As we wind down Summer and get ready to head into fall, the Board of Directors would like to provide some reminders in relation to dues and the upcoming vote for the new Board of Directors nominees.
Sometime this week you should be receiving, via mail, a single page letter with details on voting eligibility, date/time and address of the meeting, as well as who the nominees are. We attaching a copy of this letter to this announcement in case anyone misplaces theirs, it gets ruined, etc.
Some things to consider in relation to your vote. The first to consider are the rules. If you are not a member in good standing, meaning paid up to date, and current on your dues, by the end of the day prior to the vote, then your vote will not be counted. This is whether you are paying via payment plan or in full and includes any back dues that you owe (unless your back dues are on a payment plan and being paid currently). The meeting for vote will be held on September 10th at 10:00 AM EST. We will open the meeting as usual and ask for volunteers to count the vote and provide us the results. While the vote is being counted, we will run through all necessary PMLE business, announcements and information.
For the 2022/2023 dues year, PMLE has put into place some automation in relation to our debt collection practices and a new policy in relation to dues payments, which we've announced at prior meetings and in newsletters. PMLE dues are now considered late after 90 days and immediately move to our collection vendor, Creditech. When they reach Creditech, they will do their due diligence to collect on that debt for a short time. After that time frame has been exhausted, they will send a list of members to the Board of Directors to review and approve. That list will be for legal pursuit of monies. Per our by-laws, any legal costs we incur, will be paid by the member(s) and added to their bill.
What does this mean? Well, for the 2022/2023 dues year, if dues aren't up to date, or an arrangement to make right on current annual dues hasn't been made with the board, on September 2nd, 2022 you will be put into collections with Creditech.
Now, this decision wasn't made lightly. This current board has spent countless hours trying to curb our debt, we've even solicited suggestions from members at meetings. We've sent individual letters to members extending an olive branch for them to create a payment plan with us, or make deals on the debt they owe to no avail. We've sought advice from a lawyer and after seeing our yearly income versus our mounting debt, he advised us we have no choice but to follow a legal course of action. So, here we are. We are now moving forward with 2 different legal teams to try and get our debt into a manageable space.
The unfortunate side effect to this is that we have members who think the correct course of action is to raise dues. That's great and, in theory, works, however, the problem with that mentality is that we shove the burden of the community's costs onto the members doing the right thing and for every paying member we have .25 members who do not pay (yes, this is a real number). This simply isn't fair. The board doesn't have the contractor lift the plow in front of the non-paying members lots/houses. The board doesn't neglect the roads in front of these lots/houses. Further, let's be honest. If we continue on a cycle of raising dues, eventually more and more people get frustrated with that and they themselves stop paying, increasing the debt that the community carries over every year. So, for the short term, we tighten our belts on costs, we eliminate any waste in our budget and we move forward trying to make the best decisions based on our current fdollars, current debt, percentage of paying vs non-paying, year over year return and a little intelligent forecasting/projections.
I'm sure that this is seen as an "unpopular" way to do business. However, it takes so much time to try and collect, through letters, eventually receiving no response. Phone numbers of members are either outdated or non-existent so phone calls aren't worth the effort. Emails would be great, but only a small fraction provide that data. We even have issues with members updating us when they change addresses. It's a non-stop vicious cycle that takes a lot of time and effort to try and keep our member list up to date, let alone chase the monies owed to us.
With all of this being said, please note that September 2nd is only a few short days away and we encourage those of you not in good standing to reach out to the board via email or phone to work out an arrangement. The prospect of having to take neighbors to court, seize assets, put liens on homes, etc. is not very thrilling to any of us and can be avoided by talking with us.
Finally, we know that many new members have moved in and look forward to seeing some new faces at the meeting. We hope that with the influx of new members we see some additional activity within the community, newer members stepping up to lend a hand within the community and fresh ideas to keep this community moving forward.
Information and news brought to you by the Board of Directors for PMLE 5,6,7.