Help Bring Good Stewardship Back to PVHA
Save Our PVE Parklands
Preserve our Home Values
Kick-Off for January 2017 Election -- Sign Petitions to Nominate ROBE's candidates before September 11 deadline -- Click Here
For two page summary of this initiative -- click here
“If Harry Brandel [longest serving former President of PVHA with over 40 years on the Board] knew what you’ve done in selling parkland, he’d be spinning in his grave so fast you couldn’t even count the revolutions. If I were still on the Board, I would ask every one of you to resign. You should be ashamed.”
-- Lin Melton (former President of PVHA) addressing the PVHA Board at the January 14, 2014 PVHA Annual Meeting
August 2016 PVHA Selects New Director Without Public Input (Contrary to What Was Promised): On 1/4/16 at a public "Meet the Candidates" night, PVHA Director Dale Hoffman stated that the opening created by Mark Paullin's resignation would be filled after a process of public solicitations, interviews and vetting by the Board. Throughout 2016, ROBE members asked at the monthly Directors meeting when that would occur, and no answer was given. In the past month, the PVHA website was quietly updated to indicate that a new director (Carolbeth Cozen) had been selected. This lack of transparency and disregard for the public interest is symptomatic of the problem that motivates us to push for Open Board Elections and change
8/28/16 Letter sent to PVHA Board of Directors with questions on the Election Process -- click here
6/24/16 PVHA Approves Procedure for Open Nominations: For the first time ever, PVHA has acknowledged that they must accept nominations from the public -- click here
3/16/16 Guest Commentary in Peninsula News by Former Mayor Jim Nyman -- click here
2/29/16 Letter sent to PVHA Board of Directors with Suggestions for defining the Election Process -- click here
2/12/16 Article in Peninsula News on "Reformers Dispute PVHA vote totals" -- click here
2/12/16 Article in Peninsula News on "PV Homes Association vote totals disputed" -- click here
2/11/16 John Harbison Comments on the PVHA Election Report: If the last ballot submitted by PVHA voters were counted (instead of the first ballot as PHVA did), all four ROBE candidates would have been in the top five vote getters. This is disappointing because PVHA Attorney Sid Croft stated on 12/26/15 in the Daily Breeze that “If (residents) want to revoke their ballots, they can come to the homes association and mark whoever they want.” For Harbison's comments, click here.
2/10/16 PVHA releases Judge Latin's Report and Issues a Press Release -- click here
1/30/16 Judge Latin Sends his Report on the Election Count to PVHA -- click here
1/14/16 Article in Peninsula News on "Lower Voter Turnout nixes PV Homes Election" -- click here
1/14/16 Article in Daily Breeze on "Lower Voter Turnout nixes PV Homes Election" -- click here
1/9/16 Letter from ROBE to PVHA Directors on Election Process -- click here
1/7/16 Letter to the Editor in Peninsula News from Ann Hinchliffe, former PVHA Director -- click here
1/4/16 Meet The Candidates at Peninsula Center Library Community Room from 7 - 9pm
1/1/16 Article in Daily Breeze on "Challengers in PV Homes Association election to host open forum" -- click here
12/31/15 Letters to the Editor in Peninsula News from Barbara Culver (former PVE Mayor) and Renata Harbison -- click here
12/31/15 Year in Review in Peninsula News on "Parklands ruling appeal spurs candidates" -- click here
12/29/15 Article in Daily Breeze on "New ballots cannot be recast for P.V. Homes Association board, attorney says" -- click here
12/26/15 Article in Daily Breeze on "4 challenge incumbents for Palos Verdes Home Association seats" -- click here
12/17/15 Article in Peninsula News on "Four Challengers Running for Seats on PV Homes Association-Peninsula News" click here
12/17/15 Letters to the Editor in Peninsula News: For letters from Dick Fay and George Winston, click here
It's time for a leadership change at Palos Verdes Homes Association (PVHA) -- The current directors have lost their way:
- Sold parkland to an encroaching private resident in 2012
- Advocated re-zoning parkland as residential in 2013
- Taken actions declared illegal by Judge in 2015
- Appealed court ruling despite strong community opposition
- Advocated closing the most heavily used trail through parklands in PVE in 2015, and offered to partially fund the project
- Allowed the bluff top parklands to serve as a construction yard to house broken up asphalt, heavy machinery in 2015
- Failed to act while PVPUSD granted easements for freestanding solar panels on PVE school sites
The current Board has been embarrassingly inconsistent on several issues including a rezoning request (supported then not supported), tried to deny a legal standard (MRTA) in one case then advocated it in another, filed with the court that they voted for appeal then denied it, cited that the PVHA had rights under the Stirling-Davis Act then later denied that the Stirling-Davis act applied to them. Other embarrassments include trying to redefine the word “shall” as meaning “may” and hence “optional”.
The consequence of "status quo" actions of the incumbents can be:
- Loss of open space parkland through further sales and reduced public access
- Further drain on public resources by defending lawsuits brought on by illegal actions and ill-conceived policies at PVHA
- Erosion in property values as PVE's premium over RPV goes away with the loss of Protective Restrictions and open space
- Risk of Palos Verdes Estates turning into another Redondo Beach
As a consequence, a group of concerned residents have formed a group called ROBE (Residents for Open Board Elections) to nominate and elect a new set of leaders to PVHA Board that care about PVHA's true mission and commitment to parklands.
So far, ROBE has collected 193 petitions and at least 178 nominations per candidate. Per CA Code, only 100 are needed to add a name to the ballot.
Among the signers are four former Palos Verdes Estates mayors, one former PVHA President, one former PVHA Director, and the widow of another former President of the PVHA (who two years ago asked all the current Directors to resign), as well as two former Board members for PVP Unified School District — indicative of the depth and breadth of concerns by recent leaders in our community. Former Mayor Joe Barnett (recently deceased) also spoke out against the sale of parkland at a City Council Meeting in 2012, so if he were included, it would be five former PVE Mayors dissatisfied with the decisions made by the current Board.
To learn more, we encourage you to read on and explore this website. To take action, click here.
One of the things for which we are most thankful is the foresight our Palos Verdes Estates Founding Fathers who created a very special community almost a century ago, with about 800 hundred acres of open space to enjoy and cherish every day. We are also truly thankful for the spectacular job of stewardship of that legacy performed by the PVHA over most of the past 92 years.
However, many of us are concerned that the current PVHA Board has lost its passion for protecting our parklands, and that it has made a series of very poor decisions starting in 2012 when Board members agreed to sell parkland to a private individual (click here for more information). Since then PVHA's behavior in the CEPC lawsuit has added to the Community’s concerns about their commitment to their core mission — that of defending the Protective Restrictions established in 1923 while ensuring their adherence. The Judge in that case found the actions of the PVHA "ultra vires" (illegal) and mandated that the sale of parkland be reversed; for the full Ruling click here, and for the Final Judgment click here. PVHA's recent decision to appeal the Judge’s ruling is a stark reminder that they remain unresponsive to the strongly expressed interest of the community that they accept the ruling.
Some of you are unhappy with how the Association resolves view and tree disputes. Others of you may have shared our disappointment with how the Association and City allowed the bluff tops to serve as a construction yard to house broken up asphalt, heavy machinery and other construction equipment when construction was done earlier this year near the intersection of Paseo Del Mar and Via Barr. More recently, the Association advocated the closure of the Fire Road trail off of Paseo Del Sol -- one of the best hiking trails in all of Palos Verdes. The Association has also stood by silently, without any apparent comment or inquiry, when the Palos Verdes School District recently approved solar panels without competitive bidding or drawings depicting the location of the solar panel arrays. The direction that the Association’s current Board of Directors seems out of step with the will of the Association’s members.
For instance, PVHA President Mark Paullin wrote a letter in June 2015 expressing support for a plan to shut down (with a 300 foot fence) all public access to a portion of the Paseo del Sol Fire Road trail. The Fire Road is probably the most heavily used walking/hiking/biking trail in our City, and it is the only path through the largest parkland parcel in our City. Astonishing as this advocacy was, Paullin went on to say in his letter (click here) that PVHA would financially support the project. How could the PVHA support this, since the Fire Road is on the very same tract of land that the Judge has ruled must remain "parkland forever… for public recreational use” due to inviolable deed restrictions? The Judge had found that the PVHA had acted “ultra vires” (illegally) when they sold parkland on Via Panorama. Fencing off public access to parkland to give privacy to a few neighboring homeowners is also illegal since the same 1940 Deed states the property “is to be used and administered forever for park and/or recreation purposes only … for the benefit of the (1) residents and (2) non-resident property owners within the boundaries of the property heretofore commonly known as ‘Palos Verdes Estates’.”
For many years, the same people who made the above decisions have remained on the Board of Directors by default because there were insufficient numbers of PVE residents who cared enough to vote in the board election. No quorum and no meaningful election has been held for years.
This continual and alarming disregard for our heritage has caused many in our Community to conclude that we need to act to elect a more thoughtful and responsive Board of our HOA. Unfortunately, the tradition of the PVHA Board has been that they are self-nominating, and the ballots we are asked to sign have no provision for write-in alternatives or even choice among a pool of qualified candidates. Consequently, a group of us have formed a new initiative called ROBE for “Residents for Open Board Elections,” and we’d like to ask for your support. The PVE City Council, the PV Golf Club, the PV Tennis Club and the PV Beach & Athletic Clubs all have processes where members can collect signatures and add themselves to the ballot -- why should PVHA not do the same?
This website provides background documents, press articles and information about ROBE so that you can be better informed. For bios of our proposed candidates who have all demonstrated commitment to parkland and a passion for preserving that part of our heritage, click here. We also provides the means for you to take action and help bring back good stewardship in our local government.