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Hawaiian Ranchos Road Maintenance Corporation

A Brief History

Download as PDF document, click here.

newsletter

This is interesting, supposedly the first newsletter pertaining HRRMC during it's founding about 20 years ago.

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An advertisment from 1970 for land in Ranchos

FORMATION

The January 1992 newsletter for the Hawaiian Ranchos Community Association (HRCA) announced that it had formed a new road management corporation to maintain and manage the roads in Hawaiian Ocean View Ranchos (HOVR).  Exeter Corporation, the developer of HOVR turned over approximately $400,000.00 to the new corporation.  The money was in a trust and to be used for road maintenance.  The HRCA board was concerned about the lack of road maintenance for several years and the status of the trust fund.  The new corporation, Hawaiian Ranchos Road Maintenance Corporation (HRRMC) was organized with the same officers as HRCA. 

The first officers and board members were:
Don Nitsche, President
Ann Freeman, Vice President
John Delaney, Secretary-Treasurer
James Otterson, Board member
Betty Perriea, Board member

Copies of the Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation and a ballot to accept (or not) the formation of the HRRMC were mailed to HOVR property owners by the HRCA as part of the January 1992 newsletter.

HRRMC sent out notice for an annual meeting to be held at the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Community Center on September 20, 1992.  The purpose of the meeting was to receive the Annual reports of the Officers and Directors of the Corporation, elect six members to the Board of Directors, vote on amendments to the Articles of Incorporation, vote on amendments to the By-Laws, vote on the Fall 1992 Preventative Maintenance Budget, vote on a Budget for 1993, and approve the Board employing a Managing Agent.

THE EARLY YEARS

In 1994 chips were received for “chip sealing” of Prince Kuhio Blvd. and Kohala Blvd.  They were stockpiled on the ends of three roads.  The Board was unhappy with this arrangement and was unable to make satisfactory arrangements to lease space for storage.  It was decided to purchase a lot from the Ranchos developer.  It was described as a “good deal” at $15,000.00 versus the assessed value of $43,200.00. 

It was reported that all road right-of-ways had been sprayed with herbicide, pot holes patched and fog sealing had been completed on all Blvd. and Drives including the Easement roads.

The cost of using a management company was more than expected and it was felt an office with part time employee would operate less expensively.  This was put into place in July and consisted of renting a portion of another office, having a desk, answering machine and a computer.

A report from the annual meeting was sent out November 1994.  Five directors were elected:  Warren Brooks, Martie Nitsche, Maurice Tepea (all 3 year terms), Larry Hulce and James Otterson (both for 2 year terms).  The 1995 Budget with $95.00 Assessment and road Maintenance Plan were approved (Yes 93%, No 7%).

 

The following were elected officers for 1995:
President – Warren Brooks
Vice-President – Karl Schaupp
Secretary – William Harris
Treasurer – Leonard Hill

The Trust Fund of $320,000.00 was deposited into 3 different CDs and an operating account of $42,438.13 was in a checking account at American Savings Bank.

In April 1995 it was reported that a CPA audit had been completed by Personal & Business Management, Inc and copies were available for a fee of $4.00.    1994 road maintenance activities were reported and 1995 road work was delayed until August 1995 in order to have ample time to advertise for bids, equipment rental and supervisor.  Income and expenses for 1994 was provided: 
Budget Income $175,520.00  Actual $174,618.00
Budget Expenses $175,520.00 Actual $155,352.00

The September 1995 newsletter reported that a gate was installed across the south end of Maikai Blvd. by individuals from the Ranchos and not by HRRMC.  It was installed to prevent access to a gated dirt road that leads to the beach.  According to the newsletter “one of the main objections to the establishment of this third entrance/exit for the Ranchos is that it is used by outsiders who are not required to pay for the maintenance of our private roads which they must use to come and go.

It was reported that total chip seal work was now at 13.7 miles.  The Ranchos was reported to have about 54 total miles so chip seal completed was about 25.4%.

LEGAL BATTLES

The next several years saw the HRRMC involved in a number of legal battles questioning its existence and operations.  Board members and officers were replaced, assessments questioned, road work suffered.  New board members and officers came and left.  Turmoil was commonplace.  It was a contentious and acrimonious period of the HRRMC and HOVR community.  Long held beliefs and feelings about the HRRMC and its board continue into the present, both negative and positive.  However, due to this challenge the existence and operations of the HRRMC was legally established. 
Especially noteworthy in the September 1995 newsletter was a discussion of the legality of road maintenance assessments and a Ranchos Roads background.  This part of the newsletter is reproduced in its entirety.

1995

In March 1996, Bob Barry, Board President updated the community on road maintenance progress and activities.  He also reported on a petition received demanding the removal of several members from the Board of Directors.  A Board meeting was held to discuss the petition after notifications were sent to HOVR residents.  None of the petitioners apparently attended.  He reported that several petitioners had requested that their signatures be removed from the petition which resulted in rendering the petition invalid.

This is a particularly contentious period of the HRRMC and parts of the newsletter are included:

Newsletter 1996

1996

1996

The September 1996 newsletter included a discussion of how the HRRMC operates according to the Articles of Incorporation and the By-laws.  The Presidents Message included a discussion of several lawsuits that involved the HRRMC and a description of six standing committees.  Included are several pages from this newsletter:

Sept 1996

Sept 1996

Sept 1996

A special membership meeting was held on September 13, 1997 and a new Board of Directors and officers were elected.  It was a culmination of legal action taken against the HRRMC and was overseen by a court appointed master/receiver.  HRRMC sent out notice for an annual meeting to be held Evangelical Church on November 8, 1997.  The purpose of the meeting was to vote on the proposed 1998 Budget, the proposed and 1998 Road Maintenance Plan.  A look at the newsletter from March 8, 1997 gives a picture of  this important period of the HRRMC history:

March 1998

The September 1998 newsletter included a discussion of a strategic plan for road maintenance (copied in part):

Sept 1998

Finally, the newsletter had a brief statement concerning overdue assessments and the Board considering legal action against delinquent Ranchos landowners.

The March 1999 newsletter described the Board’s follow up action concerning delinquent landowners.  It also discussed the Board’s policy regarding easements along the shoulders.  Once again due to the precedent setting described in the newsletter it is reproduced below:

March 1999

In the September 1999 newsletter Bob Barry, Board President reported that the class action lawsuit filed by HRRMC regarding its legal right to collect assessments was upheld by a July 1999 Third Circuit Court Declaratory Judgment.  The board decided to place on the ballot to determine if Ranchos owners wanted to pursue a class action lawsuit against all who have not paid assessments.  (The March 2000 newsletter reported that the Ranchos voters did not approve pursuing this lawsuit).  There was also a discussion of the monies turned over by the Ranchos’ developer several years earlier as follows:

A copy of the Declaratory Judgment was included as part of the newsletter and is included here:

1999 Judgement

Judgement

As previously mentioned the community voted against pursuing a class action lawsuit against all who have not paid their assessments.  The March 2000 newsletter also mentioned that the community approved the purchase of a tractor/mower.  Board President Bob Barry also reported that the Board had purchased a storage container which would be moved to the HRRMC base lot.  Items and supplies stored at the president’s property would be stored in the container.

SECOND DECADE

HRRMC and the Ranchos community decide to build a gate on Kohala Blvd.  In 2001 a letter was sent to the residents asking for a yea or nay to the idea of putting a gate on Kohala Blvd. just below Hwy. 11.  The response was in favor of it (73 of the 85 submitted).  The gate was proposed in order to reduce traffic, speed and trashing on Maile, as well as to increase security by having only one entrance/exit for the Ranchos.

By the first quarter of 2003 the HRRMC made two changes to its operations.  These were due in large part to external factors.  HRRMC hired its own part-time maintenance person as volunteerism had taken a “serious drop” as stated in the March 2003 newsletter.  This was apparently due to health problems with the person who had been providing “about 90%” of the help.  Volunteers from the community have provided hundreds if not thousands of hours to maintain the Ranchos road system.

HRRMC was also aware that HOVE’s road maintenance organization had decided to build its own office at its base lot.  HRRMC had rented office space from HOVE and it was felt this would be a good time to plan on the Ranchos having its own road maintenance building.  The HRRMC could use its own base lot for the building and store its equipment in it rather than the storage container as well as have its own office.  HRRMC decided to put the idea to the Ranchos community in the March 2003 newsletter.

The September 2003 newsletter included 3 major issues.  The first was the plan to install a gate on Kohala during the upcoming year.  The second was the construction of HRRMC’s office/storage building.  Lastly was the issue of placing liens on properties when the owners failed to pay their assessments.  Included below is the HRRMC’s position on liens from this newsletter:

2003

The March 2004 newsletter mentions that the Kohala gate project had fallen behind schedule but it was thought that it would be completed that year.  All materials were on the island and volunteers would be helping with the construction to help save costs.  HRRMC’s longtime office secretary (Jeannie Wilkinson) moved back to the mainland (Nov. 2003) and a new office manager was hired.  The September 2004 newsletter mentions that the Kohala gate project and office/storage building construction projects were proceeding.

The September 2005 newsletter explains that due to a difficulty in getting a financial audit done in a timely manner the normally March newsletter would be combined with the fall newsletter.  Bob Barry, Board President also mentioned that HRRMC had gone through 3 office managers plus computer problems.  Construction of the office/storage building was delayed due to permit problems with the County.  The Kohala gate would be installed after the office/storage building was finished as it would house the computer controls.  Road maintenance costs would be adversely affected due to higher material costs after the only plant in the state that manufactured the asphalt emulsion used in the chip seal process was closed by the EPA.

By the time of the September 2007 newsletter, long time board member, Don Nitsche was elected President.  The Kohala gate and office/storage projects had been completed.  The gate was out of commission due to vandalism and a security camera system was to be installed.  A new storage shed was constructed to hold the flammable materials.  Health problems required that the HRRMC hire a new office manager.  About 4.4 miles of road was left to be chip-sealed after 16 years!

HRRMC reported in September 2008 that there continued to be problems with working on two streets (4.4 miles) due to availability of materials and getting reliable contractors.  The mower/tractor had to be replaced with a new John Deere mower/tractor and mowing was scheduled to be done 4 times per year.  The Board proposed a special assessment on landowners responsible for heavier usage of the roads and placed it on the ballot for approval/rejection by Ranchos owners (see below).

special assesment

The Board instituted a higher rate for certain commercial landowners after the 2010 annual meeting.

Board President, Bob South, reported in the 2009 newsletter that due to the high cost of chip sealing work was being limited to Tapa Drive (2.2 miles).  Minor repairs such as potholes and mowing would continue throughout the year.  The Kohala Gate was being upgraded to resist vandalism with rock walls on either side of the gate and a galvanized 24 foot rolling gate would be installed.

Major changes to the operation of HRRMC occurred during the ensuing year.  Board President, Dick Hershberger reported in the 2010 newsletter that the Board had decided to eliminate all employees and out-source accounting as a cost-saving measure.  Prince Kuhio Blvd. was resurfaced at the entrance to the Ranchos and Macadamia was scheduled to be done in two phases.   The Board intended to employ a part-time person to do the mowing and minor repair/maintenance.

Interim President, Galen Lutz was elected President for 2010-2011 at the Board session after the annual meeting in October 2010.  The annual meeting included several members from the Ranchos who questioned the Board’s decision to eliminate its employees and out-source accounting.  Rancho’s members complained about the lack of apparent road maintenance activities.

Galen Lutz, Board President, reported in the September 2011 newsletter that great progress had been made.  Several committees had been formed to divide the workload of the Board and had been quite successful.  The following were discussed: Kohala gate was operational and had a security camera system, past due assessments were being collected, fixed/repaired/replaced signage, repaired potholes, restructured finances, hired a part-time road maintenance specialist to mow and do routine maintenance, looked into the swap meet at Pohue Plaza and its effects on the roads/shoulders, and institute a HRRMC website.  HRRMC was planning on fog-sealing all Ranchos roads in the upcoming year (55 miles).

The September 2012 newsletter reported on the continued operation of the Kohala gate, routine maintenance and major projects.  The swap meet continued to be a concern (HRRMC painted additional striping/no parking on the shoulders in the areas of the swap meet).  The Board decided to employ a part-time office person and an in-house bookkeeper.  President, Galen Lutz, reported that the Board has had to remove/replace employees but current employees were doing well.  The annual assessment was raised for first time in 12 years to $130.00.

The road maintenance report is included:

Road maintenance report
Year end 2010, the Road Maintenance Corp. completely rebuilt the major thoroughfare in Ranchos: HWY 11 down through Prince Kuhio and onto Maile, complete with striping
and road signs. This was the most complete roadwork rejuvenation project accomplished in many years. 2011 and 2012 saw a great deal of continued Road Maintenance activity. We chip sealed the entire length of the Frontage Road, 1.5 miles, fog sealed and centerline striping the entire length of 10.5 miles of our main roads: Kohala, Maile, and Prince Kuhio. Currently, many intersections are getting fog seal and center/stop lines painted.
The Board has established a five year plan to fog seal and center line stripe all 55 miles of our roadway system. This plan will add many years to preserving our road system. While the upper roadways are in good condition, the lower roads need to be evaluated and addressed.
The Road Corporation is maintaining on a daily basis the mowing of road shoulder vegetation, pothole repair, sign replacement, and intersection cleaning of loose debris.

 

This history was compiled by Lester Lowe, thanks!