President’s Message September 2013

With September here now school is back in session, temperatures should start decreasing and the ballots for the Board of Directors positions will be distributed. I would urge all homeowners to attend the Meet the Candidates night on Thursday September 12th at 7:00PM at the Community Center. There are very diverse opinions from each of the candidates on covenants enforcement and common area landscaping, as well as a number of other issues that will greatly affect how CRCA moves forward in the future. This is a good opportunity to get first hand information before you receive your ballot and cast your vote. The choice is yours as to how the association will progress on issues affecting all of us.

The 2014 balanced budget was approved by Board this month, and I want to say that we are in great shape financially. Kudos to the Finance Committee and all Committees for their hard work on developing their budget recommendations and submitting them on time to the Board.  The current Board has worked very hard over the last several years to clean things up and get them to where they are now.  It’s amazing to see how we’ve improved this Association; comparing past affairs, like when the audit found $210,000 that had to be re-allocated from operating to reserves due to unsatisfactory savings practices in 2004 – to now, when we are making reserve account contributions exactly like they are spelled out in the reserve study.  We are currently 103% funded in our savings accounts, which is better than an A+ report card (70% funded is considered “strong” in most HOAs; and we’re 103%).  By making sure we competitively bid all projects and ensuring our Association funds are spent wisely, we’ve been able to afford maintenance of our facilities to high standards (which is a requirement of the CC&R’s), put money into our Association’s savings account, address unforeseen emergencies when they arise; all this without raising assessment dues. It makes me proud to hear residents say that “for the first time I can see where my assessment money goes”, in response to the well maintained facilities and landscaping throughout our community.

It is really too bad that some people do not have the integrity to stand behind their thoughts and instead choose to mail in “anonymous” letters; typically filled with inaccuracies to which the Board has no way to respond. The latest one is so utterly over the top and absurd I thought I would share portions.

“Far too many plants have been planted far too close together…We don’t live in a custom home development, and we don’t live in a secluded high end development, we LIVE in track homes with many of the homeowners making middle income earnings.”

Is this anonymous resident saying that CRCA’s landscape should not look good because we don’t live in custom homes or a secluded high end development? I do not agree- the CC&R’s require that the BOD maintain the common areas to a high standard. Every homeowner living here deserves to have well maintained and common areas they can be proud of and that enhance property values. Maybe the anonymous resident thinks this Board is “breaking the bank” on landscaping; to the contrary, we’ve actually reduced the annual landscape budget by half since 2007.  Under a previous Board, the 2007 landscape project budget was $130,000.  Our current landscape project budget is only $60,000 and has been such since 2009; meanwhile, look at how much the landscape committee has accomplished over the past few years.  Also disconcerting to me, is how the former president of the seniors group is now insisting that we consider abandoning use of winter rye grass in CRCA, leaving us with dead brown grass half the year and only having lush green grass during the summer months (so much for the Easter Egg Hunt!).  The bottom line is that we are getting more for our money than ever before, and we have done so while maintaining the same budget for 6 years running.

The September of 2009 president’s message included a warning about checking your water line pressure regulation valve that controls the pressure of the water delivered to your home. Paula- the covenants enforcement member of management- mentioned a number of homes have sustained broken pipes within their homes resulting in major water damage so I thought it might be a good idea to mention this again with the number of new homeowners in CRCA. All homes have a valve regulating the pressure of the water delivered to each home by Tucson water. Tucson water delivers the water between 76 and 83 psi from it’s main lines. This pressure is too high for home plumbing (50 to 60 psi is recommended) and is reduced by the pressure regulating valve where the water comes into your home. Two things can happen to the valve- it can fail completely which will result in excessive pressure in the plumbing lines in your home which can cause them to burst. I had noticed my water pressure dropping slowly over the last year I had a plumber check my valve. It was a builders “cheapo” and was not working properly- allowing only 40psi to my home. I had them change the valve and the difference in pressure is astounding. Tucson Water told me that it is a good idea to check those valves as they seem to fail usually after 10 years- sometimes less.