Regular board meeting was held on Sunday, October 13, 2008

Regular board meeting was held on Sunday, October 13, 2008


A regular board meeting was held on Sunday, October 13, 2008 at the Cholla Community Center. The meeting was called to order at 8:00 AM by President Michael Dugan with the following members present: Steve Lee, Tom Clark, Pete Pisciotta, Gretchen Ellinger, Gene Court, Jim Niblack, Shirley McDonald, Ken Goodin, Helen Dahlstrom, Mike Eagan, Lew Felton, and Delegate of Vigilance, Don Schmidli.

Absent: Pat Sledge, Bill Drake and Mexican Representative Valente Cornejo.


The board had previously received minutes of the regular meeting held on September 14, 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 minutes approved.


Treasurer Helen Dahlstrom passed out the report showing income and expenditures through September 30, 2008. Mr. Dugan asked if there were any additions or corrections to the report. There being none, he then asked for a motion to approve. Motion made, seconded and report approved.


Secretary reported 627 members paid in full, 217 that are not current, 2 Mexican Members not required to pay but did for a total of 846 members. There are currently 120 properties whose owner5ship and potential for membership are being researched. As properties and owners are identified, they will be added to the correct category om the status of membership area.

Delinquent notices are being prepared to send to those members who have not paid.


Nothing to report.


In the absence of Chairman Pat Sledge, there was no report. Don Schmidli reported that Margaret Perez wanted to use the Clubhouse for a baby shower for her daughter Patricia

and he suggested that fees be waived since they would do their own clean-up. Motion made, seconded and approved.

Mr. Schmidli reported that Nancy and her group are having their usual Christmas Party for the Cholla children on December 13th.

Steve Lee reported the faucet in the ladies bathroom did not completely turn off. Secretary said it looked as if there might have been a leak, too.

There was discussion about locked storage that was planned in the back room. Figures are being obtained regarding cost.


Mr. Dugan reported that trusts are starting to move, but still very slow. There have been 6 approved in the last month or so.


Chairman Gretchen Ellinger said she had talked to Jessie Arvizu about changing the way our garbage is handled. Since garbage pickups are on certain days, if a homeowner leaving on Tuesday or any day that garbage is not picked up, dogs make an absolute mess which spreads everywhere. She thinks the board should reconsider having house to house pickup and return to garbage being taken to the trailers as was previously done. Her suggestion is to seriously consider making that change and having Mr. Arvizu either take the garbage and dump it or possibly check into the company in Penasco as to charges if they picked up the garbage from a designated area. She felt Mr. Arvizu’s services could be used in cleaning the beaches and other areas.

There was a long discussion about getting people to take their garbage to a designated area since they won’t use it now as an alternative to leaving bags by their home.

Ms. Ellinger also reported the Cholla Cleanup headed by Heather Green is scheduled for November 15 at 9:00 AM at the Community Center. The students who are helping with this cleanup are primarily focusing on the beach areas. She has prepared articles for the local newspapers, both English and Mexican.

She said community assistance would be appreciated, not only in cleaning around their own homes but helping hand out garbage bags and any other help needed.


Chairman Pete Pisciotta reported the roads are being worked on two days a week. He said they were going to work on a very bad place near Pinto Point but can only do so much to correct the problem.. He said there is a very bad spot on the new road near the

Brown’s storage yard that is watered and graded but continues to be a problem.


Chairman Gene Court said we have lost about 10 trees and need to replace them. Mr. Dahlstrom is to get him a few more bollards. Mr. Court said the park is being used a lot.


Jessie Arvizu was being given a $100 reward for his help in stopping a robbery at the Spangler residence and Gretchen Ellinger said she had called and asked him to stop by but so far she hadn’t been able to get the money to him. She said there had been some other breakins and about two weeks ago, one Mexican worker had helped to catch one of the thieves who reportedly robbed 3 homes. She was wondering if the board wanted to reward him for his help. Motion was made, seconded and approved for reward to that person, too. There was a long discussion regarding the rewards and how to handle them and the possibility of staging robberies to make money. If someone is caught and no one files charges, the robber is let go. It is hoped that if enough of the breakins are thwarted, it might make robbers think before deciding to break into a home.

She also reported a dog was stolen on Sunday and the owner used the radio to ask for the return of her dog. A day or so later someone brought the dog back and wanted $50. She is concerned that things like that might become more popular as a way to make money.
The board felt to earn a reward for stopping a robbery would depend on whether or not the robbers were prosecuted by the homeowner as in the case of Jessie Arvizu.

Security Chairman Jim Niblack again revisited the plan for hiring security, looking at people who had applied to the Police force as well as SBR Security. There was a big difference in the cost from SBR which was approximately $100,000 per year compared to about $35,000 per year using police applicants.

Mr. Niblack said he asked Bengie Brown how the police could pay such a small amount and he said he had no idea how they could do it because a Mexican wage of $500 would double each month when adding taxes. The only thing he could figure out was that the police applicants were on the police payroll and the Vecinos would be subsidizing the wages.

The SBR contract would include 4 supervisors, trucks and equipment. If the person manning the gate had a question, he could call a supervisor and if he couldn’t get an answer that person could call a person higher up to get an answer. Mr. Niblack was told that the SBR has the same problem with employees and their honesty as do the police department. Mr. Brown encouraged the Vecinos to use the less expensive labor that the

police suggest and using some of his guys for supervisory assistance or fill in when someone doesn’t show up.

Mr. Niblack suggested that a proposal be given to the homeowners at the general meeting that would be around $100,000 per year which is way beyond anything that had been contemplated for security. That would be about $120 increase per membership per year.
Mr. Dugan reminded the board that our road contract with SBR expires on June 30, 2009 and after that time, the road contract will be about $90,000 per year.

Mr. Niblack suggested that homeowners be notified in advance of the general meeting what the board is suggesting, why the need for raising dues and the benefits to them.
Show them what can be done with the current dues and what is needed to upgrade the security as the board recommends.


Mr. Dugan said the board needs to find some way to make sure every owner of a home or property in Cholla is or will be a member of the Vecinos and pays dues. The Constitution states that a person who has a home on a lot has to pay a membership but if they also have a lot without a building, they are not required to pay. Abuse of this is rampant in Cholla. There are many lots with 2 to 4 dwellings on them, some subdivided and some not, in which amenities are being used but the Vecinos are not collecting dues for 2 or 4 memberships. 4 dues from. It puts a burden on those paying and the board is looking for a way to end the problem.

Mr. Dugan wanted to get with Mr. Lee so they could look at any kind of relief for this problem and it really needs to be done soon so membership chairman and the board can work to correct the problem.

Shirley McDonald brought up the mobile home on Pelican Point which was supposed to be moved by August but is still there. Mr. Dugan said he had been in contact with the gentleman who lives there and he asked for a little more time since his house is not quite done.


Mr. Dugan said he talked to Bengie Brown and reminded him of the promise he made to get water and sewer started by October. Mr. Dugan said if you take the new road from SBR’s office by Circle K toward the railroad tracks, you will see stakes for utilities and some concrete work that has been done. He also has some pipe but not enough to complete the job and Mr. Dugan said money is a problem in continuing with the installation.

Mr. Dugan reported that the agreement he calls the 35% agreement if used to cover our cost for road maintenance, based on our share of water, would have been $506 which is

$6 over what the monthly payment would have been at $1500 for 3 months or $500 per month. And he reported the nice part would be that everyone, including those not up-to-date on dues, are paying the bill due to the use of water.


Lew Felton brought up the need to look at the Vecinos’ election process and he wondered if anyone had done research on this as to the possibility of mail in ballots so 90 people are not making decisions for the entire membership. Mr. Lee said the problem with the election process stems from the Constitution which is not very clear due to some changes made that no one knows if they are legal. Mr. Peterson said some were legally changed and that some done by individuals are not legal. In order to assure everyone a vote, Shirley McDonald, the rest of the executive board, Steve Lee and Gerry Nelson are to work on a solution prior to the 2009 General Meeting.


Shirley McDonald said there had been discussions several times regarding the time of the Vecinos meeting. Steve Lee immediately made a motion to set the it at 9:00 AM on Sunday morning. Motion seconded and approved. Gretchen Ellinger opposed.

Mr. Dugan suggested that the board address the remainder of the calendar year as to dates for meetings. After a discussion, it was decided that it makes life simpler if the Vecinos have their meetings on the same weekend as the OBSC due to some people being on both boards. The date for the November meeting was set for Sunday, November 9 and the December meeting for Sunday, December 14, both at 9:00 AM.

Lew Felton reported on the Cholla Charity Fund which was started several years ago by Nancy Schmidli to help the Mexican people who live in or have worked in Cholla for a long time. Money was mainly raised through raffles and donations. Nancy thought a lot of people would like to help and would donate $10 rather than buy raffle tickets. She asked for permission to put an article in the Newsletter telling everyone what the Cholla Charities Foundation is and if they might possibly want to help. Gretchen Ellinger asked if it was a legal foundation in Mexico because if so, donations are tax deductible in the US. She also cautioned the Vecinos to be very careful in advertising because problems could arise from it.

Motion was made, seconded and approved to move forward with their request.

Shirley McDonald suggested that board members receive a copy of what is to be in the Newsletter.

Jim Niblack recommended that the board approve $100 to be given to Ramon Perez for recent report of burglaries. Motion made, seconded and approved.

There being no further business to discuss, Mr. Dugan asked for a motion to adjourn. Motion made, seconded and approved. Meeting adjourned at 10:03 AM.


Susie Flinn presented information about the Penasco Healthcare Foundation, a non profit organization, that is planned in the near future. She said a few of the US carriers would cover costs there but not Medicaire and several named companies. It sounded as though to get reimbursed for costs from the companies who would cover expenses, the insured would have to pay the bill and then send it to their insurance company..

Paul Schoonover filled the board in on the problems of people who live on or near the beach and the Mexican people using their property,. He presented at one point five Mexican cars were backed up to his seawall. Several suggestions were made as to who should be contacted in Penasco as well as the police but Mr. Schoonover said the police will make them move, leave and another group comes in right behind them and parks and parties. He said one weekend, the lady who checks his house, found the gate open and about 60 Mexicans having a party at his house. They had found out how to turn on the water, spraying everyone, taking showers. She turned off the water pump and tried to get them to leave. They went through about 2,000 gallons of water and when they came down their beach and yard was littered with diapers and garbage.

He said he had gone to Penasco and talked to someone, and they suggested signs be posted on the beached. At that point Mr. Dugan interrupted and said he and Ms. Ellinger went into Penasco sometime in June, met with Mario Chavez and discussed the problem of beaches. Mr. Dugan told Mr. Chavez that signs in Spanish and English placed on the beaches. He has someone who will do the signs for free, and Mr. Chavez said he needed to get approval from his boss and would get back with them that week but to date, never heard a word.

Mr. Dugan asked Mr. Schoonover to get him the name of the person he talked to in the Mayor’s office and he would look into the matter further.

Mr. Niblack said when he makes a report to the membership he will also mentioned the need for beach police as well as the ones at the entrance and driving Cholla.

Kelly Ross, a new resident of Cholla, spoke next with regard to some problems he is having with his builder and unpaid social security and taxes he had to pay to keep the authorities from locking up his house. Since there is a developer and the builder he uses for construction, the board suggested that he go to both of them as well as his real estate agent for their help and if any money is owed to hold onto it until the problems are solved. Mr. Dugan said in order to build, the builder has to get a permit and social security and other taxes are paid through that. Ms. Ellinger said the Company sometime allows construction prior to getting complete payment on property and because of this

there might not have been a permit issued.

The subject of construction garbage down by the Four Aces was again brought up.

John Perrotta asked Mr. Dugan if he had found out what a certain amount on the electric bills pertained to and was told everyone pays a percentage of Penasco’s street lights through their electric bill.

Ray Flinn was next with a list that he proceeded to give the board as to what he felt they should do regarding security, speeders in Cholla, a local whose property is littered with vehicles, etc. He said there should be one vote for one trust, he had speed limit signs stolen that were replaced by the Police and were stolen again. He feels there should be more speed limit signs. He had a list that he went through as to what the board should do.

Respectfully submitted,


Shirley McDonald, Secretary


Sunday, November 9, 2008 9:00 AM

Sunday, December 14, 2008 9:00 AM