COCC Meeting Minutes – July 2016

July Meeting Attendees: Gerard Boharques, Lori Bulla, Officer Burton, Nathan Carlson, Sandy Erickson, Wendy Gonzales, Trenton Kelly, AD Koen, Celia & Marco Montalvo, Lori Perjak

Wendy opened the meeting at 7:35pm. Celia asked about cutting a dead tree on her property and replacing with another tree. All agreed there is no issue to proceed with the work. Nathan commented that July 26 is tree waste pickup day. Sandy will be putting the pickup signs out on July 23. Residents can put out tree waste the Sunday before tree waste pickup. The city sometimes previews what is to be picked up during Monday before the trash pickup.

Officer Burton from SEAL provided a printed summary of neighborhood incidents and stated that extra attention is being given to the 2 abandoned homes in our subdivision. He states there is a lot of activity at the abandoned home in the 4800 block of Caris and SEAL is trying to catch the perpetrators. Also, there were 2 homes on the 4700 block of Oak Shadows Drive (where the street signs are turned) which had trash out for at least 2 weeks. SEAL noticed a random car driving through the neighborhood and pulled it over. This vehicle turned out to be a lost driver after dropping off a friend and SEAL helped the woman find her way back to Tidwell. The SEAL sign at Tidwell and Deepcreek had been removed from the metal post and placed next to someone’s garage. The sign which reads “Candlelight Oaks, Trespassing Prohibited, SEAL Security Solutions, LLC, Violators Prosecuted!” www.SEALSECURITYTEXAS.com” has now been replaced to a street post at the same intersection. It is not known who removed or replaced the sign. Lori P mentioned that the posted sign has been needed to report solicitors to HPD. A comment was made about ongoing, multiple solicitors in the neighborhood and some residents will not open the door. The gas company came unannoounced to a door and the resident would not open the door. There was an emergency next to another neighbor’s yard where digging was needed in regard to the gas issue. Some gas meters were recently replaced and a letter was sent to some. There was a strong odor of sewer gas mentioned at the time. SEAL and HPD had an in depth discussion concerning a window service solicitor. HPD allowed the solicitor to continue trying to make “appointments” for their business. Officer Burton stated that on June 22, the officer noticed a suspicious odor on the 5600 block of Oak Haven at the pool area. The officer also noted a lot of drug paraphernalia there too. There will be more attention paid to the park area. Officer Burton asked what time the pool/park closes and AD stated 10pm. Lori B confirmed there is a pool sign posted with hours. Currently, there is no sign posted with the park hours. Sandy will have a sign made and posted for the park hours. Officer Burton says the signs will allow SEAL to begin taking action against afterhours trespassers at the park. It will allow arrests to be made. The sign will state pool and park hours which will be the same. Two signs will be made. One sign for each entrance to the park area has been recommended. Officer Burton discussed several issues near the 5000 block of Fallen Oaks including a car egging and a robbery at knifepoint. There are more details in the printed incident report provided at the meeting. In addition to Officer Burton providing us details at the meeting there was feedback given to him concerning an unsatisfactory and discourteous response given to a resident from a SEAL dispatcher. The dispatcher gave a lot of resistance to the caller. Details of the conversation were provided to Officer Burton who believes he knows who the dispatcher is. The dispatcher claimed that SEAL was over the amount of hours contracted and could not assist. A second resident stated she received a similar response when calling SEAL …. That they were “over the contracted hours” and SEAL offered to call 911. The resident said no and that she would contact HPD non emergency line for assistance. Wendy pursued the June 11 dispatcher incident stating that the understanding of the contract is that SEAL is available at all times although the contracted hours are limited per week. She questioned the point that the dispatcher claimed there was no one near to come by and that SEAL was over their contracted hours. The actual note provided to the board from the resident was read to Officer Burton. Officer Burton replied that SEAL responds whether they are scheduled to be here or not. 24 hours a day. He will speak directly to the dispatcher responsible and stated that he will handle it. He stated that the dispatcher will not resist providing assistance again. He believes this is a new issue and a rare occasion that this resistance by a dispatcher has occurred. Nathan mentioned that on Monday, June 11 on the 5700 block of Bayou Vista near the bike trail a person came over a resident fence at 3:06am. Power tools, a bicycle and more items were stolen from the shed. The resident did not file a police report but was recommended to do so. The resident had regretted filing a police report previously due to a long wait time for police to arrive and a feeling that it would not be pursued. Residents are encouraged to file all police reports and contact SEAL with incidents also. AD asked again to clarify that if a call is made to SEAL at any hour of the day that SEAL will respond, and Officer Burton said yes, however, it may take some time for SEAL to arrive from another patrol area such as Timbergrove or Garden Oaks. Officer Burton came to a close and exited the meeting.

Security – AD spoke to SEAL July 14 on the phone to arrange a time for them to meet. As security contact on the board, he made a couple of contacts to SEAL for a personal meeting but has not received a response. He believes the arrangement is that a SEAL representative will be present at each board meeting to discuss the monthly incident report. AD is in contact with neighbor Ken Jayne concerning interaction with SEAL on behalf of Candlelight Oaks. The SEAL contract is being reviewed by several board members to optimize the benefit for us and assure that the contract details are being met with the service being provided. Several discussions followed concerning the patrol service shared by Candlelight Oaks and Candlelight Oaks Village in regard to the shared cost and logistics of the patrol and the protection coverage provided to the neighborhoods. The patrol times are random and confidential. The coverage provided by SEAL to Candlelight Oaks and Candlelight Oaks Village is in proportion to the contract and the cost paid by each area.

President – Wendy had several items to report. One is that Facebook has been very busy. Facebook is not the HOA’s official form of communication. Facebook is not a communication method that the HOA will provide much information on. A letter was written on Facebook to the board, but almost no one present at the meeting uses Facebook. Wendy is a Facebook user and read the letter aloud at the meeting. The website http://candlelightoaks.com/ is the formal communication method of the HOA and The Acorn. The Acorn has not had a lot to publicize beyond the monthly meeting minutes. For this reason, there has not been a recent Acorn distribution. The meeting minutes are posted on the website after they are approved by the board. The resident letter on Facebook was complimentary and made a request for more communication via The Acorn newsletters delivered to home mailboxes. The general response and request is for this resident to please come forward to volunteer to assist with the creation and distribution of The Acorn newsletter. All present encouraged that a volunteer to assist with The Acorn creation and distribution would be really helpful and is needed. One meeting participant commented that approximately 15 years ago more than 50 people would be present at each COCC meeting. A new board member was shocked to hear this. A board member commented that officially, as a legal entity, COCC should meet quarterly with written notice/postal mail sent out 10 days in advance to residents. He read the specific documentation of the bi-law to all. Currently there is a monthly meeting held the second Thursday of each month with signs posted in advance at the entrances to the neighborhood stating the day, time and place. The meeting information is also posted on the website. The quarterly meeting issue will be reviewed to determine the exact compliance. The board will review the current practice as to whether the bi-law should be updated or have the COCC come into compliance with the quarterly postal mailing bi-law and reduce the number of COCC meetings to quarterly. The meeting minutes provided on the website is a convenience and not a requirement. If someone needs the meeting minutes prior to them being posted on the website, please contact the board directly at board@candlelightoaks.com Please be aware that the minutes cannot be provided to a resident until they are approved for publication during the next meeting time.
Another Facebook posting was concerning 2 unwanted, homeless dogs roaming the neighborhood. The method to handle unwanted, homeless animals is to contact animal control. The entity is named BARC and can be reached via website at http://www.houstontx.gov/barc/ or telephone 713.837.0311. This topic stimulated a lot of conversation concerning animals in the neighborhood. The comments included the following: 1) a rumor that a cat was recently killed in the neighborhood by a loose dog 2) loose cats killed a rosebush on owner property 3) a dog attacked cats on owner property again when the dog had previously killed a different cat 4) a dog bit a woman on Fallen Oaks 5) a dog attacked another leashed dog on owner’s porch If you know who the resident is who owns an unleashed animal, send an email to the board and a letter will be distributed to them. Dogs must be leashed. All present agreed that the COCC will not assist with animal fines or contacting BARC for a resident.

Wendy also reports that on July 23, Brenda Stardig is doing a “Demolition Celebration” for the Oak Brooks Apartments from 10am to 1pm. These are the abandoned apartments along the White Oak Bayou trail. Wendy asked that anyone who is interested in attending let her know. Also, the abandoned home on Oak Haven has received attention thanks to a resident contacting a news station. The board had taken as much action as it could over a prolonged period of time and the action taken by the resident to contact Channel 2 news began some satisfactory resolution of the issue. All present were thankful to hear of the action that had taken place and appreciate the resident for her initiative. In regard to the abandoned home on Caris, neighbors are taking care of the front lawn as a temporary fix. Trenton has continued to document contact to the bank which oversees the finances of the property. It is critical for the bank to take action with the legal owners of the abandoned home. The city of Houston must also take action. Both aspects are critical to resolving abandoned home issues. The COCC is limited in the action it can take.

A purchase question came up concerning the land property adjacent to the drive easement leading to the pool. A land survey was seen being done on the property. No one has specific information as to what the property may be used for.
Deed Restriction – 3 board members drove the neighborhood seeking deed restriction violations. There were 59 properties found with deed restriction violations and letters are being created for mailed distribution. 30 days are allowed to bring deed restriction violations into compliance.

Pool – The gate reader is being repaired at no cost for labor by Nathan. Lori B says a gate card order is needed. A suggestion to recycle and recode the gate cards was made but not agreed upon. A partial box of cards is currently on hand. The previous price per box was $300. Lost cards will continue to cost $20 to replace.

Treasury – Trenton tells us the current bank balance is $173, 847.57 There are no large, outstanding expenses. Some progress has been made with some long-term outstanding balances for HOA dues. These outstanding balances will be pursued with another letter to follow during the collection process. Wendy said the neighborhood insurance renewal is coming up and she spoke to the contact who states there is no change to the policy.

Minutes – The previous months’ meeting minutes were approved.

Pool – Lori B tells us there are 52 memberships. The city inspector did not approve the Kings III emergency call boxes. The pool was closed for 1 day due to this. The city inspector allowed a regular, household telephone to be plugged in for use. There was a fee to inspect the pool again, but the pool passed inspection. Before next year’s inspection, the tiles on the baby pool must be smoothed out and there is some additional equipment recommended for the pump room. Lori will verify that the pump room equipment recommendation is in line with the age of our COCC pool. The pool has received a current permit. 3 estimates will be gathered for repairs sometime in the fall. A negative review for a particular pool vendor was given by a resident. The Oaks Fest fall festival is planned for October and is still in the budget. It’s not a fund raiser, but several said they enjoy the wine baskets raffle as a means to defray costs for the party.

Landscaping – Tire marks and missing trees were noticed adjacent to the esplanade on Tidwell near Deep Creek. This was the 5th accident near the intersection since October 2015.

Records – One record was added which was the Kings III service cancellation.

RECRUITING for new board members is now taking place for the election to be held during Oaks Fest. Two volunteers have come forward as additional help with the Finance and Security roles. We are actively seeking assistance with The Acorn. Wendy will try to put together an Acorn but can’t commit to this. She will make an effort to create a printed copy for resident mailboxes.

Meeting closed at 8:42pm