Minutes of the Crane Neck annual meeting, April 6th 2013

The Crane Neck Association
Annual Meeting
Saturday, April 6, 2013

Meeting Location:  Emma S. Clark Library
Board Members Present:  Hasty Habicht, Gina Titus, Anna McDuff, Renee LaSala
Board Members Absent: Brian Carmody, John Kaiser, Mary Harrington, Stacey Paci
Hasty Habicht, the President of the Association called the meeting to order at 9:55 AM.
Approval of the 2012 Annual Meeting Minutes.

Opening Remarks:

Hasty gave his opening remarks and welcomed all of the residents in attendance.
The minutes from last year’s annual meeting were distributed and a motion was made to approve them.  The Association approved the minutes.  Resident Hakim Elarhi added a request that the wild turkeys in the area not be killed.
It was noted that thanks to Anna McDuff, the Crane Neck Association (CNA) not has a website: craneneck.org.
Hasty asked each board member to present their reports and then we would open the floor to questions and discussion.

Ways & Means Report:

Renee LaSala reported that the weather didn’t help our social lives this year. Our beach party was cancelled due to inclement weather, but thanks to the Habicht’s hospitality we had a lovely fall cocktail party just before Hurricane Sandy hit our shores. Similarly after snowstorm Nemo wiped out our progressive dinner The Pacis kindly hosted a fun cocktail party. Thanks were given to the Habichts and the Pacis. Dusa McDuff gave thanks to Renee LaSala.

Beach Report:

Anna McDuff reported that beach passes are available for members who have paid their dues. The annual beach clean-up at Crane Neck Beach will take place on Saturday May 4th from 10AM to 12 noon. Applications for fishing passes have been sent to 30 fishermen, these cost $75 each with an additional $10 processing fee for people who do not attend the beach clean-up. It was noted that two fishermen who have fished at the beach for forty or more years and have shown themselves to be good stewards are offered a reduced senior rate of $50. 

Christine Smith asked if deteriorated asphalt near the entrance to beach path could be placed in the dumpster obtained for the beach clean-up. It was decided that this would be attempted. Smith also questioned whether previous holders of fishing passes should be sent applications for the new year’s passes. It was decided that they should. It was also decided that a list of fishermen and their license plates should be given to the Old Field constable. Astrid Wimmer asked if a record is kept of who sponsors each fisherman and the meeting was shown the fishing pass application form which asks for each fisherman’s name, address, phone number, sponsor, license plate number and state. It was also noted that each pass is numbered and a record is kept of which pass number is distributed to which fisherman. 

Hakim Elarhi raised the issue of loud and destructive parties held on the beach late at night. Christine D’Alessandro raised the issue of fishermen without permits who are dropped off and picked up in vans. In both cases it was suggested that the Old Field constable be called. Gina Titus suggested that no trespassing notices be placed to make it clear that land to the left of the beach entrance is privately owned.

Roads Report:

Hasty Habicht noted that 98% of our budget goes towards the repair and maintenance of our 3.1 miles of road. This was the first year that Crane Neck has been responsible for plowing its own roads and though we hoped for a mild winter Superstorm Nemo dropped two and a half feet of snow on our roads overnight and our contractor Aronica was praised for doing a good and responsive job of plowing. 

In addition, Pellegrino Paving patched and repaired potholes along the roads, the east leg of Holly Lane was repaired and paved, late spring and fall trimming was done along the roads in addition to post Hurricane Sandy clean up, and valves and drains were cleared by Flax Pond. It was noted that the long leg of Shore Drive is in bad shape and will require work and that attempts are underway to get DEC clearance to repair the Flax Pond trash screen. 

Christine D’Alessandro reported that trees were leaning over the road from the recent snow. Will Gray reported that the recent repairs to parts of Holly Lane has led to speeding on that section of the road placing residents in danger. The question of whether stop signs or speed bumps are needed on Holly Lane was discussed with Hasty Habicht noting that speed bumps are illegal in NYS.

Christine Smith noted that the hill at the bottom of Crane Neck Road has both a blind curve and a blind hill with no room for cars to pull over to the side. The drain on that section of the road has sunk and in inclement weather the road is impassable in front of 58 Crane Neck Rd.  It was noted that the Mitchell family kindly paid to clean out the drain and has improved conditions, but that what the drain really needs is a ring placed on top of it to raise it and make it less likely to flood in future. Christine Smith noted that there used to be room to turn around in front of the Smokovich residence, but now there is not and that the Smokovich “driveway” is actually part of Crane Neck Road. It was agreed that Gina Titus would discuss this matter with the Smokoviches. Al Tisch and Hakim Elarhi noted the damage caused to the roads by heavy duty trucks and landscape trucks. Al Tisch noted that the village constables are not enforcing the ban on landscape trucks parking on the side of the road.

Environmental Report:

Hasty Habicht reported that the Association was charged $100 by the Village of Old Field for the removal of a dead deer from Crane Neck Road. 

Christine Smith reported a discussion she had with the DEC about our resident wild turkeys. Wild turkeys have the right to stay in Crane Neck and it is illegal to move them without the aid of a ranger. Gina Titus suggested that feeding wild turkeys should not be encouraged in Crane Neck in order to encourage the birds to seek out a natural diet of foraged wild food. Eckard Wimmer asked who had been attacked by wild turkeys in the past year, Al Tisch reported several attacks on his person during the summer of 2012. 

Hasty Habicht reported that on the matter of chickens, domestic turkeys and pigs, Old Field is zoned for agriculture so keeping chickens and domestic turkeys is legal but that keeping swine is banned within the town of Brookhaven.
Christine Smith reported that several residents have planted bamboo on their properties even though it is illegal to plant bamboo in the town of Brookhaven. Christine D’Alessandro suggested that she contact the town of Brookhaven about this matter and that residents should be sent a letter about keeping their own trees and bamboo under control.

Treasurer’s Report:

Gina Titus reported that all bills have been paid, and that a combination of the need to plow roads and repair roads has led to very high expenditure this year. If we keep dues at the same level we will need to be conservative in future spending. A second notice will be sent to all people who have not yet paid their dues for the current year. There are sixteen families who have back balances of unpaid dues from previous years, six of these families are in talks to fix the situation and ten are not. It was stressed that these families will be reached out to in a spirit of friendship and cooperation and pointed out to them that 98% of the dues pay for road maintenance. It was also reported that investigations are underway with a legal adviser to write language for our bylaws that reflect the change in Crane Neck Association from a social organization to a road maintenance organization. One possibility would be to issue each member in good standing with an insurance certificate covering them for liability on the Crane Neck Association’s property. 

Eckard Wimmer applauded Gina Titus’s hard work.

General Discussion:

Hasty Habicht thanked the 2011 president Eckard Wimmer for leaving the board in good financial shape to deal with the additional expense of snow removal. It was pointed out that the dues are comprised of two parts: a flat fee that everyone pays and an additional fee paid on a sliding scale by the owners of especially valuable properties, because larger properties occasion more wear and tear on the roads. Similarly it was pointed out that owners of undeveloped properties pay dues on their unoccupied land because the future development of that land will occasion a lot of wear and tear on the roads. It was reported that there are plots of land in Crane Neck that are undevelopable and unsaleable and it was agreed that the owners of these properties would pay a reduced sum of dues, $200 per year. 

The question of how to deal with those eligible for membership who are not currently paying dues  was debated. Hasty Habicht reported that it is the intention of the board to place letters in resident’s files at the Village Hall saying that the household is not a member in good standing of Crane Neck Association and therefore does not have access rights to Crane Neck Beach until the debt has been repaid. A further sanction might be to withhold insurance certificates for liability on Crane Neck’s roads. Spirited discussion ensued. Rick Gordon proposed a partial amnesty for non payers, suggesting that conciliation is the better approach. Hasty Habicht noted that after a decade of attempted amnesty there is a question of where to draw the line. Hakim Elarhi noted that amnesties can create new opportunities for individuals to not pay dues, and Roberta Gordon summed things up by saying that fairness is hard to achieve but that everyone should pay dues unless they are in need. 

It was agreed that the dues schedule for 2013-2014 will remain the same as the previous year and that Christine D’Alessandro will form a subcommittee to further investigate the dues.

Eckard Wimmer noted that the berm on Crane Neck Road is is a bad way and one more storm could lead to catastrophic flooding.  Hasty Habicht suggested that since the berm was damaged in Hurricane Sandy it might be possible to get FEMA money to repair it and it was agreed that the board will look into this.

Nominations and Elections for the 2013-2014 Nominating Committee:

No members are leaving the board this year. The slate of new board members for 2013-2014 is Pele Damianos and Astrid Wimmer.

The slate was duly elected. 

The new nominating committee is Eckard Wimmer and Roberta Gordon.

Hasty Habicht made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 12:30 PM.  The motion was accepted.

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