Effort afoot to recall Bob Gemmill from HOA presidency

By Curtis Riggs| June 11, 2008

Bob GemmillCAREFREE – Town Councilman Bob Gemmill is facing a recall from his leadership position in the Carefree Foothills Home-owner’s Association over the non-disclosure of a lawsuit judgment, which resulted in $103,000 liens being placed on all properties in the subdivision.

Gemmill, a one-term Carefree Town Councilman, has long had a stormy relationship with many of the residents of the gated community on the north side of Carefree Highway between Cave Creek and Scottsdale roads. In recent months he was a leader in a HOA move to out-source the subdivision Architectural Control Committee.

A group of Carefree Foothills homeowners formed a group called Concerned Carefree Homeowners and circulated petitions calling for Gemmill’s ouster. They obtained the signatures of 25 percent of the 76 property owners in the subdivision. State law requires the Carefree Foothills Board of Directors hold a meeting concerning the recall within 30 days from when Gemmill was served with the recall notice. This would require the meeting, where all Carefree Foothills property owners would vote on Gemmill’s recall, to be held by July 3. If a majority of the property owners vote for Gemmill’s ouster he will be removed from the presidency of the HOA as well as from the board of directors.

Gemmill had no comment on the recall effort or the judgment issued in the David Vanyo lawsuit, when contacted Tuesday morning.

In an e-mail Gemmill sent to property owners about the Vanyo decision in late May, he wrote, “This recall is being orchestrated by a few disgruntled home-owners who have based their agenda to a large degree on personal issues.”

Carefree Foothills HOA board member, and Carefree Town Councilman, David Schwan said Gemmill was required to recuse himself from HOA business after he received notice of the recall. Schwan said the HOA board is now waiting on advice from two attorneys on how to proceed with procedures for the requested recall.

“Our first concern now is to follow what the law tells us to do,” Schwan said.
At issue in the Gemmill recall is Carefree Foothills property owners did not learn of the judge’s decision in the Vanyo lawsuit until a month after is was rendered. The decision was discovered when a property owner who was applying for a loan saw the new lien on their property.

“They didn’t share details on the lawsuit,” Carefree Foothills resident Niels Schwarz said about one reason for pursuing the recall effort against Gemmill.

“We were concerned that if the recall was not done in the light of day the board may not do anything at all,” Schwarz said. “We started the petitions before the judgment; the judgment just made it simpler.”

Schwan counters that Gemmill, and the board of directors, did not know about the judge’s decision until a month after it was filed.

“We are puzzled about why we didn’t find out,” he said.

The judge delayed “stayed” collection of the $103,000 in legal fees in the Vanyo lawsuit pending an appeal by the Carefree Foothills HOA Board of Directors.