The Importance Of Reading Your Governing Documents

Please keep in mind that I am not an Attorney and this post reflects my opinion as well as others in our Community.

Most of the communications I have with my neighbors are very pleasant, as they should be. Sooner or later it seems we always get around to talking about our community and the direction it seems to be heading. Two of the points I try and stress during these conversations, are the importance of attending our general membership meetings and reading our Governing Documents. If you ever receive notification concerning a “Special Meeting”, you need to make sure you can attend the meeting, or at the very least, provide someone you trust with your proxy so your vote will be counted. You can click here to learn more about the power of your proxy.

So, is attending our general membership meeting the most important thing a Property Owner can do to help shape their community? No! The most important thing any Property Owner can do is read and understand their Governing Document as well as any other documents, that may have legal control over their community. In our case, we have two agreements that are binding between Westmoreland County and the Glebe Harbor Cabin Point Sanitary District. They are:

  1. The Glebe Harbor Cabin Point Sanitary District Lease Agreement.
  2. The Glebe Harbor Cabin Point Sanitary District Management and Operating Agreement.

Not only is the current Glebe Harbor Association Board of Directors bound by these agreements, but any future Glebe Harbor Association Board of Directors, will be bound by them as well. So, what do these two documents mean to our community? Simply put, they are the blueprints/guidelines that specify how our community will be managed, as well as operated while we are a Sanitary District, under the control of Westmoreland County.

The Management and Operating Agreement explains what Westmoreland County is responsible for and the Lease Agreement is what our community is responsible for. When I use the word “responsible”, you could also use the word “guidelines” as well as what both parties have agreed to. You can also think about these two agreements as a contract between the Glebe Harbor Cabin Point Sanitary District and Westmoreland County.

It is very seldom that anyone would venture into a contract without reading it first. I am not referring to something on-line where you just click the box that states you agree with their terms and conditions, but a contract that you must live your everyday life by. That is why it is very important that you read the documents that have control over what can and cannot be done, concerning the Glebe Harbor Cabin Point Sanitary District.

If you attended one of our General Membership Meetings in 2017, you would have noticed that even though the request to submit a three-year budget proposal was voted on and excepted by most of the members who were present, Westmoreland County denied the budget proposal. The two factors that may have played a role in their decision is, number one, it clearly states in our documents that our Recreational User Fee (RUF), will be determined on a yearly basis and there were over three hundred Property Owners/Members of our Community, who contacted Westmoreland County and refused to support the three-year budget proposal that was submitted.

That is why it is vital that you either attend these General Membership Meetings, or provide someone you trust with your proxy, so your vote will be counted during your absents. Myself, as well as many others in our Community (300 + that have already made their voices heard), have no desire to pay more money concerning our Recreational User Fee, when the current rate we pay now, $200.00, will accomplish the same results just as well. Below are a few interesting clauses that you may not know, if you have never read your lease agreements.

  • Our status as a Sanitary District can be dissolved with a 90-day written notice, from either party.
  • No event can be approved that is not brought before the Glebe Harbor Cabin Point Sanitary District Membership.
  • No rule can be added to or changed that is not brought before the Glebe Harbor Cabin Point Sanitary District Membership.
  • No proposed budget can be submitted to Westmoreland County that is not brought before the Glebe Harbor Cabin Point Sanitary District Membership.

I hope that this post has encouraged you to not only read your Governing Documents, but also help explain to you how important it is for you to voice your opinions, on how you want your community to be managed. This can be done by simply attending your meetings or submitting your proxies. If you find any information contained in this post to be incorrect, please contact me, and provide me with your opinion or facts on what needs to be changed. Your submission will be taken into consideration. Happy New Year! Your neighbor, Dana.

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