Conroe (April Sound), June 4 – Citizen-activist Andrea Fahrenthold’s two-year fight to bring reform to the April Sound Property Owners Association (ASPOA) resulted in a major electoral victory for reformers Adam Majeski, Evelyn Taylor, and Brent Thor in the ASPOA election held on May 19, 2018. After two weeks of anxious waiting, the ASPOA finally released preliminary results of the election on Sunday, June 3, 2018.
Fahrenthold, Montgomery County Hospital District Board member and conservative activist Georgette Whatley, and many others have fought the ASPOA Board of Trustees over their alleged lack of transparency and fiscal practices. Board Chairman Johnny Kopecky has tried to “shut down” Fahrenthold and her allies through ASPOA procedures as well as through lawsuits which he has filed against Fahrenthold and others. There is a pending lawsuit by Kopecky against Fahrenthold in the 284th District Court of Montgomery County. Please see “April Sound POA Board Supporters Heap Nasty Backlash On Reform Group Trying To Gain Financial Transparency, Recall Of 4 Incumbents, Law Enforcement Needs To Step Into The Situation,” The Golden Hammer, August 5, 2017.
Concerned citizen Fahrenthold, a real estate appraiser and broker who lives in April Sound, is the leader of the reform effort. Fahrenthold explained to The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, that Johnny Kopecky has been the ASPOA Board Chairman since 2007 and a board member since 2005. Fahrenthold and hundreds of her neighbors sought to reform the Board of Trustees, because, she explained, “they refuse to produce financial records, bank statements. We know they have at least 11 bank accounts and have refused to release the general ledger, even though Chapter 209 of the Texas Property Code requires them to make that available to members of the Association.”
Fahrenthold made her initial request for the financial information in June, 2016. The ASPOA sued Fahrenthold and one other activist for defamation. 284th District Judge Cara Wood dismissed part of that lawsuit before the ASPOA Board chose voluntarily to dismiss all claims against Fahrenthold before she subpoenaed the very financial records at issue.
“Two board members, Steve Roberts and Ed Kelly, are friendly to our reform group,” said Fahrenthold in August, 2017. “We just want an ethical board and to be able to depend on the people who government April Sound, which is almost like a small town. The trust is broken with the current board.”
In the current election, there were ten candidates running for three positions of incumbents Steve Roberts (who is retiring from the Board), Pat Simmons (a pro-Kopeck Board member), and Larry Schillab (also a pro-Kopecky Board member). In place of those three incumbents, the three reformers allied with Fahrenthold’s group won the election.
Kopecky’s “establishment” group attempted to recall reform ally Ed Kelly but failed to win the recall vote.
Fahrenthold told The Golden Hammer last night, “We do believe that goodness prevailed and the people have spoken.” She explained that her group had 535 proxies, which they cast, while there were 505 absentee ballots and 220 in-person ballots in the May 19 election. Approximately half of April Sound voted in the election which is a remarkable turnout for any election of that nature.
Whatley gave an exclusive interview to this newspaper in which she stated,
“Andrea Fahrenthold has spent the last two years of her life trying to explain to people we are entitled to see financial statements and other financial information from our POA to see where our money is being spent. She has met with ridiculous obstacles all along the way when she tried to obtain this information. Fortunately, she awakened a sleeping giant. Many people in this sleepy little community had no idea they were entitled to this information and probably didn’t really care, until it became obvious that the board, specifically the board president, was adamant about not releasing it.”
Fahrenthold has lived in April Sound with her husband and son for approximately 26 years. She hopes that the new Board will select a new Chairman in place of Kopecky. “The plan, I hope, is to ask Kopecky, Norris, and Jackson to resign, because of their actions which we believe covered up corruption. If they don’t resign, we’ll call a special meeting to use our proxies to vote them out of office.”