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 GHCA Official: Messages from the Board - Proposed Bylaws Changes

GHCA ArticlesAs an Association we have come to a crossroad financially and socially, and there are two very different avenues ahead of us. Our current path, the statusquo, where we continue losing volunteers, members, and revenue until we can no longer pay for the daily operations of our facilities; or we chart a new course, one with the right intention, motivation, and careful planning, where we can draw from the strengths of the organizations around us, we can come together, make an inclusive new plan that will attract new members, revoke a sense of community, participation, and volunteerism.

As a business we face increasing cost in all areas, just as you do in your families. The decisions we make now will have a profound affect our future prosperity and our ability to increase our membership, which allows us to pay for the daily activities and maintenance of our facilities. The liability we face from our current rules and regulations for the boat ramps have been noticed by our insurer and face a substantial increase in premiums if we continue without any corrective actions. That is where we stand today, the choice is ours.

Your current Board decided to take on that Challenge by charting a long range plan and creating a set of Bylaws that will create a solid foundation and allow for growth, increase activities,

participation, and opportunities for community involvement while fostering a greater sense of volunteerism. The result will be increased revenues to support our activities. We have met with and continue to meet with other Associations with commonalities to discuss our challenges and goals. Through this, we have developed new affiliations to provide additional sources of activities and camaraderie.

The proposed Bylaws before you today are the culmination of those efforts. You may not agree with every point in the document, but view it on the merits, its intent and in its entirety. Before you go into the details, the current Bylaws and proposed Bylaws cannot be compared side-to-side. They have been reorganized into a more logical flow, the location of some topics has changed, content has been moved to other sections, and there have been additions and deletions. The Bylaws were almost completely rewritten, but most of the content and the intent of the current Bylaws were kept intact.

Most of what was done was wordsmithing, creating continuity; we wanted to provide a document that was easy to understand, clear in its objective, consistent in its terminology, and concise in its format. We think that has been accomplished. That being said, there are also some modifications, and we would like to address those upfront. We want to ensure that everyone understands the reasoning behind the modifications and their intent. So, please keep an open mind and read the entire document from beginning to end; as if, you were a new or prospective member looking to see what lies ahead.

The most needed modification to the Bylaws is the boat ramp, Article XX - old Policy 3:

- Insurance company was appalled by our policies and procedures, especial waiver of liability form, the ability for access and how we accessed the ramps, we are indefensible from a lawsuit and may not be covered under our policy.

- No corrective action will cause a dramatic increase in our premiums, resulting in an increase in the annual membership fee.

- Today we are at risk for a lawsuit from any member or anyone accompanying them at the ramp.

- It's not just premiums we will need to cover, but build up a fund to cover any future lawsuits.

- Continued complaints about ramp access, having to provide proof of membership and/or personal ID

- Illegal use of the boat ramp, access by non-members, and commercial companies

- Staff treated poorly

- There will be a corporate key available for marine contractors and commercial companies at an elevated fee.

Rewritten to mitigate our liability and cost, let those who use the boat ramp burden more of the maintenance costs, reduce the illegal use of the ramps, reduce the burden on volunteers, and put some teeth into the penalties for violators. Our insurer needs us to pass Article XX in order to keep our policy and costs, as-is. We need it to pass it in order to keep us safe from legal costs and to keep us from having to raise our membership fees.

The second and equally as important is the Affiliate Clubs, Article XIX:

- Preamble states that; "The Association is also structured and operated in a manner designed to encourage a fraternal spirit amongst the residents in the form of recreational and social activities."

- Our members/residents belong to various clubs in the area that are not associated with GHCA; by creating an affiliation, we increase activities and opportunities for involvement.

- Many residents already belong to outside clubs, creating the affiliation brings them closer to GHCA and into our membership

- Opening up membership opportunity to affiliate club members who are not residents allows them to participate in the GHCA clubs (after they have paid our annual membership fee), fosters community awareness, provides us with more members and possible volunteers for events.

- Allows club Presidents to sponsor non-GHCA residents for membership in GHCA and participate in their club

- The Beach Club and Yacht Club are facing the same situations as GHCA. Together we can better organize to involve the community and share the benefits of each others' organization.

Director of Maintenance:

- The facilities are aging and we need a dedicated person to manage and plan for the ongoing maintenance of the GHCA facilities. No one person presently knows the repair and maintenance needs of all of our facilities. We need to get ahead of the breakdowns, be proactive and implement a preventative maintenance plan.

- The Vice President has been overseeing the management of our facilities, but has very full agenda already.

- A person who is knowledgeable with building maintenance, HVAC, etc would be preferable.

Director of Social Activities:

- Someone to be a liaison between the clubs, organize and coordinate the increasing number of events.

- Be the "go to" person to contact for event ideas and for volunteers to contact.

- With our Affiliate family there will be more activities and functions. Someone who is passionate about these events needs to help put everything together. They don't have to do everything just inspire others to get involved.

- They would coordinate with the GHCA Office, Social Club, and Hall Rental Director to market events.

Click here to view or download the proposed Bylaws online.

We will have a short question and answer session on the proposed Bylaws at the October General Meeting (October 10th, 2013, at 7:30p.m.) in preparation for voting at the November General Meeting.

Thank you for your time,
GHCA Board of Directors

Posted On Sunday, November 3, 2013

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