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C.I.A Services, Inc.
Systems. Structure. Stewards.
Professional Community Association Management Since 1984
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Archived Newsletters

Every month, we issue an electronic newsletter, eNews Monthly, to keep clients informed about Association items, spotlight clients, and answer frequently asked questions and let you know what is happening with the company.  Old issues of eNews Monthly are available on our Library page. 

October 2013
eNews Monthly
Legislative Update
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The 83rd session of the Texas legislature adjourned this summer.  We didn’t see as many changes for property owners association this time around as we did with the 82nd session.  Here is a recap of the main legislation affecting property owners associations from this session.

  • SB 472 – All property owners associations are required to file new Management Certificates with the label “Property Owners’ Association Management Certificate by January 1, 2014.  The purpose of this law is to make it easier for people searching the property records to find this information.  New management certificates for all of our clients have already been processed complying with the new requirements.
  • HB 35 – Property owners associations cannot prohibit Adjacent Lot’s from being used for “residential purposes”, including a garage, sidewalk, driveway, parking area, play structures, septic system, swimming pool, utility line, or water well, and the parking or storage of a recreational vehicle (if permitted by the governing documents).  Property owners associations can still adopt reasonable restrictions regarding size, location, shielding and aesthetics of the “residential purposes”.  POAs can adopt guidelines for “residential purposes of adjacent lots”.
  • HB 680 – Adds a provision to the existing flagpole regulations: A property owners association cannot prohibit freestanding flagpoles in a front yard.  If the flagpole guidelines you adopted in 2011 followed our sample guidelines, you are already in compliance and no action is needed.
  • HB 3176 – Allows board appointments for any reason to fill the unexpired term of the position.  Formerly, appointments could only occur to fill a vacancy caused by resignation, death or disability.
  • SB 198 – Property owners associations cannot prohibit owners from using drought-resistant landscaping or water conserving natural turf.  POAs can adopt guidelines for drought-resistant landscaping and natural turf.
  • HB 2978 – POAs may be required to attend mediation with owners whom an Application for Expedited Foreclosure has been filed if the owner has filed a timely response.

Texas has a great website for viewing legislation and tracking its progress during the session. Visit http://www.legis.state.tx.us/. The site has easy to understand descriptions of the legislative process and provides information about your own elected officials. You can look up any of these bills by typing in the bill number.

Department Spotlight
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Onsite Staff
by Jessica Davis

Several of the communities managed by C.I.A. Services have onsite staff members. These individuals usually work in the community centers and offer a unique service to the residents. Depending on the time of year, the services provided by the onsite staff varies from coordinating activities to providing community access cards. 

A few communities have onsite staff members known as community coordinators or activities coordinators. They are responsible for coordinating community activities, groups, classes and large events. They are also responsible for managing the community intranet websites. These staff members facilitate and enhance the community lifestyle while responding to individual creativity and interests. The residents benefit from this service by generating, preserving, and enhancing a true sense of community. This enhanced lifestyle and higher quality of life contribute to the betterment of the community.

Other onsite staff members are known as community assistants, whom welcome new homeowners and assist with any questions they may have. Community assistants also help current residents with community questions or concerns and can direct people where to go to receive the answers they need. Community assistants also provide residents with community access cards, help with tennis court reservations and manage the reservations of amenities such as a community club house. In the communities that do not have community coordinators the onsite assistants will also plan events and activities for the residents.

Cinco Ranch has two onsite staff members that have offices in the Lake House community center.  Jessica Davis, Community Coordinator, handles the scheduling of community classes/groups, coordinates large community events and manages the community website. Olene Kelly, Community Assistant, welcomes residents to the neighborhood by answering questions about the community and setting up new homeowners with community access cards. Olene also manages the tennis reservation system and the private rentals of the Lake House.

Summerwood has one full time dedicated staff member.  Roxanne Bailey, Activities Coordinator, handles all of the community events and activities as well as the management of the community intranet.  Roxanne offices in the clubhouse once per week to help issue access cards and pool wrist bands, assist visitors, and answer questions about the community and the association.

Telfair has two onsite staff members that office in Telfair Central Hall.  Maureen Murray, Community Coordinator, handles all the community activities and events along with managing their community intranet.  Aisha Sapp, Onsite Administrative Assistant, handles all the pool pass and access card requests, answers questions about the community and manages tennis court and facility reservations.

National Bosses Day
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What Makes a Good Boss
by Nancy McGinnis

In October each year we celebrate National Bosses Day.  This year I was asked to provide a perspective on what makes a good boss.  So I took a few moments to reflect on some of the attributes that are evident every day in our bosses here at C.I.A. Services, Inc.  

Good bosses don’t act like they are better than any employee in the company.  They have been around long enough to know that everyone in the company is as important as the next person.   They know their true power comes from those supporting team members that they surround themselves with and not from people above them or outside the company.

They communicate with all of us.  They answer our emails quickly – although it’s pretty sure we answer their emails faster!  Or in the very least we try too.  Good bosses see what you do best and match your job to your talent allowing growth for the company and each person.

They support the rank and file with “Good Job”, “Keep up the good work” but are also there to say “we can do this better”.    They listen to ideas from all staff members and seek out ideas to improve, advance and support each department.  

They know how to say “I am sorry” or “I was wrong’” and even more important, laugh at themselves when we really need to see some laughter during hard times.   During the hard times they understand that saying “Don’t take it personally” doesn’t work because we all take our jobs and positions within the company “personally”.   They remember what it was like to want a good boss before they were one.  They are kind and generous and thoughtful when dealing with employees, even the occasional “bad employee”.

The staff of C.I.A. Services, Inc. feels honored to celebrate National Bosses Day this year and would like to introduce to you, our GOOD BOSSES:  Kim Moore, Tina Jameson, Ralph Troiano, Laura Tate, and Renea Miksch.   And from all the staff here at C.I.A. Services,   THANK YOU ALL!

Seminar Series

As we near the end of the year this is the last opportunity to attend one of our seminars series  Click here to read the seminar descriptions and see the schedule.

  • Board Member Orientation
  • Advanced Topics for Board Members
  • Meeting & Records - The Legal Requirements
  • Understanding Collections & Financial Reports
  • The Super Budgeting Process
  • Practical Deed Restriction Management
  • Essentials of Architectural Control

Each two-hour seminar begins at 6:00 pm and we provide dinner in case you come straight from work.  You’ll leave with a wealth of practical information and a notebook for future reference.

And if that is not enough, our seminars are free!  Make a point to attend these seminars.  You’re sure to have a fun evening of learning!

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Board Member Orientation

This seminar is a must for all new Board members and a great refresher for seasoned veterans.  It will help you get up to speed quickly by understanding your responsibilities and authorities.  We’ll review the documents and laws that govern the way you do business.  We’ll give you an overview of the governing documents, basis of authority, organizational roles, responsibilities & authorities, conduct of meetings, and we’ll cover insurance and taxes.

10/16/13 - Wednesday

6 – 8 pm

Bandera

10/21/13 - Monday

6 – 8 pm

North

10/24/13 - Thursday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest

In Memoriam
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Gary Alan Keene

August 13, 1954 - September 10, 2013

It is with deep sadness that we extend our condolences to the family of Gary Keene.   Gary passed away on September 10th with his loving family by his side following a lengthy illness.  He was the husband of Paula Lunsford, a maintenance coordinator at our Southwest office, and a friend of many.

Quick to put on costumes and wigs, Gary helped entertain our clients and staff at our annual Hockey Night events in both Houston and San Antonio.  He was also a great help each year at our Bandara Riverfest events. 

Thank you, Gary, for being a part of our lives.  You made us laugh. You made us cry. You made our world a better place.  We will miss you greatly.

Community Anniversaries
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Every month we appreciate the communities that are celebrating their anniversaries with us. Here are the clients that started with us in October.

  • Indian Shores Property Owners Association — 26 years
  • Bowling Green Garden Homes Association — 25 years
  • Ash Creek Homeowners Association — 23 years
  • Kirkmont Section 2 Association — 20 years
  • Traces II Community Improvement Association — 17 years
  • Belleau Wood Civic Club — 12 years
  • Summerwood Community Association — 8 years
  • Fairway Pointe Community Association — 7 years
  • Hunters Green Homeowners Association — 6 years
  • Cresta Bella Homeowners Association — 2 years
  • Cresta Bella Commercial Association — 2 years
  • Cresta Bella Master Association — 2 years
  • Westpark Lakes Homeowners Association — 2 years
  • Diamond Ridge Property Owners Association — 1 year
  • Kingwood Village Estates Condo Council — 1 year

Our goal has always been to create a positive, long term relationship with all of our client communities. We are very proud to be managing all of these communities.

Community of the Month
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We are proud of every one of our communities so it is always hard to find just one to highlight. We start by having each of our Community Managers write a nomination for one of their communities. We then read them and take a vote. Here are our most recent selections:

  • October - Bowling Green Garden Homes Association - North Office - Colline Chavera
  • September - Bay Pointe Community Association
    Southwest Office - Deniece Reyes, Community Manager
  • August - Eastpoint Community Association
    North Office - Brenda Ellington, Community Manager
  • July - Kings Lake Forest Homeowners Association
    North Office - Annette Escarenio, Community Manager
  • June - Woodforest North II Homeowners Association
    North Ofce Office - Sandy Castro, Community Manager

To see the full story on these communities and to see the past winners, visit the Community of the Month page on our web site.

Employee Corner
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Surviving Cancer .... TWICE!
by Deniece Reyes

Grateful, Thankful”… Ed Barnett, a longtime Maintenance Coordinator and stockholder out of our Southwest Office, is not a man of few words.  However, when asked if he had anything to say about surviving cancer twice, those two words were all that came to mind.

Ed was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2006.  After a long and grueling battle, his cancer went into remission.  

Studies show that there is an 18% chance that colon cancer can reoccur after being diagnosed and treated.  Sadly, Ed was within that 18%.  In January 2012, Ed was told that the cancer had returned.

In the office, Ed was nothing short of his usual self.  He always wore a smile, was eager to help and never let on that he was enduring such a life changing ordeal. In early 2013, Ed prepared for surgery.  While most would have anxiety about going under the knife, Ed bragged about the 6-pack his doctor said he could give him.

Ed retired from the U.S. Navy after serving 24 years of active duty.  He has seen his fair share of things; making him a fighter.  August 14, 2013 was Ed’s last chemo treatment.  His work family could not be any more excited to proclaim that Ed managed to beat cancer for the SECOND time! 

Ed is an all-around great person to have around.  Through it all, he remained upbeat and was always willing to lend a helping hand.  He never let his diagnosis define him.  We are “grateful” to have Ed as a part of the C.I.A. Services family and “thankful” to have such an inspiring person to work side by side with.

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Anniversaries

Congratulations to Brenda Ellington, Brittany Tate and Melinda Diaz.   Each of them are celebrating their eighth anniversary with C.I.A. Services.  

Brenda is a Community Manager who does a wonderful job attending to the needs of her communities.

Brittany is a multi-talented employee who supports many functions related to resales, communications and our website.

Melinda is a Community Specialist taking calls and answering questions on the front line.

They are all are company stockholders based at our North Office.  Congratulations to all three of these wonderful ladies!

 

Read Past Issues of eNews Monthly

Every month, we issue an electronic newsletter, eNews Monthly, to keep clients informed about Association items, spotlight clients, answer frequently asked questions and let you know what is happening with the company. Old issues of eNews Monthly are available on our Library page.