DEAR RASPBERRY FALLS HOMEOWNERS,

Thank you to all of the homeowners and residents who came out to the 2016 Holiday Party on Saturday night! I hope you enjoyed the evening and look forward to more festive community events in 2017! I wanted to share a few thoughts with you before our final HOA meeting of 2016.

I apologize for the length of this message in advance… but want to cover information regarding our community election this week, recognize 2016 volunteers for all of their hard work, and highlight some of the HOA’s 2016 accomplishments. For me, this year has been immensely challenging, but satisfying. I hope the majority of the community feels the same way I do!

2016 ELECTION UPDATE:

Our neighborhood’s annual homeowners’ association meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 7 pm. In order to have quorum, we need at least 40 homeowners to attend, in person or by proxy. Once quorum is achieved, we will be able to conduct an election for new directors. There are three positions available and once the election takes place, the newly elected directors will decide who will serve in what board roles, who will serve in committee leadership positions, and what the 2017 top priorities will be of the association.

Seven homeowners have stepped up and submitted an application to serve as a director for the HOA of Raspberry Falls in 2017, including Bill Farawell (Briarberry Place), Ivana Gargulio (Gooseberry Lane), Eli Jacks (Hunter Place), Caroline Martin (Levade Drive), Gina Palmer (Hunter Place), John Suttle (Hunter Place), and Meg Thompson-McKenna (Levade Drive). I am very excited to have this level of interest to serve!

COMPLIMENTS TO 2016 HOA VOLUNTEERS:

Before moving forward to 2017, I’d like to recognize and THANK each of the directors who have served the community in 2016: Russ Laraway, Cindy Klebonis, Caroline Martin, Bill Farawell, and Jessica LeBlanc.

I’d also like to recognize and THANK each of the members of the community who have served on committees this year:
* COVENANTS – Roy Liggett, Donald Rozman, Margo Green, Bart Witteveen, and Meg McKenna (Chair);
* SOCIAL AFFAIRS – Cheryl Celebi, Al Ciammaichella, Steve Hammond, Jessica Leblanc & Mary Martinez;
* COMMUNICATIONS – Marcia Carlyn, Jessica LeBlanc, John Midlen & Dave Putt;
* LANDSCAPING – Diane Collins, Kathy Haberman & Sheila Lefalce;
* ELECTIONS – Rosie Farawell & Bart Witteveen.

These individuals met periodically throughout the year on several initiatives and have truly made a difference in the quality of life for the community of Raspberry Falls!

2017 GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:

During his inaugural address in 1961, John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” With that thought in mind, I truly believe that people who volunteer for the board need to be DOERS, not just people who show up to meetings without doing things in between.

I realize that each person who serves on the board may have their own areas of concerns and issues they would like to address, as well as their own level of time and energy they are able to lend to the community. So, it is important to pause and consider:

* What do YOU think the current board done well so far and HOW can you make sure this continues?
* What OPPORTUNITIES of IMPROVEMENT does the board have for 2017 and how can you make a difference?

REVIEW OF 2016 ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

While the current HOA board has received a few emails, phone calls, and Facebook posts along the way from homeowners who may not have felt 100% satisfied with our efforts in 2016, I truly believe this board and the committees it oversees have done an outstanding job accomplishing the goals we set at the beginning of the year with respect to leadership and priorities.

For LEADERSHIP, we sought to uphold the following ideals with each other and the community at large:

* Use a TEAM approach,
* Be POSITIVE,
* Be TRANSPARENT,
* Communicate with CANDOR and RESPECT,
* Work ISSUES versus PEOPLE.

For PRIORITIES, we agreed we would attempt the following in 2016:

GOAL #1: IMPROVE COMMUNICATIONS;
§ Key accomplishments include
* We conducted a formal community survey at the beginning of the year asking feedback from the community about their concerns,
* We created and posted meeting minutes following each HOA meeting to our website,
* We posted each of our unaudited and audited financial statements to our website for community review,
* We conducted two summer community events with outside speakers to discuss VDOT and traffic issues impacting our neighborhood,
* We kept the community informed on a variety of matters with our use of emails, Facebook, and website posts,
* We transitioned our HOA’s website to a new platform and vendor and used community photos taken by homeowners and residents to populate this website.

GOAL #2: Revitalize the SOCIAL COMMITTEE;
§ Key accomplishments include
* We conducted two community parties (Shamrock & the December Holiday Party) for adults at the golf course clubhouse,
* We organized and advertised two community-wide garage sales (April & October),
* We hosted several summer ice cream socials at the pool,
* We created a summer menu with the golf course to serve food at the pool.

GOAL #3: Update the ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW STANDARDS and APPROACH to the modification process;
§ Key accomplishments include
* We welcomed four new members of the community to participate as members of the Covenants Committee, along with a member of the 2015 committee, Roy Liggett,
* We re-wrote and approved a new set of Architecture Review Standards for the community in March,
* In March, the board rescinded weekly write-ups of homeowner ‘violations’ and approved our management company to conduct an ANNUAL inspection of individual homes (May), which was followed up by second (and sometimes) third reviews to ensure home owners with violations followed up on maintenance issues,
* In September, the Covenants committee APPROVED new construction to the corner of Ferrier’s and Raspberry Drive, using written and verbal feedback from immediate neighbors. During the same month, the committee also drafted recommended edits to the Review Standards for the 2017 board to consider in January.

GOAL #4: Address VDOT, TRAFFIC and WATER concerns (inside and outside of the community);
§ Key accomplishments include
* Loudoun Water is currently updating the well and filtration systems for Raspberry Falls & Selma, and reduced water rates for our neighborhood during the first quarter of the year,
* VDOT was in the community in October patching and paving shoulders,
* The Board APPROVED new enhanced street sign posts during September, and is working on the permits required by Loudoun County and VDOT to install them in early 2017.

GOAL #5: Continue to focus on the beautiful LANDSCAPING and AMENITIES of our community;
§ Key accomplishments include
* We revitalized and repaved the community’s tennis courts in May
* We ensured the flower beds and trees in common areas were well maintained from a visual standpoint throughout the year.

Beyond the items I listed above, I also am very proud that we managed our key vendors well (Property Manager: Cardinal; Landscaping: Advantage; Trash & Recycling: CSI), as well as passed our 2017 budget in September without increasing home owners’ dues.

Thank you for your support this year and if you would like to help in 2017, please send me an email, Facebook message, text or come to an HOA meeting! Also – invites to neighborhood parties are always appreciated!!!

Kind regards,
Chrissie

Christine C. Goodrum
Raspberry Falls HOA President & Covenants Committee Board Liaison
Mobile: 571.275.5556
Email: raspberry.hoa.president@raspberryfalls.org