HOA Annual Meeting October 23 2013

Rick welcomed everyone to the meeting and expressed gratitude that the owners were able to attend.

The required meeting announcement, agenda and Bio sketches for the new Board candidates were distributed to owners well in advance of the meeting.

Reading of Minutes ofSpring 2013 meeting was waived and the minutes were accepted.

Reports of Officers 

President’s report

. Thank you Preet and Charlie and all others for their time and efforts on behalf of the HOA. The Board needs appreciates the efforts such volunteers to continue to improve the Southwick community.. See list attached.

. Rick reminded everyone that the Board continues to solicit email addresses from al owners so that communications may be electronic and to reduce HOA costs.

. Rick described future maintenance needs. These projects will include seal coating the walkway (1/3 each year); repairing selected bare spots on the berm and repairing sink holes adjacent to common area near Kendra and Brighton. The Board expects that these projects will be accomplished with no increase in the HOA budget for 2014.

. Additional work will include signs near the retaining ponds and activity to secure funding from the Town for flower bed funding.

Vice President Charlie Ducar identified and thanked the members of his committee for all of the terrific work they had completed during the year. This included receiving, reviewing and approving 20 ARC applications for items such as fences, pools, decks, walkways, and patios, to name a few.

Charlie also reported that 35 individual homeowners were asked to improve maintenance of flower beds, lawns and mail boxes. Homeowners were also asked to remove clothes lines and store trash cans promptly after trash removal. WE DID THIS WITHOUT ISSUING ANY FINES!

As in the past Charlie was integral to getting the mowing contract for 2014. The Board bid this early to get concrete amounts needed to prepare the 2014 budget. A special thanks to Brenda Birken who donated her time to develop a revised RFP for the mowing.

Requests for bids were mailed to 10 mowing contractors whose names, etc were obtained from a local nursery. Three businesses expressed interest in bidding but only one bid was received. This bid was from our current contractor, Revelations.

At the Board’s request, Rick sent letters to the non-bidders to determine why they did not vote and to see what improvements the Board could make in future years. An owner suggested that the Board should frame and adopt a policy of rebidding these contracts when so few responses are received. The Board will consider this approach for next year.

Lastly, through Charlie’s efforts, the Board was able to save $1500 per year by contracting with a local farmer to grow hay in the Van Vranken field.

Rick and the attendees applauded Charlie for his work and that of his committee during his 2 year tenure.

Treasurer’s report

Larry Schoen presented the status of the HOA finances as of September 30, 2013. All assessments had been billed and collected. All invoices had been timely paid during the year and there are not outstanding bills to be paid or monies to be collected.

Larry distributed to all HOA members a report showing our 2013 budget and our revenue and expenditures as of September 30, 2013.

Larry also distributed to those present at the meeting a rough draft of the proposed budget for 2014. As a result of the discussion, the Board will revise/clarify the information in the 2014 budget. The Board has been able to keep the annual assessment at $375 even though our mowing costs increased along with planned needed repairs to the berm, sink holes and path.

A revised DRAFT of the 2014 budget will be sent to all HOA members under separate cover.

Election of Members of the Board of Directors

( While not addressed in this meeting, the terms of 3 current Board members will expire at the end of 2014. It is not too soon to begin to identify potential candidates for the Board.)

Rick moved to the election of the new Board members. Each will be elected to 2 year terms ending 12/31/15. The new Board members succeed Preet Akula and Charlie Ducar. Rick thanked outgoing board members for their service to the HOA.

Per the declarations, the annual meeting quorum is 33 percent of HOA members. Also, owners only get 1 vote even though they may own 2 properties. So, the quorum is 38 owners. 32 HOA members attended the meeting. In addition, we had absentee ballots from 7 HOA members – total 39 and a quorum.

Rick introduced the candidates for the Board, Chris Arena and Matt Gleason. Each gave a brief presentation re their Bio and their thoughts and desires for the HOA.

After the presentations, attendees asked questions of the candidates. The HOA members mentioned to the candidates that they wanted the Board to stick to the contents of the Declarations and By-laws so as not to morph into arbitrary applications of these documents.

The election was held, and Rick announced that each candidate, Chris Arena and Matt Gleason was elected to 2 year terms.

Open discussion

Mowing at 4” – Homeowners expressed concern about the length of the grass and appearance of the exterior of the berms. They would like to see the length brought to 4” as was previously discussed. Longer grass on the outside of the berm it is felt would provide healthier grass and possibly prevent future berm deterioration. The Board will discuss this with Revelations.

Budget – The Board was asked to change some of the wording in the budget that has led to some confusion, specifically, the term operating surplus. The Board agrees and will clarify. See attached!

A homeowner asked why the budget had increased from 2012- 2013. Rick explained that the increase was needed to accurately reflect HOA costs. A long conversation on why the budget increased as much as it did last year (Amedore kept cost low to sell houses, property maintenance expenses have increased).  A review of HOA expenditures shows that Amedore did not mow frequently was using 3 different mowing companies and Rick discussed this and the Board is open to any suggestions to improve our process.

There was a discussion about letting membership vote if the budget more than doubles.  Several owners opined that it would be more difficult to pass a budget if it were subject to vote by all owners.
Quarterly newsletter – To improve communication an owner suggested the development and issuance of quarterly news letters. The Board requested volunteers to do this.

Web site – The Homeowners also asked about plans for a website. The Board explained, that several attempts have been made to address this. A point was made that once a website was created, someone had to maintain it. Other points were made including the potential cost of creating a site. The Board asked for volunteers to form a committee to pursue this if it is still desired.

There was a long discussion about methods of communication without the need of a website.  It was mentioned that there is a Google site, A Facebook group, and a “My Neighborhood” page. None of these is completely desirable each had significant drawbacks.

Also discussed was the option to change the HOA manual if members wanted something changed, but in the interim the Declaration and By-Laws need to be enforced as it is written. By doing so, the Board feels there would be more consistency in its approach to situations as they arise.

Meeting adjourned 8:30pm.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the Board

Rick Sturm


Thank yous

To each HOA member for your support and contributions

To Ginny Ducar, Janet Amedeo and Jessica Dembo for helping at our special, spring and annual meetings

To Rod Reed for supervising our election, proxies and absentee ballots

To my fellow Board members, Anu, Preet, Charlie and Larry

To Bob Bylancik and his committee for work on Master Plan committee

To Charlie Ducar and his Architectural review committee

To Larry Schoen for his work as treasurer

To Brenda Birken for developing the Mowing request for proposals

To Dan LaMarche for donating the solar light at the front entrance


Budget Actual
Beginning Checking



Note 3
Association Fees



Late Fees


Total Revenue



Property Maintenance



Note 2



Property Taxes



School Taxes



NYS Franchise Tax



Accounting and Audit









Web site development



Entrance Sign repair


Total operating expenditures



Plus Transfer to Capital Reserve



Note 1
Expenses plus transfer to Cap reserve



Ending Checking



Note 4
Note 1 – transferred to CDs
Note 2 – paid to revelations we expect an additional $1200.
note 3 – Actual beginning cash
Note 4 – Includes amounts for unanticipated expenses. For 2014
The Board plans to spend about $5000 to repair sink holes,
to pave 1/3 of the path and to repair sections of the Berm






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