HOLIDAY VILLAGES 8/30/2018
GAMBLING FEVER IN THE HOOD
Holiday Village Livingston Owners Association (HVLOA) and the Village Social Club (VSC) have consistently violated State Gambling Regulations by holding illegal Poker
Runs, Raffles, and Auctions. In an effort to raise funds for HVLOA the poker runs, raffles, and auctions are held at regular intervals, usually on a holiday weekend.
State Law clearly states that to hold any type of Raffle a club, organization, or association MUST be a registered IRS 501(c) organization. Neither the HVLOA nor the VSC are such organizations. HVLOA is a Texas Non-Profit Organization registered with the Secretary of State, but is not a IRS 501(c). The VSC is simply a group of owners who got together and started an unregistered club, which charges monthly dues, for the purpose of promoting their agenda for the sub-division and provides entertainment by hiring bands for street dances, and also for private parties. The VSC consists of Board of Directors of HVLOA, various other officers, and the self percieved “elite” of the neighborhood. There have been multiple complaints of them referring to non-members as scum, trash, trailer trash, low life of the neighborhood, and other derogatory remarks, especially if you don’t agree with them or do something they don’t like. They even post on social media that they will help you move out of the Village.
For over four years these two groups have promoted poker runs, held various raffles for both money and merchandise, and held silent and live auctions and not collected sales tax (required if not 501(c) ). The Live Auctions were not lead by a licensed Auctioneer as required by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. If questioned about their actions the reply is usually “it is a fund raiser, it doesn’t matter”. There is a clear distinction between a fund raiser, such as selling food or items, and gambling. Even when a legitimate fund raiser is held, there is always raffles, and/or silent auctions, and/or poker runs. State Law also limits raffles to 2 (two) a year for a 501(c), HVLOA and VSC hold many more than that a year.
The two groups sponsored and promoted a Memorial Day agenda that included a poker run, a 50-50 raffle, and get this, a raffle for 4 jars of MOONSHINE! The Attorney General has made it clear that even nonprofit organizations that sponsor a “poker run” violate gambling statutes. Not sure what the Treasury Dept. would say about moonshine, but last we knew it also is illegal.
At the Horseshoe Tournament held on June 9, 2018 another 50/50 raffle and item raffle was held. Another poker run and 50/50 raffle was held on July 7, 2018. Currently scheduled is a poker run and 50/50 raffle on Sept. 1, 2018.
In a very interesting flyer posted on the door to the HVLOA Clubhouse is a flyer for a Poker Night being held in the HVLOA Clubhouse on Sept. 8th, by the Onalaska Lion’s Club which states for a $25 buy in people will have the chance to win a $100 or $50 gift card. The Organized Gambling just continues and continues.
There appears to be an ongoing “Organized Criminal Activity” (which would raise the crime to a State Jail Felony, TX Penal Code Section 71.02) to promote gambling to raise funds for HVLOA by some of the Board, Officers, and some members of the VSC, much to the despair of many of the owners who do not support gambling, moonshining, or not paying taxes! And now the Lion’s Club is getting involved in the Organized Gambling! Those organizing and promoting and IGNORING this ILLEGAL activity need to be prosecuted for their blatant disregard for the LAW, and removed/banned from any position within HVLOA and thrown out of the Lion’s Club!!!!
It will be interesting to see who will come out strong against this gambling in our county. Who will put a stop to this illegal Organized Criminal Activity and if those involved are arrested and prosecuted, or just given a slap on the wrist and told not to do it anymore.
Texas Penal Code - TITLE 10. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, AND MORALS CHAPTER 47. GAMBLING
Sec. 47.03. GAMBLING PROMOTION. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly does any of the following acts:
(1) operates or participates in the earnings of a gambling place;
(2) engages in bookmaking;
(3) for gain, becomes a custodian of anything of value bet or offered to be bet;
(4) sells chances on the partial or final result of or on the margin of victory in any game or contest or on the performance of any participant in any game or contest or on the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or on the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or
(5) for gain, sets up or promotes any lottery or sells or offers to sell or knowingly possesses for transfer, or transfers any card, stub, ticket, check, or other device designed to serve as evidence of participation in any lottery.
(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
Texas Penal Code Sec. 71.02. ENGAGING IN ORGANIZED CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.
(a) A person commits an offense if, with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination or as a member of a criminal street gang, the person commits or conspires to commit one or more of the following:
(2) any gambling offense punishable as a Class A misdemeanor;
(b) Except as provided in Subsections (c) and (d), an offense under this section is one category higher than the most serious offense listed in Subsection (a) that was committed, and if the most serious offense is a Class A misdemeanor, the offense is a state jail felony,
Texas Attorney General’s Opinion – Poker Runs
Texas Auctioneer Law
Sec. 1802.051. License Required.
Texas - Charities & Nonprofits: Charitable Raffles
Texas - Raffles and Casino/Poker Nights in Texas
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code
TITLE 4. REGULATORY AND PENAL PROVISIONS CHAPTER 103. ILLICIT BEVERAGES
Although it is legal for Texans to make limited amounts of wine or beer for personal consumption without holding a TABC permit, it is not legal to manufacture distilled spirits without holding a TABC Distiller's Permit. Also, it is illegal to sell any alcoholic beverages without the appropriate TABC license or permit.
While individuals of legal drinking age may produce wine or beer at home for personal or family use, Federal law strictly prohibits individuals from producing distilled spirits at home (see 26 United States Code (U.S.C.) 5042(a)(2) and 5053(e)).
HOLIDAY VILLAGES 6/19/2018
SOMEONE HAVE ALZHEIMER'S?
At the Town Hall Meeting held on June 16th, Scott Rhoades, Board of Director of Holiday Villages Livingston Owners Association, stated the He was unaware of the State Law containing the requirement for certain language on an Absentee Ballot. And that the law came into effect in 2015. Further research has revealed that the law actually came into effect when POA laws were updated in 2011.
In 2013 the Board of Directors revised the By-Laws, to update them with the 2011 State Law updates and revisions. Rhoades was on the BOD at the time the By-Laws were revised, so should have been carefully observing and reading what the attorney who revised them had placed in the By-Laws. Having voted to approve the revised By-Laws all the BOD members should have been thoroughly knowledgeable as to the content of them.
Lo and behold a review of the By-Laws revealed that the language required by State Law in 2011 concerning Absentee Ballots is included in the 2013 Amended By-Laws of the HV of Livingston
Owners Association. (see screen shot)
Additional research has revealed that the required language was being used on ballots in 2015. So why did the language disappear on ballots after the Annual Meeting of 2015? Did the board suddenly develop Alzheimer’s? Did the Board just not care? Was someone else put in charge that had no idea what they were doing and the Board was not fulfilling their oversite duties to ensure that everything was legal?
Maybe Mr. Rhoades can answer this question for the owners!
HOLIDAY VILLAGES 6/18/2018
FLIP OR FLOP?
On June 16, 2018 a used building was allowed to be moved into and on a lot in Holiday Villages Livingston (HVL) in apparent violation of the sub-division deed restrictions. The used building was placed on a lot in A Section on Woodland Shores Loop just off Casablanca.
Holiday Villages of Livingston Subdivision
3. Subject to the provisions of numbered paragraphs 8 and 9 hereof, (I) no used existing building or structure of any kind and no part of a used existing building or structure shall be moved onto, placed on. or permitted to remain on any lot; (ii) all construction must be of new material, except stone, brick, inside structural material, or other materials used for antique decorative effect if such use is approved in writing by the Architectural Control Committee,
Note the word “shall” in the wording of the restriction. The Honorable Tom Lawrence, Harris County Justice of the Peace, writes in an article for the Texas Justice Court Judges Education Center entitled Deed Restrictions that, “Covenants often contain the words "may”, “shall”, “duty”, or “right”, "May” 'indicates discretion, while "shall" deprives one of discretion. "Shall" is a command and is mandatory.”
When someone asked who let the building thru the back gate, they were told the board allowed it in. Supposedly the owners are planning to do a TV show about the renovation of the building.
This is very interesting because another gentleman brought in a used mobile home that was over 6 years old and in violation of the deed restrictions and was sued by HVLOA to force him to remove the mobile home. HVLOA also got a judgement against the man for their legal fees. Needless to say this man is very upset by what is occurring with this used building/house.
To get a variance of the deed restrictions, an owner must apply for a permit from the Architectural Control Committee and then the variance if approved by the ACC must then be forwarded to the Board of Directors for their approval, which would be 3 of the 5 board members approving. If permission from the Board of Directors was given, then they should be made aware (since the BOD doesn’t seem to keep up with current law) that under the new POA laws in Texas, since 2011, if you give one owner a variance you have to give everyone the same variance. Another whole can of worms will open up. But since the deed restrictions read “shall”, no variance, if approved, should have been allowed.
Other owners have applied for a permit to bring in a used building and/or house and have promptly been denied permission as it was against the deed restrictions. So why was this building allowed into the sub-division? Was it because of the publicity a TV show would bring to HVL? Or maybe the “good ole boys” system is at work? Or is there just a “caste system” in the Village that depends on who you are?
The Holiday Village Class Action Committee will be keeping a close eye on this situation, as will the Sentinel Alert.
HOLIDAY VILLAGES 6/16/2018
LEADERSHIP MAKES CORRECTIONS - SLINGS JUVENILE INSULTS
On, Saturday, June 16, 2018 Holiday Villages Livingston Owners Association (HVLOA) held a Town Hall Meeting. Board of Director Scott Rhoades told the owners that they had received notice from the Sentinel Alert that the absentee ballots for the May Annual Meeting were defective in that they did not contain the required language under Chapter 209. Texas Residential Property Owners Protection Act.
Rhoades further stated that after consulting with the HVLOA lawyers, it was determined that the ballots were defective and another vote would have to be held. Mr. Rhoades clarified that the new ballots would be exactly the same except for adding the language required by law. Mr. Rhoades indicated that none of the BOD or even their lawyers were aware that the required language was added to the laws in 2015. He also stated that he had better things to do than study the laws because he had a life outside of the BOD. Rhoades also noted that “very few people know 209 out here.” It would seem that the BOD and their legal counsel would make an effort to review 209 on a regular basis to prevent a situation such as this from happening.
There was no mention of the improper wording for the road repairs made that The Sentinel highlighted in our email to Rhoades, only the required Texas Law language. It is unknown whether that language will also be changed to read “Special Assessment for Capital Projects” as the law requires instead of “Road Assessment Fee” which is not even in HVLOA by-laws. We will wait and see when new ballots are mailed out.
When asked what the ‘Sentinel Alert’ was, Mr. Rhoades stated it was some blogger who was just a “sh#t-stirrer” as far as he could tell, then clarified, “no he is a sh#t-stirrer”.
We also noted that there was no mention made about the ongoing investigation into the illegal charges for mailboxes brought forth in a prior Sentinel article.
Mr. Rhoades. You are correct that we stir and we stir with a 40K page views a month ‘stick’. Just remember this, if you don’t excrete it, we can’t stir it but if you do, we will. Not a threat, just a Sentinel Promise. If you don’t have time for or your heart into and respect the public trust that has been bestowed on you by the voters in the HVLOA, you should step down and make room for someone who does.
PATRICK'S LANDING 5/21/2018
LOT OWNERS REPS VIOLATE LAW
Holiday Village Livingston Owners Association (HVLOA) held their annual meeting on Saturday, May 19, 2018. The purpose of which was to elect two Board of Directors and to vote on a Road Assessment Fee. Unfortunately, it appears the voting was illegal/invalid due to the absentee ballots NOT containing the required language under Texas Property Code 209, nor the correct language under HVLOA’s own By-Laws.
CHAPTER 209. TEXAS RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY OWNERS PROTECTION ACT requires that the following language MUST be contained on any absentee ballot:
(3)AAthe following language:AA"By casting your vote via absentee ballot you will forgo the opportunity to consider and vote on any action from the floor on these proposals, if a meeting is held.AThis means that if there are amendments to these proposals your votes will not be counted on the final vote on these measures.AIf you desire to retain this ability, please attend any meeting in person.AYou may submit an absentee ballot and later choose to attend any meeting in person, in which case any in-person vote will prevail."
The absentee ballot distributed by HVLOA did NOT contain the required language under State Law and that invalidates the voting. A review of last years absentee ballot showed that the absentee ballot provided by HVLOA also did not contain the required language. An example of the incompetence of those in charge.
In addition the by-laws of HVLOA only provide for a Special Assessment for Capital Projects:
1. Establishment of of Special Assessment for Capital Projects. In addition to the Maintenance Fee assessment set forth in the Restrictions, the members of the Association may adopt a special assessment for capital projects, in such amount as may be established by the Association at a special or annual meeting at which notice for an election for the assessment of said Special Assessment is given. Should the special assessment be approved by a two third (2/3) vote of the members, represented in person or by proxy, of the Property Owners Association at the annual meeting of the Property Owners Association, then the Special Assessment shall become effective on the date noticed, with the proceeds from such special assessment being ear-marked for the specific purpose set forth in the notice of such election. Said Special Assessment shall be secured by a lien against said lot, and failure to pay said Special Assessment shall constitute a foreclosure lien against said lot. This lien is in the form of an assessment to run with the ownership of said lots. The Special Assessment shall be deemed delinquent if not paid within thirty (30) days of the date set forth in the notice as being the date the Special Assessment is due.
The by-laws then go on to outline what a Special Assessment for Capital Projects can be used for. But according to the by-laws must be referred to as a Special Assessment for Capital Projects and then a description of what funds will be used for. The absentee ballots and regular ballots did not specify a Special Assessment for Capital Projects. Instead it read Road Assessment Fee Proposal. See below:
ROAD ASSESSMENT FEE PROPOSAL:
A road assessment fee per property owner for the calendar year of 2019 to be used strictly for the repair and upgrade of existing roads in all sections of the Holiday Villages of Livingston subdivision. Repairs will be made as monies become accessible on individual roads as deemed necessary by the Road Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.
The additional monthly fees will be as follows: 1-2 lots - $10.00; 3 lots - $15.00; 4+ lots - $20.00.
PLEASE VOTE: YES NO
Again a check of last years ballot showed that absentee ballot also contained the same language, instead of what is required in the by-laws. Some might argue what is the difference? The difference is whether Legal language as required in the by-laws was used, which it was not, making the voting for the Road Assessment Fee illegal/invalid. HVLOA will be faced with the prospect of refunding the monies collected by this illegal/invalid Road Assessment Fee for 2018. That would be yet another example of the incompetence of those in charge.
Copies of everything have been sent to the Texas Attorney General’s Office for review of this illegal activity by the Board of Directors and Officers of HVLOA.
The Sentinel contacted the BOD President seeking comment on the issues raised in this investigation. He forwarded the allegations to the BOD counsel and replied that they would address the situation in tomorrow's meeting.
PATRICKS LANDING 5/17/2018
HOLIDAY VILLAGES LOA IN HOT WATER
The United States Postal Service has initiated an investigation of Holiday Villages Livingston Owners Association (HVLOA) for violating Federal Law and charging owners for
mailboxes. According to USPS Officials, it is illegal to charge for a mailbox when you don’t allow the mail to be delivered directly to an owners address. The only place the postal workers are
allowed to deliver mail within the gated community is to the clubhouse, which is headquarters for HVLOA.
Since the sub-division began, HVLOA has charged the owners for the right to have mail delivered to them at the mailboxes located in a small building outside the main gate. According to USPS rules, a sub-division, apartment complex, trailer park, etc., can only charge for a key or for replacing the lock on a mailbox. HVLOA charges a $50 deposit and $36 a year for a mailbox. Officials of the HVLOA attempted to pass off the charge as a “maintenance” fee, which USPS rules do not allow for. They have also said the fee is “voluntarily” paid by owner, which is not the case, it is paid so owners can get their mail without having to drive to Onalaska or Point Blank. Voluntary Extortion is a better phrase for it.
When folks have balked over the years for having to pay to receive their mail, they were told to go to Onalaska or Point Blank and rent a P.O. Box there if they didn’t like it. Note: A person does have the right to receive mail where they live.
All the mail is put in the boxes by a postal worker. HVLOA does not handle the mail in any way, as is done at a private mail facility where they charge for a mail box since they put up the mail in the boxes, after USPS delivers it to the private facility. The mailboxes are just like ones at an apartment complex. No where in the USA does an apartment complex charge for a mail box, a key deposit maybe, but not a charge for receiving your mail.
This has been going on for close to 18 years. Some of the original owners will be owed a lot of money if they take legal action to get their money back. HVLOA takes in around $7500 a year on a little over 200 mailboxes and spends virtually nothing on maintenance. The air conditioner in the back for the postal worker has been broken over 3 years and has not been repaired or replaced. Lights are on a sensor and only stay on a short period if someone checks their box after dark, so the electricity charge per month is minimal.
Anyone wanting to file a complaint, should write a statement containing the facts as they apply to them and bring it to the Post Master at the Onalaska Post Office so it can be forwarded to Investigators.
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