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How come no financial information?

This article is written to the (Lake Oswego) Review because Mountain Park no longer publishes letters from its members in its publication.

Mountain Park members received their package for the March annual meeting earlier this month. The package did not contain financial information about the association. This is the first time that an annual meeting package has not contained financial information. Is this the kind of change the members want from the board?

Here is some financial information for members. The pool was closed in the fall of 2005. Assessments were increased in 2006 and 2007. Operating surpluses since the pool closed are more than $700,000. The association has cash or short-term investments of more than $700,000. The 2008 budget shows a surplus of $299,000. The present assessment level will generate operating surpluses for several more years as one can see from the 2008 budget surplus.

The members know the building is 40 years old and needs some work done on it. The question is what work? And how much is it going to cost? The board (members) need to stop all the rhetoric they are giving members and let them know what is needed, how much it is going to cost and let them vote on it. Raising assessments piecemeal before the restoration plan is in place is not the answer.

It was reported in The Oregonian last week that the board would ask for an assessment of $10 to $15 per month in September 2008 to renovate the Recreation Center. Apparently this information was provided by Tim Warren, president of the board. Mountain Park has its own publication called Parkways. No mention or information about this proposed assessment has been given to members in Parkways. If the board is trying to gain creditability with its members one would think that the board would let the members know what is happening through its own publication rather than through The Oregonian.

I trust that the members will do the right thing if they are given good and sound information. The sooner this is done the better Mountain Park will be as a community.

Tom Schmit is a resident of the Mountain Park area in Lake Oswego.

Editor's note: Tim Warren responds: 'The association has replaced letters to the editor with an online community bulletin board (www.mountainparkhoa.com and click on community comments tab) where FAQ and member comment is encouraged. The final 2007 financials were not available when the packets were sent out. The data is now available on-line at the MPHOA Web site and at the clubhouse. Mr. Schmit is incorrect in his reporting of operating surpluses. At the end of 2006, the total of all reserve funds (emergency, small asset replacement, deferred maintenance) was $201,296. At the end of 2007 the fund balances was $346,934. While this seems like quite a sum, one needs to understand that there is well over $1.5 million in deferred maintenance that is yet to be addressed. A new reserve study will be available to members before the end of February. Members are encouraged to attend the annual meeting March 13 at 7 p.m., twice-monthly board meetings and a weekly president-general manager meeting for more details.