President’s Message – Spring 2020

President’s Message – Spring 2020

Greetings, neighbors! Every four months I wrack my brain about what to write in this column. What shall be the “president’s message?” Should it be profound or whimsical? Informative or advisory? This time, I decline to address the elephant in the room: the virus that shall not be named. We have heard enough of that. Do you remember the annual meeting that wasn’t?

Here is what you didn’t hear.

We are pleased to have David Cristiani and Mary Dohm join the Board of Directors. Mary is transitioning to the Treasurer’s role and David is slated to chair the Infrastructure Committee. Mary brings valuable previous experience to the role of Treasurer. David’s skills will be very helpful in this year’s planned landscape construction projects. You may already have noticed work near the entry monument on Picacho Hills Drive. The defunct utility pole and the electric service drop across Hwy. 70 have been removed and a rock wall has been constructed to partially screen the Zia Gas enclosure. The planting scheme shown elsewhere in this newsletter will be implemented soon and we hope to refresh the existing streetscape nearby. The north and south sides of Picacho Hills Drive between Fairway Village Drive and Barcelona Ridge Road are slated for completion as shown in the Master Landscape Plan.

With the help of the Doña Ana County Community Development Department, we completed a color map of Picacho Hills showing thirty-eight neighborhoods with HOA’s and depicting the border of our census-designated community. For the first time we will have accurate demographic data for Picacho Hills. So, please remember to respond to the 2020 Census at https://my2020census.gov/.

The Board adopted several cost-saving measures in 2019, including in-house bookkeeping and eliminating electric utility fees. We were pleased to end the year with a modest surplus, which will be applied to our landscaping program. A combination of inflation and increased activities resulted in projected expenses of $23,332 for 2020 compared to $21,012 in 2019. The greatest expenses are for landscape maintenance, advertising, insurance, and printing.

You will have noticed the change in format for the 2020 Neighborhood Directory, developed in cooperation with N2 Publishing. The motivations for this change were saving money and reducing the workload of the Board and Committee members. Going forward, we will make our best effort to improve the process for the 2021 Directory.

“Every cloud has a silver lining” and sheltering in place illustrates this metaphor. We just need to look for examples. I’ve discovered new hikes and walking trails, enjoyed beautiful weather, discovered heretofore unknown streets in Picacho Hills, installed new feeders to welcome back the birds, video-conferenced with people I was unlikely to see, caught up on my to-do list, watched movies I’ve wanted to see, read more books than usual, turned Saturday date night into Country Club take out, installed new plants and bushes, and made a long list of emergency supplies for my future cache. That said, I am looking forward to Fall.