Westcreek Living


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


Quote of the Month

 
 
"Just like waves in the ocean come and go, no challenge is permanent. Problems will come and go too. We must enjoy the Challenges just like we enjoy the Waves."    

~ Anonymous
   


TOWN HALL RECAP

Approximately sixty residents turned out to hear speakers and ask questions at the VWOA Town Hall Meeting on August 25th.  The focus of the meeting was two-fold: the upcoming annexation vote and neighborhood safety and security.

State Representative for District 117 Philip Cortez addressed the issue of annexation coming for vote on November 6th. There will be two options on the ballot: a "yes" vote for Option 1 is a vote FOR annexation, while a "yes" vote for Option 2 is a vote AGAINST annexationOnly the area of Westcreek south of Military Drive and east of Grosenbacher Road is under consideration for annexation.   Therefore, only the residents living in that area will vote on the issue - this time around. Representative Cortez pointed out that further annexation might follow in future years, and stressed the importance of voting.   Annexation will mean additional city property taxes and fees.   It will also bring changes in services and amenities provided, although some of those amenities, such as street lights, could be years in coming.  Your VWOA Board will be working closely with Representative Cortez in the coming weeks to provide all residents with additional information on this very important issue. Representative Cortez was one of the leaders who fought for the state law that was successfully passed to allow those living in areas considered for annexation to be allowed to vote on their fate.  

Lieutenant Eric Colbert of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) spoke on criminal activity in the area and answered questions from residents related to specific incidents.   When asked about manning, he said the BCSO is currently in a hiring mode and just this week graduated 23 new officers, some of whom will be assigned to the west portion of Bexar County.   Lieutenant Colbert stressed the need for residents to be proactive by keeping home and vehicle doors locked, keeping valuables out of public view, and most importantly, being aware of and reporting suspicious occurrences in the neighborhood.

Captain Marc Garcia of the Bexar County Constable's Office provided statistics on the security patrols recently implemented by your VWOA Board.   Starting in June for a trial period of 3 months, the Board hired Captain Garcia and three more constables to patrol the Villages of Westcreek during their off-duty hours.  The constables are patrolling between the hours of 7:00 PM and 6:00 AM, seven days a week.   The actual hours of patrol are flexible and altered from day to day.   While no arrests have been made in the 2 ½ months since implementation, the statistics indicate the presence of these patrols have definitely been a deterrent to speeding, vehicle break-ins, and graffiti tagging.   During this period the patrols have driven 1060 miles, made contacts with 54 pedestrians, contacted 52 suspicious vehicles, and provided 30 assists to BCSO.   Captain Garcia provided residents with several suggestions for improving their own security: keep vehicles backed into driveway with doors locked, keep valuables out of sight, keep shrubbery trimmed, and consider installing security cameras and/motion lights.

Thanks to each of our speakers for taking time to address some important issues and answer some pressing questions.   Also, thanks to the residents who came out to hear them and show that the Villages of Westcreek is interested in making our community better in every way possible.   Maybe each person who attended this Town Hall Meeting will bring a neighbor with him/her for the next one!

Submitted by:  Judi Cannon, VWOA Treasurer


The community would like to say THANK YOU to Angie Clancy for hosting the Summer Masterminds program based on the book Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn.  Ms. Clancy's foundation, Grace Under Fire Leadership and Development, LLC, offered this 4-week program free of charge to the youth in the Villages of Westcreek.  During this program, teens explored and developed tools to help them turn life's failures into a learning experience. The families that participated in this program have had nothing but amazing things to say.  We would like to share with you some of the participants' comments about this special opportunity.

Amaya Davis:

"My name is Amaya, and I am 12 years old. I was able to take the Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn course over the summer.  I've already been able to apply this book and class to my life. For instance, in Volleyball Camp, a friend and I decided to do Volleyball Camp together. The first day was harder for her than others. I told her the book that we're reading is meant to help us with losses and failures. But I had to help her see that she isn't failing, she's learning. Most people don't see that you're learning. Most people think that you've lost or you've failed. But all you have to do is say, "I'm learning, and that's what matters." The second day was a challenge for me and was hard to keep my head up, but I still managed to learn through the difficulties.

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to learn these lessons."

Abigail Hamilton:

"The book that we read really helped me be a better me.   Chapter 4, responsibility, helped me learn that I need to take responsibility for my actions, not anybody else's.   The teacher was also helpful because you could always ask her a question and she would answer right away.   It made me feel good about myself and things I could do.   I loved being in that class so much!! I hope she does it again!"
 
Derrick Sentmore:
 
"I really enjoyed going to those classes.   The biggest impact it had on me was realizing that there is more to life than just myself.   The teacher was amazing - she was upbeat; she wasn't boring and was fun to be around.   I especially liked how everybody was open about what they were saying."  

Submitted by: Heather Mallia, VWOA Vice President
It_s your money_

What is the difference between our REPLACEMENT/REPAIR RESERVE FUND and our CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUND?
 
The definitions for common interest communities, such as our Homeowners' Association (HOA), are quite different from the definitions used in business for tax purposes.  Let's discuss how they apply to our HOA.
 
REPLACEMENT/REPAIR RESERVES:  funds put aside from regular assessments for replacing or repairing existing common interest components.  The recent resurfacing of our community pools and decks falls into this category.  A project such as resurfacing our overflow parking areas would also be a replacement/repair reserve expenditure, as would upgrades made to our Sports Park facilities.  These types of projects paid from this reserve account are not typically subject to HOA membership vote, just Board approval.   
 
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS:  any material discretionary addition or voluntary upgrade to our common areas, including discretionary alterations to the appearance of the development.  Capital improvements are primarily items the HOA does not currently have; for example, a new clubhouse or riding stables. But they also may include significant upgrades to existing common area components.  Capital improvements are typically funded from a separate account that receives funds from regular assessments, special assessments, or bank loans.  Our HOA by-laws require a vote by two-thirds of the eligible members for capital improvement projects.  

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


The Board of Directors and Staff are pleased to announce that Tyrik Green was hired as the new Standards Manager for the Villages of Westcreek effective August 20, 2018.

Tyrik will be responsible for inspecting all residential properties and common areas within the Association to ensure that they comply with the governing documents (CC&Rs, By-Laws, and Standards).  Also, he will be providing administrative support to the Architectural Review Committee. 

If you drop by the office or see Tyrik in the community, please feel free to introduce yourself and welcome him to our team!

 
KEY DATES FOR THE UPCOMING GENERAL ELECTION 
 
The Texas General Election will take place on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.  With that in mind, here are some important dates you should be aware of so that you can fully participate in this Democratic Process!
  • Last day to register to vote is Tuesday, October 9, 2018.
  • Early voting takes place from Monday, October 22, 2018 - Friday, November 2, 2018.
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 Villages of Westcreek allows residents to post signs (without ARC approval) expressing their support for an individual political candidate or party or local bond issue or referendum.  These signs may be placed in a private front yard no earlier than ninety (90) days before a primary or general election and must be removed no later than ten (10) days after the election unless the candidate is involved in a runoff election.  

Such political signs shall not exceed five (5') square feet and must be professionally produced.  Homemade signs are not permitted.  The limit for political signs is one (1) per candidate or ballot item per lot.  


ANNEXATION COMMUNITY MEETINGS

Last month, 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 fall within the proposed annexation area.

There will be a couple of critical Community meetings scheduled so you can learn more about this Special Election.  These meetings are scheduled as follows:
  • September 25, 2018, at 6:00 PM, at Paul W. Ott Elementary, 100 N Grosenbacher Rd, San Antonio, TX 78253
  • October 4, 2018, at 6:00 PM, Calvary Hills Baptist Church, 910 W Loop 1604 N, San Antonio, TX 78251
We strongly encourage that all property owners and registered voters attend one of these meetings.  These meetings will provide you with vital information so you can make an informed decision when you cast your vote in the upcoming General Election on November 6, 2018.

CLICK HERE to access the City of San Antonio Planning Department Annexation website.  On this site you will find detailed information such as:

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 have been especially impactful this summer:
  • Spiking utility bills, due to the relentless heat wave we have been experiencing; 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 will be sponsoring a "Food Drive" starting on September 8th thru September 15th.

WHEN AND WHERE TO DROP OFF YOUR NON-PERISHABLE DONATIONS
  • September 8th, 9th and 15th between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM at the VWOA Sports Park located at 12354 Military Drive West.
  • September 10th thru September 14th during regular business hours at the VWOA Community Center located at 12395 Military Drive West.



Our community has had a long-standing relationship with the Boy Scouts of America and has supported them by sponsoring many Eagle Scouts projects over the years.  Westcreek Eagle Scout projects have included the "Dog Park," "Flag Retirement Collection Box," "Dugouts in the Sports Park," various "Landscaping Projects" just to name a few.  This year the Eagle Scout project will be creating a Mountain Bike Trail.

The Mountain Bike Trail will start on the walking trail behind the dog park.  It goes through the woods behind the Community Center and down the hill and under the bridge and across the creek bed. You then follow alongside the creek in the park and back across the creek. There is a loop that goes up the hill toward the back of the Reserves and back down into another loop through the woods that links back up at the creek. Then you go back to the beginning.  The trail is 1.71 miles long and four feet wide at its narrowest point.  The Scouts will be clearing the trail to make it more rideable.
 
WHY MOUNTAIN BIKING?

The health benefits of Mountain Biking are undeniable.  If you want to lose weight, reduce stress, boost your heart health, increase your immune system, sleep better, get a whole body workout, build your self-confidence and make new friends, this just may be the exercise program you're looking for.



Your Fourth Quarter Assessment of $99.00 is due on October 1, 2018.

As of October 29, 2018, all accounts with outstanding balances begin incurring a late fee of $20.00, plus a delinquent interest charge.

CLICK HERE for more information about how to pay your assessments and our Billing/Collection Policy .
  
NOTE : The Office is open Monday thru Friday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, excluding holidays.  In addition, the Office is open on the 2nd Saturday each month from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM.

PAYMENT OPTIONS 
  • Payments can still be made here at the VWOA onsite office during business hours.
  • Payments may also be mailed to our office, made payable to VWOA, at 12395 Military Dr. West, San Antonio, TX 78253.
  • You may drop off cash (in a sealed envelope), check, or money-order at the drop box, located to the right of our front entry doors at the business office. Make sure you include your address on your check/money order.
  • Cash is accepted in the office.
  • Card Payments will be accepted only after the homeowner is registered with Spectrumam.com.
  • Pay by Phone- 1-877-342-6233 (your account number needed).
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.
HOLIDAY OFFICE CLOSURE

The Villages of Westcreek Owners' Association Office will be closed on Monday, September 3, 2018, in observance of Labor Day!

SEEKING MARKET DAY VENDORS 

Our next Community "Market Day" will be held on Saturday, October 13, 2018.  If you are a Vendor and would like to participate in this event, please contact the VWOA Office at 210-679-8761 for details.


Our next scheduled Community Yard Sales will be held on September 8, 2018.  Community Yard Sales listings will be posted on the VWOA website, the day prior to the event.  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

Standards Review

DRIVEWAY EXTENSIONS

For those who wish to widen their driveway:
  • Driveway width extensions on either side of the driveway may not exceed the left or right outer edges of the garage.
  • Any width extension that exceeds the outer edges of either side of the garage is considered a walkway that may not be used to park vehicles on.
  • Concrete flatwork must be broom-finished to match the driveway.  Other material may be used such as paver stones, flagstones, rocks, gravel, brick, and crushed or decomposed granite that are mortared or not mortared in place.
  • To apply for approval, submit a Property Improvements/ Change Application (PIA) to the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) for review.
  • Include a copy of your Plat/Lot Survey marked to show the location(s) of your proposed improvement.
Refer to Section 6.3 of the Standards.

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

CLICK HERE to view the Standards!

Submitted by:  Gene Hopkins, Chair, Architectural Review Committee
Community Activities from the desk of Jason Dunbar.

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!

FALL HEALTH AND FITNESS CLASSES STARTING SOON!

Our Fall Health and Fitness Classes are starting up in early September.  

Low Impact/ High Intensity Fitness Classes include:
  • Smash Dance- Kids Classes 
  • Tiny Dancers/Hip-Hop 
  • Adult Belly-Dance 
Sign up early to reserve your spot.

Visit our Health and Fitness Program page for additional information about these and other classes we offer!






CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY
            
Child Passenger Safety Week is acknowledged in September.  Here are some tips to keep kids properly restrained in vehicles. 

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety:
  • All children younger than eight years old, unless taller than 4'9", are required to be in the appropriate child safety seat system wherever they ride in a passenger vehicle. The safety seat system MUST be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Children under the age of 13 SHOULD NOT ride in the front seat of a car.
Booster seats:
  • If children are eight years old but are not 4'9", they should continue to use an appropriate safety seat, such as a booster seat, until they can safely wear an adult seat belt.
  • Seat belts should not restrain across the neck.  If this happens, your child most likely still needs a booster seat.  If the seat belt slips off the shoulder, the height of the seat or seat belt may need to be adjusted.
  • Don't allow kids to place the shoulder strap under their arm or behind their back. This will cause internal organ or head injury during a crash.
Harnessed Seats:
  • The chest clip in harness seats should be at armpit level, not on the abdomen, to avoid internal injury.
Rear facing seats:
  • Kids are safest riding rear-facing for as long as possible.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain rear-facing until AT LEAST two years of age.
  • A rear-facing car seat SHOULD NOT be used in a front seat with an airbag.  In a crash, the airbag can force the car seat against the passenger seat, harming the infant.
When choosing a car seat, consider:
  • Your child's age
  • Your child's height & weight
  • Your child's developmental level
  • Be sure to read your vehicle owner's manual and the car seat instruction manual.
  If you need car seat installation help, these resources may be able to help:
  • The Children's Hospital of San Antonio
  • Catholic Charities
  • Fort Sam Houston
  • TxDOT
  • Buckle Up- University Hospital
Source:

Submitted by: Jacqueline Khalaf, RN, CPST

INSIGHT ON SMOKE ALARMS

Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast, and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. 
 
Here's what you need to know
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. 
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. 
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Today's smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every ten years.
Facts and figures about smoke alarms
  • In 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
  • Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
  • No smoke alarms were present in almost two out of every five (38%) home fire deaths.  
  • The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths vs. 0.53 deaths per 100 fires).
  • In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. 
  • Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures.
 
PROTECT YOUR FAMILY! 
  • Check your smoke alarms monthly; it could save your life. 
  • Have questions about your smoke alarms? Need help changing your batteries?We can help.  Please feel free to visit our Website at www.bc2fd.org under Community Outreach and submit a request.    


BCSO SafeCam Program 

More and more Westcreek residents have installed Security Cameras on their home as one measure to help deter crime.  Did you know that the Bexar County Sheriff's Office has a "SafeCam Program" where you can register your camera not only to help prevent crime but also to help identify suspects and increase a proactive approach to crime fighting in our community?

CLICK HERE to learn more about this program!
 
Submitted by:  Michelle de Jongh, Secretary, Communications Committee  

MedDropSA is the safe, easy way to dispose of unwanted and expired over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Simply bring any unwanted medicines along with other household hazardous waste items to the City of San Antonio's mobile collection events. Medications will be accepted at NO CHARGE, and disposed of in a safe, legal way - keeping these drugs off our streets and out of the environment.
  • DO bring unused or expired prescription medications as well as out-of-date or unwanted over-the-counter medications.
  • DO bring pills dumped into a zipper storage bag.
  • DO bring liquids in their original container.
  • DO NOT bring needles or other 'sharps.' Please check with your doctor, pharmacy or law enforcement agency on how to properly dispose.

Source:  MedDropSA.com.






At the Board of Directors Meeting in June 2018, homeowner Mike Llanas expressed concerns about practices he has observed in our community in relationship to tree pruning and the threat of Oak Wilt disease.  He requested that the Association publish a reminder about the threat of this disease and what we can do to reduce the risk of it spreading in our community.  We want to thank Mr. Llanas for raising this issue.

Oak Wilt has been found in the Villages of Westcreek. Oak Wilt is caused by a fungus, Ceratocystis Fagacearum. This fungus invades and colonizes the water-conducting tissues of healthy Oak trees, ultimately resulting in severe die-back or tree death. The fungus is transmitted by a nitidulid beetle that comes to feed on the sap of a freshly pruned tree branch or through the shared root system of nearby trees.

When it comes to pruning Oak trees, TexasOakWilt.Org recommends the following:
  • Always paint fresh wounds on oaks, including pruning cuts and stumps, with wound dressing or latex paint immediately after pruning or live tree removal at all times of the year. 
  • Clean all pruning tools with 10% bleach solution or Lysol™ between sites and trees.
Recommended Time to Prune:
  • Pruning for general tree health, non-safety related clearance or thinning, etc. should be conducted before February 1 or after June 30.
  • Debris from diseased red oaks should be immediately chipped, burned or buried. 
Exceptions to Pruning in the Spring: 
  • If possible, avoid pruning or wounding of oaks during the spring (currently defined as February 1 through June 30). Exceptions are as follows:
    • To accommodate public safety concerns such as hazardous limbs, traffic visibility or emergency utility line clearance. 
    • To repair damaged limbs (from storms or other anomalies).
    • To remove limbs rubbing on a building or other branches, and to raise a tree canopy over a street or sidewalk.
Regardless of the reasons or time of year, proper pruning techniques should always be used. These techniques include making proper pruning cuts and avoiding injurious practices such as topping or excessive crown thinning. If you are uncertain about any of this information, you should consult with a Texas Oak Wilt Certified Arborist, ISA Certified Arborist, or an oak wilt specialist from a city, county or state government agency such as the Texas A&M Forest Service or Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Additional Precautions:
  • Beware of bringing red oak firewood into the area; it needs to be dried for at least 12 months or more.
  • Mulched wood is ok because the aeriation kills the pathogens and stops the spread of disease.
  • Find out the correct way to prune a tree or hire a professional who is certified in oak wilt, or hire an arborist. Trimming large trees is a dangerous job. Make sure whoever you hire has proof of insurance and call the company to check that it is current.
Resources:  


VetStrong is a nonprofit organization which seeks to provide furniture for previously homeless US veterans. They are located in San Antonio, Texas - Military City USA.  
 
T heir mission is to strengthen and enrich the lives of Veterans and their families, by turning their houses into homes. They do this by accepting new and used (but serviceable) furniture and then redistributing it to our Veterans and their families. They currently need furniture donations (such as sofas, tables, chairs, beds, and dressers), volunteers with trucks to help make deliveries and pickups (they're an all-volunteer force), and direct funding to help defray the costs of fuel, utilities, etc.  
 
You can call or email them at 210-239-8399 or VetStrong18@gmail.com.  They are located at 1735 Babcock Rd, SA, TX 78229 and are open on Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and on Sundays 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. 
 
For additional information visit their website at www.vet-strong.org or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VetStrong18/
 
Submitted by:  Gene Hopkins, Communications Committee Member





CREAMY CHICKEN AND PASTA SALAD

 CLICK HERE to download this recipe!



CLICK HERE to view the approved minutes from the Board of Directors Meetings.
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