President’s Message: Bulk Cable TV/Internet Service

Kim Fuller
President

Good Morning Residents:

The Board has been investigating the pros and cons of a Bulk Cable Contract for the HOA at the request of many residents. This is a negotiation with the Cable/Internet Companies to provide Internet and TV services for a period of five years and to reduce the amount our residents are paying for internet and TV services. The Board appointed a committee to investigate and gather information for the Board’s review. I want to thank that committee for all their work, and for any future work we might need. The Board is considering proposals from both Spectrum and Frontier. The Board will decide on the final program and which company if approved.

This information has been given to the Board and the Board will hold Town Hall meetings to explain the information, listen to comments, and answer questions. There will be four Town Hall Meetings:

  1. Thursday, June 20 at 9:00 a.m.
  2. Thursday, June 20 at 2:00 p.m.
  3. Friday, June 21 at 1:00 p.m.
  4. Friday, June 21 at 6:30 p.m.

All the meetings will be in the Main Ballroom in the Montecito Clubhouse. There will be a presentation about the different points of a bulk cable contract and how it would be implemented if the Board decided to move forward. There will also be time for anyone to make comments on such a contract. Please try and make one of the meetings so the Board can hear your questions and comments.

The Town Hall meetings will be Videotaped and will be posted on the Website, so please take some time to view those meetings. Many questions will be answered. After you view the videos, please let us know your comments or questions. The goal for the Board is to gather as much information as possible so the Board can make a responsible and informed decision on how to proceed. To this end we will need everyone’s comments, both pro and con to have a complete picture of the situation and how it affects the HOA.

We will be sending out a survey through the E-Blast system to find out your thoughts on having such a Cable contract. This survey is only available electronically so if you are not signed up on the E-blast system sign up on this link: www.scshca.com/emailsignup/. Only after information gathering and resident input is complete, will the Board decide on how or if we will move forward with a Bulk Cable Contract. It is estimated that the Board will not vote on this program until at least the August meeting. Be sure to give us your comments before that date.

Some of the basic points we now know about implementing such a program:

  1. Every homeowner must pay the bulk cable monthly fee, there are no opt out provisions from any company.
  2. There are no provisions for putting the basic services and monthly HOA fee on hold if you are gone for a period of time.
  3. The HOA would pay the monthly fees to the cable company and the homeowners will pay the HOA by increasing their monthly assessment.
  4. Services include TV with about 200 channels and Internet with download speed of 100 mbps. Upload speeds will vary depending on the company.
  5. One of the proposals will include HBO, Showtime, Golf, Tennis, PAC 12, and NFL Red Zone.
  6. The total cost for the services including taxes and fees is estimated at $43 to $50 per month.
  7. Land line phone is not included, but can be added for about $10 per month, billed directly to the homeowner.
  8. Program includes two Set Top Boxes (STB) with two HD DVR’s.
  9. Additional boxes and DVR’s may be added for additional cost, billed directly to the homeowner.
  10. The program will be decided by a Board vote, not a vote of the homeowners.
  11. By-law, Section 9.2.2 (a) (v), allows for a 5-year contract with a cable company.

As you can see there is much to consider. Please let us know your thoughts and comments, both for and against such a program. Hopefully at the August meeting the Board will vote to decide on an outcome. Let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller
President

 

President’s Message: Bulk Cable Contract Town Hall Meetings

Kim Fuller
President

Good Morning Residents,

A Beautiful day in Paradise and perhaps the wind will take a break so we can all enjoy the outdoors before the hot weather approaches.

It has been requested, and as a result the Board has been investigating the pros and cons of a Bulk Cable Contract for the HOA. This is a negotiation with the Cable/Internet Companies to provide internet and TV services for a period of five years in order to have a reduction in the monthly fee. The Board appointed a committee to investigate and gather information for the Board’s review.

We will be holding open Town Hall Meetings to present information about such a possible contract. The Board has not reached a decision on such a contract but is still investigating. As part of that investigation we will hold Town Hall Meetings to present the information and then to answer questions and allow residents to make comments. The goal is to find out what the residents concerns are before any decision is made.

There will be four Town Hall Meetings:

  • June 20 at 9 a.m and 2 p.m.
  • June 21 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

All the meetings will be in the Main Ballroom in the Montecito Clubhouse. There will be a presentation about the different points of a bulk cable contract along with how it would be implemented if the Board decided to move forward. Then there will be time for anyone to make comments about having such a contract. Please try and make one of the meetings so the Board can hear your concerns and comments.

After the Town Hall meetings we will be sending out a survey through the E-Blast system to find out your thoughts on having such a Cable contract. After these steps of gathering information is complete, along with resident input, the Board will decide on how or if we move forward with such a contract.

Let me know if you have any questions. Please enjoy the beautiful sunny days and stay safe in your travels.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller
President

 

President’s Report – June 2019

Kim Fuller
President

Hello, residents!

As you all know, we had the annual meeting on April 9, 2019, to elect the new Board. Congratulations to Linda Aasen on joining the Board for the next two years.

There was also a measure on the ballot to change the CC&Rs and By-laws for “Member Approval Requirements.” This measure did not pass even though 80 percent of those voting on the measure were in favor of the change. For those that remember, this outcome was like the election on January 11, 2019, when eliminating Cumulative Voting did not pass even though 70% of those voting on the measure were in favor of the change.

Let’s look at the current rules for changing the CC&Rs and By-laws: They require 51 percent affirmative votes of all the homes in the HOA to change a CC&R or By-law. We have 3,450 homes in the HOA. Therefore, 51% of 3,450 homes means we need 1,760 votes in favor of a change, no matter how many people vote. If only 1,759 people voted, the measure would be defeated no matter how many of these people voted in favor of the change.

The problem is voter turnout. We have never had more than 63 percent vote in the last four years. Given the largest voter turnout in the last five elections was 62.49 percent, or 2,174 ballots, it would take an 80.96 percent conversion rate to pass any CC&R or By-law change. In this last election we only had 1,823 ballots submitted, which is a voter turnout of 53.30 percent. In this last election to change the CC&Rs or By-laws, it would have taken a conversion rate of 95.70 percent to pass. Even though 80 percent did vote to pass, it was not enough because, no matter how many people submit a ballot, it takes 1,760 affirmative votes to pass any change.

We have now tried twice to make changes to the CC&Rs and By-laws and were unsuccessful, even though 70 – 80 percent of the people voting wanted to make the change. So, what is the alternative?

California Corporations Code Section 7515 allows for the HOA to petition the court to approve a change to the By-laws, if rules are too restrictive and unduly difficult. Clearly, the Civil Code understands and has provided for a process to implement a change in the By-laws given that trying to pass such changes might be unduly difficult, perhaps impossible for our HOA with its current voting requirements. If you do an internet search on “Corp. Code 7515” you can read the sections that describe this process. We are not able to petition the court for a CC&R change because the rules are different and do not allow for changes given the number of affirmative votes cast in favor of the change. So, the CC&R measure will stand.

At the Board meeting on April 29, 2019, the Board passed a resolution to petition the court on the following items:

  1. From Election 1/11/19, Change the By-laws, Section 4.4.5, to Eliminate Cumulative Voting.
  2. From Election 4/9/19, Change the By-laws, Section 14.4.1, for Member Approval Requirements.

If the court were to grant the petition, it would that mean cumulative voting would be eliminated in the future. It would also mean that, to change the By-laws, it would take two-thirds of the votes cast on a measure when ballots are received from at least a majority of the voting power of the members. If this proposed rule had been in place in the last two elections, the two measures would have passed.

I placed this item on the agenda for a Board vote because, at this point after two elections, I believe the rules for making changes to the governing documents are so restrictive and unduly difficult that change will not be possible. When “yes” votes outnumber “no” votes by about 1,000 homeowners, something just might be wrong with the system. If we are successful, it will validate that, when 70 – 80 percent of homeowners want to make a change, it is possible.

It is now time to enjoy the sunset and know: “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Kim Fuller
President

President’s Message: Burrtec Dumpster Removal

Kim Fuller
President

Hello Residents,

Several attempts were made to inform members of the purpose of the “spring cleaning dumpster,” including notices, and even having a sign placed on the dumpster stating to not drop off furniture or large items, only trash. It was continuously reported that large furniture items were still being dumped in the Burrtec dumpster and that the sign was removed from the dumpster. It is due to these reasons that the Board had to act and consequently the dumpster has been removed.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller
President

 

President’s Report – May 2019

Kim Fuller
President

The Board election is now over, and a new Board begins with so much about to unfold. But some constants remain, constants that remind us we live in a beautiful place with wonderful people. Combine that with the first light that breaks across the horizon and casts a red glow on the mountains, and you can’t help but think how lucky we are to live in this paradise called Shadow Hills. A feeling that warms your heart knowing we are all working together for another beautiful day. It just makes you smile and be thankful.

We are about to start on some different projects that have been approved: tennis and pickleball court improvements, tiling of the indoor spa, seal coating of Sun City Boulevard in Phases 1 and 2, and of course the Montecito Clubhouse remodel.

The clubhouse remodel will complete the work done by the volunteer residents that served on the Interior Design Committee over the past two years. There will be new carpet, painted walls, wallpaper, lighting, furniture, and accessories. Work is scheduled to begin May 14, so hopefully there will be a little less disruption given that many will have left the area.

Many residents have inquired what will happen with the furniture, paintings, and accessories that will no longer be used. Some have inquired if they could purchase some of these items scheduled for replacement. All the furniture and accessories that will be replaced will be up for sale on May 13, a one-day sale. Residents will be able to place bids on the items they want from 9 am - 3 pm. Winners will be notified no later than 3:30 pm and must have the items out of the clubhouse no later than 6 pm that evening. We realize it isn't a very long time for folks to get their stuff out, but we need to start the demolition work on Tuesday, May 14. Any furniture and/or accessories not taken by the residents will be donated. So, if you want to participate in this one-day sale, be sure to plan on having people to help you remove any items you purchase. Feel free to talk with staff about the items that will be up for sale.

I wish to thank all the committed homeowners who volunteer their time to participate on the many committees who keep our community operating smoothly. In the last two years, many new committees have begun, and this helps all of us enjoy this paradise even more. Many hands make for little work and a more positive outcome. Without all these dedicated individuals, our community would not operate so well. As you see them, step up and say, “thank you”; they can never hear it enough because the sacrifice of their time enhances our lives.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside these many volunteers, including the Board.

So, when the sun sets on this day, also reflect on the beautiful sunrise, the “good morning” greetings from your neighbors, and all of the kind people who have gathered in this community. No doubt about it: “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Kim Fuller
President

President’s Message: New Landscape Maintenance Company to Begin 5/15/19

Kim Fuller
President

Hello Residents,

The Board has signed a contract with a new Landscape Maintenance Company to begin work on 5/15/19. The name of the new company is Vintage Landscape. Many of you have been asking questions about the landscaping over the past year. I will now ask that you give them a little time to show improvements. Changes to the landscaping cannot take place over night. It will take a little time. Please keep the Board informed of your suggestions about improvements, but you might want to give the new company a few months to get up to speed.

I want to thank the Landscape Advisory Committee for all the work these past 6 months in preparing proposals, reviewing bids, and interviewing companies in order to make their final recommendation to the Board. Many hours were spent by that committee in order to make the final recommendation. Thank you very much for your time.

If you have questions, please let me know.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller
President

President’s Message: Upcoming Board Vote to Petition the Court for CC&R and By-law Changes

Kim Fuller
President

Hello Residents,

As you all know we had the annual meeting on 4/9/19 to elect the new Board. Congratulations to Linda Aasen on joining the Board for the next two years.

There was also a measure on the ballot to change the CC&R’s and By-laws for ‘Member Approval Requirements’. This measure did not pass even though 80% of those voting on the measure were in favor of the change. For those that remember, this outcome was like the election on 1/11/19 when eliminating Cumulative Voting did not pass even though 70% of those voting on the measure were in favor of the change.

Let’s look at the current rules for changing the CC&R’s and By-laws: The current CC&R’s and By-laws require 51% affirmative votes of all the homes in the HOA to change a CC&R or By-law. We have 3,450 homes in the HOA. Therefore, 51% of 3450 homes means we need 1,760 votes in favor of a change, no matter how many people vote. If only 1,759 people voted, the measure would be defeated no matter how many of these people voted in favor of the change.

The problem is voter turnout. We have never had more than 63% voter turnout in the last 4 years. Given the largest voter turnout in the last 5 elections was 62.49%, or 2174 ballots, it would take an 80.96% conversion rate to pass any CC&R or By-law change. In this last election we only had 1823 ballots submitted, which is a voter turnout of 53.30%. In this last election to change the CC&R’s or By-laws it would have taken a conversion rate of 95.70% to pass. Even though 80% did vote to pass, it was not enough because no matter how many people submit a ballot, it takes 1760 affirmative votes to pass any change.

We have now tried twice to make changes to the CC&R’s and By-laws and were unsuccessful even though 70% to 80% of those people voting wanted to make the change. So, what is the alternative?

California Civil Code Section 4275, and California Corporations Code Section 7515 allows for the HOA to Petition the Court to approve a change in the CC&R’s and By-laws if rules are too restrictive and unduly difficult. Clearly the Civil Code understands and has provided for a process to implement a change in the By-laws given that trying to pass such changes might be unduly difficult, perhaps impossible for the HOA with the current voting requirements. If you Internet search on ‘Civil Code 4275’ or ‘Corp. Code 7515’ you can read the sections that describe this process.

I will be placing this item on the April 29th Agenda for a Board vote to petition the court on three items:

  1. From Election 1/11/19, Change the By-laws, Section 4.4.5 to Eliminate Cumulative Voting.
  2. From Election 4/9/19, Change the By-laws, Section 14.4.1 for Member Approval Requirements.
  3. From Election 4/9/19, Change the CC&R’s, Section 21.2.1 for Member Approval Requirements.

Given the past two election results, where 70% to 80% of voters wanted to make these changes, I think it is reasonable that the Board investigate this process. If the court were to grant the petition, it would mean cumulative voting would be eliminated in the future. It would also mean that to change a CC&R or By-law it would take two-thirds of the votes cast on a measure when ballots are received from at least a majority of the Voting Power of the Members. If these proposed rules had been in place in the last two elections, all three of these measures would have passed.

I have placed this item on the agenda for a Board vote because at this point, after two elections, I believe the rules for making changes to the governing documents are so restrictive and unduly difficult that change will not be possible. When yes votes outnumber no votes by about 1,000 homeowners something just might be wrong with the system. The court allows for this consideration and therefore I think the Board must consider this alternative if the HOA ever wants to make changes to the governing documents in the best interest of the HOA.

If you can’t make the meeting on Monday and have comments for the Board, please write and send your comments to me and I will distribute them to the Board for consideration. Otherwise, we will see you at the next Board meeting.

If you have further questions, please let me know.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller
President

President’s Report – April 2019

Kim Fuller
President

Vote, Vote, Please Vote

Hello, residents! Finally, great weather is returning and, with it, those wonderful sunrises we all cherish. No doubt about it, welcome to another day in paradise.

I know this will sound like a broken record, but the election for two HOA Board of Director seats is on April 9. So, ballots need to be turned in ASAP.

There is also a measure for you to vote on to decide a change in the By-laws. We need everyone to vote on this measure if we are to have any chance of the change taking place. We will need 1,760 “yes” votes to approve this change. So, if you haven’t voted yet, please do so right away.

Don’t forget, everyone who turns in a valid ballot will be eligible for a drawing of cash prizes from $100 to $500, so don’t hesitate. Be sure to fill your ballot out correctly; you can drop them off in one of the ballot boxes in either clubhouse.

Once you have turned in your ballot, do as I do: sit and enjoy the sunset and once again realize, it doesn’t get any better than this!

Kim Fuller
President

President’s Message: Warm or Cooler Pool Water

Kim Fuller
President

Hello Residents,

I sent a message on 1/31/19 explaining a proposal by the Facilities Committee for the Board to consider adding a device which would cool the Santa Rosa pool water temperature during the hot summer months. This device would be able to reduce the pool temp from about 94 degrees down to 86-88 degrees. We have placed a survey online to get your opinions. The cost is about $15,000, or a onetime installation cost of $4.36 per household. This does not mean each home would be assessed $4.36, it means the money would be coming from the existing operations budget, which does have a contingency for such items if the Board choses to spend it in that way. There would be a small utility cost increase to the budget for operating the device during the summer. The proposal is to only install the water cooling system at the Santa Rosa pool. This way, during the summer we can offer one pool with warm water and one pool with cooler water, to try and accommodate everyone.

Once again, I have attached a link to fill out a survey, we need to know how you feel about proceeding on such a request. The Board decided to continue gathering information until the next Board meeting on 3/25/19.

Link to the Survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V7B8VMP

If you have questions, please let me know.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller
President

President’s Report – March 2019

Kim Fuller
President

We are fast approaching another election on April 9, 2019. This election for two Board members might seem uneventful because only two candidates are running for two seats. But we still need a quorum for the election to be valid. Please be sure to vote quickly so we don’t have to have another election at a cost of about $10,000.

There will also be another item on the ballot for your consideration. The Board has decided to present the residents with one proposed amendment to the CC&Rs/Bylaws. This amendment would change how the CC&Rs/ Bylaws could be amended. Let me give you the background:

The current Bylaws require affirmative votes by 51 percent of all the homes in the HOA to change a Bylaw. We have 3,450 homes in the HOA. Therefore, 51 percent of 3,450 homes means we need 1,760 votes in favor of a change no matter how many people vote. If only 1,759 people vote, a measure would be defeated no matter how many of these people vote to pass any Bylaw change. If 100 percent of all 1,759 people vote in favor, it would still be defeated.

There were 2,123 ballots cast in the last election for changing the Bylaws. In order to get 1,760 affirmative votes, 82.9 percent of the 2,123 ballots would have to vote in favor of the change. Thus, a large number of votes is required to pass a change to our Bylaws, and this requires a substantial voter turnout. That is why the Board made great efforts to ensure as large a turnout as possible.

It is to our HOA’s great credit that we had a voter turnout of 61.5 percent, which statistically is high. Voter turnout in national elections ranges from 40 - 60 percent. We sent out three mailers and then called every person in the complex to ask them to vote if they had not received their ballot. HOA Elections records show the highest voter turnout in the last three years for our elections was 2,156, or 62.5 percent.

The question is: are the current CC&Rs/ Bylaws so strict that changes are unduly difficult, perhaps impossible? Given that our highest voter turnout was 62.5 percent, it would only take 397 votes (11.5 percent) out of the 3,450 votes to block any change to the CC&Rs/Bylaws.  In the last election, even though 70.56 percent of those voting wanted to remove cumulative voting, it was defeated because of the current requirements.

As a result, the Board has decided to offer homeowners a chance to change the requirements on the April 9 ballot. The Board is proposing an amendment to change the current requirement in the CC&Rs/Bylaws. The proposed change would require “two-thirds of the votes cast when ballots are received from at least a majority of the Voting Power of the Members.” This will mean you need two-thirds of those voting to pass any amendment, as long as a majority of all homeowners vote.

The Board is asking homeowners to consider this change for the future. In doing so, we need everyone to vote so we get as large a voter turnout as possible. Your ballot should be at your home by now, so please take a moment and fill out the ballot and send it back. Nothing would help the HOA more than if we could get everyone to vote on this measure, helping to resolve for the future how we govern.

Once I fill out my ballot, I will enjoy my sunset knowing we all work together in a beautiful place called Shadow Hills. And no doubt about it, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Kim Fuller
President

President’s Message: Voting for Board and Proposed CC&R/By-Law Change

Kim Fuller
President

Hello Residents,

Ballots for the Board election have been mailed to you. This election for two Board members was thought to be uneventful since only two candidates are running for the two seats. We still need a quorum for the election to be valid, so please be sure to vote quickly so we don’t have to have another election at a cost of about $10,000.

There will be another item on the ballot for your consideration, so be sure to fill out both sides of the ballot. The Board has decided to present the residents with one proposed amendment to the CC&R’s/By-laws. This amendment would change how the CC&R’s/By-laws could be amended. The Board decided to include this measure to save the HOA money and give the homeowners an opportunity to be heard and vote on important voting requirements in our Governing documents. Let me give you the background:

The current By-laws require 51% affirmative votes of all the homes in the HOA to change a By-law. We have 3,450 homes in the HOA. Therefore, 51% of 3,450 homes means we need 1,760 votes in favor of a change no matter how many people vote. If only 1,759 people voted, the measure would be defeated no matter how many of these people voted to pass any By-law change. If 100% of all 1,759 had voted in favor it would still be defeated.

There were 2,123 ballots cast in the last election for changing the By-laws. In order to get 1,760 votes to be affirmative-it would mean 82.9% of the 2,123 ballots would have to have voted in favor of the change. Thus, a large number of votes is required to pass a change in our Bylaws requiring substantial voter turnout. That is why the Board made great efforts to ensure as large a turnout as possible. It is to our HOA’s credit that we had a voter turnout of 61.5%, which statistically is a high voter turnout. National elections range from 40-60% voter turnout. We sent out three mailers and then called every person in the complex to ask them to vote if we had not received a ballot. HOA Elections records show the highest voter turnout in the last 3 years for our elections was 2,156, or 62.5%.

The question is are the current CC&R’s/By-laws so strict that changes are unduly difficult, perhaps impossible. Given that the highest voter turnout was 62.5%, it would only take 397 votes (11.5%) out of the 3,450 votes to block any change to the CC&R’s/By-laws. In the last election, even though 70.56% of those voting wanted to remove cumulative voting, it was defeated because of the current requirements.

As a result, the Board has decided to offer homeowners a chance to change the requirements on the April 9th ballot. The Board is proposing an amendment to change the current requirement in the CC&R’s/By-laws. The proposed change would state, “two-thirds of the votes cast when ballots are received from at least a majority of the Voting Power of the Members”. This will mean we need a minimum 2/3 (66.67%) of those voting in favor to pass any amendment as long as a majority of all homeowners vote.

The Board is asking homeowners to consider this change for the future. In doing so we need everyone to vote so we get as large a voter turnout as possible. Your ballots should be arriving at your home any day now, so please take a moment, fill out the ballot and send it back. If passed, this measure will not affect or change in any way the results of past votes and will only apply to any proposed changes to our governing documents presented in the future. Nothing would help the HOA more than if we could get everyone to vote on this measure, helping to resolve for the future our ability to change our governing documents when a substantial majority of voting homeowners approve of any such change.

Please vote right away when you receive your ballot. Every day we get ballots back saves us money from sending out more notices, so take a moment, fill out the ballot and send it back today. You can also drop your ballot off in one of the ballot boxes at either clubhouse. There are two sides to the ballot so be sure to mark both sides correctly. If you want more information on filling out the ballot correctly please see the website, we have instructions posted. After logging into the home page for Residents only, click on ‘Top Stories’ under the ‘News’ tab. First story listed will be how to fill out the ballot correctly.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller
President

President’s Message: Warm or Cooler Pool Water Survey Results

Kim Fuller
President

Hello Residents-

It has been proposed by the Facilities Committee that the Board consider adding a device which would cool the pool water temperature during the hot summer months. A survey was sent out on 1/30/19 to get your feedback. The results of the survey so far can be downloaded below:

The Board will be considering this proposal at the next meeting on 2/25/19. If you haven’t filled out the survey you can still do so by logging into the Website. We will be taking results until 2/21/19.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller
President

President’s Message: Warm or Cooler Pool Water

Kim Fuller
President

Hello Residents-

It has been proposed by the Facilities Committee that the Board consider adding a device which would cool the pool water temperature during the hot summer months. This device would be able to reduce the pool temp from about 92-94 degrees down to 86-88 degrees. We need to know your thoughts on installing such a device. Some will want cooler water, and some will not. There is, as always, a cost to installing such a device. The cost is about $15,000, or a onetime installation cost of $4.36 per household. There would be a small utility cost increase to the budget for operating the device during the summer. The proposal is to only install the water cooling system at the Santa Rosa pool. This way, during the summer we can offer one pool with warm water and one with cooler water, to try and accommodate everyone.

We have attached a link to fill out a survey, we need to know how you feel about proceeding on such a request. The Board will be discussing this at the next Board meeting so your reply will help us determine how to proceed.

Link to the Survey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V7B8VMP

If you have questions, please let me know.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller
President

President’s Report – February 2019

Kim Fuller
President

Good morning, and welcome to another day with a beautiful sunrise in paradise. I stare at the mountain with snow and think how lucky I am that I am not up there, but down in the valley where I get to enjoy the view. I should explain that I write these articles and turn them in on the fifth of the month prior to printing, which is why some information might seem a little late in coming.

To be sure everyone is aware, the Ceasar Larrach embezzlement case was settled, and you can watch a video explaining how it was done and the terms of the settlement on our community website. We held town hall meetings explaining all the details on November 13, 2018. The short story is that the known fraud amount was about $123,062. Funds recovered from Ceasar Larrach in restitution were $125,000. Total known losses and expenses were $162,748. Total potential recoveries over a three-year period will be $290,000. Watch the video, which explains all points in detail.

We have a Board election coming up on April 9, 2019. This year will be a little different than years past because we only have two people running for the Board for two open seats. Some might ask, if there are only two people running for two open seats, why do we need to have an election? Why not just elect by affirmation at a meeting of residents? Unfortunately, our by-laws do not allow for that kind of process. We are required by California Code and our by-laws to hold the election even though it is uncontested.

This means you will receive ballots in March to vote and return for the annual meeting on April 9, 2019. We are required to have a quorum of 518 ballots, or homeowners, present to hold the election. If we are not able to get at least 518 ballots turned in, the election will be void; and we will have to do it again. The election costs about $10,000 to follow all procedures required by law. If the election were void, the existing Board would continue in place until we held another election at a cost of another $10,000. This is something we need to avoid.

The Board urges everyone to vote so we don’t spend more money for an additional election. When you receive your ballots, please fill them out and send them back so we can move on and finish the election process.

The two candidates running for the Board are Linda Aasen and myself, Kim Fuller. I want to thank Linda for spending her time to volunteer for the Board. Her time will be gratefully appreciated by us all.

I want to thank all of you for your support, consideration, and time in making such volunteer work a pleasant and rewarding experience. It has been a privilege to work with the other Board members, committee members, and staff to help make Shadow Hills such a great place to live. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

It makes me smile to gaze upon another sunset and to know, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Have a great day!

Kim Fuller
President

President’s Message: CC&R Election Results

Kim Fuller
President

Hello Residents:

After my Message yesterday, I received several comments and questions from residents. So, I am sending this message to clarify my message sent on Monday.

First, I need to correct an error in my message. I stated that 1,761 votes were required to pass a change to the By-laws. The correct number is 1,760. This represents 51% of our 3,450 homes.

The main question that I received was, why doesn’t 50% +1 of the votes received constitute a win for the yes or no vote?

Hopefully this will clear up the confusion:

The current By-laws require 51% affirmative votes of all the homes in the HOA to change a By-law. We have 3,450 homes in the HOA. Therefore, 51% of 3450 homes means we need 1,760 votes in favor of a change no matter how many people vote. If only 1,759 people voted, the measure would be defeated no matter how many of these people voted to pass any By-law change. If 100% of all 1,759 had voted in favor it would still be defeated.

There were 2,123 ballots properly cast. In order to get 1,760 votes to be affirmative, it would mean 82.9% of the 2,123 ballots would have to have voted in favor of any of the four Measures presented. Thus, a large number of votes is required to pass a change in our Bylaws requiring substantial voter turnout. That is why the Board made great efforts to insure as large a turnout as possible. It is to our HOA’s great credit that we had a voter turnout of 61.5%, which statistically is a high voter turnout. National elections range from 40-60% voter turnout. We sent out three mailers and then called every person in the complex to ask them to vote if we had not received a ballot. HOA Elections records show the highest voter turnout in the last 3 years for our elections was 2156, or 62.5%.

That is why I am asking the Board to consider petitioning the Court to pass the measure. The California Corporations Code permits Court Action suspending the percentage of votes needed for approval imposed by Bylaws when it can be demonstrated that obtaining such consent is unduly difficult. The Board will vote at the next meeting to decide if we should petition the court to pass Measure 3, respecting the removal of cumulative voting.

Hopefully this explains the situation, if not let me know.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller
President

President’s Message: One Day Left. We Need Your Help!

Kim Fuller
President

Hello Residents-

This is the last day to vote for the CC&R and By-law changes. We need your help to complete this process. If you have a ballot, please bring it to a ballot box today or bring it to the meeting tomorrow morning at 9am. Do NOT mail in your ballot. Given that the deadline for voting is tomorrow morning at 10 am, you will need to bring you ballot to the meeting before 10 am or drop it off in a ballot box today. If you don’t have a ballot, come to the meeting tomorrow morning at 9 am and we will have extra ballots to give out to those of you that have not voted yet.

This election for changes to the governing documents will not be postponed past tomorrow. Tomorrow morning at 10 am the polls will close, and we will count the ballots. You may bring your ballot to the Montecito Ballroom tomorrow morning before 10 am and it will be counted.

Thanks for your help and please vote so we can finally end this process.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller
President

President’s Message: CC&R Changes Ballots

Kim Fuller
President

Hello Residents-

I wrote to you yesterday about the voting on CC&R’s and By-law changes. Do NOT mail in your ballot if you are voting in these last two days. Given that the deadline for voting is Friday at 10 am, we want to be sure your ballot arrives on time. So, to be sure your ballot arrives on time please drop off your ballots at the Clubhouse ballot boxes or bring them to the meeting at 9 am on Friday. Do not Mail in your ballot because it might not get here in time. The Polls will close at 10 am Friday so be sure we get your ballot before that deadline.

If you have not voted please do so in the next two days, and you can drop off your ballot in one the ballot boxes in the Clubhouses. This election for changes to the governing documents will not be postponed past Friday. On Friday, at 10 am the polls will close, and we will count the ballots. You may bring your ballot to the Montecito Ballroom on Friday before 10 am and it will be counted. If you need another ballot, please contact the HOA office asap.

Thanks for your help and please vote so we can finally end this process.

Thank you,

Kim Fuller
President

President’s Message: CC&R Changes

Kim Fuller
President

Hello Residents,

There are only three days left to vote for the CC&R changes and we need everyone to please vote. We need 1,760 affirmative votes to pass a change to the CC&R’s or By-laws. There are only four items to vote on with the first item being what many consider to be the most important.

The first item would remove Pulte from the documents and would also bring the documents current to State Code and State Law. We need you to vote if these changes are to be done. If we don’t pass these changes, the current documents would remain the same, which would be confusing to a person reading them because they would not conform to current state law. For example, a person would have to look up our By-law and then verify with the current state code to see if there were changes which would void our existing By-law. If the HOA passes item 1, the documents would be up to date and conforming to State Code so residents would not have to look up current State Code to verify the language in our documents. This would make it much easier to everyone to read our governing documents and understand what they mean.

Many have said that given ballot item 1 only changes our current documents to conform to current State Code (which is required by law anyway), a reasonable person would consider such a change a reasonable and responsible thing to do.

If you have not voted please do so in the next three days, and you can drop off your ballot in one the ballot boxes in the Clubhouses. This election for changes to the governing documents will not be postponed past Friday. On Friday, at 10 am the polls will close, and we will count the ballots. You may bring your ballot to the Montecito Ballroom on Friday before 10 am and it will be counted. If you need another ballot, please contact the HOA office asap.

Thanks for your help and please vote so we can finally end this process.

Thank you,

Kim Fuller
President

President’s Report – January 2019

Kim Fuller
President

Monthly Breakout of Dues – 2019

As we enter a new year, it seems appropriate to explain our forecasted monthly expenses. These amounts are based on the approved 2019 budget.

Your monthly assessment per homeowner unit is $265, which reflects a $5 per unit per month reduction because of the forecasted Operating Fund surplus in 2018. By this I mean, the total monthly assessment would have been $270 per unit had there not been a forecasted surplus for 2018.

Let us now look at the composition of the $265 monthly assessment. There is a $41.75 credit to the Replacement Fund – this is the savings account used to pay for future items that need replacement, repair, or renovation. The balance of the monthly assessment, or $223.25 per homeowner unit, is forecasted to pay estimated monthly operating expenses as follows:

  • $55 for Facilities Maintenance
  • $36 for General/Administration
  • $32 for Golf
  • $28 for Property Protection
  • $28 for Landscaping
  • $16 for Recreation/Lifestyle
  • $11 for Utilities
  • $13 for Fitness
  • $8 for Food/Beverage
  • $0 for Capital Improvements
  • $0 for Common Area Improvements
  • $5 for Contingency Fund
  • $7 for Depreciation

You may notice that the budgeted Operating Fund expenses total $239 per homeowner unit per month. The difference in Operating Fund expenses and Operating Fund dues ($239 vs.

$223) is funded from Operating Fund other income that we anticipate earning during the year ($11 per unit per month) – plus we are utilizing a portion of the forecasted Operating Fund surplus from 2018 ($5 per unit per month).

The increase in dues from $259 to $265 represents a 2.3% increase, very reasonable considering that the minimum wage increased 9% beginning in 2019.

I want to thank the Board and staff for all their work on the budget to make this modest increase happen.

Thank you all for another day in paradise. I will stare at the sunset, and once again look around and know, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Kim Fuller
President

President’s Report – December 2018

Kim Fuller
President

Welcome to another day of beauty and sunshine at SCSH. Many of our residents have returned to this paradise for the winter after taking refuge in cooler climates.

Once again, we need your help in voting on the CC&R and Bylaw changes. The HOA has spent over $40,000 to update these documents, but we need your help to finalize the process and put this project to rest. We need everyone to vote so this effort is not wasted. We need you to vote and send in your ballot to complete the process.

To change the CC&Rs and Bylaws, we need approximately 2,500 ballots to proceed with the Special Election. To date we only have about 1,300 ballots, about half of what is necessary for ratification. If you have not already done so, please vote! In the coming weeks, if you have not voted, you will receive a new packet with a ballot and election specifications. Ballot drop-off boxes are located at the Santa Rosa and Montecito Clubhouses. If you have voted, thank you; and please remind your friends and neighbors to do the same.

There are four items on the ballot for your consideration. After many comments from residents, the Board decided to present the following four items for a vote:

  1. Item 1 includes all the proposed changes to remove Pulte from the documents where applicable, and all changes required because of new state laws. If item 1 passes, then the CC&Rs and Bylaws listed would become the current documents. Since Pulte is no longer here, it seemed responsible to remove them from the documents wherever possible. The other changes are required due to changes in the law. If item 1 passes, the documents will become clearer without Pulte being listed where applicable and, since we must implement new laws anyway, the documents would reflect that which is required by law.
  2. Item 2 is a vote to remove term limits on committee members. Currently there is a two-term limit on committee members. Some have felt that committee members should stay longer if they are willing because of their expertise. A vote in favor of this item supports removing term limits.
  3. Item 3 is a vote to remove cumulative voting for Board member elections. Currently the HOA uses cumulative voting every other year in the election process when three Board positions are up for election. When only two positions are up for election, regular voting is used. In regular voting you may not put more than one vote to any one candidate. In cumulative voting, you may put more than one vote to any one candidate. This is the difference between the two voting methods.
  4. Item 4 is to change the minimum rental period from 90 days to 45 days. It will also remove the language which allows homeowners to rent for less than 90 days if they use a management company to rent their homes. Current language allows homeowners to use a management company and rent for as little as one day. So, if this item passes, no resident will be able to rent their home for less than 45 days; there will be no more exceptions.

If you have questions, please let me know or contact other Board members or staff. Once you send in your ballot, take a break and watch the beautiful sunset, and once again we can all understand and say, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Kim Fuller
President

President’s Message: CC&R

Kim Fuller
President

Once again, we need to request your help in voting on the CC&R and By-Law changes. The HOA and its volunteers have invested considerable efforts and spent over $40,000 to determine the community’s support and preferences as to potential changes to our governing documents but we are required to have your vote to finalize the process and put this current effort to rest. We need everyone to vote so these efforts and expense is not wasted. We need you to vote and send in you ballot to complete the process.

For the CC&R’s and By-Law changes, we estimate we will need a minimum of approximately 2500 ballots in order to assess and determine the desires of a majority of homeowners in the community as to each proposal in the Special Election. To date we only have about 1300 ballots, insufficient for ratification. If you have not already done so, please vote! In the coming weeks, if you have not voted yet, you will receive a new packet with a ballot and election specifications. Ballot drop-off boxes are located at the Santa Rosa Clubhouse and Montecito Clubhouse. If you have voted, thank you and please remind your friends and neighbors to do the same.

There are four items on the ballot for your consideration. After many comments from residents the Board decided to present the following four items for a vote:

  1. Measure 1 includes all the proposed changes to remove Pulte from the documents where possible and applicable, and all changes required because of new state laws. If item 1 passes, then the CC&R’s and By-laws as set forth in the materials provided would become the current documents. Since Pulte is no longer here, it seemed responsible to remove them from the documents wherever possible. The other changes are changes that are required because of changes in the law. If measure 1 passes, the documents will become clearer without Pulte being listed where applicable, and since we must implement new laws anyway, the documents would reflect that which is required by law.
  2. Measure 2 is a vote to remove term limits on committee members. Currently there is a two-term limit on committee members. Some have felt that some committee members should be allowed to serve longer if they are willing and to capitalize on their expertise. Others might feel that providing more homeowners opportunities to serve on Advisory Committees is encouraged.  A vote in favor of this measure supports removing term limits.  A no vote means that the present term limits imposed by the governing documents would continue in effect.
  3. Measure 3 is a vote to Prohibit Cumulative voting for Board member elections. Currently the governing documents direct that the HOA allow Cumulative voting every other year in the election process when 3 Board positions are up for election. Cumulative voting allows a homeowner to place one, two or up to three votes for any one candidate, or two for one candidate, and one for another candidate or one for three individual candidates selected from the total number of candidates running. When only two positions are up for election Individual voting is the required method. In individual voting you have up to two votes per household and may not place more than one vote to any one candidate. In Cumulative voting you may put more than one vote to any one candidate. This is the difference between the two voting methods. A vote “Yes” on this measure ends cumulative voting, and a vote “NO” keeps cumulative voting in place.
  4. Measure 4 is to Decrease the minimum rental term from 90 days to 45 days and will also remove present language which allows homeowners to rent for any period less than 90 days if they use a management company to rent their home.  A “Yes” vote means no Resident will be able to rent their home for less than 45 days, and there will be no more exceptions. A “No” vote means that the present limitations (90 days) and exceptions (rent for less time where a management company handles the rentals) will continue.

A majority of homeowners each having one vote per household on each Measure presented (approximately 1760 votes one way or another is necessary to determine the outcome of each individual measure.) This is your community and an opportunity to make your desires known at least on the Measures presented. Please vote. If you have questions, please let me know or contact other Board members or staff or seek counsel from your fellow homeowners.

President’s Message: Town Hall Meetings

Kim Fuller
President

On November 13, 2018, we will host two Open Board Town Hall Meetings to explain how Ceasar Larrach committed the fraud, over what period of time, and what has been done to improve the process for the future. First meeting will start at 9:00 AM, and the second meeting will begin at 1:30 PM. These meetings will be the same and will be recorded in case you are not able to attend. We will also discuss the budget; future dues increase for 2019 to be $265, and to answer questions.

President’s Message: The Ceasar Larrach Case is Over

Kim Fuller
President

Hello Residents:

The Ceasar Larrach Embezzlement Case is now over. Associa/DRM and the HOA have signed final Settlement Agreements ending the last 14 months of investigation and negotiations.

On November 13, 2018, we will host two Town Hall Meetings to explain how the fraud took place, over what period of time, and what has been done to improve the process for the future. First meeting will start at 9 am, and the second meeting will begin at 1:30 pm. These meetings will be the same and will be recorded in case you are not available to attend. We will also discuss the budget; future dues increase for 2019 to be $265, and to answer questions.

The meetings will go into detail about the case, but here are the highlights of the case:

Embezzlement Amount                                                          $123,062
Funds recovered from Ceasar Larrach in Restitution             $125,000

HOA Embezzlement Costs:
Attorney Costs- EG&H         $ 12,337
RGL Forensics                     $ 21,190
Insurance Attorney               $   2,499
Staff Time                             $   3,660
Total                                      $39,686
Total known Losses and Expenses         $162,748

Settlement Agreement with Associa-DRM:
One-time payment             $65,000     Paid immediately.
Payments over one year    $25,000    12 monthly payments of $2083.33
Total within one year         $90,000
Total Guaranteed recovery within one year:   $215,000

Service Fee reduction by DRM over 3 years       $75,000
$25,000 per year reduction for 3 years if we continue with DRM.
No Increase in Management Fee for 3 years.

Total Potential recoveries:                                 $290,000
(plus, savings resulting from Management Fees frozen at 2018 contract levels)

Total Potential recoveries:                                  $290,000

Less Known Losses and Expenses:                   $162,748

Net Additional Potential Recovery by HOA:      $127,252

President’s Report – November 2018

Kim Fuller
President

Good morning, and welcome to another beautiful day in paradise. Let’s face it, we do live in a great place with many wonderful people who are all willing to help. Thank you, everyone.

This is the time of year that the Board is completing the budget for 2019. This always prompts many to ask me, “Will the monthly fees go up?” I guess I could end this story quickly by simply saying, “yes,” but it is always interesting to explain why to ensure we all have an understanding.

I believe we all have a responsibility to each other to maintain the facilities and services that were installed when we moved here. That is our agreement with one another. It is in our long-term best interest never to let facilities become outdated but to maintain them and provide services that meet the expectations of all current and future residents. This way, property values stay as high as possible; and we all get to use the services for our own enjoyment.

Budgeting is the art of maintaining our facilities in the most efficient way possible without sacrificing long-term benefits. Too often, cuts are made that can lead to diminished maintenance, something we must avoid.

If we don’t want to sacrifice quality, because costs go up each year, we need to match those cost increases to maintain our facilities at an equal level so we don’t reduce quality and services. Reducing quality and services will ultimately lead to lower property values.

Inflation is currently about 2.7%, and that means we can count on costs going up about 2.7% next year. To maintain our facilities at the current level, then, we will need to increase monthly dues at least 2.7%.

I have always been an advocate of modest, responsible increases that match inflation so we can maintain facilities and services. At 2.7% inflation, this would mean a monthly increase in dues of about $7. That would be my goal. I much prefer steady increases that match inflation over the long term that we can plan for, rather than holding dues steady in some years with no increase and then making high increases in other years.

When prospective buyers come to our community, they want to see responsible financial planning with no special assessments. When we can plan on the future and see a track record to support that planning, home values will stay as high as possible.

So, our first task is to maintain current facilities and services, and only after that can we discuss increasing services that will lead to an increase in costs. In addition, such increases need to be in the best interest of everyone, not just to benefit a few. Costs can creep up when we add new services that only benefit a few because all residents pay for these increases.

Let’s use caution in adding any new services that will increase costs to everyone. And keep in mind, our first responsibility to each other is to maintain existing facilities well before taking on new projects that will only increase monthly costs over time.

Every day, I will enjoy the sunset and remind myself, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Kim Fuller
President

President’s Message: Fitness Classes – A Discussion of Cost Update

Kim Fuller
President

After many comments about the Fitness Class program, as pointed out by one resident, there is another alternative to keep yearly passes and still not increase the subsidy to residents in the budget for next year. We have been calculating using the assumption of an increase in the number of classes as requested by different people. That assumption drives the numbers because of increase costs in labor.

An alternative is to maintain only 35 classes a week and not increase that number without an increase in attendance to support the increase in labor. This idea has merit. If we maintain 35 classes per week, and no more, we could use this year’s income and expenses to determine any increase in yearly passes to make up any shortfall in the budget. It would then be possible to keep yearly passes, monthly passes, and day use fee at $4 per class. Everything would remain the same except for the yearly pass fee would have to increase to $250.

If we were to support this plan, and limit classes to 35 per week, it means finding the 35 classes that most residents want to participate in taking and eliminating all those classes with low attendance. Monitoring of those 35 classes would be on ongoing process to be sure we don’t increase expenses to all homeowners for this program.

We could, given this budget projection leave monthly fees, daily fees the same, but we would have to increase the fee to specialty classes that cost the HOA more in labor along with the increase in the yearly pass fee. Some classes cost more because certain classes cost more, either because they are longer, or the instructor charges more money for that type of class. Specialty classes would mean the daily fee would be $8, the monthly and yearly pass holders would need to pay $4 for these types of classes to be offered.

Please let Board know your thoughts on this alternative plan. It would mean all the pass would still be offered and the program would almost be self-funding so subsidy to residents would not increase over this year. The plan would mean:

  1. Yearly pass fee increased to $250
  2. Monthly pass fee remains the same
  3. Daily fee remains the same at $4
  4. Specialty classes need increase fee from everyone
  5. Maximum number of classes will be 35 per week

Let us know your thoughts or if you have further questions. This compromise would allow the yearly, monthly, and daily fee structure to continue.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller

President’s Message: Fitness Classes – A Discussion of Cost

Kim Fuller
President

As a part of the budget process, there has been an examination of the Fitness Classes and their related costs. The Board is considering an increase in the Fitness Class fees to cover costs and that has many asking the question as to ‘Why’. Very simple, but complicated question, but I will do my best to cover many points about the class rates and costs to help explain our predicament. Please understand that these are my comments and not necessarily the opinions of other Board members. Nor do my comments mean the Board will vote a certain way.

Many have asked why the Fitness classes aren’t subsidized at the same level as Golf. Golf operations are subsidized more than other areas, that is true. That operation takes more money to maintain, just like security takes more money to maintain than the fitness dept. When we all moved here we agreed to these costs as part of living here, and that is paid for from the monthly assessments. There is no surprise in paying the cost for maintaining the golf course or paying for security, etc. because we all knew about these costs when we moved in. The future goal is to maintain the level of services in a cost-efficient way without raising monthly assessments unreasonably.

Currently Fitness classes have a yearly pass (use all the classes you like in one year), a monthly pass (use all the classes you like in one month), or pay each time one at a time. Keep in mind the golfers pay for every round they play. That is part of the equation. There are no passes at a yearly rate to reduce the costs of each round. Clearly if we did that the subsidy would have to increase because we would be getting less money for each round played. That is the difference between the yearly passes for fitness classes and golf fees. Golf is pay as you go, so costs are distributed equally among the users.

Fitness classes currently do not operate this way. About 1.5 years ago, at the request of residents, more classes were offered, but it was done on the expectation and condition that the program would break even. So, many classes were implemented, and projections were made to break even so that homeowners would not have an increase in the monthly assessments for the classes. This concept seemed reasonable because these classes were never part of the fitness budget, so to increase the cost of classes to all residents by increasing their monthly assessments did not seem fair.

Part of the projection at that time was a yearly, monthly, and day use fee for the classes. This was implemented and has been tried for the last 1.5 years. The problem is we now have too many people using the fitness classes that are not paying for the cost of the class, so the subsidy would have to increase to all residents if we are to maintain that same program. This was not the intention or plan in expanding the number of classes.

The current cost to the HOA per fitness class is about $65. If residents paid $4 per class, we would need about 16 people in the class to break even. As the program grew, the problem became yearly pass holders given their cost of the pass. At $200, if a person were to take a class twice per week, their cost would be less than $2 per class. This would mean we would need 32 people in each class to break even. The situation gets worse the more people use the pass. Example: one person contacted me and said they would be willing to pay $400 for the pass because they use it six days a week. This person is only paying about 65 cents per class. This is the problem. The concept of a yearly unlimited pass will conflict with the actual cost of providing the class, the more it is used, the more money the HOA loses, and the more money all residents will need to pay as a subsidy.

Even if people are willing to pay $400 for the pass, individual costs of the classes would have to increase to make up the difference in costs. This becomes the complex decision of the Board on how to distribute those costs fairly. Should residents be subsidizing classes along with individual users so yearly pass holders pay little for any class. I am not sure at this point that is fair. The best way to maintain services equally is to have costs distributed equally among the users. This is the platform of golf users. Each person pays as they play, with no special benefit for a monthly or yearly pass. This way we can track the costs for golf and if necessary raise the golf fees up to cover the cost, but it is done for everyone equally.

I don’t believe you can have competing systems in place at the same time; Yearly passes vs. individual pay as you go fees. These two systems conflict and will ultimately lead to yearly pass holders being subsidized by increased costs to residents and daily fee users. The most efficient and fair way to spread costs is everyone pays their fair share of the costs. I favor this approach for a program that needs to break even. If the cost of the classes were to stay at $4 per class, with no yearly or monthly passes, then costs can be tracked, classes with too few people eliminated, and remaining classes can be offered long term without increasing the monthly costs to the homeowners.

The current proposed budget by the fitness dept. was an increase of about 40% in subsidy, this is just too high for all residents so that about 200 people can take classes far below market rates. If we provide the classes at a set fee for everyone, then just like golf, everyone that uses the classes will share equally in the cost. This is maintainable. Otherwise daily fees and monthly assessments to all residents will have to increase. I would be concerned about raising monthly fees to 3,450 homeowners for the benefit of 200 yearly pass holders. Although I understand everyone would like the costs to be low, but sometimes that is not realistic. I also don’t think $4 per class is unreasonable for the benefit, the same as I don’t think golf fees for $42 to $52 dollars is unreasonable.

This program of classes was never part of the original subsidy agreement to residents for the fitness department, so we must find a way to break even if such classes are going to continue. Naturally I am giving you my thoughts, the Board may, and can decide as they wish when a vote comes for the final budget.

I think it wise and reasonable to campaign to the Board for whatever outcome you would like to see take place. That is how the system works, and the final vote for a budget and how classes are offered will not happened until the next Board meeting.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller

President’s Message: Budget

Kim Fuller
President

It is that time of year to complete the budget for next year which always raises the question from many, “Are the monthly fees going up”? I guess I could end this story quickly by simply saying ‘Yes’, but it is always fun to explain why so we all have an understanding.

I believe we all have a responsibility to each other to maintain the facilities and services that were installed when we moved here. That is our agreement with each other. It is in our long-term best interest to never let facilities become tired, but to maintain those facilities and services to meet the expectation of all of us and future residents. This way property values stay as high as possible and we all get to use the services for our own enjoyment.

Budgeting then becomes the art of maintaining the facility in the most efficient way possible, without sacrificing long term benefit. Too often cuts are made which can then lead to diminished care, something that needs to be avoided.

Understanding that we don’t want to sacrifice quality, if all things remain equal, given that costs go up each year, to maintain the facility at an equal level we need to match those cost increases so that we don’t reduce quality and services. Reduction of quality and services will ultimately lead to lower property values.

Inflation is currently about 2.7%. That means we can count on costs probably going up about 2.7% next year, which means to maintain the facility at its current level we will need to increase monthly dues at least 2.7%. I have always been an advocate of modest, responsible increases that match inflation to maintain facilities and services. A 2.7% increase would mean a monthly increase of about $7 per month. That would be my goal. I much prefer steady, inflationary increases long term that we can plan for rather than some years with no increase and then some years with high increases. When people come to buy your home, they want to see responsible financial planning with no assessments. When people can plan on the future, and can see history to support that planning, home values will then stay as high as possible.

Given that goal, our first task is to maintain current facilities and services, and only after that can we discuss increasing services which will lead to an increase in costs. Such increases need to be in the best interest of the greater good and not just a benefit to a few. Costs can creep up when new services are put into place that only benefit a few, even though all residents pay for the subsidy. Let’s use caution on any new services which will increase costs to everyone, and keep in mind, our first responsibility to each of us is to maintain existing facilities well before taking on new projects which will only increase monthly costs over time.

The final budget meeting will be 10/23/18 when all the details will be finalized so Board may approve the Budget for 2019 at the October meeting. The meeting on 10/23/18 is open to all homeowners so please attend if you have comments or suggestions on the future planning. If you are not available, please write to the Board with any suggestions or comments.

Thank you,
Kim Fuller

President’s Report – October 2018

Kim Fuller
President

Although I will never tire of the beautiful sunrises, I am sure many of you are tired of reading about the CC&R and By-law changes. But a ballot was mailed to all residents on April 19, 2018, and we need you to vote to complete the process. A copy of all the documents is available on the HOA website.

There are four items on the ballot for your consideration. After many comments from residents, the Board decided to present the following four items for a vote:

  1. Item 1 includes all the proposed changes to remove Pulte from the documents where applicable, and all changes required because of new state laws. If item 1 passes, then the CC&Rs and By-laws listed would become the current documents. Since Pulte is no longer here, it seemed responsible to remove them from the documents wherever possible. The other changes are changes that are required because of changes in the law. If item 1 passes, the documents will become clearer without Pulte being listed where applicable and, since we must implement new laws anyway, the documents would reflect that which is required by law.
  2. Item 2 is a vote to remove term limits on committee members. Currently, there is a two-term limit on committee members. Some have felt that some committee members should stay longer if they are willing because of their expertise. A vote in favor of this item supports removing term limits.
  3. Item 3 is a vote to remove cumulative voting for Board member elections. Currently the HOA uses cumulative voting every other year in the election process when three Board positions are up for election. When only two positions are up for election, regular voting is used. In regular voting you may not put more than one vote to any one candidate. In cumulative voting, you may put more than one vote to any one candidate. This is the difference between the two voting methods.
  4. Item 4 is to change the minimum rental period from 90 days to 45 days. It will also remove the language, which allows homeowners to rent for less than 90 days, if they use a management company to rent their homes. Current language allows homeowners to use a management company and rent for as little as one day. So, if this item passes, no resident will be able to rent their home for less than 45 days, and there will be no more exceptions.

These are the four items to vote on for the changes to the CC&Rs and By-laws. It is important that all homeowners vote so we can conclude this process, which began about three years ago. The HOA has spent over $40,000 on the process to update our governing documents so they are more concise and easier to read. We need everyone to vote so this effort is not wasted. Homeowners may mail back their ballots or place them in one of the ballot boxes located near the reception desks at each of the clubhouses. If you need another ballot, for any reason, please contact the HOA office and we can provide one to you. We are trying to complete this process by November 13. So please send in the ballots right away.

If you have questions, please let me know or contact other Board members or staff.

Once you send in your ballot, take a break and watch the beautiful sunset, and once again we can all understand and say, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Kim Fuller
President

President’s Report – September 2018

Kim Fuller
President

A beautiful morning, sun rising, roadrunners running, rabbits jumping, and new things unfolding. Making our life easier is our new website that has just been released. It was launched on August 6, 2018. Representatives from the Information Advisory Committee (IAC) and the Computer Club will be holding classes for anyone who wants help to learn how the new website works. But I have to say I found navigating and using the new site much easier than the old one.

After more than a year of work, beta testing by many, and comments from users on improvements, the new website is now online. After seeing the demo given to the Board, we all were impressed and looked forward to the new format. On August 6, after watching the sunrise, I spent time navigating through the new website. I have to say, great job to the IAC for a job more than well done. Many changes have been made to make it much easier to determine where to go for information about the HOA. As you use the new website, feel free to make suggestions because changes and improvements can be made as we go along at any time.

I want to thank the IAC for the long hours of hard work they put in to make this happen. Committee members Linda Aasen, Lin Conrad, Terry Coon, Kris Downey, Bob Firring, Claudia Marley, George Stephens, and Board Liaison Fera Mostow all worked together along with Gus Ramirez, Communications Manager, from staff. A very special thanks to the Committee Chair, Erin Smith, for the last two years of seeing this project through to reality.

This project was designed to improve communication with all residents by providing accurate information about the HOA in a timely manner. As part of this process, we are asking everyone to sign up for the email announcement system called “e-blasts.” The HOA sends out announcements weekly, and sometimes more, with information and up-to-date news regarding the HOA. These announcements can range from new items for special events, to changes in schedules, to emergency warnings, to updates on HOA business. By signing up for this service you will get all the announcements that we send out to residents on any given day.

To sign up, we need you to fill out a form. We are not allowed simply to put you on the system; State law requires you sign up for the service. We need to verify that you want us to send you such information. Some residents told us they were concerned that, by signing up for such email announcements, they would also receive all legal notices by e‑mail rather than by regular mail through the post office. This is not the case. When you sign up for the e-blast service you will only be getting announcements in your e-mail. All other legal documents will still be sent by regular mail. Sign-up forms are available on the new website or at the HOA office. Please help us communicate with you by signing up for the e-blast service today.

Thank you all for another day in paradise. It is easy to look around and know, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Kim Fuller
President