Chairman's report - Feb 2008

After what seems to have been a particularly hectic festive season, and a slower than usual start to the year, things are settling down, and we can all resume our normal lives. Our first Excom meeting of the year, had a packed agenda. We agreed that Toni Joubert should have an increased budget for gardening on the Marina, not just for regular maintenance, but also for specific projects. Toni has shown what can be done by working closely with the Council, to provide raw materials, and the results are a much improved appearance of several of the neglected corners.

The repair and refurbishment of watering systems by Council has enhanced the appearance of Public Open Spaces, although there is still work to be done, particularly on the Uitsig park.

Richard Gie’s Security report lays emphasis on the need to record all crime incidents, and he has the full backing of Excom for this reinforced initiative.

Elaine Meyer needs to update our membership database, as it is a cause of some embarrassment to receive a call from a member for whom we have no record, because a change of ownership has not been reported. We are working closely with the bodies corporate in the Marina, to reconcile our records with theirs; but for the remainder, there can be no substitute for a one on one approach by our hardworking street reps, to provide us with accurate information.

Although we have E-mail addresses for approximately half of our 1328 property owners, we believe that the demographics of our community would suggest that a larger proportion of our membership is likely to have access to E-mail than we have so far recorded . This is by far the quickest most cost-effective means of communicating, and the one on which we are placing most emphasis. Establishing and maintaining our database is a huge ongoing task, and anything members can do to help, will be greatly appreciated. Please ensure that you complete the update questionnaire so that your membership record is accurate.

The recent events surrounding the changes to the Constitution, and the doubts raised over the compulsory membership requirement in Title Deeds, encouraged some members to withhold subscriptions. Those doubts have been resolved satisfactorily, even though some of those who objected to the constitutional changes remain unconvinced. A meeting was held between a resident and three members of Excom, to discuss her concerns. This resulted in the production of an open letter intended for publication, in Marina News. But, under pressure both for space and the copy deadline, it has not been possible to accommodate the request for publication. Nevertheless, for those not familiar with the arguments, a copy has been placed in the file in the Marina office, which contains all the correspondence and documents relating to the hearing by the Council into our constitutional changes. Any member wishing to read this correspondence, should please ring the office, so that the file may be made available.

Our budget for 2008/2009 has been drafted and is under review. It is cleat that we must increase our efforts to collect arrears. We will have to refer the most persistent defaulters to a Collection Agency, but for an annual subscription of R157(R170 from 1st March), this should hardly be necessary. I would therefore urge you to check whether your subscriptions are in arrears, and ,if so, make prompt payment, to avoid an unpleasant surprise.

Finally, on a more upbeat note, may I on behalf of your committee, wish you a healthy and prosperous new year, enjoyed on our beautiful Marina.
Peter Harrison.
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