Here’s my notes from the Board of Director’s meeting last night, Thursday, November 19, 2016. As usual, these are not “meeting minutes”… they’re my version of what happened, with some occasional background and discussion notes.
I’m trying something new this time. Hopefully you can download a copy of the agenda from the meeting here, and follow along in my notes below. (It’s a scanned PDF file.)
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The Consent Agenda was approved, including:
- Minutes of 10/20 and 10/29 meetings
- Finance report
- Manager report
Landscaping Committee discussion:
- Leaf roller worms are showing up on Tacoma/Yellow Bells leaves. Trestle is arranging for the landscapers to dust them.
- The medians at both entrances have been planted, based on the board’s approval
- In late October the board approved a few additional trees around the neighborhood. This new planting to occur soon – hopefully in the next week or two.
- Sissou sprouts are popping up in grass areas, thanks to the increased watering schedule. The landscaper didn’t want to go around pulling them up, since that creates holes and dirt. They’ll wait until the watering is reduced and grass mowing is in progress, and get them at that time.
- Next target for revitalization: the small roundabout areas along Highland and Devonshire, and at the end of each cul-de-sac. Some of them look sparse; some of them look overgrown.
Architecture Review Committee had no discussion.
Social Committee discussion:
- A decision was made to postpone the December event until some time in January.
- The meet-and-greet happened; how many people attended either wasn’t mentioned or I missed it. Two survey forms were submitted.
There was some discussion of the replacement of the various signs at the two entrances, including No Soliciting and possible Restricted Parking. There continues to be some back-and-forth with sign vendors, so they hope to have more info at the next meeting.
Regarding the survey. Six board members volunteered to go around door to door (1 “abstention”). With 345 homes and 6 people, that’s a little over 50 per person. Unsure of the timeframe for when this will happen, but hopefully soon. [Note: See my page here about the survey itself.]
It was mentioned that Trestle had attempted to collect Email addresses from homeowners in the past, but that the list only had 15 addresses. The sentiment was that “people are too busy to read Emails from the HOA.”
Personal note: [pardon my soapbox!] At both previous meetings I attended, I made a point of telling the board members that they need to develop some sort of communication or engagement plan. Just throwing up your hands and saying “people don’t want to deal with the HOA” is a bad approach, in my opinion. Sure, some people don’t want anything to do with the HOA. But with just a little proactive communication, it’s possible to get more involvement and more input. Unfortunately, I think most HOA boards typically move very slowly, and would rather consult their lawyer and a low profile than to stand up and holler, “Hey you neighbors… come get involved!” If you can’t afford the time to be involved, hopefully you would at least like to be informed. The fact that you’re reading this is a good indication! [end of my soapbox!]
There was some discussion of the sidewalk repairs; apparently locating the areas marked with paint is difficult: one board member couldn’t find it, another board member knew exactly where one of them was. [In my opinion, this isn’t communicated or tracked very well, even with a can of spray paint.]
Regarding the rock lights at the entrance monuments: The north/Campbell entrance was fixed, but the one at the south/Heatherbrae entrance was not. Trestle reported that the north entrance was a pretty easy fix electrically, but the south one was more expensive and so decided against it. There was some additional discussion about solar lighting, and they will continue to look into options.
Trestle mentioned that there are grants through the city of Avondale at beginning of each year, with matching funding requirements (the city requires the HOA to match whatever funding they provide). The board indicated we should apply for the funding whenever possible.
Regarding addition of lights around the park areas, there was some discussion of short light poles vs. overhead lighting. No real decisions, more later.
Relating to trash cans in common areas, some additional discussion, and they want to get a bid from Phil at Apache (our current landscapers).
On the slide repair, the new slide should arrive the first week of December, and be replaced shortly thereafter.
Street lights are mostly working; one in the area of eastern Hazelwood roundabout is still out. Questions were raised about some lights that go on and off – not really out. There was some discussion that this might be normal due to temperature or cars passing buy, but Trestle indicated they would follow up with their contact at the city to see whether these can be adjusted.
There are two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) out, and responses have been received for both. One is for the landscaping services (current vendor: Apache), the other is for the HOA management services (current vendor: Trestle). Discussion of these was deferred to the end of the meeting.
Board training reimbursement. Discussion about whether the board members can be reimbursed for small expenses relating to board training. Trestle indicated other HOAs reimburse mileage and some fees, and reinforced that the board members should participate in board member training. Board members will research and reconsider next month.
Further discussion on street parking and related signage. Suggestion for parking restriction signs prior to enforcement; in fact, new signs and enhanced enforcement should occur simultaneously. Trestle mentioned one company that charges about $230/month to come out twice a month and document parking violations, then forwards them to the management company to send to the homeowner.
Relating to speed bumps. Trestle indicated that the city of Avondale has to do traffic study, and they did one, but then said they don’t have the funds to install the speed bumps. If more residents called the city to complain about the speeders, that would help. October is the beginning of the city’s fiscal year – now is a good time to hit them up again to see if they have funds.
Regarding a Rio Crossing Block Watch program. Trestle is coordinating with the Avondale Police Department’s Block Watch folks for a discussion. December is typically busy for people, so a decision to have this meeting in January. All homeowners and residents should be welcome at this meeting.
More people can call to request an increased patrol, since the Avondale Police Department can’t be everywhere all the time and “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”.
I spoke briefly about the increased crime in the neighborhood, the concerns raised by folks on NextDoor, and my desire that they respond with some action as soon as possible.
[I didn’t stay for the RFP discussions.]
The board was going to review the landscaping RFP, enter into an Executive Session (no reason given; only board members can be present), and then review the management RFP (Trestle can’t be present).