 reserve studies.

The lake is our most valuable asset and elected members of the POA Board of Directors generally come in with little or no experience in lake health or lake management.  The Dredge Committee consists of two former EVMWD directors, two former  POA directors, two members with extensive construction experience in grading projects and two engineers. Committee members also communicate with the current EVMWD director and with experts from the water authorities that work in our watershed area.

It is important for the future of our community that the health of the lake is a priority and we consult with professionals in lake management to make sure that the lake is managed responsibly.

The POA staff are professionals who not only have years of experience in their specialties but also have years of experience in managing the Canyon Lake POA. POA directors should be willing to listen to and respect the input from staff regarding complex POA problems.

Important questions I always ask myself when hiring or assigning a task to someone are: Does the person understand what they do not know and do they have the experience to handle the task? Are they willing to accept their limitations and reach out for assistance when needed?

POA directors that come into office thinking they come in already equipped to handle complex POA issues and do not need to listen to professionals will not serve the community well. I have a solid history of doing the hard work needed and l work with the professionals in the community to make good decisions for our members.

Dudley Thompson

Photo by Donna Ritchie

Judging from questions asked during the candidate forums, I have learned that most property owners are concerned about property values, maintaining our amenities, security, reducing subsidies and financial stability.

I’d like the community to know that first and foremost I stand for protecting property values. I believe the POA Board’s biggest responsibility is to protect homeowners and their property values. For most homeowners, their property is likely the largest single investment they have and I will always keep this in mind as I make decisions that will impact them. And most decisions affect property values, if not directly, indirectly.

Amenities, or lack thereof, are one of the factors that differentiate communities and ours are certainly big factors in making this such a unique community. The majority of our amenities are not revenue producing and are not designed to be so. I believe these amenities must be managed efficiently and properly.  I will focus on improving existing amenities and developing new ones that will enhance our 50-year-old community.

Security is a major reason people purchase homes in gated communities. Security is our largest subsidized amenity and every resident utilizes this amenity whether they want to or not. Recent steps have been taken to make entrance to the community more customer friendly with the addition of RFID gates for residents.  There is debate as to the level of security the residents desire.

A ballot “Advisory Vote” will hopefully shed some additional light on the subject. Our residents want to feel safe and secure but not overly regulated.

Reducing subsidies is a challenge. The majority of our amenities are not revenue-producing and are not designed to be so. The best way to reduce subsidies for revenue-producing amenities is to increase use. This must be done with competitive pricing and better marketing both internally and externally. There is plenty of room at the golf course and our two restaurants for more use by residents. A new marketing professional at the POA is a good first step as is recent advertising of the county club restaurant being open to the public and the limited availability of outside golf memberships.

Financial stability has a direct effect on property values. When there are questions and concerns about finances, property values can falter. Canyon Lake is in good financial condition.  For it to remain so, we must continue adequately funding our reserves as well as our operating budget. We are a 50-year-old community. As such, equipment and infrastructure are approaching the end of their useful life and some have already been repaired or replaced as planned. This good work must be continued.

I am a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility and I believe my experience will allow me to make decisions that will be in the best interest of our property owners and their property values. A vote for Dudley Thompson is a vote for improving property values and making Canyon Lake “A Better Bit of Paradise.”

Jim Barringham

Photo by Donna Ritchie

When my wife and I moved into our new Canyon Lake home in December 2011, we knew this would probably be the last move of our life. Little did I know that on Mar. 2,  2018, I would be walking into the POA Corporate office and filing the necessary papers to run for a Board of Directors position.

I really had no idea what was involved in running for this position. I have had help from many different people, some I knew and some I had never met before. After ordering 125 campaign signs, and personally placing many of them around the community, I was on my way.

Campaigning will have involved six articles in The Friday Flyer, three Meet the Candidates forums and three campaign advertisements in The Friday Flyer. I have met and spoken to so many different homeowners in the community.

The golf course gets a lot of attention because of the subsidized cost. I contacted Joe Kamashian about getting a tour of our golf course so I could better understand this amenity. Joe was so gracious, took several hours of his time to drive me around the course. This helped me get better acquainted with and observe firsthand what goes into the day to day operation of running the golf course.

I was able to speak with our golf Pro Pat Kimball and came away feeling that we were very fortunate to have someone of his caliber in charge of our golf course. I believe the real solution to lowering the golf course subsidy is adding more members.

The dog park has been a work in progress for quite a while. I met with several of the dog owners and heard their complaints. This amenity cost each homeowner almost nothing and I believe dealing with some of the issues at the dog park is something that can be taken care of quickly and at a minimal expense.

I believe getting the BMX pump track and splash pads are another vital part of our community. We must always work towards having family-friendly amenities. We must always keep our eyes on the needs of our young people in order to give them the best opportunity to succeed.

The lodge and country club are two amenities I still find interesting as needing subsidies. I feel that the restaurants are room for improvement to lower those subsidies. I have heard so many stories of ways they lose money, I believe it is about time we figure out how to, at least, break even.

I am running as your POA Board of Directors because I have a huge interest in the health and well being of our community. I will work hard on your behalf to continue improving our amenities and our way of life.

I am a fiscal conservative, open, honest,  have no agenda and always looking for input from our homeowners. Let me represent you. I would appreciate your two votes. I am endorsed by our current POA President Paul Queen.

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