RLG, ... "If SVO ever explained why management allowed reserves to be underfunded in the first place, I haven't seen it. I also don't know why they decided to "catch up" the reserve underfunding over 3 years instead of having a special assessment."
Management has no final say-so over the funding of the reserves. The HOA votes on reserve funding as part of the adoption of the annual budget.
Management can only recommend a reserve figure. If the HOA board reduces it to keep current annual assessments low, there is nothing management can do. Of course, no owners at SBP complained that the reserve is underfunded. For the most part, they paid the lower assessments back then but relatively high numbers didn't pay and dumped when the reserve assessment was increased to where it is now. And, the current owners now pay more for the unfunded liability.
I have no idea if management made a recommendation for a higher assessment for reserves. In the end and over time, the reserve amounts are what they are when they are expended. It's pretty hydraulic and more a cash flow timing problem than anything else. The bills have to be paid and it all evens out - except for those who sold earlier in the game and passed the unfunded liability down the people who purchased from them.
Whether 2013 will go down (and how much) is pure speculation and dependant on a lot of factors - especially the percentage of 2012 owners who pay their 2012 assessments promptly. ... eom