Administration Operational Updates, Office Workflow and Restructuring:
October and November have proven to be quite busy for Lake Holiday staff members. The former business manager’s departure at the end of September resulted in an immediate need for adjustments in both the short-term and the long-term flow of work within the Association Administration Office. I am pleased to report that staff members have met the challenges presented with positive attitudes and a willingness to overcome them.
Short-term needs which required immediate addressing included the creation of an accurate eligibility list for the (then upcoming) annual election and the continued completion of time-sensitive Human Resource functions. These tasks included the yearly employee benefit compliance filings and Affordable Care Act disclosures, employee health insurance plan review and disclosures, ongoing payroll processing, and 401(k) plan administration.
The completion of the election eligibility list was of primary importance due to the timing of the election and due to the need for complete accuracy in the list. This need was met through a team effort and a consultant was engaged to create queries utilized to sort account data and to create the initial draft list for continued verification. The remainder of the eligibility list creation work was accomplished in-house, with Shannon Lanham verifying the status of existing payment plans, Jill Whitacre verifying property ownership transfers and ensuring accuracy as of the record date through County records, and I compiled the final eligibility list and verified its accuracy through an audit of all delinquent accounts using QuickBooks.
To ensure that all Human Resource functions were properly addressed, I assumed responsibility for those functions formerly assigned to the business manager such as payroll records preparation, 401(k) administration, and employee benefits management. An employee disclosure meeting was held with all LHCC staff in early November to satisfy the annual notification and disclosure requirements related to Affordable Care Act, employee health insurance, and the Association’s 401(k) Plan.
To ensure timely collections in the near-term, Kilmer’s CPA firm was engaged to create and track 30-day and over 60-day collection notices during November and December. In consultation with former Board President, Dr. Pat Majewski, I requested that Kilmer’s create two 2018 engagement letters for the Board’s consideration. One includes the continuation of collection letter originations from Kilmer’s in 2018; and the other continues the scope as performed during 2017 (without the letters). I believe it would be in the best interest of the Association for Kilmer’s to continue to handle this function for the 2018 year. On average, there are 60 to 80 accounts more than 30 days in arrears (which have not yet received a 30-day letter) in any given month and, depending on response from 30-day notices, there may be just as many 60-day notices. Creating these notices in a timely manner is of critical importance as they do often result in prompt payments, and can lead to a reduction in account delinquencies. Once 60-day notices are sent, office staff will then take steps (in accordance with existing resolutions) to place liens upon the properties involved which remain unresponsive.
Jill Whitacre has been promoted to the position of Operations Coordinator. The Operations Coordinator (OC) assists the General Manager (GM) in day-to-day coordination and management operations to order to better meet member expectations and to achieve company goals. As OC, Jill will take an active role in evaluating current administrative procedures and will make recommendations for improvements to the GM as necessary. Jill’s essential duties still include much of the work she performed as the records administrator, but they now also include collection duties such as lien filing, judgement filing, and court appearances as necessary. The Association attorney will be utilized for actual trials. Jill and I will be working together in December on an audit of all delinquent accounts to ensure that liens are applied as appropriate during the first quarter of 2018. The OC also serves as the stand-in manager in charge when the GM is unavailable or on scheduled leave, thereby eliminating the possibility of a void in day-to-day and afterhours management coverage.
Shannon Lanham remains the Association’s Bookkeeper, and is responsible for accounts payable, their tracking, and invoice verification and discrepancy resolution. Shannon works with members to address account questions, and to create and manage payment plans (in accordance with the existing resolutions), thereby reducing delinquencies and aiding members who are trying to become current on their dues. Shannon has become the primary point of contact regarding payment plans and member account inquiries since the departure of the former business manager, and continues to provide excellent service to our members.
Mary Ott’s role has expanded through her recent promotion to the role of Architectural and Compliance Supervisor. Mary has been very successful in recent months with Compliance efforts which she took over earlier this year, and she has now agreed to take on the Architectural process work currently being performed by the GM. This work helps to facilitate member application processing, and involves permit processing, tracking, and member services related to architectural application and questions that may arise during the application process.
As a part of the ongoing workload restructuring, the Association will be hiring an administrative assistant in the coming weeks. The office has received a number of resumes in response to an advertisement for the new position, and interviews are set to begin on Monday November 27, 2018. The newly hired administrative assistant will serve in part as the primary greeter in the office, answering phone calls and welcoming members as they arrive.
Ongoing Project Updates…
Docufree update: Staff has completed the packing of paper documents slated for scanning by Docufree (Mary Ott led the effort, thank you Mary). The pickup date for the documents has not yet been confirmed, but it is anticipated that they will be shipped out the week of November 27th. In total, the Association has 127 boxes of document to be scanned. Original estimates placed that the total at approximately 90 boxes. This higher actual number of boxes may result in a higher total cost, but we will not know until the scanning is well under way. Many of the boxes contain divider material and jacket folders that will not need to be scanned. These “extra” pages significantly increase the bulk of documents, and when removed, should help to keep the pricing in-line with the original estimate.
Open-Mesh update: The Open-Mesh hardware necessary for Clubhouse Wi-Fi improvements has been procured, and is awaiting installation by STS in accordance with Board approval. STS will be accessing the installation requirements in the coming week, with the intention of having the installation completed as soon as possible.
Maintenance Department Updates: The Bag-and-Go Leaf Collection Program has been well received by the membership. As of this writing, the maintenance department has collected roughly 300 compostable bags of leaves with two pick up dates to go. There was some confusion regarding the dates with a small percentage of members. These members misinterpreted the flyer and took the two dates listed for their area to be a date range within which they should place bags out. This resulted in bags being left out on dates other than those intended, but our maintenance crew simply picked them up while out performing other work in the area, and it did not result in any issues.
In response to many requests from members, I have added an additional day for leaf bag collection community-wide. The final day for collection will be Wednesday December 13th, and will be for the entire community. This later date should allow those still cleaning up falling leaves to take advantage of the program.
Salt Spreaders and Plow Update & Winter Prep: The two stainless steel salt spreaders and the one new snow plow approved by the Board for purchase using replacement reserves have been procured and installed. The originally proposed plow was 7.5 feet wide. It became apparent with further investigation, that an 8.5 feet wide plow was required due to the width of the truck it was being mounted on. Shade Equipment was able to provide the correct size plow while still remaining within the Board approved expenditure amount.
Appropriate stocks of gravel and road chemicals are on hand, and additional chemicals will be procured and stocked in December so that the maintenance crew will have the materials necessary to meet the community’s snow and ice removal needs this winter.
Road Shoulder and Drainage Improvements & Repairs: The Association’s maintenance crew is currently working alongside contractor ER Neff to rehabilitate the road shoulders along major corridors such as West Masters, Country Club, Lakeview, and Colonial Drive. The shoulders along these roads have become depressed/eroded in areas, and have resulted in a situation where the shoulder is now lower than the adjoining grade. The crews are cutting the grade down with a motor-grader to remove the berms created by erosion and traffic, and they are compacting the gravel along the roads with a heavy roller so that water will be moved away from the paved surface and into the ditch lines where it belongs. The large equipment being utilized along these main corridors is not appropriate for the same work on the curvier secondary roads within Lake Holiday. Such areas will be addressed by our maintenance crew utilizing smaller tractors and equipment on an as-needed basis later this winter.
The maintenance crew will also be working to cut back overgrowth of brush and limbs in the roadway easements this winter as time allows. The maintenance of these areas is critical in some areas due to sightline issues that such growth creates, and the safety risk such issues can create for pedestrians and drivers. Please be patient and considerate of worker and driver safety when travelling through work zones. Workers often cannot hear approaching vehicles due to machinery noise. Your consideration is greatly appreciated.
Looking Forward: Road options – in 2016, the Association undertook Phase I of the road maintenance program (tar and chip were utilized). Due to the negative response from the membership regarding tar and chip, Phase II was not undertaken in 2017. I will work with the Board of Directors for guidance on potential alternative maintenance options as we anticipate moving forward with Phase II in 2018.
We all thank you, the membership, for your continued support and encouragement as we take to the office and administrative processes to a higher level for all of you.
(Submitted by Mike Goodwin)