Letter: Show Me The Money

I’m encouraged about getting more information from our new Board, but I need to point out that there are some better choices to be made for our Crickentree neighborhood.

The way I see it, the Board should do what they said they would do, which is to increase our Reserve funds for future needs. In April 2021, the Board said they would increase our dues by $15/month, with half ($7.50 / month per lot) going into our Reserves, along with our usual contribution. This would make our total contribution to the Reserve Fund about $24k per year. But it is easy to see that the Board chose to instead make a smaller increase. Where does the difference go? To fund the excessive operations spending – such as the $31K plus landscaping project with addtional monthly utility expenses, excessive legal spending, recognition awards (in spite of Board members holding a non-compensated position) and a catered orientation party for board members. INSTEAD OF INCREASING THE RESERVE FUND THE HOA BOARD DECIDED TO SPEND ALL OF LAST YEARS CONTRIBUTIONS AND MORE! It was a big ordeal with the budget vote in 2021 to increase reserves only to turn around and SPEND IT ALL in less than a year!?! This was not what homeowners were told and agreed to. We have many maintenance projects that have been ignored for the past 3 years, i.e. the pool fence, pump house, front fence, playground (started repairs), irrigation repairs and other items that should have been tackled before new projects. This pool season we needed pool furniture cleaning, bathroom painting and repairs. A deposit of $982 was paid in the spring of 2021 to repair the clubhouse restrooms but was never started or completed.

There was a time when we could not get anyone to even run for a Board seat. But after this recent election the Board is creating positions (non-voting appointed treasurer, gatekeeper) and assigning people who were not even running for a Board seat. The 3 people who ran, but lost, in the election were overlooked. Why would our Board not choose from those dedicated enough to actually run for office? Handpicking committee members is unfair and should be open to anyone who is interested to put their name in the pot. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. This says that politics is in play.

I think our Board has turned itself into its own political party. Did you notice that the bulk of proxies collected, an overwhelming number, were collected by Board members? Our Board president was going door-to-door collecting proxies for the Bylaws revision – but only for YES votes. Doesn’t that seem biased and unfair to those seeing things differently?

There was poor planning in spending heavily on the 20 cedar trees behind the pool, because there is no irrigation there, which has led to the death of some of them already. The hurried decision to get the project done was absent any thought of extending irrigation there and or waiting to plant in the fall when it’s cooler. Some of that $31k project now has become wasted money.

I realize that the Board will not always get things right, but we need to improve our odds, since these choices are costing all of Crickentree money.

Dianne Fuller

Crickentree Homeowner

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]