FICRA & FICRA BUILDING TRUST BOARDS MEETING MINUTES 8-20-2020

JOINT MEETING OF FICRA & THE FICRA BUILDING TRUST BOARDS
VIDEO/TELECONFERENCE MEETING MINUTES
Thursday, August 20, 2020, 6:30PM

2020-2021 FICRA Board 2020-2021 FICRA Trust Board
Miguel MartinezPresidentHoward StapletonPresident
Pia BeethamVice PresidentNaomi GrantVice President
Candy WawroSecretaryGina OlsonSecretary
Hal GoodellTreasurerHal GoodellTreasurer
Howard StapletonPast PresidentKaren KretschmerDirector
(Vacant)Director  
(Vacant)Director  
    

TRUST Board Attendees: Hal Goodell, Naomi Grant, Karen Kretschmer and Howard Stapleton in attendance.  Gina Olson was absent and excused.

FICRA Board Attendees: Hal Goodell, Miguel Martinez, Howard Stapleton and Candy Wawro in attendance.  Pia Beetham was absent and excused.

Additional Attendees: Jim Braden and Joan Broughton.

The Zoom Meeting started at 6:30pm and there was a brief waiting period to allow everyone to join.  The meeting was called to order at 6:40pm.  The meeting was posted and advertised to the residents of FI on the FICRA website with a minimum 10 days’ notice.

Minutes of the Joint FICRA & Trust Board Meeting from July 9, 2020 were unanimously approved.

NCC Maintenance & Facility Improvements (Summary):  Jim Braden reported that all of the work is on schedule.

NCC Plaque/Signage:  Jim requested feedback via Email on the plaque to the right of the front door of the NCC that reads “NICHOLS COMMUNITY CENTER Est 1934”.  Karen Kretschmer noted, based on her brief research, that the school was built in 1934 under WPA, operated as a school until 1954, and then closed in 1961. The current signage implies that it has been NCC since 1934, but it didn’t become the NCC until 1981.  If we want to maintain the historic significance of the building, the wooden sign is misleading.  Miguel asked if there were any requirements to maintain the building’s status as an historical structure.  Jim suggested that, in line with Karen’s comments, the language “Est 1934” should really be changed to “Built 1934”.  The Nichols Community Center was not really named as such until much later.  He believes the plaque may have been placed in 1973 when the original FICRA was established, but could have been added as late as 1996, when FICRA actually acquired the building.  There is also a metal sign that appears on the left side of the walkway leading to the building that provides additional historical background, and there are copies of the national and County Historical Society accreditations.  The consensus is that the plaque reflect the build date.

Treasurer’s Report: Hal Goodell

Hal reviewed the financial reports as of July 31.  He noted that they reflect very little of the results from the recent mailing. The following information was provided:

FICRA Checking: Jun 1: $ 13,988.67 Jun 30: Cleared Balance: $ 13,988.67

FICRA Money Market: Jun 1: $ 31,002.73 Jun 30: Cleared Balance: $ 31,002.73

FICRA PayPal: Jun 1: $ 23.97 Jun 30: Balance: $ 23.97

Trust Checking account: Jun 1 Balance: $ 20,585.21, Jun 30 Balance: $ 20,585.21

Trust Capital Checking: Jun 1 Balance: $ 3,925.45, Jun 30 Balance: $ 3,925.45

Trust Reserve Checking: Jun 1 Balance: $ 1,541.00, Jun 30 Balance: $ 1,541.00

Trust Money Market:  Jun 1 Balance: $ 185,080.86, Jun 30 Balance: $ 185,080.86

Trust Savings: Jun 1 Balance: $ 268.01, Jun 30 Balance $ 268.01

Trust PayPal: Jun 1 Balance: $ 72.53, Jun 30 Balance $ 72.53

Hal noted that FICRA expenses included the payment for Directors/Officers insurance.  We are starting to receive dues and donations in PayPal.  The Trust financials have been reorganized to show the Money Market on the same sheet as Reserve and Capital checking.  Major Trust expenditures included building insurance and Directors/Officers insurance.  There have been some CP, NCC and Nature Center donations to the Trust via PayPal.  The bank has a single account for Money Market; however, Hal has provided details for Trust Checking, Capital and Reserve that are tracked in QuickBooks.  Funds will be moved from Money Market to Capital Checking when required for Capital and Reserve projects.  The detail accounts can be reconciled with the bank account total, but will not be reflected in the P&L.  Jim noted that the Finance Committee has met and continues to work on providing a clear picture for the financials.

Status of FICRA/Trust/NCC Events:  Miguel noted that there has not been much progress regarding COVID‑19, making it difficult to plan events.  He requested feedback on how we should handle regularly planned events for the rest of the year, including Halloween and the Tree Lighting.  Santa Claus has already cancelled for the Tree Lighting, so we would need to find a replacement if we move forward with this event.  In response to Miguel’s request for input, Howard suggested that we consider drive‑by and virtual events in lieu of events that would involve large groups and/or physical contact for the foreseeable future.  Jim noted that the events are important to the island and agreed that we should look at alternatives (such a chorus singing on the NCC front lawn with drive‑by).  Naomi agreed that a drive‑in or drive‑by event might be worth pursuing, but singing might be problematic as an activity.  Jim suggested that we might be able to use the back field for a “drive‑it theatre” type of event with appropriate distancing using a stage at the back of the NCC.  Hal noted that December could be pretty wet.  While the performance stage could be sheltered, getting sound out to cars is problematic (how do you deliver the performance?).  Joan Broughton asked if it would be possible to use one of the churches paved lots.  Hal suggest FICRA could sponsor a FICRA island drive‑by decoration with recorded music.  Miguel likes the idea of a drive‑by parade and thinks it would get participation.  We could give prizes for the best decorations.  At a minimum, we can still decorate the NCC for Halloween and Christmas.  Miguel can reach out to those that have participated in the past for ideas and can put together some logistics.  Naomi commented that if this is the FICRA Halloween event, holding the event at the NCC keeps the focus on FICRA.  If we could do a drive‑through around the field, would it ruin it.  Jim thinks it may be possible but is worried about a lot of cars.  He agrees with Naomi’s point about FICRA keeping a leadership role on this.  Candy suggested a scarecrow contest, eliminating the candy issue.  People could view the entries online or by walking by and then vote for a favorite.  Karen noted that PenMet does something similar, so it wouldn’t be unique to Fox Island.  Miguel will put some ideas together and send out Email for follow-up.

Membership & Donations: 

Hal stated that we sent out an all‑island mailer on the 1st of August, which is important for membership renewals.  We had about 20-30 people renew prior to the flyer; we now have about 210.   He is seeing new members and renewals from people who have not renewed for several years.  Hal shared a chart for Citizens’ Patrol donations showing the recent increase in donations.  Most donations are smaller donations, with a few in the $300-500 range.  The $9,000 total to date is comparable to last year.  Donations came in earlier last year, probably due to the July CP flyer and August FICRA Flash.  If we can reach out to encourage more renewals, CP donations should also increase.  Jim stated that, without the Fair, we need some other vehicle to put the funding need out there (Facebook, mailers, etc.).  Howard commented that, if CP donations appear to be tied to renewals, it makes sense to reach out to those that haven’t renewed yet through a personal signed letter via first class mail, which should not be too expensive for a limited number.  Hal noted that our mailing cost is around $0.17/piece.  Miguel agreed that the return should be huge and we should go ahead if it could increase renewals. 

Karen asked how we differentiate between the impact from social media vs. a mailer and suggested that social media could have a larger impact that we realize.  Hal indicated that the paper form they return indicates the source for the mailer, while social media is reflected by time frame.  Candy said she has another Email Flash ready to go, but needs some questions answered before it goes out.  We can also do individual mailers and continue to post on Facebook, talking about how much their donations mean.  She recommends another eFlash and continued Facebook postings. 

Hal suggested we resurrect the “I’m a Member, Are You” graphic from the Fair a few years back.  Howard asked if we are sending a personal letter to larger donors (with a personal handwritten note), which is a common practice with other organizations.  Jim expressed concerns that we not dilute/preempt our fundraising for major donors that typically contribute for our annual fundraiser (Party with a Purpose), since we will need to do something in lieuof the physical event next year.   Hal reminded us that we have already talked about holding the annual fundraiser in a different month, perhaps June or July.  Miguel reiterated what Candy and Karen spoke about, noting that our page views, likes and followers are growing, and if we continue to post we should see better returns.  Hal volunteered to put together membership renewal information for the last 3 years. 

Candy suggested we put videos about our CP people on social media.  Jim thinks this is an interesting thought, and wants to discuss it at an upcoming meeting with them to discuss their charter.  They understand that some expenditure cuts may be needed – the vast majority of their costs are for the Sheriff’s Deputy after hours.  CP used to be quite active in fundraising (Garage Sale, Fair, etc.), but this seems to be waning.  Howard noted that the video topic had been broached before.  He believes these short personal story videos will create the most interest, helping people feel connected and inclined to tell others about it.  Jim noted that many of them don’t want to be identified in the interest of personal privacy, but there may be some interested.  Miguel thinks we could use the Emergency Planning or other groups who meet at the NCC as well.  People on social media engage with every day, non‑scripted normal interactions.  It could even be brief unplanned video of board members, following the 28 second rule.  We will continue to have ongoing Membership & Donations discussions.  Miguel is willing to do the videos, and can get together with Candy and Karen on this.  Candy is in agreement.  Jim suggested we could include a quick message/picture recognizing the people that helped with the NCC painting.  Karen agrees with getting items out on the NCC and the Nature Center, but it doesn’t all have to be in one communication.  Howard suggested that, unless we are paying a large mailing cost for a publication, it makes more sense to be topic‑specific on electronic/social media communications, keeping the items brief and focused, perhaps once per week and single topic.  There appears to be consensus for this approach.

Howard also suggested that board members feel free to respond with brief factual information when we see something directed to FICRA or the Trust on the FoxIslandNews Facebook page.  He is talking about posts where they specifically call us out.  Miguel doesn’t generally comment on Facebook for personal reasons, but thinks there are time we do need to step in.  He recently responded about the ATVs at the NCC and wanted us to let him know if it was inappropriate.

T-Shirts:  Miguel talked about the T‑Shirts/Logo wear for this year.  He will get Gina to send up some picture so we can start posting about them.  He is suggesting we coordinate a weekly opportunity to pick up merchandise at the NCC (i.e. Saturday from 12‑2); are weekends better for this.  Jim is willing to help.  Candy asked if we would be doing payments through PayPal and an online order form.  Howard said an online order form can be done; Hal suggested we incorporate PayPal costs into our pricing.  We need to have a list of items with descriptions, sizes, prices, inventories and pictures to move forward on this.  Joan asked if there was a date when merchandise would be available.  Miguel hopes to hear from Gina on this soon.

FICRA 2020 Directory:  

Howard stated that we need to undertake an effort to update (clean up) the data before we can publish a directory.  The fastest way to update the data is to get the list into the hands of many folks, have them contribute information, and coordinate the updates.  We also did an online update form (update your info or tell us about someone that you know has moved) last year that could be publicized via social media.   Judy Hackett Wilson assisted with advertising (needed to offset the costs of publishing a printed directory) last year, and we understand she has agreed to help this year.  Hal said that Judy has given him some input – she has checks from several people.  Hal asked if we are charging FIYC and other contributing island organizations for their ads.  Howard noted that the advertising revenue was only to offset print costs (which was $868 for 350 directories last year) and was not considered a fundraiser.  There were about 20 full ($50) & half ($25) page ads last year with about $400 total in revenue.   We have looked at an online directory instead of printed, but we are not sure how this affects ads.  A major concern for an online directory is someone using it to harvest name/information, without controlled access.  Hal believes there is some marketing value to a printed directory and Jim has talked about having the directory hand delivered by Neighborhood Captains in EP.  If we hand deliver, we should be able to give every paid FICRA member a directory.  The FIYC, Chapel and Museum all contribute to sponsored FICRA events and we jointly support each other.  We also provide a free page for PenLight to recognize their contributions.  Jim thinks we should waive ad costs to them, but continue to charge others.  Howard agreed that, if they have not already given us a check for an ad this year, we should waive the fee. 

Joan asked if Judy is looking for additional advertisers this year and suggested we advertise to try and capture more ads from island owned businesses.  If anyone has contacts for local business owners, they should reach out to Judy.  Miguel asked if there was any conflict of interest if he advertises his business – the overwhelming opinion is NO CONFLICT!  The consensus is that we reach out via Facebook or eFlash to reach more advertisers.

At this time, there is no hard deadline to publish the directory this year.  Hal would like to see it out by the end of September.  Candy would like the contact information for someone who wants to advertise in the directory.  There is consensus that Block Coordinators would be the best method for getting directories out, but based on feedback from Joan, some folks may be uncomfortable with this.  Howard will try to put together a schedule for the directory when he has time.

FICRA Publicity Committee: Miguel will be getting together with Candy and Karen to put together a plan and schedule for releasing information (eMails, social media, mailers, etc.).  Jim asked if their team was sending out drafts for review by everyone.  The consensus is that materials only need to be reviewed by the specific person responsible for the item (liaisons) in order to expedite publication/release.  To summarize, our goal is to have more single topic information released with greater frequency.

New Business:  Karen asked if the intent of repainting the NCC was to have the front door restored to its original color.  The original door was probably the same color as the trim, which may have been natural wood.  Howard noted that the red door makes the NCC highly noticeable, and Miguel pointed out in an eMail that red signifies a welcoming and safe place.  Howard has no strong feelings on the color.  Hal remembers it as red as long as he has seen it.  Jim stated that, with the building color as it is, there is flexibility.  It may be best to see what happens when the windows are done to decide on this.  Candy also inquired if there were enough cameras on the outside of the NCC and mentioned the stolen book box.  Jim indicated this was one of his projects and (together with George Metzger, Doug Nelson and Howard) is looking at options.

Meeting Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 8:18pm.

Next Meetings: The next FICRA and FICRA Trust Board Meetings are scheduled for Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 6:30pm via video/teleconference.  The meeting notice and instructions for receiving the Zoom meeting invitation are posted on the website event calendar.

Respectfully submitted by Howard Stapleton for Gina Olson, Secretary

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