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Laguna Woods Village discusses coronavirus surge, four board vacancies

Village Management Services CEO Jeff Parker noted the surge in COVID-19 cases countywide in his report during a regular board meeting of the Golden Rain Foundation on Tuesday, July 7.

“Yesterday we had 634 new COVID-19 cases in Orange County,” he said, citing the Orange County Health Care Agency. “This morning’s report is that it’s now up to 1,028 (new) cases.”

The number — breaching the thousands in a single daily tally — is a first for the county.

Parker said that the county averaged about 150 to 250 new cases per day.

Citywide, COVID-19 cases number 21, including one VMS employee.

“As you probably are well aware, the more cases you see, the lag time then becomes the hospitalizations,” Parker said. “Just be aware of that and notice that these cases are pushing extreme numbers and it’s going up.”

OCHA reports a 10% increase in hospitalizations, although about 41% of beds and 66% of ventilators remain vacant.

This follows a June 29 announcement of a mutual-wide, emergency resolution — voted down by GRF — that requires residents to wear face coverings in “Village public areas,” including sidewalks, streets, creek areas and walking to and from one’s manor to their car or mailbox, effective immediately.

“As the resolution reads, if you’re walking anywhere and you are a United or Third resident, you can be ticketed for masks,” President Bunny Carpenter said. “That part has nothing to do with GRF.”

Face covering checks are taking place at all gates. Any non-compliant resident may be cited $50 upon first violation, $100 upon second and $250 upon third.

The resolution holds a maximum duration of 120 days from its effective date. Enforcement began July 6.

Resignations, re-appointments and election

Carpenter announced the resignation of four directors, Joe Fitzekam, Beth Parker, Annette Sabol Soule and Pat English.

“Their decision to resign was a personal one,” Carpenter said. “I wish them the best of luck in all their future endeavors. GRF will truly miss them.”

New officers were elected during a closed-session meeting on June 17, re-appointing Carpenter as president and electing Egon Garthoffner as vice president and Judith Troutman as secretary.

The treasurer position will remain open until after the election, Carpenter said.

The election will be held virtually in a special meeting of the corporate members on Thursday, July 23 at 11:30 a.m.

Candidates must submit applications and statements to Corporate Secretary Cheryl Silva no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15 via email,, or via, USPS addressed to 24351 El Toro Road, Laguna Woods, CA 92637, attention GRF Board of Directors.

There are four vacancies available: one 4-month term, two 2-year terms and one 2 1/2-year term.

To date, 19 applications have been collected for the open seats, Carpenter said.

Annual club fee reduction

The board approved a resolution that would reduce the annual fee for small clubs — those with 50 members or less — from $50 to $25.

Of the 254 registered clubs, 136 of them would qualify as a small club, according to a VMS staff report.

The 41 clubs that have paid their dues would be refunded, if the resolution passes on a second reading.

The annual fee generates $12,700 in revenue for GRF, a staff report stated. The reduction would drop the annual revenue rate to approximately $9,300, a decrease of $3,400.

GRF unanimously passed the resolution 6-0-0 on its first reading. The resolution must now satisfy a 28-day notification requirement.

Election schedule and inspector

GRF approved a resolution that appoints the UniLect Corporation as the independent inspector of elections for the 2020 election of directors.

UniLect, a returning company that was hired for the same job last year, has contracted with other homeowner associations and is Davis-Stirling Act compliant, according to a VMS staff report.

The approved proposal costs GRF $1,200, a staff report stated.

Key milestones for the upcoming election are as follows:

Nominations open Sept. 11

Nominations close Sept. 23

Mail ballot package Oct. 12

Ballots due Nov. 12

Annual meeting of Corporate Members Nov. 12

The board unanimously passed the resolution 6-0-0. It takes immediate effect.

Source: Orange County Register

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