COUNCILWOMAN QUESTIONED THE VALIDITY OF HOA’S ELECTION PROCEDURES
By Steven Tavares
Members of San Leandro’s Heron Bay Homeowners Association are accusing Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak of interfering with the aftermath of their board election held last March where two incumbents were re-elected.
Heron Bay HOA Board President Michael Ostwind through a San Jose law firm sent an angry letter last week to Starosciak and the entire city council asserting the councilwoman has no authority to interfere in their election process. “One questions the jurisdiction of the City of San Leandro, the City Council or you personally to question any election process undertaken by the Heron Bay Homeowners Association,” wrote A. Alan Berger, an attorney for the HOA to Starosciak. “I know of no such authority.” The letter obtained by The Citizen concludes by defending its decision to send the correspondence to the entire board. “I believe that they should be aware of the potential legal action involving the City into which you are walking them,” said Berger.
Ostwind and fellow boardmember Scott Walter won re-election for the two available seats last March. One meeting reportedly was so raucous an officer from the San Leandro Police Department was present to maintain order.
A letter from Starosciak on city letterhead to the Heron Bay HOA in July questioned why some candidates were allowed to submit statements after a Jan. 25, 5 p.m. deadline which was published in their newsletter. Based on the timestamps printed on candidate statements that were faxed after the stated deadline,according to Starosciak’s letter, three candidates were allowed to run, including both eventual winners Ostwind and Walter. The third candidate, George Mak, is also mentioned and missed the deadline by just 34 minutes, according to Starosciak’s letter. The HOA’s attorney said, “Suffice to say that the allegations you have made are not accurate.”
The controversy appears to stem from actions made by Mak and his brother, who the HOA refers to on numerous occasions as “dissidents.” The HOA alleges the Mak’s have continually attempted to undermine the board through back channels for months and accuse them of being the party who reached out to Starosciak. Heron Bay, which lies at the end of western end of Lewelling Boulevard, is located within Starosciak’s District 4 boundaries. She is also running to unseat Mayor Tony Santos this November.