LGPOA Annual Meeting
CALL TO ORDER
The annual meeting at Placida Beach Condos Clubhouse was called to order at 10:01 a.m. by President Richard Leydon.
Paul Holmes, Richard Leydon, Karen Weeks, Terrie Weibley. By phone: Mary Lou Davidson, ,Rhonda Olson, Barbara Orcutt.
The minutes from the Board Meeting on 03/08/2017 were unanimously approved after a motion by Paul Holmes, seconded by Richard Leydon.
Paul Holmes reported 2016 expenses of $8,154.27 with memberships bringing in $3,100. With monies previously in the account, the balance was adequate to meet expenses, which included $2600 for police protection on particular holiday/spring break weekends. Other expenses included updating the website at WWW.LGPOA.ORG. To date for the next fiscal year, $7000 in membership fees has been received.
Karen Weeks moved that the proposed amendments of the LGPOA bylaws be approved, seconded by Richard Leydon. The motion passed unanimously. Bylaws continue to be available on the LGPOA website.
Terrie Weibley reported that to date 169 memberships have been received for fiscal year 2017 beginning May 1 at the new fee of $40. Applications were primarily received by mail, a smaller portion have been paid via the website.
Richard Leydon reported that Garlan 4 for destruction of Brazilian peppers continues to be available via Phyllis Nesmith.
Linda Soderquist reported that sea turtle nesting season commences on May 1st. A new resource person for turtle lighting inspections now represents the County. Lauren Dallas will head the Sea Turtle Patrol. Shorebirds are nesting and Linda asks that dogs near nesting areas be leashed. Manatee encroachment incidents have escalated in the past year. Linda reminded that they are protected by state and federal law and that swimming nearby or touching manatees is considered harassment. She exhibited “Save the Manatees” swag available online through www.savethemanatees.org.
Linda gave a “highlights” summary of the abandoned beached sailboat saga. These included the initial date of stranding (July 2015), a March 2016 court order re: debris clean-up which gave the boat owners 340 days to complete and a March 2017 bench warrant regarding violation of probation for failure to show for a court hearing. Efforts to involve the state in removal of the remaining vessel have been met with refusal. Charlotte County has not responded. Linda has contacted ROC from UF (affiliated with the FWC), an organization with interests on behalf of nesting turtles. They have primarily acted on the east coast, and consequently have questioned the availability of heavy equipment here. Discussion included perhaps involving politicians who might expedite remedy and the concern of danger as documented by people climbing on the shoreline and underwater debris. Islanders question why this is not the state’s problem since they make claim on the shoreline.
Richard Leydon reported that Deputy Ed Trentacosta is now established on the island and dealing with issues as they arise. Islanders are urged to welcome the new sheriff in town.
Rhonda Olson reported that the Spring Clean-up “where volunteers collect what others have left” on the island was successful. Thanks are due to Keep Charlotte County Beautiful for organization of volunteers and water provision, as well as to Suzanne Dixon from Eldred’s Marina for providing dumpster space, LGI Carts and for Deric Flom , Glen Schroeder and Richard Leydon’s assistance. Their efforts are deeply appreciated. To date all mangroves have been cleaned up from south to north, and with this September’s clean-up will complete the second pass.
Airport: Richard Leydon reported that many island residents have noted the increasing air traffic overhead including rather large commercial jets. Charlotte County Aviation reports that the airport is private and therefore complaints must be directed to the FAA regarding landing patterns.
Marinas: Richard is working to maintain a relationship with both Gasparilla Marina and Eldred’s Marina, particularly Andy, Sam and Suzanne Dixon, in order to best meet the needs of island residents who so deeply depend on the continued availability of marina services. The lack of adequate water slips at Gasparilla Marina is a concern for many islanders.
Charlotte County: Richard has made efforts to establish a relationship with contact people at Charlotte County who used to communicate with the now-defunct LGI Advisory Board. Such a relationship may help to avoid surprises such as the no wake zone now mandated for the 3rd swing bridge area, otherwise known as the Redneck Riviera.
Planning and Development Committee: Richard reports that the Board is seeking committee members to serve along with Buddy Gaines regarding access issues on the island such as for barges. “Road” closures play into the need for access. This can of worms is currently fomenting again with several residents threatening closure, ostensibly for liability issues. Much discussion ensued. Tom McCoy advised that the central question is, “Does the POA want to take on a formal role in existing roadways?” Further, “Does the POA want to take on legal status and enforcement of legal status of roadways?” To address these issues would require 2-3 people preparing a report regarding legal rights on all island properties and willingness to enforce, as a beginning step. This would be a separate committee that that designated for planning and development with a narrow focus. It is possible that existing roadways are considered public prescriptive easements, but this is uncertain. Mary Lou cautioned that such a step on the part of the POA would require serious fund-raising. Conrad Coolidge stated at present fire and emergency vehicles have right of access. Preparing a report as a first step and committing no further at this time was a suggestion regarding the road closure issue.
Paul Holmes reported that the local fire station non-emergency number is 941-270-7607, and islanders should make a note of it. 911 for Charlotte County is to be used for emergencies. The island head of LGIFR is Bob Weronik, and the Fire Chief is Don Adams. There were 31 calls in 2016; EMS – 17, Fire-related – 7, Other – 7. Further details are available on the LGIFR website. The station at 9540 Jolly Roger Trail is manned 24/7 with a firefighter/paramedic at all times. Equipment includes a fire engine, hose truck and Polaris rescue vehicle.
Chief Don has brought the LGIFR into compliance with a number of state and federal regulations, a Herculean task. He and President Bob have applied for several grants and have held special fundraisers, one of which yielded a golf cart for the Chief. There is a grant-in-process for a foam cart which will provide excellent fire response in a smaller vehicle with greater access. Activities in the past year included two brush fires, the attempted rescue of a baby sperm whale, monitoring of downed power lines and several emergency medical calls. Caroline Doral donated her time and skill and redesigned the www.lgifr.com website in 2016.
Linda Soderquist has offered her deck for an Easter sunrise service next weekend.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:51 by President Richard Leydon.