Report to the Community–  May, 2022
Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

Dear LITC Members,
 
This month’s Board meeting was held on Friday May 13, at 6PM, followed the next day by our Spring General Meeting.    All Board members were present at the General Meeting, along with 48 other voting Members in Good Standing---giving us the Quorum we needed to make the vote on the new By-Laws official.    I am very happy to report that the new By-Laws document was approved by the voting membership with a final vote count of 245 to 6.

The Board would like to extend its thanks to the non-Board members of the Election Committee--  Jon Pancoast. Jeff and Beverly O’Lear—who stepped up to make sure we got accurate sign-in sheets (for the quorum count).     Bev O’Lear also assisted Joan Griffin, Board Treasurer, and Diane Schaffer, Office Administrator in validating the ballots and counting the vote. 

WHEW!    Now that that part is done, the Board has a lot more work to do to make sure the requirements outlined in the new By-Laws are met.  
 

Among other things, we need to:

            -update the website to include a calendar of deadlines for both potential candidates and for those voting for October’s Board elections.

-create a Meet the Candidate document for POA members wishing to run.

            -create an official LITC Direct Proxy ballot to be used for all voting members

            -review Schedules A and B and our Rules and Regulations documents for any needed updates and/or amendments

 

And lastly on this subject, we would like to once again thank The By-Laws Committee Barbara Tracy, Carol Shumway, and Charlie Schaffer for the more than 6 months of hard work they put into creating our new By-Laws.

 

Our Greenspace Committee is currently working with East Stroudsburg University’s Tick Lab on research that they hope will help to mitigate Lyme Disease.     The research involves placing small boxes containing food that has been treated to kill the Lyme Disease bacterium, in wooded areas of our community.    The theory is that the mice and chipmunks that form a major part of the Lyme cycle will eat the food, and thus be unable to pass the bacteria on to the ticks that bite them……and sometimes bite us!    

Our area is in the epicenter of Lyme in the US and the research hopes to reduce the incidence of this debilitating disease.   Jim Griffin, Chairperson of the Greenspace Committee, wants you to know that if you happen to see strangers in protective gear walking around the woods it is NOT because ET has returned…they are just checking the food boxes (and testing the mice and chipmunks for Lyme)!      If you have any questions about the research Jim would be happy to answer them.

Notes and Reminders:

-This past winter resulted in some serious pothole damage to our roads, and Charlie Schaffer wants to make sure we all acknowledge and thank the LITC “Hole in the Road Gang”—Byron Majors, Rich Everett, Alan Shumway, Jon Pancoast, Al Sicignano and Gerry Daidone.      BTW, these are the same people who always seem willing to volunteer when our community needs extra help to clean up after storms, etc.    If you are interested in joining this special group, please give Charlie a call.

-We’d like to remind all members that LITC does not allow short term rentals of your property such as those advertised on VRBO or Air BnB.   This rule is in place to keep our community and its recreational facilities safe and in the best possible shape for our dues paying members and their personal guests.  The minimum rental period is 3 months.   We have had to warn and/or fine several members this spring.

-Along the same lines, please keep your dogs off the beach. We know YOU always clean up after your pup, but some other people don’t!     Also, remember that non-members may not fish in our lakes without the owner present.    And please put your lot number on your boat.

Family picnic is August 13th, there will NOT be rain, and once again we will follow the Covid safety protocol put in place last year.  If you’re looking for a fun (and short-term) volunteer opportunity this is it!   Call me.

 


Respectfully Submitted

Joyce Torrey
Secretary, LITC BOD.

Report to the Community– April 2022
Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

Dear LITC Members,
 
This month’s Board meeting was held on Friday April 8, at 6PM, and it was attended by all elected Board members and a guest Barbara Tracy who since last fall has served on the By-Laws Committee.

At the meeting, the Board approved the 2022 By-Laws document, and moved to immediately mail the document and an official ballot to all Members in Good Standing.  As you are reading this they are being mailed, so watch for the package this week.     We have scheduled the formal vote for the May 14 General Meeting.  

Remember:  in order to approve the NEW By-Laws document we need to carefully follow the voting procedures outlined in the OLD By-Laws document.  This means we need as many voting members as possible to attend the May General Meeting.   May 14, 1PM at the pavilion.    We will also be holding a celebratory, Dessert Bonfire that evening at 6PM, so please come and bring a dessert to share.

Here is an editorial comment:    The amount of work that went into creating these new and improved By-Laws just boggles my mind.   We all owe a big “thank you” to Barbara Tracy (who volunteered to help us even though she KNEW what she was getting into); Charlie Schaffer (who attended weekly meetings where every word of the By-Laws was examined); and especially to Carol Shumway.  Carol was persuaded to Chair this committee because we knew she would sweat every single detail…and BOY she sure did.  I’m betting she would be very happy to NEVER hear the word By-Laws again, and at the bonfire we will give her the honor of burning the old ones, page by page.

 

As always, a few short notes:

--Don’t forget, that the Edge of the Woods Nursery will be offering a lecture on Natural Landscaping at 10:30 AM on April 16, in the pavilion. If you are interested in plants that are well suited to our climate, discourage local pests and provide natural habitats for our birds and animals, we hope you will attend.

-We have had some seriously windy weather this season and several times large trees and/or branches have come down on our roads.  Each time this happens, some of your neighbors have come out to help Charlie clear away the blockage and get the wood down to the chipping pile.  We’d like to thank Rich Olsommer, Rich Everett, Byron Majors, and Al Sicignano.  Their willingness to volunteer for this kind of thing helps to save us money!

 

Ramadan Mubarak.  Joyous Pesach.  Happy Easter.



Respectfully Submitted

Joyce Torrey
Secretary, LITC BOD.

Report to the Community– March 2022
Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

 

Dear LITC Members,
 
This month’s Board meeting was held on Friday March 11, at 6PM, and it was a particularly important one.

At the meeting, the full Board was given an opportunity to review a draft of the proposed new By-Laws document, composed after months of work by the By-Laws committee.    Committee Chairperson Carol Shumway took us through the new document line by line, seeking our questions, comments and suggestions.

I think I can speak for the whole Board when I say we were very impressed.  While the old 2004 By-Laws document was a confusing maze of awkward language, conflicting information and outdated procedures, the new document is a model of clarity and consistency.    It organizes our procedures for meetings, notices, elections and ballot submissions in clear and simplified language.   And while there are some changes from the old By-Laws (mostly to comply with PA State Regulations) here are some of the things this document does NOT change:

-There are no changes to the basic governing structure or powers of the Board of Directors

-There are no changes to our existing Rules and Regulations, or Schedule A.

-There are no changes to the number of votes each member is entitled to, based on the number of individual lots they own.

The Committee is now working to incorporate the suggestions made by the Board, and will then secure final approval from our attorney.   It is our hope that, barring anything unforeseen, you will be receiving your copy in mid-April, and voting on the new By-Laws at the May General Meeting.   


A few short notes:

 

--The Greenspace Committee has announced that Edge of the Woods Nursery will be offering a lecture on Natural Landscaping at 10:30 AM on April 16, in the pavilion.     If you are interested in plants that are well suited to our climate, discourage local pests and provide natural habitats for our birds and animals, we hope you will attend.

-After Board members made numerous phone calls to local politicians, and neighboring organizations like Skytop and Spruce Lake, we have brought our cellphone tower investigation to a close.     There are no current plans to expand cell-phone/tower access to this area, and both Skytop and Spruce Lake ask their guests to use wi-fi calling.    Many of us here at LITC do the same thing.  
 

--Last week during the wind/snow storm a large tree came down on Northwoods Circle and knocked out power to Logger Road and portions of Crest Hill.  Since it would be several days till PPL could get that situation fixed, Charlie opened the club house so that those affected could get water, charge cell phones, etc.    This is normal procedure and all LITC residents should be aware that in the event of power loss the club house has its own automatic generator and is unlocked during daylight hours for your use.

 

The geese and the robins are back.  Can the hummingbirds be far behind?


Respectfully Submitted

Joyce Torrey
Secretary, LITC BOD.

Report to the Community– February 2022
Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

Dear LITC Members,
 
The Board meeting was held on Friday February 11, at 6PM, was attended by all elected and appointed Board members.

The By-Laws Committee is making great progress in the work of reviewing and updating our governing document.   When their review is finished they will be submitting their re-worked document to the LITC attorney for his review and sign-off, then to the full Board for our review, a process that can take several months; and then finally out to the membership.  The committee has invested many hours in this project already and we will owe them a great debt of gratitude when it is all done.

This hasn’t been the worst winter we’ve experienced when measured in snowfall inches, but ice has been a big problem.  A few warmer days followed by a plunge to single digit temps means ice, and we have had to cinder our roads a number of times.  Panther Trucking is doing a decent job keeping on top of it.

The Greenspace Committee (current members are Jim Griffin, Chairperson, Jan Olsommer, Ryan Daniels and Carol Shumway) is working on setting up a lecture on Natural Landscaping for this coming April.   Natural landscaping, also called native gardening, is the use of native plants, including trees, shrubs, groundcover, and grasses which are indigenous to the geographic area of the garden.       This practice results in less watering, fertilizer and pesticides; your plants are better suited to local weather conditions, and they provide natural habitats for local birds and animals.  We will send out an announcement as soon as we have a date.

Our cell tower investigation has hit a snag, in that no service company is willing to invest the several hundred thousand dollars required to build a cell tower in order to serve a community as small as ours, especially when so many of us simply use internet calling.   We will contact other local communities to see how they are handling this issue.

A couple of notes:    

--We have received a proposal from an engineering firm to conduct a survey of our roads where they connect to Route 447, and to make recommendations on what needs to be done to comply with PennDot requirements.  There is no way around it, this is going to be an extremely expensive process, which may require a dues increase or special assessment to pay for it.  

--Finally, I’d like to announce that there WILL be a picnic this August and I would welcome new volunteers.  Just drop me an e-mail and I’ll notify you when our planning sessions are held.

 

Stay warm, and Think Spring!



Respectfully Submitted

Joyce Torrey
Secretary, LITC BOD.

Report to the Community– January 2022
Board of Directors, Lake in the Clouds

 

Dear LITC Members,

This month’s Board meeting, held on Friday January 14, at 6PM, was attended by all elected and appointed Board members (one came via Zoom!).  We had one guest, Barbara Tracy, a 38-year resident of Lake in the Clouds East, who has agreed to serve, along with Charlie Schaffer and Carol Shumway,  on the Bylaws Committee.  

Barbara brings a lot of excellent experience to the Committee.   She was the Facilities Manager of Colombia University in NY and has managed residential co-op buildings, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of co-ops and non-profits.  

As the Committee explained, Pennsylvania has specific legislation regarding planned communities such as Lake in the Clouds.  Over the course of this year, the Committee will meet every two weeks to examine each section of our Bylaws document, with a goal of ensuring that the ByLaws are in compliance with state legislation and also meet our community’s needs.      Some changes will be required by law; others will be proposed by the Committee in order to eliminate confusing (and sometimes conflicting) rules relating to our elections, job descriptions etc.     As LITC members you will be provided information on these proposed changes in advance of being asked to vote on them.   

The Board thanked Barbara for volunteering for this important work.

 

 

Next, in our ongoing effort to keep our lakes as healthy as possible, we have once again hired Aquatic Environmental to treat Lake in the Clouds and Timber Lake for Bladderwort, and Lake in the Woods for pond weed this summer.  They will also conduct a fish survey in late summer or early fall.   We have also hired Pro-Tree Services to chip the branch pile collecting in the West side gravel parking lot.     In case you didn’t know it, the resulting wood mulch is free for the taking to any Lake in the Clouds member.

 

The Greenspace Committee announced that there are still a few spots open for the Eagle Watch trip on February 1 (weather date Feb 2) conducted by the Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center.   Deadline for registration is January 25.  Contact Jan Olsommer  (jazzy100tazzy@yahoo.com)  if you are interested in attending.  

 

Ed, our property manager, has finished storing the recreational supplies for the winter, and our buildings and grounds are in good shape with the exception of the barrier fence on the southern side of the Lake in the Clouds dam.   That fence was damaged by one of our recent storms and will need to be replaced.   And as I reported last month, some work will have to be done on those sections of LITC roads that connect with SR 447, to comply with PennDot requirements.   We are awaiting a proposal from an engineering firm on how to accomplish this work and at what cost.

As I also mentioned last month, the Board is currently looking into obtaining an automated defibrillator for our community.  We have identified several sources for the device itself but we are still grappling with the logistics…. how and where would we secure it, in order to keep it safe, AND make it accessible when someone needs it in an emergency.

 A couple of notes:    

--The Board approved the re-hiring of Rayvin Gierwatowski as our lifeguard for the summer of 2022.  She did a great job last year and we look forward to seeing her again this summer.

--There appears to be some movement in our state legislature to secure more reliable Broadband access for rural areas of the state although it is way too soon to celebrate…as we don’t yet know what that means for our area.  There does NOT seem to be any government action on cell phone access however.  We will continue to investigate..

Stay warm, and drive safe.



Respectfully Submitted

Joyce Torrey
Secretary, LITC BOD.