GPA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Date: January 16, 2004

Location: Atlanta Regional Commission in Atlanta, Georgia

Members In Attendance
David Kirk
Rob LeBeau
Debbie Miness
David Sutton
Alex Ikefuna
Larry Vanden Bosch
Glenn Coyne
Tracy Dunnavant
Cheryl Contant
Phil Clark
Patti Cullen
Paul Forgey
Wayne Kilmark
Christi Trombetti
Dan Reuter

Attendance by Proxy
Jerry Weitz Kip Padgett to Jerry Weitz
Eric Linton Ellen Heath to Jerry Weitz
Adam Hazell Tom Wilson to Alex Ikefuna
Kathleen Field Helen Stone to Alex Ikefuna
Gary Cornell Lori Sand to Phil Clark

Others in Attendance:
Bill Bryant

President Jerry Weitz called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m. Proxies were announced.

Approval of Meeting MinutesThe minutes of the December 12, 2003 meeting of the Board of Directors were unanimously approved with no corrections.

Chapter Services – Membership
Alex Ikefuna discussed the membership brochure. He said he was still seeking additional input from the membership prior to sending out a final draft. Clark asked if one brochure would sufficiently cover all of the target membership. Weitz suggested having one brochure that speaks to all audiences since the project was a major expenditure. Ikefuna added that it would take roughly $1,500 to complete the project. Reuter said he felt the logistics in having multiple  brochures would be very difficult. Forgey suggested drafting a cover letter focusing on the various groups with distribution through the District Directors. Miness mentioned that a directory of all City/County Planning Directors was available on the DCA web site. The Board discussed contacting Eve Brothers to ascertain her interest in continuing to serve as a committee chair. Weitz asked if GPA needed to officially adopt a slogan. Reuter suggested going with APA’s. The Board discussed possible wording. LeBeau made motion to keep the slogan the same as what was presented on the brochure draft — “Planning Today for Georgia’s Future”. Linton seconded. After further discussion, the motion was amended and seconded to remove “today” from the slogan. All in favor. The adopted slogan was “Planning for Georgia’s

Recap of Adopted Long-Range Plan and Annual Work Program Weitz reminded the Board that the Long-Range Plan and Annual Work Program had been adopted at the last meeting with minor amendments. Kirk asked if the document would be placed on the web site or distributed to the membership through some other means. He suggested Weitz mention it in the newsletter with a reference to its inclusion on the web. Larry Vanden Bosch asked if the work program needed to include a list of
all Board members. Weitz said only the Executive Committee had been listed. Clark asked the Directors to consider creating environmental and housing committees.

Weitz advised the Board that Ellen Heath, Treasurer, was unable to make the meeting. He added that the budget process was usually deferred to the Executive Committee, but he felt the full Board should be involved since several Directors were unable to attend the December meeting. Contant asked for GPA’s fiscal year. Weitz said it followed the calendar year. Cornell applauded the Program Committee’s revenues, and singled out York Phillips on his efforts. Miness said the Georgia Conservancy Blueprints had asked for a contribution. Cornell said GPA had not given money in the past, but added that it was not for lack of philosophic support. Contant explained that Blueprints had not received enough contributions to cover their operational costs and therefore was asking their partners to co-sponsor their efforts. She added that it would be a one-time deal. Clark asked about Blueprints’ role. Miness gave a synopsis of their purpose. Clark asked if they served entities outside of metro-Atlanta. Contant said yes. Weitz suggested taking funding out of the programs line item. Clark suggested using miscellaneous funds.

Linton asked about the increase in the Planners’ Lunch revenue. Weitz said the number may be high, but added that he had great faith in the committee chairs. Kirk said when the luncheons were held in the 80’s and 90’s they were break-even events. Weitz suggested changing the figure from $6,000 to $5,000. Contant said she did not like setting up a budget with unreasonable expectations. The consensus was to change the figure from $6,000 to $4,000. LeBeau said he felt the spring conference should bring in roughly $10,000 to $12,000. Clark added that he had received a lot of interest from potential attendees. The consensus was to show $12,000 for expenses and $13,000 in revenue. Weitz asked LeBeau if he felt $30,000 was enough for the fall conference. LeBeau said yes. Weitz asked if $5,000 in profit was a good estimate. Reuter expressed concern about attendance since the room rate was $169 per night. Sutton said Georgia
Association of Zoning Administrators had held their conference at Brasstown Valley last summer and had a tremendous turnout.

Contant said the fall reception number needed to be between $600 and $700. Kirk suggested $800. He asked if GPA split the cost. Contant said yes. Weitz asked if the CPI would be held once or twice. Sutton said twice and added that the cost needed to be adjusted to reflect both sessions. He explained that the CPI was carrying the weight of the curriculum committee since there was no separate line item. He added that the committee’s cost ran roughly $2,700. Weitz said he would like to see the CPI ran on a break-even cost. Sutton said the base cost should have included printing. He suggested a minimum registration fee of $175 with late registration set at $195. Weitz said he did not
want to profit off professional training. Contant questioned which events GPA wanted to use as a moneymaker and why. She asked if there was a set policy. Weitz said it was only his opinion that GPA did not want to profit off training. He added that the CPI was GPA’s means of giving back to the community. Clark asked if a motion was needed regarding the CPI being break-even. Weitz said he did not feel it was necessary. Sutton suggested showing $26,000 in both revenues and expenditures for the CPI.

Weitz introduced Bill Bryant as the new Chair of the Economic Development Committee. He added that Bryant was a current Georgia Economic Development Association board member. Bryant expressed interest in seeing the two organizations
learn from each other. He mentioned a legislative reception that was being held on January 29th and invited the Board to attend. Reuter said he planned to be there. Clark said an economic development element had been included on the spring conference agenda.

Clark asked if any funding should be included for district events. LeBeau said he thought it was a good idea. The Directors discussed how much should be appropriated. Forgey said there should at least be enough money to cover mailing costs. The consensus was to add $200 for district events.

Weitz mentioned that the expenses associated with the newsletter continue to increase. He suggested attracting more advertisers as a means of defraying a portion of the cost. Ikefuna said elections and awards impacted last year’s newsletter budget. Weitz reminded Ikefuna that the election for President-Elect would go through the newsletter
during this fiscal year.

The Board discussed how APA would be redistributing the chapter’s supplement. Weitz said the chapter should get an estimated $900 rebate for AICP memberships.

Weitz said the GRA Endowment should be $1,500 instead of $3,000.

After further discussion, Cornell made motion to adopt the proposed budget for fiscal year 2004 as modified. Seconded by Ikefuna. Clark stressed the need for a balanced budget. All in favor.

Planning Officials Development
Sutton said a forum had been held to critique the CPI curriculum. He added that a committee meeting would be scheduled in February to discuss the redrafting process. Sutton said he would like to have the new curriculum ready for implementation at the next CPI training. Weitz stressed the need to maintain momentum. Clark added that some type of agreement needed to be drafted to ensure everyone uses the same curriculum. Cullen added that the committee was looking at creating a certification program where continuing education units (CEUs) were obtained no matter who provided the training. Forgey asked if GPA had heard from those organizations that did not attend the forum. Weitz gave each entity’s reaction. Miness informed the Board that the Center for Quality Growth was trying to develop some type of smart growth training for elected officials. Sutton said smart growth might be considered a legitimate curriculum component in the future. Sutton said the next CPI training would be held sometime in the spring in northeast Georgia.

Professional Development
Coyne said the tentative date for the AICP exam review session was April 2nd. He added he had received seven responses to date from people planning to take the exam.

The Board discussed the continuing education credits awarded for additional training. Sutton said planners must obtain 60 CEUs within a five-year window. Coyne added that APA awards a certificate for each 60 hours of training completed. Weitz said the chapter had been working on this program for a while and needed to continue moving forward.

Legislative Affairs
Reuter discussed the pilot project with APA for legislative assistance. He said he would be meeting with APA during the first quarter to discuss how they could best serve GPA.

The Board discussed an e-mail from Keith Melton proposing changes to the impact fee law. Weitz said he felt the issue needed to be looked at comprehensively or not at all. He added that Bill Ross had cautioned that opening legislation sometimes results in taking a step backward. Miness said a great deal of thought and research needed to be put forth prior to visiting the impact fee issue. Kirk added that it would cost a lot of money and man-hours to promote specific legislation. The Board discussed the use of lobbyists. Miness suggested having GPA make a recommendation to DCA regarding their interpretation of the public facilities list. Weitz said Ross also stressed that the support of GMA, ACCG and the Home Builders Association was key for success. Clark said he felt GPA needed to solidify their position prior to moving forward in this area.

Conferences and Programs
LeBeau discussed changes to the spring conference agenda. He added that organizers were needed to help prepare for each session. Reuter asked if it was too late to change some of the sessions. He questioned whether the solid waste planning item would be well attended. Clark said it was a required component of the comprehensive plan. LeBeau suggested having a transportation track at both the spring and fall conferences. Weitz agreed stating that including transportation increases the number of attendees. LeBeau mentioned that the conference would end at 3:00 p.m., but the meeting rooms would still be available until 5:00 p.m. for committee meetings. LeBeau discussed the brochure that would be distributed. He said GPA would need 100 attendees to break even. Reuter asked about the cost increase. LeBeau said two lunches, two mobile workshops, and an offsite reception meant additional expenditures. Reuter said he felt the brochure should be more focused on MPOs. Hazell suggested removing the hotel information on the front and using that space for program related information. LeBeau discussed the need to find exhibitors. He said there would be 5 tables at a cost of $900 each. Cornell suggested $500. LeBeau asked if GPA should look at increasing the fee for student attendees from $35 to $50. Field suggested increasing the cost of regular attendees in lieu of raising student rates. Contant volunteered to meet with LeBeau and the Programs Committee in an effort to balance the subsidizing issue with student involvement. Weitz suggested doing what the Programs Committee felt was right in the spring and look at targeting more students for the fall conference. Hazell added that the national conference focused on students who were beginning the job search process. LeBeau asked if the Board still wanted to hold a meeting during the conference. Kirk felt it would be disruptive having a meeting right after the reception. The consensus was not to have a meeting.

LeBeau said the contract with Brasstown Valley did not include prices. He added that the contracts had been signed prior to his taking office. LeBeau said the room rate would be $169 per night with GPA reserving 120 rooms for attendees. Miness felt the hotel should provide the meeting space for free based on the amount of revenue they would be
generating off the conference. Field suggested renegotiating the break costs. LeBeau stressed the need to find a local coordinator. Sutton suggested Larry Sparks and Tom O’Bryant. Bun Hulsey was also mentioned as a possible candidate.

LeBeau said the Programs Committee would be discussing possible sites for the 2005 conferences.

Vanden Bosch discussed the need to showcase Georgia’s award winners at the national level. Weitz said the competition was very stiff and advocated submitting only the best candidate for consideration. Miness reminded the Board that a write up must be presented as well. Vanden Bosch said the awards committee could make the selection when reviewing the projects. Cornell suggested possibly choosing two candidates. Miness asked about student awards. Weitz said GPA has a student project award, but participation needed to be increased. Reuter suggested seeking applicants through the newsletter. Sutton advocated creating some type of lifetime achievement award. Weitz asked Vanden Bosch to send the award categories to the Board for further discussion. Contant said the student paper competition needed to be revived.

The Board discussed the transition process as it related to the Treasurer position. Weitz said Pat Chapman, former Treasurer, had been given a deadline of December 31st to get GPA’s financial documents in order and transferred to the new Treasurer, Ellen Heath. He said Chapman had still not completed this task and asked the Board for their assistance in getting the transition accomplished. Weitz stated that he had drafted a proposed resolution for the Board’s consideration that requested Chapman complete the transition by January 30th. Kirk asked what justification did Chapman give for delaying the transition. Weitz said it was her unwillingness to commit to a date. Kirk asked which materials had not been transferred. Weitz said the checkbook. Kirk suggested invalidating the checks through the bank. Sutton informed the Board that Chapman had a lot of bills that came in late or were incomplete. Contant expressed concern over one person having so much power given life’s uncertainties. She suggested using a system that would allow the account to be transferred at any time. Contant asked to include a statement in the resolution that the account will be transferred on February 2nd and any costs associated with this process will be Chapman’s. Reuter concurred. Kirk said he disagreed with charging Chapman. Hazell suggested requiring two signatures on the checks. Miness said she had problem with the tone of the resolution. Weitz emphasized that GPA appreciated what Chapman had done during her tenure, but added that she was currently holding back the organization. Contant suggested amending the language to direct the President to insure that a timely transition takes place and a new account be established with two signatures. The consensus of the Board was to give Chapman until February 2nd to complete the transition and instruct Heath to begin the process of moving the accounts if the transfer was not accomplished.

Dunnavant informed the Board that Sutton agreed to transfer the secretarial records within the next two weeks.

Weitz advocated the creation of a master calendar of planning related events and deadlines. Dunnavant volunteered for the assignment. She suggested possibly including the calendar on the web page. Coyne mentioned listing newsletter deadlines.

2004 Committee AppointmentsWeitz informed the Board that the majority of committee chairs had been appointed at the December meeting. He suggested appointing Paul Forgey and Kip Padgett as co-chairs of the Historic Preservation Committee. The Board concurred with Weitz’s recommendation. Reuter reminded Ikefuna to check with Brothers on her willingness to continue serving as the Chair of both the Membership and Minorities Committees. Clark suggested having the committees submit written reports for future Board meetings. Weitz said the Chair would have the option of submitting a report, but it would not be a

Additional AppointmentsWeitz explained that Debbie Miness had been appointed at the last meeting to serve on the Georgia Conservancy Blueprints. He added that it had been brought to his attention that Inga Kennedy was already representing GPA in that organization. Contant reminded Weitz that GPA was allowed two representatives. Weitz said he never recalled appointing Kennedy and added that she was not an active member of GPA. Reuter said GPA needed better coordination with Blueprints. Cornell suggested allowing her to continue functioning as a GPA representative if she was willing to renew her

Weitz asked if anyone wanted to serve on the Georgia Quality Growth Partnership (GQGP) or Land Use Coordinating Committee (LUCC). Kirk expressed some interest in serving on the LUCC, but was concerned about potential conflicts of interest. Weitz suggested waiting until next month to fill the appointments.

Next Meeting
Kirk asked if the Board still needed to meet sometime in March. Weitz suggested holding off until May or June.

There being no further business, the board meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Tracy S. Dunnavant, AICP