Board of Directors

NameEmail
Michael Feltenberger, President (3 years)president@marlbororidgecommunity.com
Kojuan Almond, Vice President (2 years)vicepresident@marlbororidgecommunity.com
Mileah Perrin, Treasurer (2 years)treasurer@marlbororidgecommunity.com
Lisa Person, Secretary (3 years)secretary@marlbororidgecommunity.com
George Woodard, Director (3 years)director@marlbororidgecommunity.com

Board Memo United We Stand

We are living in pandemic times; however, this pandemic is not limited to Covid-19. Although the year is 2020, we are still faced with systemic racism and inequalities which are designed to prevent segments of our population from achieving success. Of course, all lives matter; however, not all lives are adversely impacted by the lack of economic opportunities, oppression and, yes, murder at the hands of rouge police officers simply because of the color of their skin. These disparities mandate that society recognize that Black Lives Matter. There can be no doubt that systemic racism played a role in the death of George Floyd and many others before him.

Anarchy can never be allowed to exist—even if the fuel that fans the flames of divisiveness and racism originates from those we expect to lead. Our nation was formed under the premise that “All men are created equal” and the First Amendment protects several basic freedoms including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assemble and the right to petition the government.

As a Board, we are united in the belief that racism cannot be encouraged or tolerated. Corrupt politicians and police officers must be prosecuted and removed from public life. We must to be free to watch birds in Central Park or hang posters along the Capital Crescent Trail without the fear of being attacked. We shouldn’t have to explain to our children why they cannot automatically trust those who have been empowered to protect them because a simple interaction may have a tragic outcome. If this is not a call to exercise our First Amendment rights—what is?

John F. Kennedy famously said, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Do not take the outcome of the 2020 elections for granted. Every vote matters, and for our country’s sake, we must vote. The failure to vote is a vote for maintaining the status quo. We must elect leadership who embrace the country’s diverse population and leadership who embrace the development of economic policies which benefit the masses. We must reject racism and divisiveness. We must not allow our voices to be suppressed—not in our protests and not at the ballot box. #VOTE

Board Memo: Status of Amenities

As we pass the 4th of July, we are typically looking forward to our annual community cookout, trips to the pool and mingling with friends and family. Unfortunately, 2020 introduced us to the realities of COVID-19. In order to protect the health and safety of our residents, Marlboro Ridge was forced to close the fitness center; and our pool remained closed. We are sending this correspondence to inform you that unfortunately the amenities mentioned above will, until further notice, remain closed.

When deciding the potential reopening of our amenities, the Board consulted with Cardinal Management, our attorneys, and our insurance agent.

Cardinal Management strongly recommended we remain closed. They cited numerous stringent reopening protocols that would make compliance in a reopening virtually impossible.

In speaking with our attorneys, we learned that although we can mandate that homeowners sign a waiver to use the amenities, that waiver does not prevent litigation—nor does it guarantee a successful defense in COVID-19 related lawsuits.

In speaking with our insurance agent, we learned that the Association’s insurance policies explicitly exclude coverage for claims related to communicable diseases and viruses. Consequently, the potential liabilities if someone got sick would rest on the Association’s assets and potentially, on individual Board Members.

As your Board of Directors, we have a fiduciary obligation to work in the best interests of the community and to protect the individuals serving on our volunteer board. We take these responsibilities very seriously.

Putting liability and fiduciary issues aside, the Board’s primary concern is protecting our residents. Even if everyone wears a mask, practices social distancing and we are able to meticulously clean workout equipment and high-touch areas—it only takes one person to create a calamitous situation for so many. A single individual with the virus can disastrously impact the health of those using the amenities and everyone who comes in contact with that person. It is simply a risk we are unwilling to take.

We do recognize that the clubhouse and pool are major attractions in Marlboro Ridge, and we are also anxious to use them. However, we ask that you be patient and remember that this is but a moment in time. It will come to pass—hopefully in the near future. There will come a time in which when we can safely reopen, but that time is not now. We must remain mindful of the health hazards posed by COVID-19 and the ease and speed in which the virus is spread.

Additionally, we understand that homeowners are going to inquire about the possibility of a reduction in our HOA fees because of the amenity restrictions. While this is an understandable question, it is important to note that amenity expenses are a very small component of our annual budget.

The clubhouse and pavilion; however, typically generate approximately $30K a year in rental income—which is money we will not receive because we are unable to rent these areas out. Consequently, under the circumstances we are unable to reduce HOA fees at this time.

We want to assure you that the decision to remain closed was not an easy one. However, after consulting with our advisors, and examining all the facts, we know it is the right decision. Our primary objective is to protect the health and well being of our residents and we are committed to doing so.

We plan to conduct a virtual “town hall” meeting in August and will open the phone lines to receive your questions and feedback and to hear your voices. We are still working out the meeting logistics and will provide additional information once plans have been finalized.

We hope you, and your families, remain healthy and safe during these unprecedentedly difficult times and we look forward to hearing from you in August.

Board Memo: Safety and Volunteerism

First and foremost, we hope your families continue to be safe and healthy during these difficult times. Please continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing so we can minimize the risk of transmitting Covid-19.

Secondly, and perhaps just as important, the Board has repeatedly stressed how critical it is to slow down when driving in the community. There have been multiple accidents in Marlboro Ridge directly resulting from the reckless manner in which our homeowners, or their guests, have driven in our community. Two of these accidents occurred in the past three weeks near the clubhouse. Fortunately, none have resulted in a significant injury or death. It is only a matter of time before something unimaginable occurs. We implore you to be responsible when driving within the community. PLEASE SLOW DOWN BEFORE SOMETHING TRAGIC OCCURS.

Finally, the success of the Board and the Association is dependent upon a vibrant and enthusiastic committee structure. There is much work to be accomplished and we need the help of our homeowners to populate our committees and assist in the governance of Marlboro Ridge.

As such, we are writing you today to ask that you consider joining a committee. Specifically, there are currently openings on the Covenant Committee which need to be filled. This is a vitally important committee in that the main responsibility of the committee is reviewing architectural applications homeowners submitted to the Association for approval. If you are interested in joining this committee, please contact the Association’s General Manager, Camilla Gaines, via e-mail, at c.gaines@cardinalmanagementgroup.com.

Please continue to be safe, slow down when driving and don’t forget the importance of voting on November 3rd.

Board Memo: End of Year Summary

First and foremost, we hope your families continue to be safe and healthy during these difficult times. Please continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing to minimize the risk of transmitting Covid-19.

Enclosed you will find a summary of the Association’s financial position through November 2020. In reviewing, you will find we are moving closer to having our reserves fully funded. This is very important as we are reaching the point in the Association’s life cycle in which we will need to contemplate major renovations of our common elements, such as the recent asphalt paving project, in order to ensure we are proactively maintaining the appearance of the community. Some of these projects are very expensive and without fully funded reserves we will not be able to complete them in a timely manner and our property values will be adversely impacted. Our delinquency rate continues to be a growing concern as we cannot operate if every homeowner is not paying assessments in a timely manner.

Although 2020 introduced a pandemic to the world, it did not prevent Marlboro Ridge from moving forward in several areas. The following is a partial list of our major accomplishments in 2020:

Board Meetings

Although the pandemic shut the world down, it introduced us to the world of Zoom. We continued to hold open meetings via Zoom. Although life will return to normal—hopefully at some point in the near future—the Board is exploring continuing to use Zoom as our meeting platform beyond the reopening. We have found that meetings are better attended, and more efficient via Zoom. Although a final decision has not been made, we will continue to explore ways to ensure we continue our governance of the community in a transparent manner.

Park Renaming

The Board formed a committee to review the name of our community park. The committee met frequently and polled the community to determine the appropriate name for the park. The committee recommended to the Board that the name of the park be changed to Marlboro Ridge Park. The Board unanimously voted to accept the committee’s recommendation. We are in the process of having signage created, and once completed the existing signage will be replaced. The Board thanks the committee for their efforts and the larger community for assisting in the process.

Communications

The Board adopted a records retention policy to more efficiently preserve the Association’s records. To assist in this effort, we are also moving away from the use of personal e-mail addresses. These e-mail addresses will be passed from Board to Board each year and will eliminate the need to use personal e-mail to conduct Association business.

Website

We are also preparing to introduce the membership to a new and improved website. The new website will provide a modern interface and increased functionality. Additional details regarding the new site will be sent in the coming weeks.

Covenant Committee

Marlboro Ridge now has a fully operational Covenant Committee. The primary responsibility of this committee is the review of architectural applications submitted by homeowners for exterior modifications to their homes. In 2020, the committee reviewed and approved 110 applications. We applaud the committee’s commitment to promptly approve the applications and our homeowners for continuing to improve the appearance of their homes.

Activities Committee

Our Activities Committee continues to work hard to schedule events. Over the past weekend, the Committee held another successful shred event. Hopefully, 2021 will allow the committee to return to a more robust schedule of activities.

Asphalt Repairs

The Board approved a contract to repave the asphalt on Chariot, Ranch, Buggy Path and the clubhouse parking lots. This project included restriping and repairs to curbs, gutters, sidewalks and driveway aprons. In time, similar work will be completed on other streets controlled by the Association (many of our streets are owned and maintained by the County).

Security Contract

As mentioned at our most recent Board Meeting, we now know definitively that we cannot gate our community. Therefore, we must take other measures to minimize our potential crime risks. To this end, the Board has negotiated a security contract to provide for security patrols within the community. The Safety Committee conducted two community surveys in 2019 related to employing a security patrol company. Over 200 residents responded. The majority of respondents were in favor of employing a security company. In approving the security contract, the Board was very cognizant of the impact on our budget. As such, we were able to reduce the overall contract expense by $39,815. This reduction eliminated a potential budget shortfall in the 2021 Operating Budget.

Tot Lot Inspections

We had each of the tot lots inspected by a certified inspector to ensure our children continue to have a safe place to play.

Despite a global pandemic, we continue to work to improve the appearance, operations and governance of the community. This has been a challenging year; however, we remain committed to ensuring Marlboro Ridge remains Prince George’s County’s premier community. It is important to understand the Board would not be able to accomplish these tasks without the assistance of others. We appreciate the hard work of each of our committees and our General Manager, Camilla Gaines, CMCA®, AMS®.

We hope each of you have a very happy and festive holiday season and that you remain safe and healthy. We look forward to seeing each of you, via Zoom, at our annual meeting in February.

Memo: Treasurer’s Report Jan-Nov 2020

BALANCE SHEET OVERVIEW:

Through the month of November 2020, eleven months in the fiscal year, the following changes occurred in the cash accounts:
Prior Current Increase

Month Month (Decrease)

Operating Funds$194,100$186,651$7,448$35,365
Reserve Funds$1,435,711$1,460,552$24,840$12,758
$19,523
Net Cash Position$1,629,811$1,647,203$17,392($28,600)

Operating Cash Variance: 

The Association experienced an increase in cash of $17,392 during the current operating period.

INVESTMENTS:

The Association holds the following investment accounts in a Morgan Stanley brokerage account:

Investment AccountsValueUpdated
Morgan Stanley Money Market$125,552
Goldman Sachs CD 0.30%$75,000Maturity 11/06/20
Sallie Mae CD 2.60%$50,000Maturity 02/22/21
Capital One CD 1.55%$50,000Maturity 04/20/21
BMW CD 1.85%$75,000Maturity 09/20/21
Discover Bank CD 2.25%$60,000Maturity 01/19/22
Comenity Bank CD 2.65%$100,000Maturity 04/04/22
American Express CD 3.10%$75,000Maturity 06/13/22
Sallie Mae CD 2.80%$50,000Maturity 02/22/23
Goldman Sachs 1.00%$100,000Maturity 05/08/23
Discover Bank CD 3.38%$75,000Maturity 10/17/23
JP Morgan CD 1.05%$75,000Maturity 12/30/23
Private Bank CD 1.95%$100,000Maturity 12/19/24
Morgan Stanley CD 1.80%$75,000Maturity 02/27/25
JP Morgan CD 1.35%$100,000Maturity 11/15/25
JP Morgan CD 0.55%$100,000Maturity 01/16/26
TOTAL$1,460,552

It is significant to note that although the Association has $1,460,552 in reserves, our reserves continue to be underfunded by $138,496[1]. We must continue to fund our reserves at the level recommended in the Association’s most recent reserve study and that we develop a plan to overcome this funding deficit. It is the Board’s intention to make an additional reserve contribution in December to bring us closer to fully finding our reserves. We are committed to having fully funded reserves prior to the end of 2021.

Monthly Cash Flow[2]:

Through November 30, 2020, the Association’s YTD actual expenses paid exceeded actual income received by $12,799. For budgeting purposes, the Association has an unaudited YTD surplus of $419,157. Below please find the Association’s YTD cash flow report:

Delinquencies[3]

The Association’s approved budget contemplates that 100% of the membership will pay the required assessments. Unfortunately, Marlboro Ridge has a serious delinquency problem—which, if not corrected, will have a serious impact on the Association’s ability to maintain the to community in an acceptable manner. In reviewing the information below you will find that the Association’s total delinquencies increased by $28,147 since December 2019. The Association’s auditor recommends a delinquency rate of less than 3%. Marlboro Ridge has a total delinquency of $373,984 which represents a delinquency rate of 21.9% of our annual income. While a portion of this new delinquency is certainly attributable to the impact Covid-19 has had on the overall economy and our community, we cannot continue to operate in this manner. The following illustrates the Association’s ongoing delinquency concerns:

[1] The Association’s reserves, when fully funded, should be $1,599,048 through November 30, 2020. This figure represents the budgeted contributions over the life of the Association—whether or not the contributions are actually made—less actual reserve expenditures. The Association did not make reserve contributions in the early years of the Association due cash flow problems largely related to the growing number of delinquent homeowners.

[2] The Association’s financial statements are maintained on an accrual basis whereas income is realized with it becomes due (whether or not it is received) and expenses are recorded when incurred (whether or not the invoice has been paid). This summary represents cash accounting (cash in and cash out) which included reserve expenditures in which reserve expenses are paid from operating and reimbursed by the reserve account. It should be noted that accrual accounting is the most accurate form of accounting as the reader of the financial statements receives a more complete picture of the Association’s financial position.

[3] The Association retains the law firm of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP to pursue the collection of delinquent assessments in accordance with provisions contained in the Association’s Governing Documents as well as applicable Maryland statutes. The Association is responsible for payment of the legal fees associated with these collection efforts and, in most instances, the legal fees and costs are collected from the delinquent homeowner upon receipt of payment. It should be noted; however, that not all legal fees are awarded by the Court and that legal fees expended during any given year may not be collected in the same year.

Community Petition

Over the years the Board and Management have received numerous complaints about the egregious speeding and reckless driving in our community and on Ritchie Marlboro Road. As you know there have been several automobile accidents that have resulted in loss of life, multiple injuries, and significant damage to the Association and county property. Our Safety Committee and General Manager have been collaborating with county officials to address this problem. However, to heighten the urgency related to our traffic calming request, we plan to send a letter to the appropriate county officials with data and photos outlining the problem. We also need your help in soliciting an immediate response to our request.

We are asking that all homeowners in Marlboro Ridge electronically sign a petition by 9/9/21, asking County officials to respond to this problem. Your signatures will be attached to the letter mentioned above. We are certain that an overwhelming expression of interest in this problem will be the catalyst for a timely resolution.

This is a call to action for EVERY HOMEOWNER in Marlboro Ridge. Please click the link, sign the petition and contact your neighbors to ensure they do the same.

Petition Link:

https://forms.gle/s6xHQQWEYh2yBiUb9

Thank you in advance for your support.