Annual Meeting Minutes
CALL TO ORDER
President Marv Richardson called the Annual Meeting of the Membership to order at . Present were 1st Vice President Scott Hayer, 2nd Vice President Bob Adair, Directors Larry Franklin, Marv Frayer, and Brian Koslowski and Manager Gail White. Chuck Bailey was excused.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND A PRAYER was made by the membership.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
The minutes of the Annual Meeting were presented for approval All were in favor of approval. Motion Carried.
For the fiscal year ended
President Marv Richardson and Manager Gail White presented the following Certificates of Appreciation to the volunteers who have contributed so much time and effort for the betterment of White Birch Lakes:
Bill Ferrell, Birch Bark Editor of the month
Chick Witchell, EPC Chairperson
Tina Hayer, For your great contribution for the childrenís and adult activities
Georgia Romine, volunteer wherever she is needed
Greg and Linda Hernden, caring for the front entrance
Shirley Brandt, Activities Chairperson
Dick Brandt, many years of service on the Board as President sand Director
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR - Anne Hobart for her many years of service in chairing various committees and for her help as historian and parliamentarian.
This year we are losing 2 of our current Directors. Larry Franklin, after many, many faithful years as Board President and Director has chosen not to seek re-election this year. President Richardson expressed appreciation for Larryís many years of dedication and presented him with a plaque. Chuck Bailey has also chosen not to seek re-election. Chuck, who is a minister, is taking his ministry on the road and felt that he would not have the time to dedicate to the Association. Chuck was also presented a plaque for his service.
NOMINATING REPORT AND ELECTION OF DIRECTORS
Chairman Brian Kozlowski stated that all members should hold their ballots until all candidates have had a chance to speak and it has been determined there are no nominations from the floor. After all candidates have made their presentation, the tellers will retire to the pavilion by the fire pit to count the votes. He asked the candidates to come forward and make a short presentation about themselves. As to the two proposals on the ballot they will be explained in detail by Anne Hobart.
He introduced the candidates:†††† 1. Marvin Frayer
2. Scott Hayer
3. Al Issac
4. Mart Lucas
5. Marty Perkins
introduced himself as owner of
Marty Perkins stated he is fairly new here, about 2 1/2 years, and he would like to be on the Board as he likes to volunteer. I feel we have a great community here and rather than trying to initiate new programs we need to take care of what we have. Everyone should look out for his neighbor. I do enjoy volunteering and that is why I want to be on the board.
Scott Hayer agrees with what has been said so far. He has been on the board for the past 2 years. It is my way of volunteering. He just wants to continue to support the community to keep making good choices and to make us a more financially secure community and for all to have fun..
Matt Lucas stated they have been in White Birch since about 1999 and known as owners of the round house. He is volunteering because he feels that we have a definite opportunity for improvement in organizational matters and the bio diversity of the area. Some people feel that no change is good but change is upon us whether we like it or not. We have outside pressures from surrounding areas. We have emerald birch borers, oak rust, gypsy moths and other things and those forte changes. We have to be in the forefront of maintaining our diversity and our park like atmosphere here and it will not happen by itself. Other influences will prevail if we do not take action to improve. There is a tremendous amount of talent here in White Birch and a tremendous opportunity for improving things - not necessarily for spending a lot of money but for improving. With the talent that is here and the willingness to do things as a community, we can achieve some really outstanding things for our future generations.
At this point Brian Kozlowski called three times for nominations from the floor for the Board of Directorsí positions. Their being no response he announced the nominations closed.
Questions from the audience -
Response - all home owners
Scott Hayer requested clarification as to why the question was asked. Do you feel we are more biased toward homeowners. He asked for specific instances as to why she feels there is bias. She feels the boards sides toward the homeowners.
Marty Perkins stated that he loved the campers and they are just as much a part of his life as the next door neighbor. Marvin Frayer stated that he felt the campers are most important and we need them. I have no problem with the campers. I donít feel itís a big issue.
Matt Lucas stated that he and his family have camped all over the country for the last several years and we camped here when we first started clearing our land. The community is not made up of all the same types and kinds and distinctions of individuals. It is a diverse community and in diversity there is a great lesson in tolerance and understanding for all.
Gary Farnham, Lot 637, it seems that for the last couple of years we have had this camper-homeowner thing and we are not campers, we are not homeowners, we are all member and we are all looking for a common goal. Putting labels on each other is not right.
Marty Perkins supports one vote per member rather than one vote per assessment. On the issue of 3 year terms he supports this issue.
Marv Frayer supports one vote per member rather one vote per assessment. On the issue of 3 year terms he supports this issue.
states there is an important consideration that needs to be
If you have 10 lots itís the same as any corporation. You would be voting for each assessment paid.
The second issue makes sense and he supports the issue.
Scott Hayer agrees that White Birch is a corporation. He believe that the persons with the most shares run the corporation. Unfortunately there are very few that own a majority share in a corporation and that is also true in this corporation. Most of us own one lot and that would give the people who own multiple lots an unfair advantage. He supports the term limits of three years for the Board.
Matt Lucas feels the term of office is straight forward and it is a good issue. He feels that the one vote per assessment is something that should be addressed by future Boards as to how it affects the future density of the population.
Ron Schwesing of lots 1014, 1015, 1016, 1039 asked if there should be one vote per member does that mean he would need to pay only one assessment.
Marty Perkins replied that he pays his assessment not for a vote but for the privilege of living here, to have his roads taken care of and to have a manager who takes care of all the business.
Al Issac states itís a good point to bring up in the future. When we are talking about the votes per member - if a member has many lots it is necessary to look at the viability of White Birch. The reason we are able to exist and the reason we are able to keep our parks and our lakes etc is because we have these assessments. If someone has multiple lots what is their incentive to own these lots if their votes counts the same as a person who owns one lot. We try to encourage the purchase of multiple lots. If we donít have the incentive for people to buy these multiple lots we donít have the operating budget so be careful when you are thinking about this issue. You have to look at the viability of the organization as a whole and you have to make sure you have incentives in place to have as many lots developing assessments as possible. Keep this all in mind.
Marv Frayer agrees the assessments are here to help benefit the community. The fact that some people have 6 or 7 lots will have to be dealt with in the future.
Tom Crook, Lots 517, 518, asked what are the views of the candidates as to what they would like to see in the short term and long term for White Birch.
Marv Frayer thinks our greatest asset is our lakes and we need to improve them. This park here needs a lot of improvement.
Marty Perkins feels we should take care of what we have.
Scott Hayer thinks we are headed in the right direction. We are more financially stable and - we are paying off our debts. We have great committees. We have a good Future Planning Committee that is looking to the future.
Al Isaac states our lakes and forests are a great asset and we need to take good care of those. Looking 5 or 10 years down the road a lot of people are here so they can feel secure. We can do a few more things with our security to insure that we have a safe area for our homes, campers and belongings.
Matt Lucas states the ambience of the area, the lakes, the trees, the quiet nature of things is why most people are here. It is our challenge in the next 5 or 10 years to make sure that we donít destroy ourselves and that the board looks forward to the 5 year development. Looking at the curve of building over the last 10 to 15 years you realize what the onslaught of a tremendous amount of people will bring to this area and how that will change the area. Those issues have to be brought to the people who live here and decisions have to be made by all of us as to what will happen. Do we want to encourage multiple lots so there is space for trees and air between us or do we want to encourage building on every lot and a camper on every lot every weekend in the campground. If you donít do anything to prepare your own destiny by allowing the board to make rules to create an environment that will continue with what we have, it will surely be lost. Thatís what we are here to do - to insure the security and the nature of what we have and to preserve that.
Marty Perkins worked on the Bylaws Committee this year, he planned the installation of the dining room floor and installed the floor along with helper Ken Passage of lot 163. He also did the repair to the floor after it was damaged by water. He volunteered for cooking breakfast for Motherís Day.
Scott Hayer has volunteered on the Board for the past two years. We have work group sessions usually at on the Saturday before the Directorís Meeting. He helps with the Seedlings-Saplings, the Halloween party and other activities as needed.
Al Isaac is currently serving on the Futures Committee.
Mart Lucas is currently on the Planning Committee.
Marv Frayer states there are plans whereby we can save the trees. Marty Perkins states we have an Environmental Protection Committee and there are rules regarding saving the trees. Al Isaac states that as a member of the Planning Committee this issue is being addressed. We would like to get some people in who are experts in the field of forestry to give seminars on programs to keep and enhance our trees. Scott Hayer states that since trees have to be removed for building then maybe we should look at replacing the lost trees. Matt Lucas states that the National Arboretum recommends a minimum often different varieties of trees in any particular woodlot.† The reason being is to quell the spread of various tree diseases. The tree policy here at White Birch is not tuned in to these facts. We need a tree program.
Director Koslowski announced that questions from the floor are closed and the candidates will once again come up and introduce themselves.
Candidates are: 1. Marvin Frayer
2. Marty Perkins
3. Scott Hayer
4. Al Issac
5. Matt Lucas
President Marv Richardson stated that he would change the agenda in order to answer questions concerning the By-Laws prior to voting and prior to lunch. We will now have a presentation of the Bylaws by Chairperson Anne Hobart.
The Chairperson stated she had eight people on the Committee and she thanks each of them for their dedication and input. We started in January and we met every two weeks. We went through the old Bylaws - we did a lot of changes and a lot of cleanup. We added a section on open meetings, we added Robertís Rules and as part of a required procedure we added the audit. There are copies of the Bylaws on the table. Someone has pointed out these copies are not complete. Article II, Sections M & N and Article III, Sections 1 through 5 which contain that part about what is a member are all missing. She suggests a complete copy be sent in the Birch Bark. To answer the question of what is a member ďA member is defined as each owner by reason of owning a lot shall be a member of the Association and no other person or entity shall be entitle to membershipĒ. So if you own a lot you are a member but only one of any number of co-owners of a lot shall be the member. All other members become Associate Members. Membership shall be determined by the co-owners upon the request of the Association or Board. Owners or co-owners may be required to produce legal documents showing ownership.
Ballot Item #1 -Voting now is that if you own a lot, one of you is a member and any other members are Associate members. Only the Member can vote and you get one vote per every lot you own. We do have a policy that says you may have a contiguous lot, not have to pay an assessment on it if you have a home on that lot. If you ask for a contiguous status and it is granted to you then those two lots are treated as one lot. Therefore, you now have one lot even though the plat shows two lots. The proposal on the ballot is to change that so that there is one vote per member instead of one vote per lot. The Committee was divided on this issue but it did pass by one vote. It was a controversial item and that is why the Committee requested and the Board agreed that we put this p for a vote to see whether you wanted to change this part of the Bylaws. You must however understand that the status of a member does not change. If you are a man and wife only one of you will have a vote.
Discussion followed as to the pros and cons of voting for or against the proposal.
Ballot #2 - Changes the term of office of the Board Members. Right now each member serves two years and there are seven members on the Board. Four members are up one year and three members are up the next. For the continuity of the Board it would be better not to have a lot of new people at one time, but better to have two or three replaced each year so that business would continue on. Changing to three years gives the new board members a chance to understand whatís going on. Should you approve this issue it will take effect next year.
More discussion followed as to the validity of the amendments.
The President announced it was time to cast your vote and to have lunch.
I report every month to the
Board and everything is reported in the Birch Bark. Iím available for comments, I appreciate calls from anyone
at anytime during business hours. Just to remind you that with the annual meeting
there will be new officers and starting Monday I will have committee sign-up
sheets available at the clubhouse. Those of you who
are interested in serving, please sign up as committees are re-appointed each
time. The sheets will be up for about 30 days. Frank Zakalowski,
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE - Chairperson Chick Witchell introduced the members of the EPC Committee. They are Tom Forman, Shirley Ferrell, Phyllis Willoughby, Charles Hastings, Tina Hayer, Barb Adair and Ryan Racine. For June/July 2004, approval was granted for the removal of 6 trees, 1 residence, 3 drives, 1 addition, 1 garage and I deck. For the period July 2003 to July 2004 approvals were granted for 9 campsites, 11 contiguous lots, 15 driveways, 44 tree removals, 36 decks, fences, docks and porches, 5 garages, 6 sheds, 3 kennels, 3 residence additions and 8 residences. With 8 new residences this year the total number of homes in White Birch is 286 with 2 pending, Since July 2000 there have been 57 new residences. Just a reminder that campers have to register. For the sake of security we need to know your phone number in case of emergency.
ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE - Shirley Brandt announced this was her last year as Activities Chairman. In August there was a rock and roll dance and cookout with a turnout of over 300 persons. There will be another coming up this year on Labor Day weekend Saturday night and on Sunday there will be a pancake breakfast to raise fund for playground equipment. In October we had a Halloween Party, November we had a dinner at the Embers. The U of M-Ohio State Party at which we sold 50-50 tickets raised enough money to pay for the new floor in the dining room. December we had a Christmas party, January was the super bowl party, February we had a old fashioned Valentine box social, March we had the St Patrickís Day corned beef and cabbage dinner. In April the Easter Egg hunt, May the Motherís Day breakfast, the annual garage sales. The Seedlings and Saplings sold hot dogs, donuts, coffee and lemonade at the clubhouse. They earned enough money to pay for all the prizes at the 4th of July picnic. She congratulated Tina Hayer and Joe Romine for the wonderful job they are doing with the Seedlings-Saplings. June was a Fatherís Day breakfast served by the Red Hat Madams. She thanks all the volunteers for all their help in making the activities successful.
CAMPGROUND AND SECURITY - Chairman Fred Witchell reminded all campers who want to store their trailer to be sure they are signed up for the coming season. First he thanks everyone who has contacted him, the office or other security personnel when unusual and suspicious happenings are sighted. We will be having a new phone line designated for security only. With this new phone and when the clubhouse is closed, the calls will directed to security personnel at homes. Last year at this time we had 38 B& Eís, mostly trailers. So far this year we have had only five. More ATV drivers are complying with the required helmet, stickers and flags. If you donít have these you will probably be stopped. We are now patrolling residences, vacation homes and campers. We need to be able to identify the trailer owners in case of break-ins or storm damage. We found 2 residences unlocked, 3 open garage doors, 3 residences with storm damage and 1 residence invaded by raccoons. We recovered 3 stolen ATVís and we have stopped many ATVís for speeding and driving on private property. There are problems with dogs barking and running loose in the area. One person was taken to court for reckless driving. We tracked down a couple of persons who have dropped off trash in the area. Three different times we have caught non-members fishing our stocked lakes. We helped find two lost children. Last winter we had to rescue one dog from the lake. We had one bear sighted on Spruce Hill. Security will continue to improve and protect you and your families here at White Birch.
The President explained that White Birch is looking at purchasing a communications system so that security will have ready access to each other. He and the Manager have been looking at the idea of setting up some sort of an emergency response or a fan out system should there be a lost child or other emergency.
SEEDLING-SAPLINGS - Joe Romine stated that a year ago he had an idea to get kids together and to plan activities for them. Older kids were not interested but younger ones are. He and Tina Hayer have worked to together to plan various activities for the kids. Tina Hayer came forward to thank all the momís and grandmaís and grandpaís who have helped out during the year with all the activities. She loves working with the kids and would like to get more kids involved. Please read the Birch Bark. Sheís trying to have a Seedling-Sapling meeting after the Board Meeting. Sheíll will try to get them to make a bird feeder, get them out into nature and promote volunteerism.
The President announced the last call to cast your ballots.
The President announced that earlier in the year an entrance committee was formed. Greg Hernden has agreed to chair the committee. Barb Adair commented that they are planning a new bus stop which will eliminate the kids running around in front of vehicles. They hope to redo the apron at the entrance and to move the parking lot to get the congestion off the road. They are hoping to drill a 2 inch well to make water available.
Cheryl Costantino requested donations for the hot tub project. She is here to help raise money for some more playground equipment We will be having a pancake breakfast on Sunday September 5th here at the pavilion. We will be taking donations and all the donations will be used to purchase new equipment.
Election Results - Those person elected to the Board are:
- Questions on the Ballot:
Article VI Yes 72 No 91
Article VII Yes 130 No 33
A motion was made from the floor to destroy last years ballots. Seconded by Anne Hobart. Motion carried.
The President advised that we decided to keep the ballots for a year in case there is a challenge to the vote count. Starting this year we decided to have a ceremonial burning of a ghost of the past.
Gary Cheadle moved for adjournment. Seconded by Brian Kozlowski. Motion carried.
ANNUAL MEETING COMMENTS
Owner of lot 732 suggested that beer cans and pop cans put out for disposal could be picked up and returned and the money could be used for the purchase of items for the Seedlings-Saplings. Cheryl Costantino said she could put out containers for the cans so they could be returned for the deposit.
Joe Romine, Lot 542, 1 got
tired of looking at the carpets and I got this idea of using 1/2 of the amount
collected from the purchase of tickets for football scores for the
Ohio-Michigan football game and donated it for a new floor. I had looked at the
internet and found some kind of snap in floor and
thought a $1,000 bucks would do the job. I had just met Marty at the time and
he informed me that the flooring I had picked out would not last. Marty Perkins
and Ken Passage along with Fred Witchellís help put
the new floor in and it is beautiful. They deserve a round of applause. Last
year I was presented with a Certificate for Volunteer
of the Year. I also got a plaque they gave me to put on the park bench outside
the office to replace the one that was stolen and it said
ďDonated by Joe Romine, What Can I do for White Birch todayĒ. Last year at this
time we were going through a period of dissent - some of the stuff was uncalled
for, nasty, swastikas, personal attacks etc. Fortunately it has
been stopped. On
Theresa Parzych, Lots 377, 378, asked why if a camper has two lots should they not be contiguous. Why do only home owners get that privilege? The President explained that qualification for contiguous lot status is provided for in the Covenants and Restrictions. Covenants and Restrictions were approved two years ago by the membership. She responded that she originally had her property and had camped on it for two years and was told she wasnít allowed to have her camper where she did so she had to get another piece for her camper since she wasnít able to use the property she originally bought. Someone said they would look into it and make some kind of accommodation because she is not allowed to use her camper because sheís on a corner of two roads. Yet the laws were changed after she purchased her lot. The President advised her that if she wants to change the Covenants and Restrictions she would have to bring the issue before the Board and have the Board consideration for a vote of the full membership probably at the time of the next annual meeting.
Anne Hobart explained that there are two documents - the Covenants and Restrictions which are like deed restrictions if you live in a subdivision downstate. Most deed restrictions run with the land forever. You canít change them unless a court orders you to change them. They address things like how far back does your house have to set - in our case itís how far back does your house or trailer have to set from the street. If you are on a corner there are certain set-backs. Many times there does need to be some excavation to do that. The Covenants and Restrictions in our case have a clause at the end that said that they ran for twenty years unless changed by a majority of the entire development. In order to change the Covenants and Restrictions you cannot do it at this annual meeting or any other meeting unless you have over half of the entire membership. This means we have to have six hundred ninety votes to change the Covenants and Restrictions. In the original Covenants and Restrictions there were no provisions for people to camp like they are now. This was a residential community that allowed camping on your lot for two weeks only or if you were building a house. No other camping was allowed. When the developer went bankrupt then there were lots sold as camping lots which shouldnít have been sold as camping lots. Therefore there was a lawsuit and a consent judgment between the people who bought lots for camping and homeowners. At that time the court ordered the camping rules that we have now. The other deed restrictions were not changed in any way. When they were revised two years ago we left all that original wording in there and the original wording says ďYou may have a contiguous lot if you have a dwelling. You may ask to have that second lot waivedĒ. Unless you have a dwelling on it you canít do it.
The President advised that it would take a petition to the Board and we would have to send out ballots to every member or every person who is eligible to vote in order to change that. I know there are a lot of people in the past who felt they didnít have an opportunity to appeal a decision that may have been handed down by Committees. Our Committee people work very hard to uphold the Covenants and Restriction and the Board has taken on offering the opportunity to appeal to the Board so you can get a second set of opinions on a decision. In the case if there was a problem that it would be financially devastating to change your lot so that you would be able to camp on it, you would have the opportunity to appeal to the Board. Submit a letter of request to have a meeting with the Board for the Board to consider any decisions.