Then and Now – The Same but Different

Image result for change imagesIt is a fact that when the last lot in the Village is sold, the developer will turn over control of the Association to the Members. However, even a crystal ball doesn’t tell us the exact date and time that will happen. The Board decided it would be beneficial to begin to transition sooner rather than later so the change would go smoothly.

Maintenance of the clubhouse and common areas contain many moving parts so the Board made a decision to tackle that project right away. The Association entered into an agreement with HOAMCO to take over maintenance of the Village. This process took some time and in May of this year, HOAMCO hired a maintenance company, Mountains Best Landscape owned by Mike McGee.

What does this mean to the residents of the Village? The Board makes decisions concerning Village assets such as the common areas, clubhouse and roads. The management company, HOAMCO, and, more specifically, Sherry Watson, implements those decisions. One decision was to use an outside maintenance company for the Village. Sherry’s job was to hire the maintenance company and manage the maintenance process. In other words, the Board hired a management company and the management company hired a maintenance company.

Again, what does this mean to the residents of the Village? Prior to May of 2016, residents made complaints and suggestions by contacting employees of the developer. That process is no longer effective as no one employed by the developer is handling operations of any type concerning the Village common areas and clubhouse.

The contact for any and all issues concerning common areas and the clubhouse is Sherry Watson at HOAMCO. She can be reached by phone 928.537-1067, ext. 1404 or by email at Sherry’s hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  She is often out on property or attending meetings. However, Sherry will respond to your call or email as soon as she is able.

The Board recognizes that change can be confusing and frustrating. However, this is a positive step for residents of the Village. It’s a huge stride forward in taking over the management of your assets. When the time comes, your elected board members will have a process that does not involve the developer.

With change comes a new way of thinking and doing things. As we transition through this process, your patience and cooperation is greatly appreciated. If you feel something needs attention, don’t hesitate to contact Sherry, realizing that most issues can be addressed in a timely manner. However, “timely” doesn’t necessarily mean same day. The maintenance company has a schedule and will deal with items as soon as is practicable. Sherry Watson and Mike McGee are valuable assets to the Village and we are excited to have them on our team. Thanks so much for your help and understanding as we all move forward.

New Village People Website –

Related imageOur march toward a separation of Association from Declarant continues. We are excited to introduce a new website not associated with the developer. The site is simple yet contains lots of material. Owners should be able to easily locate information about committees, download important documents and find annual meeting minutes.

Contact information for each committee can be found under the committee links. The Activities and Advisory Committees have new email addresses associated with the website. These will be monitored by the committee chairs.

If anyone has additional photos of people enjoying events at the Village and would like to share them, we would be happy to have them. Thanks for your support in getting this ready for your use. Follow this link to take a peak –

Meet Warren Koepsel – Activities Committee Member


Warren Koepsel was born in a cheese factory to cheese making parents.  After the required schooling he met the love of his life, Janet, and married her.  He served in the Marine Corp during the Korean conflict.  He then attended and graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

After several engineering assignments in the Midwest, he felt it was time to move the family to Arizona where he was employed by Garrett AiResearch.  A highlight of his career was in the research and development of the MK 50 torpedo. When Warren retired he was instrumental in forming the Garrett/AiResearch Retirees Club which now boasts over 700 members.

In addition to full time employment, Warren found time to volunteer in activities.  The urge to volunteer continued into retirement where he also enjoyed traveling with Janet in their RV.  This led him to his current position on the Activities Committee at the Village.

2016 Annual Meeting Open Forum Comments & Questions

Image result for excuse me i have a question imagesThe 2016 Annual meeting garnered high attendance and the open forum portion of the meeting was indeed lively. A commitment was made to address, via the blog, everything that would be relevant to all residents, including questions and suggestions that came to HOAMCO before the meeting. This avenue also allows the Board to reach residents who were not at the meeting.

Suggestion: For Sale by Owner signs need to be standardized and smaller like the original WMVV “For Sale” signs.  This would look much better than the bright orange dollar store signs being used now.

 In Arizona, homeowners’ associations (HOA) are prohibited from regulating or restricting the use of “for sale,” “for rent” or “for lease” signs on a property owner’s yard as long as the sign meets statutory requirements and the HOA does not prohibit or restrict leasing. Those requirements are: (1) the sign must be commercially produced; (2) the sign cannot exceed eighteen by twenty-four inches; and (3) the rider attached cannot exceed six by twenty-four inches.

Question: Who owns the water system and why isn’t it registered with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)?

 The Association does not own a water system. It is not selling water to the residents. The Association buys water from the City of Show Low. ADEQ issued approval for and of construction of the water and sewer infrastructure. The Association does not need anything else as it does not own and operate a water system.

Question: Is it the goal of HOAMCO and Board members to attempt to keep Association fees reasonable?

Suggestion: Association fees should be kept at a minimum with maintenance of the area a priority.

 The Board and HOAMCO work diligently to keep Association fees moderate. Please refer to blog post titled “Penny Wise, Pound Foolish”.

Question: Can reflective lights and a traffic light be added at the entrance to the Village?

 Reflective lights are scheduled to be placed at the entrance. Traffic lights on state highways in Arizona fall under the purview of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). Unless ADOT finds a need to install a light, the cost for a traffic light is borne by the entity requesting it (the Association). ADOT would initiate a study to determine if there is a need, or even if it’s feasible based on other traffic control locations. The cost of a traffic light can run upward of $300,000. This would require a special assessment to be levied on each property. The Board is not willing to explore this further at this time.

Question: When all declarant lots have been sold will the Board transition over time to a Member controlled board or will it be done immediately?

 It will be done immediately through an election mechanism.

Question: When the declarant turns the Association over to the Members, will there be an audit of the financials?

The decision of whether or not to perform an audit will be made by the Members.

Comment: The roads are in bad shape and the edges of Elizabeth Drive are buckling.

 The reserves contain dollars to slurry seal Vacation Village Drive and Elizabeth. This is a regular maintenance item and will be completed in the spring of 2017.

Comment: People renting space at Woodfield drive right by and end up in the Village. A sign at the Woodfield entrance would be very helpful.

 Woodfield is responsible for their own signage and may be in the process of having a sign made.

 Question: When will the funds for use of Vacation Village Drive by Woodfield be collected and where they will be allocated?

 The initial billing will take place each January beginning in 2017. That billing will cover the time from close of escrow in the fall of 2015 through December 31, 2016. From that point on, billing will be for the previous year. The funds will be allocated to Reserves – Asphalt Repair.

Question: What was the cost of the speed bumps?


Question: Are the entrance and emergency gates rusty or do they looked that way intentionally?

 The gates were intended to add a rustic touch to the Village and require no maintenance.

Comment: The pet and emergency gate areas have weeds.

 Maintenance will take care of this.

Comment: White Mountain Vacation Village is a 55 and over community.

 White Mountain Vacation Village is not an age-restricted community.

Comment: The internet does not work well on a regular basis.

 Internet is only available inside the clubhouse building. Loss of connectivity is typical on the mountain and is simply the nature of the beast.

Comment: All residents should be informed and given the opportunity for input and/or vote on any unexpected expenditures (speed bumps, a dog park, gated community).

Comment: Paying additional dues for a gated community is an unnecessary expense since the Village is a community of RV’s and not $200,000 homes and security patrol has made the community safer this past winter.

 The Board is not considering gating the Village or the addition of a dog park. These ideas were suggested by residents. Currently, the Board is declarant controlled. However, no matter who sits on the board, residents do not vote on board decisions. Residents vote for board members and those board members make decisions concerning the community.

Comment: Hot water is being used by residents who shower in the clubhouse. Could there be a pay-for-use system for the showers similar to use of the washing machines?

 The charge for the machines is to cover repair and replacement, not water or the cost to heat it. The clubhouse and its features are an amenity for residents, whether used by everyone or not. It would be cost-prohibitive to regulate and charge for individual use. Therefore, the nominal cost is shared across the board.

Suggestion: A large lettered flyer could be left on everyone’s door telling them what to flush for the good of all.

 Information about what should and shouldn’t be flushed has been shared in almost every past newsletter. Information can also be found on the blog post titled “Toilets or Your Money – Pick One”.

Question: Could an area in the Community be setup for equipment storage to curb the abundance of trailers, boats, ATV’s etc. that are stored on resident’s small lots?

 The Developer used to offer a fenced storage area.  Very few utilized the storage so it was discontinued.  Residents did not want to pay for it. A storage area offered by the Association would require payment as well.

Question: Has consideration been given to the fact that not all residents have computers and also are not familiar with blogs to impart important information to residents? Why can’t HOAMCO publish and mail a brief informational newsletter at least once or twice a year? Can’t a portion of HOA dues be allocated for postage and printing?

 Yes. HOAMCO is not contracted to provide a physical or electronic newsletter. In the past, the Board produced newsletters, both mailing them and posting them on the website. The blog is a recent creation and is receiving a lot of positive feedback. This is the direction the Board wishes to take.  Sherry will assist owners in how to sign up for blog posts. In addition, Sherry will print copies of the blog and mail them to any resident who makes a request.

Question: What is the process to handle violation issues?

Violation issues will be addressed in a separate blog post.

Meet Sue Beach – Activities Committee Member

Sue BeachSue was born in Southern California and moved to Minnesota when she was nine. After she graduated from high school in 1960, her family moved back to California where Sue met her husband, Dave. They have two sons, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren (soon to be six).

Sue was a stay at home mom, operating a licensed daycare in her home along with T-shirt airbrushing. Once the boys were in high school she went back to work. Her varied jobs included loan processor, office manager, and executive secretary.

In 1996 Sue and Dave retired and moved into a thirty-six foot motor home. They traveled for five years up and down the west coast.

After selling their home in Simi Valley, California in 2000 to their youngest son, they moved to Arizona. In 2001 they bought property in Carriage Manor, a homeowner RV park in Mesa, and purchased a park model. Summers were spent traveling the state of Washington in their RV. In 2003 they bought a lot in the Village and sold the motor home. They now enjoy living in their park model where they continue to spend summers.

Sue’s hobbies include painting, stained glass, playing cards, bowling and bingo.  She was a member of the first homeowner activity committee. She now serves as an alternate committee member assisting with creating activity posters and taking photos.

Yellow is the Color of My True Love’s Hair, In the Morning, Till She Bathes …

valveThen it’s red! Rust in household water can be disconcerting, annoying and aggravating. If you’ve experienced it, welcome to the club that includes – well – almost everyone. Iron, frequently in the form of rust, is commonly found in residential water systems everywhere, including Vacation Village.

When my wife, Liz McCarty, asked me about the “problem” of rust in water, I was all too happy to climb on my chemical engineer’s soapbox and talk about it. I’ll spare you the details I gave her lest I put you to sleep like I did her. But I’ll be happy to summarize my comments.

Yes, rust in the water can cause problems. However, if these were the worst problems you ever faced, your life would be a paradise. If you see rust in your water, don’t wash your light colored clothes unless you want a light pink tint to them. There can be a slight odor to the water if the source of the rust is long standing, rust laden sediments that have been stirred up due to a maintenance operation or an inordinately high water flow such as that caused by fire hydrant testing. An iron related bacteria can give the water a bit of an “air” that may be slightly offensive.

With that said, you can now go back to listening to Judy Collins sing about hair color. There’s nothing more to worry about. The fact of the matter is the odor and the bacteria that caused it are completely harmless to humans. The rust itself is also completely harmless. In fact, it’s probably beneficial. Remember, people spend lots of money on iron supplements. Just have another glass of water.

When Liz broached the subject to me, I asked to see a recent water test report for The Village. As I perused the report, I found every measure of water quality under the sun … EXCEPT iron content. The reason for this is that the scientists who concern themselves with water quality are confident that iron (rust) in drinking water does NOT present any kind of health hazard. There is no reason for concern other than pink underwear and that’s Joe Arpaio’s problem.

So what can you do about the non-problem? You can install a high priced filter that is only somewhat effective, expensive to maintain and offers more frustration than it averts. The best approach to reducing iron in the water is to simply let your water run so that any suspended iron from disturbed sediments flows down the drain. Actually, it would be better to fill your watering pots with it; your plants will thank you. Letting your water flow for a minute or so is especially beneficial if you haven’t run your water for an extended period of time or if you know that the water system has undergone a major maintenance operation recently.

In reality, the best approach to having small quantities of iron or rust in your water is to put a smile on your face and not lose any sleep over it. Maybe you can even cut back on the number of iron supplements you take. You might just jump in the shower and sing to your heart’s content without giving the water a second thought.

Speaking of singers, wouldn’t “Rusty Waters” be a great name for a blues singer?

Meet Coralee Peake – Activities Committee Member

Coralee PeakeCoralee Peake is one of those rare natives of Arizona. Born in Phoenix, her family moved to Tucson when she was five. She went to Sahuaro High School. After high school, she attended the University of Arizona for a while before deciding to study to become a dental assistant. She has worked in several dental offices in Tucson and Green Valley. She took some time off to raise her daughters and finally retired in 2011.

She met Jon Peake in 1986 and they married in 1987. They have two daughters, Alyssa and Olivia. Alyssa lives in California and Olivia in New Jersey.

In 2009, after Jon retired and also after years of being pestered by Jon’s best friend and wife to visit their place at White Mountain Vacation Village, they visited for a long weekend. They just loved the area. On their way to Tucson, they decided to come back and buy a lot in the Lodges and put in a park model. They spent the next three years setting up their lot, putting in the park model, adding a shed, covered patio and living room. Coralee had a great time decorating and just loves to hang out on the deck.

Jon and Coralee moved to Sunland Springs Village in Mesa, Arizona in August of 2014. While wintering at their home there, Coralee is a pickleball addict, plays cards and water volleyball and takes care of her Mom. Coralee feels that living in the valley during winter is like being in winter camp with her many seasonal friends and when at the Village it’s summer camp with all of her friends there.

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

Image result for penny wise pound foolishResidents should be concerned about where their Association dues are being spent and whether the Board is sensitive to controlling expenses. The Board has a responsibility to keep dues as low as reasonably possible while at the same time providing the management and services necessary to safeguard homeowner’s investments. That duty also requires that we collect enough to cover all expenses and build a healthy reserve. How do we make decisions about curbing costs? Some things are within our control; some are not.

We are able to negotiate certain services and can contract for a year or more at a time. This is helpful during the budgeting process. However, other items must be considered based on what we believe the cost will be for the coming year. An educated guess is the best we can do.  A cursory look at the budget will reveal some of those items; utilities and common area repairs to name a few. When considering snow removal, we know how much per hour it will cost, but we don’t know how much snow will fall. We do our best to anticipate, based on past experience, how much such items will increase or decrease. It’s rare that an expense will go down.

Our insurance policy runs from July 1 to June 30. Insurance is an interesting animal. Every year our broker asks for quotes from at least three companies. This allows us to compare and choose the best policy for the least amount of money. However, if the Association is involved in a lawsuit, insurance companies will not consider insuring us. This means we have to pay the price our current carrier quotes for the coming year. Believe it or not, most suits against homeowner’s associations are brought by its own members. I’m not sure if they realize they are spending their own money to defend the suits, but that is the nature of the beast.

What can you do to help control Association expenses? Recently a resident suggested a pay-for-use system for the showers similar to charging for use of the washers and dryers. However, the charge for the machines is to cover repair and replacement, not water or the cost to heat it.

Pick up after your dog. If you don’t, maintenance will. However, the company adjusts costs every year to account for how much time they are spending “grooming” the Common Area.

If your idea of “winterizing” is to leave your water running all winter, you are adding to rising costs in two areas. The City of Show Low charges for every gallon of water that runs through the Association’s meter. They use that same number to calculate the sewer bill which means YOU are paying for your neighbor’s unwillingness to winterize properly.

A complaint HOAMCO often hears is that one of the dryers is not working properly. The appliance technician is contacted and HOAMCO is told the dryer is fine. The resident placed too many clothes into the machine so it was taking longer to dry. The Association is charged for the maintenance call and you guessed it, the amount we have to budget for the next year increases.

A few other suggestions to help curb costs:

  • Think twice before threatening your Association with legal action, especially when more efficient and civil approaches are readily available. Any time legal advice is necessary for the Association, you’re footing the bill. This also puts the Association at the mercy of its current insurance carrier that can’t refuse to continue insuring us but can and does raise rates.
  • Leave clubhouse fans on. The fans circulate air helping to keep the clubhouse warm during winter and cool during summer. Opening windows and doors adds to costs in two areas; electricity and extermination.
  • Turn lights off in the clubhouse.
  • Place trash inside, not in front of or on the side, of the dumpsters. Don’t put items in the dumpsters that don’t belong there. Someone has to take care of what you don’t and it’s not free. Neither is dumping large items on other parts of the development.
  • You are probably sick to death of hearing this one, but here we go again. Items that don’t belong in the sewer can be very expensive.
  • Replace broken sewer caps on your lot. This will prevent debris from entering the sewer lines and traveling to the lift station. They can be purchased from Ace Hardware or HD Supply.
  • Last but not least, slow down and drive responsibly to prevent an expenditure on bigger speed bumps or a large payout to an injured resident or visitor.

These are just a few suggestions to help curb costs. If you have additional thoughts about what residents can do, please don’t hesitate to post them in the comments section below.