HI property owners filing complaints with election commission

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- At least one Holiday Island property owner has filed a complaint with the state election commission, one more is getting ready to file, and there may be more to come.

Property owner Roxie Howard filed a complaint with the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners on Oct. 29, alleging that the Board of Commissioners has instituted a poll tax, failed to provide proper notice of its commissioner election, denied a candidate a nomination and has illegally written new election laws this year.

The complaint follows the Board of Commissioners nomination meeting on Oct. 20, when developer Tom Dees was denied a nomination to the ballot because he had not complied with an amendment commissioners made to election requirements in September that nominees must be current on assessments and utility bills by close of business on the business day before the day of nomination. The vote was close, 3-2, with Chairman Linda Graves and Commissioners David Makidon voting nay, and Commissioners Greg Davis and Ken Mills voting aye.

Dees paid his personal residence assessment bill on the day of nomination, hand-delivering it to office staff member Carrie Buchanan during a budget meeting.

The issue was discussed at the Oct. 27 commissioners' meeting, with the district's attorney, Tom Morris, present. Morris gave an opinion that the district is within its rights to deny Dees' nomination, even though the official election notice sent to all property owners does not mention the new requirements.

Morris said Dees was given "constructive notice" of the new requirements because they were passed in a HISID meeting that was open to the public.

Morris also said he does not see the new requirements as constituting a "poll tax," which is defined as requiring a voter to pay a fee to cast a ballot.

Howard questioned what statutory authority the board has to write election laws.

Morris said the state's laws are broad, and both he and District Manager Dennis Kelly spoke to the issue of "home rule," which allows local governments to be more restrictive than the state, but not less.

Howard's complaint to the state election board also contends improper notice was given because she says it disenfranchises women: the election notice envelope mailed out has only the first name on the deed, usually the husband's, listed on it, and not the wife's, although both are eligible to vote.

Curt Johnson, who lost his bid for a seat on the commission last year, said Monday he is also filing a complaint with the state.

"I believe what they did is illegal, regardless of what Mr. Morris said," Johnson said. "I believe the state needs to look at it."

But whether the state will get involved remains to be seen. Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners Director Justin Clay said he could not speak to specific complaints that had been lodged because those are kept confidential until an investigation is complete.

But he was not sure there would even be an investigation.

"I'm not sure if that falls under our jurisdiction," he said.

The commission's legal counsel, Tim Humphries, was also not entirely sure.

"We would have to start with the complaint and ask if any election laws have been violated," he said. "Generally speaking, from what I know, suburban improvement district elections are not governed by the laws [overseen by] the election commission. [Commissioners] are elected pursuant to the bylaws of the SID, but I'm not sure."

"I think it's wrong and how they're handling it is wrong," Johnson said. "I don't know that it's going to do any good because I don't know if it's timely. But I think we have to continue to try."

He said he knows of several others who are planning to file complaints.

Dees' nominator, Dr. Terry Bushay, said Oct. 27 he had no plans to pursue the matter further. Dees at that time had no comment.

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  • Everyone in Holiday Island should file and agree with this. Maybe this will put a stop to all the BS

    -- Posted by roger40 on Tue, Nov 4, 2014, at 11:07 AM
  • if everyone would file, this would make some people sit-up and take notice of this sick BOC.

    -- Posted by Concerned Person on Tue, Nov 4, 2014, at 5:01 PM
  • I was told that when I entered the BOC meeting room at the same time the Bischoffs did, one board member turned to another board member and said, "The crazies are here."

    The abuse of homeowners by board members continues.

    Roxie Howard

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Tue, Nov 4, 2014, at 7:42 PM
  • Folks may also wish to try to contact these people too.

    COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSIONERS 07-OCT-14

    CARROLL

    Democratic

    The Hon. Johnice Dominick, Chairman

    Home Phone:

    870.423.8340

    210 Cedarvale Rd.

    Work Phone

    870.423.5300

    Berryville, AR 72616

    Fax Phone

    870.423.7117

    Email: johnice81@gmail.com

    Republican

    The Hon. David Hoover

    Home Phone:

    (870) 553-2323

    Post Office Box 435

    Work Phone

    (870) 423-2022

    Alpena, AR 72611

    Fax Phone

    (870) 423-7488

    Email:kissncreek@yahoo.com

    Third

    The Hon. Melinda Large

    Home Phone:

    (479) 366-799

    Berryville, AR 72632

    Work Phone

    (479) 366-799

    Berryville, AR 72632

    Fax Phone

    Email: mysterymel@itsmystery.ne

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Tue, Nov 4, 2014, at 8:33 PM
  • I hope the Bischoff's and roxielynn never give up in they're quest for righting all the wrong in this community. It has been and will be a long road to bring these evildoers to justice and break they're death grip on this community.

    What I have found in the letters I have sent over the past several years, is closed doors. The State always hides behind the Vail of H.I., as being a SID, therefore there is no jurisdiction.

    That creates two problems! The Board knows this, and can and will continue to violate rules and ethical issues at will. The other problem is how far must the good go, to defeat the evil. If we don't stop theses maniacs, we will be priced out of our homes and those remaining will live under a rule no better then socialism.

    If you want to know why Johnson wasn't chosen to fill the vacated board position of Ames, ask Graves. In the past, it was always the next best candidate by votes appointed.

    -- Posted by Concerned Person on Tue, Nov 4, 2014, at 9:50 PM
  • Folks need to step up - to organize and work together. By doing that things will change. The current board is anti-homeowner. They have openly silenced homeowners during the comment time, have called homeowners concerns trivial, and called them crazies - and that's just since I've been here. Blog and comment here. Comments open to all - even the anon. http://holidayislandar.blogspot.com/ Also take action and contact someone.

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Tue, Nov 4, 2014, at 10:48 PM
  • Roxie,

    I applaud your efforts. I am a NRPO (vacation home that could be our retirement home if HI can be turned around) that would vote for recall of the HIBOC. (I can vote, correct? Property owner, pay taxes, assessments, utility bills, etc.!) I'd also support incorporation, as was done successfully in Bella Vista Village and Cherokee Village.

    By definition, special assessments are legally allowed because they measurably improve property values. The actions of this group have caused property values to plummet. At the very least, this is grounds for recall and potentially class action. Opening our amenities to the public was gross negligence and only one example of the damages done by this BOC.

    Full disclosure - I'm an infrequent golfer (still working) who believes the cheap golf rates on HI courses are absurd. I don't know of another place on the planet like this. Here in Wisconsin (8 month golf season in a good year) and in Bella Vista Village, the golf courses have seasonal rates 3 times HI and are beautiful & busy.

    Golf courses and golfers aren't the adversaries here. This is an effective diversion being used by a dysfunctional (or worse) BOC. Property owners - golfers and non-golfers alike - need to join together on this effort. We'll all benefit from proper management of golf courses, swimming pools, water, sewer, streets, security, etc.

    I tried to leave a message on your blog, but it was immediately removed. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Anyway, your pictures are inspired!

    -- Posted by BadgerFan on Wed, Nov 5, 2014, at 4:12 PM
  • Badger Fan,

    I would like to see a recall of the entire board. Better still I would like see the entire board resign. I believe they have a moral responsibility to resign.

    To recall the board- We need the signatures of 25 percent of property owners (and other than HISID, I do not know who has a list of them and their contact information.) Each postage stamp is almost half a dollar, so folks would need to form an organization and chip in or one person would bear a great financial burden in postage and cost alone.

    Once 25 percent of signatures are received, then those would have be added to a petition to the court requesting the recall vote. As I read the SID law, the person requesting the recall vote may also required to pay the cost of the election.

    Can you see why the Board Of Commission members get elected and then arrogantly and defiantly feel they can get away with open abuse of the homeowners and not be accountable for mismanagement of the SID?

    The Golf rates are low and the food at the Country Club is lower than any restaurant in the area. At every Country Club I have ever eaten at (before Holiday Island) the food was more expensive than the local restaurants. HISID is running deficits to unfairly compete with local restaurants. It is morally wrong. Open abuse of homeowners, fiscal irresponsibility and unfair competition with local business demonstrate a complete lack family, moral values and business values.

    My husband golfs too. I live on the golf course. I am not anti-golf. I am anti-deficit golf, while paying golf pro and subsidizing the demise of local restaurants. I am against running deficits for golf while not paving roads that need paving.

    Please try posting messages again. I noticed one person managed to leave a message. Try posting anon if you need to and adding your name.

    Yes, all property owners can vote; however the voting regulations HISID wrote in 2014 (which I believe they did not have legal authority to write) impose a poll tax, requiring homeowners to be current on assessments or the homeowner is denied the right to vote. This is an anti-American policy, and completely immoral. It is class warfare. Some folks on Holiday Island struggle to stay current on assessments.

    Homeowners need to organize. Homeowners need work as a body. Homeowners need to demand change. Homeowners need board members who will act like professionals, not like little arrogant dictators.

    What about ethics? Board members making financial decisions for Holiday Island should not be capitalizing on the decline of Holiday Island by buying up homes back for taxes. It is a conflict of interest. It is completely immoral.

    The board's failure to work with developer or someone who can sell the lots is completely irresponsible. Every 1000 lots that go back for taxes is a loss of nearly a half a million dollars a year in income.

    Time of homeowners to stand up and demand the board go.

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Wed, Nov 5, 2014, at 4:45 PM
  • Considering these issues and financial hardship it is placing on many seniors residing owning property here. Does any one know of any agencies that would step in to protect the seniors monetary investment. There are seniors here having to choose between food, medical, or AOB/Water pymts. Thats why some have blue tarps on their roofs,can't afford to fix it.

    We are on a spiral downhill. I hope this 'golf click' are prepared to share the costs of maintaining HISID, when ALL others bail!

    -- Posted by CommonSense22 on Wed, Nov 5, 2014, at 10:16 PM
  • "OUT HERE IN THE WEEDS"

    Not to sound discouraging, "BUT", all this rhetoric about banding together and disposing of the current BOC, is just that. What have they to worry about..? If we could dislodge them, "Who's gonna fill their shoes"..?(to borrow a phrase) We can't get "one" candidate to run for our team. How the hell you think you can get "three"..?

    Sorry Folks, just thought the case needed a dose of reality.

    J. Paul Brown

    33 Thunderbird "ROAD"

    Smokhous

    -- Posted by smokhous on Thu, Nov 6, 2014, at 6:01 PM
  • J. Paul Brown

    I am still optimistic :) I am setting up a gathering place which will link to Facebook and Twitter. So far as Candidates.

    The flawed nomination issue is not over yet.

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Thu, Nov 6, 2014, at 6:07 PM
  • Hey Roxie,

    (Thanks for the plug for my ROAD in your video.. :) as you say. I have a video of the street before we started construction if you would like it sometime..?)

    As for the nominations, we have no candidates to run..! It's depressing...!

    J. Paul Brown

    33 Thunderbird ROAD

    Smokhous

    -- Posted by smokhous on Fri, Nov 7, 2014, at 2:40 PM
  • the last time a recall was tried, it failed miserably. Roxie hit the nail on the head when saying, "I'm not a anti-golf, I'm a anti-golf deficit. That is pretty much everyone who writes on this site.

    It is a small segment of the population who have taken control of the BOC and are destroying this community. In my opinion the one method that has a chance of eliminating the 3 on the BOC is find criminal wrongdoing, such as the infrastructure deteriorating while they (BOC) continue to use needed money, on the golf facilities. A flagrant violation of the Rules and Regulations should allow prosecution.

    I am open to a group formation, but for myself money is tight, and with this board it's going to get tighter for everyone.

    -- Posted by Concerned Person on Fri, Nov 7, 2014, at 3:00 PM
  • I have discovered that people living at Holiday Island do not know what the BOC does. For example, one of them did not know that the BOC had drafted any voting rules. I am hoping homeowners will come together electronically. http://holidayislandblog.com/ United the homeowners stand the best chance of changing things.

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Fri, Nov 7, 2014, at 6:21 PM
  • "OUT HERE IN THE WEEDS"

    Roxie girl, you're devotion to this issue(s) is laudable. However, we're all faced with the real world here. These people on the BOC are not career politicians. They're not salaried. Public pressure from any group outside those Folks "above the rim" will not change their actions one iota.

    The statement "Concerned Person" made regarding money, is the crux of the whole thing. Most people who own property in HI, just want to live day to day in their retirement and not be troubled with things like "voting laws". Very few, (let me say very few) want to invest in a lawsuit which is exactly what we would need to do to achieve any relief.

    If you can drum up enough Folks willing to put their money at risk, I'll join in. I'll write the check. I have an attorney in Little Rock who knows SIDS inside and out. There is so many things these Folks on the BOC are doing beyond there legal capacity it is unreal. But, I've already been advised, (paid for by me) that there is no way to file criminal or liability cases against the individual members of the BOC. Forget it Folks, just won't work....!

    You all must be thinking "incorporation" if you really want to resolve our long term survival. Personally, I am just waiting until the whole thing goes in the toilet and the state takes over. First thing they will do is close the golf courses. Guaranteed....! Maybe the bonding company will take control before that happens. Either way, these smartass Folks above the rim will know great sorrow.

    Just say'n.

    J. Paul Brown

    33 Thunderbird ROAD

    Smokhous

    -- Posted by smokhous on Sun, Nov 9, 2014, at 2:33 PM
  • attending the "Meet your Candidates" last night was interesting. Of the four, only two answered most of the questions, and some of the questions were unanswerable. So many people submitted questions, yet so few were asked.

    I have never been a fan of censure, yet that is the impression I have. I think the questions were sifted through, and some that I know should have been asked were not. Even worse is cutting the questions/answers to exactly an hour. The few that attended I think were shocked that it ended abruptly.

    Not knowing any of the candidates, I know of one I will vote for, but do not have another yet. I do agree, running for the BOC should not be about popularity or protected interest, but about serving everyone who pays assessments.

    It is becoming too expensive to live here for most, yet the citizens pocket book is where the board always goes to for more money. Much could be offered to all from a beautiful community with many fine citizens, but ideas are never acted on, nor financed. Until we break away from everything of the past and get people interested in what happens in this community, H.I., will never be more then it is now.

    -- Posted by Concerned Person on Tue, Nov 11, 2014, at 7:00 AM
  • http://holidayislandblog.com/2014/11/hisid-boc-candidate-forum-2014/

    That link is a HD video with surround sound of the Candidate Forum last night.

    -- Posted by roxielynn on Tue, Nov 11, 2014, at 10:43 AM
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