Stop the Fighting

We want our Community back

Many of you have told us that you have quit the Board over the years and refuse to be on it again, quit the Management Committee, and don’t want to come to Quarterly meetings, due mainly to bullying, hostile, and belittling behavior at those meetings.

We reviewed the minutes and many recordings of Quarterly meetings, and found that the aggressive and antagonistic behaviors come primarily from two residents — Paul Keaton and Jo Morgan.

We, the Board, have taken so much time to listen to these two, and to respond to them respectfully. We also went to mediation on some issues and made some changes that they asked for, yet the hostility, bullying, and belittlement continue without abatement.

So we have taken time to create a log of their activities — which we have summarized below — of eruptions at meetings, of the threatening emails to the Board and the newspapers and City Council, of petitions, of the speeches before City Council, and other activities that alienate and frighten the main body of residents.

We want the Community back. We want residents to come to meetings without fear of bullying, hostility, or belittlement. We want residents to find out about and participate in the important improvements taking place.

This information you are reading is just one way we will be informing you about what has been happening.

Thank you for hearing us as we work for what most of the residents want.

The MHA Board

December, 2016


 

What are Paul and Jo so unhappy about?

 

Since January 2015, Paul and Jo have emailed complaints or demands to the Board 68 times — usually about once a week.

Paul’s and Jo’s most common email complaints/demands:

  • A demand/request to see Zenith’s and CPM’s contracts, and Race’s resume. 20 requests/demands
  • Terminate Race’s work because he is useless, a fraud, a liar, a waste of money. 15
  • Allegation that Board’s use of executive session is illegal 13
  • Allegation that agendas and notices are not being done properly. 13
  • Allegation that the policies being adopted by the Board are illegal. 12
  • Personal attacks on the character of Mary, Kathy, Race 10
  • Allegation that anything residents want to talk about must be on the Quarterly agenda. 7
  • Allegation that Dustin wasn’t eligible to be elected to the Board. 5

 

What Paul and Jo say they are doing: a war against the BOD, and — ?

Jo emailed the Board the following in the spring of 2014:

“I don’t know if you realize this or not but Race and the BOD declared war on a faction of this park last winter when Isabel sat in my living room and told Paul Keaton that he could not sit on her Magement [sic] Committee. War is always nasty. Are you responsile [sic] for this war, Richard? You unilaterally accused Paul of being obstreperous and you backed up Isabel completely.” [Emphasis added.]

Fact checks:

  • 1. In an email, Isabel removed Paul from the Management Committee because Paul exhibited a history of bullying Committee members at meetings.
  • 2. The Chair of the Management Committee has a responsibility for the functioning and safety of the Committee, and must exercise corrective action when needed.
  • 3. In an email, Richard said Paul’s communication and behavior is “obstreperous,” which were some of the reasons Paul was removed.
  • 4. No one declared war on Jo or Paul.

Paul posted the following to the MHA web site about the November 2014 Quarterly Minutes

“Curtine, if you are going to tell stories about me, please use my full name. But the real story — how me and my posse rode in on our Hogs and trashed the place — you summarize in one word “interrupted.” We had to take our bikes apart and take them up in the elevator. Don’t you realize how much trouble that was? Sometimes I wonder why I even bother. And I confess to using my mind-control ray to casue [sic] the board to distribute various versions throughout the park. But the reason that Richard stopped Dustin from even presenting the bylaws — that the board wanted to have a vote to change the rules of voting and they were arbitrarily adopting the new rules for that very vote — was not my fault. I believe the board fell victim to the influence of Hugo Chavez’ ghost. After all, isn’t that how he took power in Venezuela?” [Emphasis added.]

Fact checks:

  • 1. Only one version was circulated.
  • 2. There is no elevator at the church going up from the ground floor.
  • 3. There were no motorcycles or motorcycle parts at the meeting or in the elevator.

 

Paul’s and Jo’s positions seem to be based on inaccurate and incomplete information

A. Paul tends to focus on quoting Colorado statutes, on contracts and legal details; and with a tone of veiled threat.

  • 1. The MHA attorney has pointed out numerous times, including directly to Paul, that the law on a particular issue is not defined by a single statute, but is defined by many statutes and court cases, some of which supersede others or define the terminology of others. Paul only talks about single statutes and may not have the training to research and understand the body of law on a particular issue.
  • 2. The MHA attorney has pointed out multiple times, including to Paul, that he is mistaken in his insistence that the Property Manager is responsible for the actions of the Board, that Colorado law gives residents the right to change policy by a vote of residents, that Dustin wasn’t eligible to be elected to the Board, that the Board must make all votes under the observation of residents, and other errors.
  • 3. The MHA attorney has pointed out how the bylaws that Paul and the Bylaws Advisory Group wrote embody legally unsound concepts that Paul has promoted at length.

B. Jo tends to focus on getting rid of Race and on calling Race a dictator, a fraud and liar, and an incompetent; and with a tone of mockery and sarcasm.

  • 1. Race promotes that the Board take its legal place (per the attorney’s information) as policy maker to solve the problems in the Park.
  • 2. The MHA attorney has stated multiple times, including in Jo’s presence, that under Colorado law, residents don’t create policy, the Board makes policy, even if a set of bylaws were to say otherwise. Jo’s action to get residents to terminate Race’s contract and to pass a set of bylaws that allow residents to terminate contracts, is legally unsound.
  • 3. The Board has presented, numerous times including to Jo, that Race’s work fulfills the expectations and needs of the Board and the Park, gives the residents a summary of significant accomplishments every year, and has rated Race’s work 90 points out of 100.

 

Time line

  • Autumn, 2014. Jo and Paul start to send the Board email complaints and demands about every week. Jo says she and Paul are at war with the Board.
  • Autumn, 2015. Paul and Jo start complaining about the MHA to City Council at every City Council meeting.
  • Spring, 2015. City Council sets up mediation between Paul/Jo and the MHA Board, but it fails due to Paul and Jo behaviors. The mediator uncovers that Paul wanted more detailed agendas (which the Board now provides) and a simplified grievance policy (which the Board created); but beyond that, the mediator finds nothing concrete that they want.
  • Autumn, 2016. Paul and Jo start a dispute with City Council over its lack of integrity regarding the MHA. Paul and Jo circulate a petition to force residents to vote on Paul’s/BAG’s bylaws.
  • During this time, Paul and Jo are ejected from Board and Committee meetings seven times, due to bullying and aggression; Jo is twice banned from Board meetings for 90 days each due to bullying and aggression, and Jo is ejected from the mediation by the mediator due to violating the mediation meeting agreements.

 

Key fact checks

A. Demand to see contracts and resume

  • 1. Contracts may contain private business information about the provider that they may not wish to disclose to the public. Information given to the MHA residents is considered public information, and can quickly travel to people outside the community, newspapers, etc
  • 2. A reply to Paul and Jo from Richard Kluding: “Please be advised that the entire MHA BOD requested that you be given a non-disclosure document to assure that you would respect the signing parties [of the contracts] privacy.. To date, we have not received a signed copy of this non-disclosure statement.” The MHA attorney affirmed the MHA’s right to ask for a signed non-disclosure statement from Paul before he could see the Zenith contract.
  • 3. Race’s resume is Zenith’s property, not the MHA’s.

B. Terminate Race’s work because he is useless, a fraud, a liar, a waste of money

  • 1. The Board has the legal authority to hire and fire contractors at their discretion. Non-Board residents, as individuals and as a group, don’t have this authority. This is to preserve the Board’s legal accountability as the elected representatives of residents.
  • 2. The Board evaluates Race’s performance, because they hire him and work with him every day. The Board has judged it to be 90 points out of 100.
  • 3. It is impossible for residents to know what Race does week after week, just as it is impossible for a resident to know what another resident does day in and day out.
  • 4. The Board presents to residents every year what it has accomplished with Race’s assistance.
  • 5. Paul’s/Jo’s assertion that the Board is under Race’s control misrepresents the legal relationship — Race acts at the instruction of the Board and must meet their expectations. Saying Race controls the Board may also disparage Board members’ intelligence, and the intelligence of residents who elect the Board.
  • 6. Thistle has a vested interest in the Board acting effectively and ethically, and supports its work with Zenith.

 

What are Paul and Jo ultimately trying to achieve?

A. It is difficult to know — Paul and Jo didn’t give a clear answer to this question in mediation.

B. Paul’s and Jo’s demands and complaints are about how decisions are made, not about living conditions in the Park. Yet the MHA attorney has said multiple times that because the MHA is a representative democratic organization, decision-making is in the hands of the elected body (the Board), and not in the hands of non-elected residents (such as a few residents who show up at a Quarterly meeting).