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My certified letter to the board Gillian Fryer posted 4 months ago

October 4, 2021
Board of Directors
Greater World, Inc.
PO Box 832
El Prado NM 87529-0832

Dear Sirs,
GWInc may be a legitimate corporation, but you are NOT a legitimate HOA.

There are numerous reasons to question your legitimacy, but the clearest is that GWinc bases it’s legality upon the legality of the GWLUA. So if I can prove the GWLUA is illegitimate, then GWInc is illegitimate by extension.

The GWLUA was established using the law NMSA 53-10, the first line of which reads: “ when two or more people wish to form an association…” You can’t form an association of one. This law requires two or more people who wish to form an association, and they must be identified by name and address in the formation document.

Please review the documents titled Articles of Association of the GWLUA. It doesn’t matter which version you use, because they all contain the same TERMINAL ERROR: there is only one founder: Michael Reynolds. Every set of Articles, which purport to found the GWLUA, fail to identify THE REQUIRED TWO OR MORE FOUNDERS. The formation documents simply fail to satisfy the most basic requirement of NMSA 53-10. This is not up for debate: two or more was such an important term that it was made the first item in the law.

That means EVERYTHING the GWLUA ever did is void: every ruling they made, every fee they charged, every document they filed… they are all void. This also means that GWInc, the offspring of the GWLUA is void, since it takes its legitimacy from an illegitimate organization.

You therefore have no legal right to demand membership of anyone, nor the right to demand fees from anyone.

This means that the approximately $250,000 that the GWLUA and GWinc collected from community members over the past 20 years, was extracted fraudulently.

This is not an issue yet raised in the current lawsuit. If Natelson noticed the error, it was not in his interest to divulge it. Your lawyer, Emery, apparently never read NMSA 53-10, so he was not aware of the numerous violations of the law.

You are in EXACTLY the same place we were when Chavez, our first HOA specialist, said that the GWLUA needed to cease all business operations immediately and make themselves legal.

The ONLY way to form a new legal HOA, when none previously exists, is to have 100% agreement among the proposed members. And we know that isn’t possible because you were given signatures from half the community, begging you to stop incorporation.

Since you are not a legal HOA, you cannot legally assess fees or demand any action of your ‘members.’ To continue to do so, amounts to fraud.

You must therefore,

  1. Immediately cease all business operations
  2. Return all payments collected with your most recent demand for dues. Return all uncashed checks.
  3. Pay off all current debts
  4. File documentation terminating Greater World, Inc.
  5. File rescission documents with the Taos County, terminating Greater World, Inc and rescinding all documentation that was filed in relation to Greater World, Inc. including any liens that you may have filed.
  6. Reinstate the previous LUC, entitled 2003 version.
  7. Notify community members, in writing, that the GWInc and all HOAs have been permanently terminated.
  8. Notify the Taos County planning department that there is no HOA and no governing board, and that all future building permits should now go through the normal permitting process.
  9. Return any remaining moneys to community members.
  10. File termination tax documents
  11. Close all bank accounts.

The cheapest, fastest and least stressful solution is to do exactly what I state above as quickly as possible.

If you fail to do so, you will be promoting fraud with every further action you take.

You cannot simply ignore this issue and continue business as usual, because to do so violates your duty of care as board members, and only furthers the fraud. Furthermore, it is only a matter of time before a property owner tries to obtain a building permit and challenges your right to intervene. Sooner or later, someone will lose their patience and stop this farce that is GWInc. Your only choice is how quickly and how far this escalates. Clearly, quietly capitulating and dissolving GWinc, is the cheapest alternative.

If you force community members to take this into their owns hands and seek legal intervention, this will become exponentially more expensive and destructive to all involved. I suggest you review your D&O insurance, under the section entitled: exclusions. Your carrier will not cover deceptive, illegal or fraudulent behavior. It will also be illegal for you to use community funds for such behavior. This means that each board member will ultimately be personally liable for these actions. And of course, should it come to a lawsuit, community members will ask for triple damages in addition to compensation for their legal fees. Not only will the current board be liable, but all past GWInc board members will be liable, as will the GWInc incorporators.

Think long and hard about this. This problem is not going away. You WILL have to address it sooner or later, and the longer you wait, the bigger it gets.

I decline to pay any of your annual assessments for the reasons stated above. I do not do business with illegal entities.

Sincerely yours

Gillian Fryer, Esquire

I don't speak for the community, I have made these posts to reveal all of the terrible behavior over the past few years, as only an insider can.

About 1/2 of the community signed those petitions for the board to just stop and talk.
The board ignored us and did what they wanted without community agreement.

Since then, about 1/3 of the community has participated in peaceful noncompliance in the only way they can: by withholding funds. It seems to be having an impact, because the GWinc is running out of money.

Nobody wants a lawsuit, but it is the unfortunate reality that this is the only way to have any impact on righting the wrongs done against us when the board isn't even willing to talk to community members.

I sincerely hope that the board realizes the potential personal impact that this will have if it escalates, and I hope they simply disband.

If they don't, there exists a core group of community members who WILL follow through. It's our homes and our futures on the line. The line in the sand will be if the board starts filing liens.

I DO have solutions. There are ways to generate the money needed to cover community expenses and we don't need an HOA to do it.

profile-50.pngGillian Fryer commented 4 months ago

Definition of an Association

In general, an association is a group of persons banded together for a specific purpose. To qualify under section 501(a) of the Code, the association must have a written document, such as articles of association, showing its creation. At least two persons must sign the document, which must be dated.

How to Form an Association

Choosing to Form Associations
A business association will consist of three central factors:

  • The association is formed and founded by more than one member.
  • The association’s assets need to be legally separate from the private assets of its members.
  • The association needs a formal management structure.

Unincorporated associations

What is an unincorporated association?
An unincorporated association is an organisation that arises when two or more people come together for a particular purpose, but decide not to use a formal structure like a company.

Unincorporated association

Under English law, an unincorporated association is a group of people who come together for a common purpose (unless the purpose is profit) intending to create a legally binding relationship between themselves.

There are literally no instances in which I can find that allows an "association" to be made with only one person.

I did however find this which is quite apropos:

A single person association is an organization which sets the maximum size of membership as one.

  • One example; advertising for Clint Eastwood's film The Outlaw Josey Wales, the slogan ". . . an army of one" was used.

profile-50.pngLaNaeh commented 4 months ago

Thank you very much, Gillian. Do you have a sense of " how " and " when " you will know Attorney Natelson's opinion as to your reasoning in your certified letter to the board? Do you have a sense of " how " and " when " you will know Attorney Emery's advice to the board?

profile-50.pngWallace Hammond commented 4 months ago

Irrefutable. Well done. This, along with the long list of concerns is a wrap.

profile-50.pngDiane Eriksson commented 4 months ago

Some thoughts...
If, over the years, members were forced to pay approximately $250k for dues to the 'association' of one- and if Boothby was correct in her math which accounted for about $92k of it that had been spent on taxes, insurance and roads ... what happened to the rest of it? Does the GWLUA account hold over $150k at this time?
STAR happened before the GWC, to my knowledge does not have the courtesy of a board, has 'an association of one' -yet still residents pay the same; to my knowledge- taxes, insurance etc. I understand that the County considers STAR to be an illegal subdivision. Below is a copy of a letter a member shared with me years ago. Please note the dates of the correspondence.

105 Albright Street, Ste. A
Taos, NM 87571
505-737-6306 Phone  505-737-6314 Fax
TOM BLANKENHORN, Barbara A. Martinez,
Taos County Attorney Deputy District Attorney
[email protected] [email protected]
May 31, 2016
Michael Reynolds
Box 1041
Taos, New Mexico 87571
Re: Your letter of May 26, 2004
Dear Michael:
I am responding to your letter to Allen and me dated May 26, 2004 requesting permission to execute deeds to those individuals who purchased property from you within the Star Community. It is my opinion that you can do so. Taos County has already established its position that the Star Community is an illegal subdivision and you have already agreed to remedy that situation by complying with subdivision regulations. Therefore, it serves no purpose for you to delay the conveyances by warranty deed to those who have purchased from you.
Moreover, as you noted in your letter, further delays create unnecessary hardship for those who live in the community.
Please note that nothing in this letter waives Taos County’s intention to pursue legal action against you in the event that you do not complete the subdivision process for the Star Community although it is clear to all of us within the legal and planning department that your intentions in this matter are forthright and we have full faith and confidence that you will continue to work with the planning department to complete the subdivision process.
Tom Blankenhorn
Taos County Attorney
cc: Sammy L. Pacheco, County Manager
Allen Vigil, Planning Director
Barbara A. Martinez, Deputy District Attorney

profile-50.pngJody Rhines commented 4 months ago

Gillian, your letter is great, although I do not really hold out hope that the board will do anything honorable in this situation.
For my part, when I lived in the GWC, I always wanted community. I walked around taking tomatoes and apple cider I had juiced by hand from trees in Seco to neighbors, I shared clothes and the things I had much of in an attempt to unite people- to form community. I thought the greenhouse would go far in that endeavor... I guess maybe that is one reason why it never was finished.
I imagined that the money that had been taken would be returned to community itself- for itself. Roads or a business for the community- or anything folks decided they wanted, democratically. It didn't have to be a sports park, community center, amphitheater etc... yet that is what I was sold in my mortgage contract.
I never voted, or if I did it was maybe one time, I can't recall. But I didn't because I was told that Reynolds and his people held the majority of votes... so what was the use in pretending my vote counted, when it didn't.
Some people want a HOA, others don't. I agree that there are probably ways to do things as a community without a HOA if that is how people want to do it. Regardless, I think there isn't anyone who wants to be ruled over unfairly.
I also tried, long ago, to legally get a judge to order the board to stop because of their illegal foundation. It didn't work.

profile-50.pngJody Rhines commented 4 months ago

Jody, in answer to your earlier question about the amount of money, I tried to come up with an average over the past twenty years. I know Lee Boothby was pretty meticulous about calculating how much had been spent on property taxes, insurance and roads. We brought in more money than that though. I don't know exactly how much money has been brought in recently, since I haven't seen the books in years, and it doesn't appear that the mandated audits were never done. I have overestimated the total because I tried to calculate what the board should have received with 100% payment, and they don't have that. No, there is no secret bank account with $150K. I wanted to demonstrate the magnitude of the money involved. If we tried to collect that, we would have to document the true amount.

Regarding your more recent post: I will always feel bad about what you went through and the sacrifices you made for the community, that we didn't even realize! Ultimately the real loss is if we don't learn anything from this: speak up when you see wrongdoing, treat everyone with respect, don't prejudge, don't follow false prophets... We clearly needed to learn those lessons. How about free speech? The concept of protecting speech, is that dissent and speech we don't like is protected, because one day, everyone of us could be in the dissent.

So the worst that happens is we don't learn from this. I hope we have learned.

profile-50.pngGillian Fryer commented 4 months ago

Wally, I can't predict a time frame with either attorney. The first requirement is that the board takes this seriously, and they may not. I don't doubt that Mike will talk to Natelson about this, but there is no undoing the chain of events now: Mike cannot correct what he did with the GWLUA and I still don't see him ever capitulating with respect to anything, ever.

I'm hoping that the remainder of the board realizes the seriousness of this. We will have to follow what few clues we get from their zoom meetings, as those are the only instances where we can see the board at work.

We will just have to wait to see what they do. Maybe we will all be in limbo until the trial in February. If we have to wait that long, I can guarantee there will be a large audience to witness what happens.

I think we are nearing the end of this saga... which means we can then go through a Renaissance, or rebirth! I'm convinced good things will ultimately come out of this.

profile-50.pngGillian Fryer commented 4 months ago

Gillian, I appreciate all the writing you have given to this forum the past years. Only tonight did I find a sense that your efforts have kept us out of the courtroom. For this moment, I am grateful for your work. Respectfully

profile-50.pngWallace Hammond commented 4 months ago