NOVEMBER 12, 2005



Meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m.


Pledge and prayer were given.


Al Lambert, Lincoln Township Code Inspector present for informational forum on placing sheds on vacant lots.  Members allowed open questioning for inquiries.


Size requirements and limitations in order to prevent sheds being used as cabins and electricity concerns asked of inspector.  Also enforcement concerns.  Inspector states that any issues brought to his attention would be handled by the township ordinance codes and the court system.  Concerns about an increase in crime rate in other areas of the township that sheds are allowed brought to Mr. Lambert’s attention.  Mr. Lambert confirms that this is a concern and therefore those who have the sheds should be careful as to the amount of value that should be placed into these sheds as security cannot prevent all break ins.  The township is working to clarify any definitions of code that may effect how the interpretation of regulations that may allow people to define the code according to their own parameters.  Stated that Marv Frayer is on the planning commission and can be approached with any questions as well.  Marty Perkins asks Al Lambert again about clear guidelines.  Mr. Lambert explains that the state makes codes that come to the township and then White Birch may have there own covenants and restrictions on top of what is in place.  Each level below the state can have stronger restrictions but not weaker.  Therefore, the township is obliged to follow the rules set forth by each level.  Question/answer session closed and Mr. Lambert dismissed from meeting.


ADDITIONS TO AGENDA:  Set value on lots purchased from Consumer’s, Defibrillator, Change to covenants and restrictions prior to allowing sheds to be allowed on vacant lots.  Marty Perkins asked to take suggestions prior to making any decisions before asking members to vote on issue.  Discussion as to whether plastic sheds that can be moved floored until a later date.  Motion by Ken Passage supported by Dave Conley to approve agenda.  Motion carried.


Motion by Ken Passage supported by Scott Hayer to approve minutes.  Motion carried.


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Priscilla Moore states that for the month of October the total income was $12,992.39 and total expenses were $37,848.90 with a cash balance of $177,896.61 including donations.  Motion by Dave Conley and supported by Ken Passage to accept report.  Motion carried.


PRESIDENT’S REPORT:  Last few months there has been a lawsuit in which several closed session meetings have been held.  Fortunately, this can now be openly discussed because it is over.  White Birch settled with Neils’ over lawsuit about an accessory building.  Mr. Neil has complied with all aspects in the settlement.  White Birch has inspected the pole barn and is obliged to inspect it every year to ensure he stays in compliance.  Mr. Neil has allowed these actions and has a very nice building in place. 


CORRESPONDENCE:  (letters available at office)  Gail White states that lots 1195 and 1996 are the lots that the emergency exit was going to be placed.  Owner of lot 1197 contacted by Fred Witchell to see if he would be interested in a sell or trade of his lot.  Letter of response from lot owner read.  He states that he was in fact contacted by Mr. Witchell.  The lot owner further states that he is not interested in a trade but would be willing to sell his property to White Birch for $3,900.00.  He states that Mr. Witchell informed him that if he did not sell his property that the road would be placed next to his property on the adjacent lot.  The member states his objection to this road because is would negatively effect his property and legal action may be taken if in fact the road is constructed.  States that his asking price is less than the current value of the property.  Marty Perkins states that this is a new business concern.


MANAGER’S REPORT:  New tires have been purchased for the grader.  Cost $1053.00.  Four different builder’s came out to see about pool wall that is rotting.  Two estimates returned   The lakes were stocked.  There were 200 walleye placed in Timber Lake and 600 panfish in White Birch Lake.  Request for Board to make directions to the manager in motion form during these meetings in order to clarify any interpretation concerns.  For example the issue of background checks was not done due to interpretation issues during the last meeting.


Motion by Marv Frayer supported by Scott Hayer to pay bill bills.  Motion carried.



Security:  Tom Forman states that more than one person will now be able to work security during winter.  A call for a dead deer was answered on Hemlock and Cherry and was found with an arrow in it.  Several dead trees were removed due to Wednesday’s storm on the 9th.  Requests verification on job responsibilities and whom he answers to.  Concerns about how to handle members not in good standing at meetings.  Request made to give Mr. Forman a list of members not in good standing in order to exclude these members from meetings.  Statement that paid employees are under the direction of manager.  By-laws read to clarify that the Board is also meant to oversee that regulations are in place.  Concluded that Tom should appeal any requests or questions to Gail White and then the Board will oversee these decisions.

Activities:  Toni Passage states that there will be a Rose Bowl and Super Bowl party at clubhouse.  Squares will be sold.  Pool tournament has been postponed until after the holidays.

Entrance:  Theresa Turner requests decorations for Christmas entrance and Gail White informs her of some available.

EPC:  Chick Witchell, couple of trees two addition, sunporch, replacement sunporch, handicap ramps.  One new resident on corner of Pine and Spruce which makes 299.  Letters sent out for removal of campers.

Futures:  Tom Crook absent.  Al Isaac informs that the next meeting is December 6th at 7:00. Looking for some new volunteers to help on committee.

Seedlings:  Tina Hayer stated that there were 46 kids plus all of the adults at the recent Halloween party.  Appreciates all of the help.  December 9th at 6:00 will be the decorating of the clubhouse with snacks and drinks provided.  Requests for more personalized ornaments from each lot owner

Communications:  Theresa Obrecht states that all recommendations of members a have been compiled for Board review.  Packet given prior to meeting to Board.  Concerns about whether website and newsletter would be available to non-members addressed.  The committee leaves this decision to Board as it is a policy issue.  Discussion as to any new areas of the website, what will be available to members only area.  Request for Board to make a decision.  Motion made to table issue until later date by Marv Frayer and seconded by Scott Hayer.  Request made for any further discussion.  Determined that further investigation required for member comments and requests.  Motion withdrawn.  Will be on next month’s agenda to further discussion.

Conservation:  Next meeting November 28th at clubhouse.  Informational/educational meeting for membership being arranged for next month.

Elections:  Ann Hobart discusses packet given to Board of recommendations of the committee.  After researching By-laws and Robert’s Rules these recommendations are made to be determined at next meeting.

Campground:  Fred Witchell states that the electricity has been turned off except for two or three sites and bathroom.  After December, if power is requested that can be done just request it.  Six opening in campground and six in storage available.  Forms will be sent out to those presently there for next year’s requests. 



Chick Witchell reminds everyone of the Christmas party on December 10th at 6:00 p.m.  Will be a potluck and Santa will be there.  Also, please bring in non-perishables to clubhouse to go towards the needy.  Twelve baskets provided last year.  Games requested for needy in Farwell.  Farwell Schools is responsible for this charity and games will be given to them to pass out to these families.

Dawn Holzer requests if a flu shot clinic at White Birch would be possible.  Considerations made and a call to the Health Department suggested.

Joe Romine comments on procedure used to accept letter from Communication committee.  Questions how much authority a committee chairman has in removing or making members of committee’s inactive.  Received a letter that Mr. Romine requested to be read. 

Ron Taylor, Lot 246 requests information about the audit.  Marty Perkins states that this is under unfinished business and it will be addresses.

Ann Hobart requests that the emergency exit be expedited with great haste.  She is concerned that if there were an emergency such as a forest fire, there would be 300 families at the front gate trying to get out. 

Mary Perkins comments that upon research of other legal cases of developments such as White Birch putting a road through without the vote of the membership the court rules in favor of removing the road.  Mrs. Perkins suggests getting this vote prior to the exit in order to prevent additional costs.

Concerns about the liability of not having a gate at all discussed versus Federal guidelines requiring a vote.

Chuck Hastings Lot 78 comments on the discussion of the EPC about the shed issue.  Feels if there is a change in the shed then there must be a change in the Covenants and Restrictions to simply allowing sheds.  A separate action must be taken by the Board and committees to have guidelines.  States that guidelines cannot be developed until the Covenants and Restrictions are changed.  Marty Perkins states that guidelines were not being determined but rather possibilities being developed.  Both agree that changing the Covenants and Restrictions should be done as little as possible.  Request for Board to research the amount of cost involved in changing one item in the Covenants and Restrictions and put it to a vote to the membership.

Ann Hobart suggests a postcard survey to find out the membership’s opinion of the shed issue.

Todd Graham reminds the new board of past practice on selecting a Real Estate agent. States that the Board did not select the agent alone.  Board set the criteria and requested bids.  Proposals were submitted and reviewed for recommendation to the Board by Ann Hobart who had a large amount of real estate experience.  Therefore, he suggested that Reiss be considered again.

Brian Kozlowski asks Mike Turner if his committee is open for members.  Comments that Halloween entrance was very nicely done.

Gail White suggests that committee’s should always be open for new membership despite Robert’s Rules of Order.

Marty Perkins commends the committees.

Mrs. McNeil explains this is her first meeting and comments on her disappointment on the bickering.  Suggests that since White Birch elected this board and that everyone should be working together with respect.

Tina Hayer explains that due to family obligations she was forced to miss some committee meetings and is now considered the inactive member.  Explains she has met her obligation in many other ways.  Requests that a working committee be more clearly defined.  Mr. Perkins explains that the committee being discussed is no longer active and that the request for it to be a working committee is on next month’s agenda.



Marty Perkins asks Gail if any response has been heard back from the folders sent out for audit requests.  Gail White states that there hasn’t been any feedback.  Marty comments that do to his concern without having any feedback he also asked for requests.  Mr. Perkins suggests that since there is a time frame that a motion be made to accept McMann and Thomas.  Question posed upon the details of what will be done.  Feels there is a lot of duplication of what was already done.  Suggestion for them to meet with the Board and perhaps have an annual review in place of an audit.  Gail White explains that they went through a sample of check stubs, check registers, invoices already but not every piece.  Dave Conley states that since it has been brought up at another meeting that funds are missing and members are concerned.  Comments suggested about making someone available to discuss the audit with the Board.  Discussion about the amount of time covered by the audit.  Bid may need to be reevaluated to ascertain the amount of cost for different and specific needs.  Suggestion for a meeting to be held to discuss the audit thoroughly.  Motion Conley seconded by Holzer to determine a meeting time with the company as well.  First Tuesday of December decided upon by Board. Motion carried.

Background checks to be discussed.  Suggestion that anyone involved in financial management should also be included in background checks for any past mismanagement issues.  Motion made.  Suggestion made that if two signatures are required then only the party directly involved in the financial management needs to have a background check and it would be a waste of money otherwise.  Motion receded.



Real Estate Bids moved to top of agenda in order to allow guests to leave.  Four bids were received.  Gail White reads letters from Real Estate agents:  (letters and packets available at office) White Birch Realty, Pat Bowers of Century 21 Pioneer, and Reiss.  Statewide provided packet and was present to speak about some of the advantages of their company.  Reiss also present provided information about the amount of properties sold.  Comment that Reiss has done a good job in the past.  Statewide comments on having access to three MLS services.  Gail White asked about Reiss’ history in disclosure.  Dave Conley comments on devaluing of our own properties by selling lots too cheap.  Ann Hobart comments that having more than one agent would destroy the incentive to advertise for individual agents.  Clarification made that having more than one agent does not mean that they would be competing with one another but rather it would be divided amongst them.  The importance of being a MLS service is discussed.  Documentation requested for amount of properties sold.  Comment about the presence of Reiss and Statewide commended.  Comments about the importance of MLS in order to draw from down state residents.  Comments about the qualifications of White Birch Realty from member suggesting that Mr. Bryant is White Birch focused.  Marty Perkins suggests making a motion in order to make a decision.  Suggestion to extend current contract until a decision can be made.  Suggestion to table issue.  Motion by Conley supported by Holzer to accept Reiss Real Estate bid as presented..  Discussion of their fair commission rates, history, and information supplied.  Call to a vote.  Motion carried.

Letter from David Dreyer regarding easement read.  Discussion of member’s letter in regards to emergency exit discussed.  Gail White suggests that member did not understand that it was only an exit not an entire road.  Fred Witchell suggests getting the tree and brush removal done this year so that it will be ready for spring.  Marty Perkins suggests that clearing the land is within White Birch rights since it belongs to them.  Any further action should be done after a vote.  Marty Perkins suggests putting an opinion poll into the membership through the Birch Bark.  After this a vote can be done through the mail.  Motion made to table the issue until Dave Dreyer can clarify what can legally be done with the lot.  Motion carried.  Motion to clear the land conservatively made.  Motion carried.

Appointment of Secretary discussed.  Three letters of interest received.  (Letters available at office).  Marty Perkins would like to appoint Carrie Forfinski as secretary.  Request to ratify.  Motion made by Dan Holzer and seconded by Dave Conley.  Suggestion that all three candidates are good and that Todd Graham and Cheryl would also be good candidates.  Marty Perkins explains that the president appoints the secretary position and that whether it is ratified or not is up to the vote.  Role call requested.  Marv Frayer: No, Dave Conley: Yes, Dan Holzer: Yes, Al Isaac: No, Scott Hayer: No.  Tied vote therefore president votes, Marty: Yes.  Motion carried for Carrie Forfinski to be secretary.

Jacobson letter is determined to be sent.  Scott Hayer motions to send the letter and seconded by Ken Passage.

Consumer’s lots discussed.  Motion by Hayer supported by Holzer to enable Gail White to sell property sold to us by Consumers Power.  Motion carried.

Marv Frayer shows the defibrillator that has been donated to White Birch and will be left in the office.  Suggestion to give to Township rescue.  Determined to keep in White Birch but should be kept in the backroom so that all attendants have access rather than the office.  Suggestion that an expression of gratitude due to the large amount of the donation be given to another foundation.  This can be done with a transfer of funds saved for the defibrillator.  Determined to be discussed at a later time.


Motion to adjourn made by Al Isaac and supported by Scott Hayer.  Motion carried.