A truly amazing thing recently happened in our community. The Fire Lieutenant at our local station asked if the firefighters assigned to the station could use the weight room and on occasion the pool at the Clubhouse. Your Board of Directors discussed it at the Tuesday, June 11th meeting, whether or not to grant the request. It turns out that with a little help from Kevin Lanier from the Compliance Committee, the Board was reminded that the ‘Easement of Enjoyment’, as it’s called, to use the common properties, is a right that belongs only to the members and the Board has little if any ability to allow non-members to use common amenities. There is one exception; using a guest pass, given by a member to a non-member, so that a non-member can use the amenities for one visit.
What the Board approved, on June 11th, was to have the General Manager ask members if THEY wanted to allow firefighters the use of donated guest passes to use the facilities. Here’s the amazing part. The members responded with overwhelming generosity and at last count there were over 2000 guest passes set aside for use by our local firefighters. The community response was remarkable. In my mind, it was one of the strongest expressions of support for our firefighters that we have ever had. In fact, it was one of the biggest ‘community’ efforts that anybody can remember. A true ‘community’ act.
But the action was not without controversy and some very important, forward-looking, questions came to the Board as a response. A few members asked; ‘..where would it stop..? ‘..isn’t there a chance our gym, or pool could be overwhelmed with firefighters?’ What happens when the sheriff asks to use the facility, or any other group, for that matter, that may want to come to our facilities? These are all reasonable questions and they prompted some very good discussion among members and Board Directors. Let’s first establish that it’s the choice of every member if and how they use their guest passes, and judging from the huge response to this solicitation, many members believe giving some of them to the firefighters is good for the community. I tend to agree. But the Board must also grapple with the pop-up questions that have come from this event;
• Will the gym (or pools even) be large enough to handle more guests?
• What will become of aging gym equipment or long waits to get on equipment?
• Are we opening a door for over-use or even perhaps mis-use of our facilities?
For this event the concern should be minimal. April Salazar, our GM, has spoken with the station Lieutenant and the numbers of firefighters we’re talking about is in the range of about 6-8 total. My guess is this population, of periodic users, should not be a problem for our facilities and staff.
But what about the future? Well, this is my last letter to the members, I leave my post as President this July. So I leave this question on the table. I’m sure future Boards and our newly minted Strategic Planning Committee, as well as diligent, high-energy members will certainly care for the proper growth of our common amenities. Best of luck to you all. For me it’s goodbye, as your President, and maybe I’ll see ya’ll around the pool.
President, HBTS HOA