President’s Message – December 2013

President’s Message – December 2013

As another transition in FHA leadership takes place, I can appreciate the wisdom of a former Board’s decision to choose a Vice-President—President-Elect each year so that person could serve a year’s apprenticeship before taking on the President’s role. That gave me an opportunity both to participate in and to observe the Board’s activities. I’d like to thank publicly Gail Mazzocco for her outstanding leadership of the Board and her willingness to share knowledge along the way. I’d also like to acknowledge the hard work and results-oriented performance of outgoing Board members Ken Benjamin, Director of Grounds and Facilities, and Pat Harkin, Director of Covenants, as well as to recognize the valuable service of outgoing Nominating Committee Chair, Carla Mazzone.

As we come to the end of one calendar year and the beginning of a new one, I have some important news to communicate to our membership. The first item concerns our community manager, CAMS, the contractor that assists the Board in the orderly management of the Association’s business. For its own business reasons, CAMS has opted to assign its FHA contract to a different community manager, TALIS Management. Under the FHA’s contract with CAMS, CAMS has the right to assign the contract, but only with the consent of the FHA Board. The Board approved that assignment on November 7, and TALIS Management will be our community manager for the rest of the current contract which ends on March 31, 2014.

The aspect of this change most visible to our membership will be that your 2014 Assessment Notices will be sent out by TALIS Management rather than CAMS and your payments will be received by TALIS. The “face” of TALIS visible to most of you in The Gathering Place will continue to be Jeannette Travis who will become a TALIS employee. The Board’s primary contact will be with John McInerney, TALIS Vice President, who will be the community manager for the duration of the contract. We’re very hopeful that the service provided by CAMS will continue under TALIS as seamlessly as possible. TALIS is currently the community manager for the Countryhouse Service Group and will have the same responsibility for Bush Creek Townhomes starting January 1. It also became the assigned contractor for Bradford Place in November.

The second major news item is that the FHA Board has agreed to accept ownership responsibility for the Millcroft Mail Kiosk effective January 1, 2014. This is the largest mail kiosk in Fearrington with space for approximately 600 boxes, about half of which are currently in use. Ownership will change hands as of January 1, and FHA will assume upkeep responsibility, but costs for landscaping and utilities will be shared equally by FHA and Fitch Creations until approximately 85% of the boxes are in use. Prior to the turnover, Fitch Creations will perform some necessary cleanup, maintenance, painting and repair. As with the other kiosks for which FHA has responsibility, we will need to have some users volunteer to help keep the kiosk in top shape. Please contact Maarten Simon-Thomas, Director of Grounds and Facilities, if you are willing to volunteer.

As I begin my tenure as President of the FHA Board, I am hopeful that we can draw upon the skills and abilities of our residents to continue to have Fearrington function as the wonderful community that attracted us all here. We have many dedicated volunteers who keep our activities available and interesting, and keep our affairs running smoothly; however, we need more for new ideas and new energy. Please let the Board hear from you.

Joe Mottola, FHA President