by Terri Wiebold
The Castle Pines North (CPN) Master Association Board of Directors held a special meeting on November 18 to discuss and adopt the proposed 2009 budget prior to its regularly scheduled annual meeting.
Master Association board member Earl Millspaugh presented the proposed 2009 budget to the more than 65 residents and delegates in attendance. Citing fiscal responsibility and the new role of the Master Association now that CPN is a city as reasons for change, the board proposed a dues decrease of $39 per year (transferring $27 less to the Parks Authority and $12 less for Master Association operating revenues.)
Residents and delegates received news of the dues decrease with mixed emotions. Some in the audience expressed appreciation for the fiscal responsibility of the board, while others opposed the decrease because of the cutbacks in parks funding and communications – specifically, reducing The Connection to a four-page quarterly newsletter and reduction of the current website.
Local real estate broker Don Bobeda, who is also Chairman of the Board for the Castle Pines Chamber of Commerce and a 22-year resident of Castle Pines North, told the Master Association Board that the community communications – specifically The Connection and the website – are why people move to Castle Pines North. “They show value in our community,” he said. “This [proposed budget] seems like a big step backward.”
The proposed budget presentation focused on the four largest components of the Master Association expenses: Management ($60,000), Communications ($40,000), Legal ($34,600) and Sponsorship of Events – formerly Social Events, ($12,000).
Management – The Master Association hired a management company in 2008 to perform many of the functions previously performed by independent contractors. For budgeting purposes, the board projected management fees to continue at the current level of $60,000 until renegotiated in 2009.
Communications – After extensive evaluation of the communications expenses and the future role of the Master Association in terms of sharing communication responsibility with the greater CPN community (City, Chamber of Commerce, Metro District), the board proposed a reduction of the communications budget from $122,300 in 2008 ($94,300 net after advertising revenues are received) to $40,000 in 2009.
This reflects a change in The Connection from a 32-page bi-monthly community newspaper to a four-page quarterly newsletter featuring HOA and social event information; simplification of the website; and continuation of the current e-mail alert system.
Legal – The Master Association incurs normal legal fees annually. These include collecting past due assessments, enforcing covenant violations, insuring the Association’s interests are represented in foreclosures and bankruptcies, and other legal matters.
In the proposed budget, legal expenses increase from $13,000 to $34,600. According to the management company, this increase was due in part to the anticipation of any legal matters that may arise pertaining to future annexations as they relate to the Master Association (i.e. Lagae Ranch), and the exploration of solutions in regard to the Master Association’s role as the HOA for two small neighborhoods within CPN (Huntington Ridge and Claremont Estates).
Sponsorship of Events – For the past nine years, the Master Association has been both the planner and major sponsor of several community events, including the Easter egg hunt, concert in the park, movie in the park, community garage sale, and carriage rides. The change in the budget from $25,000 in 2008 ($17,500 net after sponsorship revenues are received) to $12,000 in 2009 represents a shift to the Master Association being a contributor to events through financial sponsorships only. According to the board, under the new budget the Master Association would no longer plan or organize the social events for the community.
After an extensive public comment session, it was the board that determined the fate of the proposed budget. Board members Earl Millspaugh, David Necker, and Rex Lucas voted to approve the proposed 2009 budget, while board members Maureen Shul, Jennifer Havercroft, and Anna Mallinson voted not to approve it. Member Kim Hoffman abstained from the vote.
Therefore, there was not a majority vote to approve the budget. It will now be the responsibility of the new board to approve a budget for 2009. Delegates elected two new board members at the meeting (see related article this page.)
To view the proposed budget in detail as presented by the Board of Directors, please visit www.cpnhoa.org. For questions pertaining to the proposed budget, e-mail Contact by email