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ROYAL CANYON PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION

REGULAR BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES

MONDAY, MARCH 11, 2019

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Table of Contents

  1. Call to Order and Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes From the Previous Regular Board Meeting
  3. Open Issues
    1. Nominating Committee Report and Election of Officers
    2. Recap of the 2019 Annual Member Meeting
    3. Membership Committee Report
    4. Calendar of Events for 2019
    5. Recess
    6. Neighborhood Security Committee Report
    7. National Night Out / Picnic Committee Report
    8. Newsletter Report
    9. Treasurer’s Report
  4. New Business
    1. Anteaus RCPOA Night
    2. New Badges
  5. Adjournment

  1. Call to Order and Roll Call

    ~19:02 — President Cheryl Frees-Yvega called to order the regular meeting of the RCPOA Board of Directors at the home of Director Beth Volpe, the President being in the chair and the Secretary being present.

    Directors present (at the call to order):
    Cheryl Frees-Yvega, Byron Hibdon, Richard Lee, Wendy Myers, Brad Nelson, Tina Parsegian, Armine Perian, Leanne Reynolds, Beth Volpe, John Wolff, Todd Yvega.
    Directors present (arriving after the call to order):
    Richard Blasco.
    Directors absent:
    Armine Hacopian.
  2. Approval of Minutes From the Previous Regular Board Meeting

    ~19:03 — Secretary Todd Yvega presented.

    Draft minutes of the December 10, 2018 Regular Board Meeting

    • The President initially distributed the draft minutes to the Board on Tuesday, February 26 by email (PDF attachment), along with the agenda for this meeting.
    • The Secretary asked the Board for any corrections or alterations prior to approval.  None were offered.

    Motion by Todd Yvega: “I move that the Board approve the minutes of the December 10, 2018 Regular Board Meeting as distributed.”

    Seconded.  No discussion.  Motion carried unanimously.

    The minutes are approved as distributed.

  3. Open Issues
    1. Nominating Committee Report and Election of Officers

      ~19:04 — Nominating Committee Chair Wendy Myers presented.

      • On behalf of the Nominating Committee, Wendy thanked the current officers for doing a superb job and for dedicating a substantial amount of time to benefit RCPOA and our neighborhood.
      • Wendy reviewed the composition of the Nominating Committee: Three Past Presidents: Dan Cabrera, John Wolff, and Leanne Reynolds; and two current Directors: Wendy Myers and Todd Yvega.
      • The committee recommends the following nominations for the officer positions:
        • President — Beth Volpe.
        • Vice President — Wendy Myers
        • Secretary — Todd Yvega
        • Treasurer — Richard Lee

      ~19:06 — Motion by Wendy Myers: “I move that the Board elect Beth Volpe, President, Wendy Myers, Vice President, Todd Yvega, Secretary, and Richard Lee, Treasurer for the year 2019.”

      Seconded.  No discussion.  Motion carried unanimously.

      The outgoing President, Cheryl Frees-Yvega, presented a gavel to the incoming President, Beth Volpe.

      ~19:07 — Beth Volpe thanked Cheryl for having done “a superb job” as President, and said that she has “big shoes to fill”.  On behalf of the Board Beth presented Cheryl with a gift.

      ~19:10 — President Beth Volpe described what she hopes to do over the course of the next year.

      • Develop a plan of action for the Board so that there will be action items that can serve as reference points for determining progress.  Also the plan of action should provide an idea of the direction the Board is going.
      • Beth put together a survey for the Board so that she can learn what each Director would like to see implemented, what each would like to do, and what his/her thoughts are.
      • Beth will keep the survey responses anonymous.
      • Beth will consolidate the information and put together a small ad hoc committee to go over it and present it in the form of a proposed plan at the next Board meeting.
    2. Recap of the 2019 Annual Member Meeting

      ~19:14 — Social Committee Chair Leanne Reynolds and Cheryl Frees-Yvega presented.

      • Cheryl said that the 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting went just the way she had hoped it would.  It was special, we talked about our history and about the future, and she received many emails from attendees saying that the presentation made them feel proud to be a part of the association, etc.

      ~19:14 — Richard Blasco arrived.

      • Cheryl has passed to Beth possession of the sealed “Secretary’s box” containing the first 50 years of documents and artifacts, and announced that the Secretary will start a new box for the next 50 years.
      • The room fee at the Chevy Chase Country Club was rather expensive.  We paid it this year because of the 50th Anniversary but it will be prohibitively expensive to hold future events there unless the room fee is waived or discounted.  Tina Parsegian may be able to help us with this as she does plenty of business with Silvana Khachatourian, the Club’s Director of Events and Business Development.
      • Beth Volpe concurred, saying everyone she talked to loved it.  It had a great atmosphere and was different.
      • Armine Perian liked not having the meeting involve a breakfast.
      • Leanne Reynolds said, now that we’ve had success at this venue we could charge more in the future.  She said the speakers were excellent.  She likes having locals speaking about topical issues.  Having good Audio/Visual made a big difference — being able to see a clear projection on a large screen.  It was never that way at the Oakmont Country Club.
      • There were at least 60 attendees and the room looked full, which was a success for such a rainy day (and a year not featuring a City Council Candidates Forum).
      • Richard Lee thanked Cheryl and the Board for the “35 years of service” plaque and pins presented to him at the Annual Member Meeting.
    3. Membership Committee Report

      ~19:23 — Vice President and Membership Committee Chair Wendy Myers presented.

      • Today our membership roster has 167 members.  Last year at this time it had 127 members.  (Applause.)
      • Wendy will continue to do what she’s doing, visiting households and recruiting.
      • Wendy is hoping to reach 300 members by the end of the year.
    4. Calendar of Events for 2019

      ~19:24 — President Beth Volpe presented.

      Volunteers to host Board meetings

      • May 13 — No volunteers: Beth will check with Armine Hacopian to see if she can host.  Richard Blasco can host as a last resort.
      • July 8 — Armine Perian
      • October 14 — Brad Nelson
      • December 9 — Byron Hibdon
      • Beth asked if there is any further discussion needed regarding the Calendar of Events.
        • Cheyl Frees-Yvega responded that we need to secure the location of the Annual Member Meeting because other City Council Candidates Forums will compete for the available venues at that time.
        • Leanne Reynolds pointed out that we should first discuss changes of Committee Chairs, etc., because that affects who will be responsible for such tasks.

      New or planned committee chairs

      • National Night Out Committee
        • Since Beth Volpe is now President, she will not be able to continue chairing the National Night Out Committee.  Now that the Family Picnic has been combined with National Night Out, Leanne Reynolds will assume Both’s duties as National Night Out Committee Chair (initially with Beth’s guidance).
        • However National Night Out should ultimately be under the auspices of the Neighborhood Security Committee.  There is someone on that committee who is interested in running the National Night Out event.
      • Social Committee (responsible for the Annual Member Meeting and Summer Social):
        • With Leanne Reynolds vacating the chair of the Social Committee to take on the National Night Out Committee, Cheryl Frees-Yvega suggested Byron Hibdon as Social Committee Chair as he has expressed interest in planning parties.
        • Byron agreed on the condition that Leanne serve on his committee to share her experience, good ideas, and connections, from having previously chaired the Social Committee.
      • Newsletter Editor
        • Cheryl Frees-Yvega, having finished her term as President, has offered to serve as Newsletter Editor if Richard Blasco is ready to relinquish that position.  Her first issue would be the late July / early August Issue, which advertises the Summer Social. 
        • Cheryl pointed out that since we no longer have the Family Picnic in late May / early June, we can retire the May issue which traditionally advertised the Family Picnic and spare the treasury that expense.  This would leave 2 issues per year, January and July.
        • Current Newsletter Editor Richard Blasco thinks that our audience may forget us with only two issues per year, and suggests interim issues in April and October that can cover more broad community topics instead of advertising events.
        • This led to a discussion (no action taken) about seeking outside advertising to help pay for more issues, and the idea of having two Newsletter Editors, with Cheryl producing the January and July issues, and Richard producing the April and July issues.

      Discussion

      • Beth suggested that we don’t define these roles yet as the survey may reveal who is interested in doing what.  If the Neighborhood Security Committee runs National Night Out, then maybe Leanne can co-chair the Social Committee with Byron.  Maybe different events can be run by separate committees, etc.
      • Leanne said the goal should be to get people in the neighborhood involved in these committees, because that’s one way of discovering and nurturing good candidates for future Directors.
      • Beth would like to reduce the workload per person by distributing it among more participants.

      Annual Member Meeting

      • To be held Saturday, February 8th rather than the traditional first Saturday of the month to avoid Super Bowl weekend.
      • Half hour Social; half hour Business Meeting; Candidates Forum: 2.5 hours

      Summer Social

      • Social Committee Chair Leanne Reynolds announced that we have a firm commitment from Bill Sumner for the Summer Social, at one of the largest houses in the neighborhood.
      • September after labor day (either 7th or 14th).  The USC game is away on the 7th, so the 7th was chosen.
    5. Recess

      ~19:44 — The Chair called a brief recess.

      ~19:57 — The Chair called the meeting back to order.

    6. Neighborhood Security Committee Report

      ~19:57 — Neighborhood Security Committee Chair Armine Perian presented.

      • The committee has posted the “Suspicious Activity? Call The Police” signs around the neighborhood.
      • Since then they have held one meeting, during which they reevaluated based on outcome and feedback.
      • Two signs placed on the triangular median at the bottom of Royal Boulevard disappeared.  The committee is researching how to obtain long-term permission to post signs there.  Armine has followed up with the Deputy City Manager, John Takhtalian.
        • Todd Yvega said that whenever we’ve put any sign there, City workers removed it within a day or two.
      • Feedback has been positive except that Marshall Ayers complained that the signs create an atmosphere of fear and a negative impression.
        • Leanne Reynolds said she was approached by Marshall, whom she knows.  Leanne agrees with her point that that sign at the entrance to our neighborhood is a bad “welcome to our neighborhood” message.
        • To mitigate the negative perception, the committee would like to propose to the Board a welcome sign at the entrance — perhaps at both Royal Boulevard and Greenbriar Road.
        • Chevy Chase Canyon and Glen Knolls have substantial welcome signs (actually brick and wrought iron facades).
        • Beth Volpe said that given the substantial nature of such a facade, we should seek community support and consensus and ask for donations toward it.  Even non-RCPOA members might kick in for this.
        • Cheryl Frees-Yvega said she would like the Neighborhood Security Committee to contribute an article to the newsletter, and perhaps the article could propose a welcome sign and take a survey to gauge interest.
        • Kenneth Village and Whiting Woods were also mentioned as examples.
        • Leanne Reynolds pointed out that they’re all lit, which led Cheryl Frees-Yvega to say that someone has to pay the ongoing electric bill for the lighting, and pay for upkeep.
        • Armine Perian warned that this subject has grown beyond the purview of her committee.  Byron Hibdon agreed and suggested that if we want to pursue this, a project committee should be formed to investigate feasibility, etc.
        • Regarding feasibility, Leanne notes that neither Whiting Woods nor and Chevy Chase have mandatory HOAs, so we should ask their associations how they went about acquiring their welcome signs.
      • Richard Blasco: All of the Neighborhood Watch signs around the area are faded and unreadable.
        • Cheryl Frees-Yvega learned that the signs were put up in the 1980s when the police department was promoting Neighborhood Watch, and that certain requirements had to be met by a neighborhood watch group in the area to qualify for a sign. 
        • Beth Volpe: She and Leanne Reynolds attended the recent Glendale Homeowners Coordinating Council meeting.  The first thing they talked about was renewing the old fashioned Neighborhood Watch programs, phone trees, the whole bit.  Also at the Glendale Police National Night Out Debriefing last year, the Police Chief gave a presentation about how they want to bring Neighborhood Watch back, they want block captains…
        • Cheryl Frees-Yvega thinks we’re already ahead of that.  Times, society, and technologies have changed and people no longer are willing to engage in the traditional Neighborhood Watch of 40 years ago.
        • Armine Perian told us that the annual neighborhood meeting they host with Police representatives is coming up in May, so we’ll have an opportunity to ask about renewing the faded Neighborhood Watch signs.
        • Beth has the card of the Police representative who works with Neighborhood Watch groups.  She will send Armine his contact information in case they would like him to make his presentation at that meeting.
      • Tina Parsegian had two suggestions
        1. Since signs have disappeared, when we print more, let’s add “Property of RCPOA” with a contact email address in small print along the bottom.
        2. Occasionally remove the signs for maybe a month and then put them back up, just so they’ll be noticed anew.
      • Nextdoor.com monthly posts from the Neighborhood Security Committee
        • Anie Mkhitarian posted about the GPD’s offer of free vacation checks conducted by Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) personnel.
      • Armine asked if more signs can be printed because she is hesitant to take a sign away from a strategic high traffic location to put it on a less traveled street near where a recent break-in occurred.  Because the burglars have to drive up the main drags before turning into the offshoot roads.
        • John Wolff suggests introducing different color schemes to keep the signs fresh.  Signs of differing designs can be swapped at a high-value location rather than being removed entirely.
        • Leanne said, since the signs wear out and we’ll have to periodically buy new ones anyway, we should change the color scheme every time we print new ones.

      ~20:30 — Motion by Cheryl Frees-Yvega: “I move that the Neighborhood Security Committee draft a new sign, having a different color scheme and a ‘Property of’ indication, to present at the regular Board meeting in May for approval.”

      Seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

    7. National Night Out / Picnic Committee Report

      ~20:35 — National Night Out Committee Chair Beth Volpe presented.

      • National Night Out will be on Tuesday, August 6th
      • This year Beth has joined the NATW (National Association of Town Watch) for $35.00.
      • At last year’s National Night Out Debriefing held by the GPD, Beth learned that membership gives us permission to use the National Night Out logo on our signs and flyers, etc.
      • We have one of the shorter events in the city.  This year we might think about ways to extend it.

      ~20:38 — Discussion:

      • Cheryl Frees-Yvega suggest that the Neighborhood Security Committee work with the previous National Night Out Committee as the latter has a lot of valuable experience.
      • The Margarita machine at the 2017 Summer Social was a hit.  Having one at National Night Out might keep people there longer.
      • Leanne Reynolds said that having better lighting will encourage people to stay later.
      • A hot dog vendor is worthwhile because it’s comparatively quick.
      • Richard Blasco suggested we put up signs saying: Slow Down. Event Ahead.  Richard has traffic cones.
    8. Newsletter Report

      ~20:42 — Newsletter Editor Cheryl Frees presented.

      • Cheryl thanked Richard Blasco for taking on the newsletter immediately upon joining the Board last year.  Starting from scratch with different publishing software than used by the previous newsletter editor, Richard’s newsletters looked remarkably similar to what came before.
      • Richard has been documenting his methodology since he began to help ease the eventual hand-over to the next Newsletter Editor.
      • Normally we issue 3 newsletter per year.  Cheryl proposes that this year we issue 2 because there is no picnic to advertise.  This will save $1,100 and give Cheryl time to learn the software.  So the next newsletter would be the July issue which advertises National Night Out and the Summer Social.
      • Planned contents of the July newsletter:
        • The President’s Message.
        • Full page National Night Out ad.
        • full page Summer Social ad.
        • Membership Message from Wendy Myers.
        • Real Estate Report from Leanne Reynolds.
        • A recap of the Annual Member Meeting.
        • A Neighborhood Security article, update or tips.
        • A photo of the crashed car on Royal Boulevard with the light pole through its windshield, accompanied by a reminder to slow down.
        • In memoriam Joe Hasencamp and Jeraldine Saunders (aka Andrews).  Jeraldine’s husband Art Andrews was a Past RCPOA President, and Joe Hasencamp was RCPOA Treasurer before Richard Lee.
        • Include a list of Officers and Directors.
      • Armine Hacopian was approached by Arthur Mangassarian, a local real estate agent and RCPOA member, who offered to pay the cost of printing and mailing the newsletter if he could advertise in it.  Cheryl said she is willing to pursue that with the Board’s permission.

      ~20:48 — Motion by Cheryl Frees-Yvega: “I move that the RCPOA issue two newsletters rather than three this year.”

      Seconded.  Floor open for discussion.

      • Leanne Reynolds: For the one or two big events that we have, we should mail postcards reminding members of the events.
      • Tina Parsegian: If we are going to open the newsletter to advertising, then it should be open for anyone to advertise.  If we advertise for Mr. Mangassarian, we should expect others to contact us seeking to advertise.  So we need to have a plan to accommodate.
      • Leanne said that the other homeowners associations’ newsletter have many more pages and have a lot of advertisers.
      • We have 2 issues under discussion: (1) Should we issue 2 instead of 3 this year, and (2) should we open the newsletter to advertisers?
      • Richard Blasco thinks we should issue newsletters quarterly.  The more we are in front of the homeowners in the area, the more they’ll recognize that this is a vigorous association that is actively doing things for the neighborhood.
      • Byron Hibdon suggested alternating newsletters between Cheryl and Richard to issue 4 per year without increasing the workload for either.
      • Richard Blasco is all for allowing advertising because the proceeds will offset the cost and allow us to publish more often.  Because of the value of the houses in the area, it’s likely that many of the residents are business owners, and they’re probably interested in advertising their business.
      • Leanne Reynolds presumes that many of the other homeowners associations’ newsletters are entirely underwritten by advertisers.
      • Wendy Myers: If we decide to sell space for advertising, we should restrict it to people who are in the area.
      • Leanne added that we need to have an advertising committee or person so that there can be a well defined set of rules that are adhered to consistently.
      • John Wolff: One of the criticisms we hear from time to time is, “What does the association do for the neighborhood?”  So the more we get our name out there (e.g., more frequent newsletters, and putting the RCPOA logo on the security signs), these are things people can see as concrete steps that we do.  To that end, maybe what we should do is have Cheryl do two newsletters, and Richard do two newsletters, and we’ll get our four.
      • Leanne: We might even be able to pay for a professional to help produce the newsletters if the advertising pays for it.
      • Cheryl said it’s important that we have the advertising committee and a program in place before we open the newsletter for advertising and expand to quarterly issues.
      • Wendy Myers: You would be surprised at how most of our neighbors pay no attention at all to the newsletter.  Wendy thinks Richard makes a good point that if it goes out more often, people are more apt to take heed of it.
      • Frequency builds awareness.
      • Byron Hibdon reminded the Board that mailing the newsletter is the single biggest expense on our budget, and we’re talking about increasing our biggest expense.  So it’s important that we get the advertising in place before we increase the frequency of issues.  Byron thinks it’s a great idea to get a newsletter out more often, but he also thinks it’s a great idea not to be paying for it out of the treasury.
      • Cheryl proposed that she will produce the two newsletters promoting the major events, and once the advertising committee is in place and ads have been purchased we can expand to quarterly issues.
      • Leanne would like to be on the advertising committee because the newsletter of the Northwest Glendale Homeowners Association, where her Real Estate office is located, is excellent and full of ads.  She gets it almost every month, her broker advertises in it, it’s about 15 to 20 pages, it’s in four color and it’s fantastic.
      • The Verdugo Woodlands newsletter also has a lot of advertising.
      • Tina Parsegian helped a nonprofit set up a business directory.  The ad space that they sold paid for the directory.  Based on her experience, Tina doesn’t think it will be hard to find a sufficient number of advertisers in the neighborhood.

      The chair called the question.

      Motion carried unanimously.

    9. Treasurer’s Report

      ~21:02 — Treasurer Richard Lee presented.

      • Richard distributed the following documents to the Board, and reviewed them for the directors in attendance.
        • Treasurer’s Report of Financial Results for the period January 1 through March 11, 2019 (attached)
        • Comparative Financial Results of the Annual Member Meetings 2010 through 2019 (attached)
        • RCPOA Budget for 2019 (attached)
      • Richard added to the Report of Financial Results a new section labeled “Breakdown of Cash Accounts” which partitions the cash into “Restricted Cash - Emergency Fund” and “Unrestricted Cash”.
      • Byron Hibdon asked if we have money allocated in the budget for the two postcard mailings that Leanne Reynolds suggested.

      ~21:17 — Motion by Cheryl Frees-Yvega: “I move that the Board approve the Treasurer’s budget and financial statements as submitted.”

      Seconded.  Motion carried unanimously.

  4. New Business
    1. Anteaus RCPOA Night

      ~21:17 — Brought by Leanne Reynolds

      • The Antaeus Theatre Company (now in Glendale) has been reaching out to the community to increase awareness of their new venue and activities.
      • They have offered a a special (presumably discounted) evening for residents of our neighborhood to attend, with an informative reception before the play and a Q&A with actors after the play.
      • Antaeus has already done this for the Realtors in town.  Leanne attended and was very impressed.
      • The theater is a fairly small and intimate venue, seating 89.
      • A comedy, “Diana of Dobson’s”, is running from April 11 to June 3.

      Discussion

      • Byron Hibdon thinks this is a great idea is more than happy to work with Antaeus and plan an RCPOA neighborhood night.
      • Leanne would like to be involved and asked to assist Byron in coordinating with Antaeus.
      • Leanne pointed out that this could be an opportunity for Beth Volpe as President to address the audience of residents and explain that we may organize further outings like this, such as an evening at the GHCC planetarium.

      Action items

      • Byron will get a list of proposed dates from Antaeus and email it to the Board to determine the date when most can attend.
      • Once a date is chosen Byron will notify the neighborhood on Nextdoor.com.
      • Todd Yvega will send a MailChimp email blast about the event to the residents of the neighborhood.
    2. New Badges

      ~21:29 — Brought by John Wolff and Cheryl Frees-Yvega

      • John Wolff said that we need to get 4 new name badges, having just changed Presidents and having changed 3 Directors last year.
      • Cheryl announced that as the last executive decision of her Presidency, she had new name badges made with the new logo.
      • The letters are large and contrast well with the gold background, so they’re very easy to read at a distance.
      • The badges feature a magnetic fastener.
  5. Adjournment

    ~21:31 — Meeting adjourned.


Todd Yvega, Secretary


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