Stakeholders Need to Become Stockholders to Protect the Lake

The Skaneateles Lake Association (SLA) is a voluntary, non profit 501c(3) corporation.   It has a specific mission to do all that it can to keep the waters of Skaneateles Lake clear and pure. The SLA is not a business. It does not sell its services. But, the SLA buys supplies and equipment, contracts for work, hires staff, pays appropriate employment taxes, keeps careful financial records, undergoes a financial audit and files a tax return. Much of this work of these essential activities is done by volunteer board members

Skaneateles Lake has many stakeholders. These stakeholders include waterfront property owners, property owners with water rights, people who access the lake through various means for all types of water activities including fishing, boating, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, waterskiing, paddle boarding or just swimming, and village and town business owners whose businesses thrive because the beautiful lake is an attraction for day tourists and vacationers. Stakeholders in the lake also include providers of professional, contracting and property services whose signs we often see around the lake.

Usually, the stakeholders in a business are owners or stockholders. Members of the SLA are, in effect, stockholders and they join because they have a stake in the lake. Unfortunately, far too many of those who have a stake in the lake are not currently stockholders, that is, they are not members of the Skaneateles Lake Association. Far too many with a significant stake in the lake have never been members of the SLA, far too many members do not join the SLA annually, and far too many stakeholders depend upon others to “buy the stock”, in the form of annual SLA membership, that helps to ensure the future quality of the lake water.

The SLA has expanded its function from milfoil removal and control to the prevention of other invasive plants and animals to trying to get clarification on the cause and possible prevention of excessive foam and algae blooms. It needs the funds to carry out all of these and other possible activities. Over 90% of SLA funds come from member dues and additional donations. The SLA simply cannot function without these funds. Two years ago, the lack of funds resulted in the need to shut down our milfoil removal efforts for two weeks during the summer. It is a simple reality that we cannot work or provide services when we do not have the funds to cover the cost of the work or services.

The banner at the top of the first page of each issue of the Skaneateles Lake Association Newsletter states that it (the Newsletter) is “For all those who have a stake in the lake.” Membership in the Skaneateles Lake Association is for all those who have a stake in the lake. Simply put, if you have a stake in keeping the waters of Skaneateles Lake clear and pure, you need to be a stockholder…an annual member of the Skaneateles Lake Association.

Source: Skaneateles Journal