Regular board meeting was held on Sunday, June 15, 2008

Regular board meeting was held on Sunday, June 15, 2008



A regular board meeting was held on Sunday, June 15, 2008 at the Cholla Community Center. The meeting was called to order by President Michael Dugan at 8:00 AM with the following board members present: Helen Dahlstrom, Jim Niblack, Gretchen Ellinger, Ken Goodin, Steve Lee, Tom Clark, Pat Sledge, and Shirley McDonald.

Absent: Gene Court, Pete Pisciotta, Lew Felton, Michael Eagan, Bill Drake, Don Schmidli, Delegate of Vigilance and Valente Cornejo, Mexican Representative.


The board had previously received minutes of the meeting held on May 17, 2008. Mr. Dugan asked if there were any corrections or additions and Secretary said there were two corrections to be made. On page two under Membership, Mr. Niblack asked Monica how many of the 82 fit in the category of being late, but intended to pay. Her reply should have been shown as 10 – 15 in lieu of 50 which would leave between 67 to 72 who haven’t paid in a long time.

On page 3, there was a correction as follows: There was a discussion about the bank account in place at Bancomer.” The balance of that paragraph is deleted.

Mr. Dugan then asked for a motion to approve. Motion made, seconded and minutes approved.


Treasurer Helen Dahlstrom passed out a report showing income and expenditures through May 31, 2008. Mr. Dugan asked if there were any corrections or additions. There being none, he then asked for a motion to approve. Motion made, seconded and report approved.


Helen Dahlstrom reported there were 750 members paid in full. 92 not current, 3 Mexican members not required to pay but did, for a total of 845 members. There are 128 who have an unclear status.


No report.


Chairman Pat Sledge reported that the fencing is done, thanks to Rick Dahlstrom. Mr. Dahlstrom was asked if he would put the palapa on his agenda.
There was a discussion regarding the request to cut the fence for use of the homeowner on the west side of property. Motion was made, seconded and approved to defer any decision until the next meeting.


Mr. Dugan reported the CC&R’s are at the mayor’s office, a copy has been given to the Company and hopefully they will be approved in July.


Chairman Gretchen Ellinger said she had done nothing yet about acquiring a hydraulic truck.

Ms. Ellinger and Steve and Patti Barker started a program “Take Pride in Cholla” which is an ongoing effort to keep Cholla clean. She asked the board for permission to explore with the city the idea of an “adopt a school(or classroom) who will adopt Cholla” program for the purpose of community bonding, education/promotion of environmental issues among school children, and help with cleaning up Cholla with school children in attendance followed by hot dogs and cokes for all. The ultimate goal is more respect for Cholla and education of a generation of kids who will hopefully spread the message or at least get their parents to pack their trash out of Cholla after a day at the beach. She had spoken to a Penasco teach about a program like this and she really liked the idea. Of course, there is a chain of officials who must be contacted and must approve before something like this can be implemented. She wanted to “explore” to see if the idea was worth pursuing before putting a lot of effort into it. Motion was made, seconded and approved for Ms. Ellinger to pursue the idea.

Shirley McDonald brought up a discussion from last month’s meeting regarding a business using the Vecinos garbage collectors and wanted to know if Ms. Ellinger pursued that problem. Ms. Ellinger said she worked on it and would like to have a meeting with the Executive Committee.


In Mr. Pisciotta’s absence Mr. Dugan said when the budgets were put together figures for roads were based on fix what is necessary. In last month’s meeting Mr. Pisciotta reported the Company wanted $2,000 per month to do the primary roads and to do both primary and secondary would be $3,000. In the past we have been paying for road work that was necessary. Mr. Dugan came up with a proposal where monies would have to taken out of reserve funds to take care of primary and secondary roads. Mr. Sledge said he felt security should have priority over roads as well as garbage and he wanted to hear the report on security before making any decision to take money out of the reserves for more grading.

In a later discussion Mr. Dugan said he would see what he could get Bengie Brown to do but guessed it would be somewhere between the $2,000 and $3,000 figure. There was discussion

about doing roads every 6 weeks and thereby saving some money. Mr. Dugan said that was not
cost effective because it’s easier to maintain every month and will cost more by stretching out the work. Helen Dahlstrom was concerned with all the money we’ve been spending and some bad spots seem not to have been touched. Several members felt the grading could be arranged with the Company at somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000 due to a lot of equipment sitting around not being used. Mr. Dugan is going to check with Mr. Brown as to what we can get for the lest amount of money. A Motion was made, seconded and approved that Mr. Dugan be given $2,000 to get as much road maintenance as possible for that amount. Everyone was reminded that eventually the Vecinos would have to assume total maintenance of the roads.

Gretchen Ellinger asked what it would cost to do all the roads and Mr. Dugan said that even if we paid the $36,000 per year to have “what we call all the roads” graded, all of them would not be included.

There was a long discussion regarding how the Board sold the budget increase at the prior general meeting and all feel more homework needs to be done before next April to make the members see that what they are paying won’t cover the necessities for maintaining Cholla.

There was a suggestion that some speed bumps were needed to slow down speeders who play havoc with the roads.


In the absence of Mr. Court, there was no report.

Mr. Dugan reported there was an excess of bollards left over from the clubhouse fencing and there were enough to put them around the street side and both ends of the park and use the cemented rockpiles on the back side. Mr. Dahlstrom said he thought there would be enough monies left from the clubhouse fencing to cover the cost of installing them around the park.

Motion was made, seconded and approved to use the left over bollards to fence the park.


Mr. Dugan reported the water company called Bengie Brown and told him they were turning the water off because they thought water was being taken out of Cholla to Rocky Point because someone had a picture of a RP delivery truck parked at the Cholla standpipe and assumed they were getting water. A check was made of all water taken by each truck and everything proved the water company wrong. There is someone in RP who has more than 20 water trucks and was evidently trying to cause a problem.

Joe Anacletta has been a big help in handling the water trucks filling at the standpipe. He has Cesar and Munchie who handle the fill-ups when Mr. Anacletta isn’t there. Both his employees

and the truck drivers are very protective of the Cholla water system. Someone had made a
statement that Mr. Anacletta got paid for handling the water and Mr. Dugan wanted to make it very clear that was not true. He even pays his own employees to handle the water transactions.

Signs are being made for the water area stating it belongs to Cholla and no one can get water except the approved trucks who deliver in Cholla. There was a discussion about a couple of trucks that deliver water to Cholla who do not get their water from the standpipe but haul it in from somewhere else.

Mr. Dugan reported the Company is looking to start water and sewer in October. Bengie Brown said possibly sometime in July they would start the holding tank and Mr. Dugan suggested they have some kind of ceremony with a gold shovel and Mr. Brown could bring out OOMOPAS, the Mayor and whoever he wanted and they would take pictures of the event.

According to information given to Mr. Dugan, the condos on Sandy Beach owed the Company over $l,000,000.00 in back water bills and the Company turned their water off. The police, Mayor and a lot of others were there and when they heard what was owed, everyone was surprised they had let it go on as long as it did without payment.

Mr. Dugan was in Bengie Brown’s office discussing water and he asked Mr. Brown how much water Cholla uses as a percentage of the total that flows through their pipe to be distributed. Mr. Brown pulled a 3 ring binder off the shelf (could have been a day or a week) but the answer was 3% of the total water pumped. Our percentage could go up or down depending on the amount of people, holidays, seasons, etc., but in no way would rival any of the condos dues to Cholla’s frugal use of water.


Before Mr. Niblack began his report, Mr. Dugan wanted to thank him for the job he did in the meeting with the Police Chief . They had a meeting to ask how they could aid the police and it went over well.

Mr. Niblack said he has been meeting with different people and the concensus is that the best thing for Cholla is perimeter security and checking all vehicles going into and out of Cholla and most especially checking at the end of a workday.

He said the biggest thing a homeowner can do is home security. He said one thing needed is for everyone to report break-ins and any problems so there is a history. He has asked everyone in Cholla to report any kind of break-in or theft to send him an email so there is a record of how many problems there are in Cholla.

In the meeting with the Police Chief, he asked if they had suggestions as to who could fit the requirements for Cholla Security. The Police Chief said they have police applicants, who for whatever reason, are not yet on their payroll and could be used as security people in Cholla at a cost of 150 pesos per 8 hour shift. One option was to staff Cholla for 2 shifts (16 hours per
day) or 80 hours per week at a cost of $7,800 plus the expense for radios, uniforms and miscellaneous items would add up to approximately $11,000. They would report to and get paid by the person in charge of police in Cholla by the name of Navarro who was in the meeting with them. The Vecinos would pay Rocky Point. The board decided to staff Cholla 24 hours a day 365 days a year which would cost approximately $26,000 plus clothing, radios, etc.

Mr. Lee wanted to know how we could control these people. He was concerned that with no one watching these people, it would be like letting the fox in the hen house. Mr. Niblack said they would be employees of the Police Department and would be overseen by Rocky Point. These security people work the checkpoint, with radios but would carry no guns or make any arrests. Their job would be to notify the police in Cholla when there is a problem.

Mr. Niblack said in Mexico they do racial profiling. If you have a Sonoran license plate and look different they tend to inspect your load a little more. The Mexican police say there is nothing wrong with that.

It was discussed that homeowners have a car sticker, similar to the ones used on windows for garbage to identify them from non-homeowners. Ms. Dahlstrom will look into the cost of some kind of automobile ID stickers.

Mr. Sledge brought up the fact we don’t pay the present police and have no control over them, but in this situation we will be paying and should have a voice in how things are handled and should make this known when the contract is set up as to our expectations of what the security people will do for what we are paying them. He feels there should be meetings once a month on how things are working and let them if we are pleased with what they are doing or ask them to make changes if we feel something is lacking.

There was a long discussion on how to best secure Cholla without leaving some people unprotected such as in Borracho Flats. Mr. Niblack suggested closing off some of the entries from the main road into that area. He would leave the checkpoint where it is now.

At that point Mr. Lee brought up the fact that Mr. Niblack, who was broken into, got his property back through the help of Jessie Arvizu and Mr. Lee wanted to make a motion to give him $100 for helping in the return of the items. Motion made, seconded and approved to give him a reward. Mr. Lee also suggested that it be made known that anyone helping to catch a thief could receive a reward which would help stop the robberies.

Mr. Niblack said he went to the police and filed charges but when you file charges, if no one has been caught, it goes nowhere. The robbers at his house were let go before arraignment and even if arraigned, it can take 6 to 8 months before they go to trial.

Mr. Lee suggested since there is panic over a lot of things in Mexico right now, he thinks if the Mayor gets involved he may see it as an opportunity to crack down on what is going on because tourism is so big in Rocky Point and with the Americans feeding so much money into the

economy, this might be their chance to make them feel more secure. It was also revealed that
one of the thiefs in Mr. Niblack’s robbery was Augustine’s son. One other person caught had been a laborer on a job next door to Mr. Niblack a few months back.

Mr. Lee asked Mr. Niblack what it would take to get the security in place. Mr. Niblack said the first thing would be contact the Commandante and tell him it was a go and to staff this crew. .
Mr. Lee made a motion to put $25,000 in the security account to be used at Mr. Niblack’s discretion to get Cholla security up and running as soon as possible. He felt it should be done at least until October when most of the board and many residents would be back in Cholla. Motion seconded and approved.


No Report.


Shirley McDonald said she had checked on safes and got quotes from Hick’s Safe Company but what they sent was not appropriate for the needs of the Vecinos. Helen Dahlstrom said she found a two drawer file safe with a 1 and 2 hour rating. They were the size of a two drawer file cabinet. Ms. McDonald will check with Office Depot for some literature and costs on that type of safe before the next meeting. There was discussion about some other places where we might find used safes and different types so anyone with information was asked to bring it to the next meeting. Mr. Clark said he would check with a company in Kingman to see what they have and the cost.


Helen Dahlstrom said the Member window stickers are in. They are larger, brighter and easier to see and won’t melt. They should be put inside the window where they can be seen easily by the garbage collectors.

Mr. Dugan brought up an idea of what it would cost to get 1600 license plates for homeowners but was told it was very expensive. He still wanted to check on the plates. Helen Dahlstrom will look into window stickers for member’s cars,

Ms. Ellinger wanted to put on July’s agenda how we have been assessing dues and discuss the possibility of assessing dues on every individual lot. Mr. Dugan asked her to write up what her thoughts are and email them to the board so they can be prepared to discuss the subject at the July meeting.

The board also had a short discussion regarding Ray Flinn’s question about speed limit signs and told him that the Vecinos do not control traffic signs. Those are controlled by Rocky Point. Mr.

Flinn said he got permission from the police to put signs near his home and they were stolen. He wanted to replace them and was told the Road Chairman Pete Pisciotta would be contacted regarding the signs.

The Vecinos put up the street signs and Steve Lee suggested they should be in English and Spanish.


A homeowner to the west of Clubhouse was in attendance asking that the fencing on the west side of the property be changed because he can’t get his boat in and out of the boathouse. Mr. Dugan suggested that Rosario Villa be contacted to see if he could put the boat in with his smaller launcher. The situation will be discussed at the next meeting.

Ray Flinn was in attendance asking for a copy of the CC&Rs’ and was told again that they will not be passed out until they have been approved. He also brought up the fact that more speed limit signs are needed and the fact that he had permission from the Police department and they provided two signs that he helped install near his home and they were stolen.

Mr. Flinn also brought up trying to find a better way to handle voting for board positions and the budgets. The board told him they were looking into the process before the next election.

John Perrotta said he had just received his electric bill and there is an amount on it that is called DAP. It is 94 pesos and he was told it was a street light bill. Mr. Peterson said that was for residents of Rocky Point and should not apply to Cholla Bay. He said when he was negotiating the deal with CFE he told them the people in Cholla did not want street lights but would rather see the stars. He said the agreement was that there would be no street lights and consequently, no assessments. He suggested talking to Mario Marin about the charge.. Gretchen Ellinger said she would investigate the charge.

There being no further business to discuss, Mr. Dugan asked for a motion to adjourn. Motion made, seconded and meeting adjourned at 9:47 AM.

Future Meetings: Sunday, July 13, 2008 8:00 AM
Sunday, October 12, 2008 8:00 AM

Respectfully submitted:


Shirley McDonald, Secretary