Following is a summary of discussions and actions taken by the Board at the August 25th Board Meeting. The Meeting Agenda may be accessed below:
Physical attendance by owners at the Meeting was low, about 5-6 attendees. Attendance via Zoom videoconferencing was undetermined by SU.
Since the crux of the meeting dealt with the “Future of Management in Somersett” issue, these agenda items will be addressed first:
Item 6.c. SOA Management Consultant Update
The SOA Management Consultant, Nancy Kerry, summarized her weekly report to the Board, which may be viewed via the following link: “August 20, 2021 Weekly Update Memo”
The update memo included a reference to the recently issued “Request for Proposal for Landscaping Services”, those wishing to access its contents may do so by clicking on the aforementioned title.
During the Landscape Services proposal preparation process there was a discussion on the benefits for posting the SOA’s RFP’s on bid-management websites frequently accessed by contractors. To quote: “By making construction bids publicly available and widely published, entities, such as the SOA, have the best chance of receiving a greater number of proposals thereby a better opportunity for obtaining the best price for the work”. In this regard, it was recommended that the SOA pursue this option by contracting with Planet Bids (www.planetbids.com) for this service. A Planet Bids quote was obtained, which consisted of a $150 one-time setup fee and a $3,875 annual fee. The Board approved the recommendation.
Item 7.e. Discussion and Selection of SOA Future Management
At the August 10th Special Board Meeting (See SU’s previous post of August 12th entitled “August 10th SOA Special Board Meeting Recap”) The Board voted to narrow the HOA Management Companies under consideration to CAMCO Nevada Management and Taylor Association Management Trust.
Predictably (In SU’s opinion the outcome had already been decided months ago) all four Board Members voted for contracting with Taylor Management. This with the understanding it will be on a transitional basis as the Association transforms from professionally managed to a self-managed structure, which Taylor will support and assist to accomplish.. To their credit, Board Members Capalongan, O’Donnell and Williams all read prepared statements explaining their vote. which may be viewed via the following links:
In addition to the selection of Taylor, the Board voted to extend Nancy Kerry’s contract to perform the following services: 1) negotiate with Taylor on the details of the contract, 2) coordinate the transition process and establish timelines, 3) form a transition team (two Board members and a homeowner or two were mentioned), and 4) Coordinate with FSR during their termination period and interview those FirstService Residential (FSR) employees who may want to stay on (Note: FSR has given the Board a 60 day termination notice and provided permission to interview their employees).
It has not been determined exactly who will be employed by who and by when during the transition process, but clearly the Board would prefer to have the day-by-day operations staff as Association employees from the onset, leaving the administrative work (e.g., accounting) with Taylor. Also, to accomplish the full transition within six months and certainly before Board members Capalongan, O’Donnell and Williams’s terms are up, so as not to leave unfinished business to the next Board.
Other Agenda Items
4. Committee Reports
- Finance – The committee is mostly complete with their 2022 budget recommendations. Possibly looking at a small increase (5% or less) in Common Area Assessments, this due to cost increases and debt paydown considerations. No assessment increases anticipated for TCTC and Gates. It was also noted that the Committee is still looking for new members and a Chairman.
- Communication – See attached “Communications Committee Report”. With regard to the Committee recommendation to create a list of residents, with specific expertise, willing to help others through Somersett Cares, it was concluded that the best way to accomplish this was via a resident newsletter. This would be a precursor to implementation of a Somersett Cares program proposed by Board Member Williams to provide volunteer help to assist those owners in need.
- Facilities – See attached “Facilities Committee Report”. Solicited bids from security camera vendors and contractors for the TCTC Tot Lot expansion project. No Board actions required at this time.
- West Park Garden – See attached “West Park Community Garden Report”. No Board actions required at this time. Expressed a desire to participate in Community Events as a vendor to raise funds for the Community Garden.
- Community Events Committee – See attached “Events Committee Report”. The Board approved the addition of Kate Falcocchia as a member of the Committee. (SU Note: Still an all-female committee, understandable as women do a much better job at planning than men. However, with male representation perhaps in addition to the car show we could squeeze in a Texas Hold’em tournament or Casino Night!). It also appears the Committee will be asking for a $20K increase in their budget for 2022 (i.e., from $15K to $35K). Worth it, considering what has transpired this year!
- Treasurer Report – Board Treasurer Simon Baker reported that through June 30th, 2021, the Association was sitting on $16.5M million in cash ($2.6M operating cash, $7.9M reserves) with $4.1M in debt. Also in the first six months of 2021, the Association experienced an excess of revenues over expenses in the amount of $910K (Common Area at $679K and TCTC at $212K).
- June Financials – The Board approved the June financial statements
SU Note: It had been previously reported that Board Treasurer Baker was selling his house and moving out of Somersett. Indications are that the timing will be such that Mr. Baker will be serving out his term. This is good news, given Mr. Baker’s knowledge and involvement with Association financials and the 2022 budgeting process.
6. Unfinished Business:
- Legal Updates – Nothing new to report on Legal Issues.
- 1880 Dove Mountain – No closure yet on this hillside stabilization project, engineering plans and contractor selection nearing finalization.
- On a different issue, the Board President advised that Travelers Insurance would not be renewing the Associations Directors and Officers (D&O) liability insurance policy and a new vendor would be required, most likely with an increase in premiums.
7. New Business:
- Gate Code Discussion – Apparently there has been some concern over gate code abuse with too many combinations (past and present) out there. Discussions included the changing of codes used by Association, Homeowners, Service Firms, Emergency Services, etc. on a more frequent basis. Too many things to consider here, so topic was referred to the Facilities Committee for study.
- Rock Wall Monitoring Program – The Board approved renewal of the Kane Geotech contract to continue the Crescent Point Rockery Wall and SBE Slope Stability monitoring program. Cost of services being $6,000 annually with a rate schedule for supplemental services.
- Lap Pool and Spas Resurfacing Proposals – Apparently a visit from the Washoe County Health Department’s pool inspector indicated that the TCTC Spas and Lap Pool would require resurfacing prior to the 2022 season. About 14 vendors were requested to submit bids. However, only Tahoe Pool and Spa Construction submitted a sealed bid, which was opened at the meeting. Quoted price was $39,700 for the Lap Pool and $15,605 for the two Spas. A confusing factor was that in a subsequent document from the County, only the Spas were mentioned. This caused the Board to table action until further clarification from the County could be obtained.
- Approval of Charters for the newly formed Technology Advisory and Strategic Planning Committees – Both Charters were approved. The Technology Advisory Committee is a temporary ad-hoc committee consisting of members appointed by the Chairman of the Communication Committee. The Strategic Planning Committee is a permanent committee consisting of appointed members from the Facilities, Finance and Communication Committees. For the purpose and responsibilities of each committee, one may access the following:
- A comment on the hiring of FSR employees who may wish to stay on after FSR leaves, that it should be the new Management Company’s decision and not the Boards. Also, that owners should be surveyed to determine if self-management of the Association is really the direction owners wish to go. Board response was that past communications have provided owners with sufficient avenues to express their opinions.
- Given the importance of the Boards decision to homeowners and the complexity of the transition to a self-managed Association, a suggestion that the Board convene a “Town Hall Meeting” wherein the transition process is explained to homeowners. Thereby providing them with the opportunity to know what to expect and to ask questions.
- A somewhat heated exchange occurred between the homeowner at 1880 Dove Mountain Court and the Board President. Apparently over a misconception of what Agenda Item 6.b “1880 Dove Mountain” pertained to. As the resident owner at 1880 Dove Mountain, the owner assumed this item pertained to his property and therefore, had the right to ask questions and express opinions when it came up on the agenda. The Board however advised that it did not involve his property, but only the Common Area hillside adjacent to his property, and if he wanted to comment he had to do so only during the homeowner forums at the beginning and end of the meeting. The controversy was resolved by the Board agreeing to meet with the owner at the next executive session.
- An owner raised the following questions: 1) How many and what roles would those FSR employees, who may wish to stay, play in the new management structure, and 2) Given that the Association expects to save considerable funds with the move to self-management and new landscaping contracts, what are the off-setting costs that would require an increase in the Common Area assessment? (SU Note: not to mention the $679K excess of Common Area revenues over expenses previously reported by the SOA Treasurer, or the $100K budgeted amount for Rockery Wall lawsuit appeal that will now not be spent). With regard to question 1), the Board President responded that they were only looking at the senior FSR staff of around 10 employees. With regard to question 2), the Board Treasurer responded to cover uncertainties in future costs and if a surplus resulted to apply it to the Association debt. (SU Note: Perhaps paying down the debt is the primary reason behind any assessment increase!)
SU Note: Regarding the reference to senior FSR employees, and although not specifically stated, SU assumes this would pertain to the Community Manager (Ryan Fields), Assistant Community Manager (Jessica McCarron), Operations Manager (Jeff Lucas), Administrative Assistant (Michelle Powers), Aesthetics Coordinator (Aleah Marcelino), Communications Coordinator (Robin Bolson) and Club Manager (Camille Porter) staff positions. No mention was made regarding competitive interviews.