Our annual Vecinos Membership meeting took place on Wednesday February 15th and was very well attended. We accepted into membership 18 new homeowners, bringing our membership count to 80.
The board of directors for the coming year: President – Dan Freeman, Vice President – Beryl Van Lierop, Secretary – Richard Pargot, Treasurer – Tandy Muir Warden, Vocals – Henning Bartsch, Enrique Alcaraz, Carly Flores, Jamie Cost, Terry Richardson.
Legal Aid Fund. The strength of our organization is growing each year. As the community becomes more organized we need to understand where we are legally, and to establish rules for the running of Akumal Norte community. The board of directors came to the members meeting this year and asked for a vote on establishing a legal fund. This fund will be used to hire expert lawyers to advise us of our right to create and enforce rules. The Legal Fund proposal establishes that each Vecinos member will contribute $200usd to create the fund. The value of the startup fund at today’s rate of exchange (February 15, 2017) will be $320,000.00 pesos. This money will be set aside and used exclusively for legal consultant fees. Nonmember property owners will be solicited to contribute since this program will benefit the entire community. Contributions can be made by cash, credit card, or bank transfer. We will need to set this up immediately. Already we are interviewing firms to choose who is best qualified to help. Proposal 1. Passed with 1 against, 2 abstaining
Membership Fees. It was proposed by the board to raise our membership fee to $5000 pesos per membership or the equivalent of $250 dollars based on the current daily exchange rate. (La tarifa de afiliación es de $250 usd, actualizado a pesos con el tipo de cambio actual.) Memberships will remain a one-time payment. Proposal 2. Passed with 2 abstentions
Pluma Gate Security. Terry Richardson initially established the entry gate for Akumal Norte and personally financed a lot of the startup cost. Vecinos members and nonmembers have benefited from the added security gate, and this year the Vecinos board proposed to bring the security gate under our organizational umbrella. The proposal is for Vecinos members to now assume the cost of running and maintaining the Pluma located at the entry point to Akumal Norte. All members will be required to contribute to the cost for the Pluma. In addition, nonmember owners in Akumal Norte will be solicited to contribute since the security gate benefits all owners. The cost factor is being finalized by the security committee and will be sent out as soon as it is established. This will continue under the direction of Terry Richardson, a Vecinos board vocal and Security Chairman. Proposal 3. Passed unanimously.
Private security contributions for each section’s private security will be on an individual residency basis. This will continue under the direction of Terry Richardson.
Projects completed and in the planning stages:
The first major infrastructure project completed under the stewardship of President Henning Barstch was the installation of our underground central water system. Continuing under current presidency we have completed the resurfacing of the main road from the pluma to YalKu Lagoon. Now we are restyling and in some cases removing topes and properly spacing them to meet federal government standards.
Our next project is the central sewage system, required by the federal government to be completed within the next three years. All Akumal Norte properties are required to hook into the new central sewage system. This year we are still in the planning phase and will be moving towards installation hopefully within the year. This project will not only be installed in Akumal Norte, but we are also working with Akumal Pueblo to redesign a larger sewage processing center and install more sewer lines. This is not only a good neighbor policy, but will offer more pollution protection for the mangrove and Yalku Lagoon.
Street Lighting. Terry Richardson is working on a street lighting plan. Terry and his local neighbors have installed the lights and have been testing their effectiveness. The results look good and the cost is low. We will present this soon as a new project.
Recycling. One of Vecinos future projects ties in with one that our Delegado wants to accomplish, that is, the building of a recycling center in the park and a trash transfer station outside of Akumal Pueblo. We want the center to be large enough to house a small security booth and a shredder garage. Owners will be responsible for sorting their recyclables and bringing them to the center. In addition, the center will accept garden debris for shredding (no palm leaves). The shredded garden debris would be bagged for garden fill.
Conservation. Vecinos staff is working with various city, state, and federal government agencies to continue conservation of our mangrove, YalKu Lagoon, and Half Moon Bay.
Altruistic Community Services . This year Vecinos organization working with the Delegado contributed 20 bags of concrete to the Pueblo to help finish the garden median on their main entrance road. In addition, we donated $10,000 pesos for Carnival celebrations dance contest prizes. Vecinos president had his picture taken with the celebrants and the people of the Pueblo were very grateful for Vecinos participation.
On a personal note, I know this year we have asked for more money for projects and operations; however, I think we are really growing and coming together as an established community. In the next few years you are going to see some major changes for the betterment of the community. I wish to extend to you all my thanks for the support you have shown me this first year of my presidency and to tell you how grateful I am for the way you have also supported the Vecinos projects. In the end, I want our community to be, the fulfilled paradise that all of us see in our hearts.
The Vecinos staff is looking forward to a great year and we hope the same for our members and their families. Lots of exciting happenings are coming!