November 2017 Meeting Minutes
Yahara Lakes Association, Ltd.
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Thursday, November 9, 2017 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
The Yahara Lakes Association Board of Directors held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, November 9, 2017, in the Associated Bank (3002 Fish Hatchery Road) Conference room.
The following members and advisors were present: Dick Adler, Stuart Allbaugh, Roy Carter, Carol Gillen, Mike Jensen, Allan Levin, Dick Pearson Dan Schultz, Joe Tisserand, Sal Troia, Rhonda Arries
Members and advisors not present: Doug Bach, Bill Fitzpatrick, Caroline Fribance, Mike Gerner, Annette Hellmer, Jerry Rekowski, James Tye, Debbie Waite, Parker Waller
11:34 a.m. Call to Order: President Allan Levin called the meeting to order at 11:34 a.m.
11:35 a.m. Minutes: Joe Tisserand made a motion to accept the October 12, 2017 meeting minutes. Dan Schultz seconded the motion. Motion passed. Board member terms expiring: Caroline Fribance, Mike Jensen, Jerry Rekowski, Dan Schultz, Sal Troia and Debbie Waite. Mike Jensen and Debbie Waite will not renew their terms – the remaining 4 board members will be on the ballot. There are 2 openings on the board. Allan Levin will contact Peter Foy from FOLKS to see if he would be interested in joining. Dan Schultz will ask Lars Barber, who lives on Lake Waubesa, if he would be interested. Please contact Rhonda within the next week if you think of someone else for a board position. Rhonda will send out ballots electronically and in the mail on 11/15 and 12/1 respectively. Polls will close on 12/15. The Board agreed that 2018 board meetings will again be held on the second Thursday of the month at the Associated Bank in Fitchburg from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Rhonda will post the schedule on the Board Members Only webpage and send out calendar evites. Allan Levin and Dan Schultz will work on the Spring symposium which will address lake levels. Dan Schultz’s article on lake levels in the November newsletter was well received and it was determined YLA members are interested in learning more.
Mike Jensen provided an update on the membership survey. At the end of October, a 10-question survey was emailed to YLA members. 62 members to-date have filled out the survey - a 17% response rate based on 360 members. Some respondent answers to note are:
60% of the respondents have been members 5+ years.
A neighbor/friend and mailings/brochure are the main ways people joined the org.
Why join? 90% have a concern about water quality/weeds; 71% referenced water levels
How do you feel about YLA? 70+% reported “more favorable”; 6% reported neutral; 2% reported “slightly unfavorable” and 2 people reported “very unfavorable” Information sharing seems to be viewed favorably
Top concerns: 97% water quality; 94% algae; 82% weed; 73% carp; 71% lake levels Multi-family zoning and lake levels appear to be high levels of concern; slow–no-wake; noise and weeds are also concerns
Is YLA unique or different? 44% viewed YLA as different; 56% saw YLA as not different
How can YLA better serve you? No change needed 41%; seminars 40% (23 people) advocacy 32% and more communication 31%
Mike’s overall summary of the online survey is that members have a more favorable view of YLA than those he talked with door-to-door. Mike stated that YLA has to develop its own visibility and uniqueness and then convert those people into long term, repeat members. The challenge will be how the organization wants to proceed to make this happen. Allan Levin asked Mike and the membership committee to write a final summary after the survey closes as well as recommendations on next steps and actions.
Allan suggested that a membership survey should be done on a more regular basis to get feedback and input from members. Sal Troia noted that it’s important to show and communicate to members that something is being done in regards to their comments. Mike Jensen suggested an idea that YLA could provide funds for a college student(s) to study a topic of concern for YLA members such as details about managing slow-no wake on lakes, deploying weed cutters, etc. He thought this would help show that member comments are directing action and it would build awareness of YLA (i.e. put signage on the weed cutters such as “Sponsored in part by YLA”).
Dan Schultz thought it was a good idea but wants to ensure YLA doesn’t “offend” government agencies or staff by delving into how good/bad they are doing their jobs. Carol Gillen will research whether signage could be placed on weed cutters. Roy Carter noted that YLA needs a compelling riparian issue to move forward on. Roy noted that it’s also important to report on the good things happening such as weed cutting this past year. Stuart Allbaugh noted that some “bad” things happened that should also be reported such as Waubesa “lost” 1/3 of its summer due to high water and slow-no wake restrictions. Mike Jensen stated that YLA should communicate and acknowledge issues such as this as they’re occurring – advocate for whether the slow-no wake is correct or help end it if it’s gone too long. However, this is easier said than done because YLA will need active grassroots advocates as well as it would place YLA in the crosshairs of government staff and agencies who are directing these efforts. Board members were unsure how to proceed with this because YLA has a favorable standing with many of the agencies and staff and doesn’t want to upset that history.
Carol Gillen suggested scheduling regular meetings with John Reimer and the operator of the Stoughton dam throughout summer and providing a summary to YLA members. Dan Schultz wants to learn about benchmarks of when slow-no wake restrictions are made and released. He suggested that YLA could provide a simple red, green, yellow indicator online for each of the lakes throughout the summer (i.e. similar to CLA’s beach forecast re: water quality – thumbs up, thumbs down on if it’s good to swim). This simple rating system would show YLA is keeping an eye on lake levels. Newsletters could feature an article about lake levels as well as a link. Education will be important and the symposium could help launch the idea. Dan and Allan will continue to work on this idea in preparation for the Spring symposium.
12:35 p.m. Treasurer’s report: Sal Troia, Treasurer
Sal Troia reported that Net Income is $9,639 to-date. YLA will finish ahead of budget and ahead of 2016 for the year. Expenses to-date are $22,494 which are higher than last year – mainly due to yard signs, free newsletters sent to new lakefront owners to hopefully Page 3 of 3 convert them as paying members next year and an increase in pay for Rhonda as coordinator (from $700/month to $750/month – the first pay increase in 5 years). Donations are up $7,615 vs $6.745 last year.
The board discussed Rhonda’s pay for the upcoming year. The board proposed to increase her pay from $750/month to $800/month effective 1/1/18. Additionally, Roy Carter made a motion to pay a $500 bonus to Rhonda on 12/1/17 for her work in 2017. Joe Tisserand made a motion and Dick Adler seconded it to increase Rhonda’s pay to $800/month and pay a $500 bonus in December 2017. Motion passed unanimously. Rhonda thanked the board for the raise and the acknowledgement of her work.
Dick Adler made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report. Roy Carter seconded the motion. Motion passed.
12:50 p.m. Special Events Committee – Co-Chairs: Dick Adler & Joe Tisserand
The 2018 Annual Dinner will be held on June 19, 2018 at Blackhawk Country Club. 12:51 p.m. Membership Committee – Chair: Mike Jensen
Rhonda Arries reported 360 total members to-date in 2017 (29 corporate and 331 individual members) vs. 336 total members in 2016. 64 new members were added this year – 6 new corporate members, 26 new members from the CLA joint mailing and 32 new members (mainly from retaining those that were given free memberships in 2016 who then became paying members in 2017). A full breakdown of membership is on http://yaharalakes.org/board-members-only/
Newsletter: Publishing schedule is February, May, August and November Stuart Allbaugh will write a recap of what happened regarding Lake Waubesa, lake levels, and slow-no wake timing. He’ll send to Rhonda for inclusion in the February newsletter. Dan Schultz will write an article about the rules regarding piers and lifts for the February newsletter.
12:58 p.m. Environmental Committee – Chair: TBD
Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) – Mike Gerner is a CLA Board of Director member.
Lakes & Watershed (L&W) – Allan Levin is new YLA appointee (succeeded Mike Gerner)
Watershed Network Group – Roy Carter and Allan Levin
Healthy Farms/Healthy Lakes – Allan Levin will be on this committee for Dane County
12:59 p.m. Government Tracking – Chair: TBD
1:00 p.m. Carol Gillen made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Joe seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Next meeting date is January 11, 2018