By Don Unruh
This is an email I sent to the ArrowCreek Board of Directors. I would urge anyone with an opinion on this subject to also communicate with the board.
ArrowCreek Board Members, October, 8 2015
I attended the board meeting on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, at the ArrowCreek Resident’s Center. I came away with some fairly strong opinions regarding the issue of our HOA management company.
I think the board should change management companies and hire FirstService.
Granted, I am not a member of the board, and don’t know all the ins and outs of managing a community like Arrowcreek, but please consider the following reasons why I think this change should occur.
First, the issue of complacency. Associa has been managing for eleven years and I think it was obvious during their presentation that they have become complacent. Responses to questions and issues were frequently, “No one told me to do it” or “No one asked me for it”. In fact, at one point an admission was made that “I used to be more proactive but no one was interested so I gave up” (Not an exact quote but the gist of what was said).
While during the presentation by FirstService, the focus seemed to be on continually improving customer service to the board and the residents and being proactive in improving the quality of life in the Arrowcreek community. Maybe it was all a sales pitch, but at least I don’t think FirstService would start out complacent.
Second, while it was revealed that the manager from Associa devoted at best 80% of her time to Arrowcreek and is very seldom on site in our community, FirstService committed to having the manager on site five days a week, year round, accessible to the board and the residents. This is important to me and probably a lot of other residents.
There are other reasons but I will keep this short. One other recommendation I will make is that if FirstService is chosen, please consider allowing them to manage our employees. They have professional HR managers that would do that job with more efficacy. I will give three examples where I think the process of human resources management could improve in our community.
It was stated by Associa that they perform annual reviews of employee performance whereas FirstService said they do monthly reviews so that they can offer tools and/or resources to improve performance and eliminate any surprises for employees that need discipline. All too often when I see three employees, one is working and two are watching.
I have tried several times over the last few years to contact the Facilities Operations Manager for various issues that required some communication. I have called his phone many times at all hours of the typical workday. He has never answered the phone. It always goes to voicemail and even though I have left multiple messages, I have never received a return call.
Finally, this anecdote is personal but I think it shows a level of professionalism that could use some improvement. Last December, the shed containing the tennis ball machine was destroyed in a wind storm. It was not replaced until August after much nagging by several tennis players. Not that big a deal since it did get replaced and the new shed is very nice indeed. However, I noticed right away that the shed floor is about 8 inches off the concrete deck. I reported this to the Activities Coordinator at the Resident’s Center because I could not reach the Facilities Operations Manager, as usual. After some time, I built a small ramp myself and took it over for all to use. It may sound trivial but, not only could that $2000 machine have been damaged taking it in and out of the shed, someone could have been injured doing so. It would have been a simple matter for whoever installed the shed to resolve this issue instead of ignoring it and causing a resident to resolve it.
Again, please consider hiring FirstService as our new HOA management company.
Please take this email in the spirit of positive criticism and an effort to help make Arrowcreek a better community and please reply when this email has been received.