Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wintonbury Land Trust Annual Meeting Notes - June 18, 2014

Wintonbury Land Trust Annual Meeting

June 18, 2014 – 7 P.M.

Bloomfield Leisure Services, Meeting Room 2

330 Park Avenue, Bloomfield


  1. Committee Reports
    1. Financial Committee - Vikki Reski gave a brief presentation of the evolution of the Financial Committee since 2011.  The Committee is currently working on standardized forms in order to publish financial reports.  Kevin Gough, Patrick Sullivan, and Sten Caspersson are also serving on the Committee. 
    2. Acquisitions Update – Dale Bertoldi reported that WLT has signed a purchase agreement with the owners of Hawk Hill.  The agreement includes a $27,500 donation by the owners. 
    3. Events –
                                                              i.      Dale Bertoldi summarized WLT’s June events, the Trails Day hike on the 7th, and the Bike and Hike on the 14th.  Three individuals joined the Land Trust as a result of participating in the Bike and Hike. 

                                                            ii.      Paula Jones reported that WLT is planning a fall hike with Seabury Retirement Community on Seabury’s beautiful Wildwoods Trail. 

                                                          iii.      Doris Johnson reported that the Lisa Lane Celebration will be September 20th.  We are also planning a “progressive” style fall Wine and Dine.  Patrick Sullivan will be organizing the planning committee, and would model our event based on his experience with West Hartford’s successful event.

    1. Stewardship –
                                                              i.      Van Otterloo needs trail maintenance and stone wall repair work.  We will begin work on the wall in the late summer/early fall once vegetation starts dying back. 

                                                            ii.      The Stout Family Fields are in good shape, thanks to the stewardship of John Stout in the fields, and Sten Caspersson’s work maintaining the “trailhead” area around the Stone Hill cul-de-sac.

                                                          iii.      Thrall Farm – The work associated with Newgate Farms’ Farmland Restoration Grant is wrapping up.  We are starting the potato barn work associated with WLT’s recent award of a Farm Viability Grant. 

                                                          iv.      Diana Hughes suggested establishing a regular stewardship day (e.g. monthly/quarterly) to focus on a property.  We could ask property stewards to organize the work day.  All agreed this is a good suggestion, and the Board will pursue it.

  1. Bylaws
    1. Review and Discussion of Proposed Changes - Paula Jones provided a brief overview of the key proposed changes to the Bylaws, and the rationale for those changes.  In the ensuing discussion, Sten Caspersson questioned the intent of Article 5, Section 9.  There was consensus that section would be more appropriately worded as follows: “The Board of Directors may appoint additional officers who shall have such power and authority as the Board shall define.”  Sten also pointed out a missing comma (3rd line, after the word “President,”) in Article IX.
    2. Member vote on motion to approve changes - A motion to approve the proposed amended Bylaws with the two additional changes mentioned above passed unanimously.  The ratified Bylaws are posted on our website (at the bottom of the Maps & Docs tab):

  1. Election of Directors
    1. David O. Sullivan is stepping down from the Board after serving for 40+ years.  David described some of the challenges and successes of the early years, and his efforts to keep the Land Trust going.  In recognition of David’s long service, Dale Bertoldi made a motion that he be appointed an Honorary Director of WLT.  Although that position would not be a voting position on the Board, the Board would look to David for advice and assistance from time to time, drawing on his long experience and institutional knowledge.  The motion passed unanimously.
    2. A motion was made to elect the slate of nominees as presented.  The motion passed unanimously. 

  1. New Business
    1. Sten Caspersson suggested putting the Directors’ biographies out on the website, and all agreed we should do so.  Diana Hughes also suggested we use the bios for a “Meet your Board” series in the monthly e-newsletters.  She also suggested a “Meet your Stewards” series.  We agreed that we would start with the Board members, and feature David O. Sullivan first. 
    2. Dale Bertoldi provided a brief update on the Van Otterloo AT&T cell tower proposal.   He reported that our consultants believe that the rental income would be considered exempt from UBI and that he had met with WLT’s attorney for a first review of the proposed lease.  Dale is proceeding slowly since AT&T also needs to negotiate a second lease with the MDC.

  1. Adjournment of Member Annual Meeting – Member meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

  1. Annual Meeting of Board of Directors
    1. Election of Officers – The newly elected Board elected the following officers:  Dale Bertoldi, President; Chip Caton, Vice President; Vikki Reski, Acting Treasurer; Paula Jones, Secretary.
    2. Board New Business

                                                              i.      The Directors signed WLT’s Ethics/Conflict of Interest policy.

                                                            ii.      We agreed to set a regular Board meeting date going forward.  Paula Jones will set that up.

    1. Board meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wintonbury Land Trust Meeting Notes - June 9, 2014

WINTONBURY LAND TRUST – June 9, 2014, 52 Duncaster Road, Bloomfield  

Present:  Dale Bertoldi, Vikki Reski, Vic Herson, Kevin Gough, Chip Caton, Doris Johnson, Paula Jones
1)  Minutes for the March 19th, April 8th, and May 14th meetings were approved.

Reclining Tom Turkey

2)      Review of Bylaws – The group reviewed a draft that incorporated changes we had agreed on in our May 14th meeting.  That draft included some additional provisions recommended by Diane Mack during her review.  (Many thanks to Diane for her careful and thorough review!)  The Board approved the draft with a few minor revisions.  Paula indicated she would ask Diane to take one final look, and then send the proposed Bylaws to the membership in advance of our June 18th Annual Meeting.  In the course of our review, we also agreed on the policy that only one household member at a time should serve on the Board as a Director.  We agreed that we would work toward compliance with that policy next year.
3)      A motion was made to create an Advisory Committee to the Board, and to ask David Sullivan to become the first member.  The motion passed unanimously.  Dale will follow up with David.
4)      Slate of Nominees for Board of Directors – The Board agreed to present the following slate of nominees at the Annual Meeting:
·         Vikki Reski, Dale Bertoldi, and Paula Jones for 1-year terms
·         Chip Caton and Patrick Sullivan for 2-year terms
·         Vic Herson and Doris Johnson for 3-year terms
Recorded by Paula Jones 


Friday, July 4, 2014

Wintonbury Land Trust Meeting Notes - May 14, 2014

WINTONBURY LAND TRUST – May 14, 2014, 5 Bear Ridge Drive, Bloomfield  

Present:  Chip Caton, Dale Bertoldi, Vikki Reski, Kevin Gough, Doris Johnson, Paula Jones, Patrick Sullivan

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

1)      Approval of the minutes for the March 19th and April 8th meetings was deferred until next month.  Paula will resend the drafts of those meeting notes.

2)      There was 1 additional Agenda item under New Business:  Proposal to approve hiring Whittlesey & Hadley to research UBI implications of Van Otterloo AT&T cell-tower proposal.

3)      Review of Bylaws – Paula provided a summary of the suggestions that had been submitted by those present for amending the Bylaws.  The group reached consensus on recommended changes.  Paula will create a marked-up version for Diane Mack to review and will copy the Board on that markup when she sends it to Diane.  The Board will meet again on June 9th to review a final draft.  Dale offered to talk to Bloomfield Leisure Services about scheduling our Annual Meeting on June 18th. 

We had limited time remaining, so turned to New Business. 

5)      New Business

a)      Our next meeting dates are June 9th (final review of proposed amendments to Bylaws) and June 18th (Annual Meeting). 

b)      There was no Q & A.

c)      Dale reported that Whittlesey & Hadley had done a complementary cursory review of the Unrelated Business Income (UBI) implications of the Van Otterloo cell tower proposal for the Land Trust.  He asked the Board to approve an expenditure of $1,500 to $1,800 for the firm to do a thorough written review.  He noted that this was a discounted rate.  A motion to approve the expenditure passed by a vote of 3 in favor, 1 opposed.   

Recorded by Paula Jones       

Special Membership Meeting Notes - April 8, 2014

Tuesday April 8 th from 7:00 to 9:00 P.M. in Room 2, 330 Park Ave.

Dale Bertoldi, Chip Caton, Paula Jones, Vikki Reski, Doris Johnson, Vic Herson, Pat Sullivan
Peter Bartkoski, Nancy Bowden, John and Vicki Casner, Sten Caspersson, Phillip Douville, Cheryl Fox, Homer Guilmartin, Kevin Gough,  Claudia Gwarduyak, Beverly Hughes, Ruthanne Marchetti, Jeff Small, Kathleen Sullivan and Wendy Wolcott.

1. Greeting and announcements, brief history – in the past few years the WLT has moved from a passive to pro-active organization; our membership has quintupled in that same period. Other successes (Stout Family fields, LaSalette Trail, etc.)
2. General review of the last five years' operational budgets and amount of acquisition funding in total.  Opportunities for financial sustenance (properties appropriate for sale and the concept in general).

3. Cell tower issues and discussion.
A. The following motion was voted upon.  The result was 14 (memberships) in favor, 2 (memberships) opposed.
"To  authorize the Wintonbury Land Trust Board of Directors to negotiate and execute a lease with AT&T for the placement of a cell tower on the Van Otterloo property, provided that the WLT and AT&T attorneys reach terms in accordance with feedback received from the WLT membership." 
Dear Members of the Land Trust,
The Wintonbury Land Trust has a critical decision to make-and we want to hear your thoughts. We're calling a meeting of our members for Tuesday March 4th from 7:00 to 9:00 P.M. in Room 2 of the Alvin & B Wood Human Service Center, 330 Park Ave.  
We will cover how we've financed our organization the last several years and the opportunities we have for future income including property sales and utility easements.
We will not take a vote at this time, but should we in the future, "members" are defined in our by-laws as those who are up to date with their dues (which you should be anyway!).
It would be helpful if you could let us know if you plan to attend, but come in any case. To rsvp or if you have questions please call Chip Caton at 860-286-0239.
Thank you.
Dale Bertoldi

Wintonbury Land Trust 

Wintonbury Land Trust Meeting Notes - March 19, 2014

WINTONBURY LAND TRUST – March 19, 2014, 5 Bear Ridge Drive, Bloomfield  

Present:  Chip Caton, Dale Bertoldi, Kevin Gough, Doris Johnson, Paula Jones, Patrick Sullivan, Vic Herson

Carolina Wren with attitude
1)      February 19, 2014 Minutes were approved as submitted.  Paula indicated she had some comments related to February’s business that would best be discussed in tandem with agenda item 4 d) 2, Bylaw comments from the Board. 

2)      There were 3 additional Agenda items under New Business:  (a) WLT response to the March 5th e-mail requesting GIS data from Charles Hoffman (working with The Trust for Public Land) to update National Conservation Easement Database; (b) Filley Farm; & (c) Kevin Gough’s meeting with Trish Hazelwood of Simsbury Land Trust.
3)      Van Otterloo Proposal - Those present who had attended the membership meeting on March 5th summarized WLT members’ comments regarding the ATT Cell Tower proposal.  Doris indicated that CT DEEP had an extensive checklist related to Cell Tower proposals that would be applied.  Kevin mentioned that invasive species associated with site disturbance should be considered; one of the CLCC workshops he attended on 3/15 addressed the broader-than-expected impact site disturbance has with respect to invasives.  Following the discussion, the following motion passed by a 5 (favoring) to 1 (opposing) vote:  To bring to the full membership a vote on the following motion - "To authorize the Board of Directors to negotiate and execute a lease with AT&T for the placement of a cell tower on the Van Otterloo property, provided that the WLT and AT&T attorneys reach terms in accordance with feedback received from the WLT membership." 
We had limited time remaining, so we touched briefly on Agenda item 4 d), 2, and the 3 New Business items.
4)       Committee Reports
d)     Capacity Building
2.      Paula briefly summarized the Bylaws materials she had sent out for Board review.  The item was tabled and will be discussed at a subsequent meeting.
5)      New Business
a)      Charles Hoffman sent the above-referenced e-mail to Dale & Paula on March 5th.  Dale reported that Bloomfield is working on a mapping project for Town-owned & WLT-owned undeveloped space.  Paula will convey this to Mr. Hoffman, and copy Vikki Reski.
b)      Dale reported that he had done a site & building survey of Filley Farm on West Street.  The Farm, with its stone house and outbuildings, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The reason for the listing is because it is an intact example of an 18th century farmstead.  A Circuit Rider from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation will be assisting in further review of what might be done to stabilize outbuildings and promote this Bloomfield resource.
c)      Kevin met in January with Trish Hazelwood, Simsbury Land Trust’s Director of Finance and Membership.  Kevin believes WLT will need a financial audit this year or next year.  The Finance Committee will follow up to determine the timing of what’s needed with respect to an audit.
Recorded by Paula Jones