Emerald Lakes Board of Director’s Open Meeting, October 27, 2018
by Kathy Leslie-Whelan
The meeting was called to order at 9:38 am. All board members were present.
Following the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan started his President’s message letting the membership know that the meeting was being live streamed and that it was being held in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order. He stated that Walk-in Wednesday has been a success. There have been useful suggestions and problems that were solved right on the spot and some that require follow up. The hours are 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM. Any member not able to attend at that time may do so by appointment. Whelan stated that the indoor pool is a three stage project and they are actively working on correcting the situation. The first stage is for the roof to be replaced, followed by a new dehumidification system and then mold remediation. An ad hoc committee for a dues increase is being chaired by Earl Frank of Finance and Planning.
Steve Kavanagh’s Treasurer’s Report stated that we are $6,500 over budget due mostly to insurance and depreciation. The bar was under budget by $8. Delinquency collection for September was $35K.
Darryl Gamble started the Manager’s Report by remembering two members of ELA who recently passed, James Schneider and Robin Mastracola. Both members were active with the Association. Gamble stated that the new compactor hours are working out. There was no overflow on Sundays. He may move the single stream recycling to the other side so that when you pull up with your trash you will be throwing your household garbage to the right and the recyclables to the left. The grill has been coming back slowly. Bar foods are being sold. Currently there are two estimates on the roof repair for the indoor pool and he is waiting on a third quote. One application for the dehumidification has been received however we may look into a different kind of system. Another firm is currently putting together a proposal based on Falcon’s drawings. Strand pool is currently doing an evaluation of the indoor pool looking at the pipes, etc. The contract for the mold removal is in place and that work we commence once the roof and dehumidification is installed.
Permits were obtained for work at the outdoor pool. Currently we are waiting for the final inspection. Pine trees will also be removed since the pine needles are clogging the filter. All outside contractor road work has been suspended until May 2019. One dirt road will be paved. In-house repair is currently being performed. All problem areas for snow plowing have been identified and marked. Maintenance staff will be assigned zones so that they become familiar with their areas when removing snow, i.e. dirt roads, dips, etc.
Chris Claude has been working with Gamble to procure a backhoe/front loader and truck. Dams are being checked with underwater cameras, valves are being lubricated and an emergency evacuation plan is being developed. A proposal will be needed for a new retaining wall on Pine Tree beach. In the spring, two inches of sand will be spread at Pine Tree beach and Main beach.
Gamble will be reviewing the budget at the 6 month mark and will report on the numbers. The lawsuit with Button was settled for $37K plus. Twenty-five properties are currently having legal action taken against them. The owners were identified as having assets to go after.
Committee Chair Reports/Recommendations
Earl Frank, chair of F&P stated that he has had several meeting with our Auditor, office staff and F&P and he is pleased on how well things are progressing. Not only is there a lot of cooperation but the morale in the office has improved. F&P submitted 9 recommendations in September. Seven of those recommendations were accomplished while the others are in process. In October, three recommendations were submitted and two are already in process. Frank is currently working with our consultant and audit firm on a new format for reporting. All reports will be reported on a cash basis. All reporting will be up to date by the next open meeting scheduled in December. It will be separated under three areas (Operating, Reserves and New Capital). In addition, there will be reports with a detailed listing of all cash disbursements, bank statements and collections. According to an F&P recommendation, all money collected over $150K will go into reserves. Next billing for dues will identify a breakdown of the dues ($800 for Operations and $200 for Reserves). Frank stated that there has been good progress for the last two months.
Ken Shuey, chair of maintenance stated that he was pleased that Gamble came prepared to their meeting and he was able to address their concerns. In some cases, action was already being taken. Maintenance discussed the drainage on Gap View Rd, our crews doing cold patch, maintenance of dams, access to dam on Mountain Top Lake where we do not own the property, relocation of the beavers, paving of roads, and drainage on Clearview by Cedar. Recommendations from Maintenance included removing the beavers and that our maintenance crew maintain and repair driveway culverts where needed for drainage, charging it back to the homeowner.
Rules and Regulation is working on changes that will be presented to the board soon.
Communications is asking for contributions for the newsletter.
Gilda Spiotta spoke of starting a creative writing/theatrical club. They may possibly put out a literary magazine.
Under old business a need for a dues increase was discussed. A special meeting will be planned for at the high-school. History has shown that 9 out of the 11 dues increases were passed at a special meeting. F&P will accept the challenge of the preparation and planning for the meeting. After F&P’s regularly scheduled meeting, they will reconvene for this ad hoc committee. If interested in participating in this committee you can contact Earl Frank or Buz Whelan. Participants should have a financial background and be positive about the need for an increase.
Ange Noonan reminded the membership of the annual cancer fundraiser that was taking place at the Community Center the next day. The doors are scheduled to open at 12:00 noon for the tricky tray and bingo is scheduled to commence at 2:00 PM. She has been making the rounds at the committee meetings and she commended Earl Frank for the amazing work he has done. She also stated that the maintenance committee ran very well too. Rules and Regulations need a little work. She was happy to participate in walk-in Wednesdays and that the bar food was good. When asked, she stated that any member wishing to contribute to the cancer awareness event can write their checks out to the American Cancer Society.
Dave Borsos asked about the reserve funds and recommended that we try to build up that fund. He also questioned why we needed a new truck. He was told that big red needed to be replaced with a 650 in order to handle plowing in the community. One of the recently procured vehicles is not big enough to plow the roads and will be used to plow parking lots. The backhoe is at the top of the list on equipment needed, followed by the 650 truck for snow plowing.
Bob Leon spoke about the photography club which has met twice so far. If interested you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Claude talked about the need to maintain the dams and that the pipes are being examined by camera. ELA is responsible for their maintenance. The backhoe is currently dangerous and needs to be replaced. The deck is rotted and it is a safety issue. It is unsafe for our crew to operate the equipment on our roads.
Buz Whelan stated that Walk-in Wednesdays is meant to be an opportunity for members to air complaints, make suggestions and ask questions about how and why we operate. It is not an extension of the Appeals committee. The members who want to appeal a fine must do so through this committee. This board has made adjustments in the way they treat staff. Morale is boosted and staff are more productive when treated fairly. Staff now receive three-day weekends on the holidays. Whelan’s philosophy is that if you show an employee respect and empathy they will perform as well when your back is turned as when your are present.
Whelan also questioned last month’s minutes and listing of new members. They were not available and will be approved at the next open workshop.
Linda Shuey gave kudos to Darryl Gamble. She stated that she was pleased that he had high expectations for the staff. Gamble is responsive to emails. She appreciated that he took the maintenance committee’s recommendations seriously. She was happy that a tar buggy was purchased. She reiterated what Borsos and Claude stated, that we need money in the reserves. She is not likely to vote for a dues increase if the board does not use the money wisely. She has concerns that the bar and grill was reopened and that no money was given to restock the lakes. She stated that there was $80K in the budget for the bar and grill. She wants to see income vs. expenses for the bar and grill. She ended with saying that we are headed in the right direction.
Cookie Litwienski stated that she has lived here for 35 years and she is looking for a place in ELA to throw leaves. Gamble is looking into composting. She also questioned what was happening with the walking trail at the old camp grounds. Spiotta stated she and Noonan were walking and clearing and recommended naming the area Fernwood Forrest.
Earl Frank spoke directly to Linda Shuey that the bar and grill did not have an $80K budget and that there was only a $1,400 cost in September to operate the area. He felt that it was okay to cost $1K a month for the amenity. Our amenities cost money. The bar brings in money. Frank feels that Darryl Gamble and Nicole Clemens are two of the best people and have positive attitudes. He enjoys walking into the Administration building where people are smiling. Frank also stated that the $32K collected for delinquent dues will go directly into reserves.
Louise Leon stated she was on the board 2010 – 2011 and they pushed hard for the increase.
Mary Kavanagh questioned where the money for the Events Committee was being spent. Gamble stated that that money went to or will be going towards the 4th of July party, story time with Santa, Kid’s Halloween party and New Year’s Eve party.
Claude made the motion to adjourn. Seconded by Borsos.
Adjournment at 11:35 AM.
Reporters Note: I write these reports based on notes taken during the meeting. I get no special consideration or cooperation from the board. I try my best to report accurately, but occasionally mistakes will be made. I invite correction and have no desire to intentionally mischaracterize any comments or actions.