Running Man Recreation Association
Summer News, August 22, 2000
This edition will pass along several bits of information, some you already may know, others may be "news" to you. I'll also address the concerns on our Release of Liability statement recently raised by one of our members.
By now you all know we modified our contract to extend the pool operating hours to 8:00 each evening. We were able to work this with our pool management company at no extra cost to the RMRA. We are also actively planning to remain open past the Labor Day weekend. We expect warm weather and have had several inquiries as to why we don't stay open. So as it stands now we will be open for weekends through October 1st. If it turns out only a few members use it we may elect to shut down to save the operating expenses. We have ordered a pool cover for the off-season. It should be installed after we close for the year. This cover will extend the life of the pool and greatly facilitate getting ready to open each year. Lastly, we have reduced the rental rates for the pool. Basically we cut them in half because we just weren't seeing the rental use we expected. New rates are $25 an hour for members, or $37.50 an hour for non-members (who must be sponsored by a member), with a two hour minimum. We still advise a lifeguard, hired either through the corporation ($20/hour), or on you own.
As opposed to what we've experienced with the pool, the clubhouse has been rented fairly often. Liz Bryant is doing a terrific job running that for all of us. Kathey Tapfer has volunteered to be our Activities Chairperson and is now seeking ideas for social gatherings. If you have any thoughts please pass them along to her. We'd like to expand the use of the clubhouse by our members. You should have heard by now of the plans for our Labor Day outing. Hope you can be there!
We've changed the way new members may pay for their membership. As most of you know original members paid for their memberships in installments. Currently we request a lump sum payment plus annual dues from perspective members. The Board though it fair to spread this initial payment, $1250 + $300 dues = $1550, out (initial $550 on joining, $500 45 days later and the final $500 90 days from initial joining date) to make it a little easier on the budget. The specifics will also be listed on the web page soon. Lastly, we will have a membership work party on the 16th of September to work on the landscaping (raindate will be the 23rd). This ought to take us 2-3 hours if we get a good turnout. In general we need to prepare and reseed the yard and weed the garden beds.
Release of Liability Issue
As you now know we have had a continuing issue over the applicability and appropriateness of our Release of Liability statement we asked everyone to sign before the season began. We had done an extensive amount of research on it with other pool corporations, our attorney, and our insurance company. While it is not a requirement to have such a statement we were advised by our attorney that we should have one to ward off frivolous attacks on the corporation and to protect our officers. Thus we created the document and proceeded. We were also advised that if the corporation were negligent, or thought to be negligent, legal action could be initiated against us regardless of this "hold harmless" agreement. While we hope that won't ever occur we are protected by our insurance package.
We would only "expect" to be sued if we were negligent in some way (a condition we hope to avoid). We will not, for example, pay for an injury sustained by anyone in a member family if the injury occurred in the "normal" usage of the pool or clubhouse. Our liability insurance is not a medical policy and is designed to protect the members against lawsuits brought by guests or others who are not members when they are injured on the Association's premises.
As you know from last weekend's letter, the "subrogation of reimbursement" issue was recently brought up by one of our members. The term is a standard one included in some policies, and commonly used in the insurance industry. It has to do with the subrogation rights of your insurance company to seek reimbursement from a third party (another insurance company or individual), if that party is liable and payment is to be made by them. While this is sometimes an issue in an injury claim (often in automobile accidents), it does not apply in our situation.
Members of the RMRA are by policy definition, "a named insured" on our association policy. This means that members, as "a named insured," are not eligible to collect from the general liability coverage. A good analogy is to view the association policy as a homeowner policy similar to the one that each of you have on your home. If you or anyone in your family were injured in your own yard you would not have liability coverage on your own policy that would pay your medical bills. Your health insurance carrier would pay those bills and would not have any rights of subrogation against your homeowner policy because there is no applicable coverage. However, if a guest or neighbor is injured on your property, then coverage for their injuries may apply. Again, the RMRA policy is designed to protect members from litigation brought by others. We would not expect your insurance company to be contacting us for reimbursement of an injury paid because there is no duplication of coverage. Our insurance contacts advise that the subrogation of reimbursement statement simply cannot be a problem due to the nature of our existing coverage.
We're sorry this has come up in the manner it has. We really want the pool and clubhouse to be enjoyed by all. As your elected representatives we take seriously the obligation to operate the RMRA in a way that benefits the group as a whole. In a way, the Release of Liability form is like the Pool Rules we published and posted. You may not like each rule but they're for the good of the whole operation so we all abide by them. We give a little to operate as a group. That really is the spirit that allowed us to build the pool and clubhouse in the first place. We were able to overcome our individual doubts by trusting each other to get the project done. And we did! I hope this answers any questions you may have had about this subject. We want to treat this issue fairly and uniformly and thought you would appreciate hearing how the Board was dealing with it.
Phil Comstock, President
Running Man Recreation Association
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