"A DISTORTED MYTH"
April 1, 2010
By now, the homeowners in the St. Augustine Shores should have received their Annual meeting packet in the mail along with their election ballot. Also included in the packet is the Annual President’s Letter from Service Corporation Board President, Jerry Zinn.
As a homeowner who has tried to stay informed and involved in our community throughout the years and attended as many Board of Director meetings and functions as possible, I found Mr. Zinn’s letter to the community rather disturbing. Statements made in his letter truly demonstrate just how out of touch, with the will of our community, our current Board of Directors continues to be and demonstrates, once again, a complete breakdown and lack of leadership.
Mr. Zinn has sat on our Board of Directors for the last (4) four years, (2) two as President. Zinn states that his accomplishments during his tenure has been to build cash reserves to carry out major maintenance projects, replacing the heating and air conditioning system in the Riverview Club without using any special assessment monies and working with St. John’s County to address aging storm water drainage issues.
If these are the reasons why Mr. Zinn feels that he should be reelected than I would advise you to dig further and ask yourself the following question. Why is Mr. Zinn doing the Community Association Manager’s job? The above accomplishments are what are requirements to be performed by our General Manager, Joseph Smith! Mr. Smith is paid a lot of money to oversee the maintenance and operations of our community. Is he not doing the job? Where is Zinn’s leadership?
Zinn also deceptively states, in his letter, that Mr. Dunne challenged a vote by the homeowners in 1999-2000 to establish a $30.00 cap for maintenance fees by filing a lawsuit. As someone that was named by the Court as an Expert Witness in the case, I assure you that the lawsuit was not filed against the homeowner’s vote, as stated by Zinn, but was a small claims case filed by (1) one individual and regarding specific language contained in “His” Deed Restrictions for “His” particular parcel. In fact, Mr. Dunne attempted numerous times to address the issue raised with Mr. Zinn and Zinn’s answer, which led to the filing of the lawsuit, was if you don’t like it …“Sue Me”. I also tried to reason with Zinn and offered him some guidance in how to rectify the situation and Zinn stated to me that he wanted the lawsuit to run its course.
Mr. Zinn states that he and his Board of Directors are against litigation yet they fail to understand that the lack of communication, respect and understanding shown to the homeowners, by Zinn and the others responsible for managing our community, “Is” the driving force of such litigation, and will continue to be as long as the homeowners are treated with indifference and disrespect.
Zinn also touts his “Vision Committee” which lacks any clear direction, goal or vision. In fact, at the recent Budget Committee hearings, neither the Budget Committee nor Board of Director’s appropriated any monies for Vision Committee recommendations. Members of the Vision Committee that had previously presented sound, logical recommendations, had been promised funding by Zinn. Members of the committee left the meeting deflated, disappointed and vowed to never return!
Furthermore, Zinn is against any reporting in the Civic Advocate, Community Blogs and the St. Augustine Record. His reasoning has nothing to do with perceived negativity, but rather to keep his personal lack of leadership, mismanagement of the community and the Board’s mistreatment of homeowners hidden from the community.
While considering who to vote for in the upcoming election ask yourself what the current Board has done for you and your neighbors throughout the years. Are you treated with respect? Have programs been created to create a sense of unity? Do the children and families in our community have amenities, sports programs and activities that we can be proud of?
The answers to those questions is why it is time for our Board of Directors to take a new position in moving our community forward. New individuals presenting new ideas is what will truly build community and increase property values.
Next year's Presidents letter must reflect positive examples of sound leadership that has benefited our friends, families and our neighbors. It must not be just another manager's report!
I guarantee that such positive change will be reflected in community blogs as well as the Civic Advocate and the St. Augustine Record.
Homeowners, it is time for you to decide.
Written by: Keith Goldstein