President's Update 9-25-19
September has been a busy month for The Landings Association, starting with Dorian. After moving into Op Con 4 the last week in August, in preparation for Dorian, key TLA employees participated in CEMA Command Policy Group and Operations Group conference calls three times a day. During this same period, conference calls and meetings were being held among TLA staff and island Emergency Action Team members.
I am proud of the performance by TLA staff during this incredibly stressful time. A total of 35 emails were sent out by TLA regarding Dorian, and each email was accompanied by a Swift911 distribution and a Landings Association Facebook Group post. As a result of the outstanding communications, more people signed up for the Facebook Group, Swift911, and also provided their email addresses.
Heavy equipment and trucks were staged near the bridge to conduct recovery/cleanup efforts. The Public Works lagoon crew opened eight control structures to lower the lagoon levels to be able to withstand potential excessive rainfall. Problem drains were checked, roadways swept, and downfall collected from common property. All this work was done in advance of Dorian and much of it on Monday, the Labor Day holiday. I witnessed the staff camped out at the Association building when many were evacuating. I talked to them multiple times a day and heard their professionalism, their preparedness, and their passion for our island.
We are fortunate with the lack of impact of Dorian. There was significant debris and several trees down. Cleanup began on Thursday, with the Public Works Department clearing roadways and downed trees and raking and collecting debris. One of my favorite stories from the storm is that of Kristin Peney, TLA Community Programs Manager, jumping into service by operating a street sweeper with the Public Works team. She is just one example of the team attitude consistently displayed by TLA staff.
This has been a challenging year. TLA staff have faced the consequences, and the brunt, of many of those challenges. And yet they still go above and beyond to keep us safe and happy on our island paradise. I am grateful to those of you who have reached out with kind words and kudos to the team. They deserve it.
Like every year at this time, we are updating the Association’s Strategic Plan. Next year will be our final year for this six-year plan. Much has been completed, but other areas will remain ongoing for our next plan. You can view the progress against the current plan by going to www.landings.org/resources > Governing Documents or click here.
Board Candidate packages were mailed in September, and ballots are due back on October 30th. The Nominating Committee did an outstanding job in proposing this slate of candidates. Please remember that historically TLA’s Board elections are not political in nature. Candidates provide what they believe to be the relevant issues, and the community makes its decision. Especially in this environment, it takes courage to run for the Board. I appreciate this group of six for putting themselves out there.
If you were at August’s Board Meeting, you heard Lee Smith, the County Manager, speak about the four-way stop outside the Main Gate. The County is aware that this is one of the most dangerous intersections in Chatham County and is working on both short-term options to improve safety, as well as longer-term fixes. I was very appreciative of Mr. Smith’s presence at the meeting and the attention by the County. Our General Manager Shari Haldeman deserves credit for demanding this focus.
Finally, we are very close to completing the 2020 Budget process. As has been reported, the focus is on protecting the Association’s capital Reserves, which are used to repair and replace our infrastructure. Budget workshops will be held in the fall, where the community will be walked through the budget process and questions can be answered. The annual budget will be presented and voted on by the Finance Committee and the Board of Directors at their December meetings.