Thornwilde, Inc. Annual Meeting - November 9, 2010
The 2010 annual meeting for the Thornwilde, Inc. Homeowners Association was held on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm at West Alliance Church. The agenda was:
1. Call to Order and Roll Call
2. General Announcements
3. Introduction of NEW Property Manager: Scott Schlemmel
4. Treasurer’s Report
5. Plans for 2011: Presentation from Waldman Engineering
6. Formal Adoption of 2011 Budget (Board Only)
7. Call for volunteers, two positions available
President Kris Mayo (Lot 76) called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m. There were 25 people, representing 22 lots, at the meeting. This was not a quorum.
Kris Mayo introduced the current Board members – Treasurer Jim Fritz (Lot 38); Secretary Vicki Haines (Lot 40), Members-At-Large Bob Bulmash (Lot 43), Joe Klein (Lot 30), and Lark Welch (Lot 77).
General Announcement Kris Mayo stated that Anderson Pest Control sprays for wasps and will come back under warranty to spray if additional wasps are found. Kris asked people to be sure to call Hillcrest to report wasps.
Kris Mayo reminded people to keep their pets on a leash and to clean up after their pets.
Kris Mayo said that Bob Bulmash does an excellent job maintaining the Thornwilde web site and asked people to visit the web site often: www.thornwilde.com She said information will be posted there on progress of the upcoming renovation work (discussed later in the meeting).
Kris Mayo reminded people to call Hillcrest with any issues. The number is 630-627-3303.
Property Managers: Kris Mayo said there had been issues when Barb was the property manger, so James Strons became our property manager in July. But James had just given notice that he would be leaving Hillcrest to pursue a career in another industry. Scott Schlemmel will now be our property manager. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kris said there have been problems in the past with phone calls to Hillcrest not being returned. She said the board has been addressing those issues, but urged people to call Hillcrest again if they have not received a return phone call in a reasonable amount of time.
Treasurer’s Report: James Strons reported that we are in good shape financially, with total reserves as of 9/30/2010 being $444,277.54. Vince Nall, Lot 67 asked how much more are in reserves this year than last year. James/Scott Schlemmel will get that information.
James Strons stated the two Cole Taylor CDs were IRA CDs.\ Becky Mulligan, Lot 51, asked how they can be IRAs since those are for individuals. Scott Schlemmel/James Strons will look into that, citing the CDs are probably incorrectly listed as IRAs.
James Strons stated that maintenance on a number of units would start on Thursday, 11/10 and continue for 2-3 weeks. Nancy Romer, Lot 47, asked why we waited so long to start the work. James said it took a while to get a vendor who would do the work, etc. Marlena Asechliman, Lot 17, asked if her deck was on the list to be fixed since she has had a leak for several years. James said it is on the list. David Lankah, Lot 70, asked how long driveways should last. Kris Mayo said 15 years. David asked how the board knows if a driveway is 15 years old and so should be replaced. Kris said driveways are worked on in a priority basis. David Lankah, Lot 70, asked how many buildings will get new siding. Kris said that will be covered in the presentation from Waldman Engineering.
Vince Nall, Lot 67, asked who is responsible for the section of cement that comes out from the garage door (the concrete before the asphalt). James Strons/Scott Schlemmel/Kris Mayo will look into that.
Presentation from Waldman Engineering: Mark Waldman from Waldman Engineering said the board didn’t want to just put band-aids on things, so hired Waldman to get help on how to do the siding project correctly. He said that simply replacing the siding wasn’t going to be enough, that the project entailed stairs, decks, brick, and siding. He said the project is about addressing water penetration issues, cabling issues, and not just about beautifying the exteriors of the units. Mark is the structural engineer on the project and there is also have an Architect involved to advise on textures and colors and more abstract issues. Drawings for the project have been done for the 15 units in the front two clusters (36-43 and 29-35). Mark said these were good choices for the initial project since they were simpler in that there were no rear decks, but still contained many of the elements found in other units. Jackie White, Lot 60, commented those units would be the first you’d see when coming in to the subdivision, and Mark agreed that doing those units would help give a favorable impression of the subdivision.
Mark Walman said we will be getting quotes on putting special boxes on the roofs for mounting satellite dishes, and will have ways to deal with covering up cables. He said they would have a standard specification for windows for any homeowners who want to replace them during the renovation work. Light fixtures will be relocated in cases where they are in the way of doors opening. There will be a standard recommendation for entry doors and storm doors. (When contractors put new trim around doors, storm doors that are broken won’t be put back on, so homeowners can choose to not have a storm door or get the new standard door.) Mark said the plans were trying to have the units maintain a standard look.
Mark Waldman said bids are being obtained for heavy grade 046 vinyl siding and for an insulated siding that will add an additional R value. There will be an air barrier, a breathable house wrap that will allow water vapor to get out, but will not allow water to get in. The materials used will try to address the air infiltration and water penetration issues we currently have. He said that perhaps 15 lb felt paper is beneath the siding, or maybe just plywood. Roberta Munch, Lot 23, said when they once ripped out their wall, they found there was no felt paper, just bare boards and many gaps. Mark believes whatever is there is probably getting wet. Mark said he recently completed a project in Aurora. An air barrier was not required in 1986 when the units were built. He expects they will find rotted wood and rotted substrate in our units. He said they may need to rebuild entire brick walls. He said what is put on the wall will be part of a “system”. But he said that to actually add insulation in the walls would be cost prohibitive since it requires not just taking off the siding, but also everything beneath the siding, which normally isn’t done in this type of project.
Mark Waldman said he is recommending a composite wood trim for around windows and doors. Miratek, when installed correctly, should have a 15 year finish. Vince Nall, Lot 67, said Miratek seemed too expensive for our units, but agreed that the vinyl trim in the base bid is not good, either. Vince Nall, Lot 67, asked about using wood wrapped in aluminum. Mark listed several reasons why that doesn’t work well, either. But Mark also acknowledged that we “don’t want to put lipstick on a pig”, so will carefully choose appropriate materials for the project.
Becky Mulligan, Lot 51, asked for a ballpark figure for doing 75 units. Mark said it would most likely be over a million dollars. Glenn Kroehnert, Lot 23, said it would probably be closer to one and a half million dollars. Roberta Munch, Lot 23, questioned the $9000 spent on an engineering report for the possible overhaul project.
Roberta Munch, Lot 23, asked why use vinyl siding and not fiber cement board. Mark said he has seen fiber cement board buildings fail and did not recommend it. Art Brown, Lot 20, asked why it failed, and Mark said it was not installed in concert with roofing, etc, so that there were many areas that could leak. Mark said it was also more expensive and that vinyl is actually more sustainable.
Nancy Romer, Lot 47, asked if we will sell the old aluminum siding. Yes.
David Lankah, Lot 70, asked how we chose the engineering company and the contractors. Kris Mayo said that we used Waldman Engineering since they were involved in the original reserve study. (It was done by HBIS Engineering which is now part of Waldman.) Then contractors that Waldman has worked with and that Hillcrest have used were chosen to give bids on the proposal.
Becky Mulligan, Lot 51, said she has many questions and wants to know in what forum they can be addressed. She said she is concerned about making two clusters look very pretty, but then running out of money so the other units can’t be renovated and wondered if we should narrow the scope of the project. Mark Waldman said the scope of the work is everything he deemed needed to be done, though we can choose cheaper light fixtures and things like that.
Diane Cabrera, Lot 60, said we need to have another meeting since no proxies were sent out, there is low attendance at the meeting, and this is the first that residents have heard of this major overhaul project.
Kris Mayo responded that after the bids and quotes have come back, we could have another meeting in December or January. Kris told people they could email their questions to the email@example.com email address. Becky Mulligan, Lot 51, asked if the bids would be itemized. Mark Waldman said the bids will be a line-by-line item list.
2011 Budget: Kris Mayo said that the budget sent in the second mailing to homeowners was the correct budget. She said assessments would be going up $20/month for a total of $225/month starting January 1, 2011. She said most budgets amounts are similar to last year. The additional $20/month will all go to reserves, so that the reserve funding for 2011 will be $97,900. Diane Cabrera, Lot 60, asked how the board decided how much to put into reserves. Diane said she wants to make sure we aren’t over-reserving. Jim Fritz, Treasurer, said we aren’t over-reserving, that the amount going into reserves is based on new projections for doing the renovation work.
Roberta Munch, Lot 23, questioned the $23,107.54 spent to date as listed in the budget and questioned how much work was actually done. Kris Mayo said some of the money spent in 2010 was for repairs completed in 2009. Nancy Romer, lot 47, said it was frustrating not to have much work done. Becky Mulligan, Lot 51, asked the board to prepare a list by lot number of all maintenance that has been done this year, including the cost. She said the list should show what has previously been completed and what work will be done in the next 2-3 weeks.
Kris Mayo explained that only the board actually votes on the budget, so Jim Fritz made a motion, seconded by Bob Bulmash, to approve the proposed 2011 budget. The motion passed unanimously.
Communication Issues: Nancy Romer, Lot 47, said she left a message two weeks ago and no one has called her back. Becky Mulligan, Lot 51, said we are receiving unacceptable service from Hillcrest. Jackie White, Lot 60, said that if someone didn’t get calls back from a bank, or doctor, or other professional, it would be a reason to switch to a new bank or doctor, etc. James Strons said he had been on vacation and apologized that Nancy hadn’t gotten called back. Diane Cabrera, Lot 60, asked if there a plan in place to cover for James when he would out. James said yes, and said he didn’t know what happened to Nancy’s call.
David Lankah, Lot 70, asked who we can call if we are not happy with the response from Hillcrest. Glenn Kroehnert, Lot 23, asked what the process is for expressing displeasure with the service from Hillcrest. Becky Mulligan, Lot 51, asked if Hillcrest has a written policy on communication with homeowners. If so, it should be sent to homeowners. If not, she asked that a policy be written and sent to homeowners. Becky also asked who is the ombudsperson or the person homeowners should talk to when they are unhappy with the property manager’s response time. Incoming property manager, Scott Schlemmel, said that Dale Nusbaum is the vice president of the company.
Diane Cabrera, Lot 60, asked what we would have to do to fire Hillcrest. Kris Mayo gave the history of after having problems with property manager Barb and talking to Hillcrest and also to another property management company, the decision was made to stay with Hillcrest, but get a different property manager. Diane asked why we should still stay with Hillcrest when people are very upset. Jackie White, Lot 60, said we should look at hiring another company, and we should look into how the company vets their secretarial staff, if the issue is that administrative staff is losing or not recording messages.
Lynn Nuzzo, Lot 44, said she is frustrated with the lack of communication. There is no newsletter. She said she has visited the Thornwilde web site a few times. She asked if the meeting minutes could be posted on the web site. We talked about the official minutes only containing things that were voted on and those could be posted on the web site after they’ve been approved by the board
Scott Schlemmel, incoming property manger, said that when people call Hillcrest, be aware that there are two Scotts in the office, so be sure to ask for Scott Schlemmel. He said that Moraima Carrillo is the assistant property manager at Hillcrest. If you have a work request, call Moraima. (Hillcrest’s number is 630‑627‑3303). If it is a routine request, Moraima will assign it to a contractor. If not, she will give the request to the property manager. Scott says he prefers to be contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can go to the Hillcrest web site www.hillcrestmgmt.com and fill out an online maintenance request.
Sam Ali, Lot 29, posed the question to Hillcrest: as a property management company, where is the customer service?
Bob Bulmash, Lot 43, suggested we could set up a system on the Thornwilde web site where residents would post issues they have reported to Hillcrest in order to track how long it takes Hillcrest to resolve the issues.
David Lankah, Lot 70, asked if homeowners could get a letter with all the Hillcrest and property manager information in it.
Nancy Romer, Lot 47, asked why there was no proxy sent out this year. Diane Cabrera, Lot 60, said that in the past the homeowners have voted on electing people to the board, but that can’t be done this year without a quorum. It was noted that no vote was needed to raise the assessment, since it is being raised 9.8% and the by-laws allow the assessment to be raised 10% or less without a vote. There was some discussion about the new law covering rules for homeowners associations that passed this year. That law says a quorum is 20% of units, which would mean only 15 units would need to be at this meeting to constitute a quorum. The question is if that law takes precedence over our by-laws or not (that says a quorum is 51%). Scott Schlemmel will look into this.
Tony Lopez, Lot 27, asked if having a management company has freed up board member’s time. Kris Mayo said, in theory, yes. Secretary Vicki Haines later said, no, especially with Barb as the manager since an additional action items list had to be created to keep track of the many open items.
Diane Cabrera, Lot 60, asked if Hillcrest would do a newsletter. Kris Mayo said they would if we feed them the information. Later, Diane Cabrera, Lot 60, and Becky Mulligan, Lot 51, agreed to do a newsletter. November 19, 2010 is the deadline for getting input to the newsletter.
Call for Volunteers: Sam Ali, Lot 29 and Bill Lancet, Lot 37, volunteered to replace the two outgoing board members, Bob Bulmash and Vicki Haines.
President Kris Mayo adjourned the meeting at 9:18pm.
Vicki Haines 11/11/10 (amended 12/18/10)