Spring Quarterly Meeting Minutes – May 20, 2012

May 20, 2012
Unity Church

Kurt Bischoff/Pres. called the meeting to order at 542pm. All five (5) board members were present as well as 28 or so residents. Kurt announced guidelines for meeting procedures: if you have anything to say, please stand up, speak up (Kurt is hard of hearing); please do not raise your voice or yell or you will be asked to leave; please keep your comments to 3 minutes or less; please be respectful and foster the sense of community and cooperation. As a non-profit, we are here as neighbors and there is no reason to have adversarial actions; this is a part of the management of the Park; everybody has a right to express their opinion and vote.

Onsite Management Report/Tom Duffy – 50 trees were planted around the Park and all went well. The laundry room trees are experiencing a ‘root shock’ associated with having the roots cut when dug up instead of the roots coming in a root ball. Tom D. & Tom S. are also meeting with the Management Committee monthly to be a part of the process of working on the Rules & Regulations (R&R). It’s been a very positive process and helped smooth lines of communication. There was an electrical issue on the north side of the Park where the northeast side blacked out where Maggie and Julie live; and as a testimonial of why it’s important to have licensed contractors doing work on MHA property, the culprit was wires wrapped with duct tape and buried in the ground; it shorted out it was replaced with shrink tubing and ‘underwater splices’. Parking: we now have guest parking located around the Park with signs in different areas marking the spots, and on the north side there are lines marking places; the south side will be done after the north side is finished. The next thing will be house numbers on parking spots – Tom D. and Isabel are defining where guest parking should or shouldn’t be. The north side infrastructure is very fragile; there have been several sewer issues where the sewer lines have actually slipped to the side. In March we started a 3 month maintenance pass to avoid the emergency breakdowns in the middle of the night. Tom d. has spoken with 3 0r 4 contractors to talk about alternatives, one of them being ‘sewer relining’. Kurt will talk about that. Tom said we dodged a $30,000 silver bullet from the City; we were told by the City we needed to put ‘backflow devices’ on each one of our water mains – $10,000 each; Mgmt. sat down with the City water department and told them this is some of Boulder’s ‘affordable housing’ and we can’t afford this. They came back several days later with a contract for us to sign that if we DO NOT USE ‘in-line fertilizers’ we won’t have to put backflow valves on (=$30,000). Don’t use any ‘miracle grow’ on the end of your hose or other contaminants like that per Tom D. A resident asked if the City would be checking that. Tom D. said no but that Tom S. signed a document agreeing to the above . Tom D. said he would put out a memo regarding this. Tom D. is maintaining the gas mowers. Also, Tom D. will check with Tom S. before he has any larger than normal expenditures to make sure we are within budget; we are doing well with that. Isabel and Tom D. have spent time in the east side of the Park talking about where the community garden will be. Sidewalk by Kurt’s (by stairs) had several big holes in it and Tom D. filled the holes with 8 bags of concrete. We had some vandalism in the laundry room – some kids from the Park and 3 others from outside the Park; we have their pictures on the security camera in the laundry room. The parents were talked to. They broke the cameras off and threw candies around, kicked the trash, got in to the lint collectors and made balls. One resident commented that she was walking by the laundry room and saw a man use the code to go in with a backpack; when he came out she asked him if he was a resident, he said no – so should we change the code? Tom D. said it would cause a lot of issues for everybody. The resident asked that Tom put a note out. Isabel commented that many times the door isn’t completely locked. If we notice that a recycle bin is full – there are 3 others in the Park; please educate yourself and others about what is supposed to go in the recycle. Tom D. has had 3 or 4 resident requests to let others know to please clarify what is recycle and what is not before you put it in the recycle bin. There are wood chips on the east side of the Park by the dumpsters; you are welcome to take some; the pile on the left is mulch from last year and will be used for the community gardens and is also good for your compost, and on the right –newer wood chips. The tree work will resume in the fall as we delayed in scheduling so Dan’s tree svc won’t be able to schedule us in until the fall. He will be coming in the next two weeks however, to do some major hazard reduction that was left over from the last pass. There are forms in the laundry room to send Tom D. any requests and he will do what he can to help you. This May is Tom D.’s first year here.

Marcus, a new resident on the north side, #159, stood up and introduced himself. He’s happy in the Park, and said Tom D. had been a great help.

Elections of Vice President, Management Committee Chair and Treasurer – The President announced the open positions. Kurt and Curtine/Secretary will count votes. Kurt read the description of the Vice President duties and asked if anyone was interested in running for VP. He clarified that we have to follow certain protocols such as a ‘motion’ and how they work. ‘Robert’s Rules’ – a publication on protocol for meetings was noted. Resident, Lily nominated Maggie, it was seconded . It was decided at the time that a vote would be taken by a show of hands. The nomination passed by a vote of 21. The Management Committee Chair description was read by Kurt. He asked if there were any nominations for Mgmt. Comm. Chair – resident Sally nominated Isabel, it was seconded and by a majority show of hands Isabel was re-elected.

Treasurer’s Report – Harry gave the Treasurer’s report prior to the Treasurer election. Harry took over as Treasurer when we were with the old management co., saw the transition to the new management co and has seen a lot of directors come and go. He stated that financially we were fine with the ‘big picture Park questions’, short to mid-term we were fine and long term – 10 years out, we don’t really know what’ s going to happen. He works a lot with Tom Shockcor, our management company and when he took over as Mgr., we started our financial analysis from the ground up. In the past year and a half it has evolved as useful and concise. How we are presenting the financial information to the Board in an understandable manner so a member of the Board can be given the information and understand it. It is still a work in progress. We are doing what we are supposed to be doing according to our agreements with the City and Thistle Community Housing. Our finances are stable. For 10 years we are fine; we still have a lot of nuances that we are working on getting going in a new direction. Harry continues to see things going well. He briefly describes his position and is working on getting the Board meeting down to 2 or so hours instead of the (often) 3 hours. He is willing to continue for two more years if elected. Kurt asks is anyone is interested in running for the Treasurer position. No response. Resident Paul nominates Harry, it is seconded and by a show of 28 hands, Harry was re-elected as Treasurer.

President’s Report – Kurt reports that we have new infrastructure on the south side of the Park and stated that it was done first because it was literally crumbling. Lou Natall built the Park. There was a difference in age of about 9 years between the north and south sides. Kurt described the current sewer system and how tree roots migrate through and around the sewer lines, offsetting them. He noted how he became familiar with the process of ‘sewer system relining’ and described it in detail. We are interviewing contractors who know how to do this and getting bids. He states that this seems to be the most cost effective method for getting the most urgent portion of the infrastructure on the north side completed first. One resident asked if this solution will satisfy the City requirements. Kurt notes we will find out in our upcoming meeting with Thistle. As far as the gas, electric and water and Comcast, he suggests a two foot trench on each of the four rows on north side and locate it there. When new cables are run we will have the choice of Qwest or Comcast. This way we will not have to tear up all the streets, just the trench area. Isabel asks for clarity about research and budget on this. Robert requests the Board come back with a plan after looking at alternatives and checking with City, etc. Paul notes that his understanding of the Master Land Lease states that Thistle pay for this. Harry notes that his first choice is to take it out of the infrastructure account. Isabel comments that we will start the communication with Thistle next month and discuss where the monies will come from. It is clarified that our goal is one trench will carry all the utilities. Maggie asks is anyone has any further questions on this issue, or the finances of the Park. Curtine reiterates that if any resident would like to see the financials, you may call Harry and meet with him to see and discuss them. Harry is willing to post the tax returns on the website and states that since Tom Shockcor has taken over we are doing better. Harry will send to Maggie and she will post.

Management Committee Chair Report – A resident queries the status of tree and stump removal. Isabel stated there are still a lot of dangerous trees in the Park and a budget of about $21,000. We have been maintaining some trees that have root rot so we would like to have them removed – emergency trees priority.
There is also money this year for replanting – one taken out, one comes in. Stump removal may be modified from resident choice to mandatory removal. This will be ongoing through next year. Tree maintenance was clarified – and one tree is noted by a resident as needing emergency care. Again, Dan w/tree maintenance will be back soon to take care of the ‘emergency tree issues’. He will then return in the fall to do a whole sweep of the Park. Other big expenditures included one electrical panel that was on rotted wood and was close to $1500 to replace. There was discussion about all fast vehicles, including bicycles who have almost hit more than one resident. Many south side residents commented on having this experience. Isabel says there is money to help with this. There was discussion about ‘speed bumps’ . Isabel requested the residents send a suggestion to Mgmt. Comm. or in Tom D.’s suggestion box in laundry room. Lily commented that previously speed bumps were approved and budgeted for – but possibly in the Management Company switch that budget was lost. An informal show of 14 hands – in favor of looking further in to speed deterrence was noted. A resident commented on almost being hit by more than one cyclist and being cut off by two others as they came off the bike path in to the roadway in an aggressive manner. There was significant discussion about signage for non-resident traffic, cars and bikes that use the Park as a thoroughfare at high speeds. It was agreed that the Board would check in to signage and options and who would pay for it. Does the City have a responsibility in it? The community garden was approved at a Management Committee Meeting. It will be south of the east side dumpsters. Isabel went through a survey completed by two thirds of the community on the community garden within the past two years that had suggestions for what to plant and ways to plant. It was noted that it is a trial and we will see how it goes. Laurie who lives next to the planned garden area already has a lot growing in that area. There are many options to see how it should start. One resident suggested an orchard. Plum trees have already been planted in some places. We are looking at the time and work that has already gone in to this project and what that feedback was and are currently working from that survey. This is a community and everyone has the opportunity to participate. One resident wanted confirmation on what the new snow removal process was since our last contractor no-showed. Tom D. made some calls during that storm and made a contact with a reliable and affordable plowing contact. There were glowing reports about his work. Curtine confirmed that the Management Committee meetings are the 3rd Monday of each month at 6:30pm– usually at Robert’s house and are open to all. Contact Isabel for confirmation of location. There is a request that this information be posted on the MHA website. Also, because it has taken the Secretary considerable time to listen to and transcribe the minutes, she is proposing she get them out earlier to the Board members via email who can comment for fact, she will revise, and they will be available prior to the next meeting(s) on the Park kiosks, as well as the MHA website. We did have some ‘website hacking’ and other issues that delayed getting things posted on the site. It was suggested that ‘motions’, ‘requests’ and discussions which flush out issues be clarified as soon as possible. We can approve minutes informally – ‘email ok’ and post. Then formally approve at the next Board meeting. Regarding Management Committee Minutes – previously they were included in the Board meeting minutes. It was determined that the Mgmt. Comm. will take notes, send them to the Board members after their meeting and they will be included in the minutes of the Board. Curtine notes that she feels it is important to share the discussions in brief for transparency and to include for those members who were not present. There is discussion regarding whether or not Board meetings should be open to all. It is suggested we should bring this up at the Board audit as well as content of minutes. Curtine noted that due to the ‘almost’ accident we had with digging in to a gas line, Tom D. will be developing a check list to ensure all residents go through the same check list for procedure and safety issues. This was a learning experience for the Board and residents as well. We want to look out for residents taking their own responsibility and MHA taking their responsibility, since we cannot control the other entities. A resident complimented the fast action taken by Tom D. to avoid a serious problem. Ecopass project has not moved forward as we wanted to take advantage of a full year of benefit and it starts at the beginning of the calendar year. We also need to have all residents fill out an Ecopass questionnaire in order for Ecopass to determine how much our costs will be. This project will be taken up again in the fall.

Kurt asks if there are any new business issues any one would like to discuss. No issues brought up.

The VP motions to adjourn the meeting at 6:43pm. It was seconded and the meeting was adjourned.