• October 17, 2018

  • General Membership Meeting

    President Joe Pavona called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm. Joe confirmed that all Members had received the meeting agenda, 2017/18 annual treasurer’s report and ILEHA revenue projection handouts. The Board introduced themselves.
    There were two items on the agenda:
    1. Annual dues:  The Board began by reminding Members that this meeting was scheduled due to concerns expressed by Members at the June 7, 2018 Annual Meeting that the dues appeared inadequate in relationship to core operating expenses.  Discussion suggested that a small increase in the annual dues should be considered.  Due to ILEHA’s By-Laws that require a two-week notification to Members before a vote on any increase in dues, it was decided to postpone further discussion and possible vote on an increase until proper notification can be provided according to the By-Laws.  The written notice of this meeting (October 17, 2018) satisfied those requirements. ILEHA’s treasurer, Sean Looman, gave a report of our operating account for the 2017/2018 fiscal year.
    The Board then went through the operation’s budget. The budget projects a positive carryforward balance of $1,485 at the end of the budget year, based on an income of $9,900. This includes a small amount for emergencies and an estimated 10% reduction of revenue based on anticipated non-payment of some homeowner’s dues. The Board expressed interest in taking on a few projects such as improving the lawn sprinkler system and associated pump repairs, and landscaping improvements in the common areas. Currently, the carryforward budget will not be enough to cover these projects and other anticipated inflationary increases in our service costs.  
    Following discussion, a motion was offered by Angela Wilson to increase annual Membership dues from the current $100 to $125/household.  The motion was seconded by Jim Heirshiser or Lyon?). The motion was approved unanimously.
    2. Replenish Legal Fees Fund:  Board gave history to Members regarding the initial establishment of the legal fund. The Board noted thought that the fund was established about 15 years ago. The fund was set up from an initial $200 per household “assessment” then a second request about 2 years later on a “voluntary” suggested contribution basis.  The ILEHA treasurer “ear marked” the legal funds on paper from the operating account but did not create a separate banking account. Due to the passage of time, changing of Board members and a period of 2-3 years prior to 2017 of Board inactivity, the portion of our current account balance related to the legal fund is not known for sure.  It is estimated to be $3000.  In order to continue following the direction given to the Board by the Membership at the 2017 Annual Meeting concerning legal representation and the development of the property to the west of ILE, the funds will need to be replenished. If approved, a separate checking account would be created for a new legal fund.
    A great deal of discussion ensued regarding the current status of development of the aforementioned property, commonly known as the Eyde property.  Members in attendance were reminded that the Board was under a non-disclosure agreement and could not speak to the details of the on-going issue (due to a potential conflict of interest Board Member Suchrita Webster opted out of the non-disclosure agreement). Some Members expressed frustration at the cost versus a perceived lack of progress.  Members also questioned why similar neighborhoods with zoning battles did not seek representation.  The Board reminded Members that they were moving forward consistent with the direction of the general membership and not initiating these actions on their own.  The Board further assured members that it would comply with a majority vote for a change in direction, should that be the desire of the membership.  The Board shared with Members their opinion that professional representation and speaking through a single knowledgeable voice was responsible for significant progress to date and especially important given what is at-risk.  All parties (Township, landowner, developers, etc.) have taken our position seriously because of the quality of our legal representative; as compared to the dismissive attitude experienced prior to retaining counsel.  The Board reminded Members that most of the membership present at the meeting where not living in ILE when the legal fund was created and, therefore, have not yet contributed to the fund. The Board also reminded Members that they too were members of our neighborhood and committed to following the wishes of the membership and protecting the best interest of ILE.  It was also noted that legal expenses have not been paid from dues but only from funds that had been raised specifically for legal representation.  A Member brought up that the original fund of roughly $15,000 had lasted many years and that this was a relatively small amount given how long the Association has been represented and the current rate for legal services.  Members expressed appreciation to the Board.  Further, knowing of the confidentiality agreement, Members asked each Board member subject to the non-disclosure agreement to state his/her confidence in the current direction and progress of protecting ILE best interest relative to the land development issue.  Each Board member was positive in his/her outlook. The Board gave Members their assurance that it will suspend legal representation and come back to the general membership for further direction if it deems there is not progress being made pursuant to current membership direction to the Board.  
    Members discussed the options of replenishing the legal fund and whether to make the fund voluntary versus mandatory.
    Christel Forsberg made a motion for a “voluntary” replenishing of the ILEHA legal fund of $250 per household. Angela Wilson supported the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.
    Meeting adjourned at 7:35pm.

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