EMAIL: ed@edmelia.com

  • Candidate Statement

    Tahoe Donner Association 2018 Board Director Election Candidate Statement

    Personal Background
    In 1981 my wife, Barbara, and I visited some friends in Tahoe Donner. We truly enjoyed our visit. We were attracted to Truckee, with the beauty of the mountains & forest and felt that Tahoe Donner and its amenities were a jewel of the Sierra. So, in January 1982 we became Tahoe Donner property owners and have been here for more than 36 years. Like many of TD members we have had to paint the house several times, replace the roof, went through the conversion to natural gas, replaced the driveway’s asphalt, repaired decks crushed by the snow and have endured several defensible space inspections. I was elected to the Tahoe Donner Board for a 3-year term in 2005 and served as President, Treasurer and Director at Large.

    Although our primary residence is in Sacramento, we are in Tahoe Donner as much as possible – usually every weekend. I’m not retired but, I am spending more time in Tahoe Donner – many “weekends” are for 4-5 days and even longer stays over the holidays. We are very active “off-the-hill users” of Tahoe Donner. Our three grown children learned to ski at Tahoe Donner’s ski hill and they, along with their spouses, enjoy visiting TD during the summer & winter. Now, our seven grandchildren are learning to ski in Tahoe Donner.

    Over the years my family has used most of Tahoe Donner’s facilities - we have thoroughly enjoyed the amenities. We enjoy life in the mountains, we love this community, think Tahoe Donner employees are great and benefit from Tahoe Donner as a fantastic, unique community.

    I am a California licensed Attorney and Certified Public Accountant. I established my Sacramento based Certified Public Accountant firm in 1981, specializing in income taxes, with clients in various states and some foreign countries. Prior to that time I worked for one of the Big 8 CPA firms in their San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento offices. I’ll spend even more time in Tahoe Donner as I slowly move toward retirement.

    Qualifications
    I am familiar with being on small Boards (6 directors) and large Boards (over 120 voting directors). These Boards have been not-for-profit and for profit entities. I have served as a Director for the Sacramento Estate Planning Council, Director for the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (over 35,000 members) and the Board of Regents for a high school. I was a Board member for a not-for-profit Mobile Home Park that has 500+ units - it had some of the same issues Tahoe Donner has faced. I am a past President and Director for the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, Sacramento Chapter.

    I have been an officer & director for a corporation that had operations in California, Oregon & Arizona. The company generated sales of $120 million of beverage & agriculture products throughout the US to numerous foreign countries.

    Objectives and Priorities
    When our members & Directors voted to acquire land in the Euer Valley, expand Trout Creek and to build The Lodge they made a major financial commitment. Our community has a huge financial commitment in our amenities:

    Amenities – First and foremost, all of the amenities and services need to be maintained for the benefit of all property owners.

    Funding Amenity Expansion - When Dart Industries developed Tahoe Donner, the facilities were large enough to support their sales programs but they were not built large enough to handle a complete build out. We need to slowly fund the improvements and not rely on special assessments and large annual assessments for updates & expansions to the amenities.

    Forestry & Fire Protection - Our forest is always very dry in the middle of summer and risk of fire can be extreme. In the past 15 years, Tahoe Donner has been threatened by two separate wild fires. Because of the fire prevention work done by our forester, Bill Houdyschell and his crew, we have not experienced a disaster.

    Communications – Have you ever received a reply to an email that you sent to the Board. I recall multiple emails that I have sent in recent years to the Board with a zero reply rate. Some members of the current Board appear to be trying to have better communications with our members. If you send me an email, I will do my best to respond in a timely fashion.

    Finances & Fees – In earlier years, our dues subsidized the operating costs for most, if not all, of the amenities. This created an unfair situation for those members who did not use all of the amenities yet funded a significant amount of the operating costs without receiving a benefit. The current Board is moving toward having the amenity users to pay the basic operating costs from user fees instead of from dues. Our Board has been working to control the costs of the amenities. I agree with this priority. The amenities user fees should be reasonable & fair to all members.

    Open Space – When the Directors voted to acquire a portion of the Euer Valley, they sent a strong message that Open Space is important. I believe we should continue to manage our open space for the benefit of our members.

    Mail Boxes – In 2008 I received an email from a member who, after owning a house in TD for 10 years, became a full-time resident. He told me that there are no mail boxes available in TD which forces him to drive downtown to pick up his mail. Nothing has changed in the past 10 years. The post office claims that the mail boxes in TD are so old that they cannot be repaired (no parts), they have no funds to replace the mail boxes and there are no funds to build any type of a substation in TD. Recently, another TD member said they could not have mail delivered in TD. One of my priorities is to work with the Board to resolve this issue.

    Annual Assessment (aka Dues) – My annual dues are twice as expensive as most of our members because I own a house and the lot next to my house. I am very sensitive to the ever-increasing annual dues. I want your support so that I can work with the current Board keeping the annual increases as small as possible while continuing to fund for future maintenance and improvements.

    Perhaps, most importantly, most of you have heard of the upheaval happening on the current Board of Directors. The Board I served on ten years ago also experienced difficulties, and much disarray. We successfully steered through this period. I will bring this experience with me into the next Board, and I intend to assist steering us through this challenging period for the Leadership of Tahoe Donner. Vote for me!
    Education
    St. Mary’s College, Moraga, CA – B.S. (Accounting)
    University of California, Hastings College of The Law, San Francisco, CA – J.D.

    Support
    In my quest to represent you on the Board, I have the support of:
    Cheryl Genin – Past President of Tahoe Donner Board of Director
    Pat Ghiglieri – Past Vice President of Tahoe Donner Board of Director

    Sacramento 916-489-0620; Truckee 530-587-5207 ed@edmelia.com
    Please call or email me if you have any comments or questions.

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