March 27th, 2004 a date that will live in infamy. At least for the property owners of Ocean Shores. That’s the date when the club initiated its “loyalty oath” that prevented a majority of members from seeking a position on the Board of Trustees and negated their rights as property owners. All members are eligible for the Board and there is no qualification that excludes anyone for harboring thoughts considered contrary to the “best interests” of the club. It’s also the date when I started a more vigorous campaign to end this Ocean Shores nightmare.
I began a letter campaign to anyone and everyone I thought might be able to help. The first group I contacted was the ACLU and they told me the case wasn’t important enough to warrant any expense. I wrote the bankruptcy court and never heard anything back. I wrote state officials from the governor, to the Attorney General, and the Secretary of State. I wrote federal officials that might have some way of helping. All to no avail.
The State of Washington, like all other states, has laws governing the operations of corporations – which the club didn’t seem to mind violating. One would think that if our legislature passes laws, they would also provide some way for enforcing those laws. With the individual, a violation of the law means you go to court and/or jail. But, outside of expensive lawsuits, there is NO agency whatsoever that has any authority to enforce those laws for corporations. It takes a civil suit to get them to behave and civil suits aren’t cheap for folks on fixed or limited incomes. To fight the club in court would cost upward of $250,000 and all lawsuits filed so far have failed. The club knows this and uses it to its full advantage, as you will see, in June of 2012.
From 2004 to 2010, I continued to write articles, put up web sites and seek someway out. Because my wife and I travel a lot, I hadn’t considered running for the board. I changed that in 2010. I was disqualified because I wouldn’t sign the “loyalty oath”.
Next year, we were on the road, but I tried again in 2012. And that’s were the really obnoxious part starts.
Within a few days of my submission of my candidacy and BEFORE I was officially rejected again, my wife and I were served with the injunction at the left.
RCW 24.03.135 states that each corporation shall keep “A list of members, including names, addresses… The corporate records shall be open at any reasonable time to inspection by any member of more than three months standing…” The very first enjoinment goes against state law!
Since every agency I spoke with told me the ONLY way to fight the club is through a lawsuit, item two prevents me from doing just that!
Item three takes away my right of free speech and this is the one that irritates me the most. I didn’t willing serve our country for eight years, including a combat zone, just to give up my right to speak. This goes against my First Amendment rights and everything this country is about.
All documents governing the club can be amended; it’s written into state law, the club’s Articles of Incorporation, By-laws, and covenants. It is my right to do so.
All members in good standing are eligible for the Board. There are no other qualifications.
Then, to add insult to injury, Mr. Valdez threatens us with jail! Because I disagree with they way the run the club? Now “…to the death…” is a whole lot more believable. And of course, the last little jab about finding peace. What a bunch of insincere garbage.
THIS is how the club maintains control; the cost to fight this injunction would be upwards of $20,000! We are retired and living on a fixed income; there is no way we could afford $20,000 to fight this bogus injunction. Bogus because NO ONE INDIVIDUAL can change anything – even on the Board. So to deny me my right to seek office because I object to something the club is doing IS bogus. They basically stripped me of all my membership rights and more because I disagree with them.
At that point in time, my wife and I packed up, abandoned our home, and left Ocean Shores. By obligating me to pay for and then deny me my rights as a property owner is nothing less than extortion and we no longer felt obligated to invest a single penny more into that property; nor have we.