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South Bethany, the Best Little Beach in Delaware

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Minutes of 10.17.15 SBPOA Membership Meeting


1. President, Jack Whitney, called the meeting to order at 10:00 AM and lead the Pledge of Allegiance. In attendance for the SPBOA Executive Board were Jack Whitney, Sandi Roberts, Andrea Lapinski, Lora Caputo, Kent Stephan and Linda Whitney. About 30 members of SPBOA were present. President Whitney acknowledged 3 members, who were Neighborhood Watch walkers that have passed away this year – Don Kobi, Jim Martinek and Ralph Romeo.

2. SBPOA Secretary Linda Whitney read the minutes of the meeting for the June 6 Bull Roast and they were approved. Jack Whitney stated that the future minutes would be sent to the membership by email for comment. Unless necessary, they would not be read for approval at the next meeting.

3. Old Business was opened for discussion. There was none.

4. New Business

a. Jack Whitney advised that Tom Angeles has decided he does not have the time to participate on the SBPOA Board. His resignation has been accepted. Jack nominated Betsi Baker to replace Tom. A motion to approve this proposal was tabled and seconded. The vote was unanimous to approve the nomination. Betsi Baker was approved as proposed as a member of the Executive Committee and a Vice President of SBPOA. Betsi is also the person responsible for making Town Council reports, which are sent to the Membership after each meeting.

b. The Bylaw Article III was discussed. It was suggested that the membership dues and fiscal year date be made to be the same. There was some discussion and it was pointed out that the different dates were maintained due to the Neighborhood Watch program schedule which runs over separate calendar years, i.e., October through April. As this issue is causing some problems for the telephone book and is confusing to many SBPOA members, Jack Whitney, stated that a firm proposal with all necessary bylaw changes would be sent to the Membership for review. This proposal will be voted upon at the next Membership meeting – maybe later this fall of 2015 or early winter 2016.

c. The legal status of SBPOA was discussed. At the present time, we do not have Non-Profit status. The incorporation was re-issued and revised in 2012. Some of the members feel that we should be a non-profit organization as SPBOA was initially, beginning in 1984. Although the exact reasons for the determination made in 2012 were unknown, Jack Whitney said he would talk to the legal firm who did the legal work and try to determine the reasons why the change to a “for profit" organization was made. Jack also said he may have to use some of the miscellaneous budget funds for legal/accounting advice to make another revision, if it is deemed to be appropriate. A future report will be sent to the Membership by email when additional information is known.

d. The proposed SBPOA Budget and dues of 2016 was tabled until after the Committee Reports.

5. Committee Reports

a. Financial Report – Sandi Roberts reviewed the current financial status of SBPOA. This is reflected in the draft budgetsent to the membership with actual Year to Date costs. The current bank balance is $29,694,47.

b. Telephone Directory - Ed Nazarian reviewed plans and efforts for the 2016 Directory. There was much discussion on the benefits of the directory. Ed stated he may have some problems with advertisement but this year the directory will be made on a 3-year basis and advertisement will be sold on that basis. Also, the target date to complete and distribute the directory in June 2016. Only person's who include authorization for inclusion of their name and telephone number in the directory will be listed (authorization will be a part of the Membership application form). All property owners in South Bethany, even if not members of SBPOA, can be listed in the Directory. The Committee needs a Chairman to manage this effort. After some discussion, Betsi Baker offered to take on this roll. Diana Colwell and Andrea Lapinski offered to assist with proof reading. Additional volunteers are still needed but efforts can begin with the other persons already active – Ed and Dianne Nazarian, Jack and Linda Whitney and Lora Caputo. It was agreed that if there were not enough advertising funds to print a full directory, the Committee would determine and recommend alternate ways to print and distribute the directory information. This could be by simply photocopying the directory and/or by obtaining a password protected website to allow Town residents to open and down load the necessary information.

c. South Bethany Merchandise was discussed. Kent Stephan and Celeste Speer head up this committee. Kent stated he would not be responsible for inventoried merchandise and he did not want to sell anything for profit. The price should be as cheap as possible to encourage people to wear SB apparel. Celeste has ideas about artwork that can be used and has spoken to a couple local venders. Numerous examples of artwork and what can and was done previously were brought to the meeting and reviewed. Another option to provide apparel to our membership was reviewed - using an on-line service where members could order apparel. Betsi Baker and Joe Conway have used one of these companies before and have been very successful. The only drawback is that renters would not be able to purchase goods when they are here for their vacation week – they would likely purchase Bethany Beach apparel instead. It was evident in the discussion a two-pronged approach would be beneficial – use an on-line service for normal sales and also handle some limited quantities of apparel for purchase during the summer months (maybe at McCabe's). A volunteer person is needed who could handle a limited amount of apparel for immediate summer month sales. Diana Cowell offered to do this part of the effort for the Committee.

d. Profit vs. non-profit apparel was discussed. Most members agreed that SBPOA was not set up to be a profitable organization, but also agreed that any cost of selling apparel would have to be covered by mark-up of the cost process. President Whitney asked the Committee to come up with a plan for: 1) On-line sales; and 2) For over the counter apparel purchased and requested the Committee to bring the formal plan (in writing) back to the Executive Committee before proceeding further.

e. Chairperson, Linda Whitney, reviewed the 2015 Bull Roast. Although it rained that day and only 200 persons signed up, the event went off reasonably well. Approximately 150 persons attended. There were donations made last year that allow the budget to be maintained but costs have been rising. The new budget reflects an appropriate increase and new venders will be interviewed since there were some problems last year. There was discussion of changing the Bull Roast date to September to overcome some of the date conflict problems, but itseems the September dates also could be problematic. (President's note: Maybe we will do a Pot Luck picnic then.)

f. Lora Caputo discussed the Neighborhood Watch program – now underway. We have lost 3 walkers this year and there are currently 51 walkers. Lora explained that the Walker lunch costs are also rising this year and the budget reflects current estimates.

4.d. The proposed 2016 SBPOA budget and Association dues was discussed.

President Whitney gave a line-by-line review. The budget worksheet sent to all members and available at the meeting lists the cost elements in 2016 that were not included in 2015 - due to donations, etc. There was discussion about SBPPA donations and possible uses of excess funds. Although most persons present agreed this was not the purpose of SBPOA, funds could be given to other non profit organizations, to Town efforts such as Town beautification and the like. After some discussion, a motion was made and seconded to accept the proposed budget. The vote was unanimous to accept the new budget.

6. Presidents Comments – The following items from the meeting agenda were read but no action was taken:

a. Nor-Easter damages to our sand dune

b. Council Meeting notes by Betsi Baker

c. Kent Stephens is considering the formation of a South Bethany Think Tank (not part of SBPOA); information is available from Kent

d. SB Town Council is looking at a possible expansion of the Town Hall ($400k, maybe phased)

e. Univ. of DE study and recommendations for the SB Code - what should SBPOA actions be?

f. Sea level Rise Study - study is looking out 50 years and will identify risks and time line for mitigation

g. Ocean Drive - Property Owners Issues with FEMA

h. SB Town Budget and where to find it - this is included under Budget and Finance Committee on website

i. SB Survey - returns are due by October 16th. SBPOA hopes for high response rate

j. Parking on West Side of Route 1 - potential problem to watch due to likely increased use of our beach resulting from the new housing in nearby areas within Sussex County

k. SBPOA use of email - we encourage increased membership use of email to defray costs and allow for quicker communications

7. Other business

Joe Conway suggested that any person with comments about the Town survey pass them to President Whitney to be forwarded to the Planning Commission. Mayor Voveris said they would still accept overdue survey comments next week if they are sent.

There being no further business, a motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting. The motion was passed and the meeting was adjourned at 11:45am.

PS Note: Carolyn Marcello wanted to announce at the meeting that George Junkin was to make a presentation about the history of South Bethany to the Historical Society on Thursday, October 29th at 7:00PM at Town Hall. Refreshments will be served. All are welcome.