September 2016 Meeting Minutes

Yahara Lakes Association, Ltd.

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Thursday, September 8, 2016 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

The Yahara Lakes Association Board of Directors held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, September 8, 2016, in the Johnson Bank (525 Junction Road) Board room.

The following members and advisors were present: Dick Adler, Roy Carter, Bill Fitzpatrick, Caroline Fribance, Carol Gillen, Annette Hellmer, Mike Jensen, Allan Levin, Bob Miller, Dick Pearson, Jerry Rekowski, Joe Tisserand, Sal Troia and Rhonda Arries

Members and advisors not present: Doug Bach, Mike Gerner, Dan Schultz, James Tye and Debbie Waite

11:35 a.m. Roy Carter introduced Stuart Allbaugh as a new YLA Board member to replace Luke Hutchins. Stuart has lived on Lake Waubesa for 26 years and in McFarland for 35 years. He grew up in southwest Wisconsin near Platteville and has 4 grown children. He spends the winter months in San Diego and the rest of the year in McFarland on Lake Waubesa. Roy Carter thanked Annette Hellmer for coordinating the meeting location at her employer, Johnson Bank.

11:45 a.m. Call to Order: President, Roy Carter, called the meeting to order at 11:45 a.m.

11:46 a.m. Minutes: Sal Troia made a motion to approve the July 14, 2016 meeting minutes. Dick Adler seconded the motion. Motion passed.

11:47 a.m. Treasurer’s report: Sal Troia, Treasurer

  • Sal Troia reported that even though membership dues are down vs last year, donations of $4,166 are helping to make up for the lack of dues income. Year-to-date net income is $7,314 and is forecast to be approximately $4,000 at year end vs a budget of $6,100. Expenses are tracking per budget.

  • Sal noted there is approximately $56k in the bank - $24k of that is in checking. Since AnchorBank has been sold to Old National Bank, it’s a good time to review other banking opportunities. Sal requested board members and Rhonda Arries to document important banking items so Sal can review and initiate new banking relationships.

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

12:00 p.m. Special Events Committee – Co-Chairs: Dick Adler & Joe Tisserand

  • Dick Adler would like the Annual Dinner event be placed on each board meeting’s agenda so that work can begin on selecting a great speaker and getting 100+ attendees. As a reminder, the board voted to hold the 2017 Annual Meeting on June 20, 2017 at Blackhawk Country Club.

12:05 p.m. Membership Committee – Chair: Roy Carter

Rhonda Arries reported 317 members year-to-date in 2016 (25 corporate and 292 individual members). vs. 380 total members in 2015. A full breakdown of membership is on

The CLA joint mailing generated 20 responses although we don’t know at this point if they’re renewing or new members.

Mike Jensen suggested working with other local organizations that could help recruit YLA members (i.e. UW Crew to call for members).

Sal noted that if there are important lake property issues that YLA takes the lead on, there’s more interest in YLA membership. Therefore, YLA needs a cause or issue to focus on to give the organization relevance to its membership. For example, the groundwater issue and the rights surrounding it could be an issue to champion. Carol Gillen noted that YLA took a stand regarding ground water and helped to stop legislation that would allow big users to gain power while the DNR would lose its voice in the matter. Caroline Fribance stated the ground water issue is important on a statewide basis but felt a local issue that really impacts Dane County riparians would be better to champion.

Mike Jensen posed the question – if YLA wants to grow membership, how do we get there? Carol Gillen stated we need to make a list of accomplishments and goals that can be marketed to help promote YLA. Mike Jensen suggested a comprehensive survey of all riparians in the area to find out what’s important to lake property owners and what YLA should take an advocacy role in. Mike will take the lead to create a survey sample.

Carol Gillen walked around her neighborhood and asked neighbors what was important to them. She found that new neighbors were most interested in landscaping and shoreline restoration as well as weed harvesting. Carol also noted that YLA should consider marketing itself with YLA yard signs (similar to the CLA Friends signs).

Joe Tisserand and Sal Troia noted that not enough board members are taking advantage of face-to-face opportunities to recruit new members in their neighborhoods. Rhonda Arries mapped current YLA members (which board members can view online) to see where members are concentrated and who isn’t a member in their neighborhood.

Mike Jensen, Carol Gillen and Sal Troia will work on a plan to increase membership. This plan will be discussed at the October board meeting.

Newsletter: Publishing schedule is February, May, August and November Joe Tisserand and other board members thanked Carol Gillen for her terrific work on the August newsletter. Carol is now working on the November newsletter. Stuart Allbaugh will submit an article re: the Lake Waubesa proposed development. Carol asked if someone would check on the new improvements re: the manure digester. Mike Jensen offered to contact the digester operator for an article and for a corporate membership. Other articles include reporting on lake levels and lake clarity. Bob Miller will secure an article on dredging. Allan Levin will secure an article on migratory birds (i.e. Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy or Scott Craven from UW). Also, board members need to bring forward nominees for the November election (Bob Miller will be leaving the board mid-term as his lake house has sold).

12:35 p.m. Environmental Committee – Chair: Allan Levin

  • All board members commented on how clean the area lakes have been this year. Roy Carter spoke with UW professors and asked why the lakes are so clean but no one can pinpoint the reason for the clear waters this year. Jerry Rekowski stated that in 20 years of living on Lake Kegonsa, this year it’s been the clearest he can remember. Others concurred that Lake Mendota and Lake Monona were also very clear this year. While Lake Waubesa had relatively clear water, it still had lots of weeds. However, with the new dam controls, Lake Waubesa’s water level has been maintained within a 4 inch tolerance up/down which has really been a major improvement for riparians and lake users.

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

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

12:45 p.m. Government Committee – Chair: Dan Schultz 12:46 p.m. Riparian Issues Committee – Chair: Annette Hellmer  Stuart Allbaugh informed the board about the latest proposal for real estate development on Lake Waubesa. The Beach House restaurant will be torn down and a multi-family apartment complex is proposed on ~ 200 ft of frontage on Lake Waubesa. The proposal is headed for the McFarland Village planning commission. Stuart’s concerns are the change in zoning for the higher density, increased traffic and building issues. The proposal is for 2 four story towers and possibly a marina. The concern is that if this property is developed in this manner, others could follow suit (i.e. The Green Lantern, etc.).

Discussion ensued about the timing, scope and local support of the project. Stuart noted that local residents, especially riparians, are against the development based on the density and scope of the project. Board members, generally, felt this is an issue that YLA should write a letter of opposition to the Village Planning Commission. Sal Troia asked Stuart Allbaugh to draft an email with specifics of the proposal for the board to review.

1:14 p.m. Old/New Business:

1:15 p.m. Carol Gillen made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Dick Adler seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Next meeting date is October 13, 2016