ECAA Member Meeting Minutes
October 16, 2021
Casey Jones Park Pavilion
At 4:30 p.m. Robert Hammervold, Chairperson, called the meeting of the members of the Elbert County Agricultural Alliance to order. Also in attendance were Roann Keen, Christian Ray, Tonya Roche, Sheila Zuschek, and Lark Fogel.
I. Welcome and Introductions:
Bob Hammervold welcomed the attendees and thanked them for coming. He then introduced the members of the board of directors present:
- Tonya Roche, Chair Elect (filling the position temporarily by appointment after it was vacated) and Chair Emeritus
- Sheila Zuschek, Secretary
- Lark Fogel, Member at Large
Board members Wendy Walp, Treasurer (temporary appointment) and Alan Holman, Member at Large, were not present.
II. Remarks from the Chair Emeritus:
Since Tonya had not been able to address a member meeting at the end of the her term due to the pandemic, Bob asked her to make some remarks recapping the previous year. Tonya said that in spite of the challenges and not being able to meet there was a lot of activity behind the scenes resulting in the website going live, online education programs, Zoom coffee chats and farm trivia night, the addition of the weekly Roundup, and the Marketplace. She thanked the previous board of directors for all of their work. She specifically thanked Kim Babcock for all of her work in planning the Homestead Festival that was ultimately cancelled, noting that Kim worked a lot of hours for the online Marketplace that replaced the Homestead Festival. Tonya also Tamara Cribley who worked long hours to bring the market online on short notice as well as building the ECAA website earlier in the year. She also thanked the other Marketplace volunteers Heather Marley, Theresa Carter, and Theresa’s daughter for assisting with the Marketplace and building the craft kits for sale. Finally, she thanked Bob Hammervold, Diane Cribley, Christian Ray, and the other volunteers who worked on the Homestead Education Center plans.
III. Remarks from the Chair:
Bob then addressed the group about the direction of the organization noting that the current board is working on making more opportunities for members to network informally to share resources, learn from one another, and promote their businesses or projects. He added that the board is working toward continuing with more homestead skill education programs like blade making and woodworking/timber framing. He added that they hope to add business skill classes too. The board would love to hear suggestions from members on types of programs they would like and presenters they think would be good.
Bob gave a brief outline of what is going on with the Homestead Education Center informing the group that he and Lark Fogel had met with the architect for the overall development project at Casey Jones Park in June. But recently, they were informed that the board for Elizabeth Parks and Recreation was adopting a plan that did not include the HEC and was moving the area for the HEC to another area outside of the master plan. Initially, it seemed as thought EPR was abandoning the HEC altogether, but after follow up discussions with their Executive Director it appears there may be an opportunity for ECAA to take over and renovate the Casey Jones Pavilion and build other elements of the HEC over time.
Due to time considerations the discussion of the current HEC proposal was tabled for another member meeting specific to that project. That meeting will be available via Zoom and recording.
Bob further indicated there were plenty of volunteer opportunities according to people’s time constraints, talents and interests. Foremost he stressed that it was the board’s intention to allow members to volunteer to the extent that they are able rather than making a large time commitment. The board must manage its expectations of projects according to the availability of volunteers rather than setting out projects for which there are insufficient volunteers.
The board would like to resurrect the Homestead Fair for 2022 if there are sufficient volunteers to put it together. Coming up we will also need volunteers on October 24 for stuffing bags for the Harvest Festival, volunteers to hand out the bags at the Harvest Festival on October 30th, and volunteers to assist with cookie baking and doling out at the Christmas Lighting on December 4th. The board would also like to hear more from members about what projects they would like to pursue.
Bob indicated there is a need to raise money and that the board is taking suggestions for fundraisers over the next year. The Harvest Festival bags and the Christmas Lighting cookies are both fundraising opportunities coming up. Plans are also in the works for a Chilli Cookoff in late January along with a silent auction.
IV. Voting Matters:
Sheila Zuschek presented members with their ballots. She explained the items on the ballot and answered questions.
In the matter of the election of Wendy Walp to the position of Treasurer of the Elbert County Agricultural Alliance, members were asked to vote for or against or provide a write in name.
In the matter of the amending the bylaws, the following language was proposed:
- Article III, Section 1 changing the description of Associate Members to “Persons over the age of 18 interested in promoting agriculture related business development in Elbert County, Colorado or adjacent to Elbert County shall be eligible for associate membership and shall not have voting privileges. Policies governing eligibility, conduct and participation of associate members shall be determined by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may also classify associate members based upon such reasonable and uniform criteria as it may decide from time to time,”
- Article III, Section 2 changing the description of General Members to “Any agriculture related business located in Elbert County, Colorado or in a county adjacent to Elbert County shall be eligible for general membership with one vote each. Each general member may name up to three persons to appear on the membership rolls as member representatives. For the purposes of counting general members for a quorum, only one member representative shall be counted for each general member regardless of how many member representatives are present for the count. For the purposes of voting, the single vote held by a general member shall be allocated in accordance with Colorado Revised Statutes Title 7 § 7-127-202(3). Policies governing eligibility, conduct and participation of general members and member representatives shall be determined by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may also classify general members based upon such reasonable and uniform criteria as it may decide from time to time,”
- Article III, Section 4 changing the description of Honorary Members to “Honorary memberships may be conferred upon any person over the age of 18 or any agriculture related business, at such time and under such terms, as the Board of Directors shall determine.”
Explanatory note: this item would change the terms “agriculture based business” to “agriculture related business” in these two sections.
In the matter of amending the bylaws, Article XIII, Section 4: “At such time as a fiscal year begins in which Elbert County Agricultural Alliance has $500,000 in unobligated funds or the annual revenue of the previous fiscal year has exceeded $500,000, the accounts of Elbert County Agricultural Alliance shall be audited within ninety (90) days by a certified public accountant, who shall be approved by the Board of Directors, and who shall provide a report for the Board of Directors.,”
Explanatory note: The current threshold for triggering an audit is $10,000 in unobligated funds and $20,000 in annual revenue; however, an independent audit would likely cost $5000 to $10,000 wiping out available funds that could be used for programs. The federal government requires audits of non-profits that expend $750,000 or more in federal funds. The state of Colorado has no audit requirement for non-profits.
Sheila further explained that ballots would be sent to members not in attendance and voting would close in two weeks.
[Note: At the time of voting there were 23 members on the rolls. Voting closed on November 1, 2021. Thirteen responses were received, two of which were from a group membership, for a total of twelve members voting as in person or e-ballots. Wendy Walp was elected Treasurer by a unanimous vote. Ballot item#2 was adopted by a unanimous vote. Ballot item #3 was adopted by a majority vote of 12 in favor and one opposed.]
There being no other business the meeting was adjourned.