11/17/19: PUBLIC FORUM ON CUT-THROUGH TRAFFIC SET FOR TUESDAY; SCCA MEETING TO VOTE ON 2020 BUDGET, AMENDED BYLAWS THURSDAY

afterdorian
The intersection of Duck Road and Sea Oats Trail on the day after Hurricane Dorian that visitors to the Currituck County beaches were permitted entry. There was no increase in residential cut-through traffic in Southern Shores the day before when visitors to Dare County gained entry.

The Southern Shores Exploratory Committee to Address Cut-Through Traffic will hold a public forum Tuesday (11/19), at 5:30 p.m., in the Kern Pitts Center. According to chairperson Tommy Karole, the seven-member committee will be soliciting comments from property owners and residents, not formally presenting any conclusions of its own.

Formed in June, the traffic committee is a sanctioned committee of the Town Council and currently is sponsored by Town Councilman Fred Newberry, who lost his re-election bid earlier this month. Pursuant to a motion made by Mr. Newberry at the Council’s Nov. 6 meeting, the Council will select a replacement sponsor at its Dec. 3 meeting. Mr. Newberry’s motion passed 4-1, with Mayor Tom Bennett opposing it.

Besides Mr. Karole and Mr. Newberry, the members of the committee are homeowners Jim Monroe, Bill Timberlake, Linda Lauby, Victoria Green, and David Watson, whose properties represent a residential cross-section affected by the northbound cut-through traffic. Each member will be introduced at the forum.

“The committee encourages Southern Shores residents to come out, get involved, and express their views,” Mr. Karole told The Beacon about Tuesday’s event. “This is going to be an open forum. We have ideas, but we’d like to hear what folks have to say.”

There is no agenda for the forum. Mr. Karole said he will ask members of the public who would like to speak to sign up, give their names and addresses, and try to limit their comments to the standard three minutes. Because the committee is Town Council-sanctioned, official minutes of the forum will be taken.

SSCA SPECIAL MEETING ON BUDGET, BYLAWS TO BE HELD THURSDAY

Rod McCaughey, president of the Southern Shores Civic Assn., has called a special meeting of the general membership this Thursday (11/21), at 7 p.m. in the Pitts Center, for the purpose of finalizing the votes on the 2020 budget and the proposed changes to the SSCA bylaws.

The SSCA Board of Directors tabled these actions at the Oct. 14 general membership meeting, after a member raised a legal question about the SSCA’s proposed new annual dues structure, which is based on the use of a member’s property. (The boards of the Tennis Club and Boat Club set their annual dues separately.)

The SSCA Board has recommended that 2020 dues be increased and assessed so that owners of residential/second homes pay $65 and rental property owners pay $95. People who own undeveloped lots, as well as full-time residents who do not own property, may join the SSCA for $65.

According to Mr. McCaughey’s “President’s Message” in the September 2019 SSCA newsletter, the annual dues are being changed in order to increase revenue to cover ongoing and anticipated maintenance and repair projects.

Two-thirds of the eligible votes at Thursday’s meeting are required to approve both the proposed 2020 budget, which reflects the dues-structure change, and the proposed changes in the SSCA bylaws. (A property owner-voter may have more than one vote.)

According to the SSCA’s proposed 2020 budget, total revenues are projected to be $233,128, of which $126,330, or 54 percent, is membership dues income; and total expenses are projected to be $218,550, leaving $14,578 to be deposited in capital fund reserves.

Other significant sources of income for the SSCA, according to the 2020 budget, include marina slip rentals, projected to be $36,250, and annual cell-tower rent of $39,748.

The largest expenses for 2020 are projected to be special projects ($78,500); property maintenance/construction ($43,700); administrative services ($25,450); and grounds maintenance/beautification ($22,000).

You may peruse Mr. McCaughey’s message and the 2020 budget in the newsletter at https://www.sscaobx.org/assets/docs/September%202019%20SHORELINES%20FINAL%20EMAIL.pdf.

The Beacon was unable to find the proposed bylaw changes on the SSCA’s website. A redline copy of the current association bylaws, showing the proposed changes, was emailed to SSCA members before the October meeting.

One major proposed change is in the definition of eligibility for SSCA membership. Currently, all owners of real property in Southern Shores and all full-time Southern Shores residents, regardless of their property ownership status, are eligible to join the SSCA. The SSCA Board has recommended amending the definition of “owners of real property” to include “a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, trust or other legal entity provided that such entity has designated by written notice to the SSCA a natural person as a voter for the membership interest.”

For further proposed amendments, we reproduce below the cover-letter overview from Board member Jeff Johnson that accompanied the mailing of the redline copy. Mr. Johnson, an attorney, oversees the SSCA’s bylaws and long-range planning.

. . . Below is a brief overview of the context behind the SSCA Board’s proposing these revisions.

A number of these [bylaw changes] have to do with operational flexibility, like the changes in 3-4.5 re Robert’s Rules.  SSCA Board members are volunteers, many are retirees, and seldom is anyone a “parliamentarian” with a thorough command of Robert’s Rules.  On advice of legal counsel earlier this year, we propose to continue to use the Rules as a format for both Board and member meetings, but to provide that a technical deviation from the Rules does not necessarily invalidate action that the Board or the members have otherwise taken consistent with the Bylaws.

Similarly, in 4-1, there is some flexibility for a missed deadline where reasonable “do-overs” take care of the matter.  In 4-7, we clarified that some Board meetings and votes must necessarily happen using email and/or the telephone.  Again, flexibility and modern realities.  This section also adds the concept of a “closed session” meeting regarding certain confidential matters, for example, matters in litigation or matters concerning personnel.  This is intended to parallel somewhat the Town’s exception to Open Meetings Laws, even though the SSCA, as a private organization, is not subject to such laws.

In 8-3 regarding the budget, we wanted to add flexibility for the Board to use reserve funds to cover storm damage and/or legal costs that might exceed the approved budget for a given year.

Some of the changes have to do with membership and eligibility for membership.  Today, many properties in Southern Shores are owned by family trusts or limited liability companies.  Those entity owners should be able to be SSCA members as long as they designate a live person as their voting representative.  To the extent that a property owner is in violation of covenants or SSCA rules and regulations with respect to common properties, the Board should have the right to withhold membership until a problem is cleared up.  (See Section 3.)

In 3-6, there is some clarification regarding passes and decals and that the Board may revisit and determine the amount of membership dues from time to time.

Finally, in 9-1.5 regarding the right of 20 members to veto a Board decision that a proposed transfer of a real property interest is not “material,” there was never a timeframe included.  We have added “15 days” as reasonable and practical.

We hope this is helpful as you review the redline.  By building in some extra flexibility here, we are hoping to make it easier for members to volunteer to sit on the SSCA Board for a term or two.  We really encourage all of you to consider it.  Board participation can be interesting, rewarding and fun–an important contribution to the community.

— Jeff Johnson (SSCA Director/Bylaws and Long-Range Planning)

 

As previously announced, THE PLANNING BOARD will meet tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. in the Pitts Center. The Board will be discussing retaining walls and the bank cupola provision in ZTA 19-02.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 11/17/19

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