The SLI Chaplain, having heard and been a part of many conversations about what the SLI Community would or could look like without a firm plan for the future, got to work several months ago writing up a simple but detailed plan. The plan was based on informal interviews with local real estate agents who we discovered were actually asking for help in communicating what the Silver Lake Institute was, and what it was all about. Most said the Handbook was of little use to them or their clients because it wasn't designed for easy or pleasant reading and talked very little about the best parts of the Institute--its programs and the interactions between its community residents. One agent spoke of how the responsibility of supporting the Institute through taxes was always "buried in obscure locations" if spoken about at all. He thought it would be very helpful to them to have the support element spoken of as one of the first points, so wasted time could be eliminated by persons not interested in the Institute if there was any support element to it.
THUS POINT 1 became the need for either several official one-page/one-side statements to be made about the nature and support of the Institute, or a brief pamphlet prepared that could be used when the interest of prospective buyers, renters, or other new cottage owners reached the point of interest of the property down payment, rental security deposit, inheritance, or name change request. It goes without saying that those renting and those getting a cottage through inheritance or simple name change, are as vital to the community as property owners who paid cash or mortgage for their property. It should also go without saying that inheritance or name change does not automatically infuse knowledge of the Institute or acceptance of responsibility into someone's head.
Since it is our job to "sell the Institute" to prospective people, we cannot expect a variety of real estate agents to do that job for us. Real Estate agents may simply not have enough practical knowledge of the Institute to promote it in an enthusiastic and comprehensive manner. Some real estate agents may actually experience a conflict of interest between making a sale versus 100% honesty about what it means to be a property owner within the Silver Lake Institute.
THUS POINT 2 becomes the need for an "Orientation/Welcome Meeting" where volunteer residents of the SLI community talk about the Institute to prospective buyers, renters, inheritors, and beneficiaries of deed name changes. This is a two-way conversation, so the prospects get to inquire about their questions and concerns to actual property owners who know the Institute experience best. This initial "getting to know each other" is essential for the Board of Trustees to make a well-informed decision when voting on approving new residents. The introductory statements and/or pamphlet can be offered again just in case it was never received in the first place or the prospect has lost or misplaced it.
Members of the Board of Trustees received detailed information about the two-point plan at their August meeting and were asked by the Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) to read up on it before the October meeting. The Chaplain, about two weeks later, sent an email to the Board members asking them to include renters in the plan since they were not initially included. Today's announcement takes it to its logical conclusion of including everyone in this plan for the future--prospective property owners, prospective renters, those who inherit property, and those who are beneficiaries of a name change request. This is based on the principle that a family member should not be assumed to have the same knowledge of the Institute as the parent or other relative has. All should be treated equally and begin their actual time with the Institute with all the practical knowledge of it that they need for a successful run and fulfilling experience.
The LRPC is preparing a shortened version of the original materials submitted to the Board to provide an option between the more detailed plan and a more open ended (shorter) plan that can be filled in as time and experience mandates it. The shorter version will be made available at the October Board meeting on October 14th by the LRPC.