Welcome to our quarterly Zoom Meeting. We are hopeful that sometime soon we will be able to resume face to face meetings. The mass gathering mandate is still in effect. Please know that our property owner association is not a public entity but a private entity and thus subject to specific rules. I spoke with legal counsel last week and Ashtabula County has failed to respond to a request to make property owner associations an essential business.
Because of this we will hold our Annual Meeting thru Zoom technology and not in person. A power point presentation will be part of the program. The meeting will be held in the Village Hall and will determine how many people can legally attend in person. Reservations will be made on a first come, first serve basis. Please watch the E-blast for more information. A mailing will also be sent to each member with specific information. Since there were two board seats available and only two members applied for those positions we do not have any election items to deal with.
Questions regarding Covid procedures include Clubhouse rental. You may have read or heard about catering changes but remember our clubhouse is not a restaurant or a banquet hall. It is simply an amenity that is available for our members. Upon advice from our legal council we will not rent out the clubhouse until mandates have changed. Our own Shores clubs can use the facility but it is their responsibility to ensure appropriate social distancing.
I want to thank your board members for facing head on the challenges not just with Covid but with tackling the hard decisions that are necessary to ensure we continue to invest in our neighborhoods and lake community. They make tough decisions and I want to assure all of you there are no personal agendas….only a desire to do what is right for our membership. They have been meeting on a regular basis and developing plans for lake safety and lake health.
I also want to thank our Mayor, Jennie, and Village Council for allowing us to use their facility and technology to make these meetings possible. As our Mayor has said, one lake, one community. We all need to work together to make Roaming Shores the best lake community in Ohio. Please get involved. There are many Clubs and Committees that could use your talent and your time. It’s a great place to meet some neighbors as well.
On a closing note, I want to ask everyone to consider donating to the Polar Bear Plunge this year. During this Covid Pandemic it is not open to the public but the kids who benefit from the Scholarship dollars that are raised from this event need the money more than ever. If you are able, please be generous and help this organization make this year’s event not only fun for those that are able to participate but make it meaningful for those that benefit from the dollars that are raised. My thanks and appreciation to the members of this club for not just taking the easy way out and canceling it but for finding a creative way to make it happen.
This past year many residents expressed concern over water quality of Lake Roaming Rock as well as the safety of those enjoying the recreational activities our lake provides. The Board of Directors has heard those concerns and has been working hard in the background to address both short term and long – term solutions to these challenges.
Financial stewardship includes reviewing all expenses and finding ways to save money and ensure we are doing these as efficiently as possible. The Board has worked with our team members to do just that. We have been challenging ourselves and our team to look at things with a fresh approach and not stick to just doing what we have always done.
Our 2021 Budgeting process indicated we need funds to invest in our lake for both water quality and for safety. The decision to raise our association assessments was not taken lightly. In the end we felt it was necessary to increase the yearly amount each property owner pays to live in our private lake community. The percentage of increase is the same for each property owner but the total amount is different because of lots, homes and consolidated lots. At the end of the day the average increase for property owners is $70 per year. Some may be a bit higher and some may be lower but the average is $70 per year which is about $6 per month.
We did increase our boat fees for 2021 so those that use the lake with watercraft also subsidize the expense of keeping our lake healthy and safe. Unfortunately, lake stewardship is an ongoing responsibility.
We also have older equipment that needs replaced and we can’t afford to lose sight of road maintenance, upgrading our pools and recreational areas as well as our buildings and properties.
We have implemented a new Strategic Advisory Committee comprised of property owners who have volunteered their time and talents to address short term and long term infrastructure needs
We have also planned a lake management roundtable discussion early in January. Participants will include representation from our Board of Directors, our Lake Management Committee, the Environmental Advocacy Group, the Fishing Club, the Marina and the Strategic Advisory Committee. We also plan to invite representatives from our Village Council. Our goal is to have a plan in place for spring implementation. The plan will be developed with input from multiple stakeholders under the direction of a professional lake advisor.
It is important for every property owner within Roaming Shores to understand a lake community loses property value if it doesn’t have a viable lake. We all own the responsibility to maintain the beauty and health of Lake Roaming Rock and the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Association Board of Directors is made up of seven property owners who are willing to devote their time and energy for our community. Terms are three years and each year a minimum of two board seats are up for reelection. The term starts following the scheduled April Annual Meeting. Any property owner that is willing to run for this seat should provide their intentions to the Association Office by February 24, 2021.
Normally each candidate is required to attend three monthly board meetings in the year preceding the election. Due to the pandemic, board meetings were not open to the public. Because of this a resolution was passed at the December 2020 board meeting waiving the three- meeting requirement.
A Board member does not get paid not do they get any financial benefit of any kind for their service. They do, however, get the satisfaction of knowing they are serving the community in which they have invested.
RRA Board President
Each time we drive into the Shores, no matter the entrance, we are greeted by a sign that says, Roaming Shores, a private lake community. We all made a conscious decision to join a private lake community when we purchased property here and became a member of our Rome Rock Association. 2020 has been a year like none other and probably more than any other time we were able to focus on all the outdoor activities that a lake community provides.
I want to thank our Board of Directors, our employees, and our members for rising to the challenges that living through a pandemic can present. Tough decisions that were often unpopular had to be made. New ways of doing normal things had to be developed. It wasn’t easy, but it was necessary.
Your Board has worked hard to keep members informed during a time when social distancing and limited gatherings were enforced. Many of you sent letters and made phone calls expressing your concern and asking for attention to specific issues. The primary focus of all member communications has been related to water quality and lake safety. The EPA was also called by a property owner expressing concern over the water quality.
As a Board we heard you! We are also residents and we agree that our Lake needs action to address water quality and that lake safety is a top priority. We have spent a great deal of time reviewing our 2020 budget and have reviewed each and every line item. Fiscal responsibility is critical. We need to invest in our lake. Failure to do so could easily result in depreciating property values and certainly it would impact all recreational activities we enjoy on Lake Roaming Rock. At the same time we can’t afford to forget about our roads, our pools, our beaches, our buildings, our recreational areas and the infrastructure needs that go with all of those items.
Whether you own property on the lake or your property is off the lake you are all part of a Lake Community. Each property owner shares the responsibility of lake stewardship. As we enter 2021 this will be a priority and programs will be implemented to address short term solutions and build the base for ongoing long term water quality maintenance. Lake Safety will be a top priority as well. Flagrant abuses of rules and laws will not be tolerated. Each property owner needs to understand they are responsible for the actions of their guests as well as family members.
We have a beautiful place to live and play. We also have a responsibility to ensure it stays that way. Let’s continue to work together and find the best way to make that happen. I love the Shores. I love the people who make the Shores the best lake community in Ohio. Please enjoy the holiday season. Stay safe. Be responsible and be Shores Proud!!!
People’s behavior on our lake must change and must change now or drastic measures may be taken that a lot of you may not like. My observations of total disregard for safety this past weekend on our lake really emotionally upset me. The time for talking is over The time for immediate swift action is now. I want people to like me, that’s human nature, it’s how most people behave. I may make some decisions that will cause many to have a not so good opinion of me, I’m not crazy about that, but if I can save a child or adult from getting seriously injured or worse in our lake, I’ll be that bad guy. Here are 4 incidents that happened on our lake over the weekend.
Friday afternoon I had my boat anchored at the dam “No Wake” area with 10 other boats with our family and friends swimming in the lake. A jet ski came ripping through the area, weaving between boats and when I finally got a good look at him, he accelerated and took off. Thank God nobody got hit, there had to be some close calls.
One of our RRA Board members was working on his pontoon on his dock, with his back to the water. A wake boat came within 10 feet of his boat and caused a wave that actually launched him from the pontoon and into the lake. He didn’t know what happened at first but when he got out of the water, he saw the tail waters of the boat speeding away. He didn’t get hurt thankfully but we can all imagine what could have happened.
An erratic jet ski was spotted at the south end and the driver appeared to be impaired in some way. The jet ski ended up sinking in the lake and eventually popped up to create a huge hazard. What if you with your family on your boat struck that abandoned jet ski? The watercraft was towed to the marina, and the homeowner will be responsible for a tow bill and will definitely be brought up for review. We know who you are!
The fireworks were wonderful. What a great event for all of us to be able to watch, either on or off of the lake. Every boat that I saw Saturday night did a great job of respecting the space of the other boats around them and navigating in the dark……Except a boat that was about 20 yards in front of my boat. After the fireworks, I heard people jumping into the water off of the boat as the masses of other boats are leaving after the fireworks. There were boats in between my boat and that one by now but I screamed at the top of my lungs. “Get out of the water and back on your boat” What are people thinking? I didn’t hear of anyone getting hurt Saturday night but I cringe when I think what could have happened.
These are just what I know and most of you have stories as well.
So, what do we do? The RRA Board will be working on some immediate plans to put up some major restrictions if this continues for another weekend.
I know that Lake Patrol just isn’t enough to see all of the lake all of the time, The RRA Board is working on better solutions.
Do we ban Jet Skis, wake boats, and fireworks because of rule breakers with total disregard for safety? Pretty extreme isn’t it?
See something, say something. We want to know. We all own a piece of this community and lake. Take it upon yourself to try to let people know that what they are doing is wrong.
I know that it is only a few and most of your follow the rules and are responsible adults.
Anyone under the age of 16 without a driver license, that is operating a jet ski on our lake, will result in the permit of the property owner to be revoked, no exceptions. You can email me at : DJMAN78@aol.com. Yes, I used to be a Disc Jockey.
RRA Board President
We finally are getting 2 or more days without rain. Summer is here. We have our busiest week of the year approaching us here in the Shores. Please be safe. Fireworks are still illegal in Ohio and violators face the possibility of fines or more. Not to mention the trauma for our little ones and our furry friends. No need to spend your money on fireworks, just wait until Sat July 6 and attend our fabulous fireworks display here at Roaming Shores.
As always, safety on our lake has to be a top priority. The water will be choppy from all of the activity. There will be many skiers and tubers. Be aware at all times of the water immediately around your boat or water craft. Let’s have fun, safe fun.
The following activities will take place on Sat July 6:
- Roaming Shores 5K – 8am
- Roaming Shores Police Dept Cardboard Boat Races – 12pm
- Jason Scribbens Memorial 3 on 3 Volleyball tournament 1pm
- Fireworks approx. 10pm (rain date Sun July 7)
There is a potluck supper at the clubhouse on Fri July 12 bring a dish to share, meat provided.
Have a fun and safe July 4th weekend!
Rome Rock Association
It will quit raining someday. The sun will shine for days on end and all will be well. The pools are open and our summer season is finally here. Along with the nice weather comes increased activity on our lake. There have already been reports of reckless and unsafe jet skis, Sea doo’s, etc. We all love our lake, and safety while on the lake has to be everyone’s top priority. During the weekends we have our lake patrol on the water. Please call the RRA office immediately @ 440-563-3170 if you see any unsafe personal watercraft or boats. Take pictures with your phone if possible, we will find the violators. Homeowners will be penalized for anyone reported while operating watercraft belonging to them. We take this issue very seriously and there are NO EXCEPTIONS to the rules.
Kids Learn to Fish Day is Sat. June 8 and The Kids Fishing Day is Sat June 22. All children and grandchildren of Roaming Shores residents are welcome. Contact the RRA Office for details. This Fishing club is very generous to all of the kids involved.
On Fri. June 14 and Sat June 15 we will hold our Annual Roaming Shores Garage Sale. This is a great opportunity to clean up and make a few bucks. There is always a lot of traffic and street parking during this weekend so please be extra aware while driving on our streets during this time. Contact the RRA office if you would like your address to be published on our list of garage sale participants.
Enjoy the weather and be careful out there!
President RRA Board
Spring is finally in full swing with summer right around the corner. A thanks to all who attended the Annual Meeting. I am looking forward to working with this new Board of Directors.
The past year we accomplished a lot and I’m looking to carry that momentum into this new fiscal year in Roaming Shores.
I’ll be helping out at the annual cleanup this Saturday and don’t forget that we are also hosting a Business Expo in the Clubhouse for 9am-1pm
With the nice weather upon us please take extra caution when driving on the roads in our community. There is much more activity going on here in the spring and summer so be aware of kids playing near the roads and our deer friends at nightfall.
Our club’s have a lot of activities coming up. Find something that interests you and be involved with our community.
My mention of a Tug of War during the Annual Meeting looks like it might happen. Keep an eye on the weekly email blast for this and all happenings in Roaming Shores. Enjoy the weather and be careful out there!
President RRA Board of Directors
Annual Meeting, April 28, 2018
First of all let me apologize for not being at the Annual Meeting. Unfortunately, Grandparents Day, which is out-of-state, is conflicting with the Annual Meeting. Grandparents day is a very important family event, just as the Annual Meeting is important to our Members. Thank you Jack McMillin for filling in.
As you all know I am not seeking reelection. I will be moving on to handling pressing family matters. So let me say a few things about your Association that I know have already been said, but I would like to re-emphasize:
This Board has made decisions that I believe looked out for your personal interests as a Member. I know that many of you may not feel that way, but rest assured that the Board had the entire paid Membership in mind, when making decisions, all 1150+ of you, and that number does not include your family members or guests, which would bring the total to well over 3000. Some of the decisions made will never be evident to Members, due to privacy, legal, and property value issues. I hate to say “Trust Us”, but you will have to “Trust Us”.
I also hate to say, “it’s all about Money”. I know that Money isn’t everything, but it does power the Association. As you just saw, we have accomplished a lot while maintaining a balanced budget. We have reduced the interest payments on debt as well as reduced the principal on debt; we have built a new Office; we are dredging at no additional cost; we continue to improve existing amenities and we started a reserve fund so that surprises do not require extra assessments. And we could do more if everyone paid, so please understand why we are such sticklers over verifying you are a paid member to use amenities. But, we do not have the Money to enclose a swimming pool, build a gym, or rake the weeds from each and every lakefront lot. The Association is not about deficit spending like our Congress. However, if you want these types of amenities, it is possible; it will just take more assessment Money.
And in regards to Money, please try to keep things in perspective. Your Board manages about $4,000 per day, or $1.2million for the year. Every decision will not be perfect for everyone. To move along expeditiously, decisions cannot include every Member, that is why you have a Board. Try to remember that $10,000 spent is less than 1% of the annual budget.
Being a Board Member is very time consuming. Remember the Board is made up of unpaid volunteers. And the Board lives by the same Rules and Bylaws as does every other Member. \
Speaking of the Board, you have a great Board and they deserve your support and respect. The Board is a work together group and is not a rubber stamp-yes-man group. Most decisions are not unanimous. Board Members respect one another and move on to the next issue whether or not they got their way on a previous issue. And I would like to thank the Board for this. It is what makes it a pleasure to be on a Board.
Also, remember our employees, Dan Mullins; and the Office staff, Pat and Jen; the Maintenance Staff; and the Summer Help. These are the people who make it possible to have pools, pavilions, volleyball and tennis courts, dredging and other amenities.
I would also like to thank our clubs and standing committees. Their work and social commitment to the Shores are the backbone of this Association.
Let’s not forget our Attorney, David King. David has helped us in recent years through many legal issues and has kept us out of a lot of legal problems, especially in today’s litigious prone society. For me it’s been an interesting four years, probably business as usual for David.
And I would especially like to thank the new Village Management. “It takes two to tango” and the Association finally has a dance partner. Let’s work to continue this relationship. And let’s not forget that the other lake associations envy our position, because there are things that can be best handled by a private corporation, like the Association, and there are things that can be best handled by a public entity, like the Village. Everyone has their role and it needs to be nourished and developed. And let us not forget, we are all both Members of the Association and we are all residents of the Village.
Lastly, I would like to thank you the Member for your support of the Board and the Association. If I could ask you to do one more thing, it would be to support a club. If you can’t find a club you like, start a club and rally for your club’s support.
I would like to thank each Member and their families for attending today. And if I could embellish a line about living at the Shores from last year’s Annual Meeting:
It’s not perfect, but it is Great.
Join the Board and your neighbors for refreshments in the kitchen area. Your new Board will need to excuse themselves in about 30 minutes for a brief meeting to elect your Officers for the 2018-2019 program year.
April Board Meeting
April 5, 2018
Board Activities This Past Month:
As we reported last month, the Board voted to do a Survey and it would be handled similar to a Ballot for the Directors. The Survey would be anonymous. The Board is now working on a final copy. The Survey will not be at the same time as the Director Election to avoid any confusion. This Survey is to gauge the thinking of the Members. The survey may or may not result in changes by the Board. There are many factors to consider in making changes, such as the Community benefit, money to pay for it, legal issues, insurance requirements, etc.
The Association Attorney approved the language for the monthly payment plan. The Association is expected to begin this in June of 2018, for the 2019 season. There will be no monthly billing. It will be up to the Member to pay dues for the following year over a 10 month period, or less. 1/10th of the anticipated bill each month. All payments will be credited toward the following year. There is no cost to make monthly payments.
Director Election: Your current Board is comprised of mostly appointments to the Board. Appointments are where a vacancy occurs and the Board elects a person to fill the empty Seat. The second most prevalent situation is where there have been just enough candidates or not enough candidates to fill the vacant Director Seats.
This election is your opportunity to shape the Board. There are more candidates than Seats. Three candidates for two Board Seats.
The current Board is a great Board. Although the Board may not be in complete agreement on issues, those that did not get their way move on to the next issue without holding an ax to grind. A true working relationship.
For the upcoming Director election, it is my recommendation that you ask questions to understand the intentions of candidates. Vote for candidates who are truly interested in the long term direction of the Community, representing the entire Active Membership. Remember, there are 1100+ paying Active Members to be represented.
Most importantly VOTE.
The Village: Despite the constant barrage of comments that the Association needs to “work together” with the Village and vice versa, cooperation, in my opinion, has never been better. Sharing of equipment, ideas, and information hasn’t been this good in many years. The Association thanks the Village Management for this cooperation. Hopefully the new Village Management and the new Association Board will continue and expand this true “working relationship”.
The Annual Meeting: The Association Annual Meeting will be held at the Clubhouse on April 28, 2018 at 1pm. Everyone is invited, paid up Active Members and Inactive Members. The Annual Meeting will be followed by a Social where you can meet your Board and your neighbors. Following the Social, the new Board will elect the Association Officers for May 2018 thru April 2019. Plan to attend and see what your Association has been doing and has planned.
Tonight’s Meeting: As always after each Board meeting, please join the social at the Kitchen area of the Clubhouse for coffee and dessert. Meet your Board and your neighbors.
March Board Meeting
March 1, 2018
By: Tom Sopko
Board Actions in the Past Month:
- The Board voted to do a Ballot type Survey. Including the following issues:
- Whether food and beverages should be allowed inside the pool areas.
- What is the interest in other amenities. And how to pay for them.
- The Board asks that Members make suggestions.
The Survey is expected to follow the Director Ballot and not overlap or be at the same time
- The Board voted to provide WiFi at the Clubhouse area. It is now in service and will be in service year-round.
- The Board voted to study monthly dues payments in an effort to implement monthly payments. Many Members have commented that they can afford $75/month and cannot afford $750 all at once. It was a suggestion brought to us by Ed Baitt based on Member feedback. The Board is targeting to begin this in June of 2018, for the 2019 season.
Board Actions Tonight:
- John Martin has resigned from the Board. His resignation needs to be accepted. John’s remaining term is 1 year and two months.
- A new Board Member will be seated. The Board will be at full strength which is seven.
- Candidates for the upcoming Board election have to attend three regular Board meetings in the past year. The policy for monitoring Board Meeting attendance has been by signing in, however, it is not in the bylaws. Two Nominations are in question. The Board will decide if and how these Nominations are accepted.
What is Indemnification and Why Do We Have It? Indemnification which includes Directors and Officer Insurance protects volunteer Board Members from the costs of lawsuits and other legal claims whether criminal or civil. Indemnification should encourage Members to be on the Board because their personal assets are protected. Indemnification is now in question and under attack. Personally, I would not risk my retirement which took 40 years to build, to be on this Board if it were not for Indemnification. Put yourself in this position, would you risk your home or all your assets to manage this Association? Understanding Indemnification was my primary focus before deciding to join the Board. I used a third party law firm to help in that evaluation. No volunteer Director should be personally sued, imprisoned, accused of a felony, or have his/her life destroyed especially by another Member. These lawsuits and legal claims are the true money wasters of the Association and Community. Association Members need to step-up and question the accusers, as Members now question the defense decisions of the Association. Remember the Association Board of Directors represents you the Member. These actions could be handled internally by the Community if we were truly “working together”. These accusations are designed to intimidate the Board and to make the Board look bad, nothing else.
Director Election: For the upcoming Director election, it is my recommendation that you ask questions to understand the intentions of candidates. Vote for candidates who are truly interested in the long term direction of the Community, representing the entire Active Membership.