Vol. #94 July/August 2006
Annual Meeting Election Results
Three seats on the WLLA Board of Directors were filled as a result of an election of the members present at the Annual Meeting on July 16, 2006. Two incumbents, Mary Iverson and Charlie Kieselmann, were re-elected, and a new member, Andrew Milne, was also elected. Important issues concerning our entire community were discussed with plenty of input from those present.
The next and last General Membership meeting of the year will be held on September 17, 2006, at 2 pm at the Read Clubhouse. Your attendance at and participation in these meetings is encouraged to ensure that every member has a voice in issues that affect all of us.
News from the WLLA Office
2006 Invoices are now past due and are being assessed Finance Charges. Please check to make sure your account is current. A big thanks to the members that have paid.
Badges and Stickers are still available at the office. Please stop by the office and pick them up. You are required to have visible, WLLA beach badges, parking permits and boat permits when using ANY of the community areas.
WLLA office hours remain: Tuesday - Friday from 10 am to 1 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm.
Enjoy your summer.
WLLA Office Manager
Treasurer's report for July 2006
There is an uncollected balance of $137,947.00. This represents 47% of the dues and assessments that have not been paid as of July 15, 2006. Although we are still receiving payments, it is very difficult to carry on the necessary business of running the association with this amount of funds in arrears. Those who have not paid their dues as of June 30, 2006 are now in arrears. Paul Palladino, the Legal Committee Chairman and Vice-President, the Office manager, Kellee Cicala, and myself, as Treasurer, are preparing to file the necessary papers in order to place liens on the properties of delinquent property owners. We regret having to take this action, but we must be fair to the other property owners who pay their dues promptly.
Beginning in 2007, the assessments will be due by April 1st. This is not a change in the collection date due. It is reinstating the original date the payments were due according to the by-laws of the association. The Board of Directors has approved Credit Card payments to facilitate payments. We hope that this new benefit will help you in making more timely payments.
We, the Board of Directors, are here working for the betterment of the community. Your help and support are crucial to the success of our efforts. Give of your time and energy to the community. Help us build a better Association with your input. While we're on the subject of giving, you can make donations to the Association. Charity begins at home and there is no better way to improve our community than to support it though donating time and/or money. Every cent spent is for the Association, a non-profit organization, dedicated to your community.
Bernie Reyes, Treasurer
Please be advised that Hinkel Estates roadways, i.e. Don Drive from Twin Lakes Road and Don Drive from Parkers Glen Road, are not part of Walker Lake and should not be used by residents of Walker Lake going to or from their residences.
Bill Reese, President
MAILBOXES ARE FEDERAL PROPERTY
Now that our Maple Drive mailboxes have been repainted, please do NOT post notices on them. It is unlawful to do so.
Walker Lake Website
Don't forget to visit our website at www.walkerlake.com! The website offers news of special events, an online version of the newsletter, the schedule of General and Board meetings, photos of the lake and of special events, as well as important contact information. If you have pictures or something to add to the website, contact our Webmaster, Jeff Seeds, either through the site or at email@example.com.
Lake Committee Report, July 2006
There have been no further signs of beaver reported in the last few weeks. We will still attempt to capture the whole family when it's determined that it's safe to remove the weaned pups. Hopefully, the family has moved on. If anyone sights any beaver, please report it to the office or any member of the Lake Committee.
There is a loose portion of a dock that has floated down toward the dam. There is no identifiable tag on the dock. If anyone is missing a portion of his or her dock, it is down near the boat launch, safely out of the water. Please retrieve it. There was no damage done to the dam. Please remember that all watercraft, floats and docks are to have identification tags affixed to them. Tags may be picked up at the WLLA office.
There have been a few comments made regarding vegetation in the lake. The lake committee met with Joe Gallagher of Eco Solutions on Friday, July 14, to assess the situation and help us determine the best course of action. We will have a report on his findings as soon as it is available. As a reminder, WLLA and the Lake Committee appreciate any issues affecting the lake that are brought to our attention. Communication is the best way to resolve issues. We thank all of our members.
The access road to the Clubhouse Beach has been covered with modified stone and has held up very well after the last storm. We thank Don Wall for the fine work. We also thank Joe Ott and the Road Committee for all of their hard work.
The first test reports from Northeast Labs have come in and the lake is in good shape. We are testing at four sites, the inlet, the outlet and both beaches. We are having monthly chemical testing and weekly E.coli testing done. All of the readings so far have been well within safe limits. We would be immediately notified in the event of an unsafe reading. The chemical testing cost is $800.00 per month. The weekly E.coli testing costs us $120.00 per week. We also had our well water tested at the office at a one-time charge of $175.00. The safety guidelines for E.coli set a high limit of 236/100ml for a single reading and 136/100ml as a monthly average. Our readings are well below those readings. Copies of the test reports are available in the WLLA office.
Ellen Salak of PCCD has been up to inspect the new construction sites near the dam. She is monitoring this issue and has spoken with landowners and contractors to assure that they comply with all environmental issues as they apply to our dam and outlet stream.
Update: The Lake Committee spoke with the PA Fish and Boat Commission on Wednesday, July 26, 2006. The weed control permit is being processed with no problem. Joe Gallagher hopes to be able to treat the Elodea during the first week of August.
From the Rules and Regulations Committee
For those Members-in-good-standing of the Association, you will by now have received the proposed changes to our By-Laws. Please review them carefully and cast your vote on whether to accept or reject the new By-Laws.
It is the Finance Committee's hope that all property owners consider the fact that membership in our Association affords each of you the unique privilege and responsibility for how our association is conducted and managed. For this very reason, all property owners are asked to carefully reconsider membership in our association next year. We strongly encourage you to participate in the success of your Association by taking an active role.
Bears, bears, and more bears
Many members of our community have seen bears on the roads, in the fields, and indeed, on their own properties. The most recent sighting was of a very big bear, weighing at least 600 pounds. He was seen in one of the empty lots on
Twins Lakes Road. Another bear was seen nearby, perhaps a female. (Love is in the air?)
We would like to remind you, that although it is nice to see such beautiful animals, they are WILD animals and should be treated as such. If one comes too close to the house, and you feel threatened, (be reminded that bears almost never attack), make a lot of noise, ring bells, blow whistles, and bang pots. The bears do not like the noise.
Take in the bird feeders. One of our residents found his bird feeder quite bent; the bear apparently tried to take it down from its high perch in a tree. Another resident had the sad experience of seeing a bear climb to the second story of her home in search of birdseed. Birdseed is bear candy.
Do not feed the animals, or leave out kitchen scraps or garbage. If you do so, you risk having the bears break into your home in search of more goodies. There is plenty of food around, at this time of the year, for all the animals and the birds. Repeat: DON'T FEED THEM. IT'S NOT NICE TO MESS WITH MOTHER
Penny Social Report
The annual Penny Social was held on July 8, 2006. There were 60 people in attendance. The door prizes were won by Camp Cavataio and Jim and Loretta May. The 50/50 of $55.00 was won by Laura Cavataio.
I would like to thank everyone who donated items, helped with the set-up and clean up, baked, and worked the night of the event. Even though attendance was down at this year's event, we still netted $410.00.
Annual Walker Lake "Beach Party" Saturday, July 22, 2006
We had a great "Beach Party", with 98 neighbors enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, the sand and beach and grounds that Charlie and Gwen Kieselmann raked and cleaned were "VERY WET"!! Well, not right away, the weather forecast was so ominous that, for the 1st time, we had to use the Clubhouse. Our set-up crew was absolutely MAGNIFICIENT!!! By 1:40 PM, they had all the tables, chairs, and sternos set up, and blue tubs filled with ice, sodas, and water, as well as having the coffee pot perking and everything going in the kitchen. Pat and John Innaco, Irene and John Monahan, Phyllis and Victor Valente, Pat and Bill Carpenter, and Gwen and Charlie Kieselmann ran around like little mice scurrying to get everything ready. Bernie DiMaio, Art Politano, Victor Valente, John Innaco, John Monahan and Bill Carpenter manned the barbecues outside, beneath the garage overhang. As they kept bringing food upstairs, the smoke followed them up to the Clubhouse and set off the fire alarm! We couldn't hear it upstairs because of the music and people laughing and talking. Suddenly the phone rang, it was the alarm company reporting that the alarm had gone off. No, no, we laughingly told them, it's only us...
Jan and Bill Bekisz, Don and Helen Duthie, and Dotty Meyer, made sure everyone attending had a name tag plastered to their shirt. Cheryl and John Keator set up their Ice Cream Sundae table and the line quickly formed for their goodies. Kelly and Peter Wulfhorst cut up their watermelons into perfect slices and the yummy, dripping dessert was quickly eaten. Many donations of cookies and brownies adorned the table...Irene Buhler's Mermaid cake was a stunner!! (Did she know it was going to rain)? All the fish and seashells were made of white chocolate...I had to "sample test" them to be sure they were OK for everyone to eat!! Oh, yes, Cheryl Keator helped me also!! The rains came in deluges just around the time our beach games would have started. Soooo, we danced inside to Wayne Duvoisin's Karaoke music. We were cool and comfortable and dry in our Clubhouse, enjoying fellowship with our neighbors.
Irene Monahan, Bill and Pat Carpenter, and Bernie Di Maio put up our flyers. Irene Monahan and Barb Di Maio did the food shopping and had a delightful time loading, unloading, reloading and unloading into the car. Thank goodness, Bill and Judy Mays and Phyllis Marshall were at the Clubhouse to help us unload, one more time. Thanks to Mike Krisberg for all those yummy "tato" chips and pretzels and paper goods. A truly glorious day was had by all because so many came out to help set up and clean up. Many wonderful hands of our GREAT community made the job easy. Love you, Walker Lake!!!
Barb Di Maio, chair
P.S. We didn't need Rich Tritschler's extension cord to the Stern's home, for the electricity to our Karaoke machine--too bad.
Letter to the Editor
Opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the WLLA Board of Directors. The Board of Directors of WLLA has not been able to determine that the writer has in fact spoken to Association Directors, Officers, and former Officers.
CORRECTION OF THE PROPOSED WLLA BY-LAWS
By Elizabeth S. Trebony, a Past WLLA President
Please vote NO on the recent postcard ballot for the revised WLLA By-Laws mailed to WLLA Members 7/28/06. With all due respect and heartfelt thanks for hundreds of work hours by Board members and the majority who approved, there are a number of serious oversights or misunderstandings with the present draft mailed out. After 20 years as a volunteer, starting as newsletter editor, producer of the Directory, Treasurer, Vice-President and finally President (until my eyesight weakened), I feel qualified to speak out. But I am just going to deal with two issues in this submission for the Newsletter: the election of all corporation officers and the lack of a signature line or identification code on the postcard ballot.
I have spoken with a number of Assn. Directors, Officers, and former Officers who have all agreed that a corrected version be prepared as soon as possible. On page 51, it is stated that the Secretary and the Treasurer, be non-voters on the Board of Directors and be "appointed by the President," not elected by the Members at annual July meetings. After close to 50 years of Assn. history specifying election of all Officers, this change seems unnecessary and threatens the chain of responsibility of Treasurer and Secretary to all Members, rather than to the President alone, even though every Officer and Director should discuss every important issue with the President and/or Vice President and follow his/her recommendations whenever possible, in advance of reporting at monthly Board meetings.
Election of the Assn. Treasurer is especially important. There has to be total transparency in all financial transactions (using Member and landowner funds) and the Treasurer, as all Officers and Directors are, is morally responsible to report anything and everything he/she does or uncovers to the total membership. The Treasurer has to feel free and unrestricted, being a full-fledged voting Member of the Board of Directors. The Treasurer formerly was non-voting because Treasurer was specified in the By-Laws as the only Officer who could and was paid (paid Officers couldn't vote and there was no money for paid staff). As Treasurer in 1986, I changed this by applying and getting a Federal trainee grant through the County and for the Association matching funds, I gave up the $1,500 Treasurer's stipend; thus the Assn. had hired its first paid employee. By this time, (semi-retired in NYC) I had computerized all the Assn. records (1,150 landowners and 2,700 lots). I then ran for Director, won and became a voting Treasurer/Director (no funds were given to Treasurers in subsequent years). Appointment of an unpaid Treasurer is a restriction on him/her and voting on the Board should be granted. There may be Associations which make such appointments, but I see no reason for WLLA adopting what I see as bad policy.
Not nominated as a team, as now proposed, President and Vice President were always up for election in alternate years, which assures continuity of leadership when there is a change. This has worked well. Alternate year elections should be preserved with this proposed term change from 2 to 3 years and 12 Directors instead of 15: the President and Secretary with four Directors (instead of five previously) should be up for election one year, the Vice President and Treasurer the second year with four Directors, and then four Directors the third year.
No one questions that the mailing was sent properly to all Association members entitled to vote (numbering 300 and some), but the postcard with no signature line or membership code precludes any way of auditing the results if questions were to be raised in the future. If confidentiality is thought to be absolutely necessary, other methods (instead of coded ballots) of tallying signed ballots can easily be devised to assure confidentiality.
These are just two of the proposed changes to our by-laws that are of serious concern. Therefore, I urge you to review the document carefully and help to get this straightened out by voting NO on the present draft. With only the best wishes for our Association, I have no intention of hurting anyone's feelings and have no pride in authorship of this; contrary points of view are welcome.