Public comments during November Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association board of director’s meeting ranged from a proposal to create a neighborhood council to enhance communication, to an exchange between the CEO and a member.

The first speaker, POA member Cindy Ganz, spoke about the Village’s approaching 50th anniversary, and the POA’s level of financial stability.

She said it’s important for financial information to be presented in a manner that’s understandable by the average property owner, through concise, yet robust reports.

Ganz has proposed a neighborhood alliance, composed of 21 districts, along with a representative who would meet with neighbors monthly to present and convey information.

“Vigorous two-way communication  based solely on facts is vital to the Village’s future, she said.

“Current communication will only be enhanced with the proposed Village alliance,” Gaz said. She said the Village does have an alternative communication system, which is by Villagers talking about issues while participating in various Village activities.

Her plan will aid Villagers, she says. “We want to focus on ourselves in the autumn of our lives,” she said.

The proposed association’s main goal is to promote “community and neighborhood.”
She asked for a written commitment from the board to support the idea.

Member Sonja Chelf asked about the future of entertainment at the DeSoto Club, saying its entertainment has been both enjoyable and enhances the Village’s culture.

Member Ken Betz asked about a rumor he’d heard, asking if a personal email that is sent to one board member, is automatically sent to all board directors.

Betz asked if he sent an email “to Buddy Dixon, for your eyes only, does it stay with you?”

Dixon said, “As far as I know,” it would not be forwarded it to other directors.

Retired from the automotive industry, Betz said he has considered volunteering to serve on the public services committee.

But he told the board he felt the recreation committee’s chair, Donna Aylward, was not treated well at October’s board meeting, when she made an in-depth presentation, telling the board her committee had spent considerable time researching the Coronado Fitness Center’s annual member fee, and concluded the center would generate many more annual memberships, and more overall revenue, by dropping the current $490 annual fee to $350 for 2020.

Betz said he does not know her, nor did she know he was addressing the issue.

“What I witnessed at the last meeting was an almost total lack of interest and respect from our board members regarding her presentation and recommendation. Now, that’s my opinion,” he told the board. “Donna seemed very smart, she seemed very well-prepared.”

He cited a few background details about the recreation chair’s qualifications. “She deserves to be heard,” he said.

The board voted to keep the $490 fee for 2020 on Oct. 16, but at a special meeting in November voted to set a $400 fee.

Member Sue Sutley discussed compliance issues.

The last speaker, member Cheryl Dowden, responded to an earlier comment by CEO Lesley Nalley. The CEO’s comments are in a related article about board director comments.

After saying she was encouraged by the Village’s positioning in the marketplace to capitalize on its 50th anniversary, Nalley addressed Dowden’s website (without mentioning its name.)

“And on that note, I want to share something concerning that I was briefed on this morning, by a concerned property owner, who contacted me and indicated that they had evidence that a public website, that is devoted to talking about Hot Springs Village, is deleting posts, is censoring posts and you know as we get ready to spend over a quarter of a million dollars to further our marketing efforts, especially in light of our 50th anniversary, I just really again, call on all of us and I am going to include myself in this, but call on all of us to be very, very careful because we are driving so much traffic to discovering and rediscovering Hot Springs Village and we would hate to see those those, um, those things be, you know, undermined in that way.”

“So, I’ll leave that there. I don’t have all the details. I did ask Cheryl (Dowden) if I could speak with her earlier and she didn’t have time at the moment, but ...”

Dowden: “Would you like to speak with me now?”

CEO: “But checking with her for doing that and so …”

Cheryl Dowden: “Would you like to speak with me now, Nalley?”

CEO: “No, thank you, Cheryl.”

Here is Dowden’s response at the meeting to the CEO’s comments:

“Madam chair (Cindi Erickson) – Thank you to the board and management for all your hard work.

“HotSpringsVillagePeople.com makes every attempt, even though we don’t have to, to allow commenting. If you post curse words, pornography or are a troll, your comment may not be allowed to stand. This is standard for websites.

“This morning, 2 esteemed and valued members of our community were attacked in a personal and untruthful manner on HotSpringsVillagePeople.com. These comments were removed.

“As Lesley Nalley, our CEO, has stated, this anonymous person contacted her to complain about us removing these untruthful and personal attacks on 2 esteemed and valuable Villagers. I am surprised our CEO supported letting these comments stand.

“HotSpringsVillagePeople.com is not causing the problems in the community. These problems are caused by someone else.

“Now you know the rest of the story. Thank you,” Dowden concluded.

The entire meeting is available on the POA’s YouTube channel, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st7GHr4RNM4.