by: Submitted Photo,

The March assessment vote presented to the members at the annual meeting by the (Mountain Park) Board was not valid because it was not approved by the board in accordance with the bylaws. I told the board at the March meeting that the vote was not valid.

The board wrote an article in the April 'Impressions' (the monthly Mountain Park newsletter) about the March annual meeting but failed to tell the members that the vote was not valid when they were told so at the meeting. I talked to the president of the board about this and he felt that it was no big deal since the assessment did not pass. It is a big deal to me when you have a board that is not following the rules and the members should know this. This is not the first time that members of the board have not followed the rules of the association.

The board's April article congratulates two board members that were elected. Three board members were elected. Tom Brooks was re-elected and received the most votes. I know several of the board members do not like Tom Brooks but not to acknowledge this re-election to the board was disrespectful.

In connection with the assessment vote the board said, 'The renovation fund will not be raided nor will contributions to that fund be cut in order to maintain current services without an assessment increase.' This statement is very disturbing and sounds like a threat to the members. Pass the assessment or the board will cut your services. It is a sad state of affairs when Mountain Park's board is more interested in setting up a reserve than providing services, particularly since the funds for the reserve are funds that the members approved for operations. Based on Mountain Park's budget for 2007, there will be $480,000 in the renovation reserve at the end of 2007. Without an assessment increase now, there will be more than $200,000 more operating funds available to add to the renovation fund in 2008, for a total reserve of over $680,000. The board says it will cut services in 2008, without an assessment increase while there is more than $680,000 in a renovation reserve. A three percent increase in expenses in 2008 would be about $50,000. This line of thinking by the board does not make any sense. The way the board is approaching setting aside funds (say $200,000 a year) to make improvement to the recreation center it will take many years to accumulate enough money to make any improvements.

If the board wants a renovation fund why doesn't it do it the right way? State the purpose of the fund, what improvements are needed, how much money is needed and ask the members for an assessment for the fund. The members will then know how much money they are paying into the fund and how the money will be spent. The way it is now the members do not know what improvements are needed, how much money is needed and how much will be put in the fund each year. Also, the way it is now the board has complete control of the renovation fund.

I have never heard of a board asking for money without submitting a plan slating what is needed and how much money is needed. Whatever happened to operating under sound business practices?

Tom Schmit is a resident of Lake Oswego's Mountain Park area.

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