Goldenwood Property Owners Association
Annual Meeting Minutes
June 21, 2003
The GPOA Annual Meeting originally scheduled for June 10, 2003 occurred instead on June 21, 2003 due to the circumstance of not having a quorum at the first meeting. The meeting was called to order at 7:15PM by Rob Baxter, President, who introduced the officers. A quorum was met by the 45 members present in person and by proxy as specified in the Bylaws.
Secretary, Bonnie Tull, read the minutes from the previous yearÕs meeting. Motion was made to accept the minutes as read, seconded, and passed. The question was asked if each member would get a copy of the minutes, and the answer was that copies of the minutes are not mailed to each member. Instead, they are posted at the mail station and on the web site at Goldenwood.org.
Treasurer, Jennifer Whitney, then read the TreasurerÕs report stating previous yearÕs balance of $54,471.96, total receipts of $15,374.78, expenses of $17,426.03 leaving a balance of $52,420.71 cash in bank with a $10,000 certificate of deposit. Motion to accept the TreasurerÕs report as read was made, seconded, and passed.
Old Business and Committee Reports:
Andrew Backus, Vice President and APC member, reported that the mail station make over work was almost complete. This included new roofing and stain for the mail station, new fencing, ribbon curbing, and partial asphalting for edge fill. The cost of a complete new asphalt topcoat would be $2,100. Kevin Griffin, Board Member (and paving contractor), stated that a 1" overlay was needed to make the pavement last, the price quoted was a good one, and that the work done so far was as specified.
Motion was made to authorize up to $2500 for the same contractor to do a second complete coating of asphalt. The motion was seconded and passed. Kevin advised that the asphalt mix should be type D, as the type used looked like type C. Andrew stated that the type used was supposed to have been type D.
A suggestion was made to paint the mail station door, and Andrew acceded that the job could be done, if we are able to arrange it with the mail carrier, who keeps the key, and if Postal regulations will allow it.
Rob revisited the driveway apron issue reminding the members that it had been voted the previous year to bring all driveways up to specification. To date only a few have been done voluntarily by individual owners. Question was asked as to what the vote count had been, Bonnie reported that there was not a specific vote count in the minutes. Rob noted that the reason for the latter was that the motion passed by unanimous acclamation.
Discussion followed about what the covenants actually specified, and it was found that they do specifically mention that driveway aprons should be paved. Brian Dudley, APC member, mentioned that the paving contractor working for Radiance was planning to return and that such a presence might provide an opportunity for group pricing. Question was asked as to how non-compliant driveways had passed the APC in the first place. Rob replied that they had apparently been overlooked. Andrew pointed out that the absence of approval from the APC did not suffice for compliance, unless the APC did not act within 30 days of a submittal for approval. "The question facing usÓ, Rob stated, Ņis how hard do we push for compliance?" Andrew asked, "What are the covenants worth? Do we jettison them, or do we ŌgrandfatherÕ existing residents, while making sure that new construction meets specs? We want to be fair." A member mentioned that some houses were not compliant in many ways. Another member noted also that there was rampant non-compliance among all aspects of the covenants. Andrew suggested that the members could vote to eliminate the covenants. A member complained that her proxy had not voted the way she would have wished, that the vote was not recorded by number, and suggested that the driveway apron issue be ignored. Another member noted that he had almost not moved to Goldenwood because of the APC requirements, that we should cease harping on non compliant members, and that we donÕt want to pay for them anyway. Andrew explained that the vote was not to have the GPOA pay for the paving out of its budget but to have members pay the cost out of their own pockets as required. Kevin pointed out that the clay from the tires of vehicles eats away the pavement, and that the roads were originally paved to substandard. Rob noted that the covenants needed to be enforced, when there was a problem, and the current problem is that the roads are being degraded. Rob also noted that the basic issue was actual degradation, and that only a few entrances were actually degrading the road, and whether we should fix just those or require all to be compliant.
A member noted that her driveway is paved but that the nearby road is still being degraded. Brian mentioned that some driveways were worse than others where there was more mud and grit being thrown out onto the road pavement. ThatÕs why standard County and neighborhood covenants required paved aprons. It was extra work for the APC to police it, and the group rate of c. $550/driveway was a good deal. A member suggested that we give the issue another year in which members could voluntarily pave, and consider it again next year. Another member said that the aprons needed to be paved to a thickness of 8-10 inches to be able to support the bigger delivery and construction trucks. Kevin stated that the bigger trucks like the trash trucks were the problem. Andrew suggested that it might be a good idea to request that people go to the cheaper new trash service thus cutting down on the number of trucks using the roads. It was pointed out that any construction needed to use at least a temporary base driveway, and that the new house currently under construction did not have such. Andrew and Brian reported that the builders of that home had been notified and that they did not want to comply. Andrew noted that we already had a motion from last year to require paving. A motion was made, seconded, and passed to encourage voluntary compliance for this year and to revisit the issue next year.
The issue of curbing was introduced. Andrew reported that we have only done the part that we own. The County owns most of the roads and is responsible for their maintenance. We are still working on the County to put curbing in where it is critical, but the only way they will do it now is, if we pay for it through a bond issue. Motion was made and seconded to let the curbs go and work on the county to get it done. A member asked, if a precedent was not being set by reneging on a motion. Rob answered that we are allowed to do that, and Andrew added that any law is only as good as the next administration. A vote was taken, and the motion passed 42 to 3.
Rob reported that the settlement agreement concerning FA litigation against the City of Dripping Springs regarding what we considered as illegal development agreements was now sitting with the Mayor and that we expected the City Council to approve it. Member Terry Tull reported that, in a related issue, the Mayor, Austin City Council Member, Daryl Slusher, and Hays County Commissioner, Judge Jim Powers, were starting a regional water plan that would hopefully have widespread citizen input. This reflects a heightened interest in managing resources. Rob pointed out that Terry was a Friendship Alliance member who had worked on water issues for that body, and that the Mayor had asked Terry to moderate the first planning process meeting. This demonstrates that the issues for the ETJ are being addressed in a proactive way, and that what happened two years ago, was not likely to happen again. One member wanted to thank all those who had worked so hard on the issues, whether or not we all agree.
Question was asked as to what more to expect in the way of attorney fees. Rob reported that he expected $3,000-$4,000 more in billing from the lawyer, but that this was not to be billed to GPOA, but to the FA.
There was a question as to how a judge would have dealt with attorney fees. Erin Foster won her case about the violation of the Open Meetings Act, and she had been awarded attorney fees as well. But the City has no money. It was felt that trying to obtain the money from the City was not worth the effort, considering the gains made in getting the city to change its approach.
Miscellaneous Old Business:
The question was asked about the dying oak tree tips on
Crystal Hills Drive. Andrew reported that he had talked with an arborist and
found that the cause of the problem was a disease called Diplodia Tip Blight
often brought on by drought. However, the disease is not fatal. Chrissy Cowan offered to do more research and post
it on the web site. One member mentioned that she had heard from an arborist
that cedars had at least one beneficial effect on nearby oak trees. They helped
to retard some insect infestation by a substance they exude. There was some
vehement protest to that idea saying that the cedars do more harm than good by
soaking up too much water.
Rob brought up the issue of landscaping funds. He had talked with a landscaper who suggested hundreds of drought tolerant and deer resistant plants that could be used and quoted $4,900 to add landscaping around the mail station. It was pointed out by several members that it would take a full year of regular watering to establish any plants, even those that were drought tolerant, and how were we going to be able to water them?
A member pointed out that we had an excellent base already with the attractive dwarf yaupon holly and that we shouldnÕt do anything to destroy what is already there. Another member asked if we couldnÕt bring in a water line. Rob said that it was possible to have a water truck come in on a regular but temporary basis to get the plants established. A motion was made to bring in Xanadu and talk about minimalist landscaping. Rob asked if Xanadu did design, and the answer was yes. Motion was made to amend the former motion to authorize up to $1,000 for the work. Another motion was made and seconded to authorize up to $5,000 to upgrade and maintain for up to $300/month for one year. It was reported that Ian Pollard now mows rather than Colin Dudley. Rob said that we would go through a bidding process to select the landscaper. The motion passed by a vote of 25 to 20.
Rob reported that work on the damage at the three-neighborhood entrance off 1826 was underway and that so far the new fence was up, the new guardrail installed, and the sign painted. There had been some discussion about planting shrubs between the guardrail and the fence and that it had been decided to plant a Pecan tree in place of the tree that had been destroyed. There was some dismay expressed about the choice of a Pecan being inappropriate due to its brittleness and high water consumption. Rob said that his efforts to get the County to put dye in the reinforcement concrete to be laid had failed. Some said that if we wanted dye, it would be a simple matter of just taking it to the work crews who come to do the job and having them mix it on site.
Rob reported that he gets a lot of calls about dogs barking, and/or chasing people. It was reported that one dog was recently poisoned to death. The covenants as well as County law require that dogs be under control. A member said that her children were afraid to ride their bikes because of the dogs. Rob reported that AndrewÕs cat had been killed on his own property by a neighborÕs dog. The problem with control is that the County will do nothing, unless the animal is caught or at the very least identified. Another member reported that she was a walker, and that the dogs were particularly worrisome to her. It was mentioned that there could have been poisoned bait on the Rutherford Ranch. It was suggested that we be good neighbors and talk to each other, and Rob declared that he could send a letter. One member mentioned that her dog had been viciously attacked twice, that she had called twice and told the neighbor that the next time, she would be calling the Sheriff. That had apparently worked. Motion was made and seconded to put a warning sign about animal control at the mail station along with a number to call. Motion passed by vote of 42 to 3.
Rob revisited the management company idea, and Andrew stated that it would require a raising of the dues. Jennifer said that the TreasurerÕs job did not require a rocket scientist but just someone who was willing. Andrew said that the management company would send someone out once a month to inspect properties for non-compliance and would do the accounting for a minimum of $400/month. Bonnie said that her concern was a tendency to lose continuity, especially in the database, and that some of the Board jobs were too much to do for a full three-year term. She pointed out that the Board of Trustees was not actually elected to their specific offices by the members (although there seemed to be a tacit understanding of who would serve as what in the general election). Rather the Trustees elected the Officers themselves. Andrew suggested that to hire a bookkeeper would cost about $25/hour. Rob pointed out that we have volunteers for the coming year. Rob was asked what was the incentive for bringing up the issue. He replied that it had been old business put on hold from last year, when David Coffey had suggested that we try it. Andrew mentioned that it was a pain to keep up the database. Bonnie and Jennifer concurred saying that real estate agents, title companies, and owners themselves often did not notify the GPOA of changes, even though they were required to do so by Texas law except in the case of unimproved land sales apparently. The question was asked if it would help to buy computers and/or software for the use of the Board. Jennifer and Bonnie agreed that equipment and software were not the issues. Bonnie suggested that we continue as is until actually confronted with the problem of not having any volunteers and that we make it a priority to ensure that the database we pass on is updated and uniform.
It was mentioned, that we needed to do an annual party or picnic like we used to as a neighborhood. Rob replied that other neighborhoods around us spend some of their income on an annual BBQ. Julie McKeon volunteered for a party committee, and Chrissy Cowan said that she would help. Chrissy moved that we hold a first annual party in the fall, when the weather is cooler, and that we cap expenses at $1,000. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Andrew asked if we should try to obtain from Leah Austin more than the small parcels of land we own around the mail station. There was a general consensus that we should not.
Rob announced that we needed nominations for four new Trustees. Kevin Griffin was the only Trustee whose term did not expire this year. Both Andrew and Rob had volunteered to remain. Jim McCune and Louise Harrison had also volunteered. Rob, Andrew, Jim, and Louise were elected by acclamation. RobÕs and AndrewÕs terms are for two years each, JimÕs is for one year, and LouiseÕs term is for three years.
Motion was made, seconded, and passed to adjourn at 9:05 PM.
Bonnie Tull, Secretary