MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
LAKE BARCROFT ASSOCIATION
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The meeting of the Board of Directors of the Lake Barcroft Association (LBA) was called to order at 7:31 PM by President Warren Russell at 6425 Lakeview Drive, Falls Church, Virginia. Those present were LBA Directors Warren Russell, Cindy Waters, Jim Kilbourne, Pat Payne, Sally Determan, Betsy Washington, Steve Klein, Kim Smith, Regina Derzon, Diane Smalley, Eva Kosztarab, Mark Cavich, and Alice Rowan. Chris Lawson, Improvements Chair George Waters, and lake residents Ralph Smalley, George Waters, Joel Gregorio, Joe Pelican and Kim Mills were also present.
The minutes of September 14, 2011 were approved as presented.
ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW PROCESS: Ralph Smalley, having recently emailed a statement to the Board, orally presented the Board with his views of current ARC practices. Ralph recommended that the ARC make changes to ensure it has authority to enforce its rules, and allow for more informal review process in appropriate cases. He expressed that the ARC could have reviewed his recently-submitted plans for seawall replacement more quickly. He pointed out that the period of time for public comment had been expanded. Ralph questioned the authority of the ARC under its bylaws to enforce its rules. He proposed establishing a committee to update the bylaws and expressed his willingness to serve on such a committee.
Jim responded that the ARC discussed the matter at its most recent meeting. The committee's view was that its authority was not limited to the extent described by Ralph. Jim explained that Board has the authority through the Virginia Property Owners Association Act (VPOAA) to impose up to $900 in fines, which equates to $10 per day times 90 days against violators. Other enforcement powers include the ability to limit lake privileges. Jim explained that to impart greater enforcement authority, the LBA covenants would require any revision to be presented to and approved by the vast majority of the membership. He responded that the comment period increased from 10 days to 20 days to allow time for neighbors to respond to applications for review. Applicants may encourage neighbors to write directly to the ARC by e-mail to expedite the process.
Diane suggested clarifying what matters required ARC review, as this issue was unclear, and to differentiate between repairs not requiring review and renovations requiring review.
Sally suggested making suggestions for changes to the ARC and have that body propose changes, before acting on a request to appoint a review committee on the matter.
Cindy suggested including in the LBA Handbook a definition or glossary section, which could include definitions for "repair" and "renovation" for ARC review purposes. Cindy will include Ralph's thoughts in this process.
CALENDAR REVIEW: Warren led the Board in a calendar review. Cindy suggested adding three to four months of the 2012 upcoming year in the calendar, and suggested adding a provision in December for mailing annual bills. Cindy reported that she is working on the LBA Handbook.
ACTION ITEMS: Warren asked the directors to address action items during their committee reports. He reported that George had finished the Lakeview steps. Betsy had obtained the arborist estimate for two trees at Beach 3. Kim had completed the response to the Grands; all others are owed a response.
WATER SAFETY REPORT: Warren called attention to Water Safety Supervisor Kevin Hardy's report. Steve mentioned Kevin's recommendation for a bonus. Sally responded that that the proposed bonus figure is contained in the current budget, it is the same amount as the previous year's bonus, and it is considered a retention bonus. No dues increase would be required to supply the bonus.
SECURITY CAMERA UPDATE: Kim requested the Board's views on whether it was worthwhile to pursue the issue of security cameras given the comparison between costs and benefits. She suggested that cameras may be more important to guard WID property, and that George McLennan believes WID would be interested in cost sharing. Kim mentioned that the expert on security cameras, who is a police officer, was unable to attend the evening's meeting to make recommendations, and therefore she suggested postponing further discussion until such time as the officer could be present or she could have the cameras in her possession for a demonstration. She is gathering additional information for a cost benefit analysis.
Regina expressed the view that the matter should go to the community for a vote prior to signing any contract, citing "big brother/sibling" concerns.
Warren commented that security consists of a series of overlapping security practices or measures, including a number of actions that can be taken to reduce vandalism.
Cindy commented that police input is important.
Sally pointed out that even with security cameras, some degree of vandalism is likely.
CIVIC AFFAIRS MEETING: Warren reviewed the agenda for the meeting, and mentioned that that WID Chairman Chuck de Seve wishes to update the community on dredging progress. A number of officials and candidates will attend the meeting and briefly address the community, including Penny Gross, Kaye Kory, Sandy Evans, Robert Sarvis and David Feld. Warren stressed the need to be flexible in presentations during the meeting, given the limits on the candidates' varying times of arrival. Cindy mentioned that officials and candidates may place their biographies and literature in the room for review. Kim commented that the community will vote for the Mason District School Board member and three at-large members. Each voter may cast his/her ballot for up to three of the seven people running for at-large School Board positions.
Warren requested a summary of the committee reports in preparation for the LBA President's Report.
MEMBERSHIP: Per Chris, there are 14 non-paid accounts totaling $1,031.
BUDGET: Steve reported the 2011 budget is tracking well. No increases are proposed thus far for 2012.
WATER SAFETY: Kevin Hardy's report reflects a safe summer.
SPECIAL EVENTS: Many volunteers are to be commended for their work on special events such as Labor Day games (Lisa Levine and Ralph Petta), fireworks, ice cream social, barbeque, Sand Day, the Woman's Club Easter Egg Hunt, and many others. Sally commented on what a special community it is and how lucky we are to have so many wonderful events.
SAFETY: Kim reported that 23 trespassers were cited. Various skinny dippers were seen, but not cited.
MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENTS: Thanks were given to George Waters for all his hard work. Sally noted the improved drainage at Beach 4 resulting from George's work.
COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS: Mark noted the Contractor's List is being reviewed. On-line bill pay is on track. Steve commented on the need to have correct amounts in bill-pay for Chris' reference. Mark announced that advertising on the website is a particularly good value, with over 20,000 views of advertisements.
ARC: Jim is reviewing guidelines.
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY: Betsy reported the planting of 40 trees. She will present a report on the environment at the Civic Affairs meeting.
NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Cindy commented that the nominating committee with Diane Smalley, Lisa Levine and Jenny Talati will meet next week. She encouraged Board members to contact her with suggestions for candidacy. She will report back next month when the slate is prepared.
LEGAL: Eva is engaged in updating the LBA bylaws. Eva discussed the current LBA bylaws and certain proposed changes and updates, including amending the bylaws to provide for electronic voting as permitted by the Virginia Homeowners Association Act. Eva read certain proposed language. She mentioned that LBA is subject to the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act, which gives LBA broad powers to vote electronically.
Sally proposed that any Committee Chair could call for a vote electronically, and such voting should not involve matters affecting the budget.
Cindy disagreed with this view, stating that at a regular board meeting, only the President could call for the vote and that electronically, the same should apply.
Warren suggested the need for a gate-keeper as to such voting.
Sally commented on the value of electronic voting in certain matters to save discussion time.
Pat supported this view where rapid turn-around was necessary.
Alice commented that any electronic votes should be ratified in a public meeting so the vote is reflected in the minutes.
Jim pointed out that the Act requires consent to electronic voting on an item-by-item basis.
Eva mentioned other proposed changes, such as including reserve study every five years. She will send out a memo explaining the proposed changes and email the proposed bylaws to the Board so it can vote for approval at the November Board meeting.
Pat suggested changing the name to "Amended and Restated Bylaws."
Chris asked that the bylaws be provided to her by the end of December to facilitate copying.
Eva gave special kudos to Walter Buzzetta for his insurance review.
** ACTION ITEM ** Eva will supply proposed amended bylaws to Chris by December 31, 2011 for copying. **
2012 BUDGET PREPARATION: Steve discussed the first draft of the 2012 budget item by item.
Income: Mark commented that $7,500 income from advertising is realistic, given the current 7 to 8 advertisements this year.
Water safety: the lifeguard budget was somewhat overspent this year due to sunny weather conditions. This year's figures will be used for the 2012 budget.
Cindy asked if Beach 5 should be guarded.
Sally responded that we hold it out as a beach, so it should be guarded. Sally suggested raising the amount for beach tags.
Steve recommended consolidating the beach maintenance and common-area maintenance and improvement items. No lifeguard party held.
Betsy commented that money was earmarked for tree planting due to donations specifically for this purpose.
Mark mentioned money for technology upgrades.
Regina recommended that the Board adopt a capitalization policy. Cindy suggested increasing the allotted amount for fireworks to $12,000, which is an amount sufficient to pay the contractor to conduct the show without volunteers in the event the County prohibited volunteers' involvement.
Pat expressed the view that such action was not necessary at this time, because Kevin Howe and others had committed to securing necessary licensure, training and other requirements.
Steve opined that the budget could be amended to address this issue if required.
Chris suggested a $1000 figure for printing by-laws.
Cindy mentioned that postage would increase for mailing by-laws. Chris had sent the Annual Meeting Notice separately by bulk mail, as required.
Warren will check on the Welcome Basket issue.
George and Steve will address the "legacy line items." The M&I budget is similar to last year; they will review it to understand it thoroughly.
Betsy and George discussed the relative merits of transferring the M&I tree management item to the Environmental Committee; Betsy was opposed to this move.
Steve commented that tree management is cutting and removing trees, and tree reforestation is buying new trees.
Sally instructed that trees which are planted in common areas are a quintessential form of capital item and capital expenditure. She recommended creating a new capital line item which includes this expense.
** ACTION ITEM ** Warren asked whether a Welcome Basket budget item is needed. Complete: Yes.
At approximately 9:45 p.m., the Board retired into Executive Session to discuss personnel matters. An Ad Hoc committee was formed to advise the Board on contract-related matters.
At approximately 10:15 p.m., the Board came out of Executive Session having discussed only the personnel matters identified prior to retirement, and invited the members of the public to re-join the meeting.
CONTINUATION OF COMMUNITY FORUM/ARC ISSUE: Lake Barcroft residents Joel Gregorio and Joe Pelican, accompanied by Kim Mills, asked the Board to respond to their request for a written opinion on the status of a property matter which had been reviewed by the ARC. Messrs. Gregorio and Pelican commented that a sales contract is pending on their property, which is affected by an on-going property line dispute which is in litigation.
Eva offered to prepare a letter for attorney Jackie Mervis providing assurance from the LBA as to the Board's position that after a visual inspection, no ARC violations have been noted on the property.
Warren commented that this information is normally set out in the disclosure packet provided to realtors, and in this case the packet would indicate no violations were noted. An amended package could be supplied stating no violations were noted.
Chris was asked whether she signs these packets. She replied that she does not sign them; rather, she circles an item indicating whether fees are current.
Jim commented that an amended disclosure packet would be given to the prospective purchaser, and this would comply with the Virginia Property Owners Act.
Mr. Pelican repeated that he, as seller, would like to have an affirmative letter to this effect, written over the signature of the LBA President. He mentioned that the disclosure packet does not specifically identify the property in issue. He wishes to have closure on the Board's conclusion that it noted no violations on the property.
Sally suggested providing the amended packet with a cover letter from the LBA president stating, "As you can see in the amended disclosure packet, no violations were noted."
The Board agreed that Eva would prepare such a letter for Warren's signature, and would send the letter with the amended disclosure packet to attorney Mervis by Friday. Eva will email Ms. Mervis and advise her that the letter and packet will be sent.
** ACTION ITEM ** Eva will email Attorney Ms. Mervis and advise her that the property letter and revised packet will be sent to her.
CONTINUATION OF COMMITTEE REPORTS
SECURITY: Kim summarized her action items.
ENVIRONMENTAL: Betsy encouraged all to attend Watershed Celebration Day on Saturday, October 22, 2012.
No further reporting was required from committees at this time.
TRAFFIC: Warren reported receiving a notice from Penny Gross reminding that a letter from the President was required to install "Watch for Children" signs. Cindy recalled the two separate discussions concerning such signs.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:56 PM. The Lake Barcroft Civic Association Meeting takes place Thursday, October 20, 2011 at Belvedere Elementary School. The next LBA Board meeting takes place Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
APPROVAL OF OCTOBER 12, 2011 MINUTES
VOTE TO APPROVE: Yes_____________ No_______________
I certify the foregoing is a true and accurate record of the minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors of Lake Barcroft Association (LBA) of October 12, 2011, and the Vote as to Approval of such minutes on November 9, 2011.
Mary Alice Rowan, Secretary