By Pat Reber

The New Mark Board of Directors launched its new term on Thursday, March 14, in an organizational session that unanimously backed John Daroff to continue as president.

The three newly elected members – Karin Boychyn, Joe Jordan and David Sloane – participated in the meeting after winning the March 11 election to fill three vacancies. John, Ellen Stein, Kathleen Moran and Alex Belida remain on the Board to fulfill their terms.

Alex and Joe, a past Board president, both volunteered to serve as vice president, but Joe withdrew, saying he deferred to Alex, who received unanimous approval as vice president. Alex said he wanted to be able to help John, who intends to spend more time this year working on updating New Mark Commons’ 52-year-old governing documents.

In a 5-1-1 vote, the Board approved the launch of a five-member governance committee to tackle the task of updating the documents to comply with current practice and standards. Joe voted no, saying that it had not been on the agenda, while Ellen abstained. John is expected to serve as committee chair at least until the committee is convened.

The office of secretary will be held by Alex, along with his role as vice president, in order to guide communications and inform residents about the work on the governing documents. After his nomination by John, he was confirmed in a 5-2 vote. Karin dissented, asking why, with seven people on the Board, one person should hold two offices. Joe was the other “no” vote.

Kathleen, who has shepherded the Board on financial matters through last year’s difficult transition from self-management to Abaris, said she was willing to remain as treasurer unless someone else wanted the job. No one else volunteered.

There was unanimous backing for Kathleen to continue as treasurer. Alex noted that among Kathleen’s accomplishments last year was a thorough review of the Reserve Study that identified “dozens and dozens” of maintenance issues that the community had been ignoring for too long and that need to be addressed. She created a large spread sheet that is serving as an information guide for setting short and long term goals.

While the seven Board members are all volunteers, there are many other volunteers who help run New Mark Commons through the committees, with a Board liaison to each committee.

David, who served on the 50th Anniversary ad hoc committee in 2017 and spent a lot of time photographing homes in New Mark, volunteered as the liaison to the Architectural Control Committee. John Hansman, a past Board president, was expected to continue as chair of the committee, and Alex indicated he would remain a member.

Joe will replace Kathleen as liaison to the Pool Committee, where he has been serving as a member and is up to speed on pool issues and needs. Nancy Wood is the current chair of that committee.

Social events in New Mark are largely organized on an ad-hoc basis by different groups. A Board liaison person keeps track and facilitates communications with the Board about finance and logistics. Karin, the current chair of the International Dinner Committee, was named as the Social liaison. Other annual events include the July 4th celebration, the adult pool party, the Board reception in October, the Halloween parade and party, and the social gathering that precedes the annual meeting.

Alex will continue as liaison to the Communications Committee, where Pat Reber is the current chair and newsletter editor.

Ellen Stein, who has led the Landscape, Tree and Lake Committee for several years, will continue serving as both liaison and chair. Ellen’s strong commitment to keeping New Mark’s natural environment healthy and looking good was acknowledged by the Board, but she said she really needs help in keeping three separate groups – landscape, tree and lake – running. Joe volunteered to help her as a committee member.