The President's Corner Archive

       

August 4, 2014

Notice to Willowbend Residents

Recently, several homes in Willowbend have experienced Vandalism during the late overnight hours.

There have been personal yard lights pulled out and thrown around, and now even lights in the common area have been pulled out. The Grounds committee has retrieved them and they will be re-installed. This is a needless expense to all homeowners. Eggs have been thrown against several homes and cars, creating a tedious clean-up job for homeowners. Several residents have reported their lawn ornaments torn out and/or missing. Several residents have filed verbal police reports, which is the proper action for vandalism.

Recently, on a Friday evening, during Center hours, a very large party was held at the Center. There was no reservation made through Lighthouse as required by our documents. It appears that efforts were made to clean up and collect the trash. However, the culprits did not take their trash away with them, but left it in the garbage bins and the two bathroom bins that had been pulled out for use to collect the excess trash. Needless to say, the raccoons had a field day (or night) with chicken bones, greasy plates, sweet tasting paper cups and cans, etc. There was NO evidence of beer or liquor left behind.

On Saturday morning, several residents came into the Center and discovered a grand mess! Two members of the Recreation committee spent hours cleaning up the mess. There was a reserved party there the following evening. Willowbend will need to add an extra-hours cleaning crew to come in the event of future occurrences such as this. This too, will be an added expense to all of us.

The Board does not expect our Committees or Residents to deal with these violations. The Board does ask that every resident be aware of what is going on around you. If you observe something that does not look or feel right, call the police, or Lighthouse and report it. We all can be more diligent to help Willowbend remain a wonderful community in which to live. Check the website, willowbendcommunity.com for other items posted to remind you to be aware of what is going on in Willowbend. This is your community.

Dottie Stehl, President
Willowbend HOA


July 29, 2014

Willowbend Residents

As you drive around Willowbend at night, perhaps you have noticed the great improvement in the lighting around the Community Center, Pool, and common grounds. The original lighting system was failing and required lots of repair work, extra cost, and consternation among residents. The Grounds Committee did a lot of research, including a night-time demonstration, and chose the contractor, Gate Pros, Inc. That project is now complete. If you attended the March Annual meeting, you will recall the Board talked about "Special Projects" in the budget. The new lighting is one of those projects. Thank You to the Grounds-Lighting committee for lighting up our community.

Please check the link - Information and News for the Community. This page contains a great deal of useful information, including

  • The list (including pictures) of Plants/Shrubs that you can put on your property. Just click on the Approved Plant List link, choose what you like. You may get suggestions from Mark (ArtisTree) or Dutch Leonard. An ACR for Landscaping form must be submitted and approved.
  • The list for Approved Paint Colors for the exterior of your home. Paints are listed by their number. An ACR is also required for painting the exterior of the home. Lighthouse has on record the paint number of every home in Willowbend. Your Grounds committee again, has done a meticulous, thorough job to compile these lists and we all owe them another "Thank You"
  • Three letters of interest: May 13, 2014, Safe Driving in Willowbend, May 16th, Parking in Willowbend, and June 26th, Use of the Recreation Center. Please take notice of them.

Dottie Stehl,
President HOA Willowbend


September 8, 2013

The following are three topics with informational messages that were e-blasted to all Willowbend homeowners over the last week:

DELIVERY OF FREE SARASOTA OBSERVER and SUN News Papers

All of us have seen the Sarasota Observer and Sun newspapers pile up in the driveways and sidewalks at our fellow residents property every Thursday when they are gone. Unless a full time neighbor takes the time to pick-up the papers they will keep piling up. After a homeowner suggested that the Board try and do something about it, the Board discussed the issue and agreed we should stop the free delivery but see if a homeowner wanted the free delivery continued it could be done. We requested that LPM stop the delivery to all homes and see if homeowners could call and have delivered to their address.

LPM believes they hit the correct person at each of the papers to have them both stopped. Sarasota Observer said it would probably take a couple of cycles before it would actually occur. We expect that there will be no papers delivered on September 12, 2013.We are hopeful that will be the case. If not we will try again.

However, it was confirmed that if anyone wishes to have either one of the papers delivered after they are stopped, you can call the numbers below and request that they be delivered to your residence.

  • Sarasota Observer - 941-366-3468
  • Sun - 941-207-1000

ROOF CLEANING POLICY CONCERNS

This is a reminder that last July (2012), a letter was sent to all homeowners that it was necessary to change from the "five (5) year policy for washing roofs. As indicated in that letter, many of the first section of homes built had the roof slopes facing west and north turning black with black algae before the second five years were up. It started with the homes at the north end of Crane Prairie Way (CPW) and the homes on north section (1300s) of Thornapple (THA). The dirty black algae roof problem has worked it's way down (southward) CPW and down the north section of THA, including Habitat. It continued to the south section (1200s) of THA and reached Luminary and more recently the western and southern most sections of CPW that run along Tamiami Trail. This dirty black algae condition has traveled faster than the community was built, making these last sections of the community needing roof washing well before their five year period is up under the old policy.

The roofs are inspected once a month and checked in between if there is a question from a First Notice. It has been amazing how quickly some of the roofs along Luminary and the CPW 500s have changed during June and July. The houses that the front faces west, the black algae dirt is seen more quickly and the north side slopes are right behind. So if you care to check your roof, do it when it is dry and check the west and north sides. Stand some distance away from the roof such as what you would see walking down the sidewalk or roadway. In addition, looking at how dirty the roof overhang soffit is, gives an indication how dirty the roof is. The inspection team doesn't have LPM send a notice if a small section of the west or north side is dirty. They wait until the majority of these sides are showing black algae discolored areas. Not all roofs show the black algae at the same time and until a roof shows discolor areas as noted above, the notice is not sent. It is the reason an inspection is the best way to determine when your roof needs cleaning. Please note this message does not mean you have to wash your now. You do not have to clean your roof until you receive you “First Notice” to clean your roof.

Please understand we are not trying to punish you with the notices. Our documents require that all homeowners are responsible for some upkeep of their house. Roof cleaning is one of them and the documents make the Board responsible for enforcing the documents. Our First Notice is to provide you with a reminder of the requirement and that it needs to be done. Yes, the documents do provide for an enforcement procedure to entice homeowners to correct the requirement and not ignore it. Please respond in writing (e-mail) to LPM should you have questions, or schedule problems upon receiving the First Notice. The Board's goal is for you to clean the roof when dirty, not punish you. Remember, the first step to cleaning a roof is to submit an Architectural Change Request (ACR) for approval.

In addition, dirty roofs are an indication to potential home buyers whether or not a community association enforces their deed restrictions and documents as well as letting them know their new neighbors are concerned with the maintenance of their property. It behooves us all to make Willowbend a desirable place to live and do what we can to keep our home values up.

Thanks for your understanding and your cooperation.

SUN STATE LANDSCAPING ISSUES

The exceptional heavy rainy season has caused plant overgrowth and weed growth to unacceptable levels. Many of you have submitted complaints and rightfully so. The Sun State planned crew size has not been adequate to trim and weed Willowbend landscaping to acceptable standards. Through Dutch Leonard’s efforts and the Board’s backing, we requested Sun State to provide us with their plan on how they were going to bring our landscaping back to acceptable quality levels. Sun State came back with the following plan to bring our Community landscape back to tip top shape by the end of August:

  • Adding trim crews and work on Fridays.
  • Adding crew to physically pull tall weeds.
  • Using more herbicide techs to kill weeds growing thru shrubs and plants.
  • Establishing a check list of what needs to be done before moving on to the next lot.
  • Using supervision to check if the trimming and weeding is done properly before moving on to the next home.

We are now in the first week of September and Sun State crews didn’t quite reach their goal of the whole community. Considering the daily rain during the working part of the days in August, Sun State came very close to their goal with only part of Copperwood and Latitude to complete early this next week. Sun State started a trim crew on Crane Prairie Way (500s) on Friday, September 6, to keep from being too far behind on the September cycle. What is most important is that the trimming and weeding crews, have been receiving kudos from many residents indicating the quality has improved. If you look, there is no doubt that Sun State did bring the landscaping back to an acceptable and pleasing community look. In addition, their mulch crew is right behind the trim crew, placing the recycle mulch between the houses. The front yard pine bark mulch is scheduled to start right after the recycle mulch is completed.

Because of all the extra growth trimmings and weeds, Sun State has suggested a change of the time of day for picking up trimmings that residents may have done themselves or fallen tree limbs that have occurred. The change is needed, as by the end of the day, the truck is so full they haven’t been able to pick up the trimming done by residents until the next morning. To make sure they do pick up resident’s trimming, the time will be changed to:

“Yard Waste Pick-up Time”

  • Monday morning first thing.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday –immediately after lunch ( they will also try and make a run late Thursday if space is available in the truck).

We ask if you are doing some of your own trimming or weeding on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to please keep it alongside of the garage until Sunday night as a courtesy to your neighbors.

Enjoy the much improved maintained landscaping in Willowbend, and if pleased with the job done, do not hesitate to thank the Sun State crew. The Board thanks you for being patient enough for Sun State and the Board to work out a solution to the problem. We remind you, if you have a question or an issue with landscaping, please see the Sun State representative and the Grounds Committee person at the Recreation Gazebo on Wednesday mornings between 9:30 am and 10:30 am to address your concerns or needs.

Chuck Halfast, President 2013


March 28, 2013

ANNUAL MEETING RESULTS - VOTE ON PROPOSED AMENDED AND RESTATED DOCUMENTS

Per our existing Declaration document we needed 2/3 of all homeowners (184) to approved the amendments to the Declaration. Just prior to the scheduled start of the meeting, we knew LPM had received 80 votes by proxy and about 68 separate ballots for directors and the documents had been distributed to those voting at the meeting. We had our attorney at the meeting to assure we were handling the voting of the documents correctly so there would be no question of the procedure. Learning that we only had a total of 148 votes possible (36 votes short of the needed 184), our attorney informed us that we had a decision to make before calling for the votes on the documents.

If we were going to adjourn the meeting to collect more votes, we had to do it before calling for the floor votes and would not be able to count the votes made in person. If we called the vote and counted them, the Board would have to call another special meeting to vote for the documents again. Depending on the count, the new Board would have to decide to vote on the same Proposed Amended and Restate Documents or make some revisions. The Board delayed the start of the meeting to caucus and be ready for the Board recommendation on the Document vote. Upon reaching the vote on the documents on the agenda, we explained the situation to the homeowners and made a motion to call the votes. Under discussion, we informed the Homeowners is was the Boards reasoning that before making a house to house visit to obtain additional votes, we should know where the Community stands with 148 votes. Upon a call on the motion, it was almost unanimous to call the vote.

Counting the votes, it was 129 approved (87%) and 19 disapproved. It is interesting to note, we all had just experienced the power of the non-voters. 127 homeowners had not voted. What is more ironic is if the proposed documents had been in effect they would have been approved as we had more than half of the homeowners voting and more than 2/3 approved the document (87%). The new Board now has a decision to make and plans a Workshop on April 9 to address it as well as other organization items.

AS THE BOARD DIRECTION MAY BE TO VOTE ON THE SAME PROPOSED DOCUMENTS, DO NOT THROW THE DOCUMENTS AWAY AT THIS POINT.

Chuck Halfast, President 2013


March 7, 2013

Proposed Amended & Restated Governing Documents

Willowbend Homeowners,

The Board of Directors has reviewed and considered all comments, suggestions, and questions received through e-mails and at the Town Meeting held for the Documents. The Documents were revised to incorporate significant changes based on this homeowner input. All homeowners will receive a hard copy of the final Proposed Amended and Restated Documents with the second notice of the Annual Meeting to be held March 21, 2013. This is the version of the Documents that will be voted upon at the Annual Meeting. In addition, the proposed Amended and Restated Governing Documents are being posted here on the Willowbend web site to take the place of our earlier draft.

This is being done so you have electronic access to the proposed documents and it provides access to the ten pages of Exhibit “A” of the Amended and Restated Declaration. This Exhibit merely references the property description and provides Plats which were established by the Developer. We are not making any changes to the property description. However, should you wish to see Exhibit “A” it is provided here.

Should you have any questions concerning the proposed documents, please don’t hesitate to contact a Board member. Now there is only one thing you need to do - vote - either in person or by proxy at the Annual Meeting.

Following are the links to the proposed Documents:

Declaration of Protective Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (pdf)
Exhibit “A” of the Amended and Restated Declaration (pdf)
Articles of Incorporation (pdf)
Bylaws (pdf)

Best Regards
Chuck Halfast
President


January, 2013

Amended and Restated Governing Documents

Willowbend Homeowners,

At last year’s Annual meeting, a past President and others suggested the new Board should consider rewriting the Willowbend governing documents. During May, the new Board investigated the issue and the Board made a decision with our attorney’s recommendation to embark on rewriting the Documents.

During the rest of last year, the Board of Directors has been working with the Association Attorney on amending and revising the Association’s current Governing Documents. After many months of meetings and discussions, we are close to finalizing a proposed set of Amended and Restated Documents for the Association, which you as a member will be given an opportunity to review and ultimately vote upon at the annual meeting in March.

The Board believes that the proposed Amended and Restated Documents we have been working on will constitute a significant improvement in terms of compliance with Florida law and in having an up-to-date set of Governing Documents to confront the many issues and challenges encountered in our homeowner association operations. In general, the goal of these proposed documents (Declaration of Protective Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions; Articles of Incorporation; Bylaws) are as follows:

  1. Eliminate obsolete references (e.g. the current Documents still reference the developer of the Association, etc.);
  2. Update various provisions of the Documents based on the changes to the Florida Homeowners Association Act (Section 720, Florida Statutes) over the past several years; and
  3. Eliminate ambiguous or inconsistent language

The main purpose of this message is to inform you that this effort is nearing completion and we are asking you, the members, to give us some help. We are giving you the opportunity to review the latest drafts of the proposed Amended and Restated Documents by clicking on the links at the end of this letter. We are asking you to review this latest draft and note any questions or concerns you have and bring them to the “Town Meeting” scheduled on January 29, 2013. It will be held at the First Baptist Church Osprey at 1:30 pm. Our Association Attorney who has provided the legal input and recommendations to consider will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have. The Board welcomes and encourages your input at this meeting. The Board will consider incorporating homeowner input as we make our last review and decide on any last minute changes. The final proposed Amended and Restated Documents will be sent with Second Notice for the Annual Meeting where you will vote to accept or reject them.

We also thought it would be helpful to provide a brief summary of the Governing Documents and what role they play in Association governance and operations. The Declaration of Protective Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions is the document of highest authority in a homeowners association context. It is basically a contract and constitutes a covenant running with the land. It governs the operation of the association and defines owner’s rights in the use of their homes and the common areas. The Declaration defines ownership, fundamental use restrictions, maintenance and repair responsibilities and the obligation to pay assessments.

The Articles of Incorporation is a document that creates the corporate nature of the Association. The Association is a Florida not-for-profit corporation and as such, the Articles must be filed with the Secretary of State.

The bylaws are the “corporate housekeeping rules” which govern various aspects of the day-to-day operation of the Association, such as notice provisions, the conduct of board meetings and owner meetings (including the annual meeting), the election of directors, and the like.

If there are any additional questions concerning these proposed documents, please do not hesitate to contact the Board of Directors. We look forward to discussing the documents with you and answering any questions you may have at the upcoming January 29, 2013 “Town Meeting” being held just for that purpose.

The following are the links to the draft documents:

Declaration of Protective Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (Word)
Declaration of Protective Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (pdf)
Articles of Incorporation (Word)
Articles of Incorporation (pdf)
Bylaws (Word)
Bylaws (pdf)

Best Regards
Chuck Halfast
President


September, 2011

Dear Willowbend Homeowners,

I was driving around Willowbend recently with past president George Dellos and we commented to each other how nice our community looks. Not only is it a visually appealing place to live but a resident friendly one as well. This is not by accident or due to the efforts of any one individual. It is through the collective efforts of our committee members, management team, contractors, fellow residents and lastly board members. The reputation and visual appeal of our community is the result of the close working relationships and harmony which has become synonymous with Willowbend. I have heard repeatedly from realtors that Willowbend is recognized as one of the most sought after communities in Sarasota.

Grounds, Lakes and Landscaping

Board Vice-President “Dutch” Leonard diligently chairs the grounds committee. Dutch is responsible for overseeing the work of our landscape contractor Sunstate, sprinkler water system, sod replacement, planting ARC requests etc. Yes he is very busy and does it all due to his concern for Willowbend.

Please remember ARC’s are required for all plant replacement, not just new plantings. ARC’s are also required for all external changes including roof power washing and painting, even if it is to be the same color. Please be diligent in requiring your power washing contractor (LPM has a list of approved) does not use a chlorine containing solution. It will harm your plants contrary to what some people have been told. Cost of replacement of yours and possibly your neighbors’ plantings is the contracting homeowner’s responsibility. The paint and planting palettes can be found on this website.

The board is pleased to announce the awarding of a new two year contract to Sunstate beginning January 2012. This was accomplished utilizing a closed bid process. The landscaping contract is our single largest budget expense. The contract maintains our current cost which will help greatly with our upcoming 2012 budget planning cost containment.

Sunstate is currently completing a partial community mulch. In addition to the aesthetics created with mulch it is very important for moisture retention and weed control. Full community mulching each year is a board desire but is also cost prohibitive without significant monthly assessment increases. During the upcoming budgeting process we will be exploring possible funding considerations of how to fulfill this desire. Increased frequency will create a residual buildup with the result being a decrease in amount required each application. This would eventually lead to an actual decrease in cost.

Hopefully the north and south entrance way landscape lighting has been noticed. For me it produces a feeling of pride driving in at night. We have one more area to be completed which is the planted berm across from the pool entrance. Our plans are to have this completed by year’s end.

Pool/Recreation Area

The board during its’ June meeting officially changed the time of operation for both the fitness room and pool/spa area. The area is now open 5am to 10pm. Use after 10pm is a rules violation. Please be sure the lights and television are off whenever you leave the fitness room. The new gate has finally been installed. Contrary to rumors, the delays were not due to the lack of effort by either our management company Lighthouse, or the board. We unfortunately were at the mercy of greatly delayed bid submissions and contract execution. It has been a very frustrating time for all. Everyone’s patience has been very much appreciated. The good news is the gate is installed, looks very nice and due to better components should have a longer life span.

After hours recreation area trespassing/use still remains a concern. The board continues to explore methods to deal with this problem. Board Secretary Chuck Halfast is leading the effort investigating real time off site monitored video security systems as a possible solution. All residents are urged to help. If recreation area use after 10pm is observed, simply call the non emergency sheriff’s number 941-316-1201. The key to having a deputy respond is to state there are “trespassers” in the pool/spa area. Do not- I repeat Do Not approach or become confrontational. Let the responding deputy do what they are trained to do. It is not necessary to call a board member. Unfortunately it is only a matter of time before an afterhour’s party or improper use will result in extensive damage.

Finances

Board Treasurer Lucy Crist has been busy finalizing a commissioned reserve funding study report assisted by Chuck Halfast. The good news is there should be minimal if any change to the yearly collected reserve funds. We are properly funded which will insure the maintenance of Willowbend now and into the future. The final report will be available at the October meeting. The board will continue in its’ endeavor to minimize expenses while maintaining a community we can be proud of.

Willowbend’s delinquency rate of approximately 4% of yearly expenses is a result of the economy. However, we feel our continued collection efforts, using every process and law available, has kept the economies impact to our budget less than other associations in the area.

Management

Lighthouse Property Management (LPM) continues to serve our community very well. Kyanne Merrill (kyannemerrill@mgmt.tv) is our community manager. She has as her new assistant Shannon Banks (shannonbanks@mgmt.tv). All questions or requests should be directed to them. They will then make sure your communication reaches the correct person for reply or resolution. This is one of their areas of responsibility. The LPM number is 941-966-6844.

Legal

The board initiated a search for new legal counsel as one of its’ first orders of business. Board Member at Large Nancy McAward and Lucy Crist after much investigation and interviews recommended the firm of Becker Poliakoff. The change provides us with counsel that has more resources which will hopefully translate into a cost savings. The board has made this change official.

Meetings

The board has changed the monthly meeting start time to 1:30. The meeting will continue to be held at the Baptist Church in Osprey (just north of Bay Street on 41 south).

Yours for a better Willowbend,
Gary S. Klein
President, Willowbend HOA


October 21, 2010

Dear Willowbend Homeowners,

It is so nice to rekindle friendships as our neighbors have begun to return from up North. A reprieve from the very hot weather of the summer has enabled more residents to get out and walk through our beautiful community. In September the grassscapes were green and lush. But after several weeks without rain there has once again been some browning of the yards. The pumps are operating full schedule and after a few good showers, the green will return.

The application of new mulch continues. It has been about four years since Willowbend has had a complete reapplication of mulch. This summer the Board initiated a complete remulching of the community. To prevent the rapid erosion of mulch in swales, recycled mulch was applied between homes while pine bark was applied to the mulch beds in front and rear of homes. In September your Board of Directors authorized the final phase of the project which was recycled mulch along the walls and plant beds in the remaining common areas. Once the hurricane season is behind us, new pine bark will be applied to the berms inside the sidewalks just in time for the holidays. It took us almost four years to accumulate sufficient funds for this project. We anticipate increasing the annual mulch budget for next year providing sufficient funds to dress up the mulched areas but insufficient funds for a full scale mulching. At the present time there is no reserve fund for mulch. The Board will budget money to have a professional analysis of all our reserve funds in 2011. Following that analysis we may want to consider accumulating money in a special reserve fund to fully fund remulching in the future.

Our contract with SunState specifies the number of grass mowings we receive each year. Now that the growing season is coming to an end, it is no longer necessary to mow each week. Dutch Leonard and Monty have worked out the schedule so that there will always be a mowing each week prior to a holiday so the community will be at its best when your guests arrive. If the Board notices that the grass has grown an exceptional amount following a rainy period, an additional mowing will be added to insure that our community looks well kept.

It is that time of the year to consider a new budget. The annual budget meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 16th at 3:30 PM at the Baptist Church in Osprey. That date is a departure from the usual monthly meeting date. It is the third Tuesday rather than the third Thursday. At least ten business days prior to that meeting all Homeowners will receive a copy of the proposed 2011 budget. At the meeting there will be an opportunity for Homeowners to speak prior to the Board’s vote on the budget.

Shortly after the first of the year (2010) the Board authorized a trial project to reconstruct and paint fifty linear feet of the north wall as a result of damage to the foam caps as well as the expansion joints in the foam wall panels. We observed the wall during the past few months to see if the reconstruction held up. At the September meeting The Board authorized the reconstruction and painting of the remainder of the north wall. The middle wall and south wall were not constructed with foam panels and caps; therefore, they have not experienced the same degree of deterioration. Within the next few months we expect the remaining two walls will also be repainted. This project will deplete the reserve fund for maintenance of the walls, but we will continue to fund this reserve account so that in seven years we can repaint again.

The Board has authorized the movement of our operating funds from the Landmark Bank in Sarasota to the Florida Shores Bank of Venice. Payments will continue to be made to Landmark Bank, but starting in January, monthly assessments will be paid to the Florida Shores Bank. This change in banks does not necessitate any action on the part of the Homeowners at this time. Each Homeowner will receive new coupon books and procedures for auto pay as we approach the New Year. We anticipate that this will not prove to be an inconvenience to any Homeowner.

The Willowbend Board of Directors would like to know which Willowbend homes are being rented. All Homeowners who rent their homes are required to notify Lighthouse Property Management that the home is being leased. Unfortunately that notification does not always occur. There are also specific requirements that there be no leases of less than three months and no more than two sets of tenants per year. Tenants are also required to follow the same Rules and Regulations as Homeowners, and it is the responsibility of the Homeowner to ensure that they do. If you are aware of a home being rented in your neighborhood, please notify one of the Board of Directors with this information.

There have been confrontations and accidents in Willowbend as the result of unleashed dogs. Please keep your pets on leashes and pick up their droppings immediately (not once a week.) This is important for the safety and convenience of other residents.

Our active social committee has lots of plans for the upcoming months. You should have been receiving e-mails announcing their events. If you missed or misplaced these announcements, please refer to the Willowbend web site, www.willowbendcommunity.com. for details. We hope to see as many as possible at the November 6th outing (lunch, games, tennis, and golf), the Halloween event held at the rec center at 6PM on October 29th, and the special Holiday Dinner Dance on December 3. Once again I want to thank this committee as well as all other committees and individuals who give of their time and talents to make Willowbend a great place to live.

Best regards to you all,

Ken Lindberg

Willowbend President.


The following letter was sent to all Willowbend homeowners:

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR HOMEOWNERS REGARDING:

• CHANGES TO RULES AND REGULATIONS
• SUBMITTING ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW REQUESTS
• LANDSCAPING

PLEASE READ!

July 21, 2010

Dear Willowbend Homeowners,

The enclosed packet includes recent changes to the Willowbend Rules and Regulations approved at the May meeting of the Board of Directors. Specifically note changes to Section 2.3 requiring submission of architectural review forms and subsequent approval before initiating changes to landscaping and the exterior of your home. There are also several changes to the rules regarding use of the recreation center. Please review all of the Rules and Regulations and place them in a convenient place for future reference. A full version of the Willowbend Rules and Regulations can be found on the Willowbend website- www.willowbendcommunity.com It is essential that all members of deed restricted homeowner associations have access to, and are familiar with, the Association documents.

Architectural Review Committee (ARC’s) forms PLEASE!!

As our homes age many of you are considering major maintenance to your home exterior. As a result of freeze damage many of you are also considering plant replacement in your yards. As you contemplate changes to your landscaping or any change to the exterior of your home and lanai, remember that all such changes require filling out an ARC and getting approval prior to initiating the work. Failure to do so may result in fines or other action imposed by the Compliance Committee. The following activities requiring an ARC include but are not limited to

  • power washing your roof, drive or home exterior with any solution other than tap water.
  • adding gutters, Dream Screens, or storm shutters,
  • repainting your home either the same color or a different color on the pallet. Please do not consider painting your home a color that is not on the Willowbend pallet as that is not allowed by our deed restrictions. The Willowbend color pallet is available on the Web site, www.willowbendcommunity.com. It lists Sherwin Williams color names and numbers. We have recently searched through records from two Sherwin Williams stores to identify the exterior paint color, trim color, and door color of most of our residences. If you do not know your colors, contact Lighthouse Property Management or John Wilson, chairman of the ARC committee.
  • Changes to your pool or pool deck. Such changes usually require movement of materials and equipment over common property and the possibility of damage to landscaping and irrigation lines.
  • modifying your landscaping (this includes new plants, trees, and shrubs added to your yard as well as replacement of existing dead or damaged plants with plants of the same kind or replacement with plants of a different species)

Most residents who wish landscaping changes can meet with Monty and Dutch at the gazebo on Wednesday mornings (9:30-10:30). An ARC can be filled out and approved at that time. ARC forms can also be downloaded from our Web site, willowbendcommunity.com. All other ARC’s for structural changes, screens or gutters, painting or power washing will not be approved at the gazebo and should be filed with Lighthouse Property Management. They have the forms if you do not wish to download them from the web site. Many of these requests are approved by the management company and you should get a response in less than a week. Other requests are forwarded to the ARC Committee for consideration at their monthly meetings.

Thank you to the residents who have been diligent in filling out required ARC’s. In order to protect all residents in our deed-restricted community, those who fail to file forms must at some point be held accountable.

Landscaping

Our community is once again looking quite attractive. Pruning is now back on the regular monthly schedule with additional crew members for the heavy growing season. A separate full-time crew is applying recycled mulch to the side yards and swales and applying pine bark to the front and back yards. Palm trees, Indian Hawthorn, and additional lighting have been added to the small island at the south entrance. The island at the end of Latitude has also been beautified by plant replacement. As funds become available plants on the outside of the wall will also be replaced. As a result of a hot dry period a number of “brown-outs” have appeared on sodded areas. Our watering schedule is monitored and restricted by Sarasota County. We are applying water as frequently as possible and it looks like the rains have returned.

Verizon

Verizon suggests that all Willowbend residents who are having service issues or would like to modify their land phone service or internet service call 1 800-501-1172. This number is answered Monday through Friday, 8AM-9PM and is reserved for Homeowners like ourselves who have group contracts for their service. If you call the regular service numbers they may not be aware of our contract and may give you erroneous information. Our contract with both Verizon and Comcast are up July 2012. Gary Klein is heading up a committee to explore our options before that time arrives. Look for more information on the Web site.

Water Heater Expansion Tanks

Recently several water expansion tanks have corroded and sprung major leaks causing damage to home interiors. If you have a small tank sitting on top of your water heater, it is an expansion tank. Since our water lines are PVC they cannot tolerate high spikes in water pressure. The purpose of the tanks is to allow the water to expand and reduce overall water pressure in your home. Unfortunately many of these tanks were installed with dissimilar metal fittings that may quickly corrode. Over a year ago the Board tried to get the word out that these tanks may need replacement. If you have not replaced your tank it is essential you get it checked out. If you have a plumber install a new tank insist that it has a stainless steel fitting.

Future Communication

One of the goals of your new Board is to institute better communication with Homeowners by electronic means. We have sent out several informational items by e-mail. Look forward to more communication from the Willowbend Board of Directors and Board Committees. Rest assured that your address will not be shared with Willowbend residents or the public unless you have given us permission to do so. If you have not received any messages perhaps you have not provided us with your e-mail address. We ask you to contact us at willowbendboard@yahoo.com or willowbendboard@gmail.com. We ask that you also check our web site from time to time for updates on your community.

It has been a challenging start of the year for Willowbend. We can be thankful that we have recovered from the freeze and anticipate a community as beautiful as ever. We also must be thankful for the many hours spent by our volunteers who patrol our streets, watch our finances, monitor our recreational facilities, plan our social programs, review our ARC’s, manage our Web site, plan for emergencies, and work side by side with the management company and Willowbend providers promoting a beautiful, friendly and exciting place to live. I also thank the Board members for their outstanding efforts these past few months.

Have a relaxing and healthy summer!

Best regards,
Ken Lindberg
Willowbend Board President


JUNE, 2010

Dear Willowbend Homeowners,

Greetings and best Summer wishes from the Willowbend Board of Directors.

As I write this letter, the crepe myrtles at Willowbend have just started to bloom. For those of you who have not been here this time of the year, it is a beautiful sight. Many of the frost damaged trees and shrubs have been replaced by Homeowners; the North and South entryways have been remulched with large pine bark and, as a result of an extra crew, SunState has now finishing up the arduous task of pruning and removing frost-damaged plants and spraying weeds in the side and rear yards. Instead of the usual single truck load of pruned material removed each week, SunState has been hauling a truck load each day since late March. We expect to be back on our regular monthly pruning cycle next week. Thank you very much for your patience as we worked our way through the damage from the freeze. We also thank Dutch, Monty, and the SunState crews who have been diligently working to make this happen. Now that the fertilizer is down on turf, trees, and mulched beds, and the weeds have been sprayed, the task of remulching will begin. Starting next week we will apply recycled mulch to the side yards, swales, and remaining common areas. Recycled mulch has proven to stay in place the best during heavy rains. Once the side yards are completed, pine bark will be added to rear yards and front yards. With a crew working full time this will likely take up to two months to complete. We believe there will be sufficient funds to touch-up the front yards in November before the Holidays. Gary Klein, Board Member in charge of lakes, reports that thousands of pounds of tilapia have been removed from the lakes in an effort to mediate the erosive effect of the fish on lake banks during the spawn. The tilapia undermine the banks as they build their nests. Treasurer, Lucy Crist reports that the Association is financially healthy. A recent collection of past dues from a foreclosure has reduced our delinquencies.

Architectural Review Committee forms PLEASE!!

As you contemplate changes to your landscaping or any change to the exterior of your home and lanai, remember that all such changes require filling out an ARC. The following activities requiring an ARC include but are not limited to

  • power washing your roof, drive or home exterior
  • adding gutters, Dream Screens, or storm shutters,
  • repainting your home either the same color or a different color on the pallet. Please do not consider painting your home a color that is not on the Willowbend pallet as that is not allowed by our deed restrictions. The Willowbend color pallet is available on the Web site. It lists Sherwin Williams color names and numbers. We have recently searched through records from two Sherwin Williams stores to identify the exterior paint color, trim color, and door color of most of our residences. If you do not know your colors, contact Lighthouse Property Management or John Wilson, chairman of the ARC committee.
  • modifying your landscaping (this includes new plants, trees, and shrubs added to your yard as well as replacement of existing dead or damaged plants with plants of the same kind or replacement with plants of a different species)

Most residents who wish landscaping changes meet with Monty and Dutch at the gazebo on Wednesday mornings (9:30-10:30). An ARC can be filled out at that time. ARC forms can also be downloaded from our Web site, willowbendcommunity.com. All other ARC’s for structural changes, screens or gutters, painting or power washing should be filed with Lighthouse Property Management. They have the forms if you do not wish to download them from the web site. Many of these requests are approved by the management company and you should get a response within a week. Other requests are forwarded to the ARC Committee for consideration at their monthly meetings. Thank you to the residents who have been diligent in filling out required ARC’s. In order to protect all residents in our deed-restricted community, those who fail to file forms must at some point be held accountable.

 

Pool

Again this month we have had expenditures at the pool. A new in-water light fixture and service line were installed in the shallow end of the pool. A pool surface luminosity test showed that we had inadequate pool surface light and did not meet county requirements. SunState added additional lights which now flood the deck and pool surface so we can continue to be open until 10PM. We have had a series of pump motors fail due to the many hours they operate each day. The latest failure was replaced at no cost by our provider. To help control costs we had a previously-failed motor rebuilt with new seals.

Socials

Our social committee has been doing a stellar job. On May 21, approximately 100 residents enjoyed hot dogs, shared pot luck dishes, and music by George Wood at the rec center. A great time was had by all! Look forward to future events sponsored by the committee. Announcements will be made on the Web site, willowbendcommunity.com. or by e-mail.

New Residents

We welcome new owners Hugh and Mary O’Connor at 1270 Thornapple and John Engle and Emily Watson at 1305 Thornapple

Verizon

Verizon suggests that all Willowbend residents who are having service issues or would like to modify their land phone service call 1 800-501-1172. This number is answered Monday through Friday, 8AM-9PM and is reserved for Homeowners like ourselves who have group contracts for their service. If you call the regular service numbers they may not be aware of our contract and may give you erroneous information. The area Verizon representative will be attending our monthly meeting on June 17th to interact with the Board and community. Our contract with both Verizon and Comcast are up July 2012. Gary Klein is heading up a committee to explore our options before that time arrives. Look for more information on the Web site.

Future Communication

One of the goals of your new Board is to institute better communication with Homeowners by electronic means. This report will be the first official mailing to residents using e-mail addresses. Look forward to more communication from the Willowbend Board of Directors and Board Committees. Rest assured that your address will not be shared with Willowbend residents or the public unless you have given us permission to do so. If you found this report on the Web site but have not provided us with your e-mail address we ask you to contact us at willowbendboard @yahoo.com or willowbendboard @gmail.com.

It has been a challenging start of the year for Willowbend. We can be thankful that we have recovered from the freeze and anticipate a community as beautiful as ever. We also must be thankful for the many hours spent by our volunteers who patrol our streets, watch our finances, monitor our recreational facilities, plan our social programs, review our ARC’s, manage our Web site, plan for emergencies, and work side by side with the management company and Willowbend providers promoting a beautiful, friendly and exciting place to live. I also thank the Board members for their outstanding efforts these past few months.

Have a relaxing and healthy summer!

Best regards,
Ken Lindberg
Willowbend Board President


DECEMBER, 2009

Happy New Year!

The Board wishes all of you and your families the very best in 2010! We also hope that 2010 will be an outstanding year for our community.

Thank you Ken and Mimi Lindberg and Len and Linda Bishop for putting up the attractive Christmas decorations in the entrances and elsewhere in our community.

Thanks to all who are serving on committees. Your dedicated service and contributions of talent and time toward making this community better are much appreciated.

And a very special thanks to fellow Board members – Ken Lindberg, Lucy Crist, Chuck Allen, Gary Klein and Doug Durand. I have sincerely enjoyed and appreciated your very cooperative, friendly and productive team efforts this past year, and hope our residents also recognize the contributions you have made to our Willowbend community.

If you’ve been wondering what your Board has been involved with since my last news letter, here is a brief summary of things that recently happened “round the bend.”

New neighbors. Welcome to Willowbend Ellen and John McAdams.

Budget: Under the direction of Treasurer Lucy Crist, the Board approved the fiscal budget for 2010 which has been mailed to each homeowner. The new budget reflects savings in several categories due to cost saving measures undertaken. These savings are in insurance premiums, concerted efforts to collect past dues, negotiated reductions to several contracts, and on-going cost containment efforts. As a result, the monthly dues for 2010 did not change. Any monies not utilized in 2009 will be directed toward specific improvement projects to be undertaken in 2010. These projects are being determined and include mulching, painting and repairs to the walls, and additional lighting enhancements in dark areas, to name a few. The Board decided to not have “general” roll-overs of funds without assigning specific usage designations.

The Board would like to acknowledge the commitment of SunState Landscaping to the care of Willowbend, and especially to Monty English who has personally attended to all the landscaping needs of our community through long hours of service and excellent communication. In exchange for their efforts and increased responsibilites at cost savings, we have agreed to a two year contract with SunState Landscaping. And of course our continued thanks to Donna and her crew. We have had many compliments from other communities regarding the attractiveness of Willowbend.

General Beautification Projects: We hope you’ve noticed the on-going beautification efforts to improve the appearance of our community.

  • The front entrances, common areas, and home lots have been trimmed with a bit more effort toward shaping of plants and better control of excessive overgrowth.
  • Palm trees have been planted in the center island of the south entrance to give it a bit more flair.
  • Accent lighting has been added to the center island of the north entrance island near the clubhouse which has been a dark area in the past.
  • Electrical outlets have been added to both entrances to allow special lighting on our signs during holidays.
  • Copperwood received a face lift after Comcast went through there and left us with some repair work. Unfortunately Comcast did not notify us that they were coming through our community. We were not able to alert our residents on Copperwood and south Thornapple, and because of the flags and work being done it was not possible for SunState to mow all areas of those properties for one week. There was some damage to plants and sod and a settlement was worked out with the subcontractor for repairs. In addition to the repairs, a variety of new plants were added as fill-ins and replacements to give the street more color and some sod was installed in several areas to provide a more balanced look with the rest of the community while still maintaining the unique look originally planned for Copperwood.

Sod Replacement. As directed, SunState brought in a special “sod patrol” and replaced dead sod in the front lawns of home sites and other visible areas throughout the community. The south gazebo landscaping was also improved.

Fertilizer. A special fertilizer mix developed for Willowbend through the direction of SunState with the supplier has now been applied. Our soil lacks a lot of nutrients and this mix should be of significant benefit to our plants and sod in 2010.

Lake banks. The lake banks that were not improved with sod during the major lake banks project have been getting extra attention in 2009. Better ground cover is being achieved by allowing the bahia grass to move down the slopes instead of edging it back. Increased care there is resulting in a better appearance. It is hoped that those areas will have the desired ground cover by next summer under this program.

Algae on lakes. This has been a major problem this year. A significant amount of attention and expense has gone into trying to find a solution. So far, nothing has worked well. We continue to pursue a solution and will be calling in other consultants to further investigate the problem. It should be noted that algae control has been a problem in many other communities as well this year.

Pool area and clubhouse. The two gardenia trees at the front entrance to the pool area have been removed and replanted elsewhere, and the door and the two columns along the sides of it have been power washed. Sparse plants along the fence have been replaced with healthier ones to provide better screening to the pool area. Ferns have been removed and replaced with a nicer variety of plants that also offer color. Fresh annuals have been planted and fresh mulch has been applied.

Spa Heater. After continued problems, the spa heater was replaced with a new titanium heat exchanger pump having greater energy efficiency and significantly increased longevity. While initial coat was greater than the old design, the new exchanger pump provides a greater return on investment over time.

Speed Control. Several residents have asked the Board to look into speed deterrents for our community. Due to access from Tamiami Trail (41) Willowbend’s Crane Prairie and Thornapple north are often used as a “short-cut” to get to Rivendell and Old Venice Road by averting the backed-up traffic and traffic lights at Old Venice Road. The Sherriff’s Department has agreed to monitor the problem over the next few weeks. You may see radar speed monitoring/notification displays in various Willowbend locations over the next few weeks. The signs will be in each location for 48 hours. Patrol officers may also be present to monitor speed and for stop sign enforcement. So be sure to observe traffic speed (25 mph) and come to a complete stop at the stop signs now and in the future to keep our community safe.

Serving the Community. The time is quickly approaching to elect a new Board of Directors. There are many people in this community who could serve it well. This current Board is willing to meet with any interested residents and provide an overview of Board activities and answer any questions that potential Board candidates may have. Please step forward – you can’t assume that if you don’t - someone else will. Talk to a friend who may also be interested and contact a Board member. And remember, if we do not field a Board, there will be one appointed as designated by Florida law. That would be extremely costly to each of us, and community business will be dealt with by persons who do not have a personal stake in our community. None of the current Board members are automatic “roll-overs” to the next Board. Five Board members will need to be elected in March.

It has been a good year for Willowbend. As we begin the new year let’s give thanks for all our blessings, and for what most believe is a wonderful community. Please reach out to your neighbors and enjoy new friendships – and please remember that patience, kindness and understanding are what keep a community strong and vibrant.

George N. Dellos
President, Willowbend HOA


AUGUST, 2009

Where has the time gone! I can’t believe we are already into September. It won’t be long now before our “Snow- bird” neighbors will be back with us. It will be good to see all of you again, and the Board hopes that you will all be pleased with the appearance of your community upon your return.

The Board would like to welcome some of our newest Willowbend neighbors. Recent arrivals include:

  • Ted and Ethna Wisnie, 521 Habitat
  • Ramesh and Deepti Patel, 550 Luminary
  • Jack and Suzanne Berkowitz, 533 Luminary
  • T. Mechtensimer and B. Tamm, 566 Crane Prairie
  • B. & J. Winbun and J. Henseley, 1333 Copperwood
  • J. Scott and Patricia Ann Harris, 657 Crane Prairie

Note to new residents regarding Willowbend Governing Documents:
As you know, Willowbend is a deeded community. Therefore, owners need to possess and be familiar with the documents governing this community. They include:

  • A. Declaration of Protective Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions For Willowbend Subdivision
  • B. By-Laws of Willowbend Community Association
  • C. Rules and Regulations – Willowbend Community Association Inc. (Dated 15 February 2007)

These documents should have been made available to you through the Title Company or Lawyer who handled your closing. They can also be accessed through the Willowbend web page.

What’s Going On in Willowbend since my last letter?

Landscaping:

Mulching of the fronts of homes and the visible common areas has been completed.

We continue to diligently check and repair our irrigation systems. Where there is no hope of getting dead spots rejuvenated we will soon be replacing dead sod to the extent our budget allows us to. Have patience – new mowing practices and improved irrigation are making a big difference in rejuvenating a lot of spots that appeared to be “D.O.A.” One of our well pumps and filter have been replaced. We continue to have problems keeping our wells going due to the quality of our well water. It isn’t good – but it is water.

New flowers have now been planted in the entrance areas.

New plants/trees will be installed to block off the commercial properties and Tamiami Trail on the west side of the lake at the clubhouse. SunState is contributing some of the trees, (maples), and we expect it to be very attractive.

Landscaping, trimming, and irrigation cycles have been created and are being followed. These are posted on the web site and at the clubhouse. Check them if you want to know when it’s your turn. Remember, some irrigation cycles occur at night so you won’t see it happen unless you go out and check it during the designated cycle schedule.

Note: With the loosening-up of the water restrictions, SunState is now able to do owner desired sod work to replace mulch beds, replacement plantings - and any other projects involving your landscaping. Please call SunState Landscaping at 941 776 2897 or visit Monty English at the clubhouse gazebo on Monday mornings from 9:30 to 10:30. Landscaping changes require conformance with the approved plant palette and landscaping practices, and require an Architectural Request for Change, (ARC). While it would seem that landscape is not architecture , the one form covers a number of things, including landscaping, roof washing, exterior painting, changes to exteriors, etc. (ARC’s are available at LHPM or for landscaping, from Monty) Such repairs are at homeowner expense. Thank you to all residents who have taken the time and expense of beautifying your homes, and at the same time, our community!!

Algae on Lakes. We have had a lot of algae on some of our lakes this year. This problem is being experienced in many residential communities. The Board is in constant contact with Russ Hoffman of Beautiful Ponds to get this under control. Water temperatures, sun, and other natural phenomena have made “cures” more difficult, and each cure takes 7 to 10 days before another effort can be made. So have patience. The problem is noted and we are doing everything we can to get it corrected. Normal usage of chemicals for lawns and lake beds also adds to the problem – sometimes to a greater extent than prior seasons when coupled with current climactic conditions. Willowbend works closely with SunState and Beautiful Ponds to ensure we are using chemicals that provide the desired results, while protecting the environment to the greatest extent possible.

Security Patrols. Thanks to all our neighbors who volunteer their time to patrol the neighborhood on weekends!
Problems being reported include:

  • Swimmers in the pool after the 10PM curfew.
  • Unauthorized use of our facilities by non-residents.
  • Trash and furniture scattered in the clubhouse area.
  • Please also note that we have had some vandalism to homes and facilities in Willowbend. Be sure to stay attentive – report any incidents that seem potentially threatening to persons and properties by calling 911.
  • Lock doors and lanai cages, and keep garage doors closed when that area is not in use.
  • Keep home perimeters free of things that provide welcome targets to persons intent on robbery or vandalism.

Financial Matters.

We continue to be financially healthy in spite of some negative impacts from the state of the economy, foreclosures, and slow payments of dues. We are currently about $18k in arrears. Most of this is attributable to 7 accounts that comprise $16k+ of the total. All these accounts either have or will have liens applied to them. Last year the Board initiated a “reserve for bad debt” account as a precautionary measure. That account is being funded to at least the current past-due levels.

Reserve Fund. Our reserve fund is fully funded to our current schedule. There are still some miscellaneous past-dues of approximately $2k. Please be sure to keep your accounts current. We all committed to pay our share when we bought here, and the community cannot be maintained without these commitments being honored by our residents.

Verizon. The Board recently discovered that Verizon, our internet provider, has been showing a $16k “past due” notice since 2007. Chuck Allen and I have been digging into this and we are now in full scale body armor vs. Verizon to get it resolved! We have provided data that we believe confirms that our payments have been equal to what should have been the “correct” charges. Chuck has patiently done a very good job of bringing this to the attention of Verizon hierarchy, and we have notified them that we need to get the matter resolved immediately or we will put it in the hands of our attorney to determine if and how we should take steps toward cancellation if Verizon does not make the necessary corrections.

Prison in Osprey? Nope. It is Not going to happen. After an out-pouring of community resistance, the Criminal Justice Commission voted unanimously to abandon all five sites being considered for a minimum security “transition” facility – including the “Osprey Inn” across the street from us. So we can put that concern behind us for now.

2010 Budget meetings are being scheduled. We will be reviewing our provider contracts to determine if they clearly define our expectations and provide a clear basis for future performance evaluation. We will also be negotiating 2010 contract prices, and determining if there are new projects that will require funding in 2010, in addition to our normal operating budget. The new budget will be reviewed with home owners in November. If you wish to serve on a review committee please contact your Board members or LHPM. The size of the committee will be kept to a manageable level, but all input and suggestions are welcome.

Board Meetings have been poorly attended. The Board puts in lots of hours to ensure good management and the well being of our community. Board meetings are for the purpose of keeping all residents apprised of what is being done and what is required to finance and carry out all these objectives. You should all have an interest in this. Additionally, it is not fair to Board members to have residents calling or emailing them asking about various projects or concerns after the fact. Please attend Board meetings. It’s your dollar - and your community!!

Reminder. Oh yes, lest we forget. There are so many talented folks in Willowbend. How about putting some of that talent to work as a future Board member. It is painless, and it is a privilege to be able to have a hand in keeping our community beautiful, and well managed. Incidentally, landscaping issues and post-mortems over plants were the major source of homeowner/Board confrontational issues in the past. This is no longer a problem, thanks to our community vote to do away with plant replacement at Association expense. Our contracts are being written so that our expectations are well defined to our service providers. So, please give it a try. Remember, if we do not field a Board from within our community, the responsibility will go to a court appointed entity. We will lose a lot of our internal freedom to do the things we want, it will significantly increase our dues to pay the significant cost of the appointed firm, and the monies spent will not provide a return to our community. The appointed entity would be required in addition to having a property management firm. That’s a big expense. Please do your share. I urge you to speak to any of our current Board members to get an informative insight into what we do.

Sincerely,
George N. Dellos
President, Willowbend HOA


MAY, 2009

Dear Residents of Willowbend,

A lot has happened in the community since the Annual Meeting in March. As you have likely heard and read by now, the Amendments vote was recessed until such time as we could field the required number of votes to determine an outcome.

To resolve the matter, a number of residents volunteered to canvas the community in order to get the required votes to either pass or defeat the proposed Amendments. The vote was up to the resident, with a sealed envelope provided in which their vote could be placed and kept confidential. The votes were tallied by LHPM and both Amendments passed.

Several residents have since asked how they should proceed when they wish to make landscaping improvements in the future. Here are some guidelines for all to follow:

An ARC still needs to be submitted for landscaping changes. There are still limitations to types, sizes and quantities of plants. Consideration will continue to be given to the number of plants currently on a property, and to the landscaper’s ability to maintain the community at current plant and tree levels, and additional impacts on budgetary levels.

Only plants that are on the original Willowbend approved palette may be planted. LHPM has a copy of this but we also intend to put it on the website at some time soon, if it can be accommodated. It is quite lengthy.

No fruit trees or vegetable plants are allowed. This has not changed. Such items attract wild life, and increase the potential for rodents.

You may pick whomever you choose to do the plantings, or do them yourself. However, Sun State knows what can be planted, where the irrigation lines are, and where plants are best located to ensure water gets to them. They are competitive considering they bring the plants to your door and plant them. Any damage to irrigation or wires such as Verizon or Comcast is to be repaired and paid for by the home owner or installer.

Please understand that the more plants added to this community, the greater the maintenance costs for trimming, fertilizer, pesticide, etc. will be. Increased plant materials will result in increased dues if plant population is significantly increased. Therefore we urge all residents to view this as a “replacement” policy rather than increasing plant population. All other rules pertinent to plant locations, lawn ornaments, annuals etc. remain in force.

The Amendment dealing with punitive action should a member of the community cause vandalism, threaten the well being of the community infrastructure or residents was also approved. The amendment allows the Board to take direct corrective or punitive action in such matters that it previously had no authority to perform.

Your new Board of Directors for 2009 are:

  1. George Dellos – President
  2. Doug Durand – Vice President
  3. Ken Lindberg - Secretary
  4. Lucy Crist – Treasurer
  5. Chuck Allen – Director at Large

Doug Durand was voted in as a new Board member this year. He has served on the finance committee since its inception.

Ken Lindberg is a continued welcome sight on our Board. He has been a key reason why so many things are attended to in the community, as well as doing a great job as Secretary.

Dr. Mike Sanders resigned shortly after the election for personal reasons. This left us with just three members on the Board.

Fortunately, Lucy Crist and Chuck Allen graciously volunteered to help our community by joining the Board. Chuck is a former Board member with a lot of experience, and Lucy, besides diligently attending Board meetings, has worked on just about everything for the good of this community. We are very fortunate to have people with such experience and concern for the community step up and serve on this Board. Thank you!

This also brings up a need that every resident must address. We need people to step up and volunteer to serve the community. If we are not able to field a Board of Directors next year, State law will require that the community Association responsibility be assumed by an appointed guardian determined by the State. We will then pay for these services in addition to property management. It will be costly and we should never let it happen to Willowbend. Please start grooming your candidates. This Board welcomes the opportunity to have prospective Board members participate with us in addressing community issues to get a better grasp of what is required of a Board member. So give us a call.

Regarding the decision to do partial mulching:

This was a difficult decision to make based on current financial issues – but an easy one to make if the determining factor is based on “need”. It has been three years since our last community mulch. We have very little mulch in our community. Verizon further depleted the mulch cover during its FIOS cable project. To totally mulch the entire community would cost close to $150k, or $545 per household. The two prior Boards felt that this would be too much of a burden on residents in view of the current economy. Therefore, no mulching was undertaken.

The current Board and Sun State jointly determined a budget that allows us to mulch the fronts of homes and the common areas that most visibly impact the appearance of the community. Initially it was determined that the only way the budgetary guidelines could be met was by not mulching home sites that didn’t need it or had recently been mulched by homeowners. Therefore, some homes would be skipped during initial start-up. The budget for the mulch within these parameters and with limited margin for Sun State was $56k, including the cost of all common areas. By using Contingency Account funds, most of which were carryover monies from previously unused mulch funds, we were able to fund the $56,000 dollars required. Only the fronts of home sites would be mulched.

Note: In the interim, it has been determined that additional savings could be realized by increasing the use of recycled mulch and applying less in common areas not readily seen from the street. Sun State has also committed to minimize any additional costs encountered. Therefore, the Board has decided to apply pine bark mulch to the fronts of all home sites that are mulched with that product. A determination will be made as to how best touch-ups of sites mulched with other product can be accomplished.

Landscaping: We hope that most of you will agree that Willowbend has never looked better. We are very appreciative of the efforts of Project Manager Monte English, Donna and crew, and Sun State management in doing such a great job of working with us to make this such an attractive community!

Some reminders:

Sun State is the expert in determining which varieties of plants should be trimmed or pruned at prescribed good practice intervals. We recognize that this may mean trimming flowering plants – but remember what we had last year by comparison.

Trimming: Sun State is on a published trimming schedule that allows trimming at each home site monthly. Please see the schedule posted on the web site or at the Club bulletin board. Note: We cannot afford to do custom trimming per each resident’s desires, so please do not demand this of Sun State’s crew when working in your home site.

Irrigation: The schedule is being adhered to as prescribed by the County and to ensure we maximize the use of the water available for irrigation of plants and lawns. This schedule also is posted.

Civility: Some folks believe that the best way to get things done is through aggression; aggression toward Board members, aggression toward committee members, Sun State workers – even those laborers who are merely following orders – aggression toward Light House Property Management personnel, and aggression against other residents. Put yourself in the shoes of the person on the receiving end, and think about it before it happens. In view of the passing of the Amendment dealing with this issue, the Board will do everything it can to effectively deal with aggressive behavior.

All decisions and the facts leading up to them are discussed and determined at the Board meetings every third Thursday. Please attend those meetings. All Board meeting agenda items are recorded and published. Please read them. It is not fair to the Board to have to explain, defend and discuss each decision with an irate resident who suddenly becomes aware of implementation of a Board decision after the fact. Board members put in a lot of time addressing community needs and trying to resolve them appropriately. It would be appreciated if differences of opinion could be addressed at Board meetings instead of expecting Board members to respond to each individual via telephone, email, or when walking through the community.

Verizon and Comcast: We continue to receive complaints from residents regarding Verizon and Comcast, including everything from not getting service to inability to shut down telephone and other services for the summer. It appears that Verizon personnel simply do not understand the contract their company has agreed to with this community. Some residents are asking why we still have a bulk contract when offers are being made every month for individual contracts that offer better packaged deals than we now have. Additionally, the Association has to continue to pay the full amount monthly whether the resident is here or not, or when the home is empty due to a sale or foreclosure. A special committee chaired by Chuck Allen will be meeting with Verizon in the near future to discuss issues being experienced. If you have experienced problems with Verizon or Comcast, please contact Light House Property Management via email with the appropriate facts.

Osprey Inn as a future Community Corrections Center: The Board will continue to monitor this matter. Naturally we and other surrounding communities will take action to prevent this. We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.

This turned out to be a long message, but hopefully has addressed many of your concerns as well as explained the Board’s position on various topics. I’m sure it is a given that most of us want to be happy in our Willowbend environment and enjoy friendly interaction with our neighbors. We want Willowbend to be a showplace that maintains and adds value to the community and our homes. Please do what you can to help the Board sustain that environment- recognizing that in a deed restricted community with various home site layouts and needs – decisions made cannot always be totally equitable for all - at all times.

 

George Dellos, President


MARCH, 2009

March 19, 2009 will begin a new era for the Willowbend Community Association, Inc. Three members of your Board of Directors will be stepping down and three new members will be taking their place. As your President, I would like to express my appreciation for the work effort and dedication of your current Board.

  1. Ken Lindberg, Board Secretary, has supported the work efforts of the past year by participating in all the Board meetings. Ken has shared his expertise in operational maters and was timely in preparing minutes of meetings where LPM, Inc. was not present. Ken supported your community by accepting the Board Representative for the ARC Committee, Recreation Facilities Committee, Security Committee and the Document Review and Revision Committee. Ken is a valuable member of the Board and will be remaining on the Board for another year of his two year term.
  2. George Dellos, Vice President, has supported the work efforts of the Board by contributing his time and expertise in several matters of Board business. George contributed in the efforts to complete contract negotiations/preparations with Property Management and Landscaping. He further contributed as Board Representative in the daily communications with our Landscaping Contractor to assure the work efforts are correct and timely. George is a valuable member of the Board and will be remaining on the Board for another year of his two year term.
  3. Kenji Asakura, Board Treasurer, has supported the fiduciary responsibility of the Board by his numerous activities as our Treasurer. Kenji has faithfully monitored the financial status, signed the invoiced checks and interviewed with the Financial Auditors. He has reviewed the Association’s required insurance coverage and recommended changes to avoid excessive costs of coverage. He has monitored the foreclosure situation and has participated in several meetings with Attorneys and Bank Officers to protect our interests. He chaired the Finance Committee that prepared the Budget for our community. Kenji is a dedicated Board Officer and his leaving the Board will cause a large void in the financial expertise.
  4. Brian Gorden, Member at Large, has supported the work efforts of the Board by contributing his time and expertise as Board Representative for the Social Committee, Web Site Committee and the Compliance Committee. He has represented the Board at the Monday morning meetings with the residents and the Landscaping personnel. Brian is extremely energetic and monitors the Community by making daily walkabouts. Brian is a dedicated Board member and he will be missed as he leaves the Board after just one year.
  5. Edward Schonegg, President, has completed two years as President of the Board of Directors and will not be returning for another term. Hopefully, the accomplishments contributing to the improvements of our property are generally recognized as beneficial and attributes to a well managed organization. This message will be the final Presidents Corner message prepared by me. I wish that the future Board has success in the continuing improvements of our Community

Ed Schonegg, President


FEBRUARY, 2009

VERIZON ANNOUNCES NEW PROCESS

Verizon has announced that they have a new process in place to handle all issues related to the Verizon FiOS service in Willowbend. See the Verizon FiOS item on the Information & News for the Community page.

IRRIGATION SCHEDULE

Your Board is currently working with Sun State and our Irrigation Committee to evaluate the physical irrigation system and prepare an effective irrigation schedule that will satisfy the requirements of our permit and adequately water our facility. Although we have previously posted an irrigation schedule on our web site, this will be changing as the revision process continues. In the next few weeks a workable schedule will be completed and put into service. The final results of this new schedule will be announced on the web site as well as will be posted at the Recreation Facility bulletin board.

Ed Schonegg, President


JANUARY, 2009

Your Board of Directors wishes a happy new year to all Willowbenders. We hope that 2009 brings prosperity and happiness to all.

The year 2008 was not a very good year in a lot of respects. The economy tanked, foreclosures were wide spread, 401-K and IRA’s lost their value by huge amounts. The real estate market suffered by the loss of the value of the home and the market change from sellers to a buyer’s advantage.

Through out all the turmoil about the aforementioned, you Board managed to accomplish significant advancements toward the improvement of the Willowbend appearance. In June, Sun State Landscaping Company was hired to complete the year’s final 7 months of landscaping responsibilities. Sun State was awarded the contracts to improve the streetscapes with the installation of St. Augustine grass and installation of Bahia grass on Heron and Eagle lake banks. These projects were very successful and our community has responded with favorable comments about these accomplishments.

Further accomplishments were realized with the improvements of several areas where unsightly plantings were replaced, a nursery was implemented with plants that were removed from the streetscapes. Nursery plants were utilized for plant replacement projects whereby saving a lot of money when compared to having to purchaser new plants.

The Board would like to thank those committee volunteers that served by contributing their time, talent and resources to help to make Willowbend community a better place to live and enjoy.

Please take notice that there will be three vacancies to fill for the Board of Directors for 2009. The announcement will be coming out soon about the annual Membership meeting to be held on March 19, 2009 at the Osprey Inn. Those interested in serving on the Board should submit their name as a candidate for the March election.

Ed Schonegg, President


DECEMBER, 2009

Your Board of Directors approved the CY 2009 Financial Budget at the November 20, 2008 Budget Adoption meeting. There is a 5.4% increase in the CY 2009 Budget ($961,981.00) when compared to the CY 2008 Budget ($912,875.00). The monthly assessments for 2009 will be as follows: Villa: $288, Club: $300, Executive: $310. The Board Treasurer, Ken Asakura, provided a description of the past years Budgets and an explanation of the status of each year relative to the monthly assessments. From CY 2002 and including CY 2007 there were no increases in the monthly assessments although the expenses since CY 2005 had gone up by an average of 3.68% per year. This was due to the Budgets being supported by rolling over funds from previous years at the rate of- CY 2006, $78,967 funds were rolled over; CY 2007- $128,604 funds were rolled over; CY 2008- $32,785 funds were rolled over in addition to a increase in the Assessment by 7.8%. The CY 2009 Budget adoption indicates an estimated $10,000 available for rollover to support the 5.4% increase in the expenses.

In addition, Vice-President George Dellos, provided an excellent slide show program whereby George explained how the expenses of the Association are allocated. He also described how the funds remaining from previous years were used to provide funding for the Willowbend Streetscapes and Irrigation Enhancement Project as well as other enhancements to improve the overall appearance at Willowbend.

The proposed Budget that was sent out by U.S. Mail to each homeowner was adopted without any changes. The Board appreciates the efforts by Ken and George and the Finance Committee to provide an annual Budget that fairly represents the position of the Association.

Ed Schonegg, President


NOVEMBER, 2008

VERIZON FiOS HIGH SPEED INTERNET CUSTOMER SERVICE: There have been several problems with homeowner’s ability to contact a service representative for Verizon FiOS high speed internet. The phone numbers previously provided to homeowners were to be used for the installation process and are not applicable for service related calls. Willowbend Liaison with Verizon, Deena Roberts has reported to the Board that a customer service representative center has been established and there are 50 personal account managers (Pam’s) that are available to assist homeowners with any service related problems. The toll free phone number is 1-888-913-0875 and there should be a service representative available to you with a wait time almost non existent. (per Deena Roberts).

JUST COMPOST: The Board is continuing to investigate opportunities to reduce the cost of maintaining the Willowbend property. As we know, placing mulch on the plant beds on lots and on common areas has been a very expensive line item on our budget. Monies are identified this year for mulch to “patch up” areas that are sparse after the re-distribution has been completed by the raking process. Further, $50,000 has been estimated to cover the cost of mulching in the 2009 proposed budget. These dollars in 2009 will not be enough to provide sufficient mulch to completely re-mulch the entire areas where mulch is needed.

Sun State has recommended to the Board to try a new approach to mulching the lots. A product identified as “Just Compost” can replace the routinely marketed wood chip and pine bark mulch. The cost of the Compost is approximately one half the costs of the routine products. The Board has accepted the using the Compost on the lot of 584 Crane Prairie Way as a demonstration for all homeowners to view and provide comments. The County Compost Company, LLC is the contractor of record and they have a web site that you may visit to learn more about their product. (www.usecompost.com). The Board welcomes homeowners to view and evaluate the Compost at 584 CPW and provide your feedback to the Board.

Ed Schonegg, President


SEPTEMBER, 2008

This message is to alert Willowbend Residents about vandalism and unfriendly confrontation at the Recreation Facility workout room. On two separate occasions a Mr. Ed Damit has been confrontational with residents. The first occasion was an altercation with a resident about the resident entering the workout room while barefoot Mr. Damit proceeded to harass the resident and presented himself in a threatening manner. Fortunately the resident did not accept the challenge and there was no physical contact. Coincidently, there were small pieces of glass shards spread on the carpet the following morning. There was a sufficient amount spread on the carpet that would have cut a person entering the workout room while barefooted. Since the surveillance camera showed Mr. Damit’s presence very timely with the glass being placed on the carpet and since he was confrontational about a resident entering the workout room while barefooted, he became a suspect for placing the glass on the carpet. The police were called and upon questioning Mr. Damit about this incident, there was a dramatic denial by Mr. Damit and, as reported by the police, he rudely concluded any further conversation and went into his house and closed the door.

The second altercation occurred in the workout room between Mr. Damit and a resident when the resident asked Mr. Damit to lower the volume on the TV. Mr. Damit stated that the rules are posted to the effect that first come first served and that since he was first, he could play the TV as loud as he wanted. An argument ensued and Mr. Damit became threatening while making demands to the resident to strike him for the purpose of starting a physical fight. Again, fortunately, the resident had the fortitude to not pursue physical contact with Mr. Damit. He was forced to leave the workout room which ended the confrontation.

The Board has recognized these situations as a continuing problem where Mr. Damit has been an aggressor. This announcement is being published to alert all residents and guests that Mr. Damit presents an unfriendly atmosphere when communicating with others. Remedial measures are in process to help to remedy this situation.

Ed Schonegg, President


AUGUST 5, 2008

The Willowbend Landscaping and Irrigation Enhancement Project is nearing completion and the results of the project are outstanding. The Streetscapes with the newly installed St. Augustine grass presents a very clean appearance and presents a look of a widening of the streets. In order to have consistency in the street look, 58 streetscapes where there were no sidewalks were enhanced by rearranging or removing some plants and placing St. Augustine sod. All the newly placed sod has been fertilized and treated for cinch bugs.

The enhancement of the lake banks has been completed with the cleanup of plantings and placement of Bahia grass sod on Heron, Eagle and the north end of Pelican lakes. The western end of Egret Lake was cleared of the high growing grasses and replanted with the low growing grasses in order to obtain uniformity around the circumference of the lake. The newly planted Bahia grass has been established with homeowner support by watering and by current rains. There will be no need for any further irrigation for the Bahia grass which will contribute to a reduction of water consumption.

Your Board extends its appreciation to all those homeowners who contributed to the success of the enhancement project with the timely suggestions and support. This endeavor has been extremely difficult to propose, gain appropriate local legal authorization, complete the planning that included cost estimates and homeowner approval of a special assessment, , prepare all the necessary documents, select an appropriate contractor, follow-up on the details and deal with the daily problems that this enormous project has presented. Your Board of Directors has been diligent in pursuit of this project to ensure its success. My compliments go out to your Board for their individual contributions. This project would not have been successful without the individual participations and dedication.

The Monday morning meetings with Sun State have been very well attended by homeowners who have problems and suggestions to improve their properties. This interface has provided an avenue to expedite homeowner requests and has provided a method of tracking the progress and completion of the requests. There have been about 20 requests each Monday morning that are being followed-up timely by Sun State and schedules prepared for doing the work.

Homeowners are reminded that the ARC program is still in effect for those who want changes made to their landscape. Arcs should be submitted to Lighthouse for entering into the system and forwarding to the Board for approvals.

Ed Schonegg



JUNE 26, 2008

The association has reinstated the Monday mornings meetings at the Recreation Center Gazebo at 9:30 A.M. for homeowners who wish to report discrepancies in the landscaping and irrigation. Sun State will have a representative present to take your requests/information and prepare a three part work order. This process will replace the current procedure of calling Lighthouse Property Management to report discrepancies. Following the meeting, a Sun State crew chief will inspect the area(s) of reported concern and enter the request on a priority list. Not all requests will be honored by Sun State if a Board consultation and approval is required. Most requests that are routine, repairing water leaks or other irrigation problems, replacing dead plants where necessary, etc. may be honored and the work scheduled. Homeowners that have unusual requests are encouraged to submit an ARC request for Board review and approval. Hopefully, this process will help to eliminate a time delay in getting your requests honored and work completed.

Sun State is working aggressively in the checking and making the necessary repairs to the irrigation systems on homeowner’s lots and common areas. The current plan is to use the plants that are in the nursery to replace any dead plants that are reported by the homeowner. Requests for additional plants will require an ARC and will be planted following the ARC approval by the Board and at the homeowner’s expense. Nursery plants can be purchased at $6.00 but they will not be guaranteed by Sun State.

The Willowbend Landscaping and Irrigation Enhancement program is progressing at a very good pace. The Heron lake bank work has been completed and work has begun on Eagle lake bank. For the most part, Heron lake banks look very good. Thanks go out to the lot owners that helped to provide irrigation during the 10 day establishment period. Some of the Bahia sod was delivered and installed on Heron lake bank that appeared to be lower quality. It was brown in color and did not appear to have a lot of live grass. This problem is being monitored by Sun State and the sod will be replaced if necessary, at no additional cost to the Association. The Streetscape program is progressing very well and is nearing completion. All Streetscapes that have sidewalks have had the former plantings removed, plot leveled, irrigation placed and St. Augustine sod installed. The watering schedule has been done on a daily basis until the new sod is established; watering will then be reduced in frequency, slowly until a one day per week schedule is established. Work has begun on those Streetscapes where there is no sidewalk. Sun State has completed 6 of those Streetscapes as a demonstration of what may be accomplished for enhancement. Work will commence on the remaining Streetscapes on Monday June 30.

A routine maintenance schedule is being developed and will be announced soon on the web site and by posting at the Recreation Center on the bulletin boards.

Ed Schonegg, President



JUNE 3, 2008

Fellow home owners that are the recipient of the clearing off of the Lake Bank and Bahia grass installed in the areas between your lanai and the Lake, YOUR ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED AND APPRECIATED. There is no formal irrigation necessary for the Bahia grass, ONCE IT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED. In order to provide the establishment, the new Bahia grass sod requires a daily (or more) watering. The Board is asking that all recipients of the newly installed Bahia grass sod to provide the daily watering at your own expense for a period of the first 10 days after the sod has been placed on the lake bank. A period of about 20 minutes of daily water spraying will be enough to provide the necessary amount of water to establish the grass.

Thanks in advance of your cooperation.

Ed Schonegg



MAY 16, 2008

The following represents the proposed schedule of work for the streetscape project.

Streetscape areas with sidewalks: Houses with street numbers ending in an EVEN number.

Thornapple entire east side of street has been completed with exception of the end unit at Habitat and the end unit at Crane Prairie way.

Next area: Crane Prairie Way, all even number houses.

Next area: Luminary, all even number houses.

Next area: Latitude, all even number houses.

Next area: Chalet Court, all even number houses.

Streetscape areas with sidewalks: Houses with an ODD number.

Next area: Crane prairie Way, all odd number houses.

Next area: Luminary, all odd number houses.

Next area: Latitude, all odd number houses.

Next area: Chalet Court, all odd number houses.

Next area: Habitat, all odd number houses.

Streetscape areas without sidewalks.

Next area: Thornapple all remaining houses that do not have sidewalks

Next area: Crane Prairie Way, all houses that do not have sidewalks.

Next area: Habitat, all houses that do not have sidewalks.

We have two weeks of experience with the streetscape project installations and Sun State has averaged about 8 streetscapes per day. 275 homes – 8 previously completed= 267/8= ~34 working days. There have been 10 working days to date and ~80 homes completed.

Ed Schonegg
May 18, 2008



WILLOWBEND COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION HOMEOWNERS
APRIL 14, 2008

Due to the various inquiries received for additional clarification regarding the proposed total scope of work of the Willowbend Landscape and Irrigation Enhancement Project, your Board of Directors offers the following more detailed overview of the various components of the program. We hope it will better clarify the objectives being undertaken to enhance the community, and the supporting funding proposals recommended, using (a) existing funds that can be directed to the project, and (b) raising additional funds required through the assessment being requested from Willowbend homeowners. We believe that we are being responsive to resident wishes to get the projects done NOW, rather than proceeding through future budgets. It is a fact to be considered that none of these projects, if delayed, will be completed in the future without dues increases. It is also suggested that because of the current downturn in new housing developments that have impacted landscapers, the time is right to take advantage of more competitive pricing.

There are actually several initiatives that comprise the total enhancement project. Two of these were identified in the Wilhelm's 90 day assessment from September 2007. Redistribution of the mulch on everyone's lot at a cost of $27,000, and replacement of 1800 plants that were identified as "dead" in everyone's lot at a cost of $27,000. This portion of the enhancement project was undertaken based on urgent needs expressed to the Board by residents whose properties were affected and has been completed.

Lake Bank restoration. This portion of the Enhancement project is defined as renovation of Lake Banks on Eagle, Heron, Egret (west bank) and Pelican (north end). For Eagle, Heron and Pelican (north end) the leather ferns will be removed, vegetation removed to soil in the areas located directly behind the lanai. Bahia grass sod will be installed in those areas that were cleared. In the areas between lots, the vegetation will remain to afford cover for habitat. The west end of Egret Lake will be renovated and replanted to match the cover that currently surrounds the lake. The total cost of this effort is $78,200. Crane Lake was renovated last year as part of a test project. There are no renovations planned in the current project for Owl Lake and Ibis Pond based on the criteria selected for determining which banks needed practical improvement and enhancement.

Streetscapes portion. The common areas of landscape between the sidewalk and the street for 193 locations will be completely renovated by grass installation. Current plantings will be removed and stored in a temporary on-site nursery to provide for plants replacement needs during the enhancement project and for future needs. The soil will be prepared, irrigation lines installed and St. Augustine grass sod installed. For the 65 street fronts that do not have sidewalks, relocation of some of the existing plants to accommodate the installation of sod along curbs in a flowing pattern will be accomplished to provide an enhanced appearance. Since Copperwood enhancement was completed last year, there will be no further renovations to Copperwood at this time. Total cost of the streetscape enhancement projects will be $107,550.

The Lake Bank restoration and the Streetscape projects were competitively bid. Selection of contractors is being made both on prices bid and total scope of work being pledged by the contractors under the bid package criteria. This information is part of Willowbend official records and is available to residents at Lighthouse Property Management, Inc.

We urge all in our community to support this Board objective that we believe will significantly improve the appearance of our community, bolster our property values, and save maintenance expenditures in the future. We recognize that this project may not fulfill the personal wishes of each resident however; we hope that you will agree that it is a formidable start. Please support this project by voting yes on your ballot.

Sincerely,

Your Willowbend Board of Directors,

Ed Schonegg, President


MARCH 2008

Willowbend homeowners were given an opportunity to express their opinion on the number of Directors required to represent our community. At the March 5 annual membership meeting voting took place, either by proxy or in person, to decide on a 5 member or a 7 member Board of Directors. The voting results were 71 votes for a 5 member Board and 38 votes for a 7 member Board. The by-laws require a majority vote of the attending members, in person or by proxy, at the meeting. The Board of Directors will proceed with a 5 member Board for the current year through February 2009.

Homeowners that submitted their names for consideration for being elected to the Board of Directors are to be commended for their efforts to serve our community. George Dellos and Ken Lindberg were elected to serve a 2 year term and join Ed Schonegg, Kenji Asakura and Rachel Rivlin to make up your 2008 five member Board. Thanks to Brian Gorden, Richard Harmon and Betsy Weis for submitting their names to be included as a candidate.

An organizational meeting was held following the election and the results are as follows:
President — Ed Schonegg
Vice President — George Dellos
Treasurer — Ken Asakura
Secretary — Ken Lindberg
Member at Large — Rachel Rivlin

The first official meeting of your new Board was in the format of a workshop held on March 14, 2008 at the First America Bank conference room. Agenda items explored and discussed were; Web site security for sensitive information, evaluation of two bids submitted for the Lake bank restoration, scope of work for the remaining 185 streetscapes that have sidewalks, discussion on the 64 streetscape frontages where there are no sidewalks, preliminary evaluation of the projected total cost of the Enhancement project, and appointments of Board representative for the committees. These items will be on the agenda at the March 20, 2008 Board meeting for potential resolution.

Ed Schonegg, President


MORE GOOD NEWS FOR WILLOWBEND HOMEOWNERS
FEBRUARY 21, 2008

The County Commissioners voted yesterday, February 20, 2008, to grant a Major Work permit to the Southbay Yacht and Racquet Club for the dredging of their marina. Mr. Howard Berna, Environmental Supervisor of the Environmental Services-Resource Protection division, presented his recommendation to accept the Southbay proposal to grant the dredging permit with the stipulation that the dredged material NOT be deposited on the property adjacent to the Willowbend Community. There was considerable discussion about the eventual site for the disposal of the dredged material and the County Commissioners committed to a review of the Earth Moving permit process to ensure that the appropriate reviews take place for the deposition of fill material. Southbay will now proceed to select a contractor to carry out the marina dredging and dispose of the material on a site to be chosen by the contractor but still subject to the conditions of an Earth Moving permit.

The owner of the property does have plans to either sell or develop the property adjacent to Willowbend but the future use is not known. It is currently zoned OPI, which allows the use of the property for Office, Professional, or Institutional use. The Board will continue to monitor activities on the site.

Ed Schonegg
February 21, 2008


GOOD NEWS FOR WILLOWBEND HOMEOWNERS
JANUARY 14, 2008

Howard Berna of Sarasota County Environmental Services called several Willowbend residents today to inform them that the Southbay Yacht and Racket Club has changed their direction for the disposition of the spoils generated from the maintenance dredging of their marina. The original plan described a disposal site within the 10.5 acre site located between the north and south entrances to Willowbend. Howard informed Willowbend residents that this plan is no longer being considered and that other disposal sites are being considered. Howard said that the dredging company has suggested alternative disposal sites but, he didn’t elaborate on any alternate locations. Willowbend residents should still keep apprised of the Southbay plans when they become available. Howard recommended that a group attend the February 20, Sarasota County Commissioners meeting when the continuance of the project will be revisited and possibly approved.

Ed Schonegg, President, WCA, Inc.


DECEMBER 2007

Our Willowbend community has a new website entitled “willowbendcommunity.com”. Rudy Stehl is your website committee chairman and Jay Berkowitz has volunteered to be on the committee. Vice-president Rachel Rivlin is our Board representative to the website committee. Hopefully this change of websites and the transition from the old website will be smooth. Those going onto the website by clicking on “willowbendosprey.com” will be automatically transferred to “willowbendcommunity.com”. Initially the new website will look similar to the old website. However, the committee has ideas and plans to hopefully improve the new site as they gain more experience with the project. Thanks to Rudy, Jay and Rachel for their participation to help make this program a success.

Our community has recently been notified that there is a dredging of the marina at Southbay Yacht and Racket Club and that the proposed site for the dumping of about 1360 cubic yards of the spoils is to be in our backyard. The wooded area of approximately 10 acres that lies between our North and South entrances has been identified as the selected dump site. The exact composition of the contamination in the spoils is not currently known. Although samples have been reported to have been taken, there are no analyses available to our community. Because of recent investigations by a task group of Rudy Stehl, George Dellos, Ken Lindberg and myself, evidence has been brought to light that the spoils that are to be dredged out of the marina may well be contaminated with chemical and biological waste materials.

A workgroup meeting was held on Monday December 10, 2007 with about 40 concerned residents in attendance. All voiced concerns about the dumping of the spoils at the designated site and wanted the project stopped or delayed until a more appropriate dump site is located. A petition was started at the meeting and volunteers came forth to canvas our community to acquire additional signatures.

The Sarasota County Commissioners have a meeting scheduled on December 18, 2007 at their southern location in Venice to decide to approve or not approve the proposed dredging and disposal of the Southbay marina. There will be presentations made by Willowbend in protest of the approval of the project. Willowbend homeowners should attend this Commissioners meeting to show support in the protest of the project.

Ed Schonegg, President


Welcome Back Seasonal Homeowners and..............

The Board would like to welcome back to Willowbend all those returning residents that have spent time away during the really hot summer months. Those returning residents who have retained the Comcast ISP during their time away should notify Verizon of your return and arrange a date for your ISP hook up. Please telephone 813-483-2450 and either speak to, or leave a message for, Mr. Romeo of Verizon to arrange an appointment for the installation of the Verizon wiring/equipment.

IF you are presently not a Verizon telephone subscriber, you will be asked to provide information to Verizon regarding your identity, i.e. your social security number. This information is considered privileged by Verizon and is required because Verizon is providing a Modem/Router for your use at no cost to the Association and the individual resident is responsible for the security of the Verizon equipment. Please be cooperative with Verizon schedulers as you will not be scheduled until you have confirmed your identity. Once you are hooked up and are using the Verizon ISP service, and you have been extended with Comcast ISP, please contact Comcast to cancel your ISP service with them and return the Comcast Modem. Please submit all your paid invoices for your extended ISP service with Comcast to the Lighthouse Property Management office so you will be included in the computation for reimbursement of these charges.

Swing Set Safety Recall

A safety recall has recently been made by the manufacturer regarding the top bar of our swing set at the Pool Gazebo area. The bar will have to be replaced by the manufacturer at no cost to the Association; additionally, the Board has been advised to remove the swings until the bar has been replaced. This has been done to help ensure the safety of those children presently using the swing facility. We apologize for this inconvenience, but this action was taken at the advice of the manufacturer. The manufacturer has been notified of our position and a replacement bar is expected to be in place soon.

Hurricane Shutters & Additional Security Equipment at the Recreational Facilities

We are pleased to announce that hurricane shutters have been placed on the seven windows at the Recreation Facility conference room (3) and the rest rooms (4). The exercise facility windows were previously protected by the installation of the window film. Also, the Board approved the installation of an additional camera to be mounted inside the exercise room with an upgrade of the monitoring equipment to accept the additional camera. The camera and monitor have been installed and are now functioning.

Architectural Change Requests

The Board would like to remind our residents that a request for Architecture changes on your home or lot must have an approved ACR PRIOR to any action taken. We recognize that waiting for the process to be completed may present an inconvenience, but the overall control of our Association is the responsibility of the Board as defined in the CC&R’s. Residents not in compliance may be facing corrective action by the Board.

Pets

A reminder, those with pets (dogs) that use the Willowbend property for their exercise venue are reminded that these animals are expected to do their duty while outside the home. The Board asks for your cooperation in selecting the places the animals use for their duty and are aware that the deposit must be picked up and properly discarded. Yards that are directly in front of or on a personal lot is not a preferred area for dog deposits, regardless of whether or not the deposit is removed.

Ed Schonegg
(September 2007)


Speeding Drivers Beware

The Sarasota County Sheriffs office has been contacted and requested to increase their patrol frequency on Willowbend Community roads. Additionally, the Sheriffs office was requested to install a radar digital speed sign in order to alert drivers using Willowbend roads to their own actual driving speeds. Users of our roads (homeowners, renters, guests and those drivers coming to or from other neighborhoods) should respect the 25 miles per hour speed limit in effect for all of Willowbend roads as well as obeying the Stop signs.

Copperwood Streetscape

The streetscapes project for Copperwood has now been completed and for the past several weeks the results have been evaluated by our residents and committees. To date all reports have been very positive as Copperwood really has an outstanding appearance from the sidewalks to the street. The Board would like to show their appreciation for all the work efforts extended by everyone involved in this improvement effort. Comments are welcomed to your Board of Directors or to the GLIC committee members.

ISP Provider

Please remember that part of your monthly WCA monthly assessment fee provides for ISP service and the Association's bulk contract is now with Verizon FiOS. This means that all 275 homes should be Verizon FiOS wired and have a Verizon ISP router/modem available in the home.

Currently you can have Verizon FiOS wiring and equipment installed in your home at no charge.

If you wish to continue to use Comcast you may do so (at your own cost) but a portion of your WCA monthly assessment fee covers our Bulk ISP agreement with Verizon.

By installing the Verizon FiOS wiring etc. any subsequent owner of your property will be able to use the ISP service for which they are charged (in their WCA monthly homeowner assessment fee).

If you have not yet made an installation appointment please contact Verizon New Installations and Appointments (Mr. Romeo or his voicemail) at 813-483-2450.

Oh, one more word on this subject - please remember to return (to Comcast) your old, unused Comcast modem.

Pelican Lake

Our lake consultant, Russ Hoffman, has been diligently researching for a solution to control the algae bloom in our lakes, particularly Pelican Lake. Russ has recommended a process in which funding was approved by the Board at the August 16 Board meeting. This proposed process includes the removal of the algae mechanically and disposal by transporting away from the lake. The Board is asking for owners near Pelican lake to continue to have patience until this very unusual algae problem has been alleviated.

Aggressive and Harassing Behavior

The Board would like to acknowledge the receipt of recent reports of individuals being harassed at the Recreation Facility exercise room and individual Board members have expressed their disapproval of such incidents taking place. Our Governing Documents do not specifically cover the Board's responsibility to take corrective action in these types of incidents; however, we are researching the documents to help provide clarity of our position. We strongly encourage that anyone being harassed report the incident to the County Police and to Lighthouse Property Management. The Board has approved the funding to install an additional camera inside the exercise room to help deter any future incidents.

Ed Schonegg
(August 2007)


More Information Concerning Your ISP

The Association, on behalf of all Willowbend homeowners, entered into an improved bulk Internet Service Provider contract with Verizon on July 6, 2007. This new service provides for a 10 Mbps download speed and a 2 Mbps upload speed with Fiber Optics (FiOS). This system should be much faster than the previous service with Comcast. The cost avoidance is $6.73 per month, per homeowner, when Verizon cost is compared to Comcast's budgeted expense. This cost avoidance will help to offset the higher cost of our new Landscape Contractor for the remaining years budgeted expense. The contract with Verizon is for 5 years and the cost increases (5% or CPI + 2% per year, whichever is greater) is built into the contract language, allowing for better budget preparation in the future years.

If you are a member of the Sarasota Personal Computer Users Group, Inc. (SPCUG) - www.spcug.org - you will be able to access a link to The August edition of "Sarasota PC Monitor", and an article entitled "Comcast vs. Verizon FiOS" which provides information that validates the wisdom of our choice to change to Verizon.

The new Verizon Router/Modem is provided, at no cost, to each homeowner by Verizon as long as they remain at Willowbend. Any owner deciding to leave Willowbend MUST leave the Router/Modem for the next owner.

Your current Comcast Modem must be returned, by YOU, to a Comcast office in Venice or the Fruitville Road office. Be sure to get a receipt for your personal records.

For those Homeowners that are not currently in residence and not hooked up to Verizon by July 25, please remember that Comcast has offered an extension for each homeowner (at the homeowners cost) to maintain their ISP until you are finally hooked up to Verizon. Comcast has set up a local phone number 941-926-3067 and a toll free number 1-800-398-9883 with a dedicated group of service personnel to answer your questions. You should call soon since these numbers will not be provided long term.

The Board has requested that Verizon provide some monetary assistance in supporting those who are not hooked up to Verizon by July 25, 2007 and choose to retain Comcast until they are back in residence in Willowbend. A formal request has been submitted to Verizon and their response is favorable. There will likely be some assistance for those 'seasonal' homeowners; the complete details are still to be worked out. The amounts distributed to individuals will be determined based upon the number of requests and the amount of monies available.

A Mr. Romeo has been assigned to manage the Verizon scheduling for hooking up the service to each home. Should you need to call for hook up or rescheduling, you may call 813-483-2450. You should obtain information from your hook up technician at the time of service installation i.e. phone numbers to contact the proper people for any problems that may arise with the new service.

Here are the best contact numbers for problems or concerns with your Verizon FiOS ISP

813-483-2450 New Installations and Appointments (Mr. Romeo)
888-790-9799 FiOS Billing and Sales
888-553-1555 FiOS Technical Support



Important News about Your ISP

As previously stated, our bulk service contract with Comcast for ISP services expires on July 25, 2007.

Your Board of Directors recognizes that some Willowbend homeowners may not physically be here in Willowbend at that time and may wish to make individual and personal arrangements with Comcast to continue the Comcast ISP service until such time as they return to Willowbend. If you wish to make this sort of arrangement please telephone Comcast at 941-926-3067 or 1-800-398-9883 on or after Monday July 16, 2007. We have just been advised by Comcast that Willowbend homeowners may also deal with this situation, in person, at the Comcast kiosk in Sarasota Square Mall. Please remember to advise the Comcast representative that you are a homeowner in Willowbend, Osprey and once you are finally online with Verizon ISP, you will need to contact Comcast to cancel your individual account.

Appointments for Verizon FiOS hook up - Whether or not you are physically here in Willowbend, if you have not yet made an appointment with Verizon to have your new FiOS ISP service actually installed inside your home, please contact Verizon at 813-483-2450 to arrange a convenient date and time. (Note: this is a direct line to a Mr. Romeo of Verizon.)

Ed Schonegg
(July 12, 2007)


Message from the President for End June 2007

The Grounds, Lakes and Irrigation Committee (GLIC) has submitted a report for the web site describing two initiatives, namely, renovation of the streetscape for Copperwood and removal of invasives (sword ferns and ruellia). The funding for these two initiatives was approved at the June 21, 2007 Board of Directors meeting. These activities should begin during July this year.

I have asked the Board and the Chair and Vice-Chair of the GLIC to prioritize the renovation of our lake banks by commencement this year, of the renovation of at least one lake bank and to prepare a plan for the renovation of the remaining lake banks. The renovation of the lake banks has been described as the removal all of the weeds and unwanted vegetation and replacement with Bahia sod grass. This renovation project would also include the removal of the drip irrigation lines if necessary.

The Board and GLIC realize that the replacement of dead plants is necessary in order to maintain the integrity of our landscapes, both lots and common areas. This action is the responsibility of the Association and will continue to be done where necessary. We realize that the budget will be strained by trying to complete planned projects and maintain the plants. This strain will probably cause the mulching for our community to be delayed until the next annual budget.

We also realize that the different population at Willowbend would like the budget monies to be utilized for activities that are their personal concerns. Please remember that all owners have equal responsibility to contribute to the maintenance of common areas through the budget process and your monthly assessments.

Ed Schonegg
(June 2007)


JUNE 19th - Internet Service Provider Information Meeting

Ramada Inn Hotel, 6.00 – 8.00 P.M.Each homeowner will shortly receive the following notice from Verizon. I encourage you to attend this meeting in order to have an opportunity to learn what is going on with regard to your ISP.
Each homeowner will shortly receive the following notice from Verizon. I encourage you to attend this meeting in order to have an opportunity to learn what is going on with regard to your ISP.

Ed Schonegg
(June 2007)


Invitation to Attend Information Session re: Verizon fiber upgrade

The Willowbend Homeowners Association Board of Directors and Verizon would like to invite you to attend an information session regarding the new Verizon fiber-optic upgrade currently taking place in your community.

Willowbend Community Association Verizon

Location:
Ramada Inn - 1660 S Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229
Date:
Tuesday June 19th, 2007
Time:
6pm - 8pm

The network upgrades will involve replacing portions of Verizon’s copper facilities with brand new fiber-optic cables. These upgrades will enhance network reliability, improve service quality and enable Verizon to offer your community the most advanced Phone, Internet and TV service options today and in the future.

Verizon specialists will be on hand to answer any questions/concerns you may have regarding the deployment process and to provide you with detailed information regarding the new products and features available to Willowbend residents.

A formal 30-minute project summary will be given at 7:00 p.m. and refreshments will be provided.

Should you have any questions prior to the above session, please contact Willowbend HOA President Ed Schonegg @ 941-918-1634 or eschonegg@comcast.net. Additional information will also be made available on the Willowbend HOA website http://www.willowbendosprey.com

We look forward to seeing you on June 19th!

Respectfully,

The Verizon Marketing Team and Willowbend HOA Board of Directors

(June 14, 2007)


Change in Your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

The Associations current bulk contract agreement with Comcast regarding the ISP is going to expire on July 25, 2007. A Task Group has been working for the past few months to explore the options available for Willowbend residents. The options explored were:

  • Extend the bulk contract agreement with Comcast for continuing ISP service.
  • Allow the bulk contract agreement to expire without any commitment to extend the contract.
  • Explore other ISP providers for obtaining a bulk contract agreement for Willowbend residents.

Should Option 1 have been selected, Comcast offered a 5 year bulk contract extension with no apparent improvement in service and a temporary small reduction in the monthly fee that would be increased on an annual basis. Comcast would probably agree to reducing the 5 year to a 2 year agreement.

Should Option 2 have been selected, there would be an ending of the ISP service from the bulk contract agreement with Comcast on July 25, 2007 and each individual homeowner would have to negotiate on their own behalf to obtain a service from a list of providers of their choice. Since the expense of the ISP is currently included in your monthly maintenance assessment, an adjustment would have to be provided by reducing your monthly fee accordingly.

In exploring other ISPs, Verizon was contacted for information relative to the company position on installing the Fiber Optics (FIOS) for our community, and the possibility of obtaining a bulk contract for ISP.

The task group chose Option 3. Verizon has offered an ISP bulk contract for Willowbend that the task group has recommended to the Board for approval. At a Board Workshop on May 31, 2007, the Board verbally agreed that Verizon proceed with the construction of the FIOS service. The signing of the contract is pending upon the review of the bulk contract by the Associations attorney and other concessions to be negotiated. The term of a 5 year agreement is in question as well as the period of ISP service that will be delayed for seasonal home owners in getting their homes wired for the FIOS service.

Homeowners will have an opportunity for a Q&A session with Verizon in the near term (date and time to be determined) at the Ramada Inn on U.S. 41, across the street from Willowbend.

Ed Schonegg
(May 2007)


Recreation Center Vandalism on April 27th and 28th, 2007

Recap

As many of you are aware, Friday evening our Recreation Center was vandalized by 8 teenagers. This occurred between 11:53 PM and 1:05 AM. Their actions required us, among other repairs and clean-up, to sanitize the pool through a chemical wash. The pool was closed through the weekend.

Pool Status

Anton, our pool maintenance expert, was notified immediately on Saturday and took all appropriate measures according to county health regulations. This included a thorough cleaning with his vacuum, draining and refilling the pool, changing the filters twice, and triple-shocking the pool. On Monday, he again vacuumed and took chemical tests that permitted him to re-open the pool that afternoon.

The pool is now safe and ready for your use.

Status of Our Investigation

Several members of the Board and the Recreational Facilities Committee worked over the weekend to go through the surveillance tapes and record pictures of the individuals who entered our Rec. center that evening. Our equipment worked great; we were able to obtain very clear pictures of each person.

The pictures allowed us to quickly identify the perpetrators. While nothing has been confirmed, one of them appears to be a male student at Venice High School who lives in our development. All of the individuals who did the damage have been identified by name by persons familiar with the Venice High School student body.

Law enforcement was contacted on Saturday and a police report was filed. At this point the plan is to bring the surveillance video, pictures and suspect names to the police and obtain guidance from them on how to proceed.

The Board would like to extend its gratitude to all who have been involved in the findings and reporting of this incident particularly our new Chair and Co-Chair of the Recreational Facilities Committee – David Welle and Rudy Stehl, our colleague Ken Lindberg (Board Liaison to the RFC) and his wife Mimi – Mimi volunteered to take on the sordid task of cleaning up the mess around the decking area so that you, our homeowners and residents, could enjoy the deck, if not the pool, over the weekend.

Ed Schonegg
(April 2007)


Message from the President for April 2007

Your Willowbend Board of Directors has been busy these past few weeks:

  • Workshops were conducted on March 22 and April 17 to discuss and finalize several issues in order to conserve time at the regular Board Meetings.
  • On March 22, the Board realigned the existing Committees and task groups.
  • Assignments were established for the Liaisons for each Committee.
  • Board Liaisons were asked to review the existing purpose statements for their respective committees and provide any revisions to Lin Ritenour. Lin will publish all of this new information on the web site.
  • The Board agreed to conduct all future Board meetings at 5:30 P.M.
  • The GLIC Work Group provided an update on the progress of the landscaping bidding process. On April 17, a final evaluation of the landscaping contract bidding process was discussed and a recommendation was made by the GLIC work group. The impact on the FY 2007 Budget was discussed since the recommended new landscaping contractor fees are greater than presently budgeted. It was agreed that the cost increase incurred by the Association with the award of the new contract be underwritten for the remainder of the FY within the 2007 budget.
Ed Schonegg
(April 2007)


From Our New President

As the newly elected Board of Directors pursue the challenges of CY 2007, our thoughts reflect on the accomplishments of the former Board of CY 2006. The Willowbend community has prospered due to the efforts of past Board members Mark Malkasian, (President), Gene Raney (Treasurer) and Chuck Allen (Vice-President). A lot of hard work and commitment on their part is appreciated and thanks go out to them for a job well done.

The Board has recently reviewed the many Committees and renewed the Board Liaisons for each Committee. The mission statements are being reviewed by each Committee and all this will be on the Agenda for the April 19 Board Meeting for approval. The results will be published on the web site following the approval process.

From the forecast vision for Willowbend, the concepts of “work group” and “work shop” are to be utilized on a more frequent basis. Hopefully, by utilizing these concepts, the discussion time at the scheduled Board Meetings will be reduced and sometimes eliminated. Our goal is to maintain a reasonable time commitment for the Board meetings to less than 2 hours. (See below for definitions of “Work Group” and “Work Shop”.)

The Board would like to encourage owners to participate by contributing information for the “Around the Bend” and “FAQs” sections on the web site. The appropriate Committee Liaisons will be available to provide answers for the “FAQs”.

Definitions

WORK GROUP - A work group consists of a group of volunteers to research and gather information concerning any project that requires more than a casual study. The group consists of; committee members, other home owners, three or fewer Board members, selected special expertise persons to do a primary investigation, gather facts, and compile a report for the Board of Directors to consider.

WORK SHOP - A work shop consists of all Board members, no other groups, to discuss and consider projects that require considerable discussion, for Board approval at a future Board Meeting. Projects can be a report from a work group or any other project that requires a lot of discussion. When more than 3 Board members attend a Work Shop, a notice must be posted 48 hours in advance with an attached agenda. Home owners are invited to attend, however, they have no voice at the meeting, The decision(s) resulting from a work group exercise where a quorum of Board members are present, will eliminate any further discussion by the Board at the Board Meeting and provide for considerable time saving for Board business.

Ed Schonegg
(March 2007)


Board Directors Elected on March 1, 2007

This is the new slate of elected officers resulting from the Special Organizational meeting of the new Board (RE: By-Laws Para. 5.08) held immediately following the Annual meeting on March 1, 2007:

  • Ed Schonegg - President
  • Rachel Rivlin - VP
  • Ken Lindberg - Secretary
  • Ken Asakura - Treasurer
  • Mark Malkasian - At-Large
  • Lin Ritenour - At-Large
  • Elizabeth (Betsy) Weis - At-Large
Mark Malkasian
(March 1, 2007)


February 15, 2007 Board Proceedings

Highlights of the February Board meeting were:

  • A suggested informal Compliance Committee Protocol was presented to the Board and tabled for further discussion.
  • It was agreed that a Work Group be created to address the implications of the resolution, approved at the January Board meeting, to obtain a Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for the community.
  • The Association’s revised and updated Rules and Regulations where approved for distribution by mail to the members.
  • The lowest ($3,750) of three contractor quotes to repair and repaint the wall columns at both the North and South entrances was accepted.

Landscaping and Irrigation Bidding Update

Subsequent to the approval of the bid specifications during the January Board meeting, an Invitation For Bids was sent to 12 selected contractors at the end of January. On February 12th, six contractors attended a formal site visit and 5 bids were received by the submission deadline on Monday February 26th. Bids were opened at LPM on Wednesday, February 28th and are being reviewed by the Specifications Work Group. Potentially, a selection recommendation could be presented to the Board at its April 19th meeting.


Major Mailing

I call your attention to the very recent mailing of, among other items, the February 15, 2007 approved edition of the Associations Rules and Regulations. Also in the same mailing was a call for updated information for both our soft/online Homeowners Directory as well as the next edition of the bi-annual hard/paper copy the Homeowners Directory. Please note the Friday, March 27 submission deadline.


Stepping Aside

A year has swiftly passed since our last election and I wish to announce my intention to step aside as your Board President. I will honor the second year of my two-year term but will withhold my name from consideration for any officer position on the Board. My remarks that follow, as delivered at the March 1st Annual Election, capture–from my perspective– a challenging past and hopefully portend an exciting future for the Community.

Thank you for allowing me to serve.

Mark Malkasian
(February, 2007)


President’s Annual Remarks

As I reflect back on the past year these highlights first come to mind. In roughly chronological order let me touch on the following seven topics.

  1. Organizational Structure:
    A year ago the first seven-member board was duly constituted with the filling of six vacancies. In mid-March the new Board approved a new organizational structure-comprising nine committees - to address the challenge of being a not-for-profit corporation now responsible for over $940,000 in Association funds. In the interim, that structure and the directors and committees in it, have served us well and provides the new Board to come a viable platform from which to build and modify as future circumstances unfold.
  2. Birth of a Website:
    An effort initiated by the prior Board to reach out for a Sarasota County Neighborhood Grant was successful in April with the award of a 50% contribution to the establishment of our Willowbend website. Since its birth in May, the site has drawn 144 household registrants and has become the community’s primary means of information exchange. Besides visiting the site often, I encourage homeowners to consider contributing to the ‘Around the Bend’ page for the sharing of activities and experiences within and beyond Willowbend. Now you don’t have to be registered to visit the site – it’s sitting right there on the Internet ready for you. Updates are posted at the end of each month. Time sensitive items have been and will be posted at anytime. Our new Rules and Regulations are already posted on the site. Once we know the results of this evening’s election of new directors and the subsequent officer election process, the site will be posted in a matter of a couple of days. Last year’s equivalent public announcement of officer election results was seven weeks after the fact.
  3. Landscaping and Irrigation Master Plan:
    With the May launching of the website, we went public for the first time with a draft vision and goal statement and nine specific planning goals as part of a Master Plan for landscaping and irrigation. The plan was approved by the Board in August and now provides the roadmap for a host of activities designed to modify and enhance the exterior physical environment throughout the community. Some of these activities will be mentioned by the GLIC Co-Chair to follow.
  4. New Landscaping and Irrigation Contract Specifications:
    A year ago at this podium, as the Chairman of the Grounds and Lakes Committee, I spoke about what since became the first planning goal of the Master Plan. Back then I announced the Board’s intention to address the landscaping and irrigation situation as reflected in the activities of the contractor we inherited upon turnover in March ‘05. Specifically I spoke to the need for the development of a bid specification that fully describes what we really expect for landscaping and irrigation services and not what a developer and contractor wanted to give us for same. The spec. writing effort was a year long task, encompassing several visits from outside experts in the appropriate disciplines, hiring a horticultural consultant, listening and learning from homeowners, attending County Extension Service presentations, interviewing numerous contractors, researching specs used by other communities, a legal review by our attorney and many hours of Work Group deliberations and Board review and approval. That document is now in hand and was sent out to twelve selected contractors in late January, six attended a site visit on February 12th and 5 bids were received by the February 26th deadline and opened just yesterday. We are actively reviewing the bids and will be interviewing a number of bidders as part of the selection process that we hope to complete with recommendations presented at our April 19th Board meeting. If we gain Board approval at that time, I would expect start up of a new contract NLT July 1st.
  5. Disaster Preparedness and Response:
    In June, the Disaster Preparedness and Response plan was finalized and distributed shortly thereafter by your designated zone captains. The plan was the culmination of intense effort by many hands resulting in such a solid plan that it surely played a part in defying the weather prognosticators and Mother Nature by deflecting all storms elsewhere this past hurricane season Your community is certainly better positioned to prepare and respond to an emergency event with a plan supported by a considerable number of trained volunteers throughout the community. We thank those people for stepping forward for the potential benefit of all.
  6. Mulching: aaah MULCHING!!!!!
    Well, for the first time, we did it – successfully - community wide . The bid specification was completed in March ’06 and after much soul searching by the GLIC and the Board on the proper timing of the work and contractor availability we finally finished the project this past fall. It took some 60,000 plus 3 cubic foot bags of Melaleuca/ FloriMulch to do it at a final cost to us of $108,000. This figure is with benefit of a $13,000 contribution from LWH honoring a past commitment made with the prior Board. Future mulching cycles will be addressed during this calendar year.
  7. Rules and Regulations.
    Finally approved at the February Board meeting and since distributed to all - and we all own them collectively in that, for the only time in our Property Manager’s experience, your Board shared the proposed Rules and Regulations before final adoption. We received back 30 comments from 10 homeowners and an equal number of comments from Board members. From all that only one new topic was identified that was not in the original draft - a good indicator, I think, that the first cut was pretty close to the final mark. In it’s final form the document attempts to reflect and anticipate the community’s experiences built upon the foundation provided by our legal documents as a backdrop and guide. The rules and regulations were written with twin goals in mind – being reasonable and ENFORCEABLE.

    Resulting from the review process, a small few of homeowners, indeed, asked how the rules and regulations would be enforced. There is no simple answer to this question. An enforcement protocol is described briefly on the first page of the document that synthesizes the more detailed process in the By-laws. I tried to touch on this sensitive subject via the Good Neighbor - Top Ten List that I posted on our website last September. We also have benefit of a newly formed Compliance Committee - the only committee among our nine existing committees that the by-Laws specify must be in place. The committee has yet to be activated since no homeowner has yet been levied with a fine.

    So my response to the question is couched in terms first, of the need for resident awareness of and respect for our legal documents, as augmented by our rules and regulations, and lastly, on a more individual level, an appeal for shared resident concern for all residents and the greater good of the Community.
(February 28, 2007)


January 2007 Board Proceedings

These highlights are offered from the January 18th Board meeting (note: there was no December meeting due to a lack of a quorum):

  • The resignation of Rudy Stehl, Board Secretary, was acknowledged
  • Ed Schonegg was nominated and approved to join the Board as its new Secretary.
  • Receipt of a $13,633 re-imbursement from LWH for turnover issues regarding mulching and work on the north boundary wetlands was acknowledged.
  • The completion of the first, post- turnover audit of the Association’s financial records was announced with findings of the outside auditing firm deemed satisfactory.
  • The Architectural Review Committee (ARC) received Board approval to exercise approval authority over those homeowner requests via the Architectural Change Request form limited to “...work to bring [dwellings] back to original condition e.g. repaint, re-screen, pressure cleaning (roofs)”; and for “work that is clearly “routine” e.g. requests for six-inch, white, aluminum gutters and contractor installed, commercial storm shutters; all other ACR requests and all ARC recommendations for disapproval will continue to be presented by the ARC to the Board for final action.
  • The Recreation Facilities Committee presented a case for correcting the deterioration and disrepair of existing pool deck furniture and making selected additions to the furniture array; the Board subsequently approved a $4,400 request.
  • The landscaping and irrigation services bid specification with review comments from the Association’s lawyer incorporated, received final Board approval. (NOTE: the spec has since, on January 26th, gone out to 12 contractors with an invitation to bid the work; the bid submission deadline is February 23rd)
  • The efforts of the DP&R Committee to secure grants and a sponsorship were conditionally approved by the Board
(January, 2007)


Willowbend People

On behalf of the Board, I thank Rudy Stehl for his service to the Association as Board Secretary since March ’06.

Kudos to Mary Rainey for her recent award from the Southwest Florida Chapter of The American Red Cross announced at www.southwestflorida.redcross.org/index.php?pr=Chapter_News.

We welcome Mimi Lindberg as our new Social Committee Chairperson. Mimi replaces Sue Matteoli whom we thank for her community service of long duration.


New Name for Lighthouse

Effective on January 1st, LHM became LPM due to a name change to Lighthouse Property Management.

(January, 2007)


Holiday Greetings

Hopefully this finds you in the middle of a Happy Holiday season and looking back on a successful 2006. It has been a busy and productive year for the Association and I hope on behalf of the Board your Willowbend living continues to be a positive experience.

Things are just a bit quieter this time of year regarding Association business - made quieter still, unfortunately, by the lack of a quorum for our December 21st Board Meeting. This year’s quirk in the calendar where the third Thursday fell so close to Christmas led to holiday absences taking their toll.


Update on Draft Rules and Regulations

Subsequent to the November Board Meeting, two small, Board work groups closely considered each of the approximately 30 discrete comments/suggestions received from a total of 10 individual homeowners. We thank those homeowners who offered their opinion and advice including the single homeowner who identified a new item (trash receptacles) worthy of incorporation into the draft. Beyond that the Board members offered 30 more edits for consideration. Of the 60 total, 10 in all addressed the newly proposed storm and hurricane policy. At this writing, I anticipate the Board will provide final approval at the January 18, 2007 meeting.


Annual Election

This is a reminder that our Annual Meeting and Election is now scheduled for March 1, 2007 at 6:30PM at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 838 S. Tamiami Trail (Rt. 41) adjoining Wal-Mart. In the range of three to five openings out of seven Board positions will be in the mix for this election. My September President’s Corner “Good Neighbor-Top Ten List”, items 5 thru 7 would all come into play by your attendance and participation in the election process. Voting instructions and nomination forms will follow, by mail, in January. The Board encourages homeowners to step forward and place their names in nomination for the election. The continued well-being of this community depends not only on your ownership but your active participation.

Thank You

In closing, many thanks to Betsy Weiss and Sue Matteoli for their creative work in decorating all three of our community entrances in such a festive manner.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

(December, 2006)


November Board Proceedings

Since there is still over a month lag time between an actual Board Meeting and the posting of the Minutes on this site, these highlights are offered from our recent November meeting:

  • The 18 page draft of the landscaping and irrigation maintenance service contract was approved and legal review is being sought by the Board;
  • The establishment of a Compliance Committee was announced with a membership of nine members who agreed to be on stand-by status when needed;
  • A draft cover letter was approved for transmitting the draft Rules and Regulations to all homeowners. Reminder: Your written comments to Lighthouse Management or email comments to our Board Secretary are due by December 6th;
  • Six demonstration projects-one at each of six house lots- were approved for implementation by Sun State at a cost of $ 2955: the first to remove grasses and ferns from the banks of a Club, Villa and Estate lot respectively on three lakes and replace with Bahia turf; and remove old or dead ferns and junipers and replace with Indian Hawthorne and juniper on a Club, Villa and Estate lot at three street locations;
  • Approval of a new form “Notification of Sale, Lease or Transfer” to comply with Section 3.06 of the Covenants; this form shall be used as official notification to the Association via our Property Manager of the intent of a homeowner to sell, lease or transfer a dwelling;
  • The Board approved a proposal from the Ad-Hoc Signage Committee for the posting of “No Solicitation” signs at each of our three entrances; this action is a quick fix to address unsolicited doorbell ringers who tend to appear more frequently during the holiday season and is preliminary to more comprehensive entrance signage to come.

Website Usage Report

As we pass the six- month anniversary of our website’s birth, our Web Liaison has complied a brief usage report summary. We continue to welcome feedback and suggestions on how the site can better serve the ‘Bend. This also is the time to offer our Community’s appreciation to our Web Liaison and Homeowner Volunteer, Lin Ritenour, and our Web Master, Rich Klein in Plano Texas, for the stalwart support and considerable talents they bring to making this site a success.

(November 2006)


New Page - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This month we introduce a new web page for your perusal. In this first batch of FAQs we hope to inform and educate and maybe inspire homeowners to chime in with a question (and maybe the answer!) to help the flow of communication here at the ’Bend. If you think you have a burning question that might be of benefit to our audience, feel free to search out a Committee or Board member involved in the functional area of your question who can help in coming up with the appropriate answer for posting on the site.

Your suggestions are welcome.


Florida Comprehensive Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program

Check out www.mysafefloridahome.com to learn about a new state program recently expanded to include Sarasota County. For those of us still thinking about what to do about strengthening our home from storm damage, this might give you a boost in deciding what's best for you and maybe you'll qualify for a grant to offset costs. If you find the effort worthwhile, share your experience with others through this site on the Around the Bend page.


New Landscaping and Irrigation Contract Update

Back in March at the Annual Election we first announced a Master Plan was being developed to address landscaping and irrigations issues. In May the draft was first posted on the Grounds/Lakes/Irrigation page and subsequently made final by the Board in August. Goal Number One, as I stated in March, the writing of full contract specifications for the delivery of landscaping and irrigation services to be advertised for competitive bidding is currently still on schedule for completion on November 1st. We hope to have a successful bid opening and contractor selection completed as soon thereafter as possible.


On the Lighter Side- Passing of a Florida Icon

A recent editorial in the "Herald-Tribune" noted the coming extinction on November 1st of a "Florida icon" the original Featherstone plastic pink flamingo. The FPPF’s demise is attributed to soaring resin and electricity costs on the manufacturing side and the suspicion on the part of the editorialist, Mark Lane, that "...the toxic effects of HOA edicts ate into sales over time." He reports that a blue version was once available to get around rules against the pink species flocking on front yards. He warns us to be watchful of the Asian varieties to come our way offering thinner plastic and less surface detail ----and I might add still a No-No in any form or color as sanctioned yard ornamentation. The original website is gone now but google ’plastic pink flamingos‘ for fun immersion on the subject.

(October 2006)



Good Neighbor - Top Ten List

In some of my readings about how homeowner associations should conduct their affairs effectively, I have come across a recurring theme about the importance of good neighbors. For instance, in Brian Mark Feinblum’s ’Florida Homeowner, Condo & Co-op Association Handbook’, I found what might be called an Unofficial Good Neighbor Policy List. From Brian’s lengthy list, the following few are worthy of mentioning here at Willowbend. I’ve paraphrased somewhat to sharpen the focus to our situation. Hopefully they will engender a further feeling of community. So in no particular order...

  1. A good neighbor communicates with the other neighbor should a problem or conflict arise, rather than going straight to the association or outside authorities.
  2. All good neighbors look out for each other - offering a helpful hand when needed.
  3. Good neighbors respect the common areas as they would their own home and lot.
  4. Making the community beautiful while working within the rules is a trait of a good neighbor.
  5. Good neighbors will volunteer their time and resources to serve the association and its committees.
  6. Good neighbors will seek election to the board and/or cast a vote to make sure qualified people are involved.
  7. Good neighbors will attend association and committee meetings.
  8. Pets and parking can break up good neighbors.
  9. Good neighbors don't disturb the peace and do respect the privacy of others.
  10. Good neighbors become good friends.
(September 2006)



Mulching - Part IV - End of a Saga

By the time this is published our first "whole-house" mulching will have been completed - some 66,000 bags in all. It certainly has done wonders for "melaleucaring" (a.k.a. sprucing-up) the community! For those inclined to do a little touch-up throughout the year on a self-help basis what you should buy is a melaleuca based product under the trade name FloriMulch as manufactured by Forestry Resources, Inc. of Ft. Myers, FL. UPC: 085478010201 sized in 2 Cu Ft bags. It’s available locally in several places-- among others at MRT Lawn and Garden Center, 5175 Englewood Road in Venice, and Florida Native Plants, Inc., a retail nursery at 730 Myakka Road in Sarasota – from $2.19 to $2.50 a bag. You’ll learn all about FloriMulch if you visit www.gomulch.com

(September 2006)



Landscaping Master Plan

At the August Board meeting it was decided to drop the "Draft" label on the Landscaping Master Plan posted on the GLIC page in May. A draft specification (Goal # 1) will be completed by the end of August and will be scrubbed by a small work group before it is sent to Lighthouse Property Management for advertising. A GLIC work group is actively working on Goal #2 by identifying a series of options addressing streetscapes. Several hardware improvements have been put in place and others are under advisement regarding Goals # 3 & 5 that target our drip irrigation system and water wells respectively. If one or more of these goals are of particular interest to you please step forward and join in on the dialogue and decision making process by contacting a GLIC member or filling out the "Volunteers Needed" form on the Online Forms page.

(August 2006)



New Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Website

With this update, if you click on the right side of the black banner at the top of our Home Page, you’ll be connected to a new web site www.floridayards.org that has recently been created to put special focus on the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program. All of the FYN links on the GLIC page now connect you likewise. This site features two notable elements – the first - "Florida-friendly Landscaping 101" where you will find a Photo Gallery with an Osprey chapter offering a small collection of photos of Willowbend; and second, a Florida-friendly Plant Database encompassing nearly 380 varieties of plants. Another excellent reference source is the website sponsored by the Southwest Florida Water Management District at www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/yards offering a series of downloadable publications including a 186 page landscaping handbook. Don’t overlook the wealth of info on our past, old faithful site at http://sarasota.extension.ufl.edu/WEL/fyn/docs/fyn.htm

(August 2006)



Let’s Mulch, Part 3:

If you have been following this saga since we first starting reporting on the subject in the February Newsletter and continuing with the update on our May 1st web site inaugural, you’ll be pleased to know that we now have a firm date to mulch. At the Board’s July meeting the prior decision (Resolution 06-25 of April 20, 2006) to mulch in November was revised and we anticipate the work will now start on September 11th. The advancement of the schedule was driven by several issues; first, it saves the Association approximately $4,000 versus the November timeframe; given the recent spate of heavy rains, we have been pleased with our observations of the stability of the FloriMulch at our two demo sites at the Recreational Center and the contractor’s experience supports the advisability of mulching soon after the rainiest period of the wet season ends - usually in August - plus our plants need the benefits of fresh mulch and we need to discourage weed growth as soon as possible.

The work will be done by the Southeast Spreading Company and will take approximately 16 days to complete with the contractor employing a 13-person crew to place some 45,000 bags of mulch. The areas excluded from this work are the lake banks, the tot lot/play area and the annual flowerbeds at our entrances. For the record, SSC, as our lowest bidder, quoted large pine bark nuggets at $20,000 more than FloriMulch. To learn more about FloriMulch check out www.gomulch.com.

(July 2006)



Who’s Out There?

A close look at our Directory page reveals some 134 households have provided email addresses as part of their individual listing. By checking other sources I found another 67 households with email addresses for a total of 201 or 73% of the community. I also know when the Grounds and Lakes Committee rang 98 doorbells - at random - last January and February to solicit community support for the County grant of 50% to fund our website start up costs, that only one (1) household indicated that they did not have a computer.

With all this in mind, I feel certain of two things:

  • there are a whole lot more of you out there that have internet access than are on record in our web directory
  • and that a lot of that number plus a significant portion of our 134-some are not getting ‘the word’ by this medium for reasons known only to them

So beginning this month we are emailing a brief alert notice to just our directory listees informing them that there is a new update on our website. Also with that notice (and here), we are asking if you know folks with access but who may not be in our directory (by personal choice) please tell them about this site and what we are doing to keep as many homeowners as possible informed of the "Good News at The ‘Bend". Thank You.

(July 2006)



Most noteworthy of this month's activities is the completion of the Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan. This was a real team effort and many are to be commended for the end product. The Plan and cover letter are posted on the Emergency Preparedness page. The Plan deserves your careful reading and digestion and then a decision on your part - that being what role it will play in your actions leading up to the next "event". No matter your choice, it is now officially a part of this community's offerings designed to make Willowbend a safer and more secure place to live.

A slight change was made recently in our organizational structure and officially approved at the June board meeting - that being the blending of the Irrigation Committee in with the grounds and lakes business and creating the "GLIC" or Grounds, Lakes and Irrigation Committee.

Our irrigation situation continues to be a challenge. Only Well #2 has been carrying us through what has been recently declared the State' s third worst drought on record. Since mid-April, after over 12,000 hours of service, Well #1 was shut down due to erratic performance. A condition report has just been received and the GLIC and the Board are considering options to repair the original hardware or replace it with re-built or new equipment. Operating with one water well may be causing low-pressure problems in some areas of the community which may, in part, be causing browning of turf in those spots. To round out these multiple whammies is a recent infestation of cinch bugs and/or grubs which is also causing grass brown-outs in a few yards. Proper corrective actions to sort through all this these problems are being taken and we hope for a little help from Mother Nature as we enter the rainy season.

The June Board Meeting also resulted in the decision to undertake an agreement with the County to protect our interests in maintaining the existing street/traffic signposts throughout the community. As you know, all the streets (not the sidewalks) are County owned and maintained and that means traffic signage and posts must meet certain proscribed standards and regulations. Our traffic signposts are non-conforming and subject to replacement with conventional galvanized steel posts. In addition to traffic posts, our "street furniture" comprises decorative cast aluminum mailboxes, mailbox posts, address plaques, yard post lamps and street lights all adding value to the community that your Board felt worthy of maintaining. Once the agreement with the County is finalized, if any traffic post is damaged or in need of repair or replacement, the work will be done at the sole cost and expense of the Association in order that we can match the other signposts. We thank Bill Hager, CEO of Lee Wetherington Homes and his staff for laying the initial groundwork for this agreement with the County.
Concurrently, the Board is developing a procedure to describe responsibility for mailboxes (the homeowner's) versus associated mounting posts and brackets/hardware etc. (the Association's).

Our June Board Meeting was the first conducted on a trial basis at 5:30 PM versus our regular third Thursday of the month 3:30 PM schedule. The 5:30 PM time will be in effect for the September and December meetings and then evaluated as to its feasibility for continuation. The June crowd was not notable as far as seeing new faces in the room!

On a closing photographic note, on the Snippets page you'll find an entry for our continuing series on Alligator Awareness (we're up to 103 now!).
And for those who enjoyed the "Surrender" statue as part of the ever-changing Sarasota waterfront art scene as well as those who missed its imposing presence, the same photographer who had the night time visitor mentioned above, provides a memorable shot of this now departed crowd pleaser (see the Community slideshow).

(June 2006)



This marks our first site update and we are pleased to show off two new page links. First, the familiar ‘Around the Bend’ for homeowner items of interest and it’s counterpart ‘Snippits’ for input by Board members. On the Snippets page you will find a processing scenario effective in June for the handling of Architectural Review Forms. Under development next will be a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

The Board in March 2006 approved a trial schedule calling for the last month of each quarter (June 15, September 21 and December 21) to be 5:30 P.M. meetings. We hope this later time attracts more residents to participate in the proceedings of our Board meetings.

Please give your attention to the Grounds/Lakes/Irrigation page and the first showing of the Introduction and Goals List of that Committee’s Draft Master Plan. This has been an effort of some significance and a great credit to a band of dedicated volunteers striving to create a road map for future landscape improvements. Your comments, directed to committee members, are welcome.

(May 2006)



It is my privilege to share some thoughts with you here in this new venue so closely on the heels of our April newsletter. With that mailing ends an era of paper and here begins one of cyberspace! Now I know that not all residents have access to a home computer and by no means do we intend to leave them out of this communications transformation. Possibly one interim way to keep all informed is the suggestion that those residents with an internet connection print up the most informative and essential pages of this site and share them with a neighbor without that capability-with selected updates as time progresses. Perhaps that neighbor, in appreciation, could provide a printer cartridge and/or a ream of printer paper from time to time. While we explore options for restarting a paper Newsletter, other ideas on how all are included are invited.

With the passing of our printed newsletter, it is appropriate that on behalf of the entire community we thank Sue Matteoli and Nancy Buscher for their generous service in producing past editions and past resident directories. They and their helpers have been key players in establishing the Willowbend identity.

I would be extremely remiss if I closed this first communiqué without mentioning two groups who were instrumental in getting us to this point. First, the Grounds and Lakes Committee members that did double duty as the Grants Sub-Committee and put their bright minds and sharp pens to paper and wrote the grant to obtain Sarasota County's support for this web site; and the follow-on effort of the website Development Team that laid the ground work for transforming a vision into a reality. Names won't be mentioned here to avoid the pitfall of omissions but they and I know who they are and a good many of you out there do also. For those in the know - show your appreciation; for those who don't - take the time to find out and then do likewise. They are residents - just like you - who are giving back to the community and the Board and I are grateful for that.

HAPPY SURFING!
(May 2006)