On its 40th anniversary, the Nosara Civic Association held its annual General Assembly meeting on January 27th at the NCA building with over 65 members in attendance. Nice Alterman, Acting President, presided over the review of 2014 business, approval of a 2015 budget and election of officers.
The NCA members elected the following for their 2015 Board of Directors: President, Nice Alterman; Vice-President, Ethel Araya; Secretary, Fritz Elmendorf; Treasurer, Virginia Wheaton; Fiscal, Peter Burke; Vocal 1, Marco Johanning; Vocal 2, Anne Michel; Vocal 3 Brandon Richardson.
Alterman described the NCA’s new goal to work more collaboratively with local organizations and influence national ministries to attack ongoing problems with greater success. As a result, last November the NCA Board presented a strategic plan called Model Nosara.
“We want to collaborate with other area organizations and in public private partnerships to solve the problems that go on, year after year,” Alterman said.
“For example, (NCA) leaders met with several ministry leaders in San Jose in December. We have the attention of the national government. The new administration (of President Luis Guillermo Solis) is very interested in the environment and also civic engagement in local communities. Several Ministries will be visiting Nosara on February 27th and 28th to get a sense of what is going on here and how they can help,” Alterman said.
The General Assembly also approved its 2015 budget with a larger than usual income due to the re-sale of the old NCA building, thus providing a payoff of an existing mortgage loan.
The largest budgeted expense categories include legal fees, community grants and improvements, communications and a consulting agreement with former board president Alvin Rosenbaum.
Alterman explained that as part of Model Nosara, the 2014 board decided to hire Rosenbaum as a consultant to research international development organizations and banks for grants to help the NCA achieve its goals.
“We are trying to form partnerships. We want to work on the national level. There are grants available for hundreds of thousands of dollars. We need to do feasibility studies. There is a lot of research to do, “ Alterman said.
Therefore, Rosenbaum was contracted by the NCA Board for one year at $25,000 to tackle these projects. He resigned as its President December 31st.
The new budget also highlights other areas of NCA emphasis such as increased communication and outreach.
“We want to be a more positive organization that doesn’t just fight but includes whole new constituencies. We have the surfers, the yoga types, the tourists who return every year, the parents raising kids here,” she said.
Alterman outlined the goals of adding 35 more homeowners to the Association and 40 more individuals.
“It’s our 40th anniversary. I think the NCA is the oldest civic association in Costa Rica. But there’s a lot of people who don’t know us. Or who have a negative image,” she said. She promised quarterly newsletters and a facebook page operating by mid February.
“We want to keep people informed. A complaint from the past was that people didn’t know what was going on,” Alterman said.
After a full review of 2014 activities in all NCA focus areas: Beach Protection, Security, Water, Garbage, Dust Suppression, Parklands and Community Development, Alterman concluded the meeting by noting yet another change in NCA practice.
“For the first time,” Alterman said, “ the overwhelming majority of our board are Spanish speakers. I am really pleased about that.”
The full Model Nosara document and more information about NCA activities can be accessed on their website at Nosaracivicassociation.com.