Starlight Mesa Homeowners Association

Board of Governors Meeting Minutes

8-19-14, 7:30

John Andraos’ house

Board Present – John Andraos (JA), Karen Levin (KL), Derrick Pan (DP), Alex Benderskii (AB), Greg Goeckner (GG)

Also Present – Glenn Cunningham (GC)

Maintenance Report:

AB reported that the broken drain in the pool had been fixed.  He bought stakes to mount no smoking signs in the lower Stardust and children’s park areas.

KL raised the issue of the scope of front lawn maintenance provided by the HOA.  The current level of maintenance does not meet the terms of the CC&Rs.  She had examined the scope of work in Jose Toribio’s contract and the HOA is not even meeting that level of service; for example, his crews are not weeding around sprinklers.  The HOA has not yet addressed the issue of giving him a bonus under his contract for this year.  AB said that he would come up with list of things for Jose to do.  GG noted that the level of service seems to be variable and may depend on which member of Jose’s crew is working on each yard.  JA suggested that the Board invite Jose to a Board meeting to review his performance and that the Board solicit comments from the neighborhood prior to that meeting.

GC advised that he had worked on a questionnaire to circulate to the neighborhood to get member feedback last year but that the project wasn’t implemented.  GC will send the draft to AB, who will revise it and send it to GG for circulation to the neighborhood. 

KL noted that the HOA couldn’t afford to provide the level of service specified in the CC&Rs within its current budget.  GC said that in the early days of the Mesa, the gardeners used to take care of all sprinklers, replaced shrubs, etc.  However, in the last 20-30 years, the level of service has decreased.  JA described the old approach as fitting a country club environment.  GC noted that member dues used to be much higher in real terms and this allowed for a higher level of service.  JA observed that the current low HOA dues help to keep house values high.

GG will send Jose’s contract to Kelly Richardson so he can see the level of service currently being provided for the new draft CC&Rs.

Pool repair update:

JA reported that he had not received any additional materials from the other neighbors who had promised older bid information at prior meetings (Stitick and Bergen).  GG commented that the Board should develop community support for the pool renovation project.  DP advised that the Board should wait until next year to proceed with this project, after the revision of the CC&Rs is completed.  In his view, the cost of the pool renovation will not be significant per family.  JA suggested that the Board should get a rendering of the proposed remodel to circulate to the neighborhood.  The pool is a big selling point for the community.  He can ask his wife’s cousin to do a rendering.  GC doubted that such a rendering would show much related to the renovation.  GG suggested forming a subcommittee to work on this project and to develop neighborhood support for it.  JA will ask Cardinal if they can get us another bid for the pool renovation so we have three bids to present to the neighborhood.

Park Curfew

GG raised the issue of whether a curfew should be implemented preventing minors from using the parks after 10 p.m.  He reported that Chari Gilmore had suggested such a curfew after groups of minors had been gathering in the children’s park late at night recently.  JA agreed that a curfew would be a good idea.  GC noted that the HOA already turns off the lights on the tennis court to keep it quiet; noise in the parks affects nearby neighbors adversely.  JA suggested that the issue be raised in the CC&R revision meeting to gauge community reactions.

Basketball Court Painting

GG reported that Michelle Kim had asked if the basketball court should be repainted.  GC advised that community members did this together in the past.

Drought Resistant Planting

GG advised that Michelle Kim also had raised a question about whether drought resistant plants should be planted in all neighborhood parkways. JA suggested that the standards for planting in front yards should be reviewed.  GC commented that much of the front yard landscaping is 40 years old, having been put in when the neighborhood was developed.  It would cost a lot to replace all of it now.  He asked whether it is the community’s responsibility to do that?  GG asked whether the Association should adopt a standard allowing drought resistant plants as front yard landscaping.  GC noted that there are parkways only on Starlight Crest and that he believed that the City owns this strip of land, although it is up to homeowners to maintain it.  KL suggested that homeowners should have the option to install drought resistant plants in their front yards.  Community members have reacted well to the existing drought resistant front yards.

Gazebo

KL advised that she had not had time to call contractors about gazebo options.  The topic was deferred to the next meeting.

Treasurer’s Report

DP advised that the balance in the Association’s accounts at the end of July was about $45k, with $10k in outstanding checks, for a net balance of $35k.  The budget included $500 for the annual picnic.  If there are no surprises, the bank balance should remain at about $30k for the next several months.  The reserve account has $43k; the account should reach its goal of $62k in 18 months.  Those funds might be used to fix the pool, or a special call for funds could be established for that work.

DP advised that only one homeowner was significantly delinquent in dues payments.  The current balance due from that homeowner was over $3k plus fees.  There was no additional news on that foreclosure action.

Looking at the current year compared to last year, dues collections were $114k, which is on budget.  The major expense to date is payments to Jose Toribio of $62k, which is also on track with the budget.  JA asked whether the Association could hire two employees full time to do the landscaping.  GC commented that this would raise issues with managing the employees and insurance and that he did not think it was a good idea.  DP doubted that it would be less expensive than the current alternative.  JA said his objective was to improve service.  DP noted that the current contract with Jose Toribio runs through 2016.  GG suggested that the Association should not hire employees directly unless it is incorporated.  GC asked about the bonus clause in Jose’s contract as an incentive and pointed out that the Association needs to provide Jose feedback on his services.

DP noted that the Association incurred $3k in legal fees last year and $1100 in the first two months of this year with our former counsel.  With the CCR project, total legal fees for the year will be over budget, but the budget can easily absorb the increase.

DP reported that he had received the Association’s final annual audit report and would circulate it.  GC said that it was typically circulated at the annual meeting in a package for homeowners.  GG asked about establishing an annual budget for next year.  GC said this should be presented for discussion at the annual meeting; he suggested that work on it start in September, so that it would be ready for approval in November.

Annual Pool Party:

GG reported that RSVPs were light so far, with about 18 people responding.  He would continue to send reminders to the community.  He will also provide DP the ticket money being collected for deposit.

JA will confirm the food order with Carousel just before the party.  They will set up and have tables.  He also asked them to bring a keg of beer.  KL asked about ice chests for drinks.  GC said 6 or 7 were needed; he has 3.  DP said that the taco truck would have plates and cutlery.  KL ordered tables, chairs and tablecloths.  AB reserved a screen and GC is providing a projector.  KL will get Jose’s men to clear the area before the party.  She will get deserts and drinks from Costco.  DP looked into renting an inflatable jumper and popcorn cart.  JA suggested buying a popcorn cart from Costco.

The Board set a conference call to finalize party plans.

Neighborhood Meeting re CCR Project:

DP reported that he had talked to prior Board members about property line issues over the years.  The idea of rewriting the CCRs had been discussed several times.  GG reviewed the status of RSVPs for the meeting.  GC pointed out that the key reason for rewriting the CC&Rs is to provide a governance structure for the Association, with clear guidelines and uniformity, so that each Board does not have to reinvent the answers to recurring issues.

Goeckner/Schumacher Renovations

GG advised that they were preparing for Phase 2 of their renovations.  This would involve extending the master bedroom back.  The exterior finishes of the extended portion will not be very visible from the front of the house.  The extension will use the same stucco already approved by the Board for Phase 1 of the renovations and the same roof tile on the extension as on the existing roof.  The extension has been approved by the city and the neighbors are aware and have not objected to the construction plans.  The Board (GG abstaining) unanimously approved the proposed renovation.

Next meeting:

The next Board meeting will be September 30, 2014, 7:30 p.m., at KL’s house.