Monday, October 9, 2017

Optimistically Speaking, this Saturday Could be the Day the Trustee Board
Approves a Plan for SLI's Future

Even though this is the month traditionally known for the most important issues of the Institute to be tabled until Spring, we remain optimistic that the importance of having a plan for the future will inspire the board to establish a basic plan to ensure the Silver Lake Institute (SLI) carries on its long traditions in the very best ways for which it has come to be known. The plan before the Board is the "Orientation/Welcome Meeting" plan which also includes a statement or pamphlet that real estate agents can use in their work to find persons of genuine interest to become members of the Institute or at a minimum be sympathetic to our causes and purposes, and weeding out those with no interest.

A vibrant program committee, a worship committee striving ever so hard to become more vibrant and relevant, and the Silver Lake Experience committee are prime examples of some of the valuable traditions which serve not only the local community but which have reached out well beyond our grounds right up through Rochester, Batavia, Livingston and Allegheny counties, eastward toward Canandaigua and onward to Erie County.

Are not these program committees enough of a plan for the future? No--The program committees have not been enough of a future plan since 1900 when foreclosures and cheap property sales somehow permitted open season on the purchasing of properties in the Institute without any vetting or scanning of eligibility. 

Many took up residence without any sympathy toward our charter or purposes and even took us to court in an attempt to invalidate large portions of our charter. Luckily the court did not agree with altering the charter, but that still left the Institute with a new reality--a divided community: Those who wanted strict adherence to the charter and its programmatic requirements and those who wanted the Institute disbanded and given over to the Town of Castile.

Let us not be naive, this new phenomenon continues to this day and is all the more prominent since the Institute eliminated their old fashioned application forms which contained questions which became illegal to ask in later years. They also eliminated the Board Interview with prospective property purchasers and never replaced either with updated and adequate forms and interviews. 

From that point up to this very day, WNY real estate agents have, for all practical purposes, been the ones who determine who gets to become members of the Silver Lake Institute (through homes sales), and that has contributed to an ever-growing population of residents not in sympathy with our charter or purposes. Many of those are here for the less expensive housing and the waterfront and water activities.

Renters also need to be in sympathy with our purposes. Most current renters have little or no knowledge of the purposes and mission of the Silver Lake Institute. Long-term renters without knowledge of the Institute, become part of the negative forces speaking against the Institute which hurts the dynamic of the SLI neighborhoods. They need also to be a part of the proposed "Orientation/ Welcome Meetings" and updated applications.

Lastly, we are not our children and our children are not us. Cottages which become inherited (or simple name change requests on deeds) must also be a part of the Welcome program. Our children, for the most part, do not know about the Institute, its mission and purposes. (If yours do, hallelujah, and endless congratulations!) When my children inherit my cottage and decide to keep it, I want them "oriented and welcomed" so they can learn as much about the Institute as possible before being confronted--one by one--by its requirements and expectations. You as Institute members should want to get to know my children if they are moving in and/or using my cottage, in the same way that I, as a member of the community, want to get to know your children as part of the community.

SLI Board members have been studying this proposal since the last Board meeting and will be given a reduced-word version by the LRPC at this Saturday's Board meeting so they will have a slightly different approach as a second choice. Most of us are in extremely high hopes that this plan or one similar will be either immediately adopted or at least be in place for 2018. (Time is not on our side on this one!) This Saturday's SLI Board meeting is at Epworth Hall at 10:00 am (Oct. 14, 2017).

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