Monthly Archives: August 2014

Summary of July 30th NE/SE Connector Meeting

Posted for Glen Smerage

The meeting was conducted at SFCC by Carlos Ruiz of Occam Consultants, who are conducting the study of connector locations with participation by County (Public Works) and State representatives. There was a large, active audience. The meeting focused on the SE Connector; the NE Connector received little attention and interest.

NE Connector (NEC): Would connect to Point A (large left turn south from I-25 of Rabbit Road extension) and follow I-25 closely as a frontage road, crossing Richards, probably with a roundabout, and into Dinosaur Trail. Two points mainly came out.

  • A south-going dip in the NEC adjacent to Richards permits questionable (undecided) on/off ramps at Richards incident to I-25 North.
  • Dinosaur Trail is a private road, so connecting NEC into Dinosaur as a frontage road is questionable.

SE Connector (SEC): From four alternatives, a government Committee and Occam seem to have selected a north/south corridor bisecting the SFCC campus as easiest, cheapest, and best to relieve traffic on Richards, as its prime objective. It would go approximately from Point A to Avenida Del Sur; College Drive would be extended to SEC; most intersections would be roundabouts. Construction would be in 2016.

Ruiz took three primary points with him from attendee comments.

  • Move SEC to eastern boundary of SFCC campus and not bisect the campus. Linda Segal, spokeswoman for SFCC Board, stated that it does not want the camps bisected by SEC.
  • Do not build SEC unless built all the way to Avenida Del Sur, otherwise would not mitigate traffic problems and increase connectivity.
  • Deemphasize current north entrance to SFCC (originally intended for emergency?), and do not connect College Drive into SEC. That really would not solve traffic problems and usefully increase connectivity; furthermore, it would exacerbate traffic on College Drive for residents of College Heights and future residents.

The following are my observations and thoughts from the meeting.

  • The Committee may have rejected more easterly corridors in large part due to objections from a large (Greer family? G E Richards Property LLC?) landholder there.
  • There appears not to be enough money to do an SEC properly and well. Yet, SEC would be a public gift to the landowners mentioned above when they proceed with development of their land, and there appears to be no inclination to seek a monetary contribution from them to SEC.
  • The corridor study and Committee appear to be taking a short-term, minimalist approach to achieving an SEC, both in function and cost. Looking a few years ahead, the SEC should be pursued as an arterial road, with good, long-term utility and true traffic problem solving.
  • An archeological site may preclude one or more easterly SEC corridors, but no indication was given that it has been surveyed and verified adequately.
  • Public hearings and real decisions by BCC would not occur until 2015; questionable BCC input to date.

— Glen Smerage

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An Insulting Response to the July 30th Meeting From Someone Who Did Not Attend

Below is a post to the Windmill Ridge, Next Door.com site by Jim Bailey, the spouse of a Board member who recently resigned. I guess the witch is supposed to be me. Mr. Bailey did not even attend the meeting but he seems to know everything that occurred. He has long been a mouthpiece for Board members who are too cowardly to express their views themselves.

The message that Mr. Bailey and the Board have for more than 30 RVS residents who attended an informational meeting is: You are crybabies. This Board and its cronies have nothing but contempt for you.

These individuals are supposed to represent our interests.  My question for residents is: How much longer do you intend to put up with these childish and vindictive people?

Support the recall.

witch“I’ll get you, my pretty…
7h ago
Jimmy Bailey from Windmill Ridge

and your little board too!” Seems the only thing that came out of the crybaby convention is an effort to get Carol Thompson, and Jim Kerr too, for good measure. A recall. The third attempt to overthrow the board in a year. Desperation is so unbecoming. 

”Fly, fly, fly..”

Highlights of the July 30 Community Meeting

Meeting Highlights

Our July 30th informational meeting for RVS residents attracted about 35 individuals, a good turnout considering we were competing with the Connector meeting held by the County.

I opened the meeting with introductory remarks. I stated that our group had received some criticism for being anonymous — although when you are walking up and down our streets distributing flyers, you aren’t exactly anonymous. The reason for keeping a low profile was to postpone some of the retaliation that we know will be coming our way from the RVS Board.

A resident asked me for an example of retaliatory action. I read a letter that was sent by either a Board member, a HOAMCO employee, or someone related to a Board member, to the employer of one of our Board members. It is not possible to know exactly who sent it because the letter was not signed.

The letter stated that the Board member had written and distributed the flyer, which was sent along with the letter. That is not true; a group of us, not including the Board member, wrote the flyer. The letter also attacked the Board member’s wife. The letter went on to make accusations against the Board member and asked his employer to take action against him. I think that counts as retaliation.

I also pointed out that the Community Manager stated at the July 22 Board meeting that he considered calling the sheriff because residents were so frightened by a few people walking on the streets of their own community handing out information.

The Board and the community manager have also called the Sheriff for frivolous reasons against a Board member and a resident. The Sheriff’s reports are on this blog – we also showed them to residents during the meeting.  The President approved a Sheriff’s Deputy for the 2013 Annual meeting without board approval; when asked what  the cost was, she told a resident that SFCC provided the service at no charge – later, it was revealed that the Association paid for the DeputyShe also invited a Sheriff’s rep to the March board meeting (without board approval) to intimidate residents into silence.

I spoke about our Board’s ever increasing legal costs that have now gone over the entire annual budget for that category. I provided reasons for the ballooning legal fees, which have increased substantially over the past 3 years. I explained that several of us have hired lawyers at our own cost to fight the Board and HOAMCO, for:

  • Violating our privacy
  • Denying access to records to which we are entitled
  • Flagrantly ignoring the Bylaws of the Association and making policies that violate the Bylaws.
  • Continuously contacting the Association Attorney without full board approval

We have to use our own money to pay our lawyers but it is the money of all of the residents of RVS that is being used by the Board to fight us.

The Board’s attorney, Lynn Krupnik, lives in Tempe Arizona, although she owns a townhome in Rancho Viejo. Some people asked for her contact information. Her website is: http://www.krupniklaw.org/Contact.html

I don’t understand why our Board can’t use the services of an attorney who actually lives in New Mexico.

Among other issues addressed:

  • The RoundUp newsletter, which is supported by resident dues and advertising (and is over budget), will not run letters to the editor from residents. The Board president did not like the fact that many letters were against potential development so she prohibited all letters. She is a friend of the current developer who has written two columns for our newsletter in the past year. By charter, the Board is prohibited from taking a position against the developer, but this does not apply to individual residents, and yet we are censored.
  • Abbreviated Board minutes that often do not reflect what actually occurs at Board meetings.
  • Board minutes and financial records are months behind in being posted to the RVS website hosted by HOAMCO. http://www.hoamcoweb.com/ranchoviejosouth
  • No audit for three years; a reserve study postponed until residents objected.
  • The Board president, Carol Thompson, works for HOAMCO and has a potential conflict of interest that she was directed to disclose in writing by the Board attorney in October. Ms. Thompson has never put this in writing and has never recused herself from voting on HOAMCO contracts.

Finally, I shut up and let other people talk.

Jessica Pfeiffer spoke about how she has applied to serve on several Board committees and was rebuffed for no other reason than the Board members don’t like her. Yes, one of them actually told her that.

Jessica also shared her experience of having the Board call the Sheriff on her for constantly questioning the Board’s actions.

Madelene DeRollo spoke about her concerns about the new records policy adopted by the Board and how it actually violates the Bylaws. She pointed out that the community manager is supposed to be enforcing the Bylaws, not withholding documents from Board members who are entitled to see them, which he has done.

Madelene also addressed the issue of the Infrastructure Committee, which she served on and was disbanded by the President before it could make a report after a long period of research. Madelene stated that landscaping is an important issue and a big expense in RVS, particularly during a drought and these issues should not be put aside.

Annie McGovern expressed concern that the BOD does not trust residents to run its own elections, or to count ballots,  and that the BOD spent $300 on election officials.

There is also concern that last year’s proxy votes were not handled properly.

RVS Board member Teri Buhl, who has an engineering background and served on the now disbanded infrastructure committee, gave a presentation on the irrigation system for Rancho Viejo. We use recycled water provided by Ranchland Utility but they are not obligated to sell us this water and eventually pumps and other equipment will need to be replaced. The cost of recycled water is much less than potable water so it is to our benefit to maintain the infrastructure. There has been discussion about transitioning to hardscape and having fewer trees and bushes. Last year, the BOD voted against setting up a reserve fund for irrigation infrastructure and improvements, and in July they rescinded monies for an engineering study.  The President said that a new “task force” may be set up.  Teri said that interested residents should pay attention to this and participate. You can see a copy of the presentation on this website: go to “Under the Curtain/College District Treated Water Study

At the end of the meeting there was a discussion about how the residents could change the situation here in RVS. Finding other individuals to run for office, not re-electing the existing Board, and recalling two of the existing officers — Carol Thompson, president and Jim Kerr, secretary are options. There will be a recall petition for a special meeting for this purpose and we will keep residents informed of future meetings and further developments on this blog.

 

Reserve Studies — What Should They Cover?

The Board recently hired a company to perform a study of our Association reserves. We had one done several years ago that several people on the Board at that time deemed inadequate. Hopefully, this one will be better. The following article identifies why a reserve fund is necessary and what should be covered.

Reserve Studies

June 11, 2013

by Brian Tight, Director of Developer Relations & Lake Worth Regional Director, Campbell Property Management

When was the last time your community did a reserve study?

As communities get older, they begin to experience “wear and tear.” Inevitably, building and ground components that are maintained by the community need to be maintained and/or replaced. The components will vary from one association to another (Condo or HOA), because no two communities are the same. These components include but are not limited to: roofs, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems, painting, paving, pools, elevators, lakes, and other major assets with varying lifespans. Knowing this, most communities have money, known as reserve funds, set aside each year for the maintenance and replacements costs. How does a community plan and fund their reserve funds?

Community associations hire independent consultants or firms to conduct reserve studies report that includes at least these 3 elements:

  1. A listing of all the major assets that need to be funded through the reserves including each asset’s:
    • Expected useful life – how long it typically lasts
    • Remaining useful life – how much longer it should last
    • Current replacement cost – how much to replace now
  2. An evaluation of the association’s current reserve funds – Are your reserves well-funded based on the assets analysis? Are you budgeting correctly for these replacement costs?

3. A recommended reserve funding plan – based on the current state of the assets and reserve funds… do you need to budget more?