Membership Matters

The other day I had the pleasure of adding a final Clary Lake shore owner to our current year membership rolls, bringing the total Membership for the 2016/2017 year to 118. It is unusual for people to be sending in dues this late for the current year. Given that our membership year runs from Annual meeting to Annual meeting and with only 4 months left in this membership year, I decided to contact the person to ask if they intended their dues to apply to this year, or the upcoming year? Their response was heartening: they apologized for being late in renewing and said the dues were for this year, and that they’d be paying their 2017/2018 dues shortly. And they did. Well alright. I like that. Because Membership Matters.

Before going any further, I wish to thank everyone who saw fit to join the Clary Lake Association this year. To give you an idea of how amazing it is to have 118 members, consider that last year we had 81 which was the most members, ever. That’s an increase of 45% in one year. Here are our membership numbers for the past 6 years. As you can see, there has been a steady increase from year to year:

2011: 28
2012: 41
2013: 50
2014: 71
2015: 81
2016: 118
2017: ???

While the change in our bylaws 2 years ago allowing 1) multiple members per family and 2) not requiring that members own property on Clary Lake or have deeded (legal) access to it explains some of the increase over last year, it doesn’t begin to fully account for it by any means. Clearly, there is increased concern over the health and wellbeing of Clary Lake and a burgeoning of interest in and appreciation of the important role the Clary Lake Association is playing in current events. The value of the work we’re doing to represent the interests of lake shore owners and community members alike and keeping everyone informed and engaged is extremely important. While we haven’t succeeded in resolving the current water level crisis yet, we are helping guide it to a satisfactory conclusion. And progress IS being made. And Membership Matters.

DSC_2846 - CopyPaul Kelley has in the past dismissed the Clary Lake Association as an insignificant and inconsequential player in the self-inflicted trauma-drama he has visited upon our lake. He has said we did not represent a “majority of Clary Lake shore owners.” Well that might have been true in 2011 when we had 28 members, but it surely can’t said anymore. Currently there are about 87 individual littoral properties (properties with a boundary on the lake) with roughly 112 owners of those properties (note that a property can and often does have more than one owner). Of those 87 properties, only 31 of them belong to people who have not joined the Association. In other words, 56 or fully 64% of the littoral properties around Clary Lake are represented within our membership by one or more individuals. That’s a substantial majority no matter how you look at it: most lake associations can only dream of having that high a percentage of their lake shore property owners as members. 

If we instead look at our membership in terms of actual littoral property owners, the numbers are even more impressive: approximately 78 of the roughly 112 littoral owners on Clary Lake, or about 70% of the total are currently members of the Clary Lake Association. In reality however, Clary Lake is a Great Pond held in trust by the State for the People of the State of Maine. One need not be a property owner on Clary Lake to care about it and want it protected, and preserved. Membership is open to anyone. Because Membership matters

So we’re off to a good start! Officially our membership drive doesn’t start until around the end of May when we send out the Summer newsletter, and many people renew or join at the Annual Meeting however, you’re welcome to join the Association or renew your membership for the upcoming year anytime. See our Signup or Renew Your Membership On Line page for how to do this. Please help us set another record this upcoming year. Because Membership Matters!

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