May 2009 Board Meeting Minutes

Rhondda Homeowners Association
Minutes of Board Meeting
May 18, 2009


Present: Sue Patt, Tom McCandless, Todd McFarland, Sally Burmeister, Frank Cetera, David Dunn, Patrick Milia, Dianne O'Melia, and Scott Leidy. Angelina Reyes and Joyce Fedora were not able to attend.

The President called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

Sue Patt introduced Patrick Milia who will serve out the term of former Board member, Jon Wilson.

Maintenance Report - Scott Leidy

This month Scott repaired the fence on the bike path and the swings at middle playground. Half of the swings have been removed due to damage caused by teens. It would be desirable to find out which kids are causing the damage. Scott talked to some boys a few days ago, and found that they were not from Rhondda, but were visiting friends at Rhondda. The Board should let Scott know if new swings should be ordered. The parking lot and basketball court were repainted as well as some of the court lots; he will continue working through the courts. He will also sod and topsoil areas of the common ground as time permits. He has been spreading wood chips and starting the process to have the pool ready for Memorial Day weekend. There was discussion about whether police are patrolling the community;  they have been observed driving through the area on a fairly regular basis.

Minutes: The minutes of the April Board meeting and the executive session were approved electronically. There were no questions or comments.

Committee Reports:

Website: The committee is meeting this Thursday - A committee member will be identified to be the "go-to person" for posting committee information. The committee consists of Alex Sutherland, Todd McFarland, Sobrina Butler, Rebecca Shallow, and Sue Patt.

Composting: There was a question about composting grass clippings; Sue Patt will do her best to educate residents who collect their grass clippings to alternatives to dumping piles of grass along common areas.

Sue spread compost around edges of her court where garbage trucks are  

causing ruts inside the asphalt. This is a problem on both North and South Snowdon where it is difficult for the trucks to make the turn without  tearing up the grass. A suggestion was made that Blosenski be contacted to try to resolve the issue. 


Landscaping: Sally Burmeister reported in the absence of John Zaprala and distributed his report. John has made an effort to get bids for repairing the courts and installing boulders but has only gotten two bids so far. It may be that the committee will work on restoring soil and seeding the courts and then have the boulders installed professionally. John plans to have a meeting of the committee on Wednesday, May 27th at 7 p.m. He would also like to follow through with his plan to have an event for the community and will make plans to do so. 

Social: Angelina Reyes was not present to provide an update on plans for the July 4th cookout and pool activities.


Architectural: Debbie Dainis  reported in the absence of Adri Recio. She questions the practice of the chairman approving requests from homeowners before committee members have had a chance to review them. There have been complaints from some members; they are mostly residents who were not alerted to the walkthrough that took place on Snowdon Courts. One member has expressed her dissatisfaction that committee activities governed by the Board have not progressed very rapidly. The committee report suggested that the office stay open later one day a week or on Saturdays for residents to be able to access forms. These forms can be posted on the website and left with block captains to make them more accessible rather than change office hours. Committee members have been reviewing the architectural guidelines and will give them to the Board for review when they are ready. Sue Patt will schedule a meeting with Adri Recio and Mary Malpeli to discuss plans to move forward with committee activities. A resident of Conway Ct. approached Tom McCandless about shingles; 3 tab shingles are the approved type, but he believes that architectural shingles would improve the look of the roofs. 

In regard to the retaining wall on Llandovery Dr. that collapsed, it is between two properties and does not endanger anyone's home. One resident can’t afford to replace the wall right now, so they are looking at alternatives; one solution may be to eliminate the need for a wall with grading.

The resident who requested permission to build an addition onto his home has not reported back regarding a decision from the township. Dianne O'Melia will call him to determine the status of the request.

Color choice for cedar:  Prior to this meeting, Sue Patt approved the cost of a color consultant who will provide three color choices for each brick color with a Photo Shop reproduction of each. Efforts may also be made to change the colors of a unit so that residents can see a real life example. The cost of the consultant is $300 for the cedar courts and $250 for additional consultations regarding the courts without cedar. Joe Swords, the painting contractor associated with the consultant, will contribute $200 toward the consultation in exchange for advertising in the Roster. He has been asked to include a coupon for residents who would like his services either by individual unit or by building.  He would need to take into consideration that some homes have firewall cedar while others do not or have a very small amount. Mr. Swords doesn’t have camera ready art work prepared at this time. The next step is the voting process per court. Sue Patt asked whether there were any ideas about how to complete this process. According to David Dunn, the operative word is “uniformity”. Courts must make one choice for their court with clear cedar always as an option. However, residents need to to understand that "clear" means that the wood has been consistently maintained with clear sealer, or the wood has been returned to original condition. They must also understand that there is only one choice per court and that people who do not make the change voted in by their court are out of compliance. There is a problem with how to manage absentee owners. The Board should meet sooner than the regularly scheduled June Board meeting to make decisions. Block captains should be involved to facilitate voting. A display could be made available for people to see at farmhouse in the evening or given to block captains so that residents could view the choices in their own court. A "frequently asked questions" sheet should also be made available. Sue Patt will try to schedule a meeting for block captains to discuss their involvement.

Safety: Mark Gallant reported that his "kick-off" meeting for the committee did not attract any residents. He feels that people either feel safe or didn’t know about the meeting. He tested 
"drive slowly" - "children at play" signs. There was a good response to the folding style which is available for $11 from Toys R Us. He will note in the Rhondda safety article that signs are available. Residents who purchase the signs for $11 from the safety committee could receive a $5 rebate from the Association. Residents need to be reminded that the signs do not take the place of parental supervision of children playing on the pavement in the courts. Dianne O'Melia suggested that parents purchase their own signs or that they be purchased for residents only after a resident provides a check for the purchase.

There are 100 armbands available for purchase at the office. Mark would also like to have a bike safety check at the 4th of July event. He is able to inspect bicycles for safety and make minor repairs. He can also make helmets available for $10-15 ($40 helmets). An announcement would need to be posted in the June Roster. Children would preregister for the bicycle safety check. There was a question about township requirements for bicycles. Helmets are required up to the age of 12. Police give encouragement to kids who are wearing helmets but do not provide a sanction for those who do not. 

Community Watch - Mark is willing to organize residents who show an interest in this activity. He will ask residents to call if they are interested. 

It was agreed to have the bicycle safety check at the July 4th event. Angelina Reyes needs to provide details to Dianne O'Melia by May 22nd for the Roster. Another option would be to have a decorated bike contest. 

Dianne O'Melia received a call from someone who asked whether there was a vandalism problem in Rhondda. It was her impression that something on the website referencing safety led to the question being asked. It was pointed out that it is not a problem that someone would call and ask since the purpose of the website is to provide information about the community. The best answer to the question is that there have been some concerns about vandalism of some of the common areas and there is a desire to intervene with juveniles who may be responsible.

Dianne reiterated that she needs names of volunteers who should receive a pool pass.

Tennis Courts: Todd McFarland reported that he has contacted a couple more companies in Lancaster County and tried to locate companies who had done work previously or provided bids; the company that did work before charged $14,000 just to seal the courts and has since gone out of business. Residents can be polled about the tennis courts during upcoming court meetings. Only 11 keys have been bought so far this year. Residents should decide whether the courts should be repaired or replaced with something else. Frank Cetera cautioned the Board about ripping out the courts in question and then finding that residents who bought their home with the tennis courts as an amenity might feel legally entitled to have courts available for tennis. This is a topic for the Association's attorney. Todd mentioned that he created a Survey Monkey survey for residents to indicate their preferences for the tennis courts; he has been having technical difficulties that have not been resolved, but he will persevere.

Property Manager’s Report: Dianne O'Melia

Guest passes were mailed on Friday to people who prepaid dues. The June issue of the Roster includes the start of "Calling All Candidates" and is repeated in the July-August issue.

Dianne informed Adri Recio that information and forms for architectural improvements are available without having to lengthen the hours of the office. 

Treasurer’s Report:  Income for the month was $22,980; expenses were $26,773.41; $2,432  was deposited in the Capital Reserve Fund. Grass cutting is a major expense in addition to the cost of preparing the swimming pool. There was a question about the electricity budget for the Hankin Center which is already at 49% of budget. The Boy Scout troop uses the Center on Tuesday evenings. Rentals on weekend are pretty regular. Scott goes in to check after people leave to ensure that the heat/air condition is appropriately set. December 11, 2011 is when the PECO cap is removed on electricity; Frank Cetera provided a  commentary on this subject as it pertains to consumers. Sewer fees have been paid for the first half of the year and are on target. 

Old Business:

Sue Patt and Sally Burmeister will work on establishing the voting process for the cedar homes.

The "beta" walkthrough on the Snowdon Courts was completed this week. Patrick  Milia reported that the process was extremely thorough, maybe too thorough. More people. are needed to help with this time-consuming process. North and South Snowdon are in good condition while other courts may not be as well maintained. Problems encountered during the inspection were bricks in need of cleaning and exposed aggregate on porches and sidewalks. Sue Patt will draft a letter to residents to accompany the completed inspection report. David Dunn  asked whether the inspection can be done in the evening; an evening can be scheduled as long as the residents are notified that the inspection will be taking place. The goal is to complete the inspections by the end of June. Team leaders need to be identified. David Dunn will partner with Patrick Milia to learn the process. The Architectural Committee meets the 2nd  Monday of each month, however a meeting will be scheduled immediately with members of the committee who wish to work on the inspections. The checklist will not change dramatically, but categories may be shifted for better flow.

The retaining wall dispute of prior months has been successfully resolved. 

New Business:

David Dunn would like the Association president to have some authority to authorize checks out of the general operating fund up to a certain amount thus leaving discretion to the president. Dianne O'Melia said that in the past, the president was allowed to authorize expenditures up to $2000. Sue Patt would be comfortable with $500. David Dunn made a motion that the Association president have the authority to make a unilateral decision to spend up to $500 to satisfy an immediate need of the HOA. Frank Cetera seconded. The most likely emergency expenditure would be for a pool repair; there is a budgeted amount of $2000 for that purpose. In the past, if an emergency occurred, the repair was scheduled as soon as it was needed. There was discussion about what expenditure might come up. It was agreed that many expenditures do not require the approval of 8 people. The motion to allow the president discretionary expenditures up to $500 unanimously carried. 

Patrick Milia brought up the issue of dog waste which has been discussed at prior meetings. He wondered whether stations with plastic bags would be helpful. This idea has been discussed in the past and it was felt that residents should provide their own bags because there is a likelihood that purchased bags would be wasted. 

The meeting  was adjourned  at 9:03 p.m. 

The next meeting is the June 9th Quarterly Homeowners Association Meeting. 

The June Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 15th.

Respectfully submitted,
Sally Burmeister