Resident Spotlight – A series highlighting residents of Fall Creek Place and their contributions to the neighborhood.
Heather Roemer finishes her term as the Fall Creek Place HOA President this month. We caught up with her to discuss her experience serving on the board and her thoughts on the state of the neighborhood.
Fall Creek Place Newsletter: Can you tell everyone about yourself and your history with the neighborhood?
Heather: My husband, Jon, and I built our first home in FCP in July 2007 on Broadway thinking it would be an investment and we would move on in 5 years. In July 2014 we built a second home on Broadway because we decided we love FCP and we can't imagine living anywhere else. We welcomed our son, Winston, in May 2014 and are happy to live in such a diverse, family-friendly neighborhood. We also have 3 cats, Lola, Luigi and Link that neighbors can generally find sleeping in one of our windows. For the past decade I have worked as a sales rep selling companion animal pharmaceutical to Central Indiana vets. That company was purchased by Elanco, Lilly's animal health division, in April 2014, so I now work in Elanco's marketing department supporting a lot of the products I have sold for the past 10 years.
Fall Creek Place Newsletter: What do you like about living in an urban neighborhood? And more specifically about Fall Creek Place?
Heather: I love living in the city and having access to so many amazing restaurants, museums, music venues, cultural areas, parks, etc. Indianapolis has amazing sports teams, great outdoor venues for events and concerts, nationally known museums and is an easy to navigate, condensed city. I love the cultural trail, the advancements to being a bike friendly city and the move to connect the city to surrounding areas. Downtown Indianapolis is truly a great place to live, work and play. Fall Creek Place allows me to take advantage of all the amazing things that the City has to offer, but still gives me a decent size home and yard to raise a family and to enjoy that close knit community life.
Fall Creek Place Newsletter: Can you recap your involvement on the board or board committees?
Heather: The first full year that Jon and I lived in FCP I became involved in the Garden Committee (Maintenance Committee) and tried to take it to the next level with more specific clean-up days and projects to focus on problem spots around the neighborhood like trimming the trees along Talbott, cleaning up along Fall Creek Walkway, cleaning up alleys and replanting the monuments. I tried to foster a good relationship with our landscape company, True North, to maximize what they can offer to us, KIB to help with plantings and tree trims, DPW to help get permits, trim trees, help with the Ash trees and have someone in the City to aid in projects we are interested in pursuing. I served on multiple committees through King Park Area Development group trying to represent Fall Creek Place when someone was looking to provide funds or help for projects. I joined the Board in 2012 as the Secretary and then assumed the President role in 2013.
Fall Creek Place Newsletter: What are you most proud of during your tenure as board President? What was the most challenging?
Heather: I am most proud of is the ability to connect with wonderful residents that have a passion to better our neighborhood and recruit them to the Board. I feel like we have had such an amazing group of people the past 3 years that have given a lot of time and commitment to help better our neighborhood. Being able to remove the tax assessment from our Parks, obtaining a 4th park so we have green space in all phases of FCP, build a new website and help rebrand our neighborhood and help create a better level of communication with our residents to our Board and management company. The most challenging has been managing expectations of the residents with being a volunteer position. With a wide range of opinions and desires, it can be difficult to make everyone happy and focus on everyone's wants. Having a mix of HOA, non HOA, condos, apartments, rentals, etc. has also been difficult to manage. It's hard to talk about paying the HOA when everyone has access to a lot of the things the HOA pays for. Also managing the time I devote to my role as president with my actual paying job and family life. I have always said that I would love to make my position on the Board as my paying job so I can devote all of my time to making our neighborhood the best neighborhood it can me, but unfortunately that is not an option. I know that we have so many great residents that with the collective effort we will be able to make our neighborhood the best to live in in Indy.
Fall Creek Place Newsletter: How do you see FCP developing over the next 5-10 years (or how do you hope is will develop)?
Heather: I would love to see the continued efforts to connect the residents with events in our Parks making our small downtown neighborhood a very family friendly, welcoming neighborhood to all. I would love to see more businesses making FCP their home. The kinds of businesses that bring money into our area in order to help outsiders support our Foundation and continue to help improve the amenities we have or would like to have. It would be great to have a play area for the kids, more appealing landscaping to accentuate the great areas in our parks and monuments, better lighting on all streets, a bike path to connect the Fall Creek Walkway with the Cultural Trail/Monon, etc. I truly believe that with the great schools developing all around us, the improvements to transportation in and out of the City and the movement to embrace living and working in the same area, that our neighborhood will have very few homes available in 5 years because all the lots will be built on and people will desire to live in our neighborhood, raise families and enjoy the culture and connectivity they get with living in FCP.
Fall Creek Place Newsletter: What were you most surprised by during your tenure on the board? In other words, what is the biggest thing you learned?
Heather: I have been surprised that new residents that move into FCP are not aware that we have an HOA, what an HOA is and have not read our guidelines/bylaws. Some people embrace the fact that we have an HOA in place and are happy to pay for the amenities we offer, that other neighborhoods don't have, but others seems to not want to be a part of it and have no desire to pay for things that will benefit everyone including themselves.
Fall Creek Place Newsletter: Is there anything you would tell neighbors who are considering volunteering for the board? Anything that you want neighbors to about the board they need to/should know?
Heather: I would suggest that everyone get involved in the neighborhood in someway, whether it is being a part of a committee, just helping plan an event, participating in an event, getting out and meeting new people and being a part of the Board is just one thing. The Board does offer an opportunity to really focus on the things that help maintain our neighborhood. Every bad winter people complain about the alleys not being plowed by the City, but the HOA provides plowing for our neighborhood and I believe we are the only neighborhood that does that. It is a fun opportunity to help your fellow residents and focus on creating an inviting environment for new people to move to. The watch out is that you can't take things personally because there is a lot of judgment from residents to Board members forgetting that it is a voluntary position and you have joined to do your best to help. No one joins the Board to do harm, but sometimes that is overlooked
Fall Creek Place Newsletter: Anything else you would like to mention?
Heather: Although I did not do a lot of the leg work to create our Foundation, I did work with our other Board members to facilitate this happening over the past 3 years. This is a huge accomplishment for this Board and can truly help to build the funds to make improvements for our neighborhood, not just maintain as the HOA is put in place to do. Please consider volunteering with the Foundation and finding ways to raise money to help our neighborhood improve.