SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2009
Advertorial-Paid Advertisement The following is a continuation account as told by the Board of Governors of the Scottsdale Townhouses Association.
“Balque took off many days from her job in order to meet and confer with Dela Walters, Site Manager and Kim Richards, Director, Boys & Girls Club, and her staff to ensure the success of the program. Because of Dela Walters and Balque efforts such as knocking on doors and distributing information about Coalition for Change the club, they enlightened the residents for During this time a group of homeowners rallied behind Balque’s effort and gave birth to the “Coalition for Change” orga- the program, ...”
Many of the individuals named on the Balque’s infamous witness list had strong political ties to City of Carson ofﬁcials, and city employees. One effort included launching a campaign by distributing a copy of Gloria Balque’s deed where she was listed as a widow; and to minimize the legitimacy of Balque’s owner interest in her mother’s property. This event began 8 months after John A. Balque’s death, husband of Gloria and the Board President’s father. The smear campaign only got worse as the trial date approached. What was the motivation of a former mayor and his campaign manager getting involved in a dispute of a private community? Let’s call this politician Mayor #1. nization, headed by Maxine Briscoe, and supported by James McCarns, Rene and Irma Gonzales, Gloria Balque, David Diaz, Lupe Herrera, Wally Watson, Yvonne Hinkle, Alice Jackson, Linda Hunter and a host of 250 + homeowners. Following the settlement, the seated president Raul Rios afﬁrmed Balque’s Board membership and ofﬁce of treasurer. Subsequently, Balque accepted an appointment of VicePresident. Additional appointments were made to ﬁll vacancies in accordance with the Association by-laws and state statutes.
“The Association was warned by a staff member of the Boys & Girls Club that there would be attempts to break into the building in hopes of taking over the affairs of the Association and their planned entry would be during the Boys & Girls Club days of operation. “
of the conditions in which the current board has been trying to consistently address for the last 10 years. Avilla was also quoted stating that the faction members are her constituents, who gives her the right to investigate but when asked, by Association Attorney Sandra Gottlieb, if Balque and the silent majority were her constituents also, she reportedly shunned in answering. Again, neither Avilla, nor any other Carson City Ofﬁcial inquired of the legal Board as to the allegations charged against them by the faction.
“The group he represented refused to follow appropriate voting procedures; they resorted to a mob behavior. Balque addressed the attorney and asked that he leave. Shortly after, security escorted Silva off the premises.”
Faced with the previously mentioned challenges such as a colossal increase in property and liability insurance premiums; lack of workman’s compensation insurance; on-site ofﬁce in disarray; threats; hostile homeowners and tenants; and heightened criminal activity the seated Board banded together to prevent total ruin of the Association. To demonstrate the character, integrity, and level of commitment with which those particular members displayed, when it was ﬁrst discovered that the association had a $40,000 and $28,000 outstanding water and refuse bill respectively, the Board members considered taking out personal loans to help pay the bills.
Because of the lack of funds, the misuse of resources by some management companies, and general apathy expressed by the homeowners as a whole, the day-to-day operations were handled primarily by Balque, Raul Rios, Jorge Miranda, Maxine Briscoe, Alice Jackson, and an administrative staff of two and a maintenance crew of ten; the association remained self-managed to save money and to allow a new beginning in addressing the ﬁnancial condition and the deferred maintenance. And as absurd as it may sound in doing so, that is, assuming the tasks of the Association, the current Board members were often blamed for the wrongdoings from prior Boards. After several years of handling the affairs of the deeply troubled Association, and dealing with the verbal attacks and often-physical threats, many Board members grew weary from the enormous responsibility and stress that came with the job. Balque received “Torres personally gave accolades to several physical threats over the years; a well-known drug dealer was quoted saying “I’m going to beat that girl down”. Balque’s Balque and the Board for all the great family vehicles were often vandalized which resulted in slashed tires and shattered windshields. The Association shares no responimprovements. He subsequently sibility in these situations. Neither Balque nor any of her family members ever received reimbursement for damages.
made another request for a job. When
Rios subsequently resigned and Balque assumed the ofﬁce of President and was re-afﬁrmed by the Board unanimously as President. he wasn’t offered a job, another revolt The courageous Board members remaining include Bent and Flavia Andersen, Louie Martinez, Gloria Balque, Jorge Miranda, began thereafter.” Shirley Saunders, Miguel Ordaz, and Balque. As a ploy to gain support, faction members, distributed ﬂiers accusing Balque and the current Board for misusing the Association money, which of course isn’t true; the accounting records have refuted their claims. Their ﬂiers often stated that all that was accomplished was throwing some paint on a few houses; “There are many excellent city em- “big deal,” they said! Wrong again! Following is a list of what has been accomplished: On January 25, 1999 the then-members of the Board of Directors of the Association (before Balque was reinstated), allowed a judgment to be taken against the Association in the case entitled First Sentry Protection vs. Scottsdale Townhouse Association, LASC Case No. BC200601. The amount of the judgment was $58,599 principal, $2,061.98 in attorney fees, $656.31 in interest-to-date, and $251 in costs. In January 2000 the Plaintiff in this case levied on the Association’s bank account with all of the funds (approximately $15,000) taken by the Marshal. By virtue of this levy, all of the Association’s funds were frozen by the bank and were to be turned over to counsel for Plaintiff, First Sentry Protection, within ten days. This would have left the Association with absolutely no funds with which to operate (water, refuge, property insurance, security, or any other Association expenses). As in the MSI ordeal, Balque’s lawsuit removed those Board members responsible for the events that led to the lawsuit and the obvious neglect that followed as it relates to protecting the Association’s assets. Faced with a total ﬁnancial disaster, Balque and the current Board was forced to ﬁle a petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court pursuant to Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Act. By virtue of this ﬁling, the funds obtained from the levy were released and returned to the Association and a plan was adopted in the Bankruptcy Court to pay off all or a portion of the existing creditors’ debt – at a staggering amount exceeding $540,000 over a 5-year period. The bankruptcy was a direct result of the ﬁnancial mismanagement of the Association during 1997 and 1998. With the help of those homeowners who consistently paid their assessments on time, the current Board accomplished this difﬁcult task – paying off a speciﬁed debt in the amount of $258,000. Over the last 10 years the current Board accomplished the following:
• removed the Board members that reigned for more than 25 years; • during the bankruptcy process refuted frivolous money claims made against the Association’s assets; • for several years did not raise the assessments although the property insurance signiﬁcantly increased – in 1999 insurance costs were $156,868.82 yearly; current amount is $318,763.97 a year; • removed abandoned vehicles, such as old trailers, mobile homes, unhitched boats, often used for prostitution and drug use located on the north and south parks; • initiated street sweeping program; • constructed a solid fence and permanent dumpster to deal with the dumping issue; • to help reduce crimes such as rape and assault, a lighting program was implemented by installing over 300 Mercury Vapor outdoor lamps within the complex; • aggressively addressed the grafﬁti within the complex as well as the outside Avalon wall; • executed the most aggressive collection program ever-collecting over $350,000 in outstanding assessments; • removed all of the noxious growth; • afﬁxed new street signs and unit addresses for all 600 units; • installed new stop signs and poles; • removed hundreds of tree stumps causing subterranean plumbing and structural problems; • restored the north, south and central parks by grading, preparing the soil and installing new sprinkler systems at an approximate costs of $22,000; • repaired several damaged curbs; • repaired several blocks of sidewalks with new cement; • to prevent serious accidents, employed a company to grind and level out the sidewalks wherever needed at a cost of $27,000; • trimmed (3 X) over 400 trees in-house removing the infestation of rodents, saving the association approximately $100,000 – the palm trees had not been trimmed in over 25 years; • the sidewalks by the ofﬁce and mailbox area were converted to handicap accessible at a cost of $32,000; • worked with the post ofﬁce management to centralize the mail location; • constructed a new roof for the mailbox area to protect homeowner’s mail during bad weather; • replaced and repaired ﬁre hydrants to ensure they were operational; • repaired asphalt in the street and alleyways and repaired the north park wall; • as required by code, installed two new backﬂow devices at a approximate cost of $24,000; • installed new roofs for approximately 180 homes by a professional company; • refurbished over 170 homes which included termite eradication, re-framing, priming and professional painting; • performed termite eradication for homes in escrow; • implemented pest control services; • expended well over $40,000 to make necessary repairs to several homes with severe foundation issues; • used wrought iron fencing on Avalon wall on the south-end of the complex to give the Carson Sheriff a better visual from the outside; • provided resources to collaborate with Kaboom and the Boys & Girls Club for the installation of the new playground in central park; • provided security to eradicate the criminal activity; • under Balque’s leadership, strong and courageous security personnel, the crime signiﬁcantly dropped by more than 40% and continues to be one of the lowest crime areas in Carson; • improved the parking by towing over 3,500 cars and issued thousands of parking citations – this process included implementation of a more effective parking permit program; • addressed over 2,000 plumbing problems; • purchased bullet-proof protective lamp coverings for the Edison utility lamps to prevent gang members from shooting them out; • addressed over 6,000 work orders for electrical, gardening, patching roofs, garage door-related and other special orders; • aggressively addressed homeowners concerns regarding problem tenants – those that caused harm; • removed most of the illegal vendors canvassing the complex who often urinated in the common area; • improved the working conditions by paying employee’s fair wages and providing workman’s compensation coverage; • equipped maintenance staff with modern tools, heavy machinery, and equipment needed to address the severe common area problems; • modernized the Association’s ofﬁce by remodeling the area and purchasing needed ofﬁce equipment such as new computers, copiers, and facsimile; • developed and implemented automated databases and inventory systems; • primarily for the Boys & Girls club refurbished the town hall club house by performing termite eradication, paint, constructed a computer and storage rooms, remodeled kitchen, replaced ﬂooring, repaired stage area; • teamed with Carson Sheriff Station and assisted in implementing the C.O.P.S. program; • assisted members of the C.O.P.S team in surveillance efforts; • endorsed and helped facilitate community programs such as Set Free Ministry, Virtuous Women Under Construction (VWUC), Glory Christian Fellowship led by the now-deceased, phenomenal S.W.A.T. member Randy Simmons, Boys & Girls Club, aerobics and many other programs; • and effectively represented the Association in small claims and frivolous lawsuits.
ployees throughout most of the departments, many of which who either mentored Balque, grew up with, or have worked with the Board and mean no harm towards Scottsdale.”
It was Balque that volunteered her management skills and saved the Association hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last ten years, which allowed the Association to defer the savings to address common area needs. Additionally, it was Joel Morales, Balque, and Miranda, along with other staff members that volunteered to do patrol checks when the Association couldn’t afford private security. Miranda, himself, also met with homeowners concerning collection matters, parking issues and security concerns. Hinkle was the overseer over security concerns. Bent Andersen, Martinez, Ordaz, and Morales, used their construction knowledge and experience to assist and advise the Board on the renovation of certain elements of the common area. James McCarns, Linda Hunter, Maxine Briscoe, and Flavia Andersen, spent months assisting in straightening out homeowners and vendor ﬁles. Shirley Saunders was instrumental in bringing the concerns for senior citizens and the handicapped before the Board; Ms. Saunders involvement initiated the construction of the handicap restroom stalls and curb entryways. Gloria Balque provided administrative support for important correspondences and was responsible for the involvement of the late Randy Simmons and the Glory Kids program. The Glory Kids program continues to service the Scottsdale children. Let us not forget the administrative and maintenance staff that labored alongside the Board in keeping the Association aﬂoat for years.
“In fact, during a phone conversation, a code enforcement manager told Balque that the reason code enforcement and other departments within the city did not service the Scottsdale community was due to “political reasons.” What do political reasons have to do with servicing a citizenry that were also paying their share of county and city taxes?”
To date, none of the board members received one red cent for their efforts and seldom any appreciation. The aforementioned are just some of the goals accomplished by Balque, the current Board members, and the Coalition for Change members. As such, the statement released by the faction that all the current Board has done is “throw a little paint on a couple of houses,” is clearly untrue. Let’s move on. The City of Carson’s past involvement will be addressed but for now let’s address the showdown between the Carson Sheriff Deputies and the Association’s armed and courageous guards during the proceedings of the illegal election.
PAID FOR BY SCOTTSDALE ASSOCIATION 23400 South Avalon Bl, Carson, CA 90745
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