SGM date Feb 8/2023 membership survey

26 Jan 2024 9:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

2023 Membership Survey: January 31 deadline

We are looking for your feedback on how to make Water Rats better. We've created a survey with questions to better understand your experience at the club. 

In addition to the questions, there is a comment section at the bottom where you can leave additional feedback. Some of the questions have an Other option where you can also write in suggestions.

We are looking forward to hearing your feedback!

Take the survey here. 

SGM Date: Feb 8

The club will be holding a special general meeting on Feb 8 at 7 pm at the club as a follow up to our AGM to discuss and vote on changes to the fee structure for members who have a catamaran and a Laser.

For as long as we have digital records (2011-present), the Water Rats Membership Rules have officially allowed members to store:

1.       1 Catamaran or up to two Dinghies under 16’ (if a sailing member)

2.       Up to 2 Canoes/Kayaks

When conducting the inventory of boats in 2021, we discovered that a number of members had more boats than the rules permitted. We learned that in the past, some Catamaran members had been given permission to store a Laser free of charge in order to encourage participation in Laser racing. This was never changed in the membership rules and the practice was inconsistently applied over time, with members being told at times they were not allowed to store a Laser. In addition to Catamaran members with Lasers, we found paddling members with three boats, dinghy members with three boats, and Catamaran members with non-Laser dinghies. In many cases, members added these boats without seeking permission at all and the club had no official records of the boats.

The board felt that the fairest thing to do was to give the privilege of additional boat storage to all members. However, that privilege came with an additional fee of $200 to avoid Water Rats becoming a dump for unused boats. The fee was successful in encouraging a number of members to sell unused boats and we had many members take the opportunity to add another boat. Several members recognized that they were aware they were not within the rules and welcomed the opportunity to pay the fee to abide by the updated rules. Currently we have 7 Catamaran members with a Laser and 2 Catamaran members with another dinghy. Of the Catamaran Members with Lasers, only one is participating in Laser racing.

We asked in our 2022 membership survey if members felt this fee was fair. 80% of respondents answered that the fee was fair or too low. We asked again in our 2023 membership survey, which is not complete, but with 72 votes cast 76% of members indicate their support for the current fee structure.

At the AGM, a few members felt that the fee should be removed. To that end, we will be considering the following motion:

Modify membership rule 4(a) to read “one catamaran and one dinghy” and rule 5 to read “Laser and Dinghy members may store one additional dinghy under 15' and its trailer at Water Rats for an additional fee of $200 per year. Members must obtain approval and stickers before bringing the boat to WRSC.”

The effect of the motion is to remove the $200 for Catamaran members who have a dinghy.

If the motion passes, members who paid the fee will be refunded, resulting in a cost of approximately $5,400 to the club.

If the motion does not pass, then the fee structure will remain unchanged. Given that the membership surveys indicate broad support for the current fee structure, if we are unable to obtain quorum, we will leave the fee structure unchanged.

The board recommends voting against the motion. We feel that it is reasonable for members to pay for the storage space that they use. We don’t believe that the fee is so large that it discourages members from Laser racing. We have found that members with multiple boats often do not make use of all of them, contributing to our derelict boat problem. Having a small fee encourages members to consider whether they are making good use of the boat, and we have found the introduction of the fee to already be successful in removing a few boats that were unused.

In addition to voting at the meeting, members may vote by proxy by sending the form to David. The form can be digitally signed.

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