As most are probably aware, two Board of Director positions are up for election this year and we are in need of Candidates. Therefore, please give thoughtful consideration to take advantage of this opportunity to serve your community by declaring your candidacy for this very important position. If you choose to do so, candidates must complete the required Candidate Form and return by October 15th to the SOA office at The Club at Town Center (TCTC). Along with the required Form, Candidates may also include a one page “Statement” supporting their candidacy.
Candidate Forms have been made available through the Associations communication media and are also available at TCTC, the Aspen Lodge or by clicking on the following link:
Important dates associated with the election process are and follows:
October 15 – Deadline for submitting Candidate Forms
October 18 – Meet the Candidate Night at TCTC, 3:00 PM
October 19 – Meet the Candidate Night at Aspen Lodge, 5:30 PM
October 21 – Ballot package mailed to all owners (Ballots, Candidate Forms & Statements)
November 17 – Deadline for Ballot submittals
November 18 – Ballots counted at Annual Homeowner Meeting, 4:00 PM
Not sure what is involved with being a Director? See Article III “Directors” of the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Bylaws. Also see Article IV “Officers”, because for the SOA, these positions are one and the same. The SOA Bylaws may be accessed by clicking on the following link:
The Somersett Owner Association’s Governing Documents (e.g., CC&R’s, By-Laws, and Articles of Incorporation) have not been updated since originally generated by the Developer (i.e., Somersett Development Company, the “Declarant”). As such, these documents are replete with references regarding the Declarant (especially the CC&R’s) and the powers vested therein. It is high time that these documents are revised to remove all Declarant references and update to current Nevada Law governing Common Interest Communities.
In this regard, SU strongly recommends that the SOA Board of Directors form a dedicated committee of homeowners to review the SOA’s governing documents, solicit homeowner input and propose changes to be submitted for homeowner ratification.
For reference, the current SOA governing documents and policies may be accessed under the “References” tab on this website.
In a previous post (ArrowCreek Golf Course – What Next, dated September 19th) we updated readers on the ArrowCreek Golf Course controversy, wherein the ArrowCreek Homeowners Association Board of Directors voted, on a 4 to 3 basis, to proceed with a plan to purchase the ArrowCreek Golf Course property for $3.3M from its owners (i.e., The Friends of Arrow Creek or FOA) and lease it back for $20K/year. The plan was to submit the proposal to a vote by Arrow Creek homeowners within the next 60 days. For complete details of the proposed plan, revisit our September 19th post and click on the referenced link.
This plan has similarities, to what happened here in Somersett, with much of the discussion related to ramifications should the golf course go bankrupt and resulting effects on community environment and homeowner assessments. SU believes that these discussions are pertinent to our situation here in Somersett and therefore, may be of interest to our readers.
The Somersett Board cannot unilaterally expand itself from 5 to 9 members. 9 may be the standard in Hawaii, but Somersett is not in Hawaii. Large associations (some with 5,000+ members) throughout the other 49 states are successfully run by 5-member boards.
Rather than increasing the size of its membership by 80% the Somersett Board should double the number of its open session semi-monthly meetings (6) by meeting monthly (12) a 100% increase.
That will not only enable board business to be accomplished more quickly, but also keep business more in the open and do away with having to govern by using Section 3.19 of the Bylaws which is meant to be used in emergencies: “Any action of the Board, although not at a regularly convened meeting, if assented to in writing by all of the members of the Board, shall be as valid and as effective in all respects as if passed by the board in a meeting.”
Section 3.02 of the Somersett Bylaws states: “The number of directors shall be set by the Board, provided there shall be not less than three (3) director positions and not more than five (5) . . . . .”
Section 5.04 of the Somersett Bylaws states “These Bylaws may be amended or repealed by approval of majority of the regular members” (of the association not the board) . . . . . . After the last go-round to push through the CC&R amendments and the Golf Club agreement, fuhgeddaboudit.
In order to “spread the workload” and perhaps add needed expertise, the board may appoint non-voting officers, such as an Assistant Treasurer.
Board members are unpaid volunteers, but the time they need to devote to the Association is the same as when they had “9 to 5” paying jobs. Don’t have that much time to devote to Somersett, don’t run for the Board.
The firestorm in Arrow Creek over proposed acquisition of the 36 hole golf course by the Arrow Creek Homeowners Association continues to heat up. A special meeting was held for Arrow Creek homeowners wherein an Arrow Creek Committee presented a “Report and Recommendation” to purchase the golf course property with a lease back to the club operators. The Arrow Creek HOA Board subsequently approved the recommendation on a 4 to 3 basis. This proposal has simularities to what happened here in Somersett. The plan is to submit the proposal for vote by Arrow Creek homeowners within the next 60 days.
Anyone interested in the details of the Arrow Creek proposal (e.g., for Somersett comparison purposes) may do so by clicking on the following ArrowCreek 411 website link.
Also of interest regarding the proposed purchase are Arrow Creek homeowner comments and reference articles which address pro and con impacts on property values and future association liabilities. There are likenesses here to what has and/or can transpire within Somersett.
Following is a summary of some of the more significant items discussed and/or acted upon at the August 26th BOD open meeting:
Strategic Planning Committee (SPC)
The SPC reported that they had submitted a RFP to seven vendors for preparation of a Somersett “Conceptual Master Plan”. However only one had replied. Under discussion is how to move forward, if at all, given this circumstance.
The SPC made four recommendations to the BOD for approval:
A change in the BOD Structure that would increase the number of BOD members from 5 to 9 along with some BOD position requirements. The BOD voted to not approve the recommendation based on the premise that the proposed structure changes would impede getting things done (too many chiefs) and perhaps eliminate qualified owners from holding certain BOD positions.
A change in the FirstService Residential (FSR) staff structure based on functional considerations. The BOD voted not to accept the recommendations at this time, but would take them under advisement. No details provided as to what the recommendation consisted of.
To extend the lap pool operation from October 31 to November 30. The BOD voted to table this recommendation pending an evaluation of financial impact and other considerations. A decision would be made at the October BOD meeting.
Allowing non-residents of Somersett to participate in social clubs (e.g., Bridge, Mah Jongg, Book Clubs, etc.) at The Club at Town Center (TCTC) for a nominal fee (i.e. as opposed to the current $10/quest fee) that would be paid annually by the social club. The BOD tabled this recommendation due to lack of information as to its acceptability by the community at large.
Reported on status of water conservation information activities. In addition to their already disseminated article, they had hoped to conduct a homeowner forum (with vendors) on this subject this year, but will delay until next spring.
Reported they are in the process of re-designing the SOA website to be more informative and homeowner focused.
Election Timeline established (see previous post).
The BOD will be reviewing the SOA committee activities and charters with the objective of increasing their effectiveness in addressing community issues and getting things done.
In the coming weeks and months, the BOD will focus on establishing goals and timelines for SOA initiatives and communicating such to the community via the website and bi-weekly newsletters.
The BOD is working with the Communication Committee on the improvement of the SOA website and other avenues to facilitate homeowner communications.
The heavy rains this year have resulted in unforeseen erosion issues, necessitating the need to address erosion mitigation initiatives.
Given the number of complex projects being undertaken by the Association, The BOD is looking at adding a Senior Project Manager position to the FSR staff. No indication as to the additional cost this would incur with the FSR contract.
Reno Sunrooms LLC is threatening the filing of a lawsuit against the SOA over their refusal to grant approval of prefab sunroom additions to Somersett residences.
A complaint has been filed by a Whisper Rock resident with the Nevada Real Estate Divisions Ombudsman over SOA issues/actions pertaining to their purchase of former Northgate property adjacent to their Somersett property. A mediation session is being scheduled for sometime in October. If a resolution is not reached, court action may ensue.
Agenda Approval Actions
The BOD reiterated that containment wire options for property fencing must be in compliance with Association guidelines. That chicken wire, or the like, is not acceptable and variances would not be approved. This applies mainly to issues raised within Sierra Canyon.
The BOD opened bids and approved the selection of vendors for the following projects: 1) Private Streets Slurry and Crack Seal, 2) Common Area Maintenance associated with the Somersett Parkway ditch cleanup, water diversion and hydro rock scaling, and 3) the Somersett Parkway Cross Walk from TCTC to the Somersett East Park. Low bidders were generally selected and deemed acceptable based on past work.
The BOD approved proposed modifications (i.e., considered more restrictive than lenient) to The Vue Architectural Guidelines subject to acceptance of some minor changes and clarifications on the part of the BOD.
The agenda item pertaining to access from Somersett to the Sierra Vista Park (formerly Northgate Golf Course) was tabled as being premature. BOD members were in agreement that an access road from Somersett to the Park should be available, but more info was needed as to Park Layout and Construction, which is well in the future.
A concern that The VUE home construction was employing asphalt or composition roofing, which is not consistent with Somersett Architectural Guidelines. The BOD was not aware of an issue in this regard, but would look into it.
A suggestion that vendors doing the private street slurry and crack seal work be closely monitored. This as a result of observed poor quality work performed in the past.
A question as to the issue, BOD objective and why the BOD was incurring legal expenses with regard to the litigation associated with Somersett owner acquisition of former Northgate property. Opined rather than trying to impose SOA CC&R and Access requirements on this property, the BOD should be thanking these residents for their efforts in working with the city of Reno in converting the Northgate property to a Park rather than being sold to Developers. Why not just grant the appropriate variances? The BOD responded by stating that this was a complex issue and their objective was to insure Somersett property values were not compromised, and that they were working with property owners on an equitable solution.
Complaints regarding reduced hours for adults only use of the lap pool to accommodate increased usage by children. That this was not fair to adults who bought into Somersett believing that the lap pool was for their exclusive use as advertised. Why has the BOD allowed this to occur?
Other pool issues: 1) A discussion regarding children who defecate in the main pool resulting in its closure. That perhaps repeat offenders should be banned from pool usage. When the main pool is closed, children are given even more access to the adult lap pool. 2) Issuance of free passes to residents who have no on-site children, but have visiting grandchildren.
Complaints that the FRS staff was not properly supervising children during Kids Camp activities. This to the detriment of others using TCTC amenities. Locker Room and Pool issues were specifically mentioned.
A concern that the open street gates (due to a long term delay in obtaining repair parts) to Talon Point was resulting in increased non-resident cross traffic to the detriment of those living there. A suggestion that if this continues perhaps some financial rebate to the Talon Point residents might be appropriate.
An observation that many grass areas along the Somersett Parkway is in need of restoration. BOD replied that they are working with the SOA groundskeeper on more effective watering and grass maintenance techniques.
An observation that many Somersett residences are in need of painting. The BOD advised that they do issue citations to those who are not keeping their property up to standards, but cannot publically report on any actions in this regard. Also, those residents who notice non-compliances should report such to the BOD without fear of being identified.
The Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Director (BOD) positions currently held by Chris Huff and Danielle Kirby are open for election this year.
Note: Although unconfirmed, a BOD member (at the August 26 BOD Meeting) indicated that Mr. Huff and Ms. Kirby would not be seeking re-election.
Anyone desiring to serve the community via the BOD is encouraged to complete the required Candidate Form and return by October 15th to the SOA office at The Club at Town Center (TCTC). Along with the required Form, Candidates may also include a one page “Statement” supporting their candidacy.
Candidate Forms have been made available through the SOA’s email distribution list and as an insert in the September-October Bi-Monthly Newsletter. Copies are also available at TCTC and the Aspen Lodge or by clicking on the following link:
Meet the Candidate Nights are scheduled for Sunday, October 18th at 3:00 PM in TCTC and for Monday, October 19th at 5:30 PM in the Aspen Lodge. Please mark these dates on your calendar.
Ballot Packages including the Candidate Forms and Statements will be mailed to all Homeowners on October 21st and must be returned by November 17th to the SOA office at TCTC. Ballots will be counted at the Annual Homeowner Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 18th at 4:00 PM in TCTC.