Call to Order
President, Tony Gronniger convened the meeting at 2:00pm. Troy Lesan led in prayer. Lake Manager, Shad Mort led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Introduction of Board Members
Tony Gronniger, President, introduced the current Board members who were all present: 1st Vice President is Mark Leggett, 2nd Vice President is Mike Booth, Secretary is Celeste Armanees, Asst. Secretary is Allan Slavin, Treasurer is Troy Lesan, and Asst. Treasurer is Marvin McNabb.
President’s Opening Statement
Tony Gronniger summarized the past year’s accomplishments by the Board & Committees: I would like to take a few moments to highlight the progress the Association has made this past year. This year has truly been transformational. We will, with your approval, complete the 5-year Financial Plan this afternoon. As our current Lake Manager Shad Mort’s contract expires this month, the Board of Directors has created a new “Future State” (staff re-org) initiative. This management model change features 2 new positions–we hired a Managing Director, and a Maintenance Supervisor. I want to personally thank Shad Mort for his service and direction as Lake Manager for the past 17 years, and welcome our new Managing Director, Cathy Poindexter, as well as our new Maintenance Supervisor, Billy Hunter.
This past year we were able to chip and seal 6.1 miles of road at the lake, with a target of 7 miles this year. We have replaced 2 road tubes, and are evaluating the condition of the rest of the road system for further needed repairs.
This year we have also outsourced our bookkeeping & tax prep services to Westbrook Accounting. This much needed upgrade has modernized our previous system, since it was no longer tech-supported. We have also been in the process of upgrading our IT systems—incl. data sharing between the Office and Safety, WiFi in the Clubhouse, pool and Office.
Regarding community safety, this past year we placed into service a new Safety Dept. boat & jet ski. We also are enhancing our communications by purchasing 4 new radios–to be installed in the Safety vehicles, Safety boat, as well as the Fire Dept tanker. The Fire Dept also purchased a new four-gas-monitor to better detect carbon monoxide & other dangerous gases. And we purchased 2 new First Responder medical bags, and 2 oxygen bags w/ regulators.
After a comprehensive review of the Campground amenities, a new management plan was put into effect including new camping fees, and we hired a seasonal part-time Campground Manager.
The Board, after review, has also retained new legal counsel for the Association.
In other areas, Lake Viking continues to grow & our membership continues to invest and develop. The Building Committee issued 176 Building Permits over the past year–14 of which were new homes.
The south-end dredge continues, and Shawn will update us on that.
The Association has also purchased the “Lake Viking News” newspaper. Gallatin Publishing closed its doors this past year. With no other publisher purchasing the business, the Board decided that VVA would purchase the LV News. This is a new endeavor for the Association, but the Board felt retaining the paper was imperative as a major source of communication with our members.
I want to close in thanking the Board of Directors, also the 100+ core volunteers who generously give their time & talent to VVA, and the staff new and old for their dedication & service to this remarkable community.
Orders of the Day
President, Tony Gronniger asked for a motion to approve the agenda as the “Orders of the Day”. Robert Patch, lot 1249, moved to accept the Orders of the Day. Sue Morris, lot 332, seconded; motion carried.
Approval of Minutes
Tony Gronniger asked for a motion to approve the minutes from the 2021 Annual Meeting. Matt McCubbin, lot 50, moved to approve the minutes of the 2021 Annual Meeting. Sue Morris, lot 332, seconded; motion carried.
Committee reports presented today will be from the Dredge Committee and the Finance Committee. Other Committee reports are available for review in your handouts.
Recognize Award Winners
- Troy Lesan presented the Loa Parkhurst “Volunteer of the Year” Award to Paula Hepinstall. Paula has given countless hours to the Dredge Committee, saving the Association thousands of dollars. This year Paula has also assisted in the transition to the new accounting company and assisted the Finance Committee in preparing the 2022 Annual Budget.
- Tony Gronniger presented the Nevin Burns “Safety Awareness” Award to Dennis Schlaiss. Dennis serves as the Assistant Fire Chief & assists with recruiting & training our Fire Dept volunteers.
- Celeste Armanees presented the Julia Shank “Board Member Award of Excellence” to Mark Leggett. Mark has served on the Board of Directors for 13 years, incl. as Board President. Over the past 20 years, he has personally recruited many, many volunteers to the benefit of Lake Viking, whether as candidates for the Board of Directors, or on countless committees.
Mark Leggett recognized outgoing Lake Manager, Shad Mort. Mark went on to say when the Lake Manager position became available 17 years ago, the Board of Directors was looking for an individual to fill a position who could work for 7 bosses (the Board of Directors) & had expertise in dredge operations, roads, and general operations of the lake. It was at that time the Board realized they had a hard-working, dedicated, Desert Storm Veteran on-staff w/ expertise in operating heavy equipment. It was then that Shad Mort was selected to be the new Lake Manager for VVA. Shad has been with the Association for 20+ years, incl. the last 17 years as Lake Manager. Shad Mort is the longest-standing Lake Manager for VVA. Mark thanked Shad for his hard work, compassion, and dedication to Lake Viking.
Shawn Hepinstall thanked the members for their financial support to build the dredge silt basins, as well as the Dredge Committee & Board of Directors for their support. Shawn reported that the construction of the south-end silt basin is almost complete & the lake has NOT incurred any additional debt in the process, as this project has been funded with money collected 2 years ago from our one-time dredge assessment. This last year the entire south end has been cleaned out & reconditioned. A new silt system consisting of 4 silt basins has been constructed over approx 15 acres. This filtering system will remove silt as it moves from one basin to the next. By the time the water leaves the fourth basin, it will be clean when entering back into the lake. Shawn said they have been digging in the area just south of the Yacht Club, so they can get the dredge into that area. Concrete drains will be installed in those 4 basins this spring, since they ran out of warm weather last year. Shawn said they have inventoried equipment, purchased additional pipe and floats. The dredge is in the water & was serviced last fall, so it is ready to go this spring. Last year they cleaned out 5 creek areas—incl. the Three-Tubes area, the Garney area, and the Pilot & Pirate area. In 2022 the main focus will be dredging in the south-end area, and streambank stabilization.
John Kmetz, Chair of the Finance Committee, thanked the committee members for their work this year. John reported that the Town Hall meeting via Zoom went well & he thinks we will probably continue having a Town Hall each year for members to ask more detailed questions. There were questions today at the Annual Meeting mostly pertaining to the dredge. John said the lake is doing great, and is in a good position financially. The 5-Year Plan has worked & given us an excess of $1 million. John said last year at the Annual Meeting they discussed the increased amount of income taken in during the 2020 fiscal year and that it would be spent in 2021 for the construction of the silt basin. John reported the 2021 fiscal year had a projected deficit of almost $300,000 but we finished roughly $62,000 in the black because of good management by Shad and the Finance Committee. John said they are projecting a deficit again this year, but keep in mind we will be spending the money collected 2 years ago to be spent on construction of the silt basin. John said this will be another transition year, due to the Association upgrading software, is still transitioning to the new accounting company, and finishing the dredge project. John said the new Safety boat & jet ski, and the dredge are paid for. The lake does not have any debt. John said the funds collected and allocated for capital projects are kept on a retained earnings schedule and used (“retained”) strictly for projects they were collected for. John said we are in the 5th year of the five-year plan and he would strongly encourage members to vote for the final year. This 4% increase will be equally split between operating expenses & the account for long-term stabilization. With that being said, John Kmetz made a motion to approve the Annual Budget & the 5-Year Plan. Tom Johanson, lot 240, seconded; motion passed.
Vote for new Board Members: 2 open positions
Tony Gronniger announced the next item on the agenda is voting on Board Members. Since Tony is on the ballot, 1st VP of the Board Mark Leggett announced there are 2 Board positions to fill. The candidates running for the Board are: Tony Gronniger, George Eshnaur, Matt Hibler, and Doug Winter. Mark asked for nominations from the floor. No nominations were made. Hearing none, Tony Gronniger seconded; motion passed.
Introduction of Candidates
Mark Leggett introduced the Floor Counters: Doug Wiltse, Mark Closterman, and Jim Miller; then he explained the voting process. Mark Leggett next introduced the Ballot Counters: Sally Black and Rhonda Lambert. Mark announced the candidates will each have 5 minutes to speak. He then called for candidate nominations from the floor. With no nominations, the floor nominations were closed. Candidates are:
- Tony Gronniger, lot 2281
- George Eshnaur, lot 505
- Matt Hibler, lot 1151
- Doug Winter, lot 46
Proposed By-Law Changes
Celeste Armanees presented the following 4ea proposed changes, which were submitted by a VVA Committee, the Board, or Safety Dept. Jason McTheeney of Safety answered questions on his team’s two suggested changes.
Pg. 8 By-Law: under Article IV, Section 8 “Non-Payment Penalties”:
CURRENT: Any payment of dues, assessments or other charges received more than ten (10) days after the due date will be deemed a late payment, and a penalty will be assessed … in the amount of Twenty Dollars ($20.00), and lake and community privileges are immediately suspended ….
PROPOSED: ADD: “At forty-five(45) days late, an additional Eighty Dollars ($80.00) late fee will be assessed.”
Reason: Currently, VVA’s penalties for late-payments are very weak @ a total $20 late fee, then starting at 60 days late 1.0% per month begins accruing. Hence, every year approx. 15% of dues & annual fees are late-pays & they’re late by many many months. Vs. With late-pay penalties more in line with industry standards, VVA will minimize the countless hours of labor currently lost to “chasing money” of late payments.
Pg. 10 By-Law: under Article VII “Board of Directors”, add as last paragraph under Section 6 “Manner of Acting”:
CURRENT: (not in VVA Handbook anywhere)
PROPOSED: ADD: “Conflict of Interest on a vote: Board members are expected to vote according to what, in their best judgment, is in the best interest of VVA as a whole–NOT what will personally benefit himself/herself, or business partners, or friends, etc. Hence, a Board member who stands to personally benefit from any given vote, in a way obviously disproportional to how VVA members as a whole would benefit, must recuse himself/herself from said vote. If he/she did not recuse, then a re-vote must occur. (rev 3/22)”
Reason: This is standard on any Board everywhere. And because if a future Board either inadvertently or on purpose forgets to sign our current hard-copy Code of Ethics, or, whether signed or not, a person is on the Board for personal gain reasons, there’s currently no official means (such as a Rule printed in Handbook) for VVA members to “call the Board out” on any unethical voting for personal gain.
Adding this ethics clause to the VVA Handbook gives you, the VVA member, this “check & balance” power if any future Board members are all friends & decide to “go rogue” by NOT calling each other out if there’s a conflict of interest on a certain vote. For example, a Board member who is an electrician, or homebuilder, or trash hauler, or realtor, or publisher, etc… should recuse from a vote that would obviously benefit his/her personal finances.
Pg. 15 By-Law: under Article XIV “Enforcement”, Section 4 “Infraction”, add as 3rd paragraph:
PROPOSED: ADD: “A member who files a complaint of a Rule violation against another member & fails to attend the scheduled Infraction Committee hearing (as the only “witness” of the alleged violation) may be subject to an infraction. Once a complaint has been filed with the Association Office or Safety Dept, the complaint cannot be retracted. (rev 3/22)”
Reason (as per Safety Dept): We have seen that our current process allows a member to “harass” another member through the complaint/infraction process, without repercussion. Vs. The proposed would issue a possible infraction against a “no-show” complaining member—especially if he/she is a repeat “no-show” complainer against (harassing) another member … since the accused member DOES take the time (needlessly) to appear at the Infraction Meeting hearing to defend him/herself & yet the complaint is dismissed, as there is no witness (the “no-show” complaining member) of the alleged violation. Then the “no-show” member can start over again & file some other complaint … resulting in much wasted time for the accused/targeted member(s) and for Safety/Infraction Committee. The proposed would discourage this practice.
Pg. 15 By-Law under Article XIV “Enforcement”, Section 7 “Notice”:
CURRENT: Notice: No hearing shall be held on any cause without at least three (3) days notice to the member or party charged with violation or infraction, unless such person or member shall waive the privilege of receiving the three-day (3) notice in writing.
PROPOSED: “Notice: … seven (7) days notice to the member … unless such person or member shall waive … the seven-day (7) notice in writing. (rev 3/22)”
Reason (as per Safety Dept to be more fair to members): Handbook pg. 15 allows the Safety Dept. to write infractions up to 3 days before an Infraction Meeting. But on the same page, members cannot request a continuance/delay unless the request is made 7 days in advance of the initial appearance date/Infraction Meeting. Please consider making both rules 7 days, so they match.
Vote results: By-Law Changes
- 8 Article IV, Section 8 “Non-Payment Penalties” — 78 yes; 0 no
- 10 Article VII “Board of Directors”, Section 6 “Manner of Acting” — 82 yes; 0 no
- 15 Article XIV “Enforcement”, Section 4 “Infraction” — 78 yes; 0 no
- 15 Article XIV “Enforcement”, Section 7 “Notice” — 76 yes; 0 no
… ALL BY-LAW CHANGES PASSED
Vote results: Election to Board
Mark Leggett announced the top 2 candidates: Tony Gronniger and Doug Winter have been elected for a 3-year term.
Don Leeper, lot 22, moved to adjourn the meeting. Robert Patch, lot 1249, seconded; motion passed.
The Board of Directors will meet in Executive Session for committee assignments.
Let the record show that these Minutes are a record of the business transacted at this meeting, and a sampling of the discussions. Comments and discussions are not reflected in whole or as actual quotations in these Minutes, nor do they reflect all comments by members.
Secretary, Board of Directors