We presented a proposal to the HOA Board of Directors on June 1, 2018. We have had no acknowledgement or response from the Board. The Board promised to "get back to us." We have been waiting 16 months for a response.
UPDATE 12/2018: The December, 2018 Finance, Budget & Insurance Committee Meeting Notes indicate that a "possible 2019 project" could be the "review of all contracts and whether to establish a contract review sub-committee ."
WHY ARE WE DELAYING SOMETHING SO IMPORTANT? WHY IS THE FINANCE COMMITTEE MISAPPROPRIATING OUR PROPOSAL?
WE NEED NEGOTIATING AND CONTRACT REVIEW HELP NOW! The Contract Review and Negotiating Committee needs to be led by competent, experienced and skilled negotiators whose only focus is successful negotiating, review and execution of contracts. This Committee will also monitor and enforce vendor contract compliance.
To see an example of why we need to begin effectively negotiating and reviewing HOA contracts, click on the button below.
Unlike other "community" surveys you may have taken, we are providing all results and comments. Good and bad. No selective editing or manipulation of numbers and results.
Complete results along with all homeowner comments are contained in the .pdf document below. Click on the "Download" button.
Treasurer: "The proposal made by <the landscaping company> for lawn care did not include either Aeration or Lime application. It is correct that the verbiage including these items was included in the formal contract and that it was overlooked by both parties when it was signed."
Advocacy Response: When executing a formal contract, sound business judgment dictates that the person signing the contract thoroughly read the contract and be aware of its contents. Landscaping is the HOA’s largest expenditure, shouldn’t that warrant some scrutiny of the contract? The contract was addressed to the management company. So, you’re telling us that neither the management company or the board president (signatory) caught the mistakes in the landscaping contract? Since the board is always concerned about homeowners following the community’s bylaws, it is important to note Article 4.8 Execution of Documents. This bylaw requires that contracts over $5,000 be executed by any two officers of the Association. The original contract was only signed by one officer. Did I hear someone say fiduciary duty... ?
Treasurer: "When this error was discovered, it was the Board’s belief that attempting to hold <the landscaping company> to provisions of a contract that both parties agreed were not to be part of the contract but were mistakenly inserted in the final document made no sense from a legal, ethical or business standpoint."
Advocacy Response: The board took no action on the contract until a homeowner, on March 3, 2018, discovered the “mistakenly” inserted provisions (your words) in the landscaping contract. The board did not reply until March 7, 2018. They responded with yet another CYA excuse. How much was the HOA charged in legal fees to come up with this explanation? What makes no sense from a “legal, ethical or business standpoint” is committing $295,242.00 of homeowner’s money via an incorrect and poorly executed contract.
Treasurer: "As a reciprocal show of good faith <the landscaping company> did brush hogging at the end of last year at no charge to Sewickley Ridge. It was also agreed to remove these items in the renewals."
Advocacy Response: “Reciprocal show of good faith?!” (More homeowner’s $$ paid for legal wording). The brush hogging occurred last year, a considerable length of time before you were made aware of mistakes in the contract. A one-time brush hogging service for two or three select locations in the community is hardly equal consideration for not providing community-wide aeration services.
And who decided we did not need aeration services? Even the latest transition document provided by the Transition Accountability Committee lists aeration as a requirement for remediation of poor turf conditions.
Treasurer: "As for the renewal, the contract clearly states that the services provided in 2018 would be the same as 2017 at the same price. As noted above, the addition of brush hogging services, which was done free of charge in 2017, is included as an addendum in the 2018 contract. This is common business practice and in no way, reflects an improperly renewed contract."
Advocacy Response: Again, common business practice is to read a contract before signing it. No modifications to the contract are in writing. The addition of brush hogging services is not an addendum, in the legal sense. (You may want to get some of that HOA money back you spent on legal advice.) Brush hogging was not in the original contract which is the one used for renewal; aeration and lime application services were in the contract that was never appropriately modified. The board approved the extension (their words) with no mention of the removal of aeration and lime application services at the Special Board Meeting 2/10/18.
Treasurer: "As to the note that there was not a current certificate of liability for the dates of this contract is incorrect. There was and is in the contract binder located at the clubhouse a current certificate of liability."
Advocacy Response: When the contract was initially reviewed by a homeowner there was not a certificate available or it was “misplaced” in one of the sealed, plastic cover sheets that the documents are placed in to make copying or scanning the documents inconvenient and difficult.