Whittier Community Associates HOA, Inc.
Regular Meeting Minutes
February 23, 2016
The Board of Directors of Whittier Community Association met at the Somerford House, Frederick, Maryland on February 23, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
Paul Zimnik, President
Daniel Cowell, Vice-President
Bernarda Jackson, Treasurer
Bill Watt, Director
Bill Ryan, Director
Andrea Weaver, Director
Susan Miller, Director
Nancy Sweet, Director
Brian McClatchie, Vivint Solar
Nancy Keen, Vanguard Management, Community Representative
Renee Henning, Recording Secretary
I. CALL TO ORDER:
Dr. Paul Zimnik, President of Whittier Community HOA called the regular meeting to order at 7:02 pm with a quorum present.
The Board discussed the previous November 24, 2015 minutes.
Motion: To accept the November minutes.
Weaver/Jackson Vote: 6 For/ 1 Abstain
III. HOMEOWNER & GUEST FORUM:
- Mr. McClatchie with Vivint Solar wanted to ensure that the Association would not have any restrictions for the installation and use of solar panels in the community. Some of the residents had voiced concerns that the HOA may not approve of the panels. Vivant Solar works with Potomac Edison and would not be competing with the power company. The Board stated there would be no concern as long as there were no installations in the ground. Mr. McClatchie confirmed that they only install the panels on roofs. The Board stated the residents will still need to submit to the ACC for approval.
- Nas Nusraty introduced himself to the Board and stated that he would like to be considered for the open position on the Board. He has lived in the townhomes since 2004.
A. Dormant Pruning:
Classic has submitted a proposal to perform the dormant pruning in several areas in the community where they feel it is needed. This is not the same as the “maintenance pruning”. Pruning during dormancy provides many advantages: it puts less stress on the plant. Pruning cuts heal faster, plus there is less chance of transmitting disease within the plant or to another plant. The quote is for $1,728.00. A Board member wanted to determine if it is possible to get a better price and want to seek alternative companies to place bids for the service. Considering it is currently the dormant season and there is not enough time to bid for better pricing before the dormant season is over, it was determined that it would be better to wait until the summer to reassess alternative pricing for the next dormant season.
Motion: To approve the price of $1,728.00 for Classic to perform the dormant pruning where necessary.
Ryan/ Watt Vote: 6For/ 1 Apposed
B.Dead Tree Removal:
During routine community inspections, Management observed 3 dead trees in the common area. Two trees are quite large pines approximately 15 to 20 feet tall and one is approximately 6 foot pine. To remove all three trees, grind stumps and sod remaining tree rings is $1,771.00
Motion: To accept the price of $1,771.00 to remove the trees.
Ryan/Watt Vote: Unanimous
C.Whittier Lake Maintenance:
Aquatic Environment Consultants (AEC) has submitted a proposal to perform the same lake management program that has been successful for the last several years to control the algae on the lake. AEC recommends that lake is treated every two weeks, but the City of Frederick only contracts for once a month treatment. The Association has been supplementing the City’s program with five additional treatments. The cost has remained the same for the last several years, $2,160.00 for five treatments. The Board had some concern that the treatments would overlap with the City’s treatments. Management will confirm that the company will coordinate with the city’s treatments.
Motion: To accept the price of $2,160.00 for the five treatments to maintain the lake.
Ryan/ Cowell Vote: Unanimous
D.Pool Pass Materials:
Management had distributed the Pool Pass materials to the Board and has asked for any changes so they may have the pool information printed and mailed out to the Homeowners by early April. The Board was concerned about the price for Outside Membership. Management spoke with Continental about other pools they manage in the Frederick area. The Board discussed that the prices should be brought down to be more competitive since the pools have been underutilized in the past. The Board discussed raising the allowable outside memberships to 100 but that it would be better to wait to reassess until they were closer to the maximum. The Board discussed that last year the Association did not advertise enough for the outside pool membership and that doing so this year would potentially increase outside memberships. They also discussed that advertising might cost less than lowering the price of the passes, but there is no guarantee that it would result in more memberships and could be a lost investment.
The Board also discussed the issue of children using water guns, such as super-soakers and its interference with the enjoyment of many bystanders near the pool. Some Board members discussed that they would like the water guns to be banned from being used at the pool. Management has not received any complaints regarding water guns. The Board determined it would be best to run it by Continental, get their feedback, research other pools’ rules and then determine if it is necessary to ban the water guns via email prior to the next meeting.
Table the discussion of the pool cameras to the following meeting.
Motion: To lower the price of memberships for residents and non-residents to $370.00 and $270.00 respectively. As well as approve the pool pass materials, with the exception of adding the ban for super-soakers. This ban will be reassessed and voted upon via email prior to the next meeting.
Ryan/ Weaver Vote: Unanimous
E. Board Member Resignation:
Mr. Hornstein had mentioned at the November meeting that he may have to resign his Board position due to work conflicts. Management enclosed a copy of Mr. Hornstein’s letter of resignation. The Board may appoint a homeowner to fill the vacant position for the remainder of Mr. Hornstein’s term. The Board discussed that Mr. Franks was second in line after Mr. Hornstein and would have taken the position if Mr. Hornstein did not take it. He has previous experience on the board and has already been voted as the next person in line. Mr. Nusraty seemed like a good potential candidate for the future. There were concerns voiced about both candidates being selected and ensuring that it would be fair to bring either on between elections. Since Mr. Franks was already voted as a runner up candidate and Mr. Nusraty submitted his candidacy after the election process, it was decided to honor the residents’ votes and accept Mr. Franks as the new member of the board.
The Board discussed that in the future, if a candidate resigns, the Board position should be posted on the website and communicated to the Whittier community.
Motion: To accept Mr. Franks as a replacement for Mr. Hornstein’s position.
Ryan /Jackson Vote: 4 For /2 Abstained/1 Apposed
F. Collection Decisions:
The Homeowner filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on July 17, 2015 and it was discharged by the US Bankruptcy Court on November 16, 2015. According to court order all amounts due prior to the filing date are not collectible and must be written off to bad debt.
Motion: To accept the write off to bad debt.
Ryan/Weaver Vote: Unanimous
2. **********: This homeowner is currently with the attorney’s office for collection. She is requesting the Board waive all legal/collection fees totaling $546.64.
Motion: To not accept the fee waiver request.
Cowell/Weaver Vote: Unanimous
The homeowner is requesting the Board allow her to pay the full balance due $571.00 on March 30, 2016, with no late fees.
Motion: To accept the request to pay the balance due without a late fee.
Jackson/Cowell Vote: Unanimous
This homeowner filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and it was discharged by the US Bankruptcy Court. Homeowner passed away and the home was foreclosed on 4/1/15. All amounts due from the mortgage company have been paid in full.
Motion: To accept the write-off to bad debt.
Jackson/Watt Vote: Unanimous
This home foreclosed on 6/17/15. Please advise if the Board would like to pursue a new suit for assessments and late fees totaling $1,152.94 or write-off pre-foreclosure balance to bad debt.
Motion: To accept the write-off to bad debt.
Ryan/ Weaver Vote: Unanimous
This home foreclosed on 7/10/14 and has since transferred to a new owner. All assessments due from the foreclosure date through 12/31/15 have been paid.
Motion: Approve to write-off to bad debt.
Ryan/Watt Vote: Unanimous
According to the status report from Nagle & Zaller, the homeowner filed for Chapter 7 on 5/18/15 and was granted a discharge by the US Bankruptcy Court on 9/24/15. According to the court order all amounts due prior to the filing date are not collectible and therefore must be written off as bad debt.
Management did however file liens of the property. The liens survive a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and must be released if the property transfers and is not foreclosed on. The liens filed on the property in Circuit Court total $3,175.11. The judgment lien filed by the attorney covers the same period of time as the property liens.
Management received notice that the Loan Servicing company is attempting to have the property transfer via a Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure rather than have the property go to foreclosure. The homeowner is offering $2,500.00 to satisfy the liens and the balance due, so the property can transfer. In addition to the balance, the $305.00 – 2016 assessment is due.
By the Board approving, this would bring the account current.
Motion: To accept the payment of $2,805.00.
Ryan/Weaver Vote: Unanimous
V. COMMITTEE REPORTS:
A. ACC: none
B. NAC Report:
Mr. Weaver, representing the NAC provided a summary of the police/crime report. The Chief of Police is willing to meet with residents to discuss any issues in the neighborhood. Unofficially, there are some reports of animal waste being a problem in the neighborhood. Animals should also be leashed in common areas. The residents should put away trash containers, it is a city ordinance. The residents need to remove grass clippings from the roads/sidewalks.
Action: Post on the website a reminder to clean up animal waste and leash animals in common area, it is a city ordinance.
C. Pool Committee: none
D. Townhouse Committee: none
E. Condo Committee: some issues with snow removal, many spots were still covered.
F. Landscaping Committee: none
G.Communications Committee: A Board Member suggested that the Communication Committee should be changed to Website Committee.
Ms. Weaver submitted a proposal for the Association Website.
Ms. Weaver and other resident’s suggestions include:
It should have a monthly newsletter link and more information added. A Website Committee should filter and approve all content submitted prior to being added to the website. A general email address should be utilized by all members of the committee to receive submitted content and filter any questions submitted by the residents. Dr. Zimnik is more than willing to continue to update and input all content onto the Website for free in lieu of hiring and paying a company or contractor to do so. Dr. Zimnik encourages the support and input from a website committee to help. He is willing to train anyone in the process of uploading and coding the content to the website. The Board discussed who would like to comprise the Website Committee. Dr. Zimnik will continue to input information on the website. Ms. Weaver will help filter information and learn how to add content to the website. A Board member suggested that Mr. Nusraty should be contacted as a potential addition to the committee.
Motion: To create a Website Committee that will manage the email address for the Association and manage the content for website. This committee will comprise of Mr. Zimnik, Ms. Weaver and Mr. Nusraty, if he accepts.
Ryan/Wyatt Vote: Unanimous
H.Social Committee: none
I. Treasurer’s Report: none
A. National Night Out:
The Board discussed the National Night Out versus the Whittier Lakeside Festival. The Board stated they would discuss this at another time.
B. Trash Can Issue:
Two homes continue to hide trash cans behind shrubs or in storage containers on the side of the home. The Board has questions as to where storage containers can be placed and will check with ACC and discuss in a future meeting.
VII. NEW BUSINESS:
No new business was discussed.
There being no additional business for the Board to conduct at this time, the Board meeting adjourned at: 9:04pm.
Jackson/ Zimnik Vote: Unanimous
Please note the next scheduled meeting is March 22, 2016 at 7:00PM.