By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Another Steiner Ranch employee, Andrew Smullen, controller, resigned effective March 9 making the third upper management resignation of the small HOA staff in the last three months — the executive director and community manager resigned over the past several months.
As of the Steiner homeowner’s website on Monday, Scott Selman was listed as interim director. Selman was one of the community’s previous directors.
“The community cares about this because eight people have left in the last six months,” said Bill Menzies, when addressing the Steiner Ranch Master Association board during the homeowner forum at the Feb. 27 board meeting. Menzies used to be the SRMA board president. “What is going on? This (the way things are now) is a huge mistake.”
The SRMA board hires and directs the Steiner Homeowner Association staff.
Sources say Smullen (who has worked at the Steiner HOA for some 18 months) is the ninth HOA employee who has resigned in the last 11 months. Others who have resigned include Randy Schmaltz, who resigned in January as executive director, and Mackal Taylor, community manager for eight years, who left the community mid December.
Current manager, Heather Hood, resigned effective March 23 after being hired late last year.
There have been some new hires. On March 5, the SRMA board announced the hiring of the newest community manager and a new position, the community enhancements project manager.
Resident Dottie Thoms spoke up at the homeowner forum of the February meeting saying she does not want to hear about staffing announcements through Four Points News but would like the board to “renew the way we communicate.”
Thoms was previously on the SRMA board and has volunteered on committees.
During the business portion of the Feb. 27 meeting, there was discussion about hiring new staff and the status of that, but there were actions taken between meetings and board members did not agree about how the actions were handled, that the actions were outside of the parameters of what the board members were supposed to do. After concerns were raised and discussion was not productive, the staffing updates and discussion topics were tabled until the executive session later that night.
But not everyone agreed with that move.
“I don’t believe important business is for between meetings,” Thoms said. “High level stuff should be done in front of us (the community).”
A few days later, the two new staff members were announced through email
Schoch joined Steiner on March 15 as community manager. She has more than 24 years of business management experience, and nine years of property management experience, including onsite management experience at Teravista – a master planned community in Round Rock.
All of these moves come in the midst of an indecisive time for the Steiner Ranch Master Association Board of Directors as the board members have been split on how the community should be managed.
Not long after the SRMA board was elected last April, the HOA board has become generally divided on several potential management shift ideas. The board is down to six members.
Naren Chilukuri, Amy Colton and Rekha Garapati have been 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.
Erika Fletcher, Robby Roberts and Dave Doman had been advocating to slow down the process to consider outside management 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.
The future of Steiner Ranch will be in the hands of the voters at the annual meeting and elections on April 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Towne Square Community Center.
Candidate applications were collected by Feb. 28 for the open SRMA Board positions. The list of candidates has not been made public yet.
SRMA board positions available in 2018 are districts 2 and 3. A district 4 position is open for a one-year term. One at large seat is also available. Those in those seats now are Doman, Chilukuri, Roberts and the one open seat.
Residents will be given a vote code via email or mail to vote on the website.
In the meantime, Tuesday, March 27 is the next SRMA board meeting at 6 p.m.