Spring 2015 Newsletter

Dear Members,

Those of you who live near the clubhouse may have noticed lots of activity around the docks. After some research, and years of band-aid type repairs, we determined that the best fix for the corroded brackets was to build a new metal framework. This will greatly increase the lifespan of our main dock and should be completed soon.

Other great news is that after more than a year of wrestling through Whatcom County red-tape, the Ramp It Up committee has finally obtained a building permit for an ADA compliant ramp that will provide access from midway down the driveway to the Clubhouse deck making the Clubhouse truly accessible to everyone.  The Committee would like to everyone who wrote letters of support. This project is being funded entirely by LISECC Member donations and once construction estimates are obtained, you will be hearing about fund raising activities. In the meantime, donations can be made to: Ramp It Up, PO Box 11, Lummi Island, WA 98262.

Some of you may have had the great pleasure of meeting Glenda Peterson, our new office manager who took over when Penni's husband was offered a promotion which necessitated them moving to Arizona rather quickly. We were fortunate to find Glenda in time for her to spend a transitional week with Penni and things are running very smoothly in our offices.

Many of you may have been wondering what is happening with respect to hiring a part-time General Manager. This project has been put on hold due to a number of factors which will become clear in the next few paragraphs.

With regard to dues, collections are about average compared to the last few years, but we have heard that there has been a phone campaign to discourage members from paying. Please be aware that the LIHA lawsuit is still underway. The matter has been brought before two different superior court judges to two separate motions for Summary Judgment; one brought by LIHA and one brought by LISE. On both occasions the judges failed to grant summary judgement thereby necessitating that the matter go to trial. However, if you, or someone you know, are having financial issues, please contact the Board to arrange a payment plan for your dues and avoid penalties and legal action.

You should also be aware that the Board had to deal with yet another small claims court lawsuit brought by Louise Weber. The small claims court judge found that the lawsuit was a repeat of two previous cases brought by Ms. Weber and awarded LISE attorney fees on the basis that the lawsuit was "vexatious" and done for the purpose of harassment. On appeal, the Superior Court set aside the attorney fee award, but let stand the decision in favor of LISE, but LISE was forced to spend over $3000 of your money in defending itself against a $5000 lawsuit.

As if that was not enough, LISE, the current board members, along with certain former Board members, have been named in a Federal Court lawsuit brought by Chuck Ortego and others, including Louise Weber and Boyd Barry; all three having served on the LISE board themselves in the past. It is interesting that many of the allegations in the Federal Court Complaint involve things that the Plaintiffs themselves participated in during their time on the board. An example would be the allegation that the Defendants have undermined the financial strength of LISE by allowing members to bind lots under certain circumstances. However, a perusal of both past Board minutes and newsletters show Ms. Weber, who was on the Board at the time, stating in the 2004 Newsletter that, "There has been quite a bit of interest in learning how to consolidate your lots for the purpose of dues relief. ... I look forward to working with any members who wish to have their lots consolidated." Likewise, Chuck Ortego, in the Spring 2010 Newsletter discussed the issue of bound lots stating that the issue had proved so contentious for members that the board decided to ask the community whether to discontinue the bound lot program and that, "To the surprise of many on the board, the vote at the AGM was to keep the bound lot concept." Boyd Barry also must personally support bound lots, as he benefits from dues reduction because his lots are so bound.

Good news for everyone is that the LISE insurance has assigned us representation for both lawsuits and will be covering the costs, thereby freeing up our dues money for more useful purposes. This greatly eases the burden on the volunteers who serve on the board, allowing them to attend to their jobs, families, and social lives without the threat to their personal finances.

These many factors have convinced us that the search for a part time general manager will have to wait for a better time, so we are not going to spend the money budgeted for this. The budget process for next year is beginning now and we will determine the best way to handle this unneeded line item in this year's budget, but it will no be spent in any other area this year.

As always, our thanks go to John and Kevin for providing us with some of the best drinking water around and for their work on numerous other projects.

Our monthly board meetings are held at the club house at 10:30 on the third Sunday of the month and we welcome members' attendance and participation. Watch the website and the notice board for confirmed dates and make a commitment to get involved with LISECC this year. Planning is underway for some fun social events, the first being a BBQ to launch our new dock. This will take place at the club house on Saturday 23rd May, starting at 12:00. Hot dogs, hamburgers and beverages will be available as well as cooler space should you wish to bring your own beverage of choice. We look forward to seeing you there!

Your Board.