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Thursday, January 15, 2009

GNWCIA Meeting Reports: My Notes...

My wife and I made the short trip down to the Lodge of the Great Northwest to attend the monthly Board meeting of the Great Northwest Community Improvement Association (GNWCIA). I'll keep the notes brief - because even though I took a pen and paper, I really didn't write a lot down. I suspect this makes me qualified to be a Journalist rather than just a neighborhood blogger, right?

Presentations and Delegations: I never really know what that means. Can someone just come up before the board and make a presentation? If so, I made some bread this last weekend that I would like to present, but really, it took about three hours. More importantly, does our HOA really receive delegations? Well, I suppose tonight, we had both presentations and delegations.
  • Up first, From District 124 Texas House of Representatives Jose Menendez' office, Mr. Jeff Peterson came to give us an update on things going on. The big thing of interest to our crowd was the anti-graffiti bill being proposed (which I highly oppose). I did get a chance to talk to Mr. Peterson after the meeting and invite him to attend and speak at our GNWatch meeting on Wednesday 28 January so they can better address the proposed bill.
  • Next, we had the auditors deliver a clean bill of health on the HOA finances. I'll be honest, most the stuff went right over my head, but when members of the audience asked questions, he had answers that all sounded legal to me. The important thing is, the guy did not look at the audience and tell us all that we need to have the board of directors arrested, and friends, that goes a long way in my book.
  • Finally, residents to speak: One resident was concerned about the lack of quality minutes from the board meetings (lots of things redacted, and very little detail). Uh, hello? I provide all the detail necessary, don't I? He had some specific complaints of not enough detail on how items were bid (like the tennis courts repair, new signs etc.)
By the way, I don't know if it had anything to do with the presentations or delegations, but we had a really good turnout for the meeting tonight. It was nice to see a lot of folks attending.

Community Manager Report:
  • CM reports a lot of stuff going on. Bids for tennis courts, a DRACO sweep of Silver Creek, and spiffy new jerseys (no relation to New Jersey) for the kids playing basketball.
  • They have a sponsor for the annual Superbowl viewing party being held at the lodge on the day of the Superbowl. I'll post more details on that when I get the dates and times sorted out. Should be fun.
Unfinished Business:
  • The board looked at a suggested ballot for the forthcoming elections and they approved it with minor modification. If you recall the annual meeting last year, there were some issues with the ballot. Should be fixed this year.
New Business:
  • Director Ida has put together a spiffy package for those folks who would like to run for the two available director positions. If you would like to become a director, the first step is to run for the position. Really, if interested, go to the Lodge and talk with the staff and pick up the forms. And if you are running, e-mail me so I can know if I should vote for you.
And that friends, was just about it. Or perhaps there was more, but like I say, I didn't really take any written notes. I'll try to do better next time!


Albatross said...

"I suspect this makes me qualified to be a Journalist rather than just a neighborhood blogger, right?"

Heh heh heh. Yes, that might be the case.

Anonymous said...

Although I was not able to attend, I do have one major gripe. My wife, as well a a number of other parents, followed their kids basketball coach to the Lodge in order to pick up the jerseys for the kids. Once they arrived they were asked to leave and take it outside because of the board meeting. It was very cold outside, especially for those little kids who where in their basketball shorts. They were not being loud or disruptive, they just simply wanted their jerseys. One parent suggested that they just go into the lounge and do it there since there was nobody using that room, and there never is, but the individual told them that the kids were not allowed in there! WTF?!? It is not like the parents were going in there to lounge around and have a few drinks they were simply trying to get out of the cold and away from disturbing the precious board meeting. I find the lack of tact and disregard for the children terrible. Would it have really been such a burden to allow he kids to stand in the foyer for 5 minutes while the coach quietly gave them the jerseys? If the board is so concerned with having no "disturbances" during the meetings perhaps they should find a less open and public venue to host them at.

Dave said...

Certainly a good point. It would appear that somebody changed their minds after your wife left because they did allow the later kids to go into the Oliva Room (the lounge). In fact, when a stream of young kids came out of the room with their new jerseys, the CM pointed out exactly what was going on.

Sorry your kids got cold.

You know, I've always wondered if I could grab a case of beer, go sit down in the lounge and watch TV in that room? Do you suppose they would mind if I took my shoes off and put my feet up on the chairs?

Anonymous said...

I have often wondered the same thing. Perhaps we could have a "shoes optional" drinking night in the lounge.

Lynne said...

RE: Anonymous' comment "I find the lack of tact and disregard for the children terrible."
This is a HUGE reason many of my friends in the GNW don't attend functions or even want to get involved - the "powers that be" are not family friendly and aren't afraid to tell you to take your kids and get out. Until that perception changes, I'm afraid the "family" part of the Great Northwest will stay separate from the "politics" part. This makes me very sad, since families are a huge part of this area and will be the FUTURE of the GNW.
If you want families involved in OUR association then make it easier for them to represent; don't push them away. It seems almost every branch of the GNW has done this (A-team, Watch, Rec Dept) except the Board. I understand a board meeting shouldn't be a free-for-all circus (well...) but how are parents supposed to come, be informed, be involved if they are looked down upon for bringing their children (even older ones)? Oh, and really, who is going to pay a babysitter - if you can get one - to go attend a HOA meeting? If the choice is Your Association or Your Family, guess which one wins? I'd rather not have to choose.

Sorry, that's one of my pet peeves. :)

Dave said...


I just don't have an answer for resolving the conflict between the facility we have for meetings and the extremely unfortunate acoustics that amplifies the chatter, screams, and running around by little people. I have been to meetings where pleasant little kids have come in with parents and they sat quietly, bored out of their minds, but disturbed nobody. Likewise, I have been in meetings where one or two kids who were not as well trained to sit still created an annoyance enough to have people simply leave the meeting.

Of course, the poor acoustics and similarly untrained adults have created more than one disturbance that made me want to get up and leave meetings, so I guess the common denominator here is that our lodge is not the greatest venue for meetings.

If somebody was rude or not very tactful during the incident in question, I think the parent involved should really address it with the CM, just so he is aware of the concerns.

But look at it from the point of view of people trying to attend a meeting only to have a pack of giddy kids all excited about getting their new jerseys loudly plodding through the echo-chamber that is our lodge. Do the adults there for a legitimate meeting have to stop until the commotion is over or should somebody have re-thought the idea of trying to do both functions at once? Again, I don't know the answer.

You and your quiet kids are always welcome at the GNWatch meetings, and I hope to see you on Wednesday the 28th.

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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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