We have been communicating to you, our VOCA community and neighbors, for over a year. During that time we have connected with a number of you personally, received lots of positive feedback, comments and suggestions, and most importantly, worked together to start driving change in VOCA for full inclusion of all members.
Some of you only moved to the community recently, or we have had a bad email address, so let us reintroduce ourselves: We are a substantial and growing group of VOCA members who are interested in positively influencing the operation and management of our HOA such that it operates fairly to members, accurately represents the majority of members and is compliant with our governing documents and AZ statutes. In the past, this has not always been the case. The deviations from our governing documents, as well as a lack of good faith attempts to include all members’ input resulted in controversial outcomes from our 2016 and 2017 ballots, which contained amendment proposals.
As part of our goal for fair representation of all VOCA members, we have also been active in increasing community engagement and participation in VOCA events in general. Our HOA is a very complex and challenging organization given the large number of owners (approximately 2350), given we own and are responsible for the Oak Creek Country Club golf course and that we live in an area that is one of the top tourist destinations in the southwest. Also, over 40% of our owners have additional homes or properties outside of VOCA.
We have been successful in promoting some positive changes for all VOCA members that we want to make you aware of:
- We drove the change to hold Board meetings at 6PM and provide a call-in line to allow working, remote and homebound owners to participate
- We helped revive the Activities Committee which has now held several fun and well attended events for the community ranging from pancake breakfasts to movies and wine tasting
- We recruited and supported multiple Board candidates for our most recent election, supplying more candidates than the Nominations Committee, resulting in the election of new Board members who represent a more diverse and enlightened perspective on a multitude of community issues
- We helped bring attention to the Big Park Waste Water Improvement easement proposal that runs the risk of committing Fairway Oaks owners to a mandatory sewer tie-in at their own expense
- We created and host a website and discussion forum for our community. On the site we share audio recordings and written accounts of Board meetings in an effort to improve transparency of VOCA actions
- We successfully encouraged increased participation of membership on VOCA committees including the Architectural Rules and Regulation, Finance, Policy and Activities Committees in addition to the Board of Directors
- Our direct communication with fellow members has caused a significant uptick in voter turnout and involvement in VOCA elections
- Our emphasis on compliance to our governing documents and procedures helps guide the current Board to adhere to the Code of Conduct and increase transparency to the community through things like more timely posting of Board meeting minutes
If you want to get involved, there are multiple opportunities and we encourage you to do it through established VOCA channels:
- Join a committee: the list can be found on www.vocaonline.com. Simply contact the representative board member to express your interest.
- Call into or attend monthly board meetings. The phone in number is included in VOCA communications each month.
- Share your experiences, interests and concerns with the board at firstname.lastname@example.org. We understand Dee & Gwen (both are on the Board) have a community engagement proposal that will help formalize a better way to make sure you are included and heard.
- Not confident you’ll be heard by the current board? Let us know your concerns and we can pass them along in a confidential manner.
- Passionate about dogs, parks or the 5 acre parcel? At the last Board meeting renewed interest in exploring the possibility of turning the 5 acre parcel into a proper dog park instead of selling it to a developer became a topic of discussion. Reach out to the board at email@example.com if you are interested in being part of an ad-hoc committee to recommend options!
We are proud of the positive impacts we have had thus far and are optimistic about making more progress. We will continue to advocate for the well-being of our community and will always encourage others to do the same.
Concerned Residents of VOCA