- President Report – February 2019 (2/4/2019)
- Come to the Annual Shareholder’s Meeting is February 4 @ 7:00pm at the Club House. It’s your chance to hear a summary of 2018 and ask questions.
- Please get your ballots in before the Shareholder Meeting deadline. This is your chance to vote for the current slate of Board Member candidates. We need a quorum for the votes to count and to hold the meeting! There is still time to mail it in, drop it off at the Clubhouse, or bring it to the meeting.
Since this newsletter should be published just before Annual Shareholder’s Meeting I want to remind you of two things:
At the Shareholder’s Meeting each Board Member summarizes the year in their area of oversight. Here are some highlights:
Finances. Blue Ridge Club is on solid ground financially. While both revenue and expenses were higher than expected, a contribution of $168,000 was made to reserves for a total of $585,000 at year-end. At a 68% funding level as measured by our Reserve Study, we are making headway towards the goal of becoming fully funded which simply means that we have enough to replace/repair our assets over the next 30 years. We’ve continued on the path of annually planning (and funding) projects to proactively manage the maintenance of those community assets. In 2018 Blue Ridge spent close to $80,000 in reserves to fund several major projects. Now that we have significant funds in Reserves, Blue Ridge is developing an investment plan to receive a better return on that money.
Pool and Tennis. The programs had a major change this year with Brooke Walker taking on the mantle of responsibility as Pool and Tennis Chair. She did great learning and taking on this huge job. Blue Ridge hosted the Northerns post season swim meet that brought in hundreds of swimmers from other swim clubs. It was a real feat in coordination and involved many Blue Ridge swim families to pull it off. We’re hosting the All Cities meet this coming summer and with lessons learned, we’re ready.
Architecture Review. This area continued on the trend with mostly standard projects and 2 or 3 complicated ones that came before the Board. The more difficult projects tend to be tear downs where significant changes to smaller, older homes are proposed. The Board has the challenge of taking in to account all perspectives in relation to the review criteria which has elements of subjectivity. In these cases, it sometimes feels like no one is fully satisfied with the outcome and that can be frustrating for all. As mentioned last month, 2018 was Barbara Sinn’s last year on the Board and as Architecture Chair. Eric Souder will be shifting from Security to this sometimes tough job.
Legal. Things were relatively quiet on the legal front in 2018. In addition to the usual lien management, consultation with outside council on the interpretation of our Mutual Easements was required on two issues: tree houses and the dues structure. As Kelly Sheridan leaves the Board, Steve Reich will transition from Secretary to Legal Chair.
Security. Eric Souder joined the Board this past year as Security Chair. The biggest happening in this area is that security cameras were installed down at the Beach Park. They have helped us identify people “breaking” the park’s rules and have caused the Board to discuss and fine tune our enforcement alternatives.
Facilities and Grounds. Steve Brunette serves as Chair in this area. The Long Range Planning Committee has helped us formalize our maintenance planning and the process is working well. Blue Ridge did have a Work Party this past year with projects at both parks and the Club House.
Membership. As Membership Chair, Jen Henniger welcomes new residents and helps them “acclimate” to Blue Ridge. It feels like the real estate market has slowed a bit in this part of town but we always have new neighbors joining us. Jen was instrumental in recruiting Sarah Salentine who has been doing a great job as Events Coordinator.
So, those are some of the highlights of 2018. Come to the Shareholder’s Meeting to hear more and find out about some initiatives for 2019.
- Association Manager Report – February 2019 (2/4/2019)
Each January brings a crush of payments, visitors, emails and phone calls as the January 31 deadline for annual dues approaches. Thank you to everyone who made their payments on time! If you missed the due date, please contact me or I’ll reach out soon. Please remember, final payment for the installment plan is due Tuesday, April 30.
Sometimes we’re asked, “Why hasn’t my check cleared yet?” , this question usually arises when a balanced check register is unavailable. Blue Ridge bookkeepers post payments and make bank deposits every two weeks; this provides affordable efficiency and separation of duties to safeguard homeowner funds.
Be there or be square
In addition to the annual dues, January also means meeting deadlines to print, stuff, and mail the annual shareholder meeting notice, create and print the annual shareholder report, while hopefully receiving enough shareholder ballots to reach a quorum. Ballots were mailed January 11th and need to be returned by the 78th annual shareholder meeting Monday, February 4th at 7pm . Please reach out if you didn’t receive a ballot, we may need to update your address, or issue a replacement ballot.
Do you have reservations?
In January, we also opened the 2019 clubhouse and cabana rental calendars – Thanks to Alison’s diligent efforts, this was a full month sooner than in the past! The response was immediate and reservations have been streaming in daily. Our self-service reservation system (installed by IT volunteer John Parchem ) is available at www.BlueRidgeSeattle.com where you will find real time availability 24/7, procedures, forms, fees and rules. If you’re hosting a special event, we also offer additional coordination and janitorial services; please reach out for details and fees.
“Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, they just have the heart.” Elizabeth Andrew
Unlike many communities, Blue Ridge accomplishes much with many groups of ambitious volunteers. The immediate benefit is lower than average homeowner fees, but the real benefits are vital social networks and community pride. Please consider the many volunteering opportunities, from behind the scenes, or in the thick of things, from one time, short term projects, to ongoing community engagement. Help Blue Ridge usher in another fabulous 78 years!
- Architecture Report – February 2019 (2/4/2019)
In January, the Board:
- Heard initial presentation for additional window at 1943 NW Milford Way – Van Kampen
In February, the Board will:
- Act on additional window at 1943 NW Milford Way – Van Kampen
- Initial presentation on solar panels at 1990 NW Blue Ridge Dr NW – Litsey/Young
- Membership Report – February 2019 (2/4/2019)
Volunteer Appreciation Dinner!
Once a year we like to give a heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers who make this amazing community function. This year’s Volunteer Appreciation Dinner will be Sunday February 10, 2019 from 6-8pm .
If you have helped in any capacity around the neighborhood this year (or any year!), please come enjoy a lovely dinner by local caterer Honey, I’m Home! as well as beverages, dessert, and of course, some wonderful company! We’ll present the “Volunteer of the Year” award to a very special volunteer who puts in countless time and effort, year after year.
RSVPs are appreciated to assist with catering numbers, but not required. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
In other membership news, we welcomed one new family to the neighborhood in the last several months – please join me in giving a warm welcome to the Lopez Family on Blue Ridge Drive.
Thanks for all your support this year. Here’s to a fantastic 2019!
- Events Report – February 2019 (2/4/2019)
This month has been filled with planning for the fun year to come in Blue Ridge. Set your calendars for the events we have scheduled so far for this year and stay tuned for some dates to come.
The summer party will be back this year at the beach park cabana! Thanks so much to Barbara Sinn and friends for leading the event.
Upcoming Events for 2019:
- Ladies Bunco is back!!- Friday, February 1st at 7pm at the BR Club House. Please bring $5 for buy-in and a drink or snack to share. This is a dice game involving zero skill, so don’t be shy if you haven’t played- all ladies welcome! Thanks so much Jamie Smith for coordinating!
- Movie night at the club house – TBD
- New Residents Coffee hour- coming in Spring- stay tuned
- Easter Egg Hunt
- Summer BBQ at the Beach Park- July 20th
- Fourth of July Parade and BBQ- July 4th
- Oktoberfest- September 27th
- Family Halloween Party- October 31st
- Holiday Open House-December 5th
- Christmas Ships at the Beach Park
- Holiday Lights Contest
As we close out 2018, I would like to give a special thank you to our volunteers who made all of our Blue Ridge events happen:
- Tom Douglas Dinner- Cat Burns
- Easter Egg Hunt- Julie Keegan
- 4th of July Picnic-Amanda O’Rourke
- Oktoberfest- Jen Henninger & Jamie Smith
- Halloween- Mary Beth Brown
- Holiday Open House- Ashleigh Root
- Holiday Lights Contest- Sarah Leung
If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- President Report – January 2019 (1/14/2019)
Happy New Year! The New Year means changes on the Board.
Vote Early (but not often since there is only one ballot per household) Board election ballots will soon be in the mail. Annually we have 3 Board positions up for election to a 3 year term. This year we have two new people asking for your vote and one returning member that is seeking another term. Marilyn Ernst and Josh Findley are already familiar with Blue Ridge issues as they have served on the Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) and have attended many Board meetings over the past couple of years. Marilyn is retired after a long career in the insurance industry, has grown children and a granddaughter that will hopefully continue in the swimming tradition of the family by joining the swim team one day. Josh is an I.T. Consultant with a young family that has lived in Blue Ridge for 5 years. Both Marilyn and Josh have already made strong contributions to Blue Ridge and we fully appreciate that they want to continue to serve the neighborhood.
We are also EXTREMELY thankful that Brook Walker has agreed to serve another term. Brooke has been super involved in the neighborhood in many capacities for years. During her first term in office she worked as Security Chair, moved to the fun Membership Chair job and then took on the heavy mantel of responsibility as Pool & Tennis Chair in 2018. This position basically involves running a small business operation for a concentrated 4 month period. She did a fantastic job in her first year and we will benefit greatly from her continued stewardship of the programs.
Kelly Sheridan and Barbara Sinn will finish their terms and rotate off the Board. Both have actually served longer than one term having been appointed during the previous term.
Kelly has been Legal Chair and has helped guide us threw a few thorny situations, drafted a number of policies as we have worked to formalize operations and decision making authority, and has provided a much needed perspective during Board discussions. He’s done this all while working in a very demanding job.
Barbara started out as Membership Chair (the fun job) and moved to Architecture Chair (a much less fun job). With Architecture, she brought her own bubbly personality and empathetic demeanor to a position that sometimes can be emotional and contentious. It also involves time outside Board meetings to talk with neighbors and encourage compromise.
Serving on the Board can be rewarding with the knowledge that you are making a contribution to the neighborhood that you love. But positive affirmations don’t necessarily come often and on occasion, we get embroiled in difficult situations with a lot of negativity. If you see Kelly or Barbara around in the next few weeks please thank them for their service. I give them my personal thanks and will miss working with them.
Annual Shareholder’s Meeting – February 4th
The annual meeting is around the corner. This is the time where all residents can come hear about the last year and what is planned for 2019. Please come to ask questions and tell us what is on your mind.
And………Please VOTE! Ballots are due by the Shareholders meeting. They can be mailed in, dropped off at the Clubhouse or brought to the meeting. As always we need a quorum of 34% for the elections to be valid.
Hope to see you at the meeting!
- Association Manager Report – January 2019 (1/14/2019)
Happy New Year Blue Ridge!
In last month’s Bulletin, I shared 2018 accomplishments and this month I’d like to share what we have planned for 2019:
We have 3 pool heaters, 1 failed in September and the other one is failing as well. The reserve studies predicted their expiration, enabling the Board to plan financially, and we negotiated savings by replacing both at the same time. Depending on permitting, the new heaters should be in place well before opening day May 11th.
Additional projects include replacing EZ Facility, further labor compliance, renovating the pump house, replacing 2 ADA hand sprays, and an engineering report for the concrete retaining walls.
Our current railroad pedestrian crossing is non-compliant with safety regulations and could jeopardize our BNSF lease and access. A concrete pad will provide safer crossings and retain Blue Ridge compliance. We’re at the mercy of the BNSF process and schedule for this work, but the goal is for completion by summer.
The asphalt path leading from Blue ridge Dr to the railroad tracks needs repair and maintenance. Permitting and weather will determine completion, but again, the goal is by summer.
The current surveillance system is 10+yrs old and with the current vendor, expensive to operate and replace. This past year we explored other vendor and hardware options and found alternatives to save thousands of dollars and improve performance. Installation is planned once winter weather has passed.
The clubhouse audio/visual components have foiled many renters and Events volunteers with unreliable performance or complicated use. We’ll replace the speakers and mixer board with all in one blue tooth speakers and install a permanent screen for simple pull down use.
We negotiated savings for asphalt repairs by coordinating the Woodbine and Beach Park projects. Re-striping will happen once temperatures are warm enough with the addition of pickle ball stripes under consideration.
Mary Ave Greenbelt
This greenbelt is also called Tract A, and while there’s a public access easement to Carkeek Park, as owner, Blue Ridge is responsible for maintaining the greenbelt. As age, yard debris and invasive ivy have compromised tree conditions, it became obvious an arbor assessment was needed for a long term maintenance plan. Expect to see a team of arborists in Tract A sometime after the trees leaf out.
Please reach out if you’d like further details about these projects and we look forward to seeing you Monday, February 4th, 7pm at the 77th Annual Shareholders Meeting.
- Architecture Report – January 2019 (1/14/2019)
AIn December the board:
- Approved 1219 NW Woodbine Way, Bozied/Crutcher new build
- Approved 1302 NW Woodbine Way, Holt remodel
In January the board:
Nothing on the docket
- Events Report – January 2019 (1/14/2019)
December was filled with holiday fun and it was great to get out and spend time with Blue Ridge neighbors. Thank you so much Ashleigh Root for leading the fantastic Holiday Open House! It was a wonderful chance to see our neighborhood celebrating the holidays and spend some time with Santa. The annual Christmas ships were back again to bring some holiday cheer. It was delightful to have the ships back down at the beach park and you could hear the festive music throughout the neighborhood. Thanks to Sarah Leung for leading the holiday lights decorating contest! The lights were fabulous this year and I appreciate everyone who worked hard on their lighting displays. Congratulations to our winners. It was beautiful to see the neighborhood lit up.
- Bunco is coming back- Stay tuned for future dates
- Movie night at the club house- The clubhouse is getting a new AV system this year so let’s put it to good use! Please let me know if you are interested in leading a kid’s movie night. We would love to bring the movie nights back and get the neighborhood kids together this winter.
Please let me know if there are any other neighborhood events you are interested in resurrecting, leading, or helping with. I’m open to ideas. We need a lead(s) for the summer party at the pool. I have some volunteers ready to help I just need someone to take the lead on the event.
If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, I can be reached at email@example.com.
- President Report – December 2018 (12/3/2018)Well, 2018 will soon be coming to an end, and while certain things wind down, we will begin to start on initiatives for next year!Dues Structure InitiativeOne of those initiatives is coming out of the Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) and involves our dues structure. Blue Ridge currently has two sets of dues: Common Membership (CM), which is our obligatory HOA dues ($1010 in 2018) that all residents must pay, and the optional Community-Plus Membership dues (CM+ for an additional $585) where members gain access to the pool and tennis facilities. The LRPC has been charged with investigating the implications of moving to a single-tier dues structure where everyone would have access to pool and tennis facilities and pay the same dues.Ever since I came on the Board, this has been a topic of conversation. There are a number of reasons to consider the move. The primary reason is that it would enable all residents to share more equally in both the cost and benefits of the pool and tennis amenities. Additionally, from the management perspective, it would reduce administrative hassle and costs and would follow a more typical HOA model.The first task that the committee worked on this past year was an analysis of the costs of the pool and tennis operations in relation to dues income. Recognizing that there is a long history of the current dues structure and that there may be a range of opinions about this, the committee also developed a survey. We want to better understand more about our community and the reasons they choose, or not choose, to be a CM+ member. And we want to get opinions on moving to a single set of dues.Dues Survey. So……let us know what you think! Please Click Here to take the approximate 5 minute Survey. Or a link can also be found on our website at www.BlueRidgeSeattle.com .In March and April of 2019 we will hold “Town Hall” meetings to share the results of the survey and discuss the potential of a single set of dues.More festive thingsAs we approach the end of the year, I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season and offer best wishes for the New Year. I hope everyone will be able to make the Holiday Open House at the Clubhouse on December 6 at 5:30. Although, it is mixing it up to be on a Thursday night, rumor has it that Santa and Mrs. Claus will still be in attendance. See you there!