Updated January 15, 2022 --2:45pm • I read on the Eagleridge Facebook page that Sam Chilakos has been writing threatening emails and letters to fellow homeowners if they disagree with the rehiring of Ross Morgan. Are we paying Sam Chilakos to harass our neighbors.
In my opinion, Yes.
• Who is held accountable for any financial mismanagement by the Board?
Therefore we, as homeowners, will carry and be bound by any contract and ultimately carry the cost for any actions of the board, including any vendor they hire that has no liability insurance.
• Why is it illegal for an association to hire homeowners as vendors?
It is not illegal. However, it has been the position of past Boards and all past Management companies that this is bad business judgment because of the conflict of interest. Just saying there is "no conflict" does not make that conflict evaporate.
Below is an example previous management’s communication on this topic:
I left Mr. ------- a voicemail stating that we appreciated the offer but past and current practice by the Eagle Ridge Boards is that we do not contract with ownership in the community.
This is done to avoid potential problems with owner’s (sic) in general because everyone would want to bid on projects.
In addition, I told him that we have an owner in the community who owns an asphalt company that wanted to bid on the recent asphalt work and we told him that the Board doesn’t engage contractually with homeowner’s (sic).
In my closing comment, I told him that he was free to call me if he wished to further discuss the Board’s position should he wish.
Tony Barbarotto Community Manager ---email to Board, 02/03/2021
Also, see Ross Morgan's additional email below at "• Conflict of Interest"
• Can you explain what the problem is with the newly elected Board firing one management company and hiring a new one?
Boards have the discretion to hire and fire vendors as they deem necessary. It is their job to do so. The problem with this recent switch is that the current Board did not do their due diligence. It is not law, but it is customary and good business practice to get 3 bids when signing a large contract.
In addition, homeowners are now responsible to pay two management companies until June, costing the homeowners upwards of $40k additional for management fees alone. Collection and legal fees will be added to that.
• Some homeowner asked "what can we do?" The following links are offered to assist in finding an answer.
Lordon was terminated with 7 months remaining on their contract. Ross Morgan's fees are $1250 per month more than Lordon. For this year, the total cost for that decision is AT LEAST $39,000.00. This does not include the legal fees Lordon will recover, as well as legal fees we incur.
• Conflict of Interest
The new Board has retained a homeowner to act as the attorney for the Association. This may mean that one of your neighbors is directly benefiting from the above potential litigation. In any case, it has been past practice to not use ANY homeowner as a vendor. As Tony Barbarotto said in an email to a homeowner on February 3rd, 2021:
"Past Boards have never engaged in hiring anybody that owns and resides at Eagle Ridge. Reason being is that it is felt, this is the best policy in avoiding any problems with an in house vendor as well as avoiding all conflicts with competitive ownership in Eagle Ridge regarding the same and other trades." - Tony Barbarotto, email copied to Board, February 3, 2021
• SCE Fire Litigation
Our newly elected Board used the Woolsey fire and the settlement with Southern California Edison as one of the "reasons" to recall the previous Board. They provided misinformation during their campaign as to the delays of the settlement and the requirement of having Ross Morgan as the property management company in order to get a "proper" settlement. As discussed by all who attended the last General Meeting, our legal counsel in this matter, Frantz Law Group (who are experts in this type of litigation), confirmed that Ross Morgan and Marina Landscape had provided all of the necessary information for the settlement. Per these lawyers, changing the management company was irrelevant and would have no impact on the settlement.
Although the current board is 100% informed on this subject, they continue to ignore the reality about the settlement with SCE. Using this as an excuse to bring back Ross Morgan will impact all homeowners with additional costs.
Furthermore, Frantz Law in coordination with Lordon, has already arranged for the next step in the negotiation which is a site walk-through by SCE to take place on January 12th, 2022. The time-table is set by the availability of the mediators and other participants. This has understandably been delayed by COVID. The process is moving forward as rapidly as resources allow.
• How do I pay my HOA dues? // “My auto pay for my HOA dues was sent to London (sic). Now I am getting a bill from Ross Morgan. How many hoops will I need to jump through to get this straightened out?” // "All right, so how to pay HOA dues???"
We have received many questions on this subject. We don't have an answer. The Board’s decision to switch management companies in such a short period of time has left us understandably confused. Board member's email addresses, circulated during their outreach to the community, are listed below.
• I understand your point of view however, don’t you think you should wait until the January 26th HOA Meeting to hear what the board has to say?
Of course! I want to hear what the Board has to say. The purpose here is to collect concerns and educate homeowners about the questions to ask. That takes communication and preparation.
• Why did the newly elected board promise change and rehire Ross Morgan Management?
This is a great question and one only the Board can answer. Please bring this and other questions to the meeting on January 26th. (EDIT: Even though I cannot answer this question, I want to encourage everyone to continue to post questions. This is a necessary part of our process to keep track of concerns and ensure nothing is forgotten or overlooked.)