PHCA Presidents Corner, September 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 6:36 PM | Deleted user

By Mark Kinnane, PHCA President
Published in the September/October Pimmit Hills Dispatch

Pimmit Hills Citizens,

The PHCA Board has been busy over the summer undertaking a range of tasks and efforts to further improve the Pimmit Hills community.

Our first board meeting, held in July, gave us an opportunity to get to know one another and set out the near future agenda for board and association activities.

The initial discussion centered around individual thoughts on the PHCA as a whole. Based on the feedback received during this session I think it is important to clarify the nature of the Pimmit Hills Citizens Association.

First of all, it must be made clear that the PHCA is not a government body. The PHCA is an incorporated private non-profit beholden to, and operating under, corporate laws.

The PHCA is not a public body, such as Fairfax County or other local government, nor is the PHCA a home owners association (HOA). 

This distinction means that the PHCA itself determines how the PHCA operates, how officers are elected and limits corporation liability.

The PHCA is an advocacy group responsible for providing communication channels between residents, residents and public authorities, and residents and Pimmit Hills related private groups.

While the PHCA views itself as an avenue for discourse on infrastructure concerns, the PHCA is not responsible for public infrastructure upkeep.

For example, in the case of downed wires or damaged paths in the neighborhood, the PHCA is responsible for providing an avenue for information on contacting the correct public channels but the PHCA is not responsible for the repairs themselves.

Further the PHCA is a member organization run by the members for the members.

If anyone has a great idea for neighborhood improvement not only should you bring that idea to the Association but you should also consider getting involved in the effort itself. Formation of action committees is undertaken by the PHCA board on the request and justification of members.

Several ideas were discussed at the July meeting including organization of more activities and events which bring the community together. The previous board did a fantastic job in this area and we hope to continue their efforts.

One particular idea that caught my attention involved the formation of a contractor recommendation database to recommend service purveyors. Many of us have stories of dealing with good and bad contractors and a web based discussion board for local businesses would certainly assist us all in finding good service.

The PHCA continues to monitor the county level activity surrounding redevelopment of the Pimmit Barn. The Pimmit Barn Group will be presenting their preservation efforts at the September member meeting and will field questions from the members present.

The September PHCA meeting highlight will be a presentation by a resident of the neighborhood who has undertaken an effort to create a minimal emission household which reduces adverse environmental effects. The presentation will discuss energy and water saving measures including rain garden installation, county assistance services and home additions.

On the McLean Citizens Association front, the PHCA recently lost its seat on the MCA Executive Board due miscommunication during the nomination process. Despite this, Lise Visser and I have been keeping tabs on MCA activities. Lise is an active member of the MCA Budget and Taxation.

The MCA bylaws state that members lose their seat on the MCA executive board after two consecutive unexcused meeting absences, which is a very common occurrence. Lise and I have been vigilantly attending MCA meetings waiting for a member to miss consecutive meetings. When this occurs the PHCA will regain their seat one the executive board and Lise Visser will be PHCA liaison to the MCA.

The board has also nominated the PHCA for seats on the Fairfax County (VA) Federation. Our population guarantees us two voting spots according the Federation bylaws. The Federation strongly influences local and state level lawmakers to keep the welfare of Fairfax residents at the forefront of political proceedings.

Finally, but perhaps most importantly, the neighborhood and surrounding areas were all badly affected by the 2012 Derecho. Thankfully there were no deaths or serious injuries in our neighborhood, however many residents suffered property damage from falling trees and debris.

Many residents were without power for several which only compounded discomfort. I personally heard several stories of neighbors banding together by assisting in cleanup efforts and sharing pools. The more tightly knit our community becomes the better prepared we will be for adverse events.

It was brought to the Board’s attention that the Pimmit Hills Dispatch is not being delivered to all residents of Pimmit Hills. This newsletter goes out by bulk mail via the US Postal Service. If you hear stories of undelivered Dispatch editions or you do not receive the Dispatch then please let us know. Remember also that you can read all the Dispatch issues on our website, PimmitHills.org.


Mark Kinnane
Pimmit Hills Citizens Association


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1927 Pimmit Drive, Pimmit Hills, VA 22043
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