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Message From the HOA President
Posted on Jun 27th, 2019

It has been disappointing to learn that the work the Board members have done this year has sometimes met with harsh criticism. It made me wonder if enough had been done to communicate why some of the decisions this year were made and how they affected the community.
 
I have routinely asked the community to share your feedback, ideas and concerns by visiting the virtual monthly Board meetings, in an open/receptive environment, or by contacting your preferred Board member directly.
 
I appreciate those of you who have taken the opportunity to do so and encourage more of you to contact us as well. You COUNT, and so does your voice. So let’s examine some of these areas in a transparent way to attempt to foster greater understanding.
 
1) COVID 19 Pool Impacts/ A few quick facts:
a. The City and State have ordinances which govern the operation of pools during the pandemic. It limits the amount of people who can go to the pool.
b. Stewart Peninsula’s management company has 80 associations. Of those 80, 2 have their pools open. We are 1 of 2.
c. The board considered legal and professional concerns around operating the pools and ultimately voted to open the pools this year in the face of the pandemic. We all felt it was important to “find a way” to keep the pools open for the residents.
d. The Pools are OPEN, even at reduced hours and facilities.
e. The Association can be held legally responsible if someone comes to harm at our facilities.
 
In consideration of these facts, the plans for operating the pool (however well/poorly executed) were intended to help the Association avoid virus transmission and keep residents safe.
 
The biggest sacrifice was the bathrooms. To operate a “public” restroom, there are guidelines on proper maintenance and upkeep during the pandemic. The Association has access only to paid contractors (guards and monitors) to maintain them, with a spray-down disinfectant and a 10-minute gap between uses. Absent this spray-down, the bathrooms represent a contamination risk. Therefore, we operate them only when we have the paid staff to do so.
 
There are financial reasons driving this, which I will explain next.
 
2) COVID 19 Impact on the Budget
To allow the pools to open safely and continue to operate through Labor Day, the Board authorized significant extra, unbudgeted funds to monitor the Adult Pool and extend the guards at the Family Pool. In midsummer, we ramped down these extra expenses, moving monitors to weekend
only at the Adult Pool. 
 
To offset these expenses, the board has halted several projects planned (including the Ethridge improvement). These measures were taken to ensure we continue to meet the remaining Annual Budget requirements for 2020 and the still higher pool service commitments going into
August/September. Our finances are healthy, but there is now no margin for error or cushion against unplanned 
impacts.

3) COVID 19 Help Wanted/Volunteerism
Budget cuts have prompted us to explore taking on some work using volunteers. Your own HOA President (Roger Servey) and Treasurer (Mike Scott), both trained Telecom installers, took on the job to add WiFi to the pools, saving the Association $3200.
 
The Association has many opportunities for others to volunteer to assist and defer some of the budget impacts created by the Pandemic. 
 
I ask those with skills/ability or time to consider volunteering. If we have more people willing to help, we could, for example, monitor the adult pool all week, allowing the closed bathrooms to be available all week long.
 
The pool planning this year spelled out the need to have a Pool Committee to take the point on the operating recommendations. In the Annual Meeting this year, we solicited volunteers but received no responses. We are again asking for your help. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Texas Star.
 
I do hope these additional points help everyone realize how fortunate we are to have the use of our pools this year. Many decisions are yet to be made. I encourage all of you to please add your voice by joining in on a Board meeting or contact your nearest board member to share your ideas.
 
I look forward to seeing/hearing from you and to your ideas on how we can move forward TOGETHER.

On Behalf of the HOA Board, thank you!