Category: HOA Announcements

Annual Meeting 2021

There is a history of low attendance at Rio Crossing Homeowners Association Annual Meetings.

Okay, I get it: meetings in general are boring, and what could be more boring than an HOA meeting, right?

Except this is your association. You belong. You are a member (if you’re an owner of a home in Rio Crossing). You have a right to be there, and a right to vote.

Vote? Vote for what, or whom? There are five of us currently on the Board of Directors. According to our Bylaws, an election is held every year – technically “at the annual meeting”. But keep in mind that our governing documents were written back in 2004, when meeting in person was pretty much the only viable option for most people.

Fast forward to today. Everyone Zooms! Most people don’t want to “get presentable” and drive to a location they know nothing about and meet with people they’ve never seen before. Now you can meet with us via Zoom, see what happens at a board meeting (it can still be pretty boring – but not always!), and get to know those of us that represent you in the overall management of the community.

Details… You Want Details!

Call for Candidates – Responses Due No Later Than September 13 at 8:30am

Want to be on the board? We welcome new volunteers! A Call for Candidates is in the mail and should arrive in your postal mailbox around September 1, and is sent to the owner’s mailing address on record for each lot.

To be included on the ballot, your response to the Call for Candidates needs to be submitted no later than Monday September 13 at 8:30am, and can be submitted via postal mail, email, or fax. Submittal instructions are included with the mailing.

Owners Receive Ballots – Around September 20

The ballots and the official Meeting Notice will be prepped for mailing starting September 13, and normally take about a week to arrive in owner mailboxes, around September 20 or soon thereafter.

Ballots Due In – Date and Time Depend on the Method of Submittal

Here’s where it gets tricky. When your ballot is due depends on how you intend to vote.

If you’re going to physically mail it in via USPS or any other means of physical delivery, it should be received in the PDS office several days before the Annual Meeting. We all know that postal service timing of deliveries has not been very speedy in recent months, so we recommend you send some other means… otherwise, send early!

If you are going to send via Email or Fax per the instructions on the ballot form, your ballot needs to be received no later than noon on the day of the Annual Meeting, to allow time for printing (hardcopies are always generated) and processing.

ARS 33-1812 states that “The association shall provide for votes to be cast in person.” If you wish to cast a ballot in person, bring your completed ballot to the picnic area along Roma between 5pm and 6pm on the day of the Annual Meeting. I will be there along with John Lavin, another community member, to collect any in-person ballots. 6pm is a firm cut-off time, because then the ballots have to be scanned and sent electronically to PDS for counting.

Annual Meeting – Thursday October 28, 2021 at 7pm via Zoom

Last year’s annual meeting was virtual. This year’s will be as well.

Details of the meeting, including the Zoom link, will be sent by our management company via “E-Blast” to anyone registered on the RioCrossing.org web site. Information will also be in the ballot packet you’ll receive around September 20. If you’re not registered on the website or can’t find your ballot form, contact Lisa to get the information.

Violations for April 2021

Every now and then an owner contacts me and wants to know why they’re being “picked on” for weeds, parking on gravel, trash and early bulk articles, and trash cans left out. The point to a neighbor’s house and say, “Why don’t they get a violation notice?”

If you got a notice, I won’t tell anyone. And if “they” got a notice, I won’t tell you. But I will put up this chart about all the violation notices sent out in April:

Violations by Category for the month of April 2021

You’ll see two “Thank You” notices were sent out. When the management company sees a home that looks extra spiffy, they do take the time to send out a nice note.

I know a lot of people think these notices are stupid. There are others in the community that don’t think we write enough of them. We try to find a balance between “hard line” and “oh my, look at that mess!”. That’s why the first notice is often called a Courtesy Notice. No fine, no pressure. In fact, if you’ve got an extenuating circumstance, call or email our Community Manager and explain, and she’ll let you know if there are work-arounds or other things we can suggest to help.

Are you interested in seeing more information like this? Give me some feedback…

Would you like to see more Violation charts?
Yes, more charts, please
5 Vote
No, not really interested
2 Vote

Help Stop Vandalism in Rio Crossing

We’ve had several incidents of vandalism on common-area property in the last week or so. Most of it is trivial, but that doesn’t mean we can ignore it. We’d like your help in stopping vandalism — both on common area property and on homeowner’s lots.

The best thing you can do is to call Avondale Police Department whenever you see vandalism in progress. But if you don’t see the vandals in action, please report vandalism on common areas to Lisa, our Community Manager.

There are a couple of organized Block Watch areas in Rio Crossing. Unlike the older Neighborhood Watch areas that encompassed an entire community, Block Watch areas are focused on smaller parts of a neighborhood… one where people are more likely to know each other and be willing to look out for each other. If you want to know more about the Block Watch program – to see if there’s one where you live, or to help get one started (it’s not much work!), contact Lisa.

If vandals see we’re not taking action on vandalism in the entry way, they’re more likely to come into the community and do damage on private property. Help all of us by being proactive.

Social Event, Online?

I know this whole COVID thing has been dragging on for a year or more now. For those of you that liked getting out in the neighborhood for a community event now and then — we miss having “movie in the park” night, and especially our Winter Festivals!

I’ve been wondering… are there online events that Rio Crossing residents would like? I know some of you (or your kids) play online games, some of you would love to have a little “chat with your neighbors” night (while others may hate Zoom — understandable!).

I’m not sure what we could do, or who would be interested. But if you have some ideas about ways this could work, I’d love to hear about them. Use the Feedback page to let me know.

Special Board Meeting

The association president has called a Special Meeting of the Rio Crossing Board of Directors.

Date: Wednesday February 24, 2021
Time: 7pm, estimated duration 1 hour
Location: Online via Zoom (see meeting call document below)

The meeting will be held online via Zoom, hosted by our management company.

Download the “call of the meeting” document along with business items to be discussed here:

Homeowners are welcome to attend and participate in accordance with ARS 33-1804. Dial-in information is included in the call of the meeting, or contact community manager Lisa Reisland for additional information.

“No Sale” Property Transfers

This happens more often than you think: ownership of a home in Rio Crossing changes, without a sale. Here is a short list of ways that generally happens:

Sometimes a home changes hands without a sale involved
  • The current owners — “real people” — start a trust which is given ownership of major assets, including homes, vehicles, and other valuables. The legal and tax reasons are beyond the scope of this web site, but you can watch a number of YouTube videos from Lee Philips (not an endorsement, just a good resource).
  • Older owners sometimes deed the property over to their kids — again, often for a variety of legal and tax reasons.
  • One company (often an LLC) transfers an asset directly to another company (often owned by a common group of people).
  • A person who acquired the property as a single person later adds a spouse or partner as an owner.

Please Update Contact Information

When a home is transferred without a sale, very often the association isn’t informed. You should contact our community manager with information about any transfer, even if a sale was not involved. Even if the contact information remains the same, we need a copy of the deed. Ownership records are important to the association.

Noise from Across El Mirage

That’s a 5am picture of the noise-making equipment across El Mirage from Rio Crossing. I’ve heard several people complain that this very loud noise is often occurring early in the morning.

If this noise is affecting you, call the Maricopa County Sheriff Department’s non-emergency line at (602) 876-1000. Yes, across El Mirage, it’s mostly Maricopa County property.

The storage business is in Avondale; everything else between Indian School and Camelback from El Mirage to the Agua Fria is Maricopa County.

FYI, Wigwam Creek to the west of Rio Crossing is also Maricopa County.

2020 Annual Meeting Wrap-Up

There was no quorum for the annual meeting. See a draft of meeting minutes here:

Traditionally we have held the annual member meeting and election of board of directors in September of each year. Due to extra planning required to conduct an online meeting, this year’s annual meeting and election was postponed to November.

All members of the Rio Crossing Homeowners Association were sent candidate application forms in September, and a meeting notice with a hard-copy ballot and postage-paid return envelope in October, with an early November deadline.

A quorum is normally described as the number of people that need to be present at a meeting in order to conduct business, such as an election. Arizona statutes (ARS 33-1812) state that absentee ballots also count toward a meeting quorum.

Our Bylaws state that one-tenth of the Eligible Votes constitute a quorum, and with all members eligible to vote and 345 homes in the community, the quorum requirement is 35. There were 28 absentee ballots to be counted as “present,” and only 3 association members present — all of whom had already voted absentee ballots, so their presence did not add to the number “present” for purposes of quorum.

What happens to the election? Nothing. The election is part of the business of the annual meeting, and there was no quorum, so no business can be conducted.

Who are the directors now? The incumbent directors — those previously in office at the time of the election — remain in office, per the association bylaws in section 3.1.

This is the second consecutive year with no quorum at the annual meeting. Quorum was present in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and historically not very often before that.

Thank you to those of you that took the time to send in an absentee ballot.

Annual Member Meeting

Information about the annual member meeting and election of board of directors was sent via postal mail to all owners mid-October. Deadline for receipt of ballots is 5:30pm Wednesday November 4.

The login information for the meeting was sent with the ballot packet. It is not published online due to privacy and “event bombing” concerns. Contact our Community Manager Lisa or one of the incumbent board members for information if you can’t find yours.

Annual Meeting and Election Postponed

At its regular board meeting in early July, the board made the decision to postpone the annual member meeting and board election to Thursday, November 5, 2020.

Note: It was originally rescheduled for November 12, 2020, but that’s the day after Veteran’s Day; it was moved forward a week to November 5.

Like most people, we were hopeful and optimistic that the COVID-19 situation would be way better by now. While there is some indication that the situation may be improving, the board indicated an intention to move forward with an online meeting in November.

“But we usually meeting in September — don’t we have to meet every September?” While we’d love to stick with tradition, the association’s bylaws state “An annual meeting of the Members of the Association shall be held at least once each year…”, which is generally understood to mean once during each calendar year.

At the board’s next meeting (scheduled for September), we’ll review and approve an election process and meeting approach being worked on by the president, the community manager, and the association’s attorney.

If you are new to Rio Crossing, the process for the election usually goes something like this:

  1. The management company sends out a “call for candidates”, and anyone wanting to submit their name for the ballot fills out and returns a form.
  2. The management company prepares a ballot and a candidate information handout.
  3. The ballot, candidate information handout, and a postage-paid return envelope are mailed to each owner’s address (mailing addresses may be different than the property addresses for some owners).
  4. Owners submit a ballot (1 ballot per lot owned) per the included instructions via postal mail, email, or fax; alternatively, an owner can chose to attend the meeting in person and cast a ballot there.
  5. During the annual meeting the ballots are tallied and the results announced.

Obviously, if the meeting is online and not in-person, then it’s not possible to “come to the meeting and vote”. Also, there are some alternate methods of voting electronically, but to meet the security and processing requirements of an association’s governing documents and various state statutes, available suitable electronic voting technologies tend to be cost-prohibitive.

We’ll send more information out just after the September board meeting. We will do what we can to facilitate the election process and everyone’s attendance at an online meeting. The last few board meetings have been hosted by PDS using the GoToMeeting online service, and a few homeowners have “attended” the meetings successfully, so we’re confident that this will work well.

Anecdotal information from other HOAs is that online annual meetings have been much better attended than prior in-person meetings. We hope that is the case here in Rio Crossing, and look forward to seeing you online!