Minutes Archive
March 22, 2007
Adirondack Mountain Club, Inc.
Laurentian Chapter
Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Committee members present: Tom Ortmeyer, Betsy Tisdale, Rose Rivezzi, Gene Kaczka, David Trithart, Armond Spencer, Pat Mueller
Others present: John Barron, Betty Peckham

The Meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM. The minutes were approved as amended. The agenda was approved.

Officer Reports

Outings: Armond Spencer reported that he completed the spring schedule and the response is gratifying thanks to the trip leaders.

Conservation: Gene Kaczka said the trail signs are finished for the Stone Valley Trail. As soon as the weather clears they will finish putting up the signs. He said there will be ten signs each with a sheet of plexiglass over them for protection. The signs are modifications of the original signs with photos and a mixture of history, geology, and current usage.

Director: David Trithart attended his first meeting at ADK headquarters. He read the highlights of the meeting. He reported that the President announced the creation of three working groups drawn from the membership to view scenarios of restructuring ADK member services looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the club. They want any suggestions we might have on changes. Currently there are seven open staff positions. These are not filled in order to balance the budget. The President said we either need to reduce our mission to be within what we can staff or we should get the money to staff ourselves and do the job right. He wants ideas on ways to come up with the money for the “structural deficit.” David also reported that chapter membership rosters are available and that membership numbers are fairly static. There is also a new program called “refer a friend”—if you refer two new members, you get a vest with the ADK logo. Currently there is an online auction going on through March. All the money goes to ADK—all the items and services are donated.

The Club wants stories for the web site (see our most recent newsletter for details). Neal is requesting articles for the magazine. The Club is making changes to the magazine to make it more attractive.

Education: Rose Rivezzi reports that the Outdoor/Indoor series is going well. The last one on satellite mapping will be held next month. She announced that the kids have been chosen for the Camp Colby Education Camp. The chapter is sponsoring four kids and three others will be sponsored by families. She also said that three kids have signed up so far for volunteer trail work.
Treasurer/Betsy reported $740 in the checking account. We paid sales tax for publications and t-shirts and we sent $100 to renew our Higley flow membership. We received the January dues for membership amounting to $348.50. She announced that we have lots of loon patches available at $3.50 each.

Publicity: John Barron reported that the Grace Peak endorsement attracted the interest of the newspapers and a number of other chapters have endorsed it.

Chair: Tom Ortmeyer brought a stack of newsletters from John Omohundro and brochures of the Red Sandstone Trail for distribution.

Tom announced that money is budgeted to block the ATV access to trails. The ATV clubs are trying to open a number of roads for ATVers, the latest are in Parishville and Colton.

Budget

Gene Kaczka proposed the following revisions to the budget format:

Proposal 1. Organize the format of the budget document into major categories and subcategories.
Example of major categories under expenditures:
Chapter Expenses
ADK Support
Non ADK Support
Example of subcategories under chapter expenses:
Newsletter total
Offices
Programs
Hospitality Committee
Website
Purchases for Resale
NYS Sales Tax
Patches for Kids on the Trail
Stationary
First Aid Kits
Bear Cans
Local Trail Maintenance
Example of accounts under subcategory Local Trail Maintenance:
Red Sandstone Trail
Stone Valley Trail

Rationale for the change:
The current presentation makes it difficult to see the big picture of how the chapter is using the budget in applying it funds to meet its goals.  In the current format, we have many accounts, active and inactive, and lots of numbers.  For some one who is not familiar with accounting and the history of the chapter and who may be challenged by numbers, the current format discourages understanding let alone analysis of the chapter's actions. 
 
Proposal 2.  Henceforth, each budget year should have three columns:
Budget Yr. xxxx, Actual Yr. xxxx, Difference Yr. xxxx
Rationale for change:
In order to understand where we are relative to our plans and where we are going this basic information is essential for the Executive Committee assess the chapter's financial situation and to make recommendations.  It is not fair to ask committee members to try to make these calculations in their head during an Executive Committee meeting. 

Proposal 3.  Use the full budget format, the coming year plus three prior years including all accounts that had been active during that time period, for planning purposes and use a current year statement which only includes active categories, subcategories and accounts plus the three columns in proposal three to deal with the current year's operations.
Rationale for change:
The intent is to allow Executive Committee members to focus on those items that are currently relevant.

Proposal 4. Use only one accounting method on the budget documents, specifically accrual accounting. 
Rationale for change:
Mixing cash accounting and accrual accounting on the budget documents produces distorted information about the true income and costs that occur in a period and thus makes the ability to make effective plans.  Where actual data is not available at the time the budget is being developed, a reasonable estimate is appropriate.  It may be that the actual value for the period from a year ago is the best estimate, but if one knows that changes in membership or rates of return has altered, it is not. 

After some discussion, a decision was not made at this time regarding changing the budget format but will be revisited.

Proposed budget: Based on a figure of $3800 from dues, our total is $4350. Betsy said publications were a little bit high because of the fall outing and partly because of an increase in costs for publishing. It was mentioned that we often budget money that doesn’t get spent. However, we don’t want to lose a budget item so even if we don’t spend it, we need to keep the amount in the budget.

A motion was made by Armond to pass the budget, seconded by Pat, the budget passed and will be published in the newsletter. When asked, Betsy said we do not send a copy of our budget to the Club as it is published in the newsletter.

Massena Expo: Planning for the April 15 and 16, Massena Expo held at the Massena Arena: We will have outing schedules, the lean-to book, guide books and maps for people who come by. Tom will check with the Club to find out what they may have available for the expo. It was suggested that the DVD from Blair and Marg Madore could be used.

The meeting was closed—the next meeting will be May 17th at Clarkson.