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2019 Budget Results
Posted on Dec 21st, 2018
The Natural Resources Budget was ratified on Saturday, December 15, 2018 by 76.5% of those who voted on the 2019 Budgets. A total of 239 votes were cast and 183 owners voted in favor of the NRB. Unfortunately the Board of Directors is unable to assess the membership to fund the Natural Resources Budget at this time.
Here is what happened: The community has provided an enormous amount of input on the fire reduction issue since last May. The Board has worked very hard to develop a solution in the form of the Natural Resources Budget which was proposed through our budgeting process to create an independent fund which would be defined and protected specifically for the reduction of fire risk at the Pointe. The Board consulted with our legal counsel several times during the HPMA Budget planning cycle which began last July and continued through the adoption of the Budgets at the November 17 Board meeting.
However, late in the day on Thursday December 13, the HPMA attorney received a letter from Christopher Allen, a Tacoma attorney, written on behalf of several HPMA owners which was forwarded to us. The letter challenges the processes the HPMA BOD used to create the Natural Resources Budget and to raise an assessment to fund it.
On Friday December 14, the Board asked HPMA legal counsel to review this recent letter challenging the NRB process. After reviewing the letter from Christopher Allen our attorney’s recommendation was that HPMA not move forward with the NRB assessment at this time to avoid a lawsuit due to the complexities on how the voting for the increase in assessment(s) can be interpreted.
The crux of the issue is whether Hartstene Pointe governing documents and State law support HPMA in having more than one regular annual assessment, that is, whether the Operating Budget, the Capital Reserve Budget, and the Natural Resources Budget can be funded with separate annual assessments and whether they can be viewed separately for the purpose of voting to fund an assessment for any one of them that exceeds 3%.
Needless to say, the Board is frustrated and disappointed. We were taken by surprise by our attorney’s recent re-evaluation of the budget and assessment processes for the NRB. The Board met in Executive Session on Saturday, December 15 to review the challenge letter and to discuss options provided by our attorney. Without adequate time for considerable deliberation, the Board decided to choose not to fund the Natural Resources Budget at this time.
We want to thank everyone for their votes this year which were needed to ratify the HPMA Operating, HPMA Capital Reserve, Island House, and Moorage budgets. These votes allow us to proceed with the business of running the Association in 2019. The Natural Resources budget has also been ratified by a 76.5% majority of voters. But, because the status of the NRB as an independent regular annual assessment has been challenged, raising the $90.00/year assessment will be postponed for now.
As your fellow owners and your Board, we appreciate the community input we have received on the fire risk reduction issue including this latest input on the budget and assessment process. The Board is committed to finding a positive way through the legal maze in order to reach a goal that will benefit and improve the safety of the community. We do not see the current situation as a setback. It is another step along the way to finding the right solution.