Park River Oak Estates Homeowner's Association

Meeting Minutes

November 14, 2010 Park River Oaks Estates Annual HOA Membership Meeting

ATTENDANCE:  all board members:  Marguerite Elia, President; Eric Olsen, Vice-President; Darrell Hamamoto, Secretary; Greg Watanabe, Treasurer; Kevin Brown, Director-at-large, and 21 homeowners in attendance.

Marguerite Elia called meeting to order.  Quorum was met through the submitted ballots, as established by the HOA’s Rules of Elections.  52 ballots were received out of 73 eligible voters in good-standing.  No ballot received owed a delinquent assessment.

Attendance sheet circulated.

The rules for counting Board election ballots were reviewed by M. Elia.

Three Officers of the Elections were introduced: Caitlyn Yee, Golda Mainville, and David Narayan.

President’s report, by Marguerite Elia

The Homeowners Association (HOA) is a unique institution:  we are a non-profit corporation, but at the same time we are allowed to invest our funds and we are obligated to pay taxes.  We are a residential community, but the government often handles us as a commercial corporation, accountable to commercial standards.  We are considered both residential and commercial (as a multi-unit gated community).  PROE is also a Planned Unit Development (PUD); not a condominium.  The HOA is required to maintain common areas.  The private owner has more responsibility for repairs to their home than in a condominium where the HOA shares ownership of external components of the condo.   In a PUD, the private owner owns their building from ground to roof.   The HOA still maintains the roof, stucco, gutters, etc. on the outside of the buildings; owners are responsible for issues such as doors, balconies, touch-up painting, etc.

The PRO HOA is a formal, state-recognized mutual-benefit corporation and is required to operate by state laws established for corporations.  For example, we are governed by the “Business Judgment Rule” which means that the HOA must make decisions based upon recommendations of trained professionals and experts in industry standards.  Federal laws governing collections and discrimination also apply to us.   For example, the Fair Housing and Employment Act governs us -- which is why the  HOA cannot restrict children from using facilities, although it has been demanded from time to time.  To operate with “equity, consistency, and balance” in decisions, “personal opinions” are inadequate and not reliable; so Elia recommends we consult the laws and experts.

An example of our “commercial” status is the County’s annual inspections of our pool.  There are forty-plus points we must meet, or be fined, or closed down by government health inspectors for commercial pools. 

Update on Community Issues:

  1. Fire lane parking violations:  This problem has diminished due to the new security service company ticketing of residents.
  2. Charcoal barbeque fire hazard:  PRO HOA is liable if rules/restrictions are not enforced.
  3. This past year, PRO ceased to use property management companies after major problems consistently developed from their lack of professionalism, their financial improprieties, and extreme lack of proper communications and follow-through on work projects.   It is “normal” (but not acceptable) for repairs to go ignored for six months or longer by managers and for them to operate with extremely low standards.   Multiple examples were provided.   After years of horrible work performances by several different companies, it was decided that PRO HOA become “self-managed.”

Self-Management:

One example of a specific benefit:  This is the first year that no checks were bounced.  ALL previous management companies had difficulty keeping an accurate bank balance, therefore all companies bounced checks.  (A record twenty-six checks bounced in a six-month period by Haney Inc, is one example.)  PRO HOA has not missed a payment to vendors and every utility is paid on time since hiring David Tanigawa & Associates to provide professional bookkeeping services.  This means that no late fees were imposed on us and results in savings to the PRO HOA treasury.

This is the first year that everyone behind in PRO HOA dues received “late payment letters” on time (or at all).

This is the first time that PRO HOA bank funds were not mixed up with others accounts – too commonplace with Property Managers.

In 2010, PRO HOA also fired its long-time collections agency.  Now the PRO HOA has a new collections agency that so far seems to be doing a more professional job.  Elia suggested that those delinquent in PRO HOA dues be offered a payment plan rather than not pay at all.  Elia reports that the new collection agency has been good with arranging payment plans.  It also  places liens quickly.  Elia reported that currently there are seven units behind in their payment of PRO HOA dues as of November 2010.  We work cooperatively with individuals to help them catch up and avoid collections, if possible.

Final Vote on Board Elections:

The Board vote for the General Election was tallied by the three Officers of the Elections.  The Final Vote was announced as:

50 votes for Marguerite Elia; 31 votes for Eric Olsen; and 10 votes for Ron Colton.

Marguerite Elia and Eric Olsen were re-elected to the Board.   There were only two vacancies available.

Garbage Service
An issue was raised regarding Allied Waste (commercial garbage collection contractor).  The Mayor’s office and Sacramento City Council want us to switch to city garbage service ($200.00 more per month). 

A city letter stated that the contract with Allied was to be terminated on November 01, 2010.  Elia contested the changeover mandated by the City.  As a result, the matter was tabled until meetings (private) are held between Allied and the Sacramento City Manager.  So, Elia got the PRO HOA a reprieve of six months or longer, which represents a savings of $200.00 per month.

If the city prevails, PRO HOA will see no rate increase if dumpsters are reduced by one cubic yard (i.e. a smaller dumpster).  It was agreed informally that this would be acceptable to the membership since the existing dumpsters usually are not filled to capacity.

Security Company:

Paladin Security Guards reports no burglaries this year.  There is also a reduced number of vandalisms.  Paladin arranged for one vehicle—an illegally-parked truck—for tow-away. Elia reports that prior to hiring security guards, there were four car burglaries and one house burglary.

Elia:  the PRO HOA membership is needed to help with security such as at the pool.  She suggests each person informally watch the community for questionable behaviors.  Ironically, most property damage (e.g. spa heater) and gate-jimmying is done by PRO residents.  (Paladin patrols six times per day.)

For example, if anyone sees a “geyser” due to a broken sprinkler, report it to Elia (Paladin has been good about reporting such).  PRO is on metered water system and leaks cost money.

Shrubbery (Bayberry plants) will be cut back at entrances for visibility purposes.  Elia will contact Carsons (landscaping; gardening) to do the trimming.

Last year, Elia and Eric Olsen looked into installing more security cameras.  But it was going to cost $9,000.00 plus.  So it was decided to forego taking further action at this time.  We already have four effective cameras on the property.

Elia requests that Paladin give PRO HOA credit if it does not show up on a patrol.

Insurance:

Elia reports that flood insurance is now sold per unit; not per building.  Elia strongly recommends flood insurance and interior home insurance be purchased by private owners.

Annual Budget for 2011 and Reserves:

The Annual Budget was distributed and discussed.   Elia reports that the PRO HOA financial reserves stands at approximately $180,000.00 as of October 2010.  M Elia:  “It’s not enough.”  Exact dollar amount will be listed on the Annual Financial Disclosures to be mailed out Thanksgiving week.

PRO HOA will not have a dues increase next year, 2011.

Elia passed out PRO HOA dues payment coupons to members in attendance, representing a savings in postage.

Legal Cases:

Elia provided a brief update of the PRO HOA legal issues against the builder:  Elia reported that the process is in “mediation phase.”

Liens have been placed on homes for non-payment of HOA dues.  Elia reported on the Yeager case (two units not annexed into PRO HOA originally).  But we could not placed lien on them  due to non-annexation.  They have consumed many services for years without payment for them.

Membership Question and Answer and Discussion

PRO HOA delayed the spa heater repair, since seven units are in non-payment.  Elia recommends that the membership take responsibility by speaking up and reporting what they witness to ensure that equipment and facilities are not abused either by residents or guests.

“How many units are non-owner occupied” was asked by a member.  Elia estimated that there are 25 renters at PRO, but it fluctuates and many are family members.  Elia recommends certain rental agents that have done a good job.  Some rental agencies have been terrible in their screening and follow-through.

Elia suggests use of the Community Bulletin Board to post information (e.g. barbeque warnings).

The issue of dogs urinating on grass was raised.  Elia reported that the family responsible has been sent letters, and were met with, but that they have been unresponsive until recently. 

Kevin Brown offered to represent the PRO HOA in Small Claims Court in the matter of such incidents.  He suggested that a log of transgressing be maintained and that the offender(s) pay for re-sodding the grass. 

Meeting adjourned.

MINUTES SUBMITTED:  Darrell Y. Hamamoto, Secretary