March 09, 2018

Time continues to fly by and Spring is just about here! I have a lot to tell you so I’m going to bullet point all the topics, so you can skip right to what your looking for!

March Meeting Madness – dates and other info
Board Candidates declaration of interest
Operations Manager Project
Office Staffing
Property Standards
Closing Comments

So, let’s start out with the March Board Meeting. According to the Clearwood Rules and Regulations, members who have an interest in serving as a Board Director to fill two of the positions coming vacant in August of 2018 need to declare their candidacy at the March Meeting. Candidates will have the option of addressing membership at both the March and May meetings with the election coming in August. If you are going to run and be placed on the ballot you MUST declare candidacy by the March Meeting. Others can run as write in candidates. Before anyone can be placed on the ballot they must submit to and pass a criminal background check. Are you interested? Can you attend monthly board meetings on Saturdays once a month, and committee meetings as a liaison to the Board for the different working committees once or twice a month? Do you have time to educate yourself about the community and it’s needs, research options and vote on the part of membership to do or not do certain projects, purchases, or taking action? Being a Board member is not just attending meetings. It is a commitment to take the time to understand the issues and represent the community.

The March meeting is also the deadline for the Membership to provide proposals to the Board for rule revisions, projects, or other issues that are required to go to Members for a vote. Based on the rules, you must write the Proposal in a prescribed format and receive signatures from a minimum of 26 members in good standing. These are then presented to the board at the March meeting upon which signatures will be confirmed for good standing. If you are looking for samples of a resolution you can find samples of ones that have been written on the Clearwood website.

The March Meeting will be held at the Bald Hills Fire Department on Saturday, March 17, 2018. It will start at 9 AM. Please come to the meeting to have coffee with your neighbors and hear what’s going on.

The Operations Manager staffing plan has been pulled from the table for now. We did not receive the number or type of qualified applicants that we had hoped for. The Board determined that the chances for success were limited without a higher level of skill and ability. Instead, we have left the option open, and for Office Staffing we are temporarily promoting Rebecca Kyser into the Office Manager position, giving her the opportunity to use her knowledge of Clearwood to demonstrate her abilities in performing this work. On call staff member Katherine Henry has stepped up to the plate and is working full time while we recruit and hire a replacement to fill our vacancy. We anticipate having a new full-time staff member in the next two weeks. Once that position is filled, Katherine will step back to her on-call position. We have hired Rachel Paige as a second on-call position as a backup and to cover for vacations, workload peak in lieu of hiring a third full time person. With the Board Secretary returning to work on a full-time basis, the Board will be utilizing Wendi Broden to attend Board Meetings, take Meeting Minutes, process Board Agendas and Packets as well as prepare annual mailings and voter pamphlets for August elections.
This model will be cost neutral and allow evaluation for the future. Please congratulate Rebecca and know that she is your go to person for Association Business.

Now, let’s talk about Property Standards. Some of you will not agree with what I have to say and others will applaud. Many will not have an opinion. The subject however is addressed in our Covenants or CCR’s and the Association must be diligent in holding up the standards. When you live in a Common Interest Community or a housing association like Clearwood there are rules to follow that you will not find in communities that are not considered as such. It doesn’t matter if you rent or own, the rules are the same and the owner is responsible for the consequences of not upholding the property standards whether they live in the house or rent it out.

I have seen many social media posts where people are complaining about the warning letters, Violations, and fines that have been levied against them. Recent posts about Children’s toys in yards and unsightly yards come to mind; cars parked on common areas, and mossy roofs. All of these basic infractions are covered in the CCRs in one way or another whether it be unsightly, in disrepair, or against the rules. In most cases, people get busy and forget, so warning letters are sent. The purpose of property standards is to instill pride in the community that results in a neighborhood that is pleasant to live in and drive through; is maintained without being left in disrepair and consequently improves property values. The Association has an Architectural Control Committee that issues building permits for everything from building fences, to painting houses, to cutting down trees. Their purpose is to maintain conformity and consistency within the community. Recently several stop work orders have been issued because permits were not gotten in advance. There are fines and it can get expensive when owners don’t follow the rules. Many claim they didn’t know it was a rule. If you don’t know the rules, please go to the website and read the Covenants, the By Laws, and the Rules and Regulations. If you have questions call the office. Watch your April newsletter for more information about this program.

Consistency and fairness in applying and enforcing the rules is important. Mistakes have been made but are slowly being resolved. To ensure fairness and consistency, the Association is in the process of creating a General Checklist that will be used in the very near future on a regular basis by a Compliance Member who will identify issues through Drive By of every house in every division on a monthly basis. We are allocating 10 hours a week out in the community evaluating property standards. Prior to starting this program our Association members will receive a copy of the Checklist and a letter explaining the property standards program. Issues that are not corrected within the time frame noted in the letter will be issued violations which generally result in monetary fines. Money that comes in from fines goes into general operations and maintenance but is NOT considered as anticipated income for budgeting purposes. The goal is to have standards that are such that fines are rarely levied.

In closing, I want to remind everyone that we have two full time openings on our Maintenance Staff. Steve has given his notice and will be leaving employment to return to trade school. The positions come with full benefits and the job announcement can be found on the Clearwood website under job opportunities. If you know someone who might be interested, please forward the announcement to them. Albert is anxious to get his staff hired and trained before we get into peak season.

If you have any questions, please forward them to

February 17, 2018

I am writing this digest to recap for you the results at the end of the day, on Saturday February 17, 2018 at the February Board Meeting.

As you are more than aware, there has been a significant amount of stress and strife in the community based on the inability of the Board to work together professionally. A recent recall effort was on its third leg of a four part process and tensions were high at the Board Meeting this morning. Members were present to submit the signatures required to call a Special Election. A couple of Board Members had resigned prior to the meeting and two others, including me, had gone out on an extended leave while the recall effort moved forward. The three Board Members present, worked with previous leaders in the community and were able to resolve the issues with the agreed upon resignation of Ms. Martin.

Today, at the Board Meeting, Syndi Martin resigned from the Board as a Director, following her initial resignation from the role of treasurer at the end of last month. This nullified the need to hold a Special Meeting in March for the purpose of removing her from directorship. The resignation of Em Seymour was rescinded and approved unanimously by the Board. Timothy Francen was appointed to replace Richard Hill who resigned on Friday. He has also been assigned as the Roads and Water Liaison. Emily Martin’s resignation as Volunteer Coordinator was accepted by the Board, but she has opted to remain on the MAC committee. Em Seymour voluntarily stepped down from the role of Vice President and the Board in turn voted Valerie Cawley into office as the new Vice President. Em Seymour remains on the Board, as co-Liaison on the ACC committee and liaison for the MAC committee. Wendi Broden has accepted the position of Volunteer Coordinator.

Minutes of the entire meeting will be posted in the next 5 to 7 days so that you will have a full set of details as to business matters that were passed at the meeting. For the most part, I have addressed the highlights from the meeting above.

I wanted to take a few minutes to express the deepest apologies from the remaining Board as to the turmoil that has been a part of this community for the last year, and even more so in the last couple of months. The current Board now consists of 6 members and a decision has been made to pend sitting another director until we determine if there is anyone who plans to express interest in serving on the Board in the near future. Candidates need to make their declaration at the March Board Meeting. The vacant position comes up for election in August.

This mornings meeting had a rough start but the end result is one that brought people together, offered some significant lessons and provided resolve to many issues. For the first time in years, the two splintered factions that have governed in Clearwood in the last several years, have for the most part come together and are working in the interest of the community. Many have said that this is not something they ever expected to see. It is important to acknowledge that this “good” came out of the recent turmoil.

It wouldn’t be fair however to not give Syndi Martin credit for the good work that she has done. Syndi was the main driver in putting together a plan to educate the community on the ever increasing costs of Operations. She was a part of developing a plan to inform members about the need for an Assessment Increase and was a integral part of the success in passing the $85 annual Operations Assessment Increase.

In closing, the Board will be taking the time to re-normalize and are busily preparing for the March Meeting. The Board has agreed to put the past behind us and move forward for the best interest of Clearwood. These recent issues have put us behind in planning for the March Meeting and we will be scheduling a work session in the very near future to work through some issues and ensure we have all the necessary documents and resolutions prepared to present to membership in March. All member resolutions must be written and presented at the March Meeting. Please watch for the forms and signature sheets to be posted on the website so that you can attach any resolutions that you plan to submit to membership along with the petition and the appropriate number of Member signatures.