COCC Meeting Minutes – April 2019

Candlelight Oaks Civic Club, Inc
Minutes of Board of Directors Meeting
April 11, 2019

Sandy Ericksen President
Lori Bulla Vice-President & Pool Committee Chair
Charlie Bowman Acting Treasurer
Marilyn Harper Secretary & Acorn Editor
A.D. Koen Security Committee Chair
Michael Kuhnen Deed Restrictions Chair
Darin Lee Landscaping Chair
Cassie Ramsay Social Committee Chair
Johanna Wolfe Long Range Planning & Government Outreach

Present: Sandy Erichsen, Lori Bulla, Marilyn Harper, Darin Lee, Cassie Ramsay, A.D. Koen, Mike Kuhnen.
Absent: Johanna Wolfe, Charlie Bowman.
Resident: James Tiemann Guests: SEAL Sgt Bonsey, Patrick Coleman, City Councilwoman at Large Amanda Edwards.

The meeting started at 7:30 with Sgt Bonsey giving the SEAL report covering the month of March. That was the month that quite a few CO residents reported on the Facebook Group that their cars and in some cases their back yards had been entered by persons unknown, resulting in loss of loose change left in cars. Several video cameras in the neighborhood had showed two young men walking the streets after midnight and stopping at cars. On March 22, Sgt Bonsey saw 2 young males inside the swimming pool fence, and knew that there had been NO purchase of 2019 pool memberships at that point. He drove around to the Tidwell parking entrance and observed them leaving in a vehicle he recognized, and gave that address in his daily report to the Board. One incident of tires being slashed was reported in the 5000 block of Droddy.

At 7:40, the guests from City Hall were introduced: Amanda Edwards and her assistant Patrick Coleman. Sandy said she had been asked 3 weeks before the meeting if Councilwoman Edwards could come to the board meeting and speak to residents, but this was never followed up on and confirmed, so no announcement about it was made to the neighborhood. We had 7 Board members present and one resident, so Ms Edwards spoke to the small audience and answered questions. Her main topic was the Proposition B raise for the Fire Department, and how unusual it was for an employee raise to be voted on by the public, and not negotiated in collective bargaining. She answered a question about red light cameras, which she said are now outlawed in Houston. When asked if the City could help Candlelight Oaks get better fencing along Tidwell, similar to the sound barrier fencing that lines freeways running past residential areas, Ms. Edwards said that CoH has no program currently that could help with that. She recommended talking to District A Councilwoman Stardig and arrange to speak about public safety issues on Tidwell at the Council’s regular Tuesday afternoon session.

At 8:00 pm, resident James Tiemann said he was there to find out why he had received a Deed Restriction “Second Letter” in January, but had not received the “First Letter” which was referenced from November. He will be provided with another copy of his November letter. He inquired how many DR letters are being sent out, and was told that the January drive-through resulted in 42 letters being mailed. He said he drove around on his street after he read his January letter and counted 14 homes that had dark stains and mold-and-mildew as bad or worse than the pictures he was sent of his own home. He was told that doesn’t mean that he was singled out to get a letter, but that many homeowners simply ignore their letters. Marilyn had with her a list of 8 addresses where the same problems had been observed for a year or more. It was already on the agenda for this meeting to discuss the return of some DR penalty for those who get letters for the same uncorrected infractions, seen on every drive-through.

The board discussed the possibility of a $25 fine to incentivize DR improvements. This would be addressed in the 3rd or 4th letter, in the form of an advisory that if the infraction(s) were still present during the next drive-through — and no Plan to make corrections had been communicated to the DR Committee — a $25 fine would be added to the homeowner’s account. Some board members wanted there to be a board vote, on review of the letters and supporting photos, before assessing a fine. Sandy suggested that in lieu of a fine, an unresponsive homeowner’s DR history would simply be turned over to the attorney. No decision was made, but Sandy will discuss with the attorney.

Pool: Lori said she has already placed the 2019 Pool Membership forms in the document holder at the pool gate, and they will be posted on our social media. Tables and furniture at the pool area need to be cleaned up for the upcoming Easter egg hunt. Darin is going to treat for ants in the mulch of the playground. Mike made a motion to spend up to $750 for some new outdoor furniture to replace broken pieces, seconded by Sandy, approved by all. The Board has known for a while that the floor of the pool pavilion must be repaired or replaced. Marilyn moved that Darin’s company replace the floor boards and paint the entire pavilion for $1000, seconded by Mike, and all approved. There is a longer-range plan to put in a concrete floor the next time the treated wood eventually rots out again.

Landscaping: Darin moved to act on a $600 bid from his mowing contractor, previously discussed in Board meetings and emails, to clean up and haul away branches and vines along the sidewalk easements on Tidwell. A.D. seconded, all approved.

Treasury: Charlie and Sandy have been working on the list of homeowners who are delinquent in their COCC dues for over 2 years. These homeowners will soon receive a demand letter, a last chance to sign up for a payment plan, before their accounts go to the attorney. [See footnote #1 below.]

Security: A.D. had brought in copies of the current contract with SEAL, where he had highlighted for discussion several clauses that he wants to change or clarify at his upcoming meeting with SEAL management. The old contract contains confused wording as to whether CO pays monthly or weekly, and we would prefer monthly payments which are less hassle for our board. We want to continue with SEAL setting the schedule as long as about 1/2 of the patrols occur during hours of darkness.

Sandy adjourned the meeting at 9:33pm.
Footnote #1: Sandy sent information on Friday evening that there were 7 demand letters being mailed.