Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, April 14, 2016
4:00 p.m. at Stow Senior Center
Directors Present: Linda Barber, Sally Carlson, Pierre Chagnon, Don Emhardt, Ken Shearer, David Shepherd, David Spann & David Wesp.
Absent: Vince Horrigan.
Others in Attendance: Erin Brickley – Alliance Executive Director. Rob Kocur – Saxton, Kocur & Associates.
Founding Member Representatives in Attendance: Marla Connelly – NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Allegany Region, Cassie Pinkoski – Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District, Craig Butler – Chautauqua Lake Association, Rick McMahon – Chautauqua Cattaraugus Board of Realtors, Lyle Hajdu & John Jablonski – Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, Karen Rine – Chautauqua Lake Partnership
Scientific Review & Advisory Committee Members in Attendance: Dave McCoy.
I. Call to Order:
Chair Linda Barber called the meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:00 pm. It was noted for the record that there was a quorum (8 of 9) present.
II. Presentation of 2015 Financial Statement:
Mr. Kocur from Saxton, Kocur & Associates presented the drafts of the 2015 Financial Statements and 990 tax forms at the 4/12/2016 Audit Committee meeting. Several small edits were suggested and agreed to by the committee who then passed a motion to recommend acceptance of both reports with edits for full Board consideration. Mr. Kocur also attended this April Board meeting to present on the 2015 Financial Statements for all Directors and members in attendance.
Mr. Chagnon, Board Treasurer, thanked Mr. Kocur for his work as well as expressing appreciation to the Alliance Audit Committee members. Mr. Chagnon made a motion to accept the Audit Committee’s recommendation to approve the final reports, seconded by Mr. Shepherd. The motion was approved unanimously.
III. Amendment to the Financial Policy:
Ms. Brickley advised the group that Mr. Kocur had noted a small needed update to the Financial Policy adopted by the Board 1/14/2016.
The following change (in italics) is suggested to Section VII:
“The Bookkeeper or the Auditor shall prepare the Form 990 and it shall be reviewed by the Executive Director, Treasurer, and the Executive Audit Committee before submission to the IRS.
Adopted by the Board of Directors
Amended by the Board of Directors
Mr. Wesp made a motion to accept the change to Financial Policy as suggested, seconded by Mr. Shepherd. The motion passed unanimously.
IV. Approval of Minutes:
Ms. Barber made a motion to accept the minutes of the 2/11/16 Board Meeting as written, seconded by Mr. Wesp. The motion was approved unanimously.
V. Update on Match Fund Efforts:
Ms. Brickley updated the group on the ongoing meetings and discussion related to the Alliance proposal for a grants match fund supported by area foundations as well as the County. The idea is for the county and the local foundations to work together to expand match fund opportunities which leverages local fiscal assets in order to magnify the amount of outside state and federal grant funding that can be secured for the Chautauqua Lake watershed. Ms. Brickley informed the group that grant applications to five area foundations had been submitted the first week of March with anticipated decisions expected in May. Also in March, two separate meetings were held with County representatives to discuss what options and funding was available from the County specific to match needs. The feedback was positive and once the foundations reach their decisions, the county will proceed with a full resolution.
V.I. Update on Project Manager Recruiting:
After Board approval in February, Ms. Brickley proceeded to advertise through various avenues for the new Project Manager position. Deadline for submission of 4/15/16 is tomorrow but applications are still coming in with approximately 25 received to date. As discussed at the 3/3 and 4/3/16 Executive Committee meetings, it was suggested that Ms. Brickley review all applications and narrow the field down to a handful of top candidates that would then be brought in for a panel interview. Efforts to narrow the field will be documented and available for review by any Director upon request. Ms. Barber advised the group that it was thought that the panel interviews could be done by the Executive Committee members and any other Director who wished to participate. Mr. Spann expressed that given his expertise and the qualifications for this new Project Manager position, he would like to participate in the panel interviews.
Mr. Chagnon made a motion to empower the Executive Committee, Mr. Spann and Ms. Brickley to complete the panel interviews of the top candidates and recommend a final candidate for full Board consideration, seconded by Mr. Shepherd. The motion passed unanimously.
VII. Review of 2016-2017 Target Member List:
With the upcoming second annual membership drive, the Executive Committee reviewed the 2015-2016 Target Member List provided by Ms. Brickley at their 3/3/16 meeting. Suggested edits to the list were discussed and agreed to for the 2016-2017 membership drive. Mr. Butler asked about the differences from the first membership drive target list to this year. Ms. Brickley advised last year’s target list consisted of 42 target organizations that were a cross sectional representation of the community, with 31 becoming founding members. This year’s list consists of 35 target members. Ms. Barber and Ms. Brickley asked for any suggestions to the current list. Some were suggested but this led to discussion on “member” versus as yet to be fully defined “friend” of the Alliance. One of the goals for the Alliance is not to compete for local fundraising dollars with our fellow non-profit members.
VIII.Approval of 2016-2017 Membership Dues & Structure:
The Executive Committee recommends that there be no changes to last year’s 2015-2016 Membership Dues & Structure other than there will be no 50% dues waiver offered for second year members as there was for founding members. Mr. Spann made a motion to accept the Executive Committee’s recommendation, seconded by Mrs. Carlson. The motion passed unanimously.
I.X. Scientific Review & Advisory Committee:
Mr. Spann, Committee Chair, gave an update on the first Scientific Review & Advisory Committee meeting held 4/6/16. First topic of discussion was the nature of the group, what is to be the focus areas where they could offer the most assistance to the Alliance Board. The group agreed to request an update of the Committee Charter at the next Board meeting (see section X below). The group also spoke on the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Plan and members pointed out areas not addressed or gaps. Mr. Spann feels that there is a deep level of expertise in this group which will greatly benefit the Alliance. Ms. Barber asked that the committee first focus on review of the current watershed plan and advise the Board on whether the committee agrees with the current recommendations already established and are the priorities still accurate. Mr. Spann noted that the group discussed holding monthly meetings on a set day of the month and is gathering availability feedback on that.
X. Amendment to the Scientific Review & Advisory Committee Charter:
Ms. Brickley advised the group on the requested changes by the Science Committee for the committee charter.
The following changes (in italics) are suggested:
In order to ensure a balanced scientific approach to lake and watershed issues, the Committee shall:
(1) assess conditions of Chautauqua Lake and its watershed;
(2) report on conditions and present data;
(3)(1) Review and report on scientific developments pertinent to the lake and watershed;
(4)(2) recommend future actions and projects;
(5)(3) provide technical guidance to the Corporation’s Executive Director and Board; and
(6)(4) regularly report to the Corporation’s Board of Directors at each regularly scheduled Board meetings as needed.
Mr. Wesp made a motion to accept the change to the Scientific Committee Charter as suggested, seconded by Mr. Shepherd. The motion passed unanimously.
X.I. Discussion of Upcoming Inaugural May Member Meeting:
Ms. Barber advised the group that the Executive Committee recommends holding the first annual May Member Meeting on the date and time and same location of the regularly scheduled Board meeting. This would equate to the Member Meeting being held on 5/12/16 at 4pm at the Stow Senior Center. The Member Meeting will cover review of the 2015 Annual Report and the election of three Director positions whose term is set to expire at the May Member Meeting based on the staggered terms defined in the By-Laws. The May Board meeting will be held directly after the Member Meeting and one important agenda item will be to elect this year’s officers.
Directors whose term is expiring are: Pierre Chagnon (County), David Wesp (Towns & Villages), and Ken Shearer (At-Large). Ms. Barber advised that we were very happy that all three Directors have agreed to serve for another term which will assist with continuity in these first years for the Alliance. Therefore, it is the recommendation of the Executive Committee that these Directors comprise the recommended slate of candidates at the May Member election. Mrs. Carlson made the motion to accept the recommended slate, seconded by Mr. Emhardt. The motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Brickley advised the members in attendance that they would be receiving a Member Voting Form shortly whereby they could vote for the slate or write in an alternate nominee. The form will act as proxy for any member not able to attend the May Member meeting.
XII. Open Floor / Member Updates:
Ms. Barber opened the floor to any Member updates or upcoming events and/or comments from the general public in attendance:
- Ms. Barber started the updates off by noting that the Executive Committee and Ms. Brickley had met with the Post Journal and felt all involved left with some good ideas. Mr. Shepherd noted one discussion was possible creation of archived articles organized by topic, such as Chautauqua Lake. It was noted that CWC has a regular lake article position with the paper so that may be a good place to start if able to archive by topic. Mr. Butler said that the CLA was also considering a regular article and felt the key to effectively communicate with the public was be located in the same section of the paper at a set frequency so people know where to go to find lake stories.
- Mr. Jablonski advised the group that the CWC had recently sent an educational mailer to 4,400 homeowners surrounding Chautauqua Lake which highlights all of the positive work being done for the lake and watershed as well as what they can do as an individual homeowner. He also noted they were hoping to get the next Shed Sheet Newsletter out in May.
- Mrs. Rine asked for an update on the efforts to complete the Macrophyte Management Strategy (MMS) guidance document. Mr. McCoy advised the group that the last edits from the consultant had been completed and hard copies of final draft are being printed for dispersal to the Technical Review Committee in the next week or two. Final drafts have been sent to NYS DEC and US ACE for cursory review and comment. After that the SEQRA process will commence. He wanted to make note that there seems to be a common misconception that the MMS is just about use of herbicides but it is really far more comprehensive in defining what in-lake management tools are available and where and when it’s appropriate to use each tool.
- Mr. Chagnon noted that he and Mr. Shepherd are reaching out to members for meetings as time allows in an effort to learn more about each group’s needs.
Mr. Chagnon made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:23 pm, seconded by Mrs. Carlson. The motion passed unanimously.
The Alliance Board of Directors passed a motion to approve these 4/14/16 Meeting Minutes on 5/12/16.