Yes, the currently sitting GFA “president” (Stay tuned for what is coming soon on that shockingly dubious claim…), mr. fibiger, actually said this to me. Well, to be much more accurate, it was quite laughably much more snarled at me in an adorably hilarious decrepit chihuahua impersonation than said, but this exact statement was directly communicated to me. And mr. fibiger is actually kinda correct. But, it turns out, only kinda.
The GFA is actually what is known in legalese as a 501c(7) corporation. (This fact will become VERY germane in the near future.) Legally, it’s really and truly not a club, it’s a corporation. The fact that it is organized as a 501c(7) corporation means, among many other things, that it is tax exempt – i.e.: the GFA does not have to pay taxes on the income it collects (our dues), but donations to the GFA are not tax deductible. Inasmuch as the current GFA bylaws are written in such a way that owning a lot on our mutually Treasured Flow compels every lot owner to join the GFA (a concept which I personally fully support); and ONLY said lot owners are eligible to join the GFA; mr. fibiger is indeed kinda correct – the GFA is very much a private corporation (NOT a club). Joe Blow from Idaho cannot just willy nilly join the GFA without first owning a lot on the Flow, thereby keeping membership in the GFA effectively private. Again, a concept which I fully endorse. So, the GFA is private, in a way. But, ofc, there is much more to this issue than what you have been deceptively led to believe by mr. fibiger so far.
Because the GFA is organized as a 501c(7) corporation, there is this inconvenient-for-some little thing called “oversight”. In 2013, the NYS legislature passed a law, “The Nonprofit Revitalization Act” (NPRA), substantially strengthening the power and scope of the oversight which ALL non-profits registered and operating within NYS are subject to, as the GFA obviously is. The NPRA has been amended several times since then, most notably in 2017 when more substantial changes were made to the Act. This is precisely where things get a bit dicey for mr fibiger and the currently sitting GFA board:
Although the GFA is unarguably a private corporation, this fact does NOT mean the GFA and its current or any future sitting board can just do whatever the heck they please.
Despite being a private corporation, the GFA and the currently sitting board are both subject to oversight from the relevant municipal, county, state and federal authorities which are tasked with overseeing the operations of all non-profits. For discussion purposes only, suppose for a moment that mr. fibiger suddenly declared that only aged Caucasian males could belong to the GFA, and that the currently sitting GFA board supported this obviously preposterous notion, and that such a bylaw was eventually enacted. How long do you honestly believe it would be before the GFA found itself hauled before a court? 5 seconds? Maybe less? It is precisely because non-profits in NYS are subject to such stringent oversight that in the event such a wholly preposterous event were to occur, a legal filing would undoubtedly follow so quickly that we would all suffer from quite severe mutual whiplash. Granted, this is an extreme example and quite unlikely to be attempted to be implemented even by someone as frequently wholly inept (IMHO) as mr. fibiger and the at least occasionally dishonourably-acting currently sitting GFA board members who prop up his wholly illegitimate (Stay tuned…) little regime are, but it makes my point clear: Yes, the GFA is indeed a private corporation, but that fact absolutely does NOT mean that mr. fibiger and the currently sitting or any future GFA board can just do whatever they want without any oversight whatsoever.
So, despite the GFA being a private corporation, the currently sitting (and any future) GFA board are absolutely still subject to the laws of the land, regardless of the fact that the GFA is indeed a private corporation. This fact is going to become critically important to understanding related issues which I shall be informing everyone of soon enough in upcoming blog entries. I hope you will stay tuned, as I believe you will be quite glad you did.
Honest to Goodness, Together, we really CAN do MUCH better.
Thank you very much for your DEEPLY appreciated ongoing support in 2019, 2020, and beyond!! :-)