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February 23, 2013 Open Board Meeting

by Buz Whelan

News-Cartoon-1471285[1]    EMERALD LAKES, Pennsylvania (ELFP) The Emerald Lakes Association Board of Directors held their monthly open meeting on Saturday, February 23rd. As has characterized these meetings in recent months it was succinct and to the point, lacking the sturm und drang so prevalent in earlier efforts. From the remarks made by directors during discussion, it is apparent that the monthly workshops, with their lengthy debates, are having an effect on the open meetings.

According to Treasurer Earl Frank the association has collected $1.489 million to date, and he believes we are tracking to finish the fiscal year (April 30th) approximately 10% under budget. He remarked that, “Some people want to spend this money (the savings),” but cautioned that this is merely numbers on paper. Because we are also having some shortfall in dues collection, the savings will create a wash, not put extra money in the association accounts.

GM Allen Roth said that efforts were under way to renovate the indoor pool room with an eye to replacing some of the glass walling with more substantial materials in order to retain heat and cut down on fuel costs.

It was also reported, under old business, that plans to upgrade the compactor area are proceeding, with photo and other measurements taken in order for the engineer to create a Request for Proposal and take bids on paving much of the area. Also under old business the board passed a resolution confirming committee chairs, with one, the ad hoc Committee on Renewable Energy, having an acting chair, Mr. Joseph Olall. Mr. Olall is not accused of wrongdoing, but the board has resolved in a previous meeting that his election was effected at a meeting that did not meet Roberts Rules requirements for legitimacy (some members were not notified of the meeting). It was agreed that a new election for chair be held at the committee’s scheduled February 26th meeting. Later in the open meeting Director Joe Miller suggested that the committee be renamed to better describe its overall mission. He made a motion that was seconded and passed that the committee be named the ad hoc Energy Conservation Committee.

The board went on to pass a blanket resolution enumerating the main responsibilities of each committee. Among these are the Rules and Regulations Committee’s duty to eliminate redundancies and unenforceable regulations (two pet limit, perhaps?), the events committee was given a $1,500 budget and the task of preparing a 2013/2014 events calendar, and the Real Estate Committee shall be resurrected and shall form a subcommittee to examine ways to regulate rental properties. President Al Leslie said he hopes this subcommittee can be peopled with rental property neighbors, landlords and even – as non-voting contributors – renters themselves. This would be in an effort to include all sides of the question. The Maintenance Committee was tasked with creating a database for equipment, facilities and infrastructure to be used for quality control records and as a facility maintenance tool. They were also instructed to coordinate with the Finance and Planning Committee regarding spending.

The board also agreed to go forward with an ad hoc Committee Assistance Committee (sounds like the Department of Redundancy Department, no?) made up of previous board members to assist committees in understanding their relation to the board and the scope of their responsibilities in supporting it.

There were two resolutions involving the acquisition of properties. It was approved that Lot 2408 will be purchased from repository for the amount of $800 and the deed for Lot 1603 will be accepted by the association in consideration of $1,477.62 in outstanding dues and fees (they will be forgiven).

Appeals Chairperson Paul Capozzoli reported that his committee heard two appeals and upheld the citations in both, though one fine was reduced.

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 renewable-energy-illustration-1c2863c[1]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 lithCA24ADC2ghten 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.

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