Recently, the Board of Directors met with our attorney, John Hayes.  Though we discussed current litigation, the bulk of our conversation had to do with what documents are available to homeowners according to the HOA Act.  Mr. Hayes was quite clear about what is and what is not considered public information.  The HOA Act lists the following documents as available to any homeowner:

  1. The Declaration of The Association;
  2. The name, address, and telephone number of The Association's designated agent;
  3. The Bylaws of The Association;
  4. The names and addresses of all Association Members;
  5. Minutes of all meetings of The Association's Members and The Board for the previous five years, other than executive sessions, and records of all actions taken by a committee in place of The Board or on behalf of The Association for the previous five years;
  6. The operating budget for the current fiscal year;
  7. Current assessments, including both regular and special assessments;
  8. Financial statements and accounts, including bank account statements, transaction registers, Association-provided service or utility records and amounts held in reserve;
  9. The most recent financial audit or review, if any;
  10. All current contracts entered into by The Association or The Board on behalf of The Association; current insurance policies, including company names, policy limits, deductibles, additional named insureds and expiration dates for property, general liability and Association director and officer professional liability, and fidelity policies
  11. any electronic record of action taken by The Board.

The HOA list is specific in its requirements and does not include documents under development. So what’s not in the list?  Drafts … works in progress … contracts in negotiation … anything under legal review … even policies !  ECIA will follow these rules and try to accommodate requests as appropriate.  Though some might resent that particular documents cannot be shared, and may consider this a lack of transparency, we hope with this explanation, they will agree that ECIA must follow the law.

In addition to meeting with the lawyer, ECIA Executive Staff Julie Navarro and Mike Rogers, David Sorkin and I met with ECIA’s architect, Courtenay Mathey who has worked on the design for the Family Changing Room.  This project has been put on hold for a variety of reasons.  Most importantly, this Board felt that after investigation into how the project was originally awarded in March 2019, it became evident that the ECIA procurement policy had not been followed.  Since the project had taken on a significant change in scope, it should have been sent out for bids as defined in the Policy.   The meeting with Courtenay was extremely productive.  In addition to explaining the sequence of events that led to the Changing Room project delay, Courtenay has agreed to review our Procurement Policy and make recommendations to bring it up to best practice standards.  He will also develop and point-based scale to use when choosing contractors.  With these tools, staff should be better equipped to process and select the right professionals to complete ECIA projects.

On February 6 and 7, Executive Staff from HOAMCO made an on-site visit.  Stacy Maule, COO, Michael Smith, Regional Director and Nigel Burgess, Executive Director of Management Services, attended meetings with the Board of Directors and the staff.  The Board’s discussions were frank and honest and covered a wide scope of topics including our higher expectations of staff, the need for staff training in management, leadership and project management, and the development of tools to measure outcomes.  Stacy also met with residents who shared their concerns about contract and vendor management and on-going office procedure matters.  I left the meeting with a sense that changes will come. I know, many of you might say, been there, done that.  But I have to look forward, not to the past.  I have subsequently received drafts of reporting tools that both the General Manager and Operations Manager will be expected to utilize.  Stacy and her team will be returning March 5th and 6th for follow-up meetings with Board and Staff, and this time will have a meeting with ECIA Committee Chairs.

As of this evening, I am putting out a request for volunteers familiar with contract negotiation, to serve on a team that will review ECIA’s current contract with HOAMCO, that will develop methods to garner residents’ feedback regarding HOAMCO, and make recommendations to the Board based on information gathered.  The opportunity to use electronic surveys, direct mailing, town halls, among others, will be supported so that whatever decision is made, it reflects the majority of the residents’ wishes.  If you are interested in working on this team, or know someone who you think might be beneficial to the process, please email me with the contact information.

And finally, the Board met with our new Insurance Agent, Madelyn Samuel.  We reviewed our current coverage and discussed how certain pool equipment might increase our premiums and perhaps, put our renewal at risk. If ECIA chooses to have log rolling, wiggle boards, jump boards and the like, our policy will increase by $6000 with a loss of all credits;  our agent explained that in "insurance terms" a swimming pool is for swimming. Because our pool is not Olympic sized, the underwriter will not recommend insuring it with the equipment mentioned,  it is essentially too small and does not qualify as an aquatic center which is built with specific scale for water activities. We anticipate hearing from Maddie with additional information about pool insurance questions

In conclusion, I must take time to acknowledge all of the volunteers, those on committees and those who work independently, my fellow Board members and the staff.  Without the investment these folks make on behalf of ECIA, our community would be woefully depleted.  I thank each and every person who attends a meeting, submits a VISTAS article, cleans our trails, cares for our wildlife, photographs and shares the beauty of our sunsets, chooses to welcome differing viewpoints on ECIA’s future endeavors, participates in forums and maintains a positive attitude in the face of negativity.  Thank you all.

TREASURER'S REPORT – David Sorkin, Board Director, speaking on behalf of Sal Monaco, Board Treasurer.

As of the January 31, 2020 Financial Statement:

  • Approximately $694,000 in Operating Cash Reserves
  • Approximately $153,000 in a CD at 2.5%
  • Approximately $766,000 in R&R Cash Reserves
  • $675,000 in CDs, one will be cashed in at end of February.
  • Approximate Total Cash $1.46 mil.
  • $68,000 in Accounts Receivable not including assessments.
  • Is there any range or formula for cash reserve we have?
  • Coming up with five year reserve. Raised fees at 4.8% which is cost of living for the past two years.
  • Nancy Sulzberg– We have 2776 lots, only 41 have unpaid back dues. Yes we are following up on that, but this is an incredibly participatory community when it comes to paying the bills.


  • Architecture Committee
    • Melicent D’Amore – 8 new plans all approved. Discussed 2020 Guidelines, neighbor notification requirements, need for follow up on non-responses, Joe Gutierrez reach out to County Manager Kathryn Miller. 2/25/20 next meeting.
  • Conservation Committee
    • Carol Sanguinetti – Greenbelt Ecology and Fire Risk Mitigation Event on 3/14/20 from 10am-1pm. Presentations followed by Q&A. Surveyor out next week, finish project in May or June Ave. Torreon to the Rail Trail. 3/7/20 is next meeting, members are welcome to attend.
  • Facilities & Grounds Committee
    • David Sorkin – Public Forum at F&G on 2/5/20 – Discussion on goat head removal and how to possibly eliminate, phase II pool schedule and projects, and pool activities. Cracks in pool shell, in process of determining repair. KPIs and financial operation metrics discussed.
    • Nolan Zisman – Updated 5 year plan for projects. Picked 5 concepts to go into survey for community feedback. Form the basis for what and how we spend money.
  • Finance Committee
    • David Sorkin– recommended approval of adjustments to Reserve Fund and a transfer of $17,489 to the Operating Fund. Reviewed RFPs with insurance.
  • Information Committee
    • Melicent D’Amore – Last meeting was 2/10/20.  New Eldorado logo discussed, contact Pam Henline if you have an idea. Submission deadline for articles is the 5th of each month. Committee will do best to accommodate. Authors will have opportunity to read edited version. Backlog of articles for next month. Received encouraging remarks about Vistas. Next meeting 3/9/20 at 7 PM.
    • Nolan Zisman – Bob Christie wrote an extremely good article in Eldorado Living.
  • Road Committee
    • Melicent D’Amore – Last meeting held 2/5/20. James A. Mason, committee Chair, spoke with District Four County Commissioner about road conditions in Eldorado. New Director of Public Works, Gary Giron, invited to attend future committee meetings. Need help to contact LANL for air sampling study. Contact Melicent D’Amore or Mr. James A. Mason if you know someone.
    • Looking at fly ash and lime cement for possible solution for RAP roads. Road inspection and basic observation concluded poor culvert maintenance and poor engineering of ditch drainage. Appropriate repair or removal of RAP is necessary, design and use proper ditch drainage, and plan to repair culverts.
    • Thanks to Amelia (Adair) for acting secretary. Next Road Committee meeting 3/4/20.
  • Stable Committee
    • Carol Sanguinetti – Dial-My-Calls Training in January, broadcast e-mail put into place for barn owners, emergency plan developed and posted on ECIA website, common area use rules being discussed. New sign at main entry – information more readily available and will include a list of barns for sale. Solar lights installed in January. Source of water leak still undetermined. On 2/18 water will be shut off to locate source. On 2/22/20 there will be a new barn owner welcome party potluck at barn 7 from 4-6pm. Next meeting on 2/25/20 – Moved up a month.
  • Bylaws Review Ad-hoc Committee
    • Nancy Sulzberg – Almost complete and easier to read. Members can vote with information.
    • Pam Henline – Can we consider voting on specific items, versus the entire document?
  • Website Task Group
    • David Sorkin – Awarded survey participant gift certificate. Garret Vreeland updating website. Plug-in for Caliber for individual logins, secure sites, site for public, and individual accounts. Approved volunteers for the Website Task Group and will now become much more active.
  • Policy Review Task Group
    • Melicent D’Amore – Creating list of policies from motions book, cross-referencing, going through minutes for policy motions. Pam Henline is assisting and searched past minutes and provided list to reference. Recruited two residents to assist with the project. Goal is for accuracy and to be dated and signed before entered into new Policy Book.