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The Orchards @ Anderson Heights Homeowners' Blog

The Official blog of The Orchards @ Anderson Heights – made by homeowners, for homeowners

The Orchards 2014 Annual Meeting – notes

Hello,
Here’s a summary of the Orchards 2014 Annual Meeting that took place on October 9th, 2014 at the Orchards Park.

Many neighbors, Pat – of Entrust and the Orchards Board of Directors met under a tent in the parking lot of the Orchards Park. In addition to the Board’s report, two special guests addressed the association. Our first speaker was Sgt. Dietzel of APD and second was Mr. Michael Padilla – who is actually a resident of the Orchards – is our NM State Legislature for our district (District 14).

It is IMPORTANT to note that there was NOT a quorum. Which means, a Board election – that was scheduled – could NOT take place due to not enough homeowners representing/voting.
  • There are 448 lots in the Orchards,
  • 142 are NOT in good standing and therefore, cannot vote
  • KB Homes owns 19 lots and provided their proxy to the Board.
  • All of the above considered, we were still about 20 to 25 members short of a quorum.
When KB Homes sells their remaining lots, it will all be up to us (ALL of us) to ensure we have a turnout large enough to do business. Just to give you some perspective: since there was no election – because of no quorum – the Board is now responsible for nominating two people to join the Board. Which is not a bad thing, but I am sure you’ve all heard the horror stories of Boards in other communities. Of course, it’ll never be a nightmare as long as I am living here, but I’m not always going to live here!

It is best that each and every one of you participate and make your say in who is responsible for nearly $300,000 every year. It is in YOUR best interest to participate and at least give your vote out as a proxy.

Luckily, two *new* people have volunteered for the Board positions and will be formally nominated at the next Board meeting. They will be on the Board for 1 year, until the next election.

As a Board, we are starting now to think of new and creative ways to reach out to each homeowner and encourage them to show up and vote. If you have any suggestions, please reach out by leaving a comment here, on fb or email theorchardsblog@gmail.com. Thank you.

APD Sgt. Matt Dietzel informed everyone as to what has been happening in the Orchards, with regards to police calls and incidents. The Sergeant said that nearly 85% of residential burglaries involve a “door kick”. Which means that the burglars brute force kicked the front door down 85% of the time. They grab laptops, phones, TVs and worse case, they take your car keys and your car! Other entries have been through the back door / windows but are less common.

Sgt. Dietzel said that the average response time for the Orchards is 8 to 9 minutes.

The Sergeant also said that for things/incidents that do not need an immediate response, you can call the Telephone Reporting Unit at 505-768-2466. He also recommended that if you leave town, to call the sub-station to let them know you’ll actually be gone so the police are aware. He basically said that if you’re gone, everyone already knows it, so let the police know as well.

Senator Padilla spoke of his many pieces of legislation that he plans to introduce at the next Legislative session and all the fantastic things he and his office have already accomplished.

A couple of tidbits of info from the Senator:
  • District 14 is tied with one other district for largest district in New Mexico.
  • District 14 includes 5 zip codes.
  • Our zip code, 87121, is the HIGHEST in foreclosures in the State.

You can reach Mr. Michael Padilla via email: michael.padilla(at)nmlegis.gov

The Board’s report included the projects completed in 2014.
  • Two Movie-In-The-Park events over the summer.
  • Community Garden at the Park.
  • National Night Out – Pie @ The Park.
  • Community Yard Sale.
  • New Landscaping at front entrance.
  • New Security monitoring / alerting systems at the pool.

In addition to the projects completed, the Board also announced that there will not be an increase in assessments.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Kind regards,
Chris Perkins
President, Orchards Board of Directors

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14 Responses to “The Orchards 2014 Annual Meeting – notes”

  1. Red Skull says:

    Just so I’m clear then…roughly one in three homeowners in the Orchards is not in good standing (meaning, I assume, that they don’t pay their dues?), and ours is the zip code in the state with the highest number of foreclosures? Wow…what enthusiastic news.

    I appreciate the effort that the board puts in to making our neighborhood a reputable community, but with crime what it is here, and the number of people that clearly don’t give a s#!t about abiding by the contract they signed when they bought a house here, is it any wonder that folks don’t show up and vote? 300 grand a year is a pretty sizable chunk of change, and clearly the way it’s being allocated isn’t really appealing to people.

    Having read a lot of these blogs, and written quite a few of my own, I see pretty clearly that a lot of the concerns that people raise go unanswered by the HOA. Security is the most frequently discussed topic, and I still don’t see cameras, regular patrols, neighborhood watch, or anything that even remotely resembles what people have asked for. I see trash and crap all over outside the gates, I hear dogs barking all day and night every day, and when these things get brought up to the board, the response is usually very passive. ‘Don’t like trash? Go clean it up.’ ‘Don’t like crime? Call the cops and police yourselves.’ ‘Don’t like noise or dogs barking? Call it in, and deal with it.’ ‘Don’t like kids climbing on your walls? Go tell them to get off.’ ‘Don’t like break-in’s? Lock your doors.’

    Here’s a thought Chris: How’s about listening to your constituents? A full time security officer, at $12 an hour, during the peak hours, would cost about 25 grand a year. Didn’t you say something about $300,000? I know you’re going to throw out what it costs to repair the pool, and plant flowers, and put in speedbumps…yadda, yadda, yadda. Quit doing those things, and start focusing on the real issues for a while. If enTrust has stipulations that you have to abide by that stray from those, be a President that represents his people and stand up to them. Tell them that people feeling secure in their homes is the far better investment than anything else, regardless of how pretty they want our community to look. Show some backbone, and really make the effort, and I bet more people will start showing up to your meetings.

    One last note–I think people, specifically the ones that are in good standing, are tired of being treated like crap by the HOA. Hate mail for a two inch weed in your driveway. Refusals when people want to build or make alterations. And I’d be really interested to see what people said in that pool survey that went out. What a joke that pool was last summer, with overcrowding, key card deactivation, security idiots that were completely clueless, and a pool that was filthy and disgusting most of the time. My kids quit even trying to go up, because there was always people falling out the doors, most of whom don’t even live in this neighborhood. My wife’s keycard didn’t work twice, for no good reason (we always pay our dues), so she couldn’t go either.

    I guess what it boils down to in the end, is that it doesn’t surprise me at all that you can’t get people to vote or participate. Because if you don’t care or listen, why should they? I know the next response will be, ‘Run for the board if you want change.’ If I was interested in that outside of the 50+ hour a week job I already work, I’d of done it a long time ago. No…I want change from YOU. I want leadership from YOU. I want action, and results from YOU. It’s what I pay for, as does everyone else that refuses to participate, and see a sore lack of.

  2. webmaster says:

    Crime is an issue that I agree is something that not only the Board but the city would like to see resolve, along with hunger, homelessness, and bringing about world peace. However resources are scarce and it would not be financially responsible to invest the community resources when the city is already doing so with its police presence.

    Home security is not the responsibility of the HOA it is a private matter and thus the responsibility is of the individual homeowner. If you do not feel secure in YOUR home install a security system, buy a gun, whatever you think is going to make you feel safe. When it comes to decisions to be made about the common areas, the Board is security minded. We’ve installed security systems at the pool, hire security patrols on key nights and planted pyracantha along the outside walls and around the pool. The Boards’ responsibility extends to the common areas only and is working on expanding the security camera system to cover the playground and then eventually the gates. Additional guard hours have been added during the holidays and there has been a pool guard for some years now. Community patrols have been implemented in the past but have been too costly and ineffective. Most time they just drive around looking at their cell phone.

    If you want to start a neighborhood watch you are welcome to however the HOA will not be involved in order to avoid potential litigation should someone get injured or worse as a result. If you’ve read some of my previous postings, you will know that a NW is on a block-by-block basis.

    In regards to the pool access card, there is a letter that is sent out weeks in advance to let people know to take care of any outstanding issues before access can be granted.

    Trash is regularly cleaned and of course if you notice a particular area that needs attention please bring it up to our management company.

    Those that have barking dogs are sent violations.

    Homeowners are sent notices in regards to any violations whether they are in good standing or not including Board members.

    The people who volunteer to be on the board are NOT compensated. Let me emphasize this: THE BOARD IS NOT PAID.

    Also – the people who volunteer on the Board and/or Committees also work 40 or 50 hours plus per week. We have a very limited budget that we work with and try to spread that budget to incorporate all aspects of a safe, beautiful neighborhood that has a sense of community.

    I am sure that the Board would be more than happy to meet with you to address any other concerns that you might have which I did not in this response.

    Sincerely,
    Chris Perkins
    Orchards Board of Directors

  3. Teg says:

    Thanks Chris for clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the HOA. I think will help all us to re-focus, including working together as a community to change the charter or the HOA to include or excludes issues that “WE” all feel are NOW relevant in response to the “goings on”

    I have lived in HOA developments for the majority of my life. They too were faced with some of the same issues that “WE” are right now and is driving some of the frustrations expressed. Here are some of the solutions that were set forward by my prior HOAs to respond to issues that started appearing years after the original HOA charter was written, some back to the early 1970’s

    – For delinquencies and non-payers: Pass the debt off to a collection agency. They will take a percentage (but, it will be better than getting nothing). They are cheaper than a lawyer and will free up enTrust’s time. They also can report derogatory information to the credit reporting agencies. These people will feel the pain when they try to obtain credit, or will see their interest rates jump when their credit card, or their credit cards are closed by the credit grantors when they do their routine credit checks on their customers. It sensitizes everyone to be a compliant owner.

    Not only will did these association deactivate access for these people to the pool and health club, but every where else. That included removal of their names coming off the residence listing….They couldn’t get in the complex, admit visitors, or even get a pizza delivery. The HOA embraced the assumption that if an HOA fee isn’t being paid…that person no longer lives there. Especially when the person didn’t sign for their registered letter outlining what was going to occur without their immediate remittance. Once that letter went out, the management company only would discuss the matter and any negotiated term via registered mail. It was an effective deterrent to keep things from getting out of hand.

    – For management company effectiveness perceptions, incorporate a satisfaction survey along with the other surveys, dealing with “our” satisfaction of their responsiveness and ability to get issues resolved. If people aren’t happy with a management company or any other contracted provider, an RFP is issued to solicit competitive and responsive service providers. It isn’t to say enTrust does a bad job, in fact, a RFP sometimes validates that you are getting the best service for the price or generates service improvement by an incumbent

    If enTrust doesn’t already provide an executive summary of all complaints, status, along with a resolution, it should be submitted to the board on a monthly basis that includes a time line to best understand the efforts and duration involved concluding a issue. This also is a useful tool to identify “problem” or “defiant” tenants, their owners and residence owners in order to graduate the severity of fines and the board to be more informed. I know the board wants to do a good job, but am concerned they are blind sided on some of these things that start off being trivial to a chronic and a growing issue, because they didn’t know.

    – Stepping up the issuance and collection dates of fines will help catch up on or counter the deficit for noncollectable HOA fees. This will help relieve the budget and reserve pressures that we face.

    – Committees: The formation of a few key committees helps take the pressure off a non-compensated board and gives other with talents to volunteer to make contributions.

    I think it is great that we use technology to exchange concerns, ideas and share needed information. In previous HOAs that I lived in; they had a newsletter committee, where they published a quarterly news letters that included key contacts for problems like large item garbage collection, street light or signage repair….and the publishing of the addresses (no names) and the amount of assessments, or fines that were outstanding by 60 days and were being sent to collections. Yes, it was embarrassing for these people and yeah, they threatened to sue…..but the list went down from probably 30 to about 3 or 5 each month. Eventually, the most chronic offenders moved! Finally it included an even higher level summary of the management companies successes and outstanding work items. I think it is common place for people to assume no one cares or no one is doing anything, when their is no information sharing.

    Another committee, that was referred to as, the house keeping committee, reported into the management company of unkempt properties, abandoned or oil leaking cars or common way maintenance issues (weeds, animals waste)

    They all had a “rules committee” where owner members would cover the association rules with new residences, whether owners or tenants, and have them sign an acknowledgement of their understanding of the rules and obtained a signature from the resident (owner/tenant) of a pledge that they will follow the rules and provide the name of others living in the household and the commitment that the household would comply with the rules.

    They also served as a way for people to ask what was “okay” or “not”….it just wasn’t like it was a police state. It established relationships between neighbors. It worked and even deflected people who didn’t like following the rules from moving in. With a limited number of complainers, we all had enjoyed a better quality of life as the rules that were defined, were just commonsense…but for some people; it has to be in writing or that is their excuse for behaving badly. The goal was for problems to be avoided before having to address each one individually. It saved time and money.

    People here state that they aren’t aware of a dog leash rule or that they have to clean up their pets waste from people’s property. People have stated “if that was true, someone would of told me already. I have been doing this for years”, or that the clean up rule only applies to the grass in the park. Some people argue if the leave their dog in the house while they are at work; that the dog will destroy and waste in the house, so they let it out for the day, because the dog always comes home when they do and they can’t believe that their animal could be nuisance to anyone. And that no one else complained to them about barking all day or night, or it must have been another dog. One even jumps into your car when you get out, and the dog won’t get out of your car. I promise you this true, but this is a hot button item for many people. and this is an example where it would serve all of a us to get this message out or established a rule or procedure to escalate it.

    Many police precincts, libraries, schools or community centers have a “public use” room for people to meet in to discuss community matters. Many HOAs take advantage of this resource to house meetings to discuss, resolve and improve their community. Small turnouts are okay, since these are the people that want to contribute. It breaks down barriers and people to opportunity to meet. And of course the board doesn’t have to accept any recommendation, but it is a great way for them to get a pulse on the people/communities thoughts and ideas

    Thanks for the chance to express my ideas

  4. Marshall says:

    Unpaid dues are a potential source of revenue that really should be addressed. Assigning the accounts to a collection agency would cost as much as 25%, but would come with the benefit of collecting a substantial sum of money that is otherwise just left on the table.

    A more cost effective way to collect some of that would be to provide a limited time incentive to the owners to get it paid. I don’t know how big the late fees are, but perhaps it would be effective to offer a 60 day period during which all late fees will be waived and past-due accounts will be considered paid in full if 90% of their balance is paid. People get two months to come up with the cash to pay their debt and get a 10% discount with no penalties. I know that if I was in arrears, that would make me want to pay immediately.

    You could even “defer” the late fees instead of just dismissing them right away: Say that the late fees will be dismissed a year from now if there are no more late payments for a year, but that in the event of another late payment, the late fees will be added back into the balance. Now, they not only get a motivation to pay their back dues, but also have a motivation to stay current.

    Combine all that with Teg’s suggestion of periodically publishing a list of addresses that are out of dues compliance, and I bet the dues collection problems would quickly dwindle.

  5. TEG says:

    Excellent idea! Thanks neighbor

    and please excuse my typos….and dropping words. I am slow typist and doing it on a tablet with “auto-fill” makes it worse. I guess I just have to give in and proof read, first!

    Can we get KB to change the contractors’ access code periodically on the front gate? Too many people have it and use it.

  6. Red Skull says:

    ‘Home security is not the responsibility of the HOA it is a private matter and thus the responsibility is of the individual homeowner. If you do not feel secure in YOUR home install a security system, buy a gun, whatever you think is going to make you feel safe.’

    I’ve done all the things that you said. Long before I moved here. And there’s still break in’s, theft, and crime running rampant. You said that the HOA was ‘security minded in the common areas’. The streets, and the homes as a whole, encompass an entire ‘common area’ that we all live in. If you’re not willing to admit that, then we’re both obviously wasting our breath.

    ‘In regards to the pool access card, there is a letter that is sent out weeks in advance to let people know to take care of any outstanding issues before access can be granted.’

    No idea what you’re talking about. I’ve never missed one payment, and saw no such letter. [game show buzzer] Try again, sparky.

    ‘Those that have barking dogs are sent violations.’

    Put your head out your door at any given time of the day, and let me know how effectively those violations seem to be working.

    I’m disappointed that your response was more of the same, man. Really disappointed.

    I’m pretty well through wasting my breath here, suffice to say this: if it’s so easy for homeowners not to pay their dues, put more stringent clauses in the contract they sign when they buy here. Like failure to pay dues for ‘x’ amount of time will result in foreclosure, collection agencies, collateral repossession (yeah, make them put some up), or other potentially unpleasant reprimands in the event of non-payment.

  7. Mike says:

    While I don’t enjoy accepting another’s thoughts or words as my own, for times sake, let’s say I WHOLE HEARTEDLY agree with Red Scull 100%. In fact, I’m bold enough to assume many of us residents here at the Orchards feel the same. Well, the respectable ones who’s mortgages and homes are in good standing and their dues are always paid anyway.

    So, I’m curious. Is it just me or did anyone pick up on the fact that Entrust HOA offered no tangible solutions to our concerns whatsoever yet again? I mean, I did note where they were quite clear on what our responsibilities as residents were but I didn’t catch anything pertaining to them. Adding to that, Entrust web respondent appears to be focued more on what ISN’T in their job description and, just why exactly, they AREN’T able to preform their duties as promised, as our paid HOA representives. Well, if I may, allow me help clear up any confusion on Entrusts part. It’s the least I can do.

    Initially, we were curious. What exactly were we getting for our $54.00 monthly fee + our $35.00 quarterly Master Fee? Below, I’ll list a few perks that we were promised and in fairness, I should add, what we feel we’ve actually received.

    When we moved in to the Orchards eight years ago, this is just a few promises that were made to us as new homeowners by Entrust HOA.

    #1 A secure, gated community.

    Instead, we are regularly greeted with  two gates that work when they apparently feel like it. And quite commonly, both will go out on the same day. That’s always fun isn’t it guys? Anyway, even when both gates are working, they appear to do little to stop those who don’t live here and instead, they simply piggyback on in. So, perhaps it’s understandable that our current system didn’t deter those two attempted burgleries on our vehicles and our backyard. Nor, has it stopped the actual vehicle break-ins that our neighbors have experienced.
     
    #2 A gated, secured community pool.

    Folks, I don’t even know where to start with this one other than to say, “Hey KB? If you used that pool as an Entrust/KB or Orchards selling perk/point, you’re really not allowed to incessantly threaten homeowners with its removal! Regardless of your excuses!” I’ll also say that we’ve definitely seen more non-members in our pool than we’ve witnessed actual Orchards members.

    #3 Supervision and compliance regarding clean, manicured front yards/lawns.

    I have personally reported so many front lawns here I’ve lost count. Most all of them at the same addresses each time. Now, they weren’t reported for minor infractions mind you. They werereported for 2′ – 3′ weeds, used tires and broke down vehicles that crowded their drives Anyway, the average time we’ve noted to have these issues remedied is so scattered at this point, we can’t offer you any realistic averages. But, I will go ahead and guess 4 months from report to slight headway.

    #4 Supervision and compliance regarding clean, tidy completed backyards.

    See above. But I would like to say that we spent 7 grand we didn’t have two months after moving in here because we received a nasty gram from Entrust HOA about finishing our backyard immediately. That’s cool and we did.

    SO WHAT HAPPENED ENTRUST?! You were doing your job! Now, I look out down my Juliette balcony and stare out at a sea of dirt, makeshift lawn furniture, broken swing sets and beer towels hanging from windows as though they’re actual decorative curtains.

    #5 The supervision and compliance regarding household additions, fixtures, ornaments and decorations.

    Here’s what we regularly see and yes, regularly report. Corona Beach towels and Dora The Explorer bed sheets hanging inside numerous windows – torn down and filthy, tar stained window blinds – inoperable vehicles in driveways – broken light fixtures hanging from home fronts and sides – screens busted out and laying on roof eves and illegal or unauthorized back yard structures. Lastly, festive Halloween decorations left up from 2+ years ago. [we really did quit counting]

    #6 A reinforced 10:00 p.m. curfew on all children and teenagers.

    Really Entrust? A fairly cocky promise from an organization that literally had NO intentions of reinforcing such a rule. But in the meantime, know that we don’t mind those drunk, energetic, nutty kids that swear worse than we do at 2:00 a.m. each weekend evening whatsoever! Seriously. We won’t even start on the weekday kids.

    #7 Promises of concerted efforts on the part of the Entrust HOA to resolve homeowner matters in a timely fashion.

    Other than home related warranty work, we’ve yet to actually have ANY experience with our Entrust HOA where we were directed to dial ANYBODY ELSE other than a Entrust employee. That includes the live rattlesnakes that kept entering our yard because KB insisted on leaving a huge metal tailor space pod and old batting in the empty lot next to us.

    Lastly, I’m given to understand that there are about 450 homes here in the Orchards and about a quarter of them are in default on both their homes and dues. But what of the rest of us? So, if I’m to add any of the math here and i did, $256K from us yearly is quite a bit of scratch. But, someone do tell me, where is all of that money going and where has this enormous amount of money gone throughout the years? Do you as a homeowner really belive it went into speed bumps and the pool? And why do our rates KEEP GOING UP?! For what homeowners? For what exactly Entrust? Seriously, I’m starting to question, who’s pockets are we really lining here?

    We’re about $5,500.00 to date paid to Entrust and for what folks. They have failed at their jobs and it’s about time we do something about this. We should start by circulating a landslide petition.

  8. Mike says:

    I’d like to add that we’ve never received any letters pertaining to the pool, access cards or security by the HOA. Ever. When did that happen? We did receive one on parking but that’s it.

    The one time we attempted to use the pool, our card was rejected and we were told that it was probably because we weren’t in good standing with the HOA. Folks, we pay in advance yearly. The same with our neighbor.

    We have security bars on all of our windows and doors, [both interior and exterior] live security cameras, a full, active security system, built up exterior back walls and heightened metal fences with spiked metal barbs, we are fully armed and someone is always home. All of this and our vehicles were still almost broken in to, as we’re our neighbors, and our purebreed dog was almost stolen.

    It’s glaringly obvious we’ve done everything we can feasibly do from a security standpoint. Isn’t it about time Entrust quit making excuses, wasting our money on these delapitated gates and put human beings there? Show your Orchards card and you’re in. You don’t have one? Turn around and leave. Easy peasy.

  9. Red Skull says:

    It’s more than ironic that I happened to peek in and see these posts today. Something actually happened that really had me scratching my head in regards to all this, that I was going to post anyway. But before that–hats off to Mike for echoing the sentiments that I spouted. And don’t think you’re ‘bold enough’ to speak for the rest of the residents. You do. They’re just as fed up as you and I, but unwilling to waste their breath. I wish more would, but sadly, participation on here is about as involved as it is at the HOA’s meetings, which is zilch.

    So: on to something that I absolutely could not believe today. I saw a gal in a personal unmarked vehicle at a house at the end of Duerson, by the North Gate. She was wearing a security uniform, texting on her phone. I approached her, and talked to her a bit to see if she was an active security patrol in our neighborhood. ‘Not exactly,’ she told me. ‘I’m employed by KB homes to patrol the houses under construction, to make sure people don’t break in and steal the copper pipes, the toilets, the fixtures, etc…’ She told me she covers the holidays, weekends, and days off until the houses are done, then it’s passed on to the homeowner to secure, and KB washes their hands of it.

    So…am I to understand that the houses with no one living in them are more important to secure than the ones that are occupied? Now, I know the immediate response from Chris or the board will be, ‘KB is a separate entity from EnTrust and the HOA, and has nothing to do with how our funds are allocated.’ I have no doubt of that. However, do you think that if there’s enough need to hire security to watch those, maybe that should raise some flags that the security issues in the rest of the neighborhood are legit, and deserve some action? How many different ways do you have to hear the same story, from umpteen different people, that we want some reasonable return for our investment? Basic services, that we’re in dire need of.

    Mike hit the nail on the head with the 7 points that he crucified above. All things that EnTrust promises when you buy, and fails to deliver on. Consistently. And when people speak up, they’re immediately shot down, and the HOA blows smoke, hims and haws, and says, ‘Buh, buh, buh…we planted flowers! We resurfaced the pool! We have movie night in the park!’ None of which matters if people can’t don’t feel safe leaving their homes unattended, or can’t get into the damn pool because there’s three families from the neighborhood that invited all their cousins on a day-to-day basis all summer long.

    I’m going to go pop some popcorn now, and kick back and wait for the response from Chris. I’m guessing he’s going to cut and paste the last nine responses he’s made over the years, because they never seem to change.

  10. Mike says:

    Thanks Red Skull. First, please excuse any typos. My voice to text has a mind of its own.

    Yes, I encountered this same security guard yesterday. I also met an older gentleman a week ago doing the same we were told to call a copob. We too were aghast at the notion!

    When 3 men attempted to steal the new tires from my vehicles, we were told to call the police. When the school kids started breaking our lawn lights and decorations, throwing rocks and scratching our vehicles, we were told to call the school district, then the police. When rattlesnakes started showing up in our backyard because of a KB storage shed and construction trash, we were told to call Game & Fish.

    What’s annoying me is I can keep going and going here. Okay, we get it. We’re on our own. But this begs to be asked again, “What exactly did we pay over $5,400.00 for?!”

    Admit it, that’s a lot of scratch to simply dismiss! And even harder to swallow! We’re forced to ask the HOA’s permission to lay a rock in our front yard but when we’re really in need, we’re told to call ANYBODY ELSE but the HOA?

    Oh well, I’m certain I’m wasting my breath here as well. I suppose I’ll just sit here and count my blessings. At least I know the empty house under construction next to me is under watchful eyes and is safe and secure.

  11. Mike says:

    Again, forgive any typos and misprints. The lack of proofreading may be my fault but the original typos certainlly weren’t. ;0)

  12. webmaster says:

    Hello,

    First off, let me begin by outlining a few facts so we can all be clear and be on the same page:
    1. KB Homes is a business that sells homes in The Orchards Community. One could buy a home from KB or from a person, bank or investor.
    2. EnTrust is an association management company. We (The Community) hire a management company to handle all the bills, repairs, upgrades, collections, etc.
    a. Here’s how HOA’s work. Please review these links for a detailed explanation of how an HOA works and what the responsibilities of the Association are: http://www.theorchardsblog.net/the-hoa/ & http://www.theorchardsblog.net/the-hoa/association-responsabilities/
    3. KB and EnTrust are in no way associated other than KB pays their monthly/quarterly assessments to EnTrust just like the rest of us.
    4. The Board Members of the HOA are your neighbors. The Board members are not paid nor will they ever be paid. They volunteer many hours of their own time to do all they can to make this community better.
    a. The Board meets once every quarter for an official meeting and sometimes we have more meetings if the need is there.
    5. There are two Associations The Orchards community belongs to. The first, is the Orchards At Anderson Heights – which your neighbors are on the Board of. The second, Anderson Heights, which is still under complete control of the Developers (KB, DR, etc.).
    a. You can request from EnTrust the financial statements of the Master Association at anytime by contacting EnTrust.
    6. Finally, please review all the Survey results that I’ve posted. You will see that your view of what the members want maybe a little off. I personally created the surveys, promoted them and posted the results. If you have input on the next survey or would like to do one yourself, I will be happy to post it on facebook and the blog for promotion.
    a. Survey Monkey is free for up to 10 questions.

    It has been repeatedly suggested by Red Skull, who to this day refuses to actually provide his/her real name, that the HOA money is wasted on unknown things. It can only be surmised that this anonymous complainant has never bothered to read the accounting details that are sent to members on a regular basis. These documents are also posted on The Orchards Blog under the Downloads section. If you examine those, you’ll find a complete accounting of all funds. You’ll gain an understanding of exactly what is spent where and what the real financial situation is. If you believe that there are errors or omissions in those reports, kindly provide details and evidence. Otherwise, accept that the reports show the real situation. If you accept that the reports are accurate, then please provide an explanation of how security patrols can possibly be added to the budget, keeping in mind your clear aversion to increased HOA dues.

    As has been pointed out many times, the gates are not there for security. They are there to prevent traffic from cars cutting through our community as a shortcut on their way from somewhere to elsewhere. They are there to reduce cruising traffic. They are there to lend a sense of exclusivity to the community. They are there for several reasons. None of those is to prevent trespassers who want in from getting in. That said, there are currently efforts underway to add camera monitoring to the gates. Hopefully this will be completed soon, and when it is it may help add a deterrent factor, and when bad things do happen, we may be able to gather evidence from the recordings to help catch the perpetrators. But that is a reactionary function, not a preventative one.

    Considering how concerned commenters are here about increasing security in our neighborhood, one should be able to safely assume that they have been proactive in helping to organize block-level neighborhood watch activities. Perhaps if you could share your experiences with that, your efforts could be duplicated throughout the neighborhood. (If you haven’t even taken this step, then it’s unclear where your moral high ground is coming from. Surely you have experiences to share in your efforts to actually do something rather than simply whine anonymously behind a screen name.)

    Regarding the KB Home security personnel, you guessed correctly: We have no control whatsoever on how KB chooses to spend its money. They own more houses here than any other owner, and if they can afford to protect them with security patrols, then that’s their prerogative. The board, as an entity, doesn’t own any homes. KB Home owns a lot of them. They’ve decided to hire a patrol to watch their homes. You too are free to hire a security patrol to monitor the real estate that you own. (Spoiler alert: You’ll be amazed how expensive it is.)

    About out-of-compliance neighbors: Please do report them. Please also recognize that we cannot immediately go in and fix their problems for them. We must notify them of the complaint. We must give them time to comply. If they fail to do so, we must warn them that we’re going to take the decision out of their hands. And then we must give them more time to chew on that warning. Finally, if they are still out of compliance, we can start to do something about it. This is not an overnight process, nor would you want it to be. If your neighbor levied a complaint against you about weeds in your yard and somebody showed up within a few days and removed them and sent you a bill, you’d be livid, and rightfully so.

    Regarding the comment about obnoxious neighbors in the middle of the night: There is a law against disturbing the peace. Please feel free to use your phone to summon police to deal with the matter. This will not only help clear out the annoyance, but if it is done by everybody whenever there’s a problem, it will have the beneficial side effect of increasing police presence in the community, thereby reducing criminality. We may not be able to afford paid security patrols, but that does not mean that we shouldn’t summon the police when there is a security or police matter that needs the attention of law enforcement.

    If you don’t want to call the police, if you don’t want to bother to file specific compliance issue complaints against out-of-compliance neighbors, if you don’t want to read the financial reports and understand the fiscal situation, if you don’t want to even sign your real name to your complaints, then it would seem that all you DO want to do is sit back and yell at others to do all the things that are in your power to do.

    As you said I would say: How about joining the board? If you want to change how the board works, then become a part of it. Get involved.

    Happy New Year!

    On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Orchards @ Anderson Heights,

    Chris Perkins
    Vice President

  13. Sherry Grouell says:

    Hello,
    I’ve posted here before and my name is what it says, Sherry Grouell. Where I live we all know our neighbors and we all keep an eye on each other’s houses. I know a few new home owners have been mislead by the fact that we leave garage doors open, our kids running around, with our dogs but it’s because we know and watch out for each other. I signed up for neighborhood watch but I haven’t set it up yet. I think knowing your neighbors and having a community relationship with them is what helps with safety. As far as dogs barking, seriously? Didn’t know dogs read and knew there was a law against them barking. My dog rarely goes outside cause he’s a wuss puss but if he has to pee at night and he hears barking he barks. If I’m up and he needs to potty I let him out. He’s not an outside dog, he’s a massive lap dog. We just got new neighbors who’s dogs don’t like mine so he isn’t aloud around there house and back yard. It’s really a simple solution. Instead of thinking the HOA is going to take care of things be productive and do it yourself. As far as the pool issues I’ve learned that’s never going to get fixed. We just put out a kiddy pool in the front that everyone plays in. I think what I’ve learned from living in a HOA neighborhood is ppl think because they are paying dues everything they want will be taken care of but that’s not the case. If your not at the meetings or on the board your voice isn’t being heard so either join or fix the problem. Kind of simple!

  14. Sherry Grouell says:

    Ok so I noticed a lot of grammatical errors in my post. I’m on my cell phone and it has Swype so it fills in the words for me, sorry about that.

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