As we get to the end of another year I thought it would be helpful to think back on what has been accomplished in our community over the past couple of years. Since 2014 there have been 9 different members serving on our SCSH HOA Board of Directors, in this 2 year period of time they have been able to accomplish the following for all residents in our community:
- Financials: In 2014 if you wanted to see the financials you had to contact the HOA office and request the documents and then pay for the hard copies you received. Thanks to Carole Bonds, who donated her skills as a web designer for free, we have a new website that now allows us to load all of the financial reports onto the website where residents can call them up at their leisure and review at no cost to them. Added to the items available are the full reserve report and the approved 2017 budget. We also have a new auditor to give all books a fresh review and insure that we are following all GAAP procedures in our processing of our financials. We have set up a system where we rotate who approves our invoices each month so that our treasurer approves each month but we rotate the other four directors to have fresh eyes looking at each monthly invoice. They are processed electronically so that directors can approve from wherever they may be at the time approval is needed. Our current FAC has been expanded to seven members, the chair is an active CPA, and one member is a retired CPA, along with an attorney who formerly worked for the IRS, a retired banker, a CEO and a financial analyst.
- Improvements to the community: In listening to the residents and after the appropriate advisory committees did a great job of researching and evaluating the projects the following improvements have been made to our community: a) 6 new pickleball courts, b) expanded HOA office which added an additional meeting room to our community, c) slurry procedure that is anticipated to last 10 years instead of 3, d) several turf reduction processes that resulted in water use reduction and rebates from the various water authorities (thank you LAC), e) new vendor access program which removed residents from being responsible for vendors coming to their homes (thank you SAC); f) new landscape company (HortTech) who has revamped our irrigation systems and upgraded our plants; g) established a new, comprehensive emergency command center to assist our community should we be separated from Indio due to a major emergency event, etc.
- Communication: To get information out to the residents the board members have worked with our advisory committees to create the following options: a) continuation of The View magazine, b) upgraded website, c) podcasts, d) smart phone app, e) email blasts, f) flyers in spinners in the clubhouses, g) monthly Meet a Board Member, h) Ask a Question on the website
- Safety improvements: Citation amounts were increased to $200 which has resulted in speeding and failure to stop citations being reduced from several hundred per month to less than 50 with most of them being issued to vendors in our vendor access program. We have enlarged the size of our stop signs in our community, we have added solar box dots on the crosswalk in front of the Montecito clubhouse (and will be adding them on SCB in front of the Santa Rosa as soon as SCB is slurried with the new slurry). The Emergency Preparedness Sub-committee is part of the safety committee and working under the SAC’s assistance to keep our community as prepared as possible for various emergencies.
- Food and Beverage: In 2014 Food and Beverage was being subsidized by over $300,000 a year. The board has changed operators of our Food and Beverage operations (this includes Montecito Café, Santa Rosa Bistro, Shadows Restaurant, and Golf Snack Bar). In July 2016 Troon Golf and F & B took over the contract and have started making huge improvements to the operations of all of our F & B programs.
- Golf: As a golf community our golf courses are very important to the values of all of our homes, whether as a resident you play golf or not. Toward the goal of making our golf course healthy and inviting for those that live on it as well as play it the operations was contracted with Troon Golf in July 2016. We are seeing improvements in the health of the course and the marketing efforts to increase our revenues through more play, especially the plans for the off season times.
Each year your Board of Directors, usually around June, review a 3 year strategic plan focusing on those items that need to be accomplished over the coming fiscal year (Jan-Dec). Those items the board agrees need to be worked on are then included in the next year’s budget, which is prepared September and October and mailed to residents in November each year.
In 2017 we have a huge project of updating our communities governing documents (CC&Rs and By-laws) and 51% of the residents have to vote YES for the new changes. Communicating the changes and incorporating feedback as much as possible will be a challenge for the board in 2017.
In a community of our size; 3450 homes, 47 miles of roads, miles of fencing, miles of common areas, numerous amenities to maintain there is always room for improvement. The board would like to hear your ideas on how to improve our community. All ideas are considered by our various advisory committees and the board, along with the benefit it will have for the majority of residents and the costs involved.
I hope all of you have a happy and healthy 2017.