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President's Report
Posted on Nov 30th, 2017

Hello neighbors!  I’m relatively new to the board, and I have heard and seen plenty of social media buzz since our November meeting, so I thought it might be a good idea to post something here to bring everyone up to speed on what is going on with the Board, budget, HOA Dues etc. as we wrap up 2017 and get ready to start a new year.

My wife Rachel and I moved to Lake Riverside Estates exactly one year ago – we got here just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving 2016 in our new home.  Before LRE we lived in a small airport community in Winchester, CA.  Due to intense development in the area our airport permit was not renewed, so we decided to relocate and went on the search for the perfect place to live.  I am passionate about airplanes, and Rachel is passionate about horses, so LRE seemed like a great fit.  Twin Hangar Ranch had only been listed a few days – we came out, saw the home and fell in love with the house, the lake, the views etc.  We were so excited (we didn’t think to go on Facebook to see what existing residents had to say about LRE) that we made an offer right away and closed within 30 days. 

Once we got settled in we started to meet some of our neighbors.  Some (like us) were new to LRE, and others have been living here for many years.  We heard lots of stories, desires, ideas and issues.  I learned that LRE already offers so much – and has so much potential to be even better!  During my conversations with neighbors subjects such as the roads and gates came up often.  Security, speeding, concerns about theft too.  Often I would hear suggestions like “why don’t we have a little mini-mart in here?", or "how 'bout a cafe?" or “why don’t we build a clubhouse?”  

Rachel and I think about all these concerns and ideas as well – so I started going to the open session board meetings every month.  Honestly, I was very surprised to find that there were usually only about 20 people attending.  I understand there are over 1,000 lots in here and over 600 homes.  At 2.4 people (rural average) per household that means we have almost 1,500 residents living in LRE!  Why such a low turnout at the meetings?

Several months ago I was approached to join the board.  I come from a business and marketing background and had just sold my business (I have built several businesses over the years), so I felt like I had the time and experience to contribute.  I liked what the current board was doing so I agreed to join them.  Recently the board voted to make me the President, and I am honored to work with this group for the benefit of all LRE residents.

From my conversations with dozens of residents so far it was clear that there are many different perspectives on what direction this community should be heading.  It is also obvious that we don’t really know what the majority wants, so I asked the Board to approve a comprehensive Membership Survey, which was approved.  Soon you will be given an opportunity to participate, and I sincerely hope each of you will take the time to provide your input – your voice will be heard!

Regarding the recent budget and HOA dues increase – we have some real and unavoidable expenses (and opportunities – watch for and participate in the survey!) facing us in the immediate future, including road maintenance and improvements, obvious issues with gates, a huge fuel tax increase, unavoidable and extremely important lake maintenance, much needed and very expensive equipment (Grader, loader, mowers etc.) repair and maintenance, paving the main entrances (permits from CalTrans have been pending for over a year and are finally about to be approved), and a tremendous expense to accommodate the work required by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE).  The permit for the work required by ACE is expected to be issued in the next few months, at which time a mandatory infrastructure effort like LRE has never seen before will begin.  Its just not possible to plan for all this without a budget increase.  The current Board has done an amazing job up until now, but there has been no increase for the past three years, and the current dues simply won’t cover our projected expenses.  We went back and forth on the amount, but all five of the Board Members agreed an increase was necessary.  Let’s work together to make the most of it for everyone’s benefit!

All of us on the Board care deeply about LRE, its residents and its future.  What future do you want to see for LRE?  Should it stay exactly like it is?  Should we make improvements?  Should we do nothing new that would further increase dues?  Do we need to pave or find some other solution to improve the roads?  What about that mini-mart?  Or the café or clubhouse?  Are all these things ridiculous?  Or, do you want to see them happen?  I have my own thoughts – but my personal opinion is only one of over 1,000 potential responses from our survey.  The loudest voice does not always represent the majority - and with social media some people remain silent for fear of persecution.  
 
So, lets find out what the majority wants.  The survey results will be made public, but individual responses will not.  This is your opportunity to shape our future!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Want to chat about this or anything LRE related?  Feel free to contact me directly at don@shoutout.biz.
 
Don Mastrangelo, President
Lake Riverside Estates HOA