This month I wanted to take the opportunity to relay to residents some of the items that the committees have been hard at work on. As the General Manager, the committees that I support are the Environmental Management Committee (landscaping), the Budget and Finance Committee and now the newly re-energized Capital Improvements Committee. Of course this is in addition to my work with the Board of Trustees.
As you may have read last month in the Crier, the long term Chair of the Environmental Management Committee (EMC), Wayne Stengel, resigned this spring as he and his wife were moving out of the community. Wayne provided direction and continuity to this committee, and his efforts have been missed. The committee is pleased to welcome Glen Palman back to the group as a committee member, as he had been the liaison to the committee from the Board of Trustees when he sat on the Board.
The EMC has requested and reviewed many proposals for upcoming landscaping projects, and several of those will be started in the fall as soon as the temperature cools. They include landscape enhancements to three pocket parks, additional plantings in an area known as the Rosewalk – its pavered sidewalk connects Kent Oaks Mews and the 200 to 300 block of Chestertown Street – and clean up and planting of the berm between Rt 28 and Beckwith Mews. Five pocket parks were recently wood chipped, and drainage was added to two of those parks to help keep the wood chips in place, while the tot lot at the Clubhouse was mulched last spring. These are the types of projects that the committee meets to discuss and implement in its effort to continuously beautify the community.
The Budget and Finance Committee (BFAC) has been hard at work all spring and summer to produce a draft budget that will be presented to the Board of Trustees at their August meeting. That committee lost its chair last year when Greg Cohen was asked to step in to fill Rob Garretson’s position on the Board of Trustees after Rob’s resignation to accept the position of vice chair of the Kentlands Community Foundation. The committee functioned for a while without a chair this year, but I’m pleased to announce that Ken Dretchen was nominated and accepted the position, and he will be presented the draft 2018 budget to the Board.
This committee has been diligent in looking for ways to identify additional sources of revenue other than assessment income, and looking at the budget line by line in an attempt to cut expenses where possible. David Hofmann was asked to fill the vacancy of treasurer of the KCA when Robert Randolph resigned earlier this year due to health reasons. David has not only been extremely helpful to me as the new treasurer, but is also the new liaison from the Board to the BFAC as well.
The newly reformed Capital Improvements Committee has been tasked with identifying big-ticket items that the community might want or need but haven’t acquired yet. A portion of your monthly assessments is set aside for a Capital Improvement Reserve and the fund has grown to $135,767.00 as of the end of July 2017. Three items that have been identified and that the committee will be advising the BOT on before the end of the year will be an electronic access system for the Clubhouse, an onsite storage facility and professionally installed audio-video equipment to better live stream meetings and events at the clubhouse. The current live stream system started out as an in-house experiment, and the Board now feels that it’s time to investigate what it would cost to implement a professional system that would bring the sound and audio quality expected by our residents. The committee will have its first meeting in September.
The last big maintenance item currently in the works is finishing the mews paving project that was begun in 2014. The project was divided up into four phases but before phase three and four could be accomplished, the Quince Orchard Road retaining wall collapsed. Money was diverted from the General Reserve to repair the wall, and the KCA finances now allow the Board to begin the final phases of paving the mews. Specifications are currently being written by a local engineer which will allow the project to be bid early this fall, with a portion, if not all, of the work to be completed by years end. There will be more information published to residents after a contractor has been selected and we have specific dates and locations of when and where the work will take place.
The 2017 Election Committee met for the first time this year in August to begin to prepare for the mail out to residents with this year’s “Call for Nominations” for the Board of Trustees. Three terms on the Board will expire this fall. If you’ve ever thought about running for the Board, why not this year? Watch for the letter to arrive in your mailbox in September with all the information you need to throw your “hat in the ring”.
To sum up, the committees mentioned above are just a few of the committees that it takes to address the governance and aesthetics of the Kentlands. All of the volunteers devote many hours to these duties and take them seriously. Their goal is to keep everyone’s property values up through attention to individual and common area maintenance and to keep the Kentlands the sought after community that it is today. I hope if you know people who volunteer on a committee, you take a moment and thank them for their efforts.