Highlights from the SIPOA Board Meeting – November 13, 2017

SIPOA President Ed Houff called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm. A quorum was present, represented by the entire board with no Board members absent.

Treasurer’s Report: John Feldman reported that, because SIPOA’s financials for the month of October would not be available until the end of the week, he will draft and distribute a report to Board members once the financials are available and have been reviewed.

Executive Director’s Report: Heather Paton reported that RFPs for stormwater pipe lining have been sent to contractors; bids are due on Nov. 16. Boardwalk 1 construction continues. Gutters and downspouts were installed at the Lake House last weekend. SIPOA has received the DHEC permit for dredging of some stormwater outfalls, and a Motion later in the meeting will seek approval for a contract for this work to begin in December 2017/January 2018. Holiday decorations will be installed at SIPOA facilities later this week.

Administration staff are finalizing budget preparation and beginning preparations for the Annual Meeting. Lake House staff are preparing for next week’s Turkey Trot and Holiday Tree Lighting. The annual canned food drive has begun, with collection points at the Lake House and SIPOA’s administrative office. (Having met last year’s goal of 3,000 pounds, we have set a 2017 goal of 3,500 pounds.) Staff is working on some technology upgrades to the Lake House for 2018.

ARC activity includes 20 new homes under construction, 2 new homes approved and not yet started, and 12 applications pending. 81 maintenance projects were approved in October, bringing the total for the year to 718. Nine comments were received via publiccomment.org in October, with topics ranging from the DHEC announcement to alligators, amenity cards, property maintenance, and property ownership.

Norred, Inc. began work as our security vendor on October 15, and new officers are continuing their training. Each shift has at least one officer specifically assigned to patrol plus others assigned to the access gate. Ms. Paton introduced Mike Whitlow, Norred’s Site Manager, and Jenn Miller, SIPOA’s Director of Safety and Security.

Committee Reports and Discussion Items

Nominating Committee: Dennis Pescitelli thanked committee members Kathleen Buchman, Veronica L’Allier, Steve Pollock, and Sarah Waterfill for their hard work during the year, and then gave a brief presentation on how the work was conducted. See Mr. Pescitelli’s Tidelines article for a report on this presentation here.

Safety & Security Committee: SIPOA Vice President/Safety and Security Committee Chair Julie McCulloch itemized the Incident Reports handled during October by the Security staff: 13 Medical Assistance, 8 Residential Assistance, 9 Resident Complaints, 8 Escorts (of outside authorities such as fire, EMT, and police), and 2 Lost & Found. Citations issued during the month included 25 for speeding (evenly distributed across Property Owners, Contractors, and Renters/Guests), 7 for no driver’s license or registration, and smaller numbers for other offenses.

Planning Committee: Committee Chair Dan Kortvelesy introduced the Draft 2018 Strategic Plan. Inputs to the plan include Planning Committee discussions about issues facing the island, review of information gathered through focus groups, and input provided from other SIPOA committees. Additions to this year’s plan include a Mobility Study, developing a plan for upcoming years’ data gathering activities, a study of SIPOA’s staffing needs, design of a boat/kayak launch near the Crab Dock, and a Fresh Water Plan. He noted that the Strategic Plan is a dynamic document that can be adjusted to fit changing priorities and circumstances. Mr. Kortvelesy asked that input from SIPOA Committees be provided by December 1.

Procurement Policy Special Committee: President Ed Houff announced members of this new special committee that was approved at the last Board meeting: Tom Pinckney, Warren Weber, Steve Hirsch (SIPOA Engineering Director), Heather Paton (SIPOA Executive Director), and Allison Townsley (SIPOA Finance & HR Administrator). The committee is tasked to review and recommend standards, policies and guidelines for SIPOA Committees and Staff to follow in the procurement of various types of purchases to ensure that there is a consistency of approach and both quality and financial controls are addressed and maintained.

Activities Committee: Committee Chair Ed Williams urged attendees to participate in the SIPOA canned food drive.

Environmental Committee: Committee Chair Michael Orris said that he had no report, as the group had not yet held a November meeting.

General Operations & Maintenance Committee: Committee Chair Guy Gimson reported progress on addressing Pine Needle Lane drainage issues. (The issue was identified in October when several property owners on Pine Needle Lane asked GOMC for help to reduce flooding on their street. The cause was found to be blockage of the outfall from Pumping Station #1 by the marsh that has grown up on the Crooked Oaks golf course near the 4th hole.) As a result of GOMC representatives meeting with Club staff, SIPOA was able to provide supporting documentation to change the current marsh dredging permit application into an emergency application that is based on stormwater system performance. While the “emergency” application stands a much higher probability of success, it is likely that the permit will not arrive until Spring or Summer of 2018.

Mr. Gimson also noted that the stormwater pipe lining RFPs reported earlier by Ms. Paton were sent to seven contractors. The work involves relining about 7,800 feet of SIPOA pipes. He noted that no villa regimes asked to have any pipes included, nor did the Club or Town.

GOMC has approved a new 18” x 24” sign to be located outside the gate on Seabrook Island Road close to Landfall Way. The sign will direct barcode holders to use the traffic lane on the right. SIPOA must obtain permission from the Town of Seabrook Island in order to install the sign at that location, which is the Town’s property.

Architectural Review Committee: Committee Chair Bill Bane reported that documentation of changes proposed for the SIPOA Policies & Procedures manual have been distributed to Board members for review. He asked that questions and comments be submitted to him by early December so the document is ready to be voted on at the December Board meeting.

Communications Committee: Julie McCulloch reported that launch of the new joint SIPOA-Club website has been delayed by technical issues, but she expects launch to occur in the next 1-2 weeks.

Motions for Board Consideration

  • SIPOA Rules & Regulations Update: Motion was deferred with no discussion at the meeting.
  • SIPOA Collection Policy Update: Motion passed unanimously. John Feldman explained that the motion would allow updating the Collection Policy to reflect changes that were included in the Security Policy updates that were adopted in December 2016. The Collection Policy includes language calling for deactivating barcodes of Property Owners who are delinquent in payments to SIPOA; the proposed modification adds language to ensure that barcodes associated in any way with the delinquent Property Owner are also deactivated and to change from “monthly” to “daily” the policy’s authorization for the paper pass that a delinquent Property Owner would obtain at the Security Gate. Concerns that issuing the daily paper pass would cause backups at the gate were satisfied when Security Director Jenn Miller explained that a gate officer could handle this separate from incoming traffic by having the person park just beyond the gate to obtain the pass.
  • Approval of Slate of Candidates for 2018: Motion passed unanimously. Dennis Pescitelli introduced the Slate of Candidates:
    • SIPOA Board of Directors (three -year term, four available positions): Warren Kimball, Dan Kortvelesy, Penny Lee, Richard Siegel, and Warren Weber
    • SIPOA Nominating Committee (two-year term, two available positions): Susan Coomer, Samuel Dolinsky, and Tina Mayland
  • Approval of members proposed for the 2018 Election Committee: Motion passed unanimously. Ed Houff introduced the committee members: Charlotte Moran (Chair), Kathy Pompe, and Ann Wessel.
  • Authorization for contract to perform dredging at stormwater outfalls on Little Creek Road and Seabrook Island Road: Motion passed unanimously. Guy Gimson explained that the contract is not to exceed $85,000, adding that the funds are included in the 2018 Capital Budget. [Note: the Seabrook Island Road location is near Up Da Creek.]
  • Establishment of an Emergency Reserve Fund: Motion was tabled for further discussion. Guy Gimson said the rationale for the motion was to avoid having to levy assessments to help pay for post-disaster cleanup and repairs by establishing an Emergency Reserve Fund and accumulating its funds gradually through an assessment of $50/year/Property Owner. The account would be capped at $1.5 million dollars, at which point the annual assessments would be suspended until there is need to replenish the fund. Concerns expressed during discussion related to wording of the motion’s Rationale, consistency with Bylaws, and fairness/equity in the approach to charging the assessment.
  • Renewal of Recycling Agreement with Charleston County: Motion passed unanimously. Michael Orris explained that this agreement continues the current arrangement for the County to accept SIPOA’s recycling for $52/ton. He added that monthly collection totals typically range between 20 and 23 tons/month.
  • Election Process Special Committee Motions: Individual motions are summarized below.
  1. Ballot simplification: Motion passed with one abstention. Motion would have SIPOA management simplify ballot instructional material, including eliminating the “against” option for candidate voting so that electronic and paper ballots are consistent.
  2. Change to Bylaws regarding candidate position statements: Motion did not pass. Motion would have allowed candidates for Board and Nominating Committee positions to have the unfettered right to submit for the ballot package a biography and position statement on matters the candidate considered to be of importance to Seabrook, but it would have eliminated any opportunity for the Nominating Committee to indicate specific items that should be addressed or to request any changes to the statement.
  3. Outsourcing of voting: Motion did not pass. Motion would have outsourced all voting to an appropriate outside vendor, provided the expense does not materially exceed $5K-$7K.
  4. Change to Bylaws to permit proxy voting on all matters: Motion did not pass. Motion would have allowed Proxy voting on actions that are subject to a referendum.
  5. Bylaw definitions: Motion was tabled to allow an opportunity to rephrase one or more definitions. Motion would have offered definitions of the terms “Ballot,” “Proxy,” and “Proxy Holder” in the Bylaws.

Property Owner Q&A

Mr. Houff opened the session by reminding attendees that SIPOA asks that Property Owners provide information or photographs related to the airplane that flew low over the beach on Sunday, August 6, 2017, and was reported to have been spraying for mosquitoes. Information should be submitted through publiccoment@sipoa.org.

Mr. Houff then gave an overview of the recent OCRM announcements about some OCRM lines moving seaward and others moving landward. He emphasized that property owners affected by seaward-moving lines must file a “request to comment” with DHEC by November 18th (but extended to November 20th, the first weekday following the Saturday deadline). SIPOA is following this topic because it has rights to some affected areas along the beach, but SIPOA has no legal ability to represent the rights of individual Property Owners. Mr. Houff recommended that Property Owners look at the map provided by DHEC/OCRM here to see if they are affected and, if they are, work with their own legal counsel. [For additional information on this topic, see Mr. Houff’s Tidelines post on the subject here.]

Property Owners’ questions and comments related to the following topics:

  • Has progress been made on working with the Club on flooding and lagoons near Tarpon Pond? (Response: yes, will be discussed in Executive Session.) Recommendation that water quality in flooded areas be investigated/monitored, because slime and killed fish were left behind when floodwaters receded.
  • Is a minimum amount set for bids when an RFP is issued? (Response:       the previously mentioned new Procurement Policy will specify bidding requirements for various levels of expense).
  • Where should drainage issues and questions about dredging be shared? (Response: submit questions and report issues to GOMC via publiccomment@sipoa.org.)
  • Valerie Doane, representing the Seabrook Island Community Garden Plots, stated the group’s disappointment at the delay in repairing fences that protect the plots from animals, and then gave a presentation on the history of the garden plots and their importance to the island. (Response: approximately $25K for a new fence is currently included in the 2018 budget.)

Executive Session and Result

The Board conducted an executive session to discuss matters that are permitted by the Bylaws to be discussed in closed session. Following the executive session, the Board returned to open session and two motions were presented and passed. The first motion related to approval of the filing of a foreclosure action; the second motion delegated to the Executive Committee the authority to conduct certain negotiations but required that any proposed final agreement on the issues involved would be subject to full Board approval.

The Meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:00 pm.

The next meeting of the SIPOA Board of Directors will be on Monday, December 11, at 1:00 pm. (Note that the date is a change from usual 3rd Monday schedule due to the Christmas holiday.)

Any comments or questions should be directed to publiccomment@sipoa.org

Tidelines Editors

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