Starlight Mesa Homeowners Association

Board Meeting

8-17-16, 7:30 p.m.

SP House


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


Renovation Requests:


Stephen Liu Solar Panels: GG reported that the plans for these solar panels were not ready yet, so the subject would have to be deferred to the September meeting.




Discussion of Jose Toribio contract renewal:  SP noted that the new contract should include annual renewal of the mulch on drought tolerant front yards.  She pointed out the fees under Jose’s existing contract were still at the 2013 rates; the bonus system set up under that current contract had never been implemented due to turnover on the Board.  She also did not believe that the Board had time to manage such a bonus program.  KG noted that the maximum bonus due under the current contract is $67/month and that the contract was for three years.  He suggested that we pay Jose a bonus now for the term of that current contract.  BT calculated that the maximum bonus for the three-year term would be $2412. GG checked government statistics and reported that the average cost of living increase over the past three years was 1.6%.  KG suggested that it likely is time to raise the HOA dues to reflect rising costs.  CS suggested that we survey residents – especially new residents who have just moved into the neighborhood – to find out what they want.  BT (a new resident) said he would support up to $200/month in HOA dues to pay for needed upkeep and services. GG calculated that the monthly rate of $6818 plus bonus under Jose’s old contract would equal about $7100 per month now after factoring in inflation.  He suggested that a COLA be built into the contract going forward.  KG suggested that the Board should pay Jose $2k for the three years’ bonuses due under the old contract. BT asked if going forward we should have a standard annual increase instead of a CPI based increase?  GG proposed 2.5% annually as a reasonable increase considering recent inflation figures.  KG said he preferred an actual COLA clause reflecting actual CPI-U.  SP will revise the draft and circulate it to the Board for review.


Artificial turf standards:  GG reviewed the comments he had received from the community on the revised draft artificial turf standards; concerns had been raised about replacement of artificial turf installations at the end of their useful life.  KG commented that the draft standards were much longer than they needed to be and suggested we take out a lot of the detail.  For example, can we require the use of a contractor?  Homeowners don’t need to do anything with installed artificial turf unless it looks bad.  Why is there an 8-year product warranty required?  There are no comparable warranty requirements for roofs and other improvements.  Are we going to inspect artificial turf installations?  BT asked how the Board will determine that an installation “looks bad”?  KG responded that there is a general obligation for neighbors to keep their property up and the Board can enforce that requirement related to artificial turf installations. BT suggested that it is better to put more requirements up front.  GG said that he was trying not to go overboard in drafting the standards; some neighbors had wanted mandatory replacement of artificial turf installations after 10 years.  It will be hard to keep track of the life of artificial turf installations as the Board changes over time.  CS said we can assume that the neighbors will hire competent people to do their artificial turf installations.  KG said he is OK with a) to f) in the draft and the general obligation to keep installations in good repair.  BT agreed to take out g) and h).  SP said we should just keep the last item in j).  GG will revise the draft and recirculate it to the community.  He agreed with the assumption that most people in the neighborhood will take these standards to a licensed contractor to comply with them.  He also noted that there is a fundamental dispute on the appropriate level of regulation within the community that is reflected in the divergent comments on these standards. 


Pool sign corrections:  GG asked whether the pool sign had been corrected following the inspection report.  CS advised that she had spoken to the pool sign company and learned that we could use the same sign we already have; we just need to write the details on it.  Joe Bergen (JB) will do it.  SP will check to make sure it was completed.


Pool renovations update:  BT reported that the pool renovation committee had another meeting several weeks earlier.  The committee wants to get more bids based on a standard bidding process.  We will then send a survey to the community with possible features and costs.  The project SOW was approved and JB was getting updated bids from two prior bidders and Bellagio Pool company.   We also need to get fence bids for various options.  BT asked if we should also get bids for the installation of a BBQ at the pool?  CS said that should be dropped for now as we have too many other things to do. KG observed that the project will be expensive anyway and that adding a BBQ would just make it more so.  GG agreed to put the BBQ idea on the back burner.  CS noted that we cannot put in a back fence that matches the wrought iron fence at the front of the pool because such a fence at the back would let debris into the pool.  KG said that we can do something else that is nicer than the current back fence.  BT said the pool committee now is comprised of JB, Glenn Cunningham and a few others.  He anticipates being ready to send a pool survey around to the community in early September.  SP noted that she has bids for the concrete decking on the pool – we can re-pour the entire concrete deck or just fill in the cracks.  The contractors recommend that we do not just cover over the existing concrete.  BT said that the concrete prices included in the pool contractor bids may be less – he will review this more carefully.


Playground equipment update:  BT reported that he and SP had met with Ronnie Siegel (RS), who had given us suggestions on renovating the playground areas. The engineered wood fiber we want to use as a base material is not sold in SoCal but he had learned that it is available elsewhere and is cheaper than other base materials.  We need to check multiple contractors for the cheapest prices.  We also need to bring the playground equipment up to code and need to rearrange the existing equipment.  He is working on a survey to send to the community with various options for these renovations.  He suggested a possible solution (pending comments from the neighborhood) of $10k from the reserve fund and $110/household to fund the renovations in both play areas.  GG raised the question of how much we use the reserve account for projects such as this.  KG pointed out that we cannot use it to fully pay for these projects as we have many other maintenance obligations to cover.  GG pointed out that the playground survey should make clear that another survey would be forthcoming related to the pool renovations.  KG agreed that we might be asking community members to fund two special assessment projects at about the same time.


Putting green park update:  BT reported that when he and SP had been talking to RS they also got an idea for replacing the concrete in the putting green park, which the Board had been considering.  RS suggested replacing that broken concrete with decomposed granite and rearranging the path to go around the entire putting green park and thereby creating a central grass area in the park.  SP commented that this would provide a lane for tricycles and strollers to circle the park.  BT reported that Jose had provided a quote to remove the concrete walkway in the park and build a retaining wall at the hillside using the broken concrete for $2550.  Removing the grass and installing a border for a decomposed granite walk would cost $2500 and installing the decomposed granite would be $5980, for an approximate total of ~$11k.  SP suggested that we could then put the picnic table at the end of the park.  KG noted that the Board had discussed this subject repeatedly and suggested that we just put the decomposed granite where the existing sidewalk is to save costs. SP said that this would be a waste long term if we decided to move the path later. GG suggested that we remove the existing concrete and put in a decomposed granite path partway around the park so that we can later complete the circle around the park without starting over from scratch.  BT pointed out that a decomposed granite pathway would allow different uses such as strollers, bicycles, etc. that could not use the current grass area. GG agreed but felt that we would be spending too much on the project now, while also looking at major pool and playground renovation projects.  SP will get another quote from Jose to remove the concrete and replace it with decomposed granite in the entry and partway around the park. 


Treasurer’s report: 


KG reported that as of 7/31/2016 the HOA Operating Account had a balance of $24,016.48 and the Reserve Account had a balance of $69,600.68.


Planning for annual picnic:


GG reported that the Sheriff’s Deputy will give a presentation before the start of the picnic again this year.  We will try to do it more informally than last year.  SP suggested that we get the Los Gringos Locos food truck to provide the food for the picnic this year.  KG will talk to Derrick Pan about the tables and chairs needed for the picnic last year. GG will do an eVite like last year; we will keep the price the same as last year. 


Next meeting:


            September 14, 2016

            7:30 p.m.

            SP house