The Arrowhead Lake Association board of directors conducted its Dec. 3 meeting both in person and on Zoom. (Photo by Mary-Justine Lanyon)
ARROWHEAD LAKE ASSOCIATION
Members praise tenor of new board
By Mary-Justine Lanyon
Several members at the Dec. 3 meeting of the Arrowhead Lake Association board of directors commented on the change in the tone of the meeting.
“I love the tenor of this meeting,” said Marilyn Dishell. “It is less tense, less hostile. I love the new transparency.”
Jennifer Hannon welcomed the new board members – including her husband, Jim – and said she hopes “this pledge of transparency will continue for the duration of your terms. We expect great things from you.”
“What a difference an election makes,” said member Richard Shea, who will now chair the Bylaws Committee. “I am glad this board advocates involvement of the community.”
President David Dahl noted they have had “two successful meetings both in person and virtually where we let everyone participate.” Those logging in on Zoom were able to ask questions and make comments, unlike at previous meetings.
Dahl added that he was “shocked and gratified by the member response to serve on committees. I have never seen such an outpouring. Alan (Kaitz, the secretary-treasurer) said that, in all his time with ALA, he had never seen so many board members dedicate so much time to the budget. Thank you to all of you guys.
“The more who get involved, the better the budget will be.”
While adoption of the budget was on the agenda for the Dec. 3 meeting, Kaitz moved they table the budget to January in order to allow time to hold a member workshop on the budget. That was something new board member Denise Loxton had requested.
Kathi Rothner, chair of the Fish Committee, noted that 2022 was a “great year for fishing. Lake Arrowhead,” she said, “is the envy of many Southern California lakes.” She said the Fish Committee is hoping for three stockings in 2023. They are also hoping for a bigger than ever junior trout rodeo.
“The Fish Committee will be looking at way to enhance member fishing without costing the association anything,” Rothner said. “That will be a challenge but we like a challenge.”
Vice President Jim Hannon, who chairs the Lake Operations and Maintenance Committee, recalled that 40,000 cubic yards of materials were removed from the lake in 1991. Regulations, however, have increased since that time. “The current permit is very restrictive as to quantity, locations and time of year,” he said. The committee is working with a consultant to prepare a new permit, which could take 12 to 18 months to obtain as it has to be reviewed by three agencies: Fish and Wildlife, which checks nesting locations; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which makes sure ALA maintains the contours of the lake bottom; and the Lahontan Region Water Control Board, which keeps an eye on how ALA handles the spoils – the materials they removed from the lake.
The recent rains, Hannon said, have been a “doubled-edged sword. They raise the lake level but also bring in silt.”
Dahl noted the “key to minimizing future dredging is looking at where runoff occurs. We have discussed the possibility of putting in silt basins, to stop the flow into the lake before we have to dredge.” General Manager Bob Mattison added that they are looking at several areas. “It is more cost effective to prevent silt going into the lake (rather than to dredge),” Mattison said.
Addressing the problem of lake weed, Hannon said they are using the harvester that trims the weed. However, it grows back. They are working on a plan to be submitted to Lahontan to once again be allowed to apply herbicide to the lake. “We expect approval in the spring of 2023,” he said. The use of a licensed applicator is included in the budget.
As for the trails – which many members have mentioned as being in need of repairs – Hannon said they are prioritizing the areas of the trail that present a severe safety hazard. General Manager Mattison noted they have a list of 125 to 150 trail repairs, which they have prioritized and assigned – some to contractors, some to ALA staff.
Marilyn Dishell suggested the board allow members to ask questions or make comments on agenda items at the time they are presented, rather than speaking at the beginning of the board meeting. “Sometimes you bring up facts a member might have a counter argument to. Members are not currently allowed to participate in discussions at committee meetings or board meetings before you take a vote.”
“Well said,” was the reply from President Dahl.