Dear OAHI Member,
URGENT: PLEASE READ THIS MESSAGE AND RESPOND
Last September the Board of Directors sent a series of 10 emails to all OAHI members on a variety of topics. Buried in this group of emails, the sixth message, issued on September 17, 2008 with the subject line “Board of Directors Message 2008-6”, indicated that there would be a “substantial” increase in member fees. In fact, ‘substantial’ can be considered something of an understatement as the new membership fee amounts to a 53 percent increase over last year’s fees.
The signs of a looming crisis in real estate and indeed the world economy were evident even in September when this increase was first announced. Today, it would be fair to say that the economy as a whole and real estate in particular have gone to hell in a hand basket. Our country is now officially in a recession.
Following this announcement of what amounts to a Draconian increase, placing undue hardship on many home inspectors, the Board heard from numerous association members urging them to reconsider. I personally spoke with many of the board members individually concerning these plans and met with the entire Board at the last BOD meeting on December 5, 2008 to discuss alternative cost reduction options that would eliminate the need for any fee increase at all.Unfortunately much of what was proposed fell on deaf ears.
With significant pressure and a real concern over members not renewing, the Board is currently still deliberating. One proposal presently under consideration is to split member payments into two installments and reduce the increase to what amounts to 18 percent annualized.
It’s time for OAHI members to be heard! The BOD needs to be told in no uncertain terms that ANY RATE INCREASE IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. The Board has been presented with expense reduction options that will have no discernable effect on members other than to provide them with a balanced budget and a ZERO fee increase. Unfortunately there are some on the BOD with a different agenda and who are reluctant to make the required cost reductions.
Now is the time for all association members to exercise your right to decide the direction of your association. We need to hear from all members opposing any increase in membership fees directing us to have a special meeting. Once we have sufficient members requesting such a meeting (25 percent of voting members are required), all members will have the opportunity to vote on the specific cost reduction measures that will eliminate the need for any fee increase. These line items, which includes eliminating the paid COO position ($60,000 annually), will be spelled out in detail in our typical familiar AGM style voting ballots and proxy voting ballots (no need to physically attend the specially meeting) that will be emailed to all members once we have sufficient numbers requesting a special meeting.
**Remember, you really do have control of your association and your voice will be heard if you reply to this email as soon as possible with your name and a comment at the top requesting a special OAHI members meeting. I promise that with your intervention we will have a ZERO 2009 FEE INCREASE and we’ll begin the journey to making your association truly member driven! If you have already submitted your renewal at the higher fee you will be reimbursed. **
Please feel free to add any additional comments to your reply that you would like. Assuming we have enough home inspectors concerned about the future of this business, I will follow-up with more ‘state of the union’ emails outlining positive options for stopping all the politics and infighting and moving forward for the betterment of all.