Meet the Candidates

Meet the Candidates!

Simply click on the “+” or “-” by each name below, to expand and close the box, and learn more about each candidate.

Name: Ross Cochran

How long have you lived in WWS? 11 months

What is your current occupation? Software Consultant

Do you serve or have you ever served on a Board of Directors? Yes

If yes, please specify: President of HOA 1995 to 2004 in Sanders Estates (https://www.neighborhoods.com/sanders-estates-bellville-tx).

Have you read and are you familiar with the WWS Bylaws? Yes

Have you read and are you familiar with the Whitewater Springs Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)? Yes

Have you read and are you familiar with the Texas Property Code as it relates to POAs? Yes

If elected, do you commit to familiarizing yourself with these documents? Yes

MANAGEMENT: I was the President of The Parker Family Reunion (https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas/2012/07/22/parker-family-reunion-is-no-ordinary-family-gathering/) for 10 years. Yes, I am related to Quanah Parker.

COMPUTER SKILLS: I have been certified in several fields of Information Tecnology since 1977.

Currently I work with in Cybersecurity with teams such as the FBI and The Department of the Interior.

Community Goals: Bipartisanship – I believe all issues can be resolved through a cup of coffee at the kitchen table.

Unreasonableness – My goal in life is to be remembered as a reasonable guy.

Political Correctness – I approach things with a level-head without regard to the newest shiny-object of the day.

 

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE

All candidates received the same questions and all questions were submitted by residents of WWS.

  • If you see a resident violate a CCR, what will you do about it?
    • Candidate response: I would ask them if they knew their actions violated the CCR’s.
  • If you see a resident’s builder violate a CCR or builder’s requirements or damage our infrastructure, what will you do about it?
    • Candidate response: Report it to the applicable authorities.
  • How will you protect WWS to keep it in the naturally pristine condition like the surrounding wildlife refuge?
    • Candidate response: As I have done in the past, I routinely pick up trash on my walks.
  • Assessment Fees continue to increase. What will you do to reduce expenses, to maintain or reduce fees?
    • Candidate response: Cut our neighborhood spend back to only needs, verses any wants.
  • We’ve had a few recent Board members abandon their positions before their term was over. If elected, explain how you will commit to holding your position for the entire length of your term?
    • Candidate response: I would do my best to fulfill my commitment.  I have been married to the same women for 47 years and been with the same employer for 28 years.
  • What is the biggest challenge you see as a potential Board member? What do you propose, to solve or overcome the challenge?
    • Candidate response: Overcoming the political bitterness I have seen at the board meetings.  I would help everyone focus on how truly spectacular Whitewater Springs is.
  • How do you feel about Amendment VI being overturned due to the use of the assent clause? Amendment VI – Legal counsel also advised the Board that Whitewater Springs Amendment VI to the CC&Rs was not voted properly according to Texas law due to the use of the “assent clause” which has since been removed from the bylaws.  Considering this information, the amendment is null and void under Texas law and will not be enforced by the Whitewater Springs Property Owners Association, effective immediately.  (The part of the Bylaws that this pertains to is included for your reference only – this is the document that is now null and void)
    • Candidate response: I am a firm believer in the rule of law (My son is a police officer).  If the CCR’s are broke, then let’s fix them.
  • Metal Outbuildings – Recently, the Board of Directors met with our legal counsel at Cagle-Pugh to discuss the topic of metal buildings in the subdivision.  After review, the Board was advised that there is nothing in the CC&Rs that prohibits metal outbuildings in our subdivision.  
    • How do you feel about metal buildings, such as the community pool house or similar construction being built on property owners’ individual property?
    • Have you read, and do you support the recently adopted Whitewater Springs Building Guidelines Policy that was passed at the October 27, 2023 Board meeting? (see attachment for Guidelines)
    • If the ACC committee denied plans for a metal building and the community member appealed the decision to the Board, how would you handle the appeal?
      • Candidate response: 1. As long as the metal buildings go through the ACC, then I am good with them. 2. Yes and yes. 3. I would follow the documented appeals process.
  • In your opinion, please explain the role of the Architectural Control Committee (ACC), and the Board’s role in overseeing the ACC?
    • Candidate response: Every new build request is unique.  I believe the ACC can disapprove things that satisfy the letter of the CCR’s and approve things that are a variance to the CCR’s.  I see the board being able to overrule the ACC.
  • Have you served on the WWS POA in the past? No
    • If so, please respond to the following questions:
      • Did you complete your term?
      • Why are you seeking re-election to the Board?
      • What were your most notable accomplishments while serving on the WWS Board?
      • Were you on the Board when the assent clause was used?
        • Candidate response:
      • How did you handle conflicts or differences of opinion with other Board members or community members during your time on the Board?
      • Please give an example of an issue that came up while serving on the Board and how you handled it.
  • Have you ever resigned from a committee or Board position on the WWSPOA?
    • Candidate response:
      • If so, why?
  • A private text exchange between community members was inappropriately shared by a candidate during the October 2023 Board meeting, what is your perspective on sharing information like this?
    • Candidate response: Private is private, thus it should have stayed private.

 

Name: Steven H Goss

How long have you lived in WWS? My wife and I are currently building a home to be completed in January 2024

What is your current occupation? Architect

Do you serve or have you ever served on a Board of Directors? Yes

If yes, please specify: I served six years as the Building and Grounds Chair and Board member for St. John’s Episcopal School. I served five years on the Town Creek Homeowners Association in various positions including President Couple.

Have you read and are you familiar with the WWS Bylaws? Yes

Have you read and are you familiar with the Whitewater Springs Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)? Yes

Have you read and are you familiar with the Texas Property Code as it relates to POAs? No

If elected, do you commit to familiarizing yourself with these documents? Yes

MANAGEMENT: I have worked nationally and internationally as Principal and Director of Design leading teams of up to 25+ professionals to accomplish large, complex design and construction projects. For the past 20 years I have lead my own Dallas based Architectural firm, Blackbird Studio Architect. Blackbird Studio has accomplished successful projects in Texas, Utah, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Mississippi, Hawaii, Amman Jordan and Caracas Venezuela.

ACCOUNTING AND BOOKKEEPING: See above. I am neither accountant nor bookkeeper, but have provided leadership for large and small architectural firms.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: I have worked with the leaders of local, national and international organizations to successfully accomplish large, complex building projects. In most cases, as the Design Principal, I have been able to articulate and confirm business goals and to communicate a wide variety of design solutions to accomplish those business goals.

COMPUTER SKILLS: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Project, Adobe Acrobat, PowerPoint, AutoCAD, Dropbox

OTHER: As a soon to be new resident, what I see is a fast-growing community. I propose to work as a Board member with an unbiased perspective to maintain and improve the quality of life in Whitewater Springs.

 

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE

All candidates received the same questions and all questions were submitted by residents of WWS.

  • If you see a resident violate a CCR, what will you do about it?
    • Candidate response: I think it depends on the violation. If something is being damaged, I would introduce myself and make them aware of what I saw happening. If it pertained to an ACC issue or another committee, I think that committee would be best to address the issue. I think it is uncomfortable for our community to feel they are “under surveillance”.
  • If you see a resident’s builder violate a CCR or builder’s requirements or damage our infrastructure, what will you do about it?
    • Candidate response: Again, if damage is taking place, I think it would be good to stop the damage. If it was a construction issue, then I believe the ACC is the best voice to address the contractor or subcontractor as they already have an open line of communication.
  • How will you protect WWS to keep it in the naturally pristine condition like the surrounding wildlife refuge?
    • Candidate response: Lead by example. Be responsible for my own property first. Support the commitees working to take care of WWS. And finally volunteer to support cleanup projects.
  • Assessment Fees continue to increase. What will you do to reduce expenses, to maintain or reduce fees?
    • Candidate response: Gather information and develop appropriate business solutions to manage WWS. I also think that communication as to the use of assessment funds and keeping property owners informed on what the assessments are accomplishing is the right thing to do.
  • We’ve had a few recent Board members abandon their positions before their term was over. If elected, explain how you will commit to holding your position for the entire length of your term?
    • Candidate response: No one can predict how they will move through their life and the issues that arise and change the best laid plans. I can say that I have a ten+ year history serving on the board of St. John’s Episcopal School and the Town Creek Homeowner’s Association.
  • What is the biggest challenge you see as a potential Board member? What do you propose, to solve or overcome the challenge?
    • Candidate response: Having served on boards previously, I have seen that the biggest challenge for board members is to set aside personal preferences and act in behalf of the community. I think the best way to overcome this challenge is with transparency with the community. All members of the community should have the opportunity to understand the issues and for the board to hear their voice.
  • How do you feel about Amendment VI being overturned due to the use of the assent clause? Amendment VI – Legal counsel also advised the Board that Whitewater Springs Amendment VI to the CC&Rs was not voted properly according to Texas law due to the use of the “assent clause” which has since been removed from the bylaws.  Considering this information, the amendment is null and void under Texas law and will not be enforced by the Whitewater Springs Property Owners Association, effective immediately.  (The part of the Bylaws that this pertains to is included for your reference only – this is the document that is now null and void)
    • Candidate response: If the vote was processed improperly by Texas law, then the issue should be reexamined. The Question is how does the community feel about the issue? What does the majority of the property owners want in the bylaws. I think this is an issue that should be decided by the community with assistance from the Board and not decided by the Board.
  • Metal Outbuildings – Recently, the Board of Directors met with our legal counsel at Cagle-Pugh to discuss the topic of metal buildings in the subdivision.  After review, the Board was advised that there is nothing in the CC&Rs that prohibits metal outbuildings in our subdivision.  
    • How do you feel about metal buildings, such as the community pool house or similar construction being built on property owners’ individual property?
    • Have you read, and do you support the recently adopted Whitewater Springs Building Guidelines Policy that was passed at the October 27, 2023 Board meeting? (see attachment for Guidelines)
    • If the ACC committee denied plans for a metal building and the community member appealed the decision to the Board, how would you handle the appeal?
      • Candidate response: I do not think this is an issue to be decided by the Board. I think the bylaws should reflect the majority of the property owners and be clearly articulated such that the ACC and not the Board can enforce the CCRs.
  • In your opinion, please explain the role of the Architectural Control Committee (ACC), and the Board’s role in overseeing the ACC?
    • Candidate response: From my reading of the CCRs I believe it is the responsibility of the ACC to enforce the clearly articulated CCRs. I think it is the responsibility of the Board to ensure that the ACC is fulfilling their articulated responsibilities. I do not think it is the role of the ACC nor the Board to arbitrarily enforce the CCRs based upon personal goals.
  • Have you served on the WWS POA in the past?
    • Candidate response: No
    • If so, please respond to the following questions:
      • Did you complete your term?
      • Why are you seeking re-election to the Board?
      • What were your most notable accomplishments while serving on the WWS Board?
      • Were you on the Board when the assent clause was used?
        • Candidate response:
      • How did you handle conflicts or differences of opinion with other Board members or community members during your time on the Board?
      • Please give an example of an issue that came up while serving on the Board and how you handled it.
  • Have you ever resigned from a committee or Board position on the WWSPOA?
    • Candidate response: No
      • If so, why?
  • A private text exchange between community members was inappropriately shared by a candidate during the October 2023 Board meeting, what is your perspective on sharing information like this?
    • Candidate response: I do not have enough information to be able to answer this question. The form of the question clearly represents a perspective looking for agreement. In my life I have found that there are almost always three sides to every issue; yours, mine and the truth. And the truth is often two people looking at the same number and seeing something different. From another perspective a 6 is seen as a 9.

Name: Morgan Holmes

How long have you lived in WWS? 9 months

What is your current occupation? Accounting Manager

Do you serve or have you ever served on a Board of Directors? No

Have you read and are you familiar with the WWS Bylaws? Yes

Have you read and are you familiar with the Whitewater Springs Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)? Yes

Have you read and are you familiar with the Texas Property Code as it relates to POAs? Yes

If elected, do you commit to familiarizing yourself with these documents? Yes

MANAGEMENT: I am currently employed as the G/L Accounting Manager with seven direct reports, mostly at senior levels. We have oversight of several areas that require coordination with other teams at varying levels of management and technical knowledge. To be successful in my work, I must first understand the rules and the goals of the organization and then have the ability to communicate any conflicts that arise and, ideally, I can help with coming up with solutions that achieve the underlying intent without breaking any rules. Occasionally, especially when the rules are self-imposed, this could mean exploring the rules themselves and proposing changes to the rules.

ACCOUNTING AND BOOKKEEPING: I graduated college with an accounting degree and my whole career (30+ years) thus far has been in the accounting field. I am a Certified Public Finance Office (CPFO) which required me to study and pass exams relating to governmental accounting financial presentation and areas including investment, debt and budget, especially as it relates to best practices – not so much as to recording transactions. I have spent the most recent 10+ years of my career in larger government-type organizations with robust budget and reporting considerations with requirements of open public access of information.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: I have experience with most general business communication activities. In my current professional role, I am more often the reviewer/approver of written activity such as procedure manuals prepared by staff; proposals for purposes such as when I am on a selection committee or for reviewing for accounting implications; other correspondence to internal and external parties written by staff to ensure that the issue and desired action is clearly communicated with professionalism. I do not directly interact with web content in my work, however, I do often send updates to large group chats and I administer a few Sharepoint sites (mostly document management and calendars).

COMPUTER SKILLS: I am proficient with Word for presentations, mail merges, procedure manuals. I am a very heavy user of Excel and I am very experienced with documenting formulas and tools used which may be new to other users. I am familiar with several accounting software systems and understand how inputs and outputs should ultimately interact. I have used various file sharing platforms such as Dropbox. My experience in mass-mailings pre-dated email distributions, so I used mail merge using Word and Excel tables of names and addresses; it is my understanding that MailChimp performs that function. I have not had direct contact with website platforms other than to provide content in .pdf format.

OTHER: I am highly analytical and I tend to be a fact-checker – I go back to source documents rather than relying on memory or feelings. I am a systems-thinker so I acknowledge many issues as a symptoms and I endeavor to identify and fix the root cause. While I look at causes and effects, it is not to find blame – it is to find solutions.

From the accounting perspective, I have legal, property management and construction management experience – mostly agreeing documentation to financial information and compliance issues including other documented requirements, such as those for tax, grants or bonds.

Community Goals :From recent meetings, it appears to me that there are some unresolved concerns stemming from prior board and ACC decisions and practices. Going forward, I hope to see the ACC and board working in tandem to develop documentation, reporting and improved communication with the residents at large.

I believe that planning is essential for future success in decision making, especially regarding financial matters. Having a 3 or 5 year plan ensures that longer term goals will inform how short term issues should be handled. In addition, this enables residents to be fully engaged proactively rather than feeling stuck with situations presented as “emergency” items that were always foreseeable. A longer term plan also allows for the possibility of investment management, with guidelines set by board.

I appreciate that this neighborhood is one which respects nature and strives to create a sense of true community. I believe that this shared value will allow me to work effectively with other residents, including the board.

 

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE

All candidates received the same questions and all questions were submitted by residents of WWS.

  • If you see a resident violate a CCR, what will you do about it?
    • Candidate response:  If a resident is actively engaging in what appears to me as a violation, (depending on if it is possible that they sought and received a variance, for example) I might  ask them if they are aware of the rule and if so, seek learn more about their interpretation or circumstances; if the resident claims to be unaware, I will suggest that they review the CCR section I believe contains the rule which may apply . Whether or not the violation is happening in the present or past, I would review the text of the CCR, look for any other documents such as resolutions, policy statements etc to ensure my understanding is complete and correct; then if there may have been an instance of “grandfathering” or approval for exception, I would consider those documents and circumstances. I would then seek information and share concerns with fellow board members or ACC committee members, who may have additional knowledge.
  • If you see a resident’s builder violate a CCR or builder’s requirements or damage our infrastructure, what will you do about it?
    • Candidate response:  Depending on the nature of the cause and damage itself, I may call the police. In any situation, I would take pictures to document the damage and if possible, identify and get contact details from any witnesses to how the damage occurred. It is my understanding that the ACC would have contact details regarding the builder and owner, so I would reach out to the ACC; the applicable committee(s) depending on what infrastructure was damaged; and possibly the board member assigned to coordinate insurance claims.
  • How will you protect WWS to keep it in the naturally pristine condition like the surrounding wildlife refuge?
    • Candidate response: I respect that as individuals, we may have different ideas of what “natural” or “pristine” looks like, especially in context to our yards. I embrace any efforts made to make our properties look well-cared for and this can include having zones where we leave things mostly up to nature (except buffalo burr, I hope).  I praise the various community groups who have found ways to provide positive re-enforcement for this neighborhood’s focus on nature – for example the pictures chosen for social committee’s calendar (and competition to be included therein).  I am inspired by the sharing videos and pictures of critters and views on the unofficial Facebook page. I participated in an Adopt-a-Highway clean-up day hosted by our Wildlife committee and found it to be well-organized and everyone there seemed both friendly and hardworking.  I appreciate the advise from the Firewise committee that green and growing is not the only criteria for what we should have near our homes. I support and encourage these types of positive activities.  I have not identified anything in the existing CCR’s that I would change in this regard.
  • Assessment Fees continue to increase. What will you do to reduce expenses, to maintain or reduce fees?
    • Candidate response: I believe there is room for improvement especially in planning non-recurring activities. By implementing a 5-year plan and by having methods of gathering community input (eg surveys or open committee meetings), the POA can make better decisions. A long-term perspective can help ensure that funds are not wasted on multiple low value (ineffective, low community support) projects – even if individually relatively inexpensive, these types of things add up! In a short-term planning mindset, if funds are available, it can be too easy to say, “yes” (the same way candy from the check-out line is probably not on most grocery lists, but hunger or child’s plea may make the purchase seem more “OK”).
    • There are some unavoidable organizational costs of having a POA, but otherwise, especially as it relates to amenities, the amount of annual assessments should ultimately reflect the expected costs of what the property owners as a group identifies as important and valuable. The board and committee members should serve the property owners – in the near future, I hope to see that the level of owner support is a more integral part of decision making processes.
    • I personally prefer my bills to be fairly consistent and predictable over time. Continuous long-term planning will provide everyone with an understanding of how funds “left over” from an annual cycle are expected to be spent, at least in a broad sense.
    • I am working on this project already and will continue to work on it whether or not elected.
  • We’ve had a few recent Board members abandon their positions before their term was over. If elected, explain how you will commit to holding your position for the entire length of your term?
    • Candidate response: If elected, I will recognize my duty is to represent others, not just myself.
    • I do work full time, but I have some flexibility on most days; my other commitments are either flexible or not particularly time consuming. I and my family are in generally good health.  I believe that I will always have help and support and I’m willing to ask for it when and where needed. I am energized by working with teams to organize and find multiple possible solutions to different challenges.
    • Based on the above, I am comfortable with committing to the entire term for a board position. I do not know the circumstances of former board members, however, I can understand if they needed to quit to take care of other priorities. I also respect those who quit in a formal manner – I  prefer it to “quiet-quitting”.
  • What is the biggest challenge you see as a potential Board member? What do you propose, to solve or overcome the challenge?
    • Candidate response:  I feel that there are differing thoughts and opinions between some individuals on what the purpose of the board meeting is or isn’t. I propose that board meetings follow well-defined protocols of best-practices perhaps closer to Robert’s Rules;  I’d like to hear more robust reporting by committees; I believe minutes of the board, as legal documents, should be kept with its legal objective as its only function – minutes should not be expected to also serve as a transcript of what is said by individuals who are not presenting an agenda item or who are not on the board or on the particular committee discussing said item.  I might prefer some interactions with all attendees during the meeting, when relevant and helpful, but such conversation would not necessarily belong in minutes.
    • The board and each committee should seek community input in other forums, for example, by having an open dialogue to establish priorities on the 5 year plan by each committee including the budget committee which would show how all of the various committee’s recommendations might fit together.
  • How do you feel about Amendment VI being overturned due to the use of the assent clause? Amendment VI – Legal counsel also advised the Board that Whitewater Springs Amendment VI to the CC&Rs was not voted properly according to Texas law due to the use of the “assent clause” which has since been removed from the bylaws.  Considering this information, the amendment is null and void under Texas law and will not be enforced by the Whitewater Springs Property Owners Association, effective immediately.  (The part of the Bylaws that this pertains to is included for your reference only – this is the document that is now null and void)
    • Candidate response: I understand that Texas Law does not support the use of an assent clause therefore, anything that uses an assent clause in it’s voting is null and void.
  • Metal Outbuildings – Recently, the Board of Directors met with our legal counsel at Cagle-Pugh to discuss the topic of metal buildings in the subdivision.  After review, the Board was advised that there is nothing in the CC&Rs that prohibits metal outbuildings in our subdivision.  
    • How do you feel about metal buildings, such as the community pool house or similar construction being built on property owners’ individual property?
    • Have you read, and do you support the recently adopted Whitewater Springs Building Guidelines Policy that was passed at the October 27, 2023 Board meeting? (see attachment for Guidelines)
    • If the ACC committee denied plans for a metal building and the community member appealed the decision to the Board, how would you handle the appeal?
      • Candidate response: I  am less focused on the material of outbuildings than I am on its general appeal and placement. I have read and support the guidelines policy. If appealed, I would review the request, the original denial and consider the plans using the guidelines dated October 27, 2023.
  • In your opinion, please explain the role of the Architectural Control Committee (ACC), and the Board’s role in overseeing the ACC?
    • Candidate response: The ACC acts on behalf of the board to review and approve construction on individual property owners property. The board is defined as the managers of the POA and therefore should maintain a level of oversight to ensure that at minimum, procedures and processes exist to protect individuals personal information; to maintain appropriate documentation; to perform its duties in a timely manner; and to ensure ACC members do not break laws – for example, discrimination. The board has a duty to ensure that the ACC has appropriate resources to meet its objectives.
  • Have you served on the WWS POA in the past?
    • Candidate response: Currently, by recent appointment
    • If so, please respond to the following questions:
      • Did you complete your term?
      • Why are you seeking re-election to the Board?
      • What were your most notable accomplishments while serving on the WWS Board?
      • Were you on the Board when the assent clause was used?
        • Candidate response: NO
      • How did you handle conflicts or differences of opinion with other Board members or community members during your time on the Board?
      • Please give an example of an issue that came up while serving on the Board and how you handled it.
  • Have you ever resigned from a committee or Board position on the WWSPOA?
    • Candidate response: No
      • If so, why?
  • A private text exchange between community members was inappropriately shared by a candidate during the October 2023 Board meeting, what is your perspective on sharing information like this?
    • Candidate response: I acknowledge an individual’s right to free speech. I acknowledge an individual’s right to privacy. I usually consider the thoughts and motives of the person presenting hearsay in a conspiratorial manner and don’t pay as much attention to what is being said. I did not make evaluation of the content itself as read – especially since it was identified as being text or email between persons unknown to me – I could not verify full context and the tone of the message could be changed by the person reading it (for example, I’ve had text conversations in which the speed of the response was more meaningful than the words used).

 

Name: Allen Palmer

How long have you lived in WWS? 23 years

What is your current occupation? retired

Do you serve or have you ever served on a Board of Directors? Yes

If yes, please specify below: WWS POA Board of Directors and Northeast Chemical Board of Directors

Have you read and are you familiar with the WWS Bylaws? Yes

Have you read and are you familiar with the Whitewater Springs Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)? Yes

Have you read and are you familiar with the Texas Property Code as it relates to POAs? Yes

If elected, do you commit to familiarizing yourself with these documents? Yes

MANAGEMENT:

Personal:
Married with one son, one daughter, and 4 grandchildren.
Deacon at First Baptist Church Georgetown, TX. Active in foreign mission service to China, Ukraine, and Mexico. Involved with local Habitat for Humanity home building for underprivileged. Member of Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief Organization.

Professional:
Retired from petrochemical business after 30 years combined service with Texaco, G.E., and Sterling Chemicals.
National Accounts Mgr. with G.E. for domestic sales of Styrene Monomer.

International Sales Director responsible for slightly less than $1.0 Billion in annual sales of Styrene Monomer and Acrylonitrile globally. Conducted business and travelled in most countries in the world excluding those in Africa.

Organizations: Past 2 term President of the SouthWest Chemical Association – Houston ,TX ; Board member of the Northeast Chemical Association – N.Y., N. Y.; Treasurer of the Styrene Information and Research Center –Washington, DC.; member National Accounts Managers; member National Association of Purchasing Managers.

ACCOUNTING AND BOOKKEEPING: Responsible for $300 million operating expense budget for Texaco Chemicals, Past President of Diamondback Camouflage overseeing purchasing, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. As a past Secretaruy for WWS POA I have a very firm understanding of the accounting and bookkeeping of the organization.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: As a 23 year resident I have served at different times on the Pool Committee, Road Committee, Wildlife Committee, Maintenance Committee, Nominating Committee, Firewise Committee, as well as the Board of Directors. All require keeping meeting notes, writing proposals, preparing budgets, and enlisting and encouraging volunteers.

COMPUTER SKILLS: Familiar with Word, Excel, Dropbox, and WordChimp

OTHER: I’ve had legal experience in negotiating and writing multimillion dollar deals in the US and globally with 28 different countries for natural gas liquids, petrochemicals, and on a retail basis as well.

Community Goals: My main concern is a lack of transparency and trust with our current management thus my reason for running for a Board position. I also have a concern with our property management company as for years now I have seen checks mailed to wrong companies or individuals. Bills paid late requiring Board members to follow up numerous times to get them paid. I personally have been reimbursed for the same expense twice. We need to look at other property management companies to evaluate the cost/benefits of possibly making a management company change. Lastly, I would like to encourage more folks to become an active participant in the community by constructing a community center at Cow Creek Park thereby making it more convenient for people to gather socially as well as for future Board meetings.

 

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE

All candidates received the same questions and all questions were submitted by residents of WWS.

  • If you see a resident violate a CCR, what will you do about it?
    • Candidate response: Depends on the violation. Would prefer to let them know on a neighborly basis that it is a violation. If a significant and/or repeat then report to Board for handling.
  • If you see a resident’s builder violate a CCR or builder’s requirements or damage our infrastructure, what will you do about it?
    • Candidate response: Report to ACC as the ACC has responsibility for enforcement during the build phase until the Board is requested to assist in enforcement.
  • How will you protect WWS to keep it in the naturally pristine condition like the surrounding wildlife refuge?
    • Candidate response: Enforce CCRs restricting abuse of commons. The Wildlife Committee (of which I have been a member since inception) does a great job of adding wildlife habitat and informing owners of actions that damage wildlife. This committee has close relationships with the Balcones Refuge officials and works closely with them on WWS wildlife management including, fire avoidance, erosion along streams and creeks, and use of local drought resistant plants. The Wildlife Committee volunteers are currently working to clear new trails along Cattail Pond and in Section V. The Wildlife Committee also initiated and organizes the TxDOT highway litter pickup campaign.
  • Assessment Fees continue to increase. What will you do to reduce expenses, to maintain or reduce fees?
    • Candidate response: I believe we still have one of the lowest assessment rates in Burnet County. However, with the lake dam reconstructed several years ago (as required by TCEQ) and our new gate installed (safety first), there should be no further urgent significant expenditures required. Therefore, any new major expenditures approved by all POA members should be budgeted over a long enough period to be able to stabilize or reduce annual assessments.
  • We’ve had a few recent Board members abandon their positions before their term was over. If elected, explain how you will commit to holding your position for the entire length of your term?
    • Candidate response: Represent all POA members all of the time.
  • What is the biggest challenge you see as a potential Board member? What do you propose, to solve or overcome the challenge?
    • Candidate response: As long as I represent the requests of the majority of all property owners I will feel I am doing what my duty is as a Board member – to represent ALL POA members ALL the time. A community building at the park would allow more property owners to attend Board meetings and hopefully encourage more volunteers.
  • How do you feel about Amendment VI being overturned due to the use of the assent clause? Amendment VI – Legal counsel also advised the Board that Whitewater Springs Amendment VI to the CC&Rs was not voted properly according to Texas law due to the use of the “assent clause” which has since been removed from the bylaws.  Considering this information, the amendment is null and void under Texas law and will not be enforced by the Whitewater Springs Property Owners Association, effective immediately.  (The part of the Bylaws that this pertains to is included for your reference only – this is the document that is now null and void)
    • Candidate response: This has been a very divisive issue which needs to be determined by a vote of ALL POA members. I will comment that over 60% of votes cast on this Amendment VI were in favor of all issues on the Amendment which included restrictions on metal skinned buildings vs 2%-6% in opposition to the 4 amendments. This is the vote tally per the POA management company­ ­- Goodwin & Co.
    • Total acreage eligible to vote1233.52
      Total Votes CastYes VotesNo VotesVotes not returned (yes)Percent Yes Actual VotesPercent No Actual Votes
      Amendment 1753.955729.50524.45479.56996.76%3.24%100.00%
      Amendment 2756.425719.33537.09477.09995.10%4.90%100.00%
      Amendment 3745.385699.80545.58488.13993.89%6.11%100.00%
      Amendment 4749.255680.13569.12484.26990.77%9.23%100.00%
  • Metal Outbuildings – Recently, the Board of Directors met with our legal counsel at Cagle-Pugh to discuss the topic of metal buildings in the subdivision.  After review, the Board was advised that there is nothing in the CC&Rs that prohibits metal outbuildings in our subdivision.  
    • How do you feel about metal buildings, such as the community pool house or similar construction being built on property owners’ individual property?
    • Have you read, and do you support the recently adopted Whitewater Springs Building Guidelines Policy that was passed at the October 27, 2023 Board meeting? (see attachment for Guidelines)
    • If the ACC committee denied plans for a metal building and the community member appealed the decision to the Board, how would you handle the appeal?
      • Candidate response: This is again a very divisive issue which can only be answered definitively by a vote of ALL POA property owners. My personal opinion is irrelevant, however, it appears to me as shown above, that a super majority of property owners has already voiced their opinion and it favors acceptance of all 4 issues in Amendment VI
  • In your opinion, please explain the role of the Architectural Control Committee (ACC), and the Board’s role in overseeing the ACC?
    • Candidate response: The ACC has very wide authority granted under the CCRs. It is the ACC’s responsibility to administer those duties as spelled out in the CCRs with oversight and variance authority by the POA Board.
  • Have you served on the WWS POA in the past?
    • Candidate response: Yes
    • If so, please respond to the following questions:
      • Did you complete your term?
      • Why are you seeking re-election to the Board?
      • What were your most notable accomplishments while serving on the WWS Board?
      • Were you on the Board when the assent clause was used?
        • Candidate response:
      • How did you handle conflicts or differences of opinion with other Board members or community members during your time on the Board?
      • Please give an example of an issue that came up while serving on the Board and how you handled it.
  • Have you ever resigned from a committee or Board position on the WWSPOA?
    • Candidate response: 
      • If so, why?
        • Candidate response: Too many obligations with Family, church, and other WWS duties at the time. Serving WWS for 23 years on almost every committee allows me, in my opinion, to determine when and on which committees I feel like I best serve the community at that time. My WWS preference is to serve on the Wildlife Committee as it protects what we all enjoy – nature.
  • A private text exchange between community members was inappropriately shared by a candidate during the October 2023 Board meeting, what is your perspective on sharing information like this?
    • Candidate response: I feel that something which is an effort to circumvent the opinion of the majority (see question 7 above) should be made known to all POA members. It was posed s a question for everyone to think about.Unlike in Canada, the U.S. courts do not consider there to be a reasonable expectation of privacy in text messages once they have been sent and delivered.

Name: Ron Peters

How long have you lived in WWS? 7 years 8 months

What is your current occupation? Retired

Do you serve or have you ever served on a Board of Directors? Yes

If yes, please specify. Texas Federation of Drug Stores and WSWSC Board

Have you read and are you familiar with the WWS Bylaws? Yes

Have you read and are you familiar with the Whitewater Springs Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)? Yes

Have you read and are you familiar with the Texas Property Code as it relates to POAs? Yes

If elected, do you commit to familiarizing yourself with these documents? Yes

MANAGEMENT: I have held the position of Vice President of Pharmacy for two different companies. The most recent being Sobeys Food Stores in Canada. I had Directors and District Managers across Canada reporting up to me.

Historically I have been a director with parks and recreation, director of pharmacy systems, pharmacy district manager and director of pharmacy operations.

ACCOUNTING AND BOOKKEEPING: My experience was of course in retail settings. My responsibility was to submit an operations and profitability budget to the CFO each year and achieve those numbers. Those budgets were created in concert with input from my teams in each province. There were accounting associates assigned to my department at corporate who aided in creating those budgets.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: During my corporate life: I prepared presentations for senior management including the CEO of the company. Worked with human resources to address any issues with our associates. Communicated on a daily basis with representatives from multiple departments in the company including legal, advertising, human resources, accounting, procurement and others.

Basically I have experience in all of the above.

COMPUTER SKILLS: I am familiar with and have used Excel, Word, Dropbox and MailChimp. I would not claim to be an expert. My team and the accounting personnel assigned to me made my life easy.

Community Goals: I do not submit my candidacy with a specific agenda in mind. I believe that all of us in the community as members of the association should do our best to understand the purpose of our bylaws and our responsibilities as residents to help maintain our common areas and do our best to ensure the safety, welfare and enjoyment of all.

We have a budget and must stay within that budget as “income” is fairly finite. We may be able to come up with some innovative ideas for additional input of funds.

With the rapid growth of our community and the number of vehicles on our streets (construction or otherwise) we continue to have an excessive speed problem. We should discuss ideas to address this and determine the best solution.
I believe that the board should work very closely with the established committees for insight and to help determine what the top priorities are. Our roads will always be a focus.

This is a voluntary position and I believe that there must be a sense of accomplishment as a reward for doing it. I plan to achieve that sense of accomplishment by working closely with the board members as well as the committees and members of our association.

 

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE

All candidates received the same questions and all questions were submitted by residents of WWS.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to answer these questions. I would like to point out that I was the first candidate to announce based on my desire to help our community. I remember the day we closed on our house in January 2016, and I came out to survey it prior to moving in. The gate code from the previous owner had already been disabled so I had to follow someone through the gate. I saw a group of men at the park entrance with chainsaws and other equipment getting ready to do some trimming. They were all resident volunteers who were meeting prior to heading out. I walked up to them and told them who I was and that I had just purchased the Gatlin house and needed to get a gate code. I asked who I needed to talk to. Well, they shook my hand and welcomed me to the neighborhood and said, “You see that house across the street? Go knock on the door and tell who answers what you need.” Someone else yelled: “Yea go wake up Ron!”. So, I went over and rang the doorbell and Ron Frioux answered in his pajamas. He welcomed me, took my information and said you’ll have a new code in about 30 minutes. This is a great memory for me. Thank you to the “old codgers”, “old residents who have lived here too long” or “old guard” as you have been called, who have volunteered over the years long before I got here and still do to keep WWS as nice as it is. And a special thanks to our veterans who reside and volunteer in WWS.

  • If you see a resident violate a CCR, what will you do about it?
    • Candidate response: A conversation would hopefully suffice. Next steps would be based on the Severity of the violation.
  • If you see a resident’s builder violate a CCR or builder’s requirements or damage our infrastructure, what will you do about it?
    • Candidate response: Notify the ACC immediately and ask them to contact the builder. If necessary, make a report to Burnet County.
  • How will you protect WWS to keep it in the naturally pristine condition like the surrounding wildlife refuge?
    • Candidate response: The ACC would provide builders with their responsibilities for controlling their trash. We have residents who are certified Naturalists who give input to the Wildlife committee. We have several committees with active volunteers who also dedicate their time to this endeavor. I would make sure they have the tools they need. I also have a couple of additional ideas that I will present later if elected.
  • Assessment Fees continue to increase. What will you do to reduce expenses, to maintain or reduce fees?
    • Candidate response: Since 2018 assessments have risen about 8%. We will see an increase of 5% for next year. Unfortunately, the cost of materials and labor for projects continues to increase. I learned that there is no cap on assessment increases in our CCR. We need to be diligent in planning for what we need to maintain our infrastructure in the future. My understanding is there will be a survey of our community to determine what amenities or additions we would like to see in WWS. We of course must be willing to budget for this and pay for it. I don’t believe there are any major projects such as the necessary gate replacement on the horizon. Our board should act as a fiduciary with association funds.
  • We’ve had a few recent Board members abandon their positions before their term was over. If elected, explain how you will commit to holding your position for the entire length of your term?
    • Candidate response: I have been asked by several friends: “Are you sure you want to do this?” I will be honest and say that the last couple of board meetings caused me to think about it. Representing the desires and opinions of our community is important to me. It will not be easy, but I plan to get some satisfaction from a sense of accomplishment.
  • What is the biggest challenge you see as a potential Board member? What do you propose, to solve or overcome the challenge?
    • Candidate response: That is a difficult question since as a Board member my challenge should be what the members of the association see as the challenge. I do believe that we as a community should be less divided and that the board meetings become less contentious. Personally, I plan to seek input from former board members, former ACC members and our community at large. As stated in the By-Laws, we are to promote the health, safety and welfare of all residents of WWS. That challenge is already before us.
  • How do you feel about Amendment VI being overturned due to the use of the assent clause? Amendment VI – Legal counsel also advised the Board that Whitewater Springs Amendment VI to the CC&Rs was not voted properly according to Texas law due to the use of the “assent clause” which has since been removed from the bylaws.  Considering this information, the amendment is null and void under Texas law and will not be enforced by the Whitewater Springs Property Owners Association, effective immediately.  (The part of the Bylaws that this pertains to is included for your reference only – this is the document that is now null and void)
    • Candidate response: We should determine the wishes of our association members (all property owners) and decide on how to address the articles listed in the amendment including a vote.
  • Metal Outbuildings – Recently, the Board of Directors met with our legal counsel at Cagle-Pugh to discuss the topic of metal buildings in the subdivision.  After review, the Board was advised that there is nothing in the CC&Rs that prohibits metal outbuildings in our subdivision.  
    • How do you feel about metal buildings, such as the community pool house or similar construction being built on property owners’ individual property?
    • Have you read, and do you support the recently adopted Whitewater Springs Building Guidelines Policy that was passed at the October 27, 2023 Board meeting? (see attachment for Guidelines)
    • If the ACC committee denied plans for a metal building and the community member appealed the decision to the Board, how would you handle the appeal?
      • Candidate response: Although the resolution brings controls to this issue using language from the CCR it doesn’t necessarily permanently setle the mater. A majority vote of the association for a change in the CCR would accomplish this.
  • In your opinion, please explain the role of the Architectural Control Committee (ACC), and the Board’s role in overseeing the ACC?
    • Candidate response: The role of the ACC is spelled out in the Covenants. Chapter 209: Texas Residential Property Owners Protection Act specifies that a member of the ACC cannot hold a position on the Board and the ACC, or be the spouse of a board member, or reside in the same household. I believe this rule was put into place to prevent overt influence of the ACC. Members of the ACC are volunteers. They are not employees and are not elected. The involvement of our board in the ACC should only be as described in the CCR and Chapter 209.
  • Have you served on the WWS POA in the past?
    • Candidate response: No
    • If so, please respond to the following questions:
      • Did you complete your term?
      • Why are you seeking re-election to the Board?
      • What were your most notable accomplishments while serving on the WWS Board?
      • Were you on the Board when the assent clause was used?
        • Candidate response:
      • How did you handle conflicts or differences of opinion with other Board members or community members during your time on the Board?
      • Please give an example of an issue that came up while serving on the Board and how you handled it.
  • Have you ever resigned from a committee or Board position on the WWSPOA?
    • Candidate response: No
      • If so, why?
  • A private text exchange between community members was inappropriately shared by a candidate during the October 2023 Board meeting, what is your perspective on sharing information like this?
    • Candidate response: I cannot speak to this as I do not know the details.

Name: Andrea Thompson

How long have you lived in WWS? 3 years

What is your current occupation? Retired

Do you serve or have you ever served on a Board of Directors? Yes

If yes, please specify: I served on the Board of the Humane Society of Montgomery County and the South Montgomery County YMCA.

Have you read and are you familiar with the WWS Bylaws? Yes

Have you read and are you familiar with the Whitewater Springs Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)? Yes

Have you read and are you familiar with the Texas Property Code as it relates to POAs? Yes

If elected, do you commit to familiarizing yourself with these documents? Yes

MANAGEMENT: The most recent team I have served on is the Whitewater Springs POA Board. I am coming to the end of my two-year term and have enjoyed working on the team to tackle projects for the community. Before retirement, I worked 19 years in property management overseeing marketing for a portfolio of large regional shopping centers. In my role, I was responsible to coordinate with various departmental teams including accounting, operations/maintenance, legal, leasing, customer service centers, public safety, public relations, and management staff. My experience working with these teams was the highlight of my career. I enjoyed working with them to develop plans and then seeing the plans come to fruition via teamwork. I also enjoyed finding the strengths of each member of the team and helping to develop and maximize their talents. My goal for the Whitewater Springs POA is to continue working cohesively as a team for the betterment of our community.

ACCOUNTING AND BOOKKEEPING: I have been involved the last two years helping the POA board create and manage the budget. In my professional role, I helped create long term plans for each of the shopping centers in my portfolio. These plans included daily operating expenses, potential remodels/expansions, long term advertising/marketing strategies, and contingency planning for emergencies. These plans were then incorporated into the property budgets and forecast for 1-5 years. Each month, budgets were updated using actual income and expenses then reforecast to assure there were no year-end shortfalls. I would like to see the POA adopt a similar strategy in order to solidify our financial outlook and plan for the future.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: I pride myself in my communication skills, although some might say I over-communicate. I served as Secretary of the Board in 2022 and was responsible for the meeting notes. I am adept at email communication and find it a great way to make sure communication is clear and well thought out. I enjoy personal one-on-one conversations, especially to problem-solve, negotiate, or for big-picture planning. In my time on the POA Board, I have endeavored to communicate as often as possible with owners with updates about construction, status of the pool, and other items the community needs to know. I often write content for the other directors and have prepared presentations/proposals to be considered at board meetings. In addition, I have written much of the content on the WWSPOA website. Lastly, I have drafted Board Resolutions and other correspondence for the POA attorney to review and approve; thus, saving the POA legal fees.

COMPUTER SKILLS: I have managed email correspondence throughout my career. I am proficient in Word, Excel, Dropbox, MailChimp, and PowerPoint. I also know how to use ZOOM for online meetings. Because I’ve been on the Board the last two years, I have also become familiar with the Goodwin’s on-line applications such as TownSquare, Town Square Architectural Review, and Smartwebs. I think technology is a great tool and have no trouble learning any additional skills that would be of use to the POA. I also work well with volunteers in the community who assist with programming and technology-related issues for the community website.

OTHER: In addition to my property management, teamwork, and other experience listed above, my greatest assets are perseverance and problem solving. I enjoy finding a project, issue, or challenge and figuring out how to tackle it, fix it, or make it better. I like to get things done and crossing something off the “to-do” list is very gratifying to me. I have a high-capacity for multi-tasking and time available since I am retired. In the two years I have been on the Board I have been instrumental in a number of projects including: creating Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest policies, creating a Term Limits policy for the ACC, negotiating and obtaining permission from the new Section V owners to continue using the burn pit free of charge, remodeling and maintaining the WWSPOA.com website, creating an on-line application process via TownSquare for new home and remodeling/addition projects, finding, hiring, and helping to supervise the General Contractor for the front gate project, and streamlining the POA’s collections process. I am up for any challenge.

Community Goals: 1. Create a long-term plan and budget for the community. For this project, we should seek community input to align the goals of our owners with the budget realities we face as a community. Once aligned, we can work together to make our dreams a reality. Concurrent with this planning, I would like to see the POA conduct an independent audit of our insurance coverages to make sure we are protected in the event of a natural disaster or failure of one or more of our major infrastructure items (bridges, the dam, etc.)
2. Continue to maintain a high standard for maintenance of the community’s property and amenities. This includes budgeting for and hiring reliable and competent contractors for roads, landscaping, the pool and park complex, the lake and other amenities. We will also utilize volunteer workers, where possible.
3. Set expectations for owners and enforce the CC&RS fairly. Since our CC&Rs are lengthy and repetitive, I’d like to work toward condensing and updating them so that they are easier to read and follow. This project would entail working with the POA attorney to make sure the work is done without changing any of the meaning or intent of the CC&Rs.
4. Have fun as a community and enjoy our neighbors. I would like to explore the Community’s interest in a POA sponsored family event. This could be a concert in the park, a holiday lighting festival, or a game-day at the park. Once an interest is identified via community input, volunteers could work with the Board to plan and implement the event.

 

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE

All candidates received the same questions and all questions were submitted by residents of WWS.

  • If you see a resident violate a CCR, what will you do about it?
    • Candidate response: It really depends on the situation; but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I would talk with them with the assumption they didn’t know they were violating the rule. If needed, I would offer to send them written information about it. If this did not resolve the situation, I would work with the Board and follow the POA’s established process for CC&R violations via our property management company.
  • If you see a resident’s builder violate a CCR or builder’s requirements or damage our infrastructure, what will you do about it?
    • Candidate response: If it was a minor infraction (like loud music) or a life-threatening situation I would speak to the workers on site. However, most of the time workers at the build-site can’t take responsibility for large infractions or damages, so I would not approach them.  Instead, I would make sure the ACC was aware so that they could address the issue via the established process that the POA has in place. If the situation remained unresolved, it is the Board’s responsibility to take further action which includes contacting the owners/builder to address the situation via the established process.
  • How will you protect WWS to keep it in the naturally pristine condition like the surrounding wildlife refuge?
    • Candidate response: Currently, our landscape contractor does a great job keeping things looking beautiful and natural. The recent plantings at the front entrance are all native and drought tolerant. Trimming of the common areas and along the roadsides is kept to a minimum. The Wildlife Committee also does a great job along the walking trails and at the lake. I trust individual homeowners to handle their property landscaping in a way that is attractive and affordable for them. There are excellent resources available on the Whitewater Springs website as well as local nurseries that owners can consult to learn more about drought-tolerant and natural landscaping. I would also like to see the POA partner with our water company (WSWSC) to encourage water conservation and rainwater collection, so that homeowners can make the most of our beautiful environment.
  • Assessment Fees continue to increase. What will you do to reduce expenses, to maintain or reduce fees?
    • Candidate response: The POA uses zero based budgeting every year to ensure a thorough examination of the needs of the subdivision and to make sure there is no “fluff” in the budget. In addition, the POA has in place a protocol to get three bids for all contracts over $50,000 for work done in the subdivision. This ensures that we receive competitive pricing for the contracted work, especially for the high-dollar contracts. We also utilize volunteer labor for many projects including daily pool maintenance, cleaning, painting, and general repairs. With all this said, it is the POA’s responsibility to ensure the maintenance and upkeep of the common areas, amenities, and to reserve a contingency fund for any “rainy day” scenario. I believe in thorough long-term planning and responsible budgeting while at the same time striving to keep our assessments among the lowest in the area.  I am not in favor of taking on debt for capital projects.
  • We’ve had a few recent Board members abandon their positions before their term was over. If elected, explain how you will commit to holding your position for the entire length of your term?
    • Candidate response: I am proud that I am completing my two-year term.  If I am elected again, I will commit to another two years unless I experience unforeseen and life-changing events. I believe the community deserves the continuity of a stable Board of Directors.
  • What is the biggest challenge you see as a potential Board member? What do you propose, to solve or overcome the challenge?
    • Candidate response: I think owner communication is one of our biggest challenges. We have a diverse range of owners, and each has their own vision of what our “Hill Country Paradise” should look like and how things should be done. We have difficulty with getting everyone on “the same page.”  Incorrect, incomplete, and skewed information is often shared on social media and via email which creates confusion and sometimes distrust of the POA. All voices matter, not just those that speak the loudest, have lived here the longest, or have higher acreage. Everyone should have the opportunity to understand what the POA Board is doing and why, help determine plans for the future, and engage with how our assessments are spent. I would like to see the Board more actively communicate with all owners and recruit them in the process of governing our community.  My ideas to implement are: 1.) Conduct a survey to determine satisfaction of the owners and to collect their ideas. 2.) Commit to more frequent communication and sharing of information by the Board and the Committees.  3.) Develop more volunteer opportunities and other ways to participate. 4.) Establish an “Official” Facebook or Next-Door page so that owners can more easily receive communication from the Board and the Committees.  5.) Actively promote TownSq as a source of information. 6.) Host informal Q&A sessions for the owners.
  • How do you feel about Amendment VI being overturned due to the use of the assent clause? Amendment VI – Legal counsel also advised the Board that Whitewater Springs Amendment VI to the CC&Rs was not voted properly according to Texas law due to the use of the “assent clause” which has since been removed from the bylaws.  Considering this information, the amendment is null and void under Texas law and will not be enforced by the Whitewater Springs Property Owners Association, effective immediately.  (The part of the Bylaws that this pertains to is included for your reference only – this is the document that is now null and void)
    • Candidate response: I’d like to provide a little background on this question:  Amendment VI was passed in 2020 under the “Assent Clause,” contained in the Community Bylaws, which stipulated that unreturned ballots should be counted as a “yes.” This had the potential to skew the vote tallies due to the traditionally large number of unreturned ballots. Many owners realized that Amendment VI would be decided before a single vote was cast and urged the Board to reconsider how to present the issues to the voters. Analysis of the actual vote tallies demonstrates these owners were correct and that Amendment VI would not have passed without the “Assent Clause” in place. Subsequently, in 2021, a group of homeowners challenged the legal validity of Amendment VI, and this lawsuit was settled in early 2021. Unfortunately, lawsuits are costly to the owners and take away focus from other priorities. Fast forward to 2023, when the Board met with the POA attorney. It was discussed that settlement of the earlier lawsuit did not protect the POA from further legal challenges to Amendment VI. The Board was advised by the POA attorney that the Amendment should be considered null and void to avoid future risk. I support this action to minimize risk and preserve funds for work that will improve the community. I am also pleased that the “Assent Clause” has been removed from the POA Bylaws. Lastly, I recommend the Board work with the community in 2024 to determine if there are aspects of Amendment VI that are still a priority.
  • Metal Outbuildings – Recently, the Board of Directors met with our legal counsel at Cagle-Pugh to discuss the topic of metal buildings in the subdivision.  After review, the Board was advised that there is nothing in the CC&Rs that prohibits metal outbuildings in our subdivision.  
    • How do you feel about metal buildings, such as the community pool house or similar construction being built on property owners’ individual property?
      • Candidate response: I do not have an opinion on metal or any other building material.  I believe almost any material can be used tastefully. I have seen multi-million-dollar homes, resorts and utility buildings made from metal and shabby run-down buildings made from wooden siding. I would like our community to focus on overall construction quality, creating harmony with the house and surrounding buildings (criteria such as roofline, color palette, trim, scale compared to the house, and placement) and the overall maintenance and upkeep of every building in Whitewater Springs. I believe giving our owners options will result in a tidier community since RVs, tractors, and other implements can be stored “out of sight” in a building that works within the budget of the individual owner.
    • Have you read, and do you support the recently adopted Whitewater Springs Building Guidelines Policy that was passed at the October 27, 2023 Board meeting? (see attachment for Guidelines)
      • Candidate response: I participated with the Board of Directors and the POA attorney in writing the Building Guidelines Policy and I fully support it.  The guidelines are based on the Community’s CC&Rs; but, provide guidance for owners in the areas where the CC&Rs are not specific. Some candidates are calling for a community vote to ban metal buildings which I believe is short-sighted since it would require 67% of total community acreage votes to pass.  Based on owner conversations and sentiment, I believe it is extremely unlikely that such a measure would pass. Considering this, I believe the Board made a responsible decision to develop these guidelines which provide a tool for owners and the ACC to be used in the planning and approval process. These guidelines go a long way to protect the community from unsightly and un-checked building.
    • If the ACC committee denied plans for a metal building and the community member appealed the decision to the Board, how would you handle the appeal?
      • Candidate response: It is important to know that the POA has a protocol for appeals which is required by the State of Texas under Property Code Chapter 209. Because the Board has put in place a robust Building Guidelines Policy which addresses standards for outbuildings, I have faith that the ACC has the tools needed to review plans fairly and make decisions in the best interest of the community.  I would fully support their decisions. In the event of an appeal, I would work with the ACC to better understand where the building did not meet the written criteria and what changes they recommended for the owner to gain approval for their building. I believe by working with the homeowner, the ACC, and the rest of the Board, we will find a solution that everyone can support.
  • In your opinion, please explain the role of the Architectural Control Committee (ACC), and the Board’s role in overseeing the ACC?
    • Candidate response: The ACC is the Community’s safeguard to protect the visual appeal and property values of our neighborhood by following the regulations put in place by our CC&Rs.The ACC reviews and approves plans for new homes and additions/modifications. They also work with homeowners to make sure they are adhering to all rules and guidelines pertaining to the building process. Technically, the ACC is a Committee of the Board and reports to the Board of Directors. However, although they work independently, I see the ACC as an extension of the larger team. The Board should be a resource for the ACC to help interpret the CC&Rs and Building Guidelines Policy, answer owner inquiries when needed, help create processes and procedures, and assist with any technical needs. The ACC should be able to count on the Board to provide any tool or resource they need to do their jobs effectively.
  • Have you served on the WWS POA in the past?

    • If so, please respond to the following questions:
      • Did you complete your term?
        • Candidate response: Yes, I will complete it in December 2023.
      • Why are you seeking re-election to the Board?
        • Candidate response: I love Whitewater Springs and want to see the community flourish.  I want all our owners to be proud of Whitewater Springs and to be happy here.  I enjoy working with the team and want to contribute to the overall prosperity and success of the community.
      • What were your most notable accomplishments while serving on the WWS Board?
        • Candidate response: I have been involved in many projects including:
          • Creating an on-line application process via TownSq for new home and remodeling/addition projects.
          • Remodeling and maintaining the com website with help from community volunteers.
          • Creating a Term Limits policy for the ACC.
          • Creating Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest policies for the POA.
          • Implementing DropBox for storage of important POA documents.
          • Installation of Wi-Fi at the community pool.
          • Finding, hiring, and helping to supervise the general contractor for the front gate project.
          • Arranging for irrigation and replanting of the landscaping at the front entrance.
          • Obtaining permission from Section V owners to allow owners to use the burn pit free of charge.
          • Writing and editing the Building Guidelines Policy that passed in October of 2023.
      • Were you on the Board when the assent clause was used?
        • Candidate response: No, I was not.  However, I did express my dismay with the Board (at the time) that it was being used to guarantee passage of the Sixth CC&R Amendment. It was my contention, and it was illustrated by the vote tallies, that the Amendment would not have passed without it.
      • How did you handle conflicts or differences of opinion with other Board members or community members during your time on the Board?
        • Candidate response: I strive to be honest and professional. I think disagreements can sometimes lead to better solutions if all parties are willing to listen and be flexible. Working on a 5-member board, all members should have the opportunity to express their opinions and should be respected despite any differences.
      • Please give an example of an issue that came up while serving on the Board and how you handled it.
        • Candidate response: When building my house, I noticed that the application process was outdated and cumbersome because paper applications were still the “norm.” These paper applications were stored at an ACC member’s home which made it difficult for others to access the information and presented a confidentiality risk for our owners. I saw an opportunity to make the process easier for owners and the ACC by moving applications to an online system.  After learning that Goodwin was launching an online “Architectural Review” system, I worked with the ACC and our board President to customize and implement it for Whitewater Springs. I also worked with community volunteers to update the POA website to include instructions for use of the new system. This program launched in June of 2023. The new system allows new home builders and existing residents who are planning a change to their property to apply for approval online quickly and easily. The ACC can review applications, request additional information from owners, and vote to approve projects at home and at their convenience. The system also provides robust tracking of approvals, denials, and variances granted. Additionally, this system is provided at no cost to Whitewater Springs owners. I consider this a great team accomplishment and a huge win for Whitewater Springs.
  • Have you ever resigned from a committee or Board position on the WWSPOA?
    • If so, why?
      • Candidate response: I participated on the roads committee to assist with the construction of the mail kiosk. Once the project was completed, I stepped off the committee.  I was also on the 5-year planning committee. Earlier this year, the Board decided to disband that committee due to lack of volunteer resources. I am pleased that the committee is now reforming. I served as Chairman of the board nominating committee; however, I stepped down when I decided to run for a second term.
  • A private text exchange between community members was inappropriately shared by a candidate during the October 2023 Board meeting, what is your perspective on sharing information like this?
    • Candidate response: All candidates were given 3 minutes to discuss their reasons for joining the board and to share what they hope to accomplish for the community as a board member. It surprised me that a candidate would use the time to share something of this nature. I personally would never share a private text exchange, email, or any private conversation.

 

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Bertram, Texas