WHOEVER YOU VOTE FOR, PLEASE VOTE!
 Larry Cohen

Welcome Carolina ARBORS HOMEOWNERS!

IF you’d like to see more transparency from your Board of Directors, and more community input on issues that affect us all, please see the videos below to see more on my philosophy. Then join me, and my good friend Frank Sancineto, in making your Board more responsive to you and more proactive in doing things FOR you.

Thanks for your time and consideration!

 --------


FIRST, SEE WHAT YOUR HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION SHOULD NOT BE LIKE. CLICK HERE!

THEN, SEE MY VIDEO - CLICK HERE!

UPDATE AS OF OCT. 22, 2020

As a professional journalist for 20+ years, I was trained to ask questions, compile information and draw fact-based, common-sense conclusions. I’ve learned that you can’t always believe what you’re told or take it at face value. I’m running for the Board because in reviewing this Board’s actions (or lack thereof) over the past couple of years, I’ve seen some concerning things that just aren’t right or in CA’s best interests.
You elect the Board of Directors to represent and do what is best for YOU. Part of doing what’s best for you is asking you what YOU would like to see and how YOU would like to live your life in this community. And, most importantly, how you feel on issues before the Board. Issues that affect your quality of life.
This Board just isn’t doing that. They’ve not been transparent in all their actions and decisions. They don’t want your opinion, unless it matches theirs or the small group of vocal homeowners who have their ear.
Instead, this Board has been hiding behind the CC&Rs, many of which are outdated Pulte boilerplate rules that were developed by Pulte in Pulte’s best interest, but not in OURS.  This Board’s main focus has been, and will continue to be, how to enforce those rules, and issue violations and fines.
For those who may say, “you’re always sniping at the Board” (a Board candidate said this to me), I say: I express my opinions on the Board’s inadequacies using facts and logic. If you don’t agree with me, you have the option to disagree and not vote for me. You do not have the option to silence me.
I believe there is a better way of governing Carolina Arbors. A logical, common-sense approach that allows people to “Live and Let Live,” enjoy your time here, and make living here a pleasure without implementing and enforcing rules to address non-existent problems. Doing this only CREATES problems.
We can all be happy here and have pride in this community without having rules and regulations shoved down our throats; without fear of violating a rule about where you can place a stick in your yard, and at the same time, maintain and enhance the look, quality, financial stability and future of our neighborhood. We really can! We were doing it just fine until Pulte started transitioning control to the current Board which took a hardline approach to regulating, restricting and enforcing.
Let’s hear some GOOD things from our Board for a change. And, let’s all be involved in the decision-making process on issues that affect us all.

Thanks for your time and consideration!

Talk is cheap. Identifying the problems and having a plan for solving them is the key.

Here are some examples of the problems and my observations, followed by how I would work to resolve them:


1) Our Current Board is not transparent.

How?

There have been no open Board meetings in months, nor any communications from the Board as to what they’re working on. They blame “Covid,” yet somehow, they were able to get Associa to do Virtual “Town Hall” meetings. Why could they not do the same with a Board meetings? They’ve just agreed to do a one-hour meeting on October 8, conveniently one week before voting on a new Board begins. They *now* need to show that they’re holding meetings. Where were they 2 months ago, when Associa started their Town Halls? And, speaking of the Town Halls, why aren’t Board members on those calls and answering questions directly from residents?


Why?

This Board, from Day 1, has avoided facing homeowners directly because they fear that homeowners will disagree with their decisions. They don’t know how to answer questions honestly and, on their feet, and don’t want to be in a position to say something that might offend someone. That’s why any open meeting they do hold is heavily scripted, and question-and- answer sessions are very limited. They are afraid to talk to you or have open discussions with you. They are hiding from you. They take hours to discuss how to present an issue to you to cause the least amount of discussion rather than just present it honestly and openly and accept whatever response may come. Finally, the Board meeting held virtually on Oct. 8 was NOT recorded for residents who could not attend to view at a future time. Why? Nearly all Webex/Zoom virtual calls are recorded for everyone's convenience. Why not this one?

Think about it.

How would I do better?
I would hold seek to hold regularly-scheduled open board meetings (monthly or quarterly) - either at Piedmont or Virtually - with an untimed, open period for residents’ questions and answers. Just as school board meetings often go into the night, if it takes time to answer all residents’ questions, well then, that’s part of the job. I won’t be afraid to answer questions to the best of my ability without having to follow a script. If I can’t answer a question appropriately, I’ll say so, and get back to the resident later on. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know,” if I don’t know.

While it’s not possible to put every issue to a community vote or poll and still have the Board operate efficiently, it IS possible and CRITICAL that issues that potentially affect everyone in the community be put forth honestly and openly to gauge community support. It is the failure to be fully transparent that causes community divisiveness, because when you fail to tell all, your credibility is questioned.

2) The current Board conceives, develops and implements Rules, Policies, and Procedures with little or no community input.

How?

In one of their most recent actions, they developed a procedure for changing the CC&Rs through the use of a petition. The procedure itself was cumbersome, and parts of it made no sense. It was clearly developed to make it very difficult to affect any change. The procedure was developed and implemented with no community input. Not even a quick survey asking something as simple as “Should we make it easy or difficult to change the CC&Rs, and how do you suggest we do it?”   After the first petition was received by the Board (on the driveway/street parking), the Board quickly and quietly changed the procedure (simply advised us that “we’ve changed it”) making it even more difficult - requiring even more signatures- to make any changes.
In another action, the Board came up with a poorly conceived and written “leash law,” which had to be rewritten. Again, with limited community input.
It’s kind of disturbing how the Board quickly comes up with a policy on leashing dogs, or restrictions on who can use the Piedmont Hall library based on a few complaints, yet they take NO action on allowing you to keep two cars on your driveway when more than 200 homeowners have asked for this. Think about it.

Why?
This Board caters to a handful of outspoken residents and complainers who don’t necessarily represent the community as a whole. The Board will pass policies to appease these few folks to quiet their complaints. Yet, they don’t ask the community whether there is any interest in passing these policies outside of this handful of people. Is your opinion being represented (or even asked for?) by this Board? Think about it.

How Would I Do Better?
Simply, more communication between the Board and the community, on a regular basis. Whether it be through meetings, email, or even a forum on OCA called “Here’s what Your Board is Working ON.” In addition, I’d make use of existing features within OCA (and through third-party applications) that can quickly poll our residents and gauge their feelings in a NON-BINDING survey on issues that affect them before rules or policies are modified or implemented. As I said earlier, it’s not realistic to poll residents on every issue, but it is critical to get community input on the big issues.

3) The current Board does not publish meeting minutes in a timely manner; the minutes contain little or no detail, and do not indicate how each Board member voted on issues.

How?
You’ve seen it and heard their reasoning. They don’t publish the meeting minutes for at least a month, because they all have to review it and approve it at their NEXT meeting. They claim they don’t list the voting of the board members vote on each issue purposely.

Why?
During their month-long “review” the Board essentially removes detail of what’s been discussed so as not to give you any reason to question their actions. They’re essentially creating two sets of minutes. One that you see, and the originally recorded one, that you don’t see. If you don’t know what they’re doing, you can’t question it! And, they say they don’t list the voting record of the individual Board members because “most of the voting is unanimous” and to not create “divisiveness” in the community.   WHAT???? Do your City Council members not let you see how they voted because they don’t want to create divisiveness in the community? First, if most of the voting is unanimous, that means that some Board members are not always voting their true feelings for fear of not looking “united” with the rest of the Board. Board members should be voting their conscience on every issue based on what’s best for the community, not just to be “in step” with the rest of the Board. If your elected officials either locally or nationally were always unanimous in their voting, wouldn’t you think something’s wrong?  Think about it.
A Board member’s recent comment that revealing the Board members’ vote on each issue would create divisiveness in the community is nonsense and a cop-out. Rather, knowing how your Board members vote would allow YOU to make informed decisions on who you want to vote for in the next election and who on the Board actually represents your interests. Think about it.

How Would I do Better?
As a Board member, my vote on every issue would be public, even if it is not in agreement with the other Board members. I would publish Board meeting minutes within 7-14 days after the meeting, NOT after the NEXT meeting. How is this community to become educated on what’s going on if we’re already into the NEXT meeting before you find out what happened in the previous meeting? Meeting minutes should be more detailed, clearly outlining what was discussed, the reasons for the issue, the potential solutions that have been proposed, and NEXT ACTIONS by the Board.

4) The Board is overly focused on Rules, Regulations and Policies

How?
From the onset, the majority of communications received either from the Board directly (rarely) or through Associa, involved rules, regulations, the CC&Rs, how to enforce them, when to enforce them, how and when to issue violations, fines, etc.
Even for our first BOD Election, the Election Task Force (which is appointed by the Board), focused its efforts on restricting candidates on what they could do to interact with and respond to CA residents’ questions and allow residents to get to know the candidates.

Why?
Again, it all comes down to the Board’s unwillingness to be transparent or allow anyone else to freely express their views. If the Board truly represented this community, it would solicit and welcome the community’s input (even through an informal, non-binding poll) on issues before enacting or enforcing any existing or new rules and regulations. NOT on every issue, as the Board needs to have leeway to make decisions on its own, but certainly on issues of major impact. Sorry, but using “COVID” as an excuse for not allowing residents to know what you’re considering or by the Task Force restricting what candidates can do to inform our community of where they all stand doesn’t hold water. Instead of the Task Force just saying the candidates can’t post anything on OCA “because it would flood residents’ email boxes,” and that only they can determine what questions would be put to candidates, they could have created a separate FORUM area for the HOA Election to allow back-and-forth between the candidates and the residents. With the use of a separate forum, residents would able to easily set their preferences to not receive emails from that forum’s posts if they so desired. Just some common-sense thinking would have allowed better dissemination of information about the Board candidates. And, why would the Task Force not facilitate a ZOOM meeting for the candidates to meet with the community? If Associa - and now the Board - can do it, there was no reason not to allow the 12 candidates to get on a Zoom meeting and at least talk with our residents face-to-face to help you learn about us. Their excuse was it would not be feasible due to too many questions...the inability of all candidates to have equal time to answer those questions, yada, yada, yada. Nonsense. This could have been done. Instead, they did nothing. Rather than RESTRICT the candidates’ use of the Carolina Arbors email list to promote their candidacies and inform the community, why would they not instead PROVIDE them with the list and allow them to use it with an “opt out” option for any residents who did not want to receive email? It all comes back to the Board not wanting you to know anything that might not put them in a good light. Voter information suppression. Think about it.

How Would I do Better?
There is no argument that we all signed and agreed to the CC&Rs when we moved here, regardless of whether we actually read them at the time. While we may be legally bound by the CC&Rs, just how those regulations are enforced is up to the Board.
This is a key point I have been trying to make from Day 1.

The Board can decide to use the laws when needed to resolve a problem, modify them to better represent the needs of our community, or they can enforce them all the time, any way they want.  


Even the current Board itself disagrees on this point!
One current Board member says in their final campaign statement:
"The CC&Rs are legal documents that cannot be ignored, but how they are implemented and enforced is a Board decision."
While another Board member says:
"A Board has a fiduciary responsibility to apply the Governing Documents as written and agreed to by each of us when we purchased our property."

This Board has chosen to use “anonymous complaints” by which to base their enforcement of the CC&Rs and current policies on. This is a recipe for disaster and divisiveness within the community, potentially pitting neighbor against neighbor. If elected to the Board, I would work to eliminate the anonymous complaint system, replacing it with a Mediation Committee where complaints about regulation enforcement would go as the first step in resolving issues before involving the Board or initiating any violations, fines, or other penalties.

5) The current Board is making it difficult for you to access important documentation that you are entitled to see.

How?
Despite numerous requests by myself and others to view the Associa contract, we have in the past been denied access to this documentation. After much “non-response” to the request, it was determined by the Board that a process needed to be put in place to allow the viewing of these documents (despite state law that says any member of the Association should have access to these documents).
A process was finally announced which allows the viewing of the documents IF YOU HAVE A REASON to see them, and IF the Board, in its own determination, is OK with your reason. This process still severely limits our right to see these documents, essentially saying if the Board doesn’t want you to see them, they don’t have to let you.

Why?
The board doesn’t want you to see Associa’s duties (assigned or otherwise) or make it publicly known that the Associa contract can be terminated on 30 days’ notice without cause.  Why, because they want you to think that if you’re unhappy with Associa, you can’t do anything about it until their contract term is up.  This is withholding of information that we should all be able to see.

How Would I do Better?
This is a simple one. We don’t need lawyers to figure out this process.
I would place all current vendor contracts in a book or books and have them available for viewing by residents by appointment. Contracts may have portions redacted to remove individual salaries and other items of this nature, but the vast majority of the contract terms should be available for viewing by qualified Association members without providing a “reason” to see them.

6) Speaking of Associa, I’m a bit concerned about their lack of responsiveness.

Why?
For one, response to email requests sent to contactarbors@gmail.com is poor at best, and I’ve experienced - and heard from others – that many emails never get a response at all (other than the automated form response that you receive immediately after sending your email). And, when those responses do come, one never knows if it is based on information that Associa is just providing on their own, or information coming from the Board, to Associa, and then to you. In other words, where is the information in these intermittent responses really coming from?
Secondly, though I don’t frequent Piedmont Hall very often especially in the past few months, when I was there, I did not find the front desk staff to be very cordial. Certainly not “welcoming.”

How Would I do Better?
My belief is that homeowners’ questions should go directly to the Board at first - not to Associa - for responses. The Board members should split up the emails and answer them personally, even if it is with a simple “I don’t have an answer for you on this yet, but will get back to you.” Or, “This needs to be discussed with the other Board members. I’ll put it on our agenda and get back to you afterwards.” This is not brain surgery.
Understanding that getting huge volumes of emails can be a bit daunting for unpaid Board members to be always answering, I believe that some types of emails could be forwarded from the Board to Associa for a response, such as Lifestyle, meeting, and other organizational/calendar questions. But the Board members should be the first stop in the email chain, not the last.
I’d also watch carefully for emails from residents on Associa’s performance, and be sure to address any concerns with Associa directly, as they are brought up. Finally, I’d keep a file of Associa’s performance record to use in any future contract negotiations with them.

7) While a much-improved and very powerful tool, OCA isn’t as good as it could be.

Why?
First, hats off to the IT Task Force for their excellent effort in implementing this new platform. No major software changeover ever goes perfectly, but this was pretty close to it. Hopes were high for a much-improved product, and for the most part, those hopes were fulfilled.
But there are still improvements that can and should be made. One of the first things our residents noticed was that they could no longer just receive email notifications of the “first” post in a forum. The only option is to receive ALL notifications in a forum, or none. Several workarounds have been suggested, and work OK as a temporary measure (i.e.: having responses to posts go directly to your email’s “trash” folder) but this doesn’t solve the root problem. That solution only prevents your INBOX from getting cluttered, but your trash still fills up with large amounts of mail. Unless you regularly empty your trash, those emails are still clogging your server, and in some cases, your desktop email application. The current Board, in its most recent Board meeting, approved moving ahead with modifying the look of the home page to move certain information into better-read locations. While that’s fine, it hardly addresses more important issues that exist.

How would I do Better?
Having worked in Technical Support for a software company for 15+ years, I know that that the forum email notification issue is something that can easily be resolved. I’d would work with the IT Task Force and Club Express to get this modification made. There are other improvements that can be made, such as the ability to delete your own forum posts. I’d have the Task Force look into this as well.

=================================================
A CA Homeowner recently asked me the following question:

What is your position on garage sales in CA? Please include the rationale for your response.

My response: My position on garage sales in CA is twofold. For "community" garage sales, which are currently permitted by the CC&Rs with Board approval, I am in favor of holding one or two HOA-sponsored community garage sales per year. My rationale for this is that numerous homeowners have requested this, and there is no credible reason *not* to hold these.

As for individual homeowners holding their own garage sales - while I am personally not opposed to that, it's an issue I would want to get additional community feedback on before offering a stance or adopting a policy affecting this.
My responses to the Task Force questions:

5. What are your thoughts on the CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions)?  Are they too restrictive?  If yes, in what ways?  If no, why not?  Is the current procedure to change them reasonable?  And why?

My answer: The CC&Rs is an old, boilerplate document developed by Pulte - for Pulte - that was produced for a number of their communities. I believe that some of the CC&Rs are too restrictive for our community wants and needs, while others are just fine and working well. That’s why I’m calling for a Rules & Regulations Committee to review these documents, solicit input from the community and recommend changes to the Board. This is something that the current Board should have done a long time ago.
I believe the current procedure to change them has been made very cumbersome by the current Board, by first seeking a non-binding survey, then a formal vote which must be approved by nearly 3/4 of the community. Under those conditions, changes will likely never come about. I am in favor of making it easier to change the CC&Rs, by a simple 51% vote of the community, after proposed changes are first put forth to the community for their input.

6. What cost savings measures or operational changes would you pursue?

My answer: This is a difficult question to answer having no access to review current vendor contracts. (Despite requests to see those documents). If elected, I would have a Contracts Committee review all existing vendor contracts and recommend cost-savings measures to the Board, as well as perform these reviews within three months of contract renewal time.
However, one immediate savings I would pursue as a Board member is to engage legal opinions and services only when necessary. Not everything a Board of Directors wants to do or rules it wants to implement requires a legal opinion. Most decisions can be made using common sense, and simply reviewing previous legal opinions through searches on the Internet.

My responses to the Task Force questions:
Question #1:
 
Do you believe there is currently sufficient transparency in communications?  What does this mean to you? If yes, explain.  If no, how would you improve it?

My answer: No. I believe there is a terrible lack of transparency between the Board and the community. This is one of the main reasons I am running for a Board position.
A lack of transparency indicates that the Board is meeting privately and making decisions without informing the community simply because they do not want to face opposition. The Board is operating like a government agency that makes rulings and expects to not have to deal with it afterwards. That’s not the way a “community” should work.
I believe the current Board is *afraid* to directly work with the community because they can’t take the heat from those who may disagree with their decisions. 
“Town Halls” with Associa is *not* the same as the Board members directly addressing and working with homeowners.

I would improve transparency by holding regularly-scheduled, open Board meetings, (virtual, if necessary) allowing residents to comment on any and all ongoing issues and respond to their concerns candidly and honestly. I would ensure that the community receives regular updates as to what issues the Board is working on, and what major changes are being considered – BEFORE action is taken on these changes. I would also like to see resident emails answered directly by Board members rather than Associa wherever possible.

a) Do you think the Board minutes submitted to residents should include more detail about discussions as well as identify board members in attendance and how each member voted on each subject?

My answer: Board minutes severely lack details, simply saying “we discussed this, and we discussed that.” I would expand them with more detailed information offering pro and con points - and a ACTION ITEMS section, explaining the Board's next actions. Minutes should be released within 7-10 days after each meeting.


Question #2:

How does the HOA Board intend to establish standards for the community that ensure property values remain strong AND are in step with new energy conservation and environmental practices being implemented throughout the larger community in which CA is located?

My answer: I believe that the framework for standards to ensure that property values remain strong are already in place in the form of our CC&Rs. However, through the dedicated efforts of committees such as the Landscape and Architecture Review committees, these standards could be regularly reviewed and improved upon, to include feasibility studies for implementation of new technologies. If any of these proven technologies would enhance our property values, save our residents money, or make living here a better experience for our residents, then we should update the CC&Rs to allow for use of these technologies.


SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER:

1) Please carefully review and consider any items the Board tries to explain to you or policies they enact or modify between now and the election.
The Board *now* publicly explaining how they respond to complaints and develop policies should have been forthcoming to our residents a LONG time ago. Not simply because they are facing pressure from candidates concerned about the Board's lack of transparency.

Notice how we have received more communication from the Board in the past 3 weeks than we have all year?
Also notice how these communications are still related to rules, restrictions and policies, rather than what good things the Board is trying to do FOR the community.

2) When the Board says they respond to "multiple" complaints from homeowners, ALWAYS ask "How many is multiple?"  And, how many of those "multiple" complaints come from the same homeowners?
You will never get an answer to that question.

That's why I am proposing an Arbitration Committee handle the complaints about minor items from smaller numbers of homeowners and leave the *big* things for the Board to handle.

3)  In its most recent email to the community, the Board included this sentence, which sums up their feelings on getting community input on proposed policies:

"Contrary to some beliefs held in our community, an HOA Board does not have a duty to ask individual homeowners their opinions on all policies."

While that may be true, wouldn't it be nice if they DID solicit community input before enacting new policies? A simple non-binding survey through OCA (easily done) would suffice.
There might just be some beneficial information in that community feedback that would prevent mistakes or omissions in that policy.

4)  Be wary of "hearsay" about all of the candidates, their positions, and their reasons for running for the Board.
There are some very serious mistruths being spread about some candidates based on "I heard that...".
If someone simply says they "heard that," "was informed that" or "was told that," what they heard or were told is probably not true.
Ask the candidate yourself about the issue or their reason for running and get an answer from them directly!

5) Finally, the candidates have been very limited by the Election Task Force in the way(s) we can campaign. That's why I've set up this website.
You're invited to visit often, and tell your friends and neighbors about it as well. It will remain live until the day after the election ends.


IMPORTANT VOTING INFORMATION:

- Voting begins October 15th and runs through Nov. 6. Results will be announced at the Annual Meeting on Nov. 11.

- If you have any questions about my candidacy or viewpoints, please contact me any time at: larryscottcohen@gmail.com


More About Me:


Number of years CA Resident: 2 years 7 months

Candidate biographical background summary:

Larry Cohen is married to his wife, Arlene, has three children and 6 grandchildren. He is recently retired after lifelong careers in Journalism, Communications, and IT networking, Technical Support and Technical Writing.

 He graduated from Brooklyn College (NY) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and has lived in New York, (Far Rockaway and Oceanside), Jacksonville, FL, Atlanta, GA, Davie, FL and Durham, NC.

 Larry’s journalism career included writing, reporting, editing, on-air radio and TV news anchoring, and implementing and managing Cable TV News departments. Some of his accomplishments include writing and/or working for such companies for The New York TimesThe Miami NewsThe Miami Herald (Fort Lauderdale Bureau), WHLI and WGSM Radio (NY), The Florida Times-Union/Jacksonville Journal, The Atlanta Journal/Constitution, Cox Enterprises, WSB-TV (Atlanta) and WSVN-TV (Miami). In addition, he was an adjunct faculty member at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY, where he taught college-level Writing for Radio and Television. Larry also used his extensive communications skills as Communications Director for The Super Show, the world’s largest sports products trade show.

 Larry’s technical career included working as a Novell and Windows Network Administrator, Systems Engineer and Technical Support Specialist for companies such as Mayor’s JewelersDataCore Software and Ultimate Software, all based in Florida. Larry retired after 15 years with Ultimate Software, where he completed his tenure as a Technical Communications Specialist.

 Larry’s interests include collecting stamps and keeping and breeding tropical fish. He is currently a member of the Raleigh Stamp Club and the Raleigh Aquarium Society.

What key qualifications do you feel you have to be a member of the CA HOA board?

I believe my journalism background uniquely qualifies me to be a board member because I have been trained to gather facts and present those facts in an informative, unbiased manner. This quality is especially important in a community of diverse opinions and sometimes heated disagreements. It all comes down to being able to examine the facts, present them and come to common sense decisions within existing guidelines, to make this a better place for all.

I also believe my communications background equips me with the experience to clearly and concisely communicate with our residents.  Consistent, transparent and timely communication between the Board and homeowners is a critical element that all homeowners demand and deserve. 

My managerial positions provided me with experience in staffing, developing and implementing budgets, and the fiscal responsibility that goes along with keeping my departments within budget.

My technical positions have provided me with the ability to understand and implement some of the latest technologies. This is a necessary skill to be able to carry on both Board business and resident communication particularly in this time of social distancing.

Why do you want to be on the CA HOA board?

I have lived in CA for two-and-half years now. I’ve seen this community at its best and worst.

While this is a wonderful community, there is an enormous potential here to make it even better. A model community within the City of Durham where all CA residents are happy living here, and outsiders envy.

I see an opportunity to do a lot more FOR this community. Rather than spend countless hours regulating and enforcing minor issues that have no effect on the community as a whole, I would prefer to spend time developing community-sponsored events that all residents can take part in and look forward to.

I want to be in a position to be able to say “YES” more often than “NO” to homeowners’ requests to live a better life here.

What is your philosophy or vision for the CA HOA?

I believe an HOA is elected to represent the residents it serves, and, as such, should be completely transparent with its residents at all times. Board members should be willing to put themselves “out there” interacting directly with the community rather than just leaving communication up to the management company. I believe in open monthly Board meetings, with input and discussion from community residents, and the release of detailed meeting minutes, voting records and clear action items after each meeting. I believe that Board activity is not a secret that should be kept from residents for fear of opposing viewpoints, but rather proudly discussed with the community to keep them informed and invite their opinions on. Ongoing communication between a Board and its residents is crucial to making this a better place to live.

My philosophy would be one of common-sense governing, using the CA covenants and existing rules, regulations and processes as guidelines to build upon, improve and modify as needed and required.

My vision would include working with fellow Board members who not only uphold the highest standards of respect for our residents and their views, but those of the other Board members as well.

What are your top priorities, issues and concerns for the CA HOA?

1)   Ongoing communication and complete transparency with the residents of this community. Meetings of the Board are not secret and should include resident comments and discussion, and not simply be a forum to read Board pre-scripted material. Discussion by Board members of items that affect the community should be made public at least in the form of meeting minutes disseminated in a timely manner. Address resident concerns in a timely manner with personalized responses directly from Board members, not the management company, wherever possible.

2)  Plan new events for this community paying particular attention to staying within budget. Most living here are on fixed incomes and don’t want to see annual increases in their HOA dues that will cause them hardship.

If elected to the Board, I would like to see and would work toward:

1)  The establishment of a Mediation Committee where complaints or disputes between homeowners can be discussed and resolved without anonymous complaints leading to threats of violations, fines and liens. In my opinion, those measures, while at times may be necessary, should only be invoked when other attempts to resolve an issue fail. First attempts to resolve resident issues should NOT be to invoke laws and punishments by the Board. All that does is pit neighbor against neighbor and make CA a less than appealing community in which to live.

2)  The establishment of a Rules and Regulations Review Committee which would review the regulations that Pulte left us and find areas for improvement. I believe a number of existing regulations are outdated, impractical and leave great room for improvement.

3)  The establishment of Phase Captains who would report to the Board on a regular basis with concerns specific to residents in their phase. This is a large community, and establishing Phase Captains allows each phase to be heard on their issues.

4)  The establishment of a Utilities Committee, which would work directly with Durham utility departments (such as water, roads, etc.) to ensure that all city projects in CA either underway or planned are undertaken and completed in a timely, efficient and acceptable manner.

5)  Working closely with the IT Task Force to further enhance OCA to include the features that our residents have asked for.

6)  Working closely with our hard-working committees to provide them with the support they need to do their jobs.

 What activities, CA or outside, do you enjoy and participate in regularly?

After many years of resisting going to a gym, I finally decided to make use of this great amenity here at CA (until the virus hit).

 I also enjoy visiting my grandchildren in Charlotte, and in New York.

 I am a big Durham Bulls fan, have season tickets and really look forward to attending their games.

 I regularly attend meetings of the Raleigh Aquarium Society and the Raleigh Stamp Club, and other events sponsored by both of these organizations.