May 2017 Meeting Minutes

Yahara Lakes Association, Ltd.

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Thursday, May 12, 2016 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

The Yahara Lakes Association Board of Directors held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, May 12, 2016, in the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce Board room.

The following members and advisors were present: Dick Adler, Doug Bach, Roy Carter, Carol Gillen, Allan Levin, Dan Schultz, Joe Tisserand, Sal Troia, James Tye and Rhonda Arries

Members and advisors not present: Bill Fitzpatrick, Caroline Fribance, Mike Gerner, Annette Hellmer, Luke Hutchins, Bob Miller, Mike Jensen, Dick Pearson, Jerry Rekowski and Debbie Waite

11:40 a.m. Call to Order: President, Roy Carter, called the meeting to order at 11:40 a.m.

11:41 a.m. Minutes: Dick Adler made a motion to approve the April 14, 2016 meeting minutes. Dan Schultz seconded the motion. Motion passed.

11:42 a.m. Treasurer’s report: Sal Troia, Treasurer

  • Sal Troia reported YTD dues income of $13,280 which is short of the 2016 Budget of $19,285. The joint CLA/YLA mailing should help close this gap. Expenses are in line with the budget and with the previous year. Donations remain strong at $3,555 vs a budget of $3,000 and vs last year of $4,830. Overall, net income to-date is $9,825. The overall cash position of $58, 491 is good and reflects the last several years of good fiscal responsibility.

  • Allan Levin inquired about expanding opportunities for website advertising and corporate sponsors. Rhonda Arries stated there are currently 5 web advertisers and 24 corporate sponsors. Discussion ensued and it was agreed that board members would continue to work on attracting more corporate sponsors such as landscapers, realtors and others whose businesses related to our area lakes.

  • Joe Tisserand made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report and budget. Doug Bach seconded the motion. Motion passed.

11:50 a.m. Special Events Committee – Co-Chairs: Dick Adler & Joe Tisserand

  • The Annual Dinner event will be Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at Blackhawk Country Club.

  • Joe Tisserand stated that the cost for this year’s 3 course meal with steak and shrimp will be $50/person vs $40/person last year. YLA will pay for 3 gratis meals (Dave Taylor + Dave’s guest + Rhonda Arries)

  • Joe Tisserand asked that all board members attend the Annual Dinner and also asked board members to bring a neighbor/friend. The goal is to have 100+ attendees.

  • Roy Carter confirmed Dave Taylor will be awarded the Citizen of the Year for his efforts with Yahara WINS. This will be the only award given at this year’s Annual Dinner event. Roy asked Dave Taylor to be the Annual Dinner guest speaker and to give a 10-15 minute update regarding Yahara WINS followed by 10 minutes for Q&A.

  • Dick Adler and Joe Tisserand are working on door prizes. Dick asked that each board member ask one or two business owners or friends to donate a door prize so that at least 50% or more of attendees go home with a prize.

  • Dick Adler is working on getting 4 pier benches vs 2 benches raffled at last year’s event. Joe Tisserand asked if there should be a raffle for high value door prizes (like the previous years). The board unanimously agreed that a raffle for high value door prizes is a good idea.

  • The Annual Dinner invite will be included in the May newsletter and will also be sent in an email blast in June. In addition to an email blast, Dick Adler requested that a direct mail invite should be mailed to YLA members in June because electronic communication can be easily overlooked. However, with a rough cost estimate of $300 to mail an additional invite, Sal Troia noted the cost vs benefit probably wouldn’t give a strong enough return to increase attendance beyond 100. It was agreed to stick with promoting the event in the May newsletter and email blast in early June.

  • Allan Levin suggested taking a quick poll of attendees or ask attendees at the registration desk how each of them learned of the Annual Dinner event – i.e. electronic or direct mail – for effectiveness in future communications. Rhonda Arries will follow-up at the event.

12:35 p.m. Membership Committee – Chair: Roy Carter

  • Rhonda Arries reported 283 members year-to-date in 2016 (24 corporate and 259 individual members). vs. 380 total members in 2015. A full breakdown of membership is on

  • Roy Carter reminded board members that approximately 200 “new” lake property owners have been identified (via properties sold on and will receive a free YLA membership for the remainder of 2016 in the hope that they will renew with a paying membership in 2017. A Welcome letter will be inserted with the May newsletter to introduce the organization and to invite them to the Annual Dinner. Rhonda Arries will track and report who renews in 2017.

  • Doug Bach stated that YLA should partner with area realtors to give a free YLA membership to new lake property owners. James Tye stated CLA has a few realtors that give info about CLA membership to new home buyers. Roy Carter will follow up and ask a few realtors if they would do this for YLA.

  • Dan Schultz asked if there was any further follow-up with non-renewals. Rhonda Arries responded that the non-renewals will receive a May newsletter with a final request to renew and that will be the last newsletter they receive until they renew. Dan asked Rhonda to post a list of non-renewals on the BOD webpage so he can follow-up with those non-renewals he knows. Rhonda will follow-up.

  • Newsletter: Publishing schedule is February, May, August and November

  • Carol Gillen reported that all May newsletter articles have been submitted to her with the exception of Roy Carter’s article and Allan Levin’s board meeting notes (from this meeting). She asked that those final submissions be forwarded to her by May 16th .

  • Doug Bach added that he will forward pictures of large sturgeons spotted in Lake Monona and on its shores.

  • Allan Levin reminded Rhonda Arries to include hyperlinks for all the corporate sponsors listed in the newsletter. Rhonda will follow-up.

12:45 p.m. Environmental Committee – Chair: Allan Levin

  • Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) – Mike Gerner and Bob Miller are CLA Board of Directors.

  • James Tye reminded board members that the joint CLA / YLA letter signing will take place the week of May 16th at the CLA offices. James stated that rather than having a signing event for a few hours at the Great Dane, he is making CLA’s office available for a week to accommodate everyone’s busy schedule. Please stop by and sign letters during the week of May 16th to support this important joint mailing effort. YLA has historically gained 45+ new members from each of these joint mailings. The mailing will be sent around Memorial Day.

  • Rhonda Arries asked if James Tye was aware of the new 2016 YLA membership dues structure of $40/electronic or $50/standard mail communication. It was agreed that James will forward $40 for each YLA membership CLA receives.

  • James Tye noted that CLA will send a letter to the City/County Health Department regarding the health risks at beaches after rain events greater than ½ inch in Dane County. In 2015, CLA collected water samples from area beaches after rain events of ½ inch or greater and had them tested (i.e. the City/County Health Department tests beach water 1x per week which may/may not correlate with rain events and run-off). CLA noted the lab results indicated high e. coli levels in the water and is now requesting the health department to take a more pre-emptive stance on closing beaches after heavy rain events (i.e. ½ in or greater). CLA is partnering with Madison City engineers because they feel their findings indicate a public health risk and want to raise awareness. Doug Bach cautioned that good, evidence-based science needs to back any change in protocol because the unintended consequence of raising awareness of e. coli in the water will be to instill negative reactions regarding our area lakes (i.e. more people will avoid using area lakes, the public will be afraid to use our lakes due to water quality, etc.). James stated that CLA is presenting their findings directly to the City/County Health department so they can respond and react prior to public discussion. James has requested a City/County Health Dept. response by Memorial Day 2016.

  • Jame Tye noted that the CLA breakfast held on Tuesday, May 3 had 675 attendees and featured the CEO from Gunderson Health Care System who discussed the Springfield manure digester as well as introducing a 3 rd digester which will be installed in the near future.

  • James also discussed the success CLA is having with Yahara 101 breakfasts which are offered 11x per year and have an average of 75 attendees per session. CLA will be expanding this program and asked if YLA would be interested in partnering with the programming effort. CLA has a great capacity for marketing and promoting events so the board will discuss this idea for the future.

  • CLA will have 25,000 Lake Resource Guides printed and will be distributed by Memorial Day. James noted there are 119 businesses economically tied to our area lakes – fishing, restaurants, etc. The guide will be directly mailed to all lake owners, placed in the Isthmus, and distributed to the general public. There will also be an app for electronic users.

  • Lakes & Watershed (L&W) – Mike Gerner n/a

1:00 p.m. Government Committee – Chair: Dan Schultz Mbrs: Bob Miller

  • Dan Schultz wrote an article for the May newsletter updating members about a legislative bill that was passed containing zoning changes to riparian issues such as remodeling boathouses, replacing seawalls and changes to shelters.

  • Sal Troia provided an update regarding the high capacity well issue that YLA sent a letter in opposition to. The Attorney General recently stated that the WI DNR doesn’t have the authority to control high capacity wells but the question now remains - who does have oversight if it’s not the DNR? Who will uphold the public trust doctrine regarding these water issues? This issue will continue to be debated and probably end up in litigation.

  • James Tye noted that Mary Panzer has been hired as a lobbyist for lake associations in northern WI who are trying to regain local control after Governor Walker passed a bill that stated no county can have more restrictive zoning conditions than the state. The WI Lakes Association is nearly defunct now that they lost their funding - many northern lake associations were unhappy with WI Lakes Association because they were too close and perhaps biased due to its ties to government funding. Dan Schultz noted that YLA has not actively been involved with WI Lakes because they really represented only the northern lakes and weren’t involved with central or southern WI lakes.

1:19 p.m. Riparian Issues Committee – Chair: Luke Hutchins n/a

1:19 p.m. Old/New Business: n/a 1:20 p.m. Dan Schultz made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Carol Gillen seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Next meeting date is July 14, 2016