MASWCD Conference Call
February 16, 2011
Steve Radcliff, President
Tom Lambert, Area 2 (1:00 p.m.)
Kenny Lovelace, Area 3
Beverly Dometrorch, Area 4
George Engelbach, Area 5
Dan Greeson, Area 7
Mike Kelley, Area 8
Peggy Lemons, Executive Director
Sandy Hutchison, Employees Association
Fred Feldmann, Past President
Bruce Biermann , Area 1
Ben Gorden, Area 6
David Dix, Treasurer
President Steve Radcliff opened the meeting at 12:03 p.m. and approved a quorum by roll call.
The Board discussed the response from Bryan Hopkins to their request for clarification on some issues with the information being requested for the new Time-Sheet Program. Steve Radcliff indicated he had tried to call Richard Fordyce, Chair of the Soil & Water Commission, but he did not answer his cell phone, nor had he returned Steve’s call as of the time of the meeting. Steve Radcliff also reported he had received a call from Bryan Hopkins earlier today about the MASWCD request for clarification and advice to the Districts to wait to submit the requested information for the Time-Sheet Program. He stated Bryan Hopkins was not very happy and they had a pretty heated conversation with Mr. Hopkins ending the call by hanging up before the conversation was finished. Steve did say that during the conversation Mr. Hopkins had stated that the state statute does say that the District Board has the authority to decide the compensation of the District employees within available funding, and that there may or may not be funding. Steve Radcliff also stated that during their conversation he mentioned that the request for landowner’s names, addresses and farm numbers from FSA to use for elections in the Soil & Water Districts was against the Privacy Act and that Mr. Hopkins was not very happy with that comment.
There have been several discussions with Mr. Henke over the past week by some of the MASWCD Board members and the Soil & Water Commissioners. Mr. Henke is holding discussions with some of the Program Office Staff this week as well. His report should be completed by the end of February and submitted to the Governor and the Director of DNR. There is also an audit being conducted of DNR by the State Auditor’s office this week. Kenny Lovelace stated he had been at the Capitol Building this morning visiting with his Representative and Mr. Henke on these issues along with other things. Some of the questions being relayed to MASWCD and the Employees Association include:
Tom Lambert suggested the Soil and Water Program needs to be moved out of DNR and into a non-regulatory agency or made a stand-alone department. George Engelbach stated that would need to have Legislative involvement. Dan Greeson stated that someone needed to check on this to see if would be possible.
Kenny Lovelace made a motion to have MASWCD advise the Soil & Water Districts to hold off on giving any information for the Time-Sheet Program until we hear back from Mr. Henke’s report and have the discussion on this issue at the Commission meeting in March. The decision is still up to the local Board and we still advise having the Board review and approve any information that is eventually submitted. This motion was seconded by Beverly Dometorch. Motion carried on a roll call vote – Tom Lambert, yes – Kenny Lovelace, yes – Beverly Dometrorch, yes – George Engelbach, yes – Dan Greeson, yes – Mike Kelley, yes. Motion carried unanimously (6-0).
This message will be sent to the Districts later today and a hard copy mailed to each Soil & Water Commissioner along with copies of the recent e-mails.
The next meeting for the MASWCD Board will be the Education Seminar on March 2 and 3 unless additional conference calls become necessary prior to that date. The Board will meet at 1:00 p.m. at the Capitol Plaza Hotel and the Education Seminar meeting will start that evening at 7:00 p.m. at the hotel. The District Employees Association Board will also meet on March 2 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel at 10:00 a.m.
There being no further business, a motion was made by Tom Lambert to adjourn. Motion seconded by Beverly Dometrorch. Motion carried unanimously (6-0). Conference call adjourned at 1:25 p.m.