Looking back with thanks

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by Dave Humpton
It’s hard to believe that it has been 10 years since I started as EVP for Montgomery Village Foundation! I feel a sense of accomplishment as I think back to all the people I have served with, including MVF Board, committee and staff members, HOA and COA leaders, state and county officials and, most importantly, Village residents who are never shy about sharing their concerns and suggestions. I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people in Montgomery Village, and I look forward to the years to come.
 
Below are some important milestones we’ve achieved along the way:
MVF’s finances restored – in 2007, MVF’s Operating Fund ended with nearly a $500,000 deficit and had borrowed about $700,000 from Reserves to pay for operating costs. Today, not only do we have a healthy Reserve that has already funded two pool renovations, but the deficit balance is now a healthy surplus. Along the way we also reformatted the budget for more transparency, established formal internal financial controls and developed Strategic and Five Year Financial Plans. While the MVF Assessment maximum (the “ceiling”) was raised in 2011 with a the 3-year expectation, MVF cost controls have limited the use to only 28% of that increase and is expected to last until at least 2021;
 
Formed an Investment Committee and revising the Reserve Investment Policy – to better manage our long-term investments by striving for returns that exceed inflation yet ensure an acceptable level of risk in the investment portfolio; 
 
Adopted the Capital Contribution Fee – an alternative, non-assessment revenue source, which supports Capital projects on MVF property; initially is was thought to be minor source of revenue for new Village-wide amenities, but since its 2012 debut, the fee has generated over $900,000!
 
Increased Contributions to Reserves – over $1M annually is being reserved to replace and maintain our aging assets including the renovation of all of MVF’s pools;
 
Outsourced the MVF Maintenance Operations – to a qualified landscape contractor resulting in significant cost savings and reducing future staffing and reserve liabilities; 
 
Developed a Long-Range Facilities Plan – to identify new initiatives for MVF parks and pools; projects such as the Farmers’ Market, upgrading pools and bath houses, concession stand and restrooms at South Valley Park and the Lawn Theater were part of this plan;
 
Developed the Vision 2030 Plan – a document that M-NCPPC used as a base for the Montgomery Village Master Plan; this plan identified properties that were ripe for redevelopment with the goal of bringing new economic and community development to the Village;
 
Marketed the Village – with a new website, the “Flourish” magazine, colorful banners announcing events and social media exposure were important to enhance our image;
 
Performed regular architectural inspections of residential properties – by using the standard of every home being inspected every three years; 
 
Worked with new commercial property owners, the community and the county – to help shape future development projects within the Village to ensure they will be compatible with community goals;
 
Hired in-house legal counsel – to assist with collections and other legal matters; MVF has saved thousands of dollars and has streamlined legal processes;
 
Worked with state officials – on many issues over the years, but most notably to exempt HOA private streets from the county Water Quality Protection Charge, which helps save resources in their budgets;
 
Worked with county officials – on many issues over the years, but most notably to maintain some funding for HOAs for Roadway Reimbursement via the state’s highway trust fund;
 
Improving Lake Whetstone amenities – replacement of the boat house and dock, dredging of the Lake, replacement/repairs to riser structure and installation of new play features;
 
Brought back the Fall Festival – which today is a highlight for so many residents with its Pumpkin Races;
 
Enhanced management practices – including Ethics Training for all employees; implementing an Employee Recognition Program to recognize excellence; and implementing an in-house employee newsletter; and
 
Won state bond funds – for the South Valley Park Concession Stand and Restrooms, the new pavilion at Apple Ridge Recreation Area and the Lake Whetstone Boat House reconstruction.