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Q & A on Governance

What is the difference between GRF, the housing mutuals, and VMS?
The housing mutuals (United, Third, Mutual 50) are responsible for the maintenance of residential properties, e.g., the manors, carports, laundry rooms, and cul-de- sacs. The Golden Rain Foundation (GRF) maintains such things as gates, amenities, community facilities, and buses. Village Management Services, Inc. (VMS) is the self-owned, professional management company for Laguna Woods Village.

How do the GRF elections differ from the housing mutuals' elections?
The housing mutual boards are elected by the mutuals' members via mail-in ballot. GRF Board members are elected by the Corporate Members (see below).

The GRF Bylaws refer to the Corporate Members, and their ability to vote on specified issues. Who are the Corporate Members?

The Corporate Members are the Mutual Corporations at Laguna Woods Village, as represented by the Directors of their respective Boards. The Corporate Members are United Laguna Woods Mutual (11 Directors), Third Laguna Hills Mutual (11 Directors), and Laguna Woods Mutual No. Fifty (5 Directors). The Corporate Members elect the GRF Directors and vote on other items as defined by the GRF Bylaws.

How are the VMS Directors appointed?
The VMS Board is appointed by:

- 3 Members from United Mutual
- 3 Members from Third Mutual
- 3 Members from GRF

What committee meetings can residents attend? When are sessions closed? Residents can attend all housing mutual and GRF committee and Board meetings except those that are closed. Boards may hold closed sessions, as provided by state law to discuss and act on litigation, contracts, and personnel issues (e.g., resident disciplinary action).

How many people serve on each board? How long do they serve? How are they elected?
United, Third and GRF have 11 board members. Mutual No. Fifty (Towers) has five board members. VMS has nine board members. All board members serve 3-year terms. The terms of office are staggered to provide continuity of Board members.

I'm interested in running on a board, what are the requirements?
You must be a resident member and in good standing (not delinquent on financial obligations to the Mutual or GRF). Per Civil Code 5105(a), you can self-nominate by filling out an application and submitting an electronic candidate statement before the close of nominations. Once the application is submitted and it is determined that you are a resident member and in good standing, you automatically become a candidate. If you wish to obtain information on what efforts are necessary to successfully serve as a Board Director, you may meet with an “election committee” established by each Mutual who will provide you informative information.

What happens when board members vacate their position?
If it is close to an election, the board may allow the seat to remain vacant until the next election. The boards may also choose to appoint someone to fill the position until the next election.

What Mutual does each Committee serve?
The individual mutuals have committees on finance, maintenance, traffic, landscape, to name a few, and ad hoc committees as needed. The committees are made up of board members and resident advisors.

Do boards govern clubs and organizations within the community?
No, boards do not govern clubs in Laguna Woods Village. Recreation does have a document known as the Recreation Division Policy book that is the Golden Rain Foundation's approved guidelines that address all recreational facilities (clubhouses, golf, stables, gardens, fitness centers, etc.). This document covers most uses of facilities and gives staff the necessary parameters to oversee the general use of the community’s amenities and wide variety of activities. Each designated facility has its own section of policy and procedures. A copy of the current Recreation Division Policy can be downloaded here. It is GRF's policy that all clubs are considered to be autonomous, electing their own officers, keeping their own records and financial operations.

What is the community's relationship with the City of Laguna Woods?
Laguna Woods Village is a private community located within the City of Laguna Woods. The entire City of Laguna Woods is comprised of approximately 4 square miles. Laguna Woods Village encompasses 3.8 of those 4 square miles. More than 90% of the Laguna Woods residents live in the gated community.

What is the role of the City of Laguna Woods to the community?
Incorporated March 24, 1999, The Laguna Woods City Council addresses the current and future needs of the City through the adoption of policies that promote the best interests of the community and the City's relationships with citizens, business, community organizations and other governmental agencies. The City of Laguna Woods is the first city in the State of California whose population consists primarily of senior citizens. The City of Laguna Woods is committed to specific goals as follows:

  • Actively recruit and involve citizens in the decision-making process.
  • Prudently manage the City's financial resources and provide for adequate reserves.
  • Work in partnership with the businesses located within our city.
  • Safeguard the health, safety and well-being of City residents and properties.
  • Provide City residents with municipal services which are economically and efficiently delivered.
  • Promote and enhance development of aesthetics of the city: i.e. landscape, arts, culture, leisure and recreation.
  • Promote regional cooperation among neighboring communities and governmental agencies in areas of mutual concern.

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