Our Association is blessed to have a wonderful community of people.  Many of you volunteer your time, whether it’s working on Shay Lake Association (SLA) projects, other community events, or helping to keep the community safe, clean, and beautiful.  Our SLA members continue their financial support through payment of annual dues, which provides the funds for road maintenance and snow removal among other things.  If you are reading this newsletter and are not currently a SLA member please consider joining us.  Attend a meeting to see what the SLA is about and what we do.  Our first meeting of the year is scheduled for May 18, 2019 at 2:30pm at the Pavilion.  There will be coffee and donuts provided.  Bring a neighbor who hasn’t been to a SLA meeting or function before and introduce them to our board members.  The SLA is a group of concerned residents that do their best to do what’s best for our lake community………period!  There are no salaries, stipends, or other personal expenses paid.  We do this because we love Shay Lake.  Have you talked to your friends and neighbors about joining? Please do!

      A few statistics about the Shay Lake community that I think we all need to be aware of:          Shay Lake Subdivisions consist of over 800 parcels of property; approximately 170 of these parcels have a house on them; there are 119 viable houses – of these 70 are year-round residents and 41 are weekend residents. The most concerning fact is that of the 70 year round residents only 38 are members of the association.  The year round residents benefit from snow plowing which allows them to get to their jobs and school - snow plowing paid for by the dues of SLA members. Of the 41 weekenders – all 41 are SLA members.  We need to all get involved and join.  We have work to do!  As a lakefront property owner, it matters to me what’s happening at the lake, and it likely matters to you too.

      I would like to thank the rest of the board for their commitment to the SLA and to the betterment of the community. Without the hard work and involvement of our members we wouldn’t be successful in what we try to do.  I would like to thank Mike Urban who retired from our board last summer for all the time and talents he gave to the association.  Also, we welcome Andy Blackwell as Chairperson of the Road Maintenance Committee – looking forward to working with him this year.

      I am excited for what the future has in store for the SLA and our lake community.  This is an important year – ELECTION YEAR!  All board positions will need to be filled – President, Vice Presidents, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, and Recording Secretary - the current three year term expires at the end of the year.  Nominations for the positions may be brought to the general membership at the regular meetings.  Nominations can be in writing at any time before the meeting or can be made from the floor at the meeting.  Those whose names are placed in nomination must be present in order to be considered. A candidate for office must be a paid member in good standing for at least one full year. No member shall hold more than one office at a time. Standing Committees are appointed by the Board President – committee members shall be appointed by the Committee Chairperson from among members in good standing.  The Standing Committees are:  Road Maintenance, Lake Maintenance, Nominating, and Special Projects.  The Nominating Committee Chairperson will be established at the May meeting – they have the responsibility of coordinating the election.  Elections take place at the August meeting and official duties of the new board begin January 2020.  There are a lot of talented people in the SLA with great ideas – please consider sharing your talents for leadership and be the new SLA Board!   

      The SLA will continue to formulate a strong alliance with the Lake Maintenance Coalition.  The Coalition monitors the quality of our lake water and treats the lake for weed control.  The Coalition raises all the monies needed to purchase the expensive product for weed control. I encourage all members of the Shay Lake community to support their efforts to keep our lake healthy and beautiful. The first fundraiser of the Coalition will be a poker run on June 1.  The Michigan Lakes Stewardship Association (of which we are members) website www.mymlsa.org is an extremely valuable source of information on a wide variety of topics of interests to lake residents in Michigan.  I encourage you to take a look. A great website suggestion from member Kristen Devine is www.michigandnr.com.  This is a wonderful resource for those that enjoy hunting and don’t own any acreage to enjoy the sport.  The state would love for all to enjoy their many acres of public lands.  Check it out!

     I want to address the many calls received about vandalism and theft of property that is happening in our community.  Many observations have been made as to the responsible parties.  We have a Neighborhood Watch Program but your first responsibility is if you see something say something –call the police and also notify your area Watch captain.  Be a good neighbor and keep an eye out for your seasonal neighbor’s property. It helps the police if your neighbor has given you written permission to notify authorities on their behalf.  PLEASE talk to your children about respecting other people’s property before it’s too late. Good neighbors look out for each other and the community.

      The last issue I want to address are the many complaints from property owners regarding non-property owners/non-residents ice fishing on the lake.  Only Shay Lake property owners and their guests are eligible to use the lake. Your guest must have a written signed and dated permission from the Shay Lake property owner IF THAT OWNER IS NOT ACCOMPANYING THE GUEST AT THE TIME.  The abundance of strangers fishing the lake is unfair to the Shay Lake property owners who donate annually to the fish restocking efforts of member Bob Adams.

     The SLA would like to resume having a guest speaker at one or two of our meetings.  We used to do that, but got away from it in recent years.  I welcome your input.  If you have a suggestion for a topical subject or a certain speaker, please let me know.  We are planning some pontoon float nights, a fish fry, and a wine and cheese party – hopefully this year we can get added participation at the planned social events.  Dates, time and place to be announced,    WATCH YOUR BULLETIN BOARD!

Looking forward to summer.

Garfield Hughes, III