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Dueling HOA Boards Changing the Locks on Each Other in Carson

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Scottsdale Estates via LA Times

Carson's Scottsdale Estates housing complex has 600 homes, about 3,000 residents, and two homeowners association boards. And they're fighting each other both in court and in the community's clubhouse. In this corner is Cyd Balque, who's run the board for about a decade, according to a March article in the LA Times. She owns property in the Estates but doesn't live there. In the other corner is a group, fronted by Woody Rowell, that came to sort-of-power in elections they held last October. They've claimed that Balque didn't hold elections and ignored repairs, and they hired the community's first management firm in more than ten years. A judge invalidated the October results, but ordered a new election this past March.

There's quite a bit at stake here--HOA dues total $1.7 million a year and Scottsdale Estates "has the highest crime rate of any neighborhood in the city," according to the LAT.

Rowell's group was elected at its vote on March 9. Balque's group didn't get the votes it needed at its election on March 30. But according to the Daily Breeze, Balque "insists Rowell's election was a scam," and claims there was voter fraud, including unlocked ballots.

There are now two lawsuits underway, but on Friday Balque brought an eviction notice and security guards to oust the new board from Scottsdale Estates' clubhouse and to change the locks. Rowell's group came back with their guards and documents and the locks were changed back. The DB says the two sides "bickered over the association's office computer equipment and supplies as the tense power struggle unfolded." Balque says she'll appeal.
· Power struggle continues at Scottsdale Estates in Carson [DB]