Shareholder Relations Committee: December 3, 2002





Shareholder Relations Committee

Meeting Minutes

December 3, 2002


The meeting started at 6:10 p.m.


Attending were Chairman, Rick Moulton. Committee members, Fritz and Vivian Branscholfsky, Leigh Michl, Lu Putnam, Rocky Bleier, Irma Heeter, and new voting member Jane Bancroft. Also, late attendee Bill Heinzerling. No staff member was present.


It was agreed by the committee that we would all take turns taking down the minutes. No one wants to do it every meeting.


Rick compiled and passed out some historical fact sheets, some question and answer sheets which included questions already commented on for the upcoming Board Town Meeting on Dec. 28th at 5:00 pm in the Basebox. Fritz suggested that these questions be short and sweet. Most of the questions (pro and con) came right from the list serve or from a State Q &A handout on listing with the National Register. It was noted that the answers off the website were hearsay and that the State hand out answers seemed general and open ended. Leigh suggested that what we need are specific absolute answers to our specific case. A discussion arose around the tax advantages and the potential of a tax credit. Eric Gilbertson of the State Dept. of Historic Trust wrote on the list server that our case was special and would require the State to consider our eligibility. This served to demonstrate that we need answers to our specific question. These answers need to be based on statue or come from authorities. This kind of definitive Q and A fact finding is beyond the SRC capacity to achieve before the Dec. 28th Town meeting. Since this is information the Board will need to make their determination the Q and A sheet was thought to be a Board issue.


The chairman wrote down new questions and comments, pro and con as they were being discussed by the committee, to be presented at the town meeting. Leigh Michl noted that he had legal questions pending for our counsel, Peter Monte. Examples, Does being listed just include the buildings? Just the land and lifts? Do we fit the criteria? There are still too many unknowns.


Our committee is a good diverse group of shareholders representing both philosophical sides of this issue. We felt that not enough input by shareholders on actual experiences has been debated. We hope this will happen at the town meeting. Moulton noted that even if a 2/3rds majority voted for National Register. It would be bad for the co-op if there was anger or discontent generated by joining. He stated that a broad consensus needed to be created and that this might happen over time if enough accurate information was forthcoming. The whole committee embraced the idea that there is no need to hurry and to push this forward. It should be a lengthy and open process.


After a further LENGTHY debate, this is our recommendation to the Board:

“We have a non-binding straw vote at the annual meeting on the issue of being added to the National Historic Register.”


By that time, we will have better explored the issue but it maybe sometime, if ever, before the coop achieves consensus on this issue.


Our committee members agreed that these Board Town Meetings do serve to foster community relationships and togetherness. Shareholders feel that they are being heard by the Board and can get their two cents in on certain issues that concern them.


Recommendation to the Board:

“That we hire an impartial moderator for these town meetings and the annual meeting.”


It could be a volunteer. By doing so, it would foster a more orderly, effective, time limit debate on shareholder’s questions. This would relieve a Board Member from trying to respond and moderate at the same time.


There was a lot of discussion of how to get more people to attend these town meetings. Rocky advocated full use of the bulletin boards, web site, list serve, etc. Lu suggested that we have munchies after the meeting.


Recommendation to the Board:

“That the bar stay open during and an hour after these town meetings in order to mix and mingle and enjoy the munchies”.


It was noted by Leigh Michl that the Board wants our committee, by Nov. 03, to develop an overall plan for building and maintaining our Co-op community which would include communication channels, perks, volunteers, directories, socials, etc. to foster better participation and cooperation among shareholders.


This led to the next discussion under new business about a misunderstanding about a New Year’s Party. This was a traditional Mad River Community Party open to all, that Lu had organized in the past, and had been trying to initiate again this year after a one year hiatus. In discussion it became apparent that conflict had arisen over the date of the party and the procedure for securing the basebox for the event. The administration has new more strict expectations for a deposit to hold the space and date. It was noted that Lu was out in front of our committee which has never identified or tried to spell out its role in organizing or helping to facilitate Co-op parties. Lu Putnam as an individual coop member has personally taken on organizing many community building events, including several New Years parties.


Lu Putnam explained she thought she had the usual a verbal contract with the basebox and management for this event. A miscommunication over procedure had lead to the basebox being offered to a Boston radio station for a private New Years party. It was noted that they had “wrecked the place” last year. Leigh added that the offer made to them doubled their price for the hall and made them accountable for clean up. Fritz was very upset that deference was not shown to Lu and here tentative event.


The committee agreed that a shareowner’s event should have preference over outside groups when properly booked for facilities to hold community based events. It was agreed that that the committee would include such a policy in its CommunityBuilding Plan. Recognizing that the committee had no standing in the current controversy, Moulton asked Lu if she was looking for some revision of the decision to offer the base box to the private Boston party. Lu said she really no longer had the heart to through her self into making the party happen but she was concerned about the Band who had held the date. This Band is composed of local MadRiver community people. Lu hoped that the

Coop would pay $300.00 to the band to compensate them for the loss of this important night’s work.


Our recommendation:

“That $300 be found, regardless of blame, to make things right for the Band. The committee further suggests that the Coop officially sponsor next years New Year’s Eve Party and reserve the date now on the calendar of events.”


In the interim between now and next year the committee will recommend a policy to the Board that shareholders will know they need to follow step by step, to sanction and stage official co-op events. This policy would layout procedures that will prevent any misunderstanding, or scheduling conflicts and allow the Co-op to through its full weight into making it a successful event.


Because of this misunderstanding, it was brought up by a couple of board members attending that the Board needs to establish boundaries on what falls into the realm of managing and operating the mountain and what falls into the realm of operating and governing the Co-op to build community relationships and foster togetherness.


The next meeting will be held on Tues. Jan. 7th ’03 at 5:00 p.m. Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.


Respectfully submitted;


Irma Heeter