Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Annual Meeting, August 17, 2019
by Kathy Leslie-Whelan
The meeting was called to order at 11:08 AM. All board members were present. Following the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan, President, announced that we had reached quorum. After introducing the board members, General Manager and association auditor, Bill Owens, Whelan addressed a few housekeeping items. He stated that the meeting was being recorded and live streamed to the membership and that the meeting would be held in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order. He stated that according to Robert’s Rules the minutes from the annual meeting should be approved at the next open meeting. The minutes from this annual meeting will be approved in September. In addition, our bylaws state that any business other than electing candidates must be conducted prior to the elections meeting, so the resolutions will be voted on after discussions at the start of the meeting.
Whelan called for a motion to accept last year’s annual meeting minutes. Chris Claude made a correction to the total of votes received by Al Leslie last year. The number was changed from 25 votes to 28 votes. Joe Olall stated that the minutes were incomplete since they didn’t contain the total number of ballots cast and the number of disqualified bids. Steve Kavanagh made the motion to accept the minutes with the corrections. It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed unanimously. Olall objected since the total number of ballots cast were not part of the minutes.
The ballots were explained to the membership since voting would take place on the direct proxy voting (yellow ballot) and the two financial resolutions (green ballot). The floor was open for member comments.
Joe Olall stated that the total number of votes cast is important, and he wants to know who is voting. He stated that last year members were voting that had no right to vote. Until we had a better process in hand he was against this resolution.
Steve Gotfried encouraged people to vote for the resolution to allow members who cannot attend the meeting a right to vote.
Anthony Denicker stated that he is not a weekend warrior and feels that proxy voting is important.
Larell Marie Mele stated that we have to consider AirBNB. The owners of these properties are making money on rentals, so now they can mail in their proxy vote. She is not sure she is in favor that they have a say.
Debbie DeSimone stated that she is a weekend warrior and pays for two lots and wants a vote. She requested that her right not be taken away. All property owners have a right to vote.
Darren Johnson stated that he is a proponent for proxy voting. If you are paying dues, you have a right to vote. His concern is that the community is not leveraging technological advances.
The membership was allowed to vote on the direct proxy voting and the two financial resolutions at this time.
Whelan started his President’s message, stating that promises were made last year by Steve Kavanagh, Chris Claude and himself. They kept these promises of transparency by live streaming and archiving meetings. Only one executive session was held in December and that was to discuss employee bonuses. Whelan stated that the indoor pool should be opened in the next 3 to 4 weeks. The pool will be heated, have a world class dehumidification system, multi colored new lighting and the apron will be refinished.
Whelan handed the floor over to Vice President Chris Claude to award the volunteer-of-the-year award to Linda and Ken Shuey for going above and beyond as chair and secretary of the maintenance committee. Whelan then awarded Al Leslie a Lifetime Achievement Award for his 11 years of faithful service to the board. Three of those years, Leslie served as President. Leslie has also given up his Saturday nights to call bingo upwards of 45 times a year for almost two decades.
Our attorney Nick Haros was detained.
Bill Owens of Williams Owens and Company stated that in his financial opinion our audit report is true and correct. Our operating fund is in good condition; our reserve fund has increased but more should be in the fund; spent more this year on repairs; collection rate went from 60% last year to 73.4%; sound year where expenses were controlled.
Under the Treasurer’s report, Steve Kavanagh stated that it has been an interesting year financially. Money was tight, there was much to be done and the dues increase was denied. Not all bad news since dues collections has been strong. Delinquent collections for the fiscal year were $589K in total with $313 being collected in-house. We were able to function and complete many projects and stretch out our money. Three consecutive auditors have identified the need for a dues increase so we will need to request a dues increase in the future.
Dave Borsos, Judge of Elections was introduced next. He stated that we currently have three slots open for the board with four candidates running. Two spots will be three year positions and one spot will be a one year position. Each candidate was given 5 minutes to speak. No one opted to run from the floor. If a ballot is damaged it could be swapped for a clean ballot but if the intention of the vote is clear, it will be counted.
Bill Baehr spoke from the heart. He moved into ELA the Sunday before Christmas, which was followed by an ice storm. He started coming out to the Community Center and participating in events like bingo and karaoke. He loves to kayak on the lakes and visit the butterfly garden He loves the community and plans on retiring here. He sees good things happening and wants to help the community move forward. He recognized his fellow running mates as good people and friends.
Jenn Gonzalez has lived in ELA for over 7 years as a renter and the last year as an owner. She had a special thank you to Darryl Gamble and Nicole Clemens for all their efforts. Jenn is a no frills person. She does not sugar coat anything. She has seen positive changes with a working outdoor pool and soon to be operational indoor pool. She has served on both the Maintenance Committee and the Finance and Planning Committee for the last year.
Bob Leon stated that 10 years ago he started the unofficial Facebook page. His future agenda is to work on the roads, bath house for the outdoor pool, paved and extended parking at the outdoor pool and to continue with transparency.
Ange Noonon stated that she has been on the board for the last year and many wonderful projects have been completed or are being worked on. She wants to keep going with working on making this community move in a positive direction. She wants to continue with the transparency and hoping to get continued support from the association.
After Candidate Voting ballots (pink) were cast the floor was opened up for questions.
- How do we enforce fees for short term rentals?
Response: We ask for voluntary participation and if the fees are not paid the tenants cannot get passes. Most short term rentals are advertised and those sites are monitored by our Chief Compliance Officer and the Real Estate Committee.
- Is there any recourse for loud noise or fireworks?
Response: There is a noise ordinance in our bylaws and in the townships that make up Emerald Lakes. If there is a problem, security should be called. A warning will be issued and if it continues the owner or landlord will be given a fine. Fireworks is an internal law within the Association.
- The Auditor report shows $31K in salaries for the Community Center. Why?
Response: That figure represents recreational expenses which include community center salaries, pool attendants at the outdoor pool and soon indoor pool, events that require staffing such as breakfast with the bunny and Santa, letters to Santa etc.
- What happened to our attorney?
Response: He was scheduled to be there but that haven’t heard from him.
Results from Candidate voting:
77 votes cast with no disqualifications
Ange Noonan – 62 (3 Year Term)
Bill Baehr – 50 (3 Year Term)
Bob Leon – 44 (1 Year Term)
Jen Gonzalez – 41
Direct Proxy Voting Bylaw Change (Passed)
Financial Resolution # 1 (Passed)
Financial Resolution # 2 (Passed)
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.