Minutes of our December 10, 2017 meeting with guests/speakers: SIPOA President Ed Houff, SIPOA Nominating Committee Chair Dennis Pescitelli and Member Kathleen Buchman, Seabrook Island Real Estate (SIRE) Broker in Charge Joe Salvo and his successor Gerri Franchini and all five 2018 SIPOA Board of Directors Candidates. The minutes of the March11, 2017 meeting were approved.
COVAR Communications Chair Lori Leary, a Tidelines editor, announced an initiative to highlight Villas in upcoming Tidelines. Articles detailing villa specifics such as location, number of units, part-time and full-time residents, planned or recently completed renovations, etc. are intended to be a follow up to the “COVAR Corner” articles, which recently appeared in The Seabrooker. The “COVAR Corner” articles highlighted the role villas play in the successful community, which is Seabrook Island. Lori will be contacting villa representatives for their input and contribution to better inform Seabrookers about Seabrook Island’s villa community.
COVAR Town Affairs Chair, Randy Buck discussed COVAR’s need to have a more significant online presence. After evaluation of cost and effort, it was decided to initially develop a webpage integrated with the new SIPOA website. The intent is to work with SIPOA to make the COVAR section more accessible, utilizing an outside portal for direct access. Anyone with this expertise, willing to assist, please contact Randy.
COVAR Board Membership/2018 Election
President Allan Keener stated that while an official request for nominations for 2018 COVAR Officers would not be made until January, he wanted to announce that he and Vice President Gary Quigley do not intend to run for re-election. Given this, he asked that all COVAR representatives begin to consider individuals who would be effective COVAR Officers.
New SIRE Broker in Charge and COVAR-endorsed SIRE Villa Repair/Update Initiative
Joe Salvo, who is retiring as Broker in Charge of Seabrook Island Real Estate after 14 years, introduced his successor Gerri Franchini. Gerri takes over effective January 1. While Gerri has vast experience in both large and small markets, the factor that brought her to Seabrook is its sense of community. There will be a meet and greet for her on Dec 19th 2-5 at the SIRE offices.
Vice President Quigley described the background of SIRE’s Property Improvement Program. Numerous measures have been considered that might be taken to facilitate the improvement/updating of Seabrook’s residential properties. In 2016, the COVAR Board recommended to a special SIPOA Housing Committee that a key focus of these efforts should be to identify property owners most likely to be receptive to efforts to improve/update their properties. COVAR suggested that property owners planning to sell their property in the next few years would have the necessary financial incentive and sufficient time to present a well maintained, appropriately updated property for sale. Subsequent efforts led to a pilot program established by SIRE, in coordination with COVAR, to carry out this recommendation.
Joe Salvo described the SIRE program. SIRE would help property owners planning a sale in the next few years to address extensive clean-up, renovation or repair and the general state of their property. Property owners would be encouraged to have a professional home inspection and SIRE would provide a competitive market analysis of their property. A detailed check list of proposed improvements would be provided typically in five categories: Grounds and yard maintenance; interior and garage clean up; interior painting and minor repair; major interior renovation and exterior renovation. Property owners should contact Gerri Franchini if they are interested in the Property Improvement Program.
Meet and Hear from Candidates for the SIPOA Board of Directors
All five candidates running to fill a SIPOA Director position in 2018 were present. Each candidate was given up to 10 minutes to introduce themselves including their qualifications and their focus as a SIPOA Director. Each candidate provided a Biographical/Position Statement prior to the meeting. These were electronically sent to all Association/Regime Presidents and Representatives prior to the meeting and provided on paper at the meeting.
Warren Weber – Warren is an economist who taught as a professor in several major universities and retired from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. He has served on the SIPOA Finance committee for the last three years. He knows there is “no free lunch” – incentives matter and need to be aligned in the right way. He also has served on the SIPOA Planning Committee and knows what owners want from reading many surveys. Given rising seas and a sinking island, he feels we need to plan and reserve for roads of the future and the Spit renewal in 15 years. In addition, younger resident demographics demand improved amenities requiring the up keep and improvement of the Lake House. The greater Island is building out bringing more traffic and congestion, so safety is important.
Richard Siegel – Rich retired from education with additional experience in retail management. His focus is on being a good financial steward. He feels we need to improve amenities, but need to do it well such as with electronic infrastructure improvements. He also says Berkeley transformer issues in storms need to be addressed. He supports the homestead improvement evaluation help for property owners.
Penny Lee – Penny moved permanently from New York City in August with her husband and 14-year-old daughter. She retired from being a city planner after 29 years and has been a member of the SIPOA Planning Committee since 2012. Penny also supports the property improvement initiative and conducted a study regarding property improvements. She feels we need to work with Berkeley concerning transformer placement. Penny is active in Seabrook Kids initiatives.
Dan Kortvelesy – Dan is a current SIPOA director and has served as the Planning Committee chairperson for the last 3 years. He is also very familiar with the SIPOA Survey and from it learned a lot about the people on the island. He knows Seabrookers love the island’s sense of community, its environment and do care about what is happening on the island. As co-chair of the ARC, he supports the ARC’s constructive review of regimes to help with improvement ideas and believes both the ARC and SIRE programs will benefit all property owners.
Warren Kimball – In addition to a Navy and academic career, Warren served on the Board of Directors of US Tennis Association for 4 years. Warren also is the former Chair of the SIPOA Planning Committee and feels the rising water is the scariest issue the island faces, but knows it is mostly outside of our control. His focus is on governance, using a policy based Board with staff and committees responsible for implementing operational tasks. Warren has demonstrated the ability to effectively manage others on committees utilizing a team effort. When it comes to the Property Improvement Program, he feels if everyone keeps their property up, it helps all our property values. He is not sure what the answer is, but once determined it needs to be implemented.
Quarterly Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer DeAndrade reminded all associations/regimes that the COVAR $10 annual dues are being collected for 2018. Per COVAR By-laws, dues are “…to cover expenses such as communications, publications and meeting space.” Today, they paid for our refreshments. While dues are voluntary and not required to participate in COVAR, they are required to vote on any COVAR issue or election. All donations should be made payable to COVAR and sent to Treasurer Floyd DeAndrade at 1924 Marsh Oak Lane. In 2017, 34 of the 41 members contributed the annual dues.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 PM. The next quarterly meeting will be on March 11, 2018 from 10 am to 12 noon at the Lake House.
-Submitted by Allan Keener, President