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General Follow-up

Posted by Steve Guderian, SOA Board Member

I want to get to some general follow-up from some other SU posts, but first I want to make a quick statement;

It seems to me that there is some concern at SU and/or within the SU readership that if there are too many Sierra Canyon residents on the SOA BOD then the SOA BOD could become favorable to Sierra Canyon rather than to the entire SOA community. My believe on this is that the governing documents prevent this. The SOA bylaws and the CC&Rs are documents owned by the SOA community. This means that it takes a 50% + 1 vote from all of the residents in SOA to make changes. Sierra Canyon only represents about 1/3rd of the SOA community so they cannot generate enough votes to approve any type of change like this. It is time to move on from an individual community attitude to a one community attitude. My general impression at this point are that the current BODs in The Village, SC and SOA also believe in one community as there is far more strength and chance for forward progress for everybody if we move forward to this type of goal.

And, let me say right up front that I hope to be able to continue having discussion and information exchange on SU. Notice I said discussion and information exchange…. I want to hear back from the SU readers on things…. we do not grow without involvement.

Committees, these are being looked into as we speak. Hopefully in the near future more info on committees with become available. I have reviewed a couple of charters and I am sharing my findings. I plan on reviewing a few more documents.

Relationship between Master and Subs…. this is already being worked on and goes much deeper than just AGC and ARC.

Safety and Security, SU listed this as a priority for the new board….. please define what is meant by Safety and Security. Just an FYI, the two words, “Safety” and “Security” give insurance companies very, very huge pauses and jitters when they see these words in community documents. Think back to Sanford, Florida in 2012. So, anything in these topics needs to be very clear and concise.

“New and Improved Website” one thing I see here is that there is a limited listing of SOA residents. This infers a limited database of email addresses. One of the useful tools in SC is the “Email Blast.” Important and/or informative information is sent via email to the vast majority of SC residents via email. In one of the previous posts a comment was made about SC residents coming to the SOA website. Great idea, and things are being worked on to improve the numbers of SC owners that go to the SOA website. But based on what I am seeing so far, I am wondering what the traffic from SOA owners is like on the SOA website. I guess a question that comes to mind is that if SOA does not have email addresses, how is SOA suppose to effectively communicate with owners/residents?

Based on what I have been able to learn and to do in the last few days, and few weeks, there is a very high potential for SOA to make outstanding progress toward one community and a better overall community. But, in order to reach this goal it takes the whole community.

I know a lot of people are asking well tell us right now what is going on…. that is completely irresponsible and disrespectful on my part. Irresponsible in that you do not talk about thoughts or ideas that have come up in conversation until some action is being taken on them. Disrespectful because you do not talk about conversation with others unless you let them know what you are doing and they agree with what you want to say.

So, I am asking that SU and its readers be patient lets see how things start to play out with the new board in place you have got to give this board a chance to work and move forward.

Steve Guderian

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SOA Committee Members Needed

With all the significant issues facing the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors in 2018, they will need much support from the various SOA Committees. Unfortunately, some of these Committees are currently understaffed. In this regard, Association Members who wish to serve their community by participating on one of the SOA Committees are encouraged to do so. Committee information may be found on the SOA website at http://www.somersett.net. To access, log on to the SOA website and go to the “Committees and Meetings” page under the “SOA” tab. Information contained on this webpage includes a listing of Committees, their current members and a link to the Committee Charter.

Committees on which Association members may serve are listed below along with their current staffing level. The numbers in parenthesis (x-y) represent the minimum to maximum number of authorized Association members per their respective Charters. To view any of the Committee Charters, simply click on the Committee name.

Communications Committee (5-8) – Current membership (3)
Facilities Committee (3-7) – Current membership (3)
Finance & Budget Committee  (5) – Current membership (2)
Community Standards Committee (4-8) – Current Membership(3)
West Park Committee (7) – Current membership (5)

What is confusing is why the SOA Committees and Meetings page only advertises open positions for the Communications Committee (2) and the Finance Committee (2). This is not consistent with the allotted number of members for the individual Committees. Perhaps this is due to an outdated member list or a BOD decision only to staff at the minimum allocated level. Maybe a combination of both, since the listed Election Oversight Committee has been disbanded, The Facilities Committee still has a “Strategic Planning “ function in its Charter (even though this function was apparently eliminated, hence the name change), and that the West Park Committee is being restructured to include both the East and West Parks.

Whatever the case, anyone wishing to serve on a SOA Committee needs to fill out the SOA Committee Application Form and forward it to the SOA’s Community Relations Coordinator, Kayla Franklin at kayla.franklin@fsresidential.com, with a cc to the SOA Board at soaboard@mysomersett.com, or simply drop it off at the Club at Town Center reception desk.

In addition to Committee member information, the same SOA webpage contains links to “Recaps” of the various Committee meetings. However, these are sporadic with the last one dated July 11, 2017. In the spirit of improved communications and keeping Association members abreast of what activities the Committees are engaged in, it has been recommended that routine “Committee Reports” be published on the SOA Website. Perhaps on a bi-monthly basis, which could also be included in the bi-monthly Somersett Living Newsletter.

SOA Board Election Results

The counting of ballots for the four Somersett owners vying for the three open positions on the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Directors (BOD) took place today at the Annual Owners Meeting. The four candidates were Steve Guderian, Frank Leto, Glenda Powell (incumbent) and Jason Roland. Following the ballot count, the three successful candidates were as follows:

  • Jason Roland – Two year term
  • Frank Leto – Two year term
  • Steve Guderian – One year term

Congratulations are in order for the successful candidates who will join incumbents Ryan Burns and Tom Fitzpatrick on the BOD. Also, many thanks to Glenda Powell for her dedicated service on the SOA’s BOD and as its President during difficult times.

SU wishes the new BOD well as it faces some complicated issues in the year to come. Such as:

  • Hillside and Rockery Wall Repairs
  • The Club at Town Center Upgrades
  • Relationships between the Master and Sub Associations (e.g., Aesthetic Guidelines)
  • Safety and Security Improvements
  • Implementation of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan
  • Full Staffing of SOA Committees
  • Completion of the “New and Improved Website”
  • Operation and Administration of the newly formed “Somersett Town Center” Activity Center

Any other significant issues facing the SOA BOD in 2018? Please feel free to comment.

Somersett United

Following Post submitted by Joe Bower, Association Member

“As one of the small number of founders (only one from Sierra Canyon) of the blog Somersett United, I resent it being called University of SU.

That is disrespectful to the founders and to the few who have kept it going for several years. The entire community is truly well informed by Somersett United. Too bad boards don’t communicate, especially after saying year-after-year that communication is high on their priority list. Modern websites and blogs allow for two-way conversations.

If anyone would like to make a contribution to help keep it going, please contact me. I will see that it gets forwarded to the right person.

At least let’s use the proper name everyone.

Thank you.

Joe Bower – Sierra Canyon Owner”

 

SU Clarification:

To our Readers and Followers::

To elimate any misunderstanding, please be advised that no monetary contributions are required to support the operation of the SU Website.  We only encourage  participation in the discussions, pro or con, on the Posts or Comments contained therein. Please go to the “About Us” page to see how to contribute to this process.

Perhaps Mr. Bower was referring to the mass email subscription service that SU previously paid for.  However, this activity was discontinued over a year ago.

Whatever his intent, SU appreciates the support and contributions Mr. Bower has made to this website during its existence.

 

University of SU, Part 2

The following Post submitted by Steve Guderian, SOA BOD candidate”

“I am looking for some further information from the SU community, well, the whole Somersett Community for that matter.

My first question, does anybody know how community members get appointed to committees?

Is there a SOA policy, procedure or resolution on appointments to committees that anybody knows about?

Is notice sent out to all community members about openings on committees (By all community members I mean everybody living in SOA, SC, the Vue and the Village)?

Second part, at the beginning of this year a new Charter was passed by the SOA BOD for the AGC, here are my questions on this;

Does anybody have a signed and dated copy of this charter (I have a word document copy with no effective date or signature)?

Does anybody have any information on any previous SOA charters for the AGC (I am familiar with the CC&R and PUD info on AGC, I am specifically looking for past and present SOA charter information)?

And a general overall question, has anybody in the SU community been following anything on the CSC committee, or had any experience with the CSC committee?”

Thanks again all,

Steve Guderian

The following is offered in  response to Mr, Guderian’s inquiry:

With regard to SOA Committees, any Association member may volunteer to serve on a Committee. Committee openings are posted on the SOA website via the SOA/Committee & Meetings page. To volunteer, one must fill out an application document.  If an opening is available, the application is reviewed, a  possible interview conducted, and if deemed acceptable, the volunteer is appointed to serve on the Committee by the BOD.  The Committees & Meetings page also lists the Committees, the Committee Charter and Committee Members. Committee openings have also been previously announced via the “Somersett Happenings” email distribution.  There are currently two positions open on the Communication Committee and two  on the Finance Committee.

The revised AGC document was approved at the October 25th BOD meeting with minor revisions.  Once issued, this document will be mailed to all Somersett owners.

Any questions?  Contact Kayla Franklin, the SOA Community Relations Coordinator, at 787-4500 Ext. 324 or kayla.franklin@fsresidential.com.

 

I Need University of SU Info

Posted by Steve Guderian – Association Member & Candidate for the SOA Board:

“To the SU readers, for me personally a number of things have come out of the election process, one of which is that I do not know as much as I should about the Golf Course. I checked the SU docs section and found some things but I would like to go beyond that.

  • Here is my understanding; SOA owns the land the Golf Course is on and Somersett Country Club owns the Country Club building.
  • SOA also owns the water rights that go with the Golf Course… Where does the water come from, wells or purchased?
  • SOA owns the land but the CC runs the golf course, what happens if the CC goes bankrupt?
  • If the CC goes bankrupt what happens with the brand new building?
  • Who runs the CC??
  • I understand there is a BOD, who is on this board and how did they get there?
  • Was is the communications protocol between the CC and SOA, who handles all of this?
  • Any other info that anybody else can think of that would be helpful, please tell me.

Steve Guderian”

The following is offered in response to Mr. Guderian’s inquiry:

  • The SOA purchased the Somersett Country Club (SCC) land (approximately 220 acres) and water rights (approximately 1000 acre feet) in late 2014 for $2.75M.  Purchase excludes approximately 6 acres of land on which the SCC Club House was subsequently built.
  • Water rights are derived primarily from the Truckee River and wells.
  • In conjunction with the Purchase Agreement, the SOA executed a lease-back agreement with the SCC. Lease-back rent is $1000/year escalation adjusted plus $1200/year unescalated.  Term is for 50 years with two 20 year renewals at the discretion of the SCC. If the SCC declares bankruptcy or defaults on the lease agreement in any other way, the SOA may terminate the lease and assume full control and use of the premises.
  • The SOA has no property rights to the SCC Clubhouse or the ground on which it stands.  This remains exclusively the property of the SCC regardless of any default on the part of the SCC.
  • It is believed that the SCC is run and operated by a its own equity members through a Board of Directors..  That is, not via a contracted for Management Company.
  • Current SCC President is Glen Armstrong, Do not know the entire make-up of the SCC’s Board and how they are elected and/or appointed.  Assume it is via vote of the equity members. Perhaps a SCC reader can provide this information.
  • Communication protocol between the SOA and the SCC is handled by their respective Boards, or their respective lawyers over default or other legal issues. 

Any comments, corrections or clarifications on the preceding response to Mr. Guderians inquiry are welcome.

Note that complete terms of the SCC purchase and lease agreement may be accessed via the References Tab and clicking on the “Country Club Purchase Agreement” link.

 

Late Ballots?

It has been reported that some owners have just now received their Board of Director Election Ballots in the mail. Even though the SOA Management Company (FirstService Residential) is apparently saying they were all mailed on October 31st (take that with a grain of salt).

Given that the deadline for receipt of Ballots via return mail is November 14th, and if the US Postal Service is indeed that slow, then it is highly recommended that owners do not mail in their Ballots, but rather drop them in one of the Ballot Boxes at The Club at Town Center or Aspen Lodge.

Whatever your preferences, be sure to vote!  However, if you have none, then we repeat our recommendation to vote for Glenda Powell and Jason Roland.

 

No Ballot?

It has been reported that not all Somersett Owners have, to date, received their Ballots for the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) Board of Director (BOD Elections).  Nevada Statutes require that Somersett Owners must be provided at least 15 days after Ballots have been mailed to return them to the Association.  Given the November 15th deadline, it is unusual that some Owners have not yet received their Ballots.  Possible reasons include:

  • Slow US Postal delivery service
  • Delayed mailing on the part of the SOA Management Company, which would be in violation of Nevada Statute NRS 116.31034 Subsection 14 (b)
  • Overlooked in the Ballot mailing package due to the presence of numerous other Association documents.

Whatever the case, if you have not yet received your Ballot, suggest you contact the SOA Community Manager at 775-787-4500

Time to Vote!

Most Somersett owners have now received their Ballots for the election of SOA Board Members.  Unfortunately, the cover letter describing the voting process was inadvertently omitted from the original mailing. In addition, included within the Ballot mailing were several other Association documents (e.g., 2018 Budgets, 2018 Reserve Studies, Assessment Collection Policies), all of which were not collated in the most readable manner.  It is understood that the Association might have wanted to save on mailing costs, but believe that the election material should have been provided via a separate mailing to insure it is not overlooked.  Inclusion with other Association documents have resulted in some confusion in the past.

That said, it is important for owners to follow the voting process to insure their Ballots are counted.  This was described in a subsequent SOA communication as follows:

“NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Annual Meeting and Election of Three (3) homeowners to the owner controlled Board of Directors for Somersett Owners Association (SOA) will be held on November 15, 2017. The “recorded date” for members who have the right to vote has been set as the date of the mailing of this notice.

Three (3) owners will be elected as Board members.  Two (2) will serve two (2) year terms and one (1) will serve a one (1) year term. The new Board members will take office effective immediately following the annual meeting.

Nevada Law requires that all Directors are elected by Secret Written Ballot. Only you can vote on your Secret Ballot. The Ballot must be completely filled in by the owner and then placed in the envelope marked Secret Ballot. It will not be opened until the annual meeting. You have ONE (1 ) vote for each vacancy on the Board. There are THREE (3) vacancies on the Board at this time. Therefore you have a total of THREE (3) votes. You may choose to only vote for ONE (1 ) candidate; however, you may not vote for a candidate more than once.

After you have marked your Secret Ballot enclose it in the Secret Ballot Envelope.  Place the Secret Ballot Envelope in the Return Envelope and provide your return address. Once you have completed and returned your Secret Ballot, you will not be able to obtain a new Secret Ballot if you change your mind on your vote.

All mailed ballots must  be received in a  sealed envelope at  The Club at Town Center, 7650 Town Square Way, Reno, NV 89523 by Tuesday, November 14, 2017. Ballots may be returned in person to the ballot boxes at The Club at Town Center or the Aspen Lodge, no later than 1pm on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.  No ballots will be accepted at  the meeting.”

It is important that the colored, “Ballot Enclosed” envelope be enclosed within the self addressed  “Return Envelope”, whether mailed or dropped off at the Ballot Boxes.  The “Return Envelope”  provides for Ballot validation and eliminates duplication.

BOD Election Comment

The following Post submitted by Geoffrey Brooks, Association Member

SU Note :  Post is much longer than our suggested 400 word maximum.  However, exception given due to importance of the BOD election

Thoughts on the Board Election Candidates and the Future of Somersett

I attended the candidates night at Aspen Lodge on Monday 30th – I want to applaud all the candidates who are running for a time consuming and often thankless job. Having talked to many Board members over years (and running unsuccessfully myself), I realize that “riding herd” on a community now with 3150 units, built over last 15 years to different standards, is to say, challenging!

Somersett survived the Great Recession when up to 30% of the dues were not paid. Somersett has had two management companies, and a revolving door in all the “functional slots” – leaving so much more general administrative work for the Board to do. The current board under Glenda Powell’s leadership, has strengthened (professionalized) the FSR management team, and instituted monthly Board meetings. Hopefully, this makes serving the community less onerous. We have the future challenge of not only repairing the Rockery Walls, but also our depleted reserves.

One of the prime fiduciary duties of the Board, is planing for the future. What happens if there is another recession? What happens if the Somersett Golf and Country Club fail? What happens if we have another wet winter and more Rockery Walls fail? What about another earthquake? These are tasks the Board have to address on behalf of the community.

What was highlighted by two of the candidates, is the so-called “poor relationship” between the Del Webb HOA and SOA. A solution proposed was a “memo of understanding”. Perhaps those candidates meed a better understanding of the PUD and CCR’s and the responsibilities of the Master Association… Our community was “designed” to have sub-associations, with common infra-structure, natural thematic landscaping, architectural styles to blend in with the high Sierra foothills. Perhaps Pulte should have stayed in control of the SCOA…until now…rather than turning things over to the SC residents…Then the incorrect landscaping installed by Pulte in the newer villages (10-15) could have been corrected by the developer, rather than being tasked to the unsuspecting buyers! What this does shows, is that AGC/SOA approved plans may not be completed correctly to the approved plans & guidelines…There needs to be a mechanism (inspection for compliance) before accepting new construction into Somersett!

All the candidates asserted that if elected they would work for everyone in Somersett, be approachable at any time, to answer resident concerns… Not try to impose or change things to suit a specific opinion…Help enforce community standards… Quite honestly, I was not convinced. The last thing we need , given the immediate issues concerning Somersett’s future, are new Board members with an agenda…

Thumbnail sketches:

Glenda Powell – currently Board President – anxious to see the community through the current difficult patch (rebuilding the Rockery walls), continue the revitalization of the TCTC. She noted the recent community wide defensible space/fire suppression efforts. She wants continue the revamp our aging landscaping and it’s supporting infra-structure. Keep the West Park (a City of Reno property) construction project moving along and plan the revitalization of the 22 miles of trails.
Resident of SC for 11 years.

Jason Roland – Experienced in HOA property management, aware of NRS R&R and CC&R’s. His wife Tiffany Roland (former Board member) is on the Community Standards Committee, active and experienced with Somersett’s OA history. He considers access to her knowledge an advantage. She still works for the Master Developer – Somersett Development. He has experience in working with builders, which he considers will be an advantage as there are still 500 units to be built. He hopes to enhance community standards and minimize community friction, such as the Pulte landscaping issues!
Resident of Somersett for 7 years.

Steve Guderian – SC Board member and “activist”, promising leadership (to what end?). Wants to enhance harmony between SC and the Master Association, bringing all the sub-associations together to discuss common goals and issues. He promised to “fight” for common sense and to maintain high community standards. He was concerned about the fire danger and wants to make sure that we have adequate defensible space. He expressed widespread community concerns about traffic issues.
Resident of SC for 6 years

Frank Neto – New to our community, but a long term Reno resident (22 years) who watched Somersett appear in the desert, and aspired to retire to Sierra Canyon. He described himself as an independent thinker and promised to bring a fresh approach to community affairs. This was said, in spite of his personal complaints about the heavy handed nature of the CSC and AGC! He is for minimizing conflict and for greater community harmony. He promised that he would be a team player delving into the committee detail. He said that his experience from working for the NY Times would enable him to enhance community communications.
Resident of SC Village 15 for 1 year

The meeting lasted for nearly 2 hours and was well attended. The moderator did an excellent job, preparing a comprehensive list of questions… remarkably, the candidates all proffered similar comments and thoughts! There was time for questions…So, in light of the fact that all the candidates professed to read “Somersett United” posts for information … I asked what each candidate planned to do to enhance community involvement and reduce apathy? The SOA website is not yet responsive, folks who try to post queries, comments rarely see them published (and not answered!). None of the candidates really answered that question.

Interestingly, checking the SOA website today – the home page does not mention the up-coming Board Elections …wow …!

By Geoffrey Brooks