TREPO Board Meeting Minutes (approved October 3, 2017) September 5, 2017 Board Members Present: Joan Nano, Marcus Morgan, John Bryant, Laura Dailey, Tom Tramel, Glenn Hunter, Charlee Thompson, Mike Wilson Board Members Absent: Sammy Keen (excused), Jule McGee (excused), Phylis Rhea (excused) Officers Present: Victoria Imm, Evelyn Johnson, Linda Hizer Officers Absent: Millie McGee (excused) Alternates Present: Karen Mullins, Sassy Johnson Alternates Absent: Charlie Arnett (excused) Guest Present: Paul Morris Sr., Terry Downs, Larry Clifford, Kathy Stark, Karen Faunce, Michael Dixon, Ken Saunders, Michael Forret, Lee Kennedy Joan Nano called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. Joan Nano led the Board with the Pledge of Allegience and prayer. Secretary’s Report: Linda Hizer took roll call. The August minutes were issued and approved by the Board. Joan Nano asked Karen Mullins and Sassy Johnson to fill the empty Board seats. Evelyn Johnson opened up the Treasury Report for discussion. The Board approved the report. Membership Report: Michael Foret reported that we now have a total number of 741 members: 575/CC and 166/SC. We are 36 members ahead of last year. We have 95 new members. Park Management Report CC: Jule McGee was absent. Joan reported that there was a power issue down at Point Park, so there was no fan to cool the greeters. Joan Nano called the owners to inform them of the situation. Mike Wilson stayed at Point Park one afternoon until 6:00 with the Burnsed visitors waiting for Clay Electric to come and correct the problem. Linda Hizer asked to address the Board concerning gate greeters at Hodor Park. (I) Linda passed out a letter to the board asking for a decision to be made whether we should keep the gate locked, keep the gate open, or leave it up to the greeter to decide which one to do. (I) Linda expressed concern for children running out on the road in the pathway of a car. Rules that we use at Hodor Park were listed in the letter. Linda (I) asked for those rules to be reviewed and approved or altered by the Board before the summer season next year. Joan Nano asked if there was a motion. No one made a motion. Glenn Hunter suggested a committee be formed to work on the rules. Linda Hizer offered to head up the committee with Mike Wilson, Karen Faunce, and Paul Morris. Paul Morris suggested when we have someone new at the gate, to have someone sit with them the entire shift to train them. Joan stated we should have the rules finished by January. Park Management Report SC: John Bryant reported a full house on the SC side. He also reported he had someone new to clean the bathroom. Kathy Stark stated how nice Brennan Park looked and thanked the people involved with cleaning it up. Newsletter Report: (January, April, September) Karen Faunce stated the articles for the September Newsletter were due today. The due date was moved to 9-8-17. Joan asked Kathy Stark to write an article about Brennan Park. It was suggested that Karen Mullins write an article about autumn planting. Mike Wilson reminded that we needed to include the menu for the October picnic. (second Saturday in October at 1.00 p.m.) John Bryant discussed the menu with the Board and Officers. Menu: coleslaw, baked beans, bread, chicken, pork, deserts provided by our ladies of TREPO, ice tea, soft drinks Adult plates will cost $7 and kiddie plates will cost $4. John will cook extra pork butts to be bought by individuals. The Busy Bees will set up and serve. Old Business: Joan reminded us that the picnic is a (member’s meeting). The President will address our members. Joan suggested Vicki address the members about the new by-laws. Karen Faunce said we should invite past members as well as present members. Karen Faunce suggested that Mike Foret send the new by-laws information to all people living in the Three Rivers area when sending the due’s notice. Mike Foret stated that we may not have the money budgeted for that ($750 vs. $2250). Vicki Imm stated that it may be wise to send the Newsletter itself to all living in the TREPO area (about 2000 to 2600). Mike Foret stated that the cost of mailing newsletters would triple. Vicki Imm stated that if we are going to mail everyone the by-laws information anyway, wouldn’t it be wise to go ahead and do it in the newsletter. Joan stated that if you are going to have the members ratify the new by-laws, it would have to be at the April or October picnic. John Bryant suggested that we would not be ready for a vote this October. Mike Foret stated that on the invoice that he sends out for membership, he could mention that there will be a major vote at the April Picnic. Karen Faunce said it could be mentioned in the Newsletter that a committee is working on updating the by-laws. Karen stated that if we send the newsletter to all Three Rivers inhabitants, it should increase membership. Joan Nano said that the new by-laws have to go to all people in Three Rivers for a vote. Karen Faunce said that it only had to go to members. It was stated that the by-laws are for members only, the restrictions are for all property owners. Mike Foret stated that if you are modifying deed restrictions, then you had to notify all people in the Three River’s area. Paul Morris suggested to put all info on the web page. John Bryant said we should leave the October newsletter as it is and wait on publicizing anything until the by-laws and deed restrictions have been finished and examined by a lawyer maybe 6 months from now. Everyone agreed. Tom Tramel and Glenn Hunter are working with law enforcement regarding the issue of guns being fired on our properties. Sammy Keen was not present to report on the purchase of an air conditioner for the clubhouse. New Business: (The people on the By-Laws Committee are: Marcus Morgan, Laura Dailey, Victoria Imm, Terry Downs, and Kathy Stark.) Laura Dailey addressed the Board members and stated how well the committee worked together. She stated the main focus of concern was the possibility of capping membership and whether or not membership should be optional. Laura clarified that TREPO is not an HOA but a Property Owner’s Association. She stated that she had interviewed people who she had never met before and asked them about raising dues. In response, the people (most of which come here mostly in the summer time) stated if dues were raised, they wanted to know what would be done with the money. Others stated that they had never been a member and could not be made to join. When asked why did they not join, one responded that they could not afford to join. TREPO was for rich people. In the past, we have not required people to join because we are a community and like to help people if we can. If we put a cap on membership, we are going to look like elitist. One can get a membership at the state park for $120. What am I going to get for my $150? We are trying to build a community not to bind it. People have come to our community for different reasons. Reality agents have not informed people about mandatory joining of TREPO. Mike Wilson stated that he did a headcount (with Linda) on one of the busiest days on the river. Only 100 keys out of 741 at most actually used the park on any given day. Laura pointed out that did not take into consideration the number of trips each person took. Others offered that all people that come to the parks do not float or get in the water. It was pointed out that some members may be counted more than once with the changing of greeters. Vicki shared that the state park has a cut-off number. A member in the audience suggested we consult a marine biologist as to how many people should be allowed to float. He suggested using an arm band. Someone offered the arm bands would end up in the river. Laura Dailey offered that “Our Suwannee River” and “Springs Forever” have come in our park to do some studies. Laura suggested that at the present time our numbers are not enough to hurt the environment but we should keep a watch on things in the future. Joan Nano brought up the issue of a cap on the number of floaters coming in under one key (12). It was stated that the number is not enforced. Joan stated that big groups could be split into more manageable numbers, two keys would cover 24 people. Marcus Morgan addressed the Board stating the old language is pretty archaic. He stated that the committee broached the idea of capping the membership or making the membership optional or mandatory. He stated they did not want to state very specific limits in the by-laws. The issue of how many floaters per key really related to policies and procedures. The by-laws need to define the structure of the governing body. Marcus discussed the cost of enforcing membership. Tom Tramel stated he appreciated all the hard work that the committee has done. He stated that he has never known about a home owner’s association that made membership optional. He stated that he grew up poor and did not want to appear hard hearted but if you cannot afford $100 or $150 you cannot afford the property. This is a deed restricted area and the dues are required so anybody who buys property is a member. If you fail to pay the dues, then a lien will be placed on your property. That is the way they do in other home-owner’s association. Tom stated,” I am absolutely opposed to capping membership.” Tom Tramel asked if the old by-laws/restrictions required one to pay dues? Laura Dailey said yes if the reality agent knew, and the buyer read it, but most people do not know. Tom Tramel stated if it is not mandatory, you will have liability problems, you are going to have people bitching and complaining etc… If someone cannot afford the dues, they can do it in installments. Tom Stated,” I will vote against capping and optional membership. “ A gentleman from the audience stated that he agreed with Mr. Tramel on both of his points. It does say somewhere on some paper that these fees are expected from you and that it is mandatory. A letter should go out saying that membership is mandatory and if you do not join, a lien will be put on your property. This gives you the ability to maintain our community. We have people selling drugs here and people destroying property. If membership is required, we will have more control of the people in the community. Mike Foret stated that as the membership secretary, we work with a lot of different closing agents and real estate agents. A lot of agents think that membership is optional. “I tell them, no it is not and I show them the deed restrictions. Most times there is a sale now, the agents consult me about if there are unpaid dues. If we make membership optional, we are going to look stupid. For the past 4 or 5 years we have tried to show these agents we are legitimate. If we make membership optional, we are going to lose our credibility. As for capping the number of people floating in our parks, the state park’s cap is 3000. I do not feel we are anywhere near that number.” Mike Wilson stated that we need a lawyer to explain things to us and to ensure that we will not get sued. Also, he asked, “Will this stand up in court? Are we referring to every individual lot? Vacant lots? Swamp lots? What about people who do not even know they own a lot? Are we talking about home owners? ….or property owners?” Mike Foret stated it did not matter if a house was on the lot or not. He also stated that was a by-laws question. I (Linda Hizer) shared that my brother just bought a lot in Three Rivers. I asked him if the closing agent shared with him that if was mandatory to join TREPO? He said no. How can we force the issue if the buyer has not been told? What about sales that do not go through a realtor and membership is not discussed? Joan stated that mandatory membership should be required after the adoption of the by-laws. Anybody not a member should stay a non-member. Glenn Hunter stated that if you bought property in here, whether you realized it or not, you assumed the same liability that everybody else did. If TREPO members get sued, then all property owners get sued whether members or not. John Bryant stated that a lawyer needs to tell us what we can or cannot do. Karen Faunce offered the fact that information regarding membership is on the membership application in the newsletter and has been for years. It was decided not to take a poll on our website regarding updating by-laws and deed restrictions. The committee was asked to go back to the deed restrictions and by-laws and rework them applying the input of the Board. Glen Hunter commented that the writing of by-laws and procedures was a good idea. Karen Faunce reported that nonmembers float by her dock and leave trash on her dock Open Forum: Lee Kennedy addressed the Board concerning his ill treatment by the greeters at Point Park asking couldn’t the greeters be nicer? He complained about having to back his vehicle into a parking space. Joan explained the reasoning: safety of members and quick exiting. He stated that we do not need greeters at Point Park. Joan told him if he followed the rules, no one would be unkind to him. Vicki Imm stated that we appreciated him coming to the meeting and letting us know there is an issue, that as a Board we need to talk about what we say, how we say it, and when we say it. We all need to grow and get better. Joan Nano adjourned the meeting at 8:31 p.m.