The leaves on our trees are showing some beautiful colors as Fall weather has arrived in Sea Pines and with it the start of the wonderful holiday season. I hope that, unlike Thanksgiving 2020, Sea Pines will be filled with many families and friends visiting from other areas to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday in our community.
As we come to the close of our year, I am happy to report that at our November Board meeting, your Sea Pines CSA Board of Directors discussed and acted upon a number of long-studied initiatives designed to address and resolve the most pressing needs of our community. I hope you will take the time to watch the entire meeting, but I would like to focus you particularly on two specific discussions.
First, at the meeting the Board discussed and adopted the 2022 Annual Budget and the 2022 Annual Assessment. Our President, Sam Bennett provided a thorough discussion of the basis for this budget, as well as the other very important needs that would not be met with forecasted revenues. And as I noted during the meeting, because the Critical Infrastructure Referendum has been challenged in court by Ms. Jill Jinks, a Sea Pines residential property owner, at this time, Sea Pines CSA will not bill the $600 assessment that was overwhelmingly approved by the residential property owners in January. That litigation is still in the process of “discovery” and we do not expect any decisions from the Court until sometime next year. We remain confident that the Referendum results will be upheld, and when we are able to do so we will bill that separate assessment later in the year.
I would also call your attention to the portion of the meeting involving Unfinished Business. There you will watch and hear our discussions and adoption of improved conflict of interest guidelines for Board members and a Board self-assessment survey; a long-awaited first step in regulating noise levels from leaf blowers used by our commercial landscapers; and the first step in addressing parking problems on our streets, by limiting parking by short term renters to the hard-scape on the rented property in Sea Pines. While there are no “perfect” solutions to any of these issues, I hope you will agree that we’ve made real progress suggesting solutions to address each of them.
I urge everyone to listen to the Board’s lengthy discussion on the recommendations of our Revenue Task Force. This report is the result of many months of consideration of various alternatives for raising the additional operational revenues we desperately need to maintain the high quality of life that we all desire to enjoy in a built-out, fully occupied Sea Pines. The Board provided preliminary approval to several of the Task Force’s recommendations, with final action to be taken at a future Board meeting.
I urge you to pay particular attention to the discussion by Sam Bennett about the needs he and our Sea Pines CSA Staff have identified as beyond the ability of our current revenues to support. As Sam noted during the meeting, the revenue requirements the Task Force identified are not needed just to build a “nest-egg” for the future. In light of the limitations on our annual assessments, and even assuming the high levels of gate revenues we saw this year, new revenues are necessary to keep existing staff (already being recruited by other communities) and to attract and retain the qualified additional security and maintenance staff that we need to address the larger population that regularly exists in Sea Pines, including more property owners residing in their homes more regularly, more long and short term renters and more daily visitors. Those are the needs the Board is undertaking to meet with the proposed revenue additions! Without new revenue streams, the level of services will not meet our needs – indeed, they will likely need to be cut.
Because we must find solutions to these concerns as soon as possible, I am calling a special meeting of our Board of Directors for December 16, 2021, via live stream at 10 AM, at which time we will discuss the Revenue Task Force Report and review drafts of our proposed By-laws and regulations needed to clarify and confirm the Board’s legal authority to implement them. We welcome your feedback and comments on these proposals and how we can meet our community’s clear needs for additional revenue at email@example.com or directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Having already seen discussions of these issues based on incorrect reflections of the proposals, I really hope you will use these opportunities to speak directly to “the source,” rather than debating these matters on social media – where the information exchanged is often misinformed and the actual decisionmakers are not going to be involved in the debate.
I apologize for the length of this month’s letter, but I wanted to be sure that all property owners are aware of the very important discussions and decisions reached by the Board this month.
If you haven’t already done so, I do hope you will take the time to vote in this year’s Class A Board of Directors election, with ballots due by 11:59 pm on December 1, 2021. With the opportunity to vote by email or mail, please take a few minutes to consider the candidates and vote your choice.
Finally, on behalf of the Sea Pines CSA Board of Directors and our Sea Pines CSA Staff, we wish you all a very happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.