What’s all this hubbub about stocks and shares???

There have been many new families and members to our lake community in the last several years. The Stonycreek Valley Development Corporation (SVDC) realizes that many may not know the history of the SVDC and the significance of the stock/shares. The following is from the book The Lakes by James Mcintyre. Once the idea of building a dam and creating a lake took shape “the Stonycreek Valley Development Corporation was formed as a for-profit corporation.” Initially 5450 shares were issued. “The initial directors of the corporation, fifteen in number, were the original landowners. Various members acted as salesman and sold stock in amounts of 10 shares to their friends and neighbors. The concept of the corporation presumed that an annual service charge against lot owners of $1.50 per front foot for lake front property and $0.01 cent per square foot for non-lakefront property, the corporation could be a money earner.” The dam was built, and the land flooded for the lake in 1959. The stocks were linked to voting power. If you were not a stock owner, you could not participate in the voting at the annual shareholder meeting.

Some time in the 1980’s it became apparent to the lake community that the handful of majority shareholders had their own best interests and money earning potential in mind before the health and maintenance of the lake and the lake community. The majority shareholders were not being good stewards of the lake and its assets. The community began to determine how they could change that. Shares were purchased and bought up until the community, collectively, had enough shares to out vote the previous majority shareholders. In 2005, the SVDC became a not-for-profit corporation, as the lake community wished, and the previous majority shareholders were voted off the Board of Directors. This is when the Board became made up of elected community volunteers. This returned the care and maintenance of the lake to the community rather than to a handful of people with their own vested interest in financial gain. For some reason, the stock/share system was kept in place at that time.

Fast forward to this year. There has been a fair amount of turmoil and animosity since the last shareholder meeting. There is a rift in the community. As happened in the early 2000’s, shares have been bought up. Currently, three people are majority shareholders as was described in the lake history. This means 2 -3 people can affect any vote despite what all other shareholders may want or vote for. The SVDC shares are dinosaurs from the for-profit days and create an inequality in our community. It has become apparent that, as in our democratic society, one vote per lot, is the equitable way for our lake community to be run. No one should have to purchase the right to have a vote and voice in our community at the annual meeting. No one’s vote should hold more weight than their neighbors when decisions need to be made and voted on and Board of Directors are elected. We are all lot owners and we all share the same great lake. We should share the decision making of our great lake equitably, one vote per lot, not by who can purchase the most shares/votes. This is how community Homeowners Associations work.

The mailing you received NOTICE OF ANNUAL SHAREHOLDER MEETING included an ENCLOSURE A, which is a motion to convert to a one lot – one vote system. It will be the first motion to be voted on at the meeting on May 24th. If the motion passes, all lot owners regardless if you own SVDC stock or not, will be able to vote on any other business presented at the meeting and on the election of the Board of Directors at this and all future meetings.

This motion (Enclosure A) includes a buy back of shares for anyone interested beginning June 1 through December 31. This motion, if passed, changes voting to ALL LOT OWNERS and eliminates shares completely.