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With the arrival of Labor Day most of us think of summer ending and fall beginning. To many it means school is or has started and the resumption of a daily/weekly routine. Days again start getting shorter and the angle of the sun is changing. We turn our attention to tree trimming and our landscaping.

With the reduction in watering we must pay attention to our trees getting adequate watering . . . deep watering. The integrity of the root systems depends upon adequate water or roots may not be able to hold the tree when the storm winds arrive. We have seen this pattern elsewhere in the state, most recently dry soil was a suspected cause in the tragic tree fall incident at the Children’s Museum in Pasadena. Drought has been blamed for killing millions of trees in California. Researchers estimated that the drought has killed off at least 12.5 million trees in California’s national forests. We should all make sure to check our shrubs and trees to see that get the attention they need.

California Law details that all property owners are responsible for maintaining any trees on their property, and inspecting them for signs of damage. If a tree is found to be posing a potential hazard then the property owner must take steps to reduce this risk.

Curb appeal is part of the seasonal assessment many owners make as they return for the season. It is a good time to look closely at our homes and look critically at the paint and exteriors to judge if it is time to refresh. Considering the age of our development many of us may be facing this task. The paint color schemes for all of our homes can be found on the HOA website as are the forms for an Architecture and Landscape Variance Request if needed ( You will also find information on how to get a discount on your paint there. It may also be a good time to evaluate our landscaping in general. Stone mulch and DG (decomposed granite) needs to be refreshed from time to time.

When you go to the updated website . . . take a few minutes to look around. There is more and more useful information available as it has been totally reworked and enhanced. Scott Reese has been busy making it more relevant and he and Bill Lewis are always looking to add to it to make it the resource all of us can use. Thanks also to Tom Tousignant for his continued content contributions.

We all need to thank Sandy Nips for stepping into the leadership chair for the A & L Committee until the end of the year. She previously led this vital group but is only filling in through December. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the life of our HOA. Please let Sandy or a board member if you are interested in getting more involved. It also is not too early to consider running for the Board, as the annual meeting will be here all too quickly.

We also have a Welcome / Social Committee led by Jo Ann Horwitz. She too is eager to welcome others to get involved. The holidays will be upon us and there can be other reasons to celebrate and get to know each other as the weather cools down.

We have been posting weekly calendars from the Mission Hills Country Club, as we are all members. These can be viewed at the Da Vinci / Van Gogh corner on the curved wall. The bulletin boards are where agendas and other information are posted as needed.


We received some recent resident comments that we thought merited a brief clarification . . ..

The President’s Newsletter. . . Currently, and traditionally, the newsletter is assembled/edited by the president of the HOA with contributions by Board and Committee Members. However, it is not the Presidents Newsletter, it is your newsletter. Newsletter content is the work of the Board and Committees, with the possible exception of the President’s Notes, which is blog-like contribution of the HOA president used to highlight information and perspectives that the president feels are important for residents. We try our best to see the articles are newsworthy, informative and objective. Requests for content are routinely sent to all Board members and Committee chairs. Residents are encouraged to participate as well. The Board reviews and approves content like an editorial board would before the newsletter is published. It is rare for submitted content to be edited except for possible grammar, punctuation or spelling. The by-lines for the articles are there to bring recognition to the contributors, exhibit the engagement of Committees and assist readers in knowing whom to talk to in case there are further questions or comments.

This is the first board meeting I have been invited/allowed to attend. . . . We encourage residents to attend each meeting. Board meetings, by law, are open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to share their views on agenized items or in general at the beginning of the meeting. Board policy generally limits interaction to 3-5 minute comments or presentations on agenized items to assure time for everyone to participate and for the Board to conduct agenda business.

In order for the Board to take action on an item, it must first be placed on the agenda and the agenda must be posted. This is to allow others interested in the item to be present for the discussion and consideration by the Board. The Board can listen to resident comments and may briefly comment itself, but no immediate action can be taken on a non-agenized item. If you have ever visited a City Council meeting you have probably observed this same process.

Not unlike California government, many of the Board procedures are tightly regulated by California Statute and are covered in the Davis-Sterling Act ( In addition, the Board strives to hold to a code of ethics to make business as transparent as practical. An exception to open meetings provisions are meetings of the Executive Committee which are restricted only to Board members and can address items in only four subject areas . . . Member Discipline, Formation of Contracts, Personnel Matters, and Litigation. Please join us in the future.