regular meeting was held on Sunday, September 14, 2008

regular meeting was held on Sunday, September 14, 2008


A regular meeting was held on Sunday, September 14, 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: Lew Felton, Gretchen Ellinger, Tom Clark, Michael Eagan, Pete Pisciotta, Jim Niblack, Pat Sledge, Gene Court and Helen Dahlstrom.

Absent: Shirley McDonald, Ken Goodin, Bill Drake, Steve Lee, Delegate of Vigilance Don Schmidli and Valente Cornejo, Mexican Representative.


The board had previously received minutes of the meeting held on July 13, 2008. Mr. Dugan asked if there were any corrections or additions. There being none, Mr. Dugan asked for a motion to approve. Motion made, seconded and minutes approved.


Treasurer Helen Dahlstrom passed out a report showing income and expenditures through August 31, 2008. Helen did make a note that due to a small “cluster” with the utility deposits that there may be an adjustment on next month’s financial statements once the Utility Deposit Statements were received from Josefina, but the amount would be small. Mr. Dugan asked if there were any corrections or additions. There being none, motion was made, seconded and report approved.


Ms. Dahlstrom reported there are 577 members paid in full, 268 not current for a total membership of 845. There are 122 homeowners whose membership status is unclear. These are properties whose ownership and potential for membership are being researched. As properties and their owners are identified, they will be added to the correct category in the Status of Membership area.


Mr. Dugan reported the CC&R’s were supposed to be on the August meeting but the counsil ran out of time. Then before the September meeting, the head of SIDUR, who has the final word, resigned. Hopefully they will be approval soon.


Chairman Pat Sledge discussed the bollards and the need to sell them to recoup the money spent on the fence. He also mentioned re-arranging the back storage room and

getting control of supplies. A question was asked regarding available funds to install the palapa and Mr. Sledge said he thought funds were available.


No report.


Chairman Pete Pisciotta had just returned to Cholla so Mr. Dugan filled the board in on the the status of roads. He reported that nothing had been done except to the two major roads. At an earlier meeting the board agreed that the Company would be working on roads that were in dire need of maintenance and they had been working on major problems. They will also be doing maintenance on secondary roads, too. He said he wanted the board to be aware that the contract covered the road work as they are seeing it now through June. If a new budget is not approved based on the numbers then the work will stop in June due to the money being spent now coming out of the Vecinos’ reserve.

Mr. Dugan again reported that the Vecinos had signed a contract with the Company to do the roads for $3,000 per month through June 30, 2009. There is a map attached to the agreement that shows primary, secondary and tertiary roads that may or may not be done just because it is impossible to get a grader or the big water truck to that area. Primary and secondary roads are on an “as needed” basis.

Mr. Pisciotta said when he left in May there were discussions about the entrance and the cost of $60,000. At that time the board wanted to know what the Vecinos would receive for that amount of money. He said he met with Bengie Brown and the cost covers the building, electric, all wiring for the security lanes, computers, cameras and telephone set-up, and plumbing for the building. The multi media equipment would be shared by the company and the Vecinos.

He said based on what the Company pays, to man the gate 24 – 7 involving 3 people would cost $840 a week. That amount would be shared equally between the Company and the Vecinos. He said there was discussion about being sure that Borracho Flats was also secured and Mr. Brown felt that could be done. Mr. Dugan said the old main road will not be maintained anymore and a new main road will be the one along Sandy Beach. Eventually the old road will be closed as the new gtolf course will be located in the road. Eventually, another road will be north by the fence line and the cemetery.


Chairman Gretchen Ellinger reported the roll-off truck had made it across the border and Jessie Arvizu has the title. Ms. Dahlstrom said the Vecinos need to get the title since it does belong to them. Ms. Ellinger said there have been calls from a few people whose

garbage had not been picked up and Jessie is taking care of that. Mr. Dugan explained that sometimes the beach garbage can’t be picked up till low tide when they can drive to the cans.

There was a discussion about illegal vendors who park on the beach selling everything and leaving their garbage to be picked up. According to Mario Chavez they can’t use the federal zone to do business.


Chairman Gene Court said it appeared some of the trees lived through the summer and people are using the park more than ever before. Some more bollards are needed to complete the fencing and hopefully some more can be found. Ms. Dahlstrom said she would ask her husband to look into getting some more.

Mr. Court is hoping to get some Pala Verde trees from Bengie Brown. He said the playground equipment came to a screeching halt because no one wants to sell old stuff because of legal problems and the new is very expensive. He needs to become a scrap dealer to buy older equipment. He is going to jury rig some of the equipment for the time being.


Someone asked Mr. Dugan if we were still scheduled to get water and sewer started in October. He said he would check with Bengie Brown when he is back in town to see when they plan to start. Gretchen Ellinger said she saw surveyors near her house and was told they were surveying for the water and sewer. Mr. Dugan said he was going to press Bengie and remind him that he stood up at the General Meeting and said they were starting in October.


Chairman Jim Niblack reported that Jessie Arvizu was fishing off Pelican Point and saw some people trying to break into a home. He used his cell phone to call the police and they apprehended people trying to break into the Spangler home. The Spanglers came to Cholla and Mr. Arvizu accompanied them to Penasco to file a complaint.

Mr. Niblack again discussed the use of applicants for police positions that have not yet been hired, using them as security people in Cholla.

Mr. Dugan said his and Mr. Niblack’s plans are to pursue what the company can do for the community within the figure quoted. Mr. Niblack said he felt the best way to prevent home invasion is for each homeowner to secure their property. What the Vecinos hopes

to do is stop the truck load of stolen items from getting out of Cholla without being stopped.

Someone asked how many roads come into Cholla and Mr. Niblack said two. Mr. Court said he saw trucks and cars going in front of the Garbage area east to the main road which would need to be closed off. Ms. Dahlstrom said it would be useless to spend any money on security if entries are not brought down to one road. The board agreed that egress and ingress must be controlled to make Cholla safe.

Mr. Dugan felt that if the Company could put a guard entrance south of their building, man it 24 hours and charge the cost to the fourteen different entities. That would only work if they closed off a couple of other roads. There was a long discussion with regard to owning the guard house at the entrance to Cholla. If the Vecinos decided to change personnel from the ones provided by the Company, that could cause a problem. It was felt that the guard house should be owned jointly by the Company and the Vecinos.

Ms. Dahlstrom brought up looking at a modular building but it was decided that with the gates and other inclusions, it would not be much cheaper. Budgets were discussed and the fact that more money has to be collected through dues in order to fund everything discussed. Mr. Sledge was concerned that we are already using funds not budgeted to cover the roads and that amount also needs to be covered after June, 2009 from increased dues.

There has been a problem with either real or fake police stopping people trying to get money. Mr. Felton said Sally Dalton told him about a couple who were stopped due to not wearing their seat belts. The woman was told to drive to the police station and the man was put in the police car. The policemen then drove the man around for hours trying to get money from him. He finally gave them $200 and they put him out of the car and left him.

Mr. Felton said he felt the Vecinos should be able to advise people what to do in a situation like this. He reported the problems that many have faced in Baja when we all go over to race and some have been horror stories. He felt that anyone stopped should drive to the police station themselves instead of getting out and going with the fake or real cops. Mr. Felton had advised one of the Mexican homeowners in Cholla to get the other families together and approach the Police Chief about what is happening and ask for help in stopping the problem.


Mr. Dugan said he received an email from Bengie Brown and Karla that they are starting to move forward on the Trust issues. He said they are trying to rectify each Manzana and he specifically spoke of Manzana 8. Two people need to pay their taxes and they can

rectify all of 8 and those without a trust can then get theirs, including the latest property
purchased by the Vecinos about 3 years ago.

In a meeting with the Company and the City, Mr. Dugan said that people in Cholla have been paying taxes but take care of their own garbage, roads, etc and get nothing from the City. A young man next to him handed him an envelope about an inch thick and said that the 1 inch of unpaid taxes in Cholla Bay amounted to $90,000. He was asking for help from the Vecinos. The sad part of this is that if there are unpaid taxes in any Manzana, it will be a long cold day before anyone in that block gets a Deed of Trust. There was a discussion regarding people thinking they don’t have to pay taxes and HOA dues until they get their Deed of Trust. Gretchen Ellinger said the Company has sold property and one contract will say no taxes are due until a Deed of Trust is issued and others say the purchaser starts paying taxes immediately and that has caused problems. Ms. Ellinger said there are several problems holding up Trusts, such as getting measurements right and getting owners to agree on how property lines might move, money deposited that has to go to several departments and finally, if all taxes are paid, it goes to the public registry.
Mr. Dugan gave the city what information he could on the two holding up Manzana 8 and they will be sent letters regarding the problem. Mr. Dugan will continue to work the the City toward collecting money due. He will also work to get some services for Cholla as a result of working with them.

This problem is to be published in the next Newsletter for the benefit of all homeowners as well as posting the information on the HOA website.


Mr. Dugan said he had been approached by Bengie Brown with a concept where the Vecinos pay 35% of our water bill for the maintenance on the external road rather than paying $1,500 per quarter. This referenced the road maintenance that we are partially responsible for from the railroad tracks to the entrance of Cholla where our internal contract picks up the remaining roads. Motion was made by Pat Sledge, seconded and unanimously approved for Mr. Dugan to sign a contract to cover this proposal.

Mr. Dugan brought up that in a previous meeting it had been voted by the board to give Jessie Arvizu $100 for his help in getting the robbers arrested in Mr. Niblack’s break-in.
Since Mr. Arvizu called the police from his boat while fishing off Pelican Point and stopped a break-in at the Spangler home on Pelican he asked for a motion to give him another $100 for his help. Motion made, seconded and approved.

Monica Koerner who is handling membership has a separate email address for the Vecinos and asked if she could get reimbursed for that cost. The board approved paying 50% of the cost which would be $30.

There being no further business to discuss, Mr. Dugan asked for a motion to adjourn.

Motion made, seconded and meeting adjourned.

Future Meetings: Sunday, October 12, 2008 8:00 AM
November and December to be decided

Respectfully submitted,


Shirley McDonald, Secretary
With help from Helen Dahlstrom, Treasurer