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Welcome to the New Town Residential Association community website. We are a walkable, landmark residential community located in James City County, Williamsburg, Virginia where commercial and residential buildings are integrated with public and cultural spaces. Life happens here!
 
Chesapeake Bay Management Company is the managing agent for the New Town Residential Association. Meetings at McLaws Circle are BY APPOINTMENT ONLY - please do not drop by without an appointment. (Chesapeake's office is located at 337 McLaws Circle in the Busch Corporate Center. To schedule an appointment, the local office number is 757 706-3019.)
 
NOTE: Chesapeake's offices are closed on Federal holidays. REGULAR OFFICE HOURS as of September 5, 2023:  Monday - Friday  8:30 to 5:00PM. 
 
LOCAL NEW TOWN OFFICE HOURS:  Every Tuesday from 10AM to Noon, 5118 Center Street. 
 
For emergencies, call (757)-534-7751. 
 
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Upcoming Events
NTRA Special Meeting: Village Walk Maintenance
Friday, April 19th, 7:00 PM at Legacy Hall - 4301 New Town Avenue
Purpose:  To discuss Village Walk exterior maintenance and the Association’s options for moving forward.  
 
Background: Each of the Village Walk buildings have been inspected and evaluated by certified inspectors from the Fortress Building Envelope Consulting firm. The NTRA Board of Directors has received their report which includes their findings and recommendations to the community. At this meeting Fortress Representatives will present their findings and recommendations and answer Members' questions.
Board Buzz/From the Chair
BOARD BUZZ - April 2024 by Sommer Wrona, Treasurer
Posted on Apr 1st, 2024
 
Hello, Neighbors! I like to start each activity with a bit of gratitude, so I’ll begin by thanking the NTRA Board of Directors for bringing me on as your new Treasurer. Also a big thanks to our previous Treasurer, Everett Lunsford, for remaining involved in NTRA finances as I learn the ins and outs. And finally, thanks to Dana Shotts-Neff, Chesapeake Bay Management (CBM) President and NTRA’s finance guru, for answering my endless stream of questions. My job is to be a good steward of our money, and I aim for simplicity and transparency. I’m happy to say that we’ve already been able to work together to modify some processes and move us in that direction.
 
We’ve tweaked formatting to make the layout of our financials and budget match more closely, which in turn makes comparisons of budgeted vs. actual income and spending easier to view. We’ve changed some processes for transferring money into our reserves to try to present a more accurate picture of available reserve balances each month, especially for our Village Walk neighborhood. We will reach out later this summer to our residents who may not use CBM’s online payment system and who have credits on their accounts. We want to be sure everyone who has a credit is aware of it and knows how to apply it.
 
Our 2023 financials were held open a few extra months so that we could capture all of the invoices for projects that were substantially or fully completed in 2023 but not billed until January, February or March 2024. That process is now complete, and 2023 financials are closed.
 
For NTRA, our 2023 operating income was slightly more than budgeted, and our operating expenses were under budget in most categories and under budget overall. Our NTRA Operating Reserve and Replacement Reserve both showed net increases. Major expenses from those funds were for pool maintenance/repairs, pool furniture and amenities, and work on our parks, trails, bridges and BMPs.
 
For Village Walk-specific items, our 2023 operating income was slightly more than budgeted, and our operating expenses were under budget in most categories and under budget overall. Our VW Operating Reserve showed a net loss, and our VW Replacement Reserve showed a smaller net loss. These net losses were due to painting and other exterior maintenance expenses of the VW neighborhood.
 
As we enter 2024, there are big projects on the horizon. We will be addressing the repair of community street lights, the repair and maintenance of NTRA-owned streets and alleys, the repair and maintenance of our community fences and, of course, for our Village Walk residents, the ongoing maintenance of exteriors in that neighborhood. In addition, some smaller projects have already been completed throughout our neighborhoods, and many more are yet to come.
 
I can’t end without a plea for our Finance Committee. If you are at all interested in general finance or the financial operations of NTRA, please consider joining our Finance Committee, which is in need of members. You will have the opportunity to be involved in investment strategy, budgeting, and making financial recommendations to the NTRA Board of Directors. We welcome your input.
 
If, when reviewing monthly financial reports on the NTRA website or CBM portal, you are concerned about specific financial transactions that you see, please reach out to CBM through the portal. They will share with you the process for requesting records and provide the relevant documents for your review in accordance with our policies.
 
Thank you all for your continued support of New Town. Together, we make this shared community a great place to live!
BOARD BUZZ - March 2024 by Jack Espinal, President
Posted on Mar 1st, 2024
 
Update on Village Walk Stormwater Retention Pond Repairs
 
As required by James City County, repair work has been underway on the bioretention ponds (BMPs) adjoining Village Walk including the removal of large areas of vegetation. The contractor’s extensive cutting of vegetation is necessary for both retention ponds to be brought up to standards. If allowed to grow, root systems of trees or shrubs can intrude upon and damage vital BMP features - dams, walls, drains. Cleared paths are required to the creek areas and creek culverts.
 
More significant reconstruction work will be done on the large retention pond (near Trailside) which must be enlarged to meet County standards and drains reinstalled. The wall must be removed, moved and rebuilt requiring additional clearing of the surrounding land. Another 9 months of repair work is likely for this project.
 
We recognize that the removal of so much natural area is unsettling to neighbors. The NTRA has been assured by Settlers Market’s management company that plants and vegetation in Village Walk proper that are damaged or removed during the reconstruction of both BMPs will be replaced in kind by the contractor. All of this work is the responsibility of the property owners, Settlers Market LLC, and is overseen by James City County. 
 
Village Walk Construction Issues  
 
The NTRA Board of Directors is currently exploring special assessment options to cover the Village Walk (VW) exterior maintenance funding shortfall. Owners of VW homes can expect a special assessment this year in order for the Association to continue to provide its obligated services. We want this to be as fair and reasonable as possible, but our extraordinary circumstances warrant taking this action.
 
The current VW funding shortfall has resulted from a combination of expensive investigations and repairs and underfunding. First, the unanticipated expenses, namely:
  1. Individual roof repairs and evaluations undertaken prior to the widespread repairs by Eagle.
  2. Replacing the failing fiber cement siding on many VW buildings, and
  3. Repairing unanticipated leaks in 7 of the 43 rooftop decks which have been very costly to fix.  
Fixing these roof decks combined with the 1st building siding replacement has depleted the 2023 Village Walk replacement reserve fund.  These unforeseen and large-scale expenses for homes that are less than 10 years old are the primary cause of VW’s current funding problems.
 
Village Walk has a separate reserve fund account and financial records to isolate the contributions of VW owners. However, cumulatively low VW assessment levels prior to 2020 (when New Town was under Developer control) have contributed to the current lack of funding. The VW Neighborhood Assessment was much too low to build the reserves necessary to fund routine and expected exterior maintenance such as painting for 99 homes as required by our VW covenants. Even the 2021 revised VW Reserve study recommendations did not envision the extent of premature material and structural failures which we now face. Although the VW recommended reserve levels were fully funded in recent assessment years, the siding replacement costs will easily outstrip our resources.
 
No replacement reserve study contemplates the kind of failures VW is experiencing. While NTRA was successful in getting Eagle Construction to fix roof problems because of demonstrated shingle installation deficiencies, the recent siding investigation at the first VW townhomes did not find that the siding was improperly installed. Rather, siding failures are due to Allura siding manufacturing defects (causing cracking, warping, etc.) NTRA’s legal counsel has advised the Board that an action against the siding manufacturer has extremely limited chance of success because Allura reached a class action suit settlement in 2021.
 
The VW roof deck leaks present challenges because corrective actions have not effectively resolved all the leaks. The Association may not be successful in obtaining compensation from Eagle who has encountered similar roof terrace design/construction problems in at least one other community. It is too early to know whether we will be reimbursed. In the meantime, water intrusion does not allow for an indeterminate delay in repairs and the Association must be prudent and support these affected owners.
 
The Association has contracted for an engineering study in order to assess the full magnitude of the VW building problems. This will help provide the information that the NTRA Board needs to develop a comprehensive plan to address all of the VW siding and rooftop deck problems and determine the associated funding that will be needed.
 
Board of Director Changes
 
The NTRA Board has appointed Sommer Wrona as a full-Board member through 2024, replacing Glen Mitchell who resigned in January. Everett Lunsford has been elected as Board Vice-President and Sommer will continue to serve as Association Treasurer.
BOARD BUZZ - February 2024 by Jack Espinal, President
Posted on Feb 1st, 2024
 
2023 was a challenging year for both the New Town Residential Association (NTRA) and Chesapeake Bay Management (CBM), our management company.  As the Board of Directors indicated in our annual meeting, we have had many major successes including relocating the mailbox in Village Walk, improving our relationship with the New Town Commercial Association, holding several outstanding community activities, Village Walk roof repairs, sidewalk repairs by Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), receiving James City County matching grants and providing Internet capability and automation in our meeting room.  
 
However, we have problems in a number of areas that require attention and we are working hard to address them.  Some owners are not satisfied with the landscaping services that they are receiving, and the NTRA Board will revisit our expectations at a meeting with James River Grounds in February. Village Walk maintenance expenditures continue to rise and we are faced with numerous expensive rooftop deck and siding repairs. We have received data that points to construction defects. We will be meeting with legal counsel to address these defects with Eagle homes. Finally, we are concerned about the level of services being provided by our management company.
 
The NTRA Board of Directors met with CBM’s President and Vice President in early January 2024 to discuss our concerns about the services we are receiving and to map our way forward. Our discussion covered improving onsite supervision of our landscape and other contracts, ensuring timely follow-up on requests for manager actions, revising the processing of assessment payment checks, and documenting homeowner maintenance deficiencies and corrective actions in more detail.
 
We are working together with senior CBM management to address each of these concerns.  During our meeting, we developed several changes to our joint processes. Together, we have identified ways that services and communications to our community can be improved. Among other things, the NTRA has adjusted our budget processing calendar so that assessment information can be provided sooner - for CBM to print and timely mail the assessment coupon books and publish the information on our websites. The NTRA also will improve our assessment payment instructions for owners in order to reduce the chances for erroneous late fee charges.  
 
NTRA’s community manager will be spending more time on site in New Town supervising the work performed by our contractors including our landscaping contractor, James River Grounds. He will also be spending more time interfacing with the residents of our community. Weekly, scheduled office hours in the NTRA meeting room will be established for homeowners to meet with our manager. Violations, and all home maintenance inspections will be more fully documented with both descriptions and photographs. CBM has initiated a search for a new administrative assistant for New Town as well to help address our challenges.
 
Chesapeake Bay senior management understands our requirements and expectations. They will be working hard with the Board to improve the services that are provided to our Association.  
BOARD BUZZ - Dec/Jan 2023 by Ruth Burgess, Director
Posted on Dec 27th, 2023
 
I am writing this on December 26, which in our home is Day 2 of Christmas’s 12-day liturgical season. In practical terms, this means that while we may or may not remove the exterior Christmas wreath on our door earlier, most of our Christmas decorations inside will remain in place until after January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. That will include our Christmas tree, easily visible from the sidewalk outside our living room window, and candles and other décor in our windows.
 
For many others in New Town and the greater Williamsburg area, however, Christmas is over after Christmas Day on December 25, and all the decorations have to come down and be stored by New Year’s Eve.
 
So, first of all, thank you NTRA for allowing people like me to observe and celebrate Christmas for a full 12 days, even though for lots of folks in New Town it may be time to pack up the December holiday décor and prepare to move on
 
Secondly, as an NTRA Board member living in one of our neighborhoods, I want to remind all our homeowners and renters that, according to our NTRA rules, exterior Christmas decorations should be removed on or before January 7. This year, January 7 is a Sunday.
 
As the dawn of 2024 is fast upon us, and it’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions, this also is a good time to think about homeowner responsibilities.
  • Can you find time to serve on a committee or help with a specific project or activity that may help make New Town a great place to live?
  • How well are you doing at keeping up the exterior of your homes? What maintenance might you need to schedule now so that it is completed before the annual inspections?
  • How long has it been since you had your dryer vents cleared, especially if they are in a place difficult for you to reach? (Many house-fires begin in dryer vents clogged with lint.)
  • Has your HVAC system been receiving recommended inspection and maintenance?
  • Are you promptly and properly stowing away garbage and recycling bins within 24 hours after the scheduled pick-up day? In New Town, this is usually a Wednesday.
  • Do you have a good personal plan for paying your quarterly home’s NTRA assessment when it is due? (Please email CBM at admin@1cbm.com if you have not received your assessment booklet in the mail by December 27, and/or if you need to inform CBM of any errors. Also, be aware that because the booklets are arriving so late this year, the grace period may be extended beyond January 10.)
Finally, the entire NTRA Board of Directors hopes 2024 will be a great year for our community, and wishes all who read this a Happy and Healthy 2024!
BOARD BUZZ - ELECTION CANDIDATES
Posted on Dec 1st, 2023
There was no submission from the Board this month.
 
HERE ARE THE CANDIDATES FOR THE 2024-2025 NTRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS.  Nominations may still be submitted at any time to ntra.secretary@gmail.com and will also be taken from the floor at our Annual Meeting on December 13th. You may proceed and vote early on the candidates that have been nominated or you can submit your vote during the meeting in case you want to vote for anyone who is nominated from the floor.
 
This information is also available on the website election page.
 
JACK ESPINAL
  • Street address: 4615 Town Creek Dr.
  • Neighborhood: ABBEY COMMONS
While living in northern Virginia we purchased a New Town townhouse in 2006 as a second home. We observed New Town grow from the Sun Trust bank, Corner Pocket restaurant, and a few townhouses to the community it is today and find ourselves making New Town a primary residence.
 
My 20-years of service as President of an HOA in northern Virginia, prior employment as a Senior Systems Analyst, experience teaching college-level Information Systems, and Master of Science in Management give me the experience, skills, and knowledge to interpret complex issues and develop collaborative creative, economically sound solutions.
 
There are two major challenges facing our homeowner’s association:
 
First, New Town is beginning to show its age. Infrastructure wear, maintenance costs, and landscaping issues need to be addressed and resolved to keep New Town a vibrant, thriving, attractive community -- and a wonderful place to live. The resolution of these issues will require teamwork in the form of homeowner interest, input, and involvement coupled with careful planning and judicious use of both budgeted maintenance funds and reserve account expenditures by board members.
 
Second, effective two-way communication and resident involvement in issues and events continue to lag. This is detrimental to the management of the association. Communication, including timely responses to homeowners’ concerns, needs to be enhanced to better engage our residents in issues and activities. Maintaining open lines of communication between our board and management company also is essential.
 
Last year I served as the NTRA vice president and this year as president. I have worked to improve the relationship between the New Town Commercial Association and the New Town Residential Association. I have worked hard to follow our outdated governing documents and at the same time resolve our problems by doing what is right for our Association. If reelected to the NTRA board, I will continue to work on improving our community.
_________________________
 
EVERETT LUNSFORD
  • Address: 4203 Greenview
  • Neighborhood: VILLAGE WALK
I am currently on the NTRA Board, served as the Treasurer, and have been a member and chair of the Finance Committee. In addition to living in New Town since late 2017, I have owned and lived in 3 condominiums and 2 townhome communities prior to moving to New Town. I was also on the building committee of an historic Washington, DC church and helped plan a major renovation of the church.
 
I have Engineering, Industrial Management and Finance and Accounting degrees from University of Michigan, Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Chicago. My work experience encompasses engineering, management accounting, and information technology systems. Over the career I earned Professional Engineering (PE), Accounting (CPA), and inventory management (CPIM) certifications.
 
In Williamsburg I have served as a volunteer at the Mariners’ Museum, Colonial Williamsburg and the Williamsburg chapter of SCORE. Major Finance Committee accomplishments were redesigning the association’s financial statements, developing the budget process, and working on the transition to a new management company.
 
I am applying for a 2024 Board position because I want to support the new association Treasurer, work on new governing documents (if another rewrite attempt is made), and continue working to resolve Village Walk’s construction defect issues.
_________________________
 
ROSS IACI
  • Address - 4293 Casey Blvd
  • Neighborhood - SAVANNAH SQUARE
I have been a professor in the Mathematics Dept at the College of William and Mary since 2007, where I have been on numerous committees in service to the University. W&M committee work and service to the University in the last 2-year period (on leave 2021) has included:
  • Computational Applied Mathematics and Statistics (CAMS) Applied Statistics Track Director - 6 years.
  • Athletic Policy Advisory Committee Faculty Fellow. 
  • Chair NTE Hiring committee chair - Math/Data Science.
  • NTE Hiring Committee - Math.
  • Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
  • Mathematics Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee.
  • Residency Appeals Board Committee.
  • Parking Appeals Committee.
  • Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society Advisor (+ new inductions and organized ceremony).
I am also currently a member of an owner-run HOA for a small community where I have a rental property.
 
I would like to serve on the Board of Directors to assist in building a stronger New Town community.
 
BOARD BUZZ - October 2023 by Jack Espinal, President
Posted on Oct 1st, 2023
 
Update on Landscaping of Fenced Yards
 
Background. In January 2022, the New Town Residential Association (NTRA) stopped providing mowing and pruning services to fenced yards throughout New Town.  This decision was based upon our governing documents which contain language prohibiting: 
"mowing, edging and trimming of grass within portions of lots inside a fenced area," and  
"trimming of shrubs, trees and bushes within portions of lots located inside a fenced area." 
 
Not all of the ten supplemental documents that established the Charlotte Park neighborhood included this language. This statement was missing in Supplemental Declarations 1, 2, 3, and 4.  In fact, landscaping was not even addressed in the first four Charlotte Park supplementals.
 
The 2021 Board requested legal guidance on this overall issue and the specific Charlotte Park inconsistency. Legal counsel advised that the missing section in the first four supplementals was likely the result of a developer oversight and that the Board should follow the intent of the majority of the supplemental documents and provide landscaping for all homes in Charlotte Park with the exception of areas that were fenced. Legal counsel emphasized the fact that the NTRA Board must follow the Association’s governing documents.
 
As a result, in 2022 the NTRA Board ceased providing mowing, edging, and trimming of grass and pruning services in fenced yards throughout our community even though the Developer Boards of Directors had consistently provided this service to fenced areas. The past actions by the developer-controlled Board of Directors, multiple inconsistent HOA documents, and much misinformation became and continues to be a very contentious issue in New Town.  It needed positive resolution.
 
The NTRA Homeowner Board of Directors attempted to resolve this issue by developing and presenting a revised set of governing documents to owners in 2022 that would have provided landscaping services throughout New Town without regard to fencing. Unfortunately, although the vote in favor was very close, these votes did not reach the needed two-thirds of owners needed to pass the revised documents.
 
The interim solution. The current NTRA Board of Directors has found a work around that comports with our governing documents and provides full landscaping services for fenced yards.  This workaround treats fenced yards as a “limited common area” and allows the Association to collect a special services assessment from homeowners with fences under the provisions of Article 5.3(c)(2)(ii) or (v) of our Master Declaration and to use that assessment for the limited purpose of providing mowing, edging, and trimming of grass and pruning services in fenced areas. 
 
Since we are at the last quarterly assessment payment this year, a limited common assessment of $6.00 per service (each cut) will be charged with payment deferred to 2024 for those homeowners who wish to begin receiving landscaping services of their fenced yards for the rest of this calendar year. 
 
For 2024, a limited common area assessment will also be an option for homeowners desiring full landscaping services inside the fenced portions of their property. This temporary solution meets the requirements of our documents and at the same time provides full landscaping services to the fenced yards as desired by many of our homeowners. 
 
Landscaping of fenced yards in New Town has been a very contentious issue over the past two and a half years. Your NTRA Board of Directors hopes that its temporary solution to the fenced yard landscaping problem will help unite New Town and restore harmony to our community. It is, however, only a temporary solution that will be used until the NTRA can pass new HOA documents that do not prohibit the full landscaping of fenced areas.  
 
Next step. Another effort to pass new documents will begin in the near future. The existing draft revised documents will be used as a starting point for new HOA documents that remove developer language, clarify ambiguities and allow flexibility for future NTRA Boards of Directors. If you are interested in reviewing these drafts and making recommendations for changes, please make your interest known to the NTRA Board of Directors (ntrasecretary@gmail.com). We would like to have new draft documents completed and ready for a vote by late spring/early summer 2024.
 
Be assured that your NTRA Board of Directors is committed to solving problems and serving the NTRA’s best interests. Our goal is to continue improving New Town with your help.  Together, we can keep it excellent place in which to live. 
 
 
BOARD BUZZ - August 2023 by Ruth Burgess, Director
Posted on Aug 1st, 2023
 
Kudos to our hard-working Activities Committee – even with rain delayed events and heat. They are focused on bringing some fun community building events to New Town. For example, the rescheduled June 28th Pool Social was a great success. Having it at the end of a day’s pool hours meant that several families with children came and had great fun. (One family brought their own dinner because that worked for them; their children sampled dessert items and then jumped in the pool.) There were over 50 attendees. The more recent July social was also well received.
 
The pool now has a new handicap chair lift to replace the one that was broken. Repairs to the Casey Boulevard retention pond were completed in June, and instead of trees growing wildly, you can view the stormwater being held.
 
The U.S. Post Office has approved moving two group mailboxes for Village Walk from their current location on Merchant’s Court to a nearby location on Greenview. Soon those of us who are served by these will no longer have to stand in the street across from Trader Joe’s to get our mail, and our mail carriers will not be putting their lives at risk or blocking traffic as they stop on a very busy street to fill our boxes. Indeed, the proposed new location is more convenient for our carriers because they will be stopping to fill our mailboxes at a spot on a fairly quiet street that they typically pass by daily. Win-win all around!
 
BOARD BUZZ - May 2023 by Jack Espinal, President
Posted on May 1st, 2023
 
Changes are in the works!
 
The New Town Residential Association Board of Directors has been engaged in review of two pending construction projects that will impact life in and around New Town. The first of these is the development of the Eastern State Hospital property north of New Town and adjacent to the Charlotte Park neighborhood. The second construction project will involve the repair of two large retention ponds (BMPs) located on the east side of the Village Walk neighborhood. Specific information about both of these projects can be found elsewhere in the May Town Crier.
 
Additional Property for NTRA Common Areas
 
The Board of Directors is also currently considering the transfer of land owned by New Town Associates (Larry Salzman) to the NTRA. The proposed land transfer is shown on the map below. This planned transfer would give the association ownership of additional 42.74 acres and would include more of trail system in New Town and the land located along the northern part of the BMP-04 in Village Walk. All of the land in the proposed transfer would become part of the NTRA common area.
 
 
Personnel Changes at Chesapeake Bay Management
 
Starting this month, our Association will be supported by two new Chesapeake Bay Management Company employees. Ahmed Desouky will be replacing Anne Ingram as our Community Manager.  We thank Anne for her tireless work and wish her well as she starts a career enhancing position elsewhere. The NTRA also has a new administrative assistant, Imani Harris, who has been on board for a few weeks.  Both of these new staff will be adjusting during the first part of May 2023. We will be working hard helping them learn about our community and associated NTRA processes. As a result, responses to some tickets and homeowner requests may take a little longer than they have in the past.
 
A NTRA Special Board of Directors Election
 
Your Board of Directors is currently short one of its authorized Board members. This shortage has significantly increased the workload for the existing four board members. Requests for volunteers to fill this vacant board position have gone unanswered until now. Recently, Glen Mitchell, a past NTRA Board member, volunteered to run for the Board. As a result, a special election will be held at the end of May 2023 to fill this position. The Board decided to honor requests from several community members to hold a formal election rather than make an appointment to the Board as had been already done for this seat. Please consider running for the Board.  Other individuals in the community who wish to volunteer and run for this vacant position should provide their statement of intent/resume to the NTRA Board of Directors at ntra.secretary@gmail.com. There is still time to be added to the ballot.
 
Our governing documents require a minimum of a 21-day notice to be given to Members for all special meetings. Therefore, the earliest that election meetings can be held is during the last part of May. Two meetings will be held using the Zoom Video software:
  • The first Zoom meeting will formalize the election and allow candidates to address the community. Association members in good standing will also be able to be nominated from the floor at that meeting. 
  • A second special Zoom meeting will be held to announce and certify the voting results.
When these meeting dates are established, they will be posted on the NTRA website. Electronic voting using the EZ vote software as in past NTRA elections will be used again for this election.  The EZ vote platform will be open for voting for several days after the first Zoom meeting. Paper ballots will not be used in this election.
 
BOARD BUZZ - March 2023 by Ruth Burgess, Director
Posted on Mar 5th, 2023
 
VOLUNTEER CANDIDATES for BOARD of DIRECTORS: Where are you?

Volunteers are needed for several NTRA committees, two important offices of NTRA's Board of Directors, and for two newly vacant slots on the 5-person Board of Directors. Sounds like old news, doesn’t it, until you get to the end of the sentence.

Yes, those of us remaining on the Board, have reluctantly accepted the resignations of John Ryan, elected by the Board last summer, and Caitlin Melchior who was elected in December's Member election. A special election is being planned in order to fill John Ryan’s replacement for a term to end December 31, 2023. The appointed replacement for Caitlin also will serve only until December 31. NOTE: Since two of three remaining Board members live in Village Walk, candidates to fill the currently vacant board openings must come from the other NTRA neighborhoods - Abbey Commons, Charlotte Park, Chelsea Green, Savannah Park, and Shirley Park.
 
Of course, anyone elected or appointed to the Board now may run for a full-term on the Board in NTRA’s next regular election scheduled for early December, 2023. At that time, there will be four vacancies to fill since two current Board members will be completing their two year terms then. Are you a Village Walker interested in Board of Director’s service? Consider running in our next regular election at year’s end!
 
What is needed in a Board of Directors member?
 
Time: A willingness to serve, and a schedule sufficiently flexible to allow for participation in sometimes long monthly meetings, preferably on weekday afternoons. Also needed - time to relate to committees for which one is the assigned Board Liaison, time to attend extra work sessions or called “emergency meetings”, and time to address special projects in areas related to your gifts and skills. What else? Commitment to taking seriously legal and fiduciary responsibilities associated with attending to the essential business of the community. Do you have sufficient commitment and ability to function as part of a team where members must value, respect, and support one another if the vital work is to get done? How about the self-management needed to keep confidential information confidential? Will you prioritize the Board’s legal responsibilities and the best interests and welfare of the whole NTRA community, over personal agendas or loyalties to a limited group within the community?
 
In addition: No outstanding violations: Candidates for the Board of Directors or any of our official committees cannot have uncleared or unaddressed violations. If you think you would be willing to serve the NTRA as a Board member — please, please, please! - clear your violations before you put your name forward. Catch up on your assessment payments if you are behind.
Paint, power-wash, make repairs identified as needed during last summer’s inspections. Ask ARC to review an alteration or addition to your home or your property, even if made years ago before you realized you were supposed to get permission first. Fill out the form and show up for consideration of your application. Whether you have to pay off a backlog of assessments, plus late fees, or pay fines, or modify your additions to come into compliance, commit to doing what you are told you must do to make things right, and apply yourself to doing it. THEN, volunteer!
 
Finally, ability to handle criticism as it inevitably will come your way. Be prepared for criticism, justified or not, and whether it’s offered as friendly suggestion, or as an ugly, meanspirited jab, or even the well-deserved rebuke and a call for your apology. Can you learn from negativity as you weather it? Can you swallow your pride and say “I’m sorry” when that is warranted? Good luck on growing a thicker skin, but can you slough off some unmerited criticisms - to prevent them from hobbling you? CRUCIAL: Can you serve on the Board and preserve a life balance that helps you to stand through the rougher seasons?
 
Thoughtfully consider what may be involved in serving as a Bard member. If you think you can handle the time commitments, the investments of self, and the responsibilities of an NTRA Board member, and are not in violation, please put your name forward! Do this by sending an email with your full contact information to NTRA.secretary@gmail.com, along with a picture and a brief biographical statement which includes relevant vocational information, your special skills, or earned credentials, and your reasons for being willing to apply your particular gifts, skills, available time, and energies to serving your community in this way.
BOARD BUZZ - February 2023 by Jack Espinal, President
Posted on Feb 1st, 2023
 
The New Town Residential Association (NTRA) 2023 Board of Directors has gotten off to a good start. Our organizational meeting has been held, officers have been selected, and committee liaison assignments have been made. The Board has also created a list of projects to be executed throughout the upcoming year. These items will be reviewed and priorities set for planning and implementation during the Board’s February work session.
 
One of our first major actions is to schedule a special election to fill the remaining 2023 term currently held by Board Member John Ryan. As a result, the Board is looking for qualified candidates who are interested in joining the NTRA Board. If you are interested in becoming a member of the NTRA Board of Directors, please submit an application via email listing your experience and reasons for becoming a Board member. Once qualified candidates are identified, a special election will be scheduled. In the meantime, John will continue to function as a member of the NTRA Board of Directors.
 
James River Grounds Management, our new landscape contractor, has begun work in our community. One of their first actions will be to inventory our community and make recommendations on areas that need attention.
 
Already known are two significant landscape issues which involve our beautiful crape myrtle trees and the numerous knockout roses growing throughout New Town. (See related Town Crier articles of April and July 2022). The crape myrtles have been infected by a small insect that appears as a white or gray felt-like encrustation on the trees. The bark of the infected trees also often appears black. Our Association has begun treating the infected trees in our common areas. However, homeowners are responsible for treating the crape myrtles located on their lots.
 
The best window for control of this white scale is in late April or early May as the crape myrtles begin to really flush. The treatment consists of a soil and mulch drench of an imidacloprid product which is commonly available at Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Tractor Supply. In addition, soap and water can be used to scrub the bark of the crape myrtle to remove the white scale like material. This can be done at any time during the year. In the summer infected trees will have thousands of pea-sized insects climbing up and down the tree.
 
The second infestation affecting landscaping in New Town involves the numerous knockout roses found throughout our community. They have become infected by a virus which makes new growth look unsightly and will eventually kill the plant. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this disease and the only available solution is to completely remove the diseased plants. Since the virus remains dormant in the soil, roses of any type should not be used as replacements. The NTRA Landscape Advisory Committee recommends the use Goshiki Osmanthus as a replacement plant. This attractive evergreen will change colors at different times throughout the year. It is a hardy, deer resistant, and slow-growing plant. That makes it is an excellent replacement in New Town.
 
Currently all of the knockout roses in the NTRA common areas are being removed and replaced by Goshiki Osmanthus where appropriate. Homeowners are required to remove their diseased knockout roses from their lots and replace them with appropriate plants no later than June 1.