August 10th SOA Special Board Meeting Recap

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Following is a summary of discussions and actions taken by the Board at the August 10th Special Board Meeting. Attendance was via Zoom videoconferencing only. Approximately nine homeowners signed in. The video/audio recording of the Zoom meeting is available on the SOA website (www.somersett.org) under the “SOA Board and Committees/The Board of Directors” page. The special meeting consisted of three agenda items. Comments follow:

Item 1.  –   Consider and review the management proposals and identify those that the Board wishes to interview.

To start this discussion, the SOA’s Management Consultant, Nancy Kerry, gave a summary report on the management proposals submitted by the following six companies, focusing primarily on cost data.

    • First Service Residential
    • Associa Sierra North
    • CAMCO Nevada Management
    • Eugene Burge Management Corporation
    • The Management Trust
    • Taylor Association Management

To support Ms. Kerry’s presentation, the following cost comparison table was put on the screen for viewing by Zoom conference attendees:

Management Proposals Financial Impact Comparison

Following Ms. Kerry’s presentation each Board Member was chartered with expressing comments that they may have on the individual proposals and to vote for two companies they would like to bring in for interviews. First Service Residential was essentially excluded because the current working relationship and contract is well known by the Board, and therefore, no interview required.  The Board members voted as follows. Note that Board members Capalongan and O’Donnell cast their two votes for the same company.

    • Jacob Williams –  CAMco and Taylor
    • Simon Baker  –  CAMco and Taylor
    • Bill O’Donnell  –  Taylor and Taylor
    • Mark Capalongan  –  Taylor and Taylor

Board Member Williams and Baker’s selection of CAMco was predicated on the desire to interview another large company.

The selection of Taylor by all Board Members was predictable. It has become abundantly clear that the Board wants to transition the SOA to a self-managed (internal) structure. Apparently, to address this eventuality, Taylor has proposed a hybrid structure which would support a transition to self-management. Hence the redundant votes for Taylor by Board Members O’Donnell and Capalongan, who, in doing so, appeared to have no interest in interviewing any of the other five. In commenting, Board member O’Donnell pontificated extensively on why the current professional management model is unworkable, proclaiming self-management as the only viable option for Somersett. It was also apparent that Board President Capalongan had previously evaluated Taylor and had already zeroed in on them as his choice. This raises the following questions: 1)  were any of the other companies interested in or requested to also submit a hybrid approach, and 2) was there really any objectivity present in the evaluation process? Whatever the case may be, Kudos to Nancy Kerry for her diligent work on this issue.

The Summary Report prepared by Ms. Kerry which addressed each of the six companies was contained in the Board Meeting Packet and is available via the following link:    “Review of Management Proposals

The individual proposal summaries for the “chosen” two, along with First Service Residential, are repeated below:

Item 2. —   Review Insurance Proposals

This was not a review of individual insurance proposals by the Board. Rather this agenda item consisted primarily of an agent who specializes in HOA insurance (Ron Wright – Menath Insurance) providing the Board with his take (during a 25 minute dialog) on what they should be considering when renewing the SOA’s insurance policies. He has apparently reviewed the SOA’s insurance policies and opined that we were underinsured in some areas. He also advised that, in his opinion, the SOAs insurance costs would be doubling in the future.  In response to the question if moving to self-management would result in an increase in the SOA’s insurance costs, he advised not necessarily. That added costs such as Workman’s Compensation and Employment Practices Liability were currently being paid for indirectly via FSR’s management fees.

If Mr. Wright submitted an actual cost proposal to the Board, it was not discussed.  It also appeared that, rightfully so given the effort he put into his review, Mr. Wright was soliciting his services.

 Item 3.  –  Approve Brightview’s proposal to extend their contract on a month-to-month basis after September 1st.

The Board approved the BrightView proposal for extending their contract, which expires on August 31st, on a month-to-month basis.  This to provide the Board time to obtain competitive quotes.

Homeowner Comments (SU apologizes for any mischaracterizations of homeowner comments and refers the reader to Zoom video/audio recording for actual statements)

The Board President of The Villages sub association had read into the record his endorsement of BrightView as the SOA landscape contractor. This in response to the Boards apparent dissatisfaction with BrightView’s performance and the decision to go out for competitive bid rather than renew their contract. He praised the quality of BrightView’s services as compared to previous landscape contractors and urged the Board to retain them. In response, the HOA Board President, advised they were not looking specifically to replace BrightView, but to consider other options.

 A Board member of the Vue sub-association stated their satisfaction with FirstService Residential as their community manager. However, liked the idea of self-management but cautioned that we know exactly what we are getting into before we do it, as there is a cost to get in and a cost to get out. He also expressed a concern that while we may be doing the right thing for the current Board, are we doing the right thing for future Boards? This based on the observation that the current Board is well motivated and willing to spend a lot of time on Association management, but this has not been the case for past Boards and may not be the case for future Boards.  In response, the Board President basically advised that if the internal management structure was properly established, that future Boards would function in an oversight role as opposed to the day to day Association management.