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firstname.lastname@example.orgThis year’s meeting was well attended with almost 50 folks taking part. The tone of the meeting was generally calm. Perhaps meeting at a Church location had an effect? As a matter of fact, the liveliest discussion occurred during the open forum and concerned a lot owner’s concern with regard to mowing non-residents property to the wood line once a month at HOA expense. The meeting actually took the full time allotment of three hours and might have gone longer but thankfully the BOD reserved the room for just three hours.
This is the fourth e-Newsletter for 2008 or the Oktoberfest edition of the e-Newsletter. We like to think of this month’s edition as the most colorful of the year in honor of the fall colors!!!
Again, we will in no way try to provide an in-depth accounting of the annual meeting. Instead, we will do our best tocommunicate the hi-lights and provide those that were not able to attend a “sense” for the meeting.
The committee chairs introduced their committees and then covered the hi-lights of their activities during the past year. Committee participation continues to be strong with the work of the HOA getting accomplished in fine fashion. The BOD thanked all those that participated this past year and requested that they re-up for 2008/2009. The BOD also asked those that have not participated in the past to volunteer for the upcoming year. Volunteers enable the HOA to continue to be a self-managed HOA saving each lot owner at least several hundred dollars each year.
The Board discussed their objectives and the many, many accomplishments (too prolific for this recap but the Editor is sure the meeting minutes will elaborate at length).
The Treasurer Dan DuBose reported that the 2008 expenses are forecast less than the budget and revenue forecast is greater than the budget. The Board approved 2009 budget will keep the annual dues at $550.00 for the upcoming year (2009). After the applause subsided, the 2009 budget was ratified by acclamation.
President David Schroen discussed the Board’s decision to stagger the three and two year terms to eliminate the possibility that all five Board positions would come up for election in any one year. Maintaining continuity on the Board was the driving rationale for the decision.
On a political note, Teresa Hinson was elected to a three (3) year term, Sue Banks to a two (2) year term and Dan DuBose was elected to a one (1) year term.
During the New Business Discussion, a number of topics were addressed. For example, recent vandalism at the front entrance, which required the replacement of the gate keypad and lighting at the entrance wall, prompted the HOA to pursue adding video surveillance. Adding a pavilion at the marina is being studied and as this effort progresses updates will be posted on the web site.
The Open Discussion provided the liveliest moments of the meeting and only the liveliest will be covered.
The Board advised that raising the Road Bond next year was being discussed, since the current road bond was set in 2004 and costs of asphalt had risen significantly since that time frame – both those who objected to raising the road bond and those in favor discussed their points of view.
Then, a complaint was lodged with regard to the practice of mowing undeveloped lots at HOA expense once a month. The Board defended the practice by stating that the practice was established by the developer, previous Boards continued the practice believing that the appearance of undeveloped lots enhances all property values and the administrative overhead would be difficult if the HOA sought to bill the individual undeveloped lot owners for this service since only actual costs and the basis they are incurred for each lot may be charged.
The Board also responded to a question with regard to why the HOA was not mowing all the HOA owned right of way, which is generally 15 feet between the street and the lots. The Board stated that it has been the long standing position to mow the right of way adjacent to un-developed lots and request the residents to mow and maintain the right of way adjacent to their lots. The rationale for this position is that mowing costs over time will decrease as the community builds out and the belief that residents would take ownership in the curb appeal of their property. The Board understands that if a resident refused to mow the right of way adjacent to their property, the HOA would be obliged to mow it but so far this has not happened.
A straw vote was taken at the meeting with regard to the current mowing practice and there was strong support from the attendees for the current Board direction.
After the President reminded everyone that the six o’clock hour was rapidly approaching, the motion to adjourn was made, seconded and by resounding yea vote the meeting came to quick closure.
When Your Address Changes, let us know!
If the HOA doesn’t have your correct mailing address we can’t communicate, provide special notices such as the notice of Annual Meeting, dues statements, etc. Regarding dues statements, be aware that late fees and interest are not waived if your address changes and you fail to notify the HOA.
Although the HOA will make best effort to locate a lot owner, it is still the responsibility of the Lot Owner to provide change of address to the HOA. If the HOA cannot locate a lot owner by the end of July each calendar year, collection of delinquent accounts is turned over to the HOA attorney.
So, be sure that the HOA is on your list to be notified when your address changes (that includes e-mail addresses too) so we all keep our headaches to a minimum. It can get expensive if the HOA has to turn over a delinquent account to the attorney for collection.
Managing Turn Around Expectations or when can you expect a response when you contact the BOD?
It is not unusual for an e-mail to arrive in the BOD’s electronic in-basket late Friday afternoon requesting an immediate if not sooner reply. The BOD has even been referred to as “you people” when a response doesn’t happen at light speed. Guess it’s the sign of the times, and it just shows the expectations today in this fast-paced electronic world.
First, BOD members are volunteers. Second, BOD members are actually your neighbors in the community. You can bet that the BOD is generally not logged in waiting to respond to e-mail requests. In fact, the reason the BOD lives in Harbor Watch to begin with is to escape the fast-paced electronic world. So when an e-mail request arrives we are likely on the lake, the golf course or out shopping. Now that we got that off our chest, just how quick can you expect a turn around to an e-mail request? It depends. It depends on how simple or complicated the e-mail request is. A BOD member will generally respond in 2-3 business days to a simple request (example, “What is the combination to the storage area lock?”) but it might take 3-6 business days or longer if the request is complicated and requires review by the entire BOD.
Also, don’t forget that each Lot Owner has been provided their very own “go to” Board of Directors contact in the post annual meeting letter mailed late September. So, if you like speaking with a live person you may contact your “go to” BOD member direct via telephone or you can also e-mail when you have that burning question that needs immediate attention!
Vandalism Strikes Harbor Watch Again
Over a year and a half passed since Vandals declared war on the front entrance during the winter of 2005/2006. During this past September the vandals renewed the war as the high pressure sodium lighting on the entrance wall was destroyed in addition to the gate keypad, which was damaged beyond repair. It has taken time but the damages have been remedied and steps have been taken to make equipment less vulnerable. This latest series of incidents was the final straw as the Board has approved adding video surveillance before the holiday season begins. So, if the vandals continue their attacks maybe we will catch them in the act and give the County Sherriff’s Dept. some hard evidence.
Work Day & Oktoberfest
Since Halloween occurs several days after workday and Oktoberfest, we think it would be a particularly scary thing if a large hoard of free labor showed up for workday at 9AM at the marina and joined in Oktoberfest later in the day also at the marina (the big day is now scheduled for 11/1/2008 due to inclement weather forecast for 10/25/2008).
Overheard at the Marina
Overheard at the Marina is intended to be “tongue in cheek” material that adds some not too serious stuff to the e-newsletter.
We have overheard that the Holiday Social will be on December 20th. Mark it on your calendars!
Some political bumper stickers seen on the back roads in Iredell County over the last several weeks:
Work Harder, Millions on Welfare Depend on You!
I’m Already Against the Next War
Stop Global Whining
I Can See Russia From My House
Your Wallet: The One Place Politicians Are Willing to Drill
A promise is not a guarantee.
On a serious note……get out and vote!!
On a more serious note, the editor saw a picture of the catfish Rory caught in Lake Norman, he was holding the head of the fish chest high and the tail was touching the ground. I saw it and pictures don’t lie!
Last but not least, the Editor’s contract has been renewed for another year. After intense negotiations with the Editor’s agent, an agreement was reached for an undisclosed and even embarrassing amount. Actually, rumor has it that it was the benefits that closed the deal.
Neighborhood Home Construction and Real Estate Update
Currently there are three (3) home sites with construction work in progress in varying stages. ARC has received and approved all home construction packages received since January.
Remember, before construction begins an owner must comply with the requirements of the Architectural Review Committee. Home Construction Guidelines, Home Construction Guidelines Checklist and the new Plan Approval for Property Upgrades, Additions, and/or Improvements are available on the web site.
Are you really out there???? Have you read the newsletters? Can you read? Tell us what you like or dislike. Anything else you would like to see included? We promise we will read and perhaps even re-read all e-mails to the editor no matter the quantity or how voluminous they may be! We might even respond. We might even publish some. We are patiently waiting in anticipation of any and all letters to the editor!