HL A/B Board Minutes

JANUARY 26, 2010
I. Call the Meeting to Order - Bob Levy called the meeting to order on January 26, 2010. Members present from the A Board: Bob Levy, President, Michael Hall, Rebecca Todd Hitt, James MacBride, and Jane McMillan. From the B Board, Garland Ford, Vice President, Larry Bowman, Treasurer, Jeanette Sterner, Secretary, and Jim Atchley. Rob James, General Manager of HLRA and Barbara Cooper, HLRA employee, were also present.
II. Approval of Annual Property Owners Meeting Minutes - December 5, 2009. Bob Levy asked if there was any discussion concerning the minutes. There was none. Larry Bowman made a motion to approval the minutes and Garland Ford seconded the motion. The motion passed.
III. Approval of Regular Board Meeting Minutes - November 17, 2009. Bob Levy asked if there was any discussion. There was none. Jim Atchley made a motion to approve the minutes and Jeanette Sterner seconded the motion. The motion passed.
IV. Ratification of Board of Director Officers. Bob Levy said the officers were elected at the December 5, 2009 meeting. Bob Levy, President, Garland Ford, Vice President, Larry Bowman, Treasurer, and Jeanette Sterner, Secretary. Bob asked for a motion to ratify the election. Garland Ford made a motion to ratify the election of officers and Jim Atchley seconded the motion. The motion passed.
V. BOD Schedule. Rob said the A/B meetings would be held on the fourth Tuesday of the months of January, March, May, July, and September. The meeting in November will be held the 16th because of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Annual Property Owners' Meeting will be held on December 4 at 2:00p.m. In the past, this meeting was held at 3:00p.m. Rob said some of the meetings would be a conference call, to save money on travel. However, if one Board member desires to have a face-to-face meeting, all members will be asked to meet at Holly Lake Ranch. Jeanette made a motion to accept the BOD meeting schedule and Larry Bowman seconded the motion. The motion passed.
VI. Greens Committee Member Recommendation. Rob recommended the approval of the following Greens Committee Members: Jeanette Sterner, BOD Liaison; Bob Blanton, MGA President appointee; Diane Stinchcomb, WGA President; Patti Trice, 9-Hole President; Tom Patrick, At Large; Dick Sparks, At Large; Larry Walters, At Large; Jack Hester, At Large; and Steve Gowan, MGA Representative. Garland Ford made a motion to approve the Greens Committee members and Jim Atchley seconded the motion. The motion passed.
VII. Architectural Control Committee (ACC) Member Recommendation. Rob recommended the approval of the following ACC members: Cathi Gramling, Danny Quimet, Jimmy Pollard, and Barbara Sandifer. Garland made a motion to approve the ACC Board and Larry Bowman seconded the motion. The motion passed.
VIII. Golf Tournament Schedule Recommendation. Rob recommended the approval of the 2010 Golf Course Tournament Schedule, with one change. The "MGA 3-Man Scramble" is changed from March 13 & 14 to March 6 and 7, 2010. Jane McMillan, manager of Holly Lake Ranch Resort, asked to move the dates because of Spring Break. More Silverleaf residents play golf during Spring Break and the tournament would inhibit their ability to play. Rob said the MGA Executive Board agreed to the change to accommodate Silverleaf. Larry Bowman made a motion to approve the tournament schedule, with the one change. Garland Ford seconded the motion. The motion passed.
IX. Security Truck Purchase Recommendation. Rob recommended the purchase of a 2010 F-150 pick-up truck from Murrey Motors for the security department. The price would be $23,517 plus $6,230 for equipment. The total cost will be $29,747 and would be purchased on a 5-year note. The monthly note would be $550. The 2010 budget was set at $520. The details for the equipment were available to the Board for review. Rob said that Jeanette Sterner had requested the Association obtain more bids from dealerships within the area. He said Chief South did ask for several bids. Jeanette said her request was based on complaints she had received from dealerships, which often sponsor a vehicle for a "Hole-in-One" prize for special tournaments, such as the Veterans' Tournament and the HLVFD Tournament. They felt they should at least be given the opportunity to give a bid. Bob Levy said that makes sense to him and it is right that the Association do this for local dealerships. Rob said six bids were obtained. He also said the old vehicle will go to the Maintenance Department. Garland Ford made a motion to purchase the new truck and Larry Bowman seconded the motion. The motion passed.
X. Front Entry Sign Discussion. Rob said a sixteen-year old son of a HLR resident ran into the HLR sign on the West side. The vehicle completely crumbled the old sign. Rob obtained a bid to rebuild the old sign with some of the material from the damaged sign. The bid was $2,500.00. Rob presented a design and bid for a "more" modern sign. The sign will be made of wood, stone, and metal. The bid is for $4,550.00. Rob recommends we go ahead and build a new sign. Rob said we have been discussing remodeling the two entrances for some time. Now, because of this accident, we can go ahead and continue the process by building a new sign on the West side. Silverleaf and HLRA have already begun replacing the wooden fences and wire fences along both entrances, so the new sign would improve the looks of the West entrance. Rob suggested we use some funds from the Emergency Fund. Larry Bowman made a motion to build a new sign at the West entrance and Garland Ford seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Rob also mentioned the father of the son has offered to power wash and paint the outside of the Lodge for the cost of the $2,500.00. Larry and Jeanette asked if this was enough work to offset the cost of the old sign. Rebecca Hitt asked if this amount would be the cost of doing the same work by a contractor. She wants to know if this is too low of an offer and the only way we will know is if Rob obtains other bids to see how much it would cost to power wash and paint the outside of the Lodge. Jeanette and Larry think repainting the inside of the Lodge might be considered as part of the repayment. The Board suggested that Rob obtain bids for the power washing and painting of the outside of the Lodge. When those are presented to the B Board a determination will be made if this amount of work will satisfy the "repayment" of the loss of the Westside sign. Jeanette asked what was the amount of the fine given to the young man for reckless driving. She said it is one thing for the father to "repay" the loss of the sign through work here on the Ranch, but the driver should also have received a penalty that he pays for and not the father. Rob did not know but he will find out and report back to the Board.
XI. Deer Reduction Motion. Larry said there has been a lot of discussion with various parties on the deer population problem. So, he feels it is time to begin a program that will reduce the herd and protect the environment of HLR. Therefore, he made the motion that HLRA immediately proceed with a deer reductions process sanctioned by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) identified as Trap, Transport, and Process (TTP) including precision harvest with licensed contractor utilizing funds from monies available from Fore Seasons Restaurant collateral (approximately $45,000 from a C.D.) Jeanette Sterner seconded the motion. Bob Levy asked Jim Atchley if he wanted to say something. Jim does not believe we have a phased, long term plan. This is only one action and he thinks there are probably other actions that might be appropriate over a long period of time. He does not think other actions have been considered. He feels we do not know the result of the "no feeding" policy. He stated the source of funding is not budgeted. Larry said the recommendation is to take the money from the Fore Seasons C.D. Jim said it is still unbudgeted and Jim said he was personally opposed to taking the money from the Fore Seasons C.D. There is no detailed plan of harvest locations. No signed contract that indicates liability, rights and obligations of the contractor or homeowner. Larry said it is amazing that you sat through the reports presented by the biologist and others and suddenly you are so naïve as to the actions needed. This process has to start somewhere. Jim said he has no problem with harvesting as part of the over-all plan. The TPWD does approve harvesting and Jim said he does approve of that. Jeanette said that a larger plan was presented by the TPWD, a plan that suggested other actions that could be taken. Unfortunately, Jeanette stated that Jim missed those meetings. To recap, Jeanette said that the initial phase recommended was to trap and process 300 to 400 does. After that is completed, another survey conducted with the assistance of TPWD would take place to see what effect this had on the habitat and what the count was now. (Note: TPWD requires periodic counts to try and maintain a better ratio of deer per acre of land.) After that count, it was part of the plan to see what steps, if any, needed to be taken to better the ratio of deer to acre of land. It was mentioned in the TPWD presentation and by both contractors, who presented plans to the Board and the Wildlife WG, that alternative ways would have to be used because one way is not always completely successful. In fact, Jeanette said we talked about the use of archers at the A/B Board meeting in November. She reminded Bob Levy that he even talked about the required proficiency test of archers and that he could probably pass the test. She said that Jim might not like the plan, but a sequential procedure was discussed. Jim said he has no problem with those recommendations. He still feels there are other actions that could be taken. Bob Levy wants to know who is going to "underwrite" or insure in case of an accident. Even with tranquilizing, and accident can happen. A deer could hurt the contractor and his crew. Jeanette said that discussions have been addressed at meetings with Rob, the B Board, the workgroup and the contractor. Contracts were submitted by the contractor. The next step was to make some revisions and for Rob to have the HLRA lawyer review the proposed contract and make recommendations. Jeanette said she believes Rob has already spoken with the lawyer about some of these issues and are awaiting those findings. Bob Levy wants to know if the homeowners understand what it means when they sign the waivers to come on their property. Larry said again some of these liability issues were being addressed, but when Rob said that Silverleaf was not going to pursue a deer harvest at this time, we stopped the negotiations. Larry said that the contractors have said if the property owner does not want the trappers on their property, they will not go on their property. They have done this many times before and they are very aware of what they can and cannot do. Jim said that is his objection because we do not have specific terms. Larry said again we held off on going any further once Silverleaf said they wanted to wait to see what the no-feeding policy would accomplish. Jim does think we can get everything done before March 31, 2010. Garland Ford said that we have to wait until they (Silverleaf) accept beginning the process before we can work out some of the details. That would be getting the "cart in front of the horse" if you did not have the "ok" from Silverleaf first. Garland said he tries to talk with those against any type of action. He said the leading problem they have is that they do not accept the fact that we have a deer problem. Garland said that where his sister lives at Canyon Lake where he has seen what happens to the habitat when it has too many deer and he does not want to see that happen to HLR. He can show you plants that the deer are eating that they have never eaten before. He is afraid it is going to get worse before it gets better. As a rancher he can tell the deer are under stress and they are not getting from the habitat the type of food they need. What he would like for HLR to do is take a smaller quantity of deer now, say 50 or 100 and see how the procedure progresses before we take on a larger number later in the year. We can do that before March 31st. Larry said he is afraid that by fall of 2010, the deer problem and the destruction of the habitat is going to start affecting the sales at HLR. And if we do not sell property, it will affect our budget. We make $120,000 a year from the transfer fees from sales. Jim again said that he thinks the plan needs to have other components than trap and process, such as controlled hunt on certain properties. Jeanette said the idea of a controlled hunt was discussed. Either by bow or with sharp shooters and most people did not want that option. Again, Jeanette reminded Jim that he missed that meeting because he was not on the Board, but it is not like it did not happen or that other options were not discussed. Jeanette said these professionals complete a phase of the operation, and then you complete a survey of the deer count to see the effectiveness of that operation. Next you proceed to the next discussed plan of action. Jeanette said the contractors we spoke with are also biologist. They took on this profession to help protect the habitat and not just for the sake of the hunt. Levy asked about the original suggestion from TPWD that we reduce the deer to only 150 deer. Larry, Jeanette and Garland all said that to go to that low of a number of deer has NEVER been the intent now or any year. Garland said he feels that if we wait two years, he is afraid that the habitat will not be able to support 150 deer. He is afraid that if we wait too long, the environment will not be able to support much of any wildlife. Bob Levy asked about birth control methods. Larry said no method of birth control is sanctioned by TPWD in Texas. Garland said we have spoken with communities who are over-populated with deer, so it is not like we are going into this thing blind. They have mentioned the problems they had with everything from talking with the people to what methods worked best for them. Bob asked what community needed to take out as many deer as we need to. Garland said he spoke with a TPWD personnel and he was told that the situation at HLR is twice as severe as what he has seen anywhere else he has been. According to that biologist, Garland was told that we have the most severe problem of any place in Texas. Bob Levy said we still do not know what the non-feeding policy will do. Larry said that whitetail deer do not migrate much more than 1 to 2 miles. Where they are born is where they come back to die. Bob asked Rob how many citations have been given out. Rob said none because people will say that certain containers are feeders for the squirrels or birds. Rob said that certain obvious deer feeders have been taken down and many people have stopped feeding. Other people have told Rob that it did not matter what the fine was, they were going to continue to feed the deer. Rob said they are not helping the situation by doing that. It was mentioned that a lot of people are feeding deer corn, though it sounds like a good thing to use, it is not a high protein food and is too high in carbohydrates, which turns to sugar. Larry said that PETA does recommend that you stop feeding all wildlife. Rob said we need to change the rule so that no wildlife can be feed. We need to take some pressure off of security to have a new policy. Bob said if a guy just dumps feed down, you defeat the purpose of the no-feeding policy. Garland said he worries that does will have fawns this spring and will not have the milk to support them because the habitat cannot support them. Jeanette said that concern also affects the ability to use the deer for food. If the deer are in too thin or they become diseased, then the contractor may not be able to use the deer meat for a charity or the Prison system as one contractor wanted to do. Jeanette asked if Jim has another motion. He said he did so Jeanette called a vote on the motion presented by Larry Bowman. Larry Bowman, Jeanette Sterner, and Garland Ford gave a vote of "yea". Jim Atchley and the 5 members of the A Board gave a vote of "nay".
Jim Atchley made the motion that the Board directs the HLRA General Manager to craft a 2010 and 2011 Deer Management Plan for Holly Lake Ranch Association to be considered at its March 2010 meeting. The Plan will include input from all appropriate parties as well as a set of time phased actions and related funding sources. Garland Ford seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Jeanette said that we do not want to discourage the feeding of birds, because they too have been negatively impacted by the fact the deer are eating items on the ground that they usually eat. So, to allow hanging feeders, 6 feet or higher, that are obviously meant for birds is acceptable.
A motion was made to ban feeding of all wildlife and prohibits any feeders in the yards of homeowners with the exception of bird feeders located 6 feet off of the ground. This rule will take effect immediately. The motion passed. Rob James will instruct Security to begin the process of enforcing the new policy.
There was no further business. A motion was made to adjourn. The motion passed.
The meeting was recorded, cataloged by number 01262010 and available in the office of the administrative assistant by appointment.
Submitted by, Jeanette L. Sterner, Secretary