Emerald Lakes monthly open board meeting, July 22, 2017.
by Kathy Whelan
President’s message: President Diane Caldwell commented on the size of the crowd for a hot day and stated that they are prepping for the Annual Meeting.
Three candidates are running and you can read about them in the ELA newsletter. If there are candidates running from floor they usually run on stating that they will not be voting for a dues increase.
Caldwell stated she has seen the good, the bad and the ugly. There is a good group of people in the community that form an extended family that she has seen pull together when the chips are down. The bad is that you don’t always get what you want, and our financials are disgraceful since we have not had a dues increase in 6 years. These problems have been going on for years, and if we don’t have money, we can’t keep going on.
She stated that she doesn’t go with flow and speaks from her heart.
This reporter did not hear any comments from the president about the ugly in the community (see above for her statement on the good the bad and the ugly).
Caldwell also stated that procedures will be implemented for these meetings. They are run by Robert’s Rules of Order, and according to the agenda, deeded members are allowed to speak only during public comments. Members are only allowed to discuss one topic and will be limited to two minutes.
Committees have liaisons and make recommendations to the board. Board votes on these recommendations.
Caldwell also brought up the unofficial face book page about it being dynamite in the butt.
At this point Caldwell tears up, emotionally stating that it was a pleasure serving as president and working with awesome people like Betty, Jim, Dan, Penny and Cookie. Editor’s note – all of these individuals are on the events committee.
In closing Caldwell stated that changes have to be made and she promises changes.
Treasurer’s Report- Filling in for the treasurer, VP Al Leslie reported $349K cash on hand. He reported almost $327K in reserves and $139K in New Capital reserves. So far this year dues collected are $515K, up $8K over same period last year. Delinquency collections are at $65K, up $2.2K over previous year. The Community Center is $11K over budget. The Bar and Grill is $4,700 over budget. Director Buz Whelan interjected that the bar actually made money, over $2,300, The Grill lost $6,556.61, a new record for losses. Whelan went on to say after setting a goal of $1,250/month for the grill losses at the last meeting, we have actually gone in the opposite direction with losses increasing rather than decreasing.
Laura Jones introduced herself and stated that she was customer service focused but she won’t make promises. Some people will be pleased and some will be angry. She lives by the marine motto “Continue to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. She started on May 23rd and she follows best practices for HOA’s. Book is in conference room and anyone that wants to see it can do so. She can quote every page. She said that thus far Walk-in-Wednesdays usually have members looking to have their roads paved first or have their dues reduced.
We need our road maintenance plan updated.
Ballots sent out with Call to Meeting are samples. The watermark was too light and did not print on document.
Auditors are working on our financials and will be available at annual meeting.
Darrel Gamble, Manager of Operations, is our most valuable asset (now that Roxanne Chumacas is gone -Ed).
Ecosolution is currently treating lake for Fan Wart (Cambomba) Bladder wart is taking growth around edges and sometimes it takes up to a year for chemicals to work. In the Fall, you may see black murky water along the edges which is normal. Treatment does not kill fish, frogs, people etc. Only plants.
Although July 4th was noisy there were no injuries or property damage. No action can be taken on people lighting off fireworks unless they are seen physically setting them off.
Dogs need to be on leashes and registered in the office. AWSOM will chip your dog and give them a lifetime registration for $65.
Road proposals are being sent out.
New stainless steel backboards are replacing broken glass ones that were vandalized. If it continues the manager will close down courts.
Completed tasks include striping tennis and basketball courts, repair to roof over indoor pool, chairs moved to outdoor pool.
Temporary dehumidification system is working well, but when there is high humidity outside, it has a problem. When phase two of project is complete this situation should be rectified.
Solar covers and cover roller has been ordered for the outdoor pool.
Directors’ Comments: Director Whelan started to talk about Roxanne, who was recently terminated by Preferred Management, when President Caldwell stopped him since all personnel issues should be discussed in executive session. Mr. Whelan commented that it would be improper for her departure to go unremarked. He said that after 24 years of diligent and praiseworthy service she deserved more than to simply be gone. Mr. Whelan further stated that this was a real loss to the community and added, “And I miss her.” At that point Mr. Whelan received an enthusiastic round of applause from the audience and, although it is frowned upon for audience members to speak, some felt the need to whole heartedly agree with Mr. Whelan by calling out loud.
Committee Reports: F&P – Did not meet this month but Earl Frank stated that F&P never received financials for that month. Laura Jones thought the Treasurer sent them out, but stated she would send them out when she got back to office. He said that with increased salaries, taxes were not in budget.
Events Committee Chair Dan Glasgow said that is his understanding that money made from events went into their budget vs. the grill. This would lessen at least a portion of the grill losses. The committee recommends enclosed bulletin boards at various locations where people congregate, bus stops, beaches. A Labor Day event is being planned, and a community-wide yard sale. They are seeking donations for an October 7th cancer awareness event. Diane interjected that Tobyhanna Township wants to go with electronic signage and we should work with them.
Rules and Regulations – The committee recommends that an Ad Hoc committee be set up, comprised of all other committees, so that they could report back on what is going on. Long Range committee so that everyone on same page. Road map to future.
President Caldwell reported on Button Oil issue. She went to DA’s office as well as police Department to find out that we did not have a criminal suit, but a civil suit. Civil suit was not yet so maybe in October we could have a resolution, however, our chances are slim to none on collecting. Mr. Whelan then relayed a conversation he had with Button. He was interrupted by the president and accused of being unethical by talking to Button when we were in a legal process. Mr. Whelan continued to talk and relayed info on how to get our money back without going through the courts. Since we still owed Button almost $10K on the installed boiler, and since they were holding $48K in deposit money for future work, Button would agree to return $38K as full settlement and no court case with court and lawyer fees need be incurred. This could occur forthwith.
Clause 15 Update – Master Deed states that all people have to adhere to 15 covenants since it “runs with land”. Attorney has to prepare amendments to individual deeds.
A resolution was passed to transfer $53K, earlier transferred to reserves from operating funds to cover road paving, back to operating fund.
NEW BUSINESS: A resolution was passed to adjust Maintenance salary budget by $17K and reducing several line items by a like amount.
Resolution – Road Proposals: Passed – new road paving and maintained of tar and chip
Resolution – for an on-site fuel tank: passed
Resolution – Community Center Access: passed new hours for Monday, Wednesday and Friday are 9:30 am to 11:00 am. All members using facilities at this time must sign a waiver since there will be no lifeguards or staff.
Linda Shuey thanked everyone for the Elmway project and mowing in that area and for treating the lakes.
Dave Borsos asked if we were depleting reserves by taking $275K out. Board response was that this is what the reserves are for and that they will be replenished by incoming dues.
Earl Frank asked for listing of roads that are being repaved with money associated with it.
Carmen Broadnax asked for an explanation of two resolutions that will be voted on at Annual Meeting. Laura stated that she would have Auditor Bill Owens explain them at the Annual Meeting. Carmen stated that she would like that explanation before the meeting.
June Solla – June identified that the Call to Meeting did not identify the time that registration begins for the annual meeting, nor does it identify who is the Judge of Elections. Who is responsible for putting out the Call to Meeting? Gilda Spiotta was identified as the Judge of Elections.
Joe Olall – stated that the procedure for raising one’s hand to vote for the two resolutions has flaws. There are people in attendance that may not be members in good standing. In addition, there may be more than one person from a household voting when they are only entitled to a single vote. [Ed note – also, those with more than one property will have to be counted appropriately.]
Margaret Fitzgerald wanted more information on the on-site gasoline pump. Laura assured her that it will be under camera surveillance and that better controls will be in place. Logs will be maintained on who and what time the tank is being used and for what vehicle is being fueled.
Ron, who is a weekender since 2010, has a problem with a neighbor who has a dog that constantly barks even after he spoke to them.
Bob Nickolson stated his concerns about speed and recommending installing speed bumps. Laura Jones stated that they will be driving over people’s lawns to avoid them (?) and they are quite costly. Island Drive to the bridge is a speed zone.
Dick Styles is an ice fisherman and he wants to sign a waiver to fish, since we are allowing members into the CC without staff if they sign a waiver. Diane Caldwell stated that our insurance coverage does not provide for ice skating and ice fishing. She stated she will look into it again.
Kathy Leslie Whelan, this writer made a comment that she thought it was disingenuous to blame a recently terminated employee for issues of lost documents. There were no minutes to be approved at this meeting and, however they were lost, there is no evidence that Roxanne was at fault.