The Ridges Landowners Association

A residential community just outside Santa Fe, NM

Community News

Community news and updates

Roads Survey Results

Thanks to everyone who provided candid and constructive responses to the Roads Survey. The board received 47 responses representing 49 lots. This summary of non-narrative survey results provides very useful information that will help in developing a roads maintenance plan and ultimately a proposed Roads Budget for consideration by Association members later this year. These Survey results support the following takeaways:

  • Most respondents have a relatively high sense of safety while driving on The Ridges roads.
  • Respondents living on the paved road (Principe de Paz) were more satisfied, on average, with the condition of their road than respondents living on unpaved roads.
  • The top adverse issues identified by respondents were washboards, snow/ice, dust, and mud, in that order. Other adverse issues were identified less often.
  • Many respondents expressed no preference in the color of road gravel. The majority of those who did choose a color preferred brown gravel over gray.

The Roads Committee is working on an options analysis that will present relative costs and other pros and cons of the brown vs gray gravel issue.

  • A strong majority of respondents were willing to pay more for road maintenance and repairs.

The Board acknowledges and respects the 10% of respondents who do not support paying more for roads. 

  • Increasing annual dues was the most preferred option to pay for increased road costs.

 

The Board continues its analysis of narrative responses to the Roads Survey and will present these results in the near future.

Below are graphs showing detail of the responses.  

The Ridges Landowners’ Association
P.O. Box 22352
Santa Fe NM 87502-2352
board@ridgesla.org

PBS Documentary Produced By Ridges Residents

Two of our Ridges’ residents – Miles Merritt and Gail Kempler -have produced a documentary entitled, “Just A Mortal Man – The Jerry Lawson Story” that will premiere on PBS nationwide this February.  The film is a candid, intimate portrait of the inimitable Jerry Lawson, the original lead singer and arranger of the legendary a cappella group, The Persuasions.  Rare performance clips and exclusive interviews make this film a compelling story of joy, heartbreak and renewal.  It will air here in New Mexico on KENW on 2/16 at 7 PM – and again on KNME on 2/24 at 7 PM.  Don’t forget to tune in!

Year-End Report 2021

THE RIDGES LANDOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION, INC.
P.O. Box 22352   Santa Fe, NM 87502

Year-End Report  and Message from the Board – December 16, 2021

2021 Recap and 2022 Look-Ahead

The Board wishes everyone in the Ridges a happy holiday season. As we all know, 2021 was a very busy and sometimes difficult year. The budget for 2021 will continue into 2022 with an annual dues of $650. The dues can be paid in a lump sum by January 31st or in two payments, with the balance due June 30th.  The Board will revisit the discussion on improving the unpaved roads in the first few months of the new year after a much-needed pause.  Rest assured, we will be open to input from all residents, and we expect that the discussions will be civil and productive. We all want what is best for our community, which may not be something we all agree upon, but ideally is something we can all accept and live with.

There were many positives during 2021, including the revival our community newsletter (Views from the Ridges, published on the website – a December issue was just posted, see https://theridgesla.org/december-2021-newsletter/), learning opportunities on bark beetle infestation and wildfire mitigation from professionals, a coordinated effort to remove bark-beetle infested trees, and first-ever garden and geologic tours.  As a community, we reviewed and discussed the request by a church to approve their possible purchase of Lot 17A on the corner of Alma and US 285 for a use not allowed by the Cimarron Covenants. Their proposed amendment was not approved by a vote at the Association’s Annual meeting, and the Church has withdrawn its offer to purchase the property.  We thank outgoing Board president Roc Curry for all the time he spent in discussions with the church and its representatives, in researching legal and other aspects of the proposed purchase, and in informing the community about its options in the matter.  We also thank Roc for his 3 years of service on the Board, including his leadership as Board president for the past 1½ years.

Resignation of Roads Committee

One of the first orders of business for the Board will be to fill the void created by the resignation of all three members of the Ridges Roads Committee (Mark Glaze, Charlie Whiteley, and Greg Cooper).  With their permission, and in fact at their request, we are including at the end of this message their resignation letters.  The community owes a huge debt of gratitude to these individuals, who between them have put in more than 25 years and many thousands of hours of service to ensure that both our paved and unpaved roads are properly maintained.  Averaged over time, road maintenance accounts for nearly 80% of the Association’s expenditures.  We will soon begin a process of recruiting new Roads Committee members.  Meanwhile, Paul Reimus of the Board will serve as an interim Roads Committee chair.  Please be advised that roads issues may not be addressed as efficiently as they have been in the past for a while.  However, know that the Board has secured services for plowing snow this winter and grading if needed.

Environmental Conditions update and Interactive Map

Our new incoming Board member, Dennis McQuillan, has compiled an environmental conditions update for the ridges that is attached to this email. It includes information about forecasted drought conditions this winter, wildfire danger and bark beetles. This update supplements his original report of July 6, 2021 that can be downloaded from this location:  https://theridgesla.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Geology-of-The-Ridges-Subdivision-and-Vicinity.pdf   He has also put together an interactive homeowner map of the Ridges that can be accessed at: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1JtkAjRqwefIco63O2EVy6zjcAL989liw&usp=sharing

This link is also on the website. You can zoom in or out, change the base map, and click on the roads, arroyos, trailheads, wildfire escape routes and hazard icons to get more information and pictures. It is a work in progress, and input/comments/pictures are welcome. The map documents existing conditions and is intended to inform future discussion among residents. We thank Dennis for these contributions, and we welcome him on the Board for 2022.  

Other News

Two of the three members of the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) have resigned, effective at the start of 2022 – chair Debra Hagey and committee member Carol Albrecht.  The Board thanks them both for their service to the community.  Gerry Fornell will remain as the only ACC member.  In addition to recruiting Roads Committee members, the Board will also be recruiting ACC members in the coming weeks and months.

The Ridges website will soon feature a new community forum that residents can use to express viewpoints and opinions on issues pertaining to the community.  In the past year, the Board was asked several times to forward emails from residents (or groups), and the forum will be the preferred mechanism for disseminating these types of communications going forward.  Submissions will be subjected to a screening process to ensure that no inappropriate or offensive material is posted (a similar process is currently in place for posting photos or comments).  Rest assured, opinions will not be suppressed, but there will be an attempt to ensure that opinions are expressed in a civil and constructive manner.  We recognize that there will be some subjectivity in this process, and it will be an experiment of sorts, with some tweaks possibly needed, but the Board believes that this is the best way to allow residents to express their opinions to the community without relying on mass emails or mailings.  For the time being, residents will have to email material to the Board for posting to the forum, and they will also have to check the website for new postings (both a submission and a notification process will be forthcoming).  An inaugural contribution to the forum was just posted on the website under “Community News” (where the Views newsletter can also be found).  The link is:  https://theridgesla.org/susan-zeder-comments-the-battlefields-of-clara-barton/.  This contribution was originally solicited from Suzan Zeder for the Newsletter on her recently-premiered play, “The Battlefields of Clara Barton.”  However, Suzan and her husband Jim Hancock decided instead to express their opinions on what has transpired in the community in the past several months, culminating in the annual meeting.  We hope that this teaser will inspire people to access the forum to read their contribution and to engage in constructive exchanges in the future.  Note that the Board will still forward factual emails intended to inform the community on matters such as neighborhood safety or security.

RIDGES BOARD OF DIRECTORS

board@ridgesla.net


Roads Committee Resignation Letters

I would like to first commend the entire Board for the tireless effort you have put into this past years budget process and roads proposal. Unfortunately, the status quo continues. For the last eleven years Charlie and I have faced the same uphill battle educating the Association as to the merits of establishing sufficient reserves to deal with capital improvements regarding our roads. The defeat of the budget and lack of Association members willingness to grasp the financial significance of not funding for the inevitable, has consequences. First and foremost, this tack will require more time and energy on behalf of the Roads Committee to search out more bids to approach individual roads. This will be the case as sufficient reserves do not allow a more comprehensive approach. I refuse to do that. Secondly, and most importantly, this will cost the ENTIRE Association more money over time. Due to the questionable tactics  of six or seven lot owners, three proposed budgets to build capital reserves for future road maintenance were voted down. Because of the aforementioned headwinds, I’m resigning from the Roads Committee. I wish the Board and the Roads Committee the best for the future. Feel free to publish this on the Association website as it may be the shortest and succinct delivery of the message that needs to be delivered to the Association.

Mark Glaze


As you may recall, at the Annual Meeting I made the statement, “I can’t understand why any rational thinking person would volunteer to serve on the RLA Board given the lack of civility, character assassination and attacks on integrity being demonstrated, and that’s a shame”. Prior to being compelled to stand and make that comment, there was an accusation from the audience that my involvement on the Roads Committee was self-serving which garnered a boisterous laugh from the audience.  As the Board knows well, days before the meeting I had requested that Rey de Reyes not be selected for upgrade in 2022 due to my involvement on the Roads Committee. But the audience response to that comment sent me a vivid message that they agreed with the “Self-Serving” accusation. If this were the only attack on my integrity and the integrity of other community volunteers, I might let it pass. But more disturbing to me after reflecting on my years of involvement and thousands of hours serving the community, this is the RLA culture. The recent community response to the Board’s Budget/Roads proposal is only one of many, many personal attacks I have witnessed and documented from individuals directed at volunteers serving our community. This includes the insults directed at Board members in many communications leading up to the Annual Meeting, remarks at the meeting and repeated daily emails directed at the Chairman of the Roads Committee demanding his resignation. And the November 8th letter from the CRTR group is yet another example of this group’s effort to sabotage the creditability of the Board by spreading more misinformation to the membership.  I ask myself, where is the appreciation from those who are incapable of understanding that these volunteers only motive in sacrificing their time and talent is to serve in the best interest of their neighbors. I made my decision to resign at the meeting and left before the meeting ended. I honestly fear that our Association is on the precipice of failure due to the potential inability to recruit new leadership and will ultimately become the sister community of Cimarron.

I want to make it absolutely clear that my decision to resign has nothing to do with the membership’s rejection of the Budget/Roads proposal or my anticipation of how the Board and hopefully the membership will move forward. I accept and respect the membership’s vote on the issues with disappointment, however, as in past failed budget proposals, I believe the vote was unfortunately influenced by organized opposition utilizing misinformation, invalid emotional arguments and inappropriate attacks on the Board to influence some members decisions on the issues. My decision to resign has everything to do with the toxic norms continually demonstrated in our community over the years and the entire community is complicit in allowing that culture, embraced by a few, to exist.

I believe that the Board pursued every potential alternative in addressing the gravel roads issue during the past year and exercised outstanding transparency in communicating the alternatives to the membership over the past several months. I have only the most respect for all the hours and hours of hard work each of you have sacrificed for the community in your attempts to present the facts regarding the roads issues. It appears now that you have lost the Roads Committee and I can’t say how sorry I am to be part of that new problem you face. My personal reaction to the demeanor of the Annual Meeting was, “I’ve finally had enough” and I let that decision rest a few days but after further reflection, it is now final. I sincerely hope that the 2022 Board can find ways to reunite the membership and gain membership support in the decision process and that some members can gain some civility.

CW Whiteley


Like Charlie and Mark, I too resign from the Roads Committee. For the six years I’ve volunteered on both the Board of Directors and the Roads Committee, the accumulation of insults and charges of malfeasance no longer justify the time and energy devoted to the position. I am also disheartened by the disrespect shown to my colleagues, Charlie Whiteley and Mark Glaze. I am happy to offer any assistance the Board may require to help smooth the transition in forming a new Roads Committee.

I want to congratulate the Board on their attempts to secure the future integrity of the roads in The Ridges and will continue to support their efforts as a landowner.

Greg Cooper

COVID-19 Information

Be sure to check the community forum for an important post about the coronavirus epidemic.  The helpful post contains information about local resources and suggestions where to find accurate information.

https://theridgesla.org/forums/topic/covid-19-info-and-neighborliness/

Break-in Here in the Ridges

Recently, a home here in the Ridges was broken into during the day between 11am and 3pm. The residents work from home but were out for the afternoon. The police are investigating. We all can easily become complacent because we are a friendly community. There is only one way in and one way out of  the Ridges. And many live on cul-d-sacs with one way in and out. This break in happened on a cul-de-sac.

So this is a reminder that we all need to be alert and not complacent:  Keep doors locked and alarms set when we are out, even during the day.  We are a Neighborhood Watch community. So we can all be on the look out.

Message sent by The Ridges Board via email to residents and owners, 3/17/20
Ridges Board

PNM Damages: Discussion

This post was sent in an email letter from The Ridges Board president, Jim Baker, on January 27, 2020. Residents are requested to review the list of damages and make comments for additions or changes here: https://theridgesla.org/forums/topic/pnm-cleanup-list-for-discussion/

Dear Neighbor,

As you well know, PNM has been installing a new service cable in The Ridges, and has caused extensive damage while doing so.  I am writing to give you an update on the PNM situation, and how The Ridges Landowners Association (RLA) intends to proceed with holding the company accountable for cleaning up the damages it has inflicted on our neighborhood.

At a December meeting with PNM officials, Charlie Whiteley of our RLA Roads Committee impressed upon the utility and its subcontractor that the easements on which PNM buried its cable are PRIVATE PROPERTY.  This includes our roads.  Through annual assessments to the RLA, you and your neighbors pay for the maintenance of our roads and shoulders.  And over the years, the RLA has gone to great expense in its maintenance work to provide for the safety of our residents and the public, protect against liability exposure, and enhance our neighborhood’s aesthetics by promoting the health and growth of native grasses and wildflowers on our road shoulders.

At that December meeting, PNM officials stated that the company’s policy is to return the impacted areas to original condition, or better.  With the Roads Committee taking the lead, the RLA intends to press PNM to make good on its promise.

Our first task in holding PNM accountable is to conduct an inventory of all the damage done during its cable burial project on the lengths of Rey de Reyes and Agua Viviendo plus the north side of Principe de Paz between those two streets.  Currently this is something of a moving target because PNM and its subcontractor have not completely finished the work.  However, the RLA Roads Committee has taken a first look incorporating residents’ reports of damages.  Frankly I find the resulting “punch list” of required repairs by PNM is shocking, extensive, and very likely expensive.

You can see the “punch list” on the Community Forum page of our website at: https://theridgesla.org/forums/topic/pnm-cleanup-list-for-discussion/  If you know of any impacts missing on the inventory, please note them in a Forum comment at your earliest possible opportunity.  We will pass the information to the Roads Committee.  Thanks for doing this.

As soon as PNM completes its project, The Ridges Roads Committee plans to meet with utility officials, present the list of necessary repairs, and urge the company to do the clean up quickly and comprehensively.  At this point, we have no reason to believe that PNM will not make The Ridges whole.  On the other hand, you and The Ridges should, under no circumstances, pay for any damages done by the utility.  So in closing, I want to assure you that the RLA will take all steps necessary to hold PNM accountable.

Jim Baker, President
Board of Directors
The Ridges Landowners Association