At a Special Meeting of the SIPOA Board on 19 December 2016, Directors set a special assessment for storm damages from Hurricane Matthew and approved a new Code of Conduct for Directors. All directors were present except Mr. Gimson, who is traveling overseas.
The one-time special assessment for Hurricane Matthew cleanup and repairs will be $211.00 for each home, villa, and vacant lot; Bohicket Marina villa owners will pay $70.00 per property. The charges will be listed as a separate line item on 2017 statements for annual dues and fees. The assessment will cover the $540,000 incurred by SIPOA for storm damages. Of this amount, $315K was spent for clearing roads and hauling debris, and $225K is for upcoming repair and replacement of parts of Boardwalk #3 that were badly damaged in the storm surge.
Boardwalk #3 replacement had been included in the long-range capital plan in five years prior to the Matthew event. The replacement now will enable reserve allocations in the capital budget to be spread out over a longer time frame. The Finance Committee decided against tapping SIPOA’s line of credit to cover emergency expenses, which would have incurred interest charges over the payback period and increased the total payout. [Editor’s Note: SIPOA has no special reserve fund for storm damages. A proposal to establish one failed to achieve significant support among property owners in the annual survey two years ago.]
The Board also approved a formal Code of Conduct for Directors, incorporating it into the Board’s operating policies and procedures. The Code covers protocols for directors regarding protection of confidential deliberations; direct interaction with SIPOA staff; and communication with property owners and others regarding Board business after a Board decision has been rendered.
In other business, the Board approved changes to the Safety & Security policies. Changes can be viewed here. Comments on the draft policies from 38 property owners were reviewed and incorporated into revisions as appropriate.
The Board discussed and approved motions for several proposed changes to SIPOA’s Bylaws and Protective Covenants. Since any changes to governing documents must be approved by property owners, these items will be included in the Annual Meeting ballot materials and be part of the upcoming Annual Meeting in February:
First was a motion to add enforcement provisions for the Director Code of Conduct to the SIPOA Bylaws.
Second was a motion to expand the Nominating Committee’s criteria for assessment of candidate skills to include familiarity with Microsoft Office, DropBox, Adobe PDF document generation, texting, and social media. Current guidelines are limited to familiarity with e-mail and MS Word. The change is required due to current and planned initiatives to use electronic methods and mobile technologies for improving the Board’s efficiency and effectiveness of communication, both among directors and with property owners.
Third was a motion to amend Section 36 of the Protective Covenants to say that an affirmative vote of 60% or more of a quorum of eligible voters is required in order to modify existing SIPOA governing documents. (The current standard is a simple majority of the 45% quorum.) The change originated from the Board’s belief that changes to Bylaws should meet a higher standard for property owner concurrence than the one that exists today.
In one other item of business, the Board approved a contract in the amount of $41,916 for the Lou Hammond Group to continue (through 2017) its ongoing work on a single web site “landing page” for the Town, SIPOA and Club. The work also involves a redesign of the SIPOA web site to unify “look and feel” and navigation. The primary intent is to have visitors and curious web browsers avoid the confusion associated with the separate web sites for the three entities. The Town and Club are funding work in this effort related to their own websites from their own sources. Property owners will still be able to access each site directly if they choose, although links from the landing portal will facilitate direct access to the other sites.
A group of property owners intend to place a petition on the upcoming election ballot for elimination of the SIPOA Nominating Committee. A special Board Meeting will be held December 29th in the SIPOA conference room on Landfall Way to define the format for materials to be provided to property owners on this initiative–both pro and con. More details on this meeting will be published in Tidelines and the weekly e-blast when available.