By Mickey Thaxton
Associate Executive Director
Please come and join the next “Conversation with Administration” at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 17, in Montgomery Station Maryland Hall.
These monthly conversations provide an opportunity for residents to share concerns and receive feedback. They also help Administration understand what we can do to improve service to residents. Transcripts of questions and answers from the meeting may be rephrased without changing the accuracy of the information presented or omitted due to spacing issues for this column in the Reporter.
The following reflects the highlights of Conversation with Administration conducted in November:
Updates from the Executive Team
• A Communications Committee has been formed with residents and staff to help to better facilitate the communications that are released to both residents and staff at Riderwood.
• One of the temporary mobile offices located near the tennis courts has been removed since the Sales & Marketing team has relocated back to their offices in Town Center.
• The roofing project at Montgomery Station and the corresponding residential buildings is complete. Some gutter work is still left to be done but should be completed shortly.
• The Town Center residential buildings are currently being painted and wallpapered as part of life cycle renovations. New carpet installation should begin in early 2019.
• The new electric car charging station between Village Square and the Chapel is now operational. Residents, friends, and family members can pay to use the station via Apple Pay, Google Pay, or a ChargePoint account.
• Resident’s donated $377,000 to the Staff Appreciation Fund. Thank you to the residents that donated, and a special thank you to Fiona Divecha, Sheena Lewis, and the residents that helped to raise that money. Staff Appreciation Fund checks were distributed on December 4.
• A new policy pertaining to family members accessing apartments after a resident has passed or vacated an apartment is rolling out across Erickson Living. This new form will allow residents to designate in advance who can enter the apartment or storage area belonging to the resident. The new forms will be included with the annual resident information update that will be distributed in early 2019.
• Also included in the annual resident information update will be the pet registration form as well.
• A major menu revision rolled out on December 17. This included approximately 30% – 40% changes.
• Dining services saw a larger than usual turn over with student servers this year due to them leaving for college or choosing to focus on their studies. Because of this, we ask that residents show patience with the new servers in training.
Questions & Comments from Residents
• There are a number of dead trees located next to the power transformers near the Garden Plots behind Hampton Square. I’m concerned that they may fall on the power transformers.
We will work with our grounds team and landscaping contractors to make sure that is taken care of as soon as possible.
• Is Riderwood getting rid of the ramp shuttle buses? Also, I don’t think there are enough grab bars on the new shuttle buses to help get onto the bus.
At the time of the meeting, the ramp buses were down, but they will be back in the rotation shortly. As for the new shuttle buses, they are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Also, the drivers put out a six-inch safety step to help residents board the bus.
• The lift system used to fix the gutters and roofing has left a rather ugly gouge behind Maryland Hall. Is anything going to be done to fix that?
There are a few locations with similar problems. They are all scheduled to be fixed once all the work is completed.
• I believe the previous package policy worked very well as packages were kept securely behind the front desk until the resident retrieved it. The new policy allows for packages to be more easily taken from package shelves. I hope administration will reconsider this policy.
While many residents feel the same way as you, another set of residents are happy with the new package policy because they don’t have to come down to the front desk to pick up their packages. We apologize for not properly explaining the new policy, but at this time we are not reconsidering the new package policy.
• Who sets the price point for the electric car charging station?
Riderwood does set the price for the car charging station, but it was done after a variety of research of similar charging stations and under the advisement of the charger’s installer as well. We will look at the current cost and reanalyze it for a possible future change.
• The notice was recently released about maintenance on out heat pumps. In year’s past we were only asked to be available in either a morning or afternoon on one day, but this year, we are asked to be available for three days. What is the reasoning behind this?
This year’s heat pump preventative maintenance is much more thorough than in year’s past and could take up to an hour. If you cannot be available for all three days, you have the option of authorizing the service team to enter your apartment if you aren’t there, or you can contact the General Services team to see if they can to narrow down the time frame.
• When are the brown chairs in Seasons dining room going to be replaced? Also, when is the long table in the Town Center Media Lounge being replaced?
It was announced at an earlier meeting that the long table in the Town Center Media Lounge would not be replaced as a number of residents and groups are using it. As for the chairs in the Seasons dining room, we are currently in the process of evaluating replacement chairs, and resident input will be sought for the final decision.
• In certain dining rooms, I feel the entrée plates are brought out too soon after salads and fruit appetizers. Can anything be done about this?
Jeff Kimbell will talk with the managers of the dining rooms about better timing the various dishes.