Emerald Lakes Board of Directors Open Meeting, December 14, 2019
by Kathy Leslie-Whelan
The meeting was called to order at 9:34 AM by President Buz Whelan. Six board members were present. Ange Noonan was absent due to her attendance at her daughter’s graduation. Sarah graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Tampa. Congratulations Sarah. Following the pledge of allegiance, Buz Whelan started his President’s message saying that the meeting was being held in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order and that the meeting was being recorded, archived and live streamed. Whelan wished the membership a Happy Holidays whether it be a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanza or a Happy Festivus. (For those that want to celebrate, Festivus is Monday, December 23rd.) Whelan complimented Nicole Clemens for the wonderful job on the centerfold pages of the Newsletter. The “2019 Year in Review” contains pictures of accomplishments and events. Whelan further stated that Nicole couldn’t be at the meeting due to a death in her family. He also stated that Ange Noonan was attending her daughter’s graduation and Earl Frank, Chair of Finance and Planning was absent due to a family gathering. Whelan also congratulated Darryl Gamble on all the upgrades to our facilities. He stated it was a pleasure to walk into the Community Center and the Administration building. The ambiance is warm and inviting. Whelan went on to say that we have had numerous dues increase meetings that were unsuccessful but the need still exists for an increase. After the meeting in May the board worked hard with the money they had. A lot was accomplished with our limited resources. The board wanted to prove they were good stewards of the association money. Pocono Mountain West High School (PMWHS) has been reserved for March 7, 2020 for another request for an increase. If an increase is granted, the board is looking to hire additional public safety and maintenance staff. In addition, if the proper funding is granted, the board wants to focus on road work that is needed throughout the community. It should be noted that if there is a snow storm on February 29th, PMWHS will bump us from the March 7th date. In that case the meeting will be moved to the Community Center. In the case of a snow storm on March 7th, the meeting will be postponed till March 14th at the Community Center. Proxy voting will be in effect, so anyone who wishes may cast their vote by mail. The board is also aware that the membership is not fond of long winded speeches, since 16 people that registered to vote at the last meeting never cast their votes. The board will have a handout that will contain all the information needed. There will be brief comments from the board and management and time will be allotted for the membership to talk. With the improved counting procedure, it is anticipated the meeting to take less than one hour.
Bill Baehr, Treasurer, gave an abbreviated report since the meeting was being held early due to the holidays and this month’s financials were not ready. Delinquency collections are as follows for the month of November:
- Associate Collections $1,526.28
- Sunrise collections $ 9,621.92
- In house collections $86,401.55
- Special Payment Plan $4,578.85
- Attorney collections $ 2,250.00
TOTAL – $104,378.60
Dave Borsos made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report. It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed unanimously.
Bill Baehr made a motion to accept the November’s minutes. It was seconded by Bob Leon and passed unanimously.
Under New Business it was reported:
- The new badging system and new web site went operational at the same time. There were a few bugs to work out but Gamble is comfortable that all will work out. There was an issue with the bar code being too short on a few IDs, which was corrected and badges are being checked at the compactor and Community Center. A deadline will be given to the membership to have their ID pictures taken. The new Web site had issues with registration. The membership was advised to call administration if they are having issues registering. If you are not receiving email blasts you should also contact the administration office.
- There have been complaints about staff standing around at the Community Center. Gamble explained that we have limited staffing and that he is still feeling out the schedule. Mike Ramos from Public Safety wears many hats. He was at this meeting recording the live stream. Gamble also appreciates all the volunteers that are checking badges at the Community Center.
- Information is being accumulated on our dams. RKR Hess has inspected the dams and we are waiting on their report. The mapping of the dams needs to be corrected at a cost of $3,800. Water at the dams needs monitoring and is more complex so a training course will be provided to our maintenance staff, management and a few other individuals. Valve inspection and scoping still needs to be completed.
- Compactor bag restrictions and ice fishing is a discussion that the board will have at a workshop meeting planned for January 11, 2020. Some individuals are dumping construction waste in the compactors which causes additional pick-ups being required. Construction waste is heavier and some people are arriving with full trailers. The board will decide what restrictions and/or fines will be implemented. Ice fishing banning is another topic for discussion. The fishing club members will be invited to this session. Linda Shuey from the audience stated that the fishing club has made recommendations in the past but the board has ignored them. The General Manager disputed this.
Save the Date Reminders:
- Trivia Night – December 13th at 8:00 PM in the Community Center.
- Karaoke Night – December 14th at 8:00 PM in the Community Center.
- Vendor Event – December 15th between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM at the Community Center.
- Story time with Santa – December 21st at 1:00 PM in the Community Center. $10 per child. Sign up at the Administration building.
- New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party – December 31st at 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM in the Community Center. Tickets will be sold at the Administration building for $20 each.
(Going forward Karaoke night will be held the second Saturday of every month, and Trivia night will be held the third Friday of every month.)
Dave Borsos stated that the Community Center is looking wonderful with the newly opened pool, the holiday decorations and the new conversation pit by the fireplace. He just asks that people do not damage all the furniture and improvements that were made. Borsos wished everyone a good and safe holiday season.
Bill Baehr agreed that a dues increase is necessary. The cost of road maintenance, compactor fees have all gone up and additional staff is needed. He stated that if you added the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to the last time we had an increase our dues would be at $2,100 a year. Baehr complimented the staff on the holiday decorations in the Community Center and acknowledged the volunteer program that Ange Noonan started where members are checking badges at the door. He and Noonan personally walk through the pool area when it closes and pick up trash and straighten out and fluff the pillows. Baehr further stated that next Sunday will be a year since he moved into his home in Emerald Lakes and it has been the best year of his life. He has made numerous friends and was elected to the board. He is blessed to have met and developed so many new friendships.
Bob Leon stated that the pool is open from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Sundays with the bar and grill closed. Water aerobics is Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM and the water temperature was 79 degrees and going up. There is also an opportunity to swim laps during water aerobics. Leon ended with thanking Gamble for repairing the road on Cedar Drive by the Pine Beach Dam.
Ken Shuey, Chair of the Maintenance committee stated that they met on November 11th and wanted to reinforce their recommendation of adding line painting (especially on the main roads) as a dedicated line item on the next budget. Whelan stated it will be done and that he is a proponent of line painting. He agrees that this process is a safety issue, especially during foggy weather.
Louise Leon stated that this is the best darn board, management team and Tom our accountant. As a former life guard herself, she does not feel it is a good idea to have a mommy and children swim without life guards.
Mary Kavanagh asked if there was a deadline for the members to get their picture IDs and was told that one will be set. She also inquired about the process for the event’s form and how long does it take to get approved. She was told that Nicole Clemens initially gets the form and looks for the availability of the Community Center. When the new web site was implementation last month, not all of the private pre-booking carried over, however, the approval will be done quickly. Kavanagh also stated that she was happy with the board decision to take care of the yellow lines on the roadways.
Nine (9) new members were welcomed to the Community.
Bill Baehr made the motion to adjourn. It was seconded by Bob Leon. Meeting adjourned 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.