Chuck Heitbrink, HOA Board Secretary
The board of directors met Sept. 26 for a regular scheduled business meeting. These are the approved meeting notes from that meeting.
Members present: Steve Seel, Lisa Onyx, Jim Anderson, Dan Buescher, Dirk Close, Nancy Eckstein, Chuck Heitbrink, and Manager Layne Varney
The meeting was called to order at 10 a.m. by President Steve Seel. There were 50 residents in attendance.
The board reviewed the minutes of the May 23, 2022, Business Meeting and the May 23, 2022, Executive Session. Motion to approve with corrections by Dirk and seconded by Lisa. Approved 7/0.
The Treasurer’s Report was presented by Jim with unaudited totals as of July 31, 2022. He advised that the total cash on hand was $1,774,253. The various funds were evaluated, and he reported that current revenues of $1,749,361 exceeded expenses of $1,515,027. The board reviewed the treasurer’s hand-out and had no additional questions.
Layne presented the Manager’s Report.
Administration – Video recording of our meetings is now being made and available to review after the meeting, and we thank Jeff Fontana who has been instrumental in developing this system. Home sales are beginning to slow, 2 for August, and totally 84 for the year.
Account status for 2022: 47 courtesy notices were sent to delinquent homeowners, and 14 second notices will be sent. There were 4 delinquencies reported prior to summer, and three are paid in full and one is in foreclosure and will be reconciled. The possibility of an electronic payment option for this upcoming billing period is planned. Cox Communication has announced the plan to install and make available their Internet, cable, and phones services to all of SunBird.
Inflation, filling jobs, material and supply availability, and shipping problems continue to be a concern for all areas of SunBird.
Horizon Room – Some changes have been in the management of the Horizon Room. Layne had a meeting with Horizon Room staff to discuss thoughts, experience in operations, and ideas of making improvements. With the goal being consistent hours, quality food, service, and in keeping with the mission statement, the Horizon Room intending to be the social hub of SunBird. All the employees seem willing to assist during this transition period. During this period, we will have limited food service available. Activities – Bingo and Trivia, Sunday-Funday Football continue to draw large crowds, and some adjustments may be needed as our winter residents return. Concerts and live music continue to be very popular. A flu shot clinic is scheduled, and we had a very successful blood drive, and we are planning another. Game show entertainment is currently being explored as another option for the community to participate. Our outdoor music festival is scheduled for Nov. 12 on the new stage.
Clubhouse – Swimming pool replaster project is in progress for the main pool, followed by the smaller pool. Outdoor stage/patio is in progress and will be completed by the end of October. During the last month the air conditioner unit for the ballroom was replaced and the clubhouse windows and carpets cleaned.
Landscape Common Area – Tree trimming of the common area trees and palm trees has been completed. Several large trees either damaged in storms or needed removal for safety. Weed pre-emergent and post treatment has been made to all common areas.
Patrol – Solicitation is not permitted in SunBird. Please contact Patrol immediately if experiencing any form of solicitation. Vehicle control gates were hit by lightning, barrier arms by vehicles, and the iron gates damaged. In most cases, Patrol has been able to identify the violators, and the damage has been paid for by them.
Committee Liaison Reports:
Architectural Control – Dirk reported that 48 permits had been issued for May, 22 in June, 21 in July, 30 in August, and 16 to date for September. Residents were reminded that permits are rolling until the work is complete due to delays from manufactures and contractors.
Weeds are still a problem, and residents are encouraged to watch their property. All palm trees should be trimmed. Letters of homeowners still needing weeding and palm tree trimming have been sent.
Finance – Jim reported that June YTD financials, including revenue, expenses, and balance sheets have been reviewed. A review of the Draft Budget included revenues and expenses and the effect inflation will have on our budget.
The Committee reviewed proposed Reserve Study candidates that included local HOAs to determine who they have selected to do their Reserve Study. With this information, the committee has two candidates identified to date.
The process of transitioning our banking services to CIT from Alliance continues. The benefits include better interest rates, better FDIC coverage, and more options for electronic banking. The process is close to completion, and the HOA will use both banks to minimize any issues with slow checks.
Project Review – Dan reported that the outdoor stage is almost complete, waiting for landscaping and the awning to be installed. The main pool is in process of being replastered. Upon completion, the small pool will be replastered. At that time, the laundry room repairs will be completed.
Rules – The Rules Booklet was revised to include the changes regarding water bottles and balls in and around the pool area. Layne displayed of the traffic signs to be placed in the community where speeding is a problem. Additionally, articles will be written in the SunBird News to inform residents of traffic rules in SunBird. The committee had a lengthy discussion concerning proposed rules for the Sports Courts. Updates will be sent to the Tennis and Pickleball Clubs for an additional review. A brief discussion was held regarding residents who disregard rules concerning alcohol and coffee in and near the pools. Going forward, when the residents are identified, Patrol will speak to them.
Welcoming & Marketing – Chuck reported that the committee will have their first committee meeting on Oct. 18 and thanks the office personnel for updating the SunBird HOA brochure.
HOA/Golf Board – Lisa reported the Golf Board had submitted their list of Capital Improvement Projects for the upcoming year. The items included a new gate in the maintenance shed area, purchase an aggravator for aerating and a fairway mower.
The Golf Club will offer boutique weddings for groups less than 25 on the 9th hole as an additional source of revenue.
The Golf Club has signed a lease to install a cell phone tower on the property. The tower will generate $1,500 per month and is designed to look like a pine tree.
A high school girls golf team will be practicing at SunBird. This will also give SunBird name recognition within the city.
The HOA requested a quote to clean the front two ponds. The estimated quote is $108,000 based on the weight of the water and material removed.
The Finance Committee informed the board of their progress on the 2023 Budget. Jim commented how last year’s audit team advised us to be very cautious concerning inflation. The committee is also looking on the impact of increased minimum wages. Currently, the board was given the Second Draft of the Proposed Budget for their review. The Reserve funds will continue to be funded, and for the year, the homeowners dues are expected to increase less than 10%, or from the current amount of $1,120 per year to $1,230 per year. The committee will present the final budget to the board for review.
The Election Committee chair, Barb Ott, reported that two candidates had submitted their information to be considered for the three open director positions. The two candidates submitted, Nancy Eckstein and Bob Morris, are in good standing and, after elected, will fill the two three-year terms, and the new board will determine if an appointment will be made to fill the open position.
Jim and Dirk reported on the possibility of going to an electronic election system. They have researched several companies and are most favorably impressed with Election Buddy. This system would eliminate all mailing of ballots and provide a secure option for voting. For those residents who do not have a computer, a tablet would be available at the office so that their vote would be included in the election. Chuck thanked the current Election Committee for their efforts over the years.
Steve led the discussion on the SunBird Drainage issue and General Informational Meeting on Nov. 30. This topic pertains to an original letter sent from the Golf Board to the HOA asking to amend the CC&Rs by enacting an annual contribution of 8% of the HOA annual assessment to support maintenance of the lakes, retention areas, as well as for the preservation of green areas within SunBird for the benefit of all residents. The HOA/Golf Task Force mutually agreed to modify the request for the betterment of SunBird, and that request was presented at a town hall meeting in March of 2022. The meeting generated greater than 60 questions from the residents. Those questions with the collective answers will be placed on our website later this week. The board believes all but one question remains to be answered, and that pertains to the accountability of the lakes. With the questions in hand, it was determined by the HOA/Golf Task Force that it was in SunBird’s best interest to obtain a civil engineer to interpret the data independently that we had received from the City of Chandler and others to help with the decision as to accountability of drainage with SunBird. With the civil engineer’s report in hand, the data was presented to our attorney who has provided us with the drainage interpretation and accountabilities as drawn from the civil engineer.
The HOA/Golf Task Force, with both the Golf and HOA Boards, are in alignment and have agreed on a three-legged stool approach to drainage, which contains: dry wells, retention basins/easements, and lakes. The HOA attorney deemed the dry wells and retention basins/easements are the responsibility of the HOA, given water runs off our streets and homes and, by design, runs directly onto dedicated basins or the golf course as a basin. The seven lakes within SunBird cannot be quantified, given the civil engineer’s report, as to accountability and have been tabled at this time. With this line item on our Business Meeting Agenda, the HOA Board of Directors are beginning the conversation with our residents. The decision has been made that the dry wells, retention basins/easements are the accountability of the HOA. The HOA Board of Directors have accepted the ownership and are working with the Golf Board on how best to remedy the drainage problem. No decision has been made as to how these two legs of the stool will be paid for, but a decision will need to be made in the future in this regard. From a SunBird Community standpoint, Steve sees this as a positive decision, as standing water around our homes is the cause for breeding mosquitoes, unsightly dirty water/mud, and an unhealthy atmosphere within our community.
Several homeowners’ comments were made concerning this issue and either answered or will be added to the list of questions and answers posted on the website.
The Comment sheets were reviewed by Layne.
Several homeowners’ comments were made at the meeting and were either answered by the board or will be communicated back to the individual who raised the question at the meeting.
Board members thanked the residents for attending the meeting.
With no further business, President Steve Seel adjourned the meeting at 11:40 a.m.
The next scheduled board business meeting is Monday, Dec. 19, at 10 a.m. in the ballroom. All are welcome to attend.