President’s Report – October 2021

As published in The View, October 2021:

John MacDonnell
President

Change of Seasons as the World Turns

By the time you read this in our October View Magazine, summer in our beautiful community will have passed, at least on the calendar but hopefully on the thermometer as well. Cooler days and nights will be the norm. Our neighbors will be back from their vacations, and our snowbirds will be starting to return. With the holiday season not far off, and “High Season” on the horizon once again, all the activities which make SCSH such a special place should be back and booming.

Fortunately for all of us, the world keeps turning; and your fellow volunteer homeowners who serve as Directors of your Board and staff the many advisory committees have kept working to preserve, protect, maintain, and improve our place in the sun. This all brings me to what I would like to focus on and get all our homeowners to begin to think about. We have many volunteers and important committees that help to keep our HOA dues from rising by working alongside the Board. But most of us are not aware that our Bylaws only provide for three very important “standing committees.”

Article 10 of the Bylaws provides for the Architectural Review Committee – now referred to as the Design Review Committee or DRC for short – which interprets and enforces the requirements of our governing documents respecting the appearance and beauty of our homes and lots. There is also the Covenants Committee that acts as “a jury of your peers’” to assist the Board in the enforcement of other rules and regulations which, in effect, comprise our community’s Municipal Code. Finally, there is a committee which we only see and hear about for a few months each year from October to the time of our Annual Meeting and Election of Directors each April. This is the Nominating Committee, which has the very important task of encouraging homeowners to step forward and run for the open Director positions plus to ensure that our elections are transparent, informative, and free and fair in accordance with the provisions of our Governing Documents and HOA law.

The Nominating Committee currently has the following members: Dan McFarlane, Pete Anderson, Robert Israel, Carolyn Collins, and Linda Strongin Grant. You will be hearing more from this Committee in the weeks and months just ahead. Their duties are specifically set out in Bylaws Section 7.4, but one of those duties is to make “reasonable efforts to recruit at least two (2) candidates for each position on the Board that is to be filled by vote of the Members.” There will be three Director seats to be filled by the three candidates receiving the most votes of homeowners. In accordance with the Governing Documents, because more than two positions will be filled, cumulative voting will be in effect.

Because some of our past Director elections have been uncontested, the Committee will be making efforts to encourage interested candidates to throw their hats in the ring, so to speak. Hopefully, there will be at least six homeowners stepping forward to run. By the way, no Member of the Nominating Committee may be nominated as a candidate for the election to the Board (Section 7.4.3).

If you have an interest in serving your HOA in the important position of Director, or if you know a fellow homeowner whom you would encourage to do so and support, please reach out to them and to the committee or any of its members about your interest, suggested nomination, or questions. The deadline for submitting Nomination Forms – at the time of writing this – has not been set but will likely be before Thanksgiving 2021 because it must be at least four months before the Annual Meeting on April 5, 2022.

So, my fellow homeowners, it is not too early to begin thinking about who you want to see leading our community, setting the tone, and making the important decisions on our Board of Directors.

Contact the author at john.macdonnell@scshca.com

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #296

John MacDonnell
President

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast296

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


Sadly, one of our family's home caught fire this morning and burned to the point where the city of Indio had to red tag it. Fortunately, they and their dog are all safe and they were able to salvage their car, but everything else they own is gone except for what they were wearing on their backs. So for now they need primarily items for personal hygiene like toothpaste and brushes but let's not go too far down the road for now because it can get overwhelming. Next they need about a week's worth of clothing for him and for her. She has given me permission to give their phone number out. Please be respectful and don't call too late. Let's do what we can to help get them restarted in the rebuilding of their lives.

So this is a good time to give out a reminder to take pictures of some of the items you have in your house and a file of some of the important things you have. Keep the file in a place so you can grab it quickly if you need to get out of your house. The heat dries these houses out very quickly so they are prime for burning.

Take care out there.

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #294

John MacDonnell
President

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast294

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


This podcast will provide an update on what is happening in our community:

1. Vanessa Ayon, HOA Asst. Gen. Mgr.: The Annual Golf Walk 2021 (South Course) will be on Fri., Nov. 5th, 8:00 am. Please register at either Fitness Center by Sept. 27. Everyone will receive a tee shirt and snacks will be available. No bikes, scooters nor dogs or cats, please. Starting and finishing behind the Pro Shop by the Shadows Restaurant. Gus Ramirez, our IT guy, will be there to take photos of everyone. This is a free event.

2. Kathy Lindstrom, Chair, Food & Beverage Adv. Com.: Update on food and beverage services:

  • Monday Night Football - Tailgate Menu, all-you-can-eat for $11.95, and Happy Hour prices on drinks; from 4:00 pm to closing; no reservations. The Shadows has new large-screen TVs. There are more of them and one is outdoors, as well.
  • Montecito Café: due to community concern, we are repurposing the Montecito Café. At this time, it won't be open during the day but we will have Montecito Night : Thirsty Thursdays, starting on Oct. 7th, with an all-you-can-eat appetizer buffet for $10.95, indoors or out. Open seating. The putting course will also be open so it's a great time to socialize with your friends and neighbors.
  • Also, we will have Taco Tuesdays, 4:00 to 7:00 pm, with $5.00 Margaritas, $1.50 assorted street tacos, and various Mexican beers, starting on Oct. 26th. Clubs meeting on Tuesdays (or even other days) may also want to incorporate this into their social time. No reservations, just come on down to meet your neighbors and friends.
  • Breakfast at the Shadows: Best deal in town! Only $8.50 for a two-egg breakfast with sausage, bacon, toast and home fries. On weekends, there's Eggs Benedict and also chili-cheese omelettes -- not on the menu but be sure to ask for it.
  • New comment cards: we want to hear from you so the Shadows and the Montecito Café will be the places to go in our community. The cards will be reviewed every month by the Food and Beverage Advisory Committee. We're also offering a raffle every month for a $40 gift certificate so we want your comments. We're open and we're listening.
  • We have theme nights coming up and more in October. Call in early for your reservations because they book up very early. And remember Prime Rib Nights on Saturday for $21.95 -- it's really good!

3. John:

  • Bullet points for podcasts: in case you don't want to listen to a whole podcast, there are bullet points listed with times so you can go directly to your topic of interest.
  • Dog Park closed one more day: the Dog Park will be closed one more day for concrete work starting at 3:00 pm on Friday, Sept 10th.
  • Vendor traffic safety: many vendors are blowing through stop signs. Please remind your vendors that we take traffic safety very seriously here and that "Stop means stop" -- full stop. Maybe count, "One, two, three -- no ticket for me".
  • Burrtec trash pick up starting as early as 6:00 am: a lot of people have been complaining about the noise from the trucks at 6:00 am. So Tyler, our G.M., called the city of Indio and their contract gives them the right to come into our community at 6:00 am and there's nothing we can do about that. They have adjusted their hours recently so they will be coming in early.
  • Difference between contractors and handymen: Some residents have been asking for clarification on this. Contractors are licensed by the State of California to perform jobs to improve your homes. They are required to carry bond and they are insured so you have recourse if something goes wrong with the contractor. Handymen do not have those same bounds. They can come into your home and do repairs for you for a certain amount of money. They aren't licensed by the State and may not have insurance and most likely won't have a bond. So when you're hiring somebody, just ask them if there are licensed or if they have a bond. For something quite simple, you're likely okay with that but that's your choice and responsibility.
  • Safety precautions for residents who live alone: we recently had an incident where a woman who lives alone had a fall in her back yard. It was 117 degrees out there. She broke her tibia and was lying on the ground for quite some time and had nobody to help her. One of our advisory committee chairs heard her from her yard and went over the wall to help her. If she hadn't heard the faint calls for help, the resident could easily have died.
  • My point is that if you live alone at any age, please consider getting an alarm button or device to have with you, especially during the heat, to that it makes enough noise to signal loudly that you need help. There are many vacant homes right now with residents away so it's even more important to have a way to get help for yourself.
  • Stu Stryker's Past President article in the View: Stu has written an article for the View at my request. We had a chance to sit down and talk and I asked him to write an article to give some insights into the past for the residents who are living here now and who have been living here. So, Stu, my hat's off to you and your family and thank you very much for taking that time and for all the service you have given to our community.
  • Second Budget Meeting is on September 22 at 10:00 am at the Montecito Clubhouse: if you are interested in what's happening and what's going to happen next year with your money, be sure to come to the Budget Meeting to ask questions and express your opinion. This will be the second of three meetings.
  • Parking Lot Sale: Saturday, October 23, 8:00 a.m. to noon at the Montecito Parking Lot.
  • Let's Meet and Eat Club: their event on Sunday, September 12 is sold out. It will be at the Montecito Clubhouse. Then on Wednesday, September 22, they will have the Dueling Pianos at 5:30 pm. I'm not sure if there are still tickets for that.
  • Tutta Bella Vino: the will meet on September 18 at 6:30 pm in the Montecito Ballroom. Sign up by Saturday, September 11, across from the Lifestyles Desk.
  • I'm told there are 20 spots left for that. Tickets are $25 for residents and $28 for guests. Annual membership is $15. If this is your first time going to Tutta Bella, you can attend this event without having to pay the membership fee but that will apply for your second event.
  • September 11th: For me and other veterans, this day holds a special place in our hearts and I know it does for all of us in this country. I ask that you take a moment to reflect on your life and on the lives that were lost on that day. Take a deep breath and say a prayer. It's a day that, for as long as we live, will always be in our minds and in our hearts. Treat everybody that day with a whole lot of extra respect because it's been 20 years now and we remember that day as if it were yesterday.

In closing, just a reminder to keep your pets off the extremely hot pavement. I appreciate you taking the time with this podcast. It was a long one but I had a lot to cover.

President’s Report – September 2021

As published in The View, September 2021:

John MacDonnell
President

I have asked one of our past Board Presidents to give us some thoughts in this edition of The View. I respect Stu Stryker for all the time he put into this community volunteering and keeping up the joy of living here.

We have all heard the old adage, “You can please some of the people all the time … ”. You know how it goes. Nothing has changed here. No matter what decisions a Board makes, some won’t agree. Good Boards make their decisions, popular or not, based on what is good for the health of the entire community, not for a select group. It’s been my experience, having served on other Boards besides in Sun City Shadow Hills, that Boards do not last if they do not make decisions for the betterment of the whole community. Board members are not perfect, they are human. Don’t judge them by one action but by the body of their work, and that takes time.

In the past, when we as a Board would make a decision, a certain group who wanted to run the community would find fault. No matter which way a decision went, this group was against it. If we spent money outright for long-term savings, it wasn’t the right thing to do. If we saved the community money by lowering dues, it wasn’t the right thing to do. It was a no-win scenario with this small but very vocal group. I am hopeful that our current Board doesn’t have to face this type of opposition.

A brief note on lowering dues. It was once mentioned that lowering dues during inflationary times was not the thing to do. When a Board puts together a budget, it must cover all the needs of the community. If it happens to be lower than the previous year, the dues are lower. A Board cannot just arbitrarily raise dues. For the record, inflation during that period was .02%.

As I walk around the community, I am seeing many things that are being fixed, repairs that had not been done properly are being corrected, and in general things are being cleaned up. This tells me our Board is moving in the right direction. We have also had contract disputes that have been resolved. To me, it appears that our Board is being proactive in solving issues. We have had some community events, and I hear there are more to come. These are the things our community needs to be a desirable place for people to live. These are the things that will make us a successful and well-maintained community.

The best improvement over previous years is the fantastic support we get today from our community volunteers – from staffing the clubhouse, to serving on a committee or as a Board member. Our members are a gold mine of experience, and it’s good to see our community still utilizing their talents.

When our Board started, we only had six Advisory Committees. By the time we left, we had doubled that amount. It’s good to see our current Board is continuing that trend. We still have a wealth of untapped knowledge out there, and I thank all our residents, past and present, for their service.

– Stu Stryker

Thank you, Stu Stryker, for all you did here at Sun City Shadow Hills. I also want to thank your wife, Nikki Stryker, for sharing you with this community during your time as a volunteer.

Contact the author at john.macdonnell@scshca.com

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #292

John MacDonnell
President

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast292

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


John: I thought it would be important to give you an update on what safety practices we've been following toward COVID-19 and the variants. I've invited Tyler Ingle, our GM, and Mark Dodge, CEO of Desert Resort Management, to share their information with you as well.

We have been working very hard to make sure this community is safe and we've been following the State and County Guidelines. There have been a lot of questions about what exactly are guidelines. The guidelines are coming down from the State government and they go to the local health departments and to the local regional health divisions of each county. In our county we talk quite frequently to Jose to find out what we need to do here at Sun City Shadow Hills. When he advises us, we act on it almost immediately. The Board has already given our management team and DRM the authority to make things happen when something happens in our county. Some people are saying that DRM isn't doing what they can because they won't make their employees get vaccinated or they won't do this or that or that the HOA doesn't care. Well, that's not true. We care so much about this community. When I ran for the Board, I told you that I would always be up front with you and tell you what is happening in this community and I have done that. I live with everything that I tell you folks and I will continue to do that. If I didn't say it, then I will stand up and defend it -- that's for sure.

We've received so many emails that we think it's time for us to tell you directly how things are going.

Tyler Ingle: Effective August 1st, we with DRM went back to a mask mandate indoors for all of our employees. Vintage Landscape, Allied Universal and Troon all agreed to wear masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status. Out of an abundance of caution we wanted to keep everybody safe and show to the community here that we are committed to doing what's right. It is totally voluntary to disclose vaccine status but we've had approximately 73% of our DRM employees attest to the fact that they are fully vaccinated. We expect that number to be up to 85% or higher by the end of September. Riverside County overall is less than 50% fully vaccinated. At this time, DRM hasn't made it a requirement for their employees to be vaccinated but that may change in the future.

Mark Dodge: DRM has employees in a lot of communities like Sun City Shadow Hills and there has been an ongoing effort in all of those locations, and in our corporate office as well, to get our staff fully vaccinated and to have very few exceptions. The property here is indicative of that. We know through conversations with our employees who has been vaccinated and who has not. Our goal is to have our employees fully vaccinated. We know who we are going to be able to get through those obstacles with and who we are not. We are looking at where we could relocate those employees refusing to get vaccinated to where it would fit them and they would not need to have contact with any of our homeowners. That process looks different in any of our communities. We have one community with over 100 employees and they are already at almost 90%.

And that’s amazing because 60 of those are field maintenance workers. The same thing is going on here. We are looking at the remaining population who is left and the decision to get vaccinated or not is a very personal one and usually fits into one or two categories. But we are not at the point of swinging a hammer and hammering employees into getting vaccinated. We may have to get to that point but we are at the decision-making point where we have to see what we have to do to get to 100%. So we're not taking that approach yet. We're approaching the individual employees, we know who they are and we're managing them and their contacts, and approaching the employees to get everyone to make the decision themselves. September is our soft deadline where we would like to be company- wide where we don't need to be having these discussions at the senior management level week after week.

John: I know we have been doing everything we could to be as safe as possible. We've been staying in contact with the employees, staying on top of how they're feeling to make sure we're not having any issues, and if anyone isn't feeling well I know you've been telling them to stay home. We really haven't had any of those issues. I know if we had gone to a mandatory vaccine about a month ago, we would have lost how many of our employees, Tyler -- 50%. So we would have had to shut down different programs, Lifestyles, so that was an incentive for you guys as the management team to see what you could work out with the employees so we didn't get to that position. You've been working really hard to keep our community safe and I personally appreciate that and you guys taking the time to come in here today to get this information out to the community. We are close.

And as Mark Dodge says, if there is an employee here and we have to move them around, we'll do that if they don't want to get their shot. That should be reassurance enough to know that this team here is working hard for this community. I was hoping we could get Jose on the phone today to give us a drop down on what's happening in the county, but he is out of the office. Tyler, you and I had a chance to talk with him last week and he told us that there is still a pattern of recommended masks for people who are not vaccinated, people who are indoors or less than 6 feet apart. That is not mandatory but a suggestion from the State and the County. If that changes, we'll definitely get that out to the community.

So, Sun City, we're here for you. We appreciate your time. Be safe and have a great day.

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #290

John MacDonnell
President

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast290

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


1. Traffic rules for service providers: When you request delivery services from companies like Grubhub, Uber Eats and also services like Uber Rides and Lift Rides, please remember to remind them to obey the speed and traffic laws we have here at Sun City Shadow Hills. Yesterday I was coming around a corner and a guy with an Uber Eats sticker on his car went right through a stop sign and made a right hand turn. I was flabbergasted. So, I'm reminded by our wonderful General Manager that we need to send a message out to you to let those service people know that we really want to protect our community. We don't want to hit a bicyclist or a duck or anything that. So ask them to just pay attention to our laws when they're in our community and that will make this a safer place.

2. New mask policy for Association employees - Tyler Ingle, General Manager: John: Today we have a wonderful guest. He is taking time out of his very busy schedule to explain a couple of things that the state of California has put out and our good friend Jose at the Riverside Public Health Office who works very closely with the CDC and the public address system for Riverside County has put out some notices and we have Tyler Ingle who will explain a little about what we have going on here. We're just talking about basic public safety for our community.

Tyler Ingle: Out of an abundance of caution, Desert Resource Management has decided that all of our employees will wear masks indoors. This includes employees who are vaccinated or non- vaccinated. They'll also wear masks outdoors when they're not able to socially distance. We've spoken with our other service providers and management companies, Troon, Allied Universal and Vintage Landscape, and they've all agreed to follow the same policy.

John: So this recommendation comes from the State and then onto the county. So we're not doing this to be aggressive but to be safe. If you don't feel comfortable as a resident and you choose to wear your mask indoors or when you're not socially distancing and that is your preference, please feel free to do so.

Tyler: We're not enforcing anything on the residents. There's no county mandate that requires masks for anyone including our employees. But in our case, Desert Resource Management and our senior management CEO agree that out of an abundance of caution that we would go back to mask wearing at this time and that will be effective Sunday, August 1st.

John: If the state guidelines change and it becomes more restrictive for the residents, we'll get together with the Board and the management team here and we'll evaluate what we need to do and we'll make an informed decision to send out to the community.

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #289

John MacDonnell
President

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast289

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


1. Holes on the side of your backyard walls: the holes are there to allow water to run out during heavy rain falls. The drains in your yards can handle normal rain but heavier rain levels need a way to leave your yard to avoid flooding. Some residents plug those holes to keep rabbits and other small creatures out, but the holes should be unblocked when heavier rain is predicted.

2. Committee members still needed: There are various positions available. Interest forms can be downloaded from the HOA website or are also available at the HOA office. Just complete the interest form and submit it to Vanessa Ayon, our Assistant General Manager. She will refer the forms to the right committees, depending on your interests. This is a great way to get more involved in your community. Also, don't forget our clubs. We have over 60 of them now and they will be resuming in the coming weeks.

3. Special Guest, Mary Lou Phillips, Tutta Bella Vino Club: The club has returned after working out a deal with the Shadows Restaurant and we are happy to have them back and filling the ballroom. Now over to Mary Lou.

Thank you, John, for encouraging the clubs to use these podcasts to let others know about our clubs. We meet every third Saturday and taste six or seven wines -- two whites and four reds, plus some bubbly to start the evening as you come into the ballroom. The wines are available for purchase by the case at the end of the evening and can be picked up at the Shadows the following Thursday afternoon. We are an educational and wine tasting club with wines available at restaurant pricing. We have three wine distributors and depending on which one is being featured, the distributor will be present to give about a 5-minute overview of each wine we taste. Our monthly event is $25 per person which covers the wines featured plus a small plate of cheese and crackers, fresh fruit and chocolates provided by the Shadows Restaurant.

We usually meet the third Saturday of the month from September to June. Our annual membership is $15 per person. A one-time attendance is allowed without paying the membership fee (returning members are required to pay their membership when they sign up for their first event). Membership forms are available on the Shadow Hills website. Our next event will be on Saturday, September 18th, at 6:30 pm and will feature Dry Creek Wines from Northern California. We normally start our events at 7:00 pm but since we haven't met for over a year and a half, we thought it would be fun to have a 30-minute social time to allow everyone to get reacquainted. Registration forms for our September event will be available on our website on Friday, July 30th, and hard copies will be available that morning at the Montecito Clubhouse across from the Lifestyles desk. Checks for the event, along with the registration form, as well as returning members' annual membership fees, can be dropped off at the Tutta Bella mailbox outside the Montecito Clubhouse billiards room. You may reserve a table for up to 10 people and all names and checks must be submitted along with your registration forms. If you have fewer than ten people, we will assign you to a table with others. It's a great way to meet people. We will receive registration forms until September 11th or until we are sold out. If you have any questions you may email us at TuttaBellaVino@gmail.com. We're looking forward to seeing all of our returning members, as well as lots of new members.

New residents are especially encouraged to get involved with our clubs. Information on all our clubs and how to join is available online but also at the HOA office or at the Lifestyle Desk at the Montecito Clubhouse.

President’s Report – August 2021

As published in The View, August 2021:

John MacDonnell
President

Hello, Sun City Shadow Hills, I want to start by wishing everyone safe travels in these summer months as you, your friends, or others in our community vacation and escape the heat for the time being. We are looking forward to your return before the holiday season, and until then we are still here keeping our community running better than ever.

We are fortunate to have a great staff and Board that continue working alongside many of our Volunteer Advisory Committee members. We also have our contracted service providers who remain on duty to watch over our common interests and operations and to maintain our wonderful community.

We can all agree that the heat seems a bit harsher at times this year than in the past, which causes a natural slowdown of outdoor activities around the community. But we are definitely remaining open for business. The Board is looking at all opportunities for us to enjoy the reopening of our facilities, and we are very excited to share them once again.

This summer has already become one to remember with some of the events that have taken place. The Montecito pool party along with the Fourth of July parade saw a record number of attendees, most of whom have given positive feedback about their experiences.

While we have generally returned to normal, we are still working diligently on our budget and the financial impact from the unanticipated events that occurred just over a year ago. We will continue to do so as we maintain our facilities and plan for our common goal of making each new day better than the previous one. As I say, “the beat goes on.” We hope all of you are staying informed via our website, whether here or away. We wish you safe travels.

The fall season is right around the corner. With most of us looking forward to cooler weather, I am confident that we will be able to hit the ground running as we bring back many beloved events plus some new ones to our community. The new events include the Halloween Spooktacular and the Presidents Cup Golf Tournament, and the Holiday Parade returns to help send us off to another new year here in wonderful Sun City Shadow Hills community.

Here are a few highlights from our Fourth of July Parade:

Contact the author at john.macdonnell@scshca.com

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #288

John MacDonnell
President

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast288

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


First, I want to say thank you to all those who stop to give me feedback out in the community. I really appreciate it, especially the positive ones, but I also want to hear the negative ones and we'll try to fix those issues as we go along.

1. Shadows Restaurant - Applications for the Ad Hoc Sub Committee: This has been very important to this community for a very long time. We will be accepting applications from anyone who would like to have a say in the renovation of the restaurant this Wednesday, July 21st, in the Capistrano Room, Montecito Clubhouse, at 1:00 p.m. We're not saying the renovation is going through. We need to stop losing money, need to make it better, and market it better to the outside community. Interviews will be held the next day, July 22nd, starting at 9:30 a.m. in the La Jolla Room, Santa Rosa Clubhouse. You will receive more information at the 1:00 p.m. meeting on Wednesday.

Applications will be available online at the SCSH website (scshca.com/committeeinterest). You can fill it out and either give it to our Assistant GM Vanessa prior to the meeting or bring it with you to the meeting and give it to the Food and Beverage Committee Chairperson, Kathy Lindstrom. Kathy and other members of the Food and Beverage Committee will be present for both days.

Kathy has provided a Mission Statement to help define the purpose of the sub committee which reads:

The mission of the Ad Hoc Sub Committee to the SCSH Food and Beverage Committee is to:

  1. research and recommend a company to do a feasibility report and strategic plan for the development of a tangible operation of the food services for the community of Sun City Shadow Hills through the Shadows Restaurant;
  2. work with a hired team to determine if a new renovation will function and complement the expansion and renovation of the Shadows Restaurant;
  3. determine and document key operational elements for efficiency, quality, creativity and customer satisfaction.

The Ad Hoc Committee will be comprised of seven members: one from Food and Beverage, one from Facilities, one from Finance and four additional members. The level of qualifications will be high.

Personally, I'd like to see a lounge with a bar that faces out over the golf course , lake and driving range; an outdoor patio that overlooks all that as well and where we could have dinner with music out on the driving range and maybe some fire pits. We could expand the restaurant and maybe include a pizza oven. There are a lot of things we could do but it will all come down through the Ad Hoc Sub Committee.

2. Dog Parks: You all know I have two dogs and appreciate how important they are in our lives. The dog parks will continue to open at 7 a.m. (not earlier) and close at dusk which according to our Security Director is now about 7:30 or 8:00 p.m. So when Security shows up, please remember they're doing their job.

I'm amazed that I still see people walking their dogs on the asphalt. If you wouldn't walk barefoot on it, don't have your dog do it either. Please keep the dogs on the grass with this heat.

3. Fourth of July Celebration: It was so inspiring and a great feeling to see everybody out there having a good time. For those of you who missed it, I have to tell you it was really something to see all of those golf carts going down the boulevard in two lanes, with everybody honking and waving to their grandkids on the sidelines. And then to get back and have Pete Anderson handle the flag raising. Pete, you're a rock and an inspiration in this community and we really appreciate what you and the other veterans do for us. Hats off to you, my friend.

4. Upcoming Lifestyles Events: Connie and the Lifestyles Desk have been working so hard to prepare for this year. It usually takes a year of planning to make sure everything comes off just right so this year is a real challenge. We have a Halloween Spooktacular and Parade coming up and a Presidents Cup Charity Golf Tournament to benefit the Shadow Hills High School golf team. We'd love to raise $10,000 for that team. They practice their golf here at Sun City Shadow Hills.

This is a good time to look into some of the many clubs we have here at Shadow Hills. Even though many are dark over the summer, it's a good time to consider which ones might fit into your lifestyle. Check the View Magazine to see what clubs we have here. My wife and I went to Let's Meet and Eat last week and there wasn't a square inch empty on the dance floor. We had a great time!

5. Board Meeting on Monday, July 26th, at 2:00 p.m. We hope you can make it. Comment cards will be available to fill out if you wish to let us know who you are and what you would like to have addressed. We look forward to seeing you there. I'm excited that our new Fitness Director is going to be announced that day, too. I'm looking forward to what she's going to do for us.

6. Advisory Committee Members Needed: if you have some time and expertise in any of the advisory committee areas, they really need your help. This is a great way to get involved and give back to your community.

7. John's Original Board Candidate Statement: When I ran as a candidate, I wrote a statement that I got grief for from some and also some praise from others for being specific. I wrote, "I want to be a Board member for the good of the people of this community, not for myself. Plain and simple." I live that every day. I'm here for you. I give you my time and my expertise whenever I can. What I don't know I will find out. We have a great team here at Sun City Shadow Hills and I need you all to support them. They do everything in their power to make this a better place to live.

Thank you all for your time. I appreciate it and I'll see you out in the field.

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #287

John MacDonnell
President

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast287

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


1. Introduction: I welcome everyone to the podcast and encouraged residents to drink lots of water and be careful in the extreme heat. My very special guest is Pete Anderson from the Veterans Club who will talk about the flags and the Fourth of July parade. I am happy to tell you that the Shadows Restaurant has decided to get involved and will be offering red, white, and blue pina coladas for $6.00 and mimosas and Bloody Marys for $5.00 after the parade and for the flag raising.

2. History of the Veterans Club - Pete Anderson: The Veterans Club was started by Tom Hudson, a veteran and a colonel, who ran if for years. We lost Tom about three years ago. He initiated the Memorial Day and the Fourth of July celebrations. You may remember the Memorial Day celebration where we had up to 400 people turn out. I invited the ROTC cadets from Shadow Hills High School who did the flag raising. We also usually had two or three Marines from 29 Palms and the mayor of Indio. This is really what got the Veterans Club going.

Toys for Tots: Tom and I also worked together on starting the Toys for Tots at Christmas. We had a dinner with 60 or 70 people about three years ago and it has grown so much. We put Toys for Tots boxes throughout the community and two years ago -- the last time was before Covid -- we collected 1326 toys and 26 bicycles. The Marines take all of the donations to Cathedral City where they are divided by age and gender. We invite the Marines, the ROTC cadets and some of the teachers from Shadow Hills High School to the dinner and this is all paid for by the Veterans Club.

Flag Sale: You may know that our club member Larry Smith sells American flags for the Veterans Club. We've just ordered 100 flags and we sell them for your homes. If you have worn or tattered flags you can take them to Larry or to the Montecito. I pick them up several times a week and take them to the American Legion in Indio. We have two retirement burn flag parties per year. We bring in the ROTC cadets from Shadow Hills High School and the cadets from the American Legion. For the last one about a year ago, we had over 600 flags to burn. We alsohad two guerisson flags to burn. These are the huge flags that you see flying over car dealerships. The cadets helped us cut the flags into about twelve pieces to be able to retire them properly and burn them.

Veterans Club welcomes new members: We currently have only 56 members when we used to have over 100. This is due to Covid and also the loss of veterans. We welcome new members to share our activities. We are dark in July and August but in September we'll resume our monthly Tuesday meetings in the Montecito Clubhouse. We have had interesting guest speakers from the Air Museum, Patton Museum, VFW, and the Veterans Association. We provide information on benefits and how to access them. We invite the cadets to our parties where you have a chance to talk with them.

Flag poles at entrance gates: most communities like ours have the US flag and often the California flag at their gates. I was unable to get Pulte to provide this but we were getting close when Covid struck. With your support, John, it looks like we'll be able to have at least a US flag at each of our entrance gates and maybe a California flag, too. Hopefully, the HOA will pay for the 35 foot poles and the Veterans Club will pay for the flags.

3. Flags for the Fourth of July and the cart parade: I had previously referred everyone to Larry Smith, our "flag guy", but I didn't realize that he only has the larger size flags for your homes. You can get the small ones at hardware stores or Home Depot. Larry has the larger ones for you and also some handmade wood flags that he does himself. His address is 80620 Santa Juliana and he welcomes you to stop by.

Pete and his crew will meet at the Montecito Clubhouse at 7:00 a.m. on the Fourth of July to lay the flags out all across our community. The flags will go up on the morning of the 4th and will come down on the evening of the 5th. The parade will begin at the flagpole at the Montecito and will end at the Shadows Restaurant area where there will be a flag-raising ceremony by the vets. We may even have Johnny Goodrum there to sing American the Beautiful!

I've been so inspired by you, Pete, and the accomplishments of the Veterans Club. I don't join many clubs but I'm a vet and I'll join your club this year. We really appreciate what you and your vets do for us and thank you for being here today.

President’s Report – July 2021

As published in The View, July 2021:

John MacDonnell
President

It Is Time to Bring the Shadows Out of the Shadows

I have been exploring the idea of establishing a special committee of homeowners to focus on the maintenance of and future improvements to our food facilities, most important the Shadows Restaurant and the Montecito Café. Since the beginning of Sun City Shadow Hills, the subsidies for both have been increasing year to year. As part of each resident’s HOA dues, we now pay $11 per month in subsidies toward our restaurant, which sums up to $37,950 per month and ultimately $455,400 per year. That is almost $1 million every two years that is coming directly from all our pockets through HOA dues.

Subsidies will continue to increase if we do not take this seriously now. Many of us enjoy Shadows and want to see it remain; but serious attention, planning, and action need to be taken for this to happen. Previous attempts to fix this issue have fallen short. But by coming together to share our thoughts, opinions, and ideas, I believe we will be able to exchange these debts for profits within the next year or two. For us to succeed, we need to establish this committee to protect the future of our restaurant, to investigate all options, and to proceed with improvements deemed worthwhile.

Albert Einstein once said, “Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results, is the definition of insanity.” For years this has been a money pit for the community, so it is vital that we start weighing our options. Here is what we have heard: Should we make an additional investment to improve the kitchen, enlarge and reorient the bar? Should we establish food minimums for homeowners? Should we pursue lease and management by a local restaurant?

Most of these ideas have been considered in the past. Our new committee will focus on these aspects along with the financial ones to pin down which will help us exchange past losses for future profits. Change can be unpredictable at times, but it is in our best interest that the Board form this committee to assist us in considering these questions.

Since this was brought to the attention of the Board, we have received some new and proactive suggestions for improving the restaurant. We have considered the idea of a separate bar with an area for live music, attached to an entirely new dining area. Also, adding a pizza oven and preparation station for pizzas made for dine-in or take-away. We could also launch an advertising campaign to all our neighboring communities, touching upon these possible improvements to our restaurant and letting them know that Shadows is open for business. Meanwhile we would like our community to be able once again to enjoy all facilities including the restaurant, banquets, and lounge to their full extent. These are all inviting options that could possibly bring in more business.

Moving forward, I would like to see homeowners pitch their ideas as well, whether from the sidelines or the frontlines where decisions will be made and initiated within this new committee. By bringing this situation to the attention of the entire community, I hope we will be able to start a new age, reexamining past decisions to ensure a better future for ourselves and the generations that follow.

The success of such endeavors will depend on the willingness of homeowners – using their interest and expertise – to get involved with this vital evolution of our community. It does not matter how much time you invest in this endeavor, because together our shared interest will always be better than none at all. As they say in a famous game show, “Come on Down,” let us get this ball rolling.

Upward and onward, I will see you there.

Contact the author at john.macdonnell@scshca.com

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #286

John MacDonnell
President

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast286

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


1. HOA Board Meeting: a reminder that the next open Board meeting will be on Monday, June 28, 2021, at the Montecito Clubhouse.

2. Club and Committee Chairs: I am inviting the chairs of all clubs and advisory committees to participate in a podcast to talk about what's happening with their clubs. I've asked Vanessa to spearhead this and to take the names of those who are interested. There are a lot of new people in our community, as well as others currently in Canada or in other states, who want to plan their activities for when they return here so it's a good time to get your message out there. So just contact Vanessa in the HOA Office to set up a time to schedule a podcast.

3. Advisory Committees: there are openings on these committees so I encourage you to go to the HOA Office to complete an application form. After an initial interview, the chair will send your application to the Board to get you involved. The Finance Advisory Committee, for example, needs a couple of people and I would love to see a couple of ladies on that committee. If you are retired and have some financial background, please consider submitting an application.

4. Kathy Lindstrom, Chair of the Food and Beverage Advisory Committee, reporting on:

A) Menu items and theme nights as the Shadows Restaurant: some of the menu features include a great breakfast of a large pancake, one egg any style and bacon or sausage for just $4.50; on weekends we have Eggs Benedict, hash and eggs, biscuits and gravy, a smoked salmon platter, and cinnamon French toast.

When it's too hot to cook, we have wonderful salads such as our Special Shadows Salad for $12.95 with baby spinach tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette and topped with fresh strawberries, apricots, dried cranberries, candied pecans and goat cheese and a protein choice of turkey, chicken, shrimp or salmon. We also have a citrus shrimp and avocado salad, a Cobb salad, a chicken salad, and a stuffed tomato salad. And we have a ton of sandwiches.

B) Theme Nights: tonight is Pasta Night. Then on July 7th is our Shrimp Spectacular, July 14th is our Summer Salad Extravaganza where you will be able to taste all of our salads. July 21st and 28th will be Pasta Nights. But hold off on your reservations until Friday (June 25th) because we are meeting tomorrow with the Food and Beverage Advisory Committee to see how we can increase the seating for these special theme nights because we have been sold out. We may be having two seatings so we can have more people there for the fun and camaraderie.

C) Montecito Café Update: For those of you who are concerned about the closure of the Café, we are meeting tomorrow (July 24th) to discuss options to use the Montecito Café. We have been talking with residents and hearing their ideas. We will be making a presentation to the Board on this, so stay tuned for more information. We appreciate your patience. In the meantime, stop into the Shadows Restaurant for a pitcher of beer or of Margaritas. You can also bring your own wine -- the corkage fee has been dropped to $8.00.

5. Montecito Pool Opening Celebration: This will happen on Saturday, June 26th, with free hotdogs, chips and soft drinks. We are allowed seating for 86 and we're at least 75 over that, So we'll open the gym and the amphitheater area to provide more space for as many as we can. So please stop by to enjoy a hot dog and the music provided by our Board Vice-President Johnny Goodrum.

6. Memo from Safety Advisory Committee: The Board received a memo from the Safety Advisory Committee and voted in favor that all gates will be closed all day from now on going in and out. If you have questions or are concerned about this, the Safety Advisory Committee Chair Jeff Kirkpatrick will be making a presentation at the open Board Meeting on Monday, June 28th, so you will be able to ask questions at that time.

7. Fourth of July flags: Every year the veterans put out US flags at our gates and around our community for any US celebrations that involve the flag. This year there will be flags out for two days since the Fourth of July falls on a Sunday so the official holiday is Monday, the 5th. Our golf cart flag celebration will be on Sunday and the Veterans Club President Pete Anderson will be at the Montecito Clubhouse at 8:00 a.m. for those who want to decorate their carts with flags and to see you off for the golf cart parade. I'll be there with my dogs and flags on my cart, too, to join in the celebration.

If you would like to purchase a flag for your cart or your house, I have been given permission by Larry Smith who sells flags for the Veterans Committee to give out his name and address: 80620 Camino Santa Juliana. So you can just stop by Larry's house to purchase a flag.

8. New Security Director: Our new Security Director, Tuey Paiyarat, will be at the Montecito Pool Opening Celebration and at the June 28th Board Meeting, as well. We're very happy to have filled that position.

9. Jefferson Ponds and North Channel: I've asked Roland in the Troon golf office to take charge of cleaning up the first pond, so they area active as we speak cutting down the weeds and doing a general clean-up. The first pond isn't affected by the North Channel Project. They've also been working hard on the golf courses and doing a great job.

10. Pets in the heat: I want to finish as I always do in the summer with a reminder to keep your pets off the pavement. Put booties on them or carry them, whatever you have to do to make sure they're safe. Please don't let them put their paws on the pavement -- it's dangerous out there.

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #285

John MacDonnell
President

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast285

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


1. Reported Case of COVID-19 in the Gyms: We have had a reported positive case of COVID-19 reported in both gyms and the Montecito indoor pool. For the health and safety of the community, they will be closed today for a massive cleaning. We plan to have them reopened by tomorrow, June 19th, by 3:00 pm. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. If you may have been in these areas and are concerned, you may want to check with your healthcare provider and/or your doctor for their advice if you feel the need to be tested.

2. Montecito Outdoor Pool Update: the pool at the Montecito is going absolutely wonderful. We're on track and on time for completion next Friday with the chemicl balances all done. There will be a Pool Appreciation Day on June 26th from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the Montecito Outdoor Pool. Our very special guest of honor will be our Vice President of our Association who will be there to sing for us. We'll also provide hot dogs, chips and soft drinks. Please call the Lifestyle Desk to register for this.

3. Fourth of July: I've been hearing from people that there will likely be a drive-through golf cart parade through all three phases on the 4th of July. With so much uncertainty with COVID-19 and the changes in tiers, The Lifestyles Desk hasn't had an opportunity to plan or prepare for the 4th of July. Events like this normally require 6 to 8 weeks of planning. If the parade happens, I will definitely join in with flags on my golf cart. I will try to find out when and where it will be starting and will get back to you as soon as I can.

4. Lifestyles Survey: The Lifestyles Desk will be sending out a bunch of surveys to help plan for musical and other events. Please watch for them online and make sure to participate so Connie can plan based on what you most want. We already have the return of Let's Meet and Eat and Comedy Night -- there is a lot happening around here.

I am enjoying my time as your President and having the interaction with the community and receiving your feedback, both positive and negative. Either one helps me in making myself better for this community. Be safe out there, drink lots since it's so hot, and please keep the dogs off the sidewalks.

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #284

John MacDonnell
President

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast284

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


I know I just did a podcast yesterday but now I'm back with just a short one. There are two issues I want to address:

1. COVID-19 Tiers: There is a lot of information out there that people have been reading in newspapers or online that we should be in the yellow tier. I just got off the phone with the CDS Riverside and they told me that we're still in the orange tier and that I'm not to release us to any other tier. I'm waiting to hear back from a gentleman named Jose, the CDC Public Address person for the County of Riverside, and I should be getting more information from him. But I'm holding fast for now that we're still in the orange tier but will move to yellow just as soon as we can do it.

2. Montecito Pool: I want to apologize to you for the Montecito Pool. I went down there at 11:30 this morning and met with our General Manager and a couple of our team members and the pool still is not to my standards. I have to, as a professional general contractor, give you the best possible job for that pool. When they jack hammered out the plaster that wasn't quite correct, some of the tiles came loose. They were going to replace those tiles but after knocking on a few of those tiles and hearing hollow spots behind them, I was not convinced that it was in the best interest of the Home Owners Association to leave that pool with those tiles in it. So I have asked them to remove all the tiles in the ribbon between the coping and the plaster itself and to reset all the tiles. I did that simply because I don't want problems down the line where the tiles will come loose and then we'll have to repair the pool every so often.

So it's going to take an extra four days. We were planning on reopening on the 21st and now it's going to be Friday, the 25th. But I felt that it was not up to the standards of what we deserve here at Sun City Shadow Hills so I took the liberty of making sure that it was done right.

So, that's all I have for you today. I look forward to getting back to you as soon as possible about the COVID-19 tiers for our community and an update on what's happening for the 15th of June to go to green. I'll be back to you as soon as possible through either a podcast or through Tyler at the HOA office. Thank you for your time, drink lots of water -- it's hot out there -- and I will see you out there.

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #283

John MacDonnell
President

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast283

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


First, I want to remind everyone to drink lots of water with the temperatures rising. And I also want to thank Gus Ramirez for setting up all the equipment for each of these podcasts. I really appreciate it, Gus. Bob Firing can't be here today but I hope to see him back soon.

1. Montecito Café: Everyone misses it. I love it, but we can't make it come back by just snapping our fingers. Due to safety concerns and the numbers being down, the last administration decided to close it-- temporarily, I believe. Kathy Lindstrom with the Food and Beverage Committee is trying to save the Café and the Board will be carefully looking into their recommendations.

2. Montecito Pool: Sorry -- we had hoped it would be open by now, but there were things wrong with the pool that required us to start all over again. It's under construction now and I check it every couple of days with the knowledge from my years of experience in construction. We hope it will be open -- cold and beautiful -- by June 21st, but I can't promise.

3. Comedy Night and Other Shows: Sir Laughs-a-lot, Let's Meet and Eat and others will be back as soon as Covid restrictions allow. Julie Johnston is ready to sell tickets so when they are available, don't wait. They will go fast.

4. COVID-19 Update: The local CDC is our guide. They are in our hospitals, our neighborhoods and our businesses so they know best. The Board is proactive and ready to move as soon as we get the word. We're hoping for a June 15th release, but we can't promise.

5. Rumors: There are lots of them here and it's like getting your information from a Cracker Jack's box. We'll clarify anything that comes up. I'll do more podcasts if they are needed. We don't want rumors ruining our lives.

6. Podcast Transcriptions: Some of you have asked for transcriptions so you don't have to listen to a podcast. I am happy that we now have a volunteer experienced in writing and editing who has offered to provide these now.

7. Delegation: Some of you are saying that we aren't doing our job -- and that I'm not doing my job. I am out there all the time doing my best but I won't be a micro manager. I can't do everything here, so I delegate when appropriate to our very capable Assistant General Manager and our very capable General Manager. They will get back to you with the information so I don't have to go to them and then back to you. I am learning as I go but I don't know everything.

8. Dogs and Hot Paws: This important issue makes me tear up whenever I see it. As our temperatures reach 110 and 120, if you can't walk barefoot on our pavement, asphalt, and grass, your dogs shouldn't either -- especially along Sun City Boulevard. They are our substitute children and please be sure to provide water for them.

I'm looking forward to seeing you in our neighborhood -- forward and upward! Thank you for your time.

President’s Report – June 2021

As published in The View, June 2021:

John MacDonnell
President

Get On Board

As I sit down to write this, I have been your new HOA Board President for a little over 30 days, during which I and my fellow team members on the Board have been beneficially busy. I have focused on familiarizing myself with the many staff personnel and various contractor employees that make our community operate on a day-to-day basis. I have also enjoyed meeting with members of the various Advisory Committees, as well as our selfless volunteer homeowners, to gain a better understanding of their efforts and ideas for improvements within their committees. People like this, each with a generous amount of devotion to this community, have made it possible for everyone else to focus on the business of making our community even better. I would also like to acknowledge the continued support, assistance, and encouragement that I have received from so many of you as our new administration commences with a different approach.

Within the last month I have come to understand that change takes time. I know that many of you feel much more comfortable about this new administration, and even proud to live in this community again, however there are some who still feel wary about this new approach. Like all great things, it does take time, patience, and understanding to find common ground when opposing views intertwine. Remember, we may disagree, but we must do it agreeably, so that collectively, we can find the best way to make our community enjoyable for everyone invested.

I would also like to broaden the impact that our selfless volunteers have had on our community. Any amount of help, whether minute or grand here and there, is the backbone of our new success as a community. While the Board is working with matters like the stability and continuity of a desirable community, our fellow volunteer homeowners have been dedicating their time in a wide variety of ways. Some have come from backgrounds as teachers, some as scientists, and some ran their own businesses. It may help or it may not even matter what one’s background is. All that really matters is their invested determination to help strengthen our community during such a brief transition. Within only a few days, many of our selfless new volunteers expressed an interest, were interviewed, and placed into positions in a wide range of committees. I would like to thank and congratulate all who have contributed thus far. Here are a few that have allowed me to announce their acceptance:

  • Toni Caylor – Chair, Covenants Committee
  • Kathy Lindstrom – Chair, Food and Beverage Advisory Committee
  • Jeff Kirkpatrick – Chair, Safety Advisory Committee
  • Paul Priebe – Food and Beverage Advisory Committee
  • Sue Krogsdale – Food and Beverage Advisory Committee
  • Frank Molnar – Covenants Committee
  • Plus four new members to Emergency Preparedness Sub-Committee

A list of all our committees is available in The View and can also be found on our community website at www.scshca.com/volunteer. If any committes interest you, please download and submit an application to our assistant general manager, Vanessa Ayon, at vanessa.ayon@associa.us. From there, an interview, availability check, and any other supporting experience you may have, will be reviewed, and submitted to the committee chairs, who will contact you about your application.

Together we can keep growing as a community, and – whether you do it today, tomorrow, or sometime in the future – you will find there are many ways to share your expertise for the betterment of our community. I am excited to meet new volunteers and welcome their strengths as we move forward. Thank you for helping us all prove that Sun City Shadow Hills can become even better.

P.S. The Board, our volunteers, committee chairs, and especially the members of our community, are excited to see the progress toward entering the State’s “Yellow Tier.” We hope this is the case by the time this message is published. Upward and onward – I’ll see you there!

Contact the author at john.macdonnell@scshca.com

President’s Message: 5/14/2021

John MacDonnell
President

Good morning,

Please note that the Association has been and continues to follow State and County guidelines, and not the CDC recommendations.

At this time, there is no change to the current COVID-19 procedures; masks continue to be required indoors.

We appreciate your patience as we follow the State and County guidelines.

Thank you,

John MacDonnell
President

President’s Report – May 2021

As published in The View, May 2021:

John MacDonnell
President

As you read this, my first President’s Report, you should keep in mind that it is being written just hours after our April 6 election. Because of publication deadlines for The View magazine’s May issue which will first arrive in some of your mail tubes the last few days of April, this is necessarily both a quick look back and prediction of things to come.

The first thing I want to do is recognize and thank all of those who entrusted me and Moira MacLeod-Foster, our new Treasurer, with your support, confidence, hopes, and your votes. To those of you who voted for other candidates, I thank you for participating and voting and, although I can understand and appreciate the disappointment some may feel, Moira and I assure you that your views and comments during our campaigns were heard and informed us. We will endeavor as much as possible to keep these things in mind as we work to do the jobs entrusted to us.

Elections can be difficult times in any community, and that is because differences on matters of concern to many are naturally highlighted. The fog of spirited debate can often distract us from the main goal of our community, which is to find things we all have in common and build upon those. In this way, we build a stronger, better, and more successful place to live and enjoy.

It is my sincere hope that our divisions and differences will quickly subside and that all of our best efforts will help us make our community all it can be. I believe it can and will get better than it has been while, at the same time, prove to be what we all envisioned when first coming here. I strongly believe in the view expressed by a former Board member, that in our community being a Director on the Board is not so much about power as it is about service. I also pledge to be as open and transparent as possible.

Now to the predictions that I mentioned, and which I hope you will all be starting to recognize even in the short time that will have elapsed since the election. I hope that the new line-up of Board officers will demonstrate a commitment to you that nothing is and should be written in stone in a healthy and vibrant community. Your new Board members will be working hard with those concluding their terms during the next year and will be reviewing, reconsidering, and in some cases tweaking and changing past decisions that proved unpopular or that unnecessarily divided us.

Some of the things which will undoubtedly occupy our time will be to closely examine our contractual commitments with various service providers who make this community function on a day-to-day basis, because it is and should be primarily the function of the Board to oversee those functions and not control them in every detail. We will be revisiting the makeup of our various advisory committees which have proven extremely valuable to the efficient operation of our community and which help us protect our financial interests keeping costs to a minimum. We also, where appropriate, will be looking to increase and encourage the involvement of new and talented members of our community to serve on those committees so that new and fresh views have a chance to thrive and contribute.

So please, if you have skill sets you wish to contribute and wish to have a say in how your community is run, step forward. It is an easy thing to enlarge those committees to utilize what others can bring to the table. We will be spending less of the Board members’ precious time dealing with small things and focus more on broader issues and future concerns, not the least of which is to encourage more of our homeowners to come out and vote for the type of community they desire.

Although we had a good turnout for this last election, we somehow failed to motivate slightly more than a third of our owners to vote. And that made it impossible to reach the necessary level to amend our governing documents. Changing the provisions of those basic contractual agreements to which we are all bound was designed not to be easy, but we should be able to get the necessary votes out to revise them when required by law and clearly within a hair’s breadth of passing. So, we must all focus on encouraging all owners to participate through voting in order to shape our community.

In future articles, I will be sharing this space with other Board members to offer their contributions and thoughts. I look forward to reporting that we are beginning to accomplish some of my predictions.

I wish to end with, and paraphrase and slightly alter the words of, a poem I have long admired by Robert Frost:

Our community is lovely and our members diverse and deep.
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Now, to work, as I am sure it can and does get better than this.

Contact the author at john.macdonnell@scshca.com

Vice President’s Message: 4/28/2021

Johnny Goodrum
Vice President

What a great day this is, the weather outside is wonderful today. I hope all of you are enjoying this Wednesday.

As your new Vice President, I wanted to share with you that this page will now be a joint effort of our HOA President, John MacDonnell and myself. Both of us are excited that things are opening up and we are on the verge of entering the next tier. The Board has given our General Manager, Tyler Ingle and our Assistant General Manager, Vanessa Ayon, the task of getting things opened as we move to different tiers. This will allow quicker actions made to get us all back together. So many good things are already happening such as the Billiard Room at the Montecito Club House is now open. Some clubs and groups are planning activities, and there is much excitement.

We must however stay focused and wear masks when you cannot maintain six feet separation indoors. You, the Residents, and the Board have worked diligently in the last year to mitigate the spread of the covid virus and we want to maintain that diligence moving forward.

Here are a few of the items of Board actions that took place at the monthly meeting April 26th:

  • South driving practice range will reopen.
  • Fitness class passes will be available for purchase. Members may purchase 10 class pass for the price of 9.
  •  A Shred-It event will take place, (tentative date 6/5/21). Paper material only. Maximum of (2) standard size boxes per household. Please await official date announcement by the Lifestyle Department.
  • Single swimmer reservations have been discontinued at the Santa Rosa Pool. If you currently have a reservation, for single swimmer, it will be honored.
  • Golf play will resume the utilization of flag sticks and the ball retrievers will be removed. Club washers, rakes for the sand bunkers, tees, pencils and score cards, will be available for use.
  • Tennis ball machine will be back in service.

One of the other items is that the Board meeting was open to residents. The Board was very excited to see residents in person again and we hope to continue that process, so please come and attend the monthly meetings.

Please note that the Board voted to remove the emergency rule that was in effect and is working on a new and improved waiver that will be narrow in scope and protect all parties involved. The waiver is posted for 28 day comment here: www.scshca.com/proposed-revised-informed-consent-agreement-waiver/

Please submit your comments to rulechanges@scschca.com.

We appreciate your patience while we actively work to open as many activities within the State and County Guidelines.

Thank you,

Johnny Goodrum
Vice President

President’s Message: Waiver Questions 4/2/2021

Kim Fuller
President

Good afternoon residents,

Here are the frequently asked questions about the waiver and processing of the waiver. There has been some confusion from residents regarding the Clubs and Groups distributing waivers. We want to clarify the distribution of the waiver and who is going to process the collection of the waivers. We have changed this process after talking with some of the Clubs and Groups. It just did not seem efficient to have the Clubs and Groups process the waivers, so we are changing the process so the HOA will create a master list of everyone that signs a waiver so that residents don’t have to fill out more than one waiver.

We have also received some additional questions about the waiver. I will attempt to answer the most frequently asked questions, but if you have further questions please let us know.

Did I sign a waiver when I signed up on the reservation system? For those of you that have signed up on the Mind/Body Program to make reservations to use facilities like tennis, pickleball, bocce, pools, gym, etc., you have already signed a waiver. When you created an account on the reservation system, you signed a waiver as part of that process.

Since I have already signed a waiver by creating an account on the reservation system, do I still need to sign a new waiver? No. You do not need to sign a new waiver, but we recommend you do because the old waiver on the reservation system has more limitations for residents. By signing a new waiver, you gain more protections. So, signing a new waiver helps you, but you don’t have to sign a new one if you don’t want to and you may use all Common Area facilities.

What if I signed a waiver with my Club or Group before Covid, do I still need to sign a new waiver? Yes. The old waivers that Clubs and Groups distributed before Covid (before March of 2020), are no longer valid and will not work. You are required to fill out a new waiver before using Common Area facilities. The old waiver used before Covid has no provisions about Covid, so it no longer applies and is invalid.

Why are we asking for you to sign this waiver? The Board is trying to prevent the Association from being sued for frivolous claims. We want to protect all the assets of the HOA, which protects all residents, which in turns help to maintain property values. One affects the other. Waivers explain a person is responsible for their own actions and that there are risks to any activity. Each person must be responsible for those risks.

Waivers put in writing that residents and guests are responsible for their own actions and so they may not file a legal claim for damages when they are responsible for their own injuries. Without such waivers the HOA could be responsible for every accident and claim against the HOA even if the HOA was not responsible. This would lead to increased claims, increased costs to insurance companies and eventually our insurance rates would increase, or possibly insurance companies would not insure us because the risk is too great.

In the case of Covid, there is no insurance coverage for such a claim, so without a waiver each resident could possibly be subject to a special assessment if the claim for monetary damages against the HOA was significant.

How likely is this to happen? No one knows what amount of risk there is for a Covid claim at this time. All the insurance companies and attorneys can say is to describe our legal liability and explain the exposure if such a claim were filed. For such a claim we would have to pay for all defense costs and damages.

Why did we rewrite the waiver? After sending out the previous version last May, we received some legitimate concerns and comments about the existing waiver. After Board discussion and review, a new waiver was created taking into account all the comments and concerns.

How is this new version different from the previous one? There are three significant differences between the old waiver and the new waiver:

  1. The previous version did not allow a resident to file a claim against the HOA even if the HOA was at fault. This has been changed so a resident may file a claim against the HOA if the HOA is at fault.
  2. The previous version did not protect the Clubs, Groups, and their officers from a claim. The new version protects the Clubs, Groups, and volunteers so the HOA will protect them for such claims.
  3. The previous version made residents responsible for all actions of their guests including paying all damages and court costs for the HOA even if the HOA was responsible. New waiver states if the guest signs a waiver the homeowner will not be responsible for the liability claims against the HOA by their guests.

Why are we asking for this now? SCSH has had a waiver in place for certain activities since 2005. We are as eager as everyone else in our community to open our facilities and get back to “normal”. We anticipate that Riverside County will move to the Orange Tier in the next week or two (finger crossed!) and we can open indoor facilities to at least 25% capacity. That means that Clubs and Groups can meet in the clubhouses, and we all can once again enjoy our beautiful facilities. We need to have the waivers signed by each resident so you may use the Clubhouses once we open.

Did the Board implement emergency rules to get waivers now? Yes. To put this in place right away so we can open facilities once the State gives us permission, the Board implemented two emergency rules. This is allowed under State Law. The two new rules are:

  1. Informed Consent – Release and Waiver: All Residents and Guests eighteen (18) years of age or older (and the parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) of Guests under eighteen (18) years of age) are required to sign an Informed Consent, Release and Waiver before using the common area facilities; the Association’s, Chartered Club’s, and Resident Group’s equipment; or participating in an Association sponsored activity.
  2. The HOA may implement the new waiver approved by the Board.

When must the waivers be signed? All residents and guests are now required to sign a waiver before using Common area facilities. By implementing this now the HOA can process the waivers of all residents so that each person will then be able to access the Clubhouses once we open. Hopefully, that will be within a couple of weeks.

May the HOA deny access to our facilities if residents have not signed a waiver? Yes. According to CC&R’s and By-laws, residents do not have an unrestricted right to use Common Area facilities. The Board may put into place rules for access. CC&R’s and By-laws also allow for suspension of Common Area privileges if the rules are not followed.

How are you going to get every resident to sign a waiver? We understand that we might not get a waiver on every resident for every part of the Common Area property. But that does not mean we should not have waivers on as many residents as possible to best protect the assets of the HOA. No system is perfect, this we understand, and people will get through the cracks, but the Board believes the most responsible approach is to get as many waivers as possible before residents begin using the facilities again as we open.

We will ask all new residents to sign a waiver when they process through the HOA office to get their transponders and/or at New Member Orientation.

Club and Group members will be asked to sign a waiver through their clubs.

We will not reach everyone as we have many residents that do not use any of our facilities.

Do I have to sign a waiver for every club where I am a member? No. The good news is in the new process there will be one centralized database that tracks who has signed and who has not signed a waiver. No need to sign one for every club every year. Once you sign one waiver you are “good to go” for the future.

If have additional questions: Please email the Board or contact Tyler Ingle (tyler.ingle@associa.us) or Vanessa Ayon (vanessa.ayon@associa.us) with your questions.

We all want to wish you a safe and happy holiday weekend.

Take care.

Kim Fuller
President

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #276

Kim Fuller
President

 

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast276

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


Good morning residents,

As we begin the opening process, the Board has been busy working on the best ways for us to meet the new opening guidelines. Because our insurance does not cover Covid-19 Claims, we first addressed the waiver issue.

Waivers:

As I explained in the past, the Board may require a waiver to use Common area facilities. Current rules only allow for waivers if using the fitness center or outdoor activities, but we need a waiver for all activities, so we need to implement emergency rules in order to make this happen. The Board’s concern as we open indoor activities for all the Clubs and Groups, is that we need waivers for everyone because we have no insurance against a Covid Claim. To protect the HOA against such a claim the Board has revised the waiver to include protection against such a Covid claim.

There was concern about the past waiver for these basic reasons:

  1. What if the HOA was responsible for the damages or injury? The past waiver gave no exception for this. The new waiver has language to remove this concern.
  2. There was no language in the old waiver to protect all Clubs and Groups of the HOA. The new waiver now has protection for all Clubs and Groups of the HOA.
  3. Responsibility for liability of guests by homeowner. Old waiver required homeowner to defend the HOA against lawsuits and to pay all court damages of their guests claims against the HOA. New waiver states if the guest signs a waiver the homeowner will not be responsible for the liability claims against the HOA for their guests.

Please keep in mind that according to the CC&R’s and By-laws homeowners are responsible for any property damage done by a guest. Homeowners are also responsible for any traffic violations committed by a guest. The waiver has nothing to do with these existing rules that are currently in place.

Why a waiver? Simply put waivers put in writing that residents and guests are responsible for their own actions and so they may not file a legal claim for damages. Without such waivers the HOA would be responsible for every accident and claim against the HOA. This would lead to increased claims, increased costs to insurance companies and eventually our rates would increase, or possible insurance companies would not insure us because the risk is too great.

Insurance is for the unexpected and not for the controllable daily acts. Insurance companies do not like businesses that are not proactive in controlling events to help reduce frivolous claims. This not only means taking actions to always ensure safety, but it also includes waivers to explain to residents in legal terms they are responsible for their own actions so they will not sue the HOA just because an accident occurred on HOA property.

The Board is trying to prevent the Association from being sued for frivolous claims. We want to protect all the assets of the HOA, which protects all residents, including their property values. Waivers help to ensure people understand they are responsible for their own actions and that there are risks to any activity. Each person must be responsible for those risks. Given we have no insurance against a Covid claim, it is imperative that we have signed waivers before a person uses the facilities so that we protect all the assets of the HOA. Residents need to take responsibility for any actions that occur because of Covid, only in this way can we protect the HOA from claims which could lead to a special assessment of every resident.

To put this in place right away so we can open facilities once the State gives us permission, the Board implemented two emergency rules:

  1. Informed Consent – Release and Waiver: All Residents and Guests eighteen (18) years of age or older (and the parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) of Guests under eighteen (18) years of age) are required to sign an Informed Consent, Release and Waiver before using the common area facilities; the Association’s, Chartered Club’s, and Resident Group’s equipment; or participating in an Association sponsored activity.
  2. The HOA may implement the new waiver approved by the Board.

All residents and guests are now required to sign a waiver before using Common area facilities. By implementing this now the HOA can process the waivers of all residents so that each person will then be able to access the Clubhouses once we open. Hopefully, that will be within a couple of weeks.

Staff will be sending out the new waivers by tomorrow to each Club and Group. Please sign and get them back as soon as possible so that you are then able to participate in any activity as we open the facilities. The Board also recommends that if you have already signed the old waiver, you should sign the new waiver because the new waiver gives each resident more protection.

Opening Guidelines:

As a result of the new State Guidelines, the Board has implemented new guidelines for the opening of certain activities which are now allowed by the State and County.

Please understand that the exceptions are not always consistent. Some activities are open while others are not, for example, the gym may open indoors but the indoor pool is closed.

Indoor gatherings are now allowed for up to 3 households. This means your guests may stay overnight.

Gatherings: With the lifting of the Regional Stay at Home Order, new gathering rules are in place. Gatherings of up to 3 households are now allowed indoors or outdoors. This means residents and/or visitors from outside the HOA may visit your home.

Ice/Water Machines: Water and Ice Machines have been turned back on for outdoor use. Indoor water fountains are still off.

Masks: Masks are required for all indoor activities as we open. Masks are not required outdoors as long as 6’ social distancing can be maintained.

Waivers are required for all residents and guests before using facilities.

Guests: Guests are not allowed for indoor activities. Guests are allowed for outdoor activities. The one exception is guests are allowed at Shadows.

Guest on Streets: Guests are allowed to use the streets and North Channel area. Residents may walk with children, grandchildren, or friends on the streets and/or North Channel area. Visitors may bike on the streets and ride in golf carts but age restrictions on who can drive a golf cart still apply. Keep in mind the use of skateboards and scooters (or motorized skateboards and scooters) continues to be strictly prohibited within SCSHCA streets, parking lots and common areas.

Putting Course: Guests are allowed to use the Putting Course behind the Montecito Clubhouse. Reservations are not required for the Putting Course.

Library: The library is open for use from 9 am to 4 pm daily. It is limited to four people at a time. If someone is waiting time is limited to 15 minutes. This is for residents only, so guests are not allowed. Reservations are not required to use the library.

Golf: No changes, but water has been turned back on.

South Side Driving Range: The South Side of the driving range is still closed, although the putting and chipping areas remain open.

Indoor pool is still closed.

Santa Rosa Pool

  • Reservations are strongly recommended to be sure there is space available. Because of occupancy limits it is not likely space will be available without a reservation.
    • If no reservation, resident and/or guests must check in at the desk.
  • Only Residents/guests with a reservation, or who have checked-in, may use the pool and or furniture and only during their reservation time.
  • Patio Furniture to be returned to pool deck.
    • Furniture must be cleaned at least once per day.
  • Guests are allowed (during regular guest hours).
  • Reservations for more than one person may be made by phone.
  • Residents/guests may use the pool/furniture during their reservation time only.
  • Beginning April 5, 2021, pool hours will be extended until 8 PM.

Montecito Outdoor Pool

  • Reservations are strongly recommended to be sure there is space available. Because of occupancy limits it is not likely space will be available without a reservation.
    • If no reservation, resident and/or guests must check in at the desk.
  • Only Residents/guests with a reservation, or who have checked-in, may use the pool and or furniture and only during their reservation time.
  • Patio Furniture to be returned to pool deck.
    • Furniture must be cleaned at least once per day.
  • Guests are allowed (during regular guest hours).
  • Reservations for more than one person may be made by phone.
  • Residents/guests may use the pool/furniture during their reservation time only.
  • Beginning April 5, 2021, pool hours will be extended until 8 PM.

Pickleball/Tennis Courts/Bocce Courts

  • Pre-pandemic reservation rules are in place.
  • Reservations are recommended but not required.
    • If no reservation, resident must check in at the desk.
  • Guests are allowed (during regular guest hours).
  • Guests are required to check in before play.
  • Residents may extend their reservation if available when their reservation ends.
  • All bocce courts will be open.
  • All high touch areas will be cleaned at least once per day.

Santa Rosa Patio

  • Seating area will be open.
    • All furniture will be cleaned at least once per day.

Dog Parks:

  • Reservations are not required.
  • Water will be turned on.
    • Water spigots will be cleaned at least once per day.
  • Furniture will be returned to the dog parks.
    • Furniture will be cleaned at least once per day.
  • Masks required if social distancing cannot be maintained.

Fitness Centers

  • Reservations are recommended but not required.
    • If no reservation, resident must check in at the desk.
  • Residents may use the fitness center for 55 minutes.
  • Residents may extend their reservation if available when their reservation ends (must inform desk staff).
  • All fitness equipment must be cleaned at least once per day.
  • Beginning April 5, Fitness center hours will be extended until 8 PM.
  • Guests are not allowed at this time.
  • Residents, please clean each machine before and after use.

Capacity for the Gym: The new guidelines permit the opening of the gym with 10% capacity. Here are the operating procedures.

The gyms will be open, and reservations are strongly recommended given capacity limits:

  • Montecito - 13 people
  • Santa Rosa - 9 people

Face Masks and Social Distancing-Face Masks are required while indoors no matter what activity. Social distancing is always required.

Reservations-Each reservation will be for 55 minutes and you are limited to one reservation per day. You may stay after your reservation if space is available. Check with the desk after your first reservation time is up.

Arrival-You may arrive at your reservation time.

Departure-You must leave on time.

Temperature-Your temperature will be taken upon arrival. If it exceeds 100.0 you will not be permitted to enter or workout.

Waivers-You must sign a new waiver. The new waivers are required because of Covid. People using the online reservation system have already filled out the waiver, but residents that made a phone-in reservation need to sign the waiver. Please understand that it may take a few minutes to sign the waiver the first time you arrive.

Gym Hours Beginning 4/5/2021:

  • Monday-Friday 6 AM - 8 PM
  • Saturday/Sunday 7:30 AM - 8 PM

Special Note regarding small equipment-All small equipment has been removed. The County order makes cleaning of small, shared equipment difficult to manage so we have removed the equipment.

Restrictions-By County order-the following will not be available Indoors: Lockers, water, showers, gatherings, chairs, and tables.

Resident ID Cards: Resident ID cards will be required to use the gym. If you don’t have one, make an appointment with the HOA office for a new card.

No Guests for the gym at this time.

Fitness Classes: Fitness classes will be moved indoors at the Montecito Fitness Center and Santa Rosa Clubhouse. There will be a few outdoor classes in the next three weeks. Please contact the fitness department with any questions.

Shadows Re-opening for Indoor and Outdoor dining:

  • Delivery will end on 3/31/21.
  • Guests are allowed.
  • Reservations are recommended but not required.
  • 8 people per table maximum.
  • No changing of tables even if a seat is available at another table.
  • Reservations with the number of people may not change when you arrive at the restaurant.
  • Temperatures will be checked upon entry and if temp exceeds 100.0 you may not enter.
  • Masks required upon entering building.
  • Masks required to walk to table.
  • You may take your mask off once seated.
  • You need a mask when leaving the table for any reason, including going to the restroom.
  • Indoor Capacity is 24 people.
  • Limited Menu-Not the same as before.

The Board wishes you a safe and healthy week as we slowly move to reopen activities here at Sun City Shadow Hills.

Kim Fuller
President

President’s Report – April 2021

As published in The View, April 2021:

Kim Fuller
President

VOTE, VOTE, VOTE, PLEASE VOTE!

The HOA annual meeting will be on April 6, 2021. I know we are repeating this information, but we need everyone to vote. There are only a few days left, so please complete your ballot and put it in one of the ballot boxes in either the Montecito or Santa Rosa Clubhouses. In addition to the Board election, there is one CC&R change and one Bylaw change on the ballot. All ballots must be in before April 6.

The CC&R change that is on the ballot is in response to a new State law, California AB3182, that went into effect on January 1, 2021. Last month I described this new law, which changes the minimum rental period to less than 90 days. Our CC&Rs currently state that the minimum rental period is 90 days. Our HOA is required to follow the new State law even though the CC&Rs say something different so, effective January 1, 2021, our HOA must allow rentals for 31 days or more, not 90.

The new law requires us to change our CC&Rs to conform to the new State provisions. Hopefully, we can get enough ballots in favor of the change but, even if we do not, we will still be required to enforce the new law no matter what our CC&Rs state. Unfortunately, we are not allowed simply to change the wording in our CC&Rs; our residents must vote in the change.

The other provision the Board presented is to change Bylaw Section 4.6.4, Balloting Time Requirements. Our current provision limits the time we can request ballots to 90 days. We are proposing removal of the 90-day limit so the HOA can still request ballots from those who have not voted after 90 days. The goal is to encourage more homeowners to participate and vote by giving the HOA more time to collect ballots. This change does not affect how many affirmative votes it takes to change the CC&Rs or Bylaws. It will still take 51% of all homeowners to make any change. This just allows the HOA additional time to collect more ballots.

There are also four candidates running for two positions on the Board. Linda Aasen and Kim Fuller are running for re-election, in addition to two new candidates, John MacDonnell and Moira MacLeod‑Foster. Please be sure to get your ballots in as soon as possible for the Annual meeting on April 6.

Better days are coming, so don’t forget, “it doesn’t get any better than this.”

Contact the author at kim.fuller@scshca.com.

President’s Message: Current Guidelines 3/23/2021

Kim Fuller
President

Good Morning Residents.

As a result of the new State Guidelines, the Board has implemented new guidelines for the opening of certain activities which is now allowed by the State and County.

Please understand that the exceptions are not always consistent. Some activities are open while others are not, for example, the gym may open indoors but the indoor pool is closed.

Indoor gatherings are now allowed for up to 3 households.

Gatherings: With the lifting of the Regional Stay at Home Order, new gathering rules are in place. Gatherings of up to 3 households are now allowed indoors or outdoors. This means residents and/or visitors from outside the HOA may visit your home.

Curfew: The Curfew of 10 pm to 5 am is no longer in effect.

Guest on Streets: Guests are allowed to use the streets and North Channel area. Residents may now walk with children, grandchildren, or friends on the streets and/or North Channel area. Visitors may bike on the streets and ride in golf carts but age restrictions on who can drive a golf cart still apply. Keep in mind the use of skateboards and scooters (or motorized skateboards and scooters) is strictly prohibited within SCSHCA streets, parking lots and common areas.

Putting Course: Guests are now allowed to use the Putting Course behind the Montecito Clubhouse. Reservations are not required for the Putting Course.

Library: The library is open for use from 9 am to 4 pm daily but is closed on Sunday. It is limited to one person at a time or people from the same household. If someone is waiting time is limited to 15 minutes. This is for residents only, so guests are not allowed. Reservations are not required to use the library.

Courts and Pools: Tennis, Pickleball, Golf, Pools, and Bocce have no changes. Outside play or visitors are allowed for golf, but visitors are not allowed for Tennis, Pickleball, Pools, or Bocce. Reservations are required to use any of these activities.

Dog Parks: There are no changes for the Dog Parks.

South Side Driving Range: The South Side of the driving range is still closed.

Masks: Remember that masks are still required at all times if 6’ social distancing cannot be maintained.

New! Gym is Open:

Capacity- The new guidelines permit the opening of the gym with 10% capacity. Here are the operating procedures.

The gyms will be open on a reservation-only basis with the following capacity limits:

Montecito-13 people

Santa Rosa-9 people

Face Masks and Social Distancing-Face Masks are required while indoors no matter what activity. Social distancing will also be required at all times.

Reservations-Each reservation will be for 45 minutes and you are limited to one reservation per day.

Arrival-You may arrive 5 minutes before your reservation time.

Departure-You must leave on time.

Temperature-Your temperature will be taken upon arrival. If it exceeds 100.0 you will not be permitted to enter or workout.

Waivers-You must sign a new waiver. The new waivers are required because of Covid. People using the online reservation system have already filled out the waiver, but residents that made a phone-in reservation need to sign the waiver. Please understand that it may take a few minutes to sign the waiver the first time you arrive and be patient.

Gym Hours:

Monday-Friday 6 AM-6 PM

Saturday/Sunday 7:30 AM-4:30 PM

Special Note regarding small equipment-All small equipment has been removed. The County order makes cleaning of small, shared equipment difficult to manage so we have removed the equipment.

Restrictions-By County order-the following will not be available: Lockers, water, showers, gatherings, chairs, and tables.

Resident ID Cards: Resident ID cards will be required to use the gym. If you don’t have one, make an appointment with the HOA office for a new card.

No Guests.

Fitness Classes: Fitness classes will be moved indoors at the Montecito Fitness Center and Santa Rosa Clubhouse.  Please note: there will be a few outdoor classes in the next three weeks. Please contact the fitness department with any questions.

Shadows Re-opening for Indoor and Outdoor dining:

Takeout and Delivery will continue. Hours for outdoor dining: 10 AM-7 PM Every day.

Guidelines:

8 people per table maximum.

No guests.

No changing of tables even if a seat is available at another table.

Reservations with the number of people may not change when you arrive at the restaurant.

Advance Reservations Required: Residents only and residents must show their Resident ID cards upon entry or a picture ID card with address like a Driver’s License.

No Public Access.

Temperatures will be checked upon entry and if temp exceeds 100.0 you may not enter.

Masks required upon entering building.

Masks required to walk to table.

You may take your mask off once seated.

You need a mask when leaving the table for any reason, including going to the restroom.

Indoor Capacity is 24 people.

Limited Menu-Not the same as before.

The Board wishes you a safe and healthy week as we slowly move to reopen activities here at Sun City Shadow Hills.

Kim Fuller
President

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #275

Kim Fuller
President

 

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast275

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


 

The Big Secret Is No Longer a Secret

BOR - Bureau of Reclamation. This is Federal Government.

BOR owns the land alongside the canal which goes through part of the golf course driving range, hole #17, and hole #16 on the South course. So, all this land is owned by the BOR, the Federal Government.

Location map regarding the BOR License is attached. Location map of the 5 acres near phase 3 dog park is attached.

The areas marked in lighter green on the attached BOR map are the approximate boundaries of the land owned by the BOR and subject to the license agreement.

From a “high level” summary, area under license agreement is:

  • About 10% of hole 16, south course
  • About 80% of hole 17, south course
  • About 30% of the driving range
  • Portion of the storage areas next to the maintenance facilities

Pulte leased this land to develop SCSH back in 2004.

Original lease was for 25 years and a 25 year option at a cost of $80,000 per year. That price was lowered to $70,000 per year after a few years. Pulte was responsible for making all yearly payments.

Pulte’s goal was to buy the land from the BOR and give it to the HOA rather than paying yearly lease fees to the BOR.

The Big Secret was not having anyone else buy this land, so all information was kept confidential in order to protect the best interest of the HOA. If someone else were to buy this land the HOA could be held hostage for a large yearly payment or else the HOA would have to vacate the land. This would mean part of hole #16, most of hole #17 might be gone and a good portion of the driving range would be unusable. So, all past Boards would not discuss this lease publicly in order to protect the HOA interest of keeping the land within HOA control.

Over the years negotiations between Pulte and the BOR was slow at trying to buy the land from the BOR so the HOA could take permanent title. In the end the BOR said they would not sell directly to Pulte or the HOA because it did not follow their procedures. The only possible sale process was to go out to public auction. This idea had very high risk of a third party buying the land and then charging the HOA a high yearly fee to use the land. So, the HOA did not want to go through the public auction process. It was also not recommended by the BOR if we wanted to protect our interest.

Alternatives were discussed and the option of a new lease between the HOA and the BOR became the best alternative to protect the land use for the HOA and to protect the yearly lease amount. Given newer BOR descriptions of land use for this purpose, the yearly lease fee would be $2,637 per year, not $70,000. The lease would be for 25 years with a 25 year option. Payments would be made 5 years in advance. So, every 5 years we make a payment for the next 5 years.

Doing a lease would avoid a public auction where the HOA might not be the eventual owner of the land.

The negotiation on this transaction began in 2018, one year after I was elected and has been ongoing ever since. Since Pulte was responsible for making the $70,000/year payment the HOA’s concern was making sure the land was controlled by the HOA for years into the future, and at a reasonable rate. Naturally if the payment for the HOA was $70,000 per year, we would not sign a new lease but would rather have Pulte make such payments for as long as possible (25 years). Since the lease started in 2005 Pulte would have 9 more years of payments saving the HOA $630,000. As you can see it gets complicated.

Clearly Pulte wanted out of the current lease and the HOA wanted control for more than 9 years. The negotiation was to try and reach a outcome both Pulte and the HOA would like. Pulte offered money for the yearly payment for 25 years. It would be about a $50,000 to $60,000 payment and the HOA would use that over the years to make payments on the 25 year lease given the lease would start at $2,637/year. The priority for the HOA was to gain control over the land at a reasonable rate for a long period of time. We did not want to have to begin making payments of $70,000 per year starting in 10 years.

Here is where more fun comes into play with negotiations. Pulte wants out of a lease, and the Board knows about a 5 acre parcel owned by Pulte along the backside of the Phase 3 dog park and maintenance area. This is 5 acres on the corner of Madison and Avenue 38. The Board wanted to own that 5 acres more than having a $50,000 payment. Given the lease amount of $2,637/year, the Board’s position was the 5 acre parcel would have more value to the HOA for potential possible future use.

Two parts of the negotiation:

  1. 25 year lease at a reasonable rate. That we were going to get from the BOR.
  2. For Pulte to be released from the current lease agreement would they be willing to give us the 5 acre parcel.

The negotiation led to an agreement that Pulte would sign over the 5 acre parcel and the HOA would sign a new lease with the BOR. This is an example where both parties move forward to compromise on each getting something of value to benefit both sides. Pulte ended a $70,000/year lease and the HOA gained control over the BOR land for 50 years and acquired a 5 acre parcel of land in addition.

Through this process we needed to resolve some issues:

  1. Can the HOA go into a 25 year lease without resident approval? Example: Frontier needed a resident vote for a 5 year contract. Governing documents only allow for 1 year contracts other than a few exceptions. If we needed resident approval and the negotiation became public, it could harm the negotiation if third parties tried to bid on the proposal. HOA might have to pay more money.
  2. Can the HOA annex the land without HOA resident approval? Again, another element which might cause the negotiation to go public and compromise the effort to protect the interest of the HOA.

Fortunately, after legal review, our governing documents allowed for the 25 year lease with the BOR by a vote of the Board and we may also annex the 5 acres by a vote of the Board. Pulte’s legal team along with attorneys from the HOA (one being a land use attorney) collaborated to determine we were following all legal requirements to make the transaction possible.

This negotiation is now over, we closed escrow last week, so we have signed a new 25 year lease for the land at $2,637/year and we own the 5 acre parcel at the end of phase 3 by the dog park and maintenance area. It was actually 2 parcels totaling 5 acres.

Where do we go from here? What do we do with the 5 acres? Great Question.

Board will need to proceed with a process to determine what to do with the land. Currently, the Board’s intention is to form a committee to investigate all possible uses of the 5 acres to then make a recommendation to the Board. This will take time. The committee will need to reach out to residents to gather any and all ideas on what should be done with the land, what is possible, what are the possible costs of development, and then recommend to the Board a plan to move forward. These kinds of plans take time. First step will be to appoint the committee to begin the process. If you are interested on being on this committee (let’s call it the ‘5 Acre Land Committee), please fill out the application form from the HOA office to apply to be on this committee.

After the Board election, whatever Board is in place, they will be able to then proceed with the process given their priorities. I would like to think surveys will need to be done to gather resident input. It would be great to get some members on the committee that have had some development experience. I would also think Town Hall meetings will be needed to go over all the information just like we did with the Frontier plans. Please don’t think such a process happens in a short period of time. The investigation of ideas and research alone could easily take more than a year. Investigation and cost projections for design and planning for all approvals will take another year. Plans and specs will take another year and the permit process can take another year. Be aware this process takes time if done right, but the final outcome can be an improvement for the HOA which all residents will hopefully gain benefit.

So, the big secret is no longer a big secret and all the past Board members can now speak about the BOR which has been one of the closely guarded secrets of the HOA for 15 years.

If you have questions, please let me know.

Kim Fuller
President

Presidents Message: Overview of Podcast #269

Kim Fuller
President

 

Audio may be found at: www.scshca.com/podcast269

Below is a synopsis of this episode.


 

Waivers and Rules

Short version:

  1. The HOA may require waivers.
  2. Current rules require waivers only for fitness center/outdoor sports activities.
  3. Current rules do not require waivers for Clubs/Groups.
  4. Owners are responsible for their guests even without a waiver.
  5. Committee of 4 lawyers (I Board member, 1 member from the FAC, and two from the law firm representing the HOA) disagrees with Bob Israel’s assumptions and conclusions.
  6. Board will evaluate possible new rule about Waivers for Clubs/Groups.
  7. Board will be distributing new waiver for resident comment.
  8. Process for new waiver will take about 60 days.
  9. If you sign a waiver you do not become the insurer of the HOA.

Why Waivers: The Board is trying to prevent the Association from being sued for frivolous claims. We want to protect all the assets of the HOA, which protects all residents, which in turns help to maintain property values. One affects the other. Waivers explain a person is responsible for their own actions and that there are risks to any activity. Each person must be responsible for those risks.

Mr. Israel claims: The Board is exceeding its authority by requiring members to sign an informed consent document (Waiver). We disagree, this is not true.

Section 3.6.1 of the CC&Rs states ….the Association shall have the responsibility of owning, managing, and maintaining the Common Areas…

Section 3.7 of the CC&Rs gives the Board rule-making authority. The Board may enact and amend rules which may concern matters pertaining to the use of the Common Area and Common Facilities . . .”

Association’s original rules and regulations (from 2005) have contained a provision which requires all Residents and Guests eighteen years of age and older are to sign a Waiver before participating in fitness center/outdoor sports activities.

Signing a Waiver does not make you the insurer of the HOA. The four attorneys reviewing Mr. Israel’s comments do not know why he made such a statement.

Claims and the threat of claims will increase insurance rates as we have already experienced. Mr. Israel will remember when he was on the Board, because of threats of a lawsuit against the HOA, that list of lawsuit threats increased our insurance rate by $20,000 in one year. Claims matter, so everything we can do for risk and claims management will help all of us in lower insurance rates. I have said on many occasions please don’t threaten a lawsuit, it can increase our insurance rates.

 

CC&R’s:

  1. Mr. Israel cites 2.4 Rights of Owners in Common Area: The interest to use Common Areas goes with the lot. The Owner can’t separately sell those interests. That interest stays with ownership in the lot. This does not mean owners have unrestricted rights to common areas whenever they like. Example: hours of operations.
  2. Mr. Israel cites 2.5 Owners' Nonexclusive Easements of Enjoyment. Every Owner shall have a nonexclusive right and easement of enjoyment in and to the Common Area. Israel left off ‘subject to the following provisions’: Residents do not have unrestricted rights to use Common Areas.
  3. 2.5.1 Right of Association to Regulate Common Area Uses. Rules about guests, membership cards, RV’s, who qualifies to use facilities, etc.
  4. 2.5.2 Right of Association to Adopt Rules. This section allows for rules for use of Common areas. This section allows the Association to adopt Community Rules about the use of Common Areas by a majority vote of the Board. See 3.7.
  5. 3.7 Community Rules. Allows for rules of Common Area by majority vote of the Board. The Community Rules may concern (i) matters pertaining to use of the Common Area and Common Facilities. Example of rules: Golf, dress code. Swimming, reservation. No Skateboarding on the tennis courts. Lots of rules for use of Common areas. Rules are implemented by due process and 28 day resident comment before Rules can be imposed.
  6. 13.6.1 Rights and Remedies of the Association (Governing Document Enforcement). ..the Board, may enforce the obligations of each Owner to obey such Rules,
  7. Mr. Israel cites 13.6.4 (a) Limitations of Disciplinary Rights. Israel quotes this as a basis an owner has access to Common Areas. This section does not apply to Common Areas at all. It says The Association shall have no power to cause a forfeiture of an Owner's right to the full use and enjoyment of his or her Lot…. So, his reliance on Section 13.6.4 is misplaced. This section applies to actions on the homeowner’s private lot and does not have any application for the use of Common Areas.
  8. Mr. Israel cites 13.6.4 (c) Hearings and Summary Enforcement Rights. This section states the enforcement hearing process in applying fines and suspension. The HOA may suspend privileges and impose fines. Explains the process and what is allowed.

 

By-laws Article 6, 6.1, 6.3, 6.4:

ARTICLE 6 - MEMBERSHIP RIGHTS

  1. 6.1 Use and Enjoyment of Common Areas by Members and Family. Use of Common Area is subject to Association rules and regulations regarding occupancy and subject to 6.4. It does not state residents have unrestricted access.
  2. 6.3 Invitees and Guests. Guests may use Common areas but are subject to all rules regarding guests. Again, no unrestricted access.
  3. 6.4 Association Rules and Regulations. The right of any person to use and enjoy the Common Areas and Common Facilities shall at all times be subject to the rules, ……and regulations as promulgated by the Board.

This section also explains the HOA cannot cause an absolute forfeiture of Common area use. In other words, the HOA cannot take Common Area rights away for all time. The HOA may suspend use once due process is followed, but it cannot be permanent.

 

Rules and Regulations:

4.13.3

Informed Consent – Release and Waiver: All Residents and Guests eighteen (18) years of age and older are required to sign an Informed Consent, Release and Waiver before participating in fitness center/outdoor sports activities.

4.13.8

Cardiovascular and Strength Training Areas:…………. Neither the Association nor its employees shall be responsible for injuries or accidents. All Residents and Guests eighteen (18) years of age and older must sign an Informed Consent, Release and Waiver before participating in any fitness center activity.

 

Guests:

Sections 4.4.1(a) and 7.3.1 of the CC&Rs provides Owners are financially responsible for their guests. Even if we don’t have a waiver, all Owners are responsible for their guests.

Rule 2.4 of the Association’s rules and regulations; Resident is responsible for the behavior and actions of their invited Guests.

Mr. Israel supports a waiver for certain activities if done in a certain way. Hopefully after a new waiver is presented most residents will agree to its implementation. We will see after the 28 day comments period. This will take a little time, about 60 days.

 

So where do we go from here:

Given these two rules I do not see how at this time the HOA can require a waiver for Clubhouse use, for Clubs or Groups, or any other activity outside the listed rules. History: Waivers have been used since 2005. First communication of waivers for Clubs and Groups I found in 2014. I don’t see anywhere where they added the rules to require a waiver for other activities. If we are going to require Clubs and Groups to sign a waiver, we must first have a rule in place to require that process. For now, I have instructed staff the waivers are not required for Clubs and Groups, so if you are a member of a Club or Group you don’t have to fill out the waiver. You may if you like, but there is no current requirement. If the Board wants to add such a rule it will need to go before the residents for 28 day comment. That issue will be discussed at the next Board meeting. This will take some time to do it right, and we all know how long lawyers take.

Another question came up in review of the documents, does a change to the waiver require 28 day comment by the residents? We currently have a rule about requiring a waiver for certain activities. So, does a change in the waiver also require 28 day comment. Grey area for which we are not sure, but the Board has already said they we will put out a new waiver for 28 day comment so everyone will be able to respond.

As I stated at the last Board meeting, we felt there were already many comments about the waiver that needed to be reviewed. Clubs/Groups need to be protected, and there needs to be more clarity on who is responsible based on fault. These concerns are being reviewed by the same four attorneys and hopefully by the next Board meeting we can have a new waiver for review.

In the meantime, Clubs/Groups do not need to sign a waiver. If you want to use the fitness facilities or outside activities a waiver is required which is already part of the rules. To sign up for such activities requires a reservation and that process is mostly in place so when you sign up to make a reservation you will be automatically agreeing to the waiver terms.

We will have more information by the next Board meeting and hopefully a new draft of the Waiver for everyone’s review.

Kim Fuller
President