Governing Myrtle Trace by linfengfengfz


									Governing Myrtle Trace
    A Twenty Year History
Governing Myrtle Trace
A Twenty Year History

In this year of 2008 let’s stop and celebrate our accomplishments during the 20 years that we
have governed our own community. Although we generally think of our community being
25 years old, since 25 years is the age of some of our buildings, we did not have full control
of our own community--Myrtle Trace
Condominium Association, Inc.--until
1988. Control and ownership of our
Myrtle Trace community was passed to
us from the developer, Plantation
Associates (PA), in 1988 making us a
self-governing entity in The Plantation.
This anniversary year is a good time to
look      back     and       assess     our
accomplishments over that 20-year
period.     How well have we have
governed ourselves, and who of our
owners contributed to building today’s
well-managed, attractive residential
community of Myrtle Trace?

I. Self Government Comes to Myrtle Trace
In June 1988 at a Myrtle Trace Board meeting the directors of Plantation Associates resigned
and passed ownership of the Association over to the unit owners. Myrtle Trace owners were
elected to the Board: President, Bruce Rohn; Vice President Ivan Green; Secretary, Jean
Dodge; Treasurer, Tom Sullivan and committees were formed. An existing Turnover
Transition Committee consisting of Bob Normile, Paul Hepler, Tom Shannon, Bill Dohl and
Jean Dodge remained in force to deal with turnover issues still to be resolved. The new
board appointed members to various committees including Clubhouse and Pool; Buildings;
Lawns and plantings; Roads, Driveways & Lights; Lakes, Drains & Bridge; Irrigation,
Pumps & Fountain; Ombudsmen.

II. Property Management for Our Community
At turnover Myrtle Trace contracted with Mike Harrington to continue as property manager.
                                         He was already Plantation Associates’ property
                                         manager and he had office space on Harrington
                                         Lake Drive. Our prior property managers over
                                         the years were:
                                                1986 Norm Woodward
                                                1987-1991 Mike Harrington
                                                1991 Vince McCormick
                                                1992-2004 Advanced Management of
                                                           Southwest Florida (AMI)
                                                2004-present Lighthouse Management.
During his tenure Mike Harrington prevailed upon PA to purchase and erect the building that
currently houses the PMA Management personnel as he and his staff were in temporary
quarters on Harrington Lake Drive. He hired Alex Carpenter as our Myrtle Trace
maintenance person and Alex served us for many years. In 2004 we selected Lighthouse
Management to replace AMI as our property manager, and at that time Alex resigned and Joe
Doria was hired. Joe retired in 2007 due to ill health and our current maintenance man, Tim
Houser, came aboard.

III. A New Independent Board Goes to Work in 1988
The newly formed, independent Board of Directors identified problem areas that Plantation
Associates was required to correct before completing the transaction. At a subsequent
meeting later in the year the new Board obtained owners’ agreement to set up a Reserve
Account for major capital improvements. As noted above, committees had been established.

IV. Accomplishments and Problems Overcome in the 20-year Period.

Rat Infestation Problem
A problem encountered early on was that of rats appearing around the property and even
getting into our homes. Apparently the new construction in the neighboring Southwood
development drove them from their nests there. They fled in the direction of Myrtle Trace
and infested some of our homes. There was one attic from which ten rats were removed!
The project to exterminate and control the infestation was an expense for our Association
even though the residential infestation was attributed to poor construction, because Myrtle
Trace Condominium Association had already accepted ownership from Plantation Associates
when we became aware of the problem. If you have ever wondered about those ugly black
boxes of poison up against your building the answer lies way back then. Regarding the
Southwood construction, our Board President was instrumental in getting a barrier between
our communities and had it registered in the County. Our current Board is addressing this
issue for violations.

Roads and Driveways Maintenance.
All roads within our community were repaved over a
two-year period probably 1994/1995. Driveways
have been repaired and resealed periodically every 4
years with the last being in 2007.

Pool and Clubhouse Maintenance.
                                      Pool lining
                                      has been
                                      replaced several times. The pool heater was replaced
                                      some time in the 1990’s and again in 2008. These
                                      repairs and updates are simply a matter of upkeep.

                                      Umbrellas for our tables at poolside were purchased
                                      by the ladies of the social committee back in the early
                                      1990’s using surplus funds they had accumulated
from our monthly pot luck parties. These were the first umbrellas we had for the tables. The
social committee also purchased the lights that are installed along the walkway to the
clubhouse using their funds.

The clubhouse has undergone a repainting. A new tile floor has been installed, and new
appliances have been purchased. Volunteers removed the old wallpaper and did the painting
to cut costs which were extensive.

Buildings and Grounds Maintenance and
More recently newer, energetic Boards have
made great strides in upgrading and repairing
buildings, in landscaping, and in numerous
necessary although often unseen ways. Their
work has already been dealt with in other

                                            Painting of Myrtle Trace Buildings.
                                            During the term of President Dick Nyberg, in
                                            1994 or 1995, the Board established a five-year
                                            schedule for painting our buildings. McKillop
                                            was selected on a competitive bid based on best
                                            competitive bid for services offered. Their work
                                            was excellent and we thought that the buildings
                                            had never looked that good before. The original
paint job was judged to be inferior to what McKillop did for us. The schedule was changed
to six years by a later Board under presidency of Joe Cook and has subsequently been
extended by the current Board to 12 years.

Roof Repairs and Replacement.
In 1995 we were made aware of a serious problem
with our roofs. An owner who wished to install
gutters was told by the installer that gutters could not
be installed because the roof was slipping. Apparently
                                    the underlayment
                                    of the tile was not
                                    properly     affixed
                                    causing the entire
                                    roof to slip. Other roofs were inspected and three
                                    additional ones were found to need immediate
                                    replacement. It was a jolt to the Board. Where would we
                                    get the funds for this essential repair? Using the roof
                                    reserve and surplus in the operating account we were able
to replace two roofs. The third roof and two additional ones were replaced the following year
when funds were available. The roofing contractor, Patnode, performed the work, and
quality inspection was by Sy Elakman. Cost was approximately $24,000 per roof covering
two units. In the years that followed additional roofs were replaced as they were judged to be
in too poor a condition to be worth repairing.

In 2005 the Building Committee judged that nearly all the remaining roofs were in poor
condition and recommended that all be replaced. The Board subsequently signed a contract
with Florida Southern Roofing for their replacement. An agreement in the contract affords
us an extended warranty for these 70 roofs, which protects Myrtle Trace from the cost of
future repairs.

Shower Stall Leaks in Original C and D Units.
Owner complaints concerning leaks in the stall showers of the Chelsea and Dover units were
numerous. The builder was aware that there was a problem in the construction and did make
some effort to ameliorate the situation. He really
was not applying sufficient attention to the
problem. He did open and repair to a limited
extent in response to complaints but the problem
didn’t go away. In 2006 the Myrtle Trace Board
determined that drastic action was in order. They
voted to undertake a major renovation. The walls
were opened and inspected and in many cases
major damage was noted. Some, however, did not
require complete overhaul probably because of
earlier efforts to correct the problem. Hurricane resistant glass was installed in all units in
order to bring them up to code.

All grass was replaced with St. Augustine plugs over a three-year period around 1994. This
is the grass that we have in most areas today.

Plantings are replaced as needed. The irrigation system
underwent extensive overhaul in 2008. That year also saw
upgrade of our entrance monuments largely by volunteer

                                    Tree Trimming.
                                    Trees were trimmed in
                                    2002, but subsequent
                                    Boards judged the work
                                    as unsatisfactory and in
                                    2006 engaged the services of Arborscape, Inc. at a cost of
                                    $5000 per visit three times a year. To avoid paying the
County for the right to dump the cuttings, owner volunteers offered their services to spread
the woodchip mulch that is generated from the cuttings.

V. Communications
It is important especially in a large community like Myrtle Trace for the Board to
communicate with its membership on a regular basis.

News Bulletins
Early Efforts: During the early to mid-90’s when our regular assessment notice was mailed
quarterly we prepared a two-page update on
activities that accompanied the mailing. This was
something that could be enclosed with the invoice at
no extra cost of mailing. Nothing along those lines
was done for a while. Some time later another
member of the community prepared a news bulletin,
Myrtle Tracings. At the end of 2001, when the
editor, Dan Lindsay, was out of town, Roy
Boudreaux prepared the paper. Dan subsequently
moved from Myrtle Trace. Roy came to the rescue
and produced his first monthly issue of the Gazette
May 1, 2002. The paper is an important means of
providing social and business information to our
residents. All await the volunteers’ delivery of the
paper at the front door on the first day of the month.
For those who are not currently in residence they can
obtain the paper by mail simply by leaving a stamped self-addressed envelope and specifying
the monthly issue(s) desired.

A Web Site for Myrtle Trace
Myrtle Trace now has its very own web site,, managed by Ken Buck,
Webmaster, where owners can access nearly every kind of news about their community. If
                                       an owner is unable to attend Board meetings the
                                       news from that meeting is available on the web site
                                       as are announcements of coming meetings.
                                       Financial information, social activities, and the
                                       Gazette are all there. There is also a history of
                                       Myrtle Trace written by Elsa Denno that contains a
                                       brief history of development of The Plantation,
                                       photos from old Plantation Newsletters announcing
                                       the planned construction of Myrtle Trace, photos
                                       from the 1992 flood, and floor plans for all seven
                                       Myrtle Trace models.

Myrtle Trace Directory
The Directory is another important project of our Gazette editor, Roy Boudreaux. It is more
than just a telephone book for our community. Roy first prepared it in 2006 and it has been
such an important tool for residents that he prepared an update in 2008. You will find names,
addresses, unit number, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses. Additionally, it includes our
Rules and Regulations, Companion Piece to Condominium Documents that clarifies terms
used therein, Advisory concerning things to do before leaving your residence for an extended
period, and even an advisory about handling of garbage, recyclables and yard waste.

VI. Keeping Documents Up to Date
Condominium Documents
It came to our attention that the original condominium documents for Myrtle Trace that had
been written by the developer were badly out of date. They did not deal with the current
State of Florida requirements for condominium ownership. A completely revised and
updated version was prepared and distributed to every owner in the community. The basic
condominium rules were unchanged but all references and rules were brought up to date.

Rules and Regulations.
In 2008 our President named an ad hoc committee to review and revise our Rules and
Regulations with a view to making them less restrictive wherever possible in order to
enhance our enjoyment of life at Myrtle Trace while still conforming to the condominium

VII. Recognition of Those Who Have Served
Let no one challenge the assertion that we have accomplished much in caring for our
community over the years. It all required dedication of time and effort in governing and
donating physical effort. Unfortunately many contribute and their effort is taken for granted,
and they are forgotten over the years. We remember some of them and list their names
below—first the Board Presidents in order of their service followed by those who served on
Boards with them. The list contains only those names this old author can recall or was able
to retrieve from the archives of Myrtle Trace.

Myrtle Trace Presidents of the Board of Directors
Bruce Rohn. Jean Dodge, Ivan Green,Tom Fern,
Jack Ames, Dick Nyberg, Bud Brecht, Bill Donnelly,
George Wielman, Bill Donnelly, Joe Cook,
Leo Boudreaux, Sam Simpson, Bob Banz

Served on Boards of Directors (listed
Weldon Booth, Bill Baldenko, Geri Becker; Bob
Banz, Ken Buck, Sue Clark, Barbara Diehl, Elsa
Denno, Robert Doris, Ed Englehart; Barbara
Farnsworth, Mary Jane Hepler, Paul Hepler,
Bob Jaggard, Dan Lindsay; Arthur Nelson, Bill
Reynolds, Tom Sullivan, Larry Saphier, Max
Wakeman, Dick Yost.
These are the often overlooked dedicated people who do many jobs that save the community
considerable expense, jobs that often require special expertise, and those that others do not
want to do. Listed following are some of them.

                                        Electrical expertise: Gerry Mello and Don Shaner

                                        Piping systems, controls, and mechanics:          Ed

                                        Information Management: Gazette, Web Site, Files,
                                        and Bulletin Boards: Roy Boudreaux, Carole Grace,
                                        Yvonne Noel, Ken Buck, Sue Clark, Sam Simpson.
                                        History of the development of The Plantation and
                                        Myrtle Trace (available on our Web Site) and this
                                        Myrtle Trace History:     Elsa Denno (text and
expertise), Ken Buck (graphics and archives)

Horticulture: Ken Buck, Rita Priest, Ricki Boudreaux

Social Events: Sue Clark, Joan Saphier, Betty
Hastings, Nancy Banz, Peggy and Sam Simpson,
Sandy Mumm, Jan Jaggard, Lynn Porter, Betty
Fern, Mary Hannum, and many more.

Without the perseverance and dedication in
applying their expertise and time, Myrtle Trace
would not be the great, unique community it is

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