Letter #42

Happy Monday everyone,

While long overdue (sword marks still healing, thank you), the member vote is finally coming to you this Wednesday after another town-hall format, pre-ballot meeting tomorrow evening. The vote will be electronically sent to the same email address your member bill is sent to each month. If you are a regular member (as opposed to a senior member) and you have chosen to receive your bill traditionally via USPS, a hard copy ballot package will be sent to your billing address. Also, there will be signage and ballots in the Club’s main entrance if you choose to vote on your way in or out of the Club. Rules allow for one vote per one regular member family and let me just say, if you disagree with your significant other, please have the one of you who approves these measures to fill out the ballot (I’m sure that’s some form of ballot stuffing but I’m feeling very risk tolerant on matters like this lately :) )

The ballot has only three questions: approve the Bar & Grill project, approve the south property project (lower court area) and the question of a food minimum. For the first two measures, I’m almost begging you, please approve them. I’ll mention the third measure in a few paragraphs but the first two measures are vital to the long term evolution of your club in the direction you have to want to see us go as an active member.

The Board and I do not believe in financing growth, we believe growth should be paid for with cold cash – despite how low rates are. We would also like to ensure that future Boards take the same course of action.

Through multiple refinancing’s (3) and the 7-figure prepayment of debt, your Board has made sure that the pre-existing debt, which was there when we showed up, is perfectly manageable now and the burden of repayment will be evenly split between current members and future members by paying all of the debt off in a little more than 12yrs. We are asking you to hold us and any future Boards to the same standard: any project capital spending should not require any additional debt, or an assessment, or any increase in dues associated with the project. Debt isn’t a reason to vote “no” – we don’t believe in debt either.

Another reason one may vote “no” is because that member doesn’t participate in the activity benefitting from the current vote. Don’t do it. I know, you only workout in the fitness center or you only swim and you don’t use the Bar & Grill or play tennis. However your fitness committee is currently working on an efficient way to get more usage out of available square feet in the fitness center. The Swim Committee has tasked a sub-committee of theirs to come up with a long term plan for the pools. Both of these projects will require a vote – probably this year. Partisanship will crush this process. We will propose the new projects – fitness and swim – under the same circumstances; no new debt, no assessment, no dues increase in connection with said project. We won’t begin a project segment; Bar & Grill or tennis now, swim and fitness in the near future, unless there is sufficient cash to pay for them at the time of undertaking.

Member permission is a difficult and time consuming process, especially in a big, diverse, multi-activity membership like ours. Your current Board wants to set the long term course of re-investing into your club in a judicious manner and to set that course for future Boards as well in order to maintain a nice continuum of continuity over the coming years.

As for the food minimum; as I’ve written before, as many members swear at me for not having a food minimum as for considering one. Well, to all of you, I say; here you go. Vote your pleasure. I am agnostic on this measure. We’ll all pay for the Bar & Grill shortfall each year from our dues money one way or the other. A food minimum slightly shifts the burden of those costs to regular members who do not use the Bar & Grill and away from regular members who do use the Bar & Grill. That’s all. I suspect, at some level, a food minimum also brings a positive cultural shift to the Club and may, at the margin, push a non-user off the roster who is replaced by an active-user. Who knows – but we’ll soon learn what you’d really like to see as it relates to a food minimum in our membership.

That’s all – please vote and if you support the first two measures; vote often!
(Just kidding)

Be well and have a great week – all of you.

All the best,

Mike

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