Vista Las Palmas Neighborhood Organization Annual Meeting Minutes November 24, 2019

Vista Las Palmas Neighborhood Organization
Annual General Membership Meeting

November 24, 2019, 3:00pm
O'Donnell Golf Club, Palm Springs

The following board members/attendees were present: Howard Hawkes, Amy Brinkman (via phone), Gustav Swanson, Sheila Cobrin, Sally Hightower Lippin, Mickey Puig (via phone), Kermit Ferrer, Glenn Cameron.


  • Arrivals/Check-In/Mix and Mingle/Cash Bar
  • General Meeting
  • Introduction of Guests
  • Annual Report of Activities 
  • Financial Report: Overall Profit & Loss, Modernism Tour Profit & Loss, 2020 Budget
  • MW2020 VLPNO Home Tour: Save the Date: 2020 Modernism Home Tour on Saturday, February 15th, Tour Update, Call for volunteers 
  • Alexander Star Dedication
  • Proposal to Replace the VLPNO’s Bylaws with the attached By-Laws
  • Candidate Introductions & Election of Members to the Board of Directors
  • Election Results / Closing Remarks



  • Sheila Cobrin and Jeffrey Saadeh (in Mickey Puig’s absence) checked in all arriving neighbors and received forms and contributions from those who provided them
  • Meeting Attendance: 22 Households
  • VLPNO General Membership: 63 Households
  • 35% of the General Membership was present at the meeting. Quorum was met.

    NOTE:  Per the By-Laws One-fifth (20%) of the Members shall constitute a quorum at the Annual or any Special General Membership Meetings.

General Meeting:

  • Howard Hawkes, VLPNO President, kicked-off the meeting as meeting Chair @ 3:42pm
  • Meeting to be in two parts.
    • VLPNO existing By-Laws
      • Only members in good standing are permitted to vote. Members in good standing are property owners in VLP who have paid annual dues.  Voting with green colored cards
    • If replacement By-Laws are approved and replaced, VLPNO new By-Laws
  • Only members are permitted to participate in voting. Members are all individuals claiming primary or secondary residence (including business occupants) and property owners within the boundaries of Vista Las Palmas who have submitted a membership application, requested membership or signed into the meeting today with a provided pink colored cards
  • Howard called the meeting to order and appointed Kermit Ferrer as Secretary of the meeting
  • Kermit confirmed that 1/5 of paying members were present

Guest:  Palm Springs City Manager - David Ready

  • David thanked Mayor Moon for his service to the city as Mayor. His presentation highlights:
  • New downtown park will open in 1 year – Fall 2020
  • His objective to update the city more technological. Money is being spent on servers/cloud storage
  • Developing new PS app (PS at your service). This will be the tool for residents to interact with City Hall
  • City is working on redesign of the City website
  • City Economy / Budget is stable
  • New Tribal Arena:
    • Tribal Arena Council will meet with the City in December
    • Question from VLPNO member: What power/authority does City over Arena
    • David response: City has reviewed the plan and provided the Tribal Arena Council with a list of recommendations and items of mitigation.
    • VLPNO Stan Smith spoke up stating that the Tribal Arena comprehensive plan is available on-line to all and the Tribal Council has addressed many of articles. Stan said it is a well worth read as it has a lot of information on the plan
  • Andaz Hotel
    • Question from VLPNO member: What is going on with the Andaz hotel?
    • David response: Developer has had issues with Contractor and has had to change Contractors.  The city has put Andaz/new Contractor on notice.  New Contractor has committed to finish the project while Andaz is still litigating with the initial contractor. 
  • David Ready encouraged participating VLPNO members reach out to him by providing his personal cell # (760) 409-8033

Annual Report of Activities:

  • Howard said that we have a very good Board that gets along and works together
  • We have hosted 3 VLPNO Social Events @ 849 Restaurant, La Quinta Brewing and The Twist/Roly China Fusion
  • Updating of VLP By-Laws spearheaded by Gustav Swanson, Kermit Ferrer and Glenn Cameron

Financial Report:

  • Current Balance as of 10/31/19 = $12,679
  • Main source of funding: Modernism Week ticket sales & Membership dues
  • Funds utilized for
    • Modernism Week for upcoming year
    • Social Events
    • Annual General Membership Meeting
    • Donations: 2019 – Alexander Star
  • Funds are lower in 2019 as MW2019 ticket sales were lower than anticipated

 Modernism Week 2020 VLPNO Home Tour:

  • Jeffrey Saadeh, VLP Lead for the MW2020 Home Tour provided update
  • Schedule: Saturday, February 15th, 2020 - AM & PM Tours
  • Tour Name: Vista Las Palmas: The Alexander’s Jewel in the Crown
  • Focus on Alexanders and architects: Du Bois & Krisel with education sessions on architects
  • Featuring 6 Homes
  • Tickets: 400 on MW2020 website – Almost sold-out
  • Committee members: Kermit Ferrer (Co-Lead), Sally Hightower, Sheila Cobrin, Allison Sapunor, Bill Lieber, Patsy Marino & Howard Hawkes

Alexander Star Dedication project:

  • Kermit Ferrer spoke of VLPNO’s support of the Alexander Star on Palm Springs walk of fame. Kermit commented that it was interesting that although the Alexander’s and their construction company were key to the development and style of Palm Springs, they hadn’t been honored with a star.  VLP is the principal contributor to the Alexander Star
  • Project lead by David Hyams, private entity and resident of Little Beverly Hills with support from various Alexander Construction Company neighborhoods
  • Schedule: Friday, February 14th, 2020
  • Location: TBD (awaiting final approval by the Architecture & Design Museum of the proposed site on Palm Canyon Dr.)
  • Ceremony will include the following speakers. Most will speak on their (entities) connection to the 4 family members being honored:
    • Nona Watson - Walk of the Stars
    • Mayor or Council Member
    • Margaret Keung - Boys & Girls Club
    • Vista Las Palmas rep – Shelia Cobrin
    • Desert Riders rep or Ruta Lee 
    • David Hyams
    • Jill Alexander

Resolution Regarding the Board of Advisors Activities:

  • Howard called for a motion to accept the Annual Report of Activities, the Financial report and other reports that were presented.
  • Shiela Cobrin moved to approved the activities as presented.  Sally Hightower seconded the motion.
  • The motion was carried forward unanimously.


Replacement of VLPNO’s By-Laws

  • Howard proceeded with the proposal received to replace the VLPNO By-Laws as submitted by Gustav Swanson on October 23rd, 2019 and provided to the VLPNO members with the notice of this meeting.
  • Gustav presented his proposal starting by:
    • Reminding everyone that at last year’s Annual General Membership Meeting it was decided that term limits should not be applicable to cap the duration of any member’s participation on our Board of Advisors.
    • And that it was also decided that the terms of Board members should be staggered so as to provide continuity of experienced Board members from year to year.
  • Both these decisions required changes to the VLPNO’s bylaws.
  • In addition to those changes the Board identified the need to modernize our bylaws in a number of ways including:
    • Providing for Board members’ participation in meetings by conference call or other electronic methods such as Skype; and
    • Conforming the boundaries of Vista Las Palmas in our bylaws to the boundaries for our neighborhood that are on file with the City of Palm Springs.
  • The Board accordingly asked Gustav to form a committee to prepare a set of replacement bylaws that would incorporate all those changes.
  • That committee was comprised of Gustav, fellow Board members Kermit Ferrer and Mickey Puig and one of our neighbors, Glenn Cameron.
  • Part of our process included going to the City of Palm Springs to confirm their records of the Vista Las Palmas boundaries.  At City Hall we were introduced to Ms. Denise Goolsby who is the Manager of the Office of Neighborhoods for the City. As you may know the City is actively involved in encouraging the participation of Palm Spring’s neighborhoods in the City’s affairs and in coordinating the neighborhoods’ activities in that regard through a City administered organization known as ONE-PS
  • Denise confirmed the City’s records regarding Vista Las Palmas’ boundaries were in fact different from the boundaries that we have in our existing bylaws and gave us a map that had been prepared by the City that shows the Vista Las Palmas boundaries.
  • Denise also advised us that the City has recently adopted a template for a set of bylaws for unincorporated neighborhood organizations in Palm Springs and that the City is hoping those bylaws will be adopted by all existing neighborhood organizations
  • The City’s template includes all the changes that we were going to make (no term limits, staggered board seats, helpful administrative provisions) as well as numerous other improvements.

Replacement of VLPNO’s By-Laws (continued)

  • So we adopted the City’s bylaw template as the form for our new bylaws and modified that template to reflect information unique to VLP.
  • On October 23, 2019 Gustav contacted Kermit in his capacity as the Secretary of the VLPNO and requested that our bylaws be replaced with the Bylaws that we prepared based on the City’s template. Concurrently on that date I submitted the copies of the replacement Bylaws to him. One of those copies showed the changes to the City’s template.
  • Kermit then distributed those proposed replacement Bylaws to the members with the Notice of this meeting.
  • Kermit also provided a copy of the proposed replacement Bylaws to Denise Goolsby. On November 20, 2019 Denise confirmed to us that the City’s only comments on our proposed new Bylaws were to attach the map that the City had given us showing the boundaries of Vista Las Palmas and to make a couple other minor changes.
  • Denise also confirmed that the City supports our adopting these new Bylaws.
  • In response to the City’s comments we have attached the City’s map to our proposed Bylaws and have made the other minor changes requested by the City.
  • We recommend that these Bylaws as so revised replace our existing bylaws.
  • Howard thanked Gustav and the committee for their work.
  • Howard then confirmed on behalf of the Board that the Board has approved the replacement Bylaws that Gustav has provided as revised to incorporate the City’s comments; and that we recommend that the members adopt those Bylaws in place of our existing bylaws
  • Howard called for a motion to replace the VLPNO bylaws with the Bylaws provided by Gustav as revised to incorporate the City’s comments.
  • Kermit Ferrer presented the motion to approve to replace the Bylaws as revised to incorporate the City’s comments and that those new ByLaws be effective as of today.
  • Kevin Kemper seconded the motion.
  • The motion was carried forward unanimously.
  • Howard then stated that the balance of the meeting was to be conducted pursuant of the VLPNO’s new ByLaws

Election of Directors of the Organization

  • Howard started by stating that the new ByLaws provide
    • The Board shall consist of seven (7) Directors
    • Terms shall be staggered
    • Terms for three (3) Directors shall expeire at each Annual General Membership Meeting in odd years
    • Terms for four (4) Directors shall expire at each Annual General Membership Meeting in even years
  • The terms of myself (Howard Hawkes), Amy Brinkman and Gustav Swanson as members of that Board of Advisors are scheduled to expire at this meeting today.
  • The terms of the remaining four members of the Board of Advisors (Sheila Cobrin, Kermit Ferrer, Sally Hightower Lippin and Mickey Puig) were scheduled to expire at our Annual General Membership Meeting next year (2020).
  • In order to transition the Board from our old bylaws to the new Bylaws, the new Bylaws provide that:
    • Three (3) Members will be elected today as Directors with terms that will expire at our 2021 Annual General Membership Meeting; and
    • Shelia Cobrin, Kermit Ferrer, Sally Hightower Lippin and Mickey Puig shall be deemed elected as Directors with terms that expire at next year’s Annual General Membership Meeting
  • Amy Brinkman has advised that she is not running for election. On behalf of all of us I would like to thank Amy for her hard work on the Board and for her many contributions to our neighborhood. 
  • Howard also stated that he was not running for re-election.
  • Howard announced that Gustav Swanson has nominated himself to serve on the Board for a further two year term and provided his name and contact information to the Secretary. No other nominations have been received.
  • Howard asked if there were any other Members who wish to serve on the Board at this time?
    • Kevin Comer volunteered to be on the VLPNO Board
    • Scott Turner also volunteered to be on the VLPNO Board
  • Howard called for a motion to accept all three (3) new members of the Board.
  • Howard moved to accept the three new Board members as presented.  Brad Kuhns seconded the motion.
  • The motion was carried forward unanimously.

 Termination of the Meeting:

  • Howard stated that there is no further business and moved to terminated the meeting. The motion was seconded.
  • Howard gate a bit Thank you to all.NOTE: Board Meetings scheduled for 2nd Thursday of month @ 4pm.
  • Kermit to send out calendar Invite to Board along with GoToMeeting invite for anyone who might not be able to attend in person.