The Association hosted its first Zoom meeting on May 12th. We thank everyone that logged in to listen. In total we had 10 homeowners along with all Board Members and two (2) management representatives. This was our first Zoom meeting and of course we had a few issues. We know there were a few people that had some trouble logging in. Three (3) people logged in using a phone number and we reached out in the Zoom app to have them change the phone number to a name.
Unfortunately, they did not and they were not allowed into the meeting since we did not want to display their phone number. We apologize to those residents. Overall, the meeting went well and the Board of Directors wants to thank everyone again for their patience and participation.
Here are some of the highlights and decisions for the meeting:
The Board President, Jeff Moll, presented a statement to the Homeowners regarding the Covid 19 regulations and the Association. He discussed the pool, gym and common area temporary closings. He noted that this is uncharted territory for the Board and they are taking everything into account and working on a way to get the common areas open per the guidelines we are being given by the government. He also encouraged homeowners to email management with comments and concerns so that the Board may review them rather than making posts on social media that the Board can not respond to. They do want to hear from homeowners. Jeff Moll also apologized again for the typo in the email blast regarding the meeting time, the meeting agenda was posted and the meeting was scheduled for 3:00 PM. This time was selected based on the schedule of one of our Board Members that is a first responder.
The Board of Directors reviewed emails concerns in homeowner forum. Although we could not read and directly answer all questions, here are a few items that you need to know:
Gate Code Change/Removal: Jeff Moll explained the reason for removing the code, the various times over the last several years that it was discussed in General Session and the concern of the code being published to non-residents. He noted that the new vendor code has already been posted on social media.
Pool and other common area openings: The Board again noted that they will be working with the lifeguard vendor and following the guidance and the changing government mandates on a contingency plan to re-open the pool at a still to be determined date. Jeff Moll explained that safety is a number one priority but understands the desire of residents to get back to using the common areas.
Fencing request: an email from a homeowner regarding a request to install fencing next to his home was read. This email also included information on facemask requirements and inquiring about board appointments. It was noted that the fencing request had been discussed and rejected previously. However, since the homeowner threatened legal involvement, this item will now be turned over to the Association Attorney. The Board of Directors will not be able to comment any further.
Playground Equipment: Roxanne Moon and Suzie Karman presented information regarding the bidding process, meeting with Vendors and the delay with Covid 19 as well as reviewing several area parks and equipment styles.
The Board of Directors reviewed and approved a bid for a new playground structure needed for Starring Park and Sundial Park. Both parks will be receiving new playground equipment as they are damaged beyond repair and are over 10 years old. The monies to pay for these new structures will be taken from Reserves. It was noted that there is a lead time to manufacture, deliver and remove existing and install the new playgrounds. There will be samples of the structures posted online within the next week for the homeowners to view. Please stay tuned for more information on the project, and timeframe for completion.
Budget 2020-2021: Board Treasurer Roxanne Moon presented a statement regarding the budget and the work that has been done over the last several months.
As you know, there is never a good time to put in to place a new budget, and now with some much uncertainty, the Board was tasked to put together and approve their first budget off of the BRE. The Board had to review, approve and mail out the finalized budget by the end of May 2020 as required per civil code. The new budget will begin on July 1st, 2020.
The Board has over the last two years heard concerns from many homeowners asking to increase or maintain more services on behalf of the Association. This has included increasing the heating of the pool until October 1st as well as expanding services like patrol to keep out trespassers from our common area. The board has been monitoring spending and trying to maintain and expand these services on a budget that was prepared by the developer and has not kept up with actual costs of the Association, meaning we have been underfunded to serve the community requirements.
Basically, the developer controlled the budget until build out. After more than 13 years, the final homes have been phased into the community. Often the developer will inform homeowners that their dues will go down, however that is not always the case. The BRE budget left out areas of maintenance that the Association will need to now be responsible for. Also, the BRE budget did not always take into account the real cost of operating an Association of this size. Taking all of this into account, the Board of Directors was tasked making difficult decisions during a pandemic, which made the process even more challenging. The Board reviewed all aspects including reducing services, which was not an acceptable outcome.
Here are some highlights that you need to know:
- Expanded the line item budget for pool chemicals to meet actual cost.
- Expanded the line item budget for lifeguard/pool monitors to meet actual cost, and expand slide hours and pool times through October 1st
- Expanded the line item budget for lighting maintenance to meet actual costs and to factor in the cost of street lights that are located in the Lennar area that will need to be maintained by the Association and to meet actual costs. The rest of the community street lights are maintained by SCE.
- Expanded the line item budget for Patrol to increase hours of patrol services and parking enforcement.
- Expanded the line item to increase office staffing, to meet the demands of our growing association and to ensure availability as well as to get the business of the Association completed in a more efficient manner.
- Expanded the line item budget for landscaping due a deficit in the BRE budget, and the turning over of more landscaping areas. Expanding the budget in this area will also better staff and maintain the overall beauty of our community in a more timely fashion.
- Please note several budget line items were reduced and will be highlighted in the budget mailer.
- The goal is also to continue to fund Reserves to pay for replacement and maintenance, as required by law, of valued assets of the community like the aging playground equipment.
Due to the above mentioned issues and ongoing cost increases, the board voted last night to run at deficit budget and utilize equity/ retained earnings that the Association currently has for the fiscal year of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. By using equity, the association dues will only increase by $6.00 per month instead of the needed roughly $17.00.
This will allow the Association to meet budget demands and have a lesser impact on the homeowner’s costs. The budget will be mailed to each homeowner with a very detailed letter explaining the budget and reserves by the end of May. As noted so many times, if you are struggling with financial issues during the pandemic please reach out to the Association to request a payment plan, the Board is here to help.
Landscape Enhancement: A landscape enhancement was approved to add more plants behind Woodbury and Lamplighter pathway. This will be completed in the next 30 days and will be paid for from the reserves landscape enhancement budget that needed to be used by June 30th.
Board Appointment: After conducting numerous interviews of very qualified and dedicated homeowners, the Board voted to appoint Mike Mikita to the Board of Directors to fill the vacant seat. They would like to thank everyone that they interviewed and say they truly enjoyed meeting you and appreciate your passion and concern for the community. Mike is a retired law enforcement officer and has been working with the landscape committee for some time now. He brings many assets to the table to help the community continue to improve and grow. The Board of Directors will welcome Mike at their next meeting.
The next meeting will be hosted in June 2020. A date was not released due to the ever changing Covid 19 government mandates and in hopes we can have some form of in person meeting while practicing safe social distancing. If this restriction is not lifted, another Zoom meeting will be conducted.
Please also find the attached a letter from the Association regarding association dues. This is being sent to clarify and answer questions homeowners have had regarding their assessments and common area usage.