By Jill Philmon Big Canoe General Manager
I was told I should keep a list of questions and do a Q&A to keep residents informed. Funny thing is, I have a list already so I’m taking the advice. Here it goes!
What are we doing about the plant list?
We have extended the deadline to May 1. If you would like to suggest additions to the plant list, please submit them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 28, including verbiage explaining why the proposed plant would be a better alternative than one already on the list. There will be an open forum for questions and answers at the Community Coffee on April 13 prior to the implementation of the new list.
Pot holes, why aren’t they fixed immediately?
Big Canoe POA does not make in-house road repairs. When issues or problems arise or if there are repairs needed due to upgrades by the electric company, the POA is responsible and will utilize the services of an asphalt contractor. UIG and Windstream are responsible for their own repairs and have their own contractor. One issue this time of year when spreading asphalt is dealing with inclement weather. Asphalt does not harden in this weather so any repairs done will be a short term fix until spring arrives. Rain has caused the deterioration of temporary fixes to break down faster. We ask for patience until we have warmer weather.
I make suggestions but no one listens. Why?
The board and staff get many suggestions and I promise, we read them all. If your suggestion is not acted upon immediately, it doesn’t mean we haven’t listened, it just means we may not agree the timing is right. I promise you we read emails and listen.
Why can’t you be more transparent?
The dictionary shows the meaning of transparency as “characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices.” So the question is, should the staff and board be transparent after a decision is made or before?
I think it’s a little of both. We cannot possibly manage a community by asking for an opinion on every decision; however, should we be open on what has transpired? Definitely. In addition, if we find we need input from the community, we will go back and get feedback, such as we have done with the plant list. We are trying to be as transparent as possible. All of us making decisions are homeowners just like you are and want what is best for this community.
Why the sudden changes in Food and Beverage?
The POA Board and Finance Committee for 2019 determined one of our goals was to try to reduce the deficit in Food and Beverage. To do that, we had to make some changes. I’ve heard the term “penny pinchers”, comments that it’s all about making money, and many other not-so-positive comments.
The problem is, you can’t be both fiscally responsible and also give food and beverage away. We are trying very hard to find a solution that keeps us responsible, yet still has good value for the community. There have been many changes in the menu because we are trying to find a combination that will both satisfy the community while still being able to get the food out of our inadequate kitchen in a timely manner. Chef Hector is working hard to create a team that works in à la carte. Please bear with us, we are working on it, I promise.
Why did you cancel Friday night bands?
We did not. We just canceled bands this winter when the weather on the Veranda didn’t support service, causing Food & Beverage not to break even. Bands start back on Friday, March 15. We will have the bands at different times playing both on the Veranda and also at Canoe Lodge to offer a variety of venues. With the new food trailer, we can easily offer food service at Canoe Lodge outside. The bands over the next few months are listed on the Clubhouse eBlasts. We just want to provide a variety for our residents.
So these are just a few of the questions I’m asked a lot. Bottom line, we are trying to do what is fiscally responsible, provide a variety of entertainment for our residents, be transparent in our decisions and listen to each other. We may not please everyone all the time, but I assure you our motives are sincere and transparent.
We are having growing pains, but in the end I think all our goals are the same. We want to keep the community a community, make sure it is sustainable, and most of all make decisions that will keep Big Canoe the “Brigadoon of Georgia.”
For those who don’t understand this statement, Google Brigadoon and watch the movie!