LACAMAS SHORES COMMUNITY
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Where Oh Where Did Our Dues Increase Go?
If you are like us, you looked forward with some optimism about the ways our recent dues increases would better our community. After all, it is not an insignificant sum of money that is raised over and above prior years. By our reckoning, we have 253 homes in our community and we experienced a dues increase of $22.20 per household this year alone for a total of $5,616.60 of additional funds..
So, where has all that money gone? It has gone to fund a couple of new projects our Board has undertaken. At the annual HOA meeting of March of 2016 two votes were taken. First, to spend money on signs to slow cars that travel too fast through our community. Second, to spend money on a study to determine what the status of the soccer field wetlands might be for the purpose of eventual clearing the wetlands of trees. After a very substantial vote by the community, both suggestions were voted down. Our newly elected Board listened only to the item about not spending money to help prevent speeding cars. On the issue of the wetlands, the Board decided that it knew better and funded the wetlands study. This was in clear opposition to the vote expressed of the membership.
WETLANDS - $8,552.99 to-date through August 31, 2017 or 152% of the dues increase. You may recall that at the annual meeting in March 2016, it was stated that one of our members had spent approximately $1,500 with John McConnaughey to do some preliminary consulting work regarding the wetlands. Certainly, it is the right of any member to spend their own funds to hire people to render service to their own property. However, this was work concerning property that is owned by all association members and was done without the consent or the knowledge of the HOA Board at that time. And, at that March 2016 meeting, Mr. McConnaughey, argued for doing a determination study rather than a delineation study and he stated “I could wrap things up well within the $3,500 that was originally quoted for the delineation (the quote solicited by the homeowner), and if you did that, the determination study would not obligate the HOA to spend another dime on this.” So, basically, Mr. McConnaughey proposed another $2,000 over and above what the homeowner had already paid him. After a highly questionable Request for Proposal that was sent to various providers, (some of whom refused to even respond), the Board decided to engage Mr. McConnaughey for $5,676 which is what he bid just a few months after that meeting to complete his work. Certainly much more than the figure he quoted at that March 2016 public meeting and more in line with the entire cost of his completion estimate as well as the monies spent by our member personally. Regardless, to-date there has been $8,268 spent with Mr. McConnaughey on this endeavor and, apparently, we are not yet through. Just one of those new projects that a dues increase allows.
INTERNET DOMAIN – Approximately $2,600 through September 2017 or 46% of the dues increase. One of the Board members suggested the HOA spend $1,500 to open a case with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) located in Switzerland in an attempt to secure four internet domain names which the Board felt rightfully belonged to them. This is after a new website was created and members were directed with signs and publications to use the new website. The result was that of the four domain names, one was never owned by our neighbor that created the community web site; the World Intellectual Property Organization ruled that the neighbor had rights to two of the domains in question and that the third domain (which had been registered but never been used by anyone) should be turned over to the HOA. The neighbor who built and maintained the community web site for fourteen years never sought reimbursement for the costs to defend herself against the Board’s claims. The Board did reimburse its member for the expense to bring the WIPO action. Further, the Board has spent an additional $900 ($99/month) for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services during this fiscal year alone so that the Board’s new website would come up first in any Google search.
As we look back at these projects, that the HOA Board has undertaken to enhance the community, it has cost more than the dues increase. In fact, it has cost almost 200% of the increase. The Board embarked on a course of action that a substantial segment of our community indicated they did NOT want to see undertaken and they sought to bring a cause of action against a dues-paying member only to have an internationally recognized body say the HOA had no rights to the domains being contested that were actively in use.
We know that the Board has continually said that it is performing better than budget and that the Reserve Account is well-funded for many years to come, but it does make us afraid to think what new projects the Board might undertake next year and just how long that Reserve Fund can last at this rate.
Concerned Lacamas Shores Neighbors,
Richard & Catherine Arnold, Dan & Elaine Foster, Steve & Cindi Marrinan, Mike & Linda Harnish, Steve Nelson & Kelly Greene, Dave & Julie Patterson, JP & Jeanne Brooks
Included in the Patio Encroachment below are Surveys, HOA Board's complicity and the Revocable License Agreement.
The evidence in this whole mess is voluminous. Nothing is secret except the deliberations and reasoning of the current board. The previous artcle posted here is now a pdf document.
This latest HOA board meeting synopsis for September 25 includes discussion of the 2015 Reserve Study and suggestion to redo it. Further discussion of Trees & Views policy and repeat of mistaken authority to use 1989 "Deeds of Dedication" are involved. The Board agreed to begin a search for a Land Use attorney to help convince the city to allow clear cutting the wetlands. Please see the post on the Community Facebook of progressive photos since early 1990's showing trees in the wetlands. Richard Arnold
Synopsis of September 25, 2017 Board Minutes
Synopsis of August 28, 2017 Board Minutes
Synopsis of Aug 10, 2017 Meeting with City (Wetlands)
Synopsis of July 24, 2017 Board Minutes
Recap of June 19 Working Minutes
Synopsis of June 19 Working Meeting + Deeds of Dedication clarification!
Synopsis of June 26, 2017 Board Meeting
Synopsis of Annual Meeting March 18, 2017
Synopsis of February 13, 2017 Board Minutes
Synopsis of January 16, 2017 Board Minutes
Synopsis of 2016 Board Meeting Minutes
Camas businesses will celebrate Halloween with treats and prizes to all the kids. Parents and kids come dressed in costume and have a great time with some surprises as well.
Fourth Avenue from Adams to Franklin and side streets from 4rd to 5th will be closed for the event to ensure everyone's safety.
For more information: Boo Bash Trick or Treat!
1. Clark County ScareGrounds! This event is SW Washington's best Halloween event. Held at the Clark County Event Center, there are Haunted Houses, Carnival Rides, Food and Vendors plus much more. Something for the whole family.
Clark County ScareGrounds
2. Haunted Theater at Washougal High School! There is a not so scary kids' house and a later full scare house. Check out the times and place for local scary fun.
Haunted House Washougal
3.The Pumpkin Patch & Maize, Sauvie Island, Portland, has something for everyone in the family. Great fall fun with Hayrides, Giant Haymaze and Giant Pyramid and THE Cornfield Maiz. Of course, great selection of pumpkins. The Patio cafe and giftshop to round out a great family adventure.
The Original Pumpkin Patch
Be safe and warm on Halloween!
The Vancouver Barracks was founded in 1849.In all the years since then, many stories have grown up about the Vancouver Barracks. The Barracks spirit tales are just in time for Halloween.
The Spirit Tales of the Barracks tour was designed by local historian and author Jefferson Davis. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you will be interested in the stories of past inhabitants.
The tours will run until October 29, 2017 every Sunday, Friday, and Saturday. Visit the website for more information. Spirit Tales of the Vancouver Barracks
A July 11 open house announced the city's plans to widen NW Larkspur Street north of Lake Road. This change will impact our neighborhood as well as others closer to the street. Below is a link to the feedback the city received from those who attended the event. There is also the project fact sheet and street design alternatives.
The VIEWS newsletter was published bi-monthly in the past. New publication dates will be announced by the current board. Enjoy reading the history of Lacamas Shores in past issues.
The BackFence is a neighborhood email list that allows homeowners to contact neighbors. This email list is a curtesy to our neighborhood and allows neighbors to express opinions and news to a limited audience. Please sign up to be included.
The mission of the Concerned Neighbors of Lacamas Shores, as a watchdog and information service, is to maximize the effectiveness of every eligible vote in the Lacamas Shores HOA by providing a synopsis of all board meetings and board actions, independent of board control, so members can make informed decisions.
Lacamas Shores Concerned Neighbors is an informal organization that represents the property owners of Lacamas Shores independently of the board to bring balance and objectivity to information relayed to members so their vote is truly an informed one.
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