THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF WMCC
A Zoom meeting of the board of directors of Western Mass Climbers Coalition (WMCC, a Massachusetts Nonprofit corporation), was held on August 18, 2021 at 7p ET pursuant to notice given in accordance with Article 11, Section 3 of the WMCC’s bylaws.
Stephanie Giguere called the meeting to order. Based on the number of directors in attendance at the meeting and the Non-Profit’s by-laws, the Secretary determined that a quorum was present and stated that the meeting could proceed.Topics discussed and decisions made follow below.
Community Ascension Project:
Al Rubin had formally submitted his concerns about this program in an email, which was shared with the board prior to the meeting. Tom Sintros, president of the Monadnock Climbers Association, joined the meeting for this portion to help us address some of these concerns. Dolci explained the project, its scope and the goals of the program. Tom spoke about the inception and history of the project.
The board voted unanimously to publicly partner and support the CAP project. As an organizer of the project, Dolci recused herself from the vote.
- The board voted unanimously to accept the minutes from the July 14 meeting.
- The new Bylaws were passed unanimously by members who voted on it. Pamela will now submit them plus the new Mission Statement to Stow Kelner to submit to the state of Massachusetts.
- Congratulations to Sara McFadden as the new chair of the JDEI Committee.
- Dan Jazwinski is stepping down as Volunteer Coordinator, though he still wants to be involved with WMCC. He will talk to Josh Seamon about taking over this position. Josh is a climber and WMCC member who has expressed an interest in more involvement and has the experience to take on this position.
JDEI Committee report:
During this report, a question came up about board oversight of committees. It was decided that this discussion should be tabled for a future meeting.
The Access Fund Land Acquisition Committee reviewed available information and would prefer that the land in question be transferred directed to WMCC and not to the AF first.
Bill Fogel wrote an email to the board expressing his concern that WMCC was filing its request for the climbing areas in question as an independent organization. The board feels that WMCC will be stronger going into this with a single focus rather than joining forces with the Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC) and the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). Foremost among the issues is that CRC wants FL to be liable for activities on the land in question; the WMCC board feels that FL will not be willing to be liable for climbing activities and we would lose access for climbing. Pamela will talk to Bill about the board’s decision.
Posting board minutes on the website:
The board discussed and agreed to post approved minutes on the climbgneiss.org website to keep our members better informed and updated on WMCC activities.
Hanging Mountain (HM) report:
- Dolci reported that the contract for WMCC’s 2020 Mass Trails Grant of $25,500 has been officially signed and approved by the state. Dependent on the completion of a biological survey and state approval of Phase II, $10,000 of this grant and an additional $7,500 from an AMC Boston grant will be available for professional trail work, The terms of the grant require that we submit invoices for work which must be completed and dated after August 17, 2021.
- The opening of Hanging Mountain to the public is October 2, 2021.
- We will open without the Murdock Wall due to the presence of endangered plant species.
- Steve Johnson needs 2 more days to complete the biological survey required by the state for opening. Wayne will touch base with Steve on specific dates for the completion.
- OPENING: Rob talked to Shannon, event manager for MJ Truckers Roadhouse. She is excited about having an opening event there. They have great sandwiches and will bring in kegs for the crowd. Their pavilion holds 50-60 people. Rob was told that the Town of Sandisfield, where HM is located, does not support commercial camping, but the Cormier family will support camping for the opening.
The Delta variant may prove to be an obstacle to an official opening celebration. The Stewardship Committee will review available information on CoVid as the opening date gets closer. The celebration may be tabled until spring.
HM: There was support for this and an adjacent Reserved space. It was noted that JDEI committee member, Eliana Wallack, had informally polled an adaptive climbers’ group and there was overwhelming support for the idea.
Farley: Jon LaValley will look into the physical feasibility of this.
The board will discuss this at the next meeting as part of the expansion of the Farley parking lot.
Financial Health and Budget:
Stephanie talked to Mark Chuirri, a long-time WMCC member with skills in finance (he is the Finance Manager for EC English Language Centres), who suggested we create an operating reserve. WMCC is in very good financial shape: our annual operating costs are $10,000 and we have $15,000 available for an operating reserve, which is approximately 18 months of our operating costs. This amount could be invested conservatively and would not be drawn upon unless the WMCC is under budget due to unforeseen circumstances or an unexpected and timely expense arises, such as land acquisition. Any use of this fund would require a majority vote of the board. Mark Chiurri is interested in helping WMCC set this fund up.
The board, including Danielle Rao who joined the meeting at this point, voted unanimously to have an operating reserve, but require a concrete plan and policy which would be approved by board vote before implementation.
Farley Parking Lot:
The Farley parking lot is in pretty bad condition and needs work. Stephanie will email Jon and Jeff Squire to facilitate plans for rehabilitation, including possible expansion of the lot. This project will take about 1 week. November was suggested as the month to get the lot done, but time to get permitting needs to be considered and there was great outcry over the possibility of it interfering with climbing season.
It was decided to create a temporary committee to look at this project. The committee will consist of Jon LaValley, Jeff Squire, Sara McFadden. Sara will talk to Andy Neuman about joining the committee.
Parking Webcam at Farley:
Parking at Farley is difficult. We talked about having a webcam so people can determine if there is space there before they come. Lot Spot, a Colorado company, has developed an app for this. We discussed the feasibility of a system like this and using an existing company like Spot Lot. There are privacy and maintenance issues as well as questions of cost.
Wayne volunteered to look further into this and report back to the board. He will also create a Google Doc for the board for questions and concerns.
There being no other business to consider, the meeting was adjourned 9:27 pm.
The next Board meeting is a public meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, August 22 at 7p via Zoom.
Hanging Mountain (HM) report:
Dolci reported that the contract for WMCC’s 2020 Mass Trails Grant of $25,500 has been officially signed and approved by the state. Dependent on the completion of a biological survey and state approval of Phase II, $10,000 of this grant and an additional $7,500 from an AMC Boston grant will be available for professional trail work, The terms of the grant require that we submit invoices for work which must be completed and dated after August 17, 2021.