the last issue of Out on the Ridge (April 2004), the board invited homeowners
who had issues they wished to discuss to send them to the management company for
consideration. The board received the following letter on May 24, 2004.
We would like to suggest that the following issues be
considered as topics of discussion at the next board meeting scheduled for June
The establishment of term limits for Shavano Ridge board members.
The implementation of a democratic, homeowner voting process to
create, amend, and abolish rules and regulations in Shavano Ridge.
These issues were addressed in the February/March homeowner opinion poll and the participants expressed overwhelming support for both measures. The results of the poll are listed below.
Do you think there should be term
limits for Board members? Yes[ 57 ]
No[ 14 ]
Do you think the Board should add new
rules and restrictions without the approval of the homeowners? Yes[ 3 ]
No[ 69 ]
We would also like to address the apparent inconsistencies in violation enforcement and the favoritism the board seems to extend to its own members.
I am speaking of the contrast between the board’s tolerance of the board
president’s pile of landscape rocks in the street, and their lack of tolerance
for others who have temporarily piled landscape materials back in their
driveway. For these homeowners, complaints were made and violations notices
We are not making a complaint about the president’s rocks. We feel he has a right to improve his property without interference, and the rest of us should be tolerant of the slight (if any) inconvenience his project presents. *
But we are bothered by the appearance of inconsistency, favoritism, and intolerance. The board members seem to regard each other with a great deal of courtesy and tolerance; we would like to see that same courtesy and tolerance extended to the rest of the homeowners.
We feel this would be an excellent topic for discussion at the next meeting.
We would also like verification of an issue that arose at the general meeting on March 10, 2004. As you know a homeowner was barred from recording the proceedings. The board’s attorney claimed the homeowner did not have the right to record an open meeting. We have not been able to find any verification that the statement the attorney made was true. We would like to board to provide us with verification found in the by laws or state laws that prohibit the recording (video or audio) of open homeowners meetings.
*We do believe that, in the future, all such materials
should be deposited on the homeowner’s own property. This would eliminate the
liability this situation presents to the entire association.
the Board nor the Management Company responded to this request.
Members Not Present:
& Mrs. Bob ????
meeting was call to order at 7:00pm by Pat Kingshott
opened the Homeowners Forum for discussion of issues.
not heard from the board prior to the meeting, Mary asked if the items outlined
in her “homeowner’s request for discussion topics” (above) were going to
be placed on the evenings meeting agenda. Pat said that they were not going to
be on the agenda because it was too full and that the board did not understand
the issues. (We ask the reader review the document shown above and see if
they agree with the Board that the suggested topics are unclear). Mary
mentioned that the procedure to have these issues placed on the agenda, as
outlined in the Out on the Ridge, had
been followed. Mary also expressed her concern that if issues were discussed in
the open forum they would not be recorded into the formal meeting minutes. Pat
again reiterated that the meeting agenda was too full. Mary formally requested
that the items be placed on the next meeting agenda. Pat said that would be
August and she would see.
discussion was opened to issues related to the March 10th General
Meeting and the Homeowners Survey conducted by the MacDougalls.
Meeting issues: At this meeting, some homeowners were told by the
Attorney representing the Board, that they could not record the meeting either
by video or audio recording because they would be violating Texas law. The
attorney warned them that if they did record the meeting they would be
physically removed from the building. These homeowners investigated this story
and found that the board’s attorney was apparently not telling the truth. There
is no law, or association by-law that prevents homeowners from recording the
minutes of a meeting. The Board was questioned about this issue. Pat said that
what the attorney was thought to have said was merely “hear say,” and so she
could not comment. Kay said that she was present and heard the attorney make the
statements in question¾
it was not hear say. Pat then made the statement that it was really the
board’s own policy not to allow the recording of the meetings. (This situation clearly points out the need to have witnesses present at
all times). A board discussion followed on who would keep the tapes and what
would they be used for. Mary stated that the recordings were for the homeowners
use only and were not “official records.” They were to be an aid in keeping
“complete and accurate” records. Mary said that our meetings were public and
that homeowners had the right to record such meetings. Pat said that our
meetings are not public and only for homeowners. Mary disagreed saying the
meetings were public and held in public places. Tim had concerns about what the
recordings would be used for and that they could be used out of context. (If
accurate records were kept, it would be impossible to take anything out of
context for long). The homeowners said they could be used to keep other
homeowners informed of neighborhood developments who could not attend regular
meetings. The idea was to bring our community together by providing more
information. Mary stated that perhaps the homeowners could be polled as to how
they felt about the issues. The Board said they were elected to make the
decisions and they were not interested in taking a poll. (This
opinion is in direct contrast with the published opinion of the CAI. In their
book, titled “Be Reasonable,” they state that “surveys are important tools
when making important community decisions.” And that “as with almost all
rules, it is a good idea to survey the community.” They go on to say
“residents should have a role in establishing rules, since they’re the ones
who must live by them.”) Chris gave an example of the selection of light
poles; he asked if a poll should be conducted. Mary pointed out that she was
concerned with the big Issues of the community; she said all homeowners should
have a voice in how their community was governed. Lih-Lan suggested that there
be more meetings held since the general meeting did not allow for issues to be
addressed. The board pointed out that they had more meetings than dictated by
the Bylaws. The homeowners suggested that more general discussion meetings be
held so that the real issues could be discussed and that these meetings were
allowed by the Bylaws.
This discussion lead to the results of the March Homeowner Opinion Poll. Pat said that the board would not want to initiate term limits. (The opinion of the homeowners ran contrary to that of the vice president: Do you think there should be term limits for Board members? Yes[ 57 ] No [ 14 ]). Pat also said that it was hard to get people to run for the Board. Mary pointed out that, in the past, many homeowners had run for the board and that was not the problem. She pointed out that some homeowners that wanted to get involved felt excluded by the board. Pat asked who these people were. Mary said, as per the last meeting where the Board thought that naming names was not positive, the who was not the issue. Kay spoke up and told the Board that she was one of these homeowners. She told of her past involvement and how she felt excluded by the boards actions.
discussion then moved to the homeowners concerns about the Board and their
decisions about how our community is governed. Mary pointed out the overwhelming
majority of homeowners that answered the survey had similar concerns. Pat said
that she knew math and had concerns about the survey and the presentation of the
statistics. Mary pointed out that the survey
was recorded as percentages and not statistical. Pat said that only 26%
responded (the actual figure was 28.4%)
and that it was too small to be a valid sampling. Mary pointed out that voter
turnouts far less than that of her survey decide elections in San Antonio,
including the mayoral election. She stated that return was very significant for
a poll of this kind. Discussion of the survey opened up, Mr. Kingshott asked who
paid for it. Mary said that she did. He then said that surveys delivered to the
door of the homes biased the results. He said he heard from both sides that they
had stuffed the surveys and so the numbers were not valid (Precautions were taken to eliminate this possibility. The surveys were
distributed with distinctive return envelopes, and the survey forms were easily
identifiable as well. The truth is that there was only one such incidence of
cheating among the 75 respondents. One envelope in support of the Board did come
back stuffed with four photocopied survey forms; however, since they did arrive
in the proper envelope, one survey was counted). Mary pointed out that the
surveys were marked. Mr. Kingshott then said he worked for the Express News and
their surveys were designed and conducted by a third party. Mary pointed out
that many of the questions were taken from the CAI publication (Be Reasonable),
but thought the idea of conducting an additional community survey was a
wonderful idea. There was no response from the Board. The format of the poll
(door to door or phone interview) was discussed to determine which would be
better. There was no decision made.
ended the discussion because the forum had gone over by fifteen minutes.
Pat called the Board Meeting
to order at 7:45 pm
asked if anyone had items to add. Mary asked if the issues proposed in the
letter received May 24th could be addressed. Pat declined the
suggestion saying the agenda was too full. The homeowners requested that copies
of the agenda be provided to homeowners in attendance so they could follow
along. A discussion of the added expense and number of copies to be made
followed. Ernie suggested that a small number of additional copies be made each
meeting for homeowners.
called for approval / corrections to the April 13th meeting minutes.
Ernie had a correction for the figures about the current assets. No other
corrections or changes were made. A vote was taken: All board members voted to
accept the minutes.
question of the approval of the minutes of the March general meeting was brought
up. It was pointed out that the minutes would not be distributed until the next
general meeting in March 2005. Pat said that the minutes were very long; Tim
requested additional time. No vote was taken.
reported on current assets in each of the accounts. Three homeowners have not paid their annual assessment. A
budget comparison of the year to date shows that administration costs are over
budget but all other items are under budget. He pointed out that the current
expenses are running about $2,600 per month which is abut $400 per month less
that the average projected costs. A question rose about the Kinko’s printing
bills and why they were included in the information from Chris. Chris said this was a mistake, and that the association was
discussion about the homeowners that had not paid assessments yet (7th
month) continued. It was noted that a reminder is sent to them each month.
reported that three welcome packages were sent out last month. New Block
captains are needed for Shavano Downs. A block captain’s meeting will be held
at her home to discuss participation and plans for the National Night Out
program. COP program available for homeowners to participate in for safety and
security of community.
Ano is the new webmaster. The web pages are being re-arranged; it was determined
that the convent information posted is incomplete. There are now six different sets of convents for each of the
six phases of Shavano Ridge. The board discussed the logic of having this
information on the website since every homeowner gets a copy at the time of
sale. Ernie made a motion that convents be removed because it is not possible to
put all six sets on the site.
was not present, so there was no report.
was not present, but it was determined that no pressing issues needed to be
discussed at that time.
violations issues were addressed involving a parked trailer and a fence.
of the Month:
selection made for April and May.
Greg reported that the committee was scheduled to meet June 8th but that date conflicted with the Board meeting. He is trying to reschedule for June 15th.
mailboxes will be the silver cluster types, like the ones in Shavano Ridge.
total of eight homes have now been sold to date with one now occupied.
Tim reported that there is a new supervisor for the Hartman project. Fence is at
property line is set back requiring some area landscaping. The Issues of the
sprinkler installation and what types of ground cover to use for areas near the
fence have not been resolved. Chris suggested that sprinklers not be installed;
he recommended that the area be left natural.
The rocks were seen as problem that would allow weeds to grow unchecked.
Ernest suggested that topsoil be spread and either Bermuda or Rye grass be used
as ground cover. He made a motion: that Hartman Homes be requested to install
topsoil and grass. It was also suggested that no sprinklers be installed in open
areas near the fences. A vote was taken: all present voted yes.
will request a meeting with Hartman but noted a potential conflict since his son
has purchased tone of the Hartman Homes.
Pat told about the meeting May 18. Judge
took evidence presented by both sides. Shavano Woods' president was present and
his wife, who is an attorney, represented the community. Each side had 20 minute
to present information. The ruling
should come within 45-60 days.
A total of 63 new Homes will become part of the Shavano Ridge community with.
Pat outlined a two-step process: 1) contact by a Board member, and 2) contact by
a Block captain. She suggested that a notebook with dividers be given to the new
homeowner upon first visit. The information should include the Convents (noted
again six different sets). Discussion of homeowner’s manuals followed. It was
thought that it should include information on the Vulcan Quarry. There was
discussion about getting volunteers to help assemble the welcome packages, but
Pat decided she wanted to do it herself. The homeowners also suggested that they
include a copy of the homeowner directory in the first visit. The directory is
updated every 1 to 2 years as needed.
Pat suggested that a priority for the projects be set as follows: Dead plant
removal (Bids 2 on planting).
electric and landscaping lights
Board agreed on the order.
Not all the bids were sent to the Board prior to the meeting. In some cases, it
was not clear to the Board what the bid was for. One bid included the planting
of annuals. The Board determined this would require too much maintenance. Ernie
presented the details of the bids. A motion was made and passed to accept the
bid from Rioso ($1,224).
Lettering bids were then discussed; a black color was agreed on, and differences
in the thickness of letter to be used were noted. It was suggested that Chris
get revised bids with pricing for lettering of three different thickness' (1/8,
¼, and 3/8).
Two 14ft lights for entrance were discussed.
It was suggested that the entire lights be replaced and that the light
poles not saved. The various options from the catalogues were discussed and a
selection was made by consensus. A motion was made that two Lights (#8673) be
purchased and installed. A vote was taken: All present voted yes.
There was a discussion concerning the lack of bids because the size of the job
is small. Chris said he will start getting some additional bids.
Violation Action Item List:
homeowner with trailer has moved it.
homeowner with blue shutters has repainted the top shutters; the bottom shutters
have not been painted but the board decided to let it go.
A new batch of the old stickers was ordered; Later, the Board will talk about a
creating a new logo, but for now, they will continue to use the old “SR”
A “dog run” in a homeowner’s backyard can be seen from the street. A
violation notice was sent to the homeowner but there was no response. It was
suggested that they send a notice to the homeowner to meet with the Board within
made a recommendation that the date, time, and location of Board meetings be
posted on the Shavano Ridge website. Pat said she would try.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.