January 23, 2017
As a shareholder who has been paying your Property & Maintenance (“P&M”) Fee since 2012, you have supported Ramapo Mountain Lakes (“RML”) in its quest to ensure the future of our properties, Crystal Lake Beach Club and Mirror Lake. Without your financial support, we would not be able to keep the properties in such good condition. I want to personally thank you for your support.
I am sending you this email to advise that RML has filed a lawsuit naming all “Owners of Property in Ramapo Mountain Lakes,” as defendants. However, the lawsuit is really only directed to those who do not pay the P&M Fee. We want our properties to be available for all current and future shareholder property owners, and the community, and the only way to make this happen is to have all shareholders pay their assessed fees. RML has been referencing the possibility of a lawsuit for several years both annually in the President’s letter of the proxy mailing and at RML’s Annual Shareholder Meetings.
Since 2012, RML has been invoicing all shareholder property owners with the P&M Fee, as itemized on the P&M budget. We have stressed that payment of these fees is necessary to properly maintain Crystal Lake and Mirror Lake. Unfortunately, not all shareholders have cooperated in paying the P&M fees like you have.
In order to require that all shareholders pay the P&M fee, RML had to file a class action lawsuit in the Bergen County Superior Court. We named all shareholder property owners as defendants, whether you have paid the P&M fee or not since we were advised by our attorneys that this was necessary for a class action lawsuit. The court has requested a list of shareholders who contacted RML through an attorney or those who have actively and consistently stated their objection to paying the P&M fees. The judge will conference with some of these individuals and their attorneys to identify an attorney prepared to represent all defendants, i.e. those shareholders who do not want to pay the P&M fee. We sent a list of these individuals as requested to the judge for his review.
In the coming weeks, all shareholders will receive a notice in the mail requesting whether they concur with RML’s decision to continue applying an annual P&M fee to the shareholder properties or not concur. If you do concur, you can opt out of the class action suit. This does not opt you out of being a shareholder property, it just tells the court you agree with RML’s decision to collect the P&M fee. If you do not agree and wish to be part of the class action, then you will be asked to indicate that on the form. All responses will then be submitted to the court.
The P&M fee is related solely to keeping the properties in good repair, compliance with the NJ Dam Safety Department, payment of property taxes, shareholder proxy mailing expenses, and general liability insurance, to name but a few expenses. Without the P&M fee being paid by “all” shareholders, the RML Board of Directors has concerns that reliance on beach memberships and some voluntary contributions will not be sufficient to cover the costs of the corporation. As we experienced in the past, beach memberships and voluntary contributions from lakefront shareholders does not cover all the expenses.
On behalf of the RML Board of Directors, I am asking for your continued support by opting out of the class action lawsuit as a way of showing your support for RML and its belief that P&M fees should be paid by all shareholders. Please mail your response back promptly after receiving the formal notice.
Ramapo Mountain Lakes Inc