Toward a Better Discussion
By Ed Hockett

At the March 20, 2004 meeting of the POA's Board of Directors Bob Scott reported on a feasibility study the Board had entrusted to the Common Area Committee.  Common Area had been assigned to investigate whether it was feasible to construct a POA building on the Ranch Conservancy.  Bob, acting as chairman of the committee, determined that the Conservancy agreement would permit such construction, and he created plans for a metal building to illustrate how it could be done.  His plans allowed him to project a cost, and create a model of what the effect would be on POA finances.  (Click Here to view a drawing of the proposed building.)

Since he established that the project was feasible, he moved that the POA construct a building on the conservancy.  The motion was seconded, and discussion began.  In the course of discussion suggestions for alternative construction arose.  In addition, Jim Davis pointed out there were grant funds available for such projects that could be accessed and ease the financial burden on the POA.  In light of this new and additional information, the motion was tabled until the May 15 meeting to allow the submission of alternative building plans, and the investigation of possible outside funding.

Since that meeting in March, viewpoints have been expressed on the web site and to me personally.  Some have expressed the need to leave the Building motion on the table, and concentrate on the completion of the water system.  I need to respond that the Metropolitan Board which is a distinct body from the POA Board of Directors has the responsibility for the water system.  They have raised their own additional funds and continue with that project.  The Board of Directors supports their efforts, as do all property owners, but the water system is a matter outside the consideration of the POA Board.

Others who understand better the separate roles of the Metropolitan Board and the Board of Directors encourage the motion to remain tabled, so the Board may concentrate on road improvement.  Roads are currently a POA Board of Director responsibility, and this item occupies the lion's share of our budget annually.  Nevertheless, the Common Area Committee which has the specific responsibility for maintaining roads has also proposed the construction of the POA building.  They do not deny the importance of road maintenance, but feel it may be leading us to tunnel vision where all we do is put our money into materials that wash away every eight years.  They feel our view must be wider because the Ranch is a vision that is more than just a system of roads.

Each Board meeting is a business meeting run by Robert's Rules of Order.  Nothing will be discussed unless a motion is made and seconded.  I would expect the sequence of motions and subsequent discussion to proceed or end based on the following order:

  1. Should the motion be taken off the table?
  2. Should the POA construct a building?
  3. How will the building be funded?
    1. Within the existing budget?
    2. Pending receipt of Ranch group or outside funding?
    3. Funded by a dues increase?
  4. What will be the style of construction?
  5. Who will supervise the construction? (The Women's Group and the Board have been mentioned as candidates.)
  6. What will be the construction timetable?

As President, I charged the Board members to be proactive instead of reactive.  Therefore, I must take responsibility for the emergence of the idea of a POA building.  It is my duty, then, to see that the idea receives a fair discussion.  I encourage all interested property holders to attend this Saturday's meeting to express your opinions.