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Letter: Description of the WPOA as an Organization

(Editor’s Note: The following letter is in response to a letter printed in the Nov. 19 edition of Garden City Life.)

I wanted to take a moment to clarify some of the comments in a recent letter to the editor and also mention some facts that might not be known or understood.

By way of a little history, one of our WPOA former presidents, John Traxler, was very clear to point out that every resident in the Western Section is a member of our POA by virtue of their residency in the West, as per the Community Agreement. Keeping in mind that an organization is only as strong as its membership, we can say that the WPOA board of directors continually speaks to residents about volunteer service and has been successful in bringing sincere dedicated people to our board, as well as drawing out Western section members with specific talents. For example, two of our members with expertise in finance are serving on the Citizens Budget Review and Advisory Committee (CBRAC) —Bill Holub and Richard Bankosky. (Richard served as chairman this past budget season.)

While it is true that a very low percentage of residents attend POA meetings, this is probably due to the busy and demanding lifestyles of our residents. However, many residents in the West stay in touch by constant verbal communication, mailings and also visiting our website: gcwpoa.com. We feel the WPOA leadership team, including officers and directors, elected and appointed officials, and liaisons, always do much more than a “bare minimum.”

Our Nominating Committees have always given equal consideration to any and all applicants. Since its beginning, the WPOA has solicited, in both local newspapers and most recently on Patch, for volunteers to serve as officers, directors, village trustee and school board trustee. Our website is another outlet for these solicitations. Historically, we have selected candidates for our board of directors and trustees, as well as made recommendations for appointments on various village boards (such as Zoning Board of Appeals, Environmental Advisory Board, Architectural Design and Review Board, Recreation Commission and Traffic Commission), who have demonstrated a sincere interest in the operations of this village and are committed to giving their time and talents to seeing that the village remains responsive to its residents’ needs. In other words, these people have over the years volunteered their service to the issues that affect the village and have firsthand knowledge of the workings of our village government. Therefore, these are the people that the WPOA Nominating Committee feels comfortable recommending for POA and village positions.

It is worth mentioning, that our WPOA does not carry a large balance yearly. In fact, in recent years our year-end balance has been under $1,000. Our modest treasury covers our expenses for the year, including website hosting fees, four general mailings to all Western section residents, two scholarships to GCHS seniors, personal and general liability insurance, association fees, P.O. mailbox fee, bulk mail postage fee, permit fees, promotional and miscellaneous operating expenses, all of which cannot be covered by donations alone.

All four general meetings are announced in the local media and on our website, and all directors’ meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month (these dates are listed on our website calendar). All meetings of the WPOA are “always” open to the public. Previous meeting minutes are distributed and approved at each of these meetings, and our general meeting minutes are posted on our website communications page. The account balance is announced at each of these meetings, where the treasurer’s report is reviewed and approved.

The WPOA prides itself on being totally transparent. We do respect everyone’s opinions as printed in local publications. We welcome and encourage our residents to become members of the WPOA and to contribute their talent and expertise, thoughts and efforts to the enhancement of our WPOA objectives and to the betterment of our Village.

Tom Pinou

President, WPOA 2009-2010