Bridlewood Quality of Life Coalition


Letter from Bridlewood resident Jim Cafferty by kim0917
31 July 2008, 11:12 am
Filed under: Quality of Life | Tags: , , , ,

The below is a letter to fellow Bridlewood residents written by Jim Cafferty, received on the evening of July 30:

A few comments and observations on yesterday’s meeting and subsequent voting results:

1.  Can anybody who was in attendance last night square the results of the vote with what transpired at the meeting?  The tenor of last evenings meeting was serious, sometimes heated, and very biased against the board.  The distrust was palpable.

2.  I was under the impression that the results would be based upon a reconciliation of the proxies received as well as the votes cast in person.  In this case, the total number of proxies and live ballots would go in the denominator.  The votes for and against in the numerator.  I hate to parse the statement issued by the board tonight but it appears as though the vote results were based upon placing every home (1,307) in the denominator whether they were present or not or whether they submitted a proxy or not.

3.  This is very suspicious.  Of course I am parsing, as I said.  However, those in attendance last evening heard without equivocation that the message about transparency and clear communication was received loud and clear.  Less than 24 hours later we get a 64 word paragraph and some voting results.  This is outrageous!  If Mr. Long was serious about improving transparency and communication, he could have posted status updates at the least.  I am not splitting hairs here.  I would estimate well over 300 people attended the meeting last evening.  Try to get 300 people to attend anything on a Wednesday evening.  It is clear from the attendance and tenor of the meeting that the residents are deeply concerned.  Mr. Long, you have failed to live up to your word to this community in less than 24 hours.

4.  Point 3 is clearly outrageous for the following reason.  Giving the board the benefit of the doubt, and assuming they remain seated, we all heard that they will redouble efforts to poll the wants/wishes/desires of the residents regarding urban drilling.  Each board member promised that they would throw their support to the clear desires of the community regarding the drilling issues.   If the voting/polling on the gas issue proceeds as this has done we are in big trouble.  I am more alarmed than ever before.

5.  I heard it stated by several people at the meeting and will echo it here.  Let’s take a step back.  This board has:

>  An array of angry residents very displeased at their performance.

>  At least 2 websites set up actively questioning their intentions and pointing to facts concerning their knowledge vis-à-vis timelines, their personal correspondence to residents, their lack of transparency, etc.

>  Faced a crowd of over 300 people (my estimate) openly hostile and questioning their integrity and motives.  Can anyone recall a positive comment or statement of support from a resident at the meeting?

>  Broken out into tears at the events surrounding the meeting last evening and the events leading up to it.

All of this for a volunteer position.  I cannot square these facts and am deeply suspicious. Furthermore, I was deeply insulted at many of the answers posed to serious questions by the residents.  The answers were patently lies and insulted our intelligence.  Mr. Brinkman’s measured questions were brilliant, fact based and to the point.  Mike Long’s answer was, “Are you going to ask a question?”  Gail’s allegations of snipping email fragments was laughable.  I could point to many more.  Email is the window to the soul and we can all read how giddy Gail was after meeting with the Footlick people.

Friends and neighbors, we face difficult times ahead.  This issue is no more resolved than it was a month ago.  I believe we have taken three steps back.  We have a great and vibrant community. We deserve a board that is responsive, above reproach, and is working for the desires of the vast majority of our residents.

Respectfully,

Jim Cafferty

 

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18 Comments so far
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You have two sides that want the same thing, NO DRILLING!

One lady ( If you want to call her that ) who supported “The Reserve HOA” told another woman who supported the Bridlewood HOA that she “HOPED HER KIDS DIED OF CANCER”

What a horrible thing to say. She and others that are stirring the pot in the neighborhood should step back and take a deep breath. Do you really think someone would take a poistion on the board to put up with all of this?

I believe that it should be the responsibility of “The Reserve HOA” to reimburse the $8000.00 it took to have this meeting.

Comment by Wade Johnson

Wade:

Thank you for responding. I am glad to see you are opposed to drilling as well.

I was deeply offended by the comments you report of. I agree with you. There is no place for that in our community. Perhaps you sense the passion behind my comments on the post. I feel very strongly about this. However, as you rightly point out, we must keep a proper discourse. Those comments are deeply regrettable.

Wade, we will part company on your assessment of motives. I cannot for the life of me square this circle. If I may be as bold as to ask you to answer your own question. “Do you really think someone would take a postion on the board to put up with all of this?” My answer is no, no, no, and a resounding no! Why then do we meet at this intersection?

I disagree on your Reserve HOA point as well. Thank God for the reserve HOA and Mr. Brinkman in particular. If not for him and them this whole issue would be but muddled rumor and innuendo. The truth is, a critical examination of facts put forth on the bqlc website, will lead a logical person to be incredibly suspicious as well. Subsequent behavior of this board, up to and including the events of the last 72 hours leave me feeling worse, not better. I don’t have to call Gail to get her position because I can read it in the email she sent to a resident.

I will hope that this board eventually gets removed or will at least start to respond to the wishes of the majority of residents in this community. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of actions we can be taking to prepare for the impending requests for variances. The clock is ticking. I wholeheartedly agree with you that this disagreement does not further anybody’s cause. To the board I stipulate that if you are hell bent on staying in your positions, DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE!

Wade, a hat tip for the response to my post. I appreciate it. We are in this together.

Regards,

Jim Cafferty

Comment by Jim Cafferty

I want to just mention a few points. First of all, many residents in my area, Windsor Heights, were highly offended by the “Proxy” sent out by the Reserve. I heard several people say, “the nerve of this guy” and who do they think they are”. Several people mentioned the considered sending your proxy back to you with a few choice words. Overall, it hurt your position far more than helped.

Secondly, Mr. Cafferty mentions in his letter on this site: did you hear anyone step up to support the board? Believe me, there were MANY people at that meeting that supported the board. I just don’t think anyone felt like prolonging the agony. I might also add: most people I talk to are AGAINST drilling in Bridlewood. Please don’t turn them to the other side by making this all about THE RESERVE and trying to control everyone else.

You all have shown so much talent and energy throughout this process. The rest of us ALSO care about Bridlewood, our property values, safety and quality of life. But I think many people feel you have chosen the wrong enemy. I hope you’ll consider how divisive the Board fight has been and let’s join TOGETHER to keep Bridlewood nice. With everything else they have to do, though, it is unrealistic to think our Board can handle all this too. Why not work with them, maybe offer to set up an ad hoc committee to prepare a plan of attack in case the issue becomes active? Trying to hijack the process or deplete Association funds with any more attacks on the Board will only hurt you and OUR CAUSE in the long run.

Comment by Barbara Younginer

Wade,

Please click on “Ballot Results” under “What Everyone is Reading” and view the comments.

I wonder if the comment regarding cancer you heard was “I hope your childen don’t die from cancer.” That makes more sense, don’t you think? Benzene is a component of the fracking material and is a highly toxic cancer causing agent.

Comment by bwood

Wade,

I do agree that what was said about children was terrible.
As far as people stirring the pot, if we don’t stir it who will.
People in this neighborhood have been apathetic for a very
long time — we would not have gotten to this point if we
didn’t as you say stir a bit.

Why in the world would you say that the Reserve HOA should
reimburse $8,000 for this meeting. The Reserve did not ask
the HOA to bring 2 lawyers, send our several letters and then
a letter to explain the proxy. It cost them over $700 on each
mailing when they could have done most of it through the HOA
e-mailing. The meeting was asked for in May and instead of
addressing the petition the HOA decided to have a meeting at the
clubhouse with their lawyer. One at 7 one at 9. You and I paid
for that and it wasn’t on the petition from the Reserve it
was because people began to distrust this Boards motives.
We had a vote the other night and still the 3 issues that were
on the petition were not addressed instead it was a I’m really
nice, vote for me and here’s why. By the time the vote came
it was after 9 so naturally we had to pay the CPA to sit all
night and then count the votes the next day. So, between the
2 lawyers, the CPA sitting around waiting to count votes and
the CMA group running around yes it was an expensive venture but not by the Reserve. It was by our Board! Maybe we should ask them to take it out of their pockets and pay for
the list of events. Please put the blame where it lies at the feet of this Board. I’m tired of hearing how this is all the
Reserves fault — read the facts .

Comment by Bridlewood Resident

Wade,

This is NOT The Reserve HOA against the Bridlewood HOA. We are all neighbors, in which most of us want to preserve our community and quality of life.

I apologize for the person who would make such a lame comment, but remember that not everyone who wants to see the Bridlewood Directors removed lives in The Reserve, nor do they speak for the 57 votes here.

Yes, The Reserve was first to bring the issue to light, but many residents from the entire Bridlewood Community disagree with the actions of our Bridlewood Directors. In addition, the Bridlewood HOA did not have to incur such a high cost. It was because of their lack of communication and resistance to the community voice that cost this neighborhood. I implore upon you to read the evidence in earlier posts that will shed some light on activities that began as early as January.

In closing, if they are above reproach, why does the Bridlewood HOA list Bylaw 7.5 partially that favors their interpretation of the vote rather than listing it as printed which states that the vote is the majority of votes in attendance at the meeting? In this case, 4 of the 5 directors would have been removed. Also, if they would have counted The Reserve proxy (approx. 100 obtained), 5 of 5 directors would have been removed. Why stay when it is clear they have lost the confidence of the residents that they serve?

Thank you for your interest and I hope you and many others continue to stay informed.

kim brinkman

Comment by kim

I’m glad the attorneys were there! Did you not bring your own lawyer? After the sneaky way you got people to sign your petition and your threatening behavior, the rest of us NEEDED those attorneys.

It would be interesting to see how many people here would sign a petition to charge the Reserve for the meeting. My guess is it would sail through.

Comment by Barbara Younginer

Barbara,

I personally feel very “threatened” by CMA and the board. I sincerely hope no other resident has to go through this.

If you have a problem with Bridlewood, be sure to save up lots of money, block infinite amounts of time for months and months, start a website and don’t forget to stir in kind neighbors like you saying they feel threatened by your efforts.

Residents followed the rules and by-laws, but the board apparently runs by their own costly rules of disorder and chaos.

Knowledge is power, Barbara. Don’t feel threatened by it.

Comment by bwood

Bwood,
I was one of the very first people in my section to speak out–and very vocally—against drilling. I wrote letters saying that we can’t think of this as a problem just for the Reserve, that we needed to support them, etc. I pulled back that support ONLY when you brought around the petition and tried to make this about the Board.

I haven’t changed my mind at all about drilling…I’m still vehemently opposed to it. I will be one of the first to REJOIN your effort, once it’s directed toward Footlik and Williams and/or governmental efforts. If you guys will take your talent and energy (and MAN, you have a lot of energy) and the organization you have already set up to actually fight the real enemy, I’ll be one of the first over there to help you. But if your focus remains on putting your own Board in place…with all of the personal attacks against those who volunteered to be on the Board (when you and I did not), then I can’t be a part of that. I don’t presume to speak for everyone in my neighborhood, but I don’t know of any person who feels differently over here. Given the fact that your vote the other night missed by a mile, give some thought to what the majority wants….could I be speaking for that majority? I don’t know…but it’s clear that your agenda didn’t reach them.

Highly negative publicity only goes so far to change minds. We only have a certain amount of money, time, and energy to fight this–and only a certain amount of resident interest and good will. I hope you’ll use it wisely. If we are divided as a neighborhood, drillling is guaranteed!

Comment by Barbara Younginer

And, by the way, bwood: Implying that I’m “unkind” because I disagreed with your fight to overthrow the Board and that I’m stupid (i.e. “knowledge is power, Barbara) sure isn’t going to get you very far. As a matter of fact, I have quite an oil and gas expert in my family and we own property with producing gas wells in Oklahoma. In spite of that, I read every word about the dangers of drilling compiled by the hard-working Debbie Huffstetter (I probably misspelled her name).

There is room in this world for people who disagree. Don’t try to put yourself above me and maybe take the time to listen to people who feel differently than you and we can win this war. Isn’t that what’s important to you? Or do you just want to be “right”?

Comment by Barbara Younginer

Barbara,
It was not my intention to anger you. Thank you for continuing to check this website and for your comments.

Comment by bwood

Bwood,
I’m not at all mad, but I”ll also stand up for what I believe in. Look me up sometime on the Bridlewood website, call me, and I’ll buy you a cup of coffee :-}

Comment by Barbara Younginer

Shouldn’t we all be questioning why the CMA didn’t pursue the turn over of this acerage many years ago (from Footlik or Footlik Ent.) when mineral rights weren’t an issue? Regardless, if previous Boards didn’t do this process, shouldn’t CMA have brought it to our attention? It was even brought up in the meeting about who was paying the taxes and insurance. While the insurance question got answered, there was never a clear answer on why this was allowed to go on for so long and nobody noticing who was paying the taxes. Now, we have to spend more money on attorney fees that I personally feel should be CMA’s responsiblity because isn’t that what we pay them for???

Comment by John

John:

I support your line of questioning. I was the person at the meeting who asked the question. Quite honestly, the response to my question was weak and will probably not be known until we can get under the hood and see some detailed financials. I have tried to access public records on this matter but found it rather difficult. It would be fantastic if some of our more real estate inclined residents, with this kind of savy, took this on.

If you recall, Mr. Long ducked the second part of the question regarding insurance. The crowd attempted to redirect him. I am paraphrasing here but the response was something to the effect that the insurance paid was what should be paid and that was that. I find this hard to believe but am willing to concede the point that I am not an insurance expert. Seems to me that we should by now be able to refute this claim 100%. If Mr. Footlick holds title to the properties it seems natural he should pay 100% of the property tax AND maintain most of the insurance liabilty coverage. Maybe another way to ask this question is have we been paying too much for insurance coverage? Not sure.

Along these same lines John, I must ask the question….
What are we paying this HOA attorney for? From the Bridlewood HOA website dated March 30th:

” A concern of some of the residents is that some community property is not presently deeded to the HOA. Please be aware that the board is mindful of this and has made the developers aware that this property has to be conveyed to the HOA by April 15, 2008.” signed, Michael Long

What the hell happened Michael? I wold further stipulate that if it weren’t for the petition to remove the board, no suit would have been filed. Further, I would ask Mr. Long, will our HOA attorney be seeking reimbursement of legal fees from Mr. Footlick in this matter? Is this even permissable under TX law?

Further, given a state of litigation between the HOA at Bridlewood and Mr. Footlick, there will be discovery and depositions will there not? Again, I am not an attorney but we are missing a huge opportunity to shell this guy with paper after paper, request upon request, etc. etc. etc. Of course from prior posts I know that our HOA attorney is very collegial with Mr. Footlick. How nice for us, eh John?

I have personally met the Reserve attorney. He is highly competent, measured, aggressive, and working for the benefit of the Reserve. Bridlewood is not being well served with our current situation.

JC

Comment by Jim Cafferty

From our Bridlewood HOA Directors….

All of whom are against urban drilling as stipulated in our meeting. All with the exception of Mr. Walker who’s staunch opposition is a matter of public record (refer to the FM Oil & Gas Board vote on Red Oak).

Message dated May2, 2008….

paraphrasing here….

5) The BOD has been advised that there have been landmen in the neighborhood offering individual homeowners an opportunity to lease their property. Given the production in many areas in this area, this should not be a surprise. The BOD requests that you delay any decision to lease your property until further information can be obtained and provided to the homeowners. **** Many Associations have been very successful in obtaining significant increases in the bonus payments by working together as a community. **** Should a formal lease proposal be made to Bridlewood the BOD would establish a procedure whereby each of the 1303 home sites will have one vote, FOR or AGAINST the drilling of gas. Please note, that there has NOT been a formal request made to the BOD to take this action. The BOD plans to support the majority decision made from that vote. Having said that, even if the proposal should get this far, there are still many hurdles to be crossed before the drilling can happen.

**** emphasis added is mine.

This was sent in May. Any reasonable person would read from this that the HOA party line at that point was “hold firm and let’s get the best deal we can”. This is not a response of a board who is 90% personally opposed to drilling. If that were the case, they would have energized this community to vote on the matter and brought clarity to a needlessly murky state of affairs we now find ourselves in. Again, let me state, in one week’s time I could organize a vote on this and settle it for once and for all. There is no way in hell this community will stand for drilling at Bridlewood. That was evidenced by the showing at the meeting last week. 3 months have passed and nothing. Our HOA’s strategy is clear. Do nothing. Delay at all costs. Make up new rules to thwart the desire of our community. At some point my friends, we will run out of runway. Once a petition to drill is filed our options will quickly diminish. Stand up. Be heard. Move this board to action!

Jim Cafferty

Comment by Jim Cafferty

Question for Mike Long:

In a prior post, I wrote:

**** Many Associations have been very successful in obtaining significant increases in the bonus payments by working together as a community. **** Should a formal lease proposal be made to Bridlewood the BOD would establish a procedure whereby each of the 1303 home sites will have one vote, FOR or AGAINST the drilling of gas. Please note, that there has NOT been a formal request made to the BOD to take this action. The BOD plans to support the majority decision made from that vote. Having said that, even if the proposal should get this far, there are still many hurdles to be crossed before the drilling can happen.

**** emphasis added is mine.

Reading this more carefully, can you advise the parameters of the election/vote you would plan to call should this come to pass. A careful reading shows that, “each of the 1303 home sites will have one vote…”. How do you intend to count the homes that don’t vote? What will the parameters of the election be? Will they be limited to votes in person and proxy OR will you consider households that don’t attend and do not submit a proxy to be in favor of drilling? This is an important question, not left to this blog. I intend to call you personally on this matter.

Regards,

JC

Comment by Jim Cafferty

Jim,

I believe we are all opposed to the drilling as well as the Bridlewood HOA. It is hard for me to believe that any, if not all, residents in our neighborhood could care less about any money received from an oil & gas company. It is such a small amount that it really should not even be brought up for discussion.

Just a question for you.

Do you believe the Bridlewood HOA is corrupt?

This is not a trick question. I just want your opinion.

Comment by Wade Johnson

Wade:

Given what I have read and heard, on this site, others, and in public meetings, I cannot square the circle. I think you are in the same place. How many weeks have passed and still no survey from our HOA. This is either laziness, incompetence or something else. Why the delays? Why the reversals, why the opposition? What is the motivation to stall and fight the will of the majority of the home owners (at least at the meeting and by proxy)? Why change the rules on a very important vote that people feel very passionate about? Why not follow Robert’s Rule of Order at the meeting? It does not make sense. Intellectual honesty makes one very curious.

I have stated this before, some young clerk at the Texas RR Commission will soon come in to work and find a petition to drill out here. That will put in motion a series of events that will really put us behind the power curve.

JC

Comment by Jim Cafferty




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