Annual POA Meeting 2010

So, the prettier, politer half of YPS and I went to the annual POA Board meeting last night. Really, the Board should sell drinks at these things. It would be a way to help out the budget and make the meetings more bearable. The Board should also see about holding the meetings in a place with some lights, too. People were, no joke, using flashlights to read the programs. Whoever designed the auditorium at Oak Ridge High apparently felt lights weren't necessary.

Anyhow, the usual suspects were in attendance. Brandi Leal, some other PCMI minion, the social planner (Jennifer?), Linda Houston, Rick Gadd, Greg Grant, and Roy Hailey. I guess Bliss Roberts resigned from the board, since she wasn't there. As always, our fearless leader Al Brende didn't show up. They also had the new MoCo deputy who is our contracted patrol leader.
The big news: meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Greg Grant got booted off the board. Sebastien Moulin and Kenneth Brown are now our resident board members. Kenneth has been involved in the community as Traffic Safety Chair ever since we moved here. Now that I can associate a face to a name, I've seen Sebastien at just about every meeting I've attended, so he's obviously involved as well. Whether or not they'll do a good job is the next question. If not, we can boot them next year.

Of course, given the Board is still controlled by Land Tejas, I'm quite sure there's a hard limit to what Sebastien and Kenneth can accomplish if Al and his minions are against it. In any event, I wish them well, right up until they try to do something I don't like. Then I will call for their removal from the Board, banishment from polite society, and ostracization from the community. If it comes to that, any of you who might be members of polite society or the community shall have to let me know how that works out.

Greg gave a lovely little speech about everything he had done for the community, and it may all be true. I dunno. Given the crappy summary notes the Board puts out for meeting minutes, you'd never be able to tell. However, he flat out admitted he doesn't answer emails. I think his lack of response may have killed his reelection. People may accept that nothing can be done about a situation, but they don't like feeling their concerns are ignored. I get a sense a lot of residents don't feel anybody listens to them. Perhaps our new resident members will do a better job at communicating with the rest of us. Again, we shall see.

What was more interesting to me was the budget numbers presented. The subdivision has run in the red every single year since the community was built. Maybe I'm dumb, but this indicates a problem to me. You can't run any organization over the long term with continual deficits unless you're the federal government. Last time I checked, we weren't. We're also supposed to be maintaining a reserve fund to pay for the expenses we're bound to face in the future for things like road maintenance and clubhouse maintenance. I asked about it. We have nothing in our reserve fund, we owe our builder 200 large, and the Board is out spending money on speed bumps. This makes no sense to me, and the snide dismissal by Brandi does absolutely nothing to endear her to me.

Our budget is the biggest problem we, as a community, face and nobody seems to be doing anything about it. Instead, everybody demands funding of their little pet issue and stubbornly resists any cuts to the pet while insisting everything else be discarded. It doesn't help that we're still $500K short from all the dues we should be collecting. Something has to give, and sooner rather than later. I don't want my assessments to be raised every single year because the Board is incapable of managing our money responsibly. Since Al and his employees run the Board, I'm pretty much blaming Al and Land Tejas for this one. They built a bunch of amenities that are expensive to maintain, and then set the assessments too low to adequately cover them and a reserve fund. I guess it's easier to pitch your nice, shiny community if it has low assessments.

I also blame Al for the people who won't stop bitching about the golf course. Yeah, Al gave himself a revenue stream for his golf course out of our POA dues. Yes, it was sleazy and unethical, but we got it stopped and it's over. Unless you can figure out a way to make Houston National Golf Club give us our money back, have a cup of STFU and let it go.

We also spent a whole bunch of time listening to people nattering about speed bumps. People are for them, people are against them, they're too high, they're effective, they're not effective. Whatever. Somebody explain to me how an organization that can't adequately fund ongoing operations can find the money to install speed bumps. I'm not seeing it. You can desire speed bumps all you want, but you need to figure out how to pay for them. I don't see where the POA has the money.

I'd comment on what Officer Friendly had to say, but he rambled so much I'm not entirely sure. Something about double edged swords, and gangs, and how he drives his own truck around to be super-ninja cop or something. He was marginally more coherent than a head trauma patient, but only just.

I'm beginning to feel these meetings are more or less political theatre to keep the residents partially mollified. Al and his cronies are going to do the minimum possible to keep the subdivision an attractive marketing opportunity until they can close it out. Once they hand over the POA, we'll still have the same budget problems, but it'll be our problem and we'll have to raise assessments or slash services. The future looks pretty bleak from where I'm sitting.

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Blogger Samm Hein said...

I hope you're not talking about a freaking neighborhood association I hate those things with a dark black detestation from the nethermost hell and would not at all be disappointed if fire rained down out of heaven and destroyed them all!
They're nothing but a collectivist excuse for the high and mighty to impose their will on everyone else.

11:15 PM  

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