Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance
Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
3:30 p.m. at CCIDA Conference Room
Directors present: Mark Geise, Pierre Chagnon, Linda Barber, Lyle Hajdu, Don Emhardt, Randy Sweeney
Absent: Cecil Miller, Edward Wright, Marty Bova
Others in Attendance: Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan, Chautauqua County Watershed Coordinator Dave McCoy, Don McCord, Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development
I. CALL TO ORDER
Temporary Chair Mark Geise called the initial meeting of the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Alliance to order at 3:30 pm. He noted for the record that a quorum (6 of 9) was present.
II. ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Geise referred to the Alliance’s IRS filing which identifies the temporary officers of the Alliance as follows:
Chair: Mark Geise
Vice Chair: Lyle Hajdu
Secretary: Linda Barber
Treasurer: Don Emhardt
Geise suggested that it was appropriate for the interim board (the Board) to select the interim officers that would lead the Alliance until the permanent Board and officers were selected. Vince Horrigan noted the importance of having leadership that is comprised of members of the public, which would minimize the role of Chautauqua County in the Alliance. Mark Geise offered his resignation as temporary board chairman, which was accepted by the Board.
The Board then discussed the appointment of the interim officers that would lead the Alliance until the permanent board was in place and was ready to select permanent officers. A discussion ensued concerning the benefits of diverse representation on the permanent board and for the transitional leadership of the Alliance.
Motion: Mark Geise motioned to appoint Pierre Chagnon as Chairman, Lyle Hajdu as Vice-Chairman, Linda Barber as Secretary and Don Emhardt as Treasurer. The motion was seconded by Randy Sweeney and approved unanimously by the interim board.
III. MMS COMPLETION
The next topic of discussion involved the completion of the Macrophyte Management Strategy (MMS) and the role the Alliance should play in its implementation. Mark Geise noted that the MMS looks at all options for Macrophyte control, with the last chapter (Chapter 15) being focused on implementation and the role the Alliance could play. Giese added that the MMS review committee is scheduled to meet on November 19 to present their comments on Chapter 15, prior to public review of the document. Pierre Chagnon stated that he viewed the Alliance as a facilitator that would bring stakeholders together, apply science, build a consensus, and then undertake projects. His question to the Board was “how does the MMS fit with the Alliance?” Don Emhardt commented that both the Alliance and the MMS add more tools to the tool box for resolving the problems that exist on Chautauqua Lake. Vince Horrigan noted that the MMS is a science-based process that is new to the decision making process; however, the role of the Alliance should be to bring all of the stakeholders together and provide leadership.
IV. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Mark Geise reported that more than twenty applications for the Executive Director position have been submitted. The Board indicated their desire to review all of the applications and to schedule another meeting to select candidates for interviews. Giese agreed to send hard copies of all of the resumes to the Board in advance of the next meeting.
V. FOUNDATION REQUESTS
The Sheldon Foundation has told applicants for lake related grants that it must receive written confirmation from the Alliance Board that it has received and reviewed the request prior to consideration by the Sheldon Board. In doing so, Sheldon referred to one of the stated objectives of the Alliance was to “identify, prioritize and implement projects recommended in the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Plan and the Chautauqua Lake Macrophyte Management Strategy.”
Vince Horrigan said that, given the considerable resources provided by the foundations for the creation of the Alliance, such a request was reasonable. The Board agreed that a process needs to be developed to consider such requests. Randy Sweeny indicated that 2015 is almost here and that there may not be enough time to establish an equitable process. Linda Barber reported that CWC and CLA are hopeful that their pending Sheldon applications will be reviewed at Sheldon’s next quarterly meeting on January 13. The Board agreed that further discussion on the matter was needed, but a reasonable approach would be to continue the existing prioritization process in 2015 and have the Alliance work with the foundations to establish a new process for 2016.
VI. CORPORATE DUTIES
The Board was advised on the annual corporation duties required by New York State and the IRS. Don McCord outlined the need to take and publish meeting minutes. Dave McCoy noted that although the Alliance has established an internet domain, there is no website developed on which to post meeting minutes. He recommended that the Alliance utilize Chautauqua County’s Lakes & Waterways website until the Alliance website is established. Don McCord continued the discussion regarding annual corporate duties by explaining that the Alliance’s fiscal year will run from January to January. He recommended that the Alliance retain the services of a Certified Public Accounting firm with experience with not for profit organizations. Lastly, he talked about the requirement for an annual meeting, which should take place in May of 2015. The Board agreed that a May meeting would be appropriate.
VII. LAKE RALLY
Dave McCoy suggested that January might be a good time to hold another Lake Rally event, possibly at a venue in the Chautauqua Institution. He asked the Board what role, if any, the Alliance would want to have in connection with the event. Vince Horrigan recalled that the August 23 event was well received and suggested that the Alliance should act as a convening group. Pierre Chagnon indicated the Alliance’s role should be as a collaborator in organizing the event. A discussion ensued about the timing for the event and the Board agreed that March would be a better time of the year for the event.
Members of the Board discussed public outreach through a series of newspaper articles that would discuss developments regarding Chautauqua Lake and the activities of the Alliance.
VIII. NEXT MEETING
The Board agreed to meet on December 5 at 2:00 pm at the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development offices.
Upon motion by Randy Sweeney and second by Vince Horrigan the Board adjourned the meeting at 5:15pm.