Please Support these Candidates for Change

ROBE has selected four candidates to run in the PVHA Director election to be held January 14, 2020. The candidates are incumbent Marlene Breene, incumbent Dick Fay, John Harbison and Ried Schott. Their bios can be found here. The first step was to comply with the PVHA’s somewhat onerous process of collecting at least 100 signatures for each candidate in front of a “witness” and then having that witness attest in front of a notary that all signatures were collected in front of that witness. Signatures from over 300 PVHA members were collected. In total, 616 different members have signed nominating petitions for ROBE candidates in the last four elections.

11/21/19 Candidate Forum . The League of Women Voters of Palos Verdes Peninsula will hosted a Candidate Forum in which all 6 of the candidates for the PVHA Board of Directors make their case. If you can’t come, the video will be posted on this website after the event.  Even if you do not have time to study the issues, we encourage you to sign and return your ballot before the end of the year to make sure it is received by the deadline of January 13 and vote to lower the quorum to 35% from 50%. A quorum is required to make the election binding. Ballots are expected to be mailed in early November. If you lose your ballot, you may get a new one at the PVHA office in City Hall.

These nominees bring a proven record supporting our parklands and a willingness to work diligently for our community

 
 

MARLENE BREENE

(incumbent)

marlenebreene@gmail.com

In 1985, my husband Patrick and I moved into our Lunada Bay ‘dream fixer’, with two young preschoolers in tow.  It was the ugliest house on the block.  Today we live in the same (remodeled) house, and we have the honored title of ‘the older couple on the block’.  Our three daughters all graduated from PV schools, while my husband worked for Toyota, and I continued growing my design studio. My background:

  • As a successful business owner and Lunada Bay resident for over 30 years, I know what it takes to do good work in our community.

  • My degree in Environmental Design from Parson’s School of Design has prepared me for an interdisciplinary working style, with studies in urban planning, architecture, structures, landscape, interiors, and lighting.

  • Special studies on the Olmsted firm, both at Parsons and through symposia by the National Association of Olmsted Parks, provide deeper insight into the history of our community and inspiration for the future.

  • Extensive volunteer efforts as a board member for the Lunada Bay Homeowners Association, Committee Chairperson for PTA, and docent activities for the Palos Verdes Art Center and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, connect to community concerns on a day to day level.

  • My excellent working relationship with the Art Jury, staff, and the City of PVE, displays knowledge and skill in navigating city process, seeking the best possible outcome for residents while preserving our high standards.

Our city, Palos Verdes Estates, is considered the jewel among Olmsted’s many projects.  I am honored to be a resident, business owner and designer, contributing to our city legacy.

Positioning Statement:

Hit the reset button! Over the past few years PVHA has demonstrated a diminished ability to serve our community effectively. The past and the future do not need to be in conflict. I would work to re-align PVHA words, actions and policies to reflect the clear direction set down in our CC&R’s. I embrace a modernization strategy that builds on the past, respects community values, and takes the long view to development.

I support stewardship of our valuable parklands and acknowledge the need for clear equitable guidelines in the architectural review process. We are historically a visionary community. We need to pay attention to that original vision, to adapt and carefully uplift it for future generations. In the words of Olmsted, “ May we who are responsible…look at the beauty…and may the generations who follow keep this in their minds and plans.”

 
Fay-final.jpg
 

W. Richard Fay

(incumbent)

wrichardfay@gmail.com

I first moved into Palos Verdes Estates in 1971. At that time I understood  that the Homes Association was important and that the valuable parkland would never be sold.  I had little involvement with the PVHA  but was active in AYSO, Little League, PTA, and the athletic support organization.  My two children attended PV schools from kindergarten through high school.

I worked for ARCO for 32 years, mostly in management positions in operations research, budgeting, planning and pipeline management.  I served on the Board of several joint venture companies and was President of two of them.

After taking early retirement, I and a partner started a successful web development company which we ran for 15 years and then sold.

I was shocked to learn that parkland had been sold and that the sale was done with the community mostly kept in the dark.  I  got involved and started attending both PVE and PVHA meetings.   I ran for the PVHA Board twice but neither election drew  a quorum.  I was appointed to the Board early this year.

I was born and raised in Philadelphia, have a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Duke University and a Master’s Degree in Applied Statistics from Villanova University.

I am  now fully retired and live with my wife in Montemalaga.    I enjoy traveling, photography, golf and following my favorite sports team as well as spending time with my kids and their families.

Positioning Statement:

The PVHA exists to serve the membership.  The membership is best served if the PVHA upholds, within the confines of current law, the Protective Restrictions.  

The  PVHA needs to do a better job of communication. 

The PVHA needs to work closely with the city of PVE to make the approval process for new buildings and remodels efficient and in keeping with the architectural and safety standards.

The PVHA needs to have a framework and a documentation process that provides a basis for members to maintain or regain a view.  The cost of the process needs to be borne by the members involved, not by the entire membership. 

The PVHA needs to rebuild its reserves.

The PVHA needs to find a more effective manner of enforcement.

 
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John Harbison

john_harbison@techspin.com

I have lived in PVE and been a member of PVHA since 1992. As Chairman Emeritus of Tech Coast Angels – the largest Angel investor group in the US, I have invested in over 60 startups. I have served as a Director on Boards of many early stage companies and enjoy mentoring and helping those companies succeed. Previously I co-founded Next Autoworks, a disruptive new American car company, backed by investors such as Kleiner Perkins and Google Ventures. Before that I served as CEO of SilentRunner Inc., a network security software company, and as President of Raytheon Commercial Ventures Inc. where I launched four businesses in two years leading to two successful exits and a third company which introduced the first automotive blind spot radar and grew to $700 M in sales in 8 years. Earlier in my career, I was a strategy consultant and partner at Booz•Allen Hamilton where I led the firm’s Aerospace/Defense Practice and its Strategic Alliances functional practice -- both to global pre-eminence -- and opened its Los Angeles office. I have an BA from Harvard College, an MS in accounting from NYU Stern (resulting in a CPA) and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

My two sons grew up in the PV schools, attending Montemalaga, PVIS and Peninsula High. I have served on the Board of the Greater Los Angeles Council for the Boy Scouts of America since 1994 and was Chairman for two terms from 2000-2001.

Positioning Statement:

I would be honored to be elected to serve on the PVHA Board. In the recent Panorama parklands litigation, I fought for the protection of our CC&Rs, which is integral to the stewardship responsibilities of the PVHA Board. Now that the lawsuit is settled, I look forward to the potential opportunity to work together and channel my deep understanding of the CC&Rs and PVHA by-laws into protecting and implementing the vision established by the founders of our community in the 1920s.

If elected, I would work on the following types of initiatives:

  • Synchronize guidelines/rules/standards with the City and simplify the process

  • Streamline ADU approval process and present a united front to the State wherein restrictions on single-family residences are respected

  • Streamline the approval process on building and remodeling homes, and provide written guidance on acceptable architectural standards to remove wasted effort “guessing” what the Art Jury may approve

  • Work with the City to create a common clear delineation for homeowners of the functions performed by the PVHA vs the City, and publish that

  • Digitize all paper documents for fire/earthquake protection and to allow searching

  • Revise and update the Bylaws (for example, eliminate reference to services the PVHA no longer performs but the City performs instead) and seek approval of members

  • Improve the PVHA website and include timely posting of documents of interest

  • Simplify and reform the Election Process and be an advocate to lower the quorum to 25%

  • Increase communications with residents including emails, periodic open meetings to solicit feedback, etc.

 
 

L. Ried Schott

lrschott@hotmail.com

I have had successful careers in commercial real estate and investment banking.  In conjunction with work, I have lived in Cincinnati, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles, before settling in PVE 15-years ago.  I have remained active with property management through my own firm and have been an angel investor with Tech Coast Angels for two decades.  My current positions include serving as a Director of non-profit housing corporation with 13,000 units, a Managing Director of a charitable foundation and a Board member of another Home Owners Association with financial and other issues that are similar to our PVHA.  My formal education includes liberal arts studies at Ohio Wesleyan and a business degree from the University of Denver. I have supplemented my education with graduate school studies, extension courses (at NYU and UCLA) and professional courses. 

My local and area activities include; being a Volunteer Parkland Ranger, a member of the PV Golf Club, a former Advisory Board Member of the Malaga Homeowners Association and a member of the Manhattan Country Club.

In making improvements to our home in PVE, it was necessary for me to submit applications to the Art Jury and the PVHA for: 1) changes to building's exterior, 2) rebuilding a porch, 3) installing solar panels and 4) view restoration.  This personal experience has provided me with important insight on the processes and issues involving the Art Jury and PVHA, and ways they can be simplified and improved. 

Positioning Statement:

I would like your support to serve on the PVHA Board.  I have developed a comprehensive understanding of the PVHA Bylaws and CC&R’s over the past few years fighting for the PVHA to have democratic elections and to prevent our Parklands from being sold.  If elected to the Board, this knowledge will help efforts needed to institute changes to the PVHA for it to be more responsible to its members, as mentioned below -  and in answering the accompanying questions. 

  • Election Process:  The quorum requirement of 50% is much too high.  I support lowering of the quorum to 35%, lowering the number of signatures required to be on the ballot, having a secure online voting option, being able to use proxies, and being able to deposit ballots at a drop box and at the annual meeting.

  • View Policies:  They were changed and substantially restrict view restorations.  This damages the property values of many properties and needs to be revised. 
    Art Jury Process:  It needs to be simpler, more streamlined and devoid of conflicts of interests.  

  • Paper Records:  They need to be digitized and safely stored, to assure residents can access plans for their home since it was first built. 

  • Member Communications:  Improve the website with more content (e.g. meeting agendas and minutes, CC&R’s, Bylaws…), establish a social media presence and an email database of members. 

  • Coordination with the City of PVE:  This can reduce the time to make repairs and rebuild, helping increase our property values.

  • Finances:  Avoid unwarranted litigation that has cost the PVHA nearly $1million and be much more financial responsible.   

  • Transparency:  Make it easier for members to access information.