Good evening and I hope this meeting finds you all in good health.  For the most part, residents of Eldorado are complying with wearing masks and practicing social distancing.  Though the incidence of active COVID 19 cases has increased in the 87508-zip code area, I do think that because of community peer pressure, we’ve been able to keep the numbers low.  I know that the guidelines placed on the use of our amenities has many disappointed and annoyed but please try to remember  the HOAMCO staff and the Board make decisions about access for the whole community.  

This past Thursday, the Board of Directors interviewed a potential candidate to fill one of the two positions that remain open on the Board.  Our interview was pleasant and informative and it was very clear that the candidate honestly wanted to become involved with ECIA’s governance.  His enthusiasm was evident.  However, after some deliberation, the members of the Board agreed that the candidate needed to become more familiar with how the ECIA Board and committees operate.  As a result, we recommended that the candidate attend several meetings, ask questions, make comments and get a firsthand understanding of the time and work required.  Our candidate agreed and we hope to re-interview in a few months.

Lest you deem this interview process unsuccessful, I would like to share some realizations that have appeared.  Currently, residents who would like to be appointed as committee members must meet requirements listed in the respective charters.  In addition to being a member in good standing, a minimum number of meetings must be attended. So, for appointment to the Conservation, Facilities and Grounds, Finance, and Information Committees, a resident must attend 3 meetings; for the Roads it is 2 meetings and for the Election and Stables it is 1 meeting.   What I see as missing here is any such requirement for potential Board of Directors membership and I have to wonder if that is reasonable.   Should the community expect its Board of Directors members to be fluent in the governing documents,  the business management practices, the committee’s missions and procedures, the laws governing HOA’s and on and on.  Should a potential candidate need to have attended at least a majority of the standing committees prior to submitting a credential package?

I would like to explore these questions further, perhaps by setting up a discussion group that gathers input from existing volunteers, Board members and residents.  This group could prepare recommendations for the Board to review, that outline what qualifications potential Board members should possess, as well as, provide a realistic description of the time and work needed to be effective. Whether or not these recommendations ultimately become part of the Bylaws would be further explored.  I realize that this action might be setting up barriers for folks who might otherwise step up, but I do believe it serves the community better to have qualified leadership.  And just because “we’ve never done anything like this” doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. If anyone is interested in working on this, please email me and we can start a conversation.

With that being said, and in my commitment to transparency, I will say that I did not have ECIA committee meeting experience, nor was I fluent in the governing documents, etc. when I applied for a Board position. What I did bring to the table was a 40-year career in not-for-profit management including Board membership and Board staffing.  I learned quickly and was able and willing to spend significant blocks of time doing so. 

The other issue that the recent candidate pointed out is that there is a lack of “young family” representation on the Board and on many of the committees.   As one might expect, parents with young children or teens tend to have limited volunteer time, especially now with the possibility of online, at home schooling.   That doesn’t diminish the need for input from this important and growing demographic.  If Eldorado is truly to be a family-friendly community, we should try to be more sensitive to the unique needs of younger families.

To address this issue, I will follow the suggestion made by the recent Board candidate to call for a “parents council” composed of a group that can meet regularly, but not frequently, to explore how Eldorado can best serve the families.  This doesn’t mean that Eldorado’s budget will support extensive capital projects but certainly could look into activities that might entertain and enrich our younger residents.  Again, if you are interested please email me to start a conversation.

As always, I want to acknowledge the community volunteers who have contributed their expertise and time during the past month.  To the members of the Management Contract Proposal Review team – Monty Vandermay, Amelia Adair, Dan Drobnis, Sal Monaco and David Sorkin – thank you for your serious deliberations and recommendations.  The first segment of this very important selection process has been completed with the community’s best interests as a priority.  In addition, thank you to Monty and Amelia for moderating the Town Hall about the management company selection. Thank you to Debra Denker who coordinated and moderated the recent Fire Prevention Town Hall.  So many residents have expressed their gratitude for bringing this information to our community.  And I would be neglectful if I didn’t also thank the HOAMCO staff who have worked diligently to maintain our amenities and administrative responsibilities.  Thank you all.


Treasurer’s Report


Based on Financial Statement: June 30, 2020

Key Points:

~ $1.2M in Operating Fund Cash

~ $522K in Reserve Fund Cash

Total Cash ~$1.7M

Accounts Receivable: $80K (Assessments); ~97% of 2020 assessments have been collected; ~$26K (uncollected 2020 Assessments)

Other Receivables (interest, stables, lien fees): ~$60K

Actual vs. Budget YTD: $553K vs. $785K (we are ~$232K under budget, primarily from lower expenditures in capital projects, pool operations and payroll). Any excess funds at year end will be used to build our reserves.

Items from the Finance Committee (FC):

  1. First draft of 2021 Budget was reviewed at the July 14 FC meeting. The FC found the operating budget to be in compliance with our financial model.
  2. FC will continue to review and revise the current procurement policy at the August meeting (Dan Drobnis and Amelia Adair will lead effort).
  3. FC agreed with recommendation to make early transfer to R&R and invest resulting cash in a CD.
  4. The FC is reviewing new software (Asset Panda) to use for the R&R database and forecasts.


Website Taskforce – David Sorkin

From Garret (website designer):

  1. The WordPress install is complete.
  2. The theme is installed and initially configured.
  3. Hosting is optimized for development (this will change at rollup).
  4. Backup and Security plugins are installed and operational.
  5. For security purposes, two-factor authentication is enabled.
  6. Currently, content from the old website is continuing to be ported over to the new website. This requires formatting and design, which is contingent upon the logo design chosen (it dictates color/font choices). This is important because I can set the various features of the theme to default to proper colors/fonts for ECIA and HOAMCO staff to stay within our set design 'boundaries'.
  7. The sooner we have a logo chosen, the sooner I can start finalizing pages and give Web Task Force members access to the site for comments, information architecture mods and usability judgments.
  8. At this point in the content port, I have to say that we will be saving a lot of pages/clicks in the process. Just the Board of Directors "About" page uses significantly fewer click throughs. The wider mobile-friendly format is making things much simpler.


  1. Recently, it’s been brought to my attention that old policies had been stored in the basement of the ECIA and a shed located on the property.
  2. At a HOAMCO Zoom meeting on June 17, 2020 I inquired about old policies being stored in the basement and asked for the documents. COO Stacy Maule suggested that the office staff assist in locating the policies for me and tasked the office staff with locating them. I’ve been advised it’s currently underway.
  3. Until I can be confident that I’ve located every policy, I will be proceeding slowly and cautiously. This is a very involved and detailed endeavor, which I’m taking very seriously, as policies are the guiding principles used to establish the course of action taken by our governing board.


  1. The Architecture Committee’s semi-monthly meeting was held on July 13, 2020 via Zoom at 3 p.m. 
  2. There were 19 approval requests for a variety of home improvement projects including solar arrays, fences, accessory structures and 2 new homes. There were also a number of re-stucco consent approvals. All were approved, some with stipulations, along with 4 variances, which were already addressed this evening.
  3. Mark Young will be away, so the July 28th meeting has been cancelled. 
  4. The next meeting will be held on August 18th at 3 p.m. 

Conservation Committee – Carol Sanguinetti

  1. External climbing websites have finally removed Cactus Heaven from their website.
  2. Ladder and shovel that were found in that area have been removed.
  3. Chalk is not washing off easily with rain.
  4. New brochures are in the process of being created and printed.
  5. Work has been started to expand the parking lot at trailhead 4.
  6. A member has resigned due to health reasons so looking for new members. Or more volunteers to assist with maintaining our trails.

F&G Committee – David Sorkin

  1. Acknowledged the service of Nolan Zisman as a volunteer to the community and specifically, his service to the F&G committee.
  2. F&G’s mission statement was reviewed, and the chair reiterated that the role of the committee is to advise, assist, and make recommendations to the Board of Directors.
  3. Updates provided by Julie, Mike, and Jessica.
  4. Pool inspected and approved 1st time w/one exception.
  5. Liaison:  Sal provided updates due to my absence.
  6. Dog Park Registration was discussed and recognition of the Dog Park Task Force.


  1. The Information committee met via Zoom for the first time since COVID struck on July 13, 2020.
  2. There was a short discussion on residents' comments regarding the last few Vistas issues, most expressing approval, with 2 negative responses pertaining to the cat article in the June issue.
  3. Most of the meeting was spent discussing “What we have” for the August edition. Articles have been edited and sent back to the author for final approval.
  4. We also went over how to proceed with adjusting a printing date to accommodate the BOD’s proposal for moving the board meeting to the 4th Monday of the month.
  5. The next meeting is scheduled for August 18, 2020.

ROAD COMMITTEE - Melicent D’Amore

  1. There was no July meeting. RAP roads update - This project concluded the week of July 13th with the 8 roads being swept of loose aggregate chips and sealed with CSS-1P, the product mentioned at the Town Hall in February, which will prevent surface raveling and improve water resistance.
  2. James A. Mason gave a detailed committee presentation at the June BOD meeting, which can be found on the ECIA website under the Road Committee tab. I highly encourage residents to read it.
  3. A Capital Improvement Request for 2021 has been submitted to the Finance Committee for consideration.
  4. The next scheduled meeting will be held on August 5, 2020 at 5:30 pm via Zoom.

Stable Committee – Carol Sanguinetti

  1. Discussion of maintenance and projects with Mike Rogers
  2. 3 barns have sold so far this year – the Stable Committee will help the ECIA office streamline the barn purchase process. Stables has a mentorship program for new barn owners, so are looking to better educate new barn owners.
  3. Stable volunteers are working on constructing trail course elements and upgrading the arroyo trails
  4. Due to COVID, the annual Community Day open house event can’t happen as normal.  The Committee discussed options and is working to develop some fun activities for families this fall on a scheduled basis, and a videotape a tour focused for kids