Those with a sense of local history can only shake their heads over what the Verde Village Property Owners Association has become.
Once a vibrant force, the VVPOA boasted a community pool, regular social activities at the clubhouse and provided regular communication to the membership with its own newspaper.
Today, the VVPOA is an organization embroiled in the downward spiral of conflict and controversy. April’s annual meeting was an exercise in ugly outbursts and bad behavior.
Now, some two months later, there has been a mass exodus of board and committee members. The VVPOA, in the words of District 3 County Supervisor Randy Garrison, “does not have a functional board.”
VVPOA Treasurer/Acting Secretary Tina Gozdan reports the board president, secretary, four unit directors, the chairs and members of the Membership Committee, Pond Committee, and Pool Committee all have resigned.
“Most of the kitchen staff were also listed as ‘resigning’ and we’re still working to confirm this,” Gozdan said.
“At this time,” Gozdan said, “there is no plan to replace the president. Vice-President Christina Kinderman will act as President Pro Tempore until the annual meeting and election in 2018, probably March. There is a committee working on updating the by-laws now.”
Garrison, whose District 3 responsibilities include Verde Village, said, “It is a very contentious situation and there is a lot of bad blood out there … the situation has gotten very political and the people on the board have received a barrage of insults and complaints. There is a concern out there about the transparency of the organization … it’s just a very difficult situation all around.”
The crucial issue for what’s left of the VVPOA should be an honest assessment of whether the organization is a representative voice of the eight Verde Village units. Garrison said paid membership in the VVPOA is meager. Gozdan said, “We haven’t been able to find an updated membership list, although we have been told it exists but … estimated that only about 500 - 600 property owners actually pay their $40 annual dues.”
This from a community with an estimated population of nearly 12,000 people. In April’s annual meeting, only 31 people cast ballots in the board election. The president was elected with just 18 votes.
The VVPOA was once a truly representative voice of the Verde Village community. That is not the case today.
The key question for the VVPOA should not be about moving forward, but whether it’s time for the organization to fold its tent.