May 20, 2017 Monthly Open Board Meeting
by Kathy Leslie-Whelan
President Diane Caldwell opened the meeting with a sermon on ‘conscience.’ She pointed out that board members are very different people who often disagree, sometimes angrily, but in the end support the majority decision. We must all take responsibility for what we say. The EL Facebook page is filled with misinformation born of ignorance and deliberate misrepresentation, but we cannot dwell on that. What is ahead is not a pretty picture. She went on to list many things that must be fixed or replaced. An example was the outdoor pool bathhouse which, due to water damage, has been condemned and must be replaced. Our entire infrastructure is deteriorating. We have not had a dues increase in 6 years and we desperately need one. She urged that people be part of the solution, not the problem. If we do not increase dues, amenities will have to be partially or wholly shut down. These include the outdoor pool, the trash compactor, bar & grill and the community center itself.
Treasurer Stefania Johnson gave what has become the traditional gloomy financial picture. Among the lowlights, the operations budget is $105K over budget. Dues collection for fiscal year 2016/17 was down $66K over dues collection for fiscal year 2015/16. Dues collection is currently up $41K over the same period last year. The bar & grill, taken as a unit, continue to lose money. For the month of April the combined revenue/expense difference was a negative $2,117. For the year, costs exceeded income by $35.5K. Delinquency collections, at least, are up for the third consecutive year.
New Manager Laura Jones will (or has) start on Tuesday, May 23rd. The newsletter has been delivered and is available at a number of locations around the community. It is intended to become a monthly publication. The Annual Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, August 19th. The abstract company hired to research properties of questionable affiliation to the association, has not performed and a new company is being sought. The Rules and Regulations document is on the website and can be picked up at the office. Joe Gallagher of Ecoscientific has put buoys out to mark the area of the invasive species (cabomba) on Mountaintop Lake. Boaters are reminded to wash their boats to avoid transporting spores from one lake to another. Boat washing signs ordered at $35 each. Indoor pool roof repair and mold removal will begin 5/22. A new compactor will soon be delivered. Two more clusters of mailboxes, 16 boxes each, will be installed by the post office at Glade Drive and Emerald Boulevard. Maintenance is working to repair gravel roads. We are looking for a new proposal for spray patching. A new dump truck with 9′ plow and tailgate spreader can be purchased for $62K. (The board voted to approve this purchase unanimously). A new commercial grade landscaping vehicle is available for $5,999 including a $500 discount. (Board voted to approve purchase)
During Directors’ Comments Bob Lauri moved that the grill be closed. Buz Whelan seconded. After a spirited discussion, the motion failed. Buz Whelan then moved that after a 90 day period, if the grill were losing in excess of $1,250 per month, a rate of $15K per year, that it be closed. Al Leslie seconded. After another spirited round of comments from the directors, the vote was 2 for, 2 against and 2 abstaining. President and Chair Diane Caldwell then broke the deadlock by voting for the motion and it therefore passed.
Director Whelan suggested that, after conferring with the Maintenance Committee, Dan Glasgow and Betty Goodline of the Events Committee and newly promoted Ass’t Manager Daryl Gamble, that Cleanup Day be skipped this year. Whelan reasoned that the community has never looked cleaner and that only 11 or 12 people typically show up for the task. The one to two miles total that they clean is not significant when considering we have 36 miles of roads, 72 when both sides of roads are figured. Brad Jones of preferred Management disagreed, stating that it was a tradition that should be maintained. After some discussion it was decided to continue the tradition of Cleanup Day.
Reporting for the Finance and Planning Committee, Earl Frank said our cash position has improved since February. He seconded the comments that the grill is losing excessive money.
Dan Glasgow, Events Committee chair said that part of the losses at the grill could be explained by the loss of foot traffic due to the pool being unheated for 5 months. He spoke of Community Day events including a bounce house, evening DJ and – weather permitting – an outdoor movie, “Troll.” He also reminded that Comedy Night VII will be held Saturday, June17th featuring international comedy star Maureen Langan and the return of the very popular Tommy Gooch. Tickets ($13 advance, $15 door} are currently available in the Community Center and Admin Office. He closed by saying a date needs to be set for Cleanup Day.
Maintenance Chairperson Ken Shuey suggested an email blast be sent out explaining the buoys used to mark off forbidden waters containing invasive weeds on Mountaintop Lake. He also said that rules be drawn up regarding decorating the Bingo Room to avoid damaging walls and ceiling. He said that reusable stencils could be purchased to stripe basketball and tennis courts at a fraction of the price of hiring a vendor to do the work. He also reported that 3 unpaved roads – Bowstring, Sioux and Gap View – are not on the new paving list.
Real Estate Chairperson Jake Bower said the committee will meet at 10am, 5/27 in the admin office. He said a meeting for landlords is being planned for Saturday, June 10th at 10:30am in the Bingo Room.
Under old business, a proposal by a member/landlord to spruce up the sliver of land between Strawberry Landing and Mountaintop Lake was removed from the table because the member did not attend the meeting to detail the proposal. Also under old business, President Diane Caldwell outlined the board’s plan to sponsor a general scholarship rather than favor one deceased member over others. The scholarship would be awarded as in the memory of all deceased members. The special 5-year Paul Capozzoli Memorial Scholarship previously approved and with 4 more years to run will be unaffected.
Public Comments: John Palmisano thanked the board for the decision to decide the fate of the grill by establishing criteria that must be met in 90 days. Dennis Green expressed concern about whether the CC parking lot is adequately lit at night. Connie Simpson stated that scholarships should go to Emerald Lakes members.