During the growing season this year, Weybridge residents may have noticed special requests for landscaping — which we collected in Landscaping Questionnaires over the winter — have not been consistently honored. Our Landscape Co-Chairs Cate Monks and Karen Vincent recently investigated and discovered why.
Our property manager, Kevin, is no longer with BrightView. So we attended a meeting with our BrightView area and account managers to ask why our special requests have not been consistently fulfilled. They expressed surprise that individual homeowner requests had been accepted in the first place or even honored over the last few years.
It turns out the contract does not include per-property custom services, and our former contact Kevin was not authorized to agree to any such requests.
The contract with BrightView calls for a variety of services for Weybridge properties — mowing, leaf pickup, chemical applications, aerating, pruning, and so forth. But the services are designed to be universal across all properties. From BrightView’s perspective, Weybridge is one large customer, not 80 individual customers.
This explains why we’ve been able to maintain such low quarterly dues for so many years — in some cases half the cost of nearby properties — the services are provided at scale. When asked what it would cost for BrightView to honor per-property landscaping requests, they estimated the contract would at least double in price.
How did this happen?
We’re not entirely sure how we got here, but it appears to be a good-faith misunderstanding, where BrightView’s representative (Kevin) offered assurances in a “gentleman’s agreement” to provide the additional services, but the underlying contract was not modified to include the additional work. The agreements made in person were not backed up by the contract language — and we simply missed it. Meanwhile, Kevin appeared to be able to maintain some level of custom services over the past few years… right up until the pandemic, when staffing problems hit BrightView and other “front line” service companies.
We understand this is a disappointment to all residents that asked for special landscaping adjustments, and we apologize for the misunderstanding. But we hope you’ll consider the upside of a low-cost dues approach with fairly good landscaping results most of the time (albeit with occasional mistakes).
Looking ahead / Collecting feedback
At this point, the BrightView landscaping contract covers the rest of 2022 and runs through 2023 and 2024. The Weybridge Board would like resident feedback on what — if any — changes residents would like to explore in terms of the contract, with the understanding that contract termination or expansion would incur additional costs that would return to residents in the form of higher dues.
We have only one request. Please keep in mind Board members and other volunteers are not compensated in any way for our time and we are your literal neighbors, so civility is appreciated.
Thank you, and we’re curious to hear your ideas.