President’s Report – August 2018

Good morning, and welcome to another beautiful day in paradise. So many things are happening that it is hard to know where to begin, but here goes…

The Board approved all the following items:

  • Installation of new carpet in the Santa Rosa Fitness Center.
  • Installation of new gravel/rock in some of the common areas.
  • Resurfacing of the tennis courts at the Montecito.
  • A process for the Travel Committee to pro- mote trips and resolve the insurance issue which will afford protection to the HOA while allowing residents to sign up for inter- national trips.
  • A recommendation from the Safety Commit- tee to update signage at the Phase I & II gates.
  • Purchase of a Roman Chair exercise device for the Montecito Fitness Center.
  • A “Code of Conduct” for all Committee and Board members, so now there is only one form for everyone.
  • A new company to do the Reserve Study, which should be completed by November.
  • Rollout of a new website on August 6, 2018.

The Board gave direction to the Landscape Committee to interview and recommend a landscape architect company to consult for ongoing landscape maintenance.

The HOA received a $125,000 check from Ceasar Larrach to repay money embezzled while he was employed at Sun City Shadow Hills. The Board received the final report from its own fraud examiner and, as a result, voted to end the investigation of the fraud case.

The Board has adopted a new philosophy of hiring consultants to write plans and specifications so that, when we go to bid, the contractors will for plans, specs, and information rather than depending on each contractor’s opinion of what and how something should be done. Without plans and specs, it is very difficult to compare proposals; and this leads to dramatic differences in price, methods of installation, and quality.

An example of this involved the bid on the gravel/rock installation, where bids ranged from $96,000 to $189,000. These prices vary way too much, which means different contractors are seeing the job differently. And that could mean the HOA will not get what it requested for the installation. Bids should be within 10 percent of each other most of the time if the plans and specs are accurate, so that everyone knows exactly what is going to be done and how much material will be installed in a certain way. After careful review and negotiations with the top two bidders, the final price for this project was $79,350.

We can also use a consulting engineer to supervise and inspect the work to be sure it is done correctly. Although we might spend a little more money in the beginning, this process helps to save the HOA much more money in the long run. We can see this result in the final price for the gravel/rock installation.

This philosophical change in how we bid and pick contractors will lead to a much more efficient system with better quality work. This process will help to ensure the HOA receives professional and high-quality work, which in the end will help to maintain everyone’s property values. It will also mean that we as residents will enjoy living here that much more.

So, with that in mind, I watch another beautiful sunset feeling grateful and content we are moving in the right direction. And I remind myself once more: it doesn’t get any better than this!

Kim Fuller