Archives for March 2016


"Hear" the 2016 Candidates

Posted March 18, 2016 at 1:03 PM
If you missed the NRC's annual "Meet the Candidates" event on March 15, 2016, you now have the opportunity to hear how the four BCA Board candidates answered questions posed by meeting attendees. Participating candidates were Bob Gregory of Riverbirch Trace, Ann Hunt of Timber Ridge, George Lawson of Huntsbridge and Tony Nardella of Turtle Hill.

While NRC Reps Julane Johndrow of Long Shadow and Rebecca Neas of Gleneagles welcomed meeting attendees, NRC Reps Erin Collins of Oak Springs and Bob Redmon of Nuttree Woods collected and sorted the submitted questions by subject matter.

NRC Chair Mamie McNeal moderated this question-and-answer event, and NRC First Vice Chair Joe Herbst timed the candidates' responses.

The meeting began with the Candidates being given one minute to introduce themselves, followed by two minutes to respond to specific questions.

The order in which the candidates responded to the questions is indicated by the sequence of their names – the first to answer being listed first. To hear a candidate's response to a particular question, click his name directly below the question.

NOTE: Your computer will need to be able to play mp3 recordings. To download a free mp3 player, visit www.apple.com/quicktime/.

Introductions by Candidates


Bob Gregory

Ann Hunt

George Lawson

Tony Nardella

Questions Answered by Candidates

1. I believe one of the most important factors for assuring a bright future for Brandermill and for maximizing property values is to make the community as attractive as possible to young families. What is your plan to attract this demographic group and to appeal to them once they buy here?
  Bob Gregory   |   Ann Hunt   |   George Lawson   |   Tony Nardella
2. Last year a proposal was submitted and passed for a playground to be built in Harbour Pointe. What new/emerging amenities would you advocate for?
  Ann Hunt   |   George Lawson   |   Tony Nardella   |   Bob Gregory
3. What is your position on universal pool? Do you think the community should subsidize the pools? And if not, how would you increase pool membership so we don’t all subsize the pools?
  George Lawson   |   Tony Nardella   |   Bob Gregory   |   Ann Hunt
4. All the candidates say they want to keep up the general appearance of Brandermill. There are, however, innumerable and individual properties in very bad condition which have a negative effect on prospective buyers. Are you willing to make getting-after [pursuing] these property owners to fix up their properties a priority? In other words, are you for stronger covenant enforcement?
  Tony Nardella   |   Bob Gregory   |   Ann Hunt   |   George Lawson
5. As a board member, you will have to make difficult and complex decisions. We have over 360 registered home-based businesses in Brandermill; who knows how many unregistered home-based businesses there are. In a recent survey by the BCA, seven out of ten or 71% of Brandermill residents favored home-based businesses. However, our covenants state no home-based businesses that create traffic are allowed. What is your position on home-based businesses in Brandermill?
  Bob Gregory   |   Ann Hunt   |   George Lawson   |   Tony Nardella
6. Four very serious accidents have occurred at the intersection of Brandermill Parkway and Ridge Creek Road. Cars have been smashed, a home seriously damaged, a neighborhood sign destroyed, and a local resident permanently blinded. If elected to the Board, would you be willing to support a request to VDOT asking them to take action to improve traffic safety at this location?
  Ann Hunt   |   George Lawson   |   Tony Nardella   |   Bob Gregory
7. What is your position on the New Capital fee? Do you think it should be increased, decreased or abolished?
  George Lawson   |   Tony Nardella   |   Bob Gregory   |   Ann Hunt
8. What do you feel is the biggest priority of a Board of Director and how many times a week should you go to the BCA office? More importantly, list the steps you usually take in solving a problem and give an example of when you have successfully used these steps.
  Tony Nardella   |   Bob Gregory   |   Ann Hunt   |   George Lawson
9. Scenario: The Board votes to approve an action. Subsequently you and other Board members learn from residents that the Board voted with incomplete and/or inaccurate information. How would you as a Board member handle that? What action, if any, would you take?
  Bob Gregory   |   Ann Hunt   |   George Lawson   |   Tony Nardella
10. Would you support the marina facilities to allow for more users?
  Ann Hunt   |   George Lawson   |   Tony Nardella   |   Bob Gregory
11. There is a belief among some residents that the Board has become more isolated and less responsive to residents lately. What action would you take to improve communication and openness?
  George Lawson   |   Tony Nardella   |   Bob Gregory   |   Ann Hunt
12. Dan Rucker (Stoney Ridge) makes a resident statement regarding the marina, and Candidates Ann Hunt and George Lawson respond.
  Rucker-Hunt-Lawson Audio
Chair McNeal concluded the meeting with the reminder:

Remember to VOTE!

 

You're Invited to "Meet the Candidates"

Posted March 11, 2016 at 6:10 PM
On Tuesday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m., the NRC will hold its annual "Meet the Candidates" program at Harbour Pointe Clubhouse, where four candidates running for the BCA Board will be presented to meeting attendees.

At the meeting, attendees will be given index cards on which they may write their questions to be asked of the candidates as a group. Be sure to mentally formulate your specific questions beforehand.

The event will begin with each candidate having one minute to introduce themselves. Using a townhall format, NRC Chair McNeal will read the questions to the candidates who will each have two minutes to respond. At the conclusion of the questions, each candidates will be given two minutes to summarize his/her platform.

This is YOUR opportunity to ask specific questions and to learn where each candidate stands on issues impacting our community.

Participating candidates (in alphabetical order) and their statements of "what they would like to accomplish as a member of the BCA Board of Directors" follows:

Bob Gregory photo Robert Gregory

My goal is to make Brandermill a more attractive and competitive community.

This goal can be accomplished by adequately funding our community infrastructure assets (paths, parks, pools, etc.) and with consistent covenant enforcement. Also the BCA Board should continue to address the abandoned and vacant properties in our neighborhoods.

Expanded community input on BCA Board decisions would be another initiative.
Ann Hunt photo Ann Hunt

As someone with a 17-year background in community associations, my goal would be to keep Brandermill in competition with the newer homeowners associations located nearby. Brandermill needs to remain relevant in the housing market, and not only for first-time homeowners.

It is necessary that residents and business owners take pride in their properties and neighborhoods so that Brandermill is the No. 1 place to live and do business.
George Lawson photo George Lawson, Jr.

My major areas of community interest and goals for serving on the BCA Board of Directors are: (1) ensure financial stability; (2) review and enforce the 40 year old Brandermill covenants, updating them as needed; (3) improve the conditions of the walking trails, culvert ditches and neighborhood open-space; (4) monitor viability and maintenance of the reservoir, one of our most valuable assets; (5) coordinate greater communication between Chesterfield County, BCA and VDOT; and (6) promote and encourage open communication and participation between the BCA Board and residents.
Anthony Nardella photo Anthony Nardella

I have an ability to assemble information, perform analysis and make timely decisions. I can work with others to efficiently get the job done.

My main interest is to see that Brandermill competes favorably with the plethora of developments in Chesterfield County by preserving its original charter, increasing the responsiveness to the existing community, and moving forward to establish Brandermill as a preferred, complete community with emphasis on fiscal responsibility – taking a back seat to no other.
How can you dare miss this opportunity to learn more about these candidates and their views? Join us on March 15 at 7 p.m., Harbour Pointe Clubhouse!
 

Highlights of March 7, 2016 BCA Board Meeting

Posted March 11, 2016 at 5:58 PM
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.

Member Voice

George Lawson (Huntsbridge) informed the BCA Board that his listing had been dropped from the 2016 Brandermill Directory, noting that he had only listed his name and address in previous directories and did not ask for any changes to his current listing. He reported that he had been informed that either his phone number or email needed to be included in the listing since it is a telephone directory. Lawson told the Directors that he wanted to be included in the directory but did not want his contact information listed. He also noted that Staff had informed him that his listing had been dropped to reduce the cost of the directory.

Manager Bailey responded that Staff's response regarding cost savings was probably not the best but did note that the purpose of the telephone directory is to give contact information for residents and that a listing without phone number and/or email address did not serve the intended purpose of the directory.

President Davis responded that the Association will look into the matter. He asked the BCA Board if anyone had a problem with including a member's name and address without contact information. None of the Directors objected to including such listings.

Mark Terry (Ridge Creek) addressed the BCA Board regarding the condition of his property, noting he had not been able to keep up the condition of the property due to personal issues. He informed the BCA Board that he is and has been working on improving the condition of the property.

President’s Report

President Davis reminded residents that BCA Board elections will take place shortly to fill three open seats. He encouraged all members to participate in “Meet the Candidates Night” which will be conducted by the NRC on Tuesday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the Harbour Pointe Clubhouse.

President Davis also informed the members that the 2016 Virginia General Assembly had dealt with a number of bills that would have profoundly changed the authority under which all homeowner associations (HOAs) in Virginia could operate. He reported that among these bills was one which would have overridden existing covenants and stripped HOAs of any voice in decisions regarding home-based businesses, including home daycare businesses. Another would have granted anyone in Virginia the right to erect a tent or park an RV on private property for up to two months. And another bill would have given Airbnb a green light to operate in private homes and would have made such temporary public rentals subject to state and local taxes. This bill regarding Airbnb will be studied by the Virginia Housing Commission and re-introduced in the 2017 legislative session.

President Davis reported that other bills affecting HOAs had failed to pass. He noted that all of these bills had a common theme of “protecting property rights for individual homeowners.” He commented that the defeat of these bills was the result of intense education efforts coordinated by the Community Association Institute’s legislative arm with support from Brandermill and other entities around the state.

First Vice President’s Report

First Vice President Pearson commented that he felt President Davis was being very modest with regard to his General Assembly legislative efforts. He noted that President Davis has been very active to preserve the prerogatives of HOAs under the law and that we are fortunate to have him working on our behalf.

First Vice President Pearson also reported that the Communications and Marketing Committee is moving forward with efforts to upgrade the Brandermill website. He noted that the committee is looking at possible providers and that the staff has been charged with coming up with the best of these providers for consideration.

He reported that he and Treasurer Friedel had been appointed by President Davis to conduct a survey of staff salaries and benefits.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Friedel reported that the Finance Committee is working to update the format of the financial reports. He noted that the current financial reports are not intelligible and reported that the committee is working to make the reporting more transparent, readable and substantive. He commented that the timing is good for updating the reports since it coincides with other efforts to automate and improve the reporting of information in Brandermill. He promised the BCA Board that any revisions to the financial reports would be presented to the Directors before being put in place.

Finance Committee Chair Bob Gregory nominated Glenn Rikkola (Turtle Hill) to serve on the Finance Investment Subcommittee. His nomination was approved unanimously by the BCA Board.

Director Pearson asked about the 2015 operating budget surplus. Chair Gregory responded that the audit report to be presented at the upcoming March 14 Finance Committee meeting would make that information available.

Directors' Reports

Director Leonard made a motion that all new directors of the BCA Board be offered a minimal 3-hour orientation. There were questions and discussion among the Directors as to who would provide this training and whether or not it should be mandatory.

Manager Bailey clarified that he provide the training with assistance from legal counsel. Director Hillman commented that this orientation had not been offered the last two years, and she believes it should be offered but participation not be mandatory.

Director Pearson made a substitute motion clarifying the language and included that this orientation should be open to all members. After discussion, both motions were withdrawn, and President Davis directed Manager Bailey to provide this orientation to new BCA Board members.

Director Leonard encouraged all new boards to have an annual planning meeting.

Community Manager’s Report

Manager Bailey reported on the activity of the ARB noting that 16 applications were submitted in February, nine of which were approved as submitted and two approved with limiting conditions. He also reported on Covenant Enforcement activity, noting that 117 violation notices were issued in 46 neighborhoods, 50 of which were rental property registration violations. He reported that 145 violations had been resolved, 317 rental properties have submitted registrations and an additional 91 rental properties have active violation notices for failing to submit the rental registration form.

Manager Bailey also reported on a judgement entered in Chesterfield County Circuit Court against the owner of a Crosstimbers lot for failing to comply with the Covenants. Additionally, seven other lots were filed with the court for failure to comply with Covenants. Manager Bailey noted that three of our abandoned properties had been sold during February and that we should see conditions improve at each of these in the near future.

Manager Bailey reported that a fourth abandoned property in Fortune’s Ridge was sold at auction, and the new owner will be conducting repairs and then selling the property. Brandermill will seek funds from the sale for back assessments owed and legal fees incurred during litigation against the former owner. Manager Bailey also reported that complaints had been filed with the Circuit Court on two additional properties in Birnam Woods and Sutter’s Mill for failure to pay back assessments. Lastly he reported on a property in Fox Chase on which bankruptcy proceedings have been concluded. He reported that we will be working with legal counsel on the extent of violations and will proceed accordingly.

Manager Bailey reported that open space cleanup efforts by the contractor began on February 8 and have been going on for four weeks. Efforts thus far have focused on neighborhood cul-de-sacs, neighborhood entrances and major parkways. He reported that cleanup will proceed for an additional four weeks and will focus on major roads. Additionally in-house maintenance crews are focused on cleaning up other areas in Brandermill; currently they are trying to finish the extensive cleanup work in Sunday Park.

Manager Bailey also noted that the BCA offices have been undergoing renovations, both internally and externally, and that the appearance has improved dramatically.

Manager Bailey reported that staff is working on bids for repairs at the marina to include decking, floats, electrical supply access and security. In response to a question from President Davis, Bailey reported that these repairs will be completed during the 2016 budget year.

Manager Bailey also reported that work is progressing with Comcast to provide internet access at all of the pools and the sailing center. This internet access will eventually provide for debit card use at these sites and ensure that we capture all usage data. This work is being done at no cost to the BCA.

Manager Bailey led the discussion to determine BCA Board meeting dates for July and September since the first Monday of these months both fall on holidays. These meeting dates were set for Tuesday, July 5, 2016 and Tuesday, September 6, 2016.

Committee Reports

NRC Chair Mamie McNeal reported that “Meet the Candidates” would be conducted by the NRC on Tuesday, March 15 at 7 p.m. at the Harbour Pointe Clubhouse. She noted that the NRC will use a “town hall” format for this event, and four candidates will participating.

She noted that each candidate will be given one minute for introductory remarks and that questions would be taken from the members. Each candidate will be given two minutes to respond to each question and that the candidate responding first would rotate as the questions are posed. She also reported that candidates may provide informational materials at the reception table and that the event would end no later than 9 p.m.

President Davis commented that 90 minutes is long for the question-and-answer period of the meeting and asked if all questions submitted would be asked. McNeal responded that all non-duplicative group questions submitted by meeting attendees would be asked.

Communications and Marketing Committee Board Liaison, Director Pearson, presented proposed changes to the committee's charter. These changes included removing responsibility for handling of “Meet the Candidates” night, which he noted, traditionally and properly resided with the NRC. The other change, under committee policies, added language governing interactions between the committee and local news organizations. This language (see page 29 of March 7, 2016 BCA Board Packet) would limit interactions only to those authorized by the Association’s Board or the Community Manager. It does allow for members to speak to news organizations but only if they represent their personal comments and not the views of the committee or the Association.

The proposed changes were approved unanimously by the BCA Board.

Consideration of 2016 Voting Process and Language

The language of the proposed ballot as presented on pages 32-33 of March 7, 2016 BCA Board Packet was discussed and approved unanimously.

Director Hillman moved to elect the Community Manager as the Executor of Elections. This motion was unanimously passed.

Consideration of Student Scholarship Funding

Director Malek moved to provide funding of $1,000 for a BCA Scholarship to begin in September of each year and to be awarded the following May; and the $1,000 be fully awarded, whether there be one or more applicants. This motion was seconded by President Davis, and unanimously passed.

Consideration of Harbour Pointe Playground Location

Director Blom made a motion to approve the location at the top of the Harbour Pointe Pool parking lot as identified on pages 36-39 of March 7, 2016 BCA Board Packet as the site for the Harbour Pointe Playground.

Director Leonard asked if the Committee had gone back to the local residents who had expressed concerns about noise and traffic to discuss the final plans with them. Director Blom affirmed that the committee had discussed the final plans with them.

[April 28, 2016 Update - Director Blom clarified his response above by stating: It is the case that throughout the planning process the members of the Community Services Committee engaged in active dialogue with residents living near the playground site who had raised concerns. The plans approved during the budget development process addressed these concerns to the fullest extent possible, and no changes were made to the playground plans following the adoption of the 2016 BCA budget. It is also true that once the budget and plans for the playground were adopted as part of the BCA budget no additional community dialogue was required, and none was initiated. I regret that my response to Director Leonard at the March Board meeting may have suggested otherwise.]

Director Leonard asked if there would be a fence installed around the playground.

Manager Bailey responded that a fence would be installed on three sides, up to the wooded berm at the top of the playground. He noted that a fence was required for safety reasons along the driveway side of the playground and along the lower side to separate the playground from the drop-off to the next parking area located just below the location of the playground. A fence with access gate will be installed on the northern end of the playground for use by the members and for maintenance access.

The final cost for the playground was discussed as being $22,000, and it was reported by the committee that it will be erected over 14 parking spaces at the extreme upper end of the lot. The committee reported that these 14 spaces are almost never used.

This motion was approved unanimously.
 

Information Packet for March 7, 2016 BCA Board Meeting

Posted March 4, 2016 at 1:50 PM
The information packet for the upcoming BCA Board meeting is now available for downloading.

Agenda items include:
  • Consideration of 2016 Voting Process and Ballot Language
  • Consideration of Student Scholarship Funding
  • Consideration of Harbour Pointe Playground Location
A synopsis of the above topics is presented by Manager Bailey (see pages 2-3 of this Packet).

Draft and approved minutes of various committees are also included in this Board Information Packet. A quick read will reveal the topics these committee members are discussing ... a great way to determine if you want to join a committee!

As always, we encourage residents to attend BCA Board meetings to learn of Brandermill "happenings." For a quick snapshot of what the BCA Board will be discussing, please read the agenda located on the first page of the Board Packet.