LVKCC Executive Meeting Minutes -
January 6, 2023
Executive Committee Members
President – Dan Morton Vice-President – Rachel Connolly
Recording Secretary – Mark Bereit Treasurer – Rita Snyder
Membership Secretary – Joanne Novak
Members at Large – Nic Heshelman and Bob Brunda
Non Executive Members
Web Master – Dan Rempp
Education Instructor Coordinator – Scott Douglas
Total members present: 13 in person, plus 4 via Zoom
The January 2023 meeting of the LVKCC Executive Board was held at Dan Morton’s home. Dan M opened the meeting at 6:33pm, once minor technical issues with sound on the Zoom session were resolved.
Secretary’s report: Mark Bereit is new to the post, and had nothing to report. The November meeting minutes had been submitted by previous recording secretary Mike Swartley, reviewed by the Executive Board and published to the club website. Pat Beltz made a motion to accept the November meeting minutes. Rita Snyder seconded the motion; all were in favor; the motion passed.
There has also been an Education Committee dinner since the last club meeting.
Treasurer’s Report: Rita presented the financial report for November 2022; a copy is included in the club records box. Rita also shared a Thank You note from Moulton Avery, National Cold Water Safety, for the club’s donation. Rachel Connolly made a motion to accept the November financial report as presented. Dan M seconded the motion; all were in favor; the motion passed.
Rita then presented the financial report for December 2022; a copy is included in the club records box. Nic Heshelman made a motion to accept the December financial report as presented. Rachel seconded the motion; all were in favor; the motion passed.
Membership Report: Joanne Novak presented the membership statistics for November and December 2022, and thus far in 2023:
Individual Memberships for November 2022 180
Family Memberships for November 2022 73
Yearly total as of November 2022 253
Individual Memberships for December 2022 208
Life Time Individual Memberships for 2022 4
Life Time Family memberships for 2022 1
Family memberships for December 2022 81
Total Memberships for 2022 289
Memberships to date for 2023
Individual Memberships 54
Family Memberships 2023 21
Total Memberships 75
Total Meetup Subscribers 1515
Total Facebook Members 3391
Web Master Report: Dan Rempp reported briefly on the state of the web site, having enlisted Bob Novak for some technical assistance, starting with making the state field required for the membership signup. Dan R yielded to Bob to provide details.
Bob reported that he had also worked on the phone number input field, which was truncating a pasted phone number that included the “1” prefix. Bob now has access to the club’s web account with Enter.net, and he discovered that there were 14 updates due. He checked with Enter.net on why these updates weren’t happening since we’re now paying them a maintenance fee; the Enter.net representative told him that he could do the updates or they could. Bob obtained access to the account cPanel administration tool, ran a backup of the site, and performed 13 of the requested updates. The one he didn’t do was tagged that it would break other things. Since then, five more updates have come due. Bob has been performing those updates that he feels comfortable with applying. Also, if Bob is going to continue performing edits and updates, he would prefer to have a separate login distinct from the single club login used by Dan R.
Bob has also added some automatic behaviors to the signup page. When a new member signup occurs, the page now automatically sends an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, so Joanne receives the online registration form, for entry into the membership spreadsheet. Similarly, the new member’s email address is now automatically added into ConstantContact, our email distribution service.
Mention of Constant Contact brought up a related topic that was being discussed prior to the start of the meeting. Dan M had noticed an unexpected higher charge from Constant Contact, and had asked Rita to investigate. When Rita spoke with Constant Contact, the higher charge was because our active contact list has exceeded 500 contacts, moving the club to a higher rate tier. If we trim back the contact list below 500, we can return to the previous pricing tier. Bob and Joanne offered to look through the contact list for contacts who have not been active club participants in the last several years for possible removal. Jill Evans, our previous membership secretary, had told Bob that it’s been a long time since anyone trimmed the contact list. It is not clear whether we will receive a reimbursement, or a credit toward future billing, for returning to the lower tier; Rita will investigate.
Bob is also looking to get an events calendar onto the web page. (The club had one before the last site refresh, but it hadn’t been showing any events.) There was also brief discussion on whether we actually need to be paying Enter.net a maintenance fee if Bob is performing the updates and the web site maintenance, although no action is being taken at this time.
Education Report and Plan: Scott Douglas presented the annual Education Committee report for 2022, prepared from the annual committee dinner; a copy is included in the club records box.
Scott also presented the Education Committee plan for 2023; a copy is included in the club records box. Scott mentioned the upcoming pool sessions, including roll classes (the small pool is reserved for these) and the Introduction to Moving Water class, which will use the pool for the second half of the morning for eight of the ten pool sessions. There was discussion about the need to make sure people coming to the pool sessions know that the pool is only available for the first half, and attendees cannot move to the small pool. Dan M mentioned that there have already been some complaints, if there’s such a limited time for practice, which could lead to a reduction in memberships. Pat mentioned that our schedule is constrained by the activities at Cedar Crest before and after our sessions; perhaps we could get a different schedule next year.
The moving water class is already full, at sixteen registered students. The recreational kayaking class, not held last year, so far has only two students signed up, although this class has not really been advertised yet. Linda Martin mentioned that the rec class will also include a trip following the instruction sessions; dates for the rec class are June 3, 4 and 10. One possibly limiting factor is students asking to borrow boats; there may be other boats available to borrow, although transportation could be a problem. However, Pat reminded that the moving water class has students borrowing club (or other loaner) kayaks, and it’s the student’s responsibility to provide boat transportation. This led to a side discussion that the club does not, presently, have loaner gear for kayak transportation (foam blocks and straps), so this may be a good idea for gear to obtain in the future. Speaking of gear, Scott reminded that some of the club’s old loaner PFDs and helmets are far from prime condition, acceptable for pool use but not for on a river.
Josh Smith will be teaching whitewater kayak roll clinics, and all slots but one have been filled. Cie Stroud and Dave Dawson will be teaching coastal kayak roll clinics, and ten slots have been filled.
The open water kayaking class has not been publicized yet, but can accept up to ten students.
The club will offer one or more Red Cross First Aid/CPR classes, free to club members, with preference given to instructors and trip guides/leaders. There will also be a wilderness first aid class, limited to six students who are actively instructing.
Other educational plans for 2023 include stroke and rescue clinics, the Moving Water Beginners Series (tied to the class), weekday practice sessions, a Moving Water Intermediate Series, a combat rolling and rescues class, and an instructor certification class. For the weekday practice sessions, rather than have one person lead them all (as Pat Beltz has done the last several years), the plan is to have a signup sheet for who can be the responsible leader for each week. (On the Little Lehigh in May and June, the park wants to have someone responsible for the event.)
Scott also presented the Education Committee budget requests as part of the plan; these items have been incorporated into the club budget, which was the next item on the agenda.
2023 Budget: On January 3, Rita, Dan M, Pat, and Nickole Atkins had reviewed the financial reports for the last six months of 2022, auditing the records, and comparing actual income and expenses with the budgeted amounts. Rita presented the annual summary, and the 2022 comparison of budgeted and actual amounts; copies are included in the club records box. There was some discussion of the details in the budget report. Mark asked about the reason behind the significant budgeted difference between income and expenses; this was a deliberate decision in the past to use some of the large account balance the club held, particularly for upgrading gear, which certainly isn’t sustainable in the long run. Rachel asked about the line item for web domain renewal, although many web hosting services separate out that charge. And Bob again asked whether the support fee to Enter.net is a good value, which is a fair question, but circumstances somewhat forced the fees upon the club in 2022.
Rita then presented the proposed 2023 budget for consideration. The budget is considered, and voted upon, in four discrete sections: operating costs/income, events, donations, and merchandise sales.
For the operating section, Rita stated that the club has historically intended for the dues income to cover operating expenses. In neither the 2022 budgeted amounts nor the 2022 actuals was this true, but in discussion there was a general consensus that it is a more reasonable target to align fixed operating costs with the dues income, and view the non-recurring operating costs as discretionary spending which can be more easily adjusted to availability of club funds. However, even at that, the fixed operating costs in the proposed budget exceeded the anticipated dues income. The board discussed the possibility of increasing the annual membership fee starting in 2024, and discussed concerns with losing membership income because of dissatisfaction with the available practice time for pool sessions, although no actions were taken at this time. There was some discussion on the line item for the welcome packets, and about the cost of the club’s liability insurance, but no actions were taken at this time. Rachel questioned the line item for incentives for trip leaders, which was included in the 2022 budget but not used, and suggested that we can eliminate that line item until the club has finished clarifying the trip leader guidelines, and reconsider the idea of incentives then. Rachel made a motion to remove the incentive for trip leaders line item. Nic seconded the motion; all were in favor; the motion passed. With no more line items challenged, Rita made a motion to accept the amended proposed budget for the operating section. Pat seconded the motion; all were in favor; the motion passed.
For the events section, Rita stated that the intent is for each event to pay for itself: the money spent should be covered by the attendance fees. The section also includes some small discretionary spending for food for events paid for from the club general fund. Dan M made a motion to accept the proposed budget for the events section. Rita seconded the motion; all were in favor; the motion passed.
For the donations section, there was brief discussion about the recipients, unchanged from 2022. Rita made a motion to accept the proposed budget for the donations section. Joanne seconded the motion; all were in favor; the motion passed.
For the merchandise section, Rita stated that the projected sales were something of a guess, but with a sizable inventory of merchandise from 2022, there are no plans for any merchandise expenses in 2023. Rita made a motion to accept the proposed budget for the merchandise section. Dan M seconded the motion; all were in favor; the motion carried.
Rita will provide an updated copy of the budget. with the agreed alteration from the proposed version; a copy will be included in the club records box.
The board concluded that before next year’s budget, we should investigate possible reductions in operating expenses (again mentioning the insurance and web hosting costs for further investigation). It is also worth checking whether we are paying too much in PayPal fees… and whatever the fees, the club should plan to include recovery of those fees in the event prices that are (largely) paid through PayPal, rather than covering those as operating costs.
Agenda Topics: Dan M asked for clarification on when a vote is needed for expenditures. After reviewing both club by-laws and policies, the board confirmed that an expenditure that is a budgeted item does not need a vote in a meeting; it is already approved within the budget. An expenditure that exceeds the budgeted amount, or was not part of the budget, needs a vote in a general club meeting. (The by-laws provide for limited, interim exceptions for urgent unplanned expenses, but the intent is clearly for transparency and accountability to the members.) The club has in the past voted on expenditures for budgeted items, which is not actually necessary.
Rita followed up with a question on whether the newly approved budget needs to be brought to a vote at the next general meeting. However, the by-laws specify that the budget is created and approved by the executive board, not the general membership. By policy, we no longer publish the financial reports and budgets on the web for public viewing, but any active club member may request a copy of these documents.
This led to a separate discussion of Rita’s presentation of the financials at meetings. The board concluded that the level of detail Rita provides is useful in providing transparency, although she can omit the dates and check numbers when listing expenditures.
Dan M then suggested that the club form a new committee to consider, and report upon, matters relating to information technology. Given Bob’s valuable assistance in support of the club’s web hosting, and his suggestions and questions in that area, Dan M asked Bob to chair a new IT Resolution Committee; Bob accepted this role. Besides Bob, Dan R, Nic and Mark will be initial committee members.
Dan M mentioned that Bob’s creation of a specific email account for the club membership, not tied to an individual club member, is a good model for the club to follow, and the IT Resolution Committee should look into a “virtual legacy plan” for other places where it makes sense for accounts and administration rights to be transferrable. There may be places where this can’t be done—the club Facebook account may not be transferrable, for example—but it is a goal worth pursuing.
The board briefly reviewed the list of upcoming events (below), and had some discussion on the Ice Breaker meeting for April. Prior to Covid, the annual Ice Breaker was a meeting with a particular purpose, to introduce the moving water class to the club membership to facilitate more paddling opportunities, and also to encourage people to sign up as trip leaders for the remainder of the year. This hasn’t happened lately, but the board would like to get back to that purpose. A venue has not yet been chosen for that meeting, but the Hospitality Committee will look into options for a venue that makes it more of an “event” than last year’s meeting at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center.
February Meeting – Wildlands Conservancy –
Feb 2, 2023 – guest speakerMarch Meeting –
Wildlands Conservancy – March 2, 2023 – guest speakerApril Ice Breaker –
April 6, 2023May Meeting –
Potluck at Lehigh Gap Nature Center –
May 4, 2023 – paddle the Ledges
June Meeting – Paddle and swap meet at the Little Lehigh – June 1, 2023
No meetings in July or August
September Meeting – Potluck at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center – Sept 7, 2023 – paddle the Ledges
Larry March Slalom Race – Sept – Friday, Saturday, Sunday
October Meeting – Wildlands Conservancy – Oct 5, 2023 – guest speaker
November Meeting – Wildlands Conservancy – Nov 2, 2023 – guest speaker, nominations
New Business: Scott Douglas spent more on food for the Education Committee Appreciation Dinner than the 2022 amount budgeted for that purpose. Scott has already been reimbursed for the budgeted amount. Rita made a motion to reimburse Scott for the rest; however, having just reviewed the by-laws and policies on this topic, the board concluded that this un-budgeted expense should appropriately be voted upon at the next general meeting, rather than just by the executive board, so the topic was tabled for the February meeting.
Rita then asked about how Joanne can verify that a new member signup was accompanied by the appropriate payment. Rita offered two possible options: to have the PayPal receipts automatically be copied (Bcc) to the membership email account, and to give Joanne login access to the club PayPal account. After discussion, the board concluded that copying the receipts to the membership email is worth doing immediately; there may not be a need to give another person access to the PayPal account, so we should not do that until we conclude that it is needed. (In the short term, for 2023 membership sign-ups already received, Joanne can check with Rita for the payment information.) Rita made a motion to to have PayPal membership receipts auto-forwarded from the club email to the membership email so the membership secretary can see what people pay for their memberships. Dan M seconded the motion; all approved; the motion passed.
Dan M mentioned that the Paddler of the Year nominations for 2022 are due by March 5, and so far this has received very little notice. For the 2021 Paddler of the Year, there were only two nominees with two votes each and two nominees with one vote each. The club will publicize this process further and hope for some more responses, or it may not make sense to continue this award in the future.
With no further business to discuss, Joanne made a motion to adjourn. Rachel seconded the motion; all were in favor; the motion passed. The meeting concluded at 9:45pm.
This report is respectfully submitted by
Mark Bereit, club Recording Secretary.