SENTINEL                  ALERT

Holiday Villages




  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!








  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.



Section A

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.



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. 



  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:


Special Assessments
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:



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.



  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.






    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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