A Joint Letter to the Membership from the Board President and the General Manager
For many of us, this a time that is more challenging than any in living memory. Our world has been turned upside down!
Each of us is trying to adapt to the demands of COVID-19 in our own way, but the rules keep changing, which makes planning difficult and frustrating.
Your leadership has been making every effort to accommodate the requirements, to keep the community safe and still functioning. We have a COVID-19 subcommittee working to gather the information we need to make the best decisions. And we realize that conditions may change overnight, which requires constant flexibility to adapt.
In addition to the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the Community Associations Institute, and the Governor’s proclamations, we have also been maintaining contact with our insurance carrier. We not only have a duty to protect the health of our members, but also to protect the community from liability.
Some of the wise guidance we have received from our insurance carrier:
- If you intentionally act and you know that act WILL cause harm, that could be subject to being excluded from insurance coverage, but that is a very high bar.
- You should have policies and procedures in place that follow government regulations and recommendations.
- You should have management in place to be sure your employees and volunteers are following those policies.
- Employees don’t always follow policies and procedures, either intentionally or otherwise. Insurance coverage is not necessarily in jeopardy, but you should not open if you are not confident that your employees and volunteers will follow your policies and procedures.
- Reach out to the local health department for guidance on opening a public pool.
Measures We Have Taken
Board Operating Resolution 2020-05-01 COVID-19 Relief
This Operating Resolution implemented a Governor’s order to waive renters’ fees and fines, and delay finance charges until July 1. That order has now expired. We have reinstated renters’ fees and fines but will not be reinstating finance charges. The reason for this is that employees would have to audit every single account to change the setting in the computer. We have checked with our Accounting Manager, and the loss of those finance charges will not significantly affect our bottom line for our 2020 budget.
Based on the recommendations of the COVID-19 Subcommittee (which includes Management) the Board has decided that the best time to open the pool, if all requirements can be met, will be during Phase 4.
The schedule of the pool will be dependent on how many employees we can staff. There are many possibilities in the opening of the pool as requirements are ever changing. Some possibilities will be,
- Open for reduced hours.
- Reduced capacity for the pool.
- Offer only open swim sessions, in attempt to make sure every member has an opportunity to use the pool (no lessons or classes).
- Break up swim time into multiple shorter sessions so disinfecting can happen in-between sessions and to allow rotation of the members into the pool.
- There could be other COVID-19 related polices, such as temperatures being taken as you enter, reduced number of people in the restroom at a time, and possibly sectioned off areas for members to use.
We are still working alongside the County and with our insurance as more information is presented to us. We will have a HR professional write policy for our employees to follow.
We understand the community’s frustrations with the pool not being able to be open as usual. Please understand the board and management are trying their very best to find a solution that opens the pool while keeping the Community healthy and out of possible harmful liability situations.
This is not a promise to open, but a promise to do everything in our power to open to as full a capacity as we can, if possible.
Common areas – Restrooms, Signage
First, we understand everyone’s further frustration in dealing with all the effects of COVID-19 restrictions. We understand that, with the pool being closed, many people are using the beaches and, sadly, we haven’t been able to have all bathrooms open. We just do not have enough staff to meet the requirements for cleaning and disinfection.
In addition, with Well 2 going offline we had to make the decision to close all outdoor restrooms for several days to make sure our water levels remained adequate for home use.
Now that Well 2 is back online and we have moved into Phase Three of the Governor’s plan, we have been able to open all beach bathrooms. We won’t be opening any further bathrooms this year, due to staff limitations.
While we all might be frustrated, we need the help of the membership. Please plan your trips well. If you in are a park that does not have a bathroom open, please plan to go home to use your restroom. There are multiple complaints that members are using trails, parks and beaches as restrooms. This only makes a bad situation worse. Please, let’s all do our part in this frustrating time.
We have placed signs throughout the community to help remind the membership of all distancing requirements during Phase 3. This is a part of us doing what’s necessary to keep Clearwood healthy and safe from liability.
The traditional date when we open the gates for the garage sale, the last weekend in July, is canceled. It has tentatively been rescheduled for August 15-16, depending on Thurston and surrounding counties achieving Phase Four by that date.
We will do our best to keep you informed as the situation continues to unfold. If you have specific questions, you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Malinda Poirier, President