Geist Clubhouse Committee Making Good Case for Purchase
In just three weeks, the volunteer group leading the charge to purchase the Geist Clubhouse property has covered a lot of ground. Committees have been formed to look at the $690,000 asset from all angles: legal, finance, and communications.
At last night’s meeting, the second of three public forums at the Geist Clubhouse, over 90 residents attended to participate in a one-hour presentation followed by Q&A. Jim Felli has taken the lead with the group to keep the growing, passionate members on track. He led off the presentation and handled the Q&A at the end. Patty Summerlin gave a short presentation on the history of the clubhouse and pool followed by some property value analytics from realtor Marie Ippolito.
Then, Felli got to the finances of the purchase. For presentation purposes, Felli assumed that the recreational facility would be run status quo for 2009 and the asking price would also be the selling price. Given those numbers, Felli proposed a $300 one-time assessment to all GHPOA residents which would raise the $690,00 asking price (2,350 residents x $300 = $705,000) and up to a $100 per year increase in dues to cover the running costs of the facility.
“That’s a no-brainer,” said Peter Veling of Masthead. “What are we even here for?”
While most of those in attendance were strongly in favor of the purchase, there were those in the audience that were still undecided.
“I live in Beam Reach and it took me 10 minutes to get here,” said one resident.
A Feather Cove I couple shared their sentiments saying, “we knew the clubhouse wasn’t part of our deal when we moved here, there’s no way my kids will ride their bikes over here to a pool so far away.”
The most compelling argument of the evening came from the early GHPOA board members sitting in the back of the room. Ex-GHPOA president Gary Batesole was presiding when the Sail Place pool was offered to GHPOA over 15 years ago and it was declined by the board.
“To this day I regret that we let that piece of property get away,” said Batesole. “I felt like we were railroaded into not buying it.”
Other fellow board members expressed the same regrets.
Residents were encouraged to sign a petition in support of purchasing the grounds and facilities. By signing, residents are stating that they are in favor of an increase in dues to have the Geist Clubhouse and pool a GHPOA-owned and managed amenity. It further goes on to state that a signature in favor of the pool purchase is also a signature requesting a special meeting of the GHPOA in the event the board does not overturn their 2007 verdict to pass on the purchase.
I feel that this is headed to a special meeting and vote of the residents sometime in early December. Volunteers working to save the facility are working towards a presentation to the GHPOA board on November 17th at their regularly scheduled meeting. While the presentation will be compelling, the signatures on the petitions will be what forces the issue with the board. If the GHRF can get 50% or more of the residents to sign the petition, they fare a better chance of getting a second look by the GHPOA board. If the numbers come in under the 50%, we’ll be headed to a special meeting.
It’s my opinion that a special meeting will be the best way to settle this heated debate. “The voice of the residents” is powerful and can only be heard through a meeting of no less than 5% of the residents in person or by proxy vote. To force the GHPOA to purchase the property, a majority of those in attendance or voting by proxy must approve the proposal. A non-vote is a vote in favor of the group’s proposal since only votes cast are counted. Right now, it’s a toss-up as to whether they can get the majority of the votes to move forward.
If you would like more information, visit the GeistRec.com website.