SOA Facilities Committee et al

somersett UnitedEarlier this year a new SOA Facilities Committee was created. This Committee will augment the existing Strategic Planning Committee by focusing more on short term issues with the following purpose in mind (i.e., as extracted from the Committee Charter):

The Facilities Committee shall advise the Board and Association Staff on matters related to systems, amenities, facility usage, facility changes (additions, deletions, modifications, etc.) within The Club at Town Center (TCTC) and SOA common areas, including Canyon 9.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Hold scheduled meetings to discuss topics published in advance in an agenda related to common area and TCTC facilities, amenities and/or activities.
  • Solicit and receive input from Association homeowners and staff regarding facility/amenity usage and changes.
  • Report its findings and recommendations in writing to the Board.

To date nothing has been published on the SOA’s mysomersett.com website with regard to any committee meeting recaps, so its findings and recommendations, if any, are not evident.

This is a common fault with other committees as well. In general, SOA Committee recaps when published on the mysomersett.com website are written more as “meeting minutes” and not overly informative.

Perhaps as the new SOA website evolves, our SOA Committees will see fit to publish routine “Committee Reports” (e.g., either bi monthly or quarterly), informing homeowners as to their activities, goals, accomplishments, etc. This would also apply to a “Board Report”, which would supplement the current BOD meeting minutes, the last of which was for the June 22nd BOD Meeting.

TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR? – Committee and Board Member comments welcome.

Toll Brothers Project

Somersett United
Somersett United

The proposed Toll Brothers housing development (above the fire station) has raised some issues within the Somersett community. In this regard, a Toll Brothers representative will visit Somersett to explain the design and collect homeowner input.

All interested homeowners are invited to attend this meeting, which is currently scheduled as follows:”

  • Wednesday, December 7, 2016
  • Aspen Lodge 4:30 PM

The preceding was provided by Sierra Canyon homeowners Pam and Ken McNeil, who will be providing additional information as it becomes available,

SAVE THE DATE

Is the Honeymoon Over?

Somersett United
Somersett United

Apparently not all is well between the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) and the Somersett Country Club (SCC) regarding the current Lease Agreement.

For those who may not be aware, at the beginning of 2015, the SOA and the SCC entered into a Purchase and Leaseback Agreement for the SCC land and water rights. Under which the SOA purchased the SCC land and water rights for $2.75M (financed by homeowner assessments) and subsequently leased back such to the SCC at $1000/year for a term of 90 years. The Leaseback Agreement was quite detailed and contained specific conditions placed on the Tenant (i.e., the SCC) by the Landlord (i.e., the SOA).

On October 14, 2016, the SOA Attorney, Michael Schulman, issued a not so cordial letter to the SCC with regard to the SCC’s perceived nonconformance with certain provisions of the Lease Agreement. In doing so, Mr. Schulman also took exception to the manner in which the SCC has in past addressed SOA concerns.   In his letter, Mr. Schulman states: “Unfortunately it appears that such attitude continues in that you treat the legal documents executed between the Club and the Association as mere inconveniences and you continue to operate the Club as if it owned the golf course property. This is not acceptable to the Association.” He further states “Hopefully the members of the board of directors of the Club will take this letter seriously and begin to fulfill the obligations of the Club under the Lease. The Association did not enter into this transaction lightly. The Association certainly did not enter into the transaction so that the Club could obtain financing for its clubhouse and flaunt its duties under the Lease.

The Attorney letter addressed issues associated with the lot line adjustment for the SCC clubhouse parcel in addition to serving as a formal notice to the SCC that it was in default under the terms of the Lease with respect to the following areas:

  • Water pump inoperability and failure to repair
  • Golf driving range maintenance
  • Alterations to leased property and failure to obtain SOA consent
  • Water pump and irrigation system training
  • Canyon 9 Golf Course water and electricity use billing

Under the Lease Agreement, the SCC has 30 days to correct defaults, which time has now passed. It will be interesting to see how these defaults have been or will be resolved and if the SOA will have to take further legal action to enforce the Lease. In closing, Mr. Schulman stated: ”it is the Association’s intention to act as a reasonable landlord, but that requires that the Club, as the tenant, to act reasonably and fulfill its obligations under the Lease.”

It is well known that this website was strongly opposed to the SOA purchase of the SCC. That the SCC was originally conceived as a separate entity from the SOA and should have remained as such, controlling its own destiny without SOA assessment subsidies. However, the SOA members voted for the purchase agreement and now must live with its consequences. Hopefully these issues can be resolved without placing any future financial burden on Somersett homeowners.

SOA BOD Election Results

somersett UnitedThe counting of ballots for the six Somersett owners vying for the three open positions on the Somersett Owners Association Board of Directors took place last night at the Annual Owners Meeting. The six candidates were as follows: Ryan Burns, Joe Fadrowsky, Thomas Fitzgerald , Thomas Hedger, Jeff Limpert and Richard Molezzo. Of the six, only Mr. Fadrowsky was an incumbent, thereby insuring two new members on the Board. Following the ballot count, the three successful candidates, for whom congratulations are in order, were as follows:

  • Ryan Burns
  • Joe Fadrowsky
  • Thomas Fitzgerald.

It is expected that Mr. Fadrowsky will keep his position as Treasurer, and given that the current Board President, Susan Novell, did not run for re-election, a new Board President will be installed for 2017. Thanks are also due to Mr.’s Hedger, Limpert and Molezzo who, by running,  exhibited an interest in serving their community.

The new Board will face many challenges in the year to come, and we all wish them well.

SOA Annual Owner Meeting November 16th

Somersett United
Somersett United

Just a reminder that the Somersett Owners Association Annual Owners meeting will be held tomorrow Wednesday, November 16th at The Club at Town Center. Meeting Agenda will address the 2017 Budget Ratification and Board of Director Elections. Agenda schedule is as follows:

 

4:00 PM

  • Call to Order and Introductions
  • Appointment of Inspectors of Election
  • Election – Tally of votes

5:15 PM

  • Approval of the Minutes from the November 18, 2015 Annual Meeting
  • 2017 Budget Ratification
  • Announcement of Election Results
  • Homeowner Open Forum
  • Adjournment

Immediately following the Annual Meeting a celebration will occur with appetizers and a no‐host bar in the Canyon View Room.

Joe Fadrowsky BOD Candidate Statement

Submitted by Joe Fadrowsky, SOA Board Member and Candidate for Re-election

A Happy Veteran’s Day Salute to all our courageous men and women who have and are serving in the armed forces of the United States of America. Judy and I particularly honor the memory of my late father, Alex Fadrowsky, and Judy’s 94-year old father, Virgil Bloodsworth. Both served lengthy tours in the South West Pacific Theater during WWII. Alex served in the Army Air Corps aboard a B-29 bomber and Virgil served in the Navy aboard the USS Bunkerhill aircraft carrier.

On a less notable topic, I would like to clarify and correct several things contained in Joe Bower’s lengthy rant.

First, consider that the Somersett Owners Association is governed by a 5-member Board of Directors. This is basically an elected ‘committee’ which is neither the speediest nor necessarily the most efficient form of governance. It is, however, what we have to work with. All progress requires at least three votes. What this means is that credit generally must be shared with others. This is not a bad thing. I am reminded of the Harry Truman quote – “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Overall, I am quite proud of what the SOA Board has accomplished over the past two years and what is budgeted for 2017.

Safety. What has occurred in the last two years? A budget significantly increasing the patrol company hours was approved by the Board with the belief that the patrol service is a deterrent and it makes a difference.

The SOA has removed trees from the common area owned visibility corners, and is investigating with the City the responsibility for enforcing similar action on privately owned property.

The Board had a flashing crosswalk signs installed on Somersett Parkway by East Park. The Board recently authorized installation of up to six additional pairs of similar signs.

The primary responsibility for safety lies with local government while the SOA has very limited purposes. To give Somersett added access to local government, notwithstanding that being a member of a Neighborhood Advisory Board is time consuming, Pam McNeil, Bret Scoggin, and myself are Somersett residents and City Council appointed members of NAB 5. We have a good relationship with Councilwoman Neoma Jardon (also a Somersett resident and an outstanding public servant) and she has met with Susan Novell as well. You may not be able to connect the dots directly, but we see the following progress:

  • The Fire Station has been reopened – medical for now, but it is OPEN.
  • Councilwoman Jardon has held a well-attended town hall meeting at Sierra Canyon which included top representatives from the police and fire departments.
  • The City installed a Radar speed sign on the eastern exit from Somersett.
  • The SOA and Sierra Canyon are working with the City Engineer and Public Works Department to solve truck routing problems in Sierra Canyon.
  • The City Parks Dept is actively participating with the West Park committee on plans for this new park.
  • Radar traps for speeding have been increased in frequency in Somersett.

Yes, there will always be more to be done.

Finance & Accounting: For those that do not know me, please feel free to contact SOA Board directors Susan Novell, David Nisenfeld or Glenda Powell, or check with Finance Committee Chair Ron Sobrero, Vice Chair Helen Bell, or members Ray Lee and Steve Spear. Feel free to ask them anything about my qualifications or performance.

Frankly, I don’t see any Finance Commiittee ‘dominance’ unless it is Chair Ron Sobrero whose leadership keeps us organized and whose efforts on landscaping, irrigation, tree mapping, etc. (very material parts of the SOA budget) are truly tireless and awesome. Vice Chair Helen Bell has taken the lead on investment policy. I certainly recognize and appreciate Ray Lee’s experience and contribution as he served as SOA treasurer for several years before I was elected to the board. All of the members have the acumen to carefully & critically review the financial statements, and make significant positive contributions, and provide excellent guidance to management and staff.

Ray Lee, over his many years as Treasurer, has developed an excellent Powerpoint budget presentation format. For 2016, he was kind enough to do a repeat performance. I subscribe to a couple of theories: a) “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it;” and b) “Many hands make light work.” Ray was away this year, so the 2017 budget was presented and explained by myself and Ryan Dominguez, our new SOA Community Manager.

The question of how to allocate the money the Somersett General Common fund receives every time a home sold has been investigated for years. Legal counsel was not supportive of previous proposals. The need to move working capital from the General Common fund to the Club at Town Center (TCTC”) was obvious. You can ask Ray Lee who “figured out” the accounting. What I do know is that I asked Ray to take the lead on presenting this approach to the Finance Committee because there are a few people out there who (not unlike Mr. Bower), when I say “the sun will come up in the morning,” make it their life’s mission to disagree with me.

What did Mr. Fadrowsky accomplish financially speaking? After the owners voted to approve the acquisition of the 18-hole golf course, the task of soliciting three banks for a $2,600,000 loan fell to me as Treasurer. The outcome was a loan with the longest term and that matched the lowest rate offered by the three banks resulting in minimal impact on the assessments paid by homeowners. To protect the SOA, I also worked many weeks with Tony Fakonas and our professionals (legal, engineering & title company) to work through over 150 exceptions to the title report and on the myriad of other due diligence tasks that a transaction of this magnitude requires. I could list more, but in the end most things are accomplished through team efforts.

Landscaping. An extensive RFP for Landscaping Services was prepared & circulated at the end of 2015. Board members did extensive interviews with four landscaping companies. Reno Green had a superior proposal and was selected to replace Groundskeeper. The contract includes the extensive RFP provisions.

An arborist has not been hired to inventory every common area tree by its location, species, and health because of the change in landscape companies. It was agreed with Reno Green to give them the 2016 season to assess the trees and make replacements before doing the inventory in 2017.

Separate and very detailed RFPs for an irrigation audit inspection and for tree inventory/mapping services have been prepared and will be issued very soon. The costs for these and other water conservation and tree replacement projects have been budgeted for 2017.

Sierra Canyon: Yes, I was a Sierra Canyon director and the Treasurer. I resigned two months before my two-year term was up because negotiations between the Sierra Canyon and Somersett boards had become quite contentious over two very significant agreements. To remain effective, I felt that it was important for me to not be in a position to be accused of having a conflict of interest.

Yes, I took credit for Somersett acknowledging its duty to maintain the portions of the Somersett “Public” Trail System that are located within the borders of Sierra Canyon. Mr. Bower deserves credit for pointing out the PUD and CC&R clauses on this to me during the summer of 2014, but literally no one else was convinced of the viability of his interpretation of the wording in these documents.   It took extensive, detailed research and compilation of overwhelming evidence to overcome the extreme opposition that was encountered. In the end, this evidence convinced SOA’s legal counsel and a majority of the Board to acknowledge Somersett’s obligations. Please note that many of these trails were resurfaced by the SOA in the summer of 2016.

Sierra Canyon’s “Common Area”, however, is treated differently in the governing documents than the Public Trails. While the PUD does say that the SOA will maintain common area, the PUD does not prohibit the SOA from delegating responsibility for common area to sub-associations. In fact, Somersett CC&Rs, Article II, Section 7.(a) specifically provides for such delegation and conveyance of common area to subassociations like the Vue, the Villages and Sierra Canyon. Sierra Canyon CC&Rs further reinforce the acceptance of the subassociation’s responsibility to maintain its common area. You cannot rely on the “plain language” of only one document. The three key documents must be read together to arrive at the correct answer. This has also been corroborated by SOA legal counsel.

The July 2, 2009, Maintenance Easement Agreement (“MEA”) between SOA and Sierra Canyon is therefore both necessary and important. In the MEA, the SOA accepts the responsibility (and costs) to maintain the landscape, softscape, hardscape and irrigation along the main thoroughfare through Sierra Canyon. The original MEA covers a defined easement area through about three-fourths of Sierra Canyon. The main goal of the First Amendment is to add the remaining one-fourth of main thoroughfare frontage (roughly from Andover Trail down to the tower entry feature) to the MEA. Whether the “common look” goal has been attained or not is up to the two parties to the agreement to decide.   It took extensive, detailed research and compilation of overwhelming evidence to overcome some extreme opposition even to the SOA’s living up to obligations under the original agreement. In the end, this evidence convinced SOA’s legal counsel and a majority of the Board to acknowledge Somersett’s existing obligations, to accept the intent of agreement and approve the amendment.

Board Meetings/Communications/Misc. We have made great progress this past year in conducting our board meetings in a business-like manner. We now follow Roberts Rules of Order, and each director’s time to comment on a particular topic is limited. It is a common courtesy to the owners that attend our meetings to not keep them there for 3 or 4 hours.

The Board authorized a full time communications position which has recently been filled by a talented person so the Board expects significant improvements in the website and other forms of communication.

Communication, however, is a two-way street. The regular Board meetings and all of the committee meetings are open to all owners. I attend all Finance Committee meetings and many Strategic Planning Committee meetings. Occasionally, one or two owners attend. Often, no owners attend. It is easy to throw around the “transparency” and “openness” buzzwords, but everyone needs to accept some personal responsibility.

As indicated at one of the Candidate nights, I am not opposed to monthly regular Board meetings. In fact, the Board already meets monthly in executive session to deal with confidential matters (delinquent assessments, violations, lawsuits, etc.).

Like Mr. Bower, I am retired. I do not represent Somersett as either an attorney or a CPA. The SOA engages licensed outside independent CPAs and legal counsel.   What I can do and have done is assist the board in communicating with attorneys and CPAs because I am conversant with both professions and their jargon.

I am opposed to special assessments, whether it be for drilling a water well or for any other purpose. If you made it this far, thanks for being open to hearing both sides of the story.

Joe Fadrowsky

Jeff Limpert for SOA Board

The following posted by Jeff Limpert, SOA Board Candidate

By now, most of you should have received your ballot for the 2016 Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors election and it is at this time that I would like to again ask you for your consideration in electing me as a board member.

Like many of the other candidates, I have been very successful in my professional pursuits and have gained the necessary skills and experiences that will lend well in providing oversight and direction of our growing community. While having these hard skills are extremely important, the soft skills –like Teamwork, Communication, Patience and Motivation – are essential to being successful. I believe this is what separates me from the other candidates. These items are much harder to learn and are more inherent, unlike becoming conversant with NRS Chapter 16 or becoming comfortable with the various Bylaws and CC&Rs. This can all be learned over time and I have proven in my professional career to be very successful at coming “up to speed” quickly.

In addition, my perspective is one of a father helping raise two young boys, ages 2 and 5, in this great community. As such, when decisions are being made, I will always be thinking of the impacts to families. My goal will be to make informed, common sense decisions that are primarily based on the desires of the community while remaining fiscally responsible. I have no desire to make change just for the sake of making change nor will my decision making be overly emotionally driven or catering to the loudest voices.

I believe Somersett is wonderful community that for the most part, already operates smoothly and provides wonderful benefits to its members. As we continue to grow and should I be elected, I will do my best to keep things running efficiently and improve upon the existing amenities and common areas.

With that, please consider electing me to the SOA Board of Directors.

Should you like to see more info on my professional background, please visit the SOA tab on http://www.mysomersett.com/ and review my candidate profile.

Joe Fadrowsky for SOA Board

The following posted by “Friends of Joe”

Mr. Fadrowsky has done an excellent job as Treasurer for the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) for the past two years.   His re-election to the SOA Board of Directors will insure that experience continuity will continue as two of the other experienced SOA Board Directors have chosen not to run for re-election.  In this regard, the following “flyer” is posted for your consideration.  Please give Joe your vote.
To download a copy to share with your friends and neighbors just click on the following link:  Joe Fadrowsky for SOA Board

joe-fadrowsky-for-soa-board11052016_00000

SOA BOD Election

The Following BOD Candidate Endorsement was posted by Joe Bower, Association Member

I am pleased that six owners chose to run for the three open seats on the Somersett Board and I urge all eligible owners to cast their ballot. Only one owner per owned Lot may vote. Instructions have been sent by the Somersett Board of Directors

As a ten-year owner and in response to several owners and as in past years, here are my election comments.

After reviewing the needs of our master association along with the experiences of the candidates, I proudly will cast my ballot for the Two Tom’s (Thomas Fitzgerald and Thomas Hedger) along with Ryan Burns.

Mr. Fitzgerald has prior homeowner association board experience, including the presidency, before moving to Somersett.  During the past twelve months he has attended all Somersett board meetings as well as numerous Budget & Finance and Strategic Planning committee meetings.  Thus he is very familiar with what is going on regarding the business aspects of Somersett. Prior to retiring he owned his company while serving for over ten years on the board of a parks and recreation district.  That enabled him to be heavily involved with community facilities and programs, two areas of constant concern here in Somersett.

Mr. Hedger, a retired Chief Financial Officer for two global Fortune 500 companies, will bring extensive contract negotiation and risk management experience to the Somersett board table, two areas where improvements are needed as we continue to grow from a place where most owners used to know each other into a small city. His skills will help improve matters affecting the total community, e.g. landscaping, communications, and security. Somersett is made up of one master association and three sub-associations with the Sierra Canyon/Del  Webb sub soon to have over 1,200 homes.  Being an owner in Sierra Canyon he will serve all associations while keeping “one foot” in Sierra Canyon and the other in Somersett.  Fortunately, the subs have their own boards, but all four boards need to cooperate and integrate their common interests something Mr. Hedger accomplished in the corporate world where different divisions reported to him.

The Two Tom’s have the time, energy, desire, and expertise to be Board members who will strive to make our total community better and safer for all residents and a most desirable place to live while accommodating the needs and desires of families and retirees.

As an active partner in a CPA firm Mr. Burns would add strength to the financial competence of the Board.  He would bring a fresh set of eyes to the books. One way or another everything in our Association has a financial aspect and impact with a bottom line called dues.

I recognize retired CPA Mr. Fadrowsky’s past contributions as a board member and hope he will remain on the Budget & Finance and Strategic Planning Committees where he could devote more time to their specific matters and objectives unencumbered by general daily board operations all the while being on the City of Reno’s Neighborhood Advisory Board #5  which serves a large geographical area inside and outside of Somersett.

Regarding the candidacies of Messers Limpert and Molezzo, your choice and maybe another election.

somersett UnitedSomersett United Note:  The BOD Election Ballots have now been mailed to all unit owners.  Candidates and/or homeowners are welcome to post their comments, qualifications and/or endorsements on this website by forwarding them to somersettunited@gmail.com

Somersett West Park Update

somersett UnitedFor those readers who may not be familiar with the Somersett West Park project, it involves construction of a 2nd Park within Somersett as planned for under the Somersett PUD. This Park is to be located across from the fire station on Hawk Meadow Trail. The Park will be built by the City of Reno from new residential construction tax fees. Although a public park, once built, routine maintenance costs would be the responsibility of the Somersett Owners Association (SOA). In this regard, the SOA Board appointed a Somersett West Park Committee to work with Somersett Homeowners and the City of Reno Parks Department on a development plan.

After holding Town Hall meetings, conducting surveys, listening to homeowner input, and meeting with City of Reno Park officials, the Committee has come up with the following recommendations. These recommendations are based on an estimated useable Park space of ~80,500 sq. ft. out of a total parcel size of ~160,500 sq. ft.

  • An enclosed Dog Park of ~43,000 sq. ft.
  • An enclosed Community Garden of ~ 6,500 sq. ft.
  • A Children’s Play Area of ~ 7,750 sq. ft. consisting of both grass lawn and play equipment areas.
  • Common space of ~ 23,250 sq. ft. for parking, restroom and picnic tables.

At the recent BOD meeting it was reported that the rules and regulations for the Dog Park area would be established by the Reno Parks Department in accordance with current City requirements. However, rules and regulations for the Community Garden could be established by the SOA. No definitive date has yet been established as to when the City of Reno will actually start construction.

A power point presentation entitled “West Park Proposed Plan” outlining  Committee recommendations, along with a proposed site plot plan, may be accessed on the SOA’s mysomersett.com website by clicking on the SOA/SOA Documents tabs