November 2018 Meeting Minutes

Yahara Lakes Association, Ltd.

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Thursday, November 8, 2018 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

The Yahara Lakes Association Board of Directors held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, November 8, 2018, in the Verex Building (150 E. Gilman Street) Yahara Conference room.

The following members and advisors were present: Dick Adler, Stuart Allbaugh, Roy Carter, Caroline Fribance, Mike Gerner, Annette Hellmer, Allan Levin, Nancy Peckham, Jerry Rekowski, Dan Schultz, Joe Tisserand, Sal Troia, James Tye and Rhonda Arries Members and advisors not present: Doug Bach, Bill Fitzpatrick, Carol Gillen, Eric Olson, Dick Pearson and Parker Waller

11:34 a.m. Call to Order: President Dan Schultz called the meeting to order at 11:34 a.m.

11:35 a.m. Minutes: Dick Adler made a motion to accept the October 11, 2018 meeting minutes. Joe Tisserand seconded the motion. Motion passed.

11:36 a.m. Sal Troia provided the Treasurer’s report:

  • Membership dues income is $16,450 vs a budget of $18,330. While corporate memberships met budget, individual memberships were down vs budget.

  • Donations are $7,510 vs a budget of $5,000 vs last year’s $7,615. Donations continue to buoy the organization’s financials.

  • Net income year-to-date is $8,185.

  • Allan Levin made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report. Caroline Fribance seconded the motion. Motion passed.

11:45 a.m. Rhonda Arries asked for board member approval to confirm 2019 board meetings to be held on the 2nd Thursday of the month (excluding February, June, August and December) at the Verex Building 150 E. Gilman Street on the 4th Floor. Becky Mitchell, executive assistant with Clean Lakes Alliance, assisted in securing the conference room for those dates. Sal Troia made a motion to accept the dates and location for 2019 board meetings. Joe Tisserand seconded the motion. Motion passed. Roy Carter suggested that a Thank You note be sent to the managing partner at Foley & Lardner and also to Becky Mitchell for helping arrange the meeting room. Dan Schultz will follow up.

11:50 a.m. Rhonda Arries provided a membership update:

  • As of 11/07/18, 344 total members vs 360 in 2017 and 336 in 2016. There are 30 corporate members and 314 individual members vs 29 corporate members and 331 individual members in 2017.

  • 39 new members joined – 23 were new lakefront property owners who joined after a free annual membership; 14 joined from the joint CLA mailing and 2 were new corporate members.

  • Allan Levin made a motion to send email newsletters to all non-members (i.e. lapsed, non members) forever. No second motion was made. Further discussion will be taken up in 2019. Page 2 of 4

  • Rhonda Arries asked for help on the Membership Committee. The current website needs to be improved with content and a fresh redesign. Joe Tisserand mentioned the most important goal should be member retention – easier to retain members than to attract new members. James Tye suggested that neighborhoods along each lake could have Captains to spread the word and/or share info about what’s happening on their shorelines with Clean Lakes and YLA. This would provide both organizations top-of-mind issues to focus on and address. Dick Adler noted that it’s a good time to get in front of people because lots of people are wanting more info because of the flooding issues. Dan Schultz suggested that each board member think about hosting a neighborhood or lakeside chat next Spring – this is one of the benefits of having board members across all lakes.

12:00 p.m. Dan Schultz provided a summary of upcoming Board member elections.

  • Board terms expiring 12/31/18: Dick Adler (Monona), Doug Bach (Monona), Bill Fitzpatrick (Mendota), Mike Gerner (Mendota), Annette Hellmer (Monona) and Parker Waller (Monona)

  • Dick Adler and Annette Hellmer confirmed they will seek re-election.

  • Doug Bach, Bill Fitpatrick, Mike Gerner and Parker Waller will not seek re-election.

  • Nancy Peckham and Eric Olson will be replacing Mike Jensen and Debbie Waite whose terms expired on 12/31/17.

  • Dave Silverberg (Waubesa) and Eric Vieth (Kegonsa) are active nominees. Jenny Kuehn has recently withdrawn from serving on the board due to scheduling constraints. Hopefully, she will contact the board when her time frees up – she would be a good addition to serve on the board. Now there are 2 positions that are open for the board. Dan Schultz notes that it’s ok to have a few open board positions in the event a good candidate comes forward.

  • Sal Troia is working with Chuck Dykman regarding the bylaws (Caroline Fribance and Chuck Gates worked on the most recently revised bylaws). Sal talked with Chuck Dykman to change how mid-term board appointments get approved and elected by the general membership. Currently, the board can fill an open board position at any time. This will be a clarifying draft change to the bylaws. Caroline Fribance will also look at it from an attorney’s standpoint.

  • Results for this year’s board member elections will be closed Dec. 15, 2018. Rhonda Arries will communicate the results to the board shortly after the closing of the ballot.

  • Sal Troia and Dan Schultz will meet with the new board members before the January meeting.

Also, Dan Schultz noted the committee structure for board members wasn’t really firmed up this year. Sal Troia and Dan will revisit the committee structure and put a plan together on how to proceed in 2019. The idea will be to create working committees to involve active participation from all board members.

Mike Gerner noted that organizational leadership along with a consortium of experts need to provide a meaningful voice on the two important topics of flooding and water quality (phosphorous). Nancy Peckham concurred that action needs to be taken after listening to riparians concerns.

Mike Gerner noted that the Technical Group will have data gathered internally and then the experts (not named yet) will deliver preliminary findings in February. He noted that YLA should get “in front” of how the study is directed – he notes that if the Technical Group doesn’t study the flow rates and instead looks toward storage, they’ll come up with potentially a lowering of the lakes. Allan Levin noted that Lakes & Watershed will be holding a public input meeting on Page 3 of 4 11/15/18 on the management plan. Joe Parisi and John Reimer will give updates at 2 additional meetings on 11/27/18 at Stoughton Country Club and 11/26/18 at the Lussier Family Heritage Center.

James Tye and Mike Gerner noted that YLA needs to be in the forefront about talking about flow – Dan Schultz noted that YLA can’t talk only about flow because there are some lakes like Kegonsa and Waubesa that point to serious issues by not having the lake levels lowered. Dan stated that the flow is important but it’s important to also not make a strong case in keeping lake levels where they’ve been currently managed. CRANES has a big voice regarding lowering lake levels to historic levels. James Tye noted that YLA should be the counter voice to say that flow is as important or more important than solving the issue through lowering lake levels as CRANES supports.

Mike Gerner stated that the easy political answer for the County will be to lower Mendota even if the studies show increasing flow is the best way to manage the lakes. Dan doesn’t want to get into a battle with the County about how to micro-manage the lake levels per se but rather wants to support the County in getting more weed harvesters, resources, modeling flow, etc. Mike Gerner made a motion to set up a YLA committee to set forth a specific request of things to include in the analysis and modeling to be prepared by the Technical Group (i.e. tell them to study flow rates, choke points, etc. vs. lowering lake levels). Caroline Fribance seconded the motion. 6 Yeas and 6 Nos. Motion did NOT pass.

Nancy Peckham provided an update regarding weed management. Carol Gillen, Caroline Fribance and Nancy had a meeting with Susan Graham, who works with the County, about aquatic plant management and how members can best manage these with a positive impact on the ecosystem. Susan would work on an educational video for members but she needs to do the video shoot by the end of November due to her work schedule. Topics would include: identifying native species (good aquatic plants) vs invasive species; legal considerations regarding removing weeds; effective methods for removal of aquatic plants – pros/cons; 30 ft rule per 100 ft of shoreline – can clear; weed mats need to be permitted in WI but the DNR is unlikely to issue a permit - can be placed on bottom of lake to keep weeds from growing; can’t use a mechanical rake but can do raking manually (note: if you disturb the lake bottom, you may incite more invasives to grow). The main message will be to prioritize the area to clear and minimize weed removal. The last part of the video will outline options: pull, manually rake, hire an individual or hire a landscaping company. Carol Gillen called various landscaping companies and will report back those who would be interested in being a referral. Carol Gillen also has a proposal from a video company – estimate $2k-$4k. James Tye noted that Clean Lakes could shoot this video for a similar donation amount, YLA could apply for a grant or do it in partnership with Clean Lakes or WI lakes to get wider distribution and more “eyeballs” or views. Nancy Peckham made a motion to get approval to shoot the video for up to $4k while working on a grant with a deadline of April 1, 2019. Sal Troia asked the committee to explore video shooting options with Clean Lakes. Dick Adler included this in a revised motion to get approval to complete a video for up to $4k. Seconded by Sal Troia. Motion passed.

1:10 p.m. Newsletter: Publishing schedule is February, May, August and November February Newsletter: Dan Schultz asked Sal Troia to write a president’s column. Rhonda Arries will include the 2019 membership renewal form. New board members should submit a photo and bios. Jerry Rekowski suggested including some kind of forecast for the upcoming spring and summer season in 2019. Carol Gillen asked for someone to volunteer to pull together and edit Page 4 of 4 news articles for the February newsletter because she will be travelling in January and unable to work on it. No volunteer came forward during the meeting so please contact Carol if you can help.

1:14 p.m. Environmental Tracking – Chair: Allan Levin

  • Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) – Mike Gerner is a CLA Board of Director member

  • Lakes & Watershed (L&W is an advisory committee) – Allan Levin is the YLA appointee. Watershed Network Group – Roy Carter and Allan Levin

  • Healthy Farms/Healthy Lakes – Allan Levin serves on this committee for Dane County. Government Tracking Committee – Chair: Dan Schultz, Committee Member: Allan Levin Riparian Committee – Chair: Sal Troia (Carol Gillen, Roy Carter & Dan Schultz committee mbrs) New / Old Business

1:15 p.m. Annette Hellmer made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Jerry Rekowski seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Next meeting date is January 10, 2019