Monday, August 27, 2012


Fees should be reduced not increased. 

The Board/POA should pay attention to neighboring cities that exhibit more efficient budgets and organizations than HSVs with larger populations to serve and cannot increase resident’s costs impromptu.  Their Capital budgets are ¼ of ours, perhaps it’s time to sit down with our neighbors and learn something about managing revenues in a responsible manner.  Apparently HSV could lean something from good city management.

235 employees in 2013, 5 reduction more than offset by part time additions???; the budget contains 240 fulltime personnel in 2012 and 2012/2013 have 317 equivalent fulltime employees by utilizing part time personnel. 

Subsequent to Board initial review, the Budget contains the additional $3 increase in the auto decals (as was predicted that the leadership would pursue from last year).  Decals proposed to go from $12 to $15 in 2013, this increase should be scuttled.  Revenue from decals will likely decrease again this year, as some Property Owners will opt to not purchase decals as many did last year.

Fee increases contained in the out year budget plan assume no decrease in utilization, this is an erroneous assumption and should reflect a reduced utilization with fee increase as has been evidenced over the past years.  With return to normal Arkansas weather patterns and these increased fees, rounds/revenue will be down.  This does not represent responsible revenue management.

2% Cost of Living Adjustment for employees (2013 and beyond); last year a generous catch-up of 5% was given to employees for this year.  Stated CPI for Southern Region was to be used which was in aggregate 1.6% for the past 12 month period.  Given our financial issues with lot delinquencies a 0.5% pool is all that is affordable and divvy that up based on merit performance, it’s always easier to shirk responsibility and give across-the-board raises (probably bonuses also, which aren’t deserved given our high pay scale) which does nothing to instill good performance.

Converting the “Advocate” into an electronic publication is admirable assuming the POA has email accounts for all lot owners.

Camera monitoring at all gates is a good thing for the POA to implement.

Before time and money is expended on a land use and development plan the POA should first determine how to implement any changes and inform the Property Owners how this will be accomplished given that a land use and development plan was given to all buyers at purchase date (becoming a part of the contract) and buyers bought with the knowledge of what was going to be around their property.  Before you spend Property Owner money and pursue any changes you are obligated to get Property Owners approval, it is not your money or your land.

Adding an Employee Safety Specialists to our overhead (which is already larger than it should be) is extravagant and probably will be ineffective.  Safety is important but each area of work has unique equipment and processes.  It would be much more effective to have the department heads outline areas of potential hazard and assign a department employee to build safety awareness themes around those.

Capital Improvements in 2013:
-         DeSoto Golf Course was just put down for renovation a few years ago and is in good shape, it seems the greens are being neglected and poanna is being allowed to flourish instead of responsible preventive maintenance.  It is wasteful of Property Owner money to continually spend hundreds of thousands (and millions) of dollars and shut down golf courses for extended periods instead of performing responsible ongoing maintenance.  A prime example of responsible management is Ponce golf course where ongoing maintenance during operations has greatly improved that course at much less expense and prevented lost revenue.  Save much of the proposed $525,000.
-         Any needed Balboa improvements should be handled in the same manner as Ponce was done.  Save a major portion of the $2,300,000.
-         These golf course proposals amount to spending $31/year/per lot (in good standing) or 7.1% of assessments, that is to much and unnecessary!  The Board should not be raising fees to pay for this.
-         If the Board decides to move forward with this then the Board should require a definitive statement of work for golf course renovation of sufficient detail that it can be bid by outside subcontractors to ensure the best bang for the Property Owner money. 
-         Replacement of the HVAC at Coronado Center, this was a disaster the first time around and I hope the Board will ensure a definitive contract is written this time and get a contractor to sign up for a satisfactory total completion.  The POA does not have the expertise to dabble in new adventures at our expense.
-         The Board should insist the POA take a good look at IT outsourcing, most major companies have come to the conclusion that outsourcing IT services is a money maker for them and have improved efficiency, provided equipment replacement and software updates in a timely and cost savings manner.
-         This same approach should be taken with golf carts, I believe that too much value is lost in our early trade-in and we could save money by outsourcing to a supplier for golf carts at our golf courses.
-         Before you settle in on Fleet replacement, it was suggested several years ago that an equipment inventory be created with maintenance and replacement cycles estimated to ensure we get our value out of our (the Property Owner) investment.  This has never been accomplished to my knowledge and it appears that when a new vehicle is want the POA just declares the old one for trade-in.  We need responsible oversight and expenditure of our money.
-         DeSoto pool renovation should be strongly reconsidered and reviewed as an agenda item for public Property Owner input.  From usage data it appears that a large number of guests and a small number of Property Owners utilize the pool which may not be worth renovating, or at least to the same scale that is currently there. 
-         The Board should insist that the Golf Dept get competitive bids for contracting with an outside vendor to provide golf carts for the golf courses.

-         POA Assessment General revenue has built into it an automatic 2% increase in following years.  Even though the Property Owners authorized the capability for the Board to increase the annual Assessment by the CPI, I think it is irresponsible for the Board to dial this in considering the never-ending fee increases the Board seems so fond of.  Perhaps a more appropriate number would be to increase by ½ the current CPI schedule included.
-         Your revenue projects for amenities represent unreasonable fee increases each year; tennis 4% growth, fitness center 3%, golf growth 7%, etc.  The Board should be holding fees steady once the COLA increases become available.
-         Why is there no Marketing personnel or expenses for 2011 and 2012, we had marketing directors in both years and this year the budget was $400,000 per Kosoglow edict.  Furthermore, the budget calls for $400,000 in each year when the agreement was $250,000 for the Assessment increase and we have NO indication that we are doing any better now that we are spending $400,000/year.  Where is the accountability????  I have yet to see a Marketing Plan; the only document I’ve seen is an ad campaign outlined in a PDF presentation with no measurement/feedback for how effective the POA is in spending $400K of Property Owner money each year.
-         All in all is seems that our Club Services is costing the Property Owners less for the services provided.  But we need the POA to get a full time vendor into DeSoto Club and Balboa Club, the POA should tap some Property Owner resources in residence to figure out how to get a reliable vendor in these facilities and provide a menu that will work in HSV!

Your responsible actions will be appreciated.

Larry Frazer
A Concerned Property Owner

No comments:

Post a Comment