Yesterday was the day, the SKP Saguaro Co-op’s annual meeting, the day I joined the Board of Directors for a three-year ride.
We got up early to be sure everything was ready, including me. I got a haircut the day before, and Suzy even ironed my new blue western shirt, the one that matches my blue eyes, and I put on a clean pair of blue jeans. Although the meeting was scheduled to start at 10:00am, the Election Committee was set up and ready to roll at 8:00. So were we.
There were two requirements for this meeting: you had to register to attend; here Andy Vert is signing in.
Andy’s wife, Maxine, has been on the Board for two years, both years as Board Secretary. It’s a very busy and complicated job, and she’s a very competent person. More about Maxine and Andy later.
The second requirement is more traditional than legal: each person, or at least each leasehold present (we are a leasehold of two persons) is required to bring a can of food for the Benson Food Bank. Our park is very supportive of the local community; we sponsor a blood drive each year and many of us donate often at the bi-monthly drives. Several residents here are members and officers of the Elks Club. Eleven of us are ViCAP volunteers who drive elderly people in the community to medical appointments in Tucson or other communities within a 50-mile range. We collect Box Tops for Education and Campbell Soup labels for a couple of public schools nearby. We collect empty prescription bottles (and I can’t remember who gets those) and plastic shopping bags for the Benson Senior Center. Every year we contribute hundreds of dollars for Christmas gifts for foster children and needy seniors. None of this is directed by the park itself or the Board of Directors – it’s all generated by volunteers within the park.
Ooops – sorry about the commercial. I just happen to be very proud of all of us!
At any rate, when a leasehold registers, they are given the Annual Report and a voting card with their lot number on it. If any items are brought up for vote during the meeting, leaseholders vote by holding aloft their voting card. Seldom is there anything like that to vote on, as election packets sent out in advance have any pre-known issues already on a ballot.
Between our 8:05 registration and the 10:00 meeting, Suzy and I socialized with the other early birds. Besides leaseholders, any renters in the park were invited to attend. They were not allowed to vote, though.
As the meeting was about to start, I got this picture of the outgoing Board of Directors.
The Secretary, Maxine (mentioned above), is shown just right of center. The meeting was largely devoted to the various Board members giving reports or expressing appreciation of the folks doing so much work in our park, both a few paid employee and scads of volunteers.
When it came time to “announce” the already assured new Board members (three positions available, three candidates), of course there were no surprises. We three were invited forward to face the other leaseholders and swear to uphold the requirements of the position.
Then all the members of the new Board retired to chambers and elected our new officers for the 2011 year.
Here’s the new Board: Maxine (blue jacket, center) was elected President.
I’m sitting down at the end so that I have a better chance to hear what’s being said to my right (left ear hears nearly nothing, the right ear has a hearing aid).
When the meeting was over, the Board, including both the outgoing members and the incoming members, went to lunch at the nearby golf club’s restaurant. After a delightful lunch (each of us paid for our own lunches – no free lunch for Board members!), as we were chilling out, Andy (see the first picture) suddenly called out “Maxine!” and collapsed.
Fortunately, three of us attending were retired nurses and took charge, while the waitress called 911. Andy was recovering from his episode when the EMTs arrived. One of them asked him if he could name the President – Andy’s characteristic reply: “My Wife,” who of course had just been elected President of the Board! We all knew at that moment that Andy would be all right!
And with that certainty, we close this episode of … Our Life on Wheels!