Commentary on June 5, 2017 BCA Board Meeting

Posted June 9, 2017 at 4:28 PM, Filed Under: Front Page, News, NRC Email

Important Note: The below highlights are reported based on unofficial notes taken by NRC representatives who attended the above BCA meeting. Although we believe the below reporting is reliable and strive for accuracy, we cannot assure 100% accuracy. It is recommended to all readers that they read the approved BCA Board Meeting minutes when published.

Annual Scholarship Award

Joshua Souders was recognized as the recipient of the BCA's 2017 Scholarship Award. A senior at Clover Hill High School and a resident of Poplar Grove, Souders will be attending James Madison University and plans to major in music education. President Davis congratulated Souders for his accomplishments and awarded him with a scholarship check of $1,000 at this BCA Board meeting. Souders' parents, Mike and Angela Souders, were also present at this award ceremony, as was Dianne Cardea who helped to initiate this scholarship program in conjunction with our School Board representative, Dianne Smith.

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Approval of Agenda

Director Hillman moved that the agenda be approved. Director Pearson asked that the agenda be amended to add several items:

  • Discussion for potentially directing BCA staff to request that Chesterfield County complete its inspections of waterfront docks and buffer zones and to offer free use of BranderBelle pontoon boat if necessary. The motion to add the agenda item was seconded by Director Hillman. President Davis suggested that the topic be carried to next month's agenda. The motion to add the item to the June meeting failed with a vote of 4:3 with President Davis and Directors Nardella, Gregory and Friedel voting against; and Directors Pearson, Hillman and Hunt voting for.

    It was agreed that this topic would be an agenda item for the BCA Board's July meeting.
  • An additional agenda item for discussion on the Fortune's Ridge property. Director Hillman seconded this motion to add the item. Director Gregory asked if the BCA Board had formally done anything in reaching final determination of this property. Director Hillman stated that the BCA Board had established a consensus to write a letter to the property owner, stating that the BCA Board was in agreement with the ARB. Director Gregory noted that the Directors had not voted on the issue. This motion to add an agenda item failed with a vote of 4:3 with President Davis and Directors Nardella, Gregory and Friedel voting against; and Directors Pearson, Hillman and Hunt voting for.
  • An agenda item to discuss asking the General Manager to organize a townhall meeting with the NRC acting as moderator, fielding questions for the General Manager and Board members. Director Hillman seconded the motion and noted that she like the format of the previous townhall meeting hosted by the NRC, whereby Chair Collins fielded the questions and Manager Wright responded to majority of the questions. She added that Manager Wright did an excellent job in conveying BCA's positions on a multitude of subject matters. This motion to add an agenda item failed with a vote of 4:3 with President Davis and Directors Nardella, Gregory and Friedel voting against; and Directors Pearson, Hillman and Hunt voting for.
  • Motion to add to the Executive Session agenda a discussion of the working relationship of the BCA Board President and General Manager. Director Hillman seconded this motion. This motion failed with a vote of 4:3 with President Davis and Directors Nardella, Gregory and Friedel voting against; and Directors Pearson, Hillman and Hunt voting for.
  • Motion to move a discussion item from Executive Session into open session. President called for a point of order and this motion was not considered in open session.

Director Gregory moved that Director Hillman be added as a signatory to all BCA accounts held at Union Bank. The motion was unanimously passed.

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Member Voice

NRC Chair Erin Collins announced that the NRC will hold its next meeting in a social format at Steam Bell Beer on Thursday, June 15, 5:30-7:30 p.m. She thanked all who participated at the NRC's May 11th townhall meeting and in particular noted Manager Wright did an excellent job in responding to most questions. Several topics were discussed (including Brandermill pools and maintenance of BCA open spaces), and she encouraged all to listen to the audio recording.

Chair Collins stated that she had asked the BCA Board at the May meeting to make a formal statement about the granting of an easement to the County and in particular for details of the $1 valuation by the June Board of Directors meeting. She noted that it had not been added to this month’s agenda and that the NRC insisted upon an answer.

President Davis asked for clarification of Collins' request for the $1 valuation of the easement. Chair Collins indicated that she had asked for the BCA Board's methodology in determining that amount. President Davis indicated that the easement was 0.006 of an acre in size and asked if Collins knew what areas were impacted by this conveyance. Chair Collins responded that the easement is located in Harbour Pointe where the County has a sewer main. President Davis stated that according to the County, valuation of the easement is $2.36. Chair Collins responded that she had asked for written documentation of this valuation, recognizing that the Association is struggling with its finances.

Director Pearson called for a point of order, stating that Member Voice was to allow the BCA Board to hear comments from residents after Collins was interrupted or cutoff.

President Davis continued to say that the County had indicated that a sewer main rupture would not only impact Brandermill but Woodlake as well, and would allow raw sewerage to enter our drinking water. This situation, according to President Davis, created a sense of urgency for the Directors to make a decision on the easement. Director Friedel commented that he felt donating $1.36 to the County to avoid a possible health hazard was an appropriate response. Chair Collins reiterated that if that was the case, the NRC is only asking for written documentation of such and the methodology used to determine valuation be revealed. Manager Wright indicated that she will give the information to the NRC when the County responds as to how they valued the property. Collins then responded by asking where the President’s valuation figure came from, if the County hadn’t responded to Wright’s request. The President responded that his sources at the County assured him that was the value.

Director Hunt agreed that Chair Collins should receive the written documentation requested and that Manager Wright would release such information upon availability.

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Manager's Report

Earlier that day, Manager Wright and Community Services Director Jennifer Strader met with the pool contractors to review the prep work (plaster removal, jack hammering and preparing the pool walls for replastering) done at Harbour Pointe and St. Ledger's pools. The next step will be application of a bonding agent which is a weather-related process. Once the bonding agent is put into place, new plaster will be applied and a curing period will commence. Depending on weather conditions, this curing period may take several hours or several days.

Concerns about capacity issues at North Beach pool have required that only members holding pool memberships were allowed entry. No one with a pool membership has been turned away, but there were some disappointed residents who tried to enter using Daily Passes. Although this has been a very difficult situation for both the BCA Board and Staff, everything that could be done to facilitate the opening of all three pools has been done, including hiring a pool consultant to evaluate pool bids and contractor work.

Manager Wright acknowledged receiving several alarming phone calls about the availability of the pools but assured Association members that the pool work is being expedited as much as possible. She also acknowledged phone calls from residents who were understanding and supportive of the process to properly repair the pools.

Pool memberships have exceeded that of last year, and Manager Wright is pleased to see that Brandermill residents are supporting our pools.

Reporting on the Brush Pick-Up program, Manager Wright thinks this is a great program designed to enhance the appearance of the community. However, over the past two years, it appears the program may have been abused by a handful of Brandermill residents. It has been proven that large cut trees and other landscaping debris have been left for Staff disposal. The program is intended to help residents remove deadfall, windblown sticks and natural debris (not to include leaves).

Previously the program had asked residents to place unwanted natural debris onto bike/walking paths and into the nearest common area. This will no longer be allowed. As of last month (May 2017), the BCA has spent almost $5,000 in dumping debris. BCA Staff will no longer pick up anything that cannot be placed into their chipper. Criminal actions will be reported to the police.

BCA Staff has begun the 2018 budget process, with the first steps being to revisit Association amenities and check first and foremost for any existing safety issues. Those safety issues will be addressed first in the Staff's draft budget. Committee recommendations will then be considered before a draft budget is presented to the Finance Committee and ultimately a recommended budget presented to the BCA Board.

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President's Report

The President issued commentary about his views for the tenor in Brandermill amidst global strife. As no business was reported, NRC encourages residents to listen to the audio as the commentary is not intended to describe individual Directors’ thoughts.

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Treasurer's Report

Commenting on the April 30, 2017 Income and Expense Statement, Treasurer Gregory indicated that we were behind on pool memberships and is delighted to hear Manager Wright comment that pool memberships have increased. One of his concerns is the Association's legal fees which are approximately $27,000 over budget year-to-date.

As a Board work product, Treasurer Gregory has submitted to the Directors a draft version of a Code of Ethics to include Conflicts of Interests. A version of this document will be released for member/resident feedback after the Directors have had an opportunity to review and revise this draft. Treasurer Gregory feels that this type of document requires specificity, else the document would be open for interpretation. Additionally, the document should be applicable to not only all the Directors but to BCA Staff and Committee members as well.

Director Hillman asked if there was an analogous document provided by the Community Association Institute (CAI) which would produce the same results. Treasurer Gregory responded in the affirmative but that the CAI document was not sufficiently detailed.

Director Hunt suggested starting with the CAI document and amending it as the Board saw fit. Treasurer Gregory indicated that that was what he did, and this version of the draft document is being made available to the Directors and Manager to garner feedback. Treasurer Gregory noted that it is extremely important to get feedback from Manager Wright and suggested a revised document be put on the agenda for next month's Board meeting.

President Davis wanted the membership to know that the BCA does have an existing document to address Conflicts of Interest, but this document would update that.

Director Nardella described the process whereby this draft document was produced: he and Treasurer Gregory drafted a document for which they solicited Manager Wright's feedback. Manager Wright gave guidance and included various documents provided by CAI.

Manager Wright indicated the three parts of this document are: Code of Ethics for Board of Directors, as the elected policy-making body for the Association; Code of Ethics for Committee Members; and Code of Ethics for Staff which is different as they are also responsible for enforcing the Code.

Returning to BCA financial matters, Director Gregory asked how often the Board could expect to receive detailed accounts receivable information. Manager Wright responded that a new system has just been put into place, where an individual Staff person will post accounts receivable receipts and the Controller will post payments. An accounts receivable aging report should be available monthly.

Director Gregory noted Manager Wright's comment about pool revenues increasing and asked if the number of memberships were also increasing. Manager Wright answered in the affirmative, with the caveat that the pool membership amount may be slightly deceiving as early subscribers were allowed to enroll at a lower pool membership rate. She also commented that about one-third of the pool memberships are non-Brandermill residents.

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Consideration of Minutes for May 1, 2017 Board Organizational and Regular Meetings

Director Hunt moved and Director Nardella seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the above cited Board meetings.

Director Hunt moved to correct a typo on page 3 of the minutes for the Regular Board meeting relating to Item #7 be changed from "19987" to "1987" (see page 7 of the Board packet).

Referring to page 4 of those same minutes (see page 8 of the Board packet, Item #11), Director Hunt asked if the revisions to the "Duties and Policies and Procedures of the Board of Directors" should have been included in the Board packet. Manager Wright affirmed that they should have been included, but since the original document was not in electronic form, the document needed to be retyped. The approved changes reflected all legal contact would be coordinated with the Association office.

Director Hunt also asked that the minutes be amended to indicate consensus of the Directors regarding the driveway intruding on BCA open space was to accept the ARB recommendation.

Director Hunt asked about the legality of the election of Board officers since there were no nominations for the various officer positions upon her review of that meeting’s recording. The Board members had merely voted on the people who volunteered to serve in the various officer positions. Manager Wright offered that they could add a remedial action for that to the next agenda.

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Consideration of a Change in Commercial Design Standards

Director Nardella proposed that the BCA Board accept the ARB's recommendation to change language in the Commercial Design Standards to read: "Individual interior lit letters and logo, color and style as approved by the ARB" (see pages 25-26 of Board packet). Director Nardella noted that this was the same change that the BCA Board had previously approved for Food Lion (located near Waterford) and would be immediately applicable to the Publix store replacing the Martin's Supermarket at Harbour Pointe Shopping Center. The BCA Board voted 6:1 to approve the change, with Director Hunt voting against.

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Consideration of Change to BCA Board of Directors General Guidelines and Procedures

It was suggested that the Directors revise language adopted at the last meeting with regards to contact with legal counsel.

Director Nardella moved and President Davis seconded that the phrase "but not limited to" be added to the revised language such that in part it read: "… routinely coordinated but not limited to …." He explained that although the BCA Board wanted the General Manager to be included in communications with legal counsel, there may cases where General Manager should not be privvy to the communication, e.g., discussion regarding the general manager position and/or employment.

Director Hillman asked if it wouldn't be better to state the exclusion versus adding the language "but not limited to". Director Pearson expressed his feeling that the General Manager should be included on all other matters relating to legal counsel, although the Manager need not be directly involved in the communication (e.g., parttake in the same phone conversation) and hence the use of the word "coordinated". Director Hillman noted it is important that the Manager be directly involved in communication with legal counsel so that matters were clearly understood by both the President and the Manager. Manager Wright indicated that the industry standard reflected the manager being included in all legal communications not directly related to the manager's personnel file. This would preclude duplication of legal inquiries, both past and present.

Director Friedel asked what recourse a director might have if a director disagrees with the president and general manager, and firmly believes that the consensus of the board is not proper. How would a dissenting director handle that matter? Manager Wright replied that the disagreement should be documented in writing to the other directors and general manager, thereby putting them on notice before it is sent to the attorney.

Director Hunt offered that the statement needed to be more specific to indicate that the "president shall coordinate routinely with the manager with the exception of those topics directly relating to the manager."

Director Hunt stated that in her redaction work she has seen many duplicate legal inquiries and the BCA Board needed some way to control legal costs. What she noted that was particularly harsh on the budget was when communication with legal counsel was via phone and there was no written documentation of the conversation.

President Davis ended the discussion and called the question. The motion passed with a 4:3 vote (President Davis and Directors Nardella, Gregory and Friedel voting for; and Directors Pearson, Hillman and Hunt voting against).

Director Hillman requested that the BCA financial statements include a line item indicating legal fees generated by the president.

Director Friedel expressed any special Board needs could be covered by the Executive Committee. Director Hunt disputed that statement as she declared that the BCA Board during its last executive session had dismantled the Executive Committee and that this change should be reflected in the Board's Policy and Procedures document.

Director Hillman moved to amend the Board's Policies and Procedures to allow the president to select a Board liaison to the NRC and to eliminate the requirement that the Second Vice President serve as the Board liaison to the NRC. Director Friedel seconded the motion. No vote was taken.

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Report on Home-Based Businesses

Director Pearson has secured the State Attorney General's opinion that our Covenant Section 2(a) (which addresses home-based businesses generating traffic being prohibited in Brandermill) is enforceable. President Davis initiated a discussion on how the Directors might feel about pursuing home-based businesses which generated traffic.

Director Pearson moved and Director Gregory seconded a motion to obtain a list of businesses located in Brandermill and then have Staff to send a form to those business owners inquiring about the nature of those businesses.

Director Hunt asked for clarification on how to handle home-based businesses who do not appear on the County list. Director Pearson felt they could be handled in the same manner that the BCA handled rental property registration: Staff would add these non-licensed businesses to the list and the inquiry form could then be sent to them.

President Davis called the question, and the motion passed with a 5:2 vote with President Davis and Directors Nardella, Gregory, Friedel and Pearson voting for; and Directors Hillman and Hunt voting against.

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