Keene's Pointe HOA Newsletter
Newsletter by and for residents
In This Issue
From Your Board
Don't Get Stuck in the Resident Lane
Pay Dues With Your Credit Card
Communications Annual Report and Farewell
Online Petition for 535 Traffic Light
RFID Events
Security-A Farewell and a Recap
Bus Stop Issues
Traffic on Chase Rd Vs 535-See for Yourself
KP Candidates Answer Questions
There's No Place Like Home
Security Employee of the Month
Covenants Committee
Security Status Report
Covenants Update
Message from the President
 
The 2008 Annual Meeting of the Keene's Pointe Community Association will be held on November 20th at The Golden Bear Club - Magnolia Room - immediately following the Budget Meeting at 5:30 p.m.
 
The Proposed 2009 Annual Budget is available online for your review at www.keenespointehoa.com  under the 2009 Draft Button at the bottom of the page.  You need to be a registered user to gain access to the site (residents can request a password on the home page), if you need any help logging on, please contact our onsite manager, Terri Grace at 407-909-9099 or send her an email at [email protected] .
 
Budget Overview
 

The proposed Annual Assessments for 2009 has increased by $250 to $2,350.00 per unit.  Major areas of expenditures are in the follow areas:
Landscaping - we begin a 4 year refurbishment program to replace dead plants, maintenance of our trees and renovate neighborhood entrances, mail kiosk areas, Chase Road and 535 areas, main entrances, parks, playgrounds and other common areas.
Security - we have added a Director of Security as a full time position to better manage our community wide security, technology associated with security and provide a higher level of customer service with regards to security related issues.
Administration - we have added a full time assistant to facilitate better resident response, handle administrative tasks and help increase service levels to our residents.  In addition, we have added a full time maintenance person that will address all the minor repairs and maintenance throughout the community instead of outsourcing to contractors.  This move will probably end up saving the HOA money on maintenance and repairs and provide enhanced service levels to the community.
Allowance for Uncollected Assessments - based on the state of the economy and last years experience, we are expecting about $125,000 of uncollected HOA dues during 2009.  The board has taken a very aggressive collection position over the past year pursuing every option available to us by Florida law as quickly as possible.
Reserves - we continue to fund our reserve accounts, this year we will set aside $352,596 in reserves for future major repairs and replacements.
 
Elections & Departing Board Members
 

At the Annual Meeting on November 20th, we will be electing three new board members.  You should have received a ballot in the mail from Sentry Management by now, if you have not, please contact Terri Grace to obtain a replacement ballot.  Ballots must either be mailed back to Sentry per the ballot instructions, or hand delivered at the Annual Meeting on November 20th.
 
I would like to thank the three board members who will be leaving the board on November 20th.  They have all made significant contributions to our community and to the board to make Keene's Pointe a better place for our families.  Without their dedication and commitment the successful transition of the HOA from the developer to the homeowners would not have been possible.   In addition, each of them has been involved in transforming the security policies and procedures for the community and enhanced the level of security at Keene's Pointe.
Ken Raymond, Vice President and Co-Chair of Security Committee
Ben Smullyan, Secretary and Co-Chair of Security Committee and Chairman of the Communications Committee
Dick Radkewich, Chairman of Government Relations Committee, Chair of the Waterways Sub-Committee, Security Committee Member
 
We wish them all the best and hope you will continue to provide input and advice to the board in the coming years.
 
Marc Young, President
Keene's Pointe Community Association

 

Don't Get Stuck in the Resident Lane on November 30

Your Old Clicker 

 

When the clickers get turned off on November 30 and beyond, there will be a guard on Chase road to make sure that only people with RFID tags will be able to drive into the resident lane. ALL others will be directed to the non-resident lane.
 
 RFID Access Control Agreement
 
Fill out and return the form to the Community Manager. 
DuesPay Your Assessments/Dues by Credit Card Using Smart Street
 
Sentry Management has inroduced a new payment option for Dues and Assessments, called Smartstreet. Mastercard, Discover and American Express only, may be used to make your payments. To make a payment click on the link below. 
 
Communications

Communications Annual Report and Farewell
 
As Chairman of the Communications Committee it has been my pleasure to work with all the other members of the committee. They worked hard to make sure that information that was important to the residents of Keenes Pointe reached them in effective ways. Since the committee's inception, we have created an online personalized newsletter that reaches out to 1,000 plus individual residents. We also implemented a print version of the newsletter. Committee members, and others have contributed many articles that hopefully, you have enjoyed.
 
Survey tools were utilized to try and get a better understanding of how the residents felt about numerous scenarios and they were incorporated into the online newsletter  (see Board andidates survey results in this issues).

Critical communication channels were added as a useful and visible resource to the community (broadcast text messaging and telephony). Emergency e-mail bulletins were designed and used to alert residents of important information.
 
Based on an extremely small budget and a goal of constantly minimizing costs, a website was created with many association type application tools that have served to provide us with structural benefits, document access, direct feedback to committees, reservations and much more. A customer rating system was added to the website and it is slowly collecting residents recommendations of useful vendors.
 
Signage was changed in various parts of the community to improve communications.
 
The committee set up a structure that future boards can use to interact and inform all residents of any and all critical and noncritical issues through multiple channels and in ways that are convenient to the resident.
 
The goal of the committee was always to make sure that the residents had a chance to know what was going on and give them the opportunity to reach the representatives of Keene's Pointe and let them know how they felt. I believe the committee has accomplished that and done incredible work given the limitations in resources that they had to contend with.
 
Thank you for the chance to serve Keene's Pointe and thank you to all our committee volunteers, for their creative ideas, content contributions, willingness to take controversial stances, and help in so many ways, the results of which will serve the community, hopefully, for a long period of time.
 
Ben Smullyan
Chairman of the Communications Committee/Board Member

 
Government Relations Committee 
Online Petition for a Traffic Light on 535
Traffic Light
The following link will collect your information and confirm your support for a Traffic Light on 535 by the Intersection of the Keene's Pointe exit. We will turn the information over to the county.
 

Saturday RFID Distribution Days and Hours before the clicker cutoff date:

 
November 15 and 22, 2008
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at the HOA office at the sales center.

 

 
 
Greetings! 

This November issue of the Keene's Pointe newsletter is the prelude to some exciting times. The elections are coming up and there are some wild rumors going around as to who will run and how this election will turn out. Check out the Candidate Survey results in an article below to find out their position on a number of issues. If you have not tired of national campaign issues, you get to experience this momentous event for yourself on November 20th. Political intrigue, financial machinations, soap opera moments, a myriad of personalities as candidates all await your attendance...  and your vote.
 
The highest participation % in Orange county for the national/local election was in the 75% range. Please try and turnout for this event. Lets see if we can top that turnout. The next board will have a dramatic impact on many issues that will affect your quality of life and home values.
Security - a  Farewell and Recap
 
security bigAs the elections for the new board get closer and the prospect of 3 to 4 new board members becomes more of a reality, I find myself reflecting on the work that Ken Raymond, as co-chairman, and I, plus all the members of the security committee accomplished as volunteer representatives for Keene's Pointe.
 
When we started our work a year and a half ago, it became evident that in every direction, related to security, there were huge gaps in processes, management, technology and structure that needed to be addressed. It was not an easy task for any of us. All of us, in general, wanted the same thing that we felt every other resident wanted, which was help our quality of life and support the value of our homes by providing a reasonable level of security within the community. You can imagine that the operative word here was "reasonable", a term that seemed to take on many different definitions based on where one lives in the community, what relatives and friends live nearby, how golf residents and their buddies should be treated, what did the club want, what did the sales office want, what did the real estate brokers want, how many sheriffs are enough, how many security rovers are enough, how far do we go in managing traffic, how many people do you check in a vehicle and on, and on.
 
The discussions in the committee were detailed, emotional, difficult, complex and at times, heated. Everyone on the committee knew that no decision was ever going to please residents who were part of one group versus another. The common thread for all the work that the committee did, was that at all times, recommendations and decisions were made for the community as a whole and that follow through was applied uniformly. No critical decisions were made without some sort of vetting. Having said all the above, here is a list of things that the committee has proudly completed over the last year and a half:
 
  1. The residents of Keenes Pointe have an outstanding security committee made up of individuals with multiple backgrounds, within and outside the security industry. Their total experience includes an executive with a long history with a residential security company, a sheriff, marketing, technology, high level executive experience, a third board member with extensive automotive and security background, and additional histories, all of whom encompass a group of highly intelligent individuals capable of making well thought out decisions and recommendations regarding security subjects at hand. 
  2. The community has a Director of Security who is following processes setup by the security committee and working hard to maintain those processes while supporting answering to the consistent resident inquiries. Keene's Pointe has a new security team, the guards, who are being effectively managed by Michael, to fulfill the needs of the community; which is, as you can imagine, an ongoing process. There are no guards selling Amway, putting arms around young females as they stopped at the gates, no letting in of friends to go fishing and a host of other security problems with the guards of the past. Those issues have been alleviated.
  3. A powerful and accurate perception, within the community, has been achieved that security has improved. That is a real plus. It is harder to get into Keenes Pointe. It is more secure and families feel safer than they did since the last major incident in the community and certainly much more so than when almost anybody could get in with a wave or a smile. Whatever the value of that perception is, that relates to quality of life and supporting the value of our homes is, it has been achieved by the efforts of the committee.
  4. Revised post orders (the rules and regulations that guards follow to process traffic) that were created and recommended by the security committee to the board, of which the board approved. These continue to be updated. 
  5. An understanding that any security company that wishes to provide us with security services in the future must meet certain benchmarks and requirements in order to be a vendor. Those requirements have been provided to Sentry Management and to the Board President.
  6. A new security traffic management system, Capsure/Gatesure, that is used by the largest residential and commercial security company in the world, Securitas and it enables us to change and adjust our security processes now and into the future using this technology. Consistent software upgrades, at no cost to us, for improved functionality.
  7. A new RFID antenna and tag system, the hardware of which is manufactured by Transcore, the largest and most successful RFID tag company in the world.
  8. A transition, to be completed shortly, from everybody and their cousin having a clicker to only those that are residents or pseudo-residents, accessing Keenes Pointe through resident only lanes.
  9. Improved reporting capabilities of multiple types of incidents which are routinely followed up on, by Michael Kiernan, our Director of Security-407-909-1886.
  10. An RFID process and policy that maximizes security within the community without jeopardizing convenience for the resident.
  11. Emergency backup processes in place for system component failures 
  12. Performance benchmarks for the security team
  13. Solid traffic management procedures
  14. Consistent reporting procedures including categorized incident reports and 535 vs Chase traffic statistics
  15. Gate replacement plan
  16. Recording technology to track and report critical events to law enforcemnt and follow up internally, whenever necessary.
 
Clearly we've all been hard at work. Most of us will probably remain on the security committee to continue to help and advise, as volunteers. I would like to thank each and every member of this committee for their support, their suggestions, their criticisms, their analysis, their sacrifices and their camaraderie. I know I speak for Ken and myself when I say you have really made a difference for everyone that lives in Keene's Point.
 
Ben Smullyan and Ken Raymond
Co-Chairman of the Security Committee
 

Bus Stop-Tibet Butler and Bowden
  
 
The security committee met with residents of the community regarding the Tibet Butler and Bowden bus stop. There was a dangerous gathering of vehicles that could have caused injuries to children if it had not been addressed. Based on the assumption that safety had to take precedence over convenience, the committee recommended that the bus stop be changed from the corner of Tibet Butler and Bowden Way to the Bowden park which is 152 feet away from that corner. All parties felt that it was a reasonable solution. Terri Grace has contacted Orange County Public Schools and a sign will be put up at the old bus stop if the county approves the change.
Gate Statistics for October to November
 
 
You will see an increase in traffic for 535. This has happened because the developers of Camden Gardens closed down the construction gate on Chase road 2-3 weeks ago.
Here Are Your Keene's Pointe HOA Board Candidates AND Their Managing Philosophy
Election 
A survey was sent to each candidate to ask them their philosophy on a number of functions and categories that they would be making decisions about. The following link will take you to the results of that survey. If you do not see a candidates response, it is because they have chosen not to share their opinions. ALL candidates were emailed the survey. One candidate was unreachable by phone, email or a note on their door.
 
 
Katherine Cooke's responses are under the view button as Candidate #1

David Babich's responses are under the view button as Candidate #2
 
Brian Lucas' responses are under the view button as Candidate #3
 
Steve Diamond's responses are under the view button as Candidate #4

Alain Wichner's responses are under the view button for Candidate #5.

Click Here to Go to the Candidate Survey Results

There's No Place Like Home
 
     Upon moving to the Central Florida area five years ago I was faced with the myriad of issues that we all face when moving to a new area.  The top two priorities were finding both a neighborhood and a school that we could call home.  I include the school because as anyone who has young children knows that becomes as much your home as your place of residence.  We explained to our realtor that in a residence and a school we were looking for a place with a strong sense of community where we could feel comfortable raising our young child.  He quickly guided us to Keenes Pointe and we were fortunate to find a house that quickly became our home.  We were welcomed into the neighborhood by generous and kind people and quickly felt as if we had lived there forever.
 
            Looking for the right school community for our son was a little more challenging.  We had decided to pursue a private education, and felt overwhelmed with the many choices available to us.  In performing our due diligence we looked at the majority of private schools in the Greater Orlando area.  We ultimately settled on Windermere Preparatory School and have been increasingly satisfied with each passing year.
 
            Windermere Prep is located right around the corner from Keenes Pointe.  I, along with the over 150 Keenes Pointe Families who attend Windermere Prep, like to refer to it as our Neighborhood Private School.  The proximity of the school is extremely conducive to building a strong sense of community amongst the children as well as the families.  This not to mention the added convenience of carpools , those dreaded trips to the school for "forgotten" items, and the ability to pop over to the school when need be.  While the proximity of WPS to Keenes Pointe has been an added bonus, it was certainly at the lower end of my priority list.
 
            What really attracts me to Windermere Prep is the school's philosophy that every child will thrive and evolve intellectually, emotionally, morally, physically, and socially in a safe and challenging environment.  They truly take a Whole Child approach to education. I believe this approach is vital in raising happy, well adjusted and productive citizens of our world.  These basic beliefs are manifested in a strong educational community at WPS evidenced through small class sizes, an exceptional faculty, an advanced curriculum, fine arts and athletics.
 
            Windermere Prep has been through some rocky times in the past several years.  Throughout those difficult times my child's educational and social experience never suffered.  It is a testament to the community of the school that they were able to persevere through these times. The past two years have been a new day at WPS thanks to the leadership of the Meritas Corporation which acquired WPS in June of 2007.  At that time we became a member of a much larger family of domestic and International schools and all of the resources that go along with that.  Meritas has made a multimillion dollar investment in WPS through Capital expenditures in the past two years.  They will not be stopping there.  The ground breaking for the new High School Building is to begin this November, and  the school is well positioned to attain International Baccaluareate Status for the Fall of 2009. 
 
            Clearly Windermere Preparatory School has become one of the preeminent private schools' in the greater Orlando area.  How fortunate are we as Keenes Pointe  Residents to have this wonderful institution right in our own backyards.  Don't just take my word for it, come and visit WPS and see for yourself what an engaging and outstanding educational facility looks like.
 
Nancie Byrnes
Keene's Pointe Resident
 





Security Employee of the Month
 
Chris - GuardSecurity officer Christopher Minutolo of the Keene's Pointe security team has been awarded Employee of the Month for November. Chris has been with the security team since May of 2008. Chris now works at the Chase road entrance in the mornings of the weekdays, and was formerly the patrol officer protecting the residents of Keene's Pointe. He has a strong history of security related work, and this includes being a former corrections officer. He has been continuously working hard and never calls out from work, always shows up ready to start the day, and maintains a strong work ethic that could inspire the other employees to follow by his example. He has been getting a different point of view by working at the gates, and has been showing improvements in all areas of his job. In his time off, Chris rides his motorcycle around town, he goes shooting at the range, and provides as a family man at home. He has been a great addition to us all here at Keene's Pointe and we should all expect to hear more great things from him.
 
Michael Kiernan
Director of Security
From the Covenants Committee
 
Political SignsNow that the elections are over we would like to thank those homeowners who removed their political signs when requested to do so.  The KP deeds prohibit displaying signs, flags or banners of any kind with the exception of the American Flag.  While the majority of those contacted complied we had a few homeowners who ignored our request to remove their sign (see example above).
Security-Status Report for November
 
The Keene's Pointe security team, has Michael Security Directoreffectively managed the increased traffic at the 535  gate since the Camden Gardens construction entrance was shut down. The guards have been working hard to ensure that things continue to get better by issuing appropriate passes to all these vendors who repeatedly enter our gates every week.
 
This year's Halloween created a challenge for the gate officers. The lines to enter were longer than we normally see around the area. The officers turned away a large number of vehicles that were not authorized (trick or treat in Keene's Pointe wannabes). These steps alone, were a major factor for the number of incidents being so minimal. We had three patrols of which, two were done by Eagle security, and one by the local Sheriffs department. There were many cars, golf carts and people on the streets but everyone stayed safe, so we hope to see this same celebration next year. There are some changes that we might want to consider for next year related to the rental golf carts (insurance, running lights,...) and perhaps some general curfews. We will work with the Security committee to discuss a plan.
 
As you probably have already noticed , the gates have been in great working order lately due to the officers getting educated on how to fix them as they are broken from time to time (they now actually have their own "quick fix" manuals). Please keep in mind though that the gates are not an easy fix and it does cost Keene's Pointe $350 every time that someone breaks the gate arm.We will, of course, be following up to collect those funds based on our candid camera shots.  Maintaining lower speeds coming through the gates will help reduce our costs in this regard.
 
The biggest issue keeping the lines at the gates long is the number of times a gate officer has to call in guests that are not on a residents guest list. To try to minimize this effect on the traffic, residents are being called so that we can help them get educated on how to manage their guest lists better. Sometimes, residents purposely leave guests off their list so that they get a phone call to be reminded someone is coming to their home. It is helpful to minimize this practice. It also creates a disparity in the use of guard resources between those residents that utilize technology versus those that use the time of the guard. If you are in need of assistance yourself with using the gate access system, please feel free to contact me on my direct line 407-909-1886. We look forward to the Holidays coming up and please feel free to show your appreciation to the officers at the gates for their hard work by letting them know how you feel about their great work.
 
Michael Kiernan
Director of Security in Keene's Pointe
Covenants Update
 
Covenants Committee Image 
What the Covenants Committee does in KP for the residents covers a lot of ground; we are working every day to make certain you get the neighborhood you loved when you decided to make KP your home.  The biggest issue the committee faces is the human factor, with many residents accusing us of being cold, inconsistent and unfeeling which if true would make the job much easier to do.   If you receive a violation letter and don't understand why you received the letter or how to bring your property into compliance please call Terri Grace, and if she can't answer your question I would be happy to discuss the citation personally.  My counterparts on the Covenants Committee discuss issues on a regular basis and how we are managing the issuance of violations to insure we are treating every homeowner in a fair and consistent manner.
 
Overall the largest number of violations are issued for basic maintenance issues: dead lawns, weeds in plant beds, trash and recycling cans not removed the same day as pick-up and exterior changes made without prior approval by the ARC.  There are many residents who feel that the only violations should go to the worst offenders, but if we approached the job this way we would be guilt of selective enforcement.
 
Terri Grace will be publishing a process where any resident can come to one of the monthly covenants meeting and address and discuss their specific violation with the committee if they feel they are not in violation.  Thanks to the many residents who have responded and brought their property back into compliance, and the Covenants Committee will strive to make KP a desired place to live. 
 
John Sweeton