SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2009
Advertorial-Paid Advertisement The following is a continuation account as foretold by the Board of Governors of the Scottsdale Townhouses Association.
One of the signiﬁcant accomplishments occurred when the COPS team cracked down on Section 8 beneﬁciaries that were abusing the system, causing havoc and turmoil in the community. For years, Board members made countless requests to get the HUD investigators in Scottsdale to address the same issues on a large scale, but to no avail – not even after the many negative articles previously written by the Daily Breeze were published. The HUD agency has approved hundreds of units for safe occupancy for more than 20 years, under worse structural and environmental conditions, but now they have a problem. Why now are HUD investigators on the prowl? Yes, in mid-June 2009 the HUD investigators initiated an unannounced unit inspection in Scottsdale. Balque’s tenant was one of the recipients of subject inspection. The investigator told Balque’s tenant that he understood that her landlord was the person causing all the problems cited in the newspaper “Balque responded by asking why would the and wanted to make sure she didn’t have any issues with Balque. This tenant was surprised by the visit, but was more so Association hire a security company to trim the alarmed by the accusations made against Balque as if she was the responsible party for all the structural problems. Whatcommon area trees and to paint the units? Fur- ever the HUD investigator was snooping around for, they didn’t ﬁnd it. There was nothing wrong with Balque’s home. Her thermore, why would the Association engage unit had just passed a required annual inspection four months prior. Were any other houses inspected? It’s unlikely that Maddaus will ever report that nothing was wrong with Balque’s home. More importantly, the million-dollar question is in business with the same security company why someone is so desperately trying to discredit Balque particularly when the majority of them, Balque and the Board has that forced the Association into bankruptcy?” worked with, acknowledged that under her leadership, Scottsdale has improved tremendously. Is there a City cover up? This wouldn’t be the ﬁrst time Balque and the City were at odds. In the year 2001, a City of Carson employee invited Balque to a private meeting, unbeknownst to Balque, to request her to submit her resignation to the Board. This occurred after Balque challenged the way Scottsdale’s appointed manager was managing operations. The act of appointing an “expert” manager to assist the Scottsdale community resulted from a collaborative effort from the Neighborhood Partnership Ini- “How would the Association know if the proposal was tiative, which was originally developed to address the problems.The Neighborhood Partnership included City based on a fair and reasonable price? If it was a grant, of Carson, Fannie Mae, a professional management company, and the Scottsdale Townhouse Association. At ﬁrst the appointment appeared to be promising. Shortly after the appointment, the abusive behavior by manage- well then the Association wouldn’t need to be as inment began and was displayed towards the predominant Hispanic Scottsdale staff and subcontractors; the Board volved, however, often enough when grants are awardwas outraged and Balque demanded answers. This so-called “expert” manager changed the locks in order to ed, the amount of the funds that actually get spent on keep Board members out of their Association ofﬁce. When Balque addressed the City representatives regarding these incidents, they made no sincere attempts to address the issues, other than to ask for Balque’s resignation. the project it was intended for is far less than the amount The situation only worsened after the Board denied payment to the management company for breach of con- that was originally awarded. In short, the Fannie Mae attract; hired management was basically working against the Association. . torneys said no.” Congresswoman Juanita McDonald, now deceased, published in her newsletter that the Scottsdale community was slated to receive $10 million in funding from Fannie Mae for renovation. Shortly after this press release, Balque was approached by a Mayor (who was a council member at this time), (Mayor #3) where he strongly suggested that the Association hire or recommend for hire a speciﬁc security company to trim the common area palm trees and perhaps provide painting services – you know all that good stuff the Board wanted to hear. Balque responded by asking why would the Association hire a security company to trim the common area trees and to paint the units? Furthermore, why would the Association engage in business with the same security company that forced the Association into bankruptcy? Had Balque and the current Board been in ofﬁce at the onset of this subject lawsuit, it would have deﬁnitely been challenged which could have possibly resulted into a better outcome for the Association. By the way, Mayor #1 and his campaign manager were managing Scottsdale at the time this security company was under contract with the Scottsdale Association. The security company owner alleged that Scottsdale never paid him for substantial hours worked on the premises. Nevertheless, hypothetically, let’s assume the security company did work most of the hours. The main question would be why didn’t management pay the company for the hours worked? Back to the Neighborhood Initiative-even after the chaos reached a higher level and the tension grew, in hopes of presenting a united front to justify funds, a key City representative, without the Board’s consent, solicited the Association’s secretary to represent the Board before a council meeting. Although contrary to the truth, the secretary’s role was to give the impression wind plan, she “Thank God the bankruptcy judge was objective in the that everything was going terriﬁcally with the management services. Once Balque caughtby thisof theemployee ﬁred off an explosive letter to the City council members exposing the stratagem devised City matter and not intimidated. He ruled to uphold the valid- and the manager, and told of the gross lack of accountability involved since day one. The council meeting was ity of the Board members seats and ruled to disallow immediately canceled. Shortly after the Board refusal to get involved in these highly dubious business offers, the bond initiative, as it had absolutely nothing to do the talk of the $10 million ceased. Despite the Board’s numerous inquiries, to date, no one from the City can say what happened to the $10 million slated for the Scottsdale community. Perhaps the California State Attorney with an entity’s outstanding debt and its ability to repay General should launch an audit to determine what happened to these funds. And if the funds were reallocated that debt.” for another purpose, why? Another incident occurred when Fannie Mae’s attorneys placed an offer on the table to the Association. This offer entailed a $30 to $40 million bond to ﬁnance the renovation of the Scottsdale common area. This proposal was birthed from the Neighborhood Initiative program. It was explained that the Association would pay back the bond principle with interest over a speciﬁed period of time. The Board asked if the Association’s attorney and consultants could review the proposal in depth and solicit additional bids for the same scope of work. The Board’s position was since the Scottsdale homeowners would have to pay the bond back, the Association should have the opportunity to be part of the selection process. How would the Association know if the proposal was based on a fair and reasonable price? If it was a grant, well then the Association wouldn’t need to be as involved, however, often enough when grants are awarded, the amount of the funds that actually get spent on the project it was intended for is far less than the amount that was originally awarded. In short, the Fannie Mae attorneys said no. In the best interest of the homeowners, the Board declined. Subsequently, during the bankruptcy proceedings the Fannie Mae attorneys appeared in court to challenge the validity of the Board members appointment and presented an argument to include the bond initiative as a condition of the bankruptcy plan. Stanley Feldsott, Association attorney, argued the validity of the Board membership. Thank God the bankruptcy judge was objective in the matter and not intimidated. He ruled to uphold the validity of the Board members seats and ruled to disallow the bond initiative, as it had absolutely nothing to do with an entity’s outstanding debt and its ability to repay that debt. If Balque and the Board had not objected to this inequitable bond offer, many homeowners would have lost their homes; as the repayment terms were too aggressive. Let’s be real – if the homeowners are opposing a $40 increase, what would their response had been if they had to pay back $50,000 in 5 to 10 years, or even 15 to 20 years, plus interest! During meetings between the Board and City Council members and staff, suggestions were made such as the possibility of the City to purchase or lease the central park; hopefully enabling the City to bring in resources such as the Carson Sheriff Park Patrol. Other suggestions were made regarding ﬁnancing including grants or loans, but again, because Scottsdale is “private property” the City representatives “Let’s be real – if the homeowners are opposing a $40 stated they could not help. So, again, if Mayor Jim Dear has made millions available to Scottsdale, as stated in increase, what would their response had been if they the Daily Breeze, that is certainly the best kept secret from Scottsdale and the City of Carson residents. Thus, had to pay back $50,000 in 5 to 10 years, or even 15 to it’s not surprising no one was quoted taking onus of such a statement. It’s simply propaganda and another at- 20 years, plus interest!” tempt to use Balque as the scapegoat. That is, although the City is limited due to “privatization restrictions,” let’s blame Balque, the human ﬁrewall, for the reason the City can’t pour millions of dollars into the Scottsdale community. Let’s digress a bit here. After the illegal election was held, no Council member or other City ofﬁcial called the Board to verify the accounts of what actually happened that evening. Are not the Board and the silent majority constituents of the City of Carson ofﬁcials also? Perhaps it’s more popular and politically advantageous for the Council members to support the squeaky minority than to objectively weigh in both sides to ascertain the truth. Maddaus has such an appetite for sensationalism! On both visits to speak in front of the Council members, there were less than 40 faction members the ﬁrst round and less than 20 the second round as compared to the “multitudes” published by Maddaus. During the council meetings, a faction “...it appears as if Mayor Jim Dear has taken an unwar- member allegedly coerced the Spanish-speaking homeowners in signing proxies to put Rowell and Debra Parks ranted adversarial position against the Association. He on the Board. If this is true, this is indicative of the kind of behavior Scottsdale residents have been subjected was quoted saying in a recent City Hall meeting held on to by the faction. Every Scottsdale homeowner should have the liberty to legally vote for whom they choose. Sounds like things are getting pretty desperate within the faction. During the Council meeting, Dorton, sugAugust 21, 2009 that the City is planning to buy as many gested that the City should consider buying up some of the foreclosed properties. Been there, done that. The curas 7 foreclosed homes and the Association’s attorney rent Board, on countless attempts, suggested that the City or another agency obtain Board membership or voting interest by buying some of the properties. These attempts were made during the mayorship of Fajardo, Sweeny, will not intimidate them.” and Dear over the span of approximately 10 years. All said they would take it under advisement. Again, nothing came about. In fact, Mayor Dear made no follow-up attempts to assist the Scottsdale community. Nonetheless, according to Maddaus the City is planning to solicit a higher government for a loan for millions of dollars to purchase foreclosed homes. Just recently, Cliff Graves, the Chief Economic Manager, contacted Balque; to arrange a meeting to discuss some possible ways the City could help by purchasing Scottsdale foreclosed homes. As in times past, Balque again suggested that the entire board and legal counsel be present at such meeting. Although it is unclear as to how purchasing foreclosed homes is going to signiﬁcantly beneﬁt the community, the Board, met with the City. The outcome was insigniﬁcant. Unfortunately, it appears as if Mayor Jim Dear has taken an unwarranted adversarial position against the Association. He was quoted saying in a recent City Hall meeting held on August 21, 2009 that the City is planning to buy as many as 7 foreclosed homes and the Association’s attorney will not intimidate them. The Scottsdale attorney’s concern is and has always been to protect the Association’s interest. A recent ﬂier was distributed which indicated that Mayor Jim Dear made a “Could this effort support an agenda in moving Balque house call to hear all the concerns of some of the homeowners. It’s interesting to note that after the in-service held by the Board several years ago, the Mayor never set foot back onto the property except for the opening day out of the way before any monies would be allocated to of the Boys & Girls Club and the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Kaboom playground which happened to the Association or give light to a plot to bring the demise be during the time of the recall campaign. Selah. of Scottsdale?” At this point, since several City ofﬁcials appeared to have sided with the faction, absent the objectivity needed by the City and considering the past actions of those wolves in sheep clothing that are still employed by our tax money, the Board and legal council are skeptical that this move would be in the best interest for Scottsdale. Some say it appears as if the City is making this move to give the impression that it’s a rescue attempt for the Association from under Balque’s perceived grip. Could this effort support an agenda in moving Balque out of the way before any monies would be allocated to the Association or give light to a plot to bring the demise of Scottsdale? Balque and the Board understand the disdain many Carson residents have towards the Scottsdale Townhouses Association. However, let this account bring to light the perspective that Scottsdale’s lack of progress has not been hindered solely by internal issues, but was greatly inﬂuenced by outside parties. There are many respectful law-abiding and hard-working homeowners in the community who should be recognized by our elected ofﬁcials as constituents; their well-being should be considered.
You may wonder why Balque continues to serve this neighborhood despite all the attacks. After witnessing the abuse and the injustice homeowners were subjected to, Balque felt compelled to do something about it. She would love to witness the full restoration of the community-a beautiful and safe place for families to raise their children. Her fellow members share this vision. Based on the faction’s acclaimed election win, on October 15, 2009, the faction members, with the assistance of approximately 30 Carson Sheriff Deputies, seized the Association building. Compton Court has scheduled November 5, 2009 to hear the matter. In closing, the content of this rebuttal is a mere snapshot of what the Scottsdale Association has been subjected to over the years. As mentioned earlier, to tell the entire story would take an enormous amount of time and perhaps some form of witness protection for Balque and other informants. Maybe that opportunity will present itself in the future. Amen. Selah!
PAID FOR BY SCOTTSDALE ASSOCIATION 23400 South Avalon Bl, Carson, CA 90745 5 of 5
“So please Mr. Gene Maddaus, do not issue another article entitled “Balque Rejects City’s Assistance – Scottsdale to Fold,” as it has been foretold credibly in this rebuttal – it would not be factual”
At this point, the only approach is to wait and see. Maybe those City representatives that have maintained an unbiased position in the matter will surface and assist the Scottsdale community. So please Mr. Gene Maddaus, do not issue another article entitled “Balque Rejects City’s Assistance – Scottsdale to Fold,” as it has been foretold credibly in this rebuttal – it would not be factual.