Resident Q&A

Tonight, a resident submitted the questions below and asked for them to be responded to in a manner that would be visible to all. 

In the spirit of transparency, here they are. Residents, if you have questions, don't hold them back.  This effort is all about being straightforward and addressing challenges head-on.

How is this vote going to make it easier to enforce the restrictions?  
Currently, homeowners are not automatically members of the Glenwood Estates Homeowners’ Association. This is a loophole in the founding documents of our neighborhood, and one that prevents the Association from having the legal authority to enforce the restrictions when in a court of law. Past incidents have proven this to be the case as violators have argued that they are not bound by the restrictions because they are not members. This is highly atypical of successful HOAs.

Revision 1 makes all homeowners members of the Association and binds them to the restrictions by way of a formal restrictive covenant. This will unify all 9 sections and close said legal loophole.

What steps will be taken once a home owner is deemed to be in violation of the restrictions?
For issues that violate the law or village ordinance, the police or village officials will be engaged at the onset. We’ve been working to continue to grow our relationship with those agencies. For restrictions violations, an escalation process will occur.

First, our Restrictions Director will have a polite, neighborly conversation with first-time offenders. If the situation is not resolved within a timeline defined by the severity of the offense, the homeowner will receive a formal letter from the Association. If timely resolution does not occur, the Association will enlist our attorney for final resolution up to and including financial penalties against the homeowner.

Is the board going to truly enforce all restrictions or pick and choose as they have for years?
This question is not objective and is clearly biased, but I will address it.

As previously stated, the Board has not to date possessed the necessary authority that is present in properly structured HOAs due to issues with the founding documents. I am involved formally with the Board for the first time and doing everything I can to address long-standing issues such as this in an effort to change our course.

So if this measure passes, I will do everything possible to ensure we maintain a safe, clean and attractive neighborhood for all. This will make me and the Board unpopular with violators, but is the only way we can begin to move things in the right direction for the vast majority of residents who try to do the right things, and for those who are angry at what they feel is past inaction.

What steps will be taken if a household does not pay their dues?
Dues payment will be addressed in much the same manner as the restrictions violation protocol above. It will be an escalation path leading to financial penalties against the homeowner.

Having said that, this is not an effort to badger people about dues. Some seniors are on fixed incomes and others experience hardships from time to time. The Board will make every effort to accommodate payment plans and the necessary flexibility to give people the benefit of the doubt unless there’s a clear pattern of avoidance.

What is the boards (SIC) current definition of "basic home maintenance"?
If Revision 3 passes, homeowners will have a voice in how we structure new restrictions to define this in crystal clear terms. 

What is the balance of neighborhood associations bank account?
You may view our 6-year income and expense statement at glenwoodestates.org/vote and feel free to contact our Treasurer Linda Bailey at bmcbailey@charter.net for our daily balance.

What is the actual resurfacing cost of the basketball court (how many years is it annualized over, when was it done and when due again)
Court resurfacing is typically recommended for every 3-5 years on a rolling basis.  That area was established as a park instead of a home site because a creek once ran through it. Accordingly, it has a high water table that makes courts of any kind more challenging to maintain. Resurfacing was last completed in 2012 and cost $3,850 at that time for two coats of sealant and re-striping. It is due for another resurface in 2017, which will likely cost more due to inflation and the need to repair a crack that has emerged in the surface.

What does the estimated average maintenance cover and why is it not actual number since you already pulled out the two big items?
Maintenance varies each year and was presented this way in an effort to provide a baseline average amount. Some years, we paint playground equipment. Some years we remove trees. Some years, we install park features. In some years, we do not. Hence, an average.

Where can I get a list of the 36 subdivisions and their dues?
Right here.

Does the fact that almost 30 less households paid their dues in 2015-2016 then the average of the previous 4 years make you think that the residents don't believe the raise in cost was necessary?
It’s certainly possible, but a subdivision of 272 homes that on average collects only $1,642 more than its expenses annually is on a path to failure. It’s notable that the amount collected last year increased by over $3,000 to help us ensure working funds for the unexpected (tree issues in the park, rising utility and insurance costs, maintenance, etc). And again, in comparison with other similar neighborhoods in our immediate area, our dues are still well within a fair range.

Are the "special meetings of the association" for changing by-laws and restrictions something that will be separate from the annual meetings and how will residents find out about the meetings?  Will there be absentee ballots so it would truly be a fair vote? 
Just like annual meetings, special meetings as defined by the By-Laws currently require written notice at least 10 days in advance of said meeting. This has been adhered to for every annual and special meeting of which I am aware. And yes, special meetings are typically separate from the annual meeting but need not be if residents desire otherwise.

In terms of absentee ballots, this is something we can certainly explore together should these measures pass. We would need to consult with our attorney to ensure they would be legally acceptable.

How many residents were at the vote to raise the dues?
If you are referring to the January 2016 meeting, then eighteen residents attended that meeting. We built this website, a Facebook page and an email list all in an effort to gain more involvement from homeowners and hope to continue to promote dialogue, feedback and neighborhood engagement moving forward. 

The board claims that more then (SIC) 1 in 4 houses fail to pay their dues every year, however based on the numbers from the budget, last year when the dues were raised to $75 was the first year since 2010 where there has been less then 80% of neighborhood paying dues and even the first year where the total dues were lowest it was still above 75%  (I am basing my numbers on the due amounts collected divided by due amount per household)
Dues collection historically fluctuates but the average dues collected represent about 70-75% of those that we should be collecting from year to year. Our neighborhood is 50 years old and you're seeing a small snapshot.

Why is it that name and address are required on the ballots, to me this is another way that the association is trying to strong arm the neighborhood (along with the letters that are all just saying vote yes and making sure the ballots are distributed 2 weeks prior to the open discussion in the park)
Again, this is a biased question but one I will address.

As the letter stated, a 2/3 majority vote of every section of the neighborhood – there are nine: Glenwood Estates, Additions 1 through 7 and Sherwood on the Lake – is required to pass these measures formally. There’s no intent to strong-arm anyone - quite the opposite as I've answered every question you have posed - but we have to understand which sections are voting for which measures to properly ratify the vote. Plus, as I previously indicated, we would like to increase dialogue among homeowners and the Association, so we would like to have contact information for homeowners.