August 2016, Issue 8
From the President
Rick Sturm

Four (4) of our five (5) current Board members will retiring from the Board on December 31 of this year.
These folks have positively contributed to the HOA by overseeing our compliance and architectural review
portion of Board activities. As you know, the Board is responsible to all owners, to maintain the HOA in
accordance with the HOA rules and regulations.
Elections for these positions will occur at our Annual Meeting that is scheduled for October.
One position has a 1-year term while the other 3 positions have a 2-year term. We hope more of you will get involved in these
volunteer opportunities and reap the benefits of volunteerism. These benefits include: protecting the value of your property; correcting problems; meeting your expectations; gaining a better understanding of local laws; having fun experiences; learning life lessons; building your resume; learning leadership skills; giving back to the community and meeting your neighbors.
We’re really going to need your help next year.

Please consider standing for election to help us maintain the all-volunteer HOA Board. The Board and I will be glad to answer any questions you may have about what we do. We can do this via email or perhaps we could hold a special meeting with you to discuss what we do and how you can help.
We should all say “Thank you!” to our many residents who volunteer and who have volunteered their time, energy and skills to make Southwick Meadows a wonderful place to live. Our volunteers are not paid for their efforts, except perhaps intrinsically by a sense of pride, satisfaction, and accomplishment. As a result of their efforts, our lives are improved and our community is strengthened.

We hope to encourage more of you to get involved in volunteer opportunities and to reap the benefits of volunteerism.


Do you know that 62.6 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2014 and September 2015.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, volunteers spent a median of 52 hours on volunteer activities during the period from September 2014 to September 2015. Time spent on volunteer activities was similar for men (52 hours) and women (50 hours).

Among those who volunteered, median annual hours spent on volunteer activities ranged from a high of 94 hours for those
age 65 and over to a low of 36 hours forthose under 35 years old. Volunteers have a better chance of finding a job after being out of work than nonvolunteers.
Parents with children under age 18 volunteer at a higher rate (33.5%) thanthe general population (26.5%). Adults who began volunteering as youth are twice as likely to volunteer as those who did not volunteer when they were younger.
After fundraising, the most popular volunteer activities are collecting,preparing distributing or serving food(23.8%), contributing general work orhelping out with transportation (19.85) and teaching/tutoring (17.9%).
Research demonstrates that volunteering leads to better health and that older volunteers are the most likely to receive
physical and mental health benefits from their volunteer activities.
Non-volunteers say that they are  more likely to serve if a trusted friend asks them to serve.
Citizens who participate in one area of civic engagement, like volunteering, are more likely to get involved in groups,
contact public officials, or work with neighbors.
Volunteering is good for our community! It is good for our democracy!


With the end of summer fast approaching the busy season for Architectural Review is also coming to a close. So as I struggled to think of a topic to write about for this newsletter, I realized that our community is more than a decade old now and some of the houses, including my own, are starting to show their age. So here are a few late summer or early fall projects I thought of to help our community keep our homes looking and performing their best.
• Cleaning the exterior: Dirt collects and mildew forms on vinyl siding and the aluminum fascia, especially on areas that are shady. There are products you can buy at home improvement stores, or as I do, a simple solution of bleach and water that you can spray on and rinse off with a hose- a fairly DIY project. But if you have a two-story home, you may want to consider
hiring someone to clean your home with a pressure washer to reach the second floor and roof peaks.
• Painting doors and trim: If you do paint your door, please be advised that if you are changing the color of the door you will need to submit an Architectural Change Request (ACR) form. The trim needs to stay the original color, which I believe is white on all houses.
• Restore or replace vinyl shutters and mailboxes: The sun can severely fade dark vinyl over time. New products claim to be able to restore faded vinyl to like new and protect it from future fading. If you do replace your shutters, an ACR form is required if you want to change the color.
• Trim trees and bushes: As our community ages, our trees and bushes have grown. Trimming trees and bushes will help keep them healthy and your landscaping looking its best.
• Maintain or replace mechanical systems: With regular maintenance, air conditioners and heaters can last many years, but at ten years, motors can begin to burn out and with the hard water in Clifton Park, hot water heaters should also be serviced frequently.
These are just a few ideas to help keep your home and our community looking its best for years to come. Summertime is a great time to take care of your property.



As the only Home Owner Association (HOA) Board member returning in 2017, I implore my fellow community members to consider serving a term on the Board. I was initially hesitant to serve on the Board myself with concerns about time and conflicts, but after the experiences I have had over the past seven months, I am glad I decided to serve. Other than general HOA
business, which is normally covered at quarterly Board meetings, most issues are handled via email. Depending on the time of year, early spring being the busiest, I spend usually less than an hour a week and at most three hour a week on HOA business.
As VP of Architectural Review my primary responsibility is to ensure that the exterior appearance of the homes within our community are maintained to the standards outlined in the HOA Declarations. This is primarily done using the Architectural Change Request (ACR) form. To assist me in these efforts, there is an Architectural Review Committee (ARC), currently  Consisting of five outstanding community volunteers. Below is a typical example of how this process goes:
• Provide homeowners with ACR form when requested or required
• Receive ACR form from homeowners, review for completeness and compliance with Declarations, scan into computer or re-format when necessary.
• Forward ACR forms to Architectural Review Committee (ARC) for review.
• When necessary, work with homeowners to resolve any concerns the ARC may have or any conflicts with Declarations.
• Forward ARC preliminarily approved ACR forms to the HOA Board for final approval.
• Finally, provide the homeowner and HOA archivist a copy of the approved ACR form.
If there are no concerns or conflicts this process is usually completed in just a few days and with only about thirty minutes total time spent on my part.
Hopefully this article shed some light on what VP for Architectural Review does for our community and will help persuade some of you to consider serving on the Board.



Will you be moving? If so, there are a few things you can do to make the transition smoother for you, your
buyer and your Homeowners Association.
1) Check with your Homeowners Association to ensure your account balance is paid current so there are no
surprises at closing.
2) Notify the Homeowners Association of your closing and, if available, provide the Association with the new owners name, phone number & email address so a neighborhood greeting may be sent.

3) Pass your copy of the Homeowners Declaration to your buyers at closing so they have it for reference. Best wishes with your move!


Many thanks to Rick Sturm, President, Tiffany Van Cleef, Treasurer, Alison Stoll, Vice President, Compliance, Matthew Posniewski, Vice President, Architectural Review and Ed Aluck, Secretary, for their outstanding leadership and volunteer spirit! Please let them know how much you appreciate their donations of time and talent in service to our community!


We live in a community that is overseen by a homeowners association. Pursuant to our legal purpose as set in the Declaration, our association collects fees from homeowners and enforces established rules contained in our Declaration regarding the appearance and maintenance of properties. The association also settles disputes between neighbors.
Your homeowners’ association President helps to run the organization with the consensus of the HOA Board members.
The President and the Board administer daily tasks in areas of compliance, architectural review, changes and finance. The
Board and the President can order actions that are necessary to advance the goals of the association.
The HOA President schedules association monthly and annual meetings and runs them. He meets with the Board of Directors to establish important issues to include on the meeting agenda. He directs the meetings so the association directors discuss the items on the agenda and don’t go over the allotted time. He is responsible for knowing about proper association procedures and voting methods.
The President and the Board are responsible for the fiscal well being of the association. These responsibilities include establishing a budget, directing funds to budget items, collecting HOA fees, allowing for a reserve of funds,
maintaining insurance coverage on behalf of the association and overseeing the HOA’s contracts. If an expenditure is
required, such as paying a contractor to improve the grounds or items to display in front of properties, they must often
authorize the purchase if it exceeds a specific amount.
The President may field calls from homeowner association members, represent a particular board member (who can be
contacted when an issue arises). The President’s signature is often legally binding on the association. The President, with
Board approval, has the power to enter into contracts with local contractors, advertisers and association members.
Please consider standing for this leadership position.


I’ve been the HOA treasurer for the past 1.5 years. The following describes the treasurer’s job responsibilities:
1) Invoicing, collecting & depositing all annual assessments, fees & penalties

2) Balancing the operating & capital accounts &reconciling to the monthly statements

3) Renewing current CDs & opening the new annual CD for the maintenance fund ($50 per parcel)

4) Verifying, obtaining board approval & paying all HOA bills including but not limited to – lawn maintenance, property insurance, CPA & school & property taxes

5) Recording all financial transactions in QuickBooks

6) Proposing the new annual budget & presenting the finalized budget to the homeowners at the fall meeting

7) Sharing pick up of the HOA mail with the HOA president from the PO Box

8) Attending bi-monthly board meetings & 1-2 homeowner meetings a year

9) Writing community oriented articles for the quarterly newsletter

10) Via email, approving ARC requests & compliance issues as presented

11) Looking for ways to better improve our community for all.
If you are considering running for the Board and have questions regarding the treasurer position, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at ~Tiffany



Following  is a brief description of the duties of the Vice President for Compliance. The total time commitment per week, 2-4 hours.
1. Organize and oversee a compliance committee composed of 3 other SM homeowners

2. Make sure homeowners are compliant with the HOA by-laws and regulations. For example,during the summer months, make sure homeowners regularly mow, fertilize, and irrigate their lawns and keep mulch beds weeded and looking tidy. Make sure mailboxes are kept upright and in good shape.

3. Verify that Owners maintain the aesthetics of the front of their homes re. maintenance, painting, etc.

4. Verify that Owners comply with the HOA rules and Regulations related to the upkeep of their homes.

5. Initiate billing of fines as needed.

6. General email and written  correspondence as needed.



Article VI Section 6.07 Secretary: The Secretary shall cause notices of all meetings to be served as prescribed in these By-Laws, shall record the votes and keep the minutes of all meetings, shall have charge of the seal, if any, and corporate books and
records of the Association, and the book of mortgages, and shall perform such other duties as are incident to the office of Secretary of a not-for-profit corporation, and as may be required of him by the Board or the President.
Board Meeting minutes:
• Record/organize reports, votes and actions of the Board
• Include any Board votes done electronically between meetings for official record.
• Consider highlighting action items.
• Send electronically to all Board members for additions/corrections.
• Make any changes; after 1 week file in Drop-box to be filed folder
• Officially approve at next Board meeting.
General Meeting minutes:
• Record/organize reports, votes, recommendations, etc.
• Circulate to Board for additions/corrections.
• After one week, make any recommended corrections and distribute electronically to members; distribute by mail to members for whom we do not have email addresses.
• Officially approve at the next regular Board meeting.
Web Site

Send updates to Webmaster as they become available. For example, Board and Board Committee Rosters, general meeting minutes, current ARC forms or procedures, Board policies that have been vetted and passed by the Board or other items the Board feels should be available to the membership on an ongoing basis.

Ensure all pertinent documents are placed in the to-be-filed folder of Drop-box.
• Done quarterly for distribution in January,April, July and October.
• Develop timeline, in conjunction with co-editor, for newsletter production; share with Board.
• Develop proposed content list and bring to Board meeting for additions and author designation prior to next newsletter
• Send reminders to authors as necessary.
• Receive/produce content. Edit as needed. Add additional content if warranted.
• Send content to co-editor, Jo Anne Robbins at
• Receive back electronic newsletter for final edits, link checks, and overall content.
• Once finalized, distribute in PDF electronically to HOA members for whom we have emails.

Wednesday Evening Children’s Series
August 3 – Mark Rust A multi-talented family & children’s performer
showcasing “America’s Musical Traditions!” Join us for a fun
collection of songs on a variety of musical instruments
where the audience is involved in some fun way on every
August 10 – Catskill Puppet Theater: “The Lion’sWhiskers” – A delightful musical adaptation of a traditional
Ethiopian folktale, this show features a charming cast of human characters as well as our favorite African animals!
The show features a multitude of masks and puppets ranging from three quarter life-sized to gigantic and is highlighted
with shadow puppetry and original songs.
August 17 – The Zucchini Brothers – Zany foot tapping music with “Words of Wisdom”. This band of brothers: Jack
on Guitar, Steve on Keyboards, Sam on Drums (each his own character, all of whom sing) offers up a musical stir-fry
of styles. You never know just what these three zany guys will do. But one thing’s for sure, once you’ve seen ‘em-you
won’t forget ‘em.

All performances are at Clifton Commons’ Stage. (Next to Basketball Courts) Performances begin 7:00 p.m. rain or
shine. Lawn chairs are welcome. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the premises.


August 18th, at the Amity Reformed Church in historic Vischers Ferry. 6:00-8:00pm. All are welcome! I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Event Type: Adult Program
Date: 8/17/2016 Start Time: 7:00 PM End Time: 8:30 PM
Best-selling mystery author Archer Mayor will be speaking at the library. He will be talking about his”Joe Gunther” mystery series set in Vermont. Mr.Archer’s books will be available for sale from The Open Door Bookstore, and he will be around
afterwards to sign books. Location: Program Room A-D Registration Ends: 8/17/2016 at 1:00 PM
To register, visit the library web site Calendar of Events. Find August events and click on the 17th Author Event. The event is free and open to the public.

The Friends of the Library is pleased to announce the Proctors shows we have for the 2016-2017 season. It’s going to be a great season and we hope that you can join us for some of these amazing performances! To order tickets, mail your check made payable to Friends of the CPH Library to: CPH Library, 475 Moe Road, Clifton Park, NY 12065 Attn. Lori Bennett, Proctor’s Tickets. Specify on the memo line the performance and date. Ticket prices reflect Proctor’s 10% group discount PLUS a handling fee of $1.00 per ticket to cover our expenses.
There is no discount available for The Sound of Music or
Beautiful – The Carol King Musical.
Something Rotten!
Sunday January 15, 2017 2:00 PM $65/ticket Orders due 12/1/16
An American in Paris

Sunday October 16, 2016 2:00 PM $65/ticket Orders due 9/1/16
Dirty Dancing

Sunday November 13, 2016 2:00 PM $65/ticket Orders due 9/1/16
Sunday March 12, 2017 6:30 PM $76/ticket Orders due 12/1/16

The Sound of Music
Sunday April 9, 2017 2:00 PM $66/ticket Orders due 3/1/17
Sunday May 14, 2017 2:00 PM $60/ticket Orders due 3/1/17
Sunday April 16, 2017 1:00 PM $71/ticket Orders due 3/1/17
Please contact Lori Bennett at if you have any questions.


Southwick Meadows Homeowners Association 2016 Board Roster
Rick Sturm, President
Term expires 12/31/2016
Alison Stoll, Vice President Compliance
Term expires 12/31/2017
Matthew Posniewski .Vice President Architectural Review

Term expires12/31/2017
Tiffany Van Cleef, Treasurer
Term expires 12/31/2016
Ed Aluck, Board Secretary
Term expires 12/31/2016

Southwick Meadows HOA Newsletter
• Southwick Meadows HOA Newsletter is published quarterly in January, April, July, and October.
Your newsletter editor is Jo Anne Robbins.
• All articles and photographs should be submitted by the 15th of the month prior to the month of publication. Submissions should be emailed to Jo Anne at:
• We prefer Microsoft Word format. The deadline for submissions for the next issue is October 15th.

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