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The Clearwood Community Association Board of Directors met earlier this month for a lengthy session to discuss changes to the ballot and changes for the homeowner association’s bylaws.

The Clearwood Community Association Board of Directors plans on publishing a document of frequently asked questions and answers sourced from recent town hall meetings and will also increase the percentage it plans on loaning from its capital reserves. 

The move is a continuation of the association’s attempts to repair its finances after up to $400,000 was embezzled by a former employee. 

During a special meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the recommendation of general manager Mitch Waterman, the board agreed to change the notification it plans on printing in this year’s ballot to reflect an additional $22,000 of wiggle room. 

The board now plans on transferring $220,000 from its capital reserves to its operations fund, and plans on repaying the homeowners association over the next calendar year. 

“We decided we left ourself no room for error,” Waterman said of the decision to increase the amount. “We thought we should add some contingency to this job.” 

Board President Aaron Lang said this was important because it will deter the board from coming back to the people if operations need additional funds. He also said that just because the board transfers these funds, doesn’t mean they’ll end up using them. 

The additional loan amount also comes with a 10-percent interest increase the board will plan on repaying. 

The board also reviewed and analyzed a list of frequently asked questions and answers that it plans on publishing on its website soon. The material is sourced from questions asked by Clearwood members at a pair of open houses. 

Clearwood’s general and operations fund is about $198,000 in the red for this year. Board members over the last few months have been taking action to improve the budget for the next year, which include a large transfer of funds to cover the deficit. 

This comes as the homeowners association continues to investigate a former bookkeeper and her alleged coverup of potentially $400,000 in embezzled funds over a span of about four years. The homeowners association is looking at their options to take legal action. 

Dolanna K. Burnett had a previous conviction in 2014 for theft, identity theft and forgery while she worked at the Tacoma Health Department. She was convicted shortly after she passed a background check to perform services at Clearwood Community Association. 

This year, the board approved roughly $206,620 from its operations budget to finish out a forensic audit and other fraud and legal audit expenditures — an important action despite its financial strain. Lang said that number is preliminary. 

Clearwood Community Association will hold a special election on Saturday, Dec. 14, in the Lackamas Elementary school gymnasium for members to vote on a fee increase and a $2-per-month special assessment fee per lot to help cover the interest on the loan. 

Throughout the last few weeks, the board has taken action to ensure it has better oversight over the funds that govern the 1,355-member homeowners association. 

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