Saturday, July 15, 2006



President Marty Perkins called the Annual Meeting of the Membership to order at 10:00 a.m.

Present were 1 Vice President Ken Passage, Vice President Al Isaac, Directors Marv

Frayer, Scott Hayer, Dan Holzer, and Dave Conley. Also present were Secretary to the Board

Carrie Forfinski, General Manager Gail White, and Treasurer Priscilla Moore.



The minutes of the Annual Meeting from July 16, 2005 were presented for approval. Ayes were more numerous than nays. Motion carried.


President Perkins introduced Tina Hopp from McMahan, Thompson, Assoc., the auditor responsible for fiscal years ending Feb. 05 and Feb. 06. She gave a brief overview of the financial statement and our audit. A more detailed presentation was made to the Board of Directors earlier that morning. Copies of the financial statements can be obtained from Gail or Priscilla. What we have right now is a preliminary draft because feedback from the Board on what needs to be done will be necessary. We supply a standard independent auditor’s report. We only put variations from Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. We do not have historical data on capital estimates, so we have to put a note in the letter saying we don’t have that information. We have the numbers but, we have nothing to back that up because you haven’t had audits done is the past. As of the audit 2 years ago, we are accumulating that information and appreciate it under GAAP. As an association, if your goal is to break even, you did the best you possible could do. On a cash basis, you had an overage of $625. On the accrual basis, taking out capital items, payments on your mortgage that would not be considered an expense, then you have an overage in net income of $38,400. The question and answer period began with Don Papesh asking about her contract length. She replied, it is 3 years, one year is left and she didn’t remember the amount quoted, she thought it was $4,000 or $4,100. She was hired by the fill Board and commented on a statement made at a Board meeting about an engagement letter. She is required to read all the Board Meeting Minutes and felt she should address this. The engagement letter was signed by the president and even with a 3 year proposal, every year a new engagement letter is signed. Consulting fees can be from $50 to $170 depending on what occurs. Marv Richardson asked if she was aware an audit was done prior. She replied that was a procedural audit and what she did was a financial audit. He asks for an explanation between her results and the other audits results. She said a procedural audit checks 15 to 20 transactions to see if they were properly followed through. We do that, but we also see if the balance can be verified with outside sources; we look at Board Minutes, contact attorneys, contact banks; there is a lot more work involved. (unknown voice) asks how many hours were we billed for last year? She couldn’t remember that but told her work with Quickbooks consulting was 700 or 800 hrs. The audit from the previous firm can not be compared to the financial audit she performed. We did years ending Feb. 05 and Feb. 06. One year is left. Maw Richardson asked if she found anything improper such as entries that our association could be concerned about. The only comment was regarding prior period entries and that is a training issue, a Quickbooks issue and we are looking at setting up some new methods. (unknown voice) There was a question about why she gave Marty Perkins information that the manager should have had. She said when she sent emails; she copied to Marty and Gail. Joe Romine asked about whether she was asked to check into specific transactions and she said, “No, I was not.” “Not on this audit — on the first one, yes.” It had to do with transfer of properties and ill am asked to check something, I do it. Anybody in the organization can question procedures; that’s standard procedure. (unknown voice) There was a question about additional income of $38,000. She said “No, that was on the accrual basis.” “Cash basis was $625.” (unknown voice) That was a unanimous Board decision. (unknown voice) “Anyone can call you?” and she said yes. Quickbooks is a consulting fee. Her presence at the meeting is part of the audit fee. (unknown voice) “Do you do any other associations?” and she said, “Yes, we do.”


TREASURER’S REPORT (Income Statement)

Priscilla Moore reported that since the auditor gave a detailed report, we will accept her report and she had nothing to add.



Al Isaac reported there were ten (10) people that submitted nominations for this election. In accordance with the Bylaws and our election rules, eight (8) of those were accepted as candidates. Alphabetically they are Mr. Mark Connelly, Mr. Marv Frayer, Mr. Greg Hernden, Al Isaac (myself), Mr. Brian Kozlowski, Mr. Marty Perkins, Mr. Marv Richardson, and Mr. Mike Turner. He recommends in the future that the Nominating and Teller Committees be populated at the same time, as it was hard to get enough participants. He thanks Toni Passage for her help and asks the committee be officially disbanded. He is reminded to open the nominations for nominations from the floor. He asks if there is anyone that would like to run for the Board of Directors at this time and repeats twice more. Hearing no response, he declares the list of candidates is official.


lst Vice President Ken Passage goes through the election changes, as they are significant. Ballots will be issued after the candidates’ portion of this meeting. There will be voting immediately to ensure no ballots leave the area and ballots will be placed in a box. Next is the portion of the meeting where candidates speak about themselves.


Mark Connelly, lots 377, 389, 390: I have lived in Clare County 15 years and in White Birch, 1 year. Covenants and restrictions are for all and not just for some. There are issues with taxes paid to the county that if we banded together, we could get more done. I am an ex-marine. I owned a company for 26 years. I feel fiscal responsibility is paramount. Finances need to be in the “black”. If you don’t like decisions of the Board, it’s a democracy. Stand up, be heard, and vote. Personal attacks have got to stop. I would like to see fundraisers for functions. For instance, the country store we hade Memorial Day; it raised enough to pay for the function. I have 5 grandkids. I am totally independent and would like to be your advocate. I’m for White Birch.


Marv Frayer: There are no campers, residents. This place is members. The future of this place is that we need to keep growing. I lived here; this is my 5 year and have been on the board 2 years. The last year has been terrible. Personal attacks have to stop. We have a good manager; if you leave her alone, she does a good job. I love this place.


Greg Hernden: Good morning fellow member of White Birch. Me and my wife Linda found this place in January 2000, we built a home April 200 and moved in April 2001. We saw many of the things you did. We saw the peace, quiet, privacy of wooded lots, a clubhouse with a pool, and wildlife. We also saw the low price of the property. I’m from Bay City, MI; I graduated from Bay City Central High. I’m a licensed Emergency Medical Technician and have been for 12 years. I have a degree in Fire Science, Fire Management. I served 4 years in the Air Force with 2 tours in Viet Nam and was honorably discharged. I worked at Kreska-light as a department head foreman. I worked for Bay City for 21 years and retired as a captain. I received the 2005 Volunteer of the Year; have been married to my wife Linda for 37 years. We have 3 children, married, and we have 4 grandchildren. I helped build the retaining wall at the clubhouse for the parking area, helped put up drywall in the new addition of the clubhouse. The gatehouse is my design. I lead a crew that built the gatehouse. I helped with the flowers at the entrance. I have chaired the Entrance Committee. We volunteered 7 weeks to work with Habitat for Humanity in the Florida Keys to repair home damaged by hurricane Wilma. Last year there was a change that was a detriment to White Birch. I decided to run for the Board. Bylaws and Covenants and Restrictions were no longer being followed. A highly skilled manager was being under utilized. Respect for follow members was gone. The integrity of the Board was in question. Tens of thousands of dollars of past due assessments were not being collected. I will work with 6 other Board members. I will not raise assessments. I will respect your right to speak and you right to answers in a timely manner. I will finish started projects like the emergency entrance that sits idle as we speak. I will be careful when starting projects. I would appreciate your vote.


Al Isaac: I know most of you here. I have been on the Board 2 years. My wife and I have lived here ten years on Oak Run. The thing I enjoy most is the people I have met. I would like to mention my view of the future of White Birch during closing comments. There is a division in this community. A community is neighbors that are friends. Three quarters of the rumors are not true. You need to actively go out to seek the truth. I have been pleased to work with the Board members this past year. We have 1,800 acres and we are the stewards. Our amenities are important, the forests, lakes, and wildlife. I would appreciate your vote. This association is a democracy; we have had our say, we have had our vote. Whoever sits on the Board; support them and work together for the betterment of White Birch. Thank you.


Brian Kozlowski: I feel inadequate when I hear other people’s resumes. I have served in the past and have a lot to bring to the Board. We have a division in our community. We need to place mechanisms in place so you can communicate freely with the Board and the Board can communicate with you. There are more young people coming in and we need to create an atmosphere for these young people and their children. I started out as a weekend resident until we decided to buy a house. We love it here. We love the sense of neighborliness. The community is divided in 2 camps and it is my goal to unite this community. There needs to be a common voice because if we don’t get united, we fall. Thank you.


Marv Richardson: We have lived here 9 years, I, my wife, and my daughter. I served on the Board for four years and left last July. I felt I needed a break. When I left this Board, the association was in the best financial status it had ever been. We didn’t have to borrow money to get a grader. We were able to write a check. I don’t think our assessments will need to be raised in 5yrs., maybe even 10 yrs. I came here as the Farwell Middle School Principal. I have a degree in advertising from Ferris State, I have a bachelor’s from C.M.U., I have served on several boards, I have 30 years ad ministerial experience, a Master’s degree in Education, and have served as President of the State Association of Emergency Medical Services and paramedics to convey concerns to the governor. I am retired and was working part-time at a non-profit organization in Midland responsible for training young adults to get a new job. I have 4 years experience and would make sure we are fiscally stable. I would make sure that this association never has to borrow money to make it through the year. Thank you.


Marty Perkins: My vision was to give back the association to you that own it. It seemed like a dictatorship and the amenities were not being taken care of. The budget is not spiraling out of control — but there are ways that we could cut this budget back, but my ideas fall on deaf ears. We have opened up communications. We have had an open door policy. We revamped the website. We gave you a newsletter you could respond to. The highlights of Board meetings and Committee reports need to be in that paper. Why can’t we sit down like adults and find out what’s going on? There were some that were protesting and not paying their assessments. The people we brought in to do things did a beautiful job here at White Birch. Some folks didn’t care for people we brought in to do the work.. We have been ridiculed. I guess the spending has to do with Timber Lake. We came in $1,100 under budget. The budget was for $4,500. The money saved was put towards gravel for the road in there. It’s a heck of an improvement. I hear complaining. The people that are complaining are not doing anything. We have opened up communications quite a bit. Parks are being developed. We are doing that with a volunteer base.


Mike Turner: I live behind the campground on Mockingbird Circle with the wildflowers in the front yard. We have lived here 3 years. The Timber Beach project was $4,500. It came in under budget by $1,100. The under budget funds were voted on by the Board to gravel the road. I would like to see an increase in value of our homes and an increase in value of White Birch. If you call me with questions, I will get back to you no later than 48 hours. Thank you.


1 Vice President Ken Passage opens the question and answer portion of the meeting reminding everyone there are 8 candidates. Please only ask about matters that are relevant and please candidates, be judicious in giving your answers. Limit people from responding 2 to 3 times to the same issue. Let only the person that is asked, respond. I have confidence that these 8 gentlemen love White Birch. All of them should be applauded.


(unknown voice) How does each of you feel about sheds?


Richardson-Should the C + R’s be changed to allow sheds? What is a shed? What are you voting for? Is it an 8’ x 8’, a 10’ x 10’, wood, metal? The Board approved temporary sheds 4 years ago to be brought in the spring and taken away in the fall. The township does not allow for sheds. (unknown voice) What about the guy from the township that said they have no jurisdiction in White Birch? Richardson-How many knew we could have temporary sheds?

Perkins-I did some checking and you could have a 200 square foot shed in Lincoln Township on a skid.

Kozlowski-I am going to waffle. We know we cannot have a shed until a primary residence is erected. That is what the Bylaws, the C + R’s and the ordinance says. I believe in laws. If the inspector said he would look the other way, that is not the same as changing the law. After the vote, if they say yes, then, I have an obligation to get sheds.

Hernden-What we work out as an association. I am for sheds.

Frayer-We have got to change the C + R’s.

Turner-My answer to the question “Are you for sheds?” and my answer is “yes”.

Isaac-It is the will of the majority of the association. If the association votes to have them, I’m all for it.


Mrs. Chick Witchell asks “How are you as a candidate going to bring back truth and harmony to White Birch Lakes?”

Frayer-7 gentlemen need to be on the same wave length and be for the people.

Richardson-Is the question how do we restore honesty and integrity? That’s the toughest question you could ask a candidate. The first meeting I attended was total bedlam, people were yelling and jeering. I felt bad for the candidates. A lot of what we used to see is gone. Now we have gone on to more serious issues. Give everyone an opportunity to express themselves and we will eliminate the hostility. We have people with White Birch in their hearts, their homes, their campgrounds.

Perkins-To get rid of hostility we need to take the time to listen to what your neighbor has to say.

Hernden-Truth and harmony can be restored by you attending the meetings. You are the report card; you hold us responsible.

Connelly-You can’t do it by yourself. You need to be neighborly, care about how you neighbor is doing. If you have a problem with the Board, go to them, talk to them. Talk amongst each other. We’re human beings.

Kozlowski-All are excellent solutions. Communications from the Board to the people, communication from the people to the Board is what we need. If you don’t agree with something, it is dissent. Dissent is not an attack. If we need to extend meetings so there is more time for comments from the floor or question cards to fill out before meeting. The 7 people on the board need to act as a group, not as individuals.

Isaac-About harmony let me tell you what I have seen at the Board meeting that just infuriates me. When someone is getting ready to speak, before anything even comes out of their mouth, there are eyes rolling because of person, not the idea. Get away from personal; get to ideas. Turner-Can you? I don’t know, you always have differing opinions. You have health, wealth, and integrity. You can lose 2 of them. But the other is detrimental.


Mrs. Teresa Obrecht asks to Mr. Richardson and Mr. Kozlowski, per article 10, the president and vice president and secretary are approved to sign checks, 2 of the 3. Regarding financial controls, when did you designate the manager as an officer? The manager is an employee, not an officer. Did you authorize the manager to sign checks?

Richardson-Have you read her job description That is in her job description It was on a temporary basis. Gail didn’t have access to write checks, sign checks, cash checks. She could write the checks, I co-signed them. Priscilla was gone and the board voted to allow it. Kozlowski-The Board can change Bylaws by a 2/3 vote. When Priscilla was incapacitated, the change was made.


(unknown voice) Where do you see White Birch Lakes ten years from now?

Perkins-I see 4 of July picnics, potlucks, get-togethers, a group to clean up people’s yards if they’re sick. I would like to have our lakes and beaches in prime shape; it just takes willingness and volunteerism. Timber Beach is awesome; people use the portapotty and thank me on a daily basis. I see a great White Birch. I believe in all you people and this community. Kozlowski- My vision of White Birch in 10 years doesn’t make a difference. I believe in the consensus of the people. You may have received a mailing from me. One of the things I talk about is a master plan. We need a master plan. We need to know what your vision of White Birch Lakes is. Mike Turner works on the Conservation Committee. We need to recharge our committees. We need to give them a mission and boost their (unintelligible). How many lots should have houses? How many should have campers? How many should be natural? Richardson-My vision for White Birch has not changed from 5 years ago. I want to see White Birch as financially stable. We need to make sure everyone pays their fair share. Even those that have refused to pay, must pay their assessments. We need to offer the properties could be sold and shared with others. We need a transparent, up-front, honest Board that doesn’t hide behind statements like “You have to submit the letter before the meeting.” You should be able to bring a question to the board and not be chastised.

Hernden-I see beautiful lots, wooded areas, amenities. We have a lot we can do here. I would like to see all the past due assessments collected. I’d like to see a return of strong volunteerism like we had a year ago. I would like to see White Birch as financially stable and the issue of the sheds worked out harmoniously between all members.

Frayer-How many people realize when this place was put together, we had to sell some acreage? Did you know it was 300 acres? We need to get that back. That’s your future. Turner-That is what I do for a living. I’m a Conservation Planner by trade. We look at soil topography; we walk the lot. We give the owner 3 options. There is always option #4, which is to do nothing. When I was checking this area for timber harvesting, I pulled a file- a Timber Scale and I thought it was a neat place and I wanted to live there.

Connelly-My vision is to keep what we have. Look what happened with Timber Lake. We had a beach that was abandoned; now people use it. We need to take care of what we already have. We’ve got it all right here. Timber Beach is great and people use it regularly. Isaac-We don’t know what it’s going to look like in 10 years. We need a plan. Futures and Conservation Committees need to be charged. We look at the budget. We need to have a plan. We don’t know what the budget will be until we know what we will spend. Our committees need to come up with a master plan. I’ll tell you about an example. A person I talked to said the aerator in Teal Lake is too small. You have a pond aerator. You need a froth aerator that puts a lot of oxygen in the water. We did have a plan to buy back that 300 acres and it got dropped. We need an action plan. We need to do what other organizations do-find out who’s going to address an issue and when it will be addressed by to be a viable, functioning community.


Mrs. Toni Passage asks, “In the information that was sent around, why are the issues of the lakes important now and you never worked on it before especially when this board started working on it?” She later asked about labor costs, insurance costs.

Frayer-There was a gentleman from Central Michigan came in to look at the lakes a year and a half ago. After the last election it got dropped. We had a person that lives here that offered to look at the lakes. He also replied to the fact we checked on the price of insurance. Richardson-It’s easy to say “Why didn’t you do this when you were on the Board?” When I first came on the Board, the association only had $10,000 to its name. We have been able to build that reserve. We had a gentleman from CMU and he suggested we get a geologist because there are some serious issues we should look into. That study would have cost $18,000 to $20,000. We need to continue building financial stability. You really can’t criticize what previous Boards have done.


Recess is called

Mrs. Gail White says; “Thanks for the donations.”



Dan Danbroski-suggests limiting candidate opening statements to 3 minutes and closing

statements to 1 minute.

Sharon Bridges-would like speech limits made as a motion.

Brian Kozlowski-would need Bylaws change to make speech limits permanent.

Greg Hernden-Does not want to limit time for speeches.

Randall Batchey-All meetings should start with a prayer.

Jerry Bridges-recommends using a prayer format.

Chuck Hastings-it does not belong as business.

Caroline Neal-use a standard prayer

Marv Richardson-Gail & Gerry White paid for lunch. Motion to reimburse Whites. Gail says

she wishes not to be reimbursed.

Mark Connelly-has a food service permit.


1st Vice President Ken Passage brings up the question of a ballot that was issued as whether it could be counted given the person was under the assumption the deadline was July 20. We brought this issue to the Board. There was much discussion regarding deadlines being posted in the Birch Bark and a point of order regarding Robert’s Rules of order on ballots. The whole assembly decides on the counting of the ballot or not. A motion was made to allow the man’s vote be cast by Maw Richardson, seconded by Ed Cluley. A vote was taken by a show of hands; the motion does not carry. The poll is closed.


1st Vice President Ken Passage asks if the candidates have any concerns? No reply is heard.


Head Teller Todd Graham thanks the committee members for their 6 hours of work- Shirley Brandt, Sharon Sonicsson, Jim Neal. He said the ballots were opened and placed in groups of

10. Those were counted and compared. If it wasn’t identical, we recounted. Then we went on to the next 10. Each teller counted and I counted after everyone else. There were 185 ballots issued and 185 ballots turned in. There were 270 absentee ballots issued, with 233 ballots turned in. 201 were counted. The top three vote-getters will serve 3 years. The fourth will serve 1 year With 243 votes-Al Isaac, 208 Greg Hernden, 198-Brian Kozlowski, 175-Marv Frayer. The Board needs to ratify the vote. The shed issue was 208-yes, 154-no. It would have required 357 votes to pass.


1st Vice President Ken Passage asks if any of the candidates wish a recount? No reply is heard.


Other votes include Mark Connelly-127, Marty Perkins-133, Marv Richardson-122, Mike Turner-156.



Unrecognizable voices, second-garbled.