All information contained on this website is intended for the purpose of converting our "mandatory" HOA to a "voluntary" HOA. This website contains many facts herein which are supported with actual copies of documents and/or figures that were supplied to me from our HOA and/or Management Company. All other writings herein are based on my beliefs and/or thoughts on these issues.
This page is dedicated to the lack of our Community's voice in the newsletters that we receive. I have saved the last 5 newsletters that have been mailed to me, including: October - November 2006, December 2006 - January 2007, February - March 2007, April - May 2007, and June - July 2007. I have read through all of these newsletters very carefully and my usual reactions were anger, followed by laughter. I am asking you to try and enjoy some laughter while dealing with the anger in it all. If you still have the newsletters in your possession, then I encourage you to pull them back out and follow along as you read my thoughts (or should I say "hear my voice").
I would first like to start this section by pointing out something, that I am willing to bet, a good number of us already know. The website that our newsletters try to send us to, is completely out-of-date. I feel that it is expired like old milk and should be tossed out. I can't say enough about how dumb this is. This is the 1 place where we should be able to go and learn about our community. Did you know:
a. there are no community events planned?
b. the neighborhood contact is not 1 of our current Board members? (I'll let you look up his name)
c. that the "about Crestridge" section only contains 1 old picture? No words. I sure hope this picture says a 1000 words to you, because it doesn't say anything to me.
d. the links to the following: Bexar County Commissioners, Texas Department of Public Safety, and Bexar County Sheriff's Office are all bad links?
e. that under the Discussions link, you will find only 1 posting? Way back in January, somebody posted a question about why the rise in fees without notice and why the high cost for security? I know what you are thinking...no it was not me. Besides, this person had their figures wrong. They mention that we pay $8,100 for security, when it reality, that was just the amount paid in 2006 up until September 30 of that year. The actual amount approved for security and paid out yearly is $10,800. I hope that makes you all feel safer. But, probably not.
f. our link for Board of Directors is out of date?
Just in case you feel the need to double check anything that I just mentioned about our community website...here is the link for you to go look. www.neighborhoodlink.com/sat/crestridge
In the October - November 2006 issue, our President mentions that our community is over 10 years old and that the HOA will be 10 years old in December 2008. She notes that many physical changes have taken place in that amount of time and that she thinks most of us would feel that it was worth the cost for it all. I would just like to point out the obvious here. She specifically mentions marquee"s" as 1 of the changes. Question...why do we have 2 marquees? For the lack of actual community events that take place and the lack of interesting info that is to be said by our leaders, I am pretty sure that we only need 1. The old 1 doesn't even light up anymore. She then goes on to say that most of us feel that Crestridge is an ideal place to raise our children. Don't get me wrong here. I do feel that it is a very nice community, but our HOA, in my opinion, is absolutely the worst part about it. What does this HOA provide us that makes this community, the place to be with our children? A park? A pool? A clubhouse? Not even so much as a shade tree with a barbecue pit? How about nothing. They don't give us anything that we don't provide ourselves already. We, as good neighbors, are what makes this community a fine place to live. Look at the 2 pictures below and ask yourselves which makes the most sense to you?
option 1: (cup half empty) way of thinking..."this is as close to a pool and barbecue pit as I have ever seen in Crestridge". Or...
option 2: (cup half full) way of thinking..."this is our eleceted leaders feeling the heat from the trouble that we, as homeowners, are bringing".
Our President then goes on to say that she wishes that the community could be back to its former state. The way it was in 1998. She says that with the right attitude, it can be accomplished. Wrong. With the right amount of money, that can be accomplished. Our houses are 10 years older and I believe that our resources are being wasted with poor allocation of the funds by Spectrum and Crestridge HOA. I feel the need to oust these people before they cost us, what I belive to be, even more damage as a community.
She mentions Halloween decorating briefly, but blows her 1 chance to be a good neighbor and tries to tell us when we need to remove the decorations from our yards and homes. November 7, to be exact. If my yard looks nice, who is she to tell me when to take down a decoration?
The disappointed leader then goes on to say that our HOA is sick and that we all know it. I would just like to add that we all wish it would hurry up and die, too. She announces that she will be quitting her position in 2007 and that she is tired of nobody helping out in the community. She makes mention that if we don't take control of the situation, that the powers of the HOA would revert back to the management company, Spetrum. Do you want that? Heck, I don't. But, she wants volunteers to come forward and do something reasonable for our community. Well, look no further...here I am. I am doing something reasonable for our community. I am informing all of you that we have the rights and the power to control this entire situation. And, all it takes is 2/3 of us to get it done. She says that the future of Crestridge is completely in our hands and on that issue alone I would definitely have to agree with her.
Mention of our 1 and only bright spot, as she sees it, now comes into play. Our finances. I will keep this section very short and sweet (due to the fact that all of this info is elsewhere on this website). Our President says that it takes about $48,000 per year to run Crestridge. The problem with that lies in the fact that our dues were increased not 2 months later. Assuming everybody paid the correct dues on time, then the approved budget for 2007 would have us paying in excess of $55,000 as a community. But, Spectrum and Crestridge HOA, both know that not everybody will pay the dues because they don't feel that it is worth it. After all, I can't blame them. As stated many times already, I believe that we get absolutely nothing back for our money.
The next section talks about the HOA and that it is only as strong as the people in it. She says that a good number of us don't seem to care about the needs for the community. I think she is way off base here. I am pretty sure that almost all of us care tremendously about our community, however I am also pretty sure that almost none of us care about the HOA, itself. Wouldn't you agree? She then says that she once lived in a community that did not have an HOA and that she drives there sometimes just to see how bad it actually is. I feel the need to inform her that the lack of an HOA is not what makes that community look bad. It is, as you would say...the lack of people caring. I strongly believe that we do care about our community. We just don't give a rat's behind about our HOA, Spetrum, and I would have to say especially, her old neighborhood.
Mention is then made of the fact that she has heard all the possible excuses as to why people don't volunteer their time. Well, Ex-President...the day that anybody other than you, says that spending time with our kids is an excuse, will be the day that the world comes to a crashing end. Most of us, if not all of us, live for our kids. I moved to San Antonio specifically to give my kids a better way of life. And, you would have me believe that I should give up even 1 second of that to spend volunteering for this HOA. No way! For a "just" cause, I wouldn't mind helping out. However, in my opinion, this HOA is not "just". And, until it is...I'll take care of what is mine, you take care of what is yours and we all live happily ever after. Just like every other community that does not have a mandatory HOA. And, trust me...there are more of those, then there are with an HOA. Wow, that must be a whole lot of people that don't care about their communities. Do you hear how stupid that sounds?
The last part of this particular newsletter really hits home with me. It is all about Spetrum. Poor Spectrum. They are growing so big and that means that their services are suffering. Boo-Hoo! I don't think any of us care about Spectrum and their well-being. I don't care if they don't know us personally. They take our money, I feel that they get paid to do a whole lot of nothing, and you now tell us that if we have a problem, not to call them? Whatever. I have had my problems with Spectrum...still am having problems with them. I have had my problems with the HOA...still am having problems with them, too. And, it is said in this section that there is a mediation process in place, if needed. That is complete bull. I tried to take Crestridge HOA to mediation with a mediator for Bexar County, and nobody from Crestridge showed up. Don't believe me? Click on this link: letter from Bexar County Dispute Resolution Center. Those of you reading this right now...I hope you are shaking your heads in disbelief. I still can't believe all of the things that this HOA tries sweep under the carpets. They were probably hoping that I would just go away. Not today, people! Check out the picture below and tell me that this is not how you see Spectrum and Crestridge HOA in your eyes.
(rich and powerful snobs always telling somebody else what to do)
In the December 2006 - January 2007 issue, the President begins the newsletter by reminding us that she is resigning. But, not before 1 last pat on her own back. She says that she has helped with, among other things, overseeing the security patrol and the writing of our Community Voice newsletters. Taking 1 thing at a time here, let me first pick apart our so called security. I was told by her, that security patrols at night, on the weekends, in an unmarked car. That makes no sense. Presence of security is what keeps honest people, honest. The really bad people are going to find a way to do really bad things whether there is security or not. There is only one thing that keeps really bad people, honest.
The waste of money on our lack of actual security amounts to about 20% of our overall funds that are spent out each year. Look at the approved budgets. I can't believe that she is proud of this accomplishment. And, as for the Community Voice? I still believe that, until now, no voice from Crestridge has been heard except for hers. Ex-President..."you have the right to remain silent"! Ha! I've been wanting to say that for a long time.
All in all, this newsletter was probably the most offensive, to date. Even though I wrote more about the previous newsletter, this one affects our pocket books. Get this...The Hays Family won 1st prize in the Halloween decorating contest. Yep. Our then Vice-President and current President was awarded $75 of our hard earned money. Hmmm...calculating...oh yeah...here it is...we all paid Mr. Hays 19 cents. Doesn't sound like much, but if Mr. Hays had walked up to your door, at Halloween, not asking for, but demanding that you give him 19 cents while carrying...
would you have given it to him? I don't think you would have. Yet, somehow he managed to get paid $75 of our money and we had no say about it. Let's pretend that he actually had the best looking yard, does that mean that people who could not afford to decorate, were in to poor of health to decorate, or were just to busy to decorate should give him 19 cents? I want a refund.
Our lovely newsletter then goes on to say that by now we should have received our new assessment bills for the new year. Our Board of Directors, along with the help of our Manager at Spectrum, voted to increase our bills by 10%. Now I know all of this has been mentioned in my previous letter that I wrote, and that all of the numbers are listed on the Approved Budgets page, but I did want to reemphasize the fact that the total Administrative Expenses went up $840 per year for us. Absolutely no benefit to us, as a community.
This next area of enlightenment left us in the dark. It was supposedly voted by the Board to let the experts decorate the front entrance to our community, this last Christmas. Once again, I know that I made mention of this in my earlier letter, however it is noteworthy that the lights were taken down on December 20th. As if it wasn't bad enough that we had electrical problems (also mentioned in the newsletter), it was made worse by the fact that some bonehead doesn't know that decorations and lights are supposed to remain up 12 days past Christmas, meant to represent the 12 day of Christmas. And, they even had the courage to throw in..."It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas". This website has about as much Christmas spirit as our HOA and Management does. Maybe even more. See...
Dog owners beware! You gotta love this section. I know I do. Puts a smile on my face every time that I think about it and then...Damn! I realize that our HOA, in my opinion, keeps hurting our land value by bringing up this issue. People with dogs know that they poop. They poop a lot. No joke, I've got 2. If it were as simple as the HOA putting this dumb reminder in our newsletter, then it would not be such a big deal. But, how ignorant do you have to be to keep putting a message on 1 of our 2 marquees, that tells us to leash and pick up after our dogs. IT'S THE LAW. Everybody that drives by the front of our community sees that sign. Think to yourselves...have you ever, anywhere, seen a sign that resembles those, that are placed out front by our leaders? Real helpful info. This particular message has been put in place at least 3 different times in the last year. I am willing to bet that it has been up there for at least 6 months of the last 12. Imagine our marquees having...
smeared across them. That's what everybody, that drives by, sees. That's what I see. I would think that my neighbors see the same thing. Why can't the HOA see?
(side note: this picture kinda sums up what I think about our HOA)
Would you like proof as to how few people actually care about the HOA, here in our community? I will have to feed this 1 to you in parts. The last page of this issue was all about proxy procedures. It states that, in order to have a vote, that there must be at least 40 homeowners present, whether in person or by proxy. After all, it was a big meeting coming up in January. We needed to vote in new Board members. Do you think they had 40 of the 393 homeowners show up? That's only a little over 10% of us. So...Do you think they hit the magic number?
In the February - March 2007 issue, it merely picks up where the previous issue left off. And, I hope you guessed no, for the question of "was that magic number hit?". Not even 10% of our residents showed up to the annual meeting or sent in a proxy. 1 might think that the Board would get a huge hint with that turnout. You want proof that nobody cares about the HOA, here in our community? There it is. Plain and simple. We all live our lives as if it doesn't even exist, but yet we all have to pay in fees every year and nobody seems to squabble about it. Until now!
This issue won't get a whole lot of flack from me, though. Not because I don't feel that it was a complete waste of time and resources for our leaders to send it to us. Because, I feel that it was. But, merely the fact that it doesn't try to boast the power of the HOA. It was in fact, really boring. An article about the guest speakers at the annual meeting. Who cares? Nobody went. Second page merely has info about some wildlife adventure. Did anybody go? The third page was all about gardening tips. And, the last page was a plea for help. Ha Ha Ha! Nobody showed to the meeting and nobody wants to help with the HOA's Committees. Why have the HOA at all? Because, at least 1 person in the neighborhood still has a control issue.
In the April - May 2007 issue, simply more of the same. Boring. Boring. Boring. And then, a new approach. They try and welcome renters. They can't get the homeowners involved, so they go for the renters instead. The plea went out this time for the renters to join the committees, here in the community. Any takers?
The next page was devoted to weed removal. An entire page, of our 4 page newsletter, taken straight from the internet. If I wanted that info, I could have done it myself and saved the community money. I sure hope somebody made use of the this article. Otherwise, it would have been for nothing. A little bitty box talks about graffiti on the third page, but it was all common knowledge stuff. And, then the only bright spot on the page...they put up a sign, telling people not to solicit in our neighborhood. Good job guys (and gal). Hey!...Wait just a minute there! They put up a sign about not soliciting? Where? I drove through the entire community and did not see it. Do you think?...No...They're not talking about the "No Soliciting" that they added to the bottom of 1 of our 2 marquees are they? You have got to be kidding me. And, here I almost thought they did a good thing for the community. Nope. In my opinion, not only did they fail again at helping this community, but I feel that they flat out lied to us. How blatant was that? The last page was about keeping our yards looking nice. They even try to have fun with it and give the top 10 reasons why we won't mow our yards. Problem here though...they forgot the number 1 reason not to mow our yards..."we were told to mow, by our HOA".
And finally, in the June - July 2007 issue, not only was it boring, but it had so little to do with our community that even I was shocked. This is how I picture our President while trying to think up stuff to write in our newsletters now...
Not far off, am I? I can just see him sitting there looking at blank pages for hours on end. It's kind of humorous until you realize the reasons for having nothing important to write: no park, no pool, no clubhouse...well, you get the point.
I think our President sat there for so long this time that he actually had to contact the company who prints the newsletters and ask them what he could put in the pages to fill up space. This must have been how it went down, because the first page is from a "Special" to the company and it talks about throwing parties. There is no way that this could have been talking about our community. We don't have any community facilities that can accommodate a party of any size. Only our homes are available for us to have parties in, and parking then becomes a huge issue. I wonder if your visitors might receive threatening letters on their windshields for taking up to much space on the sides of the road?
The last page...it too, is taken from this same "Special" person. It talks about how Texas ranks number 1 for most tornadoes during each year. What it fails to mention is that San Antonio is not the source for the majority of tornadoes in Texas. In fact, if you would like to see the probability of a tornado ripping through our neighborhood, click here: NOAA/National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center. This site contains information for the Austin/San Antonio radar coverage areas for the period of 1980 through 2005 and shows statistics and probabilities for this area alone. If possible, I would like to point out the table on the information page, located about halfway down, entitled "Climatological Threat Potential". Please pay attention to the Average Probability of Occurrence. Any tornado = 0.006%, that = 1 in 16,666. Any F2+ tornado = 0.004%, that = 1 in 25,000. What's next? You guys want to tell me what numbers I should pick to win Lotto? And, just for the heck of it...it you want to know info about a more likely threat to us, then click here: NOAA/National Weather Service Lightning Safety.
I know that I did this 1 a little out of order, but the first and last page were similar in content, being as how neither had anything at all to do with our community. As for the second page...it talks about crime issues in our area. With proper security I think we might have less of an issue with crime. However, it is interesting that the Bexar County Sheriff's Office recommends that residents call 911 and request a deputy to check it out if there is a problem. I would recommend that we get rid of our security if they are not helping us. This article then goes on to say that if we have a problem with kids playing basketball in the streets after midnight, that other residents may call 911 to bring back peace to the streets. This tidbit of information did not come from the Sheriff's Office, but did come from whoever was writing this article. I don't believe that 911 was intended for that purpose. If I am not mistaken, it is for emergencies only. Who is the brains behind this logic? Probably the same moron that tells us in a previous issue not to call Spectrum. This article is followed by more dog poop, and the, now popular, plea for renters to volunteer.
Page 3 has 2 things. A box informing us of a vacancy on the Board and another box reminding us of who are current Board members are, only this time giving us a correct email address for our Secretary/Treasurer again, for the second time. What? You are probably asking yourselves right now. I don't get it? O.K., I'll explain. February - March 2007 issue had the email address listed as "firstname.lastname@example.org", April - May 2007 issue had the email address listed as "email@example.com", and the new June - July 2007 issue has it listed again as "firstname.lastname@example.org". Which is right? Why does the "1" keep coming and going? A simple misprint is all that it may be, but keep in mind, these contacts are all that we have with the people who call the shots here at our community. We are told not to call Spectrum and only given email addresses for our Board members. We are down to only 2 members and...
On 1 last side note...I just recently noticed that 6635 Barton Rock is up for sale. Who might live there you ask? Why you remember...the Halloween Decorating Winners! Draw your own conclusions here. But, isn't Mr. Hays our President? Where's Waldo?
Right about now, I would imagine that you are all pretty upset about our HOA. Let's grab the bull by the horns and take control of this situation.
P.S. I hope I at least made you smile while being angry.
Enough said. Just click here: 3 Very Important Proxies - These Concern All Of Us
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