By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
The Steiner Ranch Homeowners’ Association is without Randy Schmaltz as its executive director as of Friday. The move comes in the midst of an indecisive time for the Steiner Ranch Master Association Board of Directors as the board members are split on how the community should be managed.
Neither the board nor the HOA attorney returned requests for comment about Schmaltz’s notice and who will run the community in the interim.
Mackal Taylor, community manager for eight years, left the community mid last month. Heather Hood, was hired to replace Taylor as community manager. Hood is from Austin and has worked in association management for more than five years.
Schmaltz cannot comment due to his separation agreement.
His move comes after three town hall meetings held in September and November about a potential shift in the management structure of how Steiner Ranch is run. The town hall meetings had many in attendance and there were comments from advocates for both shifting the management to a third-party system and for keeping the management structure the same. A majority of people who attended these town halls voiced opinions on keeping the management the same but with giving the current staff more direction.
The HOA board is generally divided and in a deadlock on several potential management shift initiatives.
Naren Chilukuri, Amy Colton and Rekha Garapati are advocating for changes in the HOA management structure and have been exploring ideas for a third party management structure since the summer. They say this could lead to cost savings and efficiencies.
Robby Roberts, Dave Doman and Erika Fletcher had been advocating to slow down the process to consider outside management, to gather more information about a potential shift, and to review and refine the current structure. They want to table any major management structure decisions until the next election of board members in April.
Schmaltz’s Steiner tenure
Schmaltz’s last day was Friday as executive director of Steiner. During his tenure, Schmaltz led the community, with its 4,000 or so homes, through the transition of the developer-run community to a resident-run community. He came to Steiner in March of 2015. In April of 2016, the SRMA board was completely filled by homeowners for the first time. In December 2016, Taylor Morrison transferred assets from the developer to the homeowners.
Under Schmaltz’s leadership, there have been many areas to address during the transition from Taylor Morrison to the homeowners. He oversaw several initiatives including: expanded insurance coverage, upgraded pool maintenance, two in-depth audit reviews, updated website, obtaining tax exempt status for the association, a new performance-based landscape contract, and the addition of family-friendly events.
SRMA December board meeting
Schmaltz had not given notice yet at the time of the last board meeting on Dec. 11 where the 2018 budget was passed. The board had financial documents to review prior to the meeting and had had budget workshops. At the board meeting, some budgetary items were discussed in greater length. Ultimately the 2018 budget passed.
There were other topics discussed at the board meeting including safety and security for the University of Texas Golf Club community. Gate security bids were gathered and discussed as well as speed tables. Hundreds of homeowners in the UT Golf Club are in favor of moving forward with changes.
Schmaltz analyzed the proposals and added comments and background on the hardware and software fees and components.
Dottie Thoms, of the UT Golf Club committee, said, “We really want some kind of security.”
Colton noted there were two decision points: the manpower and financial analysis part and the hardware and software changes.
It was discussed that one issue that residents want to be sure of is that their next system addresses the security of multiple cars going through the gates and gate keeper.
After discussion to bid on the labor only portion of the Allied contract proposal, the measure passed.
A decision was made to postpone the purchase of hardware until speed table data could be collected and further action on that be decided.
A speed table in the UT Golf Club was addressed and noted that vehicles go faster than the posted 25 miles per hour on University Club Drive.
It was discussed that a professional, third party should look at data and make recommendations for several reasons including liabilities in case vehicles are damaged from a speed bump. There was a 2007 speed study done in the area but new numbers are needed because of the added residents. The Steiner HOA attorney said that a third party should be involved in placing speed bumps in the community.
The next SRMA board meeting is Tuesday Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. at the Towne Square Community Center.