President’s Report – May 2021

As published in The View, May 2021:

John MacDonnell
President

As you read this, my first President’s Report, you should keep in mind that it is being written just hours after our April 6 election. Because of publication deadlines for The View magazine’s May issue which will first arrive in some of your mail tubes the last few days of April, this is necessarily both a quick look back and prediction of things to come.

The first thing I want to do is recognize and thank all of those who entrusted me and Moira MacLeod-Foster, our new Treasurer, with your support, confidence, hopes, and your votes. To those of you who voted for other candidates, I thank you for participating and voting and, although I can understand and appreciate the disappointment some may feel, Moira and I assure you that your views and comments during our campaigns were heard and informed us. We will endeavor as much as possible to keep these things in mind as we work to do the jobs entrusted to us.

Elections can be difficult times in any community, and that is because differences on matters of concern to many are naturally highlighted. The fog of spirited debate can often distract us from the main goal of our community, which is to find things we all have in common and build upon those. In this way, we build a stronger, better, and more successful place to live and enjoy.

It is my sincere hope that our divisions and differences will quickly subside and that all of our best efforts will help us make our community all it can be. I believe it can and will get better than it has been while, at the same time, prove to be what we all envisioned when first coming here. I strongly believe in the view expressed by a former Board member, that in our community being a Director on the Board is not so much about power as it is about service. I also pledge to be as open and transparent as possible.

Now to the predictions that I mentioned, and which I hope you will all be starting to recognize even in the short time that will have elapsed since the election. I hope that the new line-up of Board officers will demonstrate a commitment to you that nothing is and should be written in stone in a healthy and vibrant community. Your new Board members will be working hard with those concluding their terms during the next year and will be reviewing, reconsidering, and in some cases tweaking and changing past decisions that proved unpopular or that unnecessarily divided us.

Some of the things which will undoubtedly occupy our time will be to closely examine our contractual commitments with various service providers who make this community function on a day-to-day basis, because it is and should be primarily the function of the Board to oversee those functions and not control them in every detail. We will be revisiting the makeup of our various advisory committees which have proven extremely valuable to the efficient operation of our community and which help us protect our financial interests keeping costs to a minimum. We also, where appropriate, will be looking to increase and encourage the involvement of new and talented members of our community to serve on those committees so that new and fresh views have a chance to thrive and contribute.

So please, if you have skill sets you wish to contribute and wish to have a say in how your community is run, step forward. It is an easy thing to enlarge those committees to utilize what others can bring to the table. We will be spending less of the Board members’ precious time dealing with small things and focus more on broader issues and future concerns, not the least of which is to encourage more of our homeowners to come out and vote for the type of community they desire.

Although we had a good turnout for this last election, we somehow failed to motivate slightly more than a third of our owners to vote. And that made it impossible to reach the necessary level to amend our governing documents. Changing the provisions of those basic contractual agreements to which we are all bound was designed not to be easy, but we should be able to get the necessary votes out to revise them when required by law and clearly within a hair’s breadth of passing. So, we must all focus on encouraging all owners to participate through voting in order to shape our community.

In future articles, I will be sharing this space with other Board members to offer their contributions and thoughts. I look forward to reporting that we are beginning to accomplish some of my predictions.

I wish to end with, and paraphrase and slightly alter the words of, a poem I have long admired by Robert Frost:

Our community is lovely and our members diverse and deep.
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Now, to work, as I am sure it can and does get better than this.

Contact the author at john.macdonnell@scshca.com