Board Candidate Robert Gomola

The Lake News asked a series of eight questions to each of the seven candidates running for TLPOA Board of Directors. Their answers are posted individually by candidate in the TLPOA News section of the Lake News. As of this posting, four candidates have submitted responses. The remaining candidate responses will be posted as they are received.

Board candidate Robert Gomola

Candidate Robert Gomola

1. Provide a brief professional and personal background.

I am a retired IT Professional and Business Consultant and have owned a home in Treasure Lake for ten years. My wife Alicia and I live back in the woods and get along well with the many animals we have for neighbors. We also enjoy bicycling, kayaking and sailing. We both agree that this is the best home we have ever had and we have moved many times due to career demands.  I am a member of the Sportsmen’s Club and Ham Radio Club. I also participate in the Clearfield County Sheriff’s Posse. Outside of Treasure Lake, I am a certified Tae Kwon Do instructor and a member of Western Pennsylvania Mensa, an organization that identifies gifted youth and provides academic scholarships.

2. Why did you choose to run for the TLPOA board of directors?

I had been contemplating running for the board for several years but was recently prompted to do so due to the 25% increase in the POA assessment. As a business efficiency expert, I interpreted the 25% deviation as a red flag to a problem in the way the organization functions. A large deviation such as this indicates that things may not be smooth and under control so I decided that my analysis skills would be helpful in determining if any possible financial management problems exist.

3. What qualifies you to serve as a TLPOA board member? What skills, connections, resources and expertise do you have to offer and are willing to use on the behalf of the TLPOA?

As a business consultant I have spent my entire career in problem solving, change management and application of best practices in corporations as large as Merck and ABB Power. I was involved in correcting the physical problems and then creating designs for matching computer automation. Every organization, no matter how well run, can always be improved. I have created and used all types of computer-generated reports and built data entry systems for all monetary and inventory transactions. I know my way around the accounting department and can be of much help with creating clear, accurate and useful documents, setting up automated Accounts Payable systems, and identifying potential cost and collection problems.

4. What are the greatest challenges facing Treasure Lake? If elected, what measures would you propose to resolve them?

There is much agreement on our priority problems, the first being communication both up and down the ladder. I am hopeful that the hiring of a new manager has corrected most of the disconnect already and I would ensure that the board does its part in gathering accurate information and disseminating it to the proper people. The key word here is LISTEN. The second most often mentioned problem is the condition of our roads. Work has begun on fixing the many potholes and crumbling surfaces and we are hopeful that it will be completed in a timely manner. Thirdly, our assessment fee has risen again and shows no sign of leveling out or repaying our debt in the near future. Other problems include two albatrosses known as the Lake View Lodge and the Ski Lodge. There are ways to make them potential assets but there are restrictions that must be overcome and marketing work to do. We must watch costs carefully and get income and expenses to at least match if not changed to a positive direction.

5. If elected, what would be your top priority as a board member?

My top priority is information and communication. In order to solve problems and run an organization, people must be forthcoming, truthful and timely with accurate information and questions to management should be answered politely and truthfully. We all realize that some things are confidential but that should be a short list.

6. If elected, what measures would you take to improve communication between the board, TLPOA and property owners?

As specified above, the hiring of the new manager has already opened up lines of communication and his attitude and interest is very promising. Communication is two-way and should be a constructive process, not an argument.

7. Do you feel that the board is transparent enough? If not, what needs to change?

One of the biggest complaints mentioned during my own informal survey is that questions are rarely answered satisfactorily and emails are not returned. Everybody deserves a prompt answer and anything not answered immediately should be researched and the response provided as soon as practical. The people who pay the bills deserve to be treated with respect.

8. What are your thoughts about our current budget and financial statements?

The financial statements provide some information in a summary form. All transactions both income and usage should be recorded in the lowest level of detail in the General Ledger and can be summarized later by department and cost center if needed in summary form. ALL transactions should be recorded in the computer system. The statements however are only the end product of the data entry and information creation processes. Accounting systems should periodically be reviewed from front end to back and must always be in sync with business functionality.   

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