Things You Should Know...
May 1, 2015: If you read my column last month, you know I shared the thought that we would have to think about what we wanted to be as a Club going forward. We are no longer the "little club that could" but we aren't a big club either.
We have goals and objectives for attracting young families to the Club but we don't know if we have "the balance sheet" as a Club of 600 voting members to meet what this demographic will want. We need to think about that as we go forward. I encourage you to read that column to generate some thoughts about the future of the Club.
Now for more immediate concerns: We are running a near break-even budget and that is a bit scary. This is concerning especially when we consider that the members approved a dues increase at the 2013 Annual Meeting.
Over the past several months, the Finance Committee has worked over the data with our General Manager and office Accountant to see how we were handling G&A expenses (general and administrative), our hourly employee work patterns and other expenses versus the services we offer our Members. We were especially concerned with our G&A expenses which are considerably higher now than when we were in the old Clubhouse.
Bottom-line: Bill Kocan (our General Manager) and our staff have been running a pretty tight ship while giving us a very nice Club experience. That was nice to hear but what about the budget? Well, as I said, we are running a budget that is a near break-even outcome and our first quarter results are tracking to budget (for more information on that score see the material from the Finance Town Hall of April 19).
A Great Deal on the Horizon...
April 1, 2015: April is kind of a month of anticipation around EYC. Some folks are still getting boats ready for the season. Regattas are about to start and Race Committee is busy giving refresher courses on managing a race and other helpful courses. There is Easter with its wonderful Brunch and Easter Egg hunt for the kids, but April is kind of a quiet month.
This relative quiet affords me the opportunity to discuss longer-range stuff. In fact, let's start with the results of the Long-Range Planning Committee survey. Ed Michels will have a report in this issue of the VFB that I encourage you to read. Remember, this was the result of extensive interviews done back in 2012 while we were in the trailers. Some of the goals or aspirations expressed in it raise questions in my mind as to how we achieve them in our current composition as a Club.
Reply to Ferris Letter of February 12: This is the transcript of the video linked in the Newsblast of February 18, 2015.
It is with great regret that I deliver the latest news on the now likely lawsuit initiated by certain Senior Members against our Club. In my last message, I urged those disgruntled Senior Members to avail themselves of rights under the by-laws to draft a motion and get the required signatures to be considered by the Members in a Special Meeting. I, and the rest of the Board were hopeful that this group would drop the threat of the lawsuit against the Club and dedicate the considerable efforts they have made on the initiation of this action towards more constructive means of engaging their fellow members.
Spring is coming...
March 1, 2015: Meterologists will tell you that we have had a relatively mild winter, when taken from the broad perspective of December 21 to March 21. True temperatures were reasonable for much of the season but... Damn! These last few weeks have made up for it. It's been a while since the Severn froze over. A trip across the Bay Bridge would see ice all the way across on the south side of the span.
But wait! There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is not the oncoming headlights of a salt truck!
March 8 means the beginning of Day Light Savings Time. Who wouldn't give up an hour of sleep on a Sunday to get that extra hour of daylight every day for the next several months?
Following is a transcript of the video recorded message from Commodore Scott Miller circulated as a link in the EYC Newsblast for February 4 - 15, 2015.
I am using this method of communication because what I have to say concerns every member of Eastport Yacht Club and I have found that traditional methods of communication are often overlooked.
As most of you know, a few Senior Members are threatening legal action against the Club. They claim that the Club, by the vote of the Membership taken on September 7, 2014, committed a "breach of contract" in its changing of the discount they receive from 25% of voting member dues to 60% of voting member dues. These Senior Members are acting on advice from a local law firm: Krause and Ferris. As I mentioned in my previous communication on this matter, we have communicated back to them that we do not agree with their view of the Membership action. We believe we have acted properly and in accordance with our by-laws in making changes to the Senior Membership Category (formerly known as "Emeritus").
A few members have approached me to suggest that if the Senior Members who were in place prior to the vote were "grandfathered" – effectively allowing them to retain their previous dues discount level – the threatened lawsuit would not be filed in Anne Arundel Circuit Court. This would mean that the 55 Senior Members in place as of last year would pay 25% of voting member dues while any new Senior Members would pay the member approved 60% of voting member dues.