20 members who were amazed at what a useless exercise they’d sat through now know why this misunderstanding had happened: The staff and chair putting on the workshop had never been to a Members Budget Workshop and did not know shy they are held.
Bait n’ Switch Budget Workshop leaves PMC members scratching their heads—but put Wed., March 27, 6 p.m. on your calendar for another try
By Patric Hedlund, Editor
Sometimes, when people respond to requests without the experience to know what they are really being asked to do—but absurdly bully forward as if they do—the best option is to be kind.
I was shocked last week to suddenly realize that Pine Mountain Club Property Owners Association (PMCPOA) Board Chairman Bill Gurtner, Financial Manager Todd Draa and General Manager Rory Worster were all completely clueless about the traditional purpose of the PMC members’ budget workshops.
On Wednesday, March 13 eight POA directors, three employees and about 20 members dutifully sat through a mind-numbing oral summary of the year-to-date revenue and expenses for the 2012-2013 fiscal year with no hand-outs for members, no screen projections, and a terse admonition to be silent until board members had spoken.
This rear-view-mirror litany earnestly presented by Todd Draa had a few points of interest, but did not even nudge the traditional intent of the members’ budget workshop.
After the meeting I sent a note to Gurtner and Worster to ask if they had ever attended a members’ budget workshop before. Worster ignored the question.
Gurtner replied: “I do not know what you mean by a ‘members’ budget [workshop].’ By definition, there is no such meeting. The board sets the budget, not the members. No. I am unaware of such a meeting you describe.”
Now, I do appreciate the candor. It helps the 20 members who were amazed at what a useless exercise they’d sat through to know why this misunderstanding had happened.
The purpose of the annual PMC members’ budget workshop is to review the projected upcoming draft budget. Employees provide members with materials, screen projections and an open forum so an intelligent dialogue can be held among members, department heads and directors about the upcoming budget, in this case for 2013-2014.
This lets members know what they are being asked to pay for in the coming year, and it provides the manager and directors with comments, suggestions and questions to consider if there is reason to take another stab at revising the draft. It is part of what helps make a community.
If you wish to reclaim the PMC community tradition, grab some friends and head down to the Draft Budget Meeting next Wednesday, March 27 at 6 p.m. in the Pool Pavilion. This is clearly a ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ moment. Maybe we should bring cookies.
Let’s give them another chance.
This is part of the March 22, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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