Dave

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

GNW CIA Meeting Report: My Notes...

My wife and I made the short trip down the street to attend the meeting of the Great Northwest Community Improvement Association board of directors this evening. Herewith my notes for the portion of the meeting we stayed for. Frankly, while I know it is important, I don't have any interest in the bickering over the budget as long as the assessment doesn't go up; so we only stayed for the fun part - all the bickering about everything else.

I don't think it is said often enough and by enough residents, so let me say once again, to the members of the board of directors; thank you for your service to our community. Your volunteerism is appreciated, even if I don't always agree with the way you do things.

Following the standard opening, which by the way sounded great on the new sound system that is partially installed, several residents had signed up to speak.

Former Director Joe Martinez asked the board why meeting notes could not be assembled and e-mailed to the board of directors to allow them to be reviewed, thereby speeding up the adoption of minutes. As it turned out, according to Chair Lee Besing, this was in fact done. Mr Martinez also queried as to why security didn't maintain mileage logs on the security vehicles so it would show trends of whether or not the staff was consistently patrolling. As it turns out, Mr. Besing reported, they do check mileage and in fact a new security staff member was let go after only a few shifts when the mileage didn't reflect what was expected.

Moving on, a resident named Joy requested that the tennis courts be upgraded and repaired. I think her interest caught everybody off guard because just a few weeks (or maybe it has been months) ago some people questioned if anybody even uses the tennis courts. Director Guy Pucci asked the lady how often she used the court. She quickly responded that she doesn't use it as much since the court is in great disrepair, however, she would use it several times a week if it were in good shape. Mr. Besing opined that perhaps we could consider going from four courts down to two courts to save money but still make them available.

Another resident named Sandra agreed with Joy and expanded on her concern about the repair of the tennis courts. She said she used to always use the tennis courts but had not been able to in recent years due to the poor upkeep, bad lighting, and unusable backboard. Further, she pointed out that they never seemed to be swept and that trash was often overflowing in the cans.

Director Richard Garcia asked that any residents interested in tennis should please make their feelings known to the board, perhaps in the form of e-mails, letters to the board or even letters to the editor of Passages. Quite frankly, a few people out of the thousands that live in the GNW are not going to be able to sway the board into spending the close to $225K that one bidder suggested it would cost to put things into working order.

So, if you are a resident who wants to play tennis or you feel that the tennis courts add value to your home and the association, you really need to speak up. The GNW Homepage has links to the board of directors and to Passages. Let them know how you feel. And if you'd like to make your case for or against the expense to keep up the courts, tell me about it. I'd like to know your thoughts.

Following the residents comments, the meeting was called to order and a few items were added as new business.

Next, Mr. Chuck Christian representing a potential new business in the area came to provide an informative briefing on the plans to request rezoning of property near the Great Northwest. Near the open field at the intersection of Culebra and Village Park and beside what is a Daycare Center and a big cell tower (directly across the street from the Valero Corner Store). The property is currently zoned as C2 which means they can build retail stores there. What his client is asking is to zone the property as C2S which will allow the use for commercial soccer fields. The idea is to build a regulation sized soccer field and then a smaller kiddie sized soccer field, a retail store for soccer related products, and a concession stand. Mr Christian was not briefing the board to ask for permission, but as a way to proactively be a good neighbor.
Based upon the experience of our own GNW soccer fields and the parking situation every weekend, several directors and audience members questioned the plan for parking. The drawing showed about 30 parking spaces. That won't cut it for sure, but the good news is, the space would be yet another place to give kids and young adults a place to keep them occupied when they aren't tagging up the skate park. I wish the guy luck in his venture. If you have questions about the rezoning efforts, they will be approaching the zoning board on 6 November. If you would like to contact Mr. Christian e-mail me and I'll give you his number.

Next came the adopting of meeting minutes from past meetings. Director Sigrid Long (having received the minutes in advance via e-mail) found several problem areas that she requested to be corrected. During a flurry of comments and complaints amongst the directors and occasional rolled eyes and laughter in the audience of residents and staff, I overheard a discussion about signs being posted in the GNW facilities that indicated no use of foul language was permitted. I didn't fully understand what was being said, but what I gathered was that the board had adopted a plan to post signage reminding residents that on GNW grounds, that no cussing was allowed. WTF?

I guess. But I highly suspect that the people who would take their kids to a soccer game or swimming, then cuss it up, are not very likely to adhere to a few signs. Just a guess.

Rec Director Stephanie gave some updates on pool costs, the positive outcome of the masquerade party and reminded folks of the pending Halloween Party. They do need some volunteers if you'd like to help out.

Director Long announced that former Board Chair Kathy Callahan has agreed to coordinate the GNW Scholarship Committee. Kudos to her.

Vice Chair Janet Doherty had a concern that the GNW Garden Club was turned away from using the office Xerox machine. It turns out it was simply a misunderstanding regarding codes and such, and with only minor infighting amongst the board, it was moved and approved that the garden club could make copies.

I'm very pleased to report that the meeting was well attended (compared to times my wife and I were the only two residents in the audience). It is good fun and I encourage everyone to get out and meet the neighbors. We seem to meet new people every time we attend and it is not only nice to get to know others, but it is nice to learn how fellow residents perceive the actions of the board etc etc.

But, as I said earlier, I just don't have the stomach for the budget process, so my wife and I left at the break.

If you attended the meeting and I got anything incorrect, please leave a comment and set me straight. Likewise, if you stayed for the budget discussions and want to fill us in on it, please either e-mail me or use the little comment button below.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Dave: sorry you left early but the budget part is boring and the real work will be when the directors sit down and decide what they are willing to spend the money on. As far as the Tennis courts/basketball courts and other property maint: issues The DEED requires that the annual assements shall be used exclusively to PROMOTE the Recreation, Health, Saftey and Welfare of the residents in the properties and for the maintenace and improvement of the common areas. The maintanence of the courts and other buildings are mandated by the deed. The definition of the word promote vs the definition provide will be a matter of discussion for the Board and members at a future date.

Guy D.

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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