Board Meeting Reports


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


President Report

June 15, 2020

Over the next few weeks, the Board and designated volunteers will address a major project that concerns the future of the ECIA.  As reported previously, we sent an RFP – Request for Proposal to four management companies.  This was done to be in compliance with our policies.  The responses were due this past Friday and I’ve been informed that  four companies have submitted a proposal – HOAMCO, Sentry Management, Associa Management and Westgate Management.  I think it’s important for ECIA members to understand how this process will affect the community.  Regardless of which management company is selected, we expect to make  improvements in the way ECIA functions. Some changes will be behind-the-scenes, while others will  be more evident as members interact with the office and complete their business.  I hope that you all can trust that whatever decision is made and whatever changes are implemented, they will be done so in a fashion that benefits the community.  I fully expect to have differing opinions on the outcome;  I just hope that we all can do so in a respectful and productive manner.

I’d like to give you all a head’s up to another change that will be more evident.  At the advice of our Attorney, Lynn Krupnik,  we will alter the format of our Board Meeting minutes.  So that we are in compliance with best practices, the official minutes from these meetings will detail only actions that are approved by the Board of Directors.  In our case, that primarily means motions and variance approvals.  These will be posted on the ECIA web page with any and all written reports attached as addenda.  In an effort to keep our residents up-to-date on Open Forum or other agenda discussions, a separate document will be posted so that we don’t lose the important deliberations and thoughts presented during the meeting. I will call this document “Board Meeting Community News”.  You can expect that it will be posted within 3 -5 days after the Board meeting.

On Wednesday, June 17th, the Board of Directors will meet with HOAMCO Executive Staff members Stacy Maule,  Michael Franciosi and Nigel Burgess, along with General Manager Julie Navarro and Facilities Manager Mike Rogers.  The focus of this meeting will be to review current office and operations issues, in particular document retention and management and to learn about HOAMCO’s newly launched Asset Management tool.  If time allows , we will begin work on a Strategic Plan.  I will keep you informed as the process moves forward.

I realize that the past weeks and months have been challenging in so many ways.  Our daily activities whether on-the-job or at home have been altered to accommodate the new normal.   The Board has been sincere in its adherence to state and county guidelines, oftentimes having to make difficult decisions about opening our amenities, the dog park, the tennis courts, the pickleball and basketball courts.   With that in mind, I would like to thank everyone using the amenities – your willingness to make reservations when needed, wear masks, sign Waivers, and adapt to the new restrictions has helped keep virus transmission in check .  It would be silly of me to say that these guidelines will be eliminated soon.  Just like all of you, we don’t know how long our community will need to socially distance, wear masks, limit group numbers and the like.  All I ask of you is that you remember that the pandemic is far from over and we all need to continue minimizing exposure.

I would like to take a moment here to acknowledge the members of ECIA’s working committees and task groups.  Adjusting to the current situation, our committees continue to meet via ZOOM and keep the preserves, amenities, newsletter, finances, stables, roads, and covenants  true to their purpose.  All the task groups stay focused on their goals … whether that be  the development of a new website, the review of our policies or the tabulation of the recent resident survey and contract review.   Without the commitment of the many volunteers who make this all happen our community would be considerably less inviting.  Thank you so very much for attending meetings, writing reports, researching topics, interviewing neighbors, and finally for your willingness to put in the time necessary to keep this 6600-person community thriving.


Treasurer’s Report


Financial Statement: May 31, 2020

Key Points:

~ $1.3M in Operating Fund Cash

~ $574K in Reserve Fund Cash

Total Cash ~$1.83M

Accounts Receivable: ~$28K  (prior year assessments); $101K (2020 assessments);

95% of 2020 assessments have been collected; ~$27K (other)

Actual vs. Budget YTD: $453K vs. $626K (we are ~$173K under budget, primarily from lower expenditures in capital projects and payroll)

Items from the Finance Committee:

  1. First draft of 2021 Budget will be reviewed at the July 14 FC meeting. – any committee that has not yet submitted their budget should do so before the end of June – submit to GM + copy to FC Chair.
  2. FC will review the revised procurement policy at the July meeting.
  3. FC recommended Kathy Ritschel for membership.
  4. FC will have a special meeting on Reserves on June 23, 2020.

R&R Update

Projections show 2021 requirements at a little under $140K.

Five-year full funding is about $1.2M; projections show we will reach full-funded status by 2027, but this is likely to be sooner if we have annual surpluses.


  • Architecture Committee - Mel D'Amore
    • June 9th was another busy meeting with 8 residents and 2 guests in attendance. There were several consent approvals for re-stucco requests, plans for a new home, 2 solar arrays, a large accessory building and a number of fence and wall requests and approvals. There are also 2 variances which were approved by the committee and presented at tonight’s board meeting for approval.

      No other business was discussed.

      The next Architectural Committee meeting will be held Tuesday, June 23 via Zoom at 3 pm.

  • Conservation Committee - Carol Sanguinetti
    • Conservation Committee meeting heldon June 2nd
    • HOAMCO report –
      • Speaking with REI to get us off website. REI has not taken ECIA off website but have “closed for climbing”
      • Sent letter to ask to have us removed from website – asking for Cease and Desist letter from Board’s attorney, Lynn Krupnik
      • Nothing about taking trails off the website – needs to be pursued to have taken down
    • Setting posts to designate new parking area by 400 trail head
    • Making sure none of the fences have been cut, Conservation Committee has scheduled fenceline patrol – no new cuts have been made
      • Did find new places with erosion and cows being led to go under fence
      • Added horse wire to these areas
    • Discussed small projects to be done that can stay within COVID-19 restrictions – social distacing and no large groups
    • Discussion about draft 2021 budget proposal and what projects to include in it
      • Working on new signage and increase in 2020 budget to finish this project
      • Need to see how much 401 gully project is going to be before shifting funds to finish sign project
    • Discussion about updating Preserve Map photos and verbiage
    • Report made about rock climbing going on in preserve and the threat to the area
  • Election Committee - Sal Monaco
  • Facilities & Grounds Committee - David Sorkin
    • Waste Management agreement on file
    • Dog Park Annex complete
    • Stable work is ongoing
    • Maintenance of hike/bike trails in progress (mowing)
    • Graffiti and tagging in tunnel under Ave. Vista Grande between school and fire station - Mike was asked to paint over
    • Pool awaiting inspection but Jessica has prepared plan to open including additional staff
    • Dog Park registrations being tracked by staff. Talk of revising program to include add'l inoculations. Possibly on new website.
    • Ongoing road work in progress
      • As of meeting about 1/4 had been completed
    • BOD approve a policy prohibiting rock climbing
    • Policy enforcement - thanks to Nolan and Amelia, will provide draft documents
  • Finance Committee - Sal Monaco
    • Available on Treasurer's Report
  • Information Committee - Mel D'Amore
    • There have been no formal committee meetings due to COVID-19. 

      Article submissions were in abundance and quickly filled the July issue.

      The committee chair reports that there are already a number of article submissions for August.

      Please be aware that the focus of article submissions are of personal/ memoir type or factual only, with a word count of 150 to 300 words. Longer submissions will be subject to heavy editing  due to space availability. All submissions must be received by the 5th of the month to be considered for the next Vistas issue.

      The new logo RFP due date was May 15th with several wonderful logos submitted by Eldorado residents which will be addressed later during tonight’s board meeting.

      The Information Committee is looking for new members or volunteers with writing/editing experience who wish to participate in the editing process.

  • Road Committee - Mel D'Amore
    • The Road Committee meeting was held on June 3, 2020 via Zoom. Mr. Mason acknowledged the great job the Road Committee volunteers have done, especially Paul Ingraham and Art Kaiser for their efforts in documenting the RAP project with photos to archive as historical records. The question was raised as to how to preserve such data, to which I was asked to look into.

      The Town Hall Summary, crafted by Ms. D’Amore, was sent to the committee  members for review, which is also available on the ECIA website under the RC tab.

      Mr. Mason reported that interactions between the Santa Fe County Public Works Dept. and the Road Committee are very positive.

      Amelia Adair will write a “Road Tips Column” to keep Eldorado residents informed with what’s going on with road projects and maintenance. I’ve suggested posting on the website under Road Committee Tab and when appropriate, an eblast with project updates.

      The Cerrado Loop paving project is currently on hold with no additional update as of today.

      The Road Committee is pleased to announce its newest member, Art Kaiser. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’d like to thank Mr. Kaiser for volunteering and for his participation in documenting  the RAP project.

      Please remember that the Road Committee is advisory only. Road issues are the responsibility of Santa Fe County and should be reported to the Public Works Department.

      There will be NO July meeting. The next scheduled Road Committee meeting is August 5th from 5:30 to 7:30.

  • Stable Committee - Carol Sanguinetti
    • Volunteer Recognition Opportunity

      Amelia – recognized Herb Siegel who helped assemble the upper arena.

      Facilities is working well with the ESC and adding a new maintenance person with tractor experience should help.  Deena working with Mike to redo the ESC maintenance schedule to be able to stay on track.

      New signs, camera and parking lights are all under way

      Reviewed 2021 budget request

      Still concern from the stable community over the leaks that occurred with the new water meters and who should have paid for It - warranty from the vendor.

      Trail Course finally up - because it wouldn’t look like much to a non-equestrian, signage will be put up to prevent people from walking off with parts of the course

      Setting up mentoring program for new barn owners including safe snake handling training

      Future agenda items will Include

      • Proposed barn architectural and repair standards
      • Equine Burial proposal
      • Eldorado Stables & EASWD relationship
      • Community Day planning
  • Ad Hoc Welcome Committee - Carol Sanguinetti
    • Report next month


President’s Report

May 18, 2020

American existentialist psychologist, Rollo May once said “Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.”   During this first year of membership on the Board [this Board meeting marks my anniversary], I have worked to do just that.  Honest, open and timely communication between and among our residents, our volunteer cadre, our HOAMCO staff and our ECIA Board of Directors has been my standard.  It’s not an easy process because like beauty being in the eyes of the beholder, words are understood through each person’s filters.

To some in the community, issues are a matter of yes or no, black or white, right or wrong.  Would that it was so.  I’ve yet to handle any decision that didn’t require  input from Board members, volunteers, members, staff, sometimes attorneys, vendors, and so on.  So tonight, as we hear about the pool, the management company selection process, or vacation rentals, please remember that as a Board of Directors, we  consistently work to keep all parties informed;  it takes time, effort, patience, and good sense.

For instance, let’s look at how to decide whether to open the amenities.  In this age of law suits, the Board must recognize ECIA’s liability.  Does anyone want the  community to be caught up in another long and expensive  law suit?  Sure, it would be easy to just say, ok, let’s open everything up and put restrictions in place.  But - who will monitor participation?  How can we be assured that those using the amenities, the tennis courts, dog park, playgrounds, basketball courts, will follow social distancing and mask requirements? Folks used the basketball courts even when they were closed … we had to take down the hoops to ensure compliance.

I know we are all tired of C19 statistics, predictions, restrictions, recommendations, and so forth,  but with that in mind, who among you is willing to risk illness and perhaps be the impetus for an increase in C19 cases in Eldorado?  To date, we have been spared a widespread infection rate … I believe it’s because we are adhering to the CDC’s recommendations and our Governor’s restrictions.  We will be discussing opening the amenities at this meeting, but no decisions will be made.  We want your input and ideas and will consider them as we make final plans.  But, please know that the Board will be working with our attorney to make sure whatever decisions are made are in accordance with appropriate guidelines and are in the best interest of the whole community. 

As I previously said, I am committed to honest, open and timely communication.  With that comes the expectation that we all strive to do so.   I totally support every persons’ right to express their opinions and concerns about ECIA, HOAMCO or any issue in this community.  But I hope that when they do so, they understand that it is their opinion and concern, not that of the whole community

For example, recently, a non-resident of Eldorado is quoted in the New Mexican saying “If this [the Dollar Store] goes through, Eldorado plans to incorporate, and we will take control of our own destiny …. We do not want to break from the county. We know where our tax dollars go, and it’s an appropriate spread now, but don’t make us tear away from the county.”  Said by someone who doesn’t reside in Eldorado, this comment is not based in any truth and yet now, it’s out there for the paper’s readers. The person had no right or responsibility to speak on behalf of Eldorado.  Public speaking on behalf of the ECIA community is reserved for the Board of Directors or our designee.  This is for the community’s protection – I don’t think we want false or misleading comments made in  public   So I ask us all, please, if you have concerns, issues, ideas, comments or reports, please send them to the Board or an appropriate Committee and know that you will get a response.

I will end this report as it started,  “Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.” So, as we go forward, let’s work together to ensure the continued health, welfare, pleasure and pride in Eldorado.  Thank you to those who serve in so many capacities.  We wouldn’t be as vibrant and as connected without you.


Treasurer’s Report


Financial Statement: April 30, 2020

Key Points:

~ $1.3M in Operating Fund Cash

~ $607K in Reserve Fund Cash

Total Cash ~$1.966M (up about $55K from Feb)

Accounts Receivable: ~$55K  (prior year assessments); $124K (2020 assessments)

92% of assessments have been collected

Actual vs. Budget YTD: $351K vs. $496K (we are $144K under budget, primarily from lower expenditures in capital projects and payroll)                       

Items from the Finance Committee:

  1. Due to the timing of barn owner invoices, the Finance Committee recommended that first late notices go out to barn owners after invoices are overdue 60 days – change from 30 days in current policy.
  2. FC noted that the revised Collection Policy recommended by the FC and approved by the Board should be posted on our web site.
  3. FC announced that committee 2021 budgets are due by June.
  4. FC recommended need for 5 additional security cameras at Compadres Park due to recent activities in violation of rules. CPR form will be prepared for 2020 installation.


  • HOAMCO Review - Monty VanderMay and Sal Monaco
    • Survey – 585 responses; lots of detail about what people like/don’t like
    • RFP – for Management Companies and is available under “News & Events” on website
      • For new contract starting January 2021
      • May 22 – questions due back to us
      • June 12 – proposals are due
      • Evaluation complete in July
      • Board decision made in August
      • Interviewed 4 companies
    • Mike Schneider – Look at another governing model?
  • Website Task Group – David Sorkin
    • Garrett was under impression this was dead
    • Begin process by discussing navigation and capability of what we currently have and where may go
    • Each member has been given a basecamp account
    • Not staying with current website format but is interchangeable
    • Use a management company website software vs using own
      • Everything needs to be compatible
    • Have looked at cybersecurity and malware and antivirus – is required
  • Policy Review Task Force – Mel D’Amore
  • Policies Review Update
  • May 18, 2020
  • Melicent D’Amore
    • As previously stated, I’ve completed my preliminary policies search with many found to be incomplete, without signatures, dates and/or policy numbers, with some no longer in force but never rescinded, and others that were simply missing. This meant prioritizing by category to determine whether to follow, update, rescind or initiate a new policy. With this process nearly completed, the next phase will be to compile a list of all policies no longer in force and present them to the board as a blanket motion to rescind, hopefully for the June Board Meeting.
    • In addition, all policies in need of updating will be re-written and re-motioned in order of priority, which will take some time. The Board is in agreement that policies dating back 5 years (2015) are considered “current”. 
    • When completed, a record of ALL current policies will be compiled within the “ECIA Policy Book of Governance,” the Board of Directors Board Books and on the ECIA website.


  • Architecture Committee – Mel D’Amore
    • There was a lengthy discussion regarding a 3 x 5 ft. lit LED American Flag that members of the committee would take a look at and report back to the committee which meets again on May 26th. Mark Young, Katerine Mortimor and I attended a meeting this morning with the County to discuss the County’s 25 foot setback rule issue. Details will be discussed at the next Architectural meeting on May 26. I will have an update for the June board meeting.
    • The committee recognized the resignation of Nina Harrison.
    • The Architectural Committee met on May 12. It was another resident filled zoom meeting with a number of restucco approvals, requests for fences, PV systems and a carport (all of which were approved). 
  • Election Committee – Sal Monaco
    • The EC met May 13, 2020.  In revisiting the Election Process, the Committee felt the modified procedures used because of the health emergency were successful.  The committee also requested that two additional procedures be modified as one-time alterations to the ECIA Election Procedures for the 2020 Annual Election:
    • The process for Ballot envelopes received after the election dateline will be as follows:
    • ECIA Staff will mark the outside of each late envelope with the date received via mail. Envelopes will not be opened.
    • On May 21, 2020, ECIA Staff will count the number of Ballot envelopes received past the deadline, bind them with a rubber band, and place them inside the Ballot Box using keys from the safe. The Ballot Box will then be re-secured.  This will conclude all processing of late received Ballot envelopes.
    • The count of the Ballot envelopes received after the deadline will be reported to the Chair of the Election Committee for statistical purposes.
    • The processing of 2019 Election Materials according to the ECIA Record Retention Policy is to be postponed until September 1, 2020, upon which a further determination will be made regarding proper disposal of these materials.
    • The Board unanimously approved these revised procedures.
  • Conservation Committee - Carol Sanguinetti
    • Temporary ban on rock climbing – biggest issue right now
    • No work days scheduled because of COVID-19
  • Facilities & Grounds Committee – David Sorkin
  • Timeliness of progress status reports on maintenance, problem tickets, etc. prior to F&G meetings. 
  • Signage templates for uniformity on common ECIA properties. 
  • Card swipe entries for some/all of our amenities is being discussed.
  • Discussion concerning enforcement of rules e.g. Dog Park, Pool, Courts,  Stables, Hike/Bike paths and reporting criteria.
  • Existing insurance provider’s contract expires in mid 2021 and the searchhas begun for a broker/carrier for Eldorado.
  • County is doing work on our roads, (sweeping and beginning 5/26 chip  sealing our RAP roads.
  • RFP soliciting management companies for the next 3 years.
  • 401 trail has been defaced and Mike is in discussion with REI about  removing the destination from their maps & promotional videos.  F&G  recommends the Board retain legal council if REI doesn’t comply.
  • Hike/Bike improvements are being addressed by Joseph Gutierrez following up with the County.
  • Dog park annex has been completed and the sub-committee is working on  drafting a new set of rules to be published on ECIA website, Vistas, and/or Eblasts.
  • Asset Inspections for R&R in 2021-2022
  • Basketball courts had hoops removed due to disregarding closure notices.
  • Maintenance of hike/bike network.
    • Looking into 3rd party to assist in mowing, pruning, and remediation.
    • Staff has corrected (repaired) areas observed as hazardous.
  • Volleyball court getting new sand.
  • Resurfacing Basketball Court scheduled for June 6-12.
  • Electrical
    • Installing 3-phase converter and upgrading circuitry in mechanical room.
    • Parking lot lighting should be completed by mid-June.
  • Pool 
    • Pool bottom repaired
    • Shade structures inspected and minor adjustments were necessary.
    • State inspection is mandatory for pool opening and no word when that  will occur. (Public Health order).
    • Swim lessons will be deferred until at least 2021. A member voiced objection that insurance costs override the benefits of safety teaching children and residents to swim.
    • Plans being developed for opening.
  • Information Committee – Mel D’Amore
    • Three RFPs have been submitted for consideration containing several logo designs. The committee is discussing possible methods for a selection including that the committee make a recommendation or allow a “task group” made up of a few residents with graphic design, publication and artistic experience make a recommendation to the Board who will make the final decision. Once a decision is made, the actual development can hopefully be accomplished in a month or so. If anyone has a suggestion, please contact Pam Henline.
    • The Information Committee is handling the Vistas via email and phone communications. In order to save time and eliminate last minute changes and keep costs down, a revision of the editing process has been made. Articles must be submitted by the 5th of each month and circulated to the members for editing. All edits are returned to Pam by the 11-12th of the month and then sent to the author to check for accuracy/meaning and returned to the committee by the 16th. No changes are allowed past this date. Completed info will be sent to Sandra no later than the 18th for formatting and sent on to the printer. There will be a disclaimer stating that all articles contain current info as of Month/Day unless noted. The only late article allowed will be the board meeting report.
  • Finance Committee – Sal Monaco
    • See Treasurer’s Report (Appendix B)
  • Road Committee – Mel D’Amore
    • The Road Committee meeting was held via zoom on May 6, 2020. The committee welcomed its newest members Paul Ingraham and Amelia Adair, who is now the secretary and minutes taker.
    • Mr. Mason stressed that the RC is purely an advisory committee, whose function is to analyze technical problems with Eldorado’s roads and present this information to the attention of ECIA Board and to Santa Fe County Public Works Dept. for action.
    • The Road Committee respectfully asks residents to report a road concern directly to the Santa Fe County Public Works Dept. at: 
    • Scroll down to Submit Your Request and follow the instructions or call 505 986-6200. 
    • Unfortunately, $500,000 in Capital Investment funding for Eldorado has been lost due to an extreme drop in the price of gas. The good news is that there is $150,000 available funding which will be used for paving. A field visit by Mr. Mason and the County PW engineer, Mr. Diego Gomez along with ADT “average Daily Traffic” data determined that Cerrado Loop will be paved. A start date is pending. As soon as the information is confirmed, residents will be notified and kept informed during the process.
    • The RAP Town Hall was held on May 13, 2020. James A Mason and myself facilitated the 2 hour meeting with over 35 residents in attendance. SF County representatives included Commissioner Edward Moreno, Constituent Services Liaison Olivia Romo, Diego Gomez, Projects Manager, Gary Giron, Public Works Director, Ryan Ward, Roads Director, Richard Chang, Roads Superintendent and District 5 Roads Maintenance Foreman Chris Sena.
    • The purpose was to provide direct communication between Eldorado’s residents and the SF County Public Works Dept. staff regarding the County’s plan to chip seal over the 8 RAP’d roads: Juego Road, Court and Place, Glorieta Road, Chusco Road, Carlito Road, Demora Road and Estrambre Road with a start date of May 26th. The maintenance project must be completed by June 30th due to the County’s fiscal year ending July 1, 2020.
    • A full summary of the Town Hall will be posted on the ECIA website within a few days, (as soon as I can complete the details).
    • The next Road Committee meeting will be held via zoom on Wednesday June 3rd at 5:30 p.m. Anyone who wishes to attend please watch for an ECIA Eblast for a zoom invitation or contact the office for information.
  • Stable Committee – Carol Sanguinetti
    • Need fence variance – need to ask architectural committee about it
    • Will have work day – following CDC guidelines
    • New member – Tara Debrevec
    • Panels are delivered and upper arena can be completed
  • Ad Hoc Welcome Committee – Carol Sanguinetti
    • Creating Welcome Baskets as people move in
    • Creating list of important numbers to be included with HOAMCO escrow packet
    • 4th of July event discussion
    • Welcome Committee event – still being discussed 


Since the time of the February Board Meeting, ECIA Board Members and staff have attended  several meetings; some were learning opportunities, some were network building and some were social in nature.  All of the gatherings served to strengthen the staff and Board as a working team.  I summarize the activities with the following.

Board Members along with approximately 30+ representatives from other HOAMCO managed associations in Santa Fe area attended a HOAMCO Board Training on February 18.  The presentation covered topics including documents that govern HOA’s, roles and responsibilities of Boards, Committees and Manager and meetings, minutes, community input, executive session and HOA financials.  ECIA Board Members left the session with a clear sense that we are addressing these governing issues according to best practices.

About seventeen realtors that serve the Eldorado community met with ECIA staff and Board Members on February 18. Breakfast was sponsored by Fred Raznick and Sue Garffit.  The Q and A session about Eldorado and its covenants and guidelines was thorough and since most realtors were new to this community, the exchange was quite helpful.  It has been proposed that this meeting might become an annual event.

On February 26, ECIA staff and Board participated in a one-hour CAI Webinar about dealing with mental illness.  The session focused on legal limitations the association has with residents who display behavior consistent with mental illness and reviewed what responsibilities staff and Board has regarding warning, intervention, and reporting.  Though much of the content related to California law, the overview helped ECIA staff and Board understand a bit more about this complicated issue.

Joseph Gutierrez, Melicent D’Amore, Mike Rogers and I met with County representatives Ed Moreno, Olivia Romo, Gary Giron, Public Works Director, Diego Gomez, Public Works Projects Engineer and  Philip Montano, Facilities & Projects Director on February 27. The meeting was very successful and agreement was made to keep each other well-informed about plans and opportunities for projects in Eldorado.  Communication is key.  The county agreed to provide Eldorado a heads-up before starting projects so residents can be informed.  Follow up meetings are planned with County staff, Mike Rogers and relevant Eldorado Committee Chairs.  Unfortunately, since this meeting, the Governor has redirected money for road improvement.  Eldorado stands to lose $500,000.

About 20 people attended and brought wonderful food to the Leap Year Pot Luck.  Several folks were new to Eldorado and it was a great way to meet neighbors.

This year, ECIA must decide whether to continue to have HOAMCO as a management company or seek other options.  With that in mind, the Board held a Special Board Meeting to introduce the HOAMCO Review Task Group.  The  group will gather information from membership, as well as review the current contract and any future contract.  During this research time, the Board will be interviewing other management companies.  There will be an RFP [Request for Proposal] put out to vendors so that the Procurement Policy is followed. The goal is to have decision in July, as the community  will need at least six months to ensure accounting policies and integrity of financials. Sal Monaco, Treasurer, will be the lead on a Transition Team.

Along with Board Members, Committee Chairs James A. Mason, Nolan Zisman, Paul Butt, Dan Drobnis, Pam Henline, Kathy Ritschel, Betty Knight, Mike Ault [for Amelia Adair] met with Stacy Maule, HOAMCO COO and Julie Navarro,  GM.   During this open discussion Committee Chairs questioned HOAMCO about performance measures and personnel.  It was noted that CAI [Community Association Institute] membership and programming should be extended to Committee Chairs.  In addition, Chairs will poll their members about HOAMCO during the upcoming review. 

And of course, it would be negligent if I did not address the current state of our community, our region, and yes, even the world.  COVID-19 has changed the manner in which we all conduct business and communicate with each other.  I hope that residents in Eldorado are able to connect with neighbors and friends, while maintaining social distancing and that folks who are in need will reach out to those who can assist.  This is a time for the true sense of the word community.   

Stay informed … Stay healthy


Treasurer’s Report


Financial Statement: February 29, 2020

Key Points:

~ $1.155M in Operating Fund Cash

~ $756K in Reserve Fund Cash

Total Cash ~$1.911M (up about $451K from last month)

Accounts Receivable: ~$69K  (not including Assessments due – about same as last month)

73% of assessments have been collected as of Feb 29, 2020

Actual vs. Budget YTD: $168K vs. $200K (we are $32K (16%) under budget - mostly payroll)

Balance Sheet as of March 9, 2020:

Operating cash balance: ~$1.253M (79% of assessments collected)

Items from the Finance Committee:

  1. FC recommended getting debit card for use by GM to order items for Reserve expenditures. This will avoid needing to transfer funds from operations to reserves.
  2. FC recommended revised capital budgeting procedure which will lead to a final 2021 budget by November 2020.
  3. FC prepared and recommended a revised collection policy for delinquent accounts.
  4. FC recommended deferring investing operating cash in CD until a larger portion of unpaid 2020 assessments is collected.


  • Policy Review – Melicent
    • Finished preliminary research
    • Will need to determine which policies are current, need revision, or should be rescinded.
  • HOAMCO Review – Nancy
    • Monty met with Julie and will be meeting with other ECIA staff.
    • First meeting scheduled for April 28
    • Margaret Shakelee will assist with web survey
  • Website – David
    • All volunteers asked to identify their skill sets
    • Garrett providing a program for committee members to use while working on project; allows updates and edits for all to see.
  • Safety Education – Nancy
    • Covid 19 has made contacts limiting; the Senior Center is closed
    • Contacted Neighborhood Watch with no positive results
  • Strategic Planning – Sal
    • On hold
    • Plan one day retreat in the summer to develop plan


  • Architecture Committee - Melicent
    • Currently has 7 committee members
    • All architecture applications brought were approved
    • People attending are requesting variances for solar arrays
    • Discussion held about guideline revision
  • Conservation Committee – Carol
    • March and April schedule created may now be on hold
    • Has 7 members and would like to have 8 members
  • Election Committee – Sal
    • One candidate for the 2020 election
    • When there is one candidate can they be elected by acclimation?
      • Would need a Bylaws amendment
    • Have 5 committee members
  • Facilities & Grounds Committee – David
    • Pool on schedule to open Memorial Day
    • 6 lifeguards that are returning; still looking for at least 4 additional
    • All maintenance modules have been entered into Caliber; staff will start working with it
    • Mike Rogers is responsible for hike/bike – Nolan has relinquished control
    • Stables would like whilte vinyl fencing to have these taken out at CC and put at the stables for their use; may not be feasible
    • Bubble at bottom of the pool will be fixed and will eliminate need to replace r for the next few years
    • Have 5 members and would like 7 members
  • Finance Committee – Sal
    • Only have 3 members and would like 6 members
    • Concerned about risk liability for water district with separating the lot at the stables
      • If the easement is deeded to water district need to refer to Stable Committee – have some caveats
    • Information Committee – Melicent
      • Web data is mostly complete back to 2012
      • New logo specs sent to Julie and Nancy; Julie will send out RFP
      • Mel, Pam and Sandra developed strategies to keep the cost of the Vistas down
      • Absolutely no last minute articles accepted after the 5th and must be delivered to printer on time
      • Have 3 members and would like 5 members
      • Information has proof readers but are not active committee members
    • Road Committee – Melicent
      • New recruit  attended first meeting – making 3 new recruits
      • Roads committee and county show same roads need attention and maintenance
      • County has come and done repairs on bad roads
      • Did some regrading – did not stay because of bad weather
      • Currently has 3 members; think 5 would be a good amount of members
    • Stable Committee – Carol
      • Met in Feb instead of March
      • Would like the water district to take over their easement but have concerns about what they will do to the land
      • Strategic planning begun
      • Have 5 members and are happy with this number
    • Welcome ad hoc Committee
      • Held first meeting
      • Tana Monaco was voted in as chair of the committee with a rotating secretary
      • Next meeting March 25 and first event for new residents – end April to mid-May
        • Suggestion to have booths with all the different committees to solicit for new membership
      • First event will be for people who have lived here for a year; next event will be for new residents only lived here for 6 months
      • Possible home visit by committee member to the home of new resident
      • Have staff member at all events to sign up residents for eblasts and Vistas
      • Have 4 members and are good with this number


Good evening and welcome to the members of the community who are joining us through ZOOM for this ECIA Board of Directors meeting.

I know that we all are making adjustments to our daily lives in an effort to create comfort and safety for our families and neighbors.  We are living through an historic event that may significantly change the way we all look at the world around us.  Dealing with the unknown, as we have been, can be frightening.  So, it is incumbent on us to find acts of kindness and normalcy to balance ourselves. 

To that effort I would like to thank Jenny Landen of Neighbors Helping Neighbors.  She contacted me, wanting to know how her volunteers could help our residents.  Without hesitation, she asked if I could connect her with  Debra Denker, the Chair of the ECIA Safety Education Task Group.  Together, they set to work with plans to address the needs of our residents.

I bring this up because when ECIA was not willing to sponsor the group, the county stepped in. Eldorado Neighbors Helping Neighbors is vetted and sponsored by the County and all volunteers are fingerprinted and cleared by the County of Santa Fe. The volunteers are available to help Eldorado neighbors with minor household or yard projects, errands (like grocery shopping), pet care, for example and  for those who are unable due to age, illness or handicaps at NO COST.  I for one, am sorry that ECIA chose not to sponsor a group of volunteers so willing to assist our residents in times of pandemic as well as during times of health.  I extend my appreciation to all the Neighbors Helping Neighbors volunteers and want them to know how much they are valued.

Be assured that our community has risen to the occasion…  HOAMCO staff and members of the committees and task groups have adapted to our situation and continue to do the work needed to maintain Eldorado.  Our financial base is secure, our members are informed and the properties receive attention from our maintenance team. 

I realize that many folks were angered with the Board of Directors’ decision to close the dog park, tennis and basketball courts and the playgrounds. It was not a decision taken lightly and as the eblast noted “it is the responsibility of the Board of Directors to establish guidelines during these extreme times, that will minimize transference of the COVID-19 virus. Truly, our wish is to help keep Eldorado as safe and healthy as possible.” 

With this in mind, I’d like to thank the many residents who sent emails in support of the decision. And though you may find this surprising, I’d like to thank the one gentleman that challenged the decision and was willing to spend time questioning and discussing  what the Board of Directors can do in the future should there be other emergencies. That phone conversation has prompted the Policy Review Task Group to develop a policy and with it, procedures to follow, should Eldorado experience disasters in the future. Thank you to all residents who took the time to share their thoughts with the Board.

So tonight, as you listen to the updates and reports, please think about becoming involved. Yes, I know, this is a ridiculous time to ask folks to come forward and volunteer for committees and task groups… but I guess I have to wonder… is there ever a better time than now, when all we  need is a little help from our friends?

Stay healthy and stay informed ….


Treasurer’s Report


Financial Statement: March 31, 2020

Key Points:

~ $1.301M in Operating Fund Cash (up $146K from Feb)

~ $665K in Reserve Fund Cash (down $91K due to reserve expenses)

Total Cash ~$1.966M (up about $55K from Feb)

Accounts Receivable: ~$49K  (prior year assessments); $211K (2020 assessments)

86% of assessments have been collected as of March 31, 2020

Actual vs. Budget YTD: $273K vs. $325K (we are $52K (16%) under budget)

Balance Sheet as of April 20, 2020:

Operating cash balance: ~$1.305M (90% of assessments collected as of 4/20/2020)                         

Items from the Finance Committee:

  1. The Finance Committee revised their annual calendar to be consistent with new Board approved budget timelines.
  2. Finance Committee agreed procedure followed for many years to not include audit notes in Annual Report is appropriate given that the full Audit Report with notes is available on our web site and anyone requesting a paper copy of the full report will receive it.


  • Policy Review – Mel D’Amore (See Appendix D)
  • HOAMCO Review – Monty VanderMay
    • Assigned to develop a survey to see if lot owners want to retain or replace HOAMCO
    • RFP process came up during this time – which was submitted to the Board
    • Gathering information from survey with certain criteria
    • Will present findings to the Board in a useful format
    • Survey has been drafted and edited
    • Is a mix of qualitative and quantatitive questions to get the best answers from members
    • Contract modification – Monty and Amelia have made some notes on the contract
    • Meeting with the Board later this week (April 24) to see what they would like to change in current HOAMCO contract
  • Website – David Sorkin
    • Not ready to make a decision while still deciding which management company we are going with
    • Different management companies have their own website presence
    • Put a rest on this until decide where we are going
  • Safety Education – Debra Denker
    • Thank the community for self-organizing during time of crisis
    • Have more volunteers than requests at the moment – Santa Fe Mutual Aid and Neighbors Helping Neighbors
    • When this crisis is over see if Santa Fe Mutual Aid would like to join Neighbors Helping Neighbors
    • Lynn Moore – point person in case someone had no internet access and needed to be matched
    • Long term goal - create a report on issues important to the community and important numbers
    • Organize volunteer days to clean up greenbelt (once the current crisis is over)
    • Would like to make a call for mental health during this crisis – councilers or psychologists available to residents


  • Architecture Committee – Mel D’Amore (See Appendix E)
  • Conservation Committee – cancelled April meeting
    • Carol Sanguinetti has nothing more to add to Paul’s report
  • Election Committee – Sal Monaco
    • Board met electronically and agreed to modify the Board’s traditional Election Counting Procedures for this year only due to Health emergency caused by COVID-19 pandemic
      • The Railroad building will be utilized for tallying and tabulation instead of Conference Room
      • No observers will be allowed to physically be within the tally room
      • Zoom will be utilized to broadcast the tally procedure to the community instead of CCTV – video only no audio
      • The results of the election will be communicated to the Secretary of the Board via email instead of physical handoff
      • A single count of Quorum Proxy Statements, the count being suspended once the minimum necessary has been achieved
      • A single count of Director’s Election votes, the count being suspended once sufficient votes have been tallied to certify the election
      • A single and full count of the Sixth Amended Bylaws votes replacing the normal double count. However, if the Bylaws vote results are within plus or minus five percent of the required sixty percent approval level, then double count of Bylaws vote will occur
    • Doors to Railroad Building will be locked on outside so nobody may enter while counting is being done, members will be able to leave if needed
    • Portable toilets will be set up for Committee Members
    • Everything will be sanitized prior to committee going in
    • No more than 3 people in the room at a time
  • Facilities & Grounds Committee – David Sorkin
    • Pool rehabilitation – has been completed
    • Tracking calendars has been done
    • Inspection of assets to be replaced – deferred some topics
    • New chair, Kathy Ritschel – add concept of enforcement. How do we stop the non-compliance? Need a disciplinary process in place
    • Making an annex to dog park – for small dogs or dogs with special needs
  • Finance Committee – Sal Monaco
    • Covered in Treasurer’s Report
    • Happy Amelia has joined Finance Committee
  • Information Committee – Mel D’Amore (See Appendix F)
  • Road Committee – cancelled Mel D’Amore (See Appendix G)
  • Stable Committee – Carol Sanguinetti (See Appendix H)
  • Welcome Committee – Carol Sanguinetti
    • Last meeting done by Zoom
    • New Committee and purpose is to welcome new people to the community
    • Want to provide people with information on the community
    • Working on new welcome packet and new letter from the Board
    • Have idea of an event, given restrictions are removed, one person from each committee would attend and educate new residents about what they do in the community
      • Sunday afternoon, very informal, dessert but not feed people

Appendix C – Conservation Committee Report and Preserves Discussion

Eldorado Conservation Committee

The Conservation Committee meets on the first Tuesday of every month except December, from 7:00 - 9:00.

The Committee charter states that its mission is

to advise, assist and recommend to the Eldorado Community Improvement Association (ECIA) Board of Directors actions to protect the existing natural resources of the community and enhance these resources whenever possible, to provide recreational opportunities for the community in the use of these natural resources, and to offer a variety of opportunities for resource education.

The Committee has a long history as a consensus-driven organization. This is not just appropriate, but essential for a healthy dynamic among volunteers with diverse backgrounds who share an interest in the Eldorado Open Spaces.

The Committee was first established in 1981 as "the Wilderness Committee." Subsequently (1994), the Community Preserve and the Committee were renamed to recognize that the Preserve is not "wilderness" according to definitions in the federal Wilderness Act of 1964. There is historical information about the Committee in the Community History Windmills and Dreams, supplemented by an appendix (Appx Two, through 2014), which is on the ECIA website.

Major projects over the years include establishing and maintaining approximately 26 miles of trails in the Preserve, and about 4.6 miles of approved trails in the greenbelts. The principal focus of this work is to establish and maintain sustainable trails, which includes erosion control and other ecological restoration projects.

Fencing and signage along the Preserve Boundaries have been installed and maintained. A significant part of the ranch-era fencing is in need of repair or replacement, but the first step in the process is to begin a condition assessment. The perimeter of the 4,094 acre Preserve is approximately 26 miles.

The Greenbelt ecology & fire risk/community fire risk mitigation and safety educational event scheduled for March 14 was postponed due to public health concerns. When it is safe for public meetings, the Committee can assist in re-developing the presentation agenda and locating speakers. A successful presentation will require the ECIA Board's assistance and continued good support from HOAMCO staff, in order to ensure that communication with the Eldorado community about the event is done well.

All group Conservation Committee projects planned for 2020 are currently on hold. These include:

  • Ecological restoration project (phase 1 completion) in the meadow area adjacent to Trail 404
  • Ecological restoration project (phase 1) in a badly eroded area adjacent to trail 401 ("401 Gully Project")
  • Library Trail completion. This project was started in 2018 but was delayed until the Los Alamos Park greenbelt boundary markers in the area between Ave. Torreon and the Rail Trail had been surveyed. This was completed at the end of February.
  • I have drafted an article about the presence of the survey stakes in the greenbelt and the status of the trail completion project for the June Vistas.
  • Trail maintenance - projects in the 100 and 300 trail series are being discussed
  • Preserve trail signs and brochures will be updated in 2020. The project to prepare the artwork for signs with updated trail and other information, for posting at the trailheads and trail intersections in the Preserve is nearing completion. Once this has been done, a request for quotes for the sign printing will be issued. Preparation of the updated Preserve brochure map, text and artwork will be completed once development of the updated signs is complete.
  • We may try to prepare an updated Greenbelt brochure in 2020, but will probably need to present a request to the Board for additional funds to cover printing costs.

As the Board members are aware, all ECIA Committees could use additional members. Although 1 or 2 additional Conservation Committee members would improve our ability to meet the objectives stated in the Committee charter, I think there is a greater need to develop our ability to recruit volunteer "hands," and keep them engaged in the Committee's activities.

I believe that as the community composition continues to change, there will be a need for greater funding for specialist contractors to do conservation and ecological restoration in the Eldorado open spaces in the future. This is the reason the Committee submitted an expanded budget for 2020, and this will drive a request for an increased budget in 2021.

Recently, there have been incidents in the Preserve that require action. The first of these is another incursion of cattle, this time from the Galisteo Creek side of the 400 series trail area. Mike Rogers was informed of the incident and has talked to Kathy Miller, who in turn contacted the owner of the animals, who was renting grazing land in the area from the Miller family. I don't know if the animals have been removed. Once this has been confirmed, a fenceline patrol is probably the next step, to see where the cows got into the preserve.

The second incident was a series of reports of destructive activities by rock climbers in an area adjacent to trail 401. Permanent anchors have been bolted into the rock and some sort of paint has been used to mark or treat handholds.

In this case, and in a related situation with the AllTrails website, hiking and rock-climbing information have been posted on the internet. The climbing area is posted on the REI "MountainProject" website. Both websites indicate that the Preserve is private property. Mike Rogers sent a takedown request to AllTrails, which they declined.

These incidents will be discussed at the Conservation Committee's May

tele-meeting, but it's important that the Board is aware of them, and it will be useful for the Committee to have the sense of the Board about options for addressing these problems.

Thank you.

Appendix D – Policy Review


Melicent D’Amore

April 18, 2020

As noted in my March 16th Policies Review Report and Board minutes (found on the ECIA website), I’ve completed my preliminary search for policies.  Many policies were found to be incomplete, without signatures, dates and/or policy numbers, with some policies no longer in force but not rescinded, and others that were just not found, which meant policy prioritizing by category was needed to determine whether to follow, update, rescind or initiate a new policy.

The next course of action was to have my volunteers make hard copies of policies found on the website and from Motion and Policy Books maintained by the ECIA office staff.

With the outbreak of the corona virus and restricted access to the ECIA office for copying and scanning of policies, I’ve devised an action plan to proceed alone at home for the immediate future.

As of April 11th, I’ve made copies of every policy I could find and have requested committee chairs provide a list of all current policies pertaining to their committee. This will help reduce my time cross referencing.

To insure consistency, all policies will be rewritten following a template provided by HOAMCO COO Stacy Maule. After patiently waiting since January for the templates, I began searching the internet and found an excellent source provided by Hindman Sanchez P.C. entitled Sample Board Policies and Procedures. This 18 page document provided invaluable information and will be my model moving forward.

My goal is to create a “ECIA Policy Book of Governance” which will contain all ECIA policies currently in effect. 

A record of all policies motioned and approved by the Board of Directors and recorded in the minutes will be retained in the ECIA Motions Book and updated as needed. 

All current and new policies will be signed, dated and assigned a policy number. Hard copies will be retained in the Book of Governance for the duration of enforcement. In addition, all current policies will be included in the Board of Directors Board Books.

Maintaining these records will be the responsibility of the ECIA General Manager.

In order to streamline the current policies review, I’ll propose a blanket motion to rescind outdated policies. In addition, current policies will be re-written and re-motioned in order of priority until this task is completed, which may take an estimated 4-6 months.


Blanket motion to rescind outdated policies:

This policy supersedes and replaces all policies on this subject adapted prior to the effective date of this policy.


Appendix E – Architectural Committee Report

Architectural Committee 4/14/2020

It seems that COVID19 has not deterred residents from applying for home improvements and variances.

All simple requests were approved. As already reported there were 3 variances requests forwarded for the board to review.

The unauthorized shed on 5 Tarro Road had been removed from the property over the weekend and Mark has closed the active violation today. 

Sadly, six year committee member Steve Taratula sent his resignation letter to the committee.

I’d like to thank Steve for his dedication to the community.

Finally, there was discussion on the status of “accessory dwellings” and the ongoing coventnts review.

 The next meeting is scheduled for April 23 at 3 pm via zoom.

Appendix F – Information Committee Report

Information Meeting CANCELLED

The April meeting was cancelled with the May Vistas articles review conducted via email.

The ECIA is accepting proposals for a new logo. The deadline for submissions is May 13.

Anyone interested please contact Julie Navarro for details. There will be a link on the website.

The committee is looking for submissions for the June issue and rainbow pictures for upcoming issues. Committee chairs, please remember that whoever has signed up for June must have their article to Pam by May 5th.

Appendix G – Road Committee Report

Road Committee CANCELLED

The April meeting was cancelled although James has written an article for the May Vistas.

Paul Ingraham has been accepted as a member of the committee. I’d like to thank Paul for volunteering. The committee is looking for dedicated residents to step forward as the committee is in need of qualified participants.

James, Mike Rogers and Joseph Guiterezare preparing for the upcoming Public Works Staff meeting on April 23. More details will follow.

Appendix H – Stable Committee Report

Since unfortunately our ESC meeting happens tomorrow, after this month’s Board meeting, I wanted to send you an update.  You are on our Stable email so you are up to speed on most of this information already, but here are my thoughts on Stable status.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, thanks!

  • New ESC Member: ESC has had one member resign, and has recruited another qualified candidate, who should be recommended for appointment to the Board at our meeting tomorrow night
  • Reasons for Mike Ault’s resignation: he has less time, as he’s in more demand during this business cycle. But he also felt pressure from several enforcement issues that arose during my vacation.  We will open the discussion about a Stable enforcement policy and process at the upcoming meeting
  • Thanks to maintenance crew & Mike Rogers.  The ECIA maintenance crew has done exceptional work this spring clearing the backlog of maintenance projects not done for a good year at the Stables.  Delays were due to the water project, not having the larger tractor operational, and a colder than normal winter.  Most recently the crew worked to remove the potholes left behind by our water system contractor, and add gravel to key areas of our roads.  They’ve improved drainage at the lower arena and round pen, and significantly improved the footing in our lower arena and arroyo field.  And they have been consistently responsive, polite and respectful while doing so. GOOD JOB!!
  • Benefits of hiring the right staff.  The ECIA maintenance crew, now equipped with the big tractor, is saving all of us a considerable amount of money, because we have employees on staff who know how to operate a tractor, how to use the equipment we have, and how riding arenas work. 
  • Upper Arena Use.  As it has for the past year, upper arena use continues to generate controversy.  (The following may be “too much information” for the Board, but for your information…) By my count:
    • At least 17 riders at the Stables, some who share the same horse or barn, regularly use, enjoy and support the training equipment in the upper arena (which, by the way, is not necessarily for jumping: many of us use the equipment for in hand and flat work)
    • That includes 7 young people under 25 years of age, a demographic we are hoping to support and encourage
    • 3 people do not use the equipment and strongly object to training equipment being left out in the upper arena.  At least 2 others have expressed support for putting the equipment away after use, although they do not use the upper arena regularly
    • At least 5 people who either don’t ride in the upper arena or don’t typically use the equipment, nevertheless support the equipment being left in the arena.  Most other people who ride regularly either don’t use the equipment or don’t use the upper arena

One root problem driving the controversy is that the increased use of the upper arena -- including by young people at home with more time to ride now -- infringes on what used to be more often a quiet, open, empty space for solitary riding.  The ESC sees this situation as demonstrating the success of our new arena use guidelines, but some people object to these changes. 

In hopes of reducing the controversy, the ESC is continuing to seek ways to increase use of all the common areas, including use by young people, supporting multiple riding disciplines, and communicating with everyone at the Stables about these goals.    

  • Possible future capital improvement project.  We are also seeking ways to expand the use of the arroyo field to take pressure off the upper arena. This may include a request for a fence as a capital improvement project.
  • Water.  The water system is working and not leaking!  Bills are going out with clear explanations, and I have not heard complaints or concerns.  People do have questions about operating their meters; a planned in person training for this spring has had to be postponed.  We are working on creative solutions


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.