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Thursday, June 18, 2009

GNWCIA Meeting Report: My Notes...

My wife and I made the short trip down to the Lodge of the Great Northwest to attend the monthly open Board meeting of the Great Northwest Community Improvement Association (GNWCIA). I'll keep the notes brief - because... !

In case you weren't aware, this is the first open board meeting since the annual membership meeting failed to obtain a quorum. The resulting failed election for two new directors caused the remaining board members to accept applications for and subsequently appoint two new directors. Needless to say, there was much interest in the community as to what the sitting directors would do; simply appoint the two previous candidates, or go with some of the people who threw names into the hat for consideration. I'll tell you what happened, in a moment.

Presentations and Delegations: You may recall that the residents of District 6 elected Mr. Ray Lopez to represent us at City Council. He sent GNW resident Andy Greene, a temporary member of his staff, to give us some news from the district office. Most important good news is that they will be using the GNW facilities as sort of a satellite office on the last Friday of the month in June, July and August between 10 and 3PM or so. This will give residents a chance to come in and discuss their needs. What a great move. There will be more info on this in the next issue of Passages.

Residents to Speak: A resident of Village Northwest approached the board to ask for information about installing a fence in her front yard. This is normally something a resident would approach the Architectural Control Committee with, but based on her understanding of the covenants, she already knew it would most likely be denied. As it turns out, her real concern is with stray/vicious dogs. She has no faith in the city to control the strays so she would like to put up a fence. She was ultimately told to get with the Community Manager and discuss the process offline.

Another resident and former board member from Silver Creek spoke on multiple issues of concern. She had lots of positive things to say about the volunteers working to cover graffiti (which we appreciate). But, she also voiced concern over the fact that the DRACO and Rec Director positions have been filled by the same person for a while now is a concern and the resident cited multiple deed restrictions that were not being addressed. One example was that she counted 70 garbage cans that had not been put in their proper places, in just a short stretch of homes. Really, it does look tacky. She also pointed out two homes on the same street that had different types of issues that needed to be looked into. One is a known home that seems to be filled with drug selling youth. The other was the incredibly way over the top house that seems to belong in an episode of Miami Vice. Her point was that these things are happening and nothing seems to be getting done about it. Further, it is these type of things that bring home values down.

Community Manager's Report: The Community Manager announced that they have hired a person to come in for 20 hours a week to do noting but go up and down the streets, give out tickets for deed restriction violations and then go back and follow-up on them. I don't recall the exact number, but he had written over 100 citations in the first week. Warning to residents: This board is getting serious with this issue and you'd better get your shit together.

Also: Lots of people abusing the use of pools. The life guards are starting to get tough on people ruining everyones good time. People are being ejected, passes are being checked, and if you live in a house with 20 people in one home, they are going to make you prove you live there before issuing you a pool pass.

CM also reports that the maintenance staff is getting on the entryways to the various neighborhoods and cleaning things up, putting in water saving landscaping and in general trying to approve the appearance.

Committee Reports: Director Rodkey asked me to speak on the GNWatch. I pointed out that we have our annual appreciation meeting next Wednesday. E-mail me if you plan to attend. Also, a group of residents will be speaking at the City of San Antonio's Graffiti Convention on the weekend of the 27th. And finally, I thanked Director Doherty for taking on the Cellular on Patrol Program.

Mike Yager from the A-Team announced that we will be holding two paint drives on Saturday's - the 25th of July and the 29th of August, 9-12 at the soccer fields. We will be collecting latex house paints (no oil based). Basically, instead of you having to store all your old house paint in the garage, you can bring it to the A-Team and then we can mix it and use it to cover tagging. More information on this will be posted in Passages.

Old Bid'ness:
Of course, the pressing issue was the appointment of new Directors to the board. The Chairman announced that in addition to the two people who originally ran for the two open positions, the board had received three additional applicants for the positions. Each of the applicants was afforded five minutes to address the board and the members present.

Up first, Mark Martinez who had run during the failed election, spoke and in my opinion gave a very solid if only brief speech. He spoke of working together for the common good and I found him certainly worthy of consideration.

The other person who had run, Beatriz Dean did not attend the meeting.

Applicant Eric Cooper has run in the past and most recently moderated the debates our association sponsored for the city elections. Eric discussed concerns he had about the lack of a quorum and wanted to use his skills to help eliminate that problem. He also spoke of being a team player and avoiding some of the partisan issues of the past.

Applicant Briana Brooks came in and wowed the assembled residents with a message of building up the neighborhood and bringing the association back to greatness. Honestly, in her brief talk, I looked around the room and I could see that the residents hand found a favorite candidate.

Finally, Applicant Constance Stallings, a neighbor of Briana's, gave a stirring talk about the concerns she and her neighbors have with crime on her street. She decided to apply for the board to help get positive things done.

The board adjourned for about 30 minutes to go into closed session so they could decide on two of the five applicants.

When the board returned, Chairman Garcia thanked all the applicants and asked that for the ones who were not selected to please consider running in 2010. I'll skip all the fanfare of who made motions and who seconded, but I will tell you that the board unanimously appointed Eric Cooper and Briana Brooks to fill the positions on the board until 2012. Honestly, I think most of the people in the audience were pleased, though obviously, the ones who were not selected couldn't be that excited.

Congrats to the two newest Directors. I think they will make a nice fit on the board.

And there ya have it! Comments? Thoughts? Lawsuits?


Anonymous said...

I don't know if the over-the-top Miami Vice house was one near my home on Timber Crown, but it did fit the description of another home being near a druggie house. Anyways, I noticed the ostentatious of flamingos has been thrown behind the bushes this morning. YAY!

I have to admit, I do have mixed feelings on legally admonishing people who suffer from awful taste, however. I'm pretty sure that if bad taste were totally illegal, my husband never would have married me. :p

Thanks for the notes on the meetings and the regular updates via on your outstanding blog.

--Deb Sanders

Dave said...

I don't know if the over-the-top Miami Vice house was one near my home...

No Deb, this Miami Vice house is on Timber Spring. I promise; You. Can't. Miss. It.

Anonymous said...

YIKES! That house reminds me of the one in the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Really, if the guy had another, oh I don't know, THREE acres in his front yard that might not look so bad.


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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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