2012 Winter Letter

I would like to wish all of our members and our Greensboro friends a safe and happy (and possibly white) winter. I thought that I would be writing this letter from Greensboro this weekend, but an ice storm pinned me down here in Boston! (I know that some of you are saying “flatlander!” as you read this.) I am writing our traditional winter letter to share some updates about the activities of the Greensboro Association. The unfortunate news about the closing of the Highland Lodge reminds us of how fragile our community is and how an impact of this magnitude can ripple across the community. We hope for a positive outcome for the Smiths and we owe our appreciation to David, Wilhelmina and the entire family for their efforts to find a transition for the lodge that will work well for the community as a whole.

First, I want to thank our board members and committee volunteers for their efforts in 2011 and single out Michael Porrazzo and Sarah Sangree who have left the board after a significant contributions. Michael was instrumental in saving our 4th of July fireworks and has been overseeing this tradition now for almost a decade. The fireworks are now well organized in partnership with the Town of Greensboro. Michael has also been a steady voice of wisdom as an officer of the Association. Sarah developed our Spring Newsletter for the last several years and has kept us wonderfully informed about Greensboro news – whether we were in the village or across the globe. Thank you both.

 Association Activities

•  Highland Lodge Ski Trails
With the news of the closing of the lodge, the Association moved quickly to provide a small contribution toward maintaining the Greensboro ski trails. We are considering this as a potential start of a continuing project in keeping with our goal to focus efforts on year round activities. • **Website and PayPal!**: This winter letter marks the first time that we are offering electronic payment over the internet. While we maintain our traditional methods, online contact will be increasingly available and streamlined. Thanks to Betsy Hunt for her “nights and weekends” effort to enhance the website and member management and to Linda Ely for leading the overall effort and establishing new payment options. • **Tax Ad hoc Committee**: Look for more information in the Spring Newsletter, but John Schweizer and his team have been meeting over the last several months to help us become even more informed about the tax situation and how it impacts communities like Greensboro.

Website and PayPal!:
This winter letter marks the first time that we are offering electronic payment over the internet. While we maintain our traditional methods, online contact will be increasingly available and streamlined. Thanks to Betsy Hunt for her “nights and weekends” effort to enhance the website and member management and to Linda Ely for leading the overall effort and establishing new payment options. Please visit www.greensboroassociation.org.

• Tax Ad hoc Committee: Look for more information in the Spring Newsletter, but John Schweizer and his team have been meeting over the last several months to help us become even more informed about the tax situation and how it impacts communities like Greensboro.

Zoning input:
We were asked to comment on a zoning change request this fall. This was a difficult issue because the request, on its surface, seemed quite reasonable and highlighted the potential for similar requests to surface to make properties more accessible and usable by residents. The problem with this request was that it opened the door to wide interpretation. In the end, the board took the position to recommend against the change and that more should be done to improve procedures for reviewing and granting requests of this nature.

Fireworks is now 4th of July
With the fireworks program well managed in partnership with the town, we can now do more with the “Fireworks Committee”. The board agreed to modestly re-scope the committee to become the “Fireworks and 4th of July Committee.” Going forward, we will pursue exciting new activities – including a Fun Run and other visible activities to celebrate and promote the Association. Julia Porrazzo and daughters, have volunteered to help Emily Guertin with the fun run planning. We are still seeking a Committee Chairperson. By the way, the 4th celebration this year is on the 7th.

• New Annual Meeting Dates:
We have moved the date of our annual meeting to Friday August 10 at 7:30PM. It is hard to find a date that satisfies all – but we hope you can come! The traditional date would have set the meeting very late in August, which is difficult for many members with earlier school start dates. • **Around the Lake**: Please use lights at night in your canoes and kayaks! We do not want anyone hurt on the lake and we know fisherman come in late which can create a dangerous situation. Also, do you know your 911 number? Calls are coming in to emergency services without this information, which puts people at risk. Please identify your 911 number and communicate it clearly for your guests and renters!

• Investing in Greensboro:
We are seeking new ideas for ways we may be able to pursue projects that offer a positive, visible and enduring impact for Greensboro. Please feel free to share your ideas with me, Annie Paumgarten or other members of the board of trustees.

Some other Highlights:
Andy Dales continues to lead in almost every aspect of the association’s activities in addition to protecting our lake. Niall Kirkwood is putting together the spring newsletter this year in addition to his work on the Grants and Gifts Committee with Tara Reynolds and others. Annie Paumgarten launched a questionnaire/ survey of our members and will be reporting results for our Spring Newsletter.
Our directory is being published again this year by Anne Cassidy.

Priorities for 2012
The Association is in good shape, yet our village can benefit from more energy and investment. We achieved our 2011 goals and we want to build on this progress in 2012.
•Continue to maintain Caspian Lake clear of invasive species and communicate lake protection measures
• Deploy member database and electronic communications that can be used effectively year-round
• Make a visible and positive impact for Greensboro based on priorities expressed by all our members and residents.

How can you help?
Promote and Encourage Membership.
Join or renew using the enclosed membership mailing (or go online). And encourage families and friends to join as well. Take a minute to learn about the various committees and activities and spread the word with fellow residents, neighbors and renters who may not fully appreciate the positive impact we have had and will have for the community.
Continue protecting our lake.
We need more volunteers to work with the Lake Protection Committee. We must continue the critical measures to protect Caspian Lake. • **Chair the 4th of July Committee**. We still need a Chairperson for the updated “Fireworks and 4th of July Committee” We have a Fun Run team, but an overall leader could help make the occasion more visible for the Association. •
Attend the Annual Meeting
Each year we see familiar faces at the annual meeting – many committed members attend faithfully each year. They ask great questions and keep the Association on track. We would like to extend the involvement and encourage more members to attend our annual meeting if they can.
Share your ideas
How should the Association visibly contribute to the village of Greensboro and continue to fulfill our mission? What can we do to have the most positive impact? What should we do to make the Association more relevant to you? Please share your ideas and get involved.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve Greensboro again as president of your Association. Feel free to email me at jcstone@gmail.com.
Sincerely,
John C. Stone III
Association President