In the Bel-Air Association’s Jan 13, 2016 blog, it falsely stated that “We are postponing the election for at least 60 days in order to allow all members additional time to have the opportunity to be nominated as Directors…” This assertion lies about 85% of the way between misleading and dishonest. Of course the real, and only, reason that the BAA postponed the election was because Marcia Hobbs brought a court case to compel the BAA to have an election under fair conditions. When the BAA scheduled the January 14 election over the holidays for the express purpose of having as little participation and opposition as possible, Ms. Hobbs went to court on January 12 to postpone the election so that it really would be open to the community. THE BAA FILED PAPERS OPPOSING THIS, BUT THE COURT RULED AGAINST THEM, and this is the only reason there will be a chance at actual democracy – contrary to the wishes of the BAA, which spent the BAA members’ dues sending two lawyers to Court to try to keep the January 14 election date.
• The BAA’s most recent tax return, filed September 9, 2014, states that its conflict of interest policy is publicly available. In fact, the BAA didn’t even have a conflict of interest policy at the time it made this misstatement. It adopted only after Ms. Hobbs filed a lawsuit in 2015, which pointed out this misstatement.
• The BAA’s 9/8/2014 tax filing states that none of its present or former officers or directors have any economic relationship with the BAA, yet at the time it made this misstatement, it was using the law firm of its director.
• The BAA states in its most recent tax filing that its organizational documents are publicly available, yet it treats both its bylaws and its board minutes as confidential, and even marks them as such.
• The BAA’s most recent tax filing states that its financial statements are publicly available, yet it refused to produce them to Ms. Hobbs even after she made a formal legal request for them--these are represented in their filings as a public document
• The BAA’s June 2003 Bylaws require a minimum of 25 directors in order for the BAA to act, yet not only did it lack 25 directors when Ms. Hobbs filed her lawsuit (it said, in various parts of its most recent tax filing, that it had either 3 or 15), but, as its 2013, 2012, 2011 (etc.) tax filing shows, it acted unlawfully with no more than 15 directors for years until Ms. Hobbs brought her lawsuit and pointed this out.
• Until after this lawsuit was brought, the BAA was represented by a law firm that represented many developers.
• When Ms Hobbs rightfully questioned the BAA’s practices, the BAA did not send her a membership renewal form – they told the court that she was expelled because anyone who does not pay their dues by January 31 is expelled – even though most members don’t and none, aside from Ms. Hobbs, has ever been expelled for paying after January 31. The BAA then later admitted this was improper and allowed Ms. Hobbs to join, but only after their inaccurate story was exposed in court.
• When Ms. Hobbs sought to obtain the BAA’s vendor contracts to determine if the members’ money was being well and properly used, the BAA concealed and refused to provide them. The BAA is run in an entirely opaque fashion – and it’s supposed to be a tax free community organization, not some secret society. None of the facts enumerated above include the lies in the BAA's blogs – and their actions – including but not limited to: support of the sale of alcohol early in the morning by a retail establishment; wanting to evict the security company in their building at the East Gate so they can rent it to a real estate firm; doing nothing to remediate the construction of the 100,000' home on Airole, and last, but not least, originally opposing the Interim Control Ordinance which would limit the amount of dirt removed from the hillside to 6,000 cubic yards and then taking credit for it after its passage. In the name of transparency, we thought the community should be made aware of these facts.