This foreword explains the reasons for, and the thinking behind, the revised constitution which follows.
Constitution Revision : A Foreword
At the August 2002 Annual General Meeting, the members approved a motion to review the Constitution of the Raven Lake Cottagers Association, apply for incorporation of the Association, and secure insurance. This motion was put forward because, in these times, to operate an association and to serve as director without the protections afforded by incorporation and insurance is simply fool-hardy. The members at the Meeting also approved an increase of yearly Association dues to $25.00 per membership, necessitated by the expected Insurance premium.
The Constitution Incorporation and Insurance committee, consisting of Harry Wilson, (President), Geoff Gooderham (1st VP), Scott Lewis (2nd VP), Diane MacSaveney and Ross Lawrence (past presidents), and Sean Lawrence proposed a schedule of meetings over the fall and winter months to achieve all three objectives. By the end of the first week of January, the constitution had been revised, application for incorporation had been submitted, and the process for insurance of the association had been initiated. By the end of February, letters patent had been issued to the association.
Constitution deliberations focused on the original intent of the Association as defined in the 1986 constitution, while recognizing the need to respond to present-day realities. Of paramount concern to the committee were the questions of membership, voting privileges and procedures, checks and balances to preserve the integrity of the Association and the rights of all members, and effective communications within the entire organization.
The objects of the Association have been, and continue to be, to "foster and advance the interests of cottagers..." The distinction between "cottager" and "property owner" was first addressed when, in 1986, the previous "Raven Lake Property Owners Association" was re-constituted as the "Raven Lake Cottagers Association". The committee felt it vital that this association continue to serve the interests of all who enjoy Raven Lake, not just those who have title to property. This distinction also allows for tenants to join the association; we have had several long-term tenants on the lake.
A membership gives voting privileges to up to two named members. This allows families to be fully represented without having to purchase separate memberships for each partner. The constitution also allows for additional memberships to be purchased by other members of that family on the same basis of one membership naming two voting members. The intent here is to encourage more participation by the younger generations in the Association. While voting is typically by show of hands, provisions exist for a formal ballot to be held, pursuant to a verification of voting privileges as declared on the current memberships.
Discussion on preventing the association and its intentions from being hijacked led to two important decisions.
i) A "safety valve" for the Directors of the association has been structured which they can utilize when they believe an issue "of material significance" to the Association and its members surfaces at a regular general meeting. The directors can defer further discussion and any voting on that issue to a "Special General Meeting". This would allow for the directors and the membership to communicate in detail the importance of the issue to the full membership. Such a "Special General Meeting" must be held within 30 days of the decision to refer the issue.
ii) A quorum for a meeting has been defined as a minimum of 10 voting members representing a minimum of 8 separate Raven Lake properties. This device should effectively balance the interests of the property owners with the "cottagers" as defined above.
The last ten years have seen significant changes in the way we communicate. The proposed constitution now empowers the Directors to give "Notice" to the membership by several methods, including mail, email, and internet website postings. Our first test of the latter is the appearance of this proposed Constitution on our new Raven Lake website. (raven.lake.tripod.com). This saves the Association mailing and paper charges, and allows individuals to access the information anywhere, any time.
This constitution will be formally presented for discussion and approval at the Annual General Meeting of the Association on August 16th, 2003, at the Sandy Beach. We invite your comments at any time on the work we have undertaken on behalf of your Association and all of its members. Please feel free to contact any of the above-named committee members with your suggestions prior to the end of the July Civic Holiday weekend.
For the committee,
President, Raven Lake Cottagers Association
RAVEN LAKE COTTAGERS’ ASSOCIATION CONSTITUTION
(Revised January 4, 2003)
The Raven Lake Cottagers’ Association is an incorporated not-for-profit corporation with Letters Patent issued by the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Business Services on February 27, 2003. The newly incorporated organization continues the tradition of an association to serve the interests of the cottagers of Raven Lake which began many years ago under the name Raven Lake Property Owners Association.
1. NAME: Raven Lake Cottagers’ Association.
2. TERRITORY: All of lots 1 to 10 in concessions 5 to 11 inclusive, the Township of Algonquin Highlands, County of Haliburton, together with those parts of concession A in Ridout Ward, Area Municipality of the Township of Lake of Bays, in the District Municipality of Muskoka, lying to the east of Highway No. 35.
3. OBJECTS: To foster and advance the interests of cottagers with properties situated on Raven Lake and to promote recreational activities among cottagers on Raven Lake.
4. MEMBERSHIP and VOTING RIGHTS:
6. MEETINGS OF MEMBERS:
7. SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING: A Special General Meeting must be convened upon the requisition in writing of 25% of the total of the members in good standing, and such a meeting must be convened by the directors within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the requisition. The requisition shall state the purpose of the meeting and shall be given as outlined in Article 24 hereof. If the directors fail to call such a meeting, then the members requisitioning the meeting may convene such a meeting on one month’s notice in writing to all members whose names shall be made available by the Treasurer.
8. NOTICE OF MEETINGS OF MEMBERS: A minimum of thirty (30) days in advance:
9. BOARD OF DIRECTORS: There shall be a board consisting of at least 7 members, or such number as may be determined by the Annual General Meeting, elected annually at the Annual General Meeting, together with the immediate past President who shall be a member of the Board ex officio. All members of the Board shall serve without remuneration.
10. MEETINGS OF DIRECTORS: Meetings of directors shall be called by the President or Vice-President, and Notice in writing shall be given at least one week before any meeting. Meetings of the directors shall be held at such times as it is deemed necessary. The first meeting of a new Board shall be held immediately following the Annual General Meeting to appoint officers.
11. REMOVAL OR RESIGNATION: Any member of the Board or any officer may resign in writing to the Secretary, and any member of the Board or officer may be removed by a vote of the majority of the directors.
12. PROTECTION OF DIRECTORS & OFFICERS: All members of the Board and all officers, while acting on behalf of the Association, shall be indemnified by the Association from and against all costs and expenses which such director or officer sustains having to do with any action or proceeding brought against such director or officer, and all other costs and expenses which the director or officer sustains except such as are occasioned by the willful neglect or default of the director or officer.
13. NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE: There shall be a Nominations Committee consisting of the Past President and two members appointed by the Board who shall present nominations for the office of director to the Annual General Meeting, and which shall attempt to present the most suitable and representative candidates.
14. NOMINATIONS: Nominations to the office of director shall be made by the Nominations Committee. Further nominations may be made in writing if signed by at least five members in good standing at or before the Annual General Meeting.
15. OFFICERS: The officers of the Association shall be a President, two or more Vice-Presidents, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and the Past President.
16. DUTIES OF OFFICERS:
17. COMMITTEES: The Board may appoint such committees as it deems necessary for the proper functioning of the Association.
18. VACANCY: In the event that any office becomes vacant or there is a vacancy in the Board of Directors, the remaining members of the Board shall appoint a member to fill the vacancy until the next Annual General Meeting.
19. FISCAL YEAR: The fiscal year shall end on the 31st of December in each year.
20. BANKING: The Association shall keep its funds in a chartered bank or other financial institution approved by the Board, and all cheques or other instruments shall be signed by two members of the Board.
21. AUDIT COMMITTEE: The Board may appoint an auditor or an Audit Committee as it determines.
22. AMENDMENTS: The Constitution may be amended at any meeting, provided that Notice is given of the amendment and provided that at least two-thirds of the members attending approve.
23. RESOLUTIONS: Resolutions of the Board, or of the Membership, may be approved by a simple majority, subject to Article 6 (f).
24. NOTICE: Notice shall be in writing and shall be effectively given, if sent by prepaid registered mail, on the second business day following the mailing thereof and, if sent by any electronic communication or hand delivered, on the business day on which it was sent to the Association and shall be given in two copies to each of the President and the Secretary, at the mailing address as set out in the books of the Association from time to time. Alternatively, during the summer season, written notice may be given by hand in person to any two officers of the association then in residence on Raven Lake.
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