Minutes of the LFSC Annual Meeting—January 27, 2021
All 11 Board members were in attendance: Dave Cutitta, Geoff Egnal, Tony Higgins, Andrea Kiernan, Julian Kim, Nancy La Vigne, Maren Matal, Cynthia Morton, Cathy Stocker, Chris Terry, and Steve Volkers
Guests in attendance: Chuck Montrie and Teri Tomlin of Bethesda Aquatics, and Linda Karson, LFSC Administrator
LF Community: In total, we had 49 members of the pool community in attendance (including the Board members, pool operator, and administrator.
Approval of 2020 Annual Meeting minutes – Julian Kim moved that we approve the 2020 annual meeting minutes. A member seconded the motion. By a voice vote, a clear majority approved the minutes, with no negative votes.
President’s report – Nancy La Vigne: Nancy thanked the LF community for a successful pool season in 2020. We appreciate that everyone was so patient and flexible as the Board and Bethesda Aquatics set up new processes to ensure that the pool was a safe place to be. The ability to use the pool in 2020 was a little slice of heaven, at a time when we were all looking for a chance to swim and get out a bit.
Vice President’s report — Cathy Stocker: Cathy said that the pool provided a bit of respite in 2020. In 2020, we completed our beautiful new ladies’ locker room. The renovation came in on time and on budget. The other big project was the installation of the solar panels, albeit slightly later in the season due to COVID-related delays.
Treasurer’s report – Geoff Egnal – Geoff explained that 2020 came out better than expected, even if there were some headwinds. First, we did not have guest revenue in 2020, due to COVID-related restrictions. Second, our expenses went up (minimum wage increase, extra lifeguards needed, and COVID precautions). Overall, in terms of depreciation, we ended up losing $73,000. But we are cash positive, and we anticipate getting back on track in the near future.
Membership report – Steve Volkers and Andrea Kiernan – Steve reported that, in 2020, we had 29 resignations. (Cathy Stocker later mentioned that individual Board members reached out if there was any concern that the household was resigning due to COVID-related financial hardships, in which case the board offered some alternative payment plan.) Steve explained that the open spots were offered to households on the wait list, which brought the membership number back up to our maximum of 377.
Steve explained that, due to the 4-week delay in the opening of the 2020 season (from May 23 to June 20), due to COVID-19, and the need for capacity restrictions, the Board had to delay access to the pool for the Senior Emeritus Program.
The Senior Emeritus program allows a member who is not making extensive use of the pool to maintain some limited use of the pool (20x per summer), while also saving substantially on dues. In exchange, the member agrees to resign from being an equity member. The program was created in 2015-2016 as a way to keep senior members as part of our pool community, without having to incur some of the costs of the major pool renovation, which occurred in 2017. The original goal was that the SEPs be approximately 25-30 percent of the overall membership number. We currently have 135 SEPs, which is 35%, or a bit above the target. The Board has taken a close look at the program, and thinks that it is going quite well.
On December 9, 2020, the Board approved a change (as recommended by our Membership Chairs) to the age of eligibility for our Senior Emeritus Program. The minimum age of eligibility will now be 60 years, instead of 55 years old, with existing SEPs grandfathered in. We believe that this will still make the program available with all the benefits.
As for full-season guests, we were able to send out invitations to 68 households to join this program in 2020.
Andrea thanked everyone for their patience last spring, when the dues letters were coming out at the same time that the pandemic was starting.
Steve was the one who set up our reservation system that allowed us to ensure that the pool did not exceed capacity limits.
- Building and Grounds report – Tony Higgins – We were fortunate to have no major storms or major repair work in 2020. Some of the improvements this past year included (a) taking care of vines that were growing on the property of pool neighbors; (b) adding wood chips to the walking paths; and (c) adding year-round trash service at the tennis courts.
- Tennis report – David Cutitta –We were pleased that the courts got a lot of use in 2020. Even now, in the cold winter months, it’s great to see that the courts are getting a lot of use, and with lots of new faces out there. Tennis has proven to be a safe outdoor activity that you can do as a family. We had a number of improvements in 2020: (a) resurfacing all 3 courts (which improved safety and dry time); (b) addition of pickle ball lines and equipment; (c) tree trimming; (d) installing new privacy screens; and (e) improving locks and signage on the courts. We also, for the first, time, fielded both a men’s and women’s doubles team to play in a summer league against other local clubs.
- Swim & Dive report – Julian Kim, Cathy Stocker, and Maren Matal
Julian: The kids had an enjoyable swim season. In 2020, we had 130 kids (ages 6-18) participate in the swim program in June/July, and 70 kids in August. Each swimmer had his/her own lane, for safety reasons, and there were capacity limits at each practice. Kids had to sign up for practices using Sign-Up Genius. There were no competitions. We hope that, in 2021, we will have as regular of a season as our league (Montgomery County Swim League) will permit.
We are pleased that the swim team reps for our A and B teams have agreed to return for the 2021 season.
Maren: In 2020, the swim and dive teams provided a wonderful (and rare) in-person activity for kids ages 6-18. For the dive team, in the past, we have had 30-40 kids registered. In 2020, we were pleased to have 52 kids registered in June/July, and 60 in August. We had capacity limits at each practice, and kids had to sign up using Sign-Up Genius. Another possible reason for the surge in interest is that it was a training season, with no competitions. It was a chance for kids who might not otherwise join the team to join.
- Community Liaison Committee and Operations report – Cynthia Morton – Cynthia kept the lines of communication open with the CLC, even if in-person meetings were not possible in 2020. Cynthia sent updates to the CLC via email and hand delivery. We had just a few minor issues this year – mostly branches and some noise issues.
- Social Committee report – Chris Terry and Cathy Stocker – We were not able to have the usual social events in 2020, but we had a few creative events, as people were eager for some social interaction. We had three successful movie nights for different age groups of kids, and we served pizza. Also in 2020, we had some food trucks, which were also very popular and helped out small business owners, who were very appreciative of our business. We hope to hold more social events in 2021.
- Pool manager report – Chuck Montrie – We had a very successful season in 2020. We were pleased to be a part of making the pool available to the LF community in an otherwise difficult year. The chlorine truck access was one issue in 2020, but we believe we have resolved that. Looking ahead to 2021, we have most of our lifeguards returning, and it will be nice to have that experience. Several of our past operators have applied to work as managers in 2021. In terms of lifeguard training, Chuck is pleased that the Red Cross will now focus more of its training on how to identify a person who is in distress.
2021 Season plans –Nancy La Vigne — The best we can do is assume that 2021 will be like 2020. If it turns out better than expected, then we can adjust. We have protocols in place that we can re-use from 2020. The most common question that we get is about whether we will continue the reservation system, especially for lap lanes. The new board will take it up. We hear that people love the lap lane reservation system. We hope to have some swim and dive competitions for our teams. We hope to continue our water aerobics program, which we were pleased to be able to offer in 2020. We also plan to continue to have senior hours.
Comment #1 from a LF Member: One member mentioned that the swim program normally is only in June/July, and yet in 2020, it was also very successful when we added the month of August. Can we consider doing that for 2021 and beyond, as additional programming for our kids. The new board will consider this idea and to do so will need to assess interest and availability of instructors.
Comment #2 from a LF Member: One member brought up a fairness issue for those who have only 1-2 people in their household. In 2020, the capacity limits were per person, not per household. So a household of 5 people got 5x as much access (in that each person was allocated access) as a household of 1. It would be helpful if you could figure out some way for 1- to 2-person households could swim a bit more during the week. The new board will consider this idea.
Comment #3 from a LF Member: One member was disappointed in the behavior of children and teens in 2020, in that they would stand close together, and talk without masks on. The lifeguards and parents should have enforced the rules more strictly. The new board will consider how to remedy this problem. Chuck clarified that the minimum age for adult swim is age 16.
Comment #4 from a LF Member: One member was curious how much we have saved thanks to the new solar panels. Geoff Egnal reported that, because of the way our agreement is structured, LF did not pay installation costs upfront, but instead must share most of the energy savings with the company that installed the panels. Upon reviewing the contract after the meeting, we found that the estimated savings are $2,000 per year. In 2020, we were not able to fully assess solar savings because the pandemic delayed having the system be fully operational.
Comment #5 from a LF Member: One member asked if the Senior Emeritus Program members could use the pool at low-use times, without having that count against their 20 visits per season. The new board will consider this.
Outgoing board members: Nancy thanked the four outgoing board members for their excellent service to the LFSC – Steve Volkers, Andrea Kiernan, Geoff Egnal, and Tony Higgins.
Audit committee: Nancy thanked all of the members of the audit committee for their hard work – Maurine Beasley, Peter Dunkleberger, Kenny Elias, Andy Gefen, Lara Goldmark, Paul Salfi, and Janell Schweicker.
Election for LF Board: Nancy thanked all of the candidates for putting their hats in the ring. She also thanked our Nominating Committee chairs John Crupi and Claire Slabaugh.
Election results: With more participation than in 2020 (125 voted (33 percent)), the new Board members are:
Also, 121 voted in favor of the dues, 3 voted against, and one abstained.
The meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm. The meeting was recorded and will be available to those who were unable to attend the meeting.