BOARD BUZZ - September 2022, by John Ryan – Director
Posted on Sep 1st, 2022
As your newest Board Member, I want to thank the many community members who have reached out to me to express their appreciation that the vacant Board Member position has now been filled. (In fact, I even had one gentleman offer to take me out to lunch at his expense so he could personally bring me up to speed on the problems in the community.) Having served on two prior Boards for Associations in the past (New York City and Vienna, VA), I can certainly appreciate the amount of time and effort it takes to help out in the community … and with many of us having full-time jobs and families, it is not always an easy task to undertake. But I stepped up to help in whatever capacity I can, and I encourage all of you to find ways to volunteer and do your part.
As you know, the Board has been working for the last year on the new governing documents. The Board is required by Virginia law to follow the Association’s current documents (regardless of whether the Developer Board followed them). These documents are old, overly complex and contain errors and omissions. It’s past time for their overhaul.
We recognize that the new governing documents may not meet with 100% approval from all members – but we believe the new governing documents are a big step in the right direction and will benefit the community. If these revised documents are not approved by 2/3 of the community, the current Developer documents remain in force – and keeping the current documents in force will continue to balloon our legal expenses, complicate our assessment calculations, and limit lawn service to fenced yards.
On Wednesday evening August 17, the Board had a Zoom Informational Meeting for NTRA owners. Several valid questions were asked and answered regarding the new governing documents – and others were submitted via email and responded to. The slides
from this meeting are available on the NTRA website along with a summary of the Board’s response to specific statements
that had been widely circulated to owners. The Board posted this document to correct misleading and incorrect information. Read our explanations and form your own opinion.
One question in particular that seemed to create a lot of confusion at the Informational Meeting was the threshold for calling a Special Meeting of Members. Although our legal counsel recommended a change to 20% to conform with the majority of other associations in the area and for a number of valid reasons, e.g., expense, time, etc., the Board decided to revise this proposal and keep the Special Meeting threshold at 10%.
We are happy to report that the Association will not need your mortgage holder information after all. We learned of this after the Zoom meeting. So your mailed packet for the upcoming vote will only contain the Special Meeting Notice and absentee/paper ballot.
The proposed documents are being finalized and EzVote links will be sent soon. Vote yes for progress and affirm that we are one community in New Town.
More positive steps… We have now received our spring financial reports from Chesapeake Bay Management – you will recall this was a problem noted by our Treasurer, Everett Lunsford last month. The May and June reports are posted on the website, and the Board is reviewing the July data. This leaves only the reconciliation and audit corrections to our 2021 year-end records.
As to the financials, please keep in mind that all expenses and invoices are increasing with inflation, labor, and supply issues. For example, a recent bill for the proposed winterization of our pool has increased by 15% in one year! Which reminds me that during August we had an After Hours Social at the pool where I donated $120 to cover the NTRA cost of one lifeguard!
I see this Board working really hard to keep people happy…I look forward to meeting other New Town owners and appreciate your support as I work with my fellow homeowner Board Members to improve the community.