SLOA Meeting Minutes

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Annual Meeting For SLOA - August 25, 2007


Seminole Landing Owners Association – Annual Member Meeting




August 16, 2008




Linda Westenfelder, President                         Jim Craft, Treasurer

Lisa Salasek, Secretary                                     Dave Westenfelder

Bob Bremser                                                   Roger Marchman

Mike Weber


The President, Linda Westenfelder, called the meeting to order at 9:13 am.


The floor was given to board member Roger Marchman who welcomed those in attendance.  Roger acknowledged the Board’s choice for the new meeting location and introduced Pastor Ray Williamson, Pastor of Seminole Baptist Church where the meeting was being held. 


Pastor Williamson was given the floor.  He in turn welcomed every to his church, stated there were refreshments, coffee and juice available to those you wished to partake, and then gave a brief history of his life and how he had came to be the pastor of the Seminole Baptist Church.  He encouraged those that may not have a regular place of worship to visit their church on Sundays, Wednesday evenings or perhaps attend their casual Bible study on Friday nights.  He then opened the meeting with prayer.


It was established not enough members were present, including proxies, to generate a quorum.  Subsequently it was noted that a second 2008 Annual Meeting would be held within the next 60 days at which point only a third of the association was needed to constitute a quorum.


The Board, as well as those in attendance, agreed to proceed with the meeting with the understanding that no votes would be taken due to the lack of attendance. 


Linda Westenfelder acknowledged and gave high praise to Tom Stevenson who created the SLOA website. She stated the board had received positive feedback from a good many of the homeowners indicating the website was informative and felt it was an asset to the Association.  Everyone was encouraged to visit the website and to contact the board with their suggestions and ideas.


The Secretary, Lisa Salasek, then read the minutes from the 2007 SLOA Annual Meeting.  Jeanie Bettcher indicated there appeared to be a discrepancy between not voting on the signs due to a lack of those in attendance and the fact that a vote was taken and carried to remove the dock at the end of Donovan’s Circle.  The minutes will be changed to reflect that the vote was not valid due to the lack of attendees.


Ginger Donovan / Don Lopez wanted to know who owned Lot 5D in Phase 4. The President stated the property is owned by the Porch Creek Indians.  Dave Westenfelder stated the previous board had filed a lawsuit against this lot due to unpaid dues, etc., however, they mistakenly field the suit against the McHenry’s who own the adjoining lot.  That lawsuit has since been settled.


Marylou Leahy questioned how the Association might be effected, as the Porch Creek Nation owned the property.  President Linda Westenfelder stated that all interactions with the Porch Creek Indians had been positive and that all past due fees had been paid. The Indians had the property cleaned and ensured the Board that whoever was living there would abide by the SLOA covenants. 


The minutes will be read again at the next annual meeting at which time a vote will be taken to accept the minutes.


Linda Westenfelder then brought up the subject of new board members, and indicated that three current board positions would be open after this meeting.  The three board members leaving are Jim Craft, Matt White and Mike Weber.  Dennis Williams, Don Lopez and Jeanie Bettcher initiated discussion regarding how members get on the board, what responsibilities volunteers have, etc.   In the event no one volunteers to serve, the Board has the authority to appoint new members at their discretion.  Individuals volunteering would serve until new members could be elected/appointed at the next 2008 Annual Meeting. 


The President then turned the meeting over to the Treasurer, Jim Craft.  Jim indicated that an Association budget was never provided by the previous Board for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006.  A preliminary 2009 budget was distributed to those in attendance.  Jim explained the reason for the increased costs.   Highlights were:


Prior to 2003, Board members were never reimbursed for expenses they incurred on behalf of the Association.  They in good faith had donated their time, gas and materials to help alleviate Association costs.  As the expenses grew they rightfully became the responsibility of the Association.  These expenses included but were not limited to:


·  Paper, envelopes, stamps and ink cartridge

·  Pond maintenance

·  Purchasing fish

·  Insurance (property/liability) has increased 100%

·  Property taxes have doubled

·  Utility costs have increased



Jim then proceeded to cover the following topics:


ADDITIONAL LOTS:  Jim outlined transactions he had undertaken with the individuals who were selling the properties previously owned by the Kilpatricks and Feast of Fire Ministries in Donovan’s Landing.  Prior to his negotiations, there were 215 Association properties, now there were 224 with the potential for additional lots (dependent upon lots being subdivided).  Each new lot retains full Association rights and are governed by the Association By-Laws and Covenant for the phase in which they reside.


DONOVAN’S CIRCLE DITCH:  Jim stated monies had been allocated to repair the ditch on Donovan Circle.


SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS – 2008 & 2009:  Jim noted these assessments were issued to help replace the $39,453.28 used to pay unnecessary legal fees.


ENTRANCE SIGNS:  Jim indicated that approximately $3,500 had been donated by homeowners in an effort to replace the old and damaged entrance signs.  An additional $3,500 of Association monies was needed to complete all three entrances.  Not only did Association members donate their money, but they also donated their time and talent to build the signs themselves.  As a result, they were able to save our community a good deal of money.


RENTAL EQUIPMENT:  In the past homeowner’s had donated the use of their equipment to repair small problems within the neighborhood.  However, due to liability issues, etc., the Association now rents the needed equipment.


ANNUAL DUES:  At some point in the recent past, the Association voted to increase the annual dues by 15%.  The correct amount due at this time is $174.90; however, many homeowners have only been paying $172.00.  Jim was not certain of the discrepancy, but indicated that we needed to stay with the protocol of dues being increased by 15% which would make the current dues $174.90.   (History of increase shows dues have gone from $100.00 to $115.00 to $132.25 to $152.08 to $174.90.)


2009 BUDGET:  After all expenses, there should be a little of $2,000 left over.  Sadly there has been NO accounting for 2004 and 2005 expenses.  As of 6-30-08 there was approximately $63,646.49 in the SLOA checking account.


At this point Mr. Hawk wanted to know who had not paid their annual dues or assessments.  Jim confirmed that there were approximately 10 people that had not paid, and the outstanding amount was $4,400.00.   Sadly there is no confirmed record at this time of who did and did not pay for their dues and assessments in 2006.  The Board is undergoing the acquisition of all deposit slips made during 2006 and hopes to have that information by the next annual meeting.


The Board addressed the issue that they receive limited information from homeowners, especially change of addresses.  Previous board records show wrong names on lots and incorrect addresses.  Linda referred to the recent mailings and the number of returned envelopes.


Linda noted that liens were being issued on Monday 8-18-08 to those who had not yet paid their dues and/or assessments.  In addition to their dues/assessment fees, the owners will be responsible for incurred costs (attorney fees, court costs, etc.).


Richard Southerland asked about the Donovan’s Circle ditch and who authorized the payment to repair the ditch.  Jim Craft noted that a majority vote to fix the ditch was received during the 2006 Annual Meeting.  Part of the $2,200 road assessment was allocated to fix the ditch, but the previous board did not follow through on this repair.


It was noted that the ditch is currently functioning as is, but that it is not esthetically pleasing to the eye.  Jim noted that the under wash was to be corrected when the new ditch is installed.  Mr. Hawk asked why this ditch had not held up like the others in the Association.  Jim stated that weep-holes had never been drilled in the Donovan’s Circle ditch.


The President then informed the members that several engineers had been contacted regarding the repair of this ditch.  She gave the floor to Dave Westenfelder who stated that the board had provided drawings to one engineer, who in turn wanted to charge us for an enlarged copy of the exact same drawings we provided them.  That engineer was fired.  The second engineer was taking forever to do anything, and after numerous attempts to get sometime from them, the Board negated their relationship with this engineer.    


Marylou Lehey was concerned about the FOR SALE sign near the boardwalk sitting area.  Per the Board, the property next to the Association’s dock is an odd shaped lot.  The FOR SALE sign is for that lot, not the property that belongs to the Association.  It was noted once again that this doc is being removed.


The President asked everyone at the meeting to please alert board members whenever they see for sale and/or sold signs on neighboring properties.  Property sales take place even without signs; so if anyone knows of a lot being sold or changing hands, please notify the Board.


The President praised board member Bob Bremser for all his hard work in creating databases and spreadsheets for the Association’s computer so as to better track dues/assessment payments, expenditures and homeowner information.


Dan Joyner asked why notification of late fees were sent out as certified letters.  The President explained that the certified letters were the last resort.  Attempts were made to personally contact delinquent homeowner’s, then letters were sent identifying their late/none payments, and subsequently certified letters were sent to determine whether or not the homeowner’s were actually receiving the mailings.  Mr. Joyner felt certified letters were not necessary because not every homeowner would be home to sign for the letter, and not everyone could make it to the post office during work hours.


Board member Mike Weber followed up by saying every attempt is made to contact the property owners prior to sending out the certified letters.  If no response is received after three attempts, the attorney is notified to place a lien. 


An association member (?) wanted to know how to contact the board members.  It was pointed out that all board members phone numbers were on the previous mailing.  Marylou Lehey suggested people use the SLOA website to contact board members.  Charlie Kenney asked about the phone number that was on the Association Letterhead. 


Marylou Leahy suggested numbers be posted on the Association bulletin boards.  Board member Mike Weber informed everyone that the bulletin boards had been stolen.  Don Lopez asked if they were going to be replaced.  The board indicated that at this time there were no plans to replace these bulletin boards.


The President again broached the subject of new board members.  Did anyone know someone that might want to serve on the board?  Was anyone willing to voluntarily serve for the immediate future?  It was noted that Board members cannot miss more than two consecutive meetings, and even though the By-Laws call for quarterly board meetings, the Board currently meets once a month.  Anna Toler volunteered to help with Association projects but stated she was not prepared to serve full as a board member.  Marylou Leahy also volunteered to help with projects.  Chris McHenry stated she would not be able to adhere to the “not miss more than two meetings” so would not be able to serve as a board member at this time.   


Mr. Hawk expressed concerned about not knowing the individuals who might be elected to serve on the board and was wondering how association members could learn more about them.  The Board explained that during the last election, those who were nominated, as well anyone who volunteered to serve, stood before the members and relayed of their qualifications, concerns and hopes for the association.


As there were no designated nominees and votes could not be taken at this meeting; Dennis Williams, Jeanine Melvin and Jeanie Bettcher volunteered to serve until the second 2008 SLOA Annual Meeting.


The Board noted that David Westenfelder and Roger Marchman cleared back the trees, renewed the gravel and installed another light at the boat ramp.  As a result, there were fewer unwanted night guests hanging out at the ramp.


The Board noted that the SLOA mailboxes were moved closer to the roads and new grass as laid in order to prevent wear and erosion in these areas. 


The Board noted that Al Laskowski purchased two pallets of grass out of his own pocket to help in roadside repair.  He also replaced the concrete tables and benches in the common areas.


Board member Dave Westenfelder informed members that the Brighthouse Cable Company had run cable under the roads in three locations within the subdivisions.  As a result the road was bulking above the cable.  After diligent pursuit, the Board got Brighthouse to come and “steamroll” over those sections of the road.  It appears the effort paid off, and Brighthouse has assured us they will repair any damage that may result from the able going under the road.  NOTE:  Brighthouse had agreed NOT to run any cable under any of the roads prior to our allowing them to install their cable in the Association.


The Board gave credit to Jim Craft for all his work in trying to sort through the records kept by the previous board.  He has worked diligently over the past year to get a handle on the SLOA financial situation.  Apparently there were no checking account report books of any kind.  Copies of bank statements have been secured and copies of deposits are being solicited at this time.  (As a result, the Association is incurring additional costs stemming from the negligence of the previous Board.)


The subject of the ditch on Donovan’s Circle was again brought up for discussion.  Someone asked if bids were taken, and the Board again alluded to what had transpired with the last two engineering firms they had contacted.


Monty Gilbert shared the idea of possibly using tubing under the ditch.  Also that perhaps a landscape type contractor might be better able to help us instead of an engineer.  Board member Jim Craft explained the pipe idea had been previously considered but there was a safety issue because of the anticipated size of the tubes.  (The tubes could be as large as 3 to 4 feet in diameter.)


Mr. Hawk asked if the Board had consulted the County.  Board member Dave Westenfelder stated that the Board was doing everything they could to resolve the ditch issue and would gladly welcome any offers to help from association members.  Mr. Hawk volunteered to help the Board regarding the Donovan Circle ditch.


Mr. Gilbert noted there was little erosion on the side of the road next to the Marchman’s and felt that the grass was going a good job of moving the water down the hill.  Board member Jim Craft noted that a good deal of the water on that road runs down the ditch opposite the Marchman’s house whenever there is any substantial amount of rain.


At this time the President gave the floor to board member Roger Marchman to address the possibility of gated entrances.  Mr. Marchman had taken pictures of the entrances to the Keystone and Nature Trail developments to show the different types of gate entrances the Association may want to consider.  Curtis Smith said he did not have a copy of that document.  It was noted that not everyone received a copy, as there were a limited number printed for the meeting.


The Keystone entrance is a fenced gate, whereas the Nature Trail entrance is a barred gate.  The approximate cost for a fenced gate would run $30,000   the approximate cost for a barred gate would cost $16,000.


Mr. Gilbert asked who requested the gates and why were they needed.  The Board noted that at the 2007 Annual Meeting, the majority of the members present asked the Board to research the costs and means for establishing gated entrances to our Association.  The information provided by board member Marchman is for information only.


Mr. Gilbert stated that a good security camera could do a lot more than having to install actual gates.  Mr. Hawk pointed out that some communities have cameras and found that they were not all that good.  It was noted that if cameras were used, they would be start of the art.


Someone expressed concern about gated entrances and power outages and whether or not one could enter or leave the Association as a result.


Board Member Mike Weber addressed concerns about turn-arounds and how would trunks, etc., get back to the main road if they were not allowed to enter our subdivision.


Marylou Lehey felt the people along the river would be most affected by the gating the community, as thieves would turn to coming on land via the river.  Discussion included the fact that people might even go around the gates, as we did not own the right-of-ways.  Jim Craft said that was being worked out with the Developers and should not be a problem.  Others noted that people may be able to walk around the gates, but they would not be able to steal very much on foot.  It was noted that kids drive recklessly on Erin Pond Road West at all hours of the day and night, and gates could cut down on this problem.  Gates would also help stop people from fishing and using the boat ramp, etc.


The issue of Dennis Barron’s home being vandalized as brought into the discussion, but the belief was it was done by disgruntled neighbors and not from someone outside the Association. 


Linda Lake said security is a combination of things; gates, cameras and neighbors looking out for neighbors.  Ms. Johnson asked if a neighborhood watch had ever been established.


Tommy Taylor introduced himself as a new member to the Association.  He applauded Mr. Ping and the local fire department/rescue team in their quick response to events that happened in his home on Erin Pond East.  He noted that the majority of those present were not older individuals and that we were not getting any younger.  He indicated there was a reason why so many new developments were installing entrance gates.  It was a sign of our times, because thing have changed considerably over the past 10 to 15 years.  He noted that he probably had more guns that most people in the neighborhood, but the guns would be of no benefit if he could not get to them in time to protect his family and property.   He stated that statistics show that the majority of home invasions occur during the day when the perpetrator believes no one is at home.


Twana Mayo who lives at the end of Erin Pond Road East noted people unknown to her have come into her yard on numerous occasions. 


Mr. Kennedy stated that vandals had come through Donovan’s Landing and put paint all over his car.


Bill VinZant suggested the Board take a look at the entrance gates to the Moore’s development.


Chris McHenry wanted to know how we would pay for the gates should a vote be taken and passed to for them to be installed.


Mr. Hawk called for a “straw” vote to see how many present would be interested in pursuing the gated entrances scenario.   Roger Marchman said he had already put in a considerable amount of time and effort and did not wish to move forward unless enough interest was generated.  With the exception of Rose Patterson, everyone was in favor of pursuing additional information regarding gating the community, needed entrance expansion, highway turn lanes, etc.


Dennis Williams suggested that the Board look into purchasing high quality cameras.


Rose Patterson wanted to know if we would have to have a turnaround lane.  Mr. Marchman said every entrance must be able to allow anyone needing to the ability to turn around.


Mr. Gottshall suggested we get ideas directly from the police on how best to protect our neighborhood.


Monty Gilbert commented on how association members have had things shoved down their throats in the past by previous Boards, and that we should proceed with caution to ensure everyone is on board with getting gates, etc., installed at the entrances.


Curtis Smith wanted to know when the vote took place to get the Board to look into gating the community.  It was noted once again that the majority of those present at the 2007 Annual Meeting wanted the Board to pursue information regarding entrance gates.


Mr. Joyner offered to help Roger in his entrance gate research.


At this time, the President opened the floor for new business/general discussion.


Board members made a suggestion that the annual meeting be moved to August from June.  Dennis Behrens suggested May or April would be good months to hold the meeting.


Jeanie Bettcher wanted everyone to know that anyone who sells their property within the association, they no longer have rights to fish in the ponds, use the boat ramp or common areas.  Boat ramp keys should be changed every few years to prevent misuse. 


Mr. Joyner suggested that the Board reimburse Al Laskowski for his out-of-pocket expenses.  Board member Jim Craft praised Al for all the extra work he does at no cost, and informed everyone that the Board tried to pay him for his expenses but he would not take the money.


Board member Mike Weber gave exaltation to the current Board for their extensive efforts to get things back on track and to make future board member transitions less stressful by having accurate and up-to-date records.


Bill VinZant suggested the Board put together an Association directory of sorts with addresses and phone numbers.  Don Lopez says anything in the phone book is public knowledge anyway and could be used in an Association booklet.


Melissa Miller shared her story about coming from a high crime area in Jacksonville, Florida.  There they had “block captains” that helped coordinator watches, etc., on their streets.  Linda Westenfelder asked if Melissa would be willing to chair a committee to discuss and possibly generate block captains.  Melissa agreed.


Jane Goldby (sp?) who lives at the end of Donovan Circle states that people drive down that road, park, unload canoes/kayaks and then go across the river and party.  A suggestion was made to get a sign that reads “Unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owner’s expense”.   Someone suggested that we secure the services of a pick-up truck service and use them every time there is a violation of something parking on streets that are not Association members.


Dennis Behrens urged members to contact the Board about any problem areas in the neighborhood.  He noted the Board has neither the time nor the manpower to drive all around the neighborhood checking the condition of the roads, embankments, ditches, etc.   As he has served on the Board in the past, he can attest that all input from Association members is appreciated.


The meeting adjourned at 12:10 pm.