DECEMBER 10, 2005



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


A new flag was presented with color guard provided by Girl Scout Troup 616. Pledge and prayer were given.


ADDITIONS TO AGENDA:  Marty Perkins adds assessments and fines to new business and Gail White adds Rustin Lake and Pond bid that was received in the mail to new business as well.  Motion by Al Isaac supported by Scott Hayer to approve agenda.  Motion carried.


Correction by Al Isaac to minutes in correspondence to Dreyer of Lot 1996 to be changed to 1196.  Scott Hayer asks that motions made during the last meeting be clarified.  Motion made to table minutes by Scott Hayer and seconded by Dave Conley.  Motion carried.


TREASURER’S REPORT:  Priscilla Moore states that for the month of November the total income was $14,165.77 and total expenses were $30,391.71 with a cash balance of $158,530.96.  Review of communication costs, grading clarification, and training costs by Ken Passage.  Marty Perkins offers breakdown of “other” category given by Gail White.  Motion to approve treasurer’s report by Ken Passage and supported by Al Isaac.  Motion carried.


PRESIDENT’S REPORT:  Marty thanks the front end committee for a wonderful job.


CORRESPONDENCE:  (Letters available at office) Gail White states Mike and Barbara Valensky of lots 156 and 178 sent a letter and package of hats and gloves to be forwarded to the needy in the community.  Toni Passage, #163, writes a letter disagreeing with White Birch’s letter from EPC chair Chick Witchell and EPC liaison Scott Hayer to a member in regards to circumstances that caused him to not remove a camper on time.  Gail White explains that the letter is a form letter and that apologies have been issued.  Marty Perkins relays his disagreement with the letter as well and the procedure used to send out the letters.  After further discussion of procedures and letter a motion was made by Dan Holzer to remove Chick Witchell from the chair of EPC.  Seconded by Dave Conley.  Motion to table issue by Marv Frayer and seconded by Al Isaac until further review of the issue can be completed.  Discussion held as to tabling the issue.  Vote with roll call requested. Members carried motion unanimously  Gail continues correspondence with letter from anonymous defibrillator donor asking to maintain the defibrillator at White Birch.  Letter from Tina Hayer of lot #538 requesting all additional costs that will be incurred if the board proceeds with shed placement on vacant lots and any changes to Covenants and Restrictions.  Suggestion by Al Isaac to address Dreyer letter under New Business.


MANAGER’S REPORT:  Gail checked with Visiting Nurses about having a Flu clinic at the clubhouse but they have already scheduled all of the clinics for this year and suggests calling in July of 2006 for next year.  Thank you to Betty Metts for the rest of the hats that were donated.  Also a thank you to Herb Breen for the table that was donated to be sold for the playground equipment.  Request for closed session after the meeting for personnel issues.


Motion by Marv Frayer supported by Dan Holzer to pay bill bills.  Electricity doubled from last year at campground.  Discussion as to any light problems and shut off time.  Motion carried.



Security:  Tom Forman unavailable but asked that Gail relay that all has been quiet.

Activities:  Toni Passage has nothing new to report.

Entrance:  Theresa Turner unavailable but submitted letter thanking the entire entrance volunteers.  Letter available at office.

EPC:  Chick Witchell, no lot improvements.  Committee working on the shed placement issue. Called township and zoning about the rules and regulations but they are still working on their changes.  Realtors contacted about value of property with the shed placement.  Told that if the sheds are uniform and maintenance free they shouldn’t have any effect on the property value.  Survey drawn up by committee to be given to White Birch members was read.  Discussion as to the costs of survey, sheds, Covenants and Restrictions, storage facility considerations.  Wording of survey discussed.  Scott Hayer suggests accepting survey with word changes that were discussed and agreed with by Dave Conley.  Gail White directed by board to place the survey with revisions discussed into the next Birch Bark.

Futures:  Tom Crook absent.  Report submitted by Tom Crook to Gail White suggesting that decisions should be made according to the value added to the community for future planning in cases such as the gate, tennis courts and lakes.  Letter available at office.

Seedlings:  Tina Hayer thanked all those who helped to decorate the clubhouse and discussed the children’s cookie decorating party.  Also a sledding party is being planned this year.  Tina also thanked Herb Breen and reiterated that his donation is intended to be raffled off with the proceeds to go to the playground equipment. 

Communications:  No report.

Conservation:  Mike Turner states that the next meeting is December 19th.  Looking into holding an informational meeting for the members on forestry issues such as gypsy moths and the emerald ash borer.  The emerald ash borer has been found within a mile of here.  Track trees are in Clare County have a ribbon and cut around them with a do not touch sign in order to find the emerald ash borer.  Also, the lake benchmarks have been discussed.  The original planning included nine plaques but changes in water levels and variables have changed.  Al Isaac offers suggestion of information placed together for membership on forestry issues.

Election:  No report.

Campground:  Fred Witchell states that there are still people at the campground using it.  As of December 1st, anyone camping will pay a $5.00 fee per day for campground fee.  Those unable to pay this while they are here due to the clubhouse being closed or other circumstances will receive a bill at the end of the season rather than for each and every use.  Everyone that presently has storage or a site will receive a card in the mail that needs to be returned for next year.  This card will be kept on file.  This will help to keep phone records and information updated.



Chick Witchell, Lot 648, reminds everyone of the Christmas party and offers a thank you to Dave Conley for candy canes donated. 

Bill Hammond, Lot 63, states concerns about the maintenance of Old State Road due to safety issues such as emergency vehicle passage and requests that members voice these concerns to the county.  States that with 300 homes and 600 votes that the county should be taking care of this road.  Mike Turner, Lot 86, suggests that these concerns should be addressed to the elected officials especially due to these numbers.

Mark Connelly, Lot 277, offers the use of his bucket truck in order to remove the tree overhang that is in need of being trimmed.

Terry Obrecht, Lot 251 discusses the cost concerns of issues versus membership desire to have changes.  Asks for clarification of Article 15 of the Covenants and Restrictions.  This is read by Gail White.  Discussion as to the clarification made by board and membership and what a voting member is defined as.

Chuck Hastings, Lot 78, agrees with the survey that is going out with the revisions for the shed approval.  Also, asks about what the time period, whether this is a re-audit, and the cost of the audit is for that is being considered by the board.

Tina Hayer, Lot 538, requests that Dick Allen be contacted for further interpretation of Article 15 and that he provide a written interpretation to the board before the vote of the shed or any other issue that this may concern.

Dan Rahl, Lot1335, states that he is concerned about the way that the meetings are upheld by the president.

Brian Kozlowski, Lot 688, asks for the purpose of the audit, whether it is to satisfy the By-Laws or whether the board feels there is money missing, or concerns about mismanagement.  Dave Conley states that Marv Richardson brought up some concern at the annual meeting.  Marv Richardson denies stating that anything stated had nothing to do with current records or budgets. 

Toni Passage,  Lot 163, asks about the vote that was originally on the ballot before at an annual meeting.  Thought that members already voted on getting an audit.  Board explained that By-Laws have changed.

Fred Witchell, Lot 648, said that he went to the bank in Farwell a few years ago about getting a building loan for a storage facility and that while the information may now be outdated a study had been done on this issue and at the time a profit could be made.

Mary Perkins, Lot 1095, voices her concerns that the $45,000 cost for 16 units only benefits 16 people and that the few thousand dollars that it may cost for individual sheds would benefit many more.

Terry Obrecht, Lot 251, states her concerns with a storage facility and that 16 units is not enough for the amount of campers in White Birch.

Marv Richardson, Lot 550 and 551, restates that he did state that there was concerns 15 years ago that he doesn’t have an answer to but that it has nothing to do with current budgets.  Dave Conley restates concerns he has heard from the membership.  Marty Perkins states that much of the concern came from the auditor’s statement that it wasn’t an actual audit but rather only a procedural audit.

Mark Connelly, Lot 277, suggests that an audit requires the need to be backed up with a reason.  Also voices his concerns with the gate not operating lately.  Marty Perkins explains that back up parts are ordered.

Ron Tagg, Lot 246, asks why we are continuing to use the exit gate when it isn’t necessary.  Explanation that people use the exit gate to gain entry.  Gail White explained that the entire unit has been ordered..

Doug Lake, Lot 1137, explains that he was told that the company told him when it was put in that there wouldn’t be any maintenance of the gate and if there was they would come and fix it whenever it was broken.  However, they have shown since that that may not show up for a week or two and that he has never received any training yet he is required to deal with the gate.  He states that he would like to receive training on the gate so that he can fix it himself and not have to rely on a company that has to come from Detroit.

Marv Richardson, Lot 551, states that not only should Doug be trained but information should be provided about how the gate works to help eliminate some of the abuse due to impatience and so forth.

Marty Perkins states that requiring the use of proxy cards may help some of the abuse as well.  Was told that 75% of the survey put out to the members before did not want to only use the proxy cards.

Mike Turner, Lot 86, wanted to know how the membership gets onto the guest panel.  Further discussion about the guest panel and problems over the past few years among membership along with the problem of how many non-members have codes.

Tina Hayer, Lot 538, asked about the process of receiving a DEQ permit for the lakes.

Mike Turner, Lot 86 explains the process further and explains he has already contacted the person needed for this.

Marty Perkins asks to close the comments from the floor.  Al Isaac asks to put Doug Lake’s training on the agenda for next month while Gail looks further into the information needed for it.

Motion to close comments by Dave Conley and seconded by Scott Hayer.  Motion carried.



Motion for the acceptance of the Election Committee’s recommendations made by Al Isaac.  Seconded by Scott Hayer.  Marv Frayer asks if signature and ID check is required by membership to get their card.  Gail White asks Anne Hobart if every member will receive an absentee ballot application.  Anne Hobart, Lot #454, explains that those that leave for Florida or elsewhere would not receive the ballot if it did not go First Class mail and further explains that the request for the ballot can go by Birch Bark.  Discussion as to whether this can be sent this way or maybe to send out one Birch Bark via First Class when the time comes.  Ken Passage asks Anne Hobart why it was felt to be acceptable to have those in the nominating committee run for office.  Anne Hobart explains that according to Robert’s Rules that those that serve on the nominating committee should not be disenfranchised from running for office.  Motion to accept Election Committee’s recommendations carried.  Marty Perkins thanks everyone who was on this committee for their work.  Marv Richardson, Lot 551, requests that the last election results be entered in the minutes.  Determined that these results will be entered into next month’s Birch Bark.


Ken Passage makes a motion to accept the last Communications Committee’s recommendation of making the Communication Committee a working committee that will be responsible for the Birch Bark and the Website.  Seconded by Dan Holzer.  Marv Frayer asks Terry Obrecht Lot 251, about password changes to internet site.  Terry explains that this was the committee’s recommendation in order to password protect the system so that any changes that are made can be tracked and in order to have a checks and balances system for the board and committee.  Marv Richardson, Lot 551 asks for clarification on a working committee versus an advisory committee.  Marty Perkins explains that an advisory committee can make recommendations but can not go beyond these recommendations.  Al Isaac explains the password protection in that accountability is important in order to know who is entering what information.  Scott Hayer voices concerns about volunteers who will lose their say on this committee.  Tina Hayer, Lot 538 asks if Pat Graham will be a part of this committee since she had been board directed to run the Birch Bark.  It was explained that she had not signed up for the committee.  Ken Passage explains that all volunteers are welcome.  Marty Perkins asks for vote of the motion on the floor.  Motion passed 6-1.  Marty Perkins reads list of those on committee:  Terry Obrecht, Barb Adair, Tom Dorcey, Todd Graham, Marilyn Lesperance, Monica Meyer, Toni Passage, Mary Perkins, and Joe Romine.  Also if Pat Graham would like to be on the committee she is welcome.  Tina Hayer requests her name on the list.  Ratification of list requested.  Ken Passage makes motion to ratify list.  Tina Hayer told that her name is on the list if she wants it there.  Discussion as to whether the list can be ratified without closing membership to any others who may wish to join.  Ken Passage withdraws original motion and asks to make a motion to ratify list without closing membership.  Seconded by Scott Hayer.  Terry Obrecht, Lot 251, asks if Robert’s Rules can be used as a guideline rather than exact rules in regards to volunteers.  Gail explains the procedures as guidelines for volunteers.  Marv Frayer suggests the list be posted.  Marty Perkins calls for vote.  Motion to accept the list as an open list carries unanimously.  Terry Obrecht is named the chair of the committee.


Motion made for acceptance of Dreyer letter for the easement by Scott Hayer and seconded by Marv Frayer.  Ken Passage voices concerns over the easement.  Motion withdrawn by Marv Frayer.  Al Isaac makes a motion to proceed with the development of the emergency exit.  Seconded by Marv Frayer.  Fred Witchell explains that some of the markers were torn out by the road commission and a survey will need to be done to replace these.  Motion carried.  Dan Holzer asks if road commission may be held responsible for this bill.


Marty Perkins explains the Tuesday night meeting in which the board agreed upon the audit.  Motion to accept the audit by Dan Holzer and seconded by Dave Conley.  Marv Frayer expresses concerns about having only one company that responded.  Gail White requests that the dates of the audit be included in the motion.  The years 2004 – 2007 to be included in motion determined.  The reason for the audit is to be compliant with the By-Laws.  Further discussion as to whether the audit will be necessary every year after this.  Ken Passage explains that this audit will establish a good baseline to be used from here on.  Motion carries unanimously.



Board discusses who is responsible for issuing fines as to whether the board should be involved in determining fines levied.  Dave Conley suggests that there are times when there are extenuating circumstances and special consideration may need to be considered.  Ken Passage asks what the current procedure has been.  Gail explains that three warnings are given to the member and they are informed of the appeal process at the time.

Rustin Lake and Pond letter read by Gail White for the treatment bid of the lakes.  Marty Perkins suggests other bids.  Al Isaac asks when an answer is necessary so that Conservation Committee has time to review.  Gail explains that they need an answer before the end of this year.  Mike Turner explains the importance of knowing the acreage covered by the bid and other additional information.  Scott Hayer asks Mike Turner for recommendation.  Suggestion that since it may be too late for this year that next summer other bids are considered.  Dave Conley makes a motion to accept Rustin Lake and Pond’s letter.  Seconded by Scott Hayer.  Motion carries unanimously.

Marty Perkins asks to meet one week prior to next meeting since the budget is coming up.

Marv Richardson, Lot 551 asks when assessments will be going out.  Gail White explained that the bills went out after the first of the year last year.  Suggestion made that these assessments go out earlier next year.


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