For a start, we completed a major Critical Infrastructure Improvement project on North Sea Pines Drive from the Ocean Gate to Lighthouse Road, including a significant rebuild of the underground drainage network, and a real improvement to the adjacent leisure trail. If you have been following the reports and pictures from our weekly communications, you have seen how deteriorated the infrastructure along our oldest road had become. I am confident that those living and driving in that area will be very pleased with the improved drainage in this area, particularly when the usual summer storm “deluges” of rain arrive. And after consultation with our traffic engineers, we are also in the process of installing “speed limits” on our leisure trails. With users’ compliance with these new speed limits, this important step should increase the safety of our leisure trails for walkers and bikers alike.
While our Sea Pines CSA annual assessment may increase again this year due to rising national inflation rates, even that increase simply cannot meet the cost challenges CSA faces. All commercial enterprises on Hilton Head are having difficulty in hiring – and as importantly, retaining – good employees for all administrative and operating positions. And the problems are made more difficult as the cost of “commuting” to Hilton Head (and specifically, to Sea Pines) for the bulk of our labor force continues to increase.
In May, after months of studying and analyzing our community’s needs in the area of safety and security, created by the significant increase in occupancy of Sea Pines on a daily and weekly basis, the Board adopted two significant revenue-raising initiatives: (a) a Rental Property Business Registration Fee that will raise funds from renters to support our increasing safety and security needs throughout the community; and (b) an increase in our gate pass rates on commercial vehicles, which keeps us in line with other communities while raising funds needed to make us competitive in our salary structure for our employees. Rather than sourcing this from property owners, we focused on collecting these new fees from visitors to our community. We are hopeful that these two initiatives will begin to deliver most of the necessary funds to allow CSA to continue to provide the high-quality level of service that property owners and visitors to Sea Pines expect – and deserve.
Finally, I want to remind you that applications to our Nominating Committee for consideration for election to the CSA Board of Directors must be returned to Sea Pines CSA by August 1. I’m never surprised to learn that not all of our property owners support all of the Board’s actions. A few social media posters go further and urge that property owners “need to vote out the board and the recycled old guys who keep returning to the ballot.” I can assure you that your Board welcomes new candidates who are willing to put their ideas to the test of the electorate, but the Nominating Committee can only consider those who actually apply for nomination. After nearly four years on the Board, I can also assure you that serving the community is a truly rewarding experience (notwithstanding the occasional very nasty comments and attacks on Board members on some social media platforms). Instead of protesting from the sidelines, I encourage any property owner with an interest in the governance of our community to “step up to the plate” by seeking nomination to the Board this year.
The Board does not meet during the summer months, so I was recently asked by a friend whether I get a few months “off” from my role as Chairman of the Board. In fact, I continue to work closely with Sam Bennett and our outstanding CSA staff to try to resolve property owner concerns, whether they are addressed to Chairman@csaseapines.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or even posted on various social media. Sea Pines CSA is a “SERVICE” organization, and while we know we can’t please all of the property owners and visitors all of the time, we take all constructive criticism to heart and will do our best to resolve reasonable concerns as we receive them.
Thank you, as always, for your support,