GPA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Date: January 5, 2002

Location: Atlanta Regional Commission in Atlanta, GA

Members in Attendance
Gary Cornell
Alex Ikefuna
York Phillips
Bill Ross, ty
Alyssa Lee
Larry Keating
Bryan Shuler
Pat Chapman
Eric Linton
Diana Wheeler
Jerry Weitz
Rodney Heard
Paul Forgey
Patti Cullen
Dan Reuter
Bill Ross
David Sutton
Tom Sills
Denise Abboud

Members Absent
Wayne Kilmark
Nancy Seegar
Larry Vandenbosch

Call to Order
Denise Abboud, Vice President for Programs, called the meeting to order at 10:15 A.M. She then distributed the meeting agenda and the draft 2002 budget. On call for proxy it was noted that Tom Sills had proxy for Nancy Seegar and Jerry Weitz had proxy for Larry Vanden Bosch and Wayne Kilmark. Hard copy of the proxies was provided to the Secretary. Mary Huffstetler was in attendance as the elected Director of District 6, now living in Atlanta.

IntroductionsDenise asked all in attendance to introduce themselves, and provided a warm welcome to the newly seated 2002-2003 GPA Board.

Approval of Meeting Minutes
On motion of Gary Cornell and second of Alex Ikefuna, the minutes of the July 13, 2001 Board meeting were approved.

Approval of Agenda
Bryan Shuler made a motion to approve the agenda. Subject to the addition of the discussion of the location of the annual meeting, Jerry Weitz seconded. The agenda was approved with the requested addition.

Interpretation of By-laws
Jerry Weitz noted that the new bylaws had been adopted at the annual meeting in October and that the election of the board had been held under the old bylaws. For the functioning of the board during this and subsequent meetings, it was recommended that the Board address the extent of the old and new bylaws.

For the purpose of current leadership, the old bylaws defined the Acting President to be the Vice President for Programs. On motion of David Sutton and second of Gary Cornell, the Board unanimously endorsed this interpretation.

Dr. Weitz then addressed the issue of Past President. Jerry was of the opinion that when Lisa Walker resigned as President, that her resignation had also included resignation from the GPA Board. Discussion ensued, with Gary Cornell concurring with Jerry’s interpretation. Pat Chapman then made a motion that resignation of the office of President be interpreted as inclusive (resignation from both the office and the Board), and the interpretation of the bylaws that Past President is Bill Ross be accepted. On second of Dan Reuter, the motion passed unanimously.

President’s Resignation
Denise Abboud then distributed a copy of a letter that she had sent to AICP concerning the events that the board had recently been through, from the time of the commencement of the email barrage to the present. The correspondence to Glen Coyne had centered on professional ethics questions, the surveying of training needs, and e-mails to the membership.

Tom Sills stated his concern that formal charges had been made, and York Phillips stated that the issue might have been addressed through the GPA PDO. David Sutton disagreed with both Tom and York, noting that he may file a formal complaint with AICP on the same issues The Board was then informed of the side issue of Lisa Walker’s company website and APA and AICP concerns about its content. It was noted that this issue was not related to Denise’s letter.

Letter to Membership in NewsletterNumerous Board members expressed concern about the flood of events and accusations that had surrounded the resignation of the President, with Alex Ikefuna noting that the whole matter had been an embarrassment. Rodney Heard expressed a need to restore faith and trust in the Board. Gary Cornell felt that a letter or other appropriate contact with the membership was in order. It was determined that Denise’s cover letter to the Board be used as the basis for a communication with the membership, and that this communication be prepared by the Executive Committee.

Following extended discussion, it was decided to communicate through the newsletter.

Appointment of District 5 Director
Denise reviewed the fact that Phil Clark was technically not an APA member at the time of his election to the District 5 Director’s position in October. As such, the position was open to nomination. David nominated Adrianne Wood, seconded by Jerry Weitz. Phil Clark was nominated by Alex Ikefuna, seconded by Bill Ross. Nominations were closed and following an extended discussion, the vote was 11-11. Revote on the issue was deferred.

Appointment of District 6 Director
Noting the relocation of Mary Huffstetler to the Atlanta area, the District 6 Director’s position was now open. On motion of Gary Cornell, seconded by Paul Forgey, Lori Sand was nominated. On motion of Eric Linton, seconded by Dan Reuter, Frank Neal was nominated. Following a presentation of the resumes of both nominees, Frank Neal was elected.

Appointment of President
Noting the resignation of Lisa Walker, the floor was open for nominations for president. On motion of Jerry Weitz, seconded by Eric Linton, Gary Cornell was nominated. On nomination of Diana Wheeler and seconded by Brian Shuler, Denise Abboud was nominated. Nominations were then closed. Dr. Weitz then made a statement of support for Gary Cornell. York Phillips asked Gary’s background and Gary reviewed his work history and credentials. Denise Abboud was asked to address the board and she reviewed her background and credentials as well as her work history to GPA. The candidates then exited the meeting and discussion of each candidate ensued. Diana Wheeler left at 11:20 a.m. leaving her proxy to Bill Ross. Upon call for question,
Gary Cornell was elected. The candidates were called back into the meeting and the vote was announced. Gary thanked the Board for their support and stated that his main goal would be to encourage group work within the Board, to emphasize team play, and that GPA would benefit from the collective wisdom and effort of the entire Board.

Appointment of AICP at Large
Noting Gary Cornell’s election, the position of AICP Board Member at Large was now open. Noting that Mary Huffstetler had been elected in October but had to resign due to her relocation, Brian Shuler placed her name in nomination. The motion was seconded by David Sutton. There being no other nominees, Mary was appointed by acclamation.

Gary Cornell assumed the position of President and chaired the remainder of the meeting.

Reconsideration of District 5 Director
The reconsideration of District 5 Director was then addressed. David Sutton made a statement of support for Adrianne Wood. Upon call for question, Phil Clark was elected.

Executive Committee Nominations
Board discussion ensued on the need for appointment of two non-officers for positions on the Executive Committee. The names of Bill Ross, Dan Reuter, and Paul Forgey were placed in nomination. Tom Sills then called for a review of the bylaws concerning the membership of the Executive Committee. The bylaws defined membership on the Executive Committee as all officers, which includes past president. On motion of Brian Shuler, seconded by Tom Sills, Dan Reuter and Paul Forgey were elected to the Executive Committee.

Program Report
Vice President for Programs, Denise Abboud, noted that the finances for the Fall Conference had broken even. While receiving a mixed reaction from the attendees with the conference including an extra day, she noted that we had 175 in attendance. Denise will use upcoming newsletters to assess session preferences for upcoming conferences.

The issue of the procedure by which a vote was taken by the general membership on the 2002 annual conference location was discussed. It was noted that while the membership had expressed their preference for Savannah, GPA was already contractually committed to Jekyll. It was noted that the bylaws assigned the duty for all conference decisions to the program committee. Board discussion noted the need to broaden location options and the idea of receiving conference proposals was suggested. Bill Ross noted that GPA had experienced price problems in Savannah and noted that APA always looks at three conference sites after pricing them out. With no firm decision made on conference locations other than 2002, annual conference locations were deferred to the programs committee.

Planners’ luncheons were then discussed with Denise stating that Michelle Wright had volunteered to coordinate these efforts. Two planners’ luncheons will be planned in downtown Atlanta and two other metro-Atlanta locations will be sought.

The subject of Spring Conference was addressed with Savannah suggested as a possible location.

Denise closed with a reminder to the Board that the 2002 Annual Conference was scheduled from September 25 – 28 in Jekyll.

Secretary’s Report
David Sutton reported that the secretary will provide a package of materials to all members of the Board and noted that a copy of all official GPA communication needs to be given to the secretary for the Board’s permanent records. The issue of the availability of a GPA membership list being available at the annual meeting was discussed with no resolution of the matter. Bill Ross requested that the secretary officially inform APA of the results of the fall election and the subsequent appointments at today’s meeting.

Treasurer’s Report
Pat Chapman noted that all current GPA assets were reflected in the proposed budget that which had been handed out. She stated that GPA had made an excellent recovery from two years ago and reported there was over $33,000 in assets. Some funds would be moved back into CDs. Pat pointed out that all conferences should be self-supporting and that roughly $14,000 of the proposed budget was shown as a wash. The AICP rebate to GPA for the current year was $911.

Pat again emphasized our good financial shape noting the June 2001 CPI was a significant moneymaker. CPI overcrowding was discussed as well as the fact that planning board members see a great need for an advanced version of CPI. Costs for newsletter and web site were questioned with Pat noting that web site expenditures were estimated at $1,600. Jerry Weitz noted that 2001 CPI profit was due to the large subsidy of the South Georgia Regional Development Center and the volunteer work of their planning staff.

The issue of reincorporation was then raised and Pat stated that she would prepare it for the Executive Committee to discuss. Bill Ross was of the opinion that GPA wouldn’t have to incorporate as a 501 C3 to reincorporate. Jerry Weitz will send copies of articles to Pat and David.

Professional Development Report
Vice President for Programs Tom Sills thanked Denise for her hard work in putting today’s GPA board meeting together.

Tom then reported on the annual AICP workshop noting that it was held each year in February largely with the resources of Georgia Tech. Additionally, the Fall Conference now includes AICP prep sessions generally presented by Georgia Tech staff. Participation in the workshops has increased each year now numbering some 35 to 40 participants. While attendance has increased, improvement in Georgia’s pass/fail rate has not occurred. Tom had asked National for the history of the pass/fail rate which has been substantially below the National average of 75 to 77 percent. Georgia’s recent pass/fail rates range between 49 and 58 percent and we have consistently not met the National average. In fact, Georgia has experienced the third least successful pass/fail rate on the AICP exam.

Tom noted the obvious need for an evaluation of our current program and reported on his ongoing conversations with Dr. Larry Keating and Lori Sand on this subject. Tom reported that February 22nd is the tentative date set for the next AICP exam workshop. No changes were projected for this year but a major overhaul is predicted for 2003.

Tom then reported that there had been some friction between Georgia Tech and our past president and indicated that these issues might be holding up progress on the workshop this year.

Gary Cornell asked that Larry Keating meet with him on this issue and felt that Dr. Cheryl Contant should be invited.

Noting the arrival of lunch, Gary called for a break in the meeting.

The Board reconvened at 1:07 p.m.

Tom then presented a request from Lisa and Larry Walker to issue CPDP credits for their proposed Professional Planning Director’s Institute. The course management and leadership tracts were described as well as their proposed certifications. In light of the previously discussed APA and AICP concerns about the PPDI website, it was suggested that this was a sensitive issue.

A committee of Tom Sills, Larry Keating, and Jerry Weitz were appointed to research the issue and the request.

Tom noted that both APA National and the Georgia Chapter have the ability to nominate and issue credits for professional development and that the National program is still in the pilot stages.

David Sutton expressed strong reservations about the status of the National program in that work for APA such as attending the National Delegates Conference or detailed work on National policy positions were not receiving continuing education credits, but mobile work shops (such as a trip to Yankee Stadium) were.

Bill Ross then questioned the entire direction of the conversation about PPDI credit noting that GPA currently is not even granting continuing education credits for our own conference sessions. Bill suggested caution, and recommended that procedures for the granting of continuing education credits and the development of a proper system coordinated with APA National was more important than hasty action on this request.

Questions were then raised whether the Professional Development Officer, the chapter, or a specific committee currently had these continuing education accreditation powers. Noting the complexity of the continuing education accreditation issue, Denise recommended that the Executive Committee address it.

Legislative Affairs Report
Jerry Weitz, Vice President for Legislative Affairs, reported on the status of the proposed Planning Enabling Legislation. Jerry also reported that the joint ACCG-GMA Growth Management Task force is supportive of new legislation. Jerry also mentioned his conversations with Frank Alexander on the potential problem with enabling legislation running afoul with Georgia’s home rule provisions.

Dan Reuter echoed Jerry’s enthusiasm for new legislation, and stated he had seen a recent article where the Governor had hinted at being in support of new land use standards. Dan and David both noted that GMA’s position would be strongly influenced by Jim Higdon. David noted that revised planning enabling legislation and smart growth could be two separate issues. Dr. Weitz summarized the legislative affairs report noting that he and the legislative affairs committee would begin the development of a white paper on the subject.

Chapter Services Report
Vice President for Chapter Services Alex Ikefuna reported that the web site was up and running but that it needed maintenance and a major update. He suggested this discussion be held during budget discussions. Alex proposed publication of six issues of the newsletter, 10 pages each, and noted that he had brought a proposal for $1,259.50 per issue for the Board to review.

Another major chapter services issue is the membership directory at an estimated cost of $2,700.00 plus $768 for postage. Alex reported on a second quote of $2,885.00 that included a purging of the obsolete names from the GPA membership list. Gary Cornell noted the changing nature of the membership list. It was also noted that many GPA members did not keep their APA records up-to-date. It was decided that the Chapter Services Committee would solicit a personal data update through the newsletter, a direct letter, and a blast list in order to update the membership database. Alex reported that the Chapter Services Committee had set a goal to publish the membership directory every two years.

Alex closed by noting that Lucy Jenkins would continue in her role as newsletter editor.

York Phillips suggested that the bylaws be published as part of the membership directory. Following a brief discussion, it was decided that the cost was excessive.

Directors Reports
District 3 – Dan Reuter reported that District 3 was planning a redevelopment conference in Roswell addressing suburban redevelopment issues. ULI has published a book on suburban redevelopment and will provide the luncheon speaker. Current sponsors include the City of Roswell, the Atlanta Regional commission, and GPA.

District 4 – Reporting for Nancy Seegar, Tom Sills stated that a regional program for planners was being developed with DOT staff to discuss clean air issues.

District 8 – Paul Forgey reported planning of conference in Thomasville on redevelopment in the Thomasville community.

District 10 – York Phillips reported the planning of a series of four luncheons during 2002 in the Savannah area.

Student Representative – Alyssa Lee reported that she would like to see increased GPA/Georgia Tech/student interaction. Alyssa noted that she is President of the student planning association representative (Alyssa invited GPA to participate in the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Georgia Tech’s Planning Program.

Planning Officials Development Officer
In addition to serving as treasurer, Pat Chapman also serves as the Chapter’s Planning Officials Development Officer (PODO). Pat reported on the June 2001 Community Planning Institute noting it had some 150 attendees. Plans call to repeat the program this year in late May or early June. Pat summarized the program noting that it included procedures, Georgia laws, basic planning concepts, ethics, and practical planning exercises. The program has cost $125 and has been held in Macon on a Friday/Saturday time slot.

Pat then reported on the continuing request for an advanced planning institute. She noted there were many issues and an unresolved format. Should this be done as a separate program or should it be part of the annual conference? The question of how CPI had been advertised was raised with Pat responding that it had been largely advertised through the Regional Development Centers. Pat reported that a Chapter President’s Council (APA National) grant had funded the development of the CPI curriculum and that funding might be needed to complete a curriculum for CPI II. Pat will continue work on this proposal and report back to the Board on this issue.

Preservation Division
Paul Forgey reported the concerns of the Preservation Division of GPA that had formed a few years ago. Paul said the goals of the committee were to more closely align preservation activities with GPA, and that he was more than willing to serve as liason between committee chairman Michael Jacobs and the Board. Paul requested guidance from board members. Ideas shared included: communication between the committee should be through the newsletter; consider ½ day tract at annual conference; and solicit for historic preservation awards, and integrate with awards committee. It was suggested that the committee communicate through Paul, and that any special funding needs be expressed to the Executive Committee.

Transportation Division
Denise reported that Lisa had received an inquiry from Tim Preese on the interest in forming a Transportation Division within GPA. Lisa had requested a work program and budget. Tim was currently on vacation, and no further information had been received. Issue, upon receipt, will be forwarded to the Executive Committee.

Georgia Quality Growth Partnership
Jerry Weitz made a brief report on the activities of the QGP, and noted that the Department of Community Affairs had requested GPA participation in their “resource teams”. Jerry suggested that the right of first refusal should go to the respective board member in whose district the event was being held.

York thought an alternative perspective might be better, and Bryan suggested the sharing of responsibilities. The suggestion of first refusal to district directors was unanimously approved.

Alyssa Lee noted that participation requests had been made to other students and recent alumni to participate in partnership efforts. Alyssa suggested that DCA should consider integrating QGP efforts into the Ga Tech coursework of students. She also expressed a strong student interest in “out of Atlanta” experiences for students. Gary asked from more information from Alyssa to pass on to DCA within a week.

Annual Work Program and Budget
Denise Abboud described the budget document that had been distributed at the beginning of the meeting. Denise explained that she had revised the format from last year and had inserted Pat’s numbers on actual revenues and expenditures so the document would provide a base line for comparison to work from.

Gary directed the board to address budget issues and items only as time was growing short. Items highlighted for action and inclusion in the budget included:

  • Need for membership directory
  • Preservation committee funding for mailing/publicity
  • New line item for mailings directly to membership($250 each or $500 total)
  • Student Scholarships (Explanation from Dr. Keating-$1500 year, $ $6000 total-Larry unsure of current status of funds –issues to be resolved in GPA/Ga Tech meeting
  • District events, which are not designed to be self sufficient
  • Annual Alumni Reception
  • Planning Student Awards Banquet
  • Cookies for meetings back in budget
  • Comment from York for Gary to attend National meetings
  • Denise noted that budget for fall conference was completed and should be handled separately
  • PDO issue-AICP encourages involvement of PDO nationally-AICP rebate can be assigned to defray partial costs of PDO
  • Issue of membership recruitment
  • Issue of Advanced CPI workshop
  • Program development of AICP workshop and potential costs
  • Outreach to all planners in Georgia-if funds need to be cut, always consider the total membership first
  • Bill Ross noted communication to the membership is the #1 service the Board should provide

Noting the extremely late hour, the following budget items were addressed to keep GPA services going until the Executive Committee has the opportunity to meet and complete the budget:

  • Approved renewal of newsletter contract with A New Dimensions- $1259.50 x 6 issues
  • Approved contract with Geopreservation Inc. for member directory and database for $2885-specs changed to three hole punch. Add postage. Exec Committee will finalize
  • Approved funding for Preservation Division Mailing-$350
  • Approved funding for Transportation Division mailing-$350
  • Approved funding for 2 mailings to membership-letter and survey-$500
  • Scholarship issues deferred to Executive Committee
  • Deffered funding for district events to Executive Committee
  • Annual alumni reception and scholarship deferred until after discussion with Ga Tech
  • Deferred issue of President’s travel budget to Execuutive Committee
  • Deferred issue of PDO travel to Executive Committee

In a non-budget related issue, the question of who is PDO was raised. A bylaw interpretation was offered by Jerry Weitz-Dr. Larry Keating is PDO, but Tom as Vice President for Professional Development has the authority to make the appointment under the old bylaws. Tom noted that he would defer the decision until after discussions with Ga Tech.

Gary thanked all in attendance for their hard work and announced that he would call an Executive Committee as sonn as possible to complete the budget and work program. The meeting adjourned at 3:38 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

David J. Sutton, AICP