Westcreek Living


Published monthly by the Villages of Westcreek Owners' Association 
Communications Committee - August 2018 Edition!

Quote of the Month

 


"Real, sustainable community change requires the initiative and engagement of community members."
   
~ Helene D. Gayle   

CLICK HERE to view the approved minutes from the Board of Directors Meetings.
What's Happening. Click here to view our online calendar of events and meetings!


At the Board of Directors Meeting held on June 21, 2018, the Board approved Administrative Resolution 46, which officially dissolved the Landscaping, Public Safety and Sports Park Committees.  At the same time, they established a standing committee called the "Suggestions and Recommendations Committee" (SARC).  The SARC will basically advise and assist the Board in making creative suggestions in the planning of future projects for our community.

By volunteering to serve on this committee, you are becoming our "Champions for Change" and can have a positive impact on our community.  Whether it's an issue with the appearance of the Common Areas, Public Safety, Amenities, Activities etc., you will be in a position to take an idea and see it become a reality.  If at least one of these issues concerns you and you're passionate about it , this is your opportunity to do something about it.

For our community to thrive and grow, we are looking for volunteers to step up and be the "Champions for Change," so that we can meet the challenges ahead of us and better serve the community by planning for the future.

If you have any questions regarding this committee or would like to volunteer, please feel free to contact me at the email address listed below.


Submitted by:  Richard Gentry, VWOA President


Recently we sat down with our pool monitors to see how the season was going, and how the Board can better help them accomplish the goal of keeping the pools safe and enjoyable for all of our residents. One thing that came to light was the need to ensure residents know about changes in pool rules, operating hours, or special activities in advance.  The Board and Community Manager will do our best to keep residents well informed of changes as quickly as possible.  Hopefully, this will improve the experiences for all residents when using the pools and other activities throughout the community.  

With that pledge in mind, we want everyone to know the Board decided at their July 19th meeting to reinstate the closing of each pool one day each week for thorough cleaning and to allow filters to recharge. Be sure to check the Pool Calendar on the VWOA website for the complete pool schedule. Communication is very important, and we will do our best to keep everyone well informed.  

The pools will close for weekly cleaning and maintenance as follows:
  • The Community Center Pool will be closed every Monday, starting on August 6, 2018.  This will not affect early morning swim from 5:00 AM to 7:00 AM.
  • The Sports Park Pool will be closed every Tuesday, starting on August 7, 2018.
The biggest issue that the pool monitors mentioned was the treatment they have been receiving from some of our residents.  Please remember, it is NOT okay for any resident to use foul language or threatening behavior toward the pool monitors, or anyone else, while using VWOA common areas. The pool monitors and other employees are only doing their jobs, and enforcing rules the Board has established. T hese rules and instructions are meant to protect not only the resident, but also those around the resident. If any employee asks something of you that you don't agree with, please call or email the Community Manager or the Board, or attend the next monthly Board Meeting to address the issue.

Sadly, in the majority of cases those who are verbally abusive to our pool monitors are adults.  Please keep in mind, most of our pool monitors are young people between the ages of 16-18, doing their best to enforce the established rules.  Adults becoming aggressive or belligerent with them can be quite intimidating.  Verbal abuse or threatening behavior by any pool patron is totally unacceptable.  Such conduct can lead to suspension of the resident's access to the pools or even result in having law enforcement called to issue a citation or possibly to arrest individuals, depending upon the severity of the incident.  None of us want that in our neighborhood or around our families.  We want everyone to enjoy all that the Villages of Westcreek has to offer each and every day. Things aren't always going to be perfect, and we are not always going to agree on everything. However, we should all be able to have mature and productive conversations when issues arise.  If we all work together, we can continue to improve every day and keep the Villages of Westcreek a great place to raise our families.

Submitted by:  Richard Gentry, VWOA President

CLICK HERE to download the Pool Rules
CLICK HERE to view the Pool Schedules

Community Updates.  Mike Hunsucker

RFID CARDS COMING SOON!
 
The Radio Frequency ID (RFID) cards will be here soon. With these new cards, residents will be able to scan for entry to the pools, Sports Park, and any of the Westcreek amenities.

We are currently in the process of testing the gate closures and software systems for the new Access control systems. As always, everyone 12 and over will be receiving a new card and they will have pictures just like the cards you have now. 

The way the process will work is that we will set three dates for you to come to the office or pools to get your cards.  Once these dates have passed we will send out an announcement that the gates will be turned on and you will no longer be able to access the gated areas without your card. Security and VWOA staff (including pool, park and party monitors) still will be checking every ID to make sure that it is with the resident that it was assigned to. In the event that it is not, the card will be confiscated. At that time the owner of the card will have to come to the office to get his/her card back.

Our HOA and numerous ones like it have an issue with people who do not live here, who are not guests, trying to sneak in to use the facilities. This adds wear and tear; it also shortens the life of the facilities. I have heard a few complaints about the security guards turning people away due to the cards being out of date. 

The RFID cards will be turned off if the owner has a balance and an alert will be sent to the guards and staff that a card that is not active has been used. That person will be located and asked to leave the park or pool areas. Just like in the past you are required to be current on your assessments to be allowed to use the amenities. 

It_s your money_

The Finance and Reserve Study Committee held its first meeting July 10 and we are off to a good start for our 2019 Budget.  We can always use homeowner input, so if you would like to volunteer on the committee, attend the next meeting at 3:00 PM on August 14, 2018.  All homeowners are welcome to attend and any ideas or questions will be considered.

Have you ever struggled to understand those financial numbers presented at the monthly Board meetings?  Well, I have too!  So, we are revising how that information is provided at the Board meetings. We believe it will give us all a clearer view of our HOA financial health. 

Firstly, we will provide an "abbreviated" Operating Statement (also referred to as the Income and Expense Statement) each month. It will show the Revenues and Expenses generated for the previous month, as well as year to date.  The difference between total revenues (like assessments and use fees) and total expenses (such as payroll, admin costs, contractors, and maintenance) is the net income or loss for the period or year. By comparing those figures to our annual budget, we get a good picture of how well we are meeting our budgeted goals for the year.   

Secondly, we will also provide a "snapshot" of our HOA net worth by providing an "abbreviated" Balance Sheet, showing all assets, liabilities, and equity.  Assets are made up of the things we own or anticipate earning; i.e., cash, receivables, and property.  Liabilities are what we owe or expect to owe in the future; i.e., payables for expenses incurred but not yet paid, such as salaries, contracts, and loans.  Liabilities may also include some "deferred" items that take into consideration revenues received, but not yet earned, which could need to be refunded before they are earned.(For example; a homeowner pays assessments for the entire year, but sells his home and moves in June.  The HOA would owe him a refund for the last six months of the year.)  Equity accounts show the worth built up in the HOA over all the years of its existence.  This is shown as retained earnings from previous years and the balances in our reserve accounts.  By deducting the total of the liabilities and equity from the total of assets, we arrive at the net income or loss for the current year at a specific point in time. That figure on the Balance Sheet should be the same as the net income or loss shown on the Operating Statement at that point.

By the way, if you're wondering about that word "abbreviated," rest assured everything is included.  It's simply that it would be far too lengthy to list every single account, so we will consolidate operating revenues and expenses into larger categories and do the same for the assets and liabilities on the balance sheet.  Should anyone wish to view greater detail, the more expanded statements are always available on the Spectrum Homeowner Portal.  

CLICK HERE to view our upcoming meetings schedule!

Submitted by:  Judi Cannon, VWOA Treasurer


PAYMENT PLANS ARE AVAILABLE

If you need extra time to pay your assessments, fill out the form below to see if you qualify for a payment plan. Payment plan requests are reviewed within two business days, and if approved, a payment plan agreement will be emailed to sign and return to our office within five business days.
Submitted by:  Melissa Garcia, Administrative Director

The Villages of Westcreek Owners' Association is in the very early stages of planning a "Town Hall Meeting" to be held on Saturday, August 25, 2018.  

Please "SAVE THIS DATE" and watch your emails for additional information in the coming weeks.

Westcreek Living is looking for a master gardener in our community to write very brief articles for our monthly publication. We would love to be able to inform residents about the best times to prune trees, when to plant tomatoes, what might be making that brown patch on their lawn, and other topics of interest. Articles would be short, no more than three paragraphs. Or it even could be just a Tip of the Month.

If you are a master gardener (or similarly qualified) who would like to help your Westcreek neighbors, please contact Michelle de Jongh at
mmsdej@yahoo.com.

Submitted by:  Michelle de Jongh, Secretary, Communications Committee 

COMMUNITY CENTER HALL

If you are looking for a venue to host your holiday party or other special event, why not consider renting our Community Center Hall?  We are currently booking private parties through the end of the year.  Maximum capacity is 138 persons.
  • CLICK HERE to download the Community Center Hall Reservation Contract.
  • CLICK HERE to see all scheduled Community Center Hall parties on our online calendar!
SPORTS PARK PAVILION
 
The perfect place for that large outdoor party gathering. The covered pavilion features a large barbeque pit, picnic tables, ceiling fans, restrooms and power sources! 
  • CLICK HERE to download our Sports Park Pavilion Reservation Contract.
  • CLICK HERE to see all scheduled Sports Park Pavilion parties on our online calendar! 
POOLS
 
Did you know you can book one of our pools for private parties?  Pool parties can be reserved in the evening from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM.  Only one pool is reserved per evening.
  • CLICK HERE to download our Pool Party Reservation Contract.
  • CLICK HERE to see all scheduled Pool parties on our online calendar! 
If you have any questions on our facility rentals, please feel free to call the VWOA Office at 210-679-8761.

DON'T DELAY ... BOOK TODAY!

Submitted by:  Melissa Garcia, Administrative Director


Would you know what to do if you were caught in the middle of an "Active Shooter" event?  
 
According to FBI data, there were 250 such events in the United States between 2000 and 2017.  Of those, 50 occurred in 21 states during the last 2 years.  During that two-year period, Texas led the nation with 6 events.  After each of these horrible events, you may have asked yourself, "What would I do if I were in this situation?"
 
Since 2002, the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Program at Texas State University has been used to train law enforcement officers across the nation in how to rapidly respond to dangerous active threat situations. Over the years, we've seen response times shorten and the capabilities of law enforcement increase.  
 
Because of increased public awareness, many citizens have asked what they can do to protect themselves and reduce the dangers faced during one of these events. Avoid/Deny/Defend was developed as an easy method for individuals to follow.
 
CLICK HERE to learn more about this program and the steps you can take to protect yourself and reduce the dangers faced during these events.
 
Source(s):  
Submitted by:  Bill Fenstermacher, Chair, Communications Committee

Public sidewalks in our community were designed for the free and unobstructed flow of pedestrian traffic.  However, often we see instances where this access is hindered by those who fail to realize that blocking sidewalks and the driveway aprons that are sidewalk connections, forces all pedestrians including handicap persons, parents with strollers and, children walking to and from school to use the street or the resident's lawns.  Any object including trash and recycle containers are to be placed in the street next to the curb on scheduled pickup days.  Blocking sidewalks is a Class C Misdemeanor.  Residents may report these violations to the Bexar County Sheriff's Office non-emergency number at 210-335-6000. 
Here are some additional things we can do to keep the sidewalks in our community safe and free of obstructions.
  • Keep sidewalks free from any hazards such as trash/recycle containers, basketball hoops, parked cars, garden debris, children toys or any other objects.
  • Keep all trees and shrubs on the premises well-trimmed so that they will not overhang the sidewalks or streets in such a way as to interfere with free passage.
  • If the sidewalks in front of residential homes are damaged, they also present       a safety hazard such as tripping and/or falling, and may be reported to the Bexar County Publics Works Department via .http://www.bexar.org/1526/Report-an-Issue
References:
  Submitted by:  Gene Hopkins, Chair, Architectural Review Committee
Standards Review

WHAT THE STANDARDS SAY ABOUT TRASH CONTAINERS

Trash and recyclable containers and any other refuse for trash pickup are to be placed in the street next to the curb and may not be put out earlier than 5:00 PM the day before the scheduled collection day and are to be stored out of sight from the street by 9:00 AM the following day.  

The containers are to be stored behind the front fencing or in the garage to present a safe, clean and attractive appearance of the property.   

Remember, curb appeal sells homes!



CLICK HERE to download the Standards! 


Submitted by:  Gene Hopkins, Chair, Architectural Review Committee

August is the month when we prepare to send children off to school, whether as first time or returning students.  While children travel to school via a number of different methods, it is important to consider the risks and talk to kids about safety.  Here are some helpful tips to consider in raising awareness of back to school safety.

Walking to School:
  • Walk on sidewalks if possible. If unavailable, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
  • Children under 10 should not cross the street without an adult.
  • Don't be distracted-phones and other devices down, eyes up.
  • Be aware of your surroundings-be on the lookout for loose animals, strangers, and motor traffic.
  • Always cross at crosswalks. Don't run, to prevent tripping and falling.
  • Look left-right-left and ensure vehicles will stop before proceeding to cross the street.
  • Make eye contact and wave to the motorist. If they wave back, this indicates they have seen you.
  • Consider your "second edge"-sometimes crossing happens mid-block instead of at crosswalks, such as between two cars.  Make sure to stop at the edge of the vehicle (second edge) to look left-right-left again so that you see approaching traffic and drivers see you.
  • Hold the hands of little ones when crossing streets. Children can play or run, not understanding the dangers in crossing the street.
  • Make sure children are visible using reflective equipment, lights, or wearing bright colors when it is darker outside.
Biking to School and Other Wheeled Equipment:
  • Check equipment prior to travel, like tires and reflective equipment.
  • Wear protective equipment such as helmets, knee and elbow pads.
  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Make sure children are visible using reflective equipment, lights, or wearing bright colors when it is darker outside.
  • Use sidewalks when possible.  If unavailable, ride with traffic at as far a distance as possible from cars.
Hot Cars:
  • Do not leave children unattended in cars, particularly in hot cars, to run quick errands.
  • Temperatures inside cars can exceed 125 degrees within minutes.
  • Children have died from heatstroke in cars in temperatures as low as 60 degrees.
Stay Safe!

References:

HIGH FIRE DANGER!

Every year, wildfires burn across the United States, and a growing number of people are living where wildfires are a real risk. In 2017, a total of 12,306 structures were destroyed by wildfires, including more than 8,000 homes and more than 200 commercial buildings. The National Weather Service issues fire weather watches or warnings (also known as Red Flag Days) when weather conditions will support increased wildfire activity and rapid fire growth. We often hear about wildfires happening far away from us, but it can and has happened close to home. In 2011 we encountered our own scare as all the ideal conditions of a RED FLAG DAY were met and a large brush fire erupted in the heavily wooded area off Highway 211 and Potranco Road across from Citibank, known as the "Pat Gross Fire." This fire spread quickly into the tree crowns and consumed approximately 2200 acres within 24 hours before it was contained.
    
Be ready for A RED FLAG DAY!
  • Take steps ahead of time and PREPARE TO PUT YOUR PLAN INTO ACTION.
  • A FIRE WEATHER WATCH is issued when conditions will be present within 12-72 hours.
  • A FIRE WEATHER WARNING (Red Flag) is issued when the conditions will be present within 24 hours.
PREPARATION WELL IN ADVANCE OF A FIRE:
  • Complete a home inventory - this will assist in talking with your insurance provider should you suffer a loss due to a wildfire. 
  • Sign up for local Emergency Notifications/Alerts.
  • Have an evacuation Plan and a designated meeting place.   
  • Ensure everyone in the household knows the plan and meeting place location.
  • Have an off-site phone number (relative, etc.), where family members can check in and provide status information.
  • Have a plan and supplies for your pets.
WHAT TO DO DURING WATCHES OR WARNINGS:
  • Make sure there's at least a 72-hour supply of important medications in your go-bag.
  • Know which personal items (pictures, documents, etc.), have been prioritized to take if time permits, when evacuation is necessary. 
  • Remove deck/patio furniture, cushions and door mats to prevent ember ignitions.
  • Remove portable propane tanks from the deck/patio.
  • Know how to turn off the gas to the home.
  • Make sure windows, doors and garage doors are closed.
Submitted by:  Rudy S. Khalaf, Division Chief Bexar County Emergency Service District No. 2 

TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID VEHICLE BREAK-INS

In recent weeks we have seen reports of vehicle thefts and break-ins within in our community.  We reached out to Deputy Sheriff David A. Meyer Jr., Patrol Division/Community Services of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, for some crime prevention tips regarding this issue.  Listed below are some of those tips he shared with us.
  • Do not leave valuables in plain view: (GPS devices, lap tops, PDA's, cell phones, MP3's, wallets, purses).
  • Do not leave windows or sunroof open. 
  • Do not leave doors unlocked. 
  • Do not leave keys in the vehicle. 
  • Do not leave the garage door opener in plain view. 
  • Do not leave out items with personal information. 
  • Do not move valuable items to the trunk while in public view.
  • Slow Down and use common sense before you leave your car.
The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL the Bexar County Sheriff's Office to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. Remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes!

Submitted by:  Bill Fenstermacher, Chair, Communications Committee


For the second year, the Villages of Westcreek will be collecting school supplies for New Beginnings Children's Home & NISD

New Beginnings Children's Home is a non-profit agency providing a safe and therapeutic living environment for abused, neglected, and displaced children's ages 5 thru 17.  These children are under the care of Child Protective Services.  The facility is located about 10 miles from Westcreek on County Road 3821 in Medina County.     
 
They currently have 11 children from elementary school to high school.  There are 7 girls and 4 boys.  These kids need all the regular school supplies, so anything you can donate will be greatly appreciated.  New Beginnings will accept gift cards so they can purchase schools supplies for the kids.
 
You can drop the supplies off at the VWOA Community Center, 12395 Military Drive West, San Antonio, Texas 78253, Monday thru Friday from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM.  Supplies may also be dropped off Saturday, August 17th (Casino Night), where every school supply donated will receive an additional 50 chips per item. Please bring the supplies by August 17th so we can get them out there in time for school.  If you need to have other arrangements for drop off, contact me at glbruce@att.net. 
 
Thank you for your support for this endeavor.  I have been going to the facility for about 3 years and believe me, these kids greatly appreciate everything we do for them. 
  • CLICK HERE to learn more about New Beginnings Children's Home 
  • CLICK HERE for Clarence Galm Elementary School Supply list 
  • CLICK HERE for Ott Elementary School Supply list
Submitted by:  Glennda Bruce, Westcreek Homeowner
Community Activities from the desk of Jason Dunbar.


We are excited to announce that we are going to have our "Casino Night" on August 17th, from 7:00 PM till midnight at the VWOA Community Center!
 
TICKET SALES
 
You can purchase your tickets at the VWOA Community Center during normal business hours.  Tickets go on sale as follows:
  • Residents - July 30th!  ($25 per ticket - $40 per couple)
  • Non-Residents - August 6th!  ($40 per ticket - $55 per couple)

CLICK HERE to download flyer and view details about this special event!


NEW HEALTH AND FITNESS CLASS

��
Come have fun shimmying away calories while dancing to belly dance music!  All levels welcome.  Coin sash skirts will be provided.
  • 8-week session: $79.00 or $12.00 per class.
  • Monday 7:00 PM to 7:45 PM in the Community Center
  • Classes start on September 10, 2018, and end on October 29, 2018
CLICK HERE to download flyer about this class and other classes being offered by SMASH!
CLICK HERE to view all Health and Fitness Class Schedules!

REGISTER EARLY AND SAVE!

Registration Dates:
  • Early Bird - May 22, 2018 through September 2, 2018
  • Regular - September 3, 2018 through September 23, 2018
  • Late - September 24, 2018 through October 12, 2018
CLICK HERE for program details and registration!

Join us for a night of fun, family and baseball as the San Antonio Missions take on the Texas League!   Ticket prices include both the Tailgate Party and Game tickets!

TAILGATE PARTY STARTS AT 6:00 PM

GAME STARTS AT 7:00 PM

Please contact Jason Dunbar, our VWOA Community Activities Director, at 210-679-8761 for additional information or questions!


You can RSVP at the VWOA Community Center for the SpongeBob Paint Party!

Like most residents in the Villages of Westcreek, I love where I live!  When you think about it, although this is an older established community, we have a lot to be proud of.

That being said, there seems to be an infestation of bugs in our neighborhood ... or should I say "Litterbugs!"  Walking and driving along our major streets in our community, I see signs of these pesky pests everywhere.  Littering, if left unchecked, can become the blight of our neighborhood and the environment. 

The sad thing is that litter takes away from the beauty of our community.  The good thing is that we can all do something about it.  We just need to recognize that littering is a behavioral problem and only we can change this behavior.  So let's look at some of the behavioral things we can do. 
  • Set an example for others, especially children, by not littering.
  • Carry a litterbag in your car.
  • Make sure trash cans have lids that can be securely fastened. If you have curbside trash collection, don't put loose trash in boxes. 
  • Tie papers in a bundle before placing them in a curbside recycling bin. 
  • If you or a member of your family is involved in a civic group, scouting, or recreational sports program, encourage the group to "adopt" a spot in our community and maintain it on a regular basis.
  • If you walk the neighborhood, take a trash bag with you to pick up litter.  You stay fit while you're helping keep Westcreek beautiful. 
  • Make litterbags for your bicycle, and give them to your friends, too.
  • Report areas where people have illegally dumped garbage and debris to our HOA or local highway or public works departments and ask that the material be removed. 
  • Volunteer to help organize a cleanup.
Remember that littered environments attract more litter.  If we ensure consistent and ongoing clean-up efforts and promote a sense of personal responsibility, we can decrease the amount of existing litter.  In addition, we can reduce the cost to the HOA because we keep our community clean and attractive within budget.

Submitted by:  Bill Fenstermacher, Chair, Communications Committee


Our next scheduled Community Yard Sales will be held on August 11, 2018.  Community Yard Sales listings will be posted on the VWOA website, the day prior to the event.

Submitted by:  Melissa Garcia, Administrative Director


At the Farmers Market_
WESTCREEK FARMERS MARKET

T he VWOA is hosting a Farmers Market from
9:00 AM till 4:00 PM every Wednesday.
   
Stop by the market and select from among their fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables.  The
market is located in the overflow  parking lot adjacent to the Com
munity Center.  They accept cash, checks and credit cards.

Support our Local Farmers!
 

Submitted by:  Melissa Garcia, Administrative Director
In the Westcreek Kitchen_ mixing it up_ 


GRILLED STUFFED JALAPENO CHILIES

 CLICK HERE to download this recipe!

Useful Links_


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