regular board meeting was held on Sunday, February 15, 2009

regular board meeting was held on Sunday, February 15, 2009


A regular board meeting was held on Sunday, February 15, 2009 at the Cholla Community Center. The meeting was called to order at 9:00 AM by President Michael Dugan with the following members present: Helen Dahlstrom, Lew Felton, Pete Pisciotta, Gene Court, Ken Goodin, Michael Eagan, Gretchen Ellinger, Tom Clark, Steve Lee, Pat Sledge, Shirley McDonald, Don Schmidli, Delegate of Vigilance and Valente Cornejo, Mexican Representative.

Absent: Jim Niblack and Bill Drake.


The board had previously received minutes from the January 18, 2009 meeting. Mr. Dugan asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes. There were a couple of questions about road expenditures and if they pertained to the main roads into Cholla or interior roads which Ms. Dahlstrom cleared up. Mr. Dugan then asked for a motion to approve. Motion made, seconded and minutes approved.


Treasurer Helen Dahlstrom passed out the report showing income and expenditures through January 31, 2009. Mr. Dugan asked if there were any corrections or additions to the report. There being none, he then asked for a motion to approve. Motion made, seconded and report approved.


Ms. Dahlstrom reported there are 704 members paid in full, 154 not current, 4 Mexican members who are not required to pay, but did, for a total of 862. There are 114 whose membership status is unclear.

Ms. McDonald had a question regarding the inability to identify owners of properties that are not paying. Mr. Dugan said he could possibly get a list from his contact at the tax office. Long discussion on how to get the names and who from. Ms. Ellinger said Betty Munro works with them when properties change ownership. She said one of the problems is that the Company will have a name on a property but no way to contact the person. A suggestion that properties who have listed owners but no way to contact them again be listed in the Newsletter. Ms. Ellinger said the last time that was done, they found several people.

Mr. Sledge suggested that we forgive accrued penalties on past due fees in order to get them to pay and keep them current. Ms. Dahlstrom said they have done that in the past. Ms. Ellinger said when people are billed for several years, ignore the bills and then want to sell their property, they make them pay everything. She said if someone was unaware they owed dues, they have to pay for every year they owned the property but don’t charge late fees. She said they really try to be fair to people. There was a

discussion about the work done by Ms. Ellinger and Clive Jordan and the possibility of reviving their efforts in getting a handle on ownership for each manzana. Mr. Sledge brought up the position of Town Manager that has been discussed over the past couple of years and the need for someone to work with the Board to solve some of the ongoing problems.


Nothing to report.


Chairman Pat Sledge said the kitchen closet needed to be finished in the next couple of months. He and Rick Dahlstrom had talked about the Palapa and they will have something on that by the next meeting. He said they also wanted to get the back storeroom cleaned out and organized. Mr. Felton said he had brought two stainless steel rolling storage units but has yet to put them together. Ms. Dahlstrom said we need some kind of locking storage.


Mr. Dugan said the engineers who put together the CC&Rs have to give a synopsis of the document to the Mayor and Council for their approval. The engineers also asked for a payment of $1,000 toward their contract since they are getting close to the finalization of the document. There was also discussion that this is an election year and would like to get the CC&R’s approved before that happens.

He also reported we had finally received title to the clubhouse property purchased a few years ago from Mr. Brown. The property was intended to be in a trust but since the Vecinos are a corporation, it was suggested that we take it under a Deed. He said final payment for the land had been made to the Company. He also wanted permission from the board to look into getting the original property under a deed instead of a trust. It will cost up front but eliminates the yearly trust fees.

With the approval of the Voting and Membership Eligibility document, it is necessary for the Vecinos to be aware of members who are delinquent on taxes and he was told the tax department can be a big help in printing a list of delinquencies.


Chairman Gretchen Ellinger said she received a bid from an ironworker to build stabilizers for garbage
cans at a cost of $100 each. She asked a lot of people if they would like to handle their garbage cans in this way and not one person wanted one. This led to a very long discussion on how to handle garbage, what to do, what it would cost, where to put the cans, what kind of cans, etc. She also reported that no one in Penasco wants to come to Cholla to pick up garbage.

Mr. Dugan said the board had to make a decision to either stop garbage pick up and have everyone take

it to the trailers or continue as it is now and try to correct the non-collecting for the few that don’t get the service.

Ms. Ellinger feels that we should spend more money to take care of the beaches since that is what most of the complaints are about. Discussion followed about more cans, type of cans and more pick-ups. She made a motion to approve putting more cans on the beach, signage in English and Spanish and they be picked up Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mr. Sledge asked what the cost would be and asked her to find out.

Mr. Dugan presented a picture of a truck owned by Raphael who wanted to trade it to the Vecinos for the red fire truck because it is bigger and he could carry more water. He would leave all the equipment such as hoses, etc and would give the Vecinos 1 year of free water for the clubhouse and the police station. Mr. Sledge said the truck had not been maintained and it was not a good deal for the Vecinos. The board voted no on the trade.

Mr. Clark said he has about 6 cans and he will bring them down. There was a question about what the cans would cost, etc., and Ms. Ellinger said she felt the biggest cost would be the signage. Mr. Pisciotta said if he knows what is wanted, he can get the cost. He said with what was wanted, he figured each sign would cost $300 to $400. Ms. Ellinger said she could probably get them done locally on painted wood, sealed, for $100 each. Discussion followed about wood versus metal. Mr. Pisciotta said the one used for street signs are anodized and they last.

Mr. Sledge said he wanted more information. There are some cans available, someone is looking into the cost of signs, more cans, etc., but when the board meets next time will we have any solution. He would like to see them in place before spring break and especially Easter when the Mexican population shows up on the beaches of Cholla. Ms. Ellinger said 20 cans would be needed at a cost of about $400.
There would be other costs if the cans are attached to posts, etc to keep them from being stolen.

Mr. Lee suggested that Mr. Dugan or Ms. Ellinger talk to Jessie Arvizu and find out what his cost would be for the extra pick up and email the cost to the board. If the cans are steal proof, they would have to be secured by a post and chains and Ms. Ellinger didn’t know the cost but thought it would be less than $100 for two cans. It was decided that Mr. Arvizu would get the needed cans but the security locks need to be done first. Mr. Dugan said with the signage, barrels and locks, he would guess it would cost about $4,000.

Since Mr. Sledge had made a motion earlier for $3,000 for signs in Spanish and English and posts to install them, Mr. Dugan suggested approving that motion since it had been pending and make a second
motion for 20 barrels and chains at a cost of up to $1,000. Both motions were approved.

Update: (The following day Mr. Dugan went to the estuary where metal cans have been available for a long time and decided to buy metal cans for the estuary beach and plastic ones for the other placements.)



Chairman Pete Pisciotta reported he had a few emails in January regarding the roads and he spoke to Mr. Brown about them and he said they would be rectified. He had one complaint of the water truck spraying a house when watering the road. He spoke to Mr. Brown about that and he followed the water truck the last time they watered the road and said they had corrected the spray.


Chairman Gene Court apologized for being gone so long but had a family problem and then went on a trip. He said there is one table that has been damaged and will have to be replaced. He needs two more bollards and asked where he could get them. Ms. Dahlstrom said she thought Mr. Dahlstrom might have a couple. If not, Mr. Court said he was going to get some railroad iron so he can finish up and stretch the cable. He said right now they can jump on the cable and get ATVs inside the fence. Mr. Court said the paint is chipping on the bollards and needs to be repainted.

He reported the trees are looking good and being watered regularly.


In the absence of Chairman Jim Niblack, Mr. Dugan reported that we now have four policemen and they seem to be doing a good job. Someone gave them a newer computer and a printer. They had a couple of break ins reported to them. Someone also stole the old police car and parts from the old fire truck. Toto and Mr. Dugan went to the police station in Penasco and recovered the car and parts from Cesar who had been a policeman in Cholla.

Villa was going to take the police car, then didn’t need it, so the old car was given to the man who keeps the garbage area cleaned up.

We do not have auxiliary police. He met the new Police Commandante and explained about our auxiliary police. The Commandante said it was okay with him if Cholla had auxiliary police and to work it out with Toto. Two people were interested in being Auxiliary Police – Chevelo’s son and one of the Arvizu boys. Salary would be $150 per person per week. The cost was going to be around $16,000 per year and Mr. Dugan said this amounts would have to be figured into the budget for the coming year. Mr. Felton said it definitely needed to go into the next Newsletter.


Nothing to report.


Someone asked how the water is working out at the stand pipe and Mr. Dugan said the only problem is when there is no water at the other end so no water in Cholla. Mr. Lee asked if there was a flexible hose

to use at the pipe, especially when the wind is blowing. Mr. Dugan said there was an orange hose but sometimes the water truck drivers do not use it. The water is metered and whoever is filling their truck bears the cost of the water going in the truck and whatever falls on the ground.

Mr. Dugan said he didn’t see Cholla getting Water and Sewer being installed in the near future.


Helen Dahlstrom said Lowell McCulley had shown her how to put the financials on the Website and they have been posted.

A graph has been entered on the website to record how many people had signed in since the posting of financial documents.

Ms. Dahlstrom said she also had a call from a gentleman wanting to know if there was a way information could be put on the website when the power was out for an extended period of time. There was a long discussion about this and the concensus of the board was that routine monitoring of Cholla’s services is something we can’t take on or ask anyone else to do either.

Ms. Ellinger wanted the board to entertain the notion of putting porta potties at the entrance of beach accesses. She would like to see them there all the time, but especially for spring breaks and the Easter week. Since the two in Firecracker Park were turned over, the board was skeptical about placing them and having the same thing happen. on the beach. Mr. Court said we are paying $1,450 pesos per month for the two in the park. Ms. Ellinger was asked how many and she said one at every beach exit and one at the estuary for a total of 7. She was asked how long they should be furnished and Ms. Ellinger said she would like them all the time. The board did not go along with that, but were in favor of having them for Easter week and spring break. It was suggested that we try it out for March and April which would cost approximately $700. Motion was made that it be tried for 2 months, seconded and approved. Valente and Ms. Ellinger are going to work on the porta potties together.

Mr. Felton said he was planning an extra Newsletter to sell some of the planned expenditures and that needs to be sent immediately. Some of the things to be covered is Police, Road Maintenance, the new Road Contract, Auxiliary Police,Porta Potties and beach cleanup which are some of the major increases. Also going into this Newsletter is the Voting and Eligibility Document to give people time to
correct anything that would make them ineligible to vote. The new Proxy should also be included in this Newsletter, too.

Mr. Felton said what he needed on all those items is a sales pitch from the people who spearheaded each one. They need to hear money was taken out of reserves to do the roads but that money needs to be
replaced and people need to be aware that their enjoyment of a smoother road will cost them in dues.
Ms. Ellinger said she would write up something on the porta potties. Mr. Sledge said he would rather


see the Vecinos invest money in permanent bathrooms in lieu porta potties. Mr. Clark said the National Parks have something similar that are totally self contained, waterless and amazingly enough they don’t smell. It was agreed that didn’t have to be decided now but should be looked at in the near future. Mr. Felton said he needed all the information for the Newsletter by about the 21st of February.

Mr. Dugan said Proxies were discontinued by HOAs in the US.

Steve Lee, Nominating Committee Chairman, asked how many vacancies were there on the board. Secretary is the only officer vacancy, and there are four board positions to fill..


Steve Lee brought up the mobil home still on Pelican Point that was to have been moved a year ago.

Secretary brought up the Membership Document which has been approved. It shows $185.00 per membership on the document and she wanted to change it to so there is no dollar amount due to it changing in the future.

Motion was made, seconded and approved to just say membership.

There being no further business to discuss, Mr. Dugan asked for a motion to adjourn. Motion was made, seconded and approved. Meeting adjourned at l0:30 AM.

Respectfully submitted,


Shirley McDonald, Secretary


Sunday, March 15, 2009 9:00 AM
Saturday, April 25, 2009 9:00 AM General Meeting
Sunday, April 26, 2009 9:00 AM
Sunday, May 10, 2009 9:00 AM
Sunday, June 14, 2009 9:00 AM