Unapproved Board Meeting Minutes of

Sept 13, 2003




President Todd Graham called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM. Present were 1st Vice President Marv Richardson, 2nd Vice President Scott Hayer, Directors Bob Adair, Chuck Bailey, Larry Franklin and Brian Kozlowski and Manager Gail White. The meeting opened with a salute to the flag and a prayer.



Bob Adair moved to approve the August minutes as written. Seconded by Chuck Bailey. Motion carried.



For the month of August 2003 the Treasurer reported income of $35,593.05 and expenses of $31,968.79. Cash on Hand at August 31, 2003 was $197,773.59. Marvin Richardson moved to accept the Treasurer's Report. Seconded by Larry Franklin. Motion carried.



Walt Sonnichson, Lot 1377, stated that he and Mrs Sonnichson had spent most of the summer here. His comments were that security has been around and Carl & Ruth have done a great job keeping the restrooms clean. All the association members should be entitled to know what is going on and the secrecy should be stopped. Terry Obrecht, Lot 251, asked if there would be a response to her letter submitted at the last board meeting. Celeste Johnson, Lot 326-7, suggested that we have a volunteer group to clean the roads around White Birch. Ron Tagg, Lot 246, stated there should be no secrecy, minutes should include everything that is said and not be abbreviated and the income statement should reflect more detail. Debbie Gerish, Lots 372,3. agrees with Ron Tagg's comments and asked how much it will cost to repair the broken gate system and if the person who destroyed the gate will be billed for the costs. Gary Cheadle, Lot 1010, states it is unrealistic to expect 2 people to take care of all security 24 hours a day. Everyone who lives in here should be a part of the security but people are turning their heads the other way. This is everybody's problem. After the minutes are typed and if you need more information go to the office and obtain an unabridged copy of the minutes. Jack Jenkins, Lot 104, asked what does the easements around the lakes mean? Sal Scozzari, Lot 1375, asked what's going on with the bylaws and presented his idea as to why White Birch should be classified as a political body. Ed Poterek, Lots 398-9, recited a years' past security problem as told to him by a member not in good standing - an issue having been resolved under the past manager. Also complained because there is a charge of 50 per game to play pool. Marv Sieger, Lot 1113-14, would like to see a more thorough job of brining on Pine Run. Don Kuester, Lot 656, states that something has to be done with the security issues and ATV's and ORV's. Last Labor day the parking area and the beach at Timber Lake were being used like a race track. Sharon Sonnichson, Lot 1377, asked if it would be possible to get an unmarked 4-wheeler with an unmarked officer so that tickets could be issued to violators. Steve Bryant, Lot 23, asked why the guest pedestal cannot be maintained in good working order.

Terry Obrecht, Lot 251, asked about the legal counsel who advised about the Privacy Acts and what's the difference between being a member in good standing or not in good standing - anybody has access to the county records. Celeste Johnson, Lots 326-7, asked where monies collected for trailer storage are being accounted for and when will upgrades be done. Sal Scozzari, Lot 1375, voiced his dissatisfaction with the entrance gate.




Web Site Update:


We now have 41 editions of the Birch Bark Newsletter uploaded to! These newsletters go all the way back to August of 1998! Members can view or download any edition of the Birch Bark posted to our Association Web Site.


Audit Report Status:


Our accountant has completed the audit ordered by the Board of Directors. A meeting is scheduled with our accountant next week and the results of this audit will be made available at the October Board of Directors meeting.


Assessment Collection Update:


Gail White, General Manager and Priscilla Moore, Secretary/Treasurer, Thank you for the TREMENDOUS job you are doing working with the Board and using established policy to collect lot assessments. When comparing our Statement of Income for March 2002 through August 2002 with the same time period for this fiscal year, current year assessment collection is up 20% with 95% of budgeted current year assessments collected. And as of August 31, 2003 past due assessment collection exceeds our budget expectations by 94%.


Special Thank You:


On behalf of the Board of Directors and our entire community I would like to thank those who volunteered their time and hard work to renovate the picnic area and walking trail located at the shore of White Birch Lakes behind the tennis courts. I invite our members to visit this area and enjoy the incredible work these individuals have done! Thank you:

Gary Armbruster, Bob Pelfery, Dave McColl, Fred Stephenson, Joe Desbien, Jim Shaw and James & Loretta Ardine .


I would also like to share an additional thank you to Gary Armbruster for the incredible painting he has shared with our community on the rock in front of our Clubhouse!


A special Thank You also goes to all those who have been voluntarily working on the new office addition to the Clubhouse: Fred Witchell, Greg Hernden, Ron Nethaway, Gary Cheadle, Marvin Frayer, Al Willoughby, Tom Dorcey, Bill Dorcey, Jim Shaw and Joe (Sweeper) Romine - Thank you! Georgia Romine provided a big pot of delicious soup for these guys.


These volunteers represent the true spirit of White Birch and the potential of our community! Thank you for showing our community what can be accomplished through cooperation and respect for each other.






ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION COMMITTEE - Chairman Chick Witchell reported approval of 3 campsite driveways, 4 tree lot improvements, one shed, one garage and 3 other requests like docks etc and 1 new residence. In response to the board request, recommendations for the Nature Trails and for Holiday Lake have been submitted to the board for review.

FUTURE PLANNING COMMITTEE - Chairman Merle Harmon stated he had just received the new member list and that he would be contacting members to set up meetings.

ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE - Shirley Brandt reported that over 200 people attended the Labor Day weekend potluck and hot dog roast, the dance and karaoke at the pavilion on Saturday night. At the end of September a "Farewell to Summer" potluck supper is planned at the clubhouse on Saturday, Sept 27 at 6 o'clock and bring your favorite dish and a dessert. The meat will be furnished by the activities committee. The next activity will be Halloween scheduled for October 25 and we need volunteers. Last is the bus trip to Kewadin leaving on November 12 at 9 o'clock and returning on November 13 early evening, We still have room and we need to have all monies in by the end of September.

CAMPGROUND -Fred Witchell reported that in a couple of weeks you will be seeing stakes at the campground to identify 77 storage sites for the winter storage. There will be 4 sites left open for winter camping. The campground storage is now completely filled. As of this date, of the 108 sites in the storage area, there are only 16 sites left. We have submitted recommendations to the board for improvements for the storage area to be made in the coming year.

SECURITY - Fred Witchell, having met up with youngsters riding on non ORV trails, advised them as to appropriate places to ride ORV's and requested they report to him when they encounter violators. This they did and violators turned out to be adults who felt they should be able to ride anywhere they please. Labor Day weekend there were 4 ORV accidents, one of which resulted in a stick being driven into the skull of the rider. Fortunately it was imbedded alongside the spinal cord rather than penetrating it. If you have recommendations concerning ORV's please write to Fred Witchell, c/o Board of Directors, White Birch Lakes, 4730 Lake Drive, Farwell, Mi 48622

WHITE BIRCH SAPLINGS - Scott Hayer reported this is the last day to sign up for the Saplings program which he and Joe Romine will be organizing. After the board meeting they will set a date for the first gathering. For kids under 12 there will be a group called the "Seedlings" doing things like put-put, tournaments and things for the little kids.



The office addition is coming along. In appreciation for the volunteers, you will see hats around identifying the volunteers so that they may be recognized. In response to the complaint about not being brined, to the best of my knowledge all roads are being brined. The roads being brined are marked off on a map which is being returned to the office. The last two times there were call- back trips for additional brine. Members who feel their roads are not being brined sufficiently should report this immediately to the office. In response to the 2 requests for a list of the members' outstanding balances, this board has determined under the privacy act not to send this information out. People are responding so fast to the collection procedure that the list changes daily. Unless information is updated daily their information could be incorrect. In reponse to an earlier comment made concerning conflict of interest for buying coal from Back Door Coal Co., owned by a board member, the facts are that the furnace was donated by the company to White Birch. This company is the sole supplier of the coal in this area. This does not present a conflict of interest.

In response to the comment about legal correspondence, legal correspondence will never appear at this meeting. When an issue is in legal debate, even under the Privacy Act, it is not open for discussion until it is settled. Bids have been put out for propane gas.

The bid was awarded to Stanley Fuel and there will be a meeting with the company on Monday to discuss the possibility of giving the membership a special rate. Please contact the office regarding this proposal for the membership. This information will be posted on the web site and in the Birch Bark. In response to the recent survey there were 158 responses and overwhelmingly they said #1. leave the gate as it is, #2. yes to updating the website and the 4 items to be rated - #1 was the lakes, #2 the school bus shelter, #3 the clubhouse and #4 was paving the roads.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE - Payables were reviewed. Chuck Bailey moved to pay the bills. Seconded by Bob Adair. Motion carried.



Joe Romine reported progress on the electronic door lock for the pool was at a standstill. A vendor was to have come to assess the possibility of installing an electronic door lock but was delayed by the board request to receive more bids. Two vendors from whom bids were requested did not respond. In light of the fact that the state law requires that all who use the pool must shower, and the fact that one pool attendant cannot attend to watching those who enter the pool area as well as sell ice cream, clothing etc at the same time, the manager was authorized to go ahead and contact the responding bidder to install the electronic lock.

Having received the results of the latest survey, Larry Franklin withdrew his motion to limit access at the gate to proximity cards only.



Adoption of Robert's Rules of Order - Marvin Richardson made a motion that the board itself adopt the Robert's Rules of Order not including committees of the board or association. Seconded by Bob Adair. Motion carried.

EPC Recommendations for Nature Trail - Motion to implement recommendations submitted by EPC for Nature Trails was made by Marv Richardson. Seconded by Chuck Bailey. Motion was defeated. Marv Richardson made a motion that the EPC recommendations for Holiday Lake (Copy attached) be implemented. Seconded by Brian Kozlowsky. Motion carried.

Security Suggestions for Identifying Lots - Fred Witchell reported that he needs to obtain approval from all lot owners to post lot #signs and a method for uniformly posting signs.




Following a discussion regarding rule violations, the resulting dangers posed by some ORV/ATV drivers and the insurance liability, future new business for this board will include making a decision on the best way to handle the ORV/ATV issues and complaints. Please send your comments in writing to the office or respond on the website on or before January 1, 2004.


Gary Armbruster announced that he is needing more volunteers in addition to the five who cleaned up the picnic area to grab a rake or a chain saw and to meet at the clubhouse Monday at 9 o'clock. Please take a look at the new nature trail that these volunteers just finished.


The manager was directed to develop and price a list of replacement parts for the entrance gate to keep on hand at times the gate malfunctions or is smashed or broken.


Brian Kozlowski requested that Ron Tagg explain his comment concerning secrecy. He alluded to a comment made by Marv Richardson that the minutes should be abbreviated. His opinion is that down-state persons are not able to come to the clubhouse on a weekly or monthly basis therefore the minutes should not be abbreviated. His second complaint is that the budget should be further broken down so that everyone knows how all monies are spent.



Bob Adair made a motion to adjourn. Seconded by Chuck Bailey. Motion carried.


Respectfully Submitted


Priscilla Moore