A MANDATORY MEMBER'S VIEW OF THE NEW DUES INCREASE
THE OPTIONS FOR SOLVING OUR MESS - A MUST READ FOR DELAIRE’S SURVIVAL
Mark Zucker’s correspondence dated December 27th 2017 is a continuation of the propaganda he piloted as the moderator at the “Assessment Membership Meeting” on November 12th. Zucker explained the board’s reason of the demanded $3200 member assessment was “to stay solvent.” (Totaling $1,280,000 for 400 estimated members). His propaganda was not appreciated by a number of attendees who were upset by Karpel's confession of violating Article VI of the bylaws for his disbursements in access of “½ million dollars” taken from the “Capital Improvement Fund” without member’s approval.
While researching the legality of the violation of our bylaws our “truth checkers” found a further violation as per Article XVII (3). "Assessments which states the only way open to the club to charge members on any assessment other than a capital assessment not to exceed (10%) of the dues, it must be done with the approval by the majority voting”. The departure from right to “wrongdoing”, was described as necessary to rescue the “Golf Beautification Program" done without planning funding. The Fiduciary Responsibilities of elected official “merit aside” must be observed by those that act on behalf of our membership. 2 violations at one time is beyond MAJOR MISCONDUCT! Not abiding by standards may bring civil penalties besides bylaw suspensions. Mandatory member’s payments increased by $5190 in 2017 as follows: 2017 dues increase of $395, $1200 assessment for the repayment of the golf enhancement, $1600 incl. tax assessment for golf beautification program, and $1600 incl.tax for $540,000 year to date operating deficit = $5190
At the meeting Zucker set the groundwork for another new dues increase for 2018 of $1500 incl. tax (totaling$600,000). When will the membership put an end to this charade? Is the membership ever going to hold unqualified leadership managing our business responsible? The stated dues increase for 2018, now referred to maintain a “High Level of Service” is nothing more than a camouflage “between truth and fiction”. We had a “High Level of Service” before incompetency took hold of our club. The level of incompetence displayed on a continuous basis is due to not recognizing that we only have 326 sharers’ to cover the expenses. The Boards grandeur schemes are geared in the direction of twice our membership. The former and present administration have forgotten that our original footprint does not allow for us to exceed much more and remain comfortable. Recognizing shortfalls after the facts is not good management. If we were not a mandatory membership club we would not have been able to raise a $1,280,000 to stay solvent, and another $600,000 to feel comfortable. If not we would have been sold or gone bankrupt. Those possibilities still exists.
For the last 35 years of Delaire’s existence we maintained our courses in pristine conditions with a budget that allowed affordability and comfort until the recent catastrophe. Now the board is suddenly confronted with the fact (not remembering we only have 326 sharers) that we need an 18% increase amounting to $382,700. Had we left well enough alone by just re-grassing, we would not be in a disaster mode. We would have had a better golf course with more money in hand. It is what it is. That alone is not the only trouble pointing us to financial instability.
The board in their shortsightedness several years ago, copied other clubs taking in outside members, without first investigating the cost of expanded services that would impact our bottom line. They never did their homework, never came up with cost factor for pricing non-resident memberships. The board established values that made Delaire outside membership the bargain of South Florida. They just “gave the store away” without having any information to justify their decisions on pricing. Non –Resident members’ dues were discounted to 50%, 0 initiation fee,0 clubhouse repayment, Free golf carts, Free golf club storage, Free 1up1down. That program discouraged home buying so important to have new memberships bringing in new initiation fees to our Capital improvement fund. Buying a home in Delaire under the present circumstances for non-residents would instantly increase their membership by an $80,000 initiation fee, 50% increase in dues and $5000 yearly payment for clubhouse repayment.
The club then made a change that a refundable bond was changed from $20,000 refundable to $1000 refundable bond, costing a new resident member $79,000 for an initiation fee. A non-resident equity member can become the same member with a $3000 fully refundable bond and is not encumbered with mandatory membership. Need I say more? Why would a non-resident member ever become a home owner? The end result of the program has finally come home to roost and is a strong contributing factor to our financial mess.
Non-resident membership, to which I am not opposed, is costing Delaire “incalculable” dollars. Why shouldn’t all members of Delaire using our facilities pay the same dues and assessment. Our dues and assessments never decreased, they constantly increased even more since we have non- resident membership now at over 60? If the non-resident membership program were so profitable, how come we get deeper into the hole as we take in more members? As a former retailer I know that selling below cost is a sure way to gain customer acceptance, but it leads to bankruptcy unless you have a Bank that covers such losses. Mandatory membership is that Bank. Our board keeps denying reality and claims they have to have these bargain pricing for NENR’s due to competition. What competition? Who has 27 holes with no sign up time step up and play, with the addition of a top health facility and a grandiose club house? We had it, and we lost it due to taking in more members that our 27 holes or parking lot can handle. Delaire's Mandatory Members are among the highest dues paying members in South Florida, playing on a sub-par golf course with deteriorating conditions. Does anyone need more proof that the non-resident membership program is seriously impacting our financial stability? There are three options that were suggested by the management consultant that Delaire Governance engaged to come up with a viable plan eliminate the constant assessments and dues increases and put us on a sound financial course for the future. Having said all of the above, the options are our solution!
OPTION # I
Raise the dues of the non-resident members including non-resident equity members to the identical structure that Mandatory members are obligated to pay. Inclusive of initiation fees. Discontinue the use of Free Golf Carts and Golf Storage. When joining an exclusive golf club all members pay for services as exampled at High Ridge, Boca Rio, Banyan you name it. This will raise our property values, increase our cash flow, take us back to the exclusivity we once enjoyed and give us the finances to improve our golf facility so badly needed as well as force us to have bylaws that we can all live by that make membership a joy not a hardship. We will lose a portion of the non-resident members that are here for the great bargain, which is to their credit, but not to our pocketbook as Mandatory Members. Such a program will make selling a home easier and without having to give it away, since home ownership is no longer discouraged by the non-resident program now installed.
OPTION # II
Install a “Try it if You Like us Program” with a 1 year trial at a bargain price, to entice new members to become Home buyers, giving the new, get to know, the opportunity to make friends and enjoy the services and amenities of what Delaire offers, without having to make a huge commitment and without having friends yet made. Boca Rio has such a program and in parts it also exists at High Ridge.
OPTION # III
Cancel the non-resident membership and sell 9 holes to a home developer. The monies we will be receiving from the developer will be ample enough due to our great location, to wipe out our debt and have plenty left over to repair and improve our golf course, and have only 326 members as originally planned which is very satisfactory for the 18 holes. It will reestablish our exclusivity, increase property values of our homes, reduce our maintenance of 9 holes. Have a build in waiting list, from the new homeowners. Eliminate mandatory membership to be able to satisfy the new home owners and our stability as a club will be preserved. The constant request for membership from new homeowners will increase the property values that much more. It is a win win and makes a lot of sense. Either Option I or Option III is the way forward for the best interest of all and will make
MAKE DELAIRE GREAT AGAIN