We are sending this message to inform Bar D Owners Association (BDOA) members of the resignation of all five Board members. The below summary will provide context to the current state and needed next steps.
Less than two weeks ago, the Association held a productive and positive Annual Meeting. We had great attendance, and constructive and civilized discussion on important topics. One of those topics was how to engage and retain board members. The group acknowledged the need to reduce complaints, threats, and time investment by the volunteer board to help the community. Everyone seemed to agree this could be achieved by reducing unnecessary complaints and conflict and by forming a Road Committee to assist the board in assessing the Bar D Ranch’s needs in this important area. A very positive surprise was that multiple people stepped forward to fill the vacant spot on the board, and Celeste Jain was elected. We were all very happy to have her join the board, especially given her expertise in civil engineering and willingness to lead the Road Committee.
Almost immediately thereafter, a few individuals continued inappropriate behavior related to complaints about the roads, including:
- Directly calling board members instead of following the Communication Plan;
- Leaving threatening voicemails for board members;
- Breaking trespass laws and violating no trespassing signs posted on board members’ property; and
- Pounding on board member doors and communicating in ways that were viewed as attempted intimidation.
Other owners have submitted unnecessarily adversarial complaints, unrealistic demands, and made other threats regarding the BDOA. Unfortunately, the BDOA has experienced a history of this behavior. Such behavior prompted the resignation of multiple board members in the last few years, including two of the three last presidents, prior to this resignation.
After these events, it became clear to the board members that no degree of communication or planning would change harassing behaviors. Given violations of law and concerns over personal and property safety, all board members have resigned their positions, effectively immediately.
This turn of events is particularly disappointing because in the last six months specifically, the board has been very active in updating and modernizing the approach to running the association. We believed we were making positive progress for the immediate and longer term good of the BDOA and future board members. Examples include:
- Negotiated a new three year cattle grazing contract.
- Negotiated a new agreement with the Park County Assessors office to ensure continued Agriculture Zoning for many BDOA members.
- Visited every property and identified which properties fence out the cattle to identify what acreage is available to the cattle rancher. This allows the cattle rancher to bring only the cattle that can be properly supported.
- Physically checked on several fence complaints and concerns.
- Audited the last three years of financials and converted from paper based to electronic files.
- Engaged a bookkeeper to handle ongoing accounting for the association.
- Audited all Liens and Lien Releases by going through all Park County records on file for the Bar D Ranch. Identified several liens that should have been released and closed them out and found another lien that was closed out, but the Lien Release was never filed with Park County and recorded.
- Negotiated settlements for several liens so they could be closed out and lien releases issued.
- Worked with Park County Development Services to resolve some code violation issues on the ranch.
- Reviewed over a decade of paper documentation that should have been sorted and appropriately destroyed years ago, per record retention standards.
- Identified several concerns with the grader, including safety issues and that it is not covered by the BDOA insurance policies.
- Negotiated road use contracts for multiple non-BDOA properties on the back of the Bar D Ranch so that those people using our roads help contribute to their maintenance.
- Created a website, for free, to host valuable information for all owners as well as realtors and potential buyers on the Bar D Ranch.
- Acquired plat maps for all lots and made them available to owners for no fee, electronically.
- Digitized several BDOA records to make them available to the board.
- Digitized several BDOA records to make them available to all owners.
- Added a dial-in option for remote owners to be able to listen in and contribute to the Annual Meeting.
- Developed a Communication Plan to improve communication and reduce abuse of board members – We would call this a failure because of recent events.
During the Annual Meeting, we discussed reconstituting the Road Committee and subsequently began initial planning for work that would begin this Spring/Summer. We believed that we were on the right track to resolve several issues around the ranch and were excited about the upcoming year.
Some of the plans included:
- Review and inspect all perimeter fencing to identify missing fencing that needs to be installed and to repair fencing as needed. The fencing will likely require survey work to identify property lines.
- Inventory all culverts and map their locations; identify ones needing cleaning, repair, or replacement.
- Install snow fencing to help mitigate drifting.
- Identify possible ways to raise the roads to make them less susceptible to drifts.
- Identify options to address the washed-out areas of Rainbow Drive and Eagle Court.
- Assess the health of the grader and make decisions about its disposal and potential replacement with something smaller, or other equipment, that can be run by multiple BDOA members.
The resigning board members need to be replaced. Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 8 if you are interested in becoming a board member. All property owners, identified per Park County records, are eligible. Given the resignation of all Board members, a full association vote will likely be required.
If the BDOA cannot secure and retain five board members, including the treasurer that must be bondable, the association faces significant risks. Dissolution of the association may need to be considered, which would be handled by an attorney. This would result in negative impacts to owners, including:
- Inability to collect and use funds to maintain roads and perimeter fencing
- Inability to contract with vendors for services
- Voiding the current Cattle Grazing contract, and the inability to contract with a rancher in the future
- Loss of Agricultural status and increased property taxes
- Loss of BLM land use which comes through the Cattle Grazing contract
- Loss of the State land recreational use contract
- Loss of the road right of way contract through BLM land
- Decreased value of property and significantly reduced ability to sell property on the Bar D Ranch
Because we are committed to the Bar D Ranch, we will support new board members in the transition of responsibilities. Unfortunately, we cannot continue to be subjected to harassment and threats.