The following email was released to the Hot Springs Village Pickleball Club Members. Documents from the PIckleball Club website have also been included below. While the HSV Gazette has requested a response from the POA Board of Directors, we are not in receipt of a reply at the time of the article’s publication. In all fairness to the POA, it is a holiday week.
HSV Pickleball Club Board Email to Club Members re: Windscreens
The PB Club Board felt it was time to share the communications between the current POA Board/GM and our Board, as well as some history relative to the windscreen signage. The current POA decided to terminate the agreement that has been active for four years. The PB Board was told we had done nothing wrong, nor had we hidden our intentions of soliciting donations to improve our courts. Three previous POA General Managers and POA Boards agreed with the signage and did not question our intentions. Without these sponsorships and our membership, our Club would not have been able to provide 14 benches, shade cover down the middle of the courts, 3 picnic tables with umbrellas, tools for water removal, and leaf blowers. All donations (approximately $50,000) received have been used solely to improve the PB facility and any remaining donations will also be used for that purpose. We are hard-pressed to identify any POA financial support over the past four years and without this sponsor income source, we are very concerned about what will happen to our pickleball courts’ future and/or growth.
In 2018 after the new pickleball courts were built, the PB Club asked the POA Recreation Dept. to install much-needed windscreens on the courts, similar to those on the tennis courts. The Recreation Dept. said funds were not available and suggested the PB Club raise the money to purchase windscreens. The PB Club Board initiated the windscreen sponsorship program. The program was approved by the Recreation Department and the Architectural Control Committee. The program gave local businesses the opportunity to support the HSV pickleball community through a monetary donation to the Club. In exchange, a windscreen with approved ACC signage was installed to designate their sponsorship. Within 2 years, every court had windscreens. Excess funds donated were then used to purchase the shade cover over the walkway and tools to keep the courts clean and dry. This program provided an improved facility without POA investment.
Sadly, with a new POA Board and new GM things changed. In June, a meeting was held with the PB Club President and Treasurer and members of the POA Board, and the GM to discuss the concerns the POA Board had regarding the windscreens and the approval process to obtain the sponsorships. The position of the GM and POA Board was the windscreen signage did not conform with HSV regulations.
On July 28th, the PB Club Treasurer and President received a letter from the POA Board Chairman demanding the Club cease and desist all new and renewal contracts for windscreens and provide a complete audit of the donations received and receipts for expenditures.
On August 10th, the PB Club Board and the POA Board, and GM met to discuss why the POA wanted to stop a program that has been very successful and saved residents thousands of assessment dollars. Even though the windscreen were approved, the current POA Board and GM decided to rescind that approval stating the windscreens violate HSV signage regulations. At this meeting, the POA Board and GM verbally agreed to allow the windscreens to remain until the sponsor agreements expired and at that time the POA would remove each windscreen and replace it with a blank windscreen. After the meeting, the PB Club sent a letter to the POA Board outlining this verbal agreement and requesting that it be signed. The POA would not agree to sign the letter.
On October 10th, the PB Club Treasurer met again with POA Board members and the GM and provided a spreadsheet with all income and expenditures over the past 4 years pertaining to windscreens. The PB Club has an approximate balance of $7,300 attributed to donations from windscreen sponsors. The POA wants the PB Club to turn over this money and the POA would use the money to purchase new windscreens. Again, they would not put this in writing; the concern is that the money would be put into the general fund and possibly used for other amenities.
Our generous sponsors donated money to the PB Club. The original windscreen sponsorship proposal approved by the POA management in 2018 never authorized any sponsor donations to be given to the POA. Instead, all donations collected by the PB Club would be used to fund the needs of the PB facility. Therefore, the PB Board indicated it would purchase the replacement windscreens and store them until the contracts expire. This solution was not acceptable to the POA, who indicated they would purchase windscreens and invoice the PB Club for the total remaining balance ($7,300) of donations from sponsorships.
PB is the hottest sport in the country today. Sponsorships are relatively easy to find, and it would seem logical to take advantage of this to continue improving the courts. The PB Board is also submitting a letter to the Rules Committee to attempt to get some agreement on sponsorship signage. It’s time to change these outdated ways of doing business. Let’s embrace our Sponsors before they abandon us.
Please reference https://hsvpickleball.com/windscreens to see the actual correspondence, with the exception of the final email indicating the POA would invoice the PB Club for the entire amount remaining from the sponsorship donations.
One would think that having a disagreement or a discussion on a amenity that may be the only profitable one in the Village would be a easy task. Finger pointing won’t get this problem fixed permanently. Bury the hatchet.
Start to figure out how all the parties can be satisfied. We need the Club to continue their excellent ways and means of soliciting members for the POA annual fees ( that’s why we are profitable). We need the Club to continue to be the Diplomats for pickleball, teach, promote and run activities (this alone would suppress the need for an expensive or a costly Pickleball Pro). The men and women running the Pickleball Club are top notch residents and need to be commended for what they have accomplished immediately.
The Club needs to see the the concern of the POA with regards to the term ” the screens are an eyesore” and move on….this author agrees with that statement. However the windscreens are a very necessary part of the pickleball game. Unfortunately the current designs have magnified a player vision problem while solving a wind problem. Let’s keep in mind that pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country and build on that success.
There are ways to satisfy all the issues here……just look for the solutions together. My guess is that nobody on the POA Board or the other committees plays pickleball. There are other ways of displaying the advertisers messages without them being listed as “eyesores”. Major Pickleball tournaments have used the courts and nets to advertise the sponsors. All one needs to do is look for the answers. The entire Village ought to commend the pickleball Club for their unsolicited work to keep us ahead of a costly expense. MRV
Back 3 or more years ago, when the PB group started putting up the bright blue windscreens with bold white lettering, I wrote a couple of emails to the then CEO Nalley and the BOD noting that the windscreens were in violation of at least 2 covenants. I received no response. After a while, I sent a third message and received a call from Stephane Heffer, who I think was the assistant to the CEO. We talked back and forth about the windscreens, and finally she admitted that the POA/CEO knew that they were in violation. But she said that they planned to rewrite the covenants that the PB Club was in violation of, and then things would comply. This type of action was done in a few other situations. The POA would violate our legal documents and then some time later they rewrite the documents to cover their mistakes. Only this time they never got around to rewriting the covenants!
Two wrongs don’t make a right. The POA/ACC was wrong in supposedly approving the present windscreens and the PB Club was/is wrong in fighting the decision of the present BOD, who is trying to get compliance to our documents.
I think they are an eyesore” in the Village, particularly because they are on Desoto Blvd.
While I commend the Pickle Ball Club for their intentions, I would agree with the POA.
1. The wind screens are in violation of the POA “Protective Covenants” and “Rules and Regulations”
2. Their actions and requests would obligate the POA for future maintenance of the other upgrades to the area not authorized through the normal operating procedures nor budgeted.
3. Allowing this to occur sets a precedent that other clubs or groups could use to demand equal treatment.
4. While they may not realize it, the Pickle Ball Club has been in violation of Ark. Code Ann. §§ 4-28-401 through 416 for 4 years. They have not registered with the Arkansas Secretary of State, like other clubs in the village have, as a Charitable Organization
As my mother always said “If it is the law, you follow it. If you don’t like it, you still follow it but you work to change it.” OR as Judge Judy would say “Courts Don’t Help People Break the Law! Case Dismissed”
The next handyman you hire, house cleaner, or grass cutter, or barber or stylist you use and who only take ‘cash’, I hope you get on your soapbox and quote the AR tax filing violations for both they AND you. It is ridiculous to use this a ‘code violation’ of Ar a reason to justify the POA demanding a private club to cease and desist raising funds to purchase essential equipment needed to run a pickleball facility that the POA will not support. I do not believe for a second you would be in favor of the PB club raising funds or the wind screens should they change their status to adhere to the code mentioned above.
Bottom line, the raising of funds and purchase of necessary equipment for the PB courts is a direct result of the POA NOT taking care of the PB amenity. Not only do they NOT take care to run it as a money making amenity (yes! Money making!) they do not supply balls, there is no pro, there is no one from the POA to teach lessons, no POA person or pro to organize money making tournaments, encourage members to join, or actually understand the potential the sport has to draw in residents and make revenue. The club members do all of it and are NOT paid.
If a POA builds an amenity they can use in marketing, they darn well better have understood what it takes to run it and maintain it. The club members and board have been promoting the sport, buying all the equipment, giving lessons to new members and visitors. They continue to gain players and this trend will continue due to the popularity the sport both nationwide and internationally.
Let us as a community, not get wrapped around ‘code-breaking’ axel and focus on the real issue that affects my pocketbook and yours. Every red-cent the club raises to maintain equipment or buy new equipment is a red-cent saved that the POA can use towards their 16 million dollar infrastructure needs.
And speaking of 16 million and infrastructure needs, this problem of some screens with writing on it seems as big and serious as a gnat on an elephant’s behind. I am seriously curious how the GM has time to worry about this one small gnat, and also how many others have hurt their eyes squinting to see it. Folks, we have more to worry about than windscreens on the PB courts but I’m afraid this is just another example of how our priorities got so upside down and the Village is in need of 16 million dollars for maintenance.
I’m even more convinced after learning of our huge money needs, that the 7600.00 the POA is demanding a private club give them will never go to buy blank windscreens and i question the future of the PB amenity based on this pettiness.