Yahara Lakes Association, Ltd.

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Thursday, March 14, 2019 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.                

The Yahara Lakes Association Board of Directors held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in the Verex Building (150 E. Gilman Street) Yahara Conference room. 

The following members and advisors were present: Stuart Allbaugh (teleconference), Roy Carter, Caroline Fribance, Carol Gillen, Annette Hellmer, Allan Levin, Dick Pearson, Nancy Peckham, Jerry Rekowski, Dan Schultz, Dave Silverberg (teleconference), Joe Tisserand, Sal Troia, Eric Vieth, James Tye and Rhonda Arries 

Members and advisors not present:  Dick Adler, Bill Fitzpatrick and Eric Olson  

11:30 a.m.   Call to Order: President, Sal Troia, called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m.

11:31 a.m.    Executive Session:  Sal Troia requested this session for Board Members only (not including advisors or administrators).  Annette Hellmer, as Secretary, took meeting notes.  

12:40 p.m.    Board members thanked Rhonda Arries for her nine years of service as YLA administrator.  Rhonda thanked the Board for the honor of serving them and YLA members.

12:41 p.m.    February Board Meeting Minutes:  The February board meeting minutes were posted on the old WordPress website but many Board members didn’t have a chance to view them before the new SquareSpace website went “live”.  Therefore, the February meeting minutes were deferred for approval at the next Board meeting in April.    

12:42 p.m.    Dan Schultz provided the Treasurer’s report:

·     $4,880 in dues income has been received to-date.  Rhonda Arries noted that Corporate Members were sent renewal invoices and 26 of the 31 have renewed.  56 individual members have renewed through online email blasts and through the February newsletter.

·     Rhonda also reported that 6 of the 7 web advertisers were sent renewal notices and have paid for 2019.  

·     For the SquareSpace redesign, a one-time design fee of $1,500 has been paid.  Additional ongoing charges for using SquareSpace include an annual fee of $216/year and a 3% transaction fee to be charged for each online payment made through the site (this is in addition to PayPal fees).

·     Rhonda filed the 2018 taxes for the organization.

·     Sal Troia asked the Board if the new administrator, Brenda Mathias, should be bonded and if so, at what amount.  All Board members agreed that she should be bonded and asked Sal and Jerry Rekowski to determine the appropriate amount.

·     Roy Carter made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s Budget report.  Joe Tisserand seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

12:50 p.m.    Marketing & Communications Committee – Nancy Peckham

§  Nancy noted the new website is complete except for the Board Member Only page.  Nancy’s committee along with the new administrator will complete this section by the end of March.

§  This committee will meet promptly after this Board meeting to discuss the future of the newsletter, its format and finding a new editor (longtime editor, Carol Gillen, will be stepping down from this position at year-end but wishes to transfer responsibilities and train someone as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition).   

1:00 p.m.      Lake Levels & Flow Committee – Dan Schultz

·     Dan was hoping for greater attendance at the YLA Lake Level Symposium on March 12 which had 71 RSVPs but approximately 50 people in attendance.  The Board thanked Eric Vieth for his insights and presentation at the Symposium.  

·     The Technical Group draft recommendations will be reviewed and finalized by the Lake Level Task Force on April 1.  Dan would like an email blast to go out to YLA members after the Task Force recommendations are made public.  The recommendations will then go to Lakes & Watershed which Allan Levin noted will be open for public comment.  In mid-May, there will be an approval meeting.  The final recommendations will then go to the County Board.  To keep tabs on the proceedings, Allan advised Board members to check Legistar for the calendar. 

·     Carol Gillen asked Eric Vieth how much weight the Lake Level Task Force will give to public comments.  Eric noted that individuals on the Lake Level Task Force may be influenced by public comments but the recommendations will be a compilation of the total Task Force Committee consensus. 

·     Dan Schultz noted that certain County Supervisors on the Task Force expressed wishes to extend the review period.  Eric Vieth stated it’s his, as well as other committee members, to expedite the review process and keep it moving along.  Allan Levin also commented that Lakes & Watershed will try to keep the Task Force focused and on an expedited schedule.

·     James Tye and Eric Vieth noted that John Reimer has already begun pre-work to expedite DNR permits that may be needed based on the preliminary Technical Group findings. The permitting process will run parallel with the Request for Proposal contracting process so work can begin as soon as possible.

1:15 p.m.      Membership Promotion & Interest Committee – Jerry Rekowski

·     Jerry noted the timing of potential Listening Sessions with YLA members will need to be coordinated with the Final Recommendations and Approvals of the Lake Level Task Force and Lakes and Watershed Committees.  

·     Jerry and his committee will also be working on recapturing “lost” members – those that haven’t renewed recently.

·     The new administrator, Brenda Mathias, has been highly recommended for bringing new ideas to attract and recruit, organize member events and manage risks by challenging the status quo.  Jerry will work with Brenda on new member recruiting initiatives.

·     James Tye noted that the Clean Lakes joint mailing signing dates for Board members are: 

Tuesday, March 19th- Noon - 5pm

Thursday, March 21st- All Day

 Friday, March 22nd– All Day

The more letters that contain a personal note, the better the response rate to the mailing.  

1:20 p.m.      Events Committee – Dick Adler & Joe Tisserand

·   The Annual Dinner will be Tuesday, June 18 at Blackhawk Country Club.

1:21 p.m.      Legislative & Legal Committee – Caroline Fribance

·     Caroline sent out notes to Board members from her committee meeting on Feb. 9.  

·     YLA was originally set up as a 501(c)4 to restrict membership to riparians only. Caroline’s committee is looking into whether it would benefit YLA to change the organization status to a 501(c)3 which would allow donations to be deductible (but membership would then need to be open to the general public vs restricted to riparians only).  Also, lobbying is restricted under a 501(c)3 designation but education and advocacy is allowed.  James Tye noted there are specific tests regarding caps on how much money you can spend on lobbying, etc.  Caroline and her committee will continue to review the organization’s designation to see if it’s the best fit for future activities and plans. 

1:25 p.m.   Allan Levin made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Joe Tisserand seconded the motion.  Motion passed.                            

Next meeting date is April 11, 2019

2019 Schedule (Verex Bldg 150 E. Gilman St. 4th Flr  11:30 am – 1:15 pm, 2nd Thursday):

January 10

April 11

July 11

November 14

February 14

May 9


March 14

**  June 18 Annual Dinner **

October 10

** No board meetings held in June, August or Decemb