Friday, May 11, 2012

Hickory Cluster Annual Meeting: May 19th, 9-11am

Hickory Cluster Annual Meeting
May 19th, 9-11am @ RCC-Lake Anne 

On the agenda (subject to change) for the meeting will be...
  • Stream restoration update
  • Block III EIFS and railing maintenance & painting
  • Announcement of the HC Landscape Committee formed over the last year
  • more...
TWO Hickory Cluster board seats are up for election at the May 19th meeting.
  • Darryl Kramer, Block II, Board Member (Darryl is not running for re-election)
  • Robert Laird, Block I, retired architect and former board member... more.
  • Fred Swartzendruber, Block II & current HC board president
  • Blake Travis, Block II, new resident and businessman... more info here 
If any other HC resident is interested in running and would like to have their information posted on the website here, please send your information to me.

If you can not attend the meeting in person and would like to vote, please fill out the proxy vote that you received in the mail at the end of April and either mail or drop off at TWC (address below) in time for the meeting on the 19th OR give it to a neighbor who's attending & can submit for you OR you can put it in my mail slot at 11517HC. Blank proxy & ballot forms.

Attn: Hickory Cluster Ballot
397 Herndon Parkway, Suite 100
Herndon, VA 20170

Cluster gratitude to Darry Kramer for his dedicated service on the board!


  1. Many thanks to Bob Laird and Blake Travis for providing information and position statements for the up-coming Board elections on Saturday. And thanks for their willingness to serve!

    This is a request that anyone else who is planning to run for Board membership submit a similar statement of background and position on Cluster concerns. This can be done by email, by "flyer" or on the website, and should be submitted 24-48 hours before the meeting so that residents have time to review.

    I would also like to suggest that we review our Cluster by-law relative to the use of proxy voting for Board members and for Cluster-wide votes on major expenditures, by-laws changes and Cluster regulations. (HCA< Inc. By-laws: Article III, Section 8.
    Alice Abrash

  2. Will be out of town on Sat. and am voting by proxy. Assume the only voting will be on Board Members. Is that correct?-jim livingood, Blk 1

  3. Only The board member vote is one the agenda. Though it is always possible that a motion could be put to a vote during a meeting.

  4. Have to assume any large maintenance project requiring a vote prior to funding would have already been announced. Thought maybe the EIFS project might require a vote. Thanks, jim

  5. Thank you Alice! I do hope that residents will take the opportunity here and at tomorrow's annual meeting (or any other avenue) to weigh in on the HC board voting procedure.

    It seems to me personally that the cluster is not served by relying solely on individuals to convey the information details on upcoming elections and cluster issues to residents as a method to gather proxy and control the board election. I have put the basic information on who's announced that they are running for a seat on the board on this site in an attempt share information cluster-wide.

    I have heard so many complaints this year on the vote. I will not address all of them here except to say that if anyone tells you that they are personally responsible for the recent power washing of the cluster common areas, that is completely false.

    Remember that there are TWO seats up for vote this election... if you are giving your proxy to someone, please fill in your own ballot or make sure you know how that person intends to vote for both.

  6. We assumed the HC Board hired the power washer to do all three blocks. He did a great job and thanks to the Board we now have a nice, clean plaza over in Block 1. Keep that good stuff coming! -jim livingood, Block 1

  7. Sara, thanks for posting info about candidates. In the past we have had Board reps elected who we knew nothing about whatsoever.
    Even though we may not know them personally it is good to know their platform and goals.-jim livingood, Block 1

  8. That is correct about the Board & power-washing! I've heard complaints from residents that an email went around stating otherwise... so I needed to clarify.

  9. Personally have heard nothing about such an e-mail. Let us know if you uncover the culprit.

  10. Hello fellow residents,

    I am excited about tomorrow's election and hopefully I'll be serving on the Board for you.

    I wanted to express my concern over the actual election process. I feel it can be improved and would like to see some changes, whether or not I am elected. I think the Proxy process doesn't pass the "smell test" and presents the opportunity for misinformation and intimidation. I would like to see us mirror the Reston Association's process where everyone makes their own vote. We could adjust ours to offer it online or in-person at the meeting, depending on availability, but at least everyone is making their own decision. If they choose not vote, then that is also a conscious decision they are making, rather than "farming" it out. I also think that it is necessary for each candidate to declare and register to run in advance of the election. I think this enables the residents to learn more about the candidates and allows for a more structured election process. I would also like to see every candidate asked to sign a Code of Ethics.

    I would also like to bring to your attention some disturbing details of this election. As I have been going through our community to discuss my candidacy with our neighbors, I have been shocked to discover that someone (or multiple people) have been going around providing misleading, inaccurate, and false information about me. I understand that there are bad apples in every group, but I expected more honesty and integrity from my neighbors. I'm disturbed that some decisions for this election will not be made on equal ground because of it. I have had some residents offer to attest to the false information they were given, but at this time I do not want to bring them into a potentially hostile situation.

    The silver lining is that many of the people who didn't plan on attending (or never do) are now going to attend. Many others have decided to attend and revoke their proxies and instead vote in-person. I think this is good for everyone, as the more residents are involved in this process, the greater the benefit to our community.

    Whether elected or not, I plan on regularly attending the Board meetings to express my opinion, provide oversight, and challenge anything I think is unethical, unfair, or bad for our Cluster. In light of what has happened so far with this election, I believe that it is important for me and my neighbors that we are well-informed of what is happening at these meetings. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."

    Thanks again for your time and I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow morning.

    Blake Travis

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