HI board nixes Slinkard law firm, Matchpoint leak detection

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- It was a day for nays, as the Holiday Island Board of Commissioners, in addition to voting against a request to put developer Tom Dees on the December election ballot (see related story), voted Monday not to sign a contract with either the Slinkard Law Firm or continue with Matchpoint, Inc., the company that has been providing leak detection services.

The board considered revisions to a proposed contract with the law firm, after meeting with Howard Slinkard at its Oct. 20 meeting. Slinkard was selected over five other firms vying for the contract by way of Requests For Qualification. The board disagreed with the hourly fee of $200, which he agreed to reduce to $175. He also reassured them he would be the attorney handling their non-foreclosure-related business and not one of the other attorneys.

"I'm very uncomfortable with this contract," Chairman Linda Graves said. "I would be much more comfortable with one of the firms we had in the past because we know how they deal with their clients."

She questioned whether Slinkard would actually be handling the district's business, noting that the attorney Slinkard brought with him to the Oct. 20 meeting, Christopher Woodard, is only three years out of law school, has been with the firm only eight months and has no experience in municipal law.

"Howard told us he would be handling everything for us," Commissioner Greg Davis said. "Also, do you think we'd be getting a better rate from the [other law firms]?"

"Maybe not, but we'd be getting more experience," Graves said. "I'll vote no [on this contract]."

The motion to approve the contract failed, with Graves, Ken Brown and David Makidon voting nay and Davis and Ken Mills voting aye.

The board then unanimously voted against a motion to postpone selecting another law firm until next year, after the election replaces two board members.

After some discussion of the district's past work with its current attorney, Tom Morris, Graves asked whether the commission could have two attorneys. District Manager Dennis Kelly said it could, but there should be very clear language in their contracts as to who would handle what.

After some discussion, the board approved a motion 4-1, Davis voting nay, to invite Matt Bishop, one of the six original firms submitting RFQs and who had represented the district in the Table Rock Landing v. HISIS lawsuit, to come for a general interview, but not to become the district's attorney, Graves said.

The board considered proposals by Eric Treadwell of Matchpoint, Inc., who has done several leak detection studies for the district. Treadwell said in an email that Option A would be an audit analysis and report on Water Loss Recovery Control Strategy for a fixed cost of $9,995 for up to 40 hours on site. It would give the district information on the main areas of water loss, water meter performance and a direction for how to proceed.

Options B and C cover costs should the district decide to buy its own equipment from Matchpoint and the cost of training to use them. Those costs could add up to more than $60,000.

"I'm not sure we need to go further with this with the budget we have," Brown said. "I'm not sure we're getting a return on our dollar for all the money we've spent. I think we could do a lot of it ourselves."

Other commissioners agreed and discussed the district buying the equipment and hiring its own staff to do leak detection.

Water/Wastewater Superintendent Dan Schrader said he has two job openings in his department now that he can't fill because the pay is too low, and applicants can't pass the required drug test.

The board voted unanimously 4-0 (Davis had left the meeting) to create a leak detection position with a higher pay grade and to bring in an engineering firm to suggest a direction for the district to take in its water system overhaul.

The board postponed its budget discussion and is looking at holding a special meeting on Monday, Nov. 1, yet to be confirmed.

By Kathryn Lucariello CCNhi@cox-internet.com

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- It was a day for nays, as the Holiday Island Board of Commissioners, in addition to voting against a request to put developer Tom Dees on the December election ballot (see related story), voted Monday not to sign a contract with either the Slinkard Law Firm or continue with Matchpoint, Inc., the company that has been providing leak detection services.

The board considered revisions to a proposed contract with the law firm, after meeting with Howard Slinkard at its Oct. 20 meeting. Slinkard was selected over five other firms vying for the contract by way of Requests For Qualification. The board disagreed with the hourly fee of $200, which he agreed to reduce to $175. He also reassured them he would be the attorney handling their non-foreclosure-related business and not one of the other attorneys.

"I'm very uncomfortable with this contract," Chairman Linda Graves said. "I would be much more comfortable with one of the firms we had in the past because we know how they deal with their clients."

She questioned whether Slinkard would actually be handling the district's business, noting that the attorney Slinkard brought with him to the Oct. 20 meeting, Christopher Woodard, is only three years out of law school, has been with the firm only eight months and has no experience in municipal law.

"Howard told us he would be handling everything for us," Commissioner Greg Davis said. "Also, do you think we'd be getting a better rate from the [other law firms]?"

"Maybe not, but we'd be getting more experience," Graves said. "I'll vote no [on this contract]."

The motion to approve the contract failed, with Graves, Ken Brown and David Makidon voting nay and Davis and Ken Mills voting aye.

The board then unanimously voted against a motion to postpone selecting another law firm until next year, after the election replaces two board members.

After some discussion of the district's past work with its current attorney, Tom Morris, Graves asked whether the commission could have two attorneys. District Manager Dennis Kelly said it could, but there should be very clear language in their contracts as to who would handle what.

After some discussion, the board approved a motion 4-1, Davis voting nay, to invite Matt Bishop, one of the six original firms submitting RFQs and who had represented the district in the Table Rock Landing v. HISIS lawsuit, to come for a general interview, but not to become the district's attorney, Graves said.

The board considered proposals by Eric Treadwell of Matchpoint, Inc., who has done several leak detection studies for the district. Treadwell said in an email that Option A would be an audit analysis and report on Water Loss Recovery Control Strategy for a fixed cost of $9,995 for up to 40 hours on site. It would give the district information on the main areas of water loss, water meter performance and a direction for how to proceed.

Options B and C cover costs should the district decide to buy its own equipment from Matchpoint and the cost of training to use them. Those costs could add up to more than $60,000.

"I'm not sure we need to go further with this with the budget we have," Brown said. "I'm not sure we're getting a return on our dollar for all the money we've spent. I think we could do a lot of it ourselves."

Other commissioners agreed and discussed the district buying the equipment and hiring its own staff to do leak detection.

Water/Wastewater Superintendent Dan Schrader said he has two job openings in his department now that he can't fill because the pay is too low, and applicants can't pass the required drug test.

The board voted unanimously 4-0 (Davis had left the meeting) to create a leak detection position with a higher pay grade and to bring in an engineering firm to suggest a direction for the district to take in its water system overhaul.

The board postponed its budget discussion and is looking at holding a special meeting on Monday, Nov. 3, yet to be confirmed.

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  • "OUT HERE IN THE WEEDS"

    Water/Wastewater Superintendent Dan Schrader said he has two job openings in his department now that he can't fill because the pay is too low, and applicants can't pass the required drug test.

    Anyone hear the ghostly footsteps of doom for HI in that little missive..? Now the BOC has lost their ability to replace workers. But by God we're still out on the links with our cutesy togs and our fiddle..!

    Oh well..!? Let Rome burn..!

    J. Paul Brown

    33 Thunderbird ROAD

    Smokhous

    -- Posted by smokhous on Tue, Oct 28, 2014, at 8:11 AM
  • Have the BOC members passed drug tests or do they exempt themselves from drug testing while testing others?

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Tue, Oct 28, 2014, at 8:26 AM
  • To NRHIpropertyowner

    I did make it to the circus yesterday, but was unable to deliver your recommendation about the golf course due to the 2&1/2 hour bashing of Tom Dees.

    I would like to compliment Linda Graves on her ability of not only of being the ringmaster, but also the puppet master as well as the head clown. In addition to all of this she also provided Tom Morris HISIDS attorney with legal advise when he needed it.I appreciated how the board thanked everyone for the large turnout (but didn't listen to anything they suggested) and especially Mr. Browns' comment that if the residents did not like the way the boc did things they (the residents) could just move out. In regards to the Slinkard contract the ad hoc committee suggested 3 firms, but because ringmaster Graves wanted her people the contract was voted down. I feel sorry for Mr. Davis because he does not have chance in H--- when it comes to the vote He will always be outnumbered. My question is why are the four amigos so afraid of Mr. Dees. Their official notice sent out stated the requirements of filing, but when Mr. Dees decided to file the boc had to find a way to keep him out.

    To Mr. Makidon thanks for telling me who not to vote for in the sheriffs election I am sure the present sheriff would like to come to a meeting of the boc and campaign for himself.

    It was quite an experience and I would recommend if you want to see a good show go to a boc meeting. I will be going back.

    NRHIpropertyowner the water meter replacements are finished appx. 200 -300 were replaced.

    -- Posted by property owner on Tue, Oct 28, 2014, at 9:04 AM
  • Good Morning Roxie,

    A valid point, and something I've often wondered about.

    It would seem to be a potential discrimination situation when one "forces" one set of HISID employees to pee in a cup, while the others (the supposition here is that BOC is "working for us" ---- aren't they ???) arbitrarily get a pass.

    And in reading about the "actions" they take, reportedly for the betterment of HI, one has to wonder if they might be supplementing their prescribed meds ---------------- or, perhaps have gone off them.

    Does anyone know ---- Is there a drug test that will tell if an individual is OFF their meds? Perhaps HISID should pass a regulation to mandate each.

    Inquiring minds want to know!

    -- Posted by Truth or Consequences on Tue, Oct 28, 2014, at 9:09 AM
  • property owner -- You left out the HISID BOC's illusion act where they made the voting rights of every homeowner vanish if they are unable, in dispute or simply forgot to pay their assessment (old folks forget sometimes) and proudly boasted it was not a POLL TAX but their actions deny homeowners the right to vote in the election of board members who write laws like this voting law.

    POOF - the vanishing right to VOTE. What rights will HISID BOC attempt to steal from homeowners next?

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Tue, Oct 28, 2014, at 10:33 AM
  • roxielynn

    Thanks I forgot about that.That was the biggest joke of a meeting I have attended in a long time. Plus they printed an agenda to follow and ringmaster Graves took it upon herself to change it. Not only that they did not conduct business which had been put on the agenda. I traveled down there to discuss that portion of the business.

    You did have some good questions, too bad they did'nt have the answers.

    -- Posted by property owner on Tue, Oct 28, 2014, at 10:50 AM
  • I AM NOT SURE ABOUT A DRUG TEST BUT I THINK AN IQ TEST WOULD BE AGOOD THING... A COMISH SHOULD SCORE AT LEAST A FIFTY IN ORDER TO BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE TO SERVE.

    -- Posted by LITTLE DOZER on Tue, Oct 28, 2014, at 2:11 PM
  • -- Posted by roxielynn on Tue, Oct 28, 2014, at 5:03 PM
  • Quoting: "Given this "fundamental purpose," id., we adhere to the framers' intent conferred in Article 3, Section 1, of the Arkansas Constitution to require the forgoing four qualifications of voters in an Arkansas election and nothing more. To hold otherwise would disenfranchise Arkansas voters and would negate 'the object sought to be accomplished' by the framers of the Arkansas Constitution." Opinion Delivered October 14, 2014, Supreme Court of Arkansas No. CV-14-462

    AND NOTHING MORE. HISID's addition of requirements for voting falls outside what the Arkansas Supreme Court wrote only days before HISID stubbornly clung to its outlandish voting requirements.

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Tue, Oct 28, 2014, at 8:47 PM
  • The four qualifications:

    (1) U.S. Citizen

    (2) An Arkansas Resident

    (3) Eighteen years of age

    (4) Lawfully registered to vote in the election before voting in an Arkansas election.

    "These four qualifications set forth in our state's constitution simply do not include any proof-of-identity requirement." Arkansas Supreme Court.

    HISID's false belief presented at the meeting that they ADD voting requirements so long as they do not conflict with Arkansas law appears to fail the test here.

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Tue, Oct 28, 2014, at 8:53 PM
  • roxielynn, I totally agree with voting rights and the legality of what the BOC has done and will continue to do with voting requirements at H.I.

    Although obviously illegal, who's going to report them to the Election Board and will the Election Board investigate? The questions answers are no to both. The only option I see is a law suit!

    Wait till next year, as the 3 amigo's add even more restrictions.

    After the elections are over and the winners settle in, H.I., will never be able to return to the days of tranquility and bliss as a retirement community. It will be lost forever, to the evil and corruption of the Board of Commissioners.

    At least we can thank Kate and the Carroll County News for a place to vent......

    -- Posted by Concerned Person on Tue, Oct 28, 2014, at 11:23 PM
  • Concerned Person;

    Your comments are well thought out and you are obviously concerned about the future of HI.

    Now I have a question for you.

    You state: "Although obviously illegal, who's going to report them to the Election Board and will the Election Board investigate? The questions answers are no to both. The only option I see is a law suit"

    As to:" who's going to report them to the Election Board "

    Why not YOU ?

    There is a website for you to get the forms. They are simple and straight forward to fill out.

    If you, and the others around HI, are TRULY interested in HISID's future and believe the "3 amigo's" are "the evil and corruption of the Board of Commissioners". Then stand up for your rights in some way that MIGHT actually cause some change for the better.

    Sorry to say, based on past history and current practice, just posting comments here on CCNews will not cause the BOC to change their ways.

    It is somewhat doubtful that the current regime even knows how to read --- but I digress ---

    Your comment on a lawsuit.

    It MIGHT do some good, but if everyone simply sent in their concerns to a FREE ----- did I mention FREE ? ------ governmental agency it just might be a good place to start to clean up the dictatorship that HISID has become.

    Try EVERYTHING POSSIBLE first, the go to the courts.

    Bishoff did just that (lawsuit that the BOC forced AFTER their refusal to listen to any reason or take any corrective action) and forced the BOC to acknowledge that they were wrong in their policy of simply billing all property owners unlimited AOBs, forever. Among other things, that suit got owners about $3,500,000+ (about 35 million dollars) reduction on what they owe AND defined that it WILL go away after being paid up. Hell, all 5 commissioners voted to accept it thus agreeing to the accuracy of the charges that HISID had been "over billing" etc. Just read the settlement --- even "Attorney Graves'" fatally flawed presentation acknowledges it.

    But now the BOC just goes toddling along and wastes more time and AOB money in trying to find ways to circumvent the settlement terms and the laws of Arkansas to spend more on useless pet projects.

    Lawsuits do work, but at a huge cost of time, money, and effort. They should ONLY be used when all other aspects have been tired and failed --- and I may have to agree with you that with the current BOC structure it may well be the only alternative ------------- AGAIN.

    EVERYONE needs to simply quit idly ********, and get up off our collective butts, and get ACTIVELY involved.

    Don't just talk -------------- actually DO something to try and make things better.

    Filling out a few forms won't kill anybody.

    Go to the meetings and stand up and GET ON THE RECORD that you want change.

    Hell, really go out on a limb and ORGANIZE with a bunch of like mined friends to see what can be do to protest ------ and DO something.

    Some of us are..........................

    Have a good day now.

    -- Posted by Truth or Consequences on Wed, Oct 29, 2014, at 9:14 AM
  • Why don't we just get rid of Kelly and the whole BOC and take over. Anyone could do a better job!

    -- Posted by roger40 on Wed, Oct 29, 2014, at 12:45 PM
  • Brown stated, 'if you dont't like how we do things, then just move!' Hitler did not move, he just killed those he disagreed with! So is this the next step by the BOC?

    HI has a board that:

    1. Takes voter rights away.

    2. A DM that thinks he has 'Homerule' powers.

    3. A DM that advises the board, and frequently takes control of meetings. Seems to forget he's an employee of the (SID) BOC.

    3. Want PO's to appear at board meetings with taped mouths (remind ya of CCEC).

    Go to link to file a voter right complaint:

    Http://www.arkansas.gov/sbec/election-information/complaints/

    -- Posted by CommonSense22 on Wed, Oct 29, 2014, at 3:29 PM
  • To file a complaint go to the above stated address, download and print the complaint form. Fill it out, you can an additional pgs. If needed, just note so in original form there are add'l pgs. Then have notorized, lastly mail to Little Rock.

    -- Posted by CommonSense22 on Wed, Oct 29, 2014, at 4:04 PM
  • I have been informed that website address only handles complaints for federal and state elections.

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Wed, Oct 29, 2014, at 8:16 PM
  • -- Posted by roxielynn on Thu, Oct 30, 2014, at 6:32 PM
  • Well I have waited to hear when the meeting to discuss material that was schedule last Mon and was not is to be .So far NOTHING. Apparently Ms Graves does not want to make that public. Is it Mon. Tue. and at what time. I thought when items were put on an agenda they were taken care of at that meeting. H.I. boc must have their own rules and regulations (sic). You are right NRHIpropertyowner I probably should be careful about my comments toward Mr. Makidon, but my PARENTS always taught me to speak the truth and to be honest in what I say. I will not have any problems sleeping at night too bad the commissioners cannot say that.

    -- Posted by property owner on Thu, Oct 30, 2014, at 6:47 PM
    Response by Kate Lucariello:
    I was sent the notice of the meeting at 3:46 p.m. today and posted a story to our web page shortly thereafter. Since they are calling this a "special meeting" and not a continuation of a recessed meeting (as they did not recess their Monday meeting), which is technically what government entities do when they can't finish their agenda, they really only had to give me two hours' notice, so they could have waited until 8 a.m. Monday morning to announce it.

    Interestingly, although FOIA specifies that special meetings must have two hours' notice, and they are only required to notify the press of those and no one else, FOIA is silent on how much notice must be given for a regular meeting.

  • Be sure to let me know when the meeting is. :)

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Thu, Oct 30, 2014, at 8:45 PM
  • for those who think that by writing letters and visiting at the State level will cause action, I will say it falls on deaf ears the same as here. I have been told we are a self governing community, have an election process and the right to legal counsel with the ability to sue so it is heard in court. Problem with that is, I don't have that kind of money.

    As for the water/wastewater leakage, I never heard back from them in Little Rock!

    A better route might be an editorial in the Arkansas Democratic Gazette. But be sure there are facts to support the article.

    Yes I have written and talked to no avail, so maybe it needs to be someone who can write in a more eloquent fashion.

    -- Posted by Concerned Person on Thu, Oct 30, 2014, at 9:38 PM
  • Concerned Person, and others,

    It is time for people to stop fighting with each other and begin working together. The BOC likes homeowners to fight with each other because it keeps them in power.

    Now is the time to organize, and work together to end the occupation of Holiday Island by the dictators masquerading as BOC members.

    Together this can come to pass.

    Roxie Howard

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Thu, Oct 30, 2014, at 9:48 PM
  • -- Posted by roxielynn on Fri, Oct 31, 2014, at 6:52 AM
  • So are there enough of us to stand up and cry FOUL? We REALLY do have a legal issue here. United we stand - divided we fail.

    NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES.

    Who is in???????????????

    -- Posted by Play it again sam on Fri, Oct 31, 2014, at 7:14 PM
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