All five drafts of the budget are now available!

Draft 1:  Click here 
Draft 2:  Click here 
Draft 3:  Click here
Draft 4:  Click here  
Draft 5:  Click here

NEW!     Click here to read our budget comments sent to the finance committee.

2018 Budget Highlights, or, how to spend homeowners money behind their backs.  Click here to read. 


NOTE!!  Most recent budget posts appear first on this list.  
Scroll down to see earlier budget posts.

This will be the first of series of reports we will post as the 2018 budget process drives towards what our dues will be next year.  We need lots of public comment on these posts to get the message across to the Board that WE DO CARE how our money is spent and will REMEMBER HOW THEY SPENT IN THE NEXT ELECTION.  So far we have mixed emotions on the process.  This process is a critical link between operating our community effectively and what that will cost all of us in terms of dues next year.  We will continue to put up posts to keep everyone informed.  Budget stuff we know is boring, but it hits us in the pocket every year.  Keep watching and get the word out.  

Budget Post # 7 - a comparison chart of draft 1 to draft 5 to simplify things 

               NOTE:  this chart is best viewed on a computer.  To view it in mobile view, click here .

Budget Post #6 - We don't care who tries to deny it, the pressure from the attention Take Back Sawcreek is creating has had an impact. Our careful watch and comments on the budget process are yielding results. We are pleased to say that after 3 drafts of the 2018 Budget the present budget projections freeze our dues and reserve assessments at last years cost. They have gone up every year since 2013.  What makes 2018 different - TAKE BACK SAWCREEK, that's what.

2018 Budget Version Projected Dues Reserve Charge Our Real Cost
  • Draft 1 $ 1,470 $ 150.00 $ 1,620.00
  • Draft 2 $ 1,467 $ 150.00 $ 1,617.00
  • Draft 3 $ 1,454 $ 166.00 $ 1,620.00

However, there has been some slight of hand to do this. The Community will transfer an additional $25,000 out of the reserve to fund capital projects for 2018 which have gone up $70,000 since the first draft. In addition, the community plans to spend $325,000 on purchases that were not even in the current capital spending plan.

We still have a problem with the reserve fund and 2018 reserve assessment charge. Our By-Laws require SCECA to maintain a capital reserve equal to 10% of our Operating Budget, which means that for 2018 we should have $500,000 sitting in the bank. While we would agree that the community should have much more than that, we question the need to have 16 times that much. The Board COULD AND SHOULD eliminate the projected $150 reserve assessment for 2018 thus giving all of us a break this year.

Budget Post #5 - Proposed Capital Budget for 2018:  The proposed budget once again projects the community over spending our reserves revenue by $205,667 dollars in 2018.  Our total capital budget for 2018 is $828,837 dollars.  That equates to a reserve fee charge to each owner of $327 each, but the 2018 budget at present only projects a $150.00 reserve fee for each owner.  Deficit spending is never good.  The major cause for the over spending is because not enough of us came out to vote against a $225,000 storage building that we have yet to see proof we need.  And let's not forget that once it's completed, our dues will go up to pay for utilities and maintenance to support this facility.

Budget Post #4 - Dues Collections Revenues for the 2018 budget are projected at a dead on arrival rate of 87%.  But what does this mean to you and me?  Of the 2,905 billable lots in Saw Creek, only 2,528 are paying their dues.  There are 377 owners projected to not pay their dues in 2018.  That's $554,190 dollars not being collected. That equates to - hold onto your socks- $219.22 extra you will pay in your dues.  The Board proudly points to the Fair Weather consulting report as proof we are well run.  The report puts our community are par with Hemlock Farms. The consulting report left out the critical matrix of how our dues collections stack up against other communities.  So since the consultant wanted to put us on par with Hemlock Farms lets use them as an example. Their collection rate is 97% while ours is 87%.  We have given the Board and the General Manager ideas on how to improve the collection rate, but they say that will cost money.  Yet they are willing to waste $160,000 on marketing a pig with lipstick on it??

Budget Post #3 - To follow up on the $130,000 increase in the Marketing/Advertising Budget line item:  No one has been policing our spending on this. The cost has gone up from $8,100 to $160,000 since 2016.  That equates to an additional $60 per year increase in our dues.  By the way, we only spent $1,458 dollars in 2015.  What do we have to show for the $30,000 budgeted last year?  FALSE ADVERTISING.   At the top of the Saw Creek Facebook page, several pictures flash across your screen.  None of those pictures are actually in Saw Creek.  Not to mention it shows people enjoying activities that are banned in Saw Creek.  If I am a potential buyer I would ask, hey where is that nice lake and dock I see on the Facebook page???  

Budget Post #2 - How are they spending our money??? The Total Cost of General and Professional Fees saw most individual line item costs decreasing from last year except 1, Line 7145 - Marketing/Advertising which jumped from $30,000 in 2017 to $160,000k in 2018. This increase in that line item equates to an increase of $51 dollars per year in our dues. This increase is tied to the questionable award of a marketing contract to a Board Member.  We have been vocal about this marketing contract via emails to the Board, which has once again gone ignored.  While we applaud the Board for the courage it takes to push such a large expense through for what could be a worthy cause, this is not the time to make that expenditure.  We have explained to the Board that launching a marketing campaign at this time is like putting lipstick on a pig.  The idea of the campaign is to draw in potential buyers which in the end should improve dues collection rates that would benefit all.  The sad truth is that the community looks like crap with unmaintained homes, overgrown vegetation, abandoned homes and junk in home owners yards.  Who ever comes to see Saw Creek as a result of this campaign will see these issues the second they pass the gate.  No, this campaign will only drive down the values of our homes as we EXPOSE the community for what it is.  We are all for this marketing campaign but we have asked the Board via email to put it off and first spend the money on code enforcement and cleaning up these homes.  Does that not make sense to everyone?  Of course, they continue to ignore us.

Budget Post #1 - What are they hiding?  The first draft of the 2018 budget was posted to the Saw Creek website and then mysteriously taken down. Why oh why??? Could it be because the Draft 1 projected operating budget showed only $1.97 increase in our dues next year and they don't want that to get out since the final round will no doubt contain a substantial increase?  Click here to view the draft 1 budget, which we luckily captured before they took it down.  to view the draft 1 budget, which we luckily captured before they took it down.

Click here to see drafts of the budget as they are made available.   Click here to comment on our Facebook page or click here to contact us via our site's webform.


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Take Back SawCreek, LLC 2017