The accommodations were much more conducive to a productive meeting of Country Club of Arkansas property owners, even with the heat almost as hot as it was in June at the last meeting.
Developers John "Tommy" Wright and Jack Wilson had prepared handouts, so the stage was set for a meeting in which much more could be accomplished.
That was how it started off until a few last-minute facts became known.
First, on the day of the meeting, it was learned attorneys for the developers had filed papers to establish the articles of incorporation for the property owners association without consulting the property owners who compose the group.
Second, five people were recruited by the developers to serve as board members of the POA without consulting the POA members.
Third, developers said they have another 100 acres they plan to develop as another Country Club of Arkansas phase.
Those revelations set off another round of contentious comments by property owners who pointed out the developers were at 90 percent build out now, but they weren’t if you factor in the 300 new homes. The 90-percent mark is the trigger for turning over some maintenance responsibilities to the POA.
What had been a more reasonable meeting became a contentious one once those facts became known.
Property owners accused the developers of trying to "pull a fast one" by appointing the board and writing its own articles of incorporation.
Another zinger came when attorneys for the developers acknowledged that all of the bills of assurance on properties within the different phases of the Country Club of Arkansas where all different.
A property owner suggested each development needed its own POA if the bills of assurance were different.
One property owner, Rachel Brewer, said she thought it was more productive than the last meeting with lots of good questions asked that needed to be addressed before creating a POA
"We have multiple bills of assurance and even the developer didn’t know how many there are, each slightly different," she said. "Many (including myself) were upset that the developer and his attorney— who was, again, rude and arrogant — took it upon themselves to file the LLC paperwork and create an ‘interim’ board. Although I am still confused as one of the board members did nothing but throw a fit at the microphone and storm out, and his wife spoke from there and referred to herself as being on the board."
Brewer also said that the "board member got in the face of an elderly gentleman in front of me when he dared question why she was acting as if she were on the board."
She labeled it "very unprofessional and out of line."
Maumelle attorney Pam Roberts was hired to moderate, which turned out to be a tough assignment at times. She limited each speaker to two minutes, which infuriated some audience members. Several speakers just ignored her admonitions.
The sound system used worked fine between the shrieks of feedback, which punctuated the meeting like drums do a song. At least one speaker was garbled, and the sound it produced was barely discernible, even for those right in front of it.
The concerns at this meeting differed from those expressed at the first.
When property owners learned the total out of pocket dues might be limited to around $20 a year, many were satisfied but later became concerned again over other issues.
One property owner who spent his life organizing hospitals, a very complex operation summed up the meeting this way, "The unwilling being led by the incompetent to do the unnecessary."
Gerry Goodnight said, "I’m for a POA as long as they actually keep the back part by the ball fields (where we live) neat and tidy. We’ll see."
She also summed up the meeting this way, "Joke. Nothing but arguing."
Tena Dick said she supported the POA, especially board member Wayne Marrs,
She said her husband said the meeting, "was wild but maybe people will learn to act as adults. Shame on those who didn’t."
"I hope Maumelle folks will behave as our mothers taught us and try to get along," she implored.
Barbara Soden complained that the meeting was supposed to give property owners answers. She said many intelligent questions were asked "but only a few answered."
She also said, "Many residents were told their questions could not be answered and that they should get their own attorney. This was supposed to be a meeting that made the residents comfortable?"