Tag Archives: Clubhouse

SmileS Adaptive Carnival 2019 by LOW Adaptive Watersports Foundation!

Join the LOW Adaptive Water Sports Foundation, Saturday July 20th from 9AM to 4PM for a FREE fun day on the water! Bring your friends and family for the 3rd annual event that brings watersports to differently-abled people of all ages, walks of life and their families!

The carnival will be held in honor of 2 women who left the world far too soon and young. This is a time to come together as a community and support each other with unconditional love and support.

There will be adaptive water-skiing, tubing, pontoon rides, kayaking, paddle-boarding and many outdoor games to play and participate in! This year, they are partnering with Therapeutic Adventures – IndependencePlus Adaptive Sports to bring adaptive paddling!

Lunch, snacks, and water will be provided for free throughout the day. All participates will also receive a free t-shirt, but you must register to participate. You can register here. If you don’t want to participate, come out and show your support!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your Real Estate Advisors for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

less is more

Civic Club Speakers to Present “Living Easier with Less”

By Pat Licata

On Wednesday, April 17, at 7:00pm in the Clubhouse Great Hall, two guest speakers will address the art of organizing and decluttering our homes and methods for removal of the items in order to accomplish an easier way of life. Even if one’s home is the perfect fit, there still may be items that can be “released” for simpler living. For many people, the stress comes from not knowing how to take the first step of thinking through what should stay or go, and for others it may be not knowing how to sell or where to donate items no longer needed or wanted.

Linda Clevenger

Linda Clevenger

Linda Clevenger, Professional Organizer and Owner of Organization Direct, will be our first speaker. Linda has been helping homeowners downsize, right-size, purge, and eliminate items from their homes for over 11 years. She helps clients walk through the process of making decisions regarding the need to keep items and how it will impact life both now and in the future. As the spouse of a disabled Veteran, she is passionate about helping other Veterans and those who struggle with the day to day task of living a clutter-free life.

Cathy France

Cathy France

Cathy France, owner of CopperStone Auctions and Estates will provide options for the sale of items no longer wanted or needed.  CopperStone offerings include estate sales from the home, consignment and auction services, and complete buyout of a home’s contents. And of course, the option always exists to donate items to organizations such as the LOW Lions.

There will be time allotted for questions, and we hope to see you there!

Thanks, Pat

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your professionals for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia, we are your proven Real Estate professionals. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

family

Enjoy Family Date Night at Lake of the Woods Clubhouse!

Take your family date night to the Lake of the Woods Clubhouse for some dinner & dancing!

Family nights are important! In a world filled with social media and technology, work and sports ruling everyone, our lives can appear busier than they probably are. Sometimes, we need to step back and remember what is most important to us, our family. There are many different ways families spend time together. I remember when I was in high school, we would always have dinner together, no phones, no TV, no distractions. This was a requirement, it was our “family time” and I miss those days now! While some have too hectic lives to be able to sit together every night for a meal, they have 1 day or two a week in which the family gathers. It might be to watch a movie, play some board games, or just have dinner and catch up on each other’s ever changing lives. Change up your family date night this February by joining the Lake of the Woods Clubhouse for dancing & dinner!

February 23rd from 6pm – 9pm (Doors open at 5:30pm) at the Lake of the Woods Clubhouse (102 Lake of the Woods Way, Locust Grove, VA 22508) there will be dinner from 6pm – 7pm followed with music by Xtreme Entertainment! It will be $5 per person with children under 5 being FREE! Prepaid tickets are required for the buffet dinner,so purchase your ticket, TODAY! There will also be a cash bar available throughout the evening.

You may purchase tickets Wednesday through Friday 9AM – 3PM and Saturday (Jan 26th and Feb 2nd) 10AM – 2PM at the Clubhouse office until the event is SOLD OUT. Cash or checks will be accepted and refunds will not be given. This $5 ticket is for dinner only, this event will be FREE for all AFTER 7PM!

Family Date Night is being hosted by the Lake of the Woods Community and the Youth Activities Committee.

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your professionals for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia, we are your proven Real Estate professionals. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

213 beachside

213 Beachside Cove, Lake of the Woods VA SOLD!!!

Don’t miss out on this property! You are welcomed by the quaint front porch as you enter the open concept, one-level-home with seasonal views on the main lake: this house is ready to move in and situated close to the main gate! New roof, new skylights, new bathroom and new garage door. On top of that: hardwood floors throughout, Andersen windows, Next-Door-Blinds and SS appliances. Enjoy the comforting stone fireplace framed by built in shelving. Home has sought after split bedroom floor plan, each with attached bath. Separate outside (and inside) access to the office/3rd bedroom. Enjoy Lake of the Woods, a gated community with enough to do for the young (at heart), lakes, beaches, tennis courts, pools, restaurants/bar and all the other excellent amenities. Easy access to I95 and Northern Virginia, Washington, Charlottesville and Richmond.

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your professionals for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia, we are your proven Real Estate professionals. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

Meet the LOWA BOD Candidates

by Pat Licata, Civic Club’s President
Please join the Civic Club on Wednesday, July 11th, at 5:30 PM, as we host a Reception for the Candidates in the Great Hall of the Clubhouse. We encourage you to mingle with the candidates from 5:30-6:00 PM, with the forum beginning at 6:00 PM. Each candidate will have 2-3 minutes to deliver his/her message to the audience. A cash bar will be available, and light hors d’oeuvres will be served.
The Lake of the ,Woods Board candidates are Heidi Brown, Pete Brown, Ralph Debnam, Walt Diercks, Bill Feterle, William Logan, Allen Priester, and Terry Terrenoiere. The candidates will be vying for 3 Board of Directors vacancies on the 7 member Board. LOWA will mail ballots to lot owners near the end of July, and the balloting will conclude on September 1st at the Association’s Annual Meeting.
The Reception for the Candidates is open to all members of the community. Please plan to attend so you may become better acquainted with the candidates. We look forward to seeing you on the 11th.
Following the Reception for the Candidates, consider having dinner at the Clubhouse. The deck is open, and the view of the lake with the sunset is spectacular.
The Civic Club has asked each LOWA Board candidate to answer nine questions, and their answers are below. On behalf of the Civic Club, we wish the candidates good fortune in the election and want to express appreciation for their willingness to serve our community.
 

  1. Why are you running for the Board?

Heidi Brown: I was very fortunate to have served our Nation in uniform for 36 years. LOW is my home now. I love this community and its members. I want to serve on the Board to give back to the community.
Pete BrownLOW is a vibrant, diverse and wonderful community with great amenities providing almost everything we could want, but it is not pretentious. Over the past 50 years, good people have volunteered to provide a vision that has made our community what it is today. It is time for me to do my part in the future vision of keeping LOWA a great place to live.
Ralph Debnam: I have consumed a substantial amount of time and effort over a period of years to attempt to provide the board and various committees what I believed to be common sense solutions to certain issues. This effort was to open a line of communication to begin a dialogue to engage the board/management with the community to reach reasonable compromise on issues that I felt were of importance to the community in general. This process was unsuccessful so hopefully a seat on the board will help advance that process.
Walt Diercks: At present, the LOW community is divided and a number of members feel angry and marginalized. There is a perception among some that the Board does not listen to members which has contributed to that division. I believe my 40+ years of experience as a lawyer working on conflict resolution and organizational governance could help reduce our division. I also believe my experience as an engineer and member of a church building committee will enable me to be of value in overseeing the construction of our CARC facility and its integration into the operations of LOWA.
Bill FeterleAs a full time resident I have a vested interest in our community. I feel my communication skills and past experience serving on a condo owner’s assoc. (Treasurer) will enable me to contribute in a positive manner to the future of our community.
William Logan: My wife Pat and I have enjoyed living here at the Lake for 14 years. One of the reasons I am running for the Board is to better serve the members of LOW. I believe there is a need for better communication and I want to represent the voice of the members.
Allen Priester: After residing in LOW for 20 years, I wish to continue my public service career by utilizing my experience and talents in managing large programs and projects by volunteering to serve on the LOW Board of Directors.
Terry TerrenoiereIt appears to me that we have an elitist leaning Board that does not represent, or recognize, the needs and limitations of a significant percentage of the working and retired community. I want to be a voice of conservatism to represent this portion of our residents.
 

  1. What are the 3 most important duties of a Board member?

Pete Brown1) Listening to our membership and committees to set goals and policies for our staff and communicating those goals and policies to the membership. This is accomplished through diligence in studying all sides of issues before making the sometimes difficult decisions. 2) Ensure adherence to our governing documents, amending rules and regulations if necessary. 3) Approving and monitoring our budget and 5-year plan.
Ralph Debnam: 1) Adopt and inforce policies that seek to serve the majority of members in the communityto advance the overall quality of the association. 2) Establish fiscal responsibility in all decisions on behalf of the membership. 3) Facilitate open communication between the board and the members.
Walt Diercks: First, the Board has a fundamental duty to act in the best interests of the entire Association membership – not those of factions or interest groups. Under that fundamental duty the Board has many more than three important duties. The “Top Three” in my book are: 1) determining the short-term and long-term fiscal needs of the Association and approving a responsible and realistic budget; 2) planning for the replacement, acquisition and maintenance of Association amenities and other assets, and 3) ensuring that the Board’s policies, programs and budget are properly carried out by the General Manager.
Bill Feterle1) Listen to members concerns, suggestions, criticisms, etc., with an open mind to better serve the community as a whole. 2) Maintain infrastructure and amenities while being fiscally responsible. 3) Ensure that reserve funding is adequate.
William Logan: 1) Work with the General Manager to control the budget process while reducing expenses. 2)Ensuring that all policies and programs are properly carried out by the General Manager. 3) Listen to the members and find the right solutions to meet their needs.
Allen Priester: 1) Uphold the governing documents of the LOW Association and the associated laws of Orange Country and the Commonwealth of Virginia that govern Home Owners Associations. 2) Work with the Board, the LOW General manager (GM) and his staff, and the Members of the Association to maintain and improve the capital assets and amenities of LOW to keep them attractive and safe to maintain and improve property values. 3) Work to obtain consensus between the Board, the LOW staff, and the membership in executing #1 and #2, above.
Terry Terrenoiere1) To exercise the fiduciary responsibility in protecting and preserving the assets of the association. This will help to maintain the value of each owner’s property. 2) To listen to the residents and give their concerns serious consideration when faced with making decisions which will impact them, especially in a financial way. 3) To be willing to talk with any resident with respect for their opinions and be willing to express your own opinions and beliefs about any concerns they may have. This, while walking the tight rope between what you believe in your heart to be in the best long term interest of the community and the association as a whole, and the eventual cost to the resident.
Heidi Brown: First and foremost, make decisions that are in the best interest of LOWA and its members. Second, establish, supervise, and carry out policies which guide the management of LOWA in a progressive and fair manner. Third, determine the fiscal needs of LOWA establish budgets and provide adequate resources for the running of the Association.
 

  1. What should be the role between the Board and LOWA staff, particularly the General Manger?

Ralph Debnam: The board’s official role is to adopt policies for the General Manager to implement. The advisory capacity of the General Manager is vital in assisting the board in the analization of those policies prior to implementation. The operational management of the community under the General Manager should be monitored by the board to ensure minimal intrusion into a member’s rights.
Walt Diercks: The LOWA Bylaws spell the division of responsibility between the Board and the General Manager. The Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the GM and his staff to ensure that the policies, programs and budget adopted by the Board are properly carried out through the GM. The General Manager is responsible for the day-to-day management, operations, maintenance and security of all of the Association’s properties and personnel. The GM reports to the Board of Directors.
Bill FeterleAs BOD is responsible for governance, at the behest of the BOD, the general manager and his staff executes enforcement of the rules and regulations plus operations of all amenities on a daily basis.
William Logan: The Board sets the Policies and Procedures. The role of the General Manager is to adhere to these Policies and Procedures as he conducts the day to day management of the Association. I also think that the Board tries to micro manage the General Manager.
Allen Priester: According to the duties outlined, above, the Board is responsible for maintaining the LOW infrastructure and amenities and provides the funds to make it happen. The General Manager (GM), who serves at the pleasure of the Board, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of LOW. His role is to advise the Board and then execute Board decisions based on the duties outlined, above. The Staff support the GM in surfacing recommendations that he takes to the board, then executing the individual tasks in their area based on decisions made by the Board.
Terry TerrenoiereIt is my understanding that the Board hires the GM. In that case, the Manager is to answer to the Board on matters of daily operations and expenses. It is his, or her, responsibility to oversee all daily operations within the community. The GM must have a pulse on the needs of the community residents and be ready to discuss any concerns of the residents in a timely and respectful manner. At the same time the Board must provide direction to the GM so that the needs of the general ownership can be efficiently addressed.
Heidi Brown: The Board sets policies and procedures for LOWA. The Board appoints the GM who is responsible for the day-to-day management, operations, maintenance and security of all the Association’s properties and personnel in accordance with rules, regulations, policies, and Virginia law. The GM reports to the Board.
Pete BrownThe BOD sets budgets, goals and policies upon evaluation of recommendations of our committees. The GM is hired by the BOD and has authorization to implement those policies and goals through staff and to work within the approved budget. The BOD does not do the daily management of the association.
 

  1. What do you think of the current status of our facilities/amenities?

Walt Diercks: Generally speaking, the facilities/amenities are in reasonably good shape, given budget constraints. I am excluding the current Clubhouse Pool and Fitness Center from that evaluation because they are being replaced in the Clubhouse Area Recreation Complex, which already has been approved by the Board. The health of the Main Lake and Keaton’s Lake is a concern and each has a capital project heading toward construction: the Flat Run Forebay Project for the Main Lake and the 14th Fairway Pond project for Keaton’s Lake.
Bill FeterleAdequate at this time, but there is always room for improvement. I also feel that because of the variety of amenities, our members are well served.
William Logan: The current status of our facilities/amenities is adequate but many of the components are aging and need to be addressed. However, failure to fully fund the Repair and Replacement Reserve is of concern in order to continue to meet future needs.
Allen Priester: Our amenities are what draw people to LOW and support the property values within the community. I think that our amenities are barely keeping up with the needs of the community. We should focus on maintaining the main amenities that support the property values, e.g., stop the encroachment of silt in the main lake, repair potholes in community roads, ensure the amenities such as the pools and beaches are in good and safe condition for the membership.
Terry TerrenoiereIn general, it is very good, however, for the past several weeks there have been difficulties with the A/C in the Community Center. This situation has gone on much too long and it seems like we have the “gang who can’t shoot straight” running the operation. There also seems to have been a gross lack of management in seeing to it that the dock by the Clubhouse was done correctly and on time. I observed many days of no progress and no construction workers on site. The lack of concern and action in overseeing this small project gives me GREAT concern for the projected completion of the yet to be started CARC project.
Heidi Brown: For the most part, the grounds are looking great. The facilities and amenities appear to be in satisfactory condition although after the storms the last week; I’m concerned about the flooding across LOW (ditches, lakes, homeowners’ yards, roads, marinas). The Golf Course and the Clubhouse appear to both have excess capacity therefore we need to create more demand for their use.
Pete BrownThey are well maintained. Some are beginning to show their age and will need upgrading or eventual replacement. These should be identified and put into our 5 year plan. We must balance the needs and means of our diverse community while protecting our LOW assets and programs. Our amenities directly affect our property values.
Ralph Debnam: Extensive renovations/expansions over the past decade have established a solid foundation of quality facilities/amenities. The priority going forward is to reorient our focus from renovations/expansions to quality and timely maintenance to ensure the current status of these amenities will maintain the level of excellence our past expenditures established.
 

  1. What is your view of LOWA capital planning?

Bill FeterleUsing Miller-Dodson as a guide, along with input from management, committees and members, the BOD is well-served when considering repair/replacement of amenities, equipment, facilities and infrastructure.
William Logan: The Board should set realistic goals for the upcoming fiscal year based on what components of the amenities are in need of repair and or replacement. At the beginning of the fiscal year, the Board should take into account how much money is in the Repair and Replacement Reserve Fund, including the contribution to reserve (CTR) and make sure sufficient funds are available to cover the cost of the carry- over projects as well as the regularly scheduled projects, before deciding to add new ones. The Board should also avoid approving additional capital projects in the middle of the budget cycle, unless it is an emergency.
Allen Priester: Capital planning begins with the Miller-Dodson report and associated recommendations to the GM. The GM and his staff recommend a budget to the Board. The Board, working with the 22 LOWA committees and the GM revise the recommended budget. Once consensus is reached, the Board approves the budget. I do think that each recommended line item in the capital budget needs to be questioned and justified before made a budget item. At the same time, our revenue streams need to be examined to see if can be expanded without increasing member assessments. I think that a formal incentive program should be established for the GM and his staff and be incentivized to save money on capital expenditures. The saved money can then be rolled into the Reserves and potentially reduce assessments the following year.
Terry TerrenoiereSince I do not have inside knowledge of these plans I can only give my relatively uninformed opinion. There needs to be improvement, starting with more consideration given to the financial resources of the young families and retires living on fixed incomes.
Heidi Brown: The Board, by means of the annual budget review, should evaluate the planned capital spending proposed by the General Manager to ensure that the program is carried out in an efficient manner, given the Association’s limited financial resources. Additionally, given the recent damage caused by the storms that hit this area, we need to review projects that have either been pushed to later years or are not on our scope at all (e.g., Flat Run forebay, drainage ditch repair, etc…).
Pete Brown This is an excellent system. We employ Miller Dodson Capital Reserve Consultants to assist our efforts. We look out on a 5-year rolling plan to anticipate future needs and set aside funding for those projects. Funds are placed in restricted accounts to be used only for those purposes. The BOD has the authority to reallocate these funds, if necessary, in the event of projects being carried over into another fiscal year.
Ralph Debnam: Capital planning is essential to identifying future specific amenity/infrastructure needs coordinated with overall demographic shifts. However, balancing amenity/infrastructure expansions and improvements with financial prudence has to be weighted towards prudence until our reserve balances favor other alternative issues.
Walt Diercks: In general, the biggest part of LOWA capital planning is determining the funding of the Repair and Replacement Reserve, which provides the funds needed to a) maintain, at a very good level, the property, lakes, building and grounds, roads and equipment by replacing those assets where appropriate, and b) provide for the non-recurring repair of assets and common areas. LOWA hires a Reserve Specialist Company (currently Miller Dodson) to conduct at least every five years a Reserve Study to determine the necessity and amount of reserves required to fund repairs and replacements. In the current budget year, the R& R Reserve is funded over $1.6 million ($392 of the per lot assessment) based on the Reserve Study. Careful attention should be paid to the Reserve Study’s forecasted amounts needed for repair and replacement reserves more than three years into the future so that we can anticipate these future financial demands.
 

  1. What has been your involvement with LOW community activities?

William Logan: Having lived here for 14 years and served on the LOWA Finance Committee for 5 years (1 year as Chair) gave me great insight into the financial management of the Association. I served on the Elections Committee and the Safety and Security Committee. I have also served on Orange County Litter Control Committee, volunteered to teach after school children at Locust Grove elementary and middle schools and volunteered at Fredericksburg Police Department. I have been active in my church activities to raise money for disabled children and the poor.
Allen Priester: I have worked full time in my 20 years at LOW. I have enjoyed many of the amenities including the fitness center, the beaches, the lakes, and the golf course. I have attended several committee and Board meetings to listen and, where appropriate, express my opinion as a homeowner and member of LOWA.
Terry TerrenoiereIn short, very little. Having bought my house in 2012 I spent most of the first 3 years here doing extensive remodeling on the 25 year old house, while at the same time taking full time care of my 4 grandchildren in Vienna during the week. Last year much of my time was taken up going thru the end of 50 year marriage and trying to get my life back on an even keel. For 2 years, and 5 shows, I was the volunteer photographer for the “Players”. For the better part of the last 2 years I have been active in some of the “fun bunch” activities, namely shooting pool on Tuesdays.
Heidi Brown: Since arriving here in March 2017, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy some of the many community activities. I joined two different women’s golf venues, joined the LOW vets, attend various events at the lake, clubhouse, and golf complex. I plan on getting even more involved in the vast variety of LOW activities.
Pete BrownI served on the 50th Anniversary Ad Hoc Committee. I am a member of the LOW Visual Arts Council and am a member of the LOW Pickleball Club. My wife and I attend most community events, dinners, concerts, etc. As a member of the LOW Church, I have participated in their “Home Helps” program and sing in the Chancel Choir.
Ralph Debnam: Professional and personal obligations limited my ability to serve as a full time member on established community committees. I have had substantial engagements, both oral and written, with various committee members as well as past and current board members in promoting ideas and concepts to better serve the community.
Walt Diercks: Since moving to LOW full-time with my wife in 2013, I have been a member of the LOW Lions Club and a LOWLINC volunteer. I also provide free legal services to LOWLINC, LOW Lions Club, LOW Lions Club Foundation, Friends of Lake of the Woods, LOW Lioness Lions Club, and LOW Lioness Lions Club Foundation; volunteer for the Wilderness Food Pantry; and provide free notary services to the LOW community. I also served on the LOWA 50th Anniversary Ad Hoc Committee.
Bill Feterle1) LOW Lions Club 2016-present (eyesight and white cane. 2) LOW Church chancel choir 2015-2017. 3) Provided musical entertainment for LowLinc and LOW Lioness Club.
 

  1. Should the Association take an active role in the affairs of state and local government? What type of issues should be addressed?

Allen Priester: The Association should be agnostic to state and local politics, i.e., not aligned to a political party, but be aware of them. Involvement by the Association should be in support of issues that impact our amenities and ultimately our property values.
Terry TerrenoiereSince our community does represent a significant percentage of the County’s population, I do believe we should be aware of activities that could affect our operations and community as a whole. Just how we can be “active” in that operation remains to be seen. We do have a County official as a resident and I would expect that he would represent us well in that capacity.
Heidi Brown: I don’t believe it would be proper for the Board to take an active role in the affairs of the County because LOWA is a housing association. The Board should always strive to have a good relationship with the local government authorities and adhere to VA law.
Pete BrownYes we should. As the largest population center of Orange County, we have a vested interest in our county governance, taxes and growth. Our school aged children make up a large proportion of the student population. The Rte. 3 Corridor development plan and the Rte. 20 rerouting have a direct effect on LOW.
Ralph Debnam: Our continuing development of community planning with consideration given to changes in state and county comprehensive and master planning documents will continue to be vital. Advocating for and/or against policies by state or local jurisdictions that impact our self governance must continue to be actively pursued.
Walt Diercks: The Association should limit its involvement in the affairs of state and local government to those issues which directly impact the Association and its members in their roles as property owners at Lake of the Woods. The External Affairs Committee monitors civic activities external to LOW. Examples of issues that directly impact the Association and its members in their roles as property owners at Lake of the Woods include: Orange County Zoning and planning that could impact the quality of life of those living at Lake of the Woods, delivery of services by state and local governments, including public schools, law enforcement and fire and rescue services, and state legislation that could affect the governance of the Association, such as proposed changes to the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act. Another example is LOWA staying on top of FEMA’s proposed changes to floodplain maps, which could affect members along both Keaton’s Lake and the Main Lake.
Bill FeterleAs the largest community in Orange County, being aware of governmental issues is of utmost importance, i.e.; education of our children, ecology, etc.
William Logan: Yes. LOW is a community that contributes to about 37% of county taxes and has two county supervisors. LOWA also assists the Sheriff’s Office as a first responder. Our fire and ambulance service provide excellent response services. County children are allowed to use our amenities to ensure that LOW children have competition such as swim and soccer activities. LOWA should also be concerned with how our county taxes are assessed, changes in rezoning and laws that have an impact on us such as police coverage, cable services and future WiFi service. LOWA is not just a private community but a place in which Orange County will grow.
 

  1. Are you satisfied with how the LOWA budget is developed? Please explain.

Terry TerrenoiereMy reading of the time line for last year revealed to me just how complex the whole process can be. At this point I can make no cogent suggestions for improvement but I look forward to keeping an eye on future plans.
Heidi Brown: I am satisfied with how our budget is developed (i.e., extensive process with Board, property owner, finance and planning committee expertise input). However, I am not satisfied that we are always executing within our budget. The Board and GM should give more attention to the recommendations provided by the finance committee given their wealth of professional knowledge.
Pete BrownYes. Our budget is based on expense requirements submitted by our operating centers to the GM with final approval by the BOD. Expenses are then compared to expected revenues. Our assessment is then calculated by dividing those final numbers among the number of lots. Restricted reserve funds are set aside and contributions made to those accounts as directed by our Miller Dodson study for funding approved capital projects.
Ralph Debnam: The development of the annual budget by each operation center based on historical expenditures and revenue is the key to establishing the projected assessment. Projections for fiscal year expenditures and revenue need to contain realistic assessments of future growth in conjunction with historical norms to properly establish the correct member assessment.
Walt Diercks: In general, I am satisfied; however, there always is room for improvement. In particular, we should focus on using the Repair and Replacement Study to get a better understanding of repair and replacement costs projected more than three years into the future. With regard to the budget process itself, it is highly organized, intensive and transparent. The process provides many opportunities for member and committee comments and suggestions and for the Board to listen. We need to work harder to use those opportunities to listen to each other and learn.
Bill FeterleDevelopment of the LOWA budget is by the BOD, after input of data from management and committees.
William Logan: Each year, around October, the GM asks each Operating Center Manager to submit their estimated budget in order to determine what funding may be needed for the following fiscal year. These estimates and suggestions are compiled and submitted to the Finance and Planning committees for comments. A joint meeting with the GM and his Sr. Staff, Finance Committee and the Planning Committee is held to discuss the proposed budget. The GM then presents a draft of the proposed budget (for information purposes) to the membership at large at a town hall meeting prior to presenting it to the Board for review and approval in February.
Allen Priester: There is always room for improvement. As mentioned above, I believe that all costs need to be questioned, justified, and prioritized before being placed as a line item in the budget. Likewise, I believe that all avenues need to be explored to increase our revenues as they offset our costs, and not limited to increasing annual assessments.
 

  1. What is your view for the future of LOW?

Heidi Brown: This is a wonderful community with a bright future. The community has grown in the last 51 years and will no doubt continue to attract a diverse group of property owners in the future. We need to continue to market this community as a wonderful place for families to live and retire.
Pete BrownI believe our next 50 years will be as exciting as the past 50 years. We will become an even more desirable place to live with our offerings of such a wide range of lifestyle, amenities, clubs and services that are hard to match anywhere. Our single class of membership entitles all of us to enjoy our amenities. We are a complete community and not just another housing development.
Ralph Debnam: Challenges will continue to be in the forefront of this community as we attempt to establish equilibrium between mandatory expenses, assessment stabilization and amenity operational requirements. The establishment of policies that provide for maximum optimization of these key elements will be vital in ensuring the bright future for all members of the community.
Walt Diercks: My wife, Mary-Jane Atwater, and I have owned our home at Lake of the Woods since 1997 and have lived here full-time for five years. I wake up every morning grateful that LOW is my home. I agree with the Vision Statement adopted by the Board in June 20, 2017 that LOW should be “a welcoming, diverse, residential, gated community of single-family homes and recreational amenities that supports the evolving needs of members and their families.” If elected to the Board I will work to help sustain that vision as a living reality.
Bill FeterleMy opinion regarding the future of LOW would be, at a minimum, maintain our present level offacilities/amenities and when able improve upon them.
William Logan: The future of LOW will be a community that will soon be built out; thus reducing our revenue base, such as road fees that generated over $480,000 last fiscal year. The increase in administrative and amenity costs will require more thought in how we spend our limited resources, given our growing diversity. We must also acknowledge that we have a responsibility to those of advancing age and how we can best serve them by ensuring that the increasing assessment does not force them to leave their retirement home.
Allen Priester: The past 20 years of living at LOW have been wonderful. The next 20 can be as wonderful aslong as the Board is mindful of the changing needs of the community based on the changing demographics. We must balance our upkeep of amenities that keep attracting residents with the annual assessment costs that might drive residents away. By establishing and maintaining that balance, listening to the membership, and faithfully executing the duties of the Board, it will be a bright future.
Terry TerrenoiereIf we can bring the community residents together in planning and spending, I see a great future. If we continue to force very large and expensive projects down the throats of the average resident, I see nothing but trouble. We already have several families either actively trying to sell or giving it serious consideration. I know of one family who decided NOT to buy here for that same reason. There seems to be a faction of the community that feels superior to the “other’ residents, and have been heard telling these residents “if you don’t like it, leave”. This attitude just cannot be tolerated and as a Board member, if I hear someone express that directive, I will certainly address him directly myself. We MUST respect the views and positions of ALL of our residents.

June Concert on the Point at Lake of the Woods!

The 2nd Concert of the Summer- June 2017 Sunset Concert Series on the Point in Lake of the Woods Features Dave Goodrich  and the 3D Trio.
The concert will take place Friday, June 23rd, from 7-9PM at Clubhouse Point.
The event is 100% funded by sponsors who are also LOW members! Sponsors include: Licata Group/Keller Williams Real Estate, Locust Grove Veterinary Clinic, Townsend Home Health & Hospice Care, Design Craft Homes, Inspired Electrical Solutions, JK Carpets, Lakeside Title & Escrow, and Lake of the Woods True Value Hardware.
LOWLINC is acting as the “Hospitality Committee” for the June concert and will be offering the chance to participate in a 50/50 raffle.
The July 28th concert features the Island Gerry Duo, with Lake Youth Foundation acting as hospitality committee.
The August 25th concert features Unchained, with the Lioness Club acting as hospitality committee.
In honor of LOWA’s 50th Anniversary, there will be another concert on Friday, September 15th!
For more information call Pat Licata at 540-735-7998 or e-mail at pat@licatagroup.com. Don’t miss out on  another great summer concert series!

May Concert on the Point at Lake of the Woods!

First Concert of the Summer- May 2017 Sunset Concert Series on the Point in Lake of the Woods Features Reunion Band
FullSizeRender[3]It is time for the Summer Sunset Concert Series on the Point to begin! We will kick off the season featuring Reunion Band! The concert will take place Friday, May 26, from 7-9PM at Clubhouse Point.
“REUNION plays many types of music…New & Old. Rock, Soul, R&B, Blues, Dance, Beach, Country, Pop, Electric Dirt. The variety of our music has allowed us to become a PPPPB (premier pretty peppy party band :)”
The event is 100% funded by sponsors who are also LOW members! Sponsors include: Licata Group/Keller Williams Real Estate, Locust Grove Veterinary Clinic, Townsend Home Health & Hospice Care, Design Craft Homes, Inspired Electrical Solutions, JK Carpets, Lakeside Title & Escrow, and Lake of the Woods True Value Hardware.
FLOW is acting as the “Hospitality Committee” for the May concert and will be offering the chance to participate in a 50/50 raffle.
The June 23rd concert features Dave Goodrich and the 3D Band, with LOWLINC acting as hospitality committee.
The July 28th concert features the Island Gerry Duo, with Lake Youth Foundation acting as hospitality committee.
The August 25th concert features Unchained, with the Lioness Club acting as hospitality committee.
For more information call Pat Licata at 540-735-7998 or e-mail at pat@licatagroup.com. Don’t miss out on the kick-off to another great summer concert series!

OC Commonwealth's Atty O'Connell to Address Civic Club

OC Commonwealth’s Atty. Diana O’Connell to Speak at Civic Club Meeting

diannaDiana O’Connell, the Commonwealth’s Attorney of Orange County, will be the LOW Civic Club’s guest speaker on Wednesday February 8, 2017.  The Civic Club meeting will be held at 7:00 pm in the Clubhouse Lower Level.

Ms. O’Connell has been the Orange County Commonwealth’s Attorney since 2004. The Commonwealth’s Attorney is an elected constitutional officer. She and the other attorneys in her office are the prosecutors representing the people in civil and criminal matters. It is anticipated she will address a broad range of matters related to the criminal justice system in Orange County. Her presentation will be followed by a time for questions and answers.
Ms. O’Connell has been a resident of Orange County since 1993. A graduate of the University of Richmond School of Law, she has had extensive experience as a prosecutor and private practice attorney. An interesting sidebar is that she was the Lake of the Wood’s attorney for three years prior to her election as Commonwealth’s Attorney.
We hope to see you there!
It’s another beautiful day at the lake!
Pat Licata, REALTOR

July 2016 Sunset Concert Series on the Point in Lake of the Woods Features Unchained

July 2016 Sunset Concert Series on the Point in Lake of the Woods Features Unchained By Pat Licata REALTOR
The June concert for the Sunset Concert Series on the Point is being held Friday, July 22 from 7-9PM. Unchained will be playing!!
unchained
“UNCHAINED brings over 50 years of combined performance experience to every show, corporate function or private event. The band provides high energy entertainment with an emphasis on danceable music that keeps an audience engaged.”
The Lake of the Woods Cause4Paws animal rescue is acting as the “Hospitality Committee” and will be holding a fundraiser at the event.
Concerts will be held on the Clubhouse Point the fourth Friday of every month, May through August, from 7-9PM. The best part? IT’S FREE!
The event is 100% funded by sponsors who are also LOW residents! Sponsors include: Licata Group/Keller Williams Real Estate, Locust Grove Veterinary Clinic, Townsend Home Health & Hospice Care, Design Craft Homes, Inspired Electrical Solutions, JK Carpets, Lakeside Title & Escrow, and Lake of the Woods True Value Hardware.
For more information, contact Pat Licata at 540.735.7998.
Please note that the following changes have been made regarding boating and swimming during the concerts:
restrictions
“It’s another beautiful day at the lake!”
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LOWA BOD Candidate Reception 7/13

by Pat Licata, President, Civic Club
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Please join the Civic Club on Wednesday, July 13th, at 5:00 PM, as we host a Reception for the Candidates, in the Great Hall of the Clubhouse. LOWA BOD candidates are Carl Clawson, Bob Hoh, Jeff Johnson, Larry Morlan, Brian Sakacsi, Brian Smith, Michael Tait, and Jennifer Zukowski.
The reception will begin with a social time to include hors d ‘oeuvres and a cash bar. A more formal program will follow in which each candidate will have up to three minutes to address the gathering.
The Reception for the Candidates is open to all members of the community. Please plan to attend so that you are able to know your candidates better. We look forward to seeing you on the 13th!

The Civic Club Board has dispensed with group questioning and encourages members to ask their questions during the social time before and after the candidate’s presentations.
Following the Reception for the Candidates, consider having dinner at the Clubhouse. The deck is open, and the view of the lake is priceless.
The Civic Club has asked each BOD candidate to answer nine questions and their answers are below. On behalf of the Civic Club, we wish the candidates good fortune in the election and want to express appreciation for their willingness to serve our community.
If you wish to receive the Civic Club’s newsletter, Lakeviews, send an e-mail with “subscribe” in the title to <subscribe@jimhopkins.com>.
Below are the questions with answers from all candidates:

1. Why are you running for the Board?
Carl Clawson: I believe my experience as volunteer here and in Stafford County will benefit our community. As a member, I want to keep my community at its best both financially and physically.
Bob Hoh: There are four main reasons for my decision to run: 1) I believe I can make positive contributions to our community. 2) I want to be part of the process to develop and execute responsible plans to ensure Lake of the Woods remains a viable and desirable place to live and raise families in the future. 3) I now have the time to devote to board duties. 4) I have the support of family and friends
Jeff Johnson: We teach our kids that in order to make a difference you need to be involved; however less and less parents are willing to be involved in the solution. Instead they want to voice all the problems. I want to make a difference, be part of the solution and lead by example.
Larry Morlan: I am running because I feel I bring a positive perspective to looking to the future of Lake of the Woods. With my previous experience of serving on this and other Boards, I bring a working knowledge of how to accomplish goals.
Brian Sakacsi: I decided to run for the board when it first appeared that there would not be enough candidates to fill the vacant positions and felt that somebody (me) had to step up and volunteer.
Brian Smith: Because I, like many others, are fed up with how we are treated by the board. I’m fed up with extending votes just because the Board didn’t get the vote that they wanted. Our assessments keep going up with no increase or improvement in services. Why is it that we all have to set a budget with a finite income and make cuts, but the BOD and Management just keep spending like Congress?!!! Because I am fed up with hearing people, including myself, being told “If you don’t like it, then move”!

Michael Tait: I have resided in this community since about 2003, and after retiring in 2010, have been getting involved. I served on the Board of Directors at the Ridge Point HOA in Falmouth and found that I enjoyed helping my neighbors. I think that now is a good time for me to become involved with service to this community. In addition, I was a Vice President of two small businesses in the chemical water treatment field from 1994 until my retirement. Working with employees and customers, managing budgets when income might vary greatly each month depending on sales, has given me the experience and prepared me to understand the complex concerns our HOA faces each year regarding improvements, repairs, and personnel, etc.
Jennifer Zukowski: I have enjoyed working on several committees in LOW and am aware of some of the major issues facing the community. I believe my experience on LOW Committees and my work experience as Manager of Attorney Employment and Professional Development gives me a unique perspective on how to reconcile differences and support a thriving community.
 
2. What are the 3 most important duties of a Board member?
Bob Hoh: The 15 official duties of board members are spelled out in Article VIII of the bylaws. However, for me they can be distilled into the three most important: 1) Provide for the welfare and security of residents, owners and guests. 2) Carry out the fiduciary responsibility to manage LOWA assets for the overall good of the LOW community. 3) Plan for the maintenance, replacement, acquisition/expansion, use and disposal of association facilities, land and equipment.
Jeff Johnson: 1) Honesty 2) Communication and 3) Accountability
Larry Morlan: 1) Listen to all members of the Association. 2) Do your homework on all sides of each issue. 3) Attend and participate in a positive manner at all meetings.
Brian Sakacsi: In my opinion the three most important duties of the board are: 1) formulate and administer the annual budget. 2) Ensure that our current amenities are maintained and/or improved. 3) Listen to and address member concerns.
Brian Smith: 1) Most important, is to be a voice of consensus for the members! 2) To manage orderly discussions of issues for the members! 3) Listen to the members and to maintain better fiduciary responsibility for the members!
Michael Tait: 1) Listen to the members. 2) Review expenditures to make sure what’s being spent benefits the majority of the members. 3) Monitor the Capitol plan to make sure it makes sense for the majority of members, not a select few.
Jennifer Zukowski: 1) Establish, adopt, and enforce the rules and regulations of the community. 2) Support policies that promote the general and financial welfare of the community. 3) Listen and support open communication between members, management and the Board.
Carl Clawson: 1) Listening to the concerns of all our members. 2) Working with management to insure that they are performing to the best of their abilities. 3) We should insure that the members’ fees are being used wisely.
 
3. What should be the role between the Board and LOWA staff, particularly the General Manger?
Jeff Johnson: Communication is a major role of the Board to ensure the LOWA staff has the tools needed to do their jobs, roles and functions. If they don’t, it’s a failure in the system.
Larry Morlan: The Board sets the policy for the operations of the Lake of the Woods and supervises the General Manager. The Board should not be involved in the day to day operations of the staff except through the General Manager.

Brian Sakacsi: In my opinion the role of the board in regard to the staff should be to work with the GM. Ultimately formulating direction for the GM to handle the day to day operations and associated staff.
Brian Smith: To ensure that the Management does the bidding of the members, not the other way around! How many more bars do we need here? Why are our subsidies so high for the various amenities?
Michael Tait: 1) The Board provides policy and budget. 2) The General Manager supervises the staff, not the Board. 3) The President of the Board is the only direct contact for the General Manager.
Jennifer Zukowski: The Board makes policy; the GM implements policy, particularly in regard to maintaining association property and amenities, ensuring all assets are properly recorded; and the GM submits the operating and capital budgets for the Board’s consideration each year.
Carl Clawson: I believe that the board should work closely with the General Manager on major decisions but not try to micro manage the operation of the community. This should be the responsibility, and duty of the General Manager. If while serving on the board I see any staff member not doing his or her duty it should be brought to the attention of the General Manager for correction or discipline.
Bob Hoh: The relationship between the board and the staff/general manager is a multi-faceted one. 1) Supervisory – the board must provide overall guidance, support, and discipline if necessary. 2) Mentoring – board members must share their significant experience and expertise in relevant areas. 3) Partnership – the board must allow the staff to manage community affairs within established guidelines, giving assistance where needed.
 

4. What do you think of the current status of our facilities/amenities?
Larry Morlan: We obviously are facing some tough decisions relative to our pools and some other areas of our facilities. The Board must stay current on these issues through the Lakes Management Plan, the Replacement reserve Policy, and the operations and budget status of each amenity in order to maintain the viability of each.
Brian Sakacsi: I think our current amenities are in good shape, but we should strive for continuous improvement.
Brian Smith: Many of our amenities are in need of major repairs. We need to weigh repairing vs replacing over the long run. But I question why buildings approximately five years old need major renovations? Some are talking about a Skateboard park again. But can we afford it now?
Michael Tait: We have great facilities, and the future projects that are being considered could make our amenities even better than they are.
Jennifer Zukowski: Some of them, like the Clubhouse and Woods Center, have been improved substantially. The Clubhouse used to have a $500,000 subsidy; this year’s subsidy is approximately $160,000. With its recent renovation, Fareways is projecting a 50% increase in revenue this year. The Golf course, according to several golfers, is in better condition than it has ever been. The Equestrian Center received lighting this year which will increase revenue by lengthening the time lessons can be given during the shorter days of the year. The Clubhouse pool/Fitness Center building is in poor condition, does not meet code, and does not meet member needs. It should be replaced. Sweetbriar pool should be replaced using the $510,995 from the insurance company and Sweetbriar pool reserves.
Carl Clawson: I as a general contractor have an eye for detail. I have observed many situations concerning the upkeep of the facilities. Maintenance and repair should be put on a critical path to insure that our current facilities should not reach a point of needing replacement.
Bob Hoh: Overall they are very good. Over the years we have lived here, we have enjoyed the lakes, golf course, equestrian center, fitness center, pools, community center, Woods center, clubhouse, parks, campground, playgrounds and beaches. They are not perfect and some are starting to show their age. We must make sure that the board, in concert with the relevant facility/amenity committees plus Planning, Finance, etc. are working together to craft a logical, responsive and affordable plan for the future.

Jeff Johnson: Certain areas are behind the curve, such as the fitness facility. The golf course amenities are nice, but the fitness facility brings in revenue and needs to be updated and increased in its size. By doing this, I am confident it will bring in even more revenue.
 
5. What is your view of LOWA capital planning?
Brian Sakacsi: I think the Reserve Study is a very important tool in helping the board to plan the budget, and plan for capital expenses.
Brian Smith: This is probably the only area that I feel where the Board and Management just might be doing what they are supposed to be doing. Planning for the future replacement or maintenance of equipment and other assets seem to be inline.
Michael Tait: I think when the Board is ready to make a final decision regarding new Capitol projects or replacing an existing one, the membership should have information as to what effect it would have on their assessment before it goes forth. I am not sure the majority of members are informed as to specific cost and what it means to each family over time.
Jennifer Zukowski: LOWA has two forms of capital planning. There is the New Asset and Improvement reserve, which is used for new capital projects. There is also the Replacement Capital Spending Plan, which is used to repair or replace LOWA existing assets. New capital projects usually originate with one of our LOWA committees. They are vetted by the Planning Committee and then presented to the LOW community at a Town Hall meeting before being added to the Planning Committee’s Five Year Plan for Board consideration. The repair and replacement plan amount is based on the Miller & Dodson Reserve Study. Historically, the Board has fully funded the recommended amount, giving LOWA a healthy replacement reserve.
Carl Clawson: I believe that a lot of the upfront cost of the capital projects can be put into a scope of work format. Contractors can then give their suggestions, comments, and a preliminary cost estimate before we hire a consultant. This will at least give us a better idea of the cost or situations, which may not require an expensive study.
Bob Hoh: I believe our capital planning is a good, deliberate and logical process. I think it has enough flexibility to meet evolving as well as emergency community needs
Jeff Johnson: Planning is adequately done, however I have concerns about the accuracy of it. I have heard from many people since I voiced I was running for the board that they do not have full faith and confidence in the honesty of the state of our capital funds.
Larry Morlan: The overall planning efforts within the community have been forward looking. A number of volunteer committees monitor and address this concern each fiscal year and present findings and recommendations to the Board. This important area takes a community effort in looking to the future needs of the Lake of the Woods.

 
6. What has been your involvement with LOW community activities?
Brian Smith: I volunteer with the LOW Volunteer Fire and Rescue. I put in no less than 36 hours a week on average and have for over one year going into my second year. I also hold multiple officers positions within the Rescue Squad. My daughter is a Girl Scout (four years) and on the Barracudas Swim team (sixth year). My wife has been a Girl Scout Troop leader for a number of years.
Michael Tait: Vice Chairman of the Maintenance and Ecology Committee since August of 2015, and prior to that as an alternate. Since February 2016, I have served as an alternate on the Pool Committee as well as an alternate on the newly formed Ad Hoc Pool and Fitness Committee.
Jennifer Zukowski: I was a member of the original Youth Activities Committee and the Pool and Fitness Committee. I am currently a member of the Fitness Committee, Planning Committee and Ad Hoc Committee on the Pool/Fitness Center Outdoor Recreation Complex. I am also subcommittee chair of the LOWA 2016 Land Use Study. In 2009, I served as a volunteer EMT for Fire and Rescue. In 2015, I became one of the founding directors of Friends of Lake of the Woods (FLOW), a 501(c)3 charitable organization dedicated to improving LOW infrastructure and amenities.

Carl Clawson: I have served on the Environmental Control Committee, Equestrian Committee and Maintenance and Ecology. Committee. I have Volunteered, furnished tools and created detailed drawings for the Lake of the Woods Church and the LOW Lions club to build many handicapped ramps and perform repairs to homes in our community and Orange County for the less fortunate. I am a member of Lowlinc, and Lake of the Woods Lions club.
Bob Hoh: As mentioned in four above, we have participated in or attended many activities through the years. This has included candidate forums, town hall meetings, board meetings, committee meetings and concerts on the point. I am currently a member of the Golf Committee, the ad hoc 50th Anniversary Steering Committee, the LOW Veterans Club and enjoy the LOW Fun Bowling League.
Jeff Johnson: Honestly I am involved in a very limited role. I am a veteran, but have not yet joined the VA because I have church on Thursday evenings in Stafford. I am a member of the Orange Youth Council and need to be more involved. I also work in DC every day.
Larry Morlan: Since 2013, I have been the coordinator of the LOW Neighborhood Watch. This program currently has 950 members and 53 block captains that aid in the overall security of LOW. This involves close coordination with management of the Lake, Lake Security and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. I have also been associated with the Safety and Security Committee, the Equestrian Committee, the Legal and Compliance Committee, the Golf Committee, the Communications Committee, and the Tennis Committee.
Brian Sakacsi: I haven’t had much involvement in LOW Community activities, due my work schedule and the associated commute.
 
7. Should the Association take an active role in the affairs of state and local government? What type of issues should be addressed?
Michael Tait: I think we are well represented in our local and county government, School Board and Chamber of Commerce. What ever might impact our community.
Jennifer Zukowski: Yes, the Association should take an active role. With Orange County adopting the Germanna Wilderness Area Plan (GWAP) in June 2015, change is going to happen, especially along Route 3. It is better for LOW to be part of that process than not. Issues that need to be addressed are water, what type of businesses we attract to the area and increased traffic.
Carl Clawson: I would encourage our external affairs committee to monitor not only the state and local governments but also any issue outside LOWA that may impact our community.
Bob Hoh: Yes, when they do or could affect our community. This could include issues like the dam, tax assessments, Route 3 corridor development, school upgrades, etc.
Jeff Johnson: Being a retired Federal Agent, I am interested in youth activities, law enforcement and wherever else I am needed.
Larry Morlan: I believe the Association should take an active role in affairs outside of the Lake. The External affairs Committee does an outstanding job of extending the influence of the LOW. Important issues to be addressed would include: economic development around LOW; transportation systems affecting LOW; school issues affecting parents within LOW; and, legislation affecting HOA’s such as LOW. There are many other issues but these are a few of the most important issues.
Brian Sakacsi: I do not believe it would be appropriate for the association to take an active role in state or local government.
Brian Smith: I have mixed emotions on this topic. At the county level, absolutely we should be involved because most of what the county does directly affects us here at LOW. We are the biggest community in the county, but it seems that we get the table scraps. At the state level, would we be more like lobbyists or constituents?

 
8. Are you satisfied with how the LOWA budget is developed? Please explain.
Jennifer Zukowski: As a member of the Planning Committee, I know that producing the annual budget is a long process with many steps. It begins with the Operating Center Managers who work with their various committees on both the Operating Budget and capital projects. The Operating Center Managers review this information with the General Manager and Assistant General Manager and determine whether items listed in replacement reserves need to be replaced in the current year or later. The Operating Center Managers and General Manager work with the Finance Director and Controller to produce a draft budget. The draft budget is then reviewed by the joint Planning and Finance Committees with the General Manager and Operating Center Managers. After adjustments, a draft is submitted to the Board for consideration. It seems to be a thorough process.
Carl Clawson: Although I have not been involved in the process, I understand that a budget is developed by two committees, known as the Planning Committee and Finance Committee. Then the proposed budget will be submitted to the General Manager and the board of Directors for approval. I am familiar with the Miller Dobson study that provides us with a long-range plan for the repair and replacement of our amenities and equipment.
Bob Hoh: In general, yes. I believe working with the various committee and their five year plans, soliciting member inputs and discussing the budget in open board meetings is a healthy and effective approach. But nothing is perfect and I’m sure there are some areas where the process can be tweaked.
Jeff Johnson: Without having been a part of the process 100%, I can only say that I believe there is room for improvement. For example, I believe the 3rd gate is a waste of time, money and effort…but that’s just me.
Larry Morlan: I experience the LOW budget process for the first time this last year. I was impressed with the transparency and thoroughness of the process, most particularly the work of the Planning and Finance Committees. My previous budget experience at the state level (Budget Director for the Kansas Department of Transportation), at the local level (as a member of the Lawrence Kansas School Board), and at the private level (President of the University of Montana Foundation) afforded me tremendous opportunity to observe many budget operations. I must say I have not seen a process that passes through so many reviews as occurs at LOWA before final submission to the Board.
Brian Sakacsi: I am satisfied with how the LOW budget is developed. I think the Board has done a great job in holding increases to a minimum. I think the reserve study is a key factor that makes that possible.
Brian Smith: No!!! As stated above, why is it that we as individuals have to live within a finite budget do to not being able to give ourselves raises, but the Association can just raise our fees every year after year, after year? I was speaking to a man at the Festivities for the Fourth who has lived here for 20 years. He said that in all that time, we haven’t gotten any more amenities or services, but the assessment keeps going up. 20 years ago the assessment here was $400 a year! I have lived here since 2003 and have seen the same thing. Cuts need to be made so that people can afford to continue living here. We need to get new residents in here and fill these many vacant homes.
Michael Tait: I think the working relationship between Planning and Finance seems to be working. The Board has final say, but it should rely heavily on recommendations from the General Manager’s cost centers, and advice from the two committees; Finance and Planning.

 
9. What is your view for the future of LOW?
Carl Clawson: I would review past projects as to their success and how they benefitted the community. I would discuss my findings with my fellow board of directors and the General Manager to gain a consensus as to their successes and failures. In my Opinion Lake of the Woods is one of the premier communities in the Commonwealth.
Bob Hoh: I think the future is bright! Many surveys indicate that the next generation of owners and residents will be, in some ways, more demanding with higher expectations in many areas. Communities that offer the wonderful array of security, amenities, volunteerism as LOW can meet these expectations. While we enjoy all these benefits today, we must plan now to keep our amenities viable and desirable for the future.

Jeff Johnson: Growth in youth activities and, growth in community and involvement, increased satisfaction and better communication.
Larry Morlan: The future is bright for LOW! This is a great place to be! We do need to address some key issues: 1) Becoming all inclusive in governance — involving our working families more. 2) Addressing issues relative to our growing youth population. 3) Supporting prudent spending and reasonable assessments. 4) Maintaining amenities and the common areas.
Brian Sakacsi: I am very optimistic for the future of LOW, it is a great place to live and as long as we continue to maintain and improve our current amenities I see no reason that it should not continue to be a great place to live.
Brian Smith: Lake of the Woods started out back in 1967 with a vision of basically being a weekend get away for people and a retirement community. Currently it’s more of a bedroom community for folks working in Richmond and DC. It’s becoming a younger community over recent years. Presently our community, financially, is not welcoming to anyone young or old due to our assessments. How many homes are vacant for years now just along Lakeview Parkway? Why? Younger folks just starting out are on a relatively fixed income. Older folks are definitely on a fixed income. But our Association is not???!!! Once we get that resolved, we can start making improvements much more easily. Improvements such as the Fitness Center. Paving roads instead of the chipped rock. The Clubhouse pool. Improvements to the Equestrian center.
Michael Tait: Exciting time ahead, what a great place to live.
Jennifer Zukowski: LOW has successfully evolved from a weekend retreat with a few permanent residents to a community of primarily permanent residents. The community also has a greater number of younger residents than it did in the past. My view of LOW is that it is a resilient and adaptable community. It will remain a community where people want to live for many years to come.

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It’s another beautiful day at the lake!