General Manager Kelly Hale has repeatedly stressed that the Village resembles a co-op. Cooper (the developer) turned over management of the community to the POA Members in 2006. When something unexpected happens, we no longer have the deep pockets of the developer to rely on, necessitating the Property Owners’ Organization (POA) to cover the expense.
On Monday, March 20, 2023, Lake Isabella suffered a blow to the structure housing the outlet gate valve, rendering the valve inoperable and lowering the lake level by three feet in 36 hours.
HSVPOA General Manager Kelly Hale stated that a boater caused the damage. Hale said, “There is a boat out there with significant damage, either a pontoon or fiberglass.” In the worst case, possibly the operator was hurt.
“They hit the structure hard enough that the repair cost $35,000,” explained Hale.
Property owners are picking up the tab to replace the valve. If the person causing the damage had stepped up, this would have resulted in a claim to his insurance company, and the POA would not have had to shoulder the $35,000 cost.
Hale stated emphatically, “This is the nonsense we will not accept any more.” The HSV Police Department has notified area boat repair shops and asked that if someone with this kind of damage attempts to have their boat repaired, to notify the authorities.
“Now we are going to spread the net out further because no one has brought the boat in for repair,” shared Hale.
The boat could be under a tarp, on a trailer, or in storage. “If you see a boat with a tarp over it, give Superintendent Todd Noles the address, and the police will investigate. (Noles may be reached by email at [email protected].)
“This is $35,000! $35,000 buys us two lawnmowers for the golf courses. We have spent too long not having the things we need in this community and must stop allowing this waste. It was an accident; I get it. It was a $35,000 accident, and that is a whole car, in my mind – a whole boat,” expressed Hale.
“We have a lot of good things going on in this community, and if you don’t know this, you are not paying attention,” continued Hale.
The GM said he has a blended approach to distributing money to the departments and that people contact him say they were promised different things. Hale said that he did not promise anything. “I don’t like throwing money at people just because they scream loudly. That doesn’t work with me,” Hale clearly voiced.
Hale said the POA keeps identifying things that need repair or replacement. Recently, it was determined that the Fitness Center needs repair or replacement of the 37-year-old air system. The cost to replace the system is $750,000.
“Three-quarters of a million dollars is a lot of money, and we just don’t have it sitting around, extra,” said Hale.
“People ask, ‘What about all that cash sitting in the reserve accounts?’ This is like having money burning a hole in your pocket, and I have to spend it because it is in my pocket. That is not the way business works. You spend it accordingly. You spend it on good deals with contractors,” shared the GM.
Hale stated, “We are getting ready to open up about $1.5 M in road work,” This money will be going to four different contractors. We have built good working relationships with some contractors, which was not often the case in the past. We are trying to catch up on around twenty years of deferred maintenance.
Hale asks that Villagers let the rest of the community know we are “playing catchup” on deferred maintenance and doing things correctly.
Hale said his GM job is his ‘volunteer’ work. “I have already worked a career and have earned the right to retire. I want to play and have fun. I didn’t get that downtime yet, because I wanted to commit as the Committee Members do. We must do something now or go into a death spiral. I don’t want to paint a grim picture.”
Hale shared that everything is not bleak. “I feel we are in very good shape right now. We have great people. We have aligned the POA with good leadership like Public Service Director Ken Unger and Superintendent Todd Noles. “Without breaking the bank, they are finding creative ways to manage the Village and solve problems. This year is about operations. This year is about volunteering. We have a million small things to do to catch up.” Hale said that many small aesthetic repairs were ignored in the past, but he wants these issues addressed.
Staff sandblasted and repainted all the patio furniture instead of replacing it. They will be redoing many of these small things that don’t cost a lot of money to fix but will have a large impact on the appearance of the Village.
“I appreciate what we have going on. There is a lot of energy. This is our time to take our community back and get it under control. This community was built on volunteerism and engagement. I am going to keep making the message clear. We are like a co-op.”
“Let’s get over it and move forward,” enthused Hale.
By Cheryl Dowden
Thank you Kelly for all your hard work. Your expertise and leadership has been so valuable to us all. We support you 100%. It is really annoying that people do not step up to their obligations, such as significant damage to a valve. We would certainly hope that our community members would act differently. I hope that the responsible party will come forward. Which is the right thing to do. As far as that laundry list of “little things” that need to be addressed, is there a list? In case some of these items can be adopted by an organization ? Perhaps we could volunteer? Thank you.
Mr. Hale and his Team are doing a fantastic job.
An amazing contrast to the past.
Thanks Thanks Thanks!!!
My understanding is that Mr. Hale doesn’t do internet media. So would these very good questions be answered?
Thank you, Millie. If I see a question I feel needs an answer, I often take it to the person addressed and then the answer may end up here on my website. This website is NOT social media. You called it correctly. It is internet media. I have never heard Mr. Hale say that he doesn’t do internet media, only that he does not read social media. There is staff that reads this website (and others), including social media sites, so I am certain many of our points see the intended audience. – Cheryl Dowden
Mr. Hale, thank you for your hard work and good common sense. It seems that good common sense was not always very common in the past around here. Please keep up the great work. Regards from the west side of the Village.
Many Cortez Lake Shoreliners still have their boats under tarps on their home property because of the lake drawdown. The HSV police, Compliance department and Villagers need to know this so reporting of the potential culprit isn’t mistaken for Cortez Lake property owners whose boats are not yet back on Cortez Lake.
Why doesn’t the POA have insurance to cover this kind of property loss? Are all our facilities uninsured?
I am certain the facilities are insured. This was not a facility, and I don’t know about the insurance coverage.
Surely the boat owner had insurance and may have filed a boat repair claim. Is the HSV police department contacting insurance companies? Was there any boat debris found matching the damaged boat?