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  • FHPOA Board of Directors 

Myth Busters #2



This is the second article in the “Myth Busters” series from the Board of Directors. 

  

The FHPOA Board launched this series of articles to dispel the accusations and misconceptions from FHSTOP. This series aims to educate Fairfield Harbour residents on the facts and how POAs operate within the guidelines of the NC General Statutes and FH's By-laws, Covenants, and Declaration of Restrictions (DORs.) 

 

FHSTOP set up four stations within the community for resident sign-up and solicited door-to-door to remove President Phil Hewett and Vice President John Rothengast from the current FHPOA Board of Directors without cause. They asked for proxies and donations to fund their charade. Their accusations are baseless, ill-conceived and erode the foundation of our community as well as the FH election process. Our current President and Vice President have introduced innovative ideas and methods to move our community forward and put us on a path for financial stability. We can say that confidently since banks are now competing to partner with us on projects. 

 

Please review the actual statements in blue from the second goldenrod flyer FHSTOP scare tactics, that they put in everyone’s mailbox, versus the facts below.  

 

MYTH: The Board is still proposing to sell off part of the amenity property, you were promised NO Development. Proposed Large clubhouse building with millions financed still NO Voting. 

TRUTH: The community-wide survey in January indicated that most residents were evenly split on the 55+ patio home project—survey results: 51% NO and 49% YES. The Board listened to the lack of mandate and tabled the proposal. NOTE, however, the original intention of the RFP (request for proposal) was simply to explore the possibility of developing the land to seek funding for the 385 infrastructure, not go forward without first building a coalition of community support, as alleged by FHSTOP. The 2019 KCI report, contracted by the FHPOA BOD at that time, showed many possibilities for 385 acres, including patio homes.   

A discussion needed to be started as to how to pay for all the projects (seawall, marinas, cart paths, etc.) that were never budgeted after the purchase of the 385. We could have accomplished this by developing the land, raising dues, or a combination of both. Ultimately, the community survey showed that residents wanted to fund these necessary repairs through their dues.

 

“…you were promised NO Development.”:  The documents sent out to the community in 2016 and resent out this January clearly state that the 385 acres would be developed.

 

…large clubhouse-with NO VOTING”: Multiple surveys, committees, and focus groups for the new clubhouse have been conducted over the last 8+ years. The Board has indicated the increased dues for 2022, 2023, and 2024 were specifically budgeted for the Harbour Club and published in FH’s monthly budget reports available to everyone on FH-POA.com. SEE Article V Sec 5b of Amended & Restated By-laws of the FHPOA, Inc.: During any fiscal year, excluding approved Capital Expenditures set forth in the fiscal year budget, the Board, with the affirmative vote of five (5) of the seven (7) Directors, may authorize additional Capital

Expenditures not to exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the projected revenues for that fiscal year. Additional Capital Expenditures exceeding the fifteen percent (15%) limit herein shall require approval by the Members at a special meeting called by the Board. NOTE: All FH Documents can be found on FH-POA.com

 

MYTH: No large open meetings at reasonable times where all working people can attend, NO Transparency, no nothing but schemes to enrich the non-dues coffers of the Board. TRUTH: Monthly board meetings are open, but space requirements dictate the number of members in the board room, so you must make a reservation with the POA office in advance.  “…open Meetings at ‘reasonable times’ ” Because all board members are volunteers and monthly meetings last 6-8 hours, it is more “unreasonable” to ask them to work meetings from 5:30pm – 11:30pm or midnight. The new Harbour Club has the capability of the Board room to accommodate large groups by allowing a partitioned meeting room to expand. 

 “NO Transparency, no nothing, but schemes to enrich the non-dues coffers of the Board”: All BOD minutes and Financials are available online for any POA member to review, and all directors are and have always been open to scheduled meetings with members. Quite frankly, the POA does not consider vital community projects "schemes." Both forms of revenue, dues and non-dues are part of the approved budget and to insinuate either as “coffers” is disingenuous and shows little knowledge of finance.

MYTH: Purchased lot on Broad Creek and sign estimated@ at $150,000 and maybe more? TRUTH: The corner lot on Highway 55 & Broad Creek Rd. was purchased with funds by repackaging and listing "challenging" lots that have been on our books for decades. This purchase was a win/win because we don't pay taxes on these lots anymore and we have NEW revenue in the form of POA dues! We were able to take a liability and turn it into an asset. Now, any land sales revert to land purchases or capital improvement for all members to enjoy. Prior to this, those funds would have been used for operating costs (like paying electric bills) and the value of the land was lost forever. The corner lot at Hwy 55 & Broad Creek Rd. is prime real estate because of its location, and the long-range strategic plan for this property is to lease it to a viable business. That means money in the form of rent coming into Fairfield Harbour that can be used to improve our community. For more information of how this and why this concept works, click on this link:

 

The billboard is part of the marketing plan to promote our public golf course, Harbour Pointe Golf Club, and the Pointe Restaurant. The billboard is within the Enhancement Committee’s budget for Rebranding and Promotion. If you were to amortize the cost of the billboard over five years, (which is not done in accounting since you wouldn’t replace the whole structure) it costs each lot owner over that period ONLY $2.83. per year to market your business. Some have complained it took more than a year to accomplish- we say that that’s better than the 49 years it took to make it a reality. 

  

MYTH: Purchased two residential lots for a new entrance for Their Proposed Subdivision @ 36K. 

TRUTH: Here is another example of using the funds from selling “challenging lots” and gaining properties that have strategic importance for the community. According to the January survey - This gated resident-only entrance on the Shoreline side was overwhelmingly selected by 70% of the community. 

This entrance will be used for construction traffic for the Harbour Club as recommended and required by the commercial builders. The road will be (temporarily) crushed rock, which will then be paved after the Harbour Club completion. This will allow residents secure and convenient access to Caracara and the Gondolier peninsula in the near future. 


MYTH: Do not fill out the new POA survey the outcome was baked into the wording, how convenient. 

TRUTH: There were 757 respondents. Thank you to all who participated. It gives the Board a pulse on what the community wants and helps the Board make decisions on future endeavors. We will have more surveys and more chances for community input coming soon. 

 

MYTH: The other Board members need to resign. 

TRUTH: The other five members of the Board are 100% behind the president and vice president. All members have equal votes. In most cases, votes were unanimous.  

 

MYTH: Rules for allowing voting need to be changed. Just the Board having control of that is unacceptable. Budget voting needs to be back in the members hands. Borrowing money and purchasing property needs a binding vote of the membership first. We all pay for these things. 

TRUTH: There has never been "budget voting" in FH. The Board of Directors was voted in as fiduciaries of FH. Their fiduciary responsibility is per our Bylaws Article 5, Section K. Financial Duties and Responsibilities 1. Establish and adopt a budget for the Association each fiscal year, including a 15-five-year plan for capital expenditures. The Association's operating budget shall not rely on the depletion or under-funding of reserves without the affirmative vote of five (5) of the seven (7) Directors. Article 5, Section K, 2: Make the budget available to the membership by the third Wednesday on January 22 of each year prior to its final approval by the Board in February.  

There is no language in our governing documents or in the sections NC 47F adopted by FH on how a community-wide vote on the budget could happen. Following these rules is the responsibility of the board members duly elected by Fairfield Harbour residents. NOTE:  All Documents are available on FH-POA.com.

 

MYTH: The Board will claim that the above cannot be done. We have the 1978 by-laws that say," The Board shall, prior to the annual meeting of the Association in each year, commencing with 1978, adopt an operating budget to be presented for approval by the members at such annual meeting". Move the Annual meeting back to its original month. TRUTH: Our 1978 Bylaws have been revised since 1978, most recently in the early 2000’s and then again in 2020. None of the seven current board members were in office during these times.  And, an important fact in 1978, the Board was comprised of Developers ONLY, no residents served on the board at that time.

 

MYTH: New rules for all open meetings, Annual Meetings, and Budget meetings. 

TRUTH: As previously stated, all board meetings are open to residents with reservations. The annual and budget meetings are open, and recordings are available.  We even go above and beyond what the minimal requirements are by law, by providing recordings, or in this last meeting, live streaming. Monthly board meetings for most POA boards are closed. 

 

MYTH: Transparency policy to allow access to documents. 

TRUTH: All FH documents, including board minutes and Financials are posted online at FHPOA.com. Vendor contracts are not part of this scope as per NC 47F and 55 A. If you owned one share of Apple stock, would you expect Apple Inc. to give you access to confidential information?

 

After the first "Myth Busters" article, many residents rescinded their proxy based on being armed with the facts. If you feel coerced or pressured and want to change your vote, don't hesitate to contact the POA office to complete this transaction through our FHPOA Secretary, Rhonda Miller, before they become public record. Rjmpoa@aol.com 

 

In next week's Myth Busters, we will share the false about information concerning individual board members. 

 

Armed with the answers above, please understand that removing any duly elected Board members will not change anything and the Special Meeting time frame will run almost parallel to the next election. By the time an independent resource validates the results of Special Meeting--- FHSTOP will have wasted your time, resources and your money with less than 30 days before the swearing in of the next duly elected board members. 

If you are part of the silent majority and are upset with the division FHSTOP has created, then you know what is at risk, and we need to hear from you today. If you want this deception to STOP and are willing to show support by a simple click,  please take a minute to email the POA Secretary at Rjmpoa@aol.com to help us send a loud and overwhelming message to save your community now and forever from FHSTOP.  

 

The FHPOA Board of Directors 

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