January 26, 2013 Open Board Meeting
By Buz Whelan
EMERALD LAKES, Pennsylvania (ELFP) The Emerald Lakes Board of Directors today held its January open meeting. President Alex Leslie called the meeting to order at 9:35 with Vice President Millie Bishop, Treasurer Earl Frank, and Directors Margaret Fitzgerald and Daniel Glasgow present. Also present were General Manager Allen Roth and Recording Secretary Roxanne Chumacha. Director Joe Miller was able to attend due to suffering flu-like symptoms. Board Secretary Carmen Broadnax joined the assembly about 10 minutes in.
President Leslie spoke on the need to assist committees in carrying out their mission and especially to help new committee members, of which there are presently quite a few, in understanding what their roles are and how they can operate most effectively. He suggested that an ad hoc committee might be formed by previous board members, with orientation sessions conducted with the previously stated aims in mind.
Among the highlights of the meeting was a resolution to restrict drinking in the game room to adults of legal age. This would bring Emerald Lakes into harmony with state alcohol regulations that pretty much restrict drinking anywhere to adults of legal age. The vote was 3 for, 1 against and 1 abstention.
The most contentious agenda item concerned the ad hoc Renewable Energy Committee. The president pointed out that the initial meeting by the committee was not conducted by normal procedures in that all interested members, those that had formally expressed a desire to join the committee, were not notified of the meeting and therefore the election of a chairperson and secretary should not be considered valid. Both Ms. Bishop and Ms. Broadnax opined that the deed was done, mistakes were made in the past, so why not one more? Neither saw any great importance in the failure to advise all concerned parties of the meeting. Ms. Fitzgerald stated that she was upset by the hostility she sees in various committee meetings and was apparently distressed at this example of a cavalier attitude toward our committee rules and bylaws. Ms. Broadnax countered that the committee had done some fine work, so it was a waste of time to start over. Then Daniel Glasgow had his turn. Mr. Glasgow thanked the committee for their good work, expressed his pleasure that they were moving forward. Then came the ‘but.’ He went on to say that all that was really beside the point. We must have procedures that are followed, no one should be allowed to treat committees as their own, going their own way and doing whatever was convenient. If the board were to be respected, it must follow its own rules. After much back and forth by both directors and members in attendance the board decided that, indeed, the initial election of a chair and secretary was not in accord with established procedure and that a meeting should be called, all concerned properly notified and a chair and secretary selected at that meeting. During this discussion, member David Pope strongly suggested that a procedure for starting and running ad hoc committees be made both detailed and explicit so that we do not find ourselves having this same argument over and over.
Perhaps to lighten the mood in the room, the president turned to the agendum regarding the resurfacing of the compactor/recycling area. The board followed by authorizing a study by the Fred Spot Engineering Firm to study the best method and cost for resurfacing the area. This was greeted by enthusiastic applause from the gallery.
The other important matter considered was a schedule for the production, analysis, discussion, review by membership and final approval of the 2013/2014 budget. The GM said he will present the initial budget to the Finance and Planning Committee at a special meeting convened for that purpose on Saturday, March 2nd. The committee will consider and discuss the budget, make their suggestions and be prepared for a March 16th joint meeting with the Emerald Lakes Board of Directors. Out of that meeting should come a form of the budget approved for comment by the membership. The board can formally approve this at their March 23rd open meeting, giving the membership until the April 27th open meeting to voice their comments. The board will then vote to give final approval to the budget at that April meeting, having it in place for the May 1st beginning of the new fiscal year as required by law.