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Pines directors clash on golf, again

(Nov. 26, 2015) The volume went up at the OPA Board of Directors meeting last Thursday, when several directors erupted into a series of shouting matches that lasted nearly an hour.
Once again, golf was at the center of the disagreement, with several directors citing a lack of information by management company Landscapes Unlimited and objecting to three representative appointments made by Board President Pat Renaud.
Tom Herrick brought up the second issue during the “old business” portion of the meeting.
“We’ve spoken about it in the past a couple times and I don’t think the issue has been resolved,” Herrick said.
Under the management agreement signed earlier this year with Landscapes, the board is allowed to designate up to three board representatives to sit in on meetings with the company, Herrick said. He said Renaud made those designations – Renaud, Tom Terry and Bill Cordwell – without the consent of the full board.
“The question is, does the president have credential appointment power with respect to the management agreement with Landscapes Unlimited to do so on his own?” Herrick said. “I think we should have a discussion about that.”
Herrick added that golf was a contentious issue with the previous board and that the agreement with Landscapes called for “more openness and fairness and better reporting.”
Cordwell defended the appointments and went on to say others on the board were questioning his integrity. He also acknowledged that he had opposed replacing former management company Billy Casper Golf earlier this year, but said he now supported Landscapes.
“They’re our management company now and we’re going to help them succeed,” he said. “There’s just so much hypocrisy going on with this whole thing, and, yes, this whole golf thing has been contentious and it didn’t need to be.”
Director Jack Collins chuckled during Cordwell’s comments.
“Can I help you, Mr. Collins?” Cordwell asked. “Because you’re part of this … not one time did you bother to ask me what I thought about this whole process. You didn’t want me there.”
Stevens, previous board president, said he brought his own liaison appointments to the board and “not a single person” objected.
“That discussion was held. That’s the key thing,” Stevens said.
Cordwell disagreed.
“You did not bring anything to the board for our discussion,” he said. “It was never brought to the board and voted on. Absolutely not.”
Stevens bristled.
“Listen harder,” he said. “I said the appointments were brought to the board and I asked if, without objection, the board approved to this.
“If I did it wrong, I did it wrong, but that doesn’t mean you do it wrong twice,” he added.
Collins then asked if Cordwell was the board’s liaison to Landscapes, referring to an Oct. 29 meeting when many of the same issues arose.
According to the minutes of that meeting, approved unanimously by the directors at the start of the Nov. 19 session, General Manager Bob Thompson referred to Cordwell as the “Board Liaison.” He said Cordwell was given a copy of a business plan developed by Landscapes.  
Cordwell, however, argued that he was not the liaison.
“In other words, you have no function or role vis-à-vis Landscapes Unlimited and the board of directors?” Collins asked.
“That’s correct,” Cordwell said.
Collins then turned to Thompson, pressing for a date when he received the same plan. According to Collins, the document itself was dated Sept. 23, but he received a copy on Nov. 2, “about 40 days later.”
“Why wouldn’t we get it earlier? Why wouldn’t we be involved in the information gathering process as it relates to this golf course?” he asked.
Thompson said he received multiple documents for the budget process, including membership development and business plans, but that neither was finalized. Collins then pressed for more information.
“You have to understand the dilemma that I have. I thought I had a board liaison. I don’t have one. I have to deal directly with you,” Collins said. “I’m not attacking you, Bob … I’m trying to develop the information that I need to know as to what’s going on as far as this contract is concerned, and as far as the relationship between Landscapes Unlimited and this organization.”
Thompson said the board would receive further documentation “once it’s complete.”
“I’m willing to work under those guidelines,” Collins said.
“I’m not,” Stevens countered, citing a perceived lack of information from the three board representatives chosen by Renaud.
“They are in fact liaisons and part of their responsibility is to report back on any significant events or occurrences that happen, and moreover, to answer any questions.”
He went on to say the three representatives were “not properly established,” and read a section of the association’s bylaws that called for “consent of the board of directors” when making appointments.
Vice President Cheryl Jacobs disagreed with Stevens’ reading of the bylaws, saying they referred to committee appointments.
“I’ve had some opinions on that, and in my opinion this is exactly the equivalent … of an advisory committee,” Stevens said. “There was no authority that was granted to these people to make decisions for the board.”
Stevens went on to say the lack of information from Landscapes was starting to the mirror the situation with the previous golf management company, which ultimately led to its replacement.
Terry then insisted Landscapes was not suppressing information, and that he, Cordwell and Renaud met with the company to discuss several issues. He added those representatives offered “opinions,” as opposed to actual mandates from the full board.
“Quite frankly, some of the objectives that were in that draft document didn’t live up to what was the understanding of what we thought we were going to get,” he said.
Stevens objected to the notion that Terry and the others represented the full board appropriately, to which Terry erupted.
“You want me to put it out there, pal?” he said, his voice rising. “I’ve had enough of this. When you get a draft document that has an objective for the number of new members that we’re going to get, which comes nowhere near what was projected … the advice was provided that you might want to relook at those numbers. That’s what I’m talking about – is advice and help.
“Let’s not mix issues here,” he continued. “The issue was whether or not the three people that are now on the committee were lawfully put in place or not. That’s one issue. The other question was, when do you get to see the final document?”
Terry said that plan would be given to the general manager for use in developing the budget, and could be challenged by the board during those hearings.
Circling back to the issue of appointments, Renaud admitted he should have brought it to the board.
“I won’t deny it,” he said, adding that Stevens made the same mistake with his own appointments. “You find it in the minutes – find that we voted on it.”
Collins and Stevens then argued that the process should be opened up to the entire board, drawing Cordwell to again defend his involvement, while Jacobs and Renaud attempted to restore order.
“Screaming at each other is not solving any problems, Renaud said. “ What do you want to do?”
A battle on the focus of the disagreement lasted several minutes before Thompson suggested Renaud make a formal motion to approve his three appointments.
Nearly 10 minutes later that question was called, and passed 4-3 with Herrick, Stevens and Collins voting “no.”
Stevens then motioned for a special meeting with Landscapes and the entire board, which passed 5-2 with Cordwell and Jacobs voting “no.”
No date for that meeting was set.