Minutes from September 24, 2019 General Meeting
Attendees (16): Linda Candela, Bob Patrick, Bill Michalson, Karen Michalson, Kevin Kudzal, Peg Daley, Heather Jackman, Nick Cioffi, Chad Sullivan, Carrie Wolfe, Randy Daggett, Gloria Ricker, Ron Kokernak, Tim Bell, Joe Zmetra, Ryan DesRoches.
Absent, but called with interest: Brenda Romanek, Susan Tritell, Janet Goddard, Christina Menard
Sorry if I misspelled any names!
Ryan kicked off the meeting promptly at 7pm with a thank you to the group for making 2019 a lot of fun and seeing the group grow organically from three people back in April/May to a group of about 30 at this point. Ryan stated that the group can go in any direction it wants to, and that its up to the group as a whole to dictate next steps.
Linda, Carrie and Heather then addressed the group to also give their thanks on a fun 2019 season and thanking everyone for the instruction/learn to ski activities we did this past season. It seems the instruction/learn to ski was what everyone had the most fun doing.
A discussion to more formalize the group was then kicked off, and discussions centered around the types of incorporation available. We also discussed some pros/cons about incorporating the group as a non-profit in the State of Massachusetts and then seek out a federal tax-exempt status.
Tim suggested that incorporating and getting state approval could be done fast once we make a decision on what we want to do.
From the group discussion, the group seems to be in favor of incorporating so that we can create bank accounts and start functioning as a ‘real club’ as opposed to a loose band of friend/neighbors.
Discussion wrapped up with Linda and Tim tasked with investigating non-profit and incorporation status further, with the goal to bring details and a plan forward at the next meeting.
No formal decision was made at this meeting.
Club Mission Statement:
A mission statement will be required for state incorporation. Tim and Linda were tasked with also coming up with a club mission statement that will focus on educating and the public benefits of our club as a Water Ski/Snow Ski group.
The mission statement would need to be worked in a specific manner in order to be approved for tax-exempt and non-profit status if that is the direction the club wants to move in.
Formal name of the club:
The club has decided to move forward with the name of Webster Water Ski Collective.
Ryan will make the email list public, as all on it have had a chance to ask to be removed. If you wish to be removed, please let me know. In addition, if anyone needs to be added – let Ryan know as he will facilitate the list until a formal secretary/clerk is named.
Facebook/text messaging is still the easiest form of communication about ski days for Ryan, but will try to be better with emails moving forward until the website is up and running.
Carrie, Ryan and Karen will be responsible for drafting a set of bylaws for the club. Some of these bylaws will “borrow” from the set that Ryan and Leonardo drafted for Nipmuc back in 2017. Adjustments will be made to be more specific for our needed and other club bylaws from other organizations will also be looked at.
Bill addressed the group to make us clear of the distinction between “Bylaws” and “general rules”. Bylaws would more pertain to governance documents pertaining to officials, banking and overall scope of the club, where a more general rules document would more focus on day-to-day issues and could more easily be changed on the fly as needed without a full club ratification.
Club officers were discussed and the consensus was that a board would be comprised of five people to start, with the potential to expand the board as needed. Specific roles will be addressed via the bylaws, but Ryan suggested that the Treasurer/Secretary roles be combined as historically in other clubs there has been overlap between these two roles which had in the past created some discrepancies in reporting.
Elections will take place in a future meeting (once bylaws are set), but people are encouraged to put their names forth if they wish to be considered for an elected position.
Bank accounts were discussed, and while the club agrees we need to open up an account in the clubs name, we have decided to table this until the incorporation topic is decided on.
Ryan, Carrie and Karen will be tasked with presenting a draft set of bylaws at the next meeting. Ryan will send out past bylaws of other clubs for this committee to review.
Where to ski from 2020/Home:
The discussion of finding a new home for 2020 was addressed. While both Linda and Ron’s areas were generously offered, they both have pros and cons.
Randy brought up a property off of Loveland Ave (South Pond) that might be ideal with plenty of parking and a nice area for boats to come in/out of. This property is privately owned, but Randy has connections with the owner and will approach the owner about us using the place and potentially renting out a building on the property as a clubhouse storage shed.
A second possibility of approaching a local business was also discussed, but tabled as a plan B for now. Kevin and Randy both agreed to peruse this option if the Loveland property falls through.
The goal is to have our new home “Set” before the beginning of the year so that we can plan for clinics/ski times, etc.
The discussion of trying to find a “dock” was discussed and the current plan is to try to find a pontoon boat and modify it as a floating/mobile dock for the club for next season. Tim has offered to sell his current pontoon to the club as the “dock/barge” at a reasonable rate and has offered to give the club first right to purchase it for $1500. Tim has also said he would keep the boat and not sell it publicly until the spring to allow the club to raise money for this.
Other options to locate a pontoon has also been discussed and members are encouraged to keep their eyes open for a deal. There is potential for some members to “loan” the club money if a good deal is found.
Overall, no decision was made as it would be ideal to have club bank accounts in place before any purchase is made.
Dues/Gas Reimbursement for 2020
The discussion was stated to have a “formal” ski season of 13 weeks starting at the first week of June and running unill the end of August. The plan is to ski AT LEAST three days per week (two nights, one weekend morning) – this gives us 39 “official” days of skiing.
The budget for gas was determined to be set with a drivers reimbursement set at $40 per night with two boats per night. This gave us a figure of $3,120 for gas budget. It was also noted that we might not need two boats every night, thus we have some potential wiggle room in this budget.
We budgeted with the expectation of having at least 30 paying members and voted to set dues for 2020 to be $125 per person. This should cover gas and allow us to have some money for other expenses. If gas goes up dramatically, a pay-per-ski or a dues adjustment may be needed to offset the raise in gas. Again, these numbers are based with the expectation that we can get at least 30 members next season.
A “Drop In/Day” membership rate was set at $15 for one person, and $25 for two people. This “Drop In” membership will cover the USA Water ski insurance for the day and also cover gas for the pull for those looking to “try it out” or just come in for a lesson.
All skiing members will be required to had at least grass-roots level membership in USA Water Ski for insurance purpose. Since we do not jump, the “Active” membership will not be required, but is recommended for anyone looking to do competitive skiing and for any “jumper” if we get a jump down the road.
We will also have a “diehard/unofficial” season that will begin prior to June and also extend past August. This “unofficial” season will be open to everyone but will be a “pay per ski” activity to offset gas costs. This will allow members who wish to drop-in to ski early and late into the season and still be covered by the club and the insurance.
Ryan has bought the domain http://ryand14.sg-host.com as a placeholder for a new website. Ryan will begin designing the site this fall with the hope to have it fully running by the start of 2020. Online payment of dues will be a planned addition of the site as well as the potential for a online store. The domain and hosting of the site will be a donation to the club.
Nick will talk to a friend of his to try to get an official logo for the club made.
Ryan has also set up a Facebook and Instagram account up for the club. Nick will join Ryan as the administrators for these accounts and will be responsible for their content.
The facebook group is considered more of a general discussion area where members are encouraged to chat about what they want to ( keep it PG ), while the “page” will be more for marketing purposes and for ‘official’ club announcements.
Other volunteers for social media or to help with the website are welcome to contact Ryan.
A drivers clinic will be planned for the Spring for people interested. We might need to “borrow” skiers for a clinic for those going for class-A licenses (Ryan/Bill) as some requirements will require pulling “acts” of multiple skiers.
Safety Training will be scheduled for Koinonia Pool (Thompson, CT) at a date TBD this off season.
People interested in earning Instructors licenses can contact Ryan for information. Chad and Heather have expressed interest in becoming instructors this off season. We currently have Jim K, Joe, Ryan and Linda as our current instructors in the club, and we can always use more.
Ryan will also be looking into getting certified as an adaptive ski instructor this season, and we hope to have more of a partnership with the LOF Adaptive Skiers in 2020. New member Peg has connections with that club as a long time volunteer and will help Ryan set up some event with them next season.
Lifeguard Training can also be made available at Koinonia pool if people are interested. Club friend Leandra has also offered in the past training us if we have interest.
Tabled/Pushed Off Discussions:
Requirements for CORI checks or at USA Water Ski background checks for those “teaching” kids. What requirements should the board and drivers have. (TBD).
– Ski Clinics for 2020
– Equipment “wish lists”.
– Sponsorships/Fundraising drives.
2019 Season News:
We will try to ski this Friday night at 5pm. We will Ski Saturday and Sunday beginning at 7am.
Plan is to ski weekend mornings until Halloween. Weeknights are getting tougher as it gets dark early, however we might do a few more on a case by case basis.
We will do a “Costume ski run” in October to help close the season. Members will be encouraged to dress up for a ski – we might try to plan it around an Indian Princess boat cruse to help gain some photos/publicity.
Meeting was closed at 8:45pm.
Post meeting, a three very generous anonymous donora pledged the club $1500 to help get the club going. We thank these donors very much!
If anyone has any questions or edits, don’t hesitate to ask!