Westcreek Living


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


Quote of the Month

 
 
"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses."

~Alphonse Karr





CULTIVATING AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
Thanksgiving offers us a time to sit back and reflect on all the things we should be grateful for - both personally and professionally.   Like many of us, we will begin to get wrapped up in the holiday madness and maybe forget to thank the people that help us day-in and day-out, those who work the long hours, and miss time with their own family to make the lives of families in the community just that much better.   It's important to take extra time during the holidays to pause, reflect, recharge, and re-commit to bringing gratitude to life.   For me, part of that process is reflecting on the ways we can bring more thankfulness into our leadership.   Not just because it's the "nice" thing to do but because it is a crucial part to building community relationships.   Giving thanks is about making people feel valued and when people feel valued, they are inspired to act more.   Gratitude is a selfless act and when action is taken unconditionally it shows people they are appreciated, and it becomes infectious.   It is also a sign of wisdom and maturity and an ingrained hallmark of humility.
 
The latest brain research shows that six doses of feeling 30 seconds of gratitude daily (a whopping 3 minutes a day) will enable your neurons to fire together and wire together around gratitude within a mere two weeks.   This means you'll more easily and frequently access the feeling of gratitude.   It will help you feel better and see the good things in life.   When combined   with a gratitude practice, you will be able to anchor that positive feeling into your brain and body, thus being able to call on that positive emotional reserve whenever you need to.   That power will give you the edge you need to quickly pivot during a stressful situation and allow you to focus not only on the present and how you can turn things around, but on hidden opportunities to be grateful.   
There are several ways you can incorporate gratitude into your daily routine, such as:   journaling, counting your blessings, honoring people with your time, saying a genuine thank you earnestly and often, giving the gift of giving back, offering to help people, and choosing the right goals.
 
While we tend to only think about gratitude during the holiday season or when a monumental event occurs, gratitude doesn't need to be limited to those two scenarios.   Gratitude stems from acknowledgement that where we have arrived didn't happen solely on our own.   Gratitude celebrates the good in the world and finds meaning in experiences. When we see our neighbors, friends, families, and even strangers, through the lens of gratitude, we will see the untapped potential and inspire both ourselves and others to achieve the impossible.  

It_s your money_

BOARD APPROVES 2019 BUDGET AND ASSESSMENTS 
 
With a few minor changes to the Finance and Reserve Study Committee proposal, the VWOA Board unanimously approved the new 2019 Operating Budget at the Open Board Meeting held on October 11th.  There will be no increased assessments or user fees in 2019, which is good news for all homeowners. 
 
Based on the current annual assessment of $396 per lot, our budgeted operating income of $1,460,546 will easily cover the budgeted operating expense of $1,300,600. That includes $107,400 in contributions to our reserve accounts for repair/replacement to HOA facilities and common areas, as recommended by the 2017 Reserve Study.  The 2019 budget also provides funds for the normal principal loan payments totaling $91,158 annually and additional monthly payments of $4,000 on the principal, which will help us pay the loan off sooner and save on interest charges.
 
Our Recreational Community Activities are doing well.  We expect them to continue to be self-sufficient while providing a wide variety of sports programs, instructional classes, and community events for all.  The 2019 budget anticipates revenues of $76,400 and conservatively projected expenses of $62,150.  That provides some leeway for expansion of additional programs/activities and/or unexpected program costs.          
 
As we get ready to begin a new fiscal year, the VWOA Board has approved a budget for 2019 that is conservative in projections of revenue and expenses, yet realistic.  To keep on track throughout the budget year, it is important that we all accept our fiduciary responsibilities.  We need to pay our assessments in a timely manner and support the community programs and events by volunteering when and where we can to help keep costs low.   
 
Do you have a question about some HOA financial subject?  Send it to me at VWOATreasurer@villagesofwestcreek.com, and I'll try to answer it in a future article. 
 
CLICK HERE to view our upcoming meetings schedule!

Submitted by:  Judi Cannon, VWOA Treasurer

Community Updates.  Mike Hunsucker


When our community was developed, the developer filed with the state a series of documents designed to uphold the integrity of our community and spell out the duties of our association, and the responsibilities of each of us, the owners. Those documents are often referred to as the governing documents are made up of the Articles of Incorporation, the Bylaws, and the CC&R's (Conditions, Covenants & Restrictions). 
  • The Articles of Incorporation is a short document that is filed with the Secretary of State. It simply states that a non-profit corporation is being formed (our community association). 
  • The Bylaws dictate the powers and duties of the Board of Directors (when meetings occur, how the Board is elected, etc.
  • The CC&R's dictate the powers and duties of the corporation and regulate both the physical characteristics of our development and the lifestyles of our residents.
Of all of the governing documents, the CC&R's are often the least understood but inarguably the most important. In order to close escrow on your home, you signed a series of papers, one of which stated that you had read the CC&R's and agree to abide by them. When escrow closed, you entered into a contractual agreement with the other owners in our community to conform to the dictates of those CC&R's. This is where some owners get confused. The confusion, however, is easily cleared up once the CC&R's are read, or re-read as the case may be. After all, how many of you read and understood the CC&R's before closing escrow? Those that did are to be applauded. The rest of us have had to take a crash-course on the CC&R's through trial and error.

Often, we have found out that we are in non-compliance to the CC&R's or Rules & Regulations (i.e. Standards, Administrative Resolutions and Forced Maintenance documents) through correspondence received by our management company. So, we dust off that old copy of the CC&R's (it took me half a day to remember where it was) and, sure enough, there it is in black and white, the exact restriction that we completely forgot about. Being responsible owners, we correct the situation and, armed with a new-found knowledge of our CC&R's, we continue with our lives, undisturbed (that is, until we "forget" something else and have to go through the process once again).

Often, we focus on the "pain in the neck" aspect of our CC&R's, but by doing so we miss the real beauty of their purpose. The CC&R's provide a structural framework to help residents of different backgrounds, ideals, and perceptions to live together in harmony and by doing so, the community and our property values benefit. If we had no architectural controls (as spelled out in the CC&R's) or no ability to correct violations of the Rules & Regulations (also spelled out in the CC&R's) i.e. Standards, Administrative Resolutions and Forced Maintenance documents, then there would be no harmony and ultimately our community and our property values would suffer. In other words, the CC&R's are good business...they help ensure that our property values are maintained, and our investments protected. 
  • Example: What would the impact on your property values be if your neighbor decided to repair automobiles in his parking area as a part-time job and decided to advertise with a big sign he nailed to the roof of his building? Furthermore, in order to attract attention to the sign, he painted his building bright red. This example may be a little over the top, but it applies equally to the neighbor who doesn't maintain his/her living area. The bottom line is that your property values would suffer. No one would want to buy your home and have to live next to such "chaos". Since market values are affected by the law of supply and demand, if the demand (or attractiveness) of your community is poor, then the supply (or cost) is reduced. When the demand is high (the community is aesthetically attractive) then the supply (or property values) are increased. The CC&R's promote conformity, which encourages harmony, which has a positive impact on the value of our community.

So, the next time you get a note from the management company explaining why you are in non-compliance with the CC&R's or Rules and Regulations (i.e. Standards, Administrative Resolutions and Forced Maintenance documents), take a moment to remember what the spirit of the CC&R's embrace (protection of your investment) and be thankful that our Board of Directors are taking their job seriously and are working to protect, preserve and enhance our property values.


 
CLICK HERE to view the CC&R's


 
KEY DATES FOR THE UPCOMING GENERAL ELECTION 
 
The Texas General Election will take place on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.  

 

Early voting ends on Friday, November 2, 2018.

  • CLICK HERE for early voting locations.
  • CLICK HERE for detailed information on how to register to vote, where to get a voter registration application and ID requirements! 
  • CLICK HERE for election information on the Bexar County Elections Department website or you can contact them at 210-335-VOTE.
SOURCE:  www.votetexas.gov/


The city of San Antonio notified Property Owners and/or Registered Voters that they were calling for a Special Election on Annexation for the area located within five miles of the boundary of Lackland Air Force Base and the Lackland Air Force Base - Medina Training Annex.  Parts of the Villages of Westcreek that fall within the proposed annexation area include the Woods, Oaks, Gardens, Park, Reserves, Hills, Bluffs, Willowbrook, Hollows and Summit.

It is important that if you live in the above targeted areas of the community, that you become fully informed and engaged about this ballot initiative and that you exercise your right to vote You will have two options on the ballot.
  • Option 1 - Allows the City of San Antonio to annex our community, impose property taxes and all planning, zoning, health and safety ordinances.
  • Option 2 - Prevents annexation while permitting the City of San Antonio to adopt and enforce land use ordinances to protect our military bases and their missions.
If you leave the ballot blank or vote for both Option 1 and 2, the result will be authorization of Option 2.

Remember that Early Voting ends Friday, November 2, 2018.

CLICK HERE for Early Voting Locations!

ELECTION DAY IS NOVEMBER 6TH!

Helpful Resources:


 
The VWOA Office will be closed on the following dates during the month of November. 

November 12, 2018 - Veterans Day Closed
November 21, 2018 - Day before Thanksgiving Closed
November 22, 2018 - Thanksgiving Day Closed
November 23, 2018 - Day after Thanksgiving Closed


CALLING ALL FOOD TRUCKS

Last month the Villages of Westcreek launched an experiment to see if there was enough interest and support within the community for us to host local Food Trucks.  What started with just two food trucks serving the community on Friday, Saturday and Monday evenings, has now expanded to several additional trucks offering their cuisine throughout the week. The support we received from community members and the Food Truck vendors has made this a successful venture.

If you know of a Food Truck that you think would be interested in joining the "StrEATS of Westcreek," have them contact the VWOA Office at 210-679-8761 during our normal business hours. There is a small $25 fee for each truck that participates in the program.  We only allow one truck per evening.

CLICK HERE to view the StrEATS of Westcreek Food Truck schedule!

 

The San Antonio Food Bank reports that their shelves are at historic lows, with only weeks of nonperishable food left in their inventory. The need typically spikes in the summer, but two factors were especially impactful this past summer:
  • Spiking utility bills, due to the relentless heat wave we experienced; and
  • A record number of children needing summer meals.

Their non-perishable supply is made up of what we commonly call their "12 Most Wanted" items like peanut butter, cereal, tuna, beans, rice, macaroni and cheese, chili, canned stew, canned soups, canned lunch meat, complete meals in a box or can, and pop top foods.


Currently, they are rationing donations, as there is not enough food for everyone's need. But your gift means more food, less rationing, and a healthier community.

In response to their call for action, the Villages of Westcreek Owners' Association is sponsoring a "Food Drive" thru the end of the year. 

WHEN AND WHERE TO DROP OFF YOUR NON-PERISHABLE DONATIONS
  • Drop off your donations during regular business hours at the VWOA Community Center located at 12395 Military Drive West.


1st ANNUAL HOLIDAY WREATH WORKSHOP

Unique Olivia's Design cordially invites you to join our 1st Annual Holiday Wreath Workshop.
 
$60 payable in advance or $30 deposit to hold your spot.  All Wreath Supplies, wine and light snacks will be provided!

You can reserve your slot at the VWOA Office during normal business hours.  The last day to register is November 1st!


Join us for a fun evening of Wreath Making!
                                                                              
1ST ANNUAL HOLIDAY WREATH WORKSHOP
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2018
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


 

Our goal is to help ensure that all Westcreek residents and New Beginnings Children's Home have a wonderful holiday.  These children need some holiday cheer, so please help them by adopting an angel this year.
 

HOW TO REGISTER AN ANGEL

If you or someone you know needs assistance this holiday season, please complete our Angel Tree Registration FormRegistration begins on Thursday, November 1, 2018.  Drop off the completed form during regular business hours at the VWOA Office or in the night deposit box located to the right of the Community Center front doors after hours. The deadline to submit your Registrations form is Friday, November 30, 2018. All ages are eligible and all information will be kept confidential.
 
HOW TO ADOPT AN ANGEL

Residents wishing to Adopt an Angel can visit the office. Simply, choose a tag from our Angel Tree, turn it around and you will see items needed for girls and boys, from tops and bottoms, to personal items.  All gifts must be returned to the office, wrapped, no later than Monday, December 17, 2018. For our Westcreek children and families, the gifts brought in can be picked up in the office by the families, or the office staff will deliver to homes.

If you have any questions please call the VWOA office at 210-679-8761.  
 
CLICK HERE to download Angel Tree Registration Form!


CHRISTMAS BAZAAR VENDORS NEEDED!

The Villages of Westcreek Owners' Association will be sponsoring our Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, December 8, 2018, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM in the Community Center.  If you are a vendor and would like to participate in this event, contact the VWOA Office at 210-679-8761. 


VENDOR INFORMATION
  • Only one vendor per product type will be allowed
  • Space is on a first come first serve basis 
  • Spots are $25 each
Vendors will be offering  a wide variety of arts and crafts, jewelry, candles, food and much more!!

Hope to see you there!


It's Bulk Trash time again. Now you can finally get that old college futon out of the garage or the busted chairs off your patio.

The Bulk Trash Pick Up will be on Saturday, December 1, 2018, from 8:00 AM -12:00 PM (or until the dumpsters get full). It will be in the Sports Park overflow parking lot.

This event is free for residents of the Villages of Westcreek. You must present a valid and current VWOA ID card to participate.  Last day to update your VWOA ID cards is by close of business on Friday, November 30, 2018.

Entry to the park will be on the west side of Military Drive West. There is a limit of 1 vehicle load per household. Every resident must be able to dispose of their trash into the dumpsters; if you need assistance, please plan accordingly. 

Trash Dumpsters are for regular trash only. Metal dumpsters will be labeled as such. Items containing hazardous materials are not acceptable for disposal.  Unacceptable items include, but are not limited to:  drums, paint, solvents, TVs, chemicals, oils, batteries, antifreeze, gas cylinders, refrigerators, Freon, gasoline, flammable liquids, explosives, tree stumps, tires, foam, rubber, or any other various item that contains hazardous materials.

If you have any questions please call the VWOA office at 210-679-8761. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS

The Villages of Westcreek Owner's Association held it's "1st Annual Halloween Pet Costume Contest" at the Fall Festival on October 27th.  

Check out our winners below!


1st Place Winner

Greg & Amanda White

Chinese Dragons

$60 Gift Certificate to Petsmart



2nd Place Winner


Kim Dixon

Ewok

$40 Gift Certificate to Petsmart



3rd Place Winner

John and Alexis Vanluvanee

Hot Dog

$20 Gift Certificate to Petsmart



4th Place Winner

Diane Veronie

Lady Bug

$20 Gift Card


Our next scheduled Community Yard Sales will be held on November 10, 2018 .  Community Yard Sales listings will be posted on the VWOA website, the day prior to the event.  If you wish to add your yard sale to the listing, please call the VWOA Office at 210-679-8761 by 12 noon on the Friday before the scheduled yard sale.



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

As we approach the Holiday Season, we thought it would be a good time to review the timelines on when you can display your outdoor holiday decorations!  
 
Holiday decorations may be displayed on the premises, without ARC approval.  Under our current guidelines, you can display your Christmas/New Year's holiday decorations forty (40) days prior to the holiday but they must be removed no later than 15 days after the holiday.
 
For all other holidays during the year, the decorations can be displayed 30 days before the holiday and must be removed no later than 15 days following the actual holiday date.

Special event decorations such as birthdays, anniversaries, newborns, returning veterans, etc., may only be displayed on the premises for three (3) days without the Standards Department's approval if the number of decorations are minimized and, the decorations and signs are not  placed anywhere else within the Villages of Westcreek, including the properties fronting any entrance to the Villages of Westcreek.  
 
We hope you find the chart below helpful as you decorate for the upcoming Holiday season!
   
HOLIDAY
DECORATIONS UP
DECORATIONS DOWN
Halloween
October 1st November 16th
Thanksgiving October 23rd December 8th
Christmas and New Years
November 15th January 16th
 
Reference:  Section 6.7 of the Standards

CLICK HERE to view the Standards!

Submitted by:  Gene Hopkins, Chair, Architectural Review Committee 

Standards Review

RESIDENTIAL FENCING AND STAINING

When homeowners repair or replace the wooden fencing for homes that back-up to the major streets (Military Drive West, Westcreek Oaks Drive, Westcreek View, Talley Road, Potranco Road and North Grosenbacher Road except for the fencing that belongs to Rustic Oaks) the cedar pickets must be six (6) inches wide and the same height that was originally installed by the builder.  

The staining of the above fences is the responsibility of the VWOA therefore, once the fencing has been repaired or replaced, the homeowner is to call the Community Manager at 679-8761 who will make arrangements to have our Maintenance Department apply the appropriate stain.  If the kick boards have been removed by our Maintenance Department, they will be replaced by the VWOA before the staining takes place.
    
The Architectural Review Committee's (ARC) approval is not required if homeowners replace any portion of the six (6) foot high vertical wooden fencing with the same pickets (cedar or treated wood); same picket widths; match the current stain if applicable; and without altering or extending any part of the fencing.  Any other fence changes require ARC's prior approval.  

Reference:   Section 6.5 of the Standards  

CLICK HERE to view the Standards!

The ARC meets every Tuesday at 4:30 PM at the Community Center.

Submitted by:  Gene Hopkins, Chair, Architectural Review Committee


         
This is a dark, yet extremely important topic to discuss.  Human trafficking is a scary situation to think about, yet is a real problem.  According to the San Antonio Police Department:
 
Human Trafficking is defined as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery. It includes any act in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age. The majority of victims are said to be women and children (SAPD, n.d.).   
 
Remaining vigilant in your environment is crucial.  This means phones down, eyes up.
  • Keep your children near when out in a public venue. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings- people around who seem to linger, vehicles parked near you with occupants. 
  • Talk to children about stranger danger and being aware of their surroundings. 
  • Warn older children about technological avenues that may be used to make contact, such as in live video game interactions, apps, and social media. 
  • Enable parental security settings on devices where possible.
  • Learn self-defense. 
  • Have an action plan- while opinions and levels of comfort in protection may differ, it is important to develop a plan to protect yourself or loved ones if you encounter a dangerous situation.
    • Help advocate for others recognizing signs of a potential child victim such as changes in attendance, physical appearance, behavior, interests, or unexplained injuries. 
If you suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking, you may call the following: 
  • For Emergencies: 
    • Call 911 
  • For Non-Emergencies reporting: 
    • Bexar County Sheriff's Office:
      • 210-335-6000 (Non-Emergency Line) 
    • San Antonio Police Department:
      • Sex Crimes Unit - 210-207-2313, M-F, 7:45 AM till 5:45 PM
      • Night Detectives- 210-207-7389, after-hours 
Source:
Submitted by: Jacqueline Khalaf, RN, CPST



The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home. 

Did you know Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment? Here are some safety tips to keep your Thanksgiving day safe.  
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food. 
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently. 
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns. 
  • Keep the floor clear so you don't trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children. 
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child. 
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children - up high in a locked cabinet. 
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Should you need us... We'll be there for you! From all of us here at Bexar County 2 Fire Department.


OUR BROTHER'S KEEPER

Crime, or the fear of, provides the impetus for the citizens to become better informed on how to protect themselves and their property.

Getting back to the old adage of being our "brother's keeper," the Neighborhood Watch program is about neighbors watching out for other neighbors. Neighbors are asked to be the eyes and ears in helping the police with apprehending criminals. Neighborhood Watch is not designed to be a substitute for police protection; rather it is an extension or supplement in assisting the police in making neighborhoods safer for all citizens.

Neighborhood Watch operates under two principles: neighbors getting to know and watch out for each other, and neighbors watching out for each other's property as though it were their own. Neighborhood Watch helps to create an identity within the neighborhood, which in turn fosters a sense of pride and belonging for the participants.
The participants make their neighborhood a safer place to live by adopting a more observant and active attitude and, as a result, become more aware of strange cars, persons, or circumstances. This will not take a lot of time and soon will develop into a daily habit of being aware of what is going on in the neighborhood.

If you would like to setup a Neighborhood Watch in your area, please call the Bexar County Crime Prevention Unit at 210-335-6148 or 210-335-6155 for a presentation. This is a FREE service of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.
 


ACTIVE SHOOTER TRAINING

November 19, 2018, 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Oak Hill Church, Westside Fellowship
  321 N. General McMullen, San Antonio, Texas 78237


Submitted by:  Deputy Chief Jimenez, Bexar County Sheriff's Office



S AUSAGE, DRIED CRANBERRY AND APPLE STUFFING

CLICK HERE for recipe

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