LETTER TO PAID EMPLOYEE MANAGER OF ASSOCIATION Here is the latest letter to the paid employee in charge of our subdivision:
September 23, 2011
TO: JOSEPH PELAYO
We are writing you since the Board Of Directors and you are neglecting your duties to us .
Specifically, this concerns the maintenance of the View Park Apparently you are getting little or no ongoing direction or supervision from the Board Of Directors including the Maintenance Committee. So, in writing here is the above request .
You are suppose to be maintaining the common property areas (land the Association owns) , not cleaning any private lots, especially those who aren't even paying their dues.
We will expect it done or hold you accountable for job responsibilities . Ignoring the above demand is not an option. Don't.
As far as excuses like not having the manpower or funds, simply hire an outside firm to get this View Park mess cleaned up.
We will correspond with you weekly from now on commenting on the conditions of our subdivision . We have requested that you have a maintenance plan but obviously that has been neglected. You must have plan to be successful!
You might be accountable to the Board Of Directors whether they give you direction or not, but , more important, you are accountable to us, the majority of homeowners.
Here are letters sent to our officers. We are giving them to you as a way of communicating what is being done and not done in this subdivision.
Letter July 4, 2011 to Secretary, Geraldine De Gorostiza
One of the secretary's major duties actually listed in our By-Laws: Section 7,
a. Keep the minutes of the meeting of the members of the Board, in one or more books provided for this purpose.
We demand that you do your job or delegate someone else to do it. Being secretary is a very important position. Written minutes of meetings will increase the effectiveness of the Board Of Directors. Without it, you will continue to be ineffective. You now know the important written duty expected of you.
Like working for pay, it is important to do your assigned duties. You have a moral and ethical responsibility to do so. We demand you do it. This is not a request. Doing nothing is not an option.
Here is a letter sent to the Association's Treasurer June 1, 2011
A homeowners association budget is a sound instrument to guide them through the coming fiscal year. We suggest you bring this important information up with the board. It's not an option, but a necessity to have an effective association management. It's not too late to develop a budget for the current year.
Attached is a sample spreadsheet in two different formats or go to http://lasterrazas.weebly.com/budget.html . You make for one year and divide it by 12 to have monthly reports. You have a paid accounting staff who hopefully has the knowledge necessary and/or can learn how to create the budget .
We suggest that you and your committee come up with a budget plan and submit it to the board for eventual approval.
We as homeowners of our association and are here to help you and the board of directors in positive way. It's to make this a more effective association. We are not negative, name-calling people. If you or the board doesn't want to use the enclosed information in any way, God help them. We all need to learn to keep an active and progressive minds and go forwards, not backwards.
Subdivision homeowners, along with its board of directors, must realize first and foremost, that a budget is a plan, not a prediction. There are situations that may arise that could not have been foreseen. To help defray additional costs to the association in the event of fire, flood or other emergency situations, two things can be done when budgeting for the coming year to help in the event of these surprises. The first is to build in contingency amounts and the second is to allow for association insurance deductibles that may be required to be paid by the condo association. This will help tremendously when an emergency situation occurs that was obviously not planned for.
Prepare an operating budget. There are several pieces of information required to begin a draft budget: , the current financials, the average of the past 6-18 months of the revenue and expenses and the contracts currently in place . If there are any upcoming projects approved by the board, those costs are needed also. The current year's budget is inserted in a spreadsheet followed by the averages year-to-date. Then the information on the next year's projections follows. The data needed for the estimates will come from various sources, such as the utility companies, the medical associations, the cost of living allowance (Consumer Price Index) for the area, the association insurance agent's projections for the renewal insurance premiums, the built in increases in contract prices and wage increases/promises for the association staff. Each line item should be carefully factored for the upcoming year based on the history of the expenses, the projected increases in cost, and a bit of room for mid-year adjustments. Once each line item is reviewed and a cost is estimated for the coming year, make the same review of the miscellaneous revenue sources.
The Treasurer should provide a "narrative" to accompany the budget. This narrative should contain an explanation of each and every line item, describing how the manager arrived at the number. The narrative is a crucial piece in the budget presentation to the board and the owners, because it preempts questions and focuses the board's attentions on the reality of the financial needs of the association.
Once the Operating Budget is set, the other major piece of the budget that must be considered is the reserve contribution. It is usually the largest figure and makes the most impact on what the fees will be in the coming year. It is recommended that a professional Reserve Study be done every 5 years (or more frequently if mandated by state statute of the association's governing documents). If only an analysis is done , remind the board that this list of components may not be inclusive and that there may be items that have been omitted or not considered as a capital expense for the reserves. Be sure there is a contingency fund built into the reserve study or analysis. Review each component and call the professionals to get cost estimates that are valid in today's market. Estimate the life of the component and if a project can be done sooner to save money or later due to the condition of the component, note that in the study and allow for those variances. Once you have reviewed each and every component and made the necessary adjustments, run the numbers. There are three numbers that are extracted from that study that must be transferred over to the budget. The first is the interest projected on the funds held in the reserve accounts. The second is the capital expenses for the year. The last number is the estimated contribution required each month to put into the condo reserve account in order to fully fund the condo reserves and ensure that adequate funds are available when the useful life of the capital component expires.
Once you have this information in the budget, the formulas work their magic and tell the board how much the maintenance fees will be in the coming fiscal year to meet the demands of the running the association. If there is no increase, the board manager have done a great job at estimating the year's revenue and expenses and little adjustment is needed. If there are increases, however, the next step is to go back and review your line items in the operating budget to see if cuts are possible. Then review the Reserve Study and see if there are projects noted to be done in the next year that could be deferred another year or two. See if it is possible to extend a large cost component into a two or three year time increment (for example, if you have a large complex and the painting is due, can the painting be done in two phases to help the cash flow?). Any changes in the Reserve Study will affect the contributions for the coming year and may be enough to get that increase down to a reasonable percentage.
Sometimes, however, the past decisions to limit the percentage of increase or not pass on any increase at all, will catch up to the association and a raise is required to meet the needs of the association, even to ensure that necessary services can be provided. In those cases, if the fee increase is too high, the board may wish to consider a loan or a special assessment. They should determine the impact of a 3-7 year loan payment on the association's cash flow, compared to the alternative of a special assessment. The board will need to weigh all of the options carefully. A loan may require approval of a majority if the owners, while some state statutes and governing condo documents may authorize the board or a less-than-majority vote of the members to approve a special assessments Be sure to communicate the reasoning for any budget increases in a detailed letter to the owners. If they can understand why the increase is necessary, it is easier for the owners to accept the new fees and pay them. If no explanation is given other than a boiler plate sentence, you may find an angry crowd at the next board meeting. Perhaps the budget committee should hold a few town hall meetings prior to the final budget being presented to the board for approval if the increase is projected to be significant. If the owners take part in the process, they may be helpful in passing on the information to their neighbors. The association's website is a great way to keep the community informed as well. Many owners access email regularly and this too can be a means of communicating news on the association's financial position and the fees required to operate in the next fiscal year.
The board has an obligation to give their best estimates when putting forth and adopting a budget for the association. The association is, after all, a business, and must be conducted as a business. It is tough to pay increased membership fees, but the board's obligation to the association is to make sure that there are funds available to pay the bills to keep the operation running smoothly. It is a tough job being on the board and making the decisions, but it can be very rewarding too. When the year is reviewed and the budget is nearly on target . . . now that is a feeling of accomplishment!
Follow up letter to Treasurer July 4, 2011
Here are two important duties which are you and your committee's resonsibilities: One of the Treasurer's major duties: d. Be responsible for keeping the financial records of the Association and the liquidation of any and all accounts, liabilities and obligations owing on dues from the Association. By-laws Section 1, c. The Financial Management committee, shall submit to the Board its Financial Report, analysis and recommend adjustments it may deem appropriate during the regular monthly meeting.
Again, you should have an annual plan given to the president giving him somewhat of direction.
In profitable businesses there is always a annual budget, financial plan. Why should we be an exception to being effective?
You have a moral, ethical and professional responsibility to do this assigned , important job to the best of your ability.
Letter to Ronald Hill, Maintenance Committee Chairman July 4, 2011
Your duties: By-laws, ARTICLE VII
b. Security and Safety Committee. The Security and Safety Committee shall take charge of, formulating and implementing house rules to safeguard the village. It shall take charge of maintaining peace and order.
You should have a annual plan for security. WE NEED IT!
Three suggestions for security guard duties ( should be in writing at posted at all times at the gates):
1. Open and closed the white barrier when cars are entering or leaving. Do not leave this barrier open unless there are vehicles entering or leaving. We'll say it again: The exit Ma-a needs to be extended 2 meters. SECURITY! 2. Rove three times a day at, as examples, 10 AM., 8 PM and 4 AM. There should be only one roving at one direction. Two at the same location is nonsense. At night they should shine their flashlights on the lights. (This is what Alsons used to do. Why not now? We are paying for first-class security and not getting it.) 3. One of the guards should be a supervisor and able to direct the guards what to do.
Here are suggestions for the Village Manger's duties which include the two important responsibilities of security and maintenance:
1. Supervise the the the Security Guard Supervisor and communicate with him directly that especially first 2 duties above are implemented daily. Make sure that the supervising security officer and the two gates have copies at all times of the house rules which are at http://lasterrazas.weebly.com/house-rules.html .
2, The Village Manager communicate on a daily basis as to the Maintenance Committee Chairman as duties completed. Duties should include the Village Manager assigning the maintenance workers each day from a developed annual plan such as maintaining the Ma-a Gate every two weeks and maintaining the roads, and all common areas daily not just once a year.(Having a annual, monthly and daily plan makes life so effective and easy.) Keep the fence circumference clean of rubbish (this in itself will take three workers one month to do). Then at the end of the month when the rubbish is cleaned , do it again . Easy.)
We suggest you work with the Maintenance Committee securing our subdivision. Clear the rubbish surrounding the fence perimeter would be a start and a must instead of us do it every month telling you. GOT TO HAVE A PLAN!
These duties correspond with the duties of the Security and Maintenance Committees.
Lastly, clean the View Park.
We have enclosed a map for immediate concern. We told you about it, but nothing has been done. There is also a picture .
WE ARE AT RISK!
All the information you need is here. Let's stop the monthly grievances from home owners about bad security and lack of maintenance. Start a plan now and follow it. Otherwise, chaos will prevail. Life is simple if you've got a plan.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Letter to July 4, 2011 Phillip Lewis, Maintenance Committee Chairman
Enclosed are your responsibilities as chairman of the Maintenance Committee in writing from the Deed Of Restrictions and By-Laws.From the Deed Of Restrictions 1. General Provision C2 .Except as may be herein otherwise specifically provided, the LTHAI shall maintain operate landscape and keep in good repair, as the case may be,
1. All portions of the Common Areas, Parks, Forests Reserve, Clubhouse and Recreation Center and improvements thereon, if any;
2. The entryway landscaping and entrance gate and guardhouse for the Subdivision,
3. The perimeter walls and/or fences serving the Subdivision;
4. All lighting facilities and equipment, if any, located within the Common Area;
From the by-laws
a. Environment and Maintenance Committee. The Environment and Maintenance Committee shall take charge of planning, coordination and actually operating the facilities and utilities of the Association. It shall take charge of the upkeep and repair of village facilities and services such as the road networks, drainage system including the interceptor canals and area drains, perimeter fences, electrical distribution system, telephone system, sewage treatment facilities, garbage disposal area, landscaped parks and playground, entrance gates and guardhouses, clubhouse, sports and recreation center. It shall form and organize groups to maintain cleanliness and and beauty in the village. Additional groups shall be formed as the need arises.
With this information , we suggest your committee becomes functional . You should have monthly report for the Board Of Directors if something things are done.
There should be monthly inspections which is your committee's responsibility. Have a committee member or the village manager or somebody do their job delegating to them.
Immediate needs we see now. The View Park. This park and others are your responsibility to maintain not once a year or once every three years but daily as well as the perimeter of the entire subdivision.
You must have an annual plan broken into daily ones. Only way to be effective.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Letter to sent to President July 4, 2011
One of president's duties: Article 6, Seciton IV of our by-laws:
c. Prepare, in consultation with the appropriate officers and committees, a yearly program of activities and submit an annual report of the operations of the Association to the members at the annual meeting, and to the Board of Directors such statements, reports, memorandum and accounts as may be requested by the latter; and Organize and supervise work groups among the members of the Association.
It's not too late to have program plan for this year which is half over. There has to be a plan of how much money to spend with a schedule of how to spend it. Without it, you have what you have now. Besides the finances, the plan should include a daily maintenance schedule plan. This is what successful profit-making businesses do. Why should we be an exception?