SIPOA President’s Letter

Thanks to the Property Owners who participated in the 2017 vote.

On behalf of the SIPOA Board, I want to welcome the new Board members who were elected for a 3-year term at SIPOA’s February 18, 2017, Annual Meeting. They are, alphabetically: Con Constandis, Guy Gimson (2nd term), Dennis Pescitelli, and Ed Williams. Veronica L’Allier and Stephen Montagu-Pollock were elected to the Nominating Committee for two-year terms. We have an exciting year ahead with:

The inauguration of the new Gatehouse and improved electronic gate access;
enhanced Website and new mobile communications,
more user-friendly information access,
online meeting plans,
a 2:47 PM Total Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21; and, of course,
SIPOA’s usual annual event calendar.

In this first monthly SIPOA President’s communication, I would like to offer some thoughts about SIPOA Board procedures for the 2017-2018 period.
The Board’s primary role is governance with the mission stated in the Bylaws of acting for the common good of sustaining and enhancing property values and the quality of life in the Seabrook Island community.
The Board conducts its business primarily through Standing and Special Committees and work of the Executive Committee of officers elected by Board members. These Committees generally meet monthly.
Board members typically are responsible for chair and vice-chair Standing Committee responsibilities, and Property Owner volunteers serve as Committee members. The outputs of Committee actions are motions sent to the Board for discussion and consideration.
The SIPOA Bylaws outline responsibilities of Standing Committees and the Board approves the mission of Special Committees as needed. For example, the Election Improvement Special Committee, co-chaired by two Board members, is expected to have recommendations for improving processes for the 2018 Annual Meeting Election for Board consideration in early summer.

The difference between the work of the Board and its Committees on the one hand, and SIPOA personnel, on the other, is important:

The work of the Board and its Standing and Special Committees is primarily strategic in pursuing its mission through policies; the work of SIPOA personnel is implementation of Board-approved strategies, rules, and regulations through their management of day-to-day business activities and procedures. SIPOA personnel work within SIPOA’s Board-approved Strategic Plan and Property Owner-approved operating and capital budgets to carry out their work in consultation with Committees and in reports to the Board on a monthly basis.

SIPOA’s goal as an institution-an association of Property Owners in a business context-is to achieve a workable and effective balance between governance and management and to afford Property Owner constituents with appropriate information and communication access to participate in their important role of providing input to the SIPOA Board on significant motions under consideration outside of the Annual Meeting.

Toward that end, in 2016, SIPOA established publiccomment@sipoa.org for receipt of comments on the security review in 2016 and will again use that email address to receive Property Owner comments on the Election Improvement Special Committee in May, and for other issues and questions that Property Owners may have.
As we go forward in 2017, the Board respectfully requests that Property Owners and other stakeholders email comments to publiccomment@sipoa.org. This address will be actively monitored by the SIPOA Executive Director, Heather Paton, for distribution to appropriate staff member(s), Board member(s), or Committee(s). You may expect to receive a prompt acknowledgement of referral and a more substantive response following an action.
As a matter of process, it will be more efficient to send questions or comments to publiccomment@sipoa.org rather than to individual Board members or Board members as a group-sending messages to Board members typically slows the response process and the ability of the Board to coordinate actions for the common good.

SIPOA is also improving several other Board processes in 2017:

First, in the Spring, SIPOA is installing new technology in the Live Oak Room at the Lake House to facilitate online logged-in access to Board meetings from anywhere, including wireless amplification capabilities during the meeting, and the capability for Property Owners to view appropriate documentation electronically during the meeting, in person or online.
Next, the Board will provide a microphone to Property Owners during the Q&A section of the Board meeting to improve communication between Property Owners and Board members. The Board respectfully requests that Property Owners with questions or comments concisely specify their questions or comments to the appropriate Board member(s) within a 2-minute window.
Finally, the Board is formalizing procedures for Board consideration of motions:

Prospective new projects outside of the approved strategic plan or budget, whether suggested in the Board meeting, a Committee meeting, or by a Property Owner, begin with a Project Charter form available in the SIPOA Administrative Office, which, when completed, is referred by the Executive Director, Heather Paton, to appropriate Committee(s) for evaluation.

The Board’s role is to consider such projects if they reach the motion stage after careful scrutiny and are appended with appropriate supportive documentation at the Committee level.

Then, as part of developing the Board Meeting agenda, Heather Paton asks each Committee chair to submit motions for Board consideration after the Committee(s) have evaluated the subject matter of a motion, appended appropriate supportive documentation to it, and prepared a rationale for the motion.

Property Owner participation strengthens SIPOA as a sustainable institution. The Board and I seek your participation, as a volunteer for a Committee, either in person or online as your situation permits, and invite you to attend the monthly Board meetings by whatever avenue is most convenient to you.

Ed Jones
President, SIPOA Board of Directors

 

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