Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, June 18, 2015
4:00 p.m. at CCIDA Conference Room
Directors present: Pierre Chagnon, Lyle Hajdu, Linda Barber, Don Emhardt, Cecil Miller, Randy Sweeney and Mark Geise
Absent: Marty Bova, Tad Wright
Others in Attendance: Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan and Chautauqua Lake & Watershed Management Alliance Executive Director Erin Brickley.
Founding Member representatives in Attendance: Craig Butler – Chautauqua Lake Association, Tom Cherry – Chautauqua Utility District, Dave Spann – Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District, Sally Carlson – Town of North Harmony, Jan Murray – Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Realtors, Ken Shearer – Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce, Jim Andrews – Town of Busti and Janet Bowman – Town of Ellicott.
I. Call to Order
Interim Chairman Pierre Chagnon called the meeting of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance (Alliance) to order at 4:00 pm. He noted for the record that there was a quorum (7 of 9) present.
II. Approval of Minutes
A motion to accept the minutes of the 4/20/15 Board Meeting was made by Mr. Emhardt and was seconded by Mr. Sweeney. The motion was approved unanimously.
III. Review of Founding Members to Date:
A list of groups who have committed to membership to date with the Alliance was reviewed and included: Village of Bemus Point, Village of Celoron, Village of Lakewood, Village of Mayville, Town of Busti, Town of Chautauqua, Town of Ellery, Town of Ellicott, Town of North Harmony, Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, Chautauqua Lake Association, Chautauqua Lake Partnership, Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Chautauqua Lake Fishing Association, Arnold Holmberg Foundation, The Lenna Foundation, NYS OPRHP – Allegany Region, Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District, Chautauqua Utility District, North Chautauqua Lake Sewer District, South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District, Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Realtors, Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce and Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce. It was also noted that Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, Chautauqua Property Owners Association, Chautauqua County Government and Chautauqua Institution were all likely to join as well, but were not official yet. It was noted that the Membership Drive was still ongoing with a deadline of 7/1/15.
Mr. Hajdu asked if there were any target members who had officially declined the request. Ms. Brickley advised there were only three declines thus far which were mainly associated with concerns over possible conflict of interest or lack of membership historically. Ms. Brickley advised that all groups she has gone before with the Request for Membership have voiced support for the mission of this new Alliance.
IV. Welcome to new Founding Members:
Mr. Chagnon extended a sincere welcome to representatives from the Founding Members in attendance and opened the floor at any questions, concerns, or topics of discussion. None were brought forward. Mr. Horrigan noted that this was a very good start to future collaboration.
V. Review of Executive Summary
It was noted that the Executive Director sent out an Executive Summary for review on 6/16/15 via email to all Interim Board Members and Founding Member representatives. The structure of the summary is a list of Alliance goals, each with a status update documented. Mr. Hajdu stated that it was fairly detailed and that it was good to have such detail as a tool to aid in the transition of the Interim Board to the Permanent Board, and to bring new Directors up to speed on the activities of the Executive Director to date. It was also agreed that this format and level of detail for the executive summary and the availability of review prior to future Interim Board meetings would carry forward. Mr. Butler asked if there was a previous executive summary and wondered about availability. Mr. Hajdu expressed the need for transparency. Ms. Brickley advised the group that certainly there will be Member communications which will include sharing records such as meeting minutes and executive summaries and that past records could be sent out upon request. Ms. Brickley also noted that once the Alliance website, ChautauquaAlliance.Org, is up and running, we will be publishing the Membership Dues & Structure as well as Meeting Minutes.
VI. Discuss and approve the official Transition Date:
Mr. Hajdu advised the group that according to the By-Laws, the current Board has the option to assign a Transition Date. Ms. Brickley advised that the Transition Date simply allows for the inclusion of Members after the specified date and that the deadline for the inaugural Membership Drive of 7/1/15 seemed a logical choice to assign as the Transition Date.
A motion was made by Mr. Horrigan and was seconded by Mr. Miller to approve 7/1/15 as the official Transition Date. The motion was approved unanimously.
VII. Discuss and approve a correction to Section 2.4 of the By-Laws:
Ms. Brickley noted that there was an error that should be corrected in the current By-Laws under Section 2.4: Term and Staggered Board. It was noted that a director serves a term of three years but that the By-Laws state the “Board shall divide the Corporation’s initial Board into classes with terms of two (2), three (3) and (4) years.” However, because a term is three years, the By-Laws should read the “Board shall divide the Corporation’s initial Board into classes with terms of one (1), two (2) and three (3) years.”
A motion was made by Ms. Barber and was seconded by Mr. Emhardt to make the correction to Section 2.4. The motion was approved unanimously.
VIII. Review proposed process for establishment of a permanent Board of Directors:
Mr. Hajdu discussed the options given in the By-Laws regarding the establishment of the permanent Board of Directors. He noted that it was discussed and the Governance Committee agreed it was important for the power to nominate and elect a permanent Board reside with the Membership of the Alliance. He advised the group that there was a possibility that we accept up to two nominees per Member. This would result in a larger pool of nominees which would assist in establishing a diverse and balanced permanent Board. It was mentioned that there will be opportunity to participate outside of just Board positions. Mr. Hajdu spoke on the positive impact open monthly meetings / forums had on the CLMC and will look for opportunities for something similar through the Alliance. Ms. Barber noted possible committee participation. Mr. Chagnon noted that a lot of work has been done but there is still much to be done, now with input from our Members.
Mr. Horrigan asked what Members should be expecting in the near future in regards to establishment of a permanent Board. Ms. Brickley advised that on or after 7/1/15, we will request nominations be made by the members via a Nominations Form. A list of nominations would be reviewed by the Governance Committee and a slate of candidates would be developed and reviewed by the Interim Board. Then a vote will be held by ballot, either for the slate or a vote by individual candidate. These communications will be made via email to the Member’s representative. The representative would then disseminate the information and forms within their own organizations.
IX. Review grant applications in process:
Ms. Brickley noted that there have been seven grants identified to date and that the first one, written on behalf of the Village of Celoron, has been completed and submitted by its due date of June 1st. There are six pending applications, five of which are WQIP grants dealing with tributary stabilizations through the NYS CFA process. The seventh application is on behalf of the CWC regarding a federal funding opportunity for wetland conservation. Mr. Chagnon pointed out that Ms. Brickley has been on the job now for four months and that we are clearly focused on securing funding, as communicated to our Membership and the community at large.
X. Review pending County Resolution regarding unexpended CLMC funds:
Mr. Geise described the resolution to the group in attendance. In 2008-2009, the CLMC was appropriated approximately $600k by the County Legislature for capital projects. There is still approximately $250k unexpended. The current resolution, which has already passed through the Planning and Economic Development Committee and the Audit & Control Committee, requests that $225k be re-allocated to the Alliance to be used specifically for local match requirements for Member projects. There are some specific limitations for use in that this fund would only cover 50% of a local match requirement with a maximum of $50k for any given project / grant. The Alliance would request use of funds through legislative resolution and an annual report would also be provided to the legislature detailing use of the funds.
X. New Business:
Ms. Barber brought up the concept of Scientific Review & Advisory Committee as an option to optimize available local scientific expertise. A draft proposal describing this committee’s purpose, membership and responsibilities was handed out to the group in attendance. Ms. Barber advised any feedback would be welcome.
Mr. Chagnon opened the floor to any member updates or upcoming events. Mr. Butler was asked to give an update on current lake conditions and recent changes to the CLA employee structure. Mr. Butler advised the group that there wasn’t much spring clean up to be done this year, likely due to the major storm in 2014. Harvesting has started for the CLA, mainly in the South basin at this time. It was also noted that with Paul Swanson’s retirement from his General Manager role, a restructuring of the CLA staff is expected.
Upon motion by Mr. Horrigan and seconded by Mr. Emhardt, the Board adjourned the meeting at 4:58 pm.