January 2016 Meeting Minutes
Yahara Lakes Association, Ltd.
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Thursday, January 14, 2016 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
The Yahara Lakes Association Board of Directors held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, January 14, 2016, in the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce Board room.
The following members and advisors were present: Roy Carter, Bill Fitzpatrick, Caroline Fribance, Mike Gerner, Carol Gillen, Annette Hellmer, Luke Hutchins, Mike Jensen, Allan Levin, Bob Miller, Dick Pearson, Joe Tisserand, Sal Troia, and Rhonda Arries
Members and advisors not present: Dick Adler, Doug Bach, Jerry Rekowski, Dan Schultz, Debbie Waite and James Tye
11:45 a.m. Call to Order: President, Joe Tisserand, called the meeting to order at 11:45 a.m.
11:46 p.m. Minutes: Bill Fitzpatrick suggested 2 corrections to the minutes. Sal Troia made a motion to include the suggested corrections and approve the November 19, 2015 meeting minutes. Roy Carter seconded the motion. Motion passed.
11:47 a.m. Administrative Items: Joe Tisserand, President
3 year terms ended on 12/31/15 for the following board members: Dick Adler, Doug Bach, David Bohl, Bill Fitzpatrick, Mike Gerner and Bob Miller.
In December 2015, ballots were counted and finalized with the following to serve a 3 year term from 2016-2018: Dick Adler, Doug Bach, Bill Fitzpatrick, Mike Gerner, Annette Hellmer and Bob Miller.
2015 marked a second term for Joe Tisserand as YLA President. He encouraged other board members to take a second term. Joe thanked all of the board members for their support – especially Carol Gillen for doing an excellent job as newsletter editor. He also thanked Rhonda Arries for her assistance. Sal Troia and the rest of the board thanked Joe for his service as well.
Joe and the rest of the board welcomed Roy Carter as the 2016 YLA President.
Roy Carter proposed the following 2016 officers: President Elect - Allan Levin, Secretary - Allan Levin, Sal Troia - Treasurer. Bob Miller made a motion to accept the slate of proposed officers. Joe Tisserand seconded the motion. Motion passed.
12:00 p.m. Treasurer’s report: Sal Troia, Treasurer
Sal Troia reported 2015 annual net income of $4.7k noting that the membership dues income fell short of budget but donations helped ease the impact to the financial bottom line. Overall, the organization has had a positive cash flow since 2011. Sal reported that the 2016 budget includes a projected 5% increase for Individual Memberships which should be achievable. Contributions to the CLA Breakfast sponsorship of $2,500 along with $500 budgeted for other organizations (i.e. the Lakes Patrol) are in the 2016 budget.
Roy Carter noted the organization now has approximately $48k in cash. What is the money for and what are the financial goals? Sal noted that in 2010, the organization had a net loss and therefore needed to focus on generating a positive cash flow which it now has done. Mike Gerner also noted that generally cash balances should be sufficient enough to cover an average of 3 years of expenses for an organization like YLA. Also, the current cash position allows the organization to target a cause, project or potentially retain legal counsel if necessary to support YLA’s mission.
Bill Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report and budget. Annette Hellmer seconded the motion. Motion passed.
12:15 p.m. Membership Committee – Chair: Roy Carter
Rhonda Arries reported 380 members in 2015 (23 corporate and 357 individual members). vs. 400 members in 2014. A full breakdown of membership is on http://yaharalakes.org/board-members-only/
Roy Carter stated he owns a lake property in Northern WI and is a member of an affiliated lake organization that grew membership from 300 to 1000 members in 3 years by giving all NEW lake property owners free membership for the first year they live on the lake. Roy suggested this as a way for YLA to grow its membership base.
Mike Jensen noted that a new member has value to the organization so floating a free trial membership has a potential long term benefit. Mike Gerner stated that YLA membership is likely an awareness issue more than a cost issue because at $35/year to join YLA cost is not a barrier. Discussion ensued and it was agreed offering a free trial membership to new lake property owners should be done. Roy Carter, Carol Gillen and Rhonda Arries will establish a process to obtain new lake property owners and send a brief welcome letter asking the new owners to complete a form for their free YLA membership - either online or hard copy. Joe Tisserand made a motion to ask Roy to lead a review and report back to the board in March. Sal Troia seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Caroline Fribance noted the Lake Conference event which Dan Schultz is organizing could also be an opportunity to welcome new members. Mike Jensen suggested an auto-renew option for membership every year. Luke Hutchins suggested that perhaps membership should be free for everyone and ask for a suggested donation for support. Mike Gerner liked the out-of-the-box idea but felt it may erode the existing membership base and have negative financial impacts given that YLA is not a tax deductible organization.
Carol Gillen stated that YLA needs to provide solid reasons for people to join and remain as members.
Newsletter: Publishing schedule is February, May, August and November Carol Gillen is working on the February newsletter. Bill Fitzpatrick will write an article about the Nelson Institute; Roy Carter will write about the current state of YLA; Allan Levin will provide a board meeting summary; Mike Gerner will ask Kevin Connors for assistant in getting an article about the lake levels from John Reimer; Mike Jensen noted the bird migration might be an interesting topic and Bob Miller added the fox and coyote penetration in urban areas might be interesting to add as well. Also, the carp study previously mentioned by Bob Miller would be a good addition. Carol reminded everyone that the deadline for February newsletter articles is January 27.
Carol Gillen noted the newsletter format needs to be updated with a fresher, more tech savvy email version. Carol asked for a budget of $500 to update the newsletter format. Sal Troia moved to approve $500 and include in the 2016 budget. Joe Tisserand seconded the motion. All approved. Carol Gillen also requested more proactive input for newsletters. Roy Carter and all of the board members thanked Carol for her extraordinary efforts in creating the newsletter 4 times per year since it’s the main communication tool to convey information to members. Mike Gerner suggested creating a schedule requesting articles from other affiliated organizations - i.e. Friends of Pheasant Branch, FOLKS, CLA, Yahara Pride, WINS, etc. Mike Jensen would like to better understand the needs of all riparians by issuing a survey in 2016. Sal Troia noted this has been discussed in conjunction the Lake Conferences being organized by Dan Schultz. Mike Jensen volunteered to lead the effort in creating and distributing the survey and Sal agreed to assist him. Two YLA Lake Conferences are being organized by Dan Schultz. The first will be held the afternoon of Friday, April 22 at the American Family Insurance auditorium. The second will be held later in the year. Each conference will be scheduled for 2 hours. Proposed speakers for the Spring Conference are Ken Potter, John Reimer and Professor Wu. More details to be determined.
12:50 p.m. Environmental Committee – Chair: Allan Levin
Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) - Mike Gerner and Bob Miller are on the CLA board of directors. The Frozen Asset fund raising event is February 9 and is sold out. Mike noted CLA is working on projects beyond the Yahara WINS initiatives to reduce phosphorous – noting one important initiative is to work with owners who lease farm land to renters to require better on-field, on-site practices to help reduce phosphorous.
Lakes & Watershed (L&W) – Mike Gerner reported the annual L&W retreat is Saturday, January 16 to talk about the focus for 2016. Mike reported that not a lot happened in 2015 and there’s not a lot of organizational direction or focus at this time. The overall goal of L&W is, per state statue, to focus on water quality and public safety for Madison and the Yahara Lakes watershed. L&W has no authoritative or legislative power so can only make suggestions or recommendations to the legislature. L&W reports to the Dane County Executive, who is currently Joe Parisi.
Roy Carter reported the L&W Conference meeting will be held on April 9 in the Waunakee Community Center.
Joe Tisserand noted there’s a Groundwater Flow meeting for Dane County on January 19th if anyone is interested in attending.
12:55 p.m. Special Events Committee – Co-Chairs: Dick Adler & Joe Tisserand
The Annual Dinner event will be Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at Blackhawk Country Club.
The Spring Lake Conference organized by Dan Schultz will be Friday afternoon, April 22 at the American Family Insurance auditorium
1:01 p.m. Government Committee – Chair: Dan Schultz Mbrs: Bob Miller
Roy Carter noted that the unincorporated municipalities in the state of WI are losing shoreland zoning oversight rules. YLA should continue to monitor how this situation unfolds.
1:02 p.m. Riparian Issues Committee – Chair: Luke Hutchins n/a 1:03 p.m. Old Business: n/a
1:04 p.m. New Business: n/a
1:05 p.m. Sal Troia made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Annette Hellmer seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Next meeting date is March 10, 2016