Following is a summary of discussions and actions taken by the Board at the July 21st Board Meeting, the agenda for which may be accessed via the following link.
The following addresses some of the more salient points that transpired at the meeting. For a more complete understanding of what was discussed and acted upon, the reader is referred to the meeting audio/video recording, which may be found on the SOA Website (www.somersett.org) under the “SOA Board and Committees/The Board of Directors” page.
4. Committee Reports
4.a. Finance Committee – Reported the following financial summaries through May 2021:
- Operating cash – $1.0M
- Reserves – $9.1M
- Revenue – $2.7M and Expenses – $1.9M (Note: No comment on whether or not the $0.8M in revenue over expenses represent a net positive to the bottom line or expenses not yet accounted for)
- Association Debt – $4.15M
4.c. Facilities Committee – Made a recommendation that rather than renewing the BrightView Landscape contract (contract is up in September with a one year extension clause) that the Association instead solicit competitive bids. This based on dissatisfaction with BrightView’s performance and that the current contract is too open-ended to hold one’s feet to the fire. The Board approved the recommendation for soliciting competitive bids.
4.d. West Park Garden Committee – Reported that table umbrellas and potted flowers to attract pollinators have been installed. Also, that volunteers will soon be installing small critter fencing around the perimeter of Garden. (SU Note: The garden plots appear to be flourishing, readers are encouraged to check it out!).
A question was raised as to whether the large dog park was open, and if so, too many foxtail plants still exist to the detriment of users. Response being that the park is indeed open and that BrightView would be commissioned to “sweep” the area. It was also commented on that the City of Reno just did not have the resources for park improvements, hence the desire by the Board to have it turned over to the Association (at what cost one may ask?)
4.e. Community Events Committee – A comment on the success of the Auto show and to check the calendar for upcoming events.
SU Note: It appears that Committee reports are mostly being presented by the Board members who liaison with the Committees, rather than the Committee Chairpersons, often without any formal report being contained within the Board Meeting Packet. A deviation from past practice!
6. Unfinished Business Agenda Items:
6.a. Legal Updates – Nothing new to report on the Somersett Development Company and Preston Homes lawsuits.
6.b 1880 Dove Mountain – The Board President summarized the history associated with this ongoing issue. He advised that the solution has been re-engineered with a new proposal in the works, but that only one company has expressed any interest in doing the job.
6.c Update on Management Options Study – SOA Management Consultant Nancy Kerry provided a status report on progress to date. Rather than summarizing her comments here, the reader is referred to the attached updates, which are also available, along with all previous reports, on the SOA website (www.somersett.org) under the “Future of Management in Somersett” page link.
7. New Business Agenda Items
7.a. Guest Pass Discussion – After much discussion on the TCTC guest pass issue, the Board voted to reinstate the free four guest passes per household per season and to charter the Facilities Committee to address the other issues being raised and recommend a “Criteria” for guest pass usage moving forward.
7.b. Variance for Basketball Hoops in Driveway Discussion – The Board voted to extend the relaxation on use of basketball hoops in driveways (i.e. can be left out permanently) until October, and in the meantime to conduct an owner survey on criteria for their future use.
7.c. Review of Association Insurance Proposals – Individual vendor proposals being complied by an Insurance Brooker were not yet available and will be addressed at the next Board meeting.
7.d. Review of Management Services Proposals – One of the Management Options Study objectives was to obtain competitive quotes from a number of HOA Professional Management Companies. In response to the Association’s Request for Proposal, six companies submitted proposals along with sealed cost data. The proposal content was made available to the Board prior to the Board meeting, with the sealed quotes to being opened at the meeting The six companies submitting proposals were as follows:
- Associa Sierra North
- CamCO HOA management
- Eugene Burge Management Corporation
- First Service Residential
- Taylor Association Management
- The Management Trust
With respect to individual quotes, base management fees ranged from $5,700/month to $9300/month not including other fee structures. It was evident that the individual quotes could not be compared on an apples to apples basis and a more detailed analysis of the individual proposals would be required. In this context the SOA’s Management Consultant and Staff was chartered with generating a matrix of comparable features and fees to assist in the evaluation process. The intent being to narrow down the field, who will then be brought in for interviews and further investigation before deciding on the preferred vendor. A special Board meeting is scheduled for August 10th to provide some closure on the process. It should be noted that this vetting process does not mean that the Board has decided to employ a professional management company as opposed to internal management, that decision has yet to be made.
7.e Acceptance of Streets and Gates in Cliffs from Toll Brothers – Toll Brothers is requesting the SOA to accept turnover of the Gates and Streets (i.e., maintenance responsibility) within the Cliffs development. Basically to save them money, as is they are currently paying assessments to the Association on their unsold lots ($89 for Gates and Streets) while still maintaining them out of their own pocket (e.g., snow removal). However, given that the development is far from complete, they will indemnify the Association for any damage caused by their construction traffic. After much discussion on the merits of this request, the Board tabled action to review previous Toll Brothers requests, and their outcomes.
SU Comment – SU believes that action on Item 7.e. is a “no-brainer”, and that is to deny the request. Once the Association accepts maintenance responsibility in this context, any subsequent damage will most likely result in an argument over who caused what, with potential lawsuits. Other than being neighborly, there is no benefit to the Association here, only to Toll Bros, so why go down this perilous path?