April 7, 2014

Notes from the Association President: 

Let me start off by introducing myself.  My name is Mike Yestramski and last year, I was elected President of the Eutaw Forest (EF) Home Owners Association (EFHOA).  I have been a resident of EF for 20 years and have been a member of the board for many of those years.  Some of this year’s board members are new, while many of the previous members have accepted other board positions within the HOA. 

            My goal is pretty much the same as the previous presidents and that is to make EF one of the best communities in Charles County to live and preserve our property values.  That said I have experience both the positive and negative side of that coin.  Unfortunately, there are a few homeowners who continue to disregard the covenants, the same covenants they agreed to abide by when purchasing property in EF at settlement time.  Some refuse to pay their dues or keep their yard maintained.  When attempting to talk to them, they become hostile so it’s best to just walk away and let the legal system handle it.  A home is usually a person’s biggest purchase and it escapes me why some people don’t take care of that investment.  I have been told by a few home owners that they didn’t know there was an HOA in EF.  That should be addressed to the company that handled their closing.  On the other hand, there are homeowners that could have pictures of their yards in landscaping magazines.  Nobody is asking the homeowner to have golf course lawns.  If you are keeping your grass cut, bushes trimmed, leaves raked and your property in good condition, you are pretty much in compliance. 

            Now for some Good News items.  We recently awarded the Common Areas seasonal maintenance contract to Total Image Services.  Hopefully you have noticed that the areas around our entrances have been mulched, bushes trimmed and seasonal flowers planted.  And speaking of the entrances to our neighborhood, I would like to thank the two owners who live next to the entrance signs for allowing me to use their water to power wash the entrance signs last year.  Not sure how I would have done it without their generosity.   A few kudos to some board members.  Hopefully you have noticed the two yellow diamond shaped reflector signs at the entrance to EFD warning drivers to slow down a little when entering EFD.  The county placed a BUS stop on the right, immediately after entering EFD and many times there are people sitting on the curb.  A board member got the County to place the warning signs.  Another board member donated their time and expertise to replace the complete light fixture that illuminates the Eutaw Forest entrance sign.   

            EFHOA holds a general membership meeting yearly.  This year, the meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 6th @ 7 P.M.  The location is the Accokeek Fire House.  EFHOA has 253 members, yet every year we barely meet the attendance requirements of 10% (26 Homeowners) to constitute a quorum.  If there is something you want to know about the HOA, something you don’t like, or anything, this is the forum to discuss it.  Please make an effort to attend this year.  If you can’t attend and know a neighbor who is, why not sign a little note that states you are allowing “whomever” to represent you for a quorum count only or to also vote for you.   

            Every year, there are people who ask, what’s the HOA doing with the dues it collects?  That would be $18,975 yearly if everyone paid.  Also, what are we doing with the money the HOA received for the Dominion Gas Pipeline Right-of-Way.  Our financial statement is available at the meetings.  

            When EF was built approximately 30 years ago, there was a large “Green Space area” located at the end of Ridgeline Dr.  I was told there was a small playground set there, later removed.  I personally never saw it.  Over the years, people have asked why we don’t have a park or somewhere the kids can play.  I took that on as a project and last year the board approved the money to start the revitalization a little at a time.  Since it hasn’t been maintained in 20 plus years, there were all sizes of trees growing in the field.  Many have fallen over into the playing area.  The grass area was now a mix of bushes and weeds over two feet tall.  We had the trees removed and the grass was bush-hogged twice.  The entrance has a paved walkway that was covered with brush.  That was all cut back far from the pathway.  I’m sorry to say, it’s in such disrepair you really can’t even walk on it.  I would like to have it removed and I’m looking into laying a new path from the road to the playing area.  Most likely crushed Limestone covered with very small limestone rocks.  It packs hard and easy to maintain.  Maybe even an area under the trees, 20×20 covered the same way with two metal picnic tables.  (Securely fastened)  This area in now going to be maintained as part of our yearly landscaping contract.  A sign with HOA park rules will be posted at the entrance.  I should have purchased that first. Some individual (s) decided to make the area their own private dirt bike track.  The ground was soaking so needless to say, they tore it up pretty bad.  Nothing a few iron rakes couldn’t handle.  Please, if you might know who did this, tell them to stop.  So if you are out for a walk or just want to check it out, please do.  I would like to hear comments back regarding the Green Space revitalization. 

We are in the process of updating the web site.  If you need information from an HOA Board member, either go to the Web Site http://eutawforest.com/  and on the Contact HOA page, complete the form and submit.  Or you can try the Eutaw Forest Homeowners Answering Machine.  It can be reached at:  301-374-9023. 

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a neighbor who stated that someone stole his outgoing mail before the Mail carrier could pick it up.  A few hours later, someone with a D.C. License was trying to cash a Maryland check in a VA bank.  The teller thought it was odd and that the check looked a little funny.  She went and called him, asked if he just wrote a $2000+ check and of course he didn’t.  He was lucky they didn’t cash it.  I passed this onto the board but EFHOA doesn’t have a way to contact all its members when something like this happens so they can make sure they were not a victim also.  A board member started a EFHOA Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/eutawforest.hoa. This would have been a great place to post it.  

The spring yard sale will take place on Saturday, May 3rd, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Rain date is Sunday, May 4th, 8a.m. – 1p.m. 

Please don’t forget the annual membership meeting on Tuesday, May 6th @ 7 P.M.  The location is the Accokeek Fire House.   

Michael Yestramski

President

Eutaw Forest Homeowner’s Association