Vote on Capital Contribution Fee delayed by serious error in ballot text


By Barbara Schneider Photo by Jim Francis.

A serious editing error delayed the POA"s planned vote on the proposed Capital Contribution Fee (CCF). The mistake spurred an explanatory December 2 email blast to the community, alarmed property owners who saw the ballot and caused the POA to redo the CCF ballot mailing. All this between Saturday, Nov. 30 and Monday, Dec. 2.

The error—a sentence in the ballot stated Article VI Section 13 of the Big Canoe Covenants "shall be deleted in its entirety and the following language shall be inserted in lieu thereof"—would have deleted some important property owner rights and controls. It would have eliminated property owners" right to vote on proposed capital projects costing more than $1.18 million.

As an example, the most recent votes guaranteed by Article VI, Section 13 allowed property owners to vote to approve the POA"s $9.4 million purchase of 730 acres of land from Big Canoe Company in 2016 and funding 2017 construction of the new fire station.

The POA moved quickly to correct the error caused by POA"s council and discovered on Saturday, Nov. 30. A detailed response was issued Monday, Dec. 2 explaining the error and assuring property owners "that replacing current Article VI, Section 13 of the Covenants was not considered or discussed by the board." POA President Jay Goldman said "no dates have been finalized" in response to a Smoke Signals question asking when a new ballot package will be mailed out at the expense of the legal firm.

POA November 21 board meeting

At its November 21 voting session, the POA board voted to approve distribution of the CCF ballot package and operating and capital budgets, including the $25 Capital Contribution Fund assessment.

In response to Big Canoe Company"s announcement that it would "assert our right to veto" the Capital Contribution Fee, the board voted to exempt the CCF fee from approximately 50 lots the developer still owns in Big Canoe. Lost revenue from exempting the fees would amount to about $125,000 lost to the fund.

In other POA business:

General Manager Jill Philmon announced Executive Chef Hector Rosano had left. "Chef Michael is here for the next four weeks," said Philmon, "He"s looking at training and will help with hiring. A new menu will be introduced the Tuesday after Thanksgiving [Dec. 3]."

Director of Finance Jayne Hagan told the board, "management believes we will make budget this year."

There have been 243 property transactions year to date with 213 homes and 30 lots sold; 23 new homes were completed. The average home price was $367,300 year to date.

Hagan noted that 15 of the lots—formerly developer acreagesold in the recent land "fire sale"—are now generating new dues.

Director of Operations Jason Brownell estimated renovation of the clubhouse"s two kitchens will cost $248,474; he asked the board for approval of an amount not to exceed $275,000 for the project. POA Director Wayne Crawford, overseeing the kitchen project, said he hopes to complete the work before the end of January 2020. The board unanimously approved funds for the kitchen renovation.

The POA will host its annual Town Hall Meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Big Canoe Chapel.