January 2010 Board Meeting Minutes

Rhondda Homeowners Association
Board Meeting Minutes
January 16, 2010
Meeting called to order at 7:11 p.m.
Present: Sue Patt, Sara Dill, Sally Burmeister, Frank Cetera, Joyce Fedora, Michael Cassella, and Patrick Milia (late). Also present Dianne O'Melia and Scott Leidy. Tom McCandless and Angelina Reyes Madanat, were absent. 
Review of December Minutes for Followup:
Contractor Etiquette Sheet: the new booklets from CAI have information; Bids for boulders (see Maintenance Report). Parking spaces: no response yet from Tom Cooke at the township. 1099's: the Treasurer has the accountant's number so that she can contact her directly. Membership services from CAI:  The Property Manager is still gathering information. The Secretary will contact Dan Shallow about heading up the Landscape Committee. Sue Patt consulted a neighbor about putting her basketball pole in the interior of S. Snowden Ct. to stop the garbage truck from driving over the turf: he did not object. Mike Cassella asked whether the "6 priorities" that Sue Patt identified at the quarterly meeting should be voted on by the Board. He feels that some goals need to be spelled out clearly because residents may not be aware of what the documents stipulate. This opens up a lot of discussion regarding participation by the residents.
Maintenance Report:
Snowplow divots were repaired wherever possible; the baby pool was drained twice; Christmas debris from a windy garbage day was removed from the courts, a boulder plan was drawn up on court maps - it was necessary to distinguish between damage caused by drainage and damage from parking; bid specifications were created from the boulder plan to be submitted first to J&J,  then to Anastasi and other known vendors. Boulders should go in before turf is replanted. Sinkholes behind tennis courts and on asphalt should be addressed but since sinkholes may be from the collapse of storm drains, they may need a different solution. Installation of a new pump and milling of a new sign post for the entrance at Worthington & Bausman are on the list to complete. Open items from the 2009 project list will move to 2010.
Treasurer's Report:
1099s were finalized this week. Rhondda was under budget for 2009 as anticipated, however, there are more outstanding dues and bankruptcies. Per the Property Manager, we are doing well to have only 3% of our residents behind on dues. Some residents have communicated that they have financial problems and know to provide regular updates. The Treasurer and Property Manager will address issues related to sales tax since the state government is actively looking for money.
Property Manager's Report:
Patrick Milia provided the Property Manager with a link to houses currently for sale in Rhondda; she will continue to receive automatic emails in the future whenever a Rhondda home comes on the market. There was a question about Ray Forgione giving his input on the tennis court resurfacing. The President suggested bringing one of the courts into fine condition and look at re-purposing the other court. Only 50 people had keys last year. Vandals have broken the lock on the upper court twice (will discuss at another time).

There were 12 submissions for Volunteer of the Year for six individuals:
Debbie Dainis, Barbara Guenst, Sue Patt, Angelina Reyes Madanat, Frank Cetera, and Emily Shoup were nominated. Discussion of nominations led to a vote resulting in Emily Shoup's selection to receive the award.

Appreciation Luncheon RSVP: So far19 volunteers have responded with 2 guests.
February Roster: Snow parking rules are usually included, but the suggestion was made that they be reviewed in the Roster at the beginning of the winter season and then posted on the website (there is a website meeting on January 19th). The Snowden Courts and part of the residents on  Conway Ct.  have received the 60-day letter regarding architectural failures. All but one resident on the Snowdens called the office to discuss their plans. The President will work with the Architectural Committee and liaison with the Property Manager to put the system in place to get the follow-up letters out to residents.

The President has information from the CAI newsletter for the Roster; tax incentives for heat pumps is information that can also be included in the next issue.

There was discussion about how to keep the Property Manager from being so involved in the planning and purchasing for social events; purchasing Visa gift cards for the amount budgeted for the party was the best suggestion and will be investigated.
Committee Reports:
Architectural Committee - Barbara Guenst
An organization document and plans were presented including CAI "Rules"  and "Why We Have a Design Review Process." This information might be good to include on the website. There are about 30 committee members and Barbara was the only committee member who responded to the former chairperson's request for a replacement. The Architectural Committee chairperson is designated as a person of authority in the governing documents and serves at the pleasure of the Board. There will be an executive session after this meeting to discuss the appointment. There have been issues in the past when board members did not consult with the documents and did not appoint the chairperson. Most times there is not a choice of who to appoint because very few residents come forward. The importance of dating changes to rules and regulations and amendments was discussed.
Landscape Committee - Sally Burmeister
TruGreen would like to offer services to residents at a reduced price since they currently take care of the common ground. There was discussion and it was decided that it is not an endorsement, but an offer of affordable prices for homeowners. If TruGreen provides an information sheet by January 25th, it can be distributed with the Roster. Dan Shallow will be contacted as a possible replacement for John Zaprala who has resigned as chairman.
Old Business:
The fraudulent email that was circulated has been completely resolved - apologies asked for and given.
New Business:
Geese Control: Homeowners bordering the pond have again asked for a solution; alligator heads were their idea but they did not deter the geese from staying in the area. Another solution to try would be "Awaywithgeese", a machine that emits a low light that is bothersome to geese. There is a 3.5 acre trajectory and we would need one for each for each pond. The cost is $349 per solar powered unit and there is a warranty and return agreement. The appearance is like the glow of a cigarette.  It is reported that the geese population is greatly reduced in two weeks. Maintenance still makes an attempt to discourage the geese, but nothing has been successful so far. $1250 is in the budget. The Treasurer made a motion to buy two units and Frank Cetera seconded. Fred Vodde was the resident who wrote up the proposal. Residents have offered to assist with the installation. The warranty will run from installation date.
Books from CAI -  Best Practices (a set of 24 pamphlets),  The Board President, and Design Review were ordered and received for a cost of about $65. The entire library is $350, but such a large investment may not be called for at this time. The President asked whether Board members would be willing to educate themselves to have more expertise; some would be willing.
Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon Agenda: Thanking everyone and stressing the importance of having volunteers is the main theme.
Survey: The President formulated a survey and asked whether it can be posted on the website. Content was reviewed and questions answered about how it work; The President can collect responses and analyze the data; no one person (computer) can participate more than once. The survey should be included in the Roster to reach the most residents. Sue Patt will send everyone the link and if anyone has any specific comments or changes, they should be identified and sent to Sue by Friday, January 22nd.
Twitter Alerts: A resident has volunteered to initiate this service so it can be tried out.
Freecycle: There is a domain already set up, but it would require a manager.
Reminder/notice pads for maintenance issues:
Several items can be combined on one sticker such as:
Don't park on the grass
Don't park in the snow zone
Remove your trash can to the rear of the property
Remove children's toys to the rear of the property
Supervise your children
Trim bushes
There was discussion: The community may not be ready for such a practice; we should "pick our battles", there may be a liability. The discussion was tabled so that the President can get feedback from the Architectural Committee. The suggestion was meant to be used as a way to let residents know when their practices are not in line with community rules; currently we rely on residents calling the office to complain.
Issue of board members accessing email and docs via the website: Frank Cetera said he will try to utilize the email/website and requested an email be sent to him with instructions. Discussion about minute approval and posting deadlines - the Secretary will clarify deadlines at the next meeting.
Procedures Manual:
There are documents that exist but they have not been utilized. Some were established in 1997;  at that time, the employee "bonus" was equal to one week's pay. Since any "bonus" should be performance related, there can't be a performance bonus without an evaluation. CAI has forms that could be used since no others exist for the Association.
Community's Physical Appearance Audit:
Conditions of curbing and asphalt surfaces need to be addressed and the Board needs to be certain to address issues that are the responsibility of the Association. Mailboxes and cement pads for mailboxes are in need of repair. The desire is to provide attention to these items and others in a predictable way. It was suggested that the Maintenance Manager monitor these issues. More thought is needed.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Approved by: Sue Patt, Patrick Milia, Michael Cassella, Sally Burmeister

Rhondda Homeowners Association
Executive Meeting Minutes
January 16, 2010

The meeting was called to order following the regular monthly meeting with the purpose of  discussing the appointment of Barbara Guenst as chairman for the Architectural Committee.

Present: Sue Patt, Sara Dill, Sally Burmeister, Frank Cetera, Joyce Fedora, Michael Cassella, and Patrick Milia

Board members who were in office when Ms. Guenst applied a solid color stain to the front of her home without approval of the Architectural Committee felt that her behavior at the time "was inexcusable" and that it could come back to the Board/Association in an negative way because she disregarded the system. It was suggested that the subcommittees should not be the responsibility of one person. Barbara Guenst could serve as chairman since the Board still has the right to remove her or supervise her as defined by the governing documents. The decision was made to put a notice in the Roster allowing others to come forward;  a month will be allotted to see if anyone comes forward. It was pointed out that the Association could outsource the performance of the walk through. Another resident was suggested who may also cause a negative response from residents. It was pointed out that the Association has very few people who step up to take on large responsibilities.
The President polled those present to find out if they would be in favor of appointing Barbara Guenst as the interim chairman. Sara Dill, Patrick Milia, Sally Burmeister and Mike Cassella were in favor, Joyce Fedora said she was "50/50" in support; Frank Cetera stipulated that Barbara not be allowed to sign anything.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:42 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Approved by: Sue Patt, Patrick Milia, Michael Cassella, Sally Burmeister