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Shake-Up at the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association

Former board president Kathy Martins named interim administrator after declining health forced retiring association administrator Nancy Van Huffel to step down early.

San Lorenzo Village Homes Association Board President Kathy Martins has resigned her elected post and accepted an interim role as the association's paid administrator.

The decision was hastened by a sudden and unspecified decline in retiring administrator Nancy Van Huffel's health, the association said. 

The change — first announced Thursday and elaborated on today — comes at the tail end of an effort to recruit a successor to Van Huffel, and was set to depart at the end of September. 

The news that Van Huffel would leave her post of 23 years came on the heels of the association's contentious in March, although Van Huffel has long suffered deteriorating health and is reportedly heading for her second major surgery in months.

Still, some villagers expressed concern, saying the months-long hiring process had been cast aside in favor of hiring the board president. 

Beginning in April, the association emailed websites and newsletters with calls for candidates. It received 50 applications and was nearing the end of a multi-part interview process when Van Huffel announced a new diagnosis requiring "almost immediate surgery," according to a press release by the association.

"The surgery would prevent her from spending the anticipated time teaching and transitioning a selected applicant," the association said in its release. "The Board felt that hiring either of the remaining applicants would put them in a disadvantageous position of having to learn a new job within one week before Nancy Van Huffel would be leaving for surgery. " 

Earlier this month, Martins said the board was close to extending an offer of employment to a qualified candidate. The association's statement indicates that an offer was made, but that the applicant declined for "personal reasons."

"At this time one name surfaced as someone who had the specific skill set and knowledge of the workings of the Administration, Davis-Stirling (homeowners association law) and the policies and procedures," the association said in its release. "After a lengthy discussion in which the Board was faced with the gravity of the situation, the remaining four members of the Board unanimously asked if Kathy Martins would accept the position as the interim Administrator." 

Martins assumed the administrator position on Thursday and will remain at the job for "no less than one year." Director Art Wydler became board president.

The association said it will begin searching for a new director, but it has not set a timeline for that process. 

Stephen Carbonaro July 08, 2011 at 04:19 AM
Please forgive me, it was not my intention to make allegations, but to epress what I see from where I sit. To answer your questions, yes, I have spoken with Kathy, many times. Yes, I have attended many board meetings during her tenure as president. As a member, I am confused; am I to direct my concerns to her privately, or publicly? As a public official, I believe my communications should be public. I will listen to any reason you might offer as to otherwise. Now could you explain what I have "blasted her for " that I don't know about. Kathy herself brought up her family and the "sacrifice she was making; speaking of how she would have even less time for her family. I think giving up family time for this Administrator job is awful. But I believe family should come first. I did not attend the board meeting because my father was hospitalized with pneumonia and sepsis; he was given a 40 % chance of survival. I hope that is a good enough reason for you, but I you feel I should be ashamed, please feel free to say so.. As far as what attempts I made or didn't make to learn of this process, well I don't know how you would know anything about that. So allow me to say you are mistaken. The "Progress" I referred to was the progress made under her tenure on the board. I thought the board was the governing body, the Administrator an employee of the board. You seem to see it as the opposite; that the Administrator has the power and the board member are?.
Stephen Carbonaro July 08, 2011 at 04:40 AM
pt2 to SLZ Homeowner. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to the huge contributions you speak of. Meanwhile, I will explain what I see, and let others judge the relative merits. I see, in my 24 years here in SLZ, I have seen stagnation. While all around us communities are growing and offering more services to their residents, SLZ , in my eyes, has regressed.With all that re-development money available for years, SLZ leadership sat on it, as if it would last forever. Not so C.V.. Not so San Leandro. For SOME reason, no one seems interested in SLZ. If that is not a reflection of our leadership, then who shall we use as a scapegoat? No, we are not all perfect. Had there been an open period for candidates to submit the required paperwork to run for the board, I would have don so during the recall. As far as I can determine, and I have asked, Wolf seems to have been the only one given the chance. Again, if I am wrong, please enlighten me. Besides taking a seat on the board, what else might you suggest I do? I have helped form the San Lorenzo Neighborhood Community Forum. Does that count? Probably not. You see, it seems to me that criticism of the BOD is unacceptable to some very vocal members of the community; but criticism of Government is the foundation of Democracy. I do all I can every day, letters to the various news outlets, posting here on the Patch. If you have any other suggestions, I'm listening. And If I am ashamed of what I've done, I'll be the first to say so.
Stephen Carbonaro July 08, 2011 at 04:48 AM
Do you know when that information was posted? Did you know that San Leandro has an ordinance preventing resigning members of the City Council from taking a paying position with the city for 1 year? Why do you suppose that would be? ps: thank you for dropping the "Mr Carbonaro" We are neighbors, after all.
Stephen Carbonaro July 08, 2011 at 10:50 PM
i'll assume it was published on 7/7. This story broke 06/21. I ask why, with the technology in place right now, It takes almost 3 weeks to come up with something on their website, when it could have been posted that evening. It makes me ask "Why is this happening?" I thought Web management skills were part of the prerequisites? Can you at least understand the need to maintain the appearance of propriety?
Stephen Carbonaro May 01, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Well, as her one year term as Administrator comes to a close,has there been any attempt to find a permanent replacement yet? Or is the plan to keep Kathy Martins on as was suspected by so many people a year ago?

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