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Aug 2020

President's Message - August 2020

I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks to everyone who came out and voted during June’s election. I particularly want to thank everyone for their vote of confidence in reelecting me for another 3 years.  I am especially humbled by the number of members that expressed trust in me. With that being said, I am looking forward to working with the Board and its members, both old and new. 
As trying as the last few months have been, you can be guaranteed that your Board, the Office Staff and the Maintenance Department have all been working diligently to ensure the facilities are maintained and are ready for the time we can open.  There is much to do to ensure we meet the required guidelines that provide for the safety and wellbeing of our membership. We have also been monitoring the State and Federal Legislature in the hope they will provide the indemnification from frivolous lawsuits that insurance companies do not provide.  Although the liability issue is paramount in our minds, the health and welfare of our membership must come first. The continual siege of information that is cast upon us regarding the pandemic is a constant reminder that we are not out of the woods yet. The recorded number of cases have increased in those areas where restrictions have been relaxed and hospitalizations related to the virus are on the rise once again. To that end, we must continue to monitor this information and ensure we proceed with caution concerning all decisions relative to the pandemic, our members, and the association.
As an aside, your Board has been holding group zoom meetings weekly and working daily, gathering the necessary information to ensure we will be able to open our facilities at a reasonable cost with an acceptable level of safety for the membership when we are able. We all need to understand that while we continue to face and attempt to adjust to these unplanned conditions and continually changing requirements brought to bear by COVID-19, the general maintenance and operations of our facilities continues.
As for those few members that have asked for a reduction in their HOA maintenance fees. I would like to express that there will not be an adjustment to the HOA maintenance fees HOA maintenance fees are exactly what they are, “maintenance fees.” They are not admission fees to the facilities or for the use of the amenities. As I stated last month, the maintenance fees are based on budget related items and a completed reserve study. I also stated that does not account for unexpected or emergency related expenses we will be encountering due to the COVID-19 pandemic or a single catastrophic event. To try to put things into perspective, my individual home expenses have not changed with the advent of the pandemic, but I am aware that we are spending less on personal entertainment due to the self-confinement.  Let us not forget the Federal Stimulus check we all received a few months ago (which I am sure, given time, the State of NJ will figure out a way to relieve us of those funds). So, I would say to those that have expressed concern: 1) Have you asked your utility companies for a reduction in their charges; 2) For that matter, how about our State government – did they reduce your property taxes and gasoline taxes; 3) Let’s not forget the increases on the State toll roads this fall (I believe those were supposed to cease once the roads were paid for, that was years ago). These are just a few items I am throwing out there. We must remember, every expense we incur as a homeowner can be multiplied for the association. What many individuals are not aware of is the lack of activity at the clubhouse is detrimental not only to the members, but to the financial wellbeing of the Clubs and the Association as a whole. The Board is looking forward to reopening the facilities, at every level as soon as we can ensure the health and safety of the members and receive indemnification from pandemic related lawsuits.
With the pandemic continuing to loom over us, I am sure we are all watching the reports that come out daily concerning these tenuous times we are currently living through. There are many theories as to why certain groups are acting the way they are, some peaceful, some destructive. Regardless of your personal feeling we all need to remember that this country was founded with values based on Faith, our Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. There have never been governing documents like them in the history of mankind.  We as Americans live in the best country, with the best government, any nation has ever seen. History reveals that those who demonstrate peacefully will have their voices heard and may be on the road to making change, those who have violence on their mind will not prevail in making change because any message they carry is drowned out by their actions.  Our government, with all its flaws and idiosyncrasies, is by far the best in the world. The changes and growing pains we have seen over the years is what makes America a wonderful place to live in. We as Americans are a vivacious group living in a nation with a large cross section of individuals and personality.  Together with hope, faith, and the help of the Lord we can all look forward to a brighter future.  God bless this great country and the individuals who ensure our peace and safety every day, both here and abroad.
I will end this month with the following quote:  
“The man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic -- the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done.”  -  Theodore Roosevelt
Hopefully, we will all see each other soon.  Until then stay safe and remain healthy.
My best to everyone,
Mike Signorile
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