8 May 09
Dear BIMC members,
Summer is rapidly approaching and the island is beginning to fill with people. We would like to send this letter to address three areas that seem to have the island’s attention this spring. In order to avoid misinformation and squelch rumors, I am writing to clarify facts on matters that the BIMC board is currently dealing with (besides preparing the '09-'10 budget, prepping for the annual meeting and trying to continue our "off-Blakely" lives!)
The first issue is the Roats' lawsuits:
1) Gary and Pam Roats (through their lawyer, Richard Roats) have filed a motion for an ex parte temporary restraining order enjoining the BIMC and each of the Board members from filing any liens for non-payment of a portion of the annual assessment on properties owned by the Roats and others in similar circumstances. Currently the Roats are the only homeowners who have opted to withhold payment of the portion of the assessment that the membership voted on and approved at the annual meeting for the BCF to replace the fuel lines. As written in our covenants (Bylaw, Article XIII, Section 9; BICs Section 13), through the Board of Governors, the BIMC may bring an action at law and/or institute an action to foreclose the lien against the property subject to assessment. In the homeowners manual it states that notice of intent to file lien will be sent out Sept. 30th. Traditionally the Board has allowed payment plans for those who find the assessment financially difficult, and has tried to get a resolution of assessments owed, filing liens only as a last resort. Notice to file lien was sent out to the Roats and others March 10, 2009. The Roats were the only party not to respond to this notice with payment or by setting up a payment plan. It also states in our bylaws (Bylaw, Article VII, Section 1; BICs Section 12.A.) that owners may not vote unless all assessments and any interest due are paid.
2) The Roats have also filed a Class Action Complaint against the BIMC & Board members claiming that the BICs are invalid and that any prospective action by the Board to enforce the lien is unlawful. Their claims include that the DIRs (the rules prior to the BICs) lawfully expired in 1993, that the BIMC illegally imposed covenants, conditions & restrictions, that the Board illegally created a separate entity to operate a retail operation, that the Board has exposed members to personal liability, and that the Board has violated due process rights of the members by conducting illegal meetings.
The Roats’ lawsuit impacts the entire membership and the costs incurred will have to be borne by the membership. There will be a line item in the budget to cover the deductible and expenses to date. Service of the summons of the individuals on the Board has begun. We have recently been informed that the Board insurance, CNA Insurance, has tendered the claim and assigned as counsel the law firm Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. Please remember that the Board members are all volunteers, donating their time to try to do the will of the community. For those of you who want or need to know more, the case # is San Juan County Superior Court Case No. 09-2-05067-9.
The second issue: some members have expressed concern regarding an incident that occurred on the island last fall: The incident involved a domestic dispute and the possibility of violence. The Sheriff's office investigated the incident and no charges were filed. None of the Board has any first hand information of what happened and the parties that were involved have either reconciled or left the island. Except for rental to a non-member, none of the BIMC governing documents have provisions for giving the Board any authority or responsibility to dictate who may reside, care-take or work at a member's home. If there is further factual information regarding this incident that the Board may not have, please let one of the board members know.
The never-ending Marina update: As was announced in the April minutes, Terry Pence had originally received the contract to operate the Marina store. After careful review and consideration, Terry felt that he would not be able to operate the store. The BCF has been working with several members, and are pleased to announce that the store will be opening on Memorial Day weekend and you’ll all recognize the face behind the counter…Kathy Jones, the energizer bunny from the past three summers will be there again! We will be open for fuel sales, transient moorage and limited supplies in the store. We're assessing the level, if any, of retail operations. We really would like your input regarding what items to stock. We are also looking for student help, as well as any BIMC members that would like to volunteer their time at the Marina. It is our goal to make the Marina operation clearly a community effort and a gathering place for residents. Denise Madden will be involved in t-shirt sales; are there other members who might be interested in selling items such as produce, crafts, etc.? Members who have moorage spots can donate unused weeks to assist in revenues for transient moorage. The BCF/BIMC will keep all profits from fuel sales and transient moorage. As a BIMC community, we can offset our annual fixed costs through our efforts to make the store and fuel sales viable. To put it another way, every dollar the Marina makes, helps reduce our annual assessments. Please plan to join us there on Memorial Day weekend! We are hoping to decorate the store with bits of Blakely history. If anyone has photos that could be copied and displayed…please bring them down. The BCF will be working with Kathy the week prior to Memorial Day to get this up and running. We welcome volunteers, your suggestions and enthusiasm!
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact a Board member. In the off-season months, our meetings are held by phone conference since four of the Board members live in California & Arizona. The phone conferences are admittedly less desirable and less easy for BIMC members to attend, but we have been able to include phone access for those who have requested to participate. Starting Memorial Day we will conduct our meetings on-island, using a speakerphone for those who cannot attend in person.
The annual meeting packet:
As announced at last year's annual meeting, the annual meeting packet will be sent out by email this year, saving the BIMC ~$1000 in printing & postage costs. Please look for its arrival within the next couple of weeks. The meeting will be held on July 4th this year in Wally Weller's hangar.
The sun is coming out, the island is warming up, and let's all try to remember what brought us to this haven in the first place. I look forward to seeing all of you on-island this Spring/Summer.