Thanks to all the homeowners who attended our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. We had approximately 70 attendees in addition to the board and social committee attendees so a great turnout and a full house of around 90 folks. If you were unable to attend, you can find the presentation that was used during the meeting on the Annual Meeting Tab or click here if you are reading this on the web. You can find the minutes for the draft minutes for the meeting here (you will approve the draft minutes at the 2020 annual homeowner meeting). At the Annual Meeting you elected me for a second term of 3 years and you also approved the minutes of the 2018 annual meeting which can be found here: 2018 annual meeting minutes.
Board member Kiki Cheney finished her term by MCing the meeting. Kiki did not run for another term due to job commitments which prevent her from attending board meetings going forward. Kiki has brought tremendous enthusiasm and humor to the board and will be greatly missed. The good news though is that Kiki will continue to provide communication support to the board as a volunteer rather than a board member.
We recognized all of the 2018 volunteers at the annual meeting. If you have volunteered for a task THANK YOU! If you are thinking of volunteering, please contact any board member as we are always looking for help. Volunteers do make a real difference in our HOA and I’m pleased to report we already have some new volunteers for 2019.
Treasurer Tom Kelley took us through the finances and our reserve fund and how dues play into that. The good news is that our operational budget again remains fairly flat though we have redistributed our budget to cover a move to the management company so reduced expenditures in other areas. You can see all the details of the budget on line on the finance tab (you need to be logged in to see the financial data). We do have some unknowns such as the final cost of the move to management company but we do have some contingency in the budget for this. Also new news in 2019 post setting of the budget is that we’re facing a much larger increase in waste management due to the changing environment of recycling.
During the question and answer section we had a healthy discussion around the move to a management company. Concern was expressed about whether a management company would maintain the community to our standards. The answer to that was yes they will — they will manage to our defined rules and regulations. Also the board will provide oversight to the management company and ensure they uphold our rules and regulations. The management company will be handling a lot of the administrivia that homeowners don’t see. The board and the volunteers will continue to handle much of the operational aspects of our community.
An additional concern was expressed about whether a management company would change the community feeling of SMVE. In thinking about that question post meeting my answer is that WE create the community, not the management company and not the board. If we are welcoming to new neighbors and friendly with old neighbors and take the time to greet one another (with a smile I hope), that is what builds community. Our many volunteers help build that community feeling by working together on a common goal of maintaining this community to the standards we desire. (The idea of preserving the appearance of our neighborhood received a spontaneous and very hearty round of applause from attendees.) Our social committee helps build that feeling by hosting numerous events throughout the year where we can come together and get to know one another a bit more. So it is up to each one of us to help contribute to building or maintaining the community atmosphere we want.
Finally, as we have explored various management companies, it is clear that the success or failure of any company and community relationship is largely dependent on the specific property manager assigned. We have not yet identified the company though we have 3 contenders and hope to make a final decision soon. I’m sure that we’ll have some bumps along the way that we’ll have to work through as this is new to all of us. However, this is a necessary step forward if we want to ensure this community is sustainable going into the future.
On Wednesday the 27th at the Organizational Board Meeting, the Board appointed Kathy Mitton as President, Steve Struck as Vice President, Larry Spencer as Secretary, and Tom Kelley as Treasurer. Please join me in thanking our officers:
The board always appreciates hearing comments and questions and I wanted to remind everyone that you don’t have to wait for the annual meeting to ask questions or discuss an issue. The monthly board meetings are open to all homeowners and are held the third Monday of the month at 3:30 September through May. You might be happy to know that we cover homeowner issues towards the front of the meeting so you don’t have to sit through the entire meeting before having a chance to air your concern.
I look forward to seeing you all around the neighborhood!