June 28, 2014 Monthly Open Board Meeting
by Buz Whelan
The June open board meeting was called to order at 9:30am by President Al Leslie with a call for the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. About 45 members packed the audience in the cramped Bingo Room of the Community Center. All seven directors were present along with Judy Kennedy and Brad Jones of Preferred Management. Leslie called for approval of the previous month’s minutes. Director Fitzgerald objected, saying she only got the packet the previous evening, around 7pm. Apparently the 14 1/2 hours intervening were insufficient for Ms. Fitzgerald to read both pages of the minutes. Fitzgerald’s complaint notwithstanding, the minutes were approved. President Leslie used the President’s Message only to welcome all those in attendance. He then passed the baton to Treasurer Earl Frank.
Treasurer’s Message Treasurer Frank reported that the audit by Riley & Co., continues and is on schedule to be completed before the Annual Meeting. He reported that the association netted $32,000 in delinquent debt and fines, collected by the attorney over the previous month.
Manager’s Report On-site General Manager Judy Kennedy reported that the outdoor pool is open. GOE, the firm that inspected the Pine Tree Dam, valve and evacuation pipe has been contracted to monitor and inspect our dams for the next three years. She reported that solar covers for the outdoor pool are en route and that roadside cutting had begun the previous Tuesday. She then turned the report over to Brad.
Brad Jones then read a letter he had written to the board. In it he cited Carmen Broadnax, liaison to Preferred Management, for unprofessional behavior, unethical conduct, and with being uncooperative to the extent that she was undermining their work. He ended the letter with a request that a new liaison be appointed to the position. (For a moment, you could hear a pin drop). Then Vice President Dan Glasgow took the lead, saying he would like Ms. Broadnax to be removed as liaison from any and all committees, as Judge of Elections, and as board secretary. He cited what he called stalling behavior, unprofessionalism and clear, multiple violations of the board’s Code of Ethics. Director Fitzgerald said she had a hard time understanding what was going on and began blathering on about hearsay, though Mr. Glasgow was referring to and presenting direct evidence. Broadnax challenged Glasgow to prove her guilty of anything. He read from the Code of Ethics, produced a copy with her signature and then produced evidence that Broadnax had shared confidential information (in the form of letters from members to the board considered in executive session) with committee members and others not on the board. Pointing out that what is discussed in executive session must stay in executive session, Glasgow asked Ms. Broadnax to voluntarily step down. She unhesitatingly refused. With a slight shake of his head, Glasgow took a breath and then said, “Then I make a motion that Carmen Broadnax be removed as Board Secretary, Judge of Elections and all her liaisons.” President Leslie called for a second, turning toward Treasurer Frank who gave an audible sigh and said, “Yeah, sure, I’ll second that.” As the vote was taken, Bishop, Frank and Glasgow voted in the affirmative, Broadnax, Solla and Fitzgerald against. Three to three. President Leslie shrugged slightly and said. “Then I’ll break the tie. I vote for the motion.” Broadnax immediately stood up and quickly left the room, not to return for the rest of the meeting.
Committee Reports Stefania Johnson reported for the Events Committee. She said flags would be displayed for Flag Day (June 11th). She reminded everybody in the room that Adult Night would be held that evening. She pointed to poor attendance for the Gay Pride event and hinted that a different type of event would be planned for the next year. She said there would be a party on Pine Tree Beach between 1 and 6pm on Independence Day. She also said an event called Dancing with the Stars would be held August 16th, and another Adult Night was being planned for August 23rd.
Buz Whelan reported that the Finance and Planning Committee had endorsed the board’s request for a $200 annual dues increase by a majority vote at their June 21st meeting. Reporting also for the ad hoc Committee to Revise the Bylaws, Whelan read a proposal to drop Section 3, Unsightly Property, from the Amendments. The committee reasoned that regulations on this are more comprehensive in the Rules and Regulations of the association, and that the Code Enforcement Officer has stated that he has never used the bylaws in his citations, but rather the R&R which are more specific. This makes the amendment redundant and inappropriate where it is now. The recommendation to allow a vote on absentee voting and a protocol for conducting such an exercise was previously presented. Responding to a recent request by Director Broadnax, the committee met on Wednesday, June 25th and created revised language for all sectors of the bylaws that would be affected should the initiative pass.
Nominations Committee Chairperson Carol Lietwinski reported that Meet the Candidates would be held on Saturday, August 2nd at 9am. Any interested candidates who had not yet put in their paperwork had until COB Monday, June 30th to do. Reporting for the Emerald Lakes Directors Alumni Society, Flo Mauri said her organization was sponsoring a Volunteer Appreciation/Welcome New Members Luncheon on Saturday, July 19th in the Community Center beginning at noon. Invitations have been sent.
Clause 15 – Second Opinion Attorney Edward Hoffman had been engaged to give a second legal opinion on the disposition of Clause 15 properties and a recommendation on how to proceed.
Bylaw Changes (see Committee Reports)
Variances (see new policy under New Business)
Resolution #41 – $200 Dues Increase The board approved that a recommendation for a $200 increase in the annual dues be presented to the membership at the Annual Meeting. It further recommended that $100 of this be dedicated to operations and $100 to the reserve fund. The vote was 4-0, with Director Margaret Fitzgerald abstaining.
Resolution #42 – Variance Policy Code Enforcement Officer Ralph Musto shall be tasked with attending township hearings when a variance on an Emerald Lakes property is being considered. It was also suggested that a director or other member also attend.
Resolution #43 – GOE Annual Inspections The GOE engineering firm will conduct dam inspections for the next three years.
Resolution #44 – Matthew Cuadra Scholarship $200 in scholarships shall be awarded each year divided into 2 $100 awards to two deserving students. (Matthew, then a senior, was struck and killed by a car on Long Pond Rd and Roads End while waiting for his bus in December of 2007).
Brad Jones presented a summary of the maintenance building collapse, recommended it be replaced by a stronger steel structure, He said that with the $27,000 insurance payment it would only cost $7,000 additional to the community. All were in favor except Director Solla, who said she wanted an additional study.
Heidi Castro kicked off a long discussion on the lack of children’s programs and the need to begin planning them forthwith. Brad suggested that a list of desired programs be presented to the board. He said the first requirement would be to find a state-certified person to oversee the programs. Currently, no staffers are qualified.
Bob Leon suggested we consider speed bumps to slow speeders.
Mark Davis said that short term rentals are still creating problems for neighbors, the same issues as last year. These general complaints were echoed by neighbor Bill Reiser.
Former board member John Cress, who served with some distinction from 2010 until a new job forced his resignation, pleaded with the board to work together. Former director Buz Whelan added his two cents, pointing out that whenever one observes a fight the temptation is to view the combatants as equally guilty, but in virtually every confrontation there is an aggressor and a defender. Whelan claimed to see that in this board, with some members genuinely trying to do the people’s work, while others were constantly obstructing. He said that although it was made clear several months ago that Preferred Management was chosen by a split decision (4 to 3), he was tired of hearing at every single meeting about why the minority voted against them. He said that this was part of a process of undermining what he viewed as competent management, and for the good of the association it was time (actually long past time) that all directors get behind the management team and support them.
Author’s note: I’d like to thank Arlene Ciervo whose notes proved invaluable in preparing this article. My own notes were incomplete due to an illness that caused difficulty in recording the events of the meeting.