Community activist Cam Noltemeyer is the subject of a recall effort by homeowners in the Summit, with a vote scheduled June 29.
More than 100 people signed a petition to recall Noltemeyer, who was elected to the homeowners association board in December, citing her inability to work with the team and personal attacks on board and committee members.
"It's kind of like kindergarten," Noltemeyer said. "In the back room, they've been threatening this quite a while, telling me to go their way or whatever their problem was. Under our bylaws, you don't really have to have a reason, but they wanted me to resign so they could replace me with someone who would support their majority."
The "they" referred to are three other board members, president Alan Zada, treasurer Steve Tannehill and David Gauny. Zada and Tannehill tendered their resignations in June in response to a recall petition filed by Noltemeyer and her supporters, with their departure effective in July and two new board members appointed to fill their positions. Should Noltemeyer be voted out in the recall, an election with secret ballot will be conducted to name her replacement.
In a flurry of papers going around the hilltop neighborhoods, both sides have stated their positions. Zada sent a letter to homeowners asking members to vote to recall Noltemeyer because it is "sometimes the only option available to homeowners when a board member is no longer acting in their best interest or the interest of the association."
Noltemeyer says this is just one of the "hit pieces" circulating, but has been quick to produce and distribute literature of her own accusing the board members of circumventing the recall process and denying members their rights in the recall.
"This is a complete abuse of the recall process and was done by the very people who filed a recall against Cam in an effort to force her off the board after only a few months in office," the literature states.
Homeowners involved in the recall effort extend much further than current board members. Former supporter (and former board member) Rick Weisenfeld was hopeful when Noltemeyer was elected that she would be a positive asset on the board, but has learned otherwise.
"I felt comfortable leaving, things should have been running smoothly. But when she came on the board, all of a sudden she was concerned with procedure and proving the other board members wrong," he said. "She was fighting with them and laughing at them in the middle of meetings and totally demeaning them."
He said the board would spend 30 minutes of a three-hour board meeting reviewing the minutes of the last meeting because Cam would find a typographical error.
"Seventy to eighty percent of things on the agenda were being pushed back because she was too busy taking things personally and not working as a team," he said. "She didn't want to heat pools in the winter, even though we've always done that in the 20 some years that the Summit has been around. She's definitely against the pools and the swim team.
"Before I submitted the recall (on behalf of 100 homeowners who approached him with the signed petition), I went to Cam on three separate occasions and asked her to step down, but she refused," he continued. "It's a volunteer position and if people don't want you to be there, why would you want to be there? Why put the cost of holding a recall on the association?"
Since the recall effort began, resident Scott McGowan even started a Facebook page to get the word out. He signed the recall petition, but did not circulate it.
"From what I saw of her actions at board meetings, I saw that she would actively work to obstruct progress," he said. "I saw her berating volunteers over simple maintenance issues and several of them have walked away because they don't want to be treated like that. Good people are walking away from helping our neighborhood because she's accusing them of lying or hiding information. I don't like to see this."
McGowan said that he voted for Noltemeyer by default, as the number of candidates matched the number of offices open.
Noltemeyer's accusers say that she held up pool maintenance, went behind board members' backs and made reports to the county health officials that resulted in closures and has been making promises to some residents that she has the power to reduce their homeowner association dues.
"It's been a total nightmare," he concluded. "Her number one priority is herself and it's cost us thousands of dollars in legal fees."
"I have been an elected official (Noltemeyer served as a member of the San Fernando City Council in the early 1980s) and am on the SCOPE board of directors, and I've never been treated like this," she said.
In San Fernando, Noltemeyer ran for reelection in 1986, an election she lost by, in her words, "25 votes," a figure that newspaper reports dispute.
According to the Los Angeles Times, "Noltemeyer, who lost to Silva by 45 votes, said Wednesday that she was considering asking for a recount, but had not yet made a formal request. Noltemeyer said she was hurt by a last-minute handout issued by Citizens for a United San Fernando, which described her record of voting against the council majority."
In another Times article printed prior to the election, one of her fellow councilmembers expressed how Noltemeyer might bring about her own fall.
"Wysbeek predicted that Noltemeyer will have the toughest election battle. 'I personally think if there is one who is vulnerable it is probably Cam, because of the stances she has taken,' Wysbeek said. 'I know some people feel very strongly that she is too controversial and too against everything.'"