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C.I.A Services, Inc.
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Professional Community Association Management Since 1984
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February 2015
eNews Monthly
The Legislature is in Session
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Summary of Filed Bills
by Ralph Troiano

The Texas legislature meets every two years and convened its 84th session on January 13th and will be in session for 140 days until June 1st. Senators and representatives were able to start filing bills for consideration in November. Things have been relatively quiet for property owners associations (POAs) with only a few bills filed so far.  Here is a summary of the significant filings.

  • HB 971 (Bohac - Houston) - This is a strange bill.  It requires that POA board members read specific Texas laws governing POAs and all governing documents for his/her POA (sounds reasonable).  It then stipulates that board members must uphold the law and the governig documents and faithfully discharge their duties (yes, they should).  And that they must file a sworn affidavit that they have read the documents and will faithfully discharge their duties (gee, I’m a volunteer, what am I getting set up for?).  If board members don’t file an affidavit then they are temporarily but automatically suspended from their position until they comply.  The other board members may appoint a temporary board replacement (if the replacement complies).  It is not clear what ramifications a board member or association could face as a result of these sworn affidavits.

  • HB 1072 (Thompson - Houston) - In the landmark 82nd session a bill was passed that automatically removes and permanently prevents a person from serving on a board who had been convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude.  This bill removes the permanent part and allows someone to serve if the conviction was more than 20 years ago. Interestingly, in a quite unlikely scenario, the law doesn’t prevent a person from serving on a Board even if they are still serving their sentence.

  • HB 939 (Dale - Austin) - Allows an owner to install a standby electric generator at their property.  It allows a POA to adopt guidelines to regulate certain aspects of the placement and operation of generators.

  • HB 748 (Issac - Austin) - Allows an owner to install an above ground propane tank in a size capable of serving the needs of the home.  A POA may adopt screening requirements.

  • HJR 55 (Villalba - Dallas) - This proposes to amend the Texas Constitution to prevent a POA from interfering with a person’s free exercise of religion.  If passed, this would go to a statewide vote in November.  The motivation for this bill is unclear since the Constitution already says "No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship."

  • HB 745 (Bohac - Houston) - In 2011 POAs got the right to install speed feedback signs on streets within its jurisdiction.  This bill gives POAs the right to install solar-powered LED stop signs.  I had never seen one of them!

So that’s a wrap-up of the early filings.  The deadline for filing bills is March 13th (with emergency bills allowed until the end of the session).  Texas has a great online resource for reading and following bills through the legislative process.  Visit http://www.legis.state.tx.us/ to follow your favorite.

Rampage Thrill on Hockey Night
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The San Antonio Rampage thrilled the fans with an exciting 5-3 victory over the Rochester Americans on our 7th annual C.I.A. Services Hockey Night on January 17th. The game lived up to expectations. The Rampage beat the Americans just 10 days earlier in their own house so Rochester came in with an attitude.  It was a physical game with 13 penalties.  The Rampage exploded with 3 goals in the middle period and carried the day.  The Rampage have historically had challenges on C.I.A. Services Hockey Nights but they are now officially 2-3-1-1 (wins, losses, overtime losses, shootout losses). They are now on a 1 game winning streak!

We had almost 400 guests join us this year. Many had never seen hockey in person and they had a ball. We gave everyone a nice guide to hockey that explained the rules (yes, there are rules!). Everyone won door prizes including the 7th in our collectible series of cowbells. The yellow bells matched our special Rampage t-shirts.  Our fans were frequently featured on the big screen as we cheered the Rampage to victory.

Click below to see photos of the fun from the last seven years.

2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009

 

Area Happenings
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Two Steps One Sticker

The great state of Texas is changing the requirements for car registration and inspection stickers.  Beginning March 1, 2015 the new sticker requirements go in effect. 

For more information visit Two Steps One Sticker.

Seminar Series
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We are pleased to announce our 2015 schedule for the C.I.A. Services Seminar Series.  We will again present seven classroom seminars and one webinar throughout the year - each at multiple locations with a total of 28 training sessions.  Click here to read the seminar descriptions and see the schedlue.  

Our core group of seminars will be back. Each seminar concentrates on the practical aspects of the topic and provides board members with background knowledge to help them in their decision making. We consistently receive positive feedback on the content and presentation.

  • Board Member Orientation
  • Advanced Topics for Board Members
  • Meeting & Records - The Legal Requirements
  • Understanding Collections & Financial Reports
  • The Super Budgeting Process
  • Practical Deed Restriction Management
  • Essentials of Architectural Control
  • Community Website Administrator

Each two-hour seminar begins at 6:00 pm and we provide deli sandwiches in case you come straight from work.  You’ll leave with a wealth of practical information and a notebook for future reference.  You can attend our one-hour webinar right from home!  

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Meetings & Records - The Legal Requirements

This is a critical seminar for understanding the legal responsibilities of board members and their associations under the laws enacted in the 82nd legislative session. This seminar deals with board and members meetings and how those meetings must be announced, conducted and documented. We’ll review what can be done in board executive sessions and unannounced meetings. We’ll cover elections and voting. And finally, we’ll explain members’ access to Association records. This is an extremely important seminar for all board members.

Space is limited and advance registration is required.  To register, please send an email to seminars@ciaservices.com.

02/11/15 - Wednesday

6 – 8 pm

North Houston

02/19/15 - Thursday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest Houston

02/24/15 - Tuesday

6 – 8 pm

San Antonio

 

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Understanding Collections & Financial Reports

The first half of this seminar will cover all the steps involved in successful assessment collections. Since not everyone pays on time, we’ll get into late fees, liens, payment plans, bankruptcy and all the legal remedies. The second half of the seminar deals with reading and understanding your financial reports. We’ll trace the flow of money throughout the reports so you’ll never be in the dark when staring at all those numbers.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. To register, please send an email to seminars@ciaservices.com.

03/10/15 – Tuesday

6 – 8 pm

San Antonio

03/19/15 – Thursday

6 – 8 pm

Southwest Houston

03/24/15 – Tuesday

6 – 8 pm

Humble

 

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Community Website Administrator Training Webinar

This is the required training course for certification as a Community Website Administrator (CWSA) on the C.I.A Services web site (www.ciaservices.com). As a CWSA you’ll be able to maintain the pages for your community. You’ll be able to create news and events, update key personnel, add community information, display photos, conduct surveys and much more. Being a website administrator is very easy on www.ciaservices.com and you can do it from anywhere you have an Internet connection. All CWSA training is done by webinar in the comfort of your home.

Space is limited and advance registration is required.  To register, please send an email to seminars@ciaservices.com.

03/12/15 – Thursday

6 – 7 pm

Webinar

 

Community of the Month
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Riverwalk Property Owners Association

We are proud of every one of our communities so it is always hard to find just one to highlight. We start by having each of our Community Managers write a nomination for one of their communities. We then read them and take a vote. Here are our most recent selections:

  • February - Riverwalk Propery Owners Association - North Office - Linda Morris
  • January - The Lakefront Association - Southwest - Gina Victor
  • December - The Lakes at Edgewater Estates Homeowners Association - Southwest Office - Nicole Toland
  • November - Kenswick Trace Homeowners Association - North Office - Jennifer Northington
  • October - Fairfax Village Homeowners Association - North Office - Sandy Castro
  • September - Belleau Wood Civic Club - North Office - Colline Chavera
  • August - Eastpoint Subdivision Homeowners Association - North Office - Kim Cowart

To see the full story on these communities and to see the past winners, visit the Community of the Month page on our web site.

Anniversaries
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Every month we appreciate the communities that are celebrating their anniversaries with us. Here are the clients that started with us in February.

  • Oyster Point Homeowners Association — 19 years
  • Oak Hollow Homeowners Association — 14 years
  • Eastpoint Subdivision Homeowners Association — 12 years
  • Silverglen North Homeowners Association — 12 years
  • Post Wood Civic Association — 11 years
  • Greensbrook Community Association — 9 years
  • Eilan Property Owners Association — 1 year
  • Eilan Condominium Association — 1 year

Our goal has always been to create a positive, long term relationship with all of our client communities. We are very proud to be managing all of these communities.

New Communities
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Reserve at Clear Lake Community Association

The Reserve at Clear Lake City (aka El Dorado at Clear Lake City) is being developed along El Dorado between Clear Lake City Boulevard and Space Center Boulevard by Trendmaker.  The vision for this community includes a recreation facility, activity pool, splash pad, pocket parks and tennis courts. 

Welcome aboard, we can’t wait to see you grow!

In Memoriam
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Rudy De La Cruz

It is with deep sadness that we extend our condolences to the family of Rudy De La Cruz.   Rudy passed away on December 23rd at 59 years of age.  He was the husband of Margie De La Cruz, a long time employee and stockholder from our Southwest office, and a friend of many.

Rudy was always quick to join the party.  He was well known for his love of music, especially his guitar.  Thank you, Rudy, for being a part of our lives; for entertaining us and for partying with us.  We have some wonderful memories and will miss you greatly.

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Edward Daniel “Dan” McKinnis

It is with heavy hearts that we say farewell to Edward Daniel “Dan” McKinnis. Dan served as a board member for the Colony Grant Association for many years. He was not only the Secretary of the board, Dan also volunteered to take on the huge responsibility of being the Chair of the Design Review Committee, which reviews all home improvement requests that are submitted to the community. Dan’s previous background in supervising extreme amounts of highway construction made him a wonderful candidate for this position. Dan was a great and reliable board member to work with. His straight forward approach of things will surely be missed. We appreciate the many years he and his wife Pamela have given to the Colony Grant Community.

Employee Corner
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Employee Anniversaries

Congratulations to Evan Ducote, a Maintenance Coordinator in our Southwest Office for reaching one year with the company.  We thank you for your service and look forward to many more years!

 

Read Past Issues of eNews Monthly

Every month, we issue an electronic newsletter, eNews Monthly, to keep clients informed about Association items, spotlight clients, answer frequently asked questions and let you know what is happening with the company. Old issues of eNews Monthly are available on our Library page.