Dear Ballantrae landowner,
The HOA Board is advised by several residents that some group identifying itself as "Team BRC" is alleging that it has official standing in the Ballantrae community to act for or on behalf of our resident landowners or tenants. In short, that simply is not true. There is only one “Team” here, Ballantrae Homeowner Association. We meet in the open, you know our names, we have a fiduciary duty to you, our books and records are open, we have a licensed community association manager and counsel.
So, get yourself a beverage, sit down and put your feet up, and let's talk for a few minutes. Let's separate truth from fiction, and about how you can become a positive contributor to Ballantrae.
By law, only the Ballantrae Homeowner Association is empowered to act with and for landowners regarding their private property. It also provides information through its Ballantrae HOA page and Facebook. Only the Ballantrae Community Development District is empowered to act regarding community property, including but not limited to our wetlands, ponds, community lawns, storm water system and the amenities located in Ballantrae Park. Their information can be found at www.Ballantraecdd.org.
All owners of lots in Ballantrae are automatically members of both groups and have rights of access to our meetings and information held by both boards. You also have the right to address and question your representatives on each of these Boards. You have the right to participate in the selection and election of the members of each board that represents you. In fact, our HOA rules require that only 25 percent of our landowners need to participate in an election for it to be valid, compared to a 50-75 percent minimum threshold in many other communities, which is very difficult for them to attain.
On each of their websites and the HOA's Facebook page, you can find a great deal of accurate information about the HOA and CDD, including the names and contact information for all officers and the managers employed by each board. The dates and times of our monthly meetings are also posted, meetings that are always open to the public for your attendance and participation. Regrettably, we know of too many instances where your neighbors and perhaps even you were misinformed, mislead and confused by the misinformation posted and distributed elsewhere. We value and respect discussions, opposing views and constructive suggestions, but we are greatly concerned about the persistent, self-serving, intentional distribution of inaccurate statements. Our efforts to post corrections have been defeated as the anonymous person who controls the other websites does not want you to hear the truth or even a response from your Board of Directors. We, at every meeting, invite everyone to attend and to speak. You can hear all views at our meetings.
Because of their lack of transparency, I am unable to tell you much of anything about "Team BRC." I know of no public place where you can find its by-laws, a list of its officers (and who elected/Appointed them), their goals and agenda, any monies they might collect or disburse. As such, they are not bound by our documents or statutes and have no direct responsibility to anyone other than their own personal agenda. You will not find a list of their public meetings, the kind that are normally and regularly convened by bona fide community groups, such as your HOA and the CDD.
That leaves "Team BRC" communicating through a Facebook page with most of its main entries by anonymous writers using pseudonyms to hide their identities from you. Like any Facebook page, it is subject to erroneous postings. However, this site blocks your HOA from posting information that would correct BRC's many, many errors of fact in even the most basic HOA, CDD and other information about our community.
It has been reported by residents claiming BRC membership that its only meetings are by conference telephone call and then by invitation-only. The one public meeting they convened that I know of attracted approximately 6-8 residents. BRC has never issued a public invitation that I've seen inviting all the residents of Ballantrae to a public meeting where BRC would unveil who they are and disclose their goals.
So, the bottom line is that, as a matter of policy, you should never rely upon often-incorrect web postings by anonymous writers for any group shrouded in secrecy. Instead, please consult information provided in the bright sunlight by your open and public HOA and CDD boards. And, if you have a question, just ask us!
If you've read this far, I must thank you and believe in your commitment to our community. So, I'd like to ask you to go even a bit further and become an active, positive contributor in our community. Here's how:
First, please bring your expertise, knowledge and ideas to share with the community at our monthly HOA meetings, as often as your busy schedule allows. We meet the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the clubhouse. Your ideas and contributions will help us to improve our community. We all often have the same goals. Let's work together on finding the best way to reach them.
Next, we are always in need of volunteers on our committees. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more or in serving on a committee.
Lastly, be our eyes and ears in your community. As Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco often says, "see something, say something" by reporting unusual events and suspicious people or suspicious activity to the Sheriff's Office. If you see a violations of community declarations and rules that diminish our community, you can report them anonymously to our community association manager J.C. Eckstein at Ameri-Tech Companies at (813) 968-8008 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transparency, accuracy, accountability, and cooperation -- that's what will help us improve our already vibrant and beautiful community.
Please help your HOA -- and yourself -- by not settling for less for our community.
Thanks for listening, and I hope to see you soon at an HOA Board meeting!