Whittier Community Associates HOA, Inc.
Regular Meeting Minutes
March 22, 2022
The Board of Directors of the Whittier Community Association met via Zoom video call on March 22, 2022, at 7:00 p.m.
Paul Zimnik, President
Andrea Weaver, Vice President
Bernarda Jackson, Treasurer
Laura Ferguson, Secretary
Royle Kidwell, Director
Ronnie Lushbaugh, Director
Nancy Sweet, Director
Melissa Lentz, Director
Jackie Parks, Director
Bruce Ramsay & Dejan (Dan) Milenkov, Continental Pools Representatives
Nancy Keen, Vanguard Management, Community Representative
Renee Bilinski, Recording Secretary
- CALL TO ORDER:
Paul Zimnik, President of Whittier Community HOA, called the regular meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. with a quorum present.
- REGULAR MINUTES: The Board discussed the January 25, 2022 Minutes as presented. A Board Member provided several edits prior to this meeting. The Board did not agree with all the edits provided by the Board Member and some Board Members noted that those provided edits were changing or adding content that was not discussed during the meeting. They stated that if there were discrepancies with the conclusions of the previous meeting or new material to discuss, that it would need to be discussed during this meeting and not modified in the previous meeting minutes. The Board discussed and noted the agreed edits that should be made. For the sake of moving on and saving meeting time for new items requiring action, the President asked the Recording Secretary to review the provided edits and modify the minutes with the agreed upon changes. The President approved the Recording Secretary charging for additional time dedicated to the effort of reviewing the provided edits and modifying the minutes appropriately. The minutes will then be reviewed and approved at the next meeting by the Board.
Action: Recording Secretary will review the provided edits, modify with the agreed upon edits, and make any modifications to the wording as deemed necessary.
Action: The Board will review and approve the minutes at the next meeting.
- HOMEOWNER & GUEST FORUM:
- In Person Meetings: A Homeowner wanted to know if the Board would be returning to in person Board meetings soon now that they believe COVID is basically done. Stated that moving to in person would make it easier for the Homeowners to attend. The Board recognized the need to meet via Zoom for COVID no longer was as necessary as before. They mentioned that they could consider going back to in person within the next few months. The Homeowner suggested meeting at the Lake pavilion. The Board said that would have to be taken into consideration with weather conditions and no technology options. The Homeowner asked if they continued to have it via Zoom if they could attend via video and not over the phone so they could see the individuals speaking. The Board took the suggestions into consideration for future discussion.
- Sidewalks: A Homeowner mentioned that the sidewalks in the townhome areas seem hazardous and asked if those were the City’s responsibility or the Associations. Management clarified that the single-family home, lake area, and areas around the school are the responsibility of the City and they can contact them via their website. The townhomes areas adjacent to common areas are the responsibility of the Association. For the sidewalks that are the responsibility of the City, they will come out to determine if they will repair them. They have come out to repair some recently and may have some on hold. The City will also send a letter with the cost if it is the responsibility of the Homeowner to repair.
- Homeowner Forum & Additional Questions: A Homeowner expressed concern about not having enough time for them to ask additional questions outside of the 5-minute time limit during the Homeowner Forum. They asked if they could send their questions in advance of the meetings to be discussed. Management explained that they can send their questions for the Board meetings to Management, and they will provide those for the Board’s review and discussion.
- Tree Debris: A Homeowner mentioned a concern of tree limbs falling on cars and needing trimming. Said that the trees grow out towards the parking lot around Winfield. There was a tree that had been cut back, but there was one that had not been trimmed and is causing the debris.
Action: Management will have Ruppert inspect the area.
- MANAGEMENT REPORT:
- Pool Pass Materials Distribution: The Board reviewed the annual pool pass distribution materials. Continental Pools discussed with the Board how the electronic passes worked well last year. A Board Member raised the concern that there were sometimes connection issues with the Wi-Fi. Management noted that they brought in hot spot devices last year which seemed to work well, but they wanted to look into seeing if Comcast would hook up separate devices. If they do, they will need to provide this for the Board’s approval of any additional charges.
Motion: To approve the Annual Pool Pass Distribution Materials.
Weaver/Ferguson Vote 9/0/0
Action: Management will ask Comcast again if they can install internet devices for easier access to Wi-Fi for the pools and provide the associated costs to the Board for review.
- Spring Pool Repairs & Supplies: The spring repair proposals from Continental Pools to prepare the pools for opening were provided for the Board’s review. Continental has again recommended that CAT chemical controllers are installed, which is optional, and that cost is $6,120.00 per pool.
Continental Pools attended the meeting and provided an explanation of the repair work to be done. A Board Member asked if there were repeat items from the Fall repairs. Continental Pools explained that the repair items noted are from an inspection done in February. Management explained that if they did not do the strongly recommended items, they would be at risk of the health inspection not being approved for the opening of the season. Some Board Members asked for more information regarding a few of the items. Continental Pools explained that several items are noted for repair because it will equate to more years use than a temporary fix, and a few of the items noted for replacement were due to expirations that would be out of compliance.
A Board Member asked about the cost of an enclosed indoor pool in comparison to the repair costs from being open to the elements. Continental Pools explained that they had investigated that a few years ago and there were several concerns with that idea. In general, it would end up having a significant increase to costs. To enclose the pool, it would require another contractor to create the enclosure, which would be a huge undertaking. Continental Pools can’t provide the exact cost comparison because it would require a separate contractor for the enclosure to be built, but the upkeep costs would increase for year-round care and maintenance.
Continental Pools need approval for the repairs to proceed with supplying the parts as soon as possible with the complications of COVID in obtaining parts.
The Board discussed the repairs and noted that they, again, do not want to install the CAT chemical controllers, and associated items, until they are a requirement from the County. They also discussed the new clocks and why they cost more than what they might find in a store for cheap. Management explained that the clocks have not been replaced in a long time and these clocks would be more durable than what may be found in a store for cheap.
Motion: To approve the Cobblestone Pool repair and maintenance proposal except for the CAT Chemical Controller and Chemical Pump.
Ferguson/Weaver Vote 8/1/0
Motion: To approve the Greenleaf Pool repair and maintenance proposal except for the CAT Chemical Controller, Chemical Pump, and Chlorinator.
Ferguson/Weaver Vote 8/1/0
Motion: To approve the Wetherburne Pool repair and maintenance proposal except for the CAT Chemical Controller and Chemical Pump.
Jackson/Kidwell Vote 8/1/0
- Homeowner Requests/Tree Removal and Tree Trimming: A Homeowner on Huntwood Court has requested the large common area pine be removed at the side of their home due to the potential damage the branches and roots are causing to their home. In addition, there are three (3) large evergreens behind Carrington that Homeowners are requesting to either be removed or trimmed away from their fences. Ruppert provided a proposal for the work for the Board’s review. The Board discussed the trees, verifying they were in the common areas and asking why the pines were not already part of the contract with Ruppert. Management explained that it is not part of their contract to trim pines typically. If they are trimmed, they will need to be maintained, whereas if they are removed, then there will not be a need to continue to trim them. A Board Member raised concern around cutting down trees and said the trees provide a nice screen.
Motion: To approve Ruppert’s proposal for the removal of the tree on Huntwood Court.
Sweet/Ferguson Vote 6/1/2
Motion: To approve Ruppert’s proposal for the trimming of the trees behind Carrington Way.
Weaver/Jackson Vote 9/0/0
- Tree Roots at Lakeside Drive and Emerson Drive Tot Lots: The Community Inspector has noted there are exposed tree roots in the safety surfacing at the Lakeside Drive and Emerson Drive tot lots. In addition, a Homeowner has brought it to Management’s attention that a child could trip and fall. Ruppert provided proposals for the work. A Board Member asked if the removal of the roots would kill the tree. The Board discussed that Ruppert would be able to assess if the tree would die and then need to be removed. The safety concern for the children equates to this item being a priority.
Motion: To approve Ruppert’s proposal for the removal of the tree roots in both tot lots.
Weaver/Ferguson Vote 7/2/0
- Stormwater Facility Cattail Removal: Management previously notified the Board that the City of Frederick notified the Association the cattails must be removed from the storm water management area in front of Lakeside Drive. Management obtained the price to perform this work from Ruppert Landscapes and Wetland Studies and Solutions (WSSI). WSSI recommends three (3) years of treatment to fully eradicate the cattails. The first-year removal would be $4,850.00, the 2nd would be $3,350.00, the 3rd would be $1,900.00, and potentially additional administrative fees not to exceed $1,000.00. This would total between $10,100.00 and $11,100.00. Ruppert Landscapes proposes the removal for $5,300.00 total but can’t guarantee the cattails will not regrow. The proposals were provided for the Board’s review.
The Board discussed the differences in the proposals. WSSI mentions using pesticides. A Board Member stated they think that it would be throwing money away to go with Ruppert since they cannot promise any guarantee. They have been discussing the cattails for years, since 2002, and how they have been taking over due to not being properly maintained. The City states that it needs to be taken care of by July and they will reassess later.
Motion: To approve the proposal from WSSI to remove the cattails.
Parks/Kidwell Vote 6/3/0
Note: The Board took a 5-minute pause in the meeting at 9:06pm for restroom breaks. Continued the meeting at 9:11pm. (One Board Member left at this time as a reference for the vote count change moving forward.)
- East/West Palace Green Terrace and Prentice Court Parking Space Numbering: As previously discussed at the January Board meeting, Management obtained a proposal for the striping and numbering of East/West Palace Green Terrace and the numbering on Prentice Court. The proposals from Gardener’s General Contractors and Jet Services were provided for the Board’s review. The proposal from Jet Services noted that they cannot provide the numbers on the curb, only the end of the space. It totaled at $3,412.00 for the project. Gardener’s General Contractors proposal provided both numbering on the back of the spaces and on the curb, totaling to $2,791.00. Since the Homeowners were asking for both areas to have the parking number painted, the Board decided to go with Gardener’s General Contractors’ proposals.
Motion: To approve the proposals from Gardener’s General Contractors for both East/West Place Green Terrace & Prentice Court.
Weaver/Jackson Vote 8/0/0
- Reserve Study Update Proposal: The Association had Reserve Advisors complete a Reserve Study for the Association in 2016. As the Board has previously discussed, it is recommended that the Reserve Study be updated every 5-7 years. As the Board requested, Management obtained a proposal from Reserve Advisors to complete a Reserve Study Update for a total cost of $4,450.00. The proposal was provided for the Board’s review.
A Board Member reminded the Board that they have mentioned the concern that the storm drain systems should not only be the responsibility of the townhomes as it serves the whole community. They asked that a subject matter expert from the City be in dialogue with the Reserve Study Specialist specifically regarding those items. Management explained that they will be passing on the information that the City has provided regarding the Community’s responsibility only being for the 24 catch basins, but that it also includes the whole system, not just the surface maintenance. Management will forward on what the City has provided to the Reserve Study Specialist.
Management reminded the Board that this motion is to authorize the Reserve Study be conducted not what they study. The Board Member wanted to ensure that before they approved, that the items of concern would be studied correctly by the Specialist. Management explained that they do not tell them what items to put on the Study or with which budgets they should be associated. The Specialist conducts their visit, then they provide their suggestions.
The Board Member proposed again that there should be a subject matter expert in communication with the Reserve Study Specialist to ensure they understand the storm drain systems and answer any questions they may have. Another Board Member reminded them that the budgets are not determined by the Reserve Study Specialist but by the Board afterwards, taking into consideration the Study’s finds and their suggestions. There was some debate on whether the Board should determine the cost of the storm drain systems for themselves prior to the Study being conducted vs researching afterwards. There was still some concern expressed about wanting to know the costs for the drain systems, what is happening with the new development and its effects on the drain systems, and whether the costs will be solely on the Townhome Budget or the General Budget. The question was posed if any of this was necessary to know prior to the Reserve Study being approved and conducted or if it was relevant for when they reviewed and approved the budgets. The City already looked at the community catch basins and did a study, determining which where the responsibility of the community and provided details. This information is going to be provided to the Reserve Study Specialist.
The Board Member questioned what material the City provided to Management since they have been in separate communication with the City regarding the catch basins and conducting their own research. Management explained that the City provided them with a map of the area and noted which catch basins are the responsibility of the Community. The information that they provided to Management will be delivered to the Reserve Study Specialist once this motion is approved to accept their contract for the Study. The Board Member said that they should wait to approve the Reserve Study because they have separate studies being done by the City to determine what would be the responsibility of just the townhome and the whole community. Management reminded them that that has not been communicated with them, and communication with the City regarding this topic needs to go through the Management Company, not an individual Board Member. The decision to ask the City to do a study of the community is a collective Board decision not for an individual Board Member to conduct on their own. The Board Member said they had been conducting this study as a Homeowner, long before they were a Board Member. Management stated that even when a Homeowner is reaching out regarding such a big task, the City and the Homeowners should be communicating with the Board and Management.
Due to the fact that the meeting was already nearly an hour over the normal end time, this topic has already monopolized multiple meetings, and a need to move on to the other items needing approval, the President tabled making a motion to approve the Reserve Study and determined the below actions will occur prior to the next meeting.
Action: The individual Board Member that has had separate communication with the City will provide their City point of contact’s information to Management. They will also no longer be interfacing with the City independently since that is the responsibility of the Management Company.
Action: Management will follow through with the City point of contact and obtain any additional information from them.
The Board Member noted at this time that Management has already had communication with their point of contact and provided their name. Management confirmed that this was the individual they were communicating with and obtained the existing documentation from previously. Management will still follow up to ensure they have obtained all documentation and that any additional study details will be provided to Management directly moving forward.
Action: Management will provide a copy of the map and any additional information the City provided to the Board for their review.
- Egg Hunt Event: The Board approved via email the Egg Hunt budget of $500.00. Management sent a check for $500.00 to Laura Ferguson to start buying supplies for the event.
Motion: To ratify the email approval of the Egg Hunt event budget of $500.00.
Weaver/Kidwell Vote 8/0/0
- Donation Policy: As the Board discussed at the January meeting, a draft Donation Policy was provided for the Board’s review. There was some discussion around the content of the policy. The Board noted that once it was approved it would be posted on the website for public view.
Motion: To approve the Whittier Community Association Donation Request Policy.
Weaver/Ferguson Vote 8/0/0
Action: President will post the Donation Policy to the Whittier Website.
- Whittier Elementary Fun Run: The Whittier Elementary PTA President sent notification that the Fun Run is scheduled for Saturday, April 30th. The event will take place around the Whittier Lake. In addition, she asked if the Board would help sponsor the Run or provide a gift for the raffle. The email request was provided for the Board’s review. There is no need to approve anything regarding the run since it is around the lake, which is City property. The Board asked questions around what the donation would go towards. Management explained that they said they would provide additional details around the event and their request for a donation but there was no additional communication. A Board Member noted that they spoke with a Homeowner and said that the run was postponed indefinitely. There is no action unless they ask the Board again about a donation, which Management will refer them to the Donation Policy at that time.
- Homeowner Request/Pet Waste Signs: A Homeowner from Wetherburne Way has requested “Pick Up After Pet” signs be installed in the open common area behind Wren Alley and at the pool common areas. Management explained that the Wetherburne Park is a City of Frederick owned and maintained area. Management also obtained a proposal for the signs for the Board’s review. Jet Services can install a sign, including a 10’ green u-channel post and hardware for $160.00 each.
The Board discussed that they recently had four cans put throughout the Wetherburne Park for the specific concern of pet waste. There was additional communication with the City around when they would be able to put bags in the waste stations. The City has to wait until July to purchase bags and will additionally post signs. A Board Member offered to follow up with the City in regard to the waste stations being stocked. The Board noted that either way there are plenty of cans throughout the area and there is no excuse for pet owners to not dispose of the waste.
Action: A Board Member will ask the City when they will be able to stock the waste stations in the park.
- OLD BUSINESS: No old business at this time.
- NEW BUSINESS:
- Lake Drainage & Wetland Options: A Board Member mentioned a concern about the drainage at the dam in the lake during the cattail discussion. The Board discussed the dam at the lake having issues with drainage. Management said that they spoke to the City, they didn’t specify if they had reached out to the shopping center owner to notify them, but it would be better for the City to reach out to the owner. The Parks and Recreation Department said they would allow the installation of native wetlands in the lake. The Board decided to discuss this item at a future meeting. The Board would like to find out what all the concerns are regarding waste drainage and how it is being affected by the new development and the shopping center area at the lake, they want to know if there is a correlation.
Action: Management will check with the City about the blockage of the lake near the shopping center and ask how, if they do, correlate with the other drainage problems.
- COMMITTEE REPORTS:
- ACC Committee: Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the ACC Committee has been reviewing and approving applications by email. No current appeals.
- Pool Committee: See above items for discussion.
- Townhouse Committee: Have now had a few Zoom meetings with townhome Homeowners and discussed several of their concerns.
The President reminded the new Board Members holding these meetings that the purpose of the committees is to get engagement and involvement from the townhome Homeowners. The only body that makes decisions is the Board, not the Committees. Committees should not promote Board bashing conversations or be brought together to promote one Board Member’s ambitions. All Board Members have signed the Director Agreement, which states that they cannot misrepresent the Board nor engage in defaming speech of the Board or Board Members. If it is found that they are doing this, the Board Member can be removed from the Board. Board Members may disagree with Board decisions, but they need to accept the Board decisions made via majority votes and they are meant to be a representative of the Board.
The President is not discouraging a Committee meeting or Homeowners sharing their concerns. The Board welcomes Homeowners to raise their concerns. There has not been much success in the past to get a Townhouse Committee engaged and the Board is excited that one is forming now. With that said, they do want to ensure that the Board Member now leading the Committee is being representative of both the Committee and the Board. It should be a positive influence on the Community. Any concerns that the Homeowners bring up should be brought back to the Board for their decision and action. And how the Board Member conducts themselves should follow the Code of Conduct that was signed when they joined the Board.
It was mentioned that they had been using the (unofficial) Whittier Facebook as an open forum for the Townhomes. They were reminded that the Facebook page is not an official Association page, and that anything they say on a public network is representative of the Board. It is why Board Members have been cautioned on their use of social media for Community related communication in the past. Also, any concerns need to be sent to Management to provide to the Board for discussion.
The Board Member recognized that they need to escalate items to Management and that their words and actions represent the Board. They would like to be an advocate for the Homeowners and their concerns. They wanted to note that they didn’t say they spoke on behalf of the Board on Facebook or during their Committee meetings. The President thanked them for being a spokesman on behalf of the Homeowners, but again reminded them that they don’t need to say that the represent the Board, their position as a Director makes them a representative of the Board.
The Board Member reported that their Committee open forum meetings have been held and reports from those meetings was provided to the Board. They also invited any Board Member to attend the meetings. A Homeowner has provided their thoughts on the drainage system and their discussions with the City, the Board Member will resend it to Management to provide to the Board. The President noted that they could send it to the Board email address, reminding that this was an internal use only email address, not to be shared with the public.
Action: The Committee will provide any concerns or updates to Management for the Board’s further discussion.
- Condo Committee: No updates at this time.
- Landscape Committee: No updates at this time.
- Social/Lakeside Festival Committee: Reminder that the Egg Hunt Event is coming up soon, on April 9th from 11am-1pm at the Lake pavilion. They have rented the pavilion, have eggs, the Easter bunny, food trucks, and all the other details lined up already. They are going to send an advertisement to be posted on the Whittier website for the event. Asked if later an e-blast email could be sent out and Management said that they will send something out.
Action: Management will send out an e-blast email for the Egg Hunt Event.
Action: President will post the advertisement for the event on the Website.
The Committee also noted they are working on a 4th of July parade. Management reminded them that it would be best to have the details and budgets for the events prepared for at least the meeting prior to an event so the Board can vote for approval, and they can get the budget money in advance for needed items.
Action: The Committee will bring up the 4th of July plans for the next meeting.
- Treasurer’s Report: The Board reviewed the financial reports.
- ADJOURNMENT: There being no additional business for the Board to conduct, the meeting adjourned at 10:18 p.m.
Motion: To adjourn the regular meeting at 10:18 p.m.
Sweet/Jackson Vote: 8/0/0
Please note the next scheduled meeting is to be held on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at 7:00 pm via Zoom video call due to COVID-19 restrictions.