JORDYN RUSSELL – STAFF WRITER
The Annual Chautauqua Property Owners Association meeting is at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 14 in the Hall of Philosophy, immediately followed by the Chautauqua Institution Annual Corporation Meeting, beginning at 10 a.m. The CPOA meeting will announce new board members taking office on Sept. 1 and recap accomplishments made over the last year, open to questions and answers.
At the Chautauqua Corporation Annual Meeting, Chautauqua Institution leadership will review the Institution’s financial statements and corporation members will elect an individual to serve as a Class B trustee on the Chautauqua Institution Board of Trustees.
The lone nominee on the ballot is Rick Evans, put forward by the CPOA.
“Like you, I love this place, I drive 3,200 miles every year, from and to San Antonio, and don’t begrudge a mile of the journey — as an attorney, I have the background to assure any of your concerns are presented in a respectful and compelling manner,” Evans wrote in a candidate statement. “I’m also committed to sharing meaningful information with you so your decisions and actions and informed and fact-based.”
Paul Perry, CPOA president, said Evans’ nomination was approved unanimously by the CPOA board.
“Our membership really looks for guidance with this as we have the power to nominate and elect,” Perry said. “Fourteen people showed interest in the nomination — Rick came out of that process, and we really think so highly of him.”
Additionally, the CPOA will host a POWR (Property Owners Who Rent) Reception at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25, at the Athenaeum Hotel porch. Attendees are encouraged to join the CPOA for an evening highlighting upcoming events throughout the 2022 season. The reception will feature a cash bar, light refreshments and open dialogue with Emily Morris, Chautauqua Institution’s senior vice president and chief brand officer, who will be available to answer questions. While the reception is free for all CPOA members, registration is required for this event.
“We have customarily held about three informational meetings for POWR during the course of the summer, and we anticipate doing it again starting next year,” Perry said.
Following the CPOA Park Chats this past Wednesday highlighting speakers from the Colonnade such as Morris; Shannon Rozner, senior vice president of community relations and general counsel; Amit Taneja, senior vice president and chief inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA) officer; and John Shedd, vice president of campus planning and operations, the CPOA built upon its efforts to reach out to the community to further understand thoughts and concerns.
“We wanted to open up the channels of communications about experiences this summer, creating focus groups to see what we need to survey our membership about,” Perry said. “It’s another opportunity to sharpen up on the concerns of the residents, in great collaboration with the involvement of Erica Higbie, CPOA secretary, and with the Institution.”
The CPOA is also working on lighting on the grounds. The independent Chautauqua Utility District (CUD) purchased Institution street lights from National Grid a few years ago.
“A CPOA committee has worked together for the street lighting project, with some key lighting experts participating as well,” Perry said. “Over the course of the last 12 years, the committee has worked very hard on this project.”
Perry said street lights will be replaced with high efficiency LED lighting featuring dark sky compliant fixtures, manufactured in Italy.
“The project will pay for itself within three years,” Perry said. “We are saving a substantial amount of money with attractive, dark-sky-compliant lights, and we are looking toward working with property owners to make houses more dark-sky-compliant as well.”
The CPOA is also looking to other upcoming projects, like providing higher-quality internet service.