POTOMAC VALLEY SWIMMING
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Attendance - Jim Garner, Chair, Ethan Bassett (late due to attendance in class), John Hirschmann, Bill Marlin, Donald Riedlinger, Bill Stephens, Jim VanErden, Ronald Whalen, and Greg York. Non-voting members and guests: John Ertter.
Call to Order - The meeting was called to order at 7:15 pm by the General Chair, Jim Garner. He provided the Board with the attached agenda for the meeting.
Approval of Minutes - The minutes of the July 22 Board meeting were approved as submitted.
General Chair's Report - Jim indicated he had only a few items to cover. He indicated he would like any written reports sent to other Board members by the weekend prior to the meeting, so people will adequate time to review them prior to the meeting.
Jim indicated a preference to have future Board meetings be on the second Wednesday of the month. The Board also agreed the next Board meeting would be Wednesday, October 8th. Meeting start times will remain at 7pm.
Jim stated a willingness to move the Board meetings between VA and MD. Bill Stephens indicated he would investigate a possible meeting location in Virginia. The October Board meeting will be at River Falls.
Athlete Representatives - Ethan Bassett was not present at this time, since he had a class. He arrived later and indicated he had nothing specific to report. Jim G indicated he would put him later in the agenda for subsequent meetings.
There also was discussion of the status of the Senior Athlete Representative and whether that person was still active in competitive swimming and/or is intending to still serve as a PVS Board member. Bill Stephens agreed to make inquiries in this regard. The process for filling such a vacancy, should one occur, was also briefly discussed.
Treasurer's Report - Financial reports for the fiscal year just ended had been circulated by John Ertter prior to the meeting. Hirschmann gave a brief synopsis, noting that PVS's financial condition is currently quite strong. PVS's cash position had improved by about $90K over the past year and its equity position by about $80K. Registration income was up significantly, resulting in about a $30K net increase to PVS after taking into account registration fees forwarded to USA Swimming. Splash fee income went up by about $20K.
Relative to 2002, PVS's net income from its equity positions improved by about $12K. On the expense side, pool rental had increased by about $23K due primarily to longer (more sessions) LC meets and using more desirable venues. Meet management fees increased by about $9K and net zone costs by about $4K. Travel assistance declined by about $6K.
Questions were received regarding the statement of cash flow. John Ertter also explained that when the current accounting system was set up effective September 1, 1999 - that established the opening equity balance. Retained earnings reflect cumulative net income and charges to retained earnings since that date.
John Ertter noted that he capitalized PVS equipment for the first time this fiscal year. The recognition of this capitalization and prior year's previously unrecorded depreciation was charged directly in retained earning. PVS is only capitalizing appropriate items whose value exceeds $500 and it depreciates all of these assets for financial reporting period over a three year period as computer equipment. It was agreed PVS need not do this, but many felt doing so gave a more accurate picture of PVS's financial health. PVS does not have tax considerations that might motivate it to attempt to maximize possible depreciation.
Stephens asked whether given PVS's financial health, it ought to be more heavily invested in equities. There was some discussion of the pros and cons, including the relative importance of safety versus the expectation of earning more investment income on a long term basis. This included whether the expected better long term return from equities is worth the added uncertainty and risk it introduces into an organizations financial results over shorter periods of time. The Board was advised that PVS had made its current commitment to equities based on vote taken by the Board several years ago. It was agreed John Ertter and John Hirschmann should develop a PVS investment policy for consideration by the Board at a subsequent meeting.
In response to specific questions, it was explained that the Scholar Athlete account money was most likely to pay for pins and certificates. Prior administrators of the program should be able to provide additional details. The type of items included in office supplies was addressed and the Board was advised that detailed records of the receipts/disbursements behind any line could readily be made available.
John Ertter advised the Board the first meeting with PVS's auditor would be on or about October 15. [Note: It has now been set for October 16.]
Information about Officer and Directors Insurance was shared with the Board including who receives protection under this policy.
The importance of making sure our coaches and officials understand the importance of completing a Report of Occurrence whenever an injury occurs needs to be emphasized. It was agreed the Coaches and Referees should have Reports of Occurrence readily available at both meets and all practices and other team activities.
Ertter brought to the Board's attention that a request had been received to pay more than the permitted $75/session for hospitality at PVS Sponsored meets. Approximately $1050 was permitted and costs of about $1550 had been incurred. It was noted the amounts would be below the new authorized limits of $125/session that goes into effect September 1, 2003. There was some discussion whether a retroactive adjustment is appropriate. The motion to authorize the additional payment passed with one dissenting vote.
It was confirmed that PVS's policy of not reimbursing without receipts continues to be followed.
Ertter also advised the Board that he had received a PVS Eastern Zone LC bill late and that the Zone budget had been exceeded by about $5K. The latest charge apparently involved the purchase of about 60 coaches shirts.
There was a general discussion of the need for this level of outfitting, how to maintain effective financial controls, the appropriateness of competitive bidding for such outfitting given the dollar level involved. Garner indicated what should be the future level of appropriate outfitting for zones would be on the October Board agenda.
A motion was made regarding who would have signature authority over various financial accounts maintained by PVS. Except for the accounts needed for "day to day operations" of PVS, two signatures will be required. Various PVS officers have authority over various accounts to provide additional controls. The Financial Manager will receive statements monthly and forward them to the Treasurer to provide additional controls. Motion Passed. The specific motion passed is on file with the PVS Treasurer and General Chairman.
The status of transitioning to PVS's new phone numbers and post office was reviewed. It was agreed that PVS should only maintain two phone numbers - one for general inquiries and the other for the PVS registrar. A fax number would also be maintained. The prior general inquiry number (301-840-5955) will be maintained for a while - given that it has been widely publicized until recently.
Jim Garner indicated a preference to return to having the paid staff assume more functions - something PVS had gotten away from over the past year. This included taking responsibility for checking PVS's PO Box and making sure mail got to the proper person.
John Ertter advised he will order new checks with our new post office box. Bill Stephens should work out the logistics of what needs to be ordered and who will order new stationery, envelopes and other items that have PVS's former address or phone number on it.
The status of the contract with John Ertter to provide financial and other services to PVS was reviewed. Garner and Hirschmann indicated they had subsequent conversations with Ertter regarding the scope of the contract and it has been expanded upon significantly from what had been originally proposed. The Board was also assured the contract was not a "cut and dry" contract - that John was willing to be flexible regarding the exact duties he would perform for PVS.
It was agreed all Board members would be given an opportunity to review the proposed contact before being given an opportunity to vote on it at the October 8th meeting.
It was agreed that copies of the contract for financial services will be available for all Board members at the next meeting and that the contract will be brought up for formal approval at that time.
Strategic Planning - Jim VanErden gave a report regarding his initial efforts as chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee. He acknowledged that his initial strategic planning outline will be presented to the Board at a later meeting. He raised some questions regarding who is on the Committee, including the fact PVS's by-laws do designate who certain members of the Committee should be.
Some Board members indicated that if Jim V felt it would be useful to have additional members on the Committee or any special project he may undertake, he should let the Board know.
Jim indicated he had started to look into the Issue of how various LSC's undertake the establishment of a competition schedule and the sanctioning of meets. He indicated he had looked at about 36 LSC's -- about half of which have policies posted on their website. He is in the process of pulling together a synopsis of what these policies are - he noted there is wide variety in how various LSC's approach the situation.
He noted most LSC's do not have a Strategic Planning Committee - the work is normally done by the Technical Committee (which PVS refers to as the Operations Division.).
The importance of distinguishing between long term vs short term needs/goals was discussed.
Jim also indicated he hoped to get data on where our kids live and compare that with where we compete. He also asked if data on the number of teams and registered swimmers by LSC was available for possible analytical use. It was widely recognized that PVS is unique in that it has by far the highest density of swimmers per square mile of any LSC in the country. Thus, our travel times on average are much less, our ability of athletes to transfer, meets in one part of the LSC to attract swimmers from throughout the LSC, etc. Nevertheless some of our parents object to the distances involved, not realizing the relative advantage they have being in PVS.
Some felt Strategic Planning should look at what PVS's meet schedule should be. The pros and cons of dividing our meets by ability level (as PVS had done in the past) versus our current practice of having all ability levels in one meet - ie the Open was raised. It was noted the current practice was adopted in part to not require coaches to be on the deck every weekend. Others asked if PVS has to offer every event at every meet - possibly have only a one day meet with some of the events as we do in the summer.
Bill Marlin announced on an informational basis that the PM are running a second meet site for 14/U Qualifiers in early February at GMU/Manassas. This is being done since the current meet at GMU/Fairfax sponsored by CUBU cannot handle all the entries. No other venue within PVS boundaries could be found to hold the competition.
Competition Division -- The following is a list of agenda items from the Competition Committee meeting held on September 21 and any Board of Director action on the item.
Approval of new procedure for selecting assistant PVS EZ SC assistant coaches. Nominate prior to January 1 - opportunity to nominate well publicized - election at Winter CCM meeting --
There was considerable discussion of this item. It was acknowledged for the past three years, an approach used on a trial basis in 2000 had continued to be used in practice without Policy and Procedures being formally amended to reflect this change. It was generally agreed this was not a desirable situation.
There was discussion whether the Board should approve the current recommendation of Competition as a permanent change in policy. Others suggested that the policy should for selecting assistant coaches should be set by Competition each year at its fall meeting. Some suggested if insufficient nominations are received, nominations from the floor should be accepted. Others proposed the Head Coach should make selections, subject to the approval of the Board.
It was also noted it was important that both sexes be represented on either the coaching or team manager staffing to assure chaperoning responsibilities could always be carried out.
Hirschmann and York were asked to develop a recommended policy for inclusion in PVS's Policy and Procedures
The Board approved both these recommended changes from Competition.
The Board approved placing these five meets on the PVS 2004 LCM calendar. A question was whether the June 13 and 27 meets would be treated as one or two meets at each site. Hirschmann indicated it was his intent to select one meet host for each day at a given site. A suggestion was made to flip in which order the two age groups would swim on the two Sunday's. It was agreed that such a suggestion from Competition would probably be well received.
The Board approved placing these four meets on the PVS 2004-05 short course season calendar.
It was proposed the Board table action on these items at this time to allow Strategic Planning time to see if it will be ready to make a recommendation as to what is PVS's role in this type of meet should be. The Board was advised this award could probably be delayed until November without impacting our pool rental needs. The Board agreed to table this item.
Approval of meet participation requirements for Travel Reimbursement for 2004 "Spring" 2004 USA Swimming Nationals Feb 10-14 in Orlando. Competition endorsed 6 swims in PVS sanctioned meets, at least 3 of which have to be in PVS sponsored meets. It also recommended for graduating high school seniors have a requirement of 4 swims in PVS sanctioned meets, none of which have to be PVS sponsored meets.
There was extensive discussion on this item. It was agreed this was a proposal for 2004 only as this requirement is set annually and the calendar is atypical in 2004. The Board first approved the general proposal that to be eligible for PVS travel assistance, you must swim at least 6 events in PVS sanctioned meets, at least 3 of which must be in PVS sponsored meets. The Board then addressed whether to approve the proposal to have a separate rule for HS seniors. Some felt at least some of the swims should be in PVS sponsored meets. A motion was made to change the requirement to 4 and 2. The motion failed on a tie vote. The Board then defeated the motion to have a special rule for high school seniors. Many felt it was preferable to deal with these situations via the Appeal process, rather than establish a general exception to the basic rule.
It was also noted that Competition did not recommend a maximum amount per athlete to be paid to their club. (This would still be subject to the overall cap for the meet.) The Board voted to make this $450 per swimmer, the same as has been paid in the recent past for this meet.
Senior Swimming - No additional items were addressed. Action on any items pertaining to approving travel reimbursement for participation in the USA Swimming Phillips-Conoco National Championships at College Park, MD was deferred.
Age Group Swimming -- It was agreed that the level of PVS support for its zone team was an important topic and would be addressed further at a subsequent Board meeting. No additional items were addressed.
Operations Division - Ron Whalen had submitted a written report just prior to meeting. Copies of his report were distributed at the meeting. Several of the items in it had also been addressed elsewhere - primarily items from the Competition Committee meeting needing Board attention.
Three additional items were raised.
Ron also highlighted for the Board's attention, two additional items in his report that he recommended be addressed further at the Board's October 8 meeting.
First was a review of the laptop computers recently acquired by Don Smith as equipment manager and how to make best use of their compatibility with other PVS equipment - CTS timing systems, printers, etc.
The second was that PVS should assess the impact on its competitive program (if any) of the recently passed legislation at the USAS convention requiring there be at least 4' of water for out of water starts (starting blocks or deck). Otherwise in water starts will be required.
Questions were also raised whether PVS had ordered a Colorado VI. The Board was advised that its purchase had been deferred over concern whether product had been fully checked out by Colorado and it would be prudent to purchase it.
Discussion on the status of the new contract for the PVS Equipment Manager was deferred.
Coaches Representative - There was considerable discussion about making sure coaches who are on deck at meets are properly registered as coaches. It was generally recognized that PVS has an obligation to make a "reasonable effort" to make sure only currently registered coaches are on the deck at a PVS sanctioned meet.
Many Board members were anxious to start implementing tighter procedures at both Herndon meet and the Rockville Invitational that will be the weekend of October 10-12.
Many strategies for doing so were discussed. This included mandatory coaches meetings, having available to the meet/deck referee a list of currently registered coaches and those whose certifications had recently lapsed, the role of the club head coach and/or management to help in assuring compliance.
Issues were also raised as to what would be appropriate enforcement procedures to use if unregistered coaches were found to be on the deck, (e.g., fines, forcible removal, fines, etc.) The status of swimmers with that club if no remaining coaches from that club were available would also have to be addressed.
At the end of the discussion, Jim VanErden and Bill Stephens took an action item on this to develop a more specific proposal for the Board to consider.
Administrative Division - Bill Stephens provided a brief report on the registration clinic that had been held on September 21. It had been attended by approximately half of our clubs. Several clubs did not participate even though attendance had been announced as mandatory. While most of the clubs that did not attend were the smaller ones, one large club was identified in particular. It was felt that due to conditions existing in the aftermath of Hurricane Isabelle, clubs ought to be given one more opportunity to attend a clinic before some sort of sanction is considered.
The importance to PVS of each club having a primary point of contact was also discussed. This need frequently arises when it is necessary to clarify financial, registration and similar administrative matters. It was emphasized that even though some of our clubs may operate their various sites quite autonomously, they present themselves to PVS as one club and compete on that basis, therefore it is important that PVS also be able to deal with them on that basis. There is normally no information available to PVS to determine with which site an individual member is affiliated, etc.
It was agreed this concern would be brought to the attention of the appropriate clubs.
Discussion on the status of new contract for the PVS Registrar was deferred.
New Business - The Board briefly discussed some issues related to reimbursement for USAS convention attendance. The board was made aware of three situations that may require further Board attention.
Old Business - No old business was addressed.
Adjournment - Due to the lateness of the hour, several items on the agenda for this meeting were deferred until the October 8th
The meeting adjourned at about 10:40 pm.