Lake Matinenda Cottage Owners Association
Annual General Meeting
July 17, 2010
Board Members Attending:
- Ed Pilon – President,
- Robin Ziebert – Secretary,
- Jim Hamilton – Board Member,
- Linda Hamilton – Acting Treasurer
- Lila Cyr – Town Councilor and Director of Public Works,
- Vyrn Peterson – Town Councilor and Finances,
- (Ken Kennedy was unable to attend because of family issues.)
- Lee Winne – Animal Rescue Group
Meeting began at 10:03 am
I. Report on Registration and Membership
At 10am, nineteen property owners were in attendance. An informal count at the end of the meeting numbered 47 in attendance.
At this time we have approximately 100 Members in Good Standing (Members who have paid their Association dues for July 2010-July 2011)
E. Pilon introduced the attending Board Members and Guests.
II. Questions and Answers with City Council Representatives
Because the Town was holding its Solar Energy Workshop and Informational Event at the same time as our meeting. E. Pilon asked that we hear from the City Council representatives first.
The topics covered were as follows:
In June the Association received a quote from Laird Signs regarding a proposed Welcome Sign for Lake Matinenda (Please see attachment IIA). The Board anticipates approval of this item.
Prior to the meeting, E. Pilon spoke with V. Peterson regarding the installation of the Welcome sign. Councilor Peterson felt confident that, as the Association was purchasing the sign, the Town would cover the cost of installing it. He requested that once the sign was complete, the Association inform the Town of its requested location and the Town would then take care of it. Later in the meeting R. Ziebert requested confirmation on this agreement and Councilwoman Cyr reiterated that the “town will cover the cost of installing the Welcome sign” and that the Association should “Just let us (the Council) know when you’re ready and write us a letter and we’ll be right on it.”
E. Pilon shared several issues regarding the Dock Attendants and their duties.
Description of Duties
The Board has made numerous requests, both in writing and verbally, for a copy of the Official Dock Attendant Job Descriptions. Our original intention was to publish said job description in our Spring News Letter so that there would be no confusion. We have still not received a copy.
Councilwoman Cyr reported that a copy was posted inside the Attendant’s Hut and that she would ask both Mr. Corbiere and Mr. McLean to send us a copy a.s.a.p.
Garbage and Clean-up
She also stated that she had been informed that the Dock attendants were being asked to wheel members’ garbage up to the dumpsters for them and to clean up the Dumpster Area. She stated that this was “not part of their duties.”
She reminded the membership that the Attendants job was to “assist in landing and launching boats” and “other duties that were assigned by the town.” She also stated that the Attendants were “employed by the Town of Blind River, not the Association” and that they were not “insured” for other duties.
E. Pilon pointed out that the Attendants at the Marina routinely helped Boaters with the loading and unloading of their boats and that many of the “summer students used power tools, such as lawnmowers and trimmers” thus he did not understand her concern regarding “liability issues” here at Matinenda.
Councilwoman Cyr again reminded the membership that duties were assigned by the town, and that garbage and assisting with loading and unloading of boats was not in the job description.
Revision of Job Description
R. Ziebert asked if the Association could “assist in revising the job description for Dock Attendants at Lake Matinenda, as the needs here are vastly different than they are at other lakes that have multiple landing areas and road access.”
Councilwoman Cyr replied that the “association make an appointment K. Corbiere to redesign the job description”, but as Matinenda “already gets more than any other lake” she didn’t think it would get very far. She added that “Granary Lake wanted the same thing” and “they weren’t getting it either.”
R. Ziebert agreed that the Association would create a “proposal” this fall and then approach Mr. Corbiere. Tom Scott volunteered to assist with redesigning the job description.
Dock and Landing Maintenance
E. Pilon reviewed the Associations concerns that the docks were not being maintained. He also stated that Town has shared the Engineering report and designs for planned improvements in the fall of 2009, than a month ago he was informed that these improvements would not be done.
Councilwoman Cyr replied that there “wasn’t enough money in the budget” and that “it was determined that the docks were fine and had been repaired in the spring.” Councilman Peterson stated that Cement blocks that had been erected along the top of the seawall had “stopped trucks and cars from pulling in to close and thus erosion and breakdown were no longer an issue.” E. Pilon and several Association members disagreed.
R. Ziebert reminded the Councilwoman that Matinenda brought in the second largest tax revenues of any of the lakes in the Township, well over $200,000 in fact. That because of lack of road access our tax payers receive no fire protection and very, very few city services. This fact that had been acknowledged by the City Council, when it agreed to reduce our tax rate by 10% in 2009. To state that there is no money in the budget for dock maintenance or to address any other concerns appears ludicrous.
Councilwoman Cyr stated that these issues were to be addressed by D. McLean. E. Pilon quoted the Town Council Meeting in which it was stated that D. McLean “would visit the lake weekly or bi-weekly” and had “not been out yet this year!”
Councilwoman Cyr replied that “the Attendants are supposed to report any needed repairs.” R. Ziebert requested a name and phone number that Members could contact directly and which could be posted in the Welcome House.
Councilwoman Cyr suggested they “contact Daryll (McLean) at 356-2251” She also stated that any “safety issues could and would be addressed by the committee and did not need Council approval”, that “Lou Moise would take immediate action on safety.”
M. Bell reminded the Councilwoman that she has brought photographs and three separate reports to a recent Town Council Meeting and that she and one of the Dock Attendants “finally hammered down several spikes that were sticking out” and of immediate concern.
E. Pilon reiterated that this was an example of why D. McLean should be making weekly safety checks.
Garbage Dumpsters and Concerns
E. Pilon thanked the Council for moving the dumpsters to their new location and explained to the membership that the dumpsters would be repositioned closer to the entrance of the parking area in the winter months to facilitate pick up during that time of the year.
He then went on to explain the Council members that a team of volunteers took several hours to clean up the dumpster area in the fall, when the dumpsters were overfilled because they were not emptied on time.
M. Ziebert reported that this same problem occurred following the July holiday period, when “there were at least 20 bags of garbage sitting around the base of the dumpsters because the actual dumpsters were full to bursting”. Bears and other animals then ripped into those bags and spread garbage everywhere. She suggested that “there should be an additional garbage pickup after major holidays, when lake traffic is at an all time high, or that extra containers should be added”. The Council members again stated that there was no money for additional pickups.
M. Ziebert reminded that the Council members that “the Association had been covering the cost of garbage pickup on Association dues alone, until the town annexed the lake, and that NEVER going back to 1972, had there been this kind of problem until the town took over!” She also stated that she had a very difficult time even opening the doors on the new dumpsters and that as “the median age of our lake residents is steady increasing there needed to be some way of making dumping our garbage easier and more manageable.”
Several members supported M. Ziebert’s statement and D. Brennan asked if perhaps steps could be built to assist seniors in more easily accessing the dumpsters.
Councilman Peterson said he was unaware of alternative dumpster styles that “could be easily accessed by people but not bears”, which was why the current dumpster style had been chosen.
J. Hogg pointed out that the current dumpsters style didn’t accomplish that anyway, as he had recently “opened one to find two beady bear eyes staring out at him” as the bear was INSIDE the dumpster.
Councilwoman Cyr stated that the Town had “asked the students to monitor the garbage pick-up and issues.”
C. Ottaway requested that both the town and the Association look into alternative dumpster styles.
Long-term Docking of Boats at the Landing
E. Pilon informed the Council members that there were several boats that had been parked at the Landing docks for a month or more. He knew that they had been there that long because of the amount of water and garbage floating in the bottom. Although the Board has no problems with people leaving their boats for an occasional overnight, as long as they were parked in places farthest from the main docking area, “excessive misuse is a problem.” He asked whose responsibility this was.
Council members suggested the Association could “leave notes in the boats”. R. Ziebert pointed out that the Association had no legal right to impose the rules and that historically, such notes has caused major problems within the Association in the past.
T. Scott suggested that as “in the winter you tow cars that are improperly parked, couldn’t you do the same for boats.”
Councilman Peterson replied that the town didn’t have the resources for such a thing and that he would take it up at the next Council Meeting.
Councilman Peterson had to leave at this point (10:30 AM to attend the Solar Meeting in Town). Councilwoman Cyr remained.
E. Pilon reviewed the history of the Association’s request for two Porta Johns to be installed this summer. He quoted from the Town Meeting that he and J. Hamilton attended in which they were told that the town would either A) Install one porta-john to be cleaned twice a week or B) Install two porta-johns to be installed once a week. He pointed out that a letter from K. Corbiere on Jan. 22, 2010 stated that the town intended to go with Option B, and would be installing the two Porta-johns this year.
However, when both he and R. Ziebert visited the town offices in early July, to point that there was still no second Porta-John, E. Pilon was told that the Town had changed its mind and no changes would be made at all!
Councilwoman Cyr said that the Council voted it down, and that she “remembered saying that the Association would cover the cost of a second cleaning per week”. R. Ziebert replied that she had the copy of that Committee’s Minutes and that Councilwoman Cyr was mistaken.
R. Ziebert then asked why “no mention of this or of almost any of Matinenda’s concerns appeared in the Town Council Minutes.”
Councilwoman Cyr replied that “not everything is in the notes” and that “All Council votes must be recorded by law.” She added that she was now feeling “personally attacked” and wished to remind the Association that she “had volunteered to attend on meeting on her own time.”
R. Ziebert thanked Councilwoman Cyr for attending and noted, that in her defense, that there did appear to be a consistent amount of each Town Council Meeting that was listed as closed, and therefore not recorded in the Public’s copy of the minutes. “This situation can certainly give an impression of covert activity and could easily lead to misunderstanding. It also leaves someone like you (L. Cyr) out on a limb, when there is a need to respond to any issue not appearing in the minutes. We apologize for making you feel uncomfortable, the Board is well aware that no one person is responsible for the Council’s decision and that you cannot be held personally responsible for those decisions.”
Councilwoman Cyr admitted that she had and would certainly vote down a second porta-john as “every lake would then want the same.”
E.Pilon pointed out that at $80 per porta-john, thus $160 per week in total, the cost of providing two porta-johns for the months of June, July, and August would be $1,920 and that even one porta-john cleaned twice a week at $90 a week would be $1080, compared to $960 that is currently being paid.
N. Hart replied “We pay over $200,000 to the town in taxes and not even 10% of that comes back to us. We did everything with less than that, why can’t the Town?”
R. Ziebert pointed out that the cost of two Porta-johns for the summer months is “less than the taxes collected on one cottage on this lake.” She also noted that she was concerned that one Porta-John did not even meet the minimum waste guidelines for a lake of this size.
Councilwoman Cyr said she was unaware of any such guidelines. R. Ziebert said she would be happy to re-contact the Provincial Health Department, Department of Natural Resources and Provincial Parks to get the specific guidelines for the town.
E. Pilon asked if several members of the Association Board could meet with the Town Council to discuss our concerns. Councilwoman Cyr suggested that the Association “write a letter requesting a meeting and outlining our concerns.” She also suggested that the Board bring a “selection of concerns and possible solutions” with them as they “would certainly not get everything” they asked for and warned that unless they “approach the mayor nicer than I (she) had been spoken to today, you will never get a thing as long as he is alive!.”
M. Bell stated that “There is no response from the town when it is approached. We deserve the council’s help and support.”
R. Ziebert again apologized for making the Councilwoman feel uncomfortable, that that was certainly not anyone’s intent, that frustration and lack of information led to misunderstanding and that they would take her advice regarding the letter of request and agenda items.
C. Ottaway restated that “no attack” was meant and that everyone knows how difficult it is to work on a committee. That the tone that councilwoman was hearing was simply frustration not a personal attack. She asked how she could see a copy of the City’s budget and expenditures.
Councilwoman Cyr stated that the City Budget and financial records, as well as Council meeting Minutes, were available on the City’s website.
R. Ziebert stated that she regularly visited the city’s website and reviewed all the Council minutes and the town’s financial notes. She stated that as she had already noted, many items never appear in the council minutes and that the most recent financial records available are from 2007.
When R. Ziebert contacted Mr. Corbiere by phone on July, regarding this statement, he was surprised to note that the 2008 budget was not on the website and made a hard copy for R. Ziebert, which she picked up later that afternoon. Mr. Corbiere added that “The 2009 budget has not yet been approved so it is not currently available.”
R. Ziebert stated that as quoted, the Association did have a lake by lake financial break down of tax revenue, it was somewhat outdated, and she requested a up dated version from the Town. Councilwoman Cyr said that “it would take a while to pull it together”, but that she would “definitely get that to” the Association, and that she thought it was “a very good idea” for everyone concerned.
R. Ziebert has contacted Mr. Corbiere by phone on July and he stated that she was more than welcome to come in and examine the tax rolls to determine the amount of money Matinenda brings in, as well as the other lakes. He said that having someone in Town Hall pull that information would be time consuming and expensive. R. Ziebert will follow up and make a report of this information sometime this fall.
R. Ziebert noted that the Town did an outstanding job of bringing in grant and government monies. She asked who the obviously gifted writer was and suggested the Association could perhaps work with this person to bring in monies to help finance some of the lake issues. Councilwoman Cyr replied that the Town had no grant writer per say.
R. Ziebert volunteered to explore possible grant opportunities for the Association. C. Ottaway volunteered to assist.
E. Pilon reminded the Councilwoman that there was still no link on the Town Website to the Association’s website, as had been agreed upon last summer.
The councilwoman said she would have Councilman Peterson follow up on that and told R. Ziebert that she could contact Vision North, the company handling the town’s web page, directly and tell them that she had approved the addition of the link.
R. Ziebert contacted Vision North shortly after the meeting to request that the link be added.
Councilwoman Cyr closed by saying that she would be retiring from the Town Council this winter, but that she wished the Association the best in the future.
Secretary’s Report: Robin Ziebert
R.Ziebert gave a condensed review of the 2009 General Meeting Minutes and asked for a vote of acceptance of said Minutes.
T.Scott motioned for the Minutes to be Accepted. H. Herriman seconded the motion. The Members agreed.
IV. Treasurer’s Report:
J.Hamilton shared the report on the behalf of L. Hamilton. (See Attached)
There were no questions M. Bell Motioned the Treasurer’s report be Accepted. H. Herriman seconded. Treasurers Report was Accepted.
E. Pilon reviewed the activities of the Board for the past year, referring to “2009 Issues Addressed by the L.M.C.O.A. Board” (See attached)
VI.Committee Reports and Presentation
News Letter: Chris Brandt
As Chris Brandt was out of town, R. Ziebert noted her outstanding efforts and creativity in creating the Newsletter for this year. She noted that it was the first time that the Newsletter was also available in an email format.
She went on to praise the incredible work of Caroline Bledsoe, who spent countless hours culling through numerous editions of lake residents names and addresses to create a usable and up to date directory of the same. It was her efforts that made it possible to offer the “paperless” news letter this year.
She also reminded members that if they did not receive a copy of the newsletter or had moved or changed email addresses, that they needed to fill out and return an Address form. Additional forms and a mailbox for returning them are in the Welcome House.
Members can also up-date their information by contacting R. Ziebert or C. Bledsoe on our Association website.
Website: Jeff Rice
Jeff Rice was also out of town, so R. Ziebert celebrated his on-going work on the Association Website. She noted his patience and speedy responses, as she is generally the person begging for his assistance.
R. Ziebert informed the Membership that J. Rice has created/found a format that would allow the board to survey the membership on future issues if they were signed up on the Association Website. Although not everyone has web access, the majority of our members do, and it is hoped that such surveys will help the Board confirm that they are representing the true needs and concerns of our membership.
R. Ziebert also asked the membership if they would be comfortable adding paid advertisements to the website as an additional source of revenue, and a free Classified Ad section for Association members. The Membership was very favorable.
Revised/up dated Constitution: Dave Hall
As Dave Hall was also out of town, E. Pilon explained and complimented his work gathering and combing the numerous revisions of the Association’s Constitution, and his plan to do the same with the Bi-laws in the near future.
A copy of this revised constitution was made available at the meeting and will appear on our web site for the members’ review. A vote to accept these revisions will be held at next year’s annual meeting.
Children’s Rock Bass Tournament : Jim Hamilton
J. Hamilton reviewed the half dozen organizational meetings the Tournament Committee has had this year. He gave a brief outline of what the event would entail and noted the incredible generosity of the Town’s businesses in making donations. He also made a request for additional volunteers. A detailed review of the event and its attendance will be attached and appear on the Association Web site.
Fifty six possible sponsors were contacted and the response was fantastic! At this time we have received $730 in cash and gift cards and over 30 incredible prize items.
Expenses thus far have come to $450 and we anticipate all of our expense being covered by donations and the $2 entrance fee. We might even make a bit of money.
This event is open to residents and the sponsor’s children aged 2-14 years, but no child will be turned away.
E. Pilon added that J. Hamilton should be congratulated and thanked for his incredible hard work on this project.
FOCA/MNR Fishing -Jim Hamilton
J. Hamilton is the Association representative for FOCA (Federation of Cottage Owners Associations) Fishery Committee.
He attended a seven hour meeting on February rd. The main complaint seems to be the new Trout Rule changes.
J. Hamilton said he expected to hear more from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, who seem to be mainly trophy fisherman. They seem to be quite interested in increasing the Bass season to year around.
J.Hamilton was against this, citing that “many residents of our lake bought their property in order to Bass fish, and these fish should be protected and the season left as is.”
He also learned that Bass and Speckled Trout don’t mix. Bass will steal the available food and starve the Speckled Trout out. Apparently some people are back packing into lakes with Speckled Trout and introducing bass. Once the Bass are established it’s impossible to remove them.
2010 Matinenda Fun Day : Nancy Hart
On Saturday, Aug 7th, N. Hart’s committee will be hosting Matinenda Day. The idea is to bring our lake residents together for socializing and the sharing of bake sale, craft and flea market type items. The event will last from 9am-1pm and everyone is invited to bring items to donate and have a great time. The monies raised will go into the general fund, and are intended to support our local charity organizations.
N. Hart also let members know that the Book Exchange is up and going down at the Dock Shop. The new owners were kind enough to clear a shelf or two inside the shop, where you can drop off your “already-reads” and trade them for a new “summer read”.
N. Hart also spoke about putting together a New Matinenda Cookbook. This idea sprang from a desire on some residents’ part to possibly reprint a limited number of copies of the 1995 Cookbook. After some investigation into cost and interest, it was felt that creating a whole new collection of recipes would cost a similar amount and appeal to a much wider audience.
H. Heriman motioned for Hart’s Committee to pursue the creation of said cookbook, R Ziebert seconded and the motion was carried.
E. Pilon said that the Board was prepared to provide seed money for either/and the Cook Book and Matinenda Day if it were needed.
A link to send in recipes for the New Cookbook will appear on the Association by early fall.
N. Hart also thanked the Sousi’s for all there help and support for the Association, Matinenda Day and the Fishing Tournament.
E. Pilon suggested that perhaps Matinenda Day and the Fishing Tournament could either be combined or occur on alternate years in the future. Both ideas were readily supported by the members
G. Representatives of the Town of Blind River
See Item II.
VII. Nomination and Election of New Board Members
E. Pilon explained that the following Board Member positions terms were coming to an end and/or were up for renewal today. They are Ed Pilon, Jim Hamilton, Janet Servatius, John Grabowski and Tom Dool. E. Pilon and J. Hamilton were willing to serve again, but J. Servatius, J. Grabowski and T. Dool are stepping down. Acting -Treasurer/ Board Member Linda Hamilton also required confirmation by the members for her position.
Dave Hall and Robin Ziebert’s two year terms continue until the 2011 Annual Meeting.
R. Ziebert ran the informal elections with the results as follows:
- R. Servatius nominated E. Pilon for the Board
- M. Ziebert Seconded. Carried
- M. Bell nominated J. Hamilton for Board.
- H. Herriman Seconded. Carried
- H. Herriman nominated Laure Olsen for Board.
- E. Pilon seconded. Carried.
- H. Herriman nominated Ron Servatius for Board.
- E. Pilon Seconded. Carried.
- R. Ziebert nominated C. Bledsoe for Board.
- N. Hart Seconded. Carried.
- E. Pilon asked to confirm Linda Hamilton to the Board officially.
- R. Ziebert Seconded. Carried.
- M. Ziebert nominated Dick Brennan for Board.
- R. Servatius Seconded. Carried.
Board Members for July 2010 – July 2012
Ed Pilon (Can.), Jim Hamilton (Can.) , Caroline Bledsoe (USA), Dick Brennan (USA), Laura Olsen (Can.), Ron Servatius (USA)
Continuing Board Member to July 2011
Dave Hall (Can.), Linda Hamilton (Can.) Robin Ziebert (USA)
VIII. Items from the Floor
Lee Winnie from Animal Rescue
L. Winne explained that she had been rescuing abused and abandoned animals for the last 65 years, since she was just a little girl, and that she was still doing so. She wanted to come to our meeting to thank Matinenda residents for their support over the years, which has generally amounted to over $500 a year as the result of our donations of returnable cans and bottles.
She noted that she had had some problems with someone stealing the bottles and cans from her collection containers. The Board will be talking to the police and looking into this further.
M. Bell asked for a few minutes to speak as well. She wanted to congratulate the Board on all its hard work this year.
She also reminded members of signs she had posted last year near the wet lands on Matinenda Road. At that time the concern was for people to slow down to avoid hitting geese and cranes. Currently, a family of Herons has nested in that area, do she again wanted to ask people to drive carefully and to keep on eye out to avoid the young and the parents when they are crossing the road.
She also mentioned that one of the lake residents had been told that Americans whose boats were registered in Canada has to have a Canadian Boater’s License if they were in Canada longer than 45 days. She wanted to let people know that they could make an appointment and take the license test on line at the Town Library.
This information seemed to conflict what a number of members had been told previously. R. Ziebert said that she would investigate the matter further and post her findings on the website and at the Welcome Hut.
According to the Provincial websites and an official at the ministry, a Boater’s license from your home state/country is valid regardless of where the boat is registered. This information was posted on the website and at the Welcome Hut on July 25,2010.
IX. Meeting Adjourned
J Grabowski make motion to close elections, confirm new Board Members and close the Annual Meeting.
R. Servatius seconded. Carried.