MERIDIAN VALLEY MAINTENANCE ASSOCIATION
FEBRUARY 2009 NEWSLETTER

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE – Jack Ottini
                    253-631-2487

            As we move into 2009, I hope that everyone made it through the holiday season despite the miserable weather in December.  While we all like to control what goes on in our lives, I think that “Mother Nature” controls the weather.
            At our Annual Meeting in December, Frank Wisdom and Barbara Dreisbach were elected to the Board.  Unfortunately, shortly after the election, Mrs. Dreisbach submitted her resignation from the Board because of a recent family tragedy and would not be able to fulfill her responsibilities as a Board member.  A special meeting was held and Bill McLaughlin was appointed to the MVMA Board.
            The Officers and Committee chairmen are in place and listed in this newsletter.  Please save the information sheet, so you can contact the correct person if you have any questions or problems.

ARCHITECTURAL COMMITTEE – Frank Wisdom
  
                 206-251-4769                franklin.d.wisdom@boeing.com                      

Once again the holidays have come and gone.  We would like to express our appreciation to those residents who decorated their homes and yards for the holiday season as they helped put our community in a festive mood.  By the time you receive this newsletter, we expect everyone will have removed all exterior holiday decorations and lights.
            I would like to thank the following former committee members: Stuart McDonald, Lin Payton and Trish Lavery for their unselfish and valued support over the past years.  The Committee members for 2009 are:  Sarah Davidson, Terry Lavery, Jan Lewis, Randy McClaflin, Pat Mjelde, Jared Myers, Joanne Ottini, and Mike Rucker.  The committee meets the first Wednesday of each month and all requests should be submitted prior to each meeting.  Should you have a request that can’t wait until the first of the month, please contact me via email or a phone call and we will work to provide a timely review/response.
            Spring will be here soon and this is the time of year when we get our homes ready for the summer months.  If you are planning any landscaping/yard renovations, exterior house painting, remodeling, replacement of roof (partial or complete), satellite dish installation or other exterior improvements, you must first obtain approval from the Architectural Committee.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact a committee member  or go to our website which contains the DORs, guidelines, and request forms.
            Our covenants do not allow overnight parking of vehicles on our streets; please park your vehicles either in your garage or driveway.  Each homeowner is responsible for trimming back shrubs and trees so they do not interfere with automobile or pedestrian traffic/visibility.   

There are still sightings of coyotes, please keep your pets safe.

SECURITY – Terry Lavery
  
                 253-631-7275                          terrylavery1@comcast.net

Last year we implemented the new access system and cameras at all of our gates. It has been a successful conversion from our old reader cards and remotes system, the cameras have been a vital asset to our security package, and the cameras and DVD recorders have been used numerous times this past year to help the security officers, Kent Police, and MVMA Board identify offenders. As I transition off the Board I will be working with Ed Bangsund, our Common Grounds Chair, to show him the procedures of the security department, so that we will have a seamless transition at the end of the year.
            We continue to have reports of car prowlers and unauthorized people in our community.  With the inclement weather we had over the Christmas holidays, we were required to keep our north & south gates open for an extended period of time. This allowed unlimited assess to our community and we did have reports of a stolen vehicle and a break-in to vehicles parked in the driveway, both vehicles were unlocked at the time. What was more disturbing was the report of stolen mail in a cul-de-sac in the south end.  The perpetrators had stolen mail in the Lake Meridian community and seeing our south gates open continued their crime spree here in MVCC. This is serious crime and a Federal offense if caught. It goes to show you that our gated community, when operational, does keep us safe and secure.  So, basic common sense should prevail at all times. PLEASE, lock all vehicles that are in your driveway overnight, put valuables out of sight and keep your garage doors closed at night.
           
Beginning in January 2009, we had a number of calls from concerned residents about Comcast “representatives” going door-to-door, soliciting “bundled” Comcast services. As you know we have a strict policy of No Solicitation in MVCC. This was a unique occurrence as these individuals are not Comcast employees but subcontractors to Comcast. The “bundled” services (TV, internet, and phone) that they were offering were attractive to a number of our residents and they accepted the savings gladly.  BUT we did have incidents with a subcontractor and two of our residents which led to this individual being arrested by the police. The MVMA Board contacted Comcast’s management and security departments and we came to an understanding that we will not be allowing any unmarked vehicles with Comcast subcontractors into our community. Only Comcast vehicles (trucks or vans) with a specific work orders will be allowed into MVCC by the guards. I am not a representative of or work for Comcast but if you are interested in the “bundled services” and want to save some money, contact Comcast directly at their Auburn offices for the promotional pricing. The information and phone number is in your monthly bill.
We are very fortunate here at MVCC to have a stable, loyal, courteous, and professional security staff. They are familiar with you and your families, your cars, and this community. They patrol our streets at night, call us when we leave our garage doors open, identify and ticket if necessary, illegally parked cars. They also check on our homes if we give them a vacation notification sheet. They also allow access to this community visitors and/or guests that you have approved and do not allow visitors and/or guests that you do not approve. It is important that your visitors and/or guests are courteous to the guards; they are only doing what you and MVMA Board have asked them to do. This would be a good time to make sure your visitor/guest list in up to date.
            In summary I would like to remind you SPEEDERS that the posted speed limit is 25 MPH so please try to drive at that speed. We have STOP signs at our intersections. Those signs mean exactly that - STOP. We are back on Pacific Standard Time and its dark when most of you go to and from work. Please pay close attention to pedestrians that use our roads to exercise at all times of the day or night. Let ALL of us keep MVCC a safe and vibrant community in which to live.

FACILITIES – Bill McLaughlin
                    253-854-1055                bill_mc@msn.com                  

            The snow and ice caused problems for everyone.  The length of the bad weather was the worst in over fifteen years.  Craig Benson and some of his crew (MVCC employees) worked over 200 hours in 2 ½ weeks sanding and plowing our roads and the MVCC parking lots.  He used a new piece of equipment to spread over 50 tons of sand.  Plowing was done at all three entrances and all steep hills.  After the Christmas day snowfall, we started to plow as much of the road system as we could.  After the snow melted, the rains came.  Chris Rodwell and I worked to keep the storm drains from plugging.  The street sweeper contractor then spent 26 hours cleaning our roads to pick up sand.
            I’m very proud of the effort that Craig Benson and his crew put in working in snow, ice, and freezing temperatures to work on our roads.  The total spent on snow removal was $4,725.
            Over one hundred of the reflectors are missing from the roads.  Replacements have been ordered and will be installed.
            The complaints that were received during the snowstorm are being reviewed by the Board.  We are looking at different things that can be done to better handle another big storm in the future.

MVMA WEBSITE – Robert Steiner
                    253-630-2619                 rlsteiner@comcast.net 

It does not appear that MVMA will be a paperless organization anytime soon but the MVMA Website does try to make MVMA Homeowner information readily available on the website.  If you have not yet checked out the site, I encourage you do to so at: www.meridianvalleycc.com/mvma.       The website lists:

The MVMA e-mail distribution list currently includes about 60% of the MVCC residents.   E-mail distribution is used only to inform residents of items of interest/concern.  E-mail addresses are not shared.  If you are not currently on the distribution list, not sure if you are on the distribution list, would like to update your e-mail address, or have your e-mail address removed from the distribution list, would you please e-mail that information to the MVMA office at mvma@eschelon.com or to rlsteiner@comcast.net.
            I especially would like to thank the Meridian Valley Country Club for allowing the MVMA to piggyback our website on the MVCC website at minimal/no expense.  The website url is www.meridianvalleycc.com/mvma.  The e-mail address of the MVMA homeowners is mvma@eschelon.com.  If you have comments/suggestions for the MVMA website please share them with me and/or other MVMA Board members.

TREASURER'S REPORTJim Schack
                    253-631-3905                jschack245@mac.com   

            I want to first thank Mike McCarty for his excellent job over the past two years as Treasure of our association and for showing me the ropes.
            In early December you all received your annual dues statement.  No increase in the dues for the past two years, still $700.  The payment is due on Jan 31, 2009.  If payment is nopostmarked by Jan. 31, 2009 then a 10% ($70) late fee will be assessed.  In addition an interest fee of 1.5% per month is charged on outstanding balances and remotes for the gates can be disabled until the dues, fees, and interest charges are paid in full.  The Board has and will continue to work with those residents that contact the Board before the due date to make arrangements for payment terms due to extraordinary circumstances.
            I am looking for MVMA member volunteers to participate in an audit of our books to meet our By-Law requirements.  Those interested in participating please contact me at jschack245@mac.com.  The audit will be scheduled on a mutually convenient day in late April or early May, please consider volunteering.
            Shannon & Associates are currently preparing our tax return and 2008 Financial Statement, which should be complete by end of February.  If you did not get a copy of the 2009 budget at the December Annual Meeting one is available on the MVMA website under board minutes (http://meridianvalleycc.com/mvma/private/mminutes.htm).

COMMON GROUNDSEd Bangsund
  
                 253-638-9680               edbangsund@comcast.net

I am delighted to begin my second year on the MVMA Board and look forward to working with residents on common interests and issues concerning our community.  I will continue to be responsible for the common grounds, as well as work with Terry Lavery as a security intern.  Terry will leave the Board at the end of his three-year term in December.
            The contract for the maintenance (mowing, pruning, fertilizing, planting, barking, leaf and debris clean-up) of the common grounds is being renewed with Myard, Inc. (Chris Rodwell).  Due to our typical winter storms and winds, Chris is busy performing the clean-up tasks with respect to fallen branches and leaf accumulations.  Myard continues with a close and cooperative working relationship with Craig Benson and his staff on a number of common projects.  Between the street sweeper and Myard’s broom control, we were able to recover a significant amount of the tons of sand that was spread during the winter snowstorms.  This effort helped prevent the sand from migrating into residents’ garages and homes, as well as into our storm drains.  As in every year, a great help in reducing the costs of clean-up and possible flooding is for residents to keep the storm drains near their properties free from leaf and debris build-up.  There are 306 storm drains in Meridian Valley, and it is costly to have the pumping trucks remove this debris.  As required by the City of Kent we will contract with a storm drain repair and cleaning service to visit us in March.
            We plan to finish the landscaping in front of the entrance signs at the front gate.  Also, we have made temporary fixes to many spots along our fence line.  We have budgeted significant dollars this year, to new replacement fencing, especially along the southern fence area.
            As spring approaches, we will look forward to spreading bark and fertilizing the common grounds.  Flower planting and some shrub replacement will follow.

MERIDIAN VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB – Craig McCrone, General Manager
                    253-631-3131                                

Are you familiar with the Meridian Valley Country Club??  Are you aware that the Meridian Valley Country Club has a wonderful fitness center available to all members Golf AND Social?  Are you aware that Meridian Valley Memberships, all types of memberships, are family memberships?  Are you aware that Social events take place year round that All members are encouraged to take advantage of: Mystery Wine Night, Indoor Golf, Jimmy Buffet Night, Children’s Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Brunch, 9 hole Twilight Golf events, Glow Ball Golf, Mothers Day Brunch, Father’s Day BBQ Dinner, Children’s Christmas Party, Holiday Open House… Karaoke and Pasta Night.  Are you aware that we do a Birthday Night dinner once a month that includes food and wine specials??  Do you like to play poker, bridge or Mahjong?  We host lots of fun activities… and you don’t even have to leave the gates!!!
            Meridian Valley Country Club is extending a warm invitation to all Meridian Valley Homeowners who are not currently Members.  Clip this article and use it as a coupon for a FREE meal.  Buy one and get the second breakfast, lunch or dinner (of equal or lesser value) for FREE.  How about using this coupon for our Mystery Wine/Wine Trivia Night on February 28th?  Get a group together and join us for a fun night of wine and camaraderie!!  We would welcome your company!!
            Meridian Valley Country Club is a world-class facility right here in your own back yard, and…  we are looking forward to your visit!! 
For reservations please call 253-631-3131  Thank You!!
(coupon offer expires on March 31st)