Friday, December 16, 2022

Minutes: 2022 AWHOA Annual Meeting and Elections

 The Minutes from the 2022 Autumn Walk HOA (AWHOA) Annual Meeting and Elections are below.

The key results are that the Board decided to defer raising monthly fees by at least another year, and Fred Leong was re-elected to the Board.

2022 Autumn Walk HOA Annual Meeting 

Date: November 14, 2022

Location: Via Zoom


1.     Board & Management Team:

a.     Dharmesh Patel (President), 9811

b.     Fred Leong (Vice President, Communications), 9854

c.      Allie Stegner (Member-at-Large), 9832

d.     April Day, Community Manager, Community Association Services, Inc. (CAS)

2.     Residents

a.     Attending (3): AJ (9838), Mike (9853), Jubril (9858)

b.     Proxies (13): 9804, 9808, 9809, 9810, 9814, 9819, 9823, 9825, 9846, 9848, 9852, 9860, 9866



·       2021 Minutes

·       Report on Past Year

·       Landscaping, Reserve Study

·       Discussion

·       Resident’s Forum

·       Elections

·       Budget, Fees


2022 Meeting Notes:

1.     Meeting Called to Order by Dharmesh at 7:05 PM

a.     Fred will take minutes

2.     Establishing Quorum

a.     12 of 45 houses (25%) required by Bylaws

b.     6 in attendance + 13 proxies = 19 homes 

c.      Quorum is established

3.     2021 Minutes were distributed and read

a.     Minutes approved (Motion: Dharmesh, Second: Allie, Vote 3-0)

4.     Report on past year:

a.     Dharmesh: Things are going well

                                               i.     Johnson Landscaping: 

1.     Performed first Fall leaf removal, total of three

2.     Fall mulching 3-4 weeks ago (October 2022)

a.     New contract 4 years ago was cheaper so we added the additional service at Dharmesh’s suggestion

                                              ii.     Social Jun 17

1.     AJ Carew (9838) organized Pizza Party with Communications assistance from Fred

2.     Fred: Deliberately asked for volunteers in order to increase engagement, many thanks to AJ

a.     Small budget only intended to seed the event, control costs

b.     In past often had Potluck (which also encouraged participation) with HOA providing drinks, pizza, etc.

3.     Discussion of other events:

a.     Allie: No Halloween event this year due to schedule issues (did not fall on a weekend)

                                                                                                     i.     Suggests holding event the weekend before Halloween next year

                                                                                                    ii.     Possibly also separate Chili Cook-Off from Halloween

b.     Possible calendar:

                                                                                                     i.     Picnic: Spring or Early Summer

                                                                                                    ii.     Fall Chili Cook-Off

                                                                                                   iii.     Halloween

c.      Flamingo Fridays:

                                                                                                     i.     Had fallen off so always hosted by same 1-2 people, needs to expand if it continues

d.     Communications: Fred can help publicize (web, email); also have Facebook

b.     Brief discussion of Landscaping Maintenance contract

                                               i.     Fred: April of CAS suggested in 2012 that we add private yards to contract

1.     Able to add for just 10%-15% above the cost of just maintaining the Common Areas

2.     At time raised monthly fees from $60 to $75 to cover difference, anticipating that we could hold fees steady for 5 years (has now been 10 years without increasing)

a.     April had estimated at the time that Landscaping contract would rise about 2%-3%/year, and this has been met (but last year cost rose 8% due to high inflation)

                                              ii.     General agreement that our neighborhood has been very well maintained, and that this is recognized elsewhere also

5.     Resident Forum/Questions:

a.     Did we have electronic voting?

                                               i.     No, this was only the Emerson Master HOA; our vote is by proxy form or at this meeting

b.     Grass in yards:

                                               i.     Are homeowner responsibility to maintain and replace if necessary

                                              ii.     No real soil in many of these areas, one home replaced with sod

c.      Sidewalks:

                                               i.     Homeowner responsibility except in front of Common Areas

                                              ii.     Q: Cracks?

1.     Will take pictures and send to April (one between 9840 and 9844; other by 9853)

2.     Might be homeowner responsibility

                                             iii.     Q: Street: see Budget discussion below                          

d.     How does AWHOA communicate with residents?

                                               i.     Email list; Autumn Walk Facebook Forum; web site (; flyers

                                              ii.     Official communications via mail

                                             iii.     Q: Can we use “Remind” app or text?

1.     Can consider this, but it is difficult to manage so many platforms 

2.     Tried to pick ones that would reach most of residents, not all choose to participate

6.     Election

a.     Fred was only candidate for his expiring term, no other candidates announced at meeting

                                               i.     Re-appointed unanimously to term expiring in 2025 [Motion: Dharmesh, Second: Allie, All Present Voted in Favor]

b.     Board Terms (expiration):

                                               i.     Dharmesh (2023)

                                              ii.     Allie (2024)

                                             iii.     Fred (2025)

7.     Budget Discussion

a.     Social: Is $250 enough?

                                               i.     After discussion felt we should increase to $350 to account for inflation, but control costs with volunteers and potluck/sign up [Motion: Dharmesh, Second: Allie, Pass 3-0]

b.     Lengthy discussion of the amount of funds in Operations Fund, Contingency Fund, and Reserves

                                               i.     Dharmesh: Auditor made recommendations for us as a non-profit HOA as follows:

1.     “We recommend the Association only maintain excess operating funds at a level of 15% to 40% of annual assessments. Any funds in excess of 40% should be transferred to replacement reserves.” 

                                              ii.     Discussion that this next year we will be awarding a contract for new Reserve Study (has not been performed since 2015, so we are overdue; according to April Day the best-practice standard is a new Reserve Study every 5 years)

1.     Per the Auditor: “The Association is currently funding its replacement reserves based on a study conducted in 2015. Maryland recently enacted a law requiring associations that last had a reserve study performed prior to October 1, 2018 to have it updated by October 1, 2023.”

2.     Has been significant inflation since then, especially to construction costs in past 3 years

3.     However, we are also a few years ahead of the 2015 schedule

                                             iii.     Discussion of potential major expenses

1.     Landscaping Contract: 

a.     Dharmesh: In past was 3 years

b.     Will ask if we can get a 2 year contract to assure some stability, prices provided were only one year

2.     Street is showing many fine cracks [Fred will send pictures to April]

a.     Parking spaces (AWHOA responsibility) not necessarily tied to street (Howard County) but per April Day, often done at same time

b.     Usually expect 15-20 year lifetime for residential street without high traffic, so probably c. 2030

c.      Repair:

                                                                                                     i.     Mill and overlay: to ground, redo entire street

                                                                                                    ii.     Slurry seal coat

                                                                                                   iii.     Seal coat (for longevity and aesthetics)

d.     Repair process:

                                                                                                     i.     Reach out to County to find out when it is set to be repaired; check Palace Hall

                                                                                                    ii.     County will assess; if there are budget issues they will defer

1.     Look for window from County

                                                                                                   iii.     Some Counties will repair pre-emptively, some will go well past the point where repair is needed

                                                                                                   iv.     Worthwhile to start conversation with County

                                                                                                    v.     Q: Mike (9853) comments that County may be willing to apply spot treatment of tar on the many fine cracks in street to slow down major damage and extend life of street [April will ask]

3.     Fred suggests we need to ensure that the amount set aside for the large retaining wall at the end of the street is correct

a.     This expense dominates the Reserve Study requirements

c.      Board decides to make several funding moves pending the result of the updated Reserve Study in FY2023:

                                               i.     Apply excess of $5759 in Operating Funds from FY2022 to cover the Budgetary Deficit in FY2023 [Motion: Fred, Second: Allie, Pass 3-0]

                                              ii.     Delay increase in monthly Association fees in FY2023 [Motion: Fred, Second: Allie, Pass 3-0]

1.     Will be examined again in FY2024 Budget after results of new Reserve Study

                                             iii.     Move remaining Retained Earnings in excess of 40% of Annual Assessments in the amount fo $28,000 to Reserve Fund [Motion: Dharmesh, Second: Fred, Pass 3-0]

                                             iv.     Adopt Amended Budget [Motion: Fred, Second: Dharmesh, Pass 3-0]

8.     Summary of Actions and Votes:

a.     2021 Meeting Minutes Approved [Pass, 3-0]

b.     Increase Social Budget from $250 to $350 [Pass, 3-0]

c.      Delay increase in Association fees from 2023 to 2024 [Pass, 3-0]

d.     Transfer excess Operational funds to Reserve Fund [Pass, 3-0]

e.     Utilize Retained Funds (budget surplus) from FY2022 for FY2023 Budget [Pass, 3-0]

f.      Adopt Amended Budget [Pass, 3-0]

g.     Election: Fred reappointed to Board until 2025

h.     Fred to take pictures of cracks in sidewalks and streets for April to follow up with Howard County [in particular, whether minor application of tar/sealant can prevent further cracks and potholes, and window for scheduling future resurfacing]

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