MASWCD MINUTES

USDA Service Center

Jefferson city, Missouri

September 9, 2008

 

Present Not Present

Fred Feldmann, President

Steve Oetting, Past President

Bruce Biermann, Area I

Steve Radcliff, Area II

Kenny Lovelace, Area III

Beverly Dometrorch, Area IV

George Engelbach, Area V

Marie Iiams, Area VI

Sharon Gifford, Area VII

Peggy Lemons, Executive Director

Richard Hoelscher, Area V Alternate

Kenny Struemph, DNR Program Staff

Shelly Sumpter, District Employees Association

Theresa Dunlap, St. Charles SWCD

Frankie Coleman, St. Charles SWCD

Harry Robbins, Area VIII

David Dix, Treasurer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Fred Feldmann welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. with a quorum established by roll call.

A motion was made by Beverly Dometrorch, seconded by Kenny Lovelace, to go into Closed Session at 11:10 a.m. Roll Call Vote showed motion carried unanimously (9-0) – Fred Feldmann – yes, Bruce Biermann – yes, Steve Radcliff – yes, Kenny Lovelace – yes, Beverly Dometrorch – yes, George Engelbach – yes, Marie Iiams – yes, Sharon Gifford – yes, Steve Oetting - yes.

A motion was made by George Engelbach to recess the closed session at 12:45 p.m. and start the regular meeting immediately following lunch. Kenny Lovelace seconded the motion. Roll Call Vote showed motion carried unanimously (9-0) – Fred Feldmann – yes, Bruce Biermann – yes, Steve Radcliff – yes, Kenny Lovelace – yes, Beverly Dometrorch – yes, George Engelbach – yes, Marie Iiams – yes, Sharon Gifford – yes, Steve Oetting - yes.

President Fred Feldmann welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order at 1:15 p.m. with a quorum established by roll call.

Steve Radcliff motioned to approve the meeting agenda. Bruce Biermann seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously (9-0).

The minutes from the July 8, 2008 meeting and the August 18, 2008 Conference Call were approved as mailed. The motion was made by Bruce Biermann, seconded by Beverly Dometrorch. Motion carried unanimously (9-0).

A treasurer report prepared by David Dix was presented in his absence. There were also financial reports for the MOCREP funds and the CRP-BOB funds. At the recent Area Meetings, 4 districts paid their state dues for the year. A motion was made by Steve Radcliff, seconded by Steve Oetting, to approve the Treasurer Report as presented. Motion carried unanimously (9-0).

MDC REPORT: Brad McCord was not able to attend.

NRCS REPORT: Roger Hansen was not able to attend, however had submitted information that it looked like the federal budget would not get approved by October 1, 2008, and they would continue to run on a continuing resolution. He also stated that the programs in the Farm Bill would run at the Farm Bill funding unless capped by the continuing resolution.

COMMISSION REPORT: The September Commission meeting was relocated from Moberly to Jefferson City at the Truman Hotel on September 17th. Kenny also stated that their newsletter will be sent out following Commission meetings or as needed instead of the regular schedule it has been on. He also stated that they are posting the information on the DNR/SWCD Internet page now instead of mailing hard copies to all the Districts. That page is http://www.swcd.mo.gov/internal/sp.htm. Steve Radcliff motioned that MASWCD make a request to have a Soil and Water Commissioner attend the MASWCD Board Meetings. George Engelbach seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously (9-0). Steve further explained that this way they would be reimbursed expenses for attending if it was formally approved.

DISTRICT EMPLOYEE ASSOCIATION REPORT: Shelly Sumpter stated they are working on the Trade Show for the Training Conference. She also stated that she had received a lot of phone calls from the Area Meetings, and quite a few after the salary information was posted on the DNR/SWCD Internet page. She stated some feel there are possibly some miscalculations in the salary information.

Old Business:

The Board reviewed the recent MASWCD Area Meetings. Kenny Struemph provided a spreadsheet that showed attendance for the past 10 years. Most of the Directors stated that there were a lot of questions about the work study. Bruce his area did not have the number attending as he thought they would have. Sharon indicated a lot of discussion at her meeting on the new lime rules for pastures. There was also some concern about the 20 acre size for soil tests, the fertilizer companies in her area do not have GPS capability and to apply in 20 acre sections would require different trucks with additional cost to the landowner for multiple deliveries. Kenny indicated his meeting was attended by 3 State Representatives and their State Senator. Beverly stated she felt there were a lot of good questions that have been sent to her following the meeting that should have been asked at the meeting. She stated she strongly encourages her districts to read the MASWCD

minutes to see what the discussion and decisions area and not rely on what others say. Marie stated she sent out a letter ahead of time to the Supervisors for questions but only 3 Supervisors actually asked questions at the meeting. She also stated that there were

several questions from employees, but that some of the questions would have been better addressed at another time, not at the Area Meeting. Steve Oetting stated it appeared to him that there was a major lack of respect among the districts and leadership and we need to work to get the respect back at all levels. Steve Radcliff stated his meeting was the first one and Bill Foster was first on the agenda which took a lot of the meeting time. He indicated he understood the agenda was changed after that to allow more time for the other presenters. He stated he distributed State Blue Books at his meeting. Most of the questions were on the work study, some on employee salaries. Fred stated he went to all the Area Meetings and was pretty well disappointed in the focus districts and employees are taking. He agreed with Steve Oetting’s comment on the level of respect for the partnership. Beverly questioned where the idea of the work study came from. Steve Oetting indicated the idea started approximately 4-5 years ago, they were trying to get a handle on how the district assistance funds and the workload fit together. He did indicate that he did not think MASWCD ever actually made a motion to request the work study.

Shelly Sumpter stated one of the biggest issues with the work study is that it was very derogatory to district employees. She stated that there were issues with the fact that the results were not correct but the study was still published and distributed. She stated that the information from the study was not correct because of the timing of the study in that some districts in the study experienced heavy workloads at the time in one certain area which did not reflect how the entire year actually balanced out. She stated that some employees who said they participated stated they never submitted time sheets, but there were still numbers reflecting their time for various activities, she was not sure where those numbers came from. She stated Districts who had questions about the numbers were told to contact the company who completed the work study, but the communication to that company came back as undeliverable. Steve Oetting indicated that the reason only 22 districts were part of the study is that the original intent was for 10% to be a part of the study which would have been around 15, however to get a better sampling of the workload a few more districts were added to the study. The original idea was to do a study of a sampling of districts to see if there was a need for a full work study. Kenny stated it looked to him like the work study should be done by areas or regions of the state. Kenny Struemph stated that the 5-year plans will help show the needs of the state when the sales tax comes up for renewal. He stated that the intent was to cover the 5-year plans at the Area Meetings, but there was not time. There will be a workshop at the Training Conference on the 5-year plans. Originally preliminary plans were wanted in December with final plans in February but since this was not able to be discussed at Area Meetings that timeline may need to be adjusted slightly. He did encourage districts to start on this now by gathering information through landowner meetings and from the CARES web site. The reason for the February deadline for final plans was to have numbers that could be used with the Legislature when the bill to change the statute to allow state-wide use of the SALT practices is being moved through the Legislature.

Kenny Struemph briefly discussed the Technician II certification. He stated they are asking for volunteers and that they will select 15 from the list of those who volunteer to be the pilot testers. They have not decided yet what will be a passing grade. When questioned as to why all the practices are being tested for when Districts may not offer all the practices, he stated that with the probability that the SALT practices will become available statewide shortly; the Districts should be able to offer any of the 41 conservation practices for cost-share. When questioned as to what the cost for this certification testing contract with Lincoln University is, he responded with $9000 for the initial contract to Lincoln.

The Board discussed the planning for the Training Conference. The planning committee has prepared a draft agenda with suggested workshops and suggested theme. There are a few questions and decisions needed. The Opening Session will be on Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. There will be a break from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Trade Show will not be opening back up after the 7:00 p.m. time. There is some concern about getting everyone back for the Opening Session. A motion was made by Bruce Biermann to offer cash door prizes in the amounts of $200, 2 at $100, and 2 at $50 with the requirement that you have to be present to win. This was seconded by Kenny Lovelace. Motion carried unanimously (9-0). There will be other door prizes given at the Closing Session on Wednesday. The bigger door prize item for Wednesday will be the Rhythm Clock as has been given the past 2 years. There will also be a first-time supervisor attendance cash prize of $100 given at the Wednesday meeting, both with the requirement you have to be present to win. Gary Mast, USDA Under-Secretary, will be invited to be the Opening Session speaker. Gary has been a soil and water district supervisors in Ohio, a state association member and president in Ohio, a former NACD board member and president, and is now USDA Under-Secretary. The entertainment for the banquet was discussed. A consensus was to have entertainment at a cost of $2500 or less excluding travel expense with the idea of 60’s music or easy listening music.

The resolutions received were reviewed. MASWCD added their support to the resolution from Vernon SWCD, motion made by Steve Oetting, seconded by Marie Iiams. Motion carried unanimously (9-0). MASWCD also added their support to the resolution from Buchanan SWCD, motion made by George Engelbach, seconded by Kenny Lovelace. Motion carried unanimously (9-0). MASWCD decided to remain neutral on the resolution from Warren SWCD and let the delegate body decide. Motion made by Steve Oetting, seconded by Marie Iiams. Motion carried unanimously (9-0).

MASWCD added the following resolutions to the 2008 Resolution Slate:

  • MASWCD requests DNR provide an itemized financial report each fiscal year by August 1.
  • MASWCD requests the Soil & Water Commission and DNR to use the available reserve funds to allow continuous operation of the cost-share program.
  • The award nominations for the MASWCD awards were reviewed. Winners will be selected and districts notified shortly.

    New Business:

    The conference call with NACD leadership is scheduled for September 23 at 8:00 p.m. All district supervisors and employees are encouraged to participate in the call. Call-in information will be e-mailed to the districts in the next few days. It was suggested to give updated information on the Missouri districts payment of NACD quota when e-mailing out the conference call information.

    Fred Feldmann stated he had raffle tickets to support the renovation of the NACD office building in Washington, DC. The raffle is for 2 tickets and hotel for the national rodeo championship in Las Vegas in December. Peggy also stated she had raffle tickets for the NACD quilt that is raffled at the NACD meeting each year. This will allow those who do not attend the meeting to have a chance to win the quilt. Missouri will have a quilt block on the quilt this year.

    Committee Reports: The Urban Committee will need a new MASWCD representative and Chair since Don Hicks will no longer be an Alternate Area Director. Fred Feldmann appointed George Engelbach.

    Area Reports: Since there were no nominations for Area Director at the Area 8 Area Meeting and no Director was elected, the MASWCD By-Laws call for the MASWCD Board to appoint a Director. The Board agreed to send a message to all Districts in Area 8 asking for names of those supervisors who would be interested.

    Correspondence: A letter asking for support for the Grassland Evaluation Contest was reviewed. A motion was made by Bruce Biermann, seconded by Steve Oetting, to approve support in the amount of $250 again this year. Motion carried unanimously (9-0).

    Fred Feldmann asked for volunteers to attend the SOC meeting in Columbia on September 23. This was formerly the State Technical Committee. Beverly volunteered to attend in Fred’s place.

    Other Business: Steve Radcliff made a motion for MASWCD to send a letter to the Soil & Water Commission asking for removal of Bill Foster as Director of the Soil & Water Program and that he have no association with the soil and water district funds, and that Bill Wilson be offered the position. Sharon Gifford seconded the motion. During discussion it was pointed out that the statute states that the Soil & Water Commission approves or disapproves appointment of the Program Director, and the Commission says they were not offered that opportunity when Bill Foster was appointed. After much discussion a motion was made by Steve Oetting to table the motion until after the September 17th Commission Meeting. This was seconded by George Engelbach. Roll Call Vote showed motion carried (5-4) – Fred Feldmann – yes, Bruce Biermann – yes, Steve Radcliff – no, Kenny Lovelace – no, Beverly Dometrorch – no, George Engelbach – yes, Marie Iiams – yes, Sharon Gifford – no, Steve Oetting - yes.

    Steve Oetting had to leave the meeting due to other commitments.

    A motion was made by George Engelbach, seconded by Steve Radcliff, to go back into Closed Session at 5:17 p.m. Roll Call Vote showed motion carried unanimously (8-0) – Fred Feldmann – yes, Bruce Biermann – yes, Steve Radcliff – yes, Kenny Lovelace – yes, Beverly Dometrorch – yes, George Engelbach – yes, Marie Iiams – yes, Sharon Gifford – yes.

    A motion was made by Marie Iiams to end the closed session at 6:45 p.m. and return to the regular meeting. George Engelbach seconded the motion. Roll Call Vote showed motion carried unanimously (8-0) – Fred Feldmann – yes, Bruce Biermann – yes, Steve Radcliff – yes, Kenny Lovelace – yes, Beverly Dometrorch – yes, George Engelbach – yes, Marie Iiams – yes, Sharon Gifford – yes.

    George Engelbach made a motion to draft a letter on the issues that were discussed in closed session to send to the Districts, Soil & Water Commission, DNR, State Legislature and the District Employees Association. Kenny Lovelace seconded the motion. Motion carried (7-1).

    The next regular meeting will be held on Monday, December 1, at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, MO. The first meeting will be the joint meeting at 10:00 a.m. with the Soil & Water Commission followed by a regular MASWCD Board Meeting starting at 1:00 p.m. There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 7:05 p.m. Motion for adjournment made by George Engelbach, seconded by Bruce Biermann. Motion carried unanimously.

    Respectfully submitted,

     

    ____________________________

    Peggy Lemons, Executive Director

    ___________________________

    Fred Feldmann, President