Sunday, December 16, 2012


The location of November’s executive board meeting was changed from the master association to the clubhouse but most residents were unaware of this because there was no email blast to notify us in advance. As a result, attendance was very low and familiar faces were missing. I guess email blasts are reserved for important announcements, like farewell parties and such.

The meeting started off with an important announcement. Our new president informed us that if conversation between residents were to take place during the meeting it should take place outside of the room. She then called the meeting to order. From there she announced there was a quorum and asked if there were remarks from the floor.

Why is this sequence so important you wonder? In past meetings, comments from the floor always came first so they weren’t included in the minutes. As a result, residents’ ideas, concerns, frustrations and complaints never appear on the record. But tonight, they were included in the meeting itself.

A newly elected board member expressed her gratitude for the change and that’s when things heated up. Both the president and former president put their hands up in a stop motion and said almost in unison “now wait a minute” as our president explained that she had no intention of including comments in the minutes due to legal reasons. Discussion went back and forth until the new board member retreated.

And then came the second wave. While trying to approve the last two months of minutes, the newly elected board member asked that the minutes be changed to reflect that Roberts Rules of Order had not been followed during a special session meeting. Once again, the president and another board member erupted. The discussion got so heated that at one point the board member shouted, “What’s your point?” to the requester.

She continued to press as to why the minutes couldn’t be updated to include a statement reflecting Roberts Rules of Order had not been followed. Boldly, she asked the new GM to take off his manager hat, put on his legal one and tell them the correct way to state that the rules weren’t followed. He had no response. It was finally decided that a blanket statement would be made to correct the minutes.

There was a report from the clubhouse committee regarding the restaurant survey. Results were published in the December “In the Woods” Some 320 residents responded and most comments were favorable. There was some dismay about the stairs, service, décor, and hours but overall, this committee saw the results as a favorable. Interestingly, no one mentioned the fact that 800 residents chose not to respond at all.

The survey showed the age range of those using the restaurant to be 56 years and older. The committee reasoned that this finding was an indicator of younger residents not having discretionary funds to spend at the clubhouse.

But here is the overlooked reality. The younger crowd doesn’t want to sit at a bar drinking, watching golf and rehashing the glory days. We would much rather be at the Olive Bar rooting for our favorite basketball, baseball, or football teams, drinking with our peers and discussing the latest technology and advancing careers.

We also spend our discretionary funds on season tickets at local colleges, area comedy clubs, and on massages, manicures and pedicures. We like gourmet coffee and will pay $5.50 a cup several times a day without giving it a thought. We occasionally drop $125.00 per ticket on a good concert. In case you’re not familiar with the latest statistics, most young Farmington Woods residents are young professionals with decent incomes.

It was revealed at the meeting that. we are on track to lose $120K as budgeted on the golf operation. The golf committee initially voted a dues increase and then suddenly, rescinded that vote. There will be no increase in golf dues because current members indicated that any increase would cause them to find other places to play. And we all know, we cannot afford to lose more members. I am a little surprised by their lack of loyalty to Farmington Woods Golf Course though.

On the brighter side, there are plans in place to bring in new members that include corporate memberships (The Hartford?) one day a week during the golf season. They did stress the need to bring in younger golfers to Farmington Woods and are actively wining and dining some private school golf teachers. I hope it all works.

There was also discussion on the siding of units, a project that is coming to an end. Apparently 20 years ago Farmington Woods made the commitment to rehab all units and little by little it is being done. The project was anticipated to take 20 years and now 20 years later we find that we need more time. The timeframe will be extended but it was revealed that when the program started there were a dozen or so carpenters. As of today we have four due to budget cuts. (The scheduled $120K loss to the golf course could pay the salaries of several carpenters and be a boost to our infrastructure at the same time.)

This report began by criticizing the board’s lack of communication skills: the location of the meeting was changed but residents were not informed by the email blast system. So it was nice to hear our new president announce several times during the meeting that all residents can log onto the Farmington Woods website membership tab and receive updates including draft meeting minutes.

This is a first at Farmington Woods and we applaud her decision to do this. If you are having trouble logging into the membership page which does require a password, the MA office can help. If you would like hands on help board members are offering to come to your home to assist.

The meeting closed with awards and gifts given to Farmington Woods volunteers. A nice gesture and certainly we are all glad to have them and appreciate their work.

The next meeting is scheduled Jan 7, 2013 due to holidays.

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