Here is a list of just some of the problems I have with my very reluctant "YES" vote on the board's recent proposal for us to purchase another tract of land from The Nature Conservancy (TNC):
The currently sitting and legitimate GFA President (Steve Rodriguez, Lot 301) has refused my request to allow me to simply review the contracts for any land purchase.
When I followed up with a query acknowledging but opposing this stance, and asking if the Members will be allowed to review the contracts prior to closing, Steve did not reply.
There is no mention in the ballot mailed out to Members regarding costs in addition to the acquisition price for this proposed purchase (i.e.: taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.)
There have been a number of these purchases by us from TNC which have been pending for what looks like around up to 8 years or so. I see no urgency to rush this purchase through without a full and transparent review and debate among the Membership.
The ballot mailed to the Members included what can most kindly be described as a deceptive map, which shaded a much larger parcel than is actually being decided by this ballot. This proposed purchase never abuts our Flow anywhere, but the board's map makes it appear it does.
The board's failure to provide a proper map of the parcel makes it nearly impossible for most members to understand if there actually is or is not a "road" on the parcel which would potentially give access to The Chain Lakes - a major consideration issue as many Members are concerned about potentially opening up access to our lease to trespassers via this "road".
This is an issue most properly should have been discussed by the Membership - either via a special Zoom Members Meeting, or at the AGM. Instead, the board chose to only present their view of the proposal, in the most self-beneficial terms possible. Again, please note all other TNC purchases have been pending literally for years, clearly indicating there is no clear need for urgency on this purchase. Nor, is any even implied by the board.
It is incorrect to say there will be no increase in dues. Buying this land will push back the eventual payoff date of the spillway loan, which absolutely is an increase in dues.
We are in the middle of a global pandemic, the economic fallout of which has forced Members to sell their places, and for our delinquent dues list to be larger than I have ever seen it. Fiscal prudence is mandated in these extraordinary circumstances.
The board's ballot fails to advise Members that TNC is notorious for including incredibly onerous covenants on any land they sell, including the parcels we have already been committed to purchasing for many years now, but which somehow still do not own. These covenants historically intensely restrict what the purchaser will or will not be able to do with the land after it is acquired. By failing to advise Members of this fact, the impression is created by the board that another entity could buy the land and over develop it. This is almost absolutely untrue, as TNC will likely impose very strict covenants on any purchaser of the land, as they have always done in the past - including with us. The existence or not of these almost certain covenants could easily be verified if Members were simply allowed to view the contracts prior to voting and/or closing.
The GFA absolutely is the logical purchaser for this land, but it is incorrect and inexcusable for the board to not be transparent with all aspects of this purchase or anything else GFA-related.