Archives for July 2014

Highlights of July 7, 2014 BCA Board Meeting

Posted July 11, 2014 at 3:13 PM
Important Note: The below highlights are reported based on unofficial notes taken by NRC representatives who attended the above BCA meeting. Although we believe the below reporting is reliable and strive for accuracy, we cannot assure 100% accuracy. It is recommended to all readers that they read the approved BCA Board Meeting minutes when published.

Approval of Agendas

Director Bettin moved to amend the agenda of the Executive Session per the Virginia Property Owners Association Act, Section 55-510.1 to consider contractual and legal matters regarding acquisition of property by the Association. President Davis seconded the motion. This motion was passed 5:2, with President Davis and Directors Pearson, Malek, Hillman and Bettin voting "for" and Directors Blom and Leonard voting "against".

Since one of the items on the original Executive Session agenda was omitted with the above vote, Director Blom made a motion to add the deleted personnel item to the open session of the Board meeting. Director Hillman seconded the motion.

Director Leonard commented that personnel matters had previously been discussed in Executive Sessions, but if this particular personnel issue is not to be discussed in Executive Session, then he felt it should be discussed in the open session of this Board meeting.

In a 3:4 vote (Directors Blom, Leonard and Hillman voting "for" and President Davis, Directors Pearson, Malek and Bettin voting "against"), the motion failed.

Directors Blom and Leonard requested that a special meeting of the BCA Board of Directors be scheduled.

President's Report

President Davis thanked the BCA Staff and all the volunteers who participated in executing the wonderful 4th of July and 40th Anniversary celebrations. According to all the reports he had received, traffic was well-managed and all the activities were conducted without major incidents. He felt that execution of the events met 99% of the Board's expectations, and it should be even better next year.

President Davis complimented the County on its addition of street lights along Genito and Old Hundred Roads. He felt the lights really enhance the appeal of the area.

President Davis read Dee Pisciella's e-mail that announced this year's National Night Out is scheduled for Tuesday, August 5. The event for Planters Wood will be held on Farm Crest Court. President Davis hopes that all neighborhoods sponsor a National Night Out so that residents can re-acquaint themselves with their neighbors and, of course, meet McGruff ("take a bite out of crime").

President Davis asked Manager Bailey to give an update on road maintenance in Brandermill. Manager Bailey said that Slurry Pavers will have worked on an additional 87 roads in Brandermill by the end of the summer, and the BCA hopes to publish a list of these roads as soon as feasible.

President Davis stated that some of the old road pavement has to be removed and replaced before the slurry can be applied. He emphasized that "no road will be left half-done." Our roads should begin looking a lot better going forward.

Treasurer's Report

Treasurer Hillman commented that although revenues from pool membership was approximately $20,000 short of budget as of June 30, 2014, membership fees are continuing to be received by the BCA. Based on the May 31, 2014 Budget Variance Report (pages 8-10 of July 7, 2014 BCA Board packet), year-to-date figures indicate:
  • Payroll continues to be under-budget due to two vacancies and one person being on disability leave.
  • Although bad debts show a slight increase for the period ending May 31, 2014, it is still under-budget year-to-date.
  • Security is under-budget by approximately $4,000 for the year, due to decrease of one security officer
  • General repairs and maintenance is approximately $20,000 over-budget.
  • Legal fees are over-budget by about $14,000 due primarily to legal opinions regarding marina and home-based business issues.
  • Marina expenses are under-budget by approximately $5,000 as the BCA is no longer escrowing marina fees.
  • Uniforms are approximately $3,000 over-budget.
  • Pool management is under-budget by about $4,000 due to contractual changes.
  • Landscaping is over-budget by approximately $7,000, with BCA Board authorization of the current landscaping contract.
Director Pearson asked about the pool membership revenues being under-budget year-to-date by approximately $32,000. Treasurer Hillman commented that there will continue to be pool revenue from other parts of the pool program, e.g., daily passes.

Summarizing the total budget, Treasurer Hillman indicated that the community is on-budget.

Directors' Reports

Director Leonard said he wished to report a failure in operating procedures as published in the Board of Directors' General Guidelines and Procedures. He stated that the failure occurred in the process of eliminating an employee without the process being followed. He indicated that the process for eliminating a committee member or asking that member to resign allows for that member to be heard, and afterwards the BCA Board is to vote to determine if the member should or should not be relieved. This procedure was not followed in a recent case.

Director Blom noted that in that same case, there is no resignation by the member from the ARB.

Manager's Report

Manager Bailey felt that the 4th of July celebrations went well, with the exception of several areas where double parking was an issue. He noted that the "no parking" signs should probably be displayed a day earlier for next year's event.

The 4th of July celebration began with 200+ people running in the 7.4k race. There were 25+ entries in the parade. During the picnic, 1,300 hot dogs and lots of watermelons (provided by the Brandermill Regional Men's Club) were served.

The ingress/egress plan seemed to have been successful, with 13 on-site County police officers monitoring street traffic. There were some but not too many vehicles denied entry.

Three officers from RMC Events were utilized this year to monitor The Landing/boat area and the areas surrounding the intersection of the walking paths with the 14th and 16th holes of the golf course (a joint effort with the Brandermill Country Club). Trash pick-up reports indicated near-nil effort.

Manager Bailey expressed concern that resident participation in viewing the fireworks was lower than what he had expected but hopes that this year's improved traffic and crowd-control measures will entice more resident participation next year. Director Bettin indicated that he and his family watched the fireworks while on the lake, and it appeared to him that the lake was full of boats.

For the 40th Reunion celebration on July 5th, there were 400 tickets sold. The time capsule sponsored by the History Committee was buried and is to be opened 60 years from now. The cake was outstanding. Manager Bailey expressed thanks to the Staff and volunteers for their hard work and extended special kudos to Jennifer Strader who expended "over-the-top" efforts to coordinate the events of the weekend.

Pools revenues as of July 7, 2014 are $1,384 less than the revenues from a year ago. 2014 pool memberships increased to 858 versus 513 last year. This 63% increase in total membership can further be delineated to indicate a 46% increase in resident participation and a 90% increase in non-resident memberships.

Director Malek expressed kudos to Director Blom who initiated the current pool membership concept. Although he had been skeptical about the idea of lowering pool fees so substantially, it appears that it has had a positive impact on pool memberships.

Director Bettin joined Director Malek in expressing kudos to Director Blom.

Director Leonard asked how pool expenses have been impacted. Manager Bailey replied that those expenses would be considered during the budget process.

Manager Bailey reported on the covenant and mailbox violations (see pages 11-12 of the July 7, 2014 Board packet). Tablets to be used for automation of covenant enforcement actions will be activated next week.

Member Voice

George Lawson (Huntsbridge) asked, now that the BCA Board has gotten its legal opinions, has a decision been made on whether or not to change Section 2.a of the Covenants. If it is not to be changed, Lawson would like to get a report on Section 2.a violations as we presently get on the mailbox violations.

Warren Ragsdale (Huntsbridge) expressed his delight in the BCA web site. He feels it does an excellent job in marketing Brandermill.

Mamie McNeal (Planters Wood) noted that the NRC was one of the committees not designated for change and asked if that meant the existing NRC charter would still be in effect, since it was not included in the July 7, 2014 BCA Board packet. Manager Bailey replied in the affirmative and also stated that the charter for the proposed Rules Committee was not in the packet.

McNeal stated that she felt Goals #8, #9, and #10 of the proposed Communications and Marketing Committee (see pages 28-29 of July 7, 2014 BCA Board packet) duplicated the goals of the existing NRC. She noted:
  1. Historically the NRC hosted community meetings, although recently BCA Boards have asked Staff to host these meetings;
  2. Enhancing member participation in community governance has long been an assigned NRC task, although she feels that duplicative efforts here would only help; and
  3. The NRC has hosted the "Meet the Candidates" event since its inception.
She asked the BCA Board to consider allowing the NRC to continue with those responsibilities.

Consideration of Creation of Task Force on Rental Properties and Foreclosures

President Davis commented that although there have been many successes for the community, the impact of rental properties, abandoned properties and foreclosures potentially have a negative impact on the community. Citing from C. Sears' letter in Chesterfield Monthly (July 2014, p. 13), President Davis stated: "... let's place the blame where it belongs - on irresponsible homeowners who are shortchanging [our community]." He suggested the BCA Directors create a task force to investigate this situation in Brandermill and ask that Director Pearson head this study.

Director Pearson suggested that the use of the word "foreclosures" be changed to "abandoned properties", as they are two different issues. His view of the task force would be to investigate if rental properties in Brandermill have any impact on home values in our community. He envisioned the task force also investigating the lengthy timeframe it takes for the BCA to process abandoned homes within the Association and feels that collection proceedings should be enacted quicker on abandoned homes than is presently being done.

He announced that Director Bettin, Tom Jacobson and Tommy Baer have agreed to serve with him on this task force. Director Pearson anticipates the task force completing its research work, writing a report, presenting its findings in a community meeting, and preparing its final recommendations for BCA Board consideration by the end of this year.

Director Leonard noted that homeowners are required to notify the BCA when their homes are being rented and asked that the Staff begin researching which homeowners have done so.

President Davis moved that the BCA Board create this task force to be chaired by Director Pearson and its members be Director Jack Bettin, Tom Jacobson and Tommy Baer. After being duly seconded, the motion was passed unanimously by the Directors.
Discussion of BCA Committee Restructuring (see pages 13-43 of July 7, 2014 BCA Board packet)
Manager Bailey distributed copies of Community Association Leadership: A Guide for Volunteers to the Directors and began the discussion on the proposed BCA committee restructuring by saying "Committees are the backbone of any homeowners association. With all due respect, it is not the Board of Directors; it's the committees. They help the Board make informed decisions. Committees are involved in making decisions along the way, whether it be a budget question, a policy question or an action item involving community services, maintenance, .... Committees broaden the pool of talent for the Board of Directors; it's a feeder system for the Directors."

Concerning the concept of working committees, Manager Bailey said that we have a lot of worker bees in the community, and historically Brandermill has had great committees doing a lot of good work. During recent times, some committees, whether it be due to Board or BCA management, have not been assigned tasks to do and therefore are not performing to their potential. Manager Bailey commented that anytime you have volunteer committees, the committees need to be assigned things to do, else the energy within the group ebbs and goes away.

There are some committees that are mandated by the Association documents: ARB and Hearing Panel.

In the July 7, 2014 BCA Board packet (see pages 23-43), there are 12 proposed charters, some of which describe new committees. For example, establishment of the proposed Elections Committee could potentially save the community thousands of dollars as it would oversee BCA elections and ballot/referendum/survey tabulations.

The proposed Maintenance and Ecology Committee is a merger of the existing Natural Resources and Community Character Committees. This committee would work collaboratively with the Maintenance Department.

The proposed Planning Committee is to replace the existing Master Plan Oversight Committee which was composed of committee chairs. The proposed Planning Committee would include two sitting BCA Directors and remaining committee members would be appointed from the community at-large by the BCA Board.

The proposed Rules Committee (charter presently not in July 7, 2014 BCA Board packet) is to ensure compliance with the Association's legal documents should any policies, procedures and/or standards be added and/or modified.

Although a general committee membership application is presented, a membership application specifically for the ARB is proposed (see pages 17-20 of July 7, 2014 BCA Board packet).

Manager Bailey hopes that the BCA Board can review the committee proposal and take action on the proposed changes at the August BCA Board meeting.

President Davis asked why Manager Bailey was proposing to change the existing committees.

Manager Bailey feels that the committees could be working better to serve the BCA and hopes that the proposed committee restructure "would rejuvenate the interest in leadership by the Board in the committee functions of an HOA".

Director Blom noted that majority of the committees have been dormant this year, not having seen committee reports from five committees. Director Malek agreed.

Director Leonard noted that some of committees would report directly to the Community Manager instead of the BCA Board. He has learned from Manager Bailey - and agrees - that this direct reporting relationship would enable a better coordinated structure between the committee volunteers and department personnel.

Director Hillman asked for clarification of why some committees report directly to the Community Manager while others report directly to the BCA Board.

Manager Bailey replied that the reasoning is tied to the BCA responsibilities required of him by the BCA Board.

President Davis hopes that this proposal will rejuvenate residents to volunteer, as a mere mention of these committee changes last year drove a lot of volunteers away.

Director Hillman commented that many of the committee members felt that the existing committee structure had been dismantled, so the volunteers felt the committees had been dissolved.

Manager Bailey reiterated that the committees are the backbone of any homeowners association.

Director Bettin recalled the initial committee discussion having taken place during the 2013 Director orientation meeting. He stated that the feeling at that time was to have a smaller number of committees tied closely to the BCA Board would enable the Board to be more effective. He also noted that what the BCA Board did not do at that time was to ask the existing committee members how they felt about the restructure.

Manager Bailey said that the idea originated at the Board's June 2013 strategic meeting. Director Blom and Manager Bailey both agreed that the proposed committee structure was originally presented in October-November of last year.

Director Hillman commented that it was originally discussed during the 2013 Board orientation meeting. Both she and Manager Bailey said that no Board action has been taken on the proposed committee structure since its release in the fall of 2013.

President Davis asked that the Directors review the proposed committee structure and be prepared to take action on it at the August BCA Board meeting.

Point of Clarification

Director Blom joined Director Leonard in requesting a special BCA Board meeting to discuss the committee membership process. He requested a point of clarification to determine what was needed for two BCA Directors to call a special meeting of the BCA Board in accordance with the BCA by-laws.

Director Hillman said that she would also like the BCA Board to hold a meeting to discuss the committee membership process.

Director Blom said that he would put his request in writing and send it via e-mail to Manager Bailey the following morning. He invited any other BCA Director desiring a meeting to discuss the committee membership process to do likewise.

Information Packet for July 7, 2014 BCA Board Meeting

Posted July 3, 2014 at 5:03 PM
The information packet for the upcoming BCA Board meeting is now available for downloading.

The agenda shows the BCA Directors will be discussing such topics as:
  • Consideration of Creation of Task Force on Rental Properties and Foreclosures
  • Discussion of BCA Committee Restructuring
We encourage residents to attend BCA Board meetings to learn of Brandermill "happenings". For a quick snapshot of what the BCA Board will be discussing, please read the agenda located on the first page of the Board Packet.

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

Posted July 3, 2014 at 5:03 PM
As usual, the BCA has organized oodles of fun and created lots of excitement to celebrate the 4th of July. For a detailed schedule of events, visit the BCA website.

And don't forget to join our community's 40th birthday celebration at the Brandermill Reunion on July 5th! A great family event with an opportunity to see old friends and neighbors.

Tickets are $5 per person, and children under 5 years of age attend free. Ticket price includes Brocks BBQ dinner, carnival games, photo booth, face painting, balloon art, bounce houses, and a magic show. More information is available from BCA website.

Note: Don't forget about limited access on Millridge Parkway between 5:00-9:45 p.m. on July 4th.