While we are extremely disappointed that the 2020 Plan was not approved, we are encouraged that the plan only failed by 150 votes. There were more yes votes than no votes with 50.1% supporting the plan. It failed because we did not make the 51% threshold required for assessment increases to pass.
The facts have not changed. It is still time for an assessment increase. Bella Vista is running a complex operation with a 2020 budget funded by an outdated 2001 revenue plan. No change in the assessment over the past 19 years meant we had no choice but to keep increasing individual fees. The 2020 Plan addressed this by increasing monthly assessments while eliminating most of our individual fees and lowering others.
We cannot afford to continue to operate with our outdated model. In exit polling information and speaking with property owners, it has become evident that a majority of unimproved property owners did not support the increase. Therefore, we will go right back out again with the same plan to eliminate and lower fees along with a $13 increase for improved properties and no increase for unimproved properties.
Most property owners will continue to come out ahead in their own personal budgets under this plan. Owners in good standing as of December 3, 2019 will be eligible to vote. Ballots/proxies will be mailed December 12, 2019; voting ends January 16 and results will be announced that evening at 6 p.m. at Riordan Hall.
The Board also approved the 2020 budget (fail version) with cuts to operations of $947,000 and $254,000 in cuts to capital projects. In addition, for 2020, the Board approved a wage freeze on all salaried POA employees as well as a freeze on bonuses. The Board and POA Management spent hours upon hours cutting the budget to a very deep level.
There will be impacts if we do not increase our assessments. They may be subtle at first or appear not to impact everyone, but over time there will be a steady, negative impact on Bella Vista. The biggest consequence for all property owners will be the lowering of the value of our own homes and property. We don’t believe any property owner wants to see that happen. We encourage you to support the 2020 Plan and assessment increase. Thank you.