September 2017 Meeting Minutes

Yahara Lakes Association, Ltd.

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Thursday, September 14, 2017 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

The Yahara Lakes Association Board of Directors held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, September 14, 2017, in the Associated Bank (3002 Fish Hatchery Road) Conference room.

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

Members and advisors not present: Stuart Allbaugh, Dick Adler, Doug Bach, Mike Gerner, Carol Gillen, Dan Schultz, Joe Tisserand, James Tye, Debbie Waite and Parker Waller

11:33 a.m. Call to Order: President Allan Levin called the meeting to order at 11:33 a.m.

11:34 a.m. Minutes: Bill Fitzpatrick made a motion to accept the July 13, 2017 meeting minutes. Annette Hellmer seconded the motion. Motion passed.

11:35 a.m. Allan Levin provided an update regarding the Shoreland Zoning Symposium which was held on Friday, September 8, 2017 from 1:30 – 4:00 p.m. at American Family Insurance Headquarters. Paul Kent (attorney from Stafford Rosenbaum Law Firm), Tom Wilson (attorney/administrator from the Town of Westport) and Mary Kolar (Dane County Supervisor and Chairperson of Zoning on Lakes & Watershed) were the three guest speakers. Each speaker presented information for about 30 minutes each, followed by a Q&A session for attendees. Attendees were asked to RSVP prior to the event – approximately 40 - 50 people attended.

Allan Levin presented each guest speaker with a travel coffee mug with a YLA logo as a token of appreciation. Allan asked for feedback on the symposium. Overall, board members felt it was a good symposium with reasonable attendance. Suggestions for improvement included relating presentation materials to local (i.e.Yahara lakes) issues and interests vs state. All agreed that a second symposium should be held in Spring 2018. Allan suggested the general topic should be lake levels. Mike Jensen discussed the door-to-door pilot survey of non-YLA members (i.e. find out if nonmembers know what YLA is and if so, why aren’t they a member).

Mike Jensen, Sal Troia and Carol Gillen worked on the survey and created a new member brochure. Several high school and college students were recruited to go door-to-door but all of the recruits ended up backing out and canceling. Mike persevered and ended up going door-to-door himself. Kudos to you, Mike! In early September, Mike visited 58 non-YLA member homes (31 Mendota, 15 Monona, 12 Waubesa). Mike estimated he could visit 10 homes per hour. 29 residents participated – 29 did not answer the door or weren’t home. 18 of the 29 were aware of YLA – 6 out of 29 had a favorable opinion, 9 out of 29 had no opinion, the unfavorable views were generally “YLA is all talk, no action”. Importantly, only 2 out of 29 were confused between YLA and CLA. At the end of the brief survey, Mike offered a free (digital/electronic) YLA membership with a surprising result of zero interested parties!

Mike’s preliminary observations: while the sample size is very small, the preliminary information indicates folks are interested in sharing their issues about living on the lake. The new brochure proved to be a validating credential and provided a positive conversation starter. It appears that awareness of YLA is relatively strong but the depth of knowledge about the organization’s reason for being is weak. Also, the initial findings indicate that there doesn’t appear to be widespread confusion between YLA and CLA nor does cost of membership seem to be a barrier. Mike’s preliminary conclusion is that YLA isn’t as relevant for riparians as previous years. See attached for the survey, summary of responses and Mike’s conclusions. Mike was thanked for his efforts on gathering these important findings. Given these findings, Mike would like to scale the survey up to get a larger and more reliable sample size of the estimated 1800-2000 riparians. Mike, Sal and Carol will brainstorm on next steps and bring their suggestions to the October board meeting.

12:35 p.m. Treasurer’s report: Sal Troia, Treasurer

  • Corporate membership dues are $2,900 to-date vs $2,500 in 2016. Individual Membership dues continue to be a concern as they are down again vs last year $12,920 to-date vs $13,305 last year. However, the CLA joint member dues have not yet been received so the individual membership dues should increase once those are logged.

  • Donations are $7,555 to-date vs $6,745 in 2016. This suggests the “core” membership is very supportive of YLA but attracting new individual members is proving to be very difficult.

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

12:40 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. 12:45 p.m. Membership Committee – Chair: Mike Jensen

  • Rhonda Arries reported 328 total members to-date in 2017 (29 corporate and 299 individual members) vs. 336 total members in 2016. There are 35 total new members todate (23 new members have come from the New Property Owners who received a oneyear complimentary membership in 2016, 6 new individual members and 6 new corporate members). A full breakdown of membership is on

  • Newsletter: Publishing schedule is February, May, August and November On behalf of Carol Gillen, Rhonda Arries asked board members for ideas and articles for the November newsletter. All articles will be due at the end of October so the newsletter can be compiled and distributed in early November. Allan Levin will provide a summary of the symposium. Mike Jensen will provide an update regarding the pilot survey of nonmembers.

12:50 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 or Roy Carter

  • Watershed Network Group – Roy Carter and Allan Levin

  • Healthy Farms Healthy Lakes – Allan Levin will be on this committee for Dane County.

12:55 p.m. Old/New Business:

  • Caroline Fribance noted the leaf build-up in Monona and inquired about whether CLA’s leaf removal initiative with Dane County cities is in effect and working. It was suggested she contact Monona city officials directly to inquire about the process and schedule.

  • Yard signs – Allan Levin has a few remaining yard signs if anyone wishes to distribute them.

1:00 p.m. Dick Pearson made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Caroline Fribance seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Next meeting date is October 12, 2017