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FIRE INSURANCE PREMIUMS TOO HIGH?
If you own your full time home or second home in Lake Arrowhead or the surrounding communities, and had your homeowner's fire insurance policy either canceled for no cause or had your fire insurance premiums doubled or tripled, State Assemblyman Jay Obernolte wants to hear from you. Insurance companies under California State Law may use "risk for fire scores" to raise homeowners premiums. Recently, some locals have experienced huge increases in their fire insurance rates. Unfortunately, a number of homeowners have been notified by their insurance companies that they are canceling their homeowners' policies with no specific cause. Obernolte is requesting that if you've experienced these huge increases, contact his office to open a case file. Obernolte is collecting data to highlight this troubling situation in our Mountain communities in an effort to stop these unfair practices. If this situation is allowed to continue, Obernolte is concerned that these unjustified high insurance rates for homeowners and businesses may have a negative impact on our Mountain economy. Please be advised that only those homeowners and businesses who have been unjustly raised or canceled should call his office to obtain a form to open a file to help him help our community. If homeowners aren't being invoiced to pay these outrageously high rates, or haven’t been unjustly canceled, then there's no need to contact his office. To open a case file and obtain the form to fill out for Assemblyman Obernolte, call his office at 760 244-5277. Obernolte's staff members are ready to assist his Mountain constituents, if help is needed filling out forms or for any other concerns.
RECALL TARGETS ALA PREZ PATTI MCGONIGLE
For the first time in the Arrowhead Lake Association's 40 plus year history, a Director recall has been initiated against Patti McGonigle, ALA Director and the Association's President. In a cover letter by Ray Wojnar, an ALA member residing in McGonigle's Grass Valley District, it states that “it's time to take action and fix the problem at ALA.” Focusing on President Patti McGonigle, the petition states that she “has failed the ALA membership in many ways,” pointing out that “ALA Members cannot afford President McGonigle's leadership any longer.” The recall petition goes on to say that “it's time to put the ALA back on track and send a message to the ALA Board that they are still accountable to us, the membership.”The Petition to Recall ALA President Patti McGonigle describes the following reasons as justification for this recall action:1. Costs of repairing and replacing the Village Docks is expected to exceed $500,000.00 not including annual maintenance, operation, repair and insurance costs, which must now be paid entirely by ALA members. Back in September 2015, ALA members overwhelmingly voted NOT to assume ownership of the Village Docks in an Advisory Ballot, where the vote was 2-1 against ALA taking over those docks. 2. ALA members pay 100% of the full time employee’s health care premiums which cover the employees, their spouses and all dependents which is more than $200,000.00 this year. Despite being grossly over Budget, the ALA Board Majority led by President McGonigle, voted to increase employee expenses by $350,000.00 in the 2016-17 Budget.3. President McGonigle cast the deciding vote in favor of the unbalanced Budget for 2016-17. McGonigle voted to approve the 15% increase in membership fees even though the increase would not cover all ALA expenses for 2016-17. 4. Property values in the ALA Grass Valley District has been negatively impacted due to neglect.5. Under President McGonigle, ALA has been involved in six lawsuits. Due to these lawsuits ALA was 518% over budget in administrative legal expenses for the past year. According to ALA Bylaws, members who own property in a Director's district, in this case, McGonigle's Grass Valley District, may sign a Petition to Recall their Director. Once 15% of the eligible voters sign and submit their Petitions to Recall McGonigle, then ALA will mail ballots to all members in the voting district of Grass Valley to determine whether McGonigle is successfully recalled by a majority of votes. The cover letter stated that the goal is to submit 200 Recall Petition signatures to ALA. In bold writing at the bottom of the Petition to Recall, it affirms, that as an ALA member of the Grass Valley District, the member does not believe “ALA President Patti McGonigle has acted in the best interests of the ALA members,” the member supports the Recall and asks for a “Recall Election of Patti McGonigle to be held pursuant to the Bylaws.” The cover letter also provided directions for filling out the Petition to Recall to provide one signature per membership and included the address to mail the signed Recall Petition. ALA members in the Grass Valley District were also provided with a map of the Grass Valley District, as well as an email address to file the petition: firstname.lastname@example.org
WILDFIRE AWARENESS: DEFENSIBLE SPACE
Each year California highlights the importance of wildfire prevention and preparedness by declaring the first full week of May as “Wildfire Awareness Week”. This year during the week of May 1–7, CAL FIRE and fire departments across the state will remind residents of the dangers posed by wildfires and the simple steps that should be followed to prepare for and prevent them. Despite getting some much-needed rain this winter, we’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to the drought. Because droughts increase the risk of wildfires, being prepared is as important as ever. Protect your family, home, and property by creating and maintaining defensible space now.Creating defensible space is essential to improve your home's chance of surviving a wildfire. It's the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surround it. This space is needed to slow or stop the spread of wildfire, and it protects your home from catching fire-either from direct flame contact or radiant heat. Defensible space is also important for the protection of the firefighters defending your home.
PAY UNDER PROTEST, BUT PAY YOUR FIRE FEE!
During the Saturday April 16th’ Town Hall Meeting at the Tudor House, State Assemblyman Jay Obernolte passionately spoke to mountain residents about the California Fire Fee, which he refers to as a TAX. Obernolte presented some background information about how the Legislature didn't have the 2/3 majority vote for it to pass as a Tax, so it was deemed a "fee" leaving residents living in unincorporated areas of California having to pay ever since. Within the 30 days allotted to pay your bill, Obernolte explained that residents need to file a Petitionof Re-Determination along with a reason for protesting the fire Fee. He suggested residents visit The Howard Jarvis website and download the protest form and paragraph explaining the basis for your protest to be included with the protest form. He also advised residents not to mail the protest form with their Fire Fee payments, as the protest form needs to be mailed separately, also within the 30 days from date of mailing. Interested Residents need to file this protest form, so they may become covered under the Class Action lawsuit that the Howard Jarvis group has filed challenging the Fee/Tax. Back in August 2015, Class Action status was granted to the lawsuit, and it was certified as a Class Action last fall. Obernolte stressed how important it is to file the protest form in order to make a claim for repayment later, if the lawsuit proves successful. Cal Fire men and women who work for us are doing a great job, and they aren't to blame for this Fee/Tax he said. Residents were also offered assistance filling out the Protest forms by Obernolte's office staff. State Senator Mike Morell also spoke at the Town Hall about citizens becoming involved and making sure governmental agencies work for its citizens. Morell also offered to assist residents with their dealings with any governmental agency. Obernolte also asked any residents who had a huge increase in their homeowners insurance premium to contact his office, so they can open a case file. It's a complex issue, but under state law insurance companies can use “risk for fire” scores to raise premiums. Obernolte explained that these outrageously high insurance rates for homeowners and businesses can have a negative impact on our mountain economy if this situation continues, and he wants to help prevent that from happening
VILLAGE SURRENDERS TO ALA!
BACK FEES PAID AND DOCKS GIVEN UP
As of March 1, 2016, the Lake Arrowhead Village surrendered to the Arrowhead Lake Association ownership of 37 of their slip rights, after 3 years of refusing to pay their dock fees, late fees, transfer fees and interest totaling over $87,000 owed to the ALA. The Village chose to keep only 2 docks and dock rights to accommodate The Arrowhead Queen and for the McKenzie Water Ski School. Now, the Village has the contractual obligation to pay ALA for only 2 docks annually. ALA filed a lawsuit against the Village for their delinquent dock fees, but both parties came to an agreement without incurring court costs. The Village reportedly paid ALA $70K and surrendered 37 slip rights and docks to the Association. Though ALA gave the Village permission to utilize the junked 38 slip Yacht Club dock back in 2013, the Village never had any rights to these slips. Since its relocation to the McDonald’s area, the dock has posed a problem for all concerned, even though the Village got the benefit of its use, ALA members complained about the dock being in bad condition and the Village failing to properly maintain it. A big issue for the Village now, is that they have chosen to surrender their 37 dock rights along with the physical slips, and now, it appears that the value of their property has declined by several hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is difficult to put a valuation on a commercial slip right as they can't rent the slip overnight per ALA rules. There is also the loss of valuable assets to the Village when it surrendered their physical docks, as large multiple docks can cost over $200,000. Documents from the Village's recent refinancing indicate that they claimed to own 49 slips, while according to a reliable source, the Village has had only 39 slip rights since 2009 after they surrendered 10 slip rights back to ALA, ironically, for nonpayment of dock fees. A big issue for ALA is that now that they have possession of all the Village docks, the recent Member Advisory Ballot made it clear that their Boating Members voted 2-1 overwhelmingly that they didn't want to pay for the Village Docks operation and maintenance. The question now is how will ALA pay for all the newly acquired Village Docks, their associated costs and loss of dock revenue from the Village? It does not appear that there are funds allocated for this new expense in the 2016/17 Operating Budget which was just approved by the ALA Board in a 4-3 vote at the February 20th ALA Special Board Meeting. Additionally, as part of the same 4-3 Board vote, ALA members are going to be hit with a 15% increase in dock, overnight boat, beach club, general membership fees and $200.00 increase for Day use boat fees within a $4.2 Million Dollar Operating Budget, putting ALA in the red in the amount of $118,000.00 starting their fiscal year as of April 1st, 2016. Lake Arrowhead Municipal Advisory Council The next meeting of the Lake Arrowhead Municipal Advisory Council, (MAC) will take place on Thursday June 2, 2016at 6:00 pm. It will be held at Fire Station 91 in the Community Room. The MAC, is our local community forum created to provide a monthly meeting for our residents to hear about and comment on a number of local and countrywide topics. County officials, staff and other non-county agency staff utilize MAC meetings as an opportunity to provide the community with information or updates.Matters of public health, safety, welfare, public works, planning or issues that may affect the community are among the concerns for the MAC. Everyone is invited to attend and encouraged to get involved.