Tierra Linda Board of Directors…
Since I haven’t heard from the Board since my request almost a week ago I thought I’d try one more time in a neighborly fashion. Nobody likes being ignored.
Definition of a fish barrier, according to our US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation-
A fish barrier is a structure, either natural or man-made, that prevents the movement of fishes and aquatic organisms.
The lower dam appears to have a new structure being erected upon it, a fish barrier.
facility: the fact of being easy, or easily done; absence of difficulty, simplicity. The physical means or contrivances to make something possible; the required equipment, infrastructure, location etc.
Adding mechanical boat launches certainly facilitates and makes more easily done the launching and retrieving of boats. This would be a new facility and I assume have some structure as well.
Quoted from our by-laws-
“SECTION 15. BOARD ACTIONS REQUIRING MEMBERSHIP APPROVAL. An
Association Member vote shall be conducted by the Board of Directors before certain major actions are taken.
Actions which shall require a majority favorable vote, as defined below, of the membership before implementation are:
“…b) Expenditure for construction of any new FACILITY, building or STRUCTURE which is not a replacement for one which has existed previously. [emphasis added]
“c) Actions implementing any proposal which would significantly impact the community, its individual members or groups, its amenities, its rural ranch-like atmosphere, or its current or potential assets…”
Adding grass carp certainly is a significant impact on our lower lake, an amenity and current asset. So, significant an impact Texas Parks and Wildlife requires a permit and a barrier be built to make sure these fish do not escape our ponds. While stocking grass carp was tried almost 14 years ago, this is a change to the way the lakes have been managed more recently.
The Board cannot ignore calls to be accountable to the membership or continue some private agenda without notice or redress.
It is really simple, the board has to act in a way that is transparent to the membership and allow the membership a voice when changing direction or starting something new. Fish barriers, boat launches and grass carp may be perfectly good ideas, that doesn’t change the fact that the membership has a voice on these matters and circumventing that voice isn’t acceptable in a community like Tierra Linda. If these are such great ideas, why would you refuse discussion?
The Board has been asked to stop this construction of a fish barrier, and allow all sides of the issues regarding the best path forward for our invaluable lakes, the ranch’s greatest assets, to be heard. Changing the name of the group from Lakes Advisory Group to the Lakes Assistance Group to keep that group off our listing of volunteer organizations, hiding this group of motivated fishermen’s requests to the board in the Ranch Manager’s Report instead of properly allowing notice to the membership in the business section of the agenda for these significant actions and changes should be below our Board. In this particular case the requests of this group aren’t even consistent with the purpose of the ranch as laid out in our by-laws which clearly state we are to preserve the environment, not enhance fishing.
The lack of a response last week from the Board regarding these requests to stop construction and allow the voice of the membership to be heard suggests the Board believes it is above the membership rather than working for the membership. This frankly is a much larger problem than whether we build new structures with Association money or whether we change the way we manage our most valuable assets on the ranch without consideration of past membership supported board actions in these regards. I am beginning to wonder if we have a Board that believes communicating with concerned members, and allowing open, frank conversations are not in the best interest of the Board’s agenda. By denying different points of view we lose our strength as a community to come together and build a better place. Different view points openly discussed often offer nuggets of wisdom, helping to refine and improve plans. There is no one source of all the best answers, that is our strength, in allowing everyone to contribute.
Please respond as appropriate, using our by-laws as a guide to the best way forward for our ranch and allow these matters to be vetted in the open view of the membership rather than by some cabal with an agenda contrary to our purpose as an Association. These issues are of great import on the ranch and deserve no less.
[This letter was delivered to Board members this past Monday morning. I spoke with Fred Henneke, our Association’s attorney, Tuesday afternoon, he confirms the Board can ignore requests from the membership. He added, “It’s not very neighborly,” nor the best way to run a neighborhood association.
I remain hopeful a majority of the Board will find the courage to allow members to come to the next meeting and discuss the issues from all sides. Though time is running out: our new fish barrier is almost complete.]