The meeting was called to order by the General Chairman, Thirl Crudup at 7:37 pm. In attendance were:
|Abrahamian, Victor||VSC||Apple, Carey|| AVST,
||Barzdukas, Aryvdas|| NVSL || Bassett, Ethan ||TESC
||Blaschke, John || BOD || Brown, Kristen ||GMU
||Buck, Coco || BOD || Crudup, Linda || At Large
||Curl, Rick || CUBU || Dalizu, Manga || FAST
||Edmunds, Linda|| At Large|| Eldridge, Mark || RMSC
||Ertter, John || BOD|| Foley, Ward || AAC
||Garner, Jim|| BOD || Hirschmann, John ||BOD
||Huott, Chris || JFD || Klopfenstein, Linda|| At Large
||Kremer, Beth || WARD || Mathews, Kit || BOD
||Millman, Irene || At Large || Moore, Niels || MAKO
||Morgan, Mark || TCSD || Persico, Frank ||At Large
||Phipps, Nicole || UMD || Porter, Jason || HACC
||Poulsen, Keith || FISH || Smith, Donald || At Large
||Smith, Marcia || MSSC || Vicante, Tony ||HU
||Walker, Bob || BOD || York, Greg|| YORK
Thirl Crudup addressed housekeeping issues. He explained that at House of Delegates meetings each club has one vote. Additionally, each Board of Director member and each appointed At-large delegate has one vote. He further stated that the issue of the PVS Travel Assistance Policy was the only issue to be discussed during this meeting and that respect for others was expected.
Thirl explained that in the July-August timeframe, Mark Eldridge had sent an email to the PVS BOD members proposing the removal of travel assistance for FY 2002. This email stated that the administration of the travel assistance program had become overly burdensome and that the policy seemed to be negatively affecting the association. As a result of this email, the issue of Travel Assistance was discussed at the September 2000 Competition Committee meeting. The Competition Committee voted in favor of the removal of the Travel Assistance policy effective FY2002. This was then brought to the PVS BOD at the October Board of Director's meeting. The Board of Director's voted against the removal of the Travel Assistance policy. Thirl explained that the Board of Director's does not "rubber-stamp" the recommendations of the Competition Committee. Further, he stated that as General Chairman of the association, he feels it is necessary for PVS to support the athletes who represent the association. Thirl stated that the budget of PVS is formulated on an annual basis by the Finance Chairman and after going through the Board of Directors is brought forward to the House of Delegates for their approval. He stated that at the regularly scheduled House of Delegates meeting any line items on the budget are open to debate.
A motion was made and seconded to accept the decision of the Board of Directors to retain the Travel Assistance reimbursement policy.
Rick Curl distributed a spreadsheet which examined the club's financial commitment to the LSC as a whole (including meet entry fees as well as registration fees). He explained the spreadsheet and stated that the Travel Assistance in the case of his club is passed through to the family. He stated that he felt this is a good investment which allows dreams to come true.
Ward Foley asked that a brief history of the Travel Assistance Policy be given. Linda Klopfenstein described the original reasoning to give a small honorarium to the athlete and the athlete's families who in most cases had worked for the betterment of the association. She further explained that the amount of this assistance has slowly risen through the years. She stated that many now view this assistance as an entitlement rather than as something to be earned. Thirl noted that there are criteria which must be met in order to qualify for the assistance.
In response to a question about the cost per PVS athlete, John E. responded that the estimated travel assistance total for next year is $44,000, a cost of about $7 per registered PVS athlete.
There was discussion and input from various clubs as to how the cost of travel is handled within each club.
Mark Eldridge stated that he is trying to bring forth a new viewpoint. PVS is placing much more responsibility and potential earning opportunities with the club and therefore, this responsibility should shift to the club. He further stated a concern that the PVS Board of Directors has so much to consider in formulating the budget, that it would be difficult to deal with this one line item from a broad viewpoint at the House of Delegates meeting.
John Ertter discussed the policies of other LSC's in our area. He stated that both Maryland and Virginia have very similar policies to that of PVS, while the policies of Mid-Atlantic and Connecticut are more complex. He stated a concern that the removal of the travel assistance policy would put PVS at a disadvantage; families of elite athletes would be inclined to move where support would be received.
There was discussion of the current policy and whether providing travel assistance is in the best interest of the clubs and/or in the best interest of the LSC. Greg York noted that the House of Delegates used to be comprised of more parents. Thirl stated that the association was able to stay within its budget for FY2000 and end the year "in the black". He stated a desire to see it remain this way.
Marcia Smith suggested that if the entry fees were lowered the clubs would save that money to recoup what would have been distributed as travel assistance.
Bob Walker asked to what extent the clubs were dependent on this assistance and how the small clubs would handle the expenses if travel assistance from PVS were not available. Mark Ward stated that as a small club, when one of his athletes qualified, the PVS travel assistance had a dramatic impact on the clubs ability to have the athlete participate. Chris Huott stated that he had assumed that the club would shoulder all expenses related to travel and that his club conducts fundraising to that end. Coco Buck stated that she had spoken to some of the athletes regarding this policy and that the athletes were in favor of the reimbursement policy; that it made them feel good. Greg York stated that the athletes who benefited from this policy also gave back to the Association Arvydas Barzdukas spoke in favor of the policy, stating that there is a "dream factor" and this is exemplified by the growth statistics. He stated that following the Atlanta Olympics, USA Swimming had experienced a growth of 9.6% while the growth in each of the two years prior to these Olympics had been nominal. He further stated that the example set by these athletes is very important and stated that it was important to support that the things which help to make the sport vital. He continued by stating that Americans send athletes to the Olympics, NOT the United States and that it would be a huge mistake to remove this policy and that the association should be proud of these athletes.
Motion to continue the Travel Assistance Reimbursement Policy of Potomac Valley Swimming. PASSED.
Motion to Adjourn. PASSED.Respectfully submitted,