Monday, December 31, 2018

Goodbye!

As the Chronicle and emails from management noted earlier - we bid adieu today (12/31) to Jennifer Gilmore, property manager of King Farm. She has decided to move on to other things. 

I imagine it was tough to do the business of keeping King Farm, literally a small town, running smoothly. It was a task made even more difficult by the recent embezzlement  King Farm suffered by a former employee. But she did an admirable job soldiering on and trying to get  King Farm made whole - which it was. I  think she leaves us on good footing.

As someone once said though - no one is indispensable. I imagine this is the case for our HOA as well. 

I wish Jen well in her new endeavors as we turn the page and write begin a new chapter in King Farm’s HOA. 


Saturday, December 22, 2018

Controversy Brings Out The Best And Worst In People

It is easy to be a leader or to be part of a group charged with decision-making when times are good. It is easy to rest on your laurels, everyone feels good, everyone smiles and tells you what a good job you are doing.

But the good times don't last forever, and every organization has some bad times. Times when leaders and the leadership group have to bear down have to lead and have to suffer the slings and arrows that come their way.

It is at this time that leadership is tested. Some rise to the occasion. Some crumble or lash out.

Let me tell you a story.

I used to work at an organization (you would know it if I said the name). Well, we worked with a fairly well-known celebrity to record a robo-call asking people to contact Congress about some issue. It was fairly standard. I went to NYC and recorded the take and then went back to DC to set it all up. My boss at the time was working with me to make it happen.

The morning of the robocall arrived. They were scheduled to go out at 4:00 that afternoon - 100,000 or so people would be getting that call around dinner time. Or so we thought. But I was awakened that morning by news that the robocalls had gone out at 4:00 in the morning. Someone set up the system wrong (we used a vendor).

Imagine the feeling. We went from excited to just a pit of despair. Of course we expected to be fired. Me especially.

But instead I saw leadership that day. I saw the head of the organization call the Board meeting, put out a statement, talk the celebrity down and smooth everything over. Then he got on the phone to myself and my boss and reassured us that our jobs were safe. I've never forgotten that - he always had those qualities but they'd never been so obvious before then to me.

Let me tell you another story.

A small organization goes through a bumpy transition. Nothing too major, but it is a change and is kind of tumultuous and people are complaining and looking for leadership. Not only does the leadership not communicate to their constituents nor to the people charged with leading  the organization, but instead they say, "I didn't want to do it anyway. It is not my fault."

This, needless to say, antagonizes everyone. And doesn't do anybody any good. The community doesn't look favorably on the organization, the organizational leadership is angry and confused and the relationship between the new incoming vendor is strained. That my friends is poor leadership.

I am glad that in the prior story that my boss had good leadership skills. What could have been a disaster was turned around into a good news story. What could have negatively impacted our fundraising was instead seen in a positive light. And with all that attention I'm certain we got even more calls to Congress on the issue than we would have otherwise. That is the power of a good leader.

An organization's character starts from the top. I've seen one example of good leadership. The jury is still out on the second, but it isn't looking good.




Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Quick Thought For The Day

I was thinking, recently, about how it really is a mistake to think that less communication and avoiding problems is the easier path.

You know what? I think I was right.

Leadership, it seems to me, is about confronting those problems head on. And building compromise and solutions that work for everyone.

And when a decision is made not backing out of it or saying, "I didn't want to do that" when things get a little complicated or some folks take issue with the decision. 

But some folks may disagree. That is fine, but they should not hold themselves out as leaders.

Leadership certainly is not retreating to a sullen silence or attacking others rather than working together to fix the problem.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Please Take the 2018 Neighborhood Survey

As this year ends, I thought it would be a good idea to ask - how are you feeling about the community  we all live in? What would you like to see to not see get worked on in the next year?

So, I put together this survey. Please note - it isn't an official HOA survey - this is just mine. I will share results with the community on this blog (except for comments of course). But - responses are completely anonymous. I'll leave the survey up for at least 2 weeks or so. Please feel free to contact me with questions or comments at dbjackso1@gmail.com. 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MR2FL8Y

Feel free to forward on the link to anyone else who lives in King Farm.

Friday, December 7, 2018

The 2019 Budget - Good News

Sometimes a bit of news gets stepped on or glossed over in our haste to move on to the next thing. Case in point: do you remember the shuttle buses and the change that was implemented to require a key fob be shown to board a shuttle bus so that King Farm residency could be established?

I remember it. And I am sure that a few other King Farmers do as well. Especially if they were turned away from the Shuttle bus because they didn't have a fob. 

Well....

Fast forward to a couple of months ago. The King Farm HOA was announcing that homeowners' fees would not be increased. I believe that one of the Trustees announced that due to the key fob system that the apartments up by Shady Grove had made a substantial payment to allow their residents to use the Shuttle bus... 

This was awesome news! The key fob system worked as intended, the apartments paid for the access to the system, and fees remained steady partly due to the payment from the apartments. 

Hopefully you will see something on this in the Chronicle or a Management Memo. I think it is a very good piece of news and should be celebrated.

Happy Holidays to All Those Volunteering!

Happy Holidays! To all the people who volunteer for King Farm or the Swim Team or various charities or the city or wherever you do - thank you.

Non-Profit or neighborhood organizations could not function without your help and assistance and good will.

This year I have had the pleasure of serving with volunteers alongside the Board of Trustees and the President, of running for that position alongside others who were volunteers, of being on Election and Communication committees and took part in meal packing on the Mall and a political campaign in TN where I met wonderful volunteers. The Swim Team was a real volunteer effort - where each swim meet both teams had to have volunteers to make the whole event go. It was a feat to see so many volunteers pulling together to make it happen. 

I'm proud to live in a place where so many people volunteer - for Swim Team, the HOA, the school(s), the surrounding charities, the newly formed King Farm Neighbors Village and everything else that people give their time to. 

In my experience, the best organizations are those that realize how important volunteers are to them and never take them for granted. Staff come and go, some are better than others - but they are paid. Volunteers just get to work and don't ask anything in return.  

They just do it because it needs doing.




Monday, December 3, 2018

Playing nice versus making progress

Someone said this on twitter: “We sometimes have to make nice with bad people to get where we want to go in life, and learning how is a useful skill. However, I don’t think it’s wise to make a civic virtue out of it. Choosing what’s right is the virtue. Choosing ‘everyone stays friends’ is ultimately toxic.” 

I thought it quite profound. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

On Leadership

I was reflecting on the passing of George H.W. Bush and what it means to be a leader. Juxtaposed against the current occupant of the White House.

It leaves a lot to be desired.

If only more people strove to embrace those types of qualities that drove George H.W. Bush - the desire to serve, to give back, to give yourself selflessly to your country (he enlisted a year after Pearl Harbor and early - by lying about his age), and what I think was his greatest moment in politics when he went back on his "read my lips - no new taxes" pledge because new taxes were needed. He didn't let his past words constrain him when it was the right thing for the country. He lost but he did it his way. I have a lot of respect for that.

Contrast that with current people in positions of oversight of organizations. Whether the president or local officials or even neighborhood association - everyone seems to have an angle or an agenda.  Everyone loves to gossip and spread rumors. Often even with conspiratorial overtones. People love to place blame rather than find solutions. Rules are made for others. And information is to be kept secret and hoarded - because information (so some believe) is power. 

Power, even imaginary power, does strange things to people.

Like the inauguration crowd, or the Russian probe or the voting process - people in power or those who imagine themselves powerful cling to their narratives rather than looking to embrace change or even admit that their way of doing things is obsolete or wrong. So they lash out, scream "fake news" or worse make up their own version of why things happened the way they did and then stubbornly cling to their theories even going so far as to promote them using every channel they can. They scapegoat people, make up accusations and even threaten folks who don't agree with them. 

Hopefully, we can get back to where leadership skills matter, and where character counts and where reasoned debate can win out. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not next week or month. But new people will step up, new ideas will prevail - and new leadership will eventually win out. Especially if people step up and throw out those who use conspiracy theories and other levers to cling stubbornly to their perceived power and ignore those who they purport to "lead". 

Let's hope it is sooner rather than later.

A great article by Bill Clinton about George H.W. Bush.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Sigh

Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke. Two polar opposites.

It is a good sign when former rivals, from different parties, in a bitterly fought race can put aside their. Differences and their past to get along.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/orourke-and-cruz-run-into-each-other-at-texas-airport/ar-BBPIAzd?ocid=sf

It would be so nice if every one could learn that lesson. But some people continue to hold onto the past and bite the hand of peace. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Communications Report Recommendations

Okay. The Communications Committee has finished its report and made recommendations to the Board. I assume that they will be talking about elements of the report for a while - as it is pretty long and pretty detailed. There is a heck of a lot in it. I want to thank everyone who worked on it. There were a good many people on it and I think everyone provided input, ideas and feedback.

You can read the entire report here if you'd like - on Google Docs.

One thing is clear to me at least, I think there is a need top stand up a regular Communications Committee if anyone wants to serve on it.   The Board set one up long ago, but it was never stood up - I think we should.

There are several recommendations for the BOT that I would highlight. They are:

Recommendations For The Board:

  • Immediately begin capturing meetings through a web camera or other video capturing device for Board meetings, forums, etc.
  • Social Media etiquette for HOA Board/President (guidelines for engaging).
  • Name a pointperson/spokesman for the outside groups in King Farm (Facebook, List serv, Next Door, etc.).
  • A crisis management plan should be in place.
  • The BOT should develop and put in place some standards for submissions to the HOA for publication in King Farm channels.
  • The BOT and President should decide if the Communications Committee should be formally set up to help implement items in this report.
  • Create a process and procedure for answering residents inquiries to the President/Management/BOT.
There are more but I won't bore you with the bullet points. Needless to say we came up with a whole slew of ideas. Some are more doable than others. The Board and Management and President can decide whether to adopt some or all or none of these recommendations. 

Look over the report here, and send me ideas or comments (dbjackso1@gmail.com), comment below or send them to trustees@kingfarm.org. All comments are welcome and this report is just a start - so don't assume that your idea will fall on deaf ears!






Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Election Modernization Committee's Report

After a good bit of work, the members of the King Farm Election Modernization Committee have given their report over to the HOA's Board of Trustees and the President and Management.

I'm kind of geeky, it's true. But I am truly excited by the Board considering our recommendations and Management moving to update and modernize our elections. Yes, it is just an HOA - not a city, state or national election. But that is all the more reason why we should get it right. There are simply fewer moving parts. And maybe, just maybe, more people will take part!

Volunteers Laura Laudenberger and Thomas Darron were a huge help in pulling this together.

It is a little long (but you can view the document here), but here are the recommendations for the Board to consider:

Suggested Changes in the Elections Process

Option 1 - Ballots By Mail
This option brings King Farm into line with Rockville’s new mail-in ballot program slated to begin in 2019 for the City elections. King Farm could likely replicate the system that Rockville will be putting in place. The only question is whether Rockville’s vote-by-mail system is advanced enough in its implementation and execution to have a framework that would be replicable in time for April 2019 King Farm elections. Presumably, Rockville has looked into many of the issues raised in this report such as increasing privacy, combating fraud, and ongoing ballot collections. The HOA office would still be open. It would be up to discussion whether in-person ballots could be cast anytime or only in a limited timeframe given staffing constraints. Even without replicating Rockville’s system, King Farm ballots by mail should provide a less burdensome ballot.

Option 2 - In-Person voting
This option, while not ideal, would be to have a single day as the election day. Residents would be required to cast their ballot in-person or drop off their ballot at the HOA’s Community Center. No mail-in ballots would be accepted. Only true “absentee” ballots would be permitted if registered voters requested them using similar requirements to Maryland or Rockville election rules.

This option has the advantage of increasing privacy but the disadvantage of making the election participation more unlikely.

Option 3 - Hybrid Election
A combination of mail-in ballots and in-person voting, this option has the added attraction of being very similar to what King Farm currently undertakes in its elections. The only tweak would be to arrange the office to handle in-person voting during normal office hours for up to a week (or whatever is specified) prior to the election.

Option 4 - Hybrid Election with Online Components
Technology has advanced enough to make online voting more secure and feasible, especially in smaller voting pools such as King Farm. There are several firms that specialize in online voting systems and could help King Farm go electronic. However, there is distrust of technology and a lack of adoption of computers by a significant section of the population. However, combining an online voting system with either a mail and/or in-person system could certainly be feasible. A coordinated and long-term education effort would have to be undertaken in order to see this system be utilized to its full potential.

Other recommendations -

Recommendations for Board Action:

  • Decide between Options and recommend adoption of that option.
  • Decide whether King Farm wants same day registration.
  • Decide whether to allow online voting. If yes, decide whether it should adopted in the 2019 election or deferred until 2020.
  • Decide if Management should explore opportunities for Livestreaming or putting the Candidates’ Forum online for later viewing.

Recommendations for Management/President Action:
  • Election committees should be named at least six weeks prior to election day.
  • Text should be changed to reflect “mailed in” ballots rather than the erroneously named, “proxy ballots.”
  • King Farm should work with the City to determine what they will use to ensure privacy of ballot but maintain a paper trail in case of questions.
  • Redesign King Farm ballot to remove identifying information.
  • Communicate to King Farm residents through Chronicle and email blasts that registration for upcoming elections is ongoing. Remind prior to election.
  • Each registered voter should be addressed by name and receive their own ballot.
  • The rules of the election should be clear and concise.
  • Communication on the election should begin starting at least six months out from the election.
  • Communicating the rules and procedures should be clearly communicated and publicized to candidates and voters.
  • Any changes should be clearly communicated to the candidates and the voters.



Friday, October 5, 2018

King Farm - Putting The Past Behind Us

This afternoon, KFCA put out this message. It has been a wild ride but it looks like it is finally over. We can finally put the Liz Shipe thing behind us (with appropriate oversight financially and lessons learned communication-wise).


"A MESSAGE FROM THE KING FARM PRESIDENT
Good Afternoon, 

The October Chronicle is out and if you haven’t received you copy, you will shortly. You will find my President’s Report on page 6. In it I provided an update on the insurance claim stemming from KFCA former employee Melvina “Liz” Shipe’s” theft. Given the importance of this issue and how it has impacted our community over the last year I felt it best to also provide an update to the community via an email blast. 
Insurance Claim Update: King Farm Citizens Assembly has been made WHOLE! 
As previously reported, we have continued to work closely with our insurance carrier to obtain reimbursement for the loss stemming from former KFCA employee, Melvina “Liz” Shipe’s embezzlement. Recovering funds in a case of this nature is not a quick or easy process and can typically take anywhere from 12-24 months to complete. We received a payment of the first $50,000.00 on this claim late last year and I am pleased to report that we will be receiving the remaining $310,983.18 of the claim on Monday. The check has been cut and is in transit, and don’t worry we have a tracking number so this is not one of those “the check is in the mail” type things. On Monday, upon receiving the check we will close this claim out thus making KFCA whole for the entire lossThat’s right, the ENTIRE LOSS, will be covered. Once the funds are received the Board of Trustees will then need to decide where to assign the funds. I know that KFCA general manager, Jennifer Gilmore, has already been in communication with our auditing firm and has provided the board with the auditor’s recommendation. 
This is a big deal for our community, not only has the entire loss been covered but we have been able to close it out in just 14 months. I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to recognize our general manager, Jennifer Gilmore. Recovering this loss could not have been done without her professional knowledge, dedication, and leadership. I would like to thank Jen for her honesty, integrity, and hard work throughout this past year in the aftermath of the theft. This has not been an easy year for her and her team. In addition to the hits Jen took, a whole heap of really unsavory things were said about the prior KFCA President and Board of Trustees members in the aftermath of the theft discovery and I truly hope with the closing out of the claim we can all take a giant step forward and move on. It’s time to put this whole ugly mess behind us. Together we can accomplish great things and I look forward to working with the community in finding ways to improve and flourish.

Martin Green
King Farm President"

Sunday, September 9, 2018



King Farm's HOA Contractors? They Are Your Employees. Treat Them As Such.

When I am at work and I see something off - I either tell the employee or I tell their supervisor. 

You know what I don't do?

I don't scream at or curse out the employee - in front of others. I don't berate them or cast aspersions on their character.

If I did, I guarantee I wouldn't be around too long....

That behavior isn't acceptable. It should not be acceptable in our HOA either. Yes, we pay money for these services - from management to snow removal to landscaping to pool oversight. And we should demand our money's worth - and when people don't deliver we should escalate appropriately. Take it to management, then the president, then the Board. That is the way it is supposed to work. If you don't feel you get satisfaction - run for the Board or encourage someone to run or keep pushing that issue.

Heck - yell at us the Board. Or at Martin, he's the President- that is what I do (just joking Martin... or am I?).  We asked for these jobs on the HOA Board/President and you guys voted us in. We are accountable to you and we are big people. We can take a little yelling. Plus, we want to hear if there are problems - really we do.

But - don't take it out on the staffer at the pool who is just trying to do a job. The snow removal guy or a landscaper. Or the office worker.

Yes, maybe they could do a better job. Yes, maybe they need more attention to detail or could answer an email faster or could pull up the crabgrass a little faster. But take it up with management or the president or the Board. And for god's sake - what are you going to gain by yelling or cursing at them except to make everyone (in management, the Board, the President and people everywhere) who hear about it (and I guarantee someone will) think, "Geez, what an ass."

You wouldn't do it to an employee at work. Or to a teacher at your child's school. Or even a cashier at a fast-food restaurant. Don't do it to employees of the HOA either.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Now the work begins....

The election is over.

Here is hoping that the new Board and President can get along and bring trust back to King Farm.

No more whisper campaigns. Confront people directly and conversationally. If we can't do at least that with the six people on the Board and President, what kind of example do we set?

Vague allegations and innuendo and hurt feelings should be things of the past. I would hope we aren't still driven by defensiveness or anger over the election results. 

The Board should set a good example. Especially the officers - such as the Chairman. 

Here is hoping that we turn the page, restore trust and that we try to live up to the promises we all made to King Farm and its residents.

That seems like the least we can do.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Vote Today in King Farm!

Today is the day. Make it count. Vote and then tell your friends and neighbors to do the same.

Vote Sunday April 8th
10:00 - 2:00
Saddle Ridge Community Center

Vote for President and Board of Trustees candidates

Get out, drop off your ballot or fill one out right there. It is simple, easy and it makes a difference. Make your voice heard! The HOA needs to know that people care about what is happening.

We need new people on the Board and for President.

- Barry Jacksion For King Farm Trustee

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Vote on Sunday April the 8th!

I hope every person who is eligible to vote in King Farm is able to do so.

Whoever you vote for, rather than listening to whispers - I hope you read up or talk to them about issues and about what they want to do for King Farm.

We have some excellent people who have put themselves forward to volunteer for the community. Yes, we have a sharp difference of opinion and some criticism of how the HOA has been functioning, but at the end of the day we all want the same thing - to have the HOA function smoothly and effectively and for you.

Please vote tomorrow - Sunday April the 8th from 10:00 - 2:00 at the Saddle Ridge Community Center.

You have a choice for President and Board of Trustees (four candidates vying for three seats). Vote your choices (I know who mine are).

And then stay involved. The best way to ensure that HOA does in fact do better is to be involved. Volunteer for the Budget Committee, the External Affairs committee, the Election committtee and others. Volunteer for (hopefully) improving communications or bring up other ideas (I've heard some talk about looking at and overhauling our Bylaws).

The bottom line - King Farm can be better. But to get there it needs involved people.

Friday, April 6, 2018

To Publish The Election Results or Not....

Honestly, I can't think of a reason not to publish the results of an election.

That said, if the HOA won't do it - come to the annual meeting, listen to the results, write them down and disseminate them.

Then in the future we can make sure that everyone's expectations are that vote totals will be published.

But honestly, there is a lot of stuff to fix in the King Farm elections and piublishing or not publishing the results is a pretty minor issue.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Vote April 8th - Barry Jackson For King Farm Trustee




Vote Sunday April 8th - from 10:00 - 2:00.

Or vote early - take your ballot & envelope anytime to the Saddle Ridge Community Center.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Home Stretch....

It seems like this King Farm election has gone on forever.... even though it has only been a couple about a month.

I want to bring a sunlight to King Farm as well as bring a fresh face and ask some tough questions. 

The platform I ran on is the same one that I am running on - fiscal accountability, clear communication, civility and transparency. 

Throughout this campaign these are the things I have have brought up. 

The last couple of weeks have seen a rise of rumors and innuendo the likes of which disappoint me in their vitriol. 

But whatever. I guess when you have nothing else you resort to whispers and twisting the facts. 

Here is my truth:

If I am on the Board, I'll do my best to be accountable.
If I am on the Board, I'll do my best to be civil.
If I am on the Board, I'll do my best to be communicative.
If I am on the Board, I'll do my best to be transparent. 

And if I am on the Board, I will do my best to change King Farm's HOA so that it has better communication, is more transparent, is more civil and has better fiscal oversight.

I think King Farm's HOA needs a change in its attitude. The HOA isn't your own personal playhouse. It is a residents' organization. I fear that many in the HOA have forgotten that - I want to bring it back. If you give me your vote, I will be your voice.

King Farm can be better.

On Sunday I am voting for 3 candidates for Board of Trustees-

Barry Jackson (of course)
Nancy Paul
Richard Riccardi 

We need as many people as possible with little or no baggage from the prior actions of the HOA. 

We need to turn the page

Over $300,000 was stolen from 2012-2017 from the King Farm HOA. The former employee responsible was prosecuted and convicted, yet you might not have heard anything from the HOA.

Residents deserve to know - it is your money after all. We need to turn the page on the old way of doing things.

King Farm Can Do Better. Its time for a fresh approach.

Vote for three candidates for change -

- Barry Jackson for Board of Trustees
- Nancy Paul for Board of Trustees
- Richard Riccardi for Board of Trustees

Vote April 8. From 10:00 - 2:00

 That's who I'm voting for anyway.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

On Facebook and The Fear Of The New

I have a lot of ideas - on communications, on cleaning up King Farm's elections, on volunteerism, and on having a management company versus being independent. I have heard that some people in and around the HOA are whispering about my use of a neighborhood Facebook group to talk about my campaign - which is also on a Facebook Page and on Blogger. I just want to clarify my position on electioneering and that online space.

First - I think that elections are really important and should be talked about. And the more local the more they should be talked about in groups where people in the community gather.

Second, I think that most every candidate is represented on the group - myself, Tom, Nancy, David and perhaps Martin. I am not sure if Ric or Martin even have a Facebook profile (if they don't they are smart), but if so they're welcome to join if they want to. Post your campaign post - people want to hear you. What you stand for, what you believe. They want to debate and ask questions - they want to be heard. Some of the candidates are making use of this Facebook group - to debate or post their own platform, whatever. I think that is wonderful. Or get someone to post for you, saying, "This post is for XXXX. I'm posting it for them." It truly isn't that hard.

Third, this whisper campaign is exactly what I have been talking about. We need to explore new options for reaching out and engaging others instead of complaining or saying, "it's never been done before." Just because someone doesn't like a forum or is uncomfortable in it - isn't a reason to try to attack that forum.

I'll let you guys in on a little secret. I don't like to talk in public. Since my stroke, I've recovered quite a bit, but I think I'm not always clear and don't come across well or particularly articulate. And I like to talk with my hands.... I never realized how much you communicate with your hands. But I went to the Candidate Forum and spoke. And I recorded it and put it online - via Facebook, my Barry For King Farm Trustee Page, my blog and I offered it to the King Farm website because it was the right thing to do. It wasn't edited or altered in any way. It was another outlet to be heard and be asked questions and I would have been foolish to pass it up or try to cancel it because I didn't want to do it.

Fourth, this isn't the only forum in King Farm. I'm not naive enough to think that this election is going to be decided by a few people on Facebook or by sending out a few emails. I'm out taking to people, letting them know where I stand and inviting feedback and ideas. From the list serv to Board meetings to parties, coffeeshops, Fontina and other places there are plenty of places to engage and talk to people. I'm using every option I can because I want residents of King Farm to know where I stand and to be able to ask me the difficult questions.

So, I plan to keep linking to posts of mine that I think are interesting or noteworthy.... like this one. And hopefully the other candidates will do the same. And hopefully you will either read, engage or ignore them - because there is only 1 week until it is all over and we go back to posting about kittens and swim teams and egg hunts. I for one can't wait.

I'll start early -


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Rumors and Allegations - Don’t Do It!

A reminder - rumors and unsubstantiated allegations are just that. We have now had several instances of smears or unsubstantiated rumors being thrown around.

People on the HOA Board and involved with the HOA should know better. That goes for employees and contractors doubly. You have an obligation not to speculate or to gossip - professionally or for the good of the community. Come on people. 

If someone made a threat or whatever your unhappy with - confront that person. Otherwise by whispering or posting on Facebook you are just grandstanding, throwing a bomb for the sake of throwing a bomb - and smearing everyone. I for one don’t appreciate that tactic and I would bet the other candidates don’t either. If you have proof provide it - otherwise it is hearsay and unreliable. You might be smearing someone’s name who doesn’t deserve it. 

I have tried to focus my campaign for Trustee on accountability, communications, civility and transparency. Now more than ever I am convinced that we need improvements in these areas. 

King Farm can be better. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

King Farm Can Be Better

Over $300,000 was stolen from the HOA. The person responsible has been investigated and charged and plead guilty.  To date information affecting King Farm has been slow in forthcoming.

For whatever reason the people in charge of the HOA don’t want to talk about anything related to this money. At a minimum they should have had answers to some of these questions ready for the community: Or at least have the debate. 

- What reforms will ensure this doesn’t happen again?
- How much did our management structure contribute to this poor accounting and enable this employee’s theft? Should we go back to a management company? 
- We have got $50,000 back. What about the rest? Do we have any idea?
- We have a volunteer president and Board - shouldn’t we have professionals overseeing our on-site manager? 

We know the President and Board said they couldn’t wait to discuss this theft when the investigation was finished. Now it is finished. We are still waiting on them to give us more. King Farm deserves answers. 

There is one way to send a message. Turn in your ballots or vote on April 8th. From 10 - 2. 

Of course I ask for your vote. But also please vote for Nancy Paul. I feel that she is a fresh face for King Farm and will help us get the answers that are so lacking. 

The more votes the more you say that this lack of information to King Farm is unacceptable.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A letter to my King Farm Neighbors

Barry Jackson For King Farm Trustee
 Or on Facebook at Barry Jackson For King Farm Trustee

An employee of the HOA embezzled over $300,000 over five years (from 2012-2017).

Nobody but her is responsible for this criminal act – and she will be punished. You probably have heard little or nothing about it – or you heard about it late. The Board and President were in a tough situation and handled it the best they could. But the truth is they mishandled the communication to residents about it.

Residents let them know that they didn’t agree with how word was broken to the community. There was defensiveness and anger. A lot of rumors happened in the vacuum of information from the HOA. And a lot of bad blood was created.

It will be up to a new President and a new Board to rebuild the trust with King Farm and to shed light on what happened and what can be done.

To that end I am running on four main points – Transparency, Civility, Communications and rebuilding Volunteerism.

King Farm is a great community but it can be better. We need better communication and a better way of engaging with residents. And we need an HOA that executes better and is accountable when it doesn’t.

We need a Board and a President that are open to fresh ideas. That is why I am running – and why I ask for your vote. After talking to her and listening to her ideas at the Candidate Forum - I believe that Nancy Paul is a candidate worthy of your consideration.

Sincerely,

Barry Jackson

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Here is a question I've been thinking about.

Should King Farm's HOA go back to having a management company or should we stay independently managed?

We were with a management company until about 2012. But after that we went without one.

There are good arguments for it and against it. But after seeing an employee make off with over $360,000 over the five years that we were not under a management company - I think it for sure needs to be part of the discussion.

What are your thoughts?


Friday, March 16, 2018

Correcting A Mistake

King Farm just sent out the following. Look - they made a mistake in the Chronicle. But they fixed it by saying that ballots will be counted if they are turned in by 2:00 on April 8th.That seems like a just solution to me. 

Remember - Election Date – Sunday, April 8, 2018. Voting will be open from 10AM – 2PM on April 8, 2018.
______________

"Please note that there was an error in the Chronicle regarding the deadline to turn in absentee ballots. The Chronicle listed the deadline for absentee ballots as 2PM on Election Day. All of the election notices have stated that absentee ballots are due by 12Noon on Thursday, April 5th.

The Thursday deadline was put in place to provide time for the Election Committee to review the voter registry lists and ensure absentee ballots received were indicated on the registry lists accordingly. The registry lists are used on Election Day to check-in voters and provide them with a ballot for same day voting. So, if possible, please submit your absentee ballots by 12Noon on Thursday, April 5th so that the Election Committee volunteers can prepare in advance for Election Day as much as possible. Please be assured that all valid ballots received by 2PM on Election Day will be counted. We apologize for the mistake in the Chronicle and hope this provides clarification.

A few more Absentee Ballot Tips:

· Please make sure only 1 ballot is placed in an envelope.

· Only registered voters may participate in the election. All titleholders of single family homes, townhomes and condominium units, as shown on the Assembly's records, are automatically registered. All other persons, including tenants and other occupants of a King Farm residence, who are not the record owners of the residence that wished to participate in the election should have already registered by now. The deadline to do so was February 12, 2018.

· Anyone that needs an additional absentee ballot & pre-addressed envelope can either request one from the management office via email at management@kingfarm.org , or stop by the office and pick one up. Alternatively, one can make a copy of the absentee ballot we provided and place it in an envelope.

· Please make sure to follow the directions for the absentee ballot. Don’t forget to sign and print your name on the outside of the envelope. It would be great if you listed your street address as well. The envelopes are not opened until Election Day by the Election Committee volunteers but, as stated above, the registry lists are marked ahead of time to indicate an absentee ballot has been sent in. It just makes the volunteers jobs a little easier if the name is clearly printed and if possible the address is listed on the front of the envelope.

· If you have any questions please feel free to contact the management office at management@kingfarm.org or the Election Committee at elections@kingfarm.org."

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Traffic Management in King Farm

Someone asked me about traffic management. As somebody who (now runs slowly) but who used to take awhile to cross the street (thanks to a stroke) - I can say that I am in favor of everything we can do to slow down traffic in the neighborhood, make crosswalks more visible, add stop signs and yield signs and put red-light cameras in high violation areas. In particular the Gude/Watkins Pd intersection. I see people all the time speed through that stop-light well after it turns red. That is an accident waiting to happen.


Monday, March 12, 2018

King Farm Chronicle - Maybe They Won't Notice....



The King Farm Chronicle is in the mail. They have the Candidates' Questions and Answers in there. But do you know what isn't in there? Not one word about the employee who stole over $300,000 over five years (2012 - 2017). What is up with that?

The President had a statement - released by email. The Board had a statement, read at the Board meeting.

Yet, not one word in the Chronicle. This is just wrong. The Chronicle is arguably the most widely read publication in the King Farm community - and to not put anything in about the money embezzled, the conviction of the former employee responsible or King Farm's prospects for getting the money returned (or at least parts of it) - that decision smacks of a deliberate attempt to keep the community in the dark and quiet. 

I know the President and BOT released statements. But they haven't and didn't put anything in the Chronicle. Residents who aren't on email or online or can't make a meeting deserve to know what King Farm HOA thinks and what is being done. 

Not a word in the President's report. Not even a mention of it in the recap of the Board of Trustees meeting - even though they read a statement on the embezzlement at the start of the meeting. 

This is a big story to the community. At a certain point you have to figure that the exclusion of the story is quite intentional.

King Farm can do better.




Sunday, March 11, 2018

King Farm Can Do Better




My name is Barry Jackson, and I’m running for King Farm Board of Trustees. I have lived in King Farm for 11 years with my wife and two daughters. 

I am running to help rebuild trust in the King Farm HOA.

It was shaken after a former employee embezzled over $300,000 over a five year period. 

When it was first discovered, for various reasons, the HOA decided not to say anything publicly. 
But word leaked out as it always does – and residents were angry. The reaction of the HOA was to get angry and be defensive.

It is time to turn the page. A new President and Board can  rebuild the trust with King Farm.

It's time for a fresh approach. To that end I am running on these main points – 
  • Financial Accountability and Oversight
  • Transparency 
  • Civility
  • Improving Communications 
  • Rebuilding Volunteerism

King Farm HOA can do better. 

If you believe that too - I ask for your vote.

Vote now by mailing in the ballot that was mailed to you or dropping it off at the HOA, requesting an additional ballot and envelope and returning it by April 5th.

Or vote at the Saddle Ridge Community Center on April 8, from 10 - 2.

What Is This? An Eyesore Is What It Us.

Update: Now they have put up a screen so that you no longer can see the equipment and other things in the fenced-off area. That is good, ...