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Presidents Letter

President's Message July 2013

Windmill Park is finally open for everyone. The Reserve Study called for re leveling the field this year and it became a bigger job than anticipated. Titan Landscaping- our landscape maintenance contractor- ran into more thatch build up than could have been expected. This resulted in them having to do a second dethatching on a large portion of the field and baseball outfield. This had to be done to promote a healthier turf in the long run but also required the field being closed longer than we had hoped. A major portion of both the field and outfield had to be reseeded as well and required watering 2 to 3 times what we would normally do to allow the seed to sprout and get established and also meant not allowing anyone on the turf until it became established. CRCA has a large investment in the turf at the park and baseball field and the Reserve Study recognizes this asset and assures we have the funds to maintaining it to the high standards it should be. They are enjoyed by a large number of residents throughout the year for parties, picnics, pickup games, the Annual Easter Egg Hunt, dog walking, and the list goes on. You may notice that there are still some areas that aren’t 100% established, but we went ahead and reopened the park since we sensed the community was getting pretty anxious about the length of time it had been closed.  Nonetheless, please do take the time to walk through this great asset and enjoy the green grass and nice ramadas we all can enjoy. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout at the first monthly Block Party food truck roundup at Windmill Park. It was a hot but enjoyable evening with a large number of people walking as well as driving to take advantage of the numerous vendors. I have to give credit to Jocelyn and Josh – in the office- for coming up with the idea. It was fun for all who attended with great eats available. Please check it out this month. It is the second Monday of every month from 5PM - 8PM. I even heard rumors that a few bands have contacted the office and would like to play at the event, and Karie has been working on finding a classic car club to show off their rides at the event; let’s hope it gets bigger. Remember to say hi to the Pinup Pastries people- they’re CRCA residents.

There are 10 applications for the upcoming BOD elections with some of the same old faces with a few new ones applying. Be sure to attend the Nominating Committee meetings when they interview these candidates so you have a good idea of who is running and their views on how CRCA should be run.  This is your HOA and it is only as good as the efforts you put into it.

Have a great summer and I hope to see you at the next Block Party food truck roundup.

President's Message June 2013

It is amazing how we all take things for granted and assume that important matters are taken care of. With the fire department doing yearly inspections and requiring us to do things like move a fire extinguisher by a few feet and straightening up a storage closet, I am surprised that they never informed us that there were no smoke detectors or a sprinkler system in the office. I watched a documentary on smoke detectors that covered both photo electric and ionization (the most common one in houses). The photo electric detect smoldering fires, which create smoke but little actual fire. Ionization are best for rapidly spreading fires where there are lots of flames, but little smoke. Most deaths related to fires are from smoke inhalation rather than people being “burned to death.” I decided to change the ones in my house to photoelectric and went to check on the type in our buildings. To my surprise we had none- nor was there a sprinkler system. I had Josh check into putting in a sprinkler system and found it would cost well in excess of $50,000 to put one in. Needless to say one would question why it was never put in during the remodels of both buildings years back. We will be installing photoelectric smoke alarms to start with and will be looking at a sprinkler system in the future.

Having lived here for 10 years now I have also taken for granted our “warm” weather. I traveled to Fort Collins Colorado in late March for a week to be greeted by 8 inches of snow and 30 degree temperatures. I came home and thawed out then spent a week in Kodiak Alaska and another week in Palmer Alaska in mid April doing some training classes for the Operating Engineers Union. The high temp in Kodiak was 41 and we never got out of the 30’s in Palmer- needless to say I was glad to return to my home and our wonderful weather. I guess I have become a “desert rat” and would not trade it.

There are lots of rumors being spread about this BOD that are nothing more than that. Let me remind you that your BOD members are also homeowners and receive no compensation for the time they spend on association business, other than the satisfaction of making CRCA the best it can be. We all take our position seriously and attempt to look out for the community as a whole and not just the vocal few.  The big picture is what counts. Our home values are affected by association actions like everyone else and we all have a vested interest in CRCA.  Some rumors claim that covenants are not being enforced, by directive of the Board.  This is a bit farfetched, especially when over 800 notices were sent out in two months this spring which is almost 25% of the number of residences here.

The last scheduled BOD meeting did not include a homeowner forum. Because of travel, job demands, medical issues, illness, and prior commitments amongst Board members, there has been no quorum for the BOD meetings since February. I did not add the forum to the agenda in May, because I was concerned that after several months of no meetings, there would be more business than usual needing attention. With the meetings exceeding two hours in a normal month it was decided to not have the forum until we get back to the norm of making quorum for our monthly meetings. This did not eliminate input from homeowners on any agenda items but limited the points of discussion just to business related items. The forum has not been eliminated forever, just postponed until the pending regular business gets completed.

We were hoping to have Windmill Park open for Memorial Day weekend but the leveling and preparation was more involved than anticipated and did not allow this to happen. Have a safe and enjoyable summer- the pools are in good shape so enjoy them.

President's Message May 2013

President’s Message

Peggy Bracken – 1st Vice President

With the hot weather approaching the pool sure seems to be busy! I think we have such beautiful pools here and it’s always terrific to see so many people enjoying them. Something we all need to be cognizant of is the pool rules. The pools are a great benefit and enjoyment to a lot of people, but abuse of the rules ruins that. Breaking these rules will now result in loss of pool privileges for a month and also a fine. In previous years our association has spent as much as $60,000 per year for pool monitors, which are essentially “babysitters for adults”. Hopefully with stronger penalties for breaking the rules, everyone will simply behave themselves and we can conserve our association funds. If you observe inappropriate behavior please report it to the office with the specific time and day of the occurrence so we can review the security tapes to see if any action is required. With that said, I hope this leads to a more enjoyable pool experience for everyone -- Cheers to a great summer ahead!

Recently there have been several false rumors spread about the current Board of Directors and association business. You may have read about this in the March Windmill Newsletter. This Board has worked extremely hard over the years to improve the atmosphere in Continental Ranch and has made great strides in an effort to improve the values within our community. There is currently a small number of individuals circulating false and misleading statements. How much does this cost the Association? Well, so far the Association has been forced to spend $4,000 of your money on defending the unfounded allegations of these individuals, who continue to spread false rumors to an otherwise peaceful community. Those of us who have lived in Continental Ranch remember when there were hundreds of unhappy homeowners attending Board meetings, now there are many who complement this Board for the work they do. The intent of this Board is to maintain the values of properties within this community and make it an enjoyable place to live. We feel we have accomplished this goal and done so without any increases to our association dues. The Board would like to thank all of you who have worked in making this community a great place to live at this moment and in the future.

Our landscape committee has worked very hard in making our community nice and colorful. The committee will be working in identifying what plants did not make it through the harsh freeze this past winter. The committee wanted to give ample time to see what plants would grow back before making their decision on replacements. The board would like to thank everyone for their patience while there are some missing plants in the area.

On Saturday April 20th the area enjoyed the first (of many to come) block party held at Windmill Park. Food trucks were located in the parking lot area, at the end of the football field along Coachline. The trucks are self-contained and do not cost the community anything to enjoy these events. I’m really looking forward to seeing these become a monthly community event! A reminder that HOA assessments are due May 1st, with a 15 day grace period to help folks get paid up. A late fee is applied after May 15th. We understand that some people have financial difficulties and so we try to make everyone aware that CRCA will accept a payment plan to help those people stay current. Please contact the office if you need to work out a payment plan, the management staff is happy to assist.


President's Message April 2013

Spring is finally here and things are starting to recover from our last frost. The landscape committee will be watching very closely to see if some of our plants did not survive the winter and will make sure that any replacements are more frost tolerant. The Texas Mountain Laurels and Tombstone (Lady Banks) roses are in bloom along Twin Peaks and are a pleasant distraction until the lantana and other plants recover from the winter.

The pool was very busy during spring break but along with being busy came a few issues. People without keys were being let into the pool by people inside and there were a few groups that felt they were above the rules for the pool. Please remind everyone in your family that there are rules to be followed while at the pool so everyone there can have a pleasant experience. Just a reminder that if the rules are not followed that your pool key can be turned off for 30 days and you could be fined $100 for an infraction. The pools are a great benefit and enjoyment to a lot of people but abuse of the rules ruins that. If you observe inappropriate behavior please report it to the office with the specific time and day of the occurrence so we can review the security tapes to see if any action is required.

The Easter Egg hunt was another success with over 500 kids this year, and I’d like to extend a job well done to Jocelyn and all the volunteers who participated in this annual event, especially the boy scouts. Something is being added to another annual event in CRCA. The annual yard sale will include the first (of hopefully many) Block Party Food Truck Roundup at Windmill Park (from 11AM to 3PM). Try to stop by after the yard sales to sample some of the eats being offered by these unique vendors. There will be a jumping castle in place for the little ones as well as lots of great food.


President's Message February 2013

Hopefully we have seen the last hard freeze for this winter- at least it wasn’t as bad as two years ago. Even then there were a number of plants and trees that were affected and will require some time to come back. The feather trees were really affected and the mesquites also- dropping a lot of their leaves due to the cold temperatures. The Swan Hill Olive and the Texas Mountain Laurels along Twin Peaks were not affected and neither were the Swan Hill Olives around Windmill Park- congratulations to the landscape committee for choosing them.

With all of the upgrades that have been done at Windmill Park we are seeing more residents using the park as well as organized teams from outside CRCA using the field. I can understand wanting to use the Windmill field with it being so green and well kept but Windmill Park is a private park for CRCA residents with the upkeep paid through our dues. If I had a choice between using the field at Windmill or the fields offered by the Town of Marana I would go to Windmill also, since we use winter grass for year-round green. The town charges $5 to $8 an hour to use their fields with the dead grass in the winter so Windmill is very tempting. CRCA requires that organized groups supply a certificate of insurance to the association because of liability issues for the association. If you have an organized group planning on using Windmill Park please go to the office so we can get the required documents in order. In the past, the BOD has required is that any team using the field have 75% CRCA residents on their team for them to not be charged a use fee. There are costs associated with maintaining Windmill field to the standards the landscape committee and BOD require and they are paid with our dues.

There is an ad in this newsletter for the Easter egg hunt for this year. Easter is earlier this year- the 30th of March- instead of April and Jocelyn has been busy getting things lined up for an even better event than last year’s. As is always the case we need volunteers to help support this well attended event. Please consider volunteering to help for a couple of hours. It provides an opportunity to meet your neighbors and see the children enjoying the activities- IT IS WELL WORTH THE TIME.