Presidents Letter

President’s Message June 2010

Time flies or so they say! It is time again to prepare for electing three new directors to the BOD whose terms expire in October. The directors whose terms expire are Connie DeLarge, Chuck Stead and John Lambert. The BOD selected a nominating committee at the May meeting and applications are being accepted for these three positions.

The new paving on Silverbell and Twin Peaks is completed and I’d like to commend all involved in that project for the expeditious way that it was done. Having been involved in the asphalt paving industry for 40+ years I know what it takes to coordinate such a project. While we experienced single lane closures and some backups of traffic for a few days it could have been much worse. The contractor, AZ DOT and town of Marana committed to a 24 hour a day construction schedule and it allowed the project to be completed with minimal traffic problems in a short time. I, for one, greatly appreciate how fast they were able to finish up the repaving. Great job guys!

Vandalism of CRCA property and grounds continues- the latest being $1239.12 to replace the oval tube at the Windmill Park play system because a few teens decided to jump up and down on it. Marana police have been given the surveillance video and are investigating. The BOD elected to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone caught in the act or vandalizing or destroying CRCA property and will prosecute to the full extent of the law. This BOD is serious about stopping these acts of senseless destruction of CRCA’s assets. We were forced to hire pool monitors in April- before the planned date of May- to stop the actions of a small group of people at the pools. Just to put it into perspective- the pool committee budgets $60,000.00 for pool monitors (from May to September) because a few cannot abide by the rules at the pools. This equates to $12.00 a year in everyone’s dues because of a few individuals. We have better ways to spend our dues than replacing vandalized property! Please, report any suspicious activity to the office during business hours or to the Marana police after hours. We need to stop this before it gets worse.

President’s Message May 2010

Continental Ranch

The Windmill office entry has been a mess but should be completed by the time this newsletter is received in the mail. It was budgeted to stain the concrete this year but we discovered serious issues with cracking and settlement of the slabs themselves. The staining would have to be done every five years and would not have addressed the settlements and trip hazards we saw. We asked management to get bids for replacement of the bad slabs of concrete (approx. 1/3 of the total concrete) and to ask for bids to replace all of the walkway with brick pavers. After receiving the bids the BOD decided to replace all of the concrete with brick pavers and it was well under the budget to stain the concrete. The concrete removal took more time than expected because there were sections where the concrete was over 13” deep- why? No one can answer that question.

I’d like to thank the Groundskeeper for the time they were our landscape contractor and for the professional turnover of the property to DLC Resources Inc. – our new contractor. Glen Kilmer worked very hard to clean up any areas of concern and worked with management to see it was a seamless transition. Thanks to Glen and his staff. With that said, I’d like to welcome DLC as our new landscape contractor and we look forward to making CRCA a place people want to make their home.

We still have a large number of issues facing us your BOD but are working to try to resolve them. Rest assured that each and every member of this BOD is working hard on your behalf. The office fields numerous questions about the Grassmeyer lawsuit and other issues and cannot provide answers to your questions at this time. Our attorney is still in negotiations and until we resolve those issues we are not at liberty to discuss them. When we are able, we will hold an open forum to answer your questions.

It seems like vandalism continues in CRCA. The Windmill pool has been vandalized numerous times and we have had issues with people jumping the fence to get into the pool. Pool furniture has been thrown in the pool, groups of teens have been verbally abusive to residents and numerous other conduct problems have arisen. The BOD has hired pool monitors earlier than budgeted to stop this behavior. This is a waste of all homeowners dues as well as behavior we cannot allow. I will be proposing that anyone caught performing actions not allowed in the pool areas or vandalizing association property in the pools will have their pool privileges revoked. This has to stop and we will do everything necessary to see that it does. We as BOD members are committed to making CRCA a place we all are proud of.

President’s Message April 2010

Continental Ranch

After receiving responses to the Request for Proposals (RFP) in December of 2009, the Landscape Committee and BOD spent a lot of time reviewing each proposal and narrowing the field to the four companies they felt were up to doing common area landscape maintenance for CRCA. There were onsite tours made of the four selected bidders’ reference properties and all four companies were invited to do a 15 minute presentation at the March 10th study session. The BOD unanimously selected DLC Resources to take over the maintenance contract on April 18, 2010. We would like to thank The Groundskeeper for their past service to CRCA and welcome DLC as our new landscaper.

The office, as well as myself, have fielded numerous complaints about the weeds and rodent holes along Silverbell road. CRCA does not own the property behind the sidewalk to the wall along Silverbell Road- this is public right of way owned by the Town of Marana and as such is their responsibility.

The Northwest YMCA approached me about providing programs within CRCA for our residents. We are partnering with the YMCA in an attempt to bring more activities to our members. There will be an Open House at the Community Center on Sunday, April 24th from 1PM to 4PM with staff from the YMCA present to provide information on possible programs that will be available to CRCA if enough people are interested. They are currently working with the Senior Citizens of CRCA to bring in their Silver Sneakers program into our community. They offer everything from day camps to youth sports programs to Itty Bitty sports for 3-4 year olds. Please plan to attend as we are only limited by the interest you show. With the Town of Marana experiencing budget cuts who knows what activities might be cut as a result.

Your next semiannual billing for dues will arrive shortly and will be different than in the past. In the mailing will be a letter explaining the six alternate ways to pay. You will be able to access your account online.  This is a result of converting over to the VMS system and will be more efficient and provide more options to residents. If you have questions, after receiving your billing, staff will be more than willing to answer your questions.

I have been your BOD President for the past 17 months. The majority of issues that this BOD has faced are a result of actions by the Association in the past and not your current BOD. Through policies and actions adopted and enacted by past BOD’s and management companies we have had to readdress a large number of issues, both legally and financially. I apologize for any inconveniences you are or will experience in using our facilities as we bring them up to the standards required under the CC&R’s. The entry way to the offices will be undergoing removal and replacement because of liability issues with the current condition of the concrete walkway. The Windmill pool fence will require unplanned replacement because of rust issues not properly addressed in the past. This BOD inherited a mess and has diligently worked to make CRCA a better community while meeting our “fiduciary duty” to the Corporation. I appreciate the commitment of the current Board and Committee members and the time they give to our Association. Rest assured we will diligently follow through on our promises to the community.

President’s Message March 2010

Continental Ranch

Though we need the rain, and the snow on the Catalina’s is pretty, I hope that spring is just around the corner. The BOD is getting ready to interview the companies selected as finalists to the Landscape RFP. They are being asked to present a short presentation at our next study session- Wednesday, March 10th at 6:30PM. Please attend to see what is being offered to CRCA as far as maintaining the landscaping in our common areas.

My last letter, I am sorry to say, dealt with vandalism in CRCA. I hope this will be the last mention I have to make about vandalism in our common areas. The pool at Windmill Park was vandalized on a Friday night late last month- resulting in having to close it until the following Monday morning. The pool committee recommended that the pool hours be shortened to closing at 8PM instead 10PM; as a result  of the vandalism. I see no reason that the BOD will not follow this recommendation. This BOD has made it clear that we will prosecute to the full extent of the law, any and all individuals who damage Association property. Please report any and all acts of vandalism or inappropriate behavior in our common areas to the management staff as well as the Marana police department. This needless waste of our dues monies is unacceptable.

The Community Center had a broken pipe in the walls between the women’s bath room which resulted in drywall damage.  Polybutylene pipe was the cause and it appears we cannot file a claim as the time deadline has passed. We are currently getting bids to replace the old polybutylene pipe with new pipe, as well as repair all the damages. Please be aware that there is no designated women’s room and that things will be a bit of a mess until all the repairs are made. Though this was not budgeted the BOD has been very frugal in spending monies and there should be no issue covering this unplanned expense.

Have a wonderful Easter and I hope to see you at one of our meetings. This Association does not run itself.

President’s Message February 2010

Continental Ranch

We are far enough into 2010 now that I think I’ve adjusted to writing it on my checks, instead 2009. The New Year brought us much needed rain (I could have done without the wind) but the sun has come back and the snow showing on the Catalina’s reminds me why I left Anchorage, Alaska to live here.

The landscape committee had eleven responders to the Request for Proposals (RFP) they sent out in December for the landscape contract to maintain our common areas. They sent their recommendation of the top three proposals they had chosen while meeting their budgetary constraints to the BOD at the last meeting. The three chosen were: Groundskeeper, Northwest Landscaping and Complete Landscaping. The BOD and landscape committee will conduct a tour of properties maintained by the three chosen; on Saturday, February 6th at 10:00 AM. Interested residents are encouraged to participate.  Tour reservations are needed in the office by Thursday, February 4th so that adequate transportation may be arranged.


The Town of Marana staff (and hopefully the Mayor) will be at the February 10th study session soliciting input from CRCA.  Below is an excerpt from an e mail received from the town council liaison:

“Just like you have to decide what to spend your household budget on when money gets tight, the town must also make decisions about what level of services can be funded when less money is coming in. With this in mind, Town Council and management would like to visit your neighborhood or social organization to discuss priorities for funding for the upcoming budget year. Money that funds town services continues to be affected by the economic recession, compounded by a state fiscal crisis that is expected to last for several years. It’s important that Council and staff receive comments from citizens as we begin to create a budget for next year that includes the services that reflect our community values.”

Please plan on attending this important meeting to supply input to the town as it prepares its’ budget for the coming year. Without our input they will not know what services reflect our “community values”. Remember – we are all in this together!

I have no new news on the Waste Management issue or the current status of the negotiations with our past collections attorney. As information becomes available we will provide it to the community.

President’s Message January 2010

The board meeting on December 16th had a very special group attend the meeting.   The Daisy Scouts of CRCA performed three songs for those in attendance and helped set the holiday mood for all. I am sure I speak for the whole BOD when I say thank to those young ladies for their well done performance.

The BOD was presented with a number of issues relating to vandalism of CRCA property. A play structure at one of the tot lots was broken by vandals and would require over $1600.00 to replace. The BOD voted to remove the remaining piece of the broken item due to liability issues and also voted to follow through with prosecution of the vandals. We are awaiting a copy of the police report before proceeding. In another instance, twenty plants were replaced in a section of CRCA on a Friday.  By the following Friday seven of the twenty had been broken off to the ground by another group of vandals. This type of destruction of community property will not be tolerated by this BOD and we will pursue all legal means to seek restitution and prosecution of those involved. Please, report any instances you witness to the management office so we can stop this needless destruction of homeowners property within the association. Vandalism of CRCA property wastes the funds of every homeowner within the community.  We need to stop this before it becomes a bigger problem.

The BOD sent out a request for proposals (RFP) for maintaining the landscaped common areas of CRCA and requested that they be submitted by December 21st. The landscape committee will be reviewing those proposals at two meetings in January with the goal of narrowing it down to the three best proposals. The BOD will then interview the top choices and select the best proposal to maintain the common area landscaping in CRCA.

VMS- the new software program for the association- is up and running and is within half of one percent from being current with all homeowner information. The few remaining updates left to complete are homes that have recently changed hands.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and we wish you all a prosperous and happy new year in 2010.

President’s Message December 2009

I would like to congratulate the new members elected to the BOD- Peggy Bracken, Gus Lipins and Terry Paschen; as well as the returning member Marilyn Stimpson. I would also like to thank the other candidates for participating and wish them well. I was re elected as president  with Chuck Stead- 1st Vice, Marilyn Stimpson- 2nd Vice, Peggy Bracken- Secretary and Connie DeLarge- Treasurer. With another election behind us and the holidays around the corner it is a busy time for all of us, but the BOD is still faced with a number of challenges.

We are still working on resolving the Waste Management issue- with no response from them since May 2009 to our proposal. Our attorney is negotiating with our past collections companies attorney and we will hopefully see this come to a conclusion shortly. The newly hired management company has VMS up and running with data entry being done to update all of our records. When complete you will be given an ID number and will be able access your records online.

What makes a community great? I’ve asked myself that and have come to the realization that it is neighbors that make a community a place others want to live. All too often, in today’s world, we do not find the time or desire to get to know our neighbors. What is a neighbor?  They respect each others’ boundaries but are quick to assist in a crisis. Great neighbors make for great neighborhoods, and it is well worth the effort. There are a million ways you can be a good neighbor, starting with something as simple as sitting on the front porch and saying hello. We are not all into block parties and socializing with our neighbors but maybe take the time to wish them happy holidays this season and get to know them. We are all in this together so why not make the best of it.

If you and yours are blessed this season please remember the Adopt a Family program the Association donates to. There are others less fortunate that can use a little help, especially in this economy. Any donation would be greatly appreciated. Don’t forget to visit the Walgreen’s at Twin Peaks and Coachline on Dec. 12th and 13th and get a free photo with Santa with your donation to the Marana community food bank. Have a safe and wonderful holiday season.

President’s Message May 2009

Writing the Presidents message for the newsletter can be a very daunting task. Not wanting to write a message full of fru fru nor remind homeowners what they cannot do is not something I will do. With the deadline for the message well before the study session or Board meeting it is next to impossible to report to you homeowners anything that is short of conjecture on my part. With that said, let me say your BOD has been very busy trying to make CRCA the place we all promised when running for election to the BOD. It is nice to hear from homeowners that they feel we are making a difference in CRCA becoming more “homeowner friendly”.
I hope that the new Design Guidelines have been passed at the April 29th BOD meeting- there was a lot of time, energy and thought put into these by the ARC; and they are to be thanked for presenting such a document. I would like to pass on one of the comments from a homeowner after he read them at the office:
“I can’t tell you how pleased I was after reading the new design guidelines.  Even the way it was written is friendly.  It contains common sense, puts many decisions back into the hands of the homeowners, and shows a real desire to work with the homeowner on items not spelled out in the document.”
I know that a number of you were confused when you received yet another letter about opting out of the Waste Management contract. I apologize if it seemed redundant but our attorney advised us to proceed in this manner so that we can put this divisive issue behind us. While we did not achieve what we set out to do I feel the resultant negotiated compromise is in the best interests of all homeowners in CRCA. We are hoping to finalize this with Waste Management by the end of May.
Let me just close by saying that there are still a large number of issues confronting this Board and we will address each one of them in a fair and legal manner. We are homeowners also and have a vested interest in seeing that Association business is done to benefit all homeowners in CRCA and not just a vocal few.

President’s Message April 2009

 The current economic situation facing the residents of CRCA is of definite concern to your Board. However, residents are still required to pay their homeowners dues, which is what the HOA uses to pay for things like landscape maintenance and community improvements. For residents who are having trouble paying the dues, please talk to the management company about relief measures. You still have to pay the bills, but this Board might be  willing to work with residents on payment plans and other reasonable strategies to help residents pay the bills without incurring delinquent charges and, potentially, legal fees. We are Board members with a “fiduciary duty” to the association but we are also your neighbors and fellow homeowners. Please, do not just ignore your dues payments. We have seen delinquencies in dues payments increase 25% from Nov. 2007 to Nov. 2008.
While CRCA is in good financial shape I have requested all committees to put on hold any expenditures that are not absolutely necessary; until we see how the May dues received compare to those anticipated when the budget was approved in October. I am not saying we will not continue with budgeted expenditures but instead believe it to be financially prudent for this Board to act very cautiously in the area of spending association monies- your monies- given the current economic situation facing the homeowners of CRCA.
I’d like to take this time to personally thank Jim Susa- the Finance Committee Chair- for helping to put CRCA on a strong financial footing. Jim has resigned from the committee after seeing through on his goal of putting CRCA in good financial shape. The time and effort Jim put into this are very much appreciated and have not gone unnoticed. While I hate to see Jim leave I hope he takes advantage of his extra time to enjoy it with his family. Good luck in all you do Jim, and again Thanks!
CRCA is a great community because it’s full of great people. Your HOA Board looks forward to improving our community, but we need your help. We work for YOU!

Make a commitment this year to invest in your most valuable asset – your home – by getting involved in your CRCA HOA. We’re looking for volunteers to organize community events, help us communicate,  serve on  committees. Everyone’s busy. You don’t need to do it all. You’ll be surprised how a small contribution of time makes a big difference when we work together!