Trust lost in Shelter Bay board
April 19, 2023
Recently, some friends have asked us why we moved from Shelter Bay into the Town of La Conner. The simple reason is, we lost trust in the board to act in the best interest of the community and we lost faith that the board would begin to act in the best interest of the community.
Our trust started eroding with the outcome of the Rainbow Park fiasco. We were told it was in the best interest of the community to bail out a sitting board member to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. When we asked questions, we were told to attend committee meetings and to read the rules for answers, so we did.
We lost trust when we found that funds amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars from lease administration fees were not being accounted for.
We lost trust when we found consulting fees were being paid to relatives of committee members.
We lost trust when we found construction projects were awarded to sitting members of the board.
We lost trust when the board passed an operating budget without proper notification to the community.
We lost trust in the board when they approved millions of dollars to rebuild the marina without having previously secured funds to do so.
We lost faith in the board’s ability to govern itself in a manner representing the interests of the community when we requested that meetings be recorded so more members could have access to the meetings. We were told it wasn’t legal. This is not true.
We lost faith in the board after we discovered resigned board members still retained positions on committees that were advising directly to the board.
We lost faith in the board after reading the rules and the master lease and found that the board was not following the requirements outlined in the lease for the appraisal of the community to be applied to the lease adjustment.
We lost faith in the board when we discovered the names of the lease negotiating committee were secret. We have since found that two members are resigned directors, one is an appointed director, one is an elected director and the board didn’t retain any advisors with Bureau of Indian Affairs experience to help with lease negotiations.
We lost faith in the board after their spending millions of dollars on a marina that only some members use, hundreds of thousands of dollars on bailouts that benefited no one in the general community and hundreds of thousands of dollars on lease consultants with no work product to show. We saw that the infrastructure was in dire need of repair, the greenbelts and associated walking paths were in disarray, and, sadly, the kids didn’t have a pool.
Jack is a retired sea captain and Julie is a former physical therapist assistant. They moved to Shelter Bay in 2015.