BOD Election Comment

The following Post submitted by Geoffrey Brooks, Association Member

SU Note :  Post is much longer than our suggested 400 word maximum.  However, exception given due to importance of the BOD election

Thoughts on the Board Election Candidates and the Future of Somersett

I attended the candidates night at Aspen Lodge on Monday 30th – I want to applaud all the candidates who are running for a time consuming and often thankless job. Having talked to many Board members over years (and running unsuccessfully myself), I realize that “riding herd” on a community now with 3150 units, built over last 15 years to different standards, is to say, challenging!

Somersett survived the Great Recession when up to 30% of the dues were not paid. Somersett has had two management companies, and a revolving door in all the “functional slots” – leaving so much more general administrative work for the Board to do. The current board under Glenda Powell’s leadership, has strengthened (professionalized) the FSR management team, and instituted monthly Board meetings. Hopefully, this makes serving the community less onerous. We have the future challenge of not only repairing the Rockery Walls, but also our depleted reserves.

One of the prime fiduciary duties of the Board, is planing for the future. What happens if there is another recession? What happens if the Somersett Golf and Country Club fail? What happens if we have another wet winter and more Rockery Walls fail? What about another earthquake? These are tasks the Board have to address on behalf of the community.

What was highlighted by two of the candidates, is the so-called “poor relationship” between the Del Webb HOA and SOA. A solution proposed was a “memo of understanding”. Perhaps those candidates meed a better understanding of the PUD and CCR’s and the responsibilities of the Master Association… Our community was “designed” to have sub-associations, with common infra-structure, natural thematic landscaping, architectural styles to blend in with the high Sierra foothills. Perhaps Pulte should have stayed in control of the SCOA…until now…rather than turning things over to the SC residents…Then the incorrect landscaping installed by Pulte in the newer villages (10-15) could have been corrected by the developer, rather than being tasked to the unsuspecting buyers! What this does shows, is that AGC/SOA approved plans may not be completed correctly to the approved plans & guidelines…There needs to be a mechanism (inspection for compliance) before accepting new construction into Somersett!

All the candidates asserted that if elected they would work for everyone in Somersett, be approachable at any time, to answer resident concerns… Not try to impose or change things to suit a specific opinion…Help enforce community standards… Quite honestly, I was not convinced. The last thing we need , given the immediate issues concerning Somersett’s future, are new Board members with an agenda…

Thumbnail sketches:

Glenda Powell – currently Board President – anxious to see the community through the current difficult patch (rebuilding the Rockery walls), continue the revitalization of the TCTC. She noted the recent community wide defensible space/fire suppression efforts. She wants continue the revamp our aging landscaping and it’s supporting infra-structure. Keep the West Park (a City of Reno property) construction project moving along and plan the revitalization of the 22 miles of trails.
Resident of SC for 11 years.

Jason Roland – Experienced in HOA property management, aware of NRS R&R and CC&R’s. His wife Tiffany Roland (former Board member) is on the Community Standards Committee, active and experienced with Somersett’s OA history. He considers access to her knowledge an advantage. She still works for the Master Developer – Somersett Development. He has experience in working with builders, which he considers will be an advantage as there are still 500 units to be built. He hopes to enhance community standards and minimize community friction, such as the Pulte landscaping issues!
Resident of Somersett for 7 years.

Steve Guderian – SC Board member and “activist”, promising leadership (to what end?). Wants to enhance harmony between SC and the Master Association, bringing all the sub-associations together to discuss common goals and issues. He promised to “fight” for common sense and to maintain high community standards. He was concerned about the fire danger and wants to make sure that we have adequate defensible space. He expressed widespread community concerns about traffic issues.
Resident of SC for 6 years

Frank Neto – New to our community, but a long term Reno resident (22 years) who watched Somersett appear in the desert, and aspired to retire to Sierra Canyon. He described himself as an independent thinker and promised to bring a fresh approach to community affairs. This was said, in spite of his personal complaints about the heavy handed nature of the CSC and AGC! He is for minimizing conflict and for greater community harmony. He promised that he would be a team player delving into the committee detail. He said that his experience from working for the NY Times would enable him to enhance community communications.
Resident of SC Village 15 for 1 year

The meeting lasted for nearly 2 hours and was well attended. The moderator did an excellent job, preparing a comprehensive list of questions… remarkably, the candidates all proffered similar comments and thoughts! There was time for questions…So, in light of the fact that all the candidates professed to read “Somersett United” posts for information … I asked what each candidate planned to do to enhance community involvement and reduce apathy? The SOA website is not yet responsive, folks who try to post queries, comments rarely see them published (and not answered!). None of the candidates really answered that question.

Interestingly, checking the SOA website today – the home page does not mention the up-coming Board Elections …wow …!

By Geoffrey Brooks