Starlight Mesa Homeowners Association

Board of Governor’s Meeting Minutes

5-18-16, 7:30 p.m.

SP House


Present – Sylvia Paz (SP), Kirk Gerbracht (KG), Brent Tweddle (BT), Cynthia Smither (CS)

Also – Glenn Cunningham (GC)




Toribio Contract Renewal: SP reported that Jose Toribio’s contract for Mesa Landscaping Maintenance will expire in December 2016.  The Board needs to decide whether to renew it or not, with the current terms or with modified terms.  There was general agreement that his performance has been satisfactory and has been meeting the terms of the current contract.  There was some question about payment of the awards fees.  SP will review the history of payments.  GC will send copies of the previous renewal process documents to the Board members for review.  A decision about conditions of renewal and potential amendments is carried over to the next meeting.

BT suggested that, for homes where non-grass landscaping has been or is being installed, that the Mesa provide one load per year of mulch in lieu of the mowing service offered to homes with lawns so that there will be equable service provided to all homeowners for their dues.  This is a potential modification to the Toribio contract.

Putting Green Grass:   It has been observed that there are some sections of dying grass in the Putting Green due to the invasion of a weed, not from lack of watering.  Toribio has bid $820 to reseed the areas.  The areas seem to be improving, so the decision was made to hold off on any reseeding.  GC pointed out that shortly after the current sod was installed several years ago, invading weeds were controlled with a special herbicide mixture that Toribio applied.  GC will check his files for data on this process and pass it on to SP.

Hillside Brush Clearance:  It is time to begin the annual hillside brush clearance and get the Fire Department buy-off on the results.  Toribio has bid $12,400 for the job (same price as last year).  This is within the budget allocation ($13,000) for this line item.  The Board approved the bid amount and directed that the work be started immediately.

Gardener’s Shed Repair:  SP reported that the Gardener’s Shed repair has been completed satisfactorily.

Water Bills:  SP reported that the water bills have gone down to normal after a month with an unusually high bill due to some leaks that were found and fixed. However, because of a recent vandalism event where sprinklers were turned on (to never shut), there is a slight increase expected in the next billing.

Concrete Work:  SP reported that there have been several bids (albeit for varying scopes of work) for the pending concrete work (repairing the Putting Green walkway and patio: removing the concrete circles in the Children’s Play Park).  SP will prepare a comparison chart for supporting a decision on the scope of the work to be accomplished for the next meeting.

Community Trash Pickup:  KG introduced the topic of trash pickup in the Mesa.  Currently there are four trash companies each driving three trucks through the Mesa on trash pickup days plus the separate truck that picks up the green waste from the Gardener’s Shed.  He suggested that the Mesa pursue a common contract with one company for picking up all the trash in the Mesa and billing that as a service provided by the Homeowners Association (similar to the front lawn mowing service) through the annual dues.  There was general agreement that this would be a good process established for the better of the Mesa.  Since the trash hauling is done under a City of La Canada-Flintridge franchise process, KG will inquire with the City Public Works department to see if this concept is possible, and will report back at the next meeting.

Playground Equipment Upgrades:  BT reported on the cost estimates that he had obtained for upgrading the playground equipment in the Children’s Play Park and the equipment adjacent to the tennis court.  He sent a spreadsheet with the data to the Board members. Total estimated cost for both area’s installations, including 15% contingency, is ~$19,000.

Children’s Play Park:  His data includes a modern commercial playground set approximately 25-35 ft on a side to be installed in the center of the Play Park.  It will require concrete footings that Toribio could install, and the unit would be installed by Mesa volunteers.  A rubber mulch bed would be laid under it with water drainage provisions.  The existing swing set would be replaced and a rubber mulch bed added under it.

Adjacent to the Tennis Court:  A new swing set with a rubber mulch bed would be installed.

GC reported that the City of Pasadena has recently installed a set of similar equipment in the NW corner of Central Park just east of Fair Oaks below Colorado, and that the Board might want to take a look at it relative to the quality of the equipment.  The existing Mesa equipment has had a lifetime of ~50 years and he thinks that new equipment should also be selected with similar longevity in mind. The new equipment will also comply with updated codes.

With his assembled data, BT is ready to engage the playground consultant.

There was general discussion about how this project would be funded, whether some part from reserves, some part from the operating budget or some part from a general assessment to the homeowners.  It was suggested by GC that this cost be combined with the cost for the pool upgrades (discussed below) as a total package of Mesa Infrastructure Improvements and presented to the community as a single assessment.

An informal poll to get community input on the desirability of this and the pool project was endorsed by the Board.  A formal vote by all homeowners will be required for the assessment.

At the next meeting, the Board will decide on the scope of this project and whether to initiate it standalone or package it with the pool project.

Gazebo:  The gazebo has been upgraded with a new cover.  It now needs furniture to complete the project started over two years ago.  SP proposed a metal table and chairs with a budget limit of $1,000 (per previous treasurer).  She will present options to the Board members for the next meeting.  Included will be refurbishing the memorial bench and plaque that is just south of the gazebo.

Pool Upgrade Project:  Seven volunteers responded the GG’s e-mail request for pool upgrade project committee members.  In addition, GC responded that he could help out as an advisor/consultant.  He presented a suggested project plan consisting of a planning phase (to determine the scope and affordability of the work to be done), a decision phase (to finalize and approve the scope of work) and an implementation phase (to select and manage the contractors).  The plan was discussed by the Board and it was agreed that it was appropriate and that an organizational meeting of the volunteers be held as soon as possible with visible support from the Board.  BT has agreed to be an ex-officio member of the committee representing the Board.  GC will propose a date and organize the initial committee meeting.  A strong chairperson will be key to this activity.


Renovation Requests:


Hiller Roof:  SP reported that the Hillers will attend the next Board meeting to discuss their choice of roofing material and alternatives.

Berta House Changes:  It was reported that the new owners of this house had installed a satellite antenna in a potentially objectionable location and had installed numerous bright lights.  The Board agreed that these issues were outside its purview.  The Association has (or had) a policy on satellite antennas.  It is not currently in the website’s policy section.  GC will try to retrieve the history on this policy.

Renovation activity on front of house on the corner of Starlane and Pali Point:  It has been determined by KG that the owner has moved out for the renovation process, but no request for approval of the changes has been received by the Board.  At the April Board meeting GG took an action to contact the homeowner and remind them of the alternation approval process.  GG sent a general e-mail on alternations to all homeowners.  It is not known if he sent a specific request to this homeowner.


Treasurer’s Report:


KG reported that once again he has not received the most recent bank statement from Cardinal Management.  Since this seems to be an on-going problem, he will try to get the statements directly from the bank in order to facilitate status reporting at the monthly Board meetings.  Without the precise data, he estimates that the reserve account should be ~$67K, and the operating account should be ~$10K plus the recently received quarterly dues payments.  Detailed status will be reported to the Board members as soon as it is received.  (Following the Board Meeting, the detailed statement was received indicating that the Operating Account has a balance of $43,121.03, and the Reserve Account has a balance of $66,326.44.)


Annual Picnic:


The annual picnic date was set as Saturday, September 10th.  The format will be a Pot Luck with the Association providing beverages and dessert.


Next Board Meeting:


The next Board meeting will be on Wednesday, June 15th at Sylvia Paz’s home at 7:30 pm.