Highlights from the SIPOA Board of Directors Meeting on May 15, 2017
(Note: Official minutes of the meeting will be published on the SIPOA website following their approval at the June Board meeting.)
Vice President Julie McCulloch opened the meeting by reading an email just received from President Ed Jones:
Heather Paton, SIPOA Executive Director:
Personal information in a public record pertaining to my Seabrook Island property has been impermissibly disclosed on NextDoor by one or more property owners as an invasion of privacy, the circumstance of which does not affect my current Property Owner status of service on the SIPOA Board. However, I do not want this matter to be a distraction for the critical issues the Board must address in the coming months, so I hereby tender my resignation from the SIPOA Board, effective immediately.
Con Constandis presented the Treasurer’s report on behalf of John Feldman. Click here to see the full report. One unusual item is that SIPOA has learned from our accounting firm that we must pay income tax on compensation we receive from Comcast because it is “not within the scope of our operation.” We must pay $166K as part of our 2016 tax return for the Comcast’s large initial payment, and will be subject to lesser amounts in future years—an estimated $15K-$18K for next year. SIPOA is performing additional due diligence to determine whether there might be an interpretation of the applicable tax code that would enable SIPOA to avoid the tax. Without consideration of this tax amount, SIPOA’s operations for the first four months are positive on the revenue side, and they will be positive on the expense side once the 2016 storm expenses that were booked in 2017 are moved to the 2016 financial statements. SIPOA has received the highest level of opinion (“an unqualified audit opinion”) from our auditors.
Executive Director Heather Paton reported that SIPOA’s risk management consultant has reviewed our alligator signage and determined locations and specifications for new or replacement signs. Also related to alligators, the Palmetto Lake benches have been moved to the far side of the path. Reflective striping has been installed at all traffic islands, and new DOT-compliant traffic signs (i.e., installed 5’ above grade and reflective) should be installed in June. The Gatehouse Certificate of Occupancy is expected around May 19th, Spring seasonal plantings have been installed, and two interns have begun work on updating our Lake Management Plan. Amenity Card readers have been installed at the Oyster Catcher Pool and will be operational on May 26. Instead of entering a numeric code, Property Owners will gain access to the pool area using the same card and method they use to access the Lake House. Twenty emails were received in April at firstname.lastname@example.org covering 17 topics, each of them addressed by Staff. Architectural Review statistics were: 11 applications pending, 1 new home approved/not yet started, and 22 new homes under construction. The 58 maintenance projects approved by ARC staff in April bring the total maintenance projects for the year to 316. Ms. Paton concluded her remarks by announcing that SIPOA has received notice that our designation as a Blue Ribbon Community has been approved by the Community Associations Institute, adding that the award will be presented in the Fall.
Each Board Member gave a short update on status of committee work. Bill Bane (Architectural Review) reported that he and ARC representatives have been meeting with the Architect/Project Manager in charge of Atrium Villas’ recent upgrade project to discuss lighting that was installed. Negotiations to reduce the extent of broadcast light are continuing.
Dennis Pescitelli (Nominating) reported that the committee has begun several initiatives intended to improve and expand candidate recruiting for the upcoming election cycle. These include: enhancing coordination between the committee and COVAR to publicize and promote applications for candidacy; developing a spreadsheet-based candidate recruitment database to record Nominating Committee members’ personal recruitment contacts/activity; assembling a Candidate Information Packet with application forms and other materials that will provide a solid understanding of the election process and the experience of serving on the Board; and producing a video of interviews with past Board presidents about what is involved in Board service and why. Mr. Pescitelli said that these efforts would be tailored and finalized once the final report from the Special Committee on the Election Process has been issued and accepted by the Board, and at that time the full report will be available for public comment.
Dan Kortvelesy (Planning) said that the committee continued its work on the 2018 Strategic Plan. He said that the solicitation of Property Owner input on the Vision 2025 initiative (“What is Seabrook going to be like in 2025?”) produced 22 pages of comments. Committee review and synthesis of these Property Owner concerns for the future fell into ten main areas: plan for the approach of buildout; maintain beautiful environment (given that there will be more homes and less open-space); traffic concerns relating to vehicles, pedestrian, and bicycles; maintain infrastructure; parking concerns (summer); maintain beach; maintain amenities; maintain/redevelop homes and/or villas; plan for increased full-time population; and plan for balance with wildlife habitat. When the Vision 2025 Final Report is complete, it will be published through SIPOA’s eBlast and Tidelines.
Michael Orris (Environmental) said that the committee worked with GOMC on the alligator signage and bench topics reported by Ms. Paton. He reported that DNR’s monitoring of the red knots on North Beach has gone well, adding that the committee worked with Seabrook Island Birders to participate in banding the red knots. He closed by noting that things have not gone so well for the bluebirds, as snakes have raided many nests on the golf course.
Guy Gimson (General Operations and Maintenance) reported that the parking area at the end of Boardwalk 2 that was overwashed during Hurricane Matthew is no longer suitable for use. As a replacement for this important element of beach access, four parking spaces have been constructed close to the end of Boardwalk 1 for use by people with disabilities. (The chain “gate” at the head of the roadway next to Boardwalk 1 will remain in place, and procedures for vehicle access to the beach parking are unchanged.) Repairs to the Lake House pergola’s water damage are scheduled to begin soon. As reported by Ms. Paton, the Certificate of Occupancy for the new Gate House is expected soon, so the move-in will occur soon after Memorial Day weekend. Demolition of the old Gate House should be complete by late June; the project will have to involve some re-routing of traffic, and all efforts will be made to avoid affecting traffic during peak hours.
Julie McCulloch (Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee) reported that the group was formed in early 2017 with Ms. McCulloch as Chair and Guy Gimson as Vice Chair. Committee membership included a dozen property owners representing resident/non-resident status and ownership of both villas and single-family homes. Their charge was to review lessons learned from Hurricane Matthew and propose improvements for future emergency preparedness. Subgroups of the committee investigated five topics with appropriate stakeholders (Preparation and Planning, Communication, Security, Post-Storm, and Financial) and developed recommendations. As a last step, Ms. McCulloch reviewed the committee’s recommendations with key stakeholders: SIPOA’s Executive Director, Chair of the Legal and Safety & Security Committees, the Town’s Mayor Pro Tem, and Tidelines’ Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee. Ms. McCulloch presented the resulting Emergency Preparedness Task Force Report for Board approval and said that it would soon be published for Property Owner review and comment through SIPOA’s eBlast and Tidelines. Click here to see the full report. All comments are to be submitted to email@example.com.
Ed Houff (Legal) said the committee continued to work with Safety & Security on their joint subcommittees studying drones, license plate readers, and other issues. They addressed potential legal issues relating to alligator signs, dock agreements, and neighborhood disputes, and they reviewed drafts of documents relating to the Election Process Special Committee and the Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee.
Ed Houff (now for Safety & Security) reported that the committee heard appeals of citations for violations of Rules and Regulations and decided each on their merits. Their various subcommittees reported to the full committee on an improved handout for important security information, drones, trash issues, other incident reports of significance, and animal control issues.
Under “Old Business,” Con Constandis said that the Election Process Special Committee is making progress toward its May 23rd completion deadline. He and Dennis Pescitelli obtained Board agreement that reports of this Election committee and Nominating’s Process Review should be put out for Board Review, and then for Property Owner comment, simultaneously.
Several Motions were put forth for Board consideration and approved:
- The Final Report of the Election Process Special Committee is due to the Board by May 23, 2017. This report and the final report from the Nominating Committee’s Process Review will be posted to the SIPOA website for Property Owner review and comment on May 30. Once posted and announced, comments will be welcomed via firstname.lastname@example.org for a 3-week period.
- SIPOA will contract with A3 Communications for purchase and installation of a new gate arm and bar code reader. Contract cost is $21,600.
The next meeting of the SIPOA Board will be held on June 19, 2017.