May 26th SOA Board Meeting Recap

recap 1

Following is a recap of topics discussed and/or approved at the May 26th Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (Board) Meeting. Recap was derived from viewing the “May 26, 2021 Zoom Recording”, which is available on the SOA website.

The reader is referred to SU’s previous post of May 22nd entitled “May 26th SOA Board Meeting” for a copy of the Meeting Agenda. A recap of items discussed with corresponding Agenda items noted follow:

2.  Homeowner Comments

An owner raised the question on whether or not resident guests would be allowed at the TCTC pools this season. Owner was advised that guests would be permitted, subject to the established Rules and Regulations.

3.  May 12th, 2021 BOD Meeting Minutes

Minutes were approved. For a more detailed recap, see SU’s previous post of May 17th entitled  “May 12th SOA Board Meeting Recap”.

4.  Committee Reports

4.a.  Budget & Finance – No report

4.b.  Communications – Advised that: 1) the Committee is proceeding with implementation of commercial advertising on the SOA website, for which the Board approved the related “SOA Community Website Advertising Agreement“;  2) the “Report Irrigation Issues” form located on the SOA website under the “Contact Us” page will now be linked directly into BrightView’s dashboard system for tracking, note that this form can also be used for reporting other landscape issues, in doing so residents are encouraged to submit photographs and GPS coordinates if possible; and 3) the Committee is still seeking volunteers for an open seat.

4.c.  Strategic and Facilities –  No formal report. However, Board member Williams commented on a BrightView meeting pertaining to item 4.b (2) above in which they supported the linkage.  Also advised that a new Committee Chairman will be appointed.

4.d.  West Park Garden –  The Committee Chairman commented on the upcoming installation of containment fencing to keep out rabbits, the need for a storage unit for tools and equipment and a message board to provide important information to the gardeners.

4.e.  Community Events – No formal report.. However it was reported that the May 27th Spring Social at TCTC was sold out with 175 participants.

5. Financials  –  No report

6.  Unfinished Business

6.a. Legal Updates – The Board President summarized the agreement (filed with the Court) the SOA entered into with Preston Homes in January of this year regarding the Back Nine Trail gate operating times, which required that the gates being left open during specified times until Preston Homes sold their last lot. The Board originally anticipated this to happen rather quickly with only three lots left. However, it now appears that Preston Homes is in no hurry to sell the remaining lots and actual completion (per their interpretation of the agreement) may not occur for 18 to 24 months, thereby requiring gates to be left open at the specified times for this duration. Obviously, an unacceptable consequence for the affected residents. The SOA has been advised they basically have no successful legal recourse in this matter. Therefore, the Board is proposing another sit down with Preston Homes, with perhaps a petition signed by all affected owners, to see if an acceptable alternative can be negotiated.

6.x. 1880 Dove Mountain Hillside Stabilization Project – The Board President provided background and update information on this project along with comments on SOA versus owner responsibilities. This was not an agenda item and appeared to be a statement absolving the SOA from any liability associated with owner property damage.

6.b. Update on Management Options Study – The Board President introduced SOA Consultant Nancy Kerry who summarized her “Analysis of Management Options Report” to the SOA via a PowerPoint presentation, which covered all the salient items contained in the report. There were some questions and answers on the part of the Board both with Ms. Kerry and Lorrie Olsen, GM for the Caughlin Ranch HOA, who was virtually present to answer any questions the Board might have on Internal Managed HOA’s, which apparently has always been the case for Caughlin Ranch. Obviously Ms. Olsen spoke in favor of Internal Management. Note that Caughlin Ranch does not have near the amenities of Somersett (e.g., no club house, pools or tennis courts) and a budget approximately 37% that of the SOA. Based on the Report’s recommendations, the Board acknowledged that more due diligence was required and passed a motion wherein the Board would take the lead in negotiations with FirstService Residential with Ms. Kerry to further address the other options

6.c. Snack Bar Update – Some recap, but nothing new to report

6.e. Pool Reserve Parts Inventory Purchase – An item deferred from the previous two board meetings regarding the purchase of spare parts for TCTC pools as recommended by the SOA’s pool maintenance contractor. Current proposal is for the purchase of items totaling $10,539.66. After much discussion, including the picking and choosing of parts from the recommended list, the Board approved the purchase of those items with identified long lead times (i.e. 10 months), three items which amounted to $3450. This did not include a $3725 item for which only one was identified as currently available in Reno.

6.d. Discussion on Resolving the Status of the Open Board Seat – The Board approved leaving the open Board seat (i.e., as a result of Board member Craig Hanson’s resignation) vacant until the next scheduled Board member elections. With only four sitting Board members, a quorum to conduct business is now three Board members.

7.   New Business – There were no new business items to discuss.

8.  Board member Comments

  1. Board member O’Donnell reported that the 6,000 square feet of artificial turf purchased at the last Board meeting would be delivered on May 27th. However, with the a vendor caveat that if the artificial turf rolls were seamed and staked as normally required, the vendor would not buy them back (i.e., if subsequently unwanted by the SOA). The buy back option was a selling point put forth by Board member O’Donnell as a basis for purchase.
  2. Board member Williams brought up the idea of annexing the East and West Parks into Somersett to become part of the Common Area. This apparently due to the difficulties encountered on working with the City of Reno Parks Department. Currently both Parks are public domains (with grounds maintained by the SOA) owned by the City. It was proposed that Board Member Williams draft up a letter to the City exploring this option, which would then be reviewed by the SOA legal team prior to submission. It should be noted that annexation or purchase of real property into the SOA is governed by the PUD and CC&R’s, some of which would require homeowner vote.
  3. Board member Williams introduced the idea of a “Somersett Cares” program to assist Somersett owners who are experiencing hard times in one form or another. Perhaps via some sort of notice on the SOA website wherein the need for volunteer help, donations or some sort of fund raising could be identified.  It was decided to refer to the Communication Committee.

9.  Homeowner Comments

A couple homeowner commendations to Nancy Kerry on the Management Analysis report and the information provided by Caughlin Ranch GM Lorrie Olsen.

SU Comments

SU believes that the current Board is overreaching a bit in discussing items not on the Agenda, patricianly if it results in some sort of action on their part.  Not including these discussions as an Agenda item deprives owners the opportunity to comment.  An example of which is the Parks annexation discussion generated by Board member Williams under item 8.2 above.  SU believes this discussion (not on the Agenda) and resulting action violates the spirit of  NRS 116.3108.4 which states: “ 4. The agenda for a meeting of the units’ owners must consist of: (a) A clear and complete statement of the topics scheduled to be considered during the meeting… and (b) A list describing the items on which action may be taken…..”

Given that the Caughlin Ranch HOA Chairman was invited to address the Board on HOA management structure issues, perhaps the Board could also take a lesson from their Board Meeting Agendas, which are much more detailed, informative and, surprisingly, available on the Caughlin Ranch HOA website (https://caughlinhoa.com) for viewing by the general public.

10 thoughts on “May 26th SOA Board Meeting Recap

  1. Dear Jim:

    You wrote:
    “SU believes that the current Board is overreaching a bit in discussing items not on the Agenda, patricianly if it results in some sort of action on their part.”

    At the end of the meeting there is a chance for homeowners to make comments on items not listed on the agenda. No action may be taken on these comments. Likewise, there is an agenda item at the end of the meeting called ‘Board Member comments’ where Board Members can also make comments. In this case Board Member Jacob Williams brought up some ideas to think about. No action was taken on these. It may be considered for action in the future but only after being properly noticed and placed on the agenda. It seems otherwise strange to gag Board members from offering ideas because bringing up those ideas in real time only enhances transparency. You can’t have it both ways Jim: SU has claimed that the Board develops ideas in secret, and then complains that the Board offers ideas in public? Which is is?

    You wrote:
    “Given that the Caughlin Ranch HOA Chairman was invited to address the Board on HOA management structure issues, perhaps the (SOA) Board could also take a lesson from their Board Meeting Agendas, which are much more detailed, informative and, surprisingly, available on the Caughlin Ranch HOA website.”

    Jim, this seems like a plea to change our management. First Service Residential is solely responsible for the meeting agendas and Board Packets and I pester them to make them more complete. Isn’t it telling that an internally managed organization is doing a much better job of this. We might stand to see the same improvement when our management is truly vested in the community.

    You wrote:
    “Caughlin Ranch does not have near the amenities of Somersett (e.g., no club house, pools or tennis courts) and a budget approximately 37% that of the SOA.”

    That’s not entirely true, is it? Caughlin Ranch maintains a pool, club house, tennis courts, and workout facilities. They also have commercial. They have 26 ponds, and 26 subdivisions and 3 parks. In all they encompass 2,400 acres (same acreage as the SOA.) Unlike the SOA they also internally maintain all their own landscaping. If your point is that Lorrie Olsen isn’t managing anything as complex as the SOA, I think you’ve just shown the opposite. They are managing a similar master planned community with a lot less money. I call that efficient management!

    Submitted for your consideration.

    -Mark Capalongan

    1. It is my understanding and looking at the internet to confirm, The Caughlin Athletic Club is not part of the HOA but is a private club and not part of the HOA.
      The Board Meeting Agenda has in the past been controlled by the Board President. This was a point of contention with previous board members. The main point is the discrepancy between the Meeting Agenda (which is specified in the NRS) and what is discussed/acted upon at the meeting.

    2. Mark,
      Thanks for your comments, they are always welcome. In response to your comments I offer the following:
      1. I have no problem with Board member comments at the end of the Meeting, especially if they are spontaneous. However, if the topic is known beforehand and that a discussion will obviously follow, why not put it on the agenda so owners will also have the opportunity to comment? In this context, I believe the Parks annexation issue should have been put on the Agenda, and unless I heard wrong, the Board did approve some action. That is, for Mr. Williams to prepare an email (letter) to the City and submit for SOA legal review.
      2. My criticism of the Board Meeting Agendas was not a plea to change our management! Only that more thought be put into its content. It is easy to blame FSR, but given that they serve at the pleasure of the Board, perhaps some discussion with them is in order? Unless of course the Board is satisfied with the status quo or not providing them with the appropriate info.
      3. I still subscribe that the Caughlin Ranch HOA does not oversee or maintain pool, clubhouse, tennis court, and workout facilities. I believe you are talking about the Caughlin Athletic Club, located at Caughlin Ranch, which is a private club, open to public membership and separate from the Caughlin Ranch HOA. Caughlin Ranch’s Assessment income and expenses in the $2.4M range compared to the SOA’s $6.7M. Caughlin Ranch and Somersett are not similar master planned communities. This is not to say that Caughlin Ranch in not more efficiently managed than Somersett, and that an Internal management structure for the SOA is the way to go, that is up to others to decide!

      1. I believe it was also mentioned Caughlin Ranch HOA is now seeking to move to outside professional management.

      2. Mark,
        Given that the Board has consulted with the internal managed Caughlin Ranch HOA, suggest that you do the same with the ArrowCreek HOA, which is much more similar to Sommersett than Caughlin Ranch. Given that ArrowCreek is professionally managed (Associa), perhaps they looked at or considered alternatives that may be of value.

      3. Jim,

        Before any given subject can be intelligently brought forth, some prior research is generally advisable so that poorly understood /poorly researched items aren’t brought to the floor in ignorance. So many items are “tabled” because needed information hasn’t been researched or isn’t known prior. Jacob (being a team player) was saying that he had an idea and asked if the Board like him to look into it further? I would applaud that kind of initiative because when it does come up on the agenda, the information needed to make a decision will be known and presented.

        No vote was taken on Jacob’s ideas. I told him I thought this was worth looking into and believe other board members felt the same. Jacob will continue to investigate this on his own so that when he brings it to the Board for action, he can be informed. Jacob suggests ideas for the park with the city all the time, its part of working together in a cooperative partnership and necessary because they own the park and the SOA is responsible for maintaining it. If the city isn’t amenable to his idea, then there is no point in putting it on the agenda or discussing further, its a dead issue going in. As for any legal discussion, and since this might involve SOA funds, no inquiry will be made if/until this has become an actionable item. Hopefully this will satisfy your concerns.

        Ideas can come at any time and I don’t believe its the intention to gag Board members from expressing their ideas during the agenda item “Board Member Comments”. At the closing forum homeowners are free to express their opinions on any subject, so too should the Board Members be given equal opportunity. In neither case can action be taken on a subject that was not on the agenda. If Jacob chooses to do some research prior to placing this on the agenda this is not “taking action” on behalf of the SOA. Official action requires a motion, a second, and a vote. The broad range of responsibilities incumbent upon Board members requires that they take initiative on a range of activities almost daily. We must be careful to distinguish prudent initiative from “SOA Action”.

        As I see it and understand the role of the licensed general manager, part of that responsibility is to ensure that the SOA stays legal in its actions, including proper and complete notice of meeting agendas and Board Packets. If something is not complete, then I would hope our licensed management would catch and correct this. I am happy to report that FSR has reached out to discuss this issue further by way of instituting some corrective action.
        ——————
        Pool or not, Caughlin Ranch is different but no less complex. Upon this we can likely agree. Incidentally we verified from their GM that they a have never and do not seek outside management.
        Arrow Creek is a special case with an outside patron who has invested millions into that community which has significantly changed their finances. We studied 4-5 cases already and have a range of useful data from that effort. Current efforts are centered around negotiations with FSR and in understanding other outside management companies.

      4. Hi Mark

        I must confess I am confused about exactly what is happening at Caughlin Ranch, as an example. as far as their current management of operations is concerned.

        My questions:

        Is the Caughlin Ranch Private Member Owners club and pool a part of CRA? Is this self-managed (as opposed to run by FR/Associa)? Is this a non-profit? What is the relationship with the CR HOA? Can non-residents join?

        The rumor mill has the Caughlin HOA planning to hire a management company? Why? If they are, how will this work as they are already doing their “own landscaping”?

        As I believe that no two HOA’s are exactly the same, it is important to understand what is “self-management” means and what is “contracted out” – Does Arrowcreek (mentioned by Jim Haar – managed by Associa) contract out their landscaping? Presumably their club and Golf courses are privately managed independently of the HOA.

        D’Andrea which used to be the “bogeyman” for Somersett, closed their golf course down, due to lack of resident support. Now, the old disused golf course is being turned into homes. Ironically the value of the homes built there have gained greater value (since their construction in 2004) than comparable Somersett homes built in the same time frame. How does the HOA manage their landscaping; do the use a management company?

        When I read Nancy Kerry’s report, I was pleased to see that it provided additional excellent detail to round out the Board’s initial presentation; clearly showing that self-management – with a strong, qualified Community Manager – should lead to much improved customer satisfaction!

        Geoffrey Brooks

      5. I keep hearing the blame being placed on FSR for incomplete information and agendas, yet we have a communications committee that should be tasked to resolve the issue…after all, this is a communication to the public.
        There seems to be a tremendous rush to power through ideas. If someone has an idea that “they” researched and want it included in the next agenda then the due diligence of the board begins, not the other way. There is nothing wrong with tabling any idea until a meeting on a specific date, certainly this is not a hardship for anyone considering we have meetings every two weeks.

  2. Off topic – but is there an action to plan for a bigger pool or another pool?

    We were there this weekend and it was completely overcrowded- no chairs, a lot of people in the pools etc…

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