April 8, 2006



Meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m.  Directors present:  Marty Perkins, Ken Passage, Al Isaac, Dave Conley, Marv Frayer, Scott Hayer and Dan Holzer.  


Pledge and prayer were given.


ADDITIONS TO AGENDA:  Additions to New Business:  Dave Conley requests a closed session for current litigations.  Ken Passage adds 2006 election ballot and also the proper procedure for boat storage and campgrounds and campers also added to agenda.


Motion to accept Agenda by Dave Conley and seconded by Dan Holzer.  Motion carried.


Motion to accept March Minutes by Ken Passage and seconded by Scott Hayer.  Motion carried.


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Priscilla Moore stated that for the month of March the total income was $221,516.38 and total expenses were $27,536.74 with a cash balance of $281,535.79.  Discussion on how to handle the Super Bowl money so that it remains in the donation fund for the Fourth of July is delayed for later discussion.  Motion to approve Treasurer’s Report by Dave Conley and supported by Al Isaac.  Motion carried.


PRESIDENT’S REPORT:  Marty Perkins comments on the current litigation and states that it is with the attorney at this time.  Stated that controlled burns are fine and in the case of Dan Holzer, he had a permit, extinguishers and people present.  The fire department was called and deemed it under control and proper.  However, there have been cases of people starting a fire and going into their homes and not watching it.  This is not controlled and also reminded everyone that permits are necessary from the DNR at 539-1212.  Also reminded everyone that any costs incurred from a controlled burn that gets out of control that the fire department has to put it out will be the obligation of the person responsible whether a permit was issued or not.


CORRESPONDENCE:  (Letters available at office) A letter from Kathleen Kozlowski #688 stated concerns about the recent audit and expenses incurred from it and expressed that due to the similarities in findings from the first audit and recent one that it was a waste of money.  Another letter from Gary Cheadle #1010 asked what the purpose of the audit was and why no one has been charged with anything if that was the purpose.  A letter from Marv Richardson #551 was read that expressed concern about an advertisement in the Birch Bark extending privileges to a member that is in current litigation.  (Marty Perkins stated that advertisements are not limited to members of the association but are rather a paid space.)


MANAGER’S REPORT:  List of those that are facing foreclosures has gone to the attorney, David Dreyer, and letters will be sent out from their office this week which is the first step.  Also wanted to clarify the interpretation of the Covenants and Restrictions.  Stated that past practice of amending these Covenants and Restrictions has been to have the majority of the Board vote but others feel it should be the majority of the members available to vote.  Therefore this has been forwarded to David Dreyer for a legal opinion.  Summer clubhouse and pool hours are starting next month.  Construction is beginning the week after the meeting to the clubhouse.  Also there were broken pipes at the campground but an adjuster is coming to review the damage due to the damage being a product of the propane not being filled on a timely manner and it is expected that White Birch will not be responsible for this cost.  Gravel is arriving the 24th of April.  Also, Gail clarifies that it is accurate that four Board members are up for reelection, two will be elected for 1 year and two will receive 3 years.  A notification from Mid Michigan Blood centers was received and there will be a blood drive on Friday, June 2, 2006 from 1-6:00 in White Birch.  Also provided a list of those going up for tax sale.  Provided information about the riding lawnmower and requests a motion to approve the expenditure.  (Follow-up determined).  Also discussed a bill from McMahan and Thomson which was over and above the stated cost due to the software and a follow-up appointment that they were not aware they’d be charged for.


PAYABLES APPROVAL:  Marty Perkins asks about the insurance bill to Schofield insurance.  Gail explains that this bill is a lump sum for everything including all buildings and so forth.  Scott Hayer asks if White Birch was aware of the follow-up charge.  Gail explains that it was in the contract and Marty Perkins explains that she came in at an additional time.  Also Priscilla asked if the $5,000 has been approved yet.  Marty explains that after the discussion under New Business this can be paid.  Motion by Dave Conley and seconded by Dan Holzer to pay payables.  Motion carried.


SECURITY:  Bruce Rouston stated that there were a few trailers left open and he contacted the owners who stated that they left them open and so he locked them.  Also, a few homes were left open and the realtors were contacted.  One was intentional by the owner but the realtor came and locked it as well.     



Activities:  Mary Perkins stated that there is no new business.

Entrance:  No report at this time.

EPC:  Chick Witchell stated that there was one shed and one high tree approval.  There is a cover sheet and some welcome letters going out.  Spring clean up is here.  Camping begins May 12th.  The results for the shed poll have been tallied as well.  Sheds on property: 92-Yes and 33-No and Rental Storage Space is 30-Yes and 69-No.

Futures:  Tom Crook absent.  Currently reviewing the future lake and budget plan and are requesting anyone that is interested in joining the committee to help with this should see Gail White.

Seedlings:  Tina Hayer stated that the Easter Egg Hunt is occurring later that day and on the 27th of May there will be a hotdog and lemonade stand at the clubhouse that the kids do to generate funds for their group.  May 28th will be a fishing contest and June 10th will be a Scavenger hunt for the kids.  She needs more adult drivers for this event.  Asked if there was a parade this year and if there is a theme for the carts.

Communications:  Terry Obrecht stated that $345 in ads have been sold.  Some members have opted out of receiving the Birch Bark through the mail and will rather get it online or pick it up at the clubhouse and this will save some money as well. The process for getting information and issues for the Birch Bark or online are brought to the committee and are approved by the majority of the committee.  The original deadline of the Friday following the Board meeting has resumed.  Redundant articles may be eliminated, spelling or poor word usage may be corrected by the editor or herself.  Also stated that any personal agendas and articles would cause White Birch a much higher cost for the Birch Bark.  Suggested that the Board discuss this issue and that perhaps these can be included on the website due to the ability to include an endless amount of information without causing any additional charges to White Birch.

Conservation:  Mike Turner stated that Mike Jenkins will be coming to speak about deer resistant plants.  Believes that if there is any cutting of trees there should also be planting and replacement of the trees.  The Timber Lake project may have about five trees that will need to be cut down but more than that should be planted in there to replace these.  He also suggested that trees be planted in the park area such as Norway Spruce, White Spruce, the common Lilac or Rose of Sharon and this will replace trees that have been or will be removed.  DEQ permit has been received.  Eleven requests for proposals for what has been suggested to improve the lake were sent out.  Three met with him, three sent in proposals.  May 1st at 6:30 is the next meeting.  He also explained that Timber Lake was chosen over Holiday after input from others about its central location and already available advantages that can be added to.  The funds are available for the trees as well and still remain considerably under budget.  There will not be any trees that will be planted that block the view of the lake.

Nominating:  Al Isaac stated that on April 22nd they will be doing a clean up of the nature trail.  For the Nominating Committee, the notice went into the Birch Bark and into next month’s as well.  Has not received any formal considerations yet but had one person e-mail interest.

Teller:  Ken Passage stated there is a sign up sheet on the bulletin board.  Marty Perkins stated that the selection of the committee will be done through a drawing in order to prevent any discrimination.

Campground:  Fred Witchell sent out cards for campground storage to be scheduled for next year.  Tires are being dropped off at the dumpsters and this costs additional money.  The garbage service does not offer this service and it costs us $10 or more for removal which is becoming expensive for the Association.  There is a place in Coleman that will take them if you have some to dispose of.  Contact White Birch if you see any illegal dumping.




Mark Connelly #277, stated that Ferrellgas sent out a contract for $.30 more a gallon and stated that he will not be signing it because the Board will be going out for bid after June and prices may change but if you sign it now it will lock you in no matter what changes. Ron Waligore #357, asked how White Birch handles the discharge of lien.  (Gail explains that a form of release of lien is sent in.  Tax sales are sent from the state or notification is given by the person who bought it.)  Asks for clarification on who pays for back assessments on these tax sales (Priscilla explains that these are written off after notification of the sale is given)  Then inquires about the status of one of these lots and wants to know about the Right of Refusal. Marv Richardson  #551 stated that Mr. Brandt has been in White Birch since the beginning and could offer White Birch a historical perspective with his writings and memoirs on issues.  Also asked if a person owes the Association money, can they still advertise in the paper?  (Marty Perkins stated that as long as the advertisement is paid for). (Letter available at the office).Arnold VanOverbeke #1111, has been seeing trees being cut down and was told he couldn’t cut trees down without permission.  He wanted to know what the punishment is for cutting trees without permission. (Scott Hayer suggested letting Chick Witchell know) Joe Romine #542, asked about the earmarked money from the Super Bowl for the Fourth of July.  He has other items he would like to earmark as well in the general fund.  Also the signs need to be taken down on the highway clean up or start having people do it because it hasn’t been done lately.  Would also like to see motion detectors with cameras at the clubhouse to prevent vandals.  Also stated that he would like to know the status of the Future Committee’s chairperson.  (Marty Perkins stated that the chairperson told them he would stay on until someone else volunteered.)  Also asked about where the free firewood would be coming from.  (Marty Perkins stated from anyone who volunteers to bring it over)  Also stated that he would like to volunteer along with Mary Alice Harrington as the Activities chairperson due to the amount of time he has been involved with White Birch. Brian Kozlowski #688 stated that he has concerns about the absentee ballot on the website and there is no way of knowing who is on the other end of the computer regardless of safe guards and feels that it was adequately covered by mailing them out first class mail. Mary Perkins #1095, stated that since some people have opted out then they won’t receive it through the mail.







Marv Frayer made motion and seconded by Dave Conley to accept the audit report now that it is final.  Discussion opened to Board.  Marv Frayer does not agree with the cost incurred and Scott Hayer comments that many changes have been made due to the suggestions.  Motion carried.


Application for Emergency siren was suggested by Dan Holzer because the siren in town cannot be heard.  Stated that White Birch may be eligible to receive the siren for no cost to the Association.  Would like to file an application for this and also put something in the paper to ensure people make the necessary preparations to have a safe place to go with all of the campers and so forth.  Motion made by Dan Holzer and seconded by Al Isaac to file for the emergency siren.  Motion carried.


Ken Passage stated that it doesn’t matter if others see the application to obtain an absentee ballot on the website because it will still need to be verified for the ballot to count.  Motion made by Ken Passage and seconded by Dan Holzer to allow the application for the absentee ballot on the website. Marty Perkins reminded everyone that there are safeguards and that it would be in the best interest of White Birch to get it out to as many people as possible.  Scott Hayer expresses his concern that the safeguards may not be completely safe and therefore the committee recommended that this not be placed on the website.  Motion carried.


4-H Club proposal:  Youth will build the bluebird and wood duck houses for White Birch which will involve the youth.  This is good for mosquito control, youth involvement, advertisement and so forth.  Mike Turner requests $125.  Tom Dorcey offered to donate the funds for the project.  Scott Hayer makes a motion and seconded by Al Isaac to accept the proposal of the 4-H club and accept Tom Dorcey’s donation.  Motion carried.


Marty Perkins named Christina Van Pelt as the chairperson for the Activities Committee.  She expressed interest in this position prior to the meeting.  Ken Passage made a motion to ratify and seconded by Dan Holzer to make Christina Van Pelt the chairperson.  Carried.


Ken Passage stated that the Board all received the proposed procedures for absentee ballot handling.  After reviewing the recommendations he put together a packet that would cover any of the gaps that may be problems in the future.  The only departure from the committee’s recommendation was that it was stated that the applications would be immediately opened and verified.  However, since they need to all be verified before mailing the ballots he suggested leaving them unopened and verifying the status of membership at one time.  Ken Passage made the motion to accept the proposal and seconded by Al Isaac.  Scott Hayer expressed his concern for changing the Election Committee’s recommendations due to a Board member’s recommendation.  Ken Passage is concerned that with the Election Committee’s recommendation that the member’s status could change from the time it is received and the time the ballot is sent out that by verifying them all at once when the ballot is going to be sent it would prevent this.  Al Isaac stated that if this is the only change could this change be incorporated into the committee’s recommendation so that the proposal already reviewed can be used with the amendment in order to take advantage of Ken’s suggestion.  Motion withdrawn from Ken Passage. 


Motion withdrawn by Ken Passage for addition to Agenda for the proper procedure for boat storage and campgrounds and campers.


Motion to go into closed session by Dave Conley and seconded by Al Isaac.  Motion carried.


Motion to adjourn made by Al Isaac and supported by Dave Conley.  Motion carried.