Thursday, December 11, 2008

NO! NO! NO! ON AB770

NO! NO! NO! ON AB770 AB770 is SB551 in drag masquerading as CAI's full employment act

July 03, 2006

By Donie Vanitzian (View author info)
Copyright Donie Vanitzian, BA, JD
Los Angeles, California -


The message is clear: Do not buy a condominium, townhouse, co-operative, mobile home, or single-family dwelling if it is located in a common interest development, has a homeowners association, and a board of directors. Don't do it.

If you have a deed-restriction on your title, sell and get the hell out while you are able. That is, before this legislature passes more bad bills and you are stuck paying for their mistakes and it becomes impossible to extricate yourself from this type of property ownership. If the legislators are serious about giving owners a bill of rights, they need not look far. They must:

1) Codify penalties against boards, management company owners/personnel, and ass. attorneys;
2) Codify the disclosure of "risks and liabilities" to all potential buyers;
3) Enlist the assistance of the State Bar of California to make filing complaints against ass. attorneys less intimidating, and with measures preventing retaliation against complainants;
4) Codify an owner "victim fund" consisting of prompt restitution to the harmed owner because of an association's wrongdoing;
5) Codify a "Lemon Law" that allows a 'no questions asked' 14-day return of deed-restricted property to the seller. This already exists in California time share statutes;
6) Allow owners to tax-deduct all assessment payments made to the association for any reason;
7) At the time of sale, refund to the owner all monies paid into the association's reserve account with interest.


Have you noticed how none of these Senators and Assemblypersons can write a SHORT bill that encompasses only "one section" of the statute? Mullins bill "amends" Civil Code section 1373 to ADD another Civil Code section 1363.7, and ADD another Chapter (11) to the Civil Code.
All of the recent bills are adding bulk to the statutes. They are road hogs eating up space because the legislator wants his or her name in the books. We all PAY the price for their narcissism and arrogance, let alone their sell-out to campaign contributors and contributions and heavy-handed influence in laws WE must LIVE by.

Owners are reminded that such industries do not have a "vested interest" in property. ONLY owners have a "vested interest" in property. Such industries have an interest in getting PAID - BY YOU. The industry's arguments in favor or against such bills, all revolve around industry goals.

It is imperative owners understand that a homeowner's disagreement with a bill is for fundamentally "different reasons" than an industry composed of parasites disagreeing with the same bill for "their own" reasons.

Aside from his inconsistencies, promises, and breaches, one of the unfortunate realities plaguing Democrat Assemblyman Mullin's flailing ombudsman bill is that he chose to adopt the industry's language which is notably attributable to Community Association Institute (CAI) and its long-arm lobby CLAC. Part of the language right out of the ombudsman bill states:

"Anecdotal accounts of abuses within common interest developments create continuing public demand for reform of common interest development law. This results in frequent changes to the law, making it more difficult to understand and apply and imposing significant transitional costs on common interest developments statewide. By collecting empirical data on the nature and incidence of problems within common interest developments, the Common Interest Development Ombudsperson provides a sound basis for prioritizing reform efforts, thereby increasing the stability of common interest development law."

Including that unprofessional and indefinable language shows a blatant disregard for the ownership rights of all residential deed-restricted titleholders. That language alone should be enough to ipso facto kill this bill-but homeowners will look aside and chant the same old tired refrain of "but we need something" or worse yet "something is better than nothing." No. "Something" is NEVER better than "nothing."


By supporting bad bills, owners are asking for "Folsom Prison CC&Rs." As with much of the bad bills we are witnessing making it to the California Assembly and Senate floors, AB770 is inconsistent with good government.

1) It fails to cap it's "own" expenditures;
2) Is funded only by one segment of property owners (residential deed-restricted owners) which amounts to double taxation without representation for this class of owners;
3) It continues to use nebulous, inconsistent, and indefinable language -- leaving itself open to challenges in court;
4) It prejudices homeowners rather than help them;
5) Worse yet, it "backdoors" the already FAILED Common Interest Development Bureau which was nothing more than a bank for at least ten other State Departments (many were unnamed in the proposed statute);
6) AND constitutes a guaranteed RISK to homeowner personal assets.

Where's the democracy in having bad bills like this rammed down our throats?


The ombudsman will limit the types of disputes it hears. Proof of this was garnered way back in 2003! At that time, the California Law Revision Commission published its recommendation regarding "Alternative Dispute Resolution in Common Interest Developments." It stated that such "disputes typically fall into one of several categories:" The problem? Though the following are pigeonholes created by the CLRC, they fall short of predicting what the ombudsman office will and will not categorize as "acceptable" disputes. Interesting that the CLRC feels confident that only THEY can determine what category disputes exist but they owners can't. Be prepared to be "pigeonholed" at the ombudsman's office too. They will make owners conform whether they want to or not.

(1) Financial disputes (maintenance, common charges, special assessments, fines and penalties, restrictions on resale or transfer, access to books and records).
(2) Architectural controls (repairs, alterations, painting, decor, landscaping).
(3) Pet issues (barking dogs, wandering cats, animal waste).
(4) Use of private space (leasing/subleasing, commercial or professional use).
(5) Personal interactions (facilities use, parking, noise, rudeness).

Nearly each of those problem areas could have easily been addressed with legislation meant to protect the owners' rights, but not one legislator felt it was important enough.

The California Law Revision Commission also stated that "good information is not available concerning the incidence of disputes of this type in California. They are not uncommon, however. Data is available from other jurisdictions in which there is government oversight of CID operations. That data suggests that a dispute reaches the point where it becomes serious enough to lodge a complaint approximately once per 200 dwelling units per year. In California, with its estimated 3.5 million CID dwelling units, that would yield about 175,000 "serious" disputes in CIDs each year."

Ask yourself, is that a good enough reason to tax deed-restricted titleholders to fund a bureaucracy that gathers data?


The goal of AB770 and its stepsister SB551 is to create administrative gridlock that the ass. attorneys and their firms will control and profit from. Logically, where do owners think the education propaganda will be generated? It is unlikely that the industry will allow the ombudsman to order copies of the book Villa Appalling! Destroying the Myth of Affordable Community Living, will they?


Aside from no cap on spending and no cap on fees collected from owners, there is no agency that owners can file complaints against the ombudsman. Watch for this legislative trick: the legislators will remove the word "fees" or lower the amount of fees in order to get the bill passed, but then add it back into the statute "after" the bill passes.


There is no cap on the department's spending. There is no cap on the fee amounts charged. There is no cap on the fee amounts collected. Owners: if there is no cap on these amounts, you will never know by how much your monthly assessments will be raised each month, each year. You will not be able to calculate your risks.


Presumably the ombudsman will be attempting to rectify the wrongs committed against owners who have a vested interest in PROPERTY. However, the ombudsman bill makes no provisions for restitution to owners for their injuries or harm done. Think about this closely. The owner goes to the ombudsman supposedly seeking a "resolution." The resolution might include restitution for injuries caused to the owner. Yet this bill is intentionally silent on that matter.


What is so difficult about imposing penalties against recalcitrant boards? This legislature will not do it. Short of that, the legislature should impose a moratorium on building common interest developments and impose a moratorium on adding additional legislation to the Davis-Stirling Act.


Read carefully, this bill like its wicked stepsister SB551, professes to have the power to impose fines on associations BUT ONLY IF they LOSE disputes with the owners-the obstacle course laid out in front of owners who might have used the so-called bureau, makes it impossible to accomplish "anything" in a timely manner, let alone get anything of substance actually "accomplished" at all.

Just like Nevada, Florida, Arizona (some defend Arizona's system, I do not for reasons that will not be furthered in this California paper), Virginia, Hawaii, and it goes on and on. All are black holes for unaccountable cash generated by no one else but owners.

Regarding the Nevada Ombudsman's office, someone told me "there is a surplus of several million dollars. The only money being spent is for state funded CAI seminars that work out to something like $5,000 per attendee, but 6, maybe 8 people attend."

After losing, Lowenthal chants the disingenuous democratic mantra: "Let's hear from the homeowners." Excuseeeeeeeeeeeeeeee me! Like he hasn't heard from homeowners! What planet is this guy on? Owners should seriously consider recalling Lowenthal from office.


This bill makes "fees," er, uh, strike that. This bill makes "donations" payable directly to the Secretary of State! There is no tax deduction for your payments to the Secretary of State for all these fee-reimbursing donations that go toward funding these bureaucracies claiming to help "you." In fact, there is no guarantee they will help you at all or that your grievances will be addressed. That decision will be decided by some bureaucrat who will tell you: "You don't have standing." "This is outside our jurisdiction." Those are the typical government catchall phrases for being able to collect money but not produce the goods.

Just what homeowners need: the bill admits there is a FISCAL IMPACT. The result of a fiscal impact is simple: It costs "owners" money. It doesn't cost the "public" money, it cost "owners" money -- this is not a fee that will be shared with the general public as all other Government Departments do. This is money that owners will pay directly to a special fee-collecting department AFTER they pay their monthly credit card bill$, car and home in$urance bill$, homeowner a$$ociation regular, $pecial, and emergency, a$$e$$ment$, student loan$, college tuition, health in$urance, gas$ water electric bill$, telephone$, ga$oline, car maintenance, car in$urance, doctor bill$, medication$, and on it goes.


Legislators keep asking for solutions, but frankly, THEY created the PROBLEM -- THEY need to FIX IT. One of the first things that needs to be done, is to require definitive and comprehensive disclosures OF EVERYTHING to all buyers. It is the BOARD that must be responsible for this, NOT the homeowner. In that way, the board can be penalized for nondisclosure NOT the owner. The owner can only disclose and provide what they know and have, nothing more. But the liability and risk is placed on the owner. This is unfair because all the evidence is in the custody and control of the board of directors.


A lemon law should be codified and applied to ALL residential deed-restricted property purchases, giving the buyers 14 days to "return" the mess back to the owner.


You want to resolve disputes without lawyers? The Davis-Stirling Act needs to include the State Bar of California Disciplinary committees to start clamping down on bad ass. lawyers and disbar them. Rather than closing their discipline files, hold those lawyers accountable for their actions.

Owners too, must file complaints against those lawyers whether they hired them or not, and you must keep filing those complaints until the bar gets the message: We are not going to take it anymore. (See


"Ombudsperson to ATTEMPT to resolve a dispute between an association and owner by conferring with the two parties to reach MUTUAL AGREEMENT"?
What does an "ATTEMPT" mean? Owners think that the Ombudsman WILL achieve a RESOLUTION, NOT an "ATTEMPT!"

Homeowners already have the kind of dispute resolution mentioned in AB770, for 'free,' at the Los Angeles City District Attorney's Dispute Resolution Program. Our tax dollars pay for this and there is no limit to the number of mediations an owner can request, nor is there a fee. It is FREE. (See, telephone (213) 485-8324).

Why do owners need a statute to create yet another dispute arena that only WE must pay for?


If you want to hear from the homeowners then STOP MAKING EXCUSES and ANSWER your damn telephone when constituents call and TALK TO THEM. They put you in office, the least you can do is hear what they have to say without a go-between.

Beating a dead horse. Loser Lowenthal vows to return next year with "enforcement and fines." Ha! Ha! Ha! Fancy that! Next year! He vows to return next year, to do what he could have done ten years ago but didn't have the courage to do; that is, impose penalties against the boards and management companies in the Davis-Stirling Act -- but homeowners don't hold your breath because it's a bunch of hot air.

I'm on the record demanding penalties against boards and management company personnel be written into the Davis-Stirling Act. Each year the legislature fails to do this.

Why do owners need a stinkin' "bureau" to accomplish this one-line item instilling penalties? Because Lowenthal and buddies like Mullins, typical of industry panhandlers, want to pork it up for us-the-owners who generate all the cash they feed off of. They do not want to impose penalties against boards and management companies when they can create a cash cow to fund them and their buddies at our expense. Such bureaus will not create millions in cash to pass around the various departments, they will create BILLIONS in excess revenue.


Statute: "Managing a common interest development is a complex responsibility."

Response: If it is, then the legislature had/has a duty to perform, at its own expense, its own demographic, sociological studies, and pilot projects PRIOR to imposing this type of ownership responsibilities on owners. They also have a duty to impose a moratorium on building.

Statute: "Community associations are run by volunteer directors who may have little or no prior experience in managing real property, operating a nonprofit association or corporation, complying with the law governing common interest developments, and interpreting and enforcing restrictions and rules imposed by the governing documents of the common interest development."

(a) Why did the legislature make it mandatory that owners belong to the association, and make it mandatory to pay fees at-will, and make it mandatory to lose one's home for failure to pay ANY assessment? It matters not, that the legislature finally addressed nonjudicial foreclosures: it is way too little and way too late. Understand that homeowners have lost their California homes, some for as little as an alleged $150 owing the association, most in trumped up fees and charges. Which makes even more interesting to learn that the Davis-Stirling Act was amended to CHANGE THE DEFINITION OF "VOLUNTEER." These "directors" are now "volunteers-by-the-new-definition" ONLY BECAUSE the legislature wrote that stipulation into the Davis-Stirling Act. The legislature also wrote into the law that association directors MUST be UNPAID volunteers or they will not be insurable, never mind that the ongoing kickbacks and barter campaigns continue unabated. For an association board of directors, "indemnification" amounts to a "License to Lie" that is subsidized by all owners.

(b) There is NOTHING in the Davis-Stirling Act that MANDATES that the owner receive governing documents PRIOR TO SIGNING A PURCHASE AGREEMENT/BUYING, these documents are guarded closely by associations so much so, that some owners even after purchase, still cannot get a copy of them - or worse - the copy they were given is inaccurate. Still, no penalties against boards who fail to follow the law. The only person who gets sued for not turning over such governing documents, IS THE SELLER, that is, the OWNER. Not the board.

Statute: "Homeowners may not fully understand their rights and obligations under the law and the governing documents."

Response: The reason homeowners may not fully understand their rights and obligations is because (a) they have no PER SE rights and (b) the legislature keeps changing the laws. Many owners do not have access to such laws and even if they did, the legislature has now made it so damn complicated that even lawyers and judges can't interpret it.

Statute: "Mistakes and misunderstandings are inevitable and may lead to serious, costly, and divisive problems."

Response: Thanks to the legislature, ass attorneys, boards of directors, and interloper management company owners and personnel, not to mention industry saboteurs such as interlopers like CCAM, CAI, ECHO, CLAC, and their spawn, it is no wonder why this type of living environment has become SERIOUS, COSTLY AND DIVISIVE. ONLY THE OWNER HAS SOMETHING TO LOSE.

Statute: "The Common Interest Development Ombudsperson seeks to educate community association officers and homeowners as to their legal rights and obligations. Effective education can prevent or reduce the severity of problems within a common interest development."

Response: If that paragraph were not so fundamentally serious it would be laughable. How a legislator can actually put pen to paper and have the nerve to write it, boggles the mind. Therefore, I won't dignify it with a response.

Statute: "The principal remedy for a violation of common interest development law is private litigation."

Response: That is just a damn lie. It is a lie because (a) the courts have been influenced by industry to the extent they are unequivocally swayed away from rulings in favor of owners and have consistently without justification granted deference to board decisions no matter how egregious or indefensible those decisions are -- this has discouraged much litigation brought by owners against the perpetrators of fraud committed against them; AND, the legislature has taken even the right to sue away from the owners. The only effective tool, that of litigation, was stripped from us. Owners can no longer sue for construction defects and can no longer sue in general, we are met with major diversions beginning by writing signed-return-requests to the board, then waiting. Writing for Requests for Resolution, then waiting. Writing for a Meet-and-Confer, then waiting. Being diverted to mediation, then waiting. Being diverted to arbitration, then waiting AND prejudicing whatever case we might have had. ALL of this costs money to the owner. Nothing is free. Nothing tolls the statute.

Statute: "The Common Interest Development Ombudsperson provides a neutral, nonjudicial forum for resolution of common interest development disputes. Many disputes can be resolved inexpensively, informally, and amicably through ombudsperson-facilitated mediation."

Response: This bill claims to provide a neutral FORUM -- NOT a NEUTRAL ARBITRATOR. NOT a NEUTRAL MEDIATOR. JUST A ROOM, FOUR WALLS. This is anything but "neutral." The fact that the ombudsman's department exists at all tells you that it is "not" neutral. Owners will be forced to hire an attorney because the ass. will hire an ass. attorney. What is inexpensive about that? What is neutral about that?


The bill states: "The Ombudsperson may convene an advisory committee to make recommendations on matters within the Ombudsperson's jurisdiction. A member of an advisory committee shall receive per diem and expenses pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 103. In selecting the members of an advisory committee, the Ombudsperson shall ensure a fair representation of the interests involved."

Response: Pay close attention to the fact that all the industry buddies will now obtain FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT WITH CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT PENSIONS, HEALTH BENEFITS, VACATION TIME, ETC. Just like the inept California Law Revision Commission, these APPOINTMENTS are payback to industry parasites that will ensure the industry keeps its stranglehold on the laws by skewing data and rigging decisions against owners -- just like the court system. They will receive reimbursements, expenses, and SALARY. Any owner that believes an industry friendly ombudsman will ensure a fair representation of the interests involved, is out of their mind. If it were to be a fair representation, then the owners would pick these individuals, and frankly, there would be no need for an advisory committee.


Ombudsperson shall report annually to the Legislature, no later than October 1 of each year. The report shall include all of the following information:

(a) Annual workload and performance data, including the number of requests for assistance received, the manner in which a request was or was not resolved, and the staff time required to resolve the inquiry. For each category of data, the Ombudsperson shall provide subtotals based on the type of question or dispute involved in the request.

(b) Analysis of the most common and serious types of disputes within common interest developments, along with any recommendations for statutory reform to reduce the frequency or severity of those disputes. [this statement alone should tell owners that the legislature has not been listening to owner complaints]

(c) On or before January 1, 2009, the Ombudsperson shall submit recommendations to the Legislature on the following topics: (1) Whether the Ombudsperson should be authorized to enforce common interest development law. (2) Whether the Ombudsperson should be authorized to oversee association elections. (3) Whether the scope of application of Section 1380.230 should be narrowed or broadened. (4) Whether the Ombudsperson should provide or subsidize mediation of common interest development disputes.

Then, Civil Code section 1380.130 goes on to state, "On filing information with the Secretary of State every two years, pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1363.6, an association shall submit a Common Interest Development Ombudsperson FEE. This FEE IS IN ADDITION TO THE FEE submitted pursuant to Section 1363.6. Failure to submit the Common Interest Development Ombudsperson fee is deemed noncompliance with Section 1363.6. Costs incurred by the Secretary of State pursuant to this section shall be REIMBURSED from the Common Interest Development Ombudsperson Fund."


Yup! ANYONE can use the Ombudsman.

If ANYONE can use the ombudsman, then why doesn't the legislature make EVERYONE pay through their taxes to fund the ombudsman's department?
"Under the new proposed Civil Code section 1380.300 (a): ANY interested person may request that the Office of the Common Interest Development Ombudsperson provide assistance in resolving a dispute between an association and an owner that involves the law governing common interest developments OR the governing documents of a common interest development." [what's the legal definition of an "interested" person?]

Guess what? That means if the ass. or the ass's attorney wants their fees or costs, the ass. attorney can enlist the ombudsman to assist in collecting attorney fees against you! How stupid is that?! So much for helping HOMEowners.

It also means, that vindictive management companies will be utilizing a tool that was supposedly meant for homeowners, to "target" you instead.

It also means that persons [i.e., "interested persons"] will be utilizing the ombudsman's office that YOU WERE FORCED TO PAY through your association assessments - but that they did not have to pay.


There are hidden fees everywhere in this bill. Make no mistake, it is inevitable owners will be paying more every year. For instance, "The Ombudsperson MAY, by regulation, adopt a FEE for mediation services of not more than fifty dollars ($50) per mediation." [but no cap written into the statute]

Then another section in the same statute says "The Ombudsperson may contract with private parties to provide mediation services pursuant to this section and under the Evidence Code as it applies to mediation initiated under this section, the Ombudsperson SHALL NOT CHARGE A FEE FOR THIS service."
So which is it, $50 or free? Owners should begin budgeting an additional $100 on up for fees with no end in sight.

As each brilliant legislator wants to add their name to the notches on the Davis-Stirling Act's belt, the fees will keep rising forever.


• CREATES a CID Ombudsman...(creates more problems for owners)

• REQUIRES Ombudsman to provide a website and toll-free number (this is really hard to do)

• REQUIRES association to PAY FEES for each separate interest within the CID (owners apparently don't pay enough already)

• ESTABLISHES advisory committee (just like the useless CLRC)

• REQUIRES Ombudsman to report ONCE A YEAR to the legislature with statistics (report? report WHAT? and WHY? How many damn statistics do they need, they re-publish the statistics every time they add another code to the Davis-Stirling Act, this is preposterous)

• REQUIRES Ombudsman to make RECOMMENDATIONS...AND to certify that directors have read governing documents (imagine! we are paying condo police to report to a government agency on owners READING documents --who could possibly take this bill seriously. It fails to PENALIZE RECALCITRANT BOARDS FOR THEIR BAD FAITH AND BAD ACTIONS, but it can make recommendations, what good are "recommendations" - where's the "enforcement" in THAT!)

• REQUIRES Ombudsman to provide training materials and courses AND CHARGE A FEE FOR THIS "SERVICE" (owners don't need any more pamphlets, let alone training materials provided from the same industry that bankrupts us; we've got enough problems with the real governing documents.)

• ALLOWS but does NOT REQUIRE Ombudsman to attempt to resolve a dispute between an association and owner by conferring with the two parties to reach mutual agreement. (if the owners cannot see what is wrong with this bill by this point, they are in big trouble).


Everything in this bill is subject to "the limits of the available resources."

Response: What an utter, unmitigated, waste of time.

Latest news continued--Menifee/ Sun City Chamber

Menifee/Sun City
Chamber of Commerce
Dubious Integrity in Menifee Valley

pedophiles aren't the only bad guys
who need to be exposed

Thugs and liars are now on the  Board of Directors of the Newly merged Chamber of commerce! If you want to be certain the old Chamber will be as incompetent as what was the "new chamber" vote for Jerry Stamper and Joan Ring! They are so jaded they don't even admit responsibility for destroying the new one. Now they want to repeat themselves in this one! By the way by what secret legal process did they accomplish since I saw no ballot for membership vote?

Three weeks ago The Californian quoted Jerry Stamper saying the Chamber was closing their doors and going to sublet the space. Now they are planning an installation dinner? Is it any wonder the Chamber is a disaster with that kind of ambivalent leadership? Can anyone believe anything that Chamber says or does? By the way, since the two Chambers aren't IBM and Hewlett Packard, how long or how hard is it to complete a merger? Stamper has been "talking about merger talks" for almost two and one half years? It makes one wonder--is Stamper interested in accomplishing anything more than getting his name in the paper?

Solomon’s Choice

$17,000 in legal fees down the toilette trying to harm another Chamber & Board member the Board could have avoided simply by making the right choice when they were asked in Therese Daniel’s March 11, 2006 letter to the Board.

Via Superior Court of Riverside County, the Menifee/Sun City Chamber of Commerce had to reinstate me as Director of the Board and member of the Chamber. It was an expensive and hard struggle to force this Board to comply with the laws of the State of California. They demonstrated extreme animosity towards me, grasped at any straw to discredit me in their attempts to justify their own malice. The actions of the current Board to terminate me last March were unethical, illegal, immoral and egregious. Menifee/Sun City Chamber Board of Directors repeatedly demonstrated a flagrant disregard for its own bylaws, California Corporate and Fair Practice laws. This is the second time this Board has railroaded a qualified person who has done only good for the new Chamber. Remember Julie Johnson? Her last statement was; “They fired me for doing a good job.”

However, acting in a legal and professional manner is of no concern to Jerry Stamper and his coconspirators. They have treated the Chamber as if it were their personal private club. Saying; “Off with their head!” to anyone who didn’t agree with their opinions. Their attitude is simply: “What has legality, credibility, or accountability to the membership got to with any thing?” Consequently, for the highest and best interest of this Chamber, I was going to file a petition to remove the existing Board on the basis of malfeasance, incompetence, moral turpitude, conspiracy to cover up, and conspiracy to commit an egregious act against another Board member. It is a waste of time and money as the best they can hope to do is merge with another chamber and the worst is they probably dissolve. There are many, many wonderful members who joined this Chamber as an alternative to the old Chamber who deserve to have honesty, integrity, and inspiration in its leadership. They do not deserve to be betrayed by a dishonest Chairman of the Board whose only effort since this Chamber began was to sabotage our straight line to success by attempting to manipulate us to merge with the very Chamber the members chose not to join. Within three months after we began to develop the Chamber Jerry Stamper worked counter productively towards the Chamber’s success by secretly conspiring with the old Chamber to merge. His actions were not in the best interests of the Chamber.

Many people asked me why I would want to be with a group of people who so obviously bear malice towards me. I took my stand for two reasons. My word, promises, and oaths are my life. I took an oath to serve the Chamber—not the Board of Directors of the Chamber. The order of the Riverside County Superior Court was a direct result of my refusal to violate my personal oath to serve the Menifee-Sun City Chamber of Commerce. The second reason I chose to hold my position is to protect my reputation. Knowing what this group did to Julie Johnson was a good indicator as to what they would do to me. I had been a loyal, dedicated, positive Board member since its inception. Just as Julie, I had done nothing to deserve what they attempted to do to me.

This Chamber was born out of dissatisfaction with the quality of management of the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce and I was told by Cheryl, Jeff Stone’s desire to crush his opponents from old Chamber. As one of the seven or more original founding members, I swore to serve the Chamber for it and its members’ highest and best good. When the Board attempted to illegally terminate me in March, I protested and advised them they were acting illegally. I asked them to send me a list of items they deemed were unacceptable in my behavior. They refused. After several failed attempts by me and my attorney to communicate with them, I petitioned the Superior Court of Riverside for reinstatement. The best Jerry Stamper could do was produce a pitiful and comical two page letter written by Carol Crocker attempting to prove how undesirable I was. The problem with Carol’s letter is she was so confused; she falsely accused me of inviting someone to participate in the EDC meeting who “wasn’t even a member.” It turned out he was a member before she became a member. When the alleged non member in Carol’s letter brought this to Cheryl Ferruli’s attention she gave him a free membership plus an ad in the news letter.

When we first gathered to discuss the start of a second and we hoped more successful chamber, the founding members were not very well known to me. I had whole heartedly believed they were capable, professional, ethical, and motivated people dedicated to the success of a new Chamber. It was only a matter of a few months into our effort I learned I was seriously mistaken. There is nothing more fun or productive for local business than a well run vital Chamber. Chambers being non profit corporations for the benefit of commerce are run by a volunteer Board of Directors. The benefits for the volunteers are extra visibility and the prestige of serving. This is why it is imperative that all who serve on the Board bring honesty, enthusiasm, integrity, and ability. When there were only the seven of us as the first members, various offices were open. Jerry Stamper, the current Chairman of the Board grabbed the position of Chairman of the Board and simply was unchallenged by the rest of us. He was never voted into his grabbed position. His leadership immediately began abandoning us by going on a month long honeymoon. Thus he left the rest of us at a critical time to do all the grunt work, locate an office, deal with the harassment of the old Chamber to get up and running. When he did return to assume his duties, he couldn’t remember dates of meetings, agreements he made, decisions by the Board, doesn’t know how to write a letter, and can not speak publicly. No one but I said a word. I was told to shut up.

The powers of Chairman of the Board as so designated in the Chamber’s bylaws are limited to conducting meetings and general over seeing the daily grunt work of Chamber business. They do not permit Chair people to enter into large contracts, negotiate Chamber mergers, arbitrarily give themselves the title of President, or any other such actions that directly affect the Chamber business and image. (However, Jerry Stamper and his Board can not be bothered obeying its own Chamber laws and bylaws. They via “unanimous decisions” by their personal clique of Directors present at their clandestine meetings would validate any violation, harm, or lie, they choose as it is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt by their flagrant disregard of a Superior Court Order to reinstate me.) At an emergency meeting called by Stamper at his house October 2005, we learned--rather than his focusing upon the success of our Chamber-- Jerry had begun unauthorized “talks” about merging our Chamber with the old Chamber. None of us challenged Jerry on his unauthorized actions. Jerry made it very clear the “old Chamber” absolutely did not want Julie Johnson as the CEO. (Julie Johnson, CEO of the Menifee Valley Chamber who had done an outstanding job was terminated by them. No good deed goes unpunished.) Two main decisions were made at that meeting:

1. We would not even consider talks with the other Chamber until after the first of 2006.
2. The Board would give Julie Johnson a vote of confidence and support her in her CEO efforts.

Within three days after that meeting, I began getting calls from Ron and Betty Royer. Ron was very direct and advised me under no circumstances did they want this Chamber to merge with the other. Betty raved about Julie & Cora as the two dynamos “who all by themselves put the Chamber together”. Betty proclaimed “this Chamber is the best thing Menifee has going.” Both the Royers were planning to begin a petition against the Board in favor of retaining Julie. It was a mystery to me as to where they were getting their information. Within a week or so Cheryl Ferrulli, who was a Director and treasurer began to call me to discuss her frustration with Julie and my feelings about Julie. It was my opinion then and remains so today, Julie Johnson is very knowledgeable and capable about Chambers. Julie was faced with same problems all of us face. She was human and therefore fallible.

In November, a second emergency meeting was called by Jerry Stamper at his house. He and other members of the Board trashed Julie. It was particularly cruel. Three motions were made and unanimously approved at that meeting:

1. Julie Johnson was to be terminated as CEO
2. Under no circumstances would we merge or talk about merging with the other Chamber.
3. To assure the members, an e-mail blast would be sent confirming our refusal to merge.

Immediately after Julie’s termination, Jerry began referring to himself as President of the Chamber with approval from Jeff Comerchero. How convenient for Stamper Julie was now removed. He had removed the first negotiating obstacle to merge with the old Chamber. Jerry Stamper ignored the Boards’ decision to neither discuss nor merge. He secretly and aggressively persisted in negotiating with Vicki Carpenter. While he was doing that, he was denying to our Board any participation. Per Jerry’s suggestion, Vicki changed the word “merger” to “unification” because Jerry claimed the word “merger” was so unpopular with the members. Jerry even made promises to Vicki that Darcy would become the CEO of the merged Chambers. Then, from November to January, Jerry began repeating the ideas and phrases of Ms. Carpenter as if they were his ideas. “We need to keep the community unified. We can’t make enemies. We must not divide the community. . .” Just what defined “community” by them is a question to me? Most of Sun City Area is a retired community and a Chamber is designed for non retired business people to promote commerce. Jerry’s actions and secret efforts were truly counter productive to the Chambers goals.

Three hours after Julie’s termination, Ron and Betty Royer were at the Chamber office offering their loyalty to the Chamber and asking Cora, Julie’s former assistant out to lunch. After that The Royers’ began patronizing Jerry Stamper, Joan Ring, and Cheryl Ferrulli for positions of power in the Chamber. (Is it any surprise Betty Royer is currently on the Board of Directors. Ron Royer is chair of EDC?)

It wasn’t until January 2006 that all of the Board members got complete insight into Jerry Stamper’s aggressive role in attempting to negotiate a merger without prior Board knowledge or approval. From the November ‘05 meeting to January, Jerry was saying to each member of the Board; “Oh, poor me. I am under so much pressure. I don’t know what to do. They keep calling me and sending me letters asking me to merge. I just can’t handle this. I have to answer them. We have to acknowledge them” When questioned about the degree of his effort towards this attempted merger, he denied any action on his part and claimed the Directors of the other Chamber of the Menifee Valley Chamber just kept calling him and putting pressure on him in spite of refusal to talk to them.

My first awareness of what Jerry was doing came to me through Cheryl Ferrulli who had a habit of calling me every evening from 7 P.M. until 10 P.M. from November to January. Cheryl continually bragged she is one of Laurie Stone Rubin’s best friends and has spent many Christmas Eves at Jeff Stone’s home. Cheryl provided me with information I had no way of knowing unless it came from her. I acted upon much of that information only to have it used against me later. She discussed details about Laurie Stone Rubin’s life,--her divorce, her mother’s cancer and Laurie’s fear of her own cancer in January 2006,--Jeff Stone, all she had learned about Jerry Stamper and Izzy, and Ron & Betty Royer whom she and Joan Ring repeatedly claimed they particularly disliked. (At least that is what they continually told me about the Royers. They called theRoyers passive/aggressive. Were they talking out of both sides of their mouth?) Cheryl was furious among other items about Ron Royer’s vicious treatment of one of the service vendors at the Christmas in Menifee event. She told me she made Ron apologize for it. Cheryl claimed she despised Jerry Stamper and wanted to do everything in her power to derail his position as Chairman of the Board. When she realized how close Jerry was to succeeding in obtaining a Board quorum to discuss a merger, she enlisted Joan Ring, Sharon Crow and me to vote against it. Later when she realized Jerry had asked Gus Telfer Hernandez to join our Board she became livid. She called me and talked for days saying that Gus was part of a World Gym scandal and that his wife cheated Laurie Stone out of $500. It later turned out it wasn’t the same Gus who cheated World Gym investors but she claimed it was true that this Gus’s wife cheated Laurie out of $500. Please bear in mind this was information I would have no other way to obtain except from Cheryl. She very much coveted the CEO position and resented that Jerry Stamper was reluctant to give her a full contract. After Jerry’s motion to discuss a merger with the other Chamber was clearly defeated at the January 2006 Board meeting, vital information came forward from Cheryl which exposed Jerry in all his deceitful actions and bald faced lies. Jerry had been bragging to Brian Eckhouse of the Californian, one month prior that the Chambers would merge. In a telephone conference call with Brian Eckhouse, Joan Ring, Cheryl, Jerry Stamper right after the Board meeting, Brian repeated twice to Jerry: “This is a 180 degrees opposite from what you told me last month.” At that point, Jerry Stamper was clearly the “Emperor and His New Suit of Clothes.” He was naked and we all saw it. I was appalled and disgusted that Jerry abused his position as Chairman to deceive his own Board while misrepresenting his powers to the Directors of the other Chamber. It was the perfect time for him to be asked to resign his position as Chairman. If Jerry had any integrity he should have automatically resigned for the highest and best good of the Chamber. In my mind it was the fiduciary duty of this Board to make him accountable and ask him to resign. He had proven himself to be a liar, failed to act for the good of his own Chamber and abused his position as Chair. Why then, was he not asked to resign from his position as Chairman of the Board? Why was he allowed to step on stage at Jeff Stone’s EDA Luncheon? In spite of my objection at the January Board meeting to Jeff Comerchero about calling Jerry president, Comerchero still introduced Jerry as courageous founder, leader and President of the new Chamber. Then Jerry stumbled, mumbled, before 600 people? After that I was keenly aware there something very, very wrong with this Board.

I talked to Joan Ring; Cheryl Ferrulli, Sharon Crow, and tried to talk with Thad Luyban. Why, I asked repeatedly after all the lies, deceit, Chamber bylaws violated by him is Jerry Stamper still Chairman of the Board. Sharon Crow told me “the problem was settled so shut up. You are acting like a high school kid.” Cheryl Ferruli agreed he lied to us, but said we had to go along with him. (Why we had to do that she never said.) Thad never returned my call. Joan Ring agreed he did wrong by lying to us, that he is weak, he is forgetful, and makes bad decisions but advised me to put up with him just a little longer. She said he couldn’t take much pressure and was planning to retire in June. I stated I would continue to serve on the Board under protest of Jerry as Chairman. Joan became extremely hostile at that moment and said; “Don’t you dare.” Since it was obvious there was some – unknown to me ‘buddyism’ going on between Jeff Comerchero and Jerry Stamper, I never even bothered to waste my time trying to talk to Jeff. What was wrong with the picture? Why was I feeling the Chamber was being sabotaged? It became very clear this was nothing more than a cover up of Jerry Stamper’s harmful actions to this Chamber. As I began to mentally focus on my question, all the little ‘this’s and ‘that’s’ I had heard and ignored about Joan Ring and Jerry Stamper began to haunt me. She made a big issue at the February Board meeting to tell Jerry what a great job he did at Jeff Stone’s luncheon. (All who saw him that day know he made a fool of himself on stage). It definitely seemed the promoter of the cover up was Joan Ring who had convinced others to go along with her. It appeared to me Joan protected Jerry like a jealous lover. That is why Jerry was never asked to step down as Chairman of the Board. That is why a memo I sent March 7, 2006 addressed only to Joan and Cheryl was shared with the other Board members and used as an excuse to attempt to oust me. The memo vented over my issues about Ron Royer’s self serving interests and Cheryl Ferrulli’s failure to stand up on behalf of a Director over a rather difficult member. The memo closed stating I didn’t think anything would change, “I was merely “clearing the air.”

Since then they spent $17,000 in legal fees trying to keep me out. This is a non profit corporation and that is how they spent membership money. Now they have zero in the bank account. That’s a lot of malice from a group of people who claim to be so pure yet bash me.

Since they barred me from my seat on the Board for eight months, the Board approved talks regarding merger with the other Chamber. Let me be very specific on this issue. It is one thing to work with Boards approval, and quite another to lie and do so without Boards’ approval as Jerry Stamper had done. Now that Jerry Stamper has Board approval, does not exonerate the fact that he had lied and misrepresented the Board from November 2005 to January 2006. The issue of Clinton’s impeachment was not that he had an affair with Monica Lewinsky. The issue is that he lied about it. Though Clinton prevailed, it still didn’t change the fact he lied. The Board’s later approval of merger talks doesn’t change the fact Jerry Stamper is a proven liar and the Board covered up for him.

March 8, 2006, Jerry Stamper e-mailed and via regular mail a letter to resign or they would terminate me due to my “lack of respect for the leadership of the Chamber.” It was supposedly signed by the entire then existing Board. They not only attempted to terminate me as a Board of Director but my membership as well. This was obviously a retaliatory act by Joan Ring and Cheryl Ferrulli. Where was the wisdom and good leadership in that? Was that their idea of acting in the highest and best interest of the Chamber? Among the many peculiar items about Jerry’s letter was the fact that it failed recognize me as one of the leaders. Was it before I sent the memo or after I sent the memo they had decided I wasn’t one of the “leaders” of this Chamber? Having served in various positions on Boards of non profits for over 25 years in the greater Los Angeles area, I had the opportunity to acquire experience and knowledge about them. I have been a member of four Chambers and served on the Boards of two. Based upon this past and more recent experience, I can objectively say six of the current Chamber Directors are unqualified for the reason listed below and other reasons that will come forward later:

1. Incompetence Not one of the six Directors ever took the time to learn, understand, and abide by its own laws and bylaws. They do not even know they are supposed to keep the Chamber corporate book complete with all minutes available at all times for member inspection. What kind of decisions in the Chamber’s best interest could they make without knowledge of the California Corporate laws and their own Chamber’s bylaws? What a display of absolute arrogance to not know non profit corporate laws.

2. Moral turpitude Instead of dealing with Jerry Stamper when it was obvious to all he was misrepresenting himself as President after Julie was terminated, they pretended it was O.K. Why is it O.K. for Jerry to do that and not O.K. for me to disagree with it? What kind of credibility is that?

3. Conspiracy to cover up & moral turpitude When it was discovered Jerry was violating his position as Chairman of the Board and negotiating an unauthorized merger with another Chamber, they covered it up. Jerry Stamper was nothing more than a mole for the other Chamber. How honest was and is this to the members who wanted a new and more progressive Chamber? What kind of ethics, morality and integrity did that show? (I am well aware Jerry has since manipulated the Board and created committee to explore a merger. A merger is pending.)

4. Conspiracy to commit an egregious act against another Board member When I protested too much, they conspired via secret meeting to commit an egregious act against me by attempting to illegally terminate me. Then they persisted in their malice for eight months by refusing to respond to all reasonable attempts to discuss the matter. They incurred a $17,000 legal bill doing so. How did the Chamber benefit from that?

5. Moral turpitude & incompetence They don’t believe in a Director’s right to opinion and free speech. Therefore, to successfully serve with them, a Director must agree to censorship. They do not run a Board, they run a dictatorship. What they were too ignorant to understand, is -- it is the duty of any Director on the Board to look into the moral fiber, track record, ability and character of any one looking for positions of power within the structure of a non profit corporation. Any good leader knows the importance of good character and integrity is imperative. I had good reason to write the Board memo’s to other Board members about my doubts of Jerry Stamper as Chair, Ron and Betty Royer’s persistent patronizing, and Gus Hernandez after Cheryl had made such a big deal about Gus’s wife cheating Laurie Stone. I had no reason to suspect Cheryl would misrepresent her information, her feelings, or intentions and later deny she did so. This Board is so ignorant. It attempted to use the memos written by me and given only to a couple of Board members as evidence of wrong doing on my part. What they don’t know is that those memos only demonstrate how passionately dedicated I was in performing my duty as a Board member.

6. Malfeasance When confronted with overwhelming information complete with quoted points and authorities, California corporate laws, about their illegal activities, they ignored the facts, placed themselves above the law and did as they please. They showed total contempt for any law just as they are showing contempt of a signed court order now. They preferred to create a $17,000 legal bill. How safe is any other good willed person serving on their Board? How safe is the membership?

7. Malfeasance & moral turpitude They violated their own oaths, bylaws, California Corporate laws and California Fair Practice laws. They chose to serve each other rather than the Chamber. They betrayed their own members. How seriously have they compromised the Chamber’s straight line effort to success? They lost over 150 members. Now the best they can do is merge? Isn’t merging what started the whole conflict last January 2006?

8. Moral turpitude, malfeasance & incompetence When finally forced by Riverside County Superior Court to deal with this issue, they tried to make up lies about me be claiming I “threw chairs.” When asked to prove so in writing they forwarded a meaningless letter by Carol Crocker intended to prove my unworthiness as a Director. It was so incompetent she wrote “a man invited by me (Therese Daniels) to the EDC committee meeting was not even a member.” He had been a member since August of ’05.

9. Continued incompetence, malfeasance & malice Since they realized they agreed to accept me via Court Order, they are once again violating Chamber, California corporate, and Fair Practice laws and illegally placing this issue on the agenda of the General membership meeting this January 11, 2007. They now want to attempt to discredit and debase me to the membership and use the membership’s lack of knowledge about the true facts to vote me out. They want to do so by bypassing the proper method of giving me an opportunity to defend myself. How honest and fair is that? Is this action of a Board of integrity or a Board of incompetence?

1. Their response to the e-mail I sent them informing them they were holding secret Board meetings again was to hold a special Board meeting on January 2, 2007 at 2 PM. They chose to ignore the four point written statement I gave them explaining their foolishness if they persisted in keeping item IV on the agenda. Then they tried to convince me if I responded in my own defense as to what they have done to you and me, I would be only making my reputation worse. Now this is where I get confused. Isn’t being asked to be removed from the Board of Directors by the entire membership a direct public discredit and debasement of me? Yet, they want to do that to me and expect me to coyly turn the other cheek and say nothing in my defense. If I am already destroyed how can I do any more damage to myself?

2. Now they knowingly have voted to keep item IV on the agenda regardless of the consequences they bring upon themselves, this membership, and any future public relations. They are smug certain they will get away with this because think a merger with Menifee Valley Chamber is eminent. Imagine how that Chamber will feel when it finds out this brilliant group chalked up a $17,000 legal bill for a cause they could not win.

When Menifee/Sun City Chamber began, it promised its members a newer and better Chamber than Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce. They lied to the people who joined on good faith. They failed to keep their promise. What makes a Chamber great is its leadership, the participation of the membership and the results their efforts bring the membership. In the approximately 14 months since they trashed Julie and the ten months since they barred me from service on the Board, they failed at every project to show the smallest profit, to bring strong membership turn out, to boost member’s businesses, to make a great Chamber or stand out in pride and joy in the community. This is the price this new Chamber has paid because of Jerry Stamper’s poor leadership, choices in people to serve on the Board and sabotage of this Chamber’s success unchallenged by any one but me. Consequently, is the only action left for this Chamber to merge with the old Chamber? Is this wise and good leadership?

The above article is a clear and true statement to the best of my knowledge.

Therese Daniels

Cc: To attorney Richard Lowe, Brian Eckhouse of The Californian, Members of Menifee/Sun City Chamber and Menifee Valley Chamber, Julie Johnson any and all persons.

No matter how loud, much or colorfully the people mentioned in this article deny and protest, we have a large file with copies of the court filed documents, minutes, news paper articles, e-mails, letters, including names of witnesses, and more that document and prove the accuracy of the above statements in this article. Let the mud fly!

The January general membership meeting was held and they illegally held a vote in which they claim they got sufficient votes to remove me from the Board. Once again they violated their own Chamber bylaws because:

1. The provision in the bylaws applies only to a general member and not a Board member
2. They still did not give state what I did wrong.
3. I am not even certain the vote count was honest

What is wrong with the people of Menifee Valley? Don't they care if they are dealing with ignorant, self serving manipulative liars who ruthlessly ignore the standards of ethics, honor or integrity? It seems lawlessness prevails! Do they really think if they sleep with dogs they won't get fleas? I don't know about you, but I for one will not do business with any business who is a member of the Menifee/Sun City Menifee Chamber of Commerce.

Why Shout


By Ralph Waldo Emerson

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Out upon your guarded lips! Sew them up with packthread, do. Else if you would be a man, (woman), speak what you think today in words as hard as cannon balls, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradicts everything you said today. Ah, then exclaim the aged ladies, you shall be sure to be misunderstood. Misunderstood? It is a right fool’s word. Is it so bad to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

Isn't it a crying shame that seniors who have saved all their lives, paid in full their properties to live a worry free retirement now live in fear of non judicial foreclouse for having committed no crime. They live at the mercy of an inept, malevolent, useless HOA .

To expose injustice wherever it is discovered!


The best friend injustice has is silence. That is why it is so necessary to speak out when you become aware of a wrong of any kind by anyone. The injustice to your neighbor you ignore today, may become the injustice you suffer tomorrow. That is why I shout. You should shout, too.

Soften Your Heart

by Margaret Tyson

SCCA's hearts are hard and cold

it could be believed that they hate the old.

And the seniors that live in the core

Pay and pay until we're poor.

Our social security income is fixed and low

it doesn't go very far you know.

Up went the fees for 2000, last year

and going up again is what we fear.

We feel abondoned, alone, and lost

We can't afford this outrageous cost.

Is there a better way to get what they need?

do they have to hit us until we bleed?

When we're in the red and coming up short

our frivolous spending we have to abort.

Medication, rent and food are first on our mind

to take that away from us is very unkind.

The SCCA is hurting us where we live

our pockets are empty, not much to give

So soften your hearts and give us a break

We don't have the money you want to take.

Disolve the SCCA. We do not need their abusive management. They need our money!