GPA Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Date: April 18, 2008

Location: Holiday Inn Conference Center, Decatur, Georgia

Members In Attendance:
Ellen Heath
Paul DeCamp
Laura Beall
Kristi Harpst
Eric Bosman
Tracy Dunnavant
Paul Forgey
David Kirk
Jonathan Lynn
Beth Reiter
Holden Spaht
Gary Cornell
Cheryl Contant
Fred Boykin
Laura Keyes
Adam Hazell
Eric Clarkson
Kellie Brownlow

Attendance by Proxy:
Frederick Gardiner to Tracy Dunnavant
Larry Vandenbosch to Paul Forgey
Kathleen Field to Gary Cornell
Diana Wheeler to Gary Cornell
Jonathan Lynn to Adam Hazell

Additional Participants:
Jessica Gibson, Executive Director
Andrea Lytle, Student Director Elect

President Ellen Heath called the meeting to order at 2:25 p.m. There proxies were provided and it was determined that a quorum was present.


The minutes of the December 14, 2008, Board of Directors’ meeting and the minutes of the February e-vote for James Shelby for the position of Chair of Legislative Affairs were unanimously approved as drafted.


Bosman provided financial statements to the Board. He said the Chapter was in great standing and gave totals for each account. Bosman added that the figures did not reflect all of the revenues and expenditures for the spring conference. He also explained that there was a $140.00 expenditure to create the memorial fund. Bosman said $3,000 would go toward the planning history video that Reuter was developing. Cornell asked how the Chapter compared financially to its position at this time last year. Heath said the Chapter was at least where they were then if not slightly ahead. She added that this was surprising since Gibson was now on the payroll.

Cornell discussed the cost of the AICP credits to the Chapter. He added that they were unpredictable and asked if the Board wanted to make all courses CM or limit it to a certain number. Hazell said he felt additional information was needed prior to making a decision. Bosman said he had not received any invoices from APA for previous courses. Bosman said he did not feel all courses were CM credit worthy. LeBeau said a lot of AICP members did not choose to attend certain courses because they could not get credits. He added that he felt you should offer as many courses as possible.

Bosman informed the Board that APA had gone to an organization wide accounting system. He added that he had to file a monthly summary as well as additional paperwork including a year end audit.


Gibson said she was currently working with Beall on conferences, assisting Cornell on CM entries, helping Bosman on the budget, and helping Keyes fine-tune the scholarship program. The Board discussed using Gibson to answer website inquiries.


Cornell informed the Board that having a committee gave him much more depth in trying to find new ways to provide CM credits. They discussed credits that could be obtained through programs in other states. The Board suggested putting courses offering CM credits on the website. Cornell added that he was trying to build relationships with other organizations. He discussed Sandra Parker’s efforts with the University of West Georgia. He added that the course certification process was very tedious and the application process required a great deal of forethought and expense. Hazell said the CM process was currently in a holding pattern until APA responded to the first wave of feedback. He listed certain issues that needed to be resolved. Hazell said there needed to be certain courses that were offered every time and also courses geared toward spur areas that were currently lacking credits. He added that a policy needed to be developed on how GPA would deal with other providers. Cornell said he was currently working with the Georgia Association of Zoning Administrators (GAZA) regarding their willingness to be a provider. He said he should have an answer in six months. Keyes suggested having a line item in the budget. She felt a web cast of various conference sessions could reach members who were unable to attend the conferences. Cornell said he may take the Ethics Bowl course to national.

Cornell applauded the staff at Georgia Tech for facilitating an excellent AICP training course. He asked the Board to consider expanding the course offering to twice a year. Cornell added that he would be taking the new exam this fall. He said it had been reweighted and two additional topics had been added. Cornell said the prep course must be re-tooled to meet the requirements of the new exam. He added that Dana Johnson had volunteered to undertake this effort. Cornell mentioned that one issue that had been raised was whether or not CM credits would deter AICP exam applications.


The Board applauded Beall’s efforts regarding the spring conference. Beall thanked Keyes, Gibson and LeBeau for their assistance. She added that conference totals should be within the budgeted amounts. Beall said she was going to start working on the fall conference as soon as possible. The Directors discussed the forms for the cm credits. Beall said she felt having the questions on the facilitator form was the best way to ensure accurate information.

Beall informed the Directors that both planners’ luncheons were really well attended. She added that they did not break even due to the extra cost of the meals and cm credit certification.

Beall advised the Board that other organizations were interested in having joint topics for cm credits. She mentioned the possibility of setting up a half day workshop in the future.

Beall said she felt the Board members needed to be more involved with the conferences. She suggested listing their names in the program or having some type of tag identifying them. Hazell suggested possibly introducing the Board members at the sessions. Keyes felt each Board member could be put in charge of a specific tract and help with recruiting sponsors. Hazell added that he would like to see the membership more involved as well.


Heath informed the Board that she and Brownlow had met with the Department of Community Affairs to discuss GPA’s involvement in CPI. Brownlow said they focused on how to make CPI more of a joint effort. She gave a short synopsis of the program. She added that GPA had basically assisted in developing the core topics, but had really not been involved since. The Board discussed ways to become more involved. Brownlow suggested having a broader range of speakers for CPI with a variety of backgrounds. DeCamp mentioned offering advanced sessions for planning commissioners who had already taken the basic course. Heath said DCA had also mentioned a Planning Academy in their session geared toward Comprehensive Plan preparers. She suggested putting together a committee to work with CPI and the new academy. The Directors discussed getting volunteers through the website and the May e-newsletter. Hazell said when the issue of CPI was discussed in the past; the Board felt it was imperative to be involved in what was considered Planning 101. Forgey asked if the Board would consider setting a target date so that this issue doesn’t get set aside until next year. Brownlow suggested setting up another meeting with DCA to discuss CPI and get more information on the Planning Academy.

Brownlow said she had been sending a planning commissioner newsletter out each month. She added that she was working on a membership brochure for planning commissioners and said she would get it out to the Board when it was completed. Clarkson said he liked the one page format. LeBeau asked if Brownlow could provide a list of the Planning Commissioners within each district. Brownlow said she felt it would be a good idea, but added that she did not have that capability at this time.


Keyes advised the Board that the Chapter had seven new sponsors. She added that she would like to put together a committee to assist with the scholarship program and other areas within her area of responsibility. Keyes discussed the newsletter. She thanked the district directors that had sent in district highlights. Keyes asked the Board for any feedback they might have on the website. The Directors discussed the chapter awards. Heath suggested revamping the awards presentation. Beall said she had received feedback at the fall conference suggesting more sessions highlighting award winners. Keyes said she would like James Shelby to do a legislative overview. Heath suggested getting technical assistance from APA.


LeBeau said taping had begun on the GPA video earlier in the week.


Kirk said the Georgia Planning Memorial Foundation had been incorporated, but was still seeking 501-C3 status. Heath said Bill Ross had asked that the GPA Board set up the logistics for the scholarship program. Kirk said the Foundation Board would be responsible for that task. Kirk listed the six Foundation board members.


Heath reminded the Board of the regional development centers’ boundary changes. She said she would look into whether or not the changes impacted GPA’s districts.


Cheryl Contant informed the Board that she would be resigning her position in the summer. She said she had taken a position with the University of Minnesota Morris as the Chief Academic Officer. Heath said someone would need to fill Contant’s position as Non-AICP at Large Director. Keyes suggested possibly looking for an environmental planner.

Heath reminded the Board that Holden Spaht will be graduating this spring. She said Andrea Lytle would be replacing him on the Board.

Heath told the Board that the only election this year would be for the President-elect position.


Hazell asked if anyone had agreed to be GPA’s representative to the Livable Communities Coalition. Heath said Dan Cohn had taken the position.


Contant suggested GPA sponsor a get together in Las Vegas for the Georgia planners attending the national conference. Gibson said she had looked at renting space, but added that the cost was extremely high. She agreed to put together a list of places were the planners could possibly meet.


Forgey told the Board that he had a problem with The Vinyl Siding Institute being one of GPA’s sponsors. He said he did not agree with the use of vinyl siding on historic homes, which the institute is pushing at the conferences. Forgey said he felt having them as a sponsor alienates part of the membership. Beall said if the Board was going to take a position on the vendors, then they needed to be consistent. Brownlow said she agreed with Beall. The Board discussed developing criteria for selecting sponsors. They discussed the pros and cons of excluding certain vendors. Forgey said this may be an issue that he addresses personally.


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Tracy S. Dunnavant, AICP