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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

THE MAY WPA COMPLIANCE COMMITTEE POLICY MANUAL PROPOSED CHANGES

PLEASE NOTE: I have taken the majority of changes to the Policy Manual, presented as first reading during the May WPA Board Meeting, and posted, as required on the WPA website, and provided TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY, the CURRENT POLICY MANUAL language, with the FIRST READING language directly below it.  Your board failed to provide, for residents’ convenience, this opportunity.  COMMENTS WILL BE PROVIDED AT THE END, AND NOTED AS SUCH.

NUMBER 1:

CURRENT:
5.01 Purchase of Office Supplies:
1.    5.01.01  It shall be the policy of the WPA to allow the Secretary or Treasurer to purchase office supplies not to exceed $200 without prior approval of the Board. Refer to Procurement Policy Section 11.01.01.

FIRST READING:
5.01 Purchase of Office Supplies:
1.    5.01.01  It shall be the policy of the WPA to allow the Secretary or Treasurer to purchase office supplies not to exceed $500 without prior approval of the Board. Refer to Procurement Policy Section 11.01.01.

NUMBER 2:

CURRENT:
6. OTHER PURCHASES BY BOARD AND COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON
1.    6.01  The President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, ARC Chairperson, Legal Chairperson, Drainage Chairperson, Roads Chairperson, or Grounds Chairperson shall have the right to make purchases up to $200 without prior approval of the Board. However, these purchases must be authorized, prior to purchase, by the signature of one other Executive Board member, and be reported and ratified at the next regular monthly Board Meeting. Refer to Procurement Policy Section 11.01.03.

FIRST READING:
6. OTHER PURCHASES BY BOARD AND COMMITTEE CHAIRPERSON
6.01  The President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, ARC Chairperson, Legal Chairperson, Drainage Chairperson, Roads Chairperson, or Grounds Chairperson shall have the right to make purchases up to $500 without prior approval of the Board provided adequate funds are available in the appropriate budget and the availability of the funds are confirmed with the Treasurer.  Reporting of the transaction shall be made by the purchaser at the next scheduled Board. Refer to Procurement Policy Section 11.01.03.  NOTE:  WHY DOESN’T THE WATER AMENITIES CHAIR HAVE THIS PRIVILEDGE?

NUMBER 3:

CURRENT:
2.    6.02  All purchases in excess of $200 must first be approved at a regular monthly Board Meeting unless there is an emergency and a telephone survey of a majority of the
Board grants permission and it is duly noted as to which members were called and who gave their verbal consent. The purchase must then be reported on and ratified at the next regular monthly Board Meeting. Refer to Procurement Policy Section 11.02.01.

FIRST READING:
2.    6.02  All purchases in excess of $500 must first be approved at a regular monthly Board Meeting or at a Special Meeting called that purpose.   . Refer to Procurement Policy Section 11.02.01.

NUMBER 4:

CURRENT:
7. BIDS FOR MINOR AND MAJOR EXPENDITURES
1.    7.01  It shall be the policy of the WPA to secure three bids on expenditures exceeding $1,000 when available and prudent. The Board may waive this requirement when necessary. Refer to Procurement Policy Section 11.03.
2.    7.02  Major expenditures in excess of $3,000 can only be made after Board Approval. Refer to Procurement Policy Section 11.04.

FIRST READING:
7. BIDS FOR MINOR AND MAJOR EXPENDITURES
1.    7.01  It shall be the policy of the WPA to secure three bids on expenditures exceeding $2,500 when available and prudent. The Board may waive this requirement when necessary. Refer to Procurement Policy Section 11.03.
2.    7.02  Major expenditures in excess of $5,000 can only be made after Board Approval. Refer to Procurement Policy Section 11.04.

NUMBER 5:  PLEASE NOTE: If you print out the changes provided on the WPA website, it could appear that there are more than I have presented here.  # 1thru 4, presented above, also appear almost in duplicate under Procurement.  That does make sense for continuity in the Policy Manual, but I don’t find it necessary here, in an article that is already running long.  #5 begins in a new area, not detailed above.
11.03.01 CURRENT
Expenditures in excess of $1,000 but less than $3,000 can only be made after Board approval. These expenditures require a scope of work to be prepared prior to being submitted to the Board. The scope of work will specify: a) why the work is to be done; b) exactly what is to be accomplished by the expenditure; and c) the measurable results from the work. It is desirable to secure three or more bids for this work; however, if not possible, the Board may accept a single bid for the work. The Board must make every effort to insure that the bid is fair and reasonable.
FIRST READING:
Expenditures in excess of $2,500 but less than $5,000 can only be made after Board approval. These expenditures require a scope of work to be prepared prior to being submitted to the Board. The scope of work will specify: a) why the work is to be done; b) exactly what is to be accomplished by the expenditure; and c) the measurable results from the work. It is desirable to secure three or more bids for this work; however, if not practical, the Board may accept a single bid for the work. NOTE:  The following line is deleted from current, in the first reading. The Board must make every effort to insure that the bid is fair and reasonable.
NUMBER 6:
11.04.01 & 11.04.02 CURRENT:
Expenditures in excess of $3,000 are considered major expenditures and can only be made after Board approval. These expenditures require a scope of work to be prepared prior to being submitted to the Board. The scope of work will specify: a) why the work is to be done; b) exactly what is to be accomplished by the expenditure; and c) the measurable results from the work.
If the project is of such a large magnitude that it will require partial payment as specific aspects of the work is accomplished, then deliverables to be accomplished at the end of these milestones must be provided in the scope of work. In the event that a project exceeds $10,000, it is the Board’s responsibility to hire a licensed professional engineer to review the scope of work, the bids, and the completed project.
It is desirable to secure three bids for this work. If this is not possible, the Board may accept a single bid, however, the Board must make every effort to insure that the bid is fair and reasonable. In some instances is there is insufficient expertise on the Board, project review by an engineer will add credibility to the bid.
11.04.01 & 11.04.02 FIRST READING:
Expenditures in excess of $5,000 are considered major expenditures and can only be made after Board approval. These expenditures require a scope of work to be prepared prior to being submitted to the Board. The scope of work will specify: a) why the work is to be done; b) exactly what is to be accomplished by the expenditure; and c) the measurable results from the work.
If the project is of such a large magnitude that it will require partial payment as specific aspects of the work is accomplished, then deliverables to be accomplished at the end of these milestones must be provided in the scope of work. Note:  The following underlined lines have been removed completely in the first reading , including the $10,000 specification. In the event that a project exceeds $10,000, it is the Board’s responsibility to hire a licensed professional engineer to review the scope of work, the bids, and the completed project.   NOTE:  this section now ends with the following statement:  A licensed professional engineer may be hired at the board’s discretion.
It is desirable to secure three bids for this work. If this is not practical, the Board may accept a single bid.  In some instances if there is insufficient expertise on the Board, project review by an engineer or other qualified professional may be desirable.
COMENTS:
Did the board meet the requirements regarding the posting of the changes?  Yes.  However, the changes are numerous, and if approved, greatly, and gravely increase this board’s powers as it relates to dollar amounts, contracting, and the hiring of engineers.  The requirement for posting the changes, is to give residents the opportunity to review, and comment, prior to a second reading, and possible approval, by the board.  While it isn’t an opportunity for you to vote, it is the opportunity to write the board, and possibly influence the board’s vote, if you have concerns.  When we vote for by-law changes at the annual meeting, the current language is presented, along with the proposed changes directly below it.  I don’t need violins to play, but being forced to find these items in the current Policy Manual, and compare them to the proposed changes, is cumbersome, and takes a lot of time.  It could appear that this board doesn’t want our opinion.  Why?  We have 6-12 members who attend the meetings on a good day.  I believe this shoddy presentation of information is just one more indication, of their disrespect for residents, and their counting on your lethargy.
These proposed changes dramatically increase individual board member/committee chairs dollar approval, without proper discussion at the board table.  This board piece meals projects now,  allowing them to complete projects piece by piece without true discussion, at the board table.  Look at the gatehouse.  It is 2 ½ years later and it is still a mess, without reported outcomes. 
These proposals remove engineering oversight, if they feel they have the expertise.  We’ve had good money wasted on failed projects, when they said they had the expertise.  Almost always, they claim they have the expertise.  Look at the failed road project of 3-4 years ago.  When they did get a engineer involved in every aspect, last year, we redid the roads a board claimed had the expertise on the failed project.
Review the wording regarding scope of work, and benchmarked contracts.  If you bothered to review these items, on almost all contracts (no one else would call them that), you’d see that there hasn’t been any real bidding process, credible contracts, or sealed bids, on most projects.  They haven’t been following the current policies in these areas, why would you give them higher financial approval power, without discussion at the board table, such as it is now?  Write and ask the board to allow you to review the request for proposal, bid responses, and contract for the gate house when they awarded our President the contract.  When I reviewed these items, the so called contract I was provided was the bid specs, and there wasn’t even a place for the board, or the contractor, to sign, and it contained all three stages, and they were only awarding the first stage.  THERE WAS NO TOTAL CONTRACT DOLLAR AMOUNT ON THIS RIDICULOUS DOCUMENT.


Stop, and review, and consider writing the board before they give too much of the farm away.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

TWO NEW ARTICLES WERE ADDED ON TUESDAY. WEDGEFIELD EXAMINER WONDER DOG BRADY SAYS, "STAY TUNED"


THE WPA COMPLIANCE REPORT SHOULD BE PUBLISHED BY END OF DAY, WEDNESDAY. IT IS TAKING MORE TIME TO PROVIDE YOU THE INFORMATION, BECAUSE OF THE SHODDY MANNER YOUR BOARD USED TO POST PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE POLICY MANUAL.


RESIDENT WRITES EXAMINER REGARDING MORE CRIME IN WEDGEFIELD

The following letter was sent to the Wedgefield Examiner.  As always, I have removed the resident's name.  In this case, it may be helpful to other residents in his/her area, so I'm telling you that he/she lives in the Francis Parker area.

HERE IS THE LETTER:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WPA MAY BOARD MEETING

I've provided the following information to the best of my ability.  Listen to the tape of the meeting, at the Wedgefield Times, or the WPA website.

There were 5 board members in attendance during the May 19 WPA board meeting.  They were:  Garrison, Cline, DeMarchi, Johnson, and John Walton.  Absent:  Ebert, Anderson, McMillin, and President Walton.  9 residents attended the meeting.

*The April 2015 minutes were approved.

*No President or Vice President reports

*Secretary's Report:  Thanks to Easter volunteers.  Wragg is at the printer.  Volunteer luncheon invitations have been mailed.  About 50 maps were given out between 7:30 & 8:30 AM, on the day of the yard sale.  Secretary, Cline reported several people were speeding as they entered the association, during that time.  She thinks that the speed bumps discussed last month might be a good idea.

*Treasurer's Report:  17 accounts, covering 21 properties, are still overdue.

*ARC Report:  There were 3 requests to remove trees, one sun room approval, and 2 builder refunds.

*Legal Report:  Nothing new to report on legal collection of past due accounts.  Legal Chair Garrison, made a motion to spend up to $1,000 to seek legal opinions from our attorney, for 2 items.  The first was to determine whether the board could place liens on property owners, for failure to pay on anything other than assessments, such as fines.  The second was to investigate being able to amend the CCR's (covenants), possibly by getting certain items in the CCR's before a judge.  The motion passed.  MORE DETAIL WILL FOLLOW IN AN INDEPENDENT ARTICLE.

*Finance Report:  Treasurer, DeMarchi, reported that there is $386,000 in reserves, and $190,000 in operating.  He made a motion to transfer $50,000 from operating to South Atlantic Bank.  There is $80,000 there already.  He states that it costs approximately $12,000 a month to operate the association.  The motion passed.

*Community Liaison:  Anderson's report was read by another board member, during his absence.  Two letters were reported as having been answered.  The first related to questions as to whether  chickens, and farm animals would be allowed in Wedgefield.  NO.   The second letter related to storm water.   NOTE:  As I listened to the report, I wondered why a resident letter that was written after the April meeting, and was answered by the board, wasn't reported on.  This topic will become part of future articles.  To research the resident letter, that was shared, and printed on the Wedgefield Examiner, please review the following two articles:  (1)  April 25th, "A RESIDENT WRITES THE BOARD ABOUT WPA FINANCIAL STATEMENTS", AND (2) April 29th, "RESIDENT WHO WROTE THE BOARD WITH QUESTIONS REGARDING THE FINANCIAL REPORT, SHARES BOARD RESPONSE."

*Drainage Report: Drainage Chair, DeMarchi, stated that the Pond Project is in the works, and that he has a call into Water Bridge.  The highway department will be back to complete some work in that area. He reported that he had several calls (not in writing?) because of all of the rain storms.  Some of the problems were owners responsibilities, and others he will get a scope of work on, to start process.

*Water Amenities:  Chair, John Walton, stated the landing roads had been fixed.  He made a motion to spend $536 to have the docks painted, by contractor R. Campbell.  That is the only bid he has.  Garrison stated that he did not have to have more bids if reasonable, etc.  Motion passed.  

Road Report:  In Anderson's absence, his report was read by another board member.  Earth Works is working to get a third bid on the current road project.  They have two.  A street sign on Wedgefield Rd. was damaged, but has been repaired.  All road signs are scheduled to be checked.

*Grounds Report:  The written report was read by another board member, as Grounds Chair, McMillin was absent.  Two motions were made, and passed.  (1) Repairs were made to the irrigation system, and the pump was rebuilt.  Resident Grady Thomas was thanked for his volunteer assistance with the pump rebuild.  The cost was $125.00.  There was a motion to spend up to $600 to repair pipes, etc. DeMarchi said that Southern Landscaping, under their contract was to maintain the system.  The WPA would buy the pipes, and they should do repairs at no charge.  Yet, he had recently seen a Southern Landscaping bill that contained $90 in parts, and a large labor bill.  Some discussion continued about the aging system, etc., and the motion passed.  (2)  There was a motion for $280.00 for pine straw.  Southern Landscaping will put it in, and labor for it will be on the next bill.  Motion passed.

*Compliance Report:  Compliance Chair, Garrison had first reading on several items.  NOTE:  I would suggest that you go to the WPA website and review the changes.  You may find it difficult to follow the way they are presented.  I wondered why, when we as residents, submit by-law changes for a vote by the membership, that the current by-law language is printed, followed immediately by the changed language, so we can easily see EXACTLY what the changes are.  They appear on our ballots with this clarity.  Not on the WPA website.  This report will be covered in a separate article.  I will take the time to retype, and provide them, as described above.

*Old Business:  DeMarchi discussed speed bumps.  Note:  there will be a separate article.

*New Business:  The 2015 Annual Meeting will be held on November 21st. at the Presbyterian Church.  There will be a donation of $200.  A motion was made and passed.

Stay tuned.  Numerous articles will follow.  


ALERT: DON'T BE LEFT CRYING ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE LOST. THERE HAVE BEEN MORE ROBBERIES IN WEDGEFIELD






A resident reported that there have been more crimes of OPPORTUNITY here in Wedgefield, at the end of the May board meeting.  Expensive items have been taken from garages, when the residents left their garage doors open, unattended.  This comes after it was reported that 6 unlocked cars had items stolen from them.  Also unlocked homes had been entered, and computers, etc. taken.  Yesterday, a resident told me that their neighbor had a covered utility trailer full of items, removed from their yard the previous night.  These all appear to be robberies of opportunity.  Consider protecting your valuables, by closing doors, locking doors, and securing the items you leave outside.