Saturday, February 14, 2009

Century Oaks Homeowner’s Association (COHA) Newsletter Winter ‘09

Century Oaks Homeowner’s Association (COHA) Newsletter Winter ‘09

2009 Board of Directors: With elections complete, the new board took office effective 1 Jan 2009 in concert with the association’s fiscal year which runs from 1 Jan – 31 Dec of each year. The new board members are:
President – George Patten
Vice President – Jon Martz
Secretary – Rhonda Jean
Treasurer – Scott Reed
Grounds committee chair – Mike Wood and Grace English
Ponds committee chair – Nader Wehbe
Architectural Review committee (ARC) chair – Dave Scaccia and Bryan Botkin

Committee members:
Finance committee – Scott and Heather Hunt-Ruddy
Grounds committee – Mike, Grace and Dave Scaccia
Ponds committee – Nader and Brigitte Boyle
Social committee – Rhonda and Heather Hunt-Ruddy
At Large – Eilene Eynon

Website: If you haven’t been to the association website, please do. It can be found at . Dave Smith, along with Dan Degner, has done a great job getting us started. If you have ideas for it, please use the blog to let us know. Dave has also sent every homeowner their Century Oaks email address and password. Please make sure you have that information or contact Dave or Dan for help.

Meetings: We have established the first Wednesday of each month for the board meetings. We have also proposed two general membership meetings for 2009 and hopefully every year after. One is scheduled for April 30th and the other in November at Delta Kelly Elementary at 7 pm. The April meeting will address the budget and focus on prioritizing activities for 2009. The November meeting will feature elections or election results and a financial report for the year to date. Please stay tuned to the website for details.

Budget: One of the first orders of business for the new board is to establish a budget. We are working diligently to have that done by the close of the March board meeting. Shortly thereafter, invoices will go out and have a May due date. The May due date enables the board to have funds available for the summer months when we have the greatest expenditures. We will have a full report on the basis for the budget and the 2009 dues at the April general membership meeting.

Snow plowing: Mt Vernon is providing the snow plowing and salting services for the neighborhood this winter. Any time we get >3 inches of snow, Mt Vernon plows all streets and salts the two entrances and the Mountain Laurel Boulevard-Century Oaks Circle intersection. If you have any issues with the snow plowing, please contact either Dave Scaccia or Bryan Botkin, who are our contacts with Jason Knapp of Mt. Vernon.
By the way, please ask your driveway snowplowing contractors not to push snow into the street and to push any residual from their work out of the street. Some are not very careful about this and create frustration for us all.

Speeding: Please heed the 25 mph speed limit in the neighborhood and the right of way of pedestrians. It’s a state law enforced by the sheriff and citizens. Citizens may report vehicles to the sheriff’s office at 248.858.4950. The sheriff usually follows these calls with a call or visit to the offender. Multiple calls about any one license plate can result in further action by the sheriff. With no sidewalks for walkers to use, please help keep our neighborhood a safe place by slowing down and obeying the speed limit.

Sheriff’s note: With spring coming, Lt Parker of the Oakland Township sub-station wishes to remind all that cars should be locked with all items of value removed and garage doors kept down. As the temperatures increase, so do the incidents of car theft and “garage hopping” in our area. Century Oaks has had a rising number of these incidents.

Paperless: The association will do our best to go as paperless as possible in 2009 to simplify our processes and minimize expenses. Please make sure you have supplied an electronic address to any board member by 28 Feb ’09. Of course, the directory will be in hard copy as well as electronically saved to our website. And the annual dues invoice will continue to be paper. But we’ll try to do everything else electronically. Please check the website and your Century Oaks email routinely.

Issues: Please note the survey on the website. We are very interested in determining what the primary issues and priorities are for the members of the association. Please complete the survey and ask your neighbor if they have as well. Please feel free to expound upon your views in the blog found on the website. And join us at the April general meeting.

While recycling is great and we should do as much as we can, the recycling system in place now does create issues for some neighbors. Some of us use bins with covers but most do not. As a result, the high winds in our sub cause recycling materials to blow into other people’s yards. Please put your newspapers in one or more of the paper grocery bags you were going to recycle anyway and put the plastic items in the recyclable plastic grocery bags.

Vendors/suppliers/service providers: One of the best uses of the blog is share with our neighbors those businesses that offer the best products and services. Please take advantage of the blog to tell others which firms you recommend or to ask who others recommend. The blog can be found at .

Thanks: The 2009 board of directors would like to recognize the 2008 board. It is worth noting that Jeff Swarbrick and Rich Smith completed 5 years of service to the neighborhood while Gary Fish and Chris Felice worked hard in their 2 years as the Treasurer and Ponds Chair, respectively.

Notes from the board members/committee chairs:
President – The new board has great expectations for this year. Please use the new blog and/or the email to let us know what you’re thinking and how we can make 2009 a productive year for the association. It’s the next best thing to volunteering and would help make our jobs easier. Please stay tuned to the website as we’ll be posting bits on association law to help make for a more informed membership in COHA.

Vice President – Efforts are underway to establish standard operating procedures for the association. We hope to have the project completed before the end of this board’s term in office. We’re also formulating some overdue changes to the by-laws, as is normal, for approval by the Class A members (homeowners) of the association. We’ll have more on that at the general membership meeting in April.

Treasurer – The Association's books have been upgraded and downloaded to the latest version of Quick Books and all bank account change requirements have been met. We think we have an updated and accurate directory of all homeowners. This will enable us to correct some errors in prior years as well as standardize our process in the future.

Secretary – Hats off and a huge thank you goes to Mike Wood for spearheading the effort and devoting many hours in getting an accurate and complete neighborhood directory ready for publication. Also, Mike worked with Rea realtors, who will be covering the expense in publishing the 2009 directory. Thank you Linda Rea Realty.

Ponds – Nader Wehbe and Chris Felice have renewed the effort to get state DEQ to remove at least 4 of our 5 ponds from designation as a conservation easement. The committee will soon apply for permits to treat the ponds this year in hopes of restoring them to a more aesthetically appealing part of our neighborhood again.

Grounds – The committee conducted a bidding process over the last month with 4 firms submitting proposals for maintenance of the common areas for 2009. From those four, Goodison was selected. The terms of the contract will be posted to the website in the near future for your perusal. Mike Wood has now repaired lighting fixtures and replaced bulbs for both entrances. Remaining work will be done when the ground thaws. Anyone interested in helping him would be very welcome. Next will be an assessment of the mailbox situation for the neighborhood, which you’ll hear more about in the future.

Social – The social committee has two main functions - welcome new neighbors
to Century Oaks and plan neighborhood social activities. To do that, we need your help. First we need help identifying new homeowners moving into Century Oaks as we are
preparing a welcome packet to help them get acquainted. Second, we are convening a committee of neighbors who are interested in helping to plan social activities for the neighborhood throughout the year. If you can help, please contact Heather Hunt-Ruddy at or call at 248-693-7068.

Architectural Review Committee – With lots to be done in this area, Dave Scaccia and Bryan Botkin are working to establish a way for the deed restrictions and by-laws to be brought current and made available to residents.

Website/Blog – Dave and Dan would like to thank everyone who has been blogging already. Keep it up! Please let your neighbors know if they haven’t seen the website, which has a public and private side. And please keep us current on your information since we keep an electronic directory on the private side of our website for homeowners use only. To see it though, you need a password, which was sent out to everyone.

Don’t forget. The next general membership meeting is April 30th at 7 pm at Delta Kelly School. Mark your calendars please!! Meet your neighbors. Discuss the 2009 budget and activities.

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