Minutes: 12/16/2009

Dec, 16 2009, 6:30 PM at the Fruitville Branch of the Sarasota Public Library

Directors Present: Gary Walsh, Joe Stewart, Janet Dunay, Shana Bickel
Directors Not Present: Dolly Fenix

1.0 The meeting was called to order at 6:35 p.m.

2.0 Secretary’s Report: (Given by Gray Walsh due to Dolly Fenix's absence)

2.1 Minutes of the last meeting were read by Janet Dunay.

2.2 The Board officially accepted the resignation of Dolly Fenix from the HOA Board. Her temporary relocation to Philadelphia due to pressing family matters being cited as the reason. Dolly's seat on the Board will be filled at the year end election.

3.0 Treasurer’s Report:

3.1 Status of payments for 2009: Our financial situation has become viable again but this remains to be more fully determined after considering loss of revenue due to foreclosures.

3.2 Five foreclosures on property have been in the process since last year. We have been notified of one new foreclosure proceedings. We have complied with the legal representations with the foreclosure banks to ensure that we can collect the homeowner’s fees that have not been paid on these properties.

3.3 Bank balance: To date we have a balance of $16,459.52 in the bank, which enables the timely payments of our service and utility bills.

3.4 Discussions about the upcoming voting process and the mailing of ballots for the Annual Meeting were held. President Walsh will prepare the required material which will be mailed to each resident late in November giving everyone time to cast their votes and mail back the ballots.

4.0 Modification Committee Report:

4.1 There were no formal requests for major architectural changes that have been submitted to the Modifications Committee during this third quarter. There were notifications to the committee of two home exterior painting jobs that changed the color from the original shade to one still within the palette of allowable colors.

5.0 Old Business:

5.1 Lawn Service Contract: A new 12 month contract with the Family Lawn Service started last April at $1,295.00 a month. Their service includes palm tree maintenance in our common areas.

5.2 Status on lakes and littoral shelf: Aquatic Solutions is monitoring and maintaining our lakes and littoral shelf. They have liaisons with the county agencies and have submitted the report due in August. They will be planting more of the needed species along the lakes, ponds and littoral shelf in the fall.

5.2 James McDonnell completed the power washing of the Meadow Walk walls the week of June 29th. Everything went smoothly and the wall looks great.

6.0 New Business:

6.1 Send letters to owners and holding banks of the vacant homes about maintaining the yards and structures of these properties.

Discussion from the floor: Compliance to rules and restrictionsThe Board is once again calling on those few individuals to comply of their own volition in consideration of their neighbors and the whole community. Follow-up on these issues should be a matter of personal awareness and initiative, and need not, should not be a matter of “policing” by the Board.

Homeowner’s Dues: We currently have stable finances, thanks to the generally cooperative response of the homeowners to the timely payment of their 2009 dues. However, we need to complete the year’s projected expenses and any other non-budgeted items that may arise, as well as estimate a safe amount of reserves before we declare anything. This will probably be an item for discussion at our next annual meeting.

Board of Directors Vacancies: There are two open seats on our HOA board. Votes for these openings will be counted after this meeting.

Not having a full membership of at least five members on the Board always presents the probability of not having a quorum to conduct official business. Please consider joining our Board of Directors team. This is a volunteer service to our neighborhood and we recognize that the members of the Board also have their personal professions and affairs to attend to. There will be times when one or two members may be unavailable or out of town. A full board will help guarantee a quorum whenever it is needed. Not having a quorum can result in not being able to meet to officially address our HOA obligations. Such a situation leaves us open to the state taking over and appointing an outside management company. Our statutes allows this. While this might be more convenient to resort to, it will also cost us much more in assessments.

Judgments: Going to court and seeking judgments on assessment collections is not the way we want to go and yet it has been necessary to do so. To date we have received judgment on one case and another is pending for total collections of $3,000. Over the course of time, these accumulated and increasing late fees have thrown us off budget. Not to mention the time and related costs of going through the process of collection. The receipt of these monies cannot be fully determined or counted on.

Foreclosures: As we all know the dark cloud of foreclosures continues. Sadly six homes in our community are facing foreclosure. We all feel for and deeply sympathize with our affected neighbors. And yet there is the larger situation we need to continually address, that of the timely, sustainable, and independent functioning of our HOA.

In new foreclosure cases, our HOA is served a summons by the court as a named defendant in the complaint. This inclusion is done by the holding bank of the defaulted mortgage. We have had to hire a lawyer to immediately respond to the court to prevent a judgment from being rendered on our HOA for non-compliance, thereby losing our right to claim owed dues and assessments. This is yet another way that mortgagor banks are legally resorting to in foreclosure actions to avoid being held liable for any unpaid fees owed by the defaulting homeowner. We can foresee more of such added legal responses and expenses for our HOA to face.

Funds and Budget: Funds: Current funds available will cover payables and expenses through the end of 2009. This year in addition to the regular monthly maintenance items, we were able to pay for the special project of refurbishing the plants on the littoral shelf. Our shortfall and budgetary difficulties from last year have been corrected, but uncollected assessments continue to keep the annual fee's higher than they should be.

Budget: We have projected our 2010 budget to cover contingencies, increasing costs and any other special project expenses for our community of Meadow Walk, and will be discussed at the annual meeting.

Assessment of Homeowners Dues: Last year we increased our HOA fee to $600 annually. Although this is a reasonable fee we agreed to re-address the increase and provided we able to get the budget and collection of fee's under control, we would look at reducing the fee's for 2010.

1. Dues for 2010 are proposed to be $550.00 Annually per

Collection of Assessment Dues: Our bylaws specify that the full annual assessment is due and payable every January of the new calendar year. Consideration was made to allow for the semi annual payment of dues.