Meeting Notes

Note: These are personal notes taken by me (this website publisher) — NOT the official HOA minutes, which may later be published at the Sentry Management website. Unless otherwise noted, these notes are from the HOA Board meetings.

November 9, 2023
In attendance: 5 Board members, 7 guests.
Manager’s report (Sentry Management);
– Has requested pond sign quotes.
– Irrigation pump: Awaiting quote
– 3 architectural requests received; 2 asked to resubmit.
– 1 potential lien pending; trying to work with homeowner to resolve.
Old Business:
– Formation of Beautification Committee.
– January meeting: Open forum to discuss possible dues increase (if possible, send notice with annual dues notice).
– Newsletter: Low priority, “not as pertinent as mass emails”.
– February virtual forum to discuss dues increase and other issues.
– Community Cleanup day proposed.
– Community party: Adam Birge and Jeff Moore involved with planning.
– Repair/replacement of front walls (monuments) at front entrance a price of $25,000 was quoted (for one monument).
– One capstone is not firmly attached.
– Pine tree(s) and apple tree(s) at big pond: remove. Replace? May be on a homeowner’s property.
New Business:
– None
Open discussion:
– Multiple cars parking in front of Caldwell home. Adam Birge to contact Avon gov’t about it.
– Stacy Starcher inquired about meeting minutes for June, 2022, Board. Not on Sentry’s server. Tim Williams found a copy on his computer. Adam Birge to receive and send to other Board members for approval. Sentry to publish at their website.
– A guest received a letter from the Board’s attorney regarding the signs at the pond. It appears the Board was not aware this letter was sent.

October 18, 2023
In attendance: 5 Board members, 6 guests.
Deja vu moment: Discussion about front entrance monuments (signs): To get estimates. Repair, replace, or relocate to center of entrance? This was discussed several years ago.
Discussion of homeowners’ ARC request (method/procedure for mini barn, house paint, shingles).
Financial report: $16,584 cash on hand; $22,578.78 reserves
Irrigation pump: Landscaper can’t do the work ’til spring.
Pond signs verbiage discussed with Board’s lawyer; recommended changing some verbiage.
Rules and regulations: Establishing and what to include has been discussed by Board and its lawyer. Proposal: Hold a community meeting to allow residents input.
Revise covenants? (Too difficult.)
Establish an ARC committee? (Randy Starcher volunteered to be on it.)
Landscaping: Add flowers. Promote a community effort to assist with landscaping.
Promote a community spring cleanup?
Members’ email: When last checked, Sentry had 186 email addresses.
Adam and Jeff have discussed having a community party. (Publ. note: corrected to include Adam.)
A moment of kumbaya was mentioned: We want people to like the HOA instead of disliking it.

September 26, 2023
Location: Avon library (terrible acoustics making hearing speakers difficult or impossible).
Annual meeting/election meeting:
A rough estimate of 25-30 people were present.
8 attendees self-nominated for the Board:
Bridget Buerkle (elected)
Angie Cottey
Jeff Moore (elected)
Tom Ballock
Gary Nelms (elected)
Adam Birge (elected)
Tim Williams (elected)
Jennifer Goetz
Nominees were invited to speak. Tom Ballock had prepared a one-page document listing issues but Adam Birge refused to allow him to distribute it or to speak.

According to the by-laws, the Board should vote among itself to decide who fills which position (pres., v.p., etc.) but since the by-laws have at times been ignored, who knows?

There was no nomination committee and no nominations from the floor (in violation of the by-laws). Self-nomination is not mentioned in the governing documents.

I did not observe any voting among those present to approve the proposed 2024 budget. According to Sentry Management: “There was not a vote for the budget because there were enough yes votes on the proxy to approve the budget.”

August, 2023:

Pond restrictions not mentioned in covenants

TREASURER’S REPORT: Treasurer’s report ($53,290), approval of previous meeting minutes (October, 2022).
NO BOARD MEETINGS FOR PAST 9 MONTHS: It was stated that it was unknown why the former Board president didn’t schedule any Board meetings for 9 months.
POND FOUNTAIN: Bids have been obtained for repair/replacement of the big pond fountain. A deposit is required before the work begins.
IRRIGATION PUMP: Irrigation pump still needs to be replaced.
ANNUAL BUDGET: Board needs to review next year’s budget. A copy will be sent to members by email and USPS snail mail.
ANNUAL MEETING: Annual meeting and election of the Board should be held on September 26, 2023.
POND AND BOARD MEMBER’S ACTIONS: There was a lengthy discussion by a member (guest) about kids being approached at the pond by a Board member who allegedly confiscated or threatened to confiscate their fishing gear and bicycles. Police were reportedly called. Signs (no fishing/swimming/boating) are there primarily for insurance reasons and not enumerated in the covenants.
FUTURE BOARD MEETINGS: No Board meeting (other than annual meeting) was scheduled for September.
ATTENDEES: Adam Birge, Gary Nelms, Tim Williams, Deb Williams, Kara Tidler, “Jennifer” (guest), Tom Ballock (guest).

July, 2023:
No announced publicly-available Board meeting.
That marks 9 months with no open Board meetings.
Maybe we don’t need a Board.

June, 2023:
No announced publicly-available Board meeting.
That marks 8 months with no open Board meetings.

May, 2023:
No announced publicly-available Board meeting.
That marks 7 months with no open Board meetings.

April, 2023:
As of this writing, the 3rd Thursday has passed with no notification of a Board meeting.
Thus, it appears that, for the sixth month, the Board has not held a public meeting.

March, 2023:
No board meeting was conducted in March (per Sentry Management), although Sentry Management sent the following on March 20:
The board of directors for the Harvest Ridge Homeowners Association, Inc. has set the following dates to hold a neighborhood community-wide sale for 2023: June 2nd and 3rd from 8 am to 5pm and September 8th and 9th from 8 am to 5pm.

February, 2023:
No Board meeting scheduled per Sentry Management

January, 2023:
No Board meeting per Sentry Management

December, 2022:
No Board meeting per Sentry Management

November, 2022:
No Board meeting per Sentry Management

October 25, 2022
In attendance (virtual meeting): All Board members except Tim Williams. Homeowner attendee: Tom Ballock.

  • Irrigation pump at big pond: Proposed that it be buried in a vault, with water from pond routed to it. Estimated cost: $200 to $300.
  • Treasurer’s report: $41,853.05 (assets), reserves: $27,269.07.
  • An alternate management company was interviewed.
  • Special assessment: Meeting may be held in early December.
  • Covenant restriction on rental homes discussed. Will review restrictions implemented by other HOAs.
  • Discussed: Restrictions on trampolines & portable basketball goals. The topic may be discussed at the planned special meeting.
  • Rules and regulations: There is some opposition to rules and regulations because they can be revised or deleted by subsequent Boards.
  • Discussion about hiring accountant to prepare taxes.
  • Comments by Tom Ballock:
    – Has made several inquiries about covenants or violations, and was ignored.
    – Board policies and actions change when the Board changes.
    – The Board can refuse to take action on homeowner complaints [Article XV (D)]: It should be required that the Board provide a reason for refusing to take action, if it declines to act.
    – Apathy: Suggested improved communication by the Board with homeowners.
    – Asked why he didn’t serve on the Board: He had volunteered to do so but it was made contingent on his handing over this website to the Board (he declined).

September 27, 2022
“We need to put teeth into our covenants”
In attendance (virtual meeting): Board members, Deb Williams (Sentry Management). Homeowner attendee: Tom Ballock

  • Discussion of mailboxes, rental properties, any homes with more than one family occupying (not including other direct family members such as elderly parents or children). Discussed possible revision to covenants to address those issues. Attorney will be required for any revision to covenants (possible cost: ~$450 per hour).
  • Holiday decorations: Limit time they are displayed?
  • Proposed: Call a special homeowners’ meeting to vote on special dues assessment to cover attorney costs, including enforcement of covenants, which might include civil lawsuits against violators. Quote: “We need to put teeth into our covenants”. Proposed: Send letter and ballot to each resident by approx. Thanksgiving containing notification of special meeting and a ballot. [Majority homeowner approval required for special assessment (i.e., 102 homeowners)]. Discussed: Special assessment may not take effect unless and until existing funds are depleted. The special assessment might be discontinued if not needed for defined purpose (legal fees).
  • Approval of previous meeting minutes: Had included discussion of two properties in violation of the covenants. That discussion deleted from meeting minutes; moved to executive session meeting minutes.
  • Old business: Irrigation pump replacement. It’s on hand, in a Board member’s garage. Other board members were asked to stop by to take a look at the pump in order to decide where/how to mount it.
  • Old business: “Commercial vehicles”: No discussion.
  • Estimates for lawn care were discussed; agreed to hire Dreamscapes for 2 years and pay in advance for offered 5% discount.

July 19, 2022:
New board members Mark McCrocklin (president) and Randy Starcher (vice-president) joined Tim Williams, Adam Birge, and Gary Nelms for this meeting. Homeowner attendee: Tom Ballock. Discussion included:

  • Mailboxes: A photo of a “non-coforming” mailbox was displayed. Covenants do not address mailboxes and posts. If rules and regulations are now established, would existing mailboxes be grandfathered in? It was agreed that Mark McCrocklin will contact attorney for advice.
  • Vendors: It was suggested that the HOA should solicit new bids/quotes from the various vendors who are hired by the HOA.
  • Sentry Management: Discussion about what Sentry Management does, how much it’s paid.
  • Irrigation control boxes (containing timers) should be locked.
  • Signs: Discussed a newly-observed “children at play” sign. In the past, some signs were accepted by the board (school spirit signs, etc).
  • Vehicles: Discussion about work trucks, logo’ed vehicles, commercial delivery trucks, etc. Adam Birge expounded at length about “commercial vehicles” (which is not a term used in the covenants). Since Adam Birge is one of the residents who parks a logo’ed work van at his house, his involvement in decision-making about this matter could constitute a conflict of interest. Currently, one legal action is pending–see what that outcome is.
  • Treasury: ~$57, 285 balance.
  • Previous meeting’s minutes were approved.
  • Not discussed: Rental homes.

May 19, 2022:
Flag, lights, flowers. 6 ARC requests. No soliciting signs. Fishing on ponds. Attorney services review. Delinquency policy for 2023.

  • 1 hour delay to start because the software is controlled by Sentry Management (not available at start time)
  • New U.S. flag and light purchased.
  • Flowers were planted at corner next to big pond.
  • 6 ARC requests received–all approved.
  • Treasury balance: $57,180.44; reserves: $25,951.17.
  • No soliciting sign: A member advised that a call was made to police dispatcher who said a “no soliciting” sign on the house is enforceable; a sign at the subdivision entrance is not. It appears the idea of installing a “no soliciting” sign at entrance is abandoned.
  • Complaints about fishing at the pond.
  • Proposed 2023 budget still undecided.
  • Attorney review: Keep Eads Murray and Pugh or use another firm? Unpaid dues: turn over to attorney/collections firm.
  • Next month: Annual meeting.
  • Geese: A bid was received for some $3,000 to get rid of geese. Too expensive; they may later return.
  • Not discussed: Any effort to restrict rental homes. (Has it been dropped?)

April 19, 2022:
Proposed budget, newsletter, ARC form, email responses regarding rentals

  • 59 emails total received in response to Sentry’s email re. rental homes amendment to Covenants. There were 3 “no” votes.
    Rental properties, per Sentry: 19.
  • Newsletter: A newsletter will soon be sent to the community. It will be emailed. For those whose email address is not known, it will be mailed.
  • Proposed budget was discussed, with the goal in mind of keeping annual HOA dues at $200/year. Sentry Management fee increases from $10,800 to $11,400. Discussion about ways to reduce Sentry’s fee (reduce community drive-thru to once per quarter, Sentry manager attend fewer meetings, etc.).
  • Treasury reserves: $25,636.
  • Approved: Allocation of $200 for planting flowers at big pond (corner of Harvest Ridge Dr. and Plantation Lane). Work to be performed by Board members.
  • Include names of guests attending Board meetings.
  • ARC approval form is now on Sentry’s website. Completed form will be emailed to Board members for approval.
  • Replace U.S. flag at entrance & add light for night-time illumination.
  • Geese removal discussed; no decision.
  • Community member emails: Sentry now has 175 email addresses for members (out of 203 homes).
  • Planned mass email: Pond scum on small pond cannot be addressed until the temperature stabilizes.
  • Guest comments/discussion: None.

Present: 4 Board members (Tim Williams not in attendance), 3 guests.

February 15, 2022:
Tempers flare. Secrecy supported. “Jobs, families, etc.”

  • Board discussion at meetings or via email? Apparently, an email concerning Board issue(s) was sent to all Board Members by the Board President with little or no response from other Board members.
  • Violation Policy announced by Board president: 14 days between letters (1st warning letter, 2nd warning letter, 3rd warning letter).
  • Rental unit cap (maximum number of rental homes allowed at Harvest Ridge): Sentry checked with a lawyer on the cost of implementing such a policy and was advised it would cost about $2,000. It was apparently decided to send a mass email to residents to obtain their opinion about proceeding. Question asked: can it be enforced via Rules and Regulations? (Will check with attorney.)
  • No soliciting signs: Pricing obtained from Beacon signs: ~$65 ea. for metal sign and stake. ~$335 ea. for wooden sign. Beacon recommended against attaching sign to monument walls at front.
  • Yard light survey: Board members will check on operation of dusk-to-dawn yard lights at Harvest Ridge residences. Survey to be completed “by the 15th” (Mar. 15?). [Minimal mention of “jobs, families, etc.”]
  • Additional mulch to be added to front tree area.
  • Positive recognition of neighbors with yard signs (a suggestion earlier made by this website’s publisher): Discussion by the Board was primarily in opposition to the idea and focused largely on recognition for landscaping. A suggestion was made to make it a voluntary participant event. “Board doesn’t have time to evaluate lawns…jobs, family, etc. [paraphrased]”. “Maybe next year. This website’s author commented that it doesn’t have to be only about lawns/landscaping but could be used for any sort of recognition and would promote residents’ awareness of the HOA.
  • Communication: This website’s author mentioned that the HOA does little or nothing to publicize the things it does for the community. Example: Resodding of the big pond grass, contacting Avon to have high sidewalk edges ground down. One of the Board members dismissed it, saying people know about the Board’s involvement. One Board member mentioned that such things are mentioned at the website [published by Sentry Management]. The Sentry Management website includes nothing about such things or current events (a reason for the establishment of this website).
  • Water for trees: New trees to be provided with water. Decision to be made as to how to do so–a couple of proposals, one including water bags, have been received.
  • Flower beds at big pond: Hire a landscaping firm? Several Board members suggested that Board members meet there some Saturday to do the planting themselves. [No mention was made of “jobs, family, etc.].
  • Lengthy and quite heated discussion about certified plot plans (required for ARC requests). Several members insisted it’s the Town of Avon which bears responsibility for such things as locating a garden shed which impinges on somebody else’s property. Not discussed: Any potential legal liability the HOA might incur if a homeowner is forced to make expensive expenditures after an ARC Request was approved by the Board. A couple of comments made at this time:
    “We [Board members] deserve the same respect”, and
    “I thought we were supposed to be neighborly, but that’s not the way the Board is working”.
  • Objection: This website’s author objected to the Board discussing business via email since it might preclude homeowners being able to attend decision-making by the Board. I asked that the meeting minutes record my objection. A motion was made to do so but there was no second and no vote. It appears, in my opinion, the Board prefers secrecy to openness. Note: Andrea McLaughlin, apparently at Stacy Starcher’s request later sent me an email regarding Board communications.

Present: 5 Board members, 2 guests (plus one part-time guest)

[Publisher’s comments: I’ve now heard mention at several Board meetings, from Board members, that they have limited time available because of “jobs, families, etc.”. WTF? We pay a HOA management company to attend to the routine day-to-day operation of the HOA. If a Board member don’t have sufficient time to devote to their duties on the HOA Board, why did they volunteer to serve on it? I’ve also observed several meetings which included shouting and yelling. Based on my observation and opinion, we have a few strong-willed and highly opinionated individuals on the Board.]

January 20, 2022:
Homeowner email addresses, Violation letters, Rental homes, Solicitors

  • Discussed ARC request for in-ground pool. Board: Need marked up plot plan showing location of pool. Tim Williams disagreed about location being part of the approval process, saying any approved addition can be placed wherever the homeowner wishes.
  • Notification of violations: (1) Enforcement must be uniform and in accordance with Covenants (no exceptions for things like yard lights or trash cans). (2) Sentry sends two standard Sentry Management letters used in all their HOA cmmunities. Sentry’s standard third letter includes notification of a fine, which is reportedly illegal in Indiana. (3) Discussed: Have Sentry send three letters, with the 2nd letter being the same as the second with notation that this is the third notification and if not corrected, legal action will be pursued.
  • Homeowner email addresses: 10 more homeowners provided their email addresses to Andrea McLaughlin (Sentry). Sentry now has 171 email addresses (out of 203 total members).
  • Send mass email communications to homeowners? Comments such as keeping front yard light in service.
  • Rental homes: Andrea McLaughlin advised Sentry shows 22 homes are not owner-occupied. Discussed revision of Covenants to address rental home issues: Discussion: Too difficult to obtain needed homeowner votes. Perhaps an amendment to the Covenants — might be easier to obtain homeowner approval. Cost for attorney fees to be determined for an amendment. Rather lengthy discussion about weeds and how some renters DO take care of their rented homes.
  • Solicitors: Received a complaint from a homeowner about solicitors (nuisance). Discussed placing “No Soliciting” signs at entrance and of advising homeowners that they can buy a “no soliciting” sign at someplace like Lowes to affix on or near their front entrance.

Present: Board members and 3 guests.

November 18, 2021:
Revision of Covenants, Communication with homeowners, yard sales, Board meeting dates

  • Covenants: There have been past efforts to revise the Covenants. Poor homeowner participation prevented revision (not enough people participating/attending meetings to meet the minimum number of votes). Attorney fees may have been in the range of $3,000 to $4,000 or more. [Publ. comments: the governing documents do not require an in-person meeting to vote. Homeowner approval could be obtained by other means, such as door-to-door signature gathering.]
  • Communication: There was a lengthy discussion regarding improving communication with homeowners. Ideas were discussed on how to accomplish that. Newsletter? Email blasts? Website?
  • Community yard sales: There may be two community yard sales this year. When is not decided.
  • Newsletter: Distribution of a community newsletter was discussed. Undecided how many times per year. Money could be saved by emailing it to homeowners rather than mailing it via USPS.
  • Time extension for expensive repairs: Should homeowners in violation be allowed an extension of time to make repairs if it involves expensive items such as replacing siding or roofing?
  • Board’s priorities: It was observed that policies and procedures of the Board may vary from one Board to the next.
  • Email addresses: How many homeowners’ email addresses does Sentry Management have? Are they current? A Board member will check with Sentry to inquire.
  • Days of Board Meetings: There has been poor attendance by guests (homeowners). Should the meeting be held on another day of the week? Comments from homeowners may be sought.

My take-away: We have too little homeowner participation.

Present: 5 Board members and 3 guests.

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