APA Colorado Board Meeting Minutes
Friday April 11, 2014
University of Colorado Denver
College of Architecture & Planning
Denver, CO 80202
The meeting was called to order by President, Susan Wood at 2:02 p.m.
Present: Susan Wood, President; Jessica Ibanez, VP External Affairs; Joni Marsh, Secretary/Treasurer; Tareq Wafaie, Professional Development Officer; Jessica Osborne, Metro Representative; Erica Heller, Metro Representative; Rebecca Levy, Northwest Representative; Lor Pelligrino, South Central Representative; Paul Rosenberg, Public Official Representative; Tamra Allen, Central Mountain Representative; Seth Lorson, North Central Representative; Carrie Makarewicz, Faculty Representative; James Cramer, Student Representative; Eric Heil, Legislative Committee Co-Chair; and Julio Iturreria, Western Planner Representative
Absent: Chris Hawkins, Southwest Representative; Dan Bush, Legislative Committee Co-Chair; T.J. Dlubac, VP of Communications; and Stan Clauson, President Elect
Staff: Shelia Booth, Chapter Administrator
1. Opening Remarks – Susan Wood, President
Susan reviewed the Transportation Symposium on April 4th. The registration cap of 320 was met for the event. APA CO teamed with WTS, ITE, ITS, ACEC and ASCE to host this event again in 2014 and each organization will receive around $2000 for scholarships, which is the best we’ve ever done. APA Colorado will be the event lead in 2015.
Susan then talked about the job shadowing program with APAS. She said it is a worthwhile thing to do and that each organization can handle it differently, but everyone who participates will have a good experience.
Susan discussed the Alumni Association for UC Denver that Carrie is heading up. Susan noted they will be holding elections in May and this group will have a nice symbiotic relationship with APA CO.
Susan mentioned the upcoming APA national conference in Atlanta. She asked if anyone was attending, noting Tareq, Stan, Shelia and herself but no others. The Board talked about Atlanta and their recent planning and changes. Everyone agreed the APA National conference is expensive and can price many planners out of attendance. The Board noted that with the retirement of Paul Farmer, there will be some changes and hope the organization can look into more affordable offerings for its members.
Susan then mentioned her article for the next newsletter. She said it sums up all the things the Board has done while she has been the Chapter President. She summarized her high points: 1) grew partnerships (DCI, CASTA, Transportation Symposium, DOLA, ULI, ASLA, Sonoran Institute, RMLUI, Sustainable Colorado and UC Denver); 2) connecting with students in UC Boulder; 3) active committees (Professional Development; Sustainability, reorganization of Outreach & Communication and Legislative Committee); 4) sought opportunities to help with national organizations like New Partners for Smart Growth; 5) sought to have a voice in several local functions; 6) more robust newsletter; 7) new website and 8) more communication with our members. She said she thinks it will get better from here.
Eric thanked Susan for acknowledging the Board’s and committees’ work.
2. Secretary/Treasurer’s Report – Joni Marsh, Secretary/Treasurer
a. March 7,2014 Minutes
Shelia informed the Board that due to her computer crash, she hasn’t found the March minutes. She will continue to look for them, or draft new ones for the Board to review and take action on at the May meeting. The Board took no action.
b. March 2014 Financial Report
Joni summarized the March financial report, noting a net loss of $8,255.57 in March. She stated that overall the organization is $1,139 in the black thus far this year. She then highlighted a carryover in the website design expenses from 2013 and the travel expenses for the national conference. Eric asked about the current balance of the checking and savings accounts and Joni offered to add them for the April reports. Paul stated he liked the year to year comparison.
Motion by Eric to approve the financial report.
3. Chapter Administrator Report – Shelia Booth, Chapter Administrator
a. Crested Butte Conference
Shelia stated that the Professional Development Committee was currently reviewing the session proposals, with a goal to have the selections chosen by the end of April and the speakers notified by the first of May. She noted that sponsorship commitments have started to roll in. She also noted that the Board will be asked to make five sponsorship calls before the middle of May. An email will be sent out with the list for the Board to choose from.
b. National Reception
Shelia then informed the Board that the National Reception in Atlanta would be held on April 26th between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Park Bar. APA NM and APA UT would be co-hosting the event with APA CO. Between the three chapters, there are approximately 180 attendees at the conference and currently 60 of them have responded that they will attend the reception.
She then discussed the June Board meeting in Crested Butte and the registration process and tentative schedule. Susan inquired who would be attending and Shelia listed the Board members who had said they were going. Shelia proposed to have a facility tour at 8:30, followed by strategic planning session at 10:00, then moving into the Board meeting at 2:00 and followed by a meeting and happy hour with the Local Host Committee at 3:30. Susan said the 10:00 start time works and asked if the Board had any issues with the proposed time frame. Shelia asked about the Chapter paying for lunch. Everyone agreed that lunch will work.
4. Old Business - None
5. New Business
a. 2014 Elections, Nominating Committee – Seth Lorson, Committee Chair
Seth reminded the Board that there are four openings in 2014. VP Communications, Southwest Area Representative, South Central Area Representative and Denver Metro Area Representative. He noted the Bylaws recommend having at least two candidates for each position. He then noted that TJ won’t be seeking reelection for the VP Communications slot, Chris for the Southwest Area Representative and Jessica O. for the Denver Metro Area Representative. He asked that the Board approve the ballot as provided. Shelia then informed the Board about the new dates for the election cycle. Jessica O asked if we knew about the timeframe when we agreed to use National for our elections last year, and the answer was no. Seth said it was a good opportunity and he liked the idea of saying farewell to outgoing and introducing the incoming Board members at the Annual meeting in the fall. He said it brings gives people a chance to meet their new representatives. Eric agreed that it adds to the conference to acknowledge the past and welcome the new. Becky noted she hasn’t received a commitment from Libby to run for office yet and asked that a motion be made to accommodate that.
Motion by Tareq to approve conditioned upon confirmation from Libby.
Second by Jessica O.
6. Committee Updates:
a. APAS Student Committee – James Cramer, Student Representative
James said the APA Job Shadowing had 18 hosts and 14 students apply. Ten of the students applied for multiple job shadowing opportunities and four only applied for one. Of that, 31 applications were accepted. Each student who applied was accepted to at least one job shadowing opportunity. The hosts included four transportation planning firms, FEMA, municipalities and a couple of private firms. He stated that there was variety for the students to choose from. Susan said it was amazingly successful and congratulated him on a job well done. He said the national student publication would like an article on the job shadowing program. The Board agreed that was a great idea and suggested that James write the article. Eric suggested doing a follow up article about some of the student’s experiences. Jessica O. said we should publicize the article and the program’s success to our own members. James reviewed the entire list and Eric said it was a great but to try to add more private firms next year.
James then stated that the APAS elections will take place on April 5th and newly elected officers will take office in May. Susan said James has done so much and thanked him for all his hard work.
b. Awards Committee - Anna Gagne, Committee Chair
Shelia informed the Board that the Awards Committee was in the process of reviewing the nominations. After the winners are chosen, the Committee will then begin planning the reception program. Shelia said the Committee was worried that they only received one student project. Carrie said Anna had talked to her about it and that the awards programs needs to be better advertised to the professors so they can incorporate a fall project into the curriculum so the students can submit it in the spring. The Board agreed there needed to be more advertising to the students in the fall.
Tareq said he had an inquiry from CDPHE if APA CO was doing a poster contest at the conference. It was suggested that student projects could be showcased at a poster session or exhibit. Poster sessions/exhibits are effective without too much effort and while attendees are networking they can walk around and look at the various projects. The session should be in the vicinity of the awards reception and could include students and others. Tareq said he would put something on paper and talk about it with the conference committee. Jessica I. reminded everyone that the Golden URA received a National APA Award and she asked if the Awards Committee was going to recognize them at the state conference. Susan said that our Chapter wrote a letter of support and that Erica and Jessica O are looking into doing a celebration for them as a regional event.
c. Bylaws Committee – Stan Clauson, Committee Chair
Shelia summarized the changes reviewed thus far which include the modifications to the Committees sections to recognize EPP and the combination of Outreach Committee and the Media Committee into the Outreach and Communications committee. The next set will include changes to the Elections cycle.
d. Emerging Professional Planners –Deryn Wagner
EPP held a Union Station tour and got stuck in an elevator; however, the tour was still informational and the group enjoyed it. The trivia night event didn’t have as many attendees as they had hoped but they are working with Seth to try to replicate it up north. EPP will be holding their business meeting next week to get more interest in the July elections. They hope to get more people to their events and would like to host a happy hour after the June Board meeting. Susan offered July as a second choice since the June meeting will be in Crested Butte. The group thought it would be good timing to also celebrate those who passed the May AICP exam. Tareq said that would actually be better timing because the AICP exam results should be finalized at that time.
e. Legislative Committee - Eric Heil and Dan Bush, Co-chair
Eric informed the Board that Planners’ Day at the Capital was the previous morning and was well attended. He noted that the attendees thought there could have been more time spent talking about the bills. He said Sol did a great job explaining the bills and hosting the tour. He noted that when they went into the chambers, a couple of the legislators were yelling at each other. The profit loss report for the event will be forthcoming.
Eric then inquired if the Legislative Committee would be more functional as an appointed committee rather than as an open committee. He stated that there are only a few members who have been consistently participating such as Susan and Paul and overall participation has dwindled. He said it’s hard to divvy up bills without participation so he’d like to have discussion in the future about this option, possibly in June during the strategic plan review. Susan said she saw pros and cons to the idea and she agreed that it could be reviewed during the strategic planning since there are sections of the plan that are specific to each committee. Eric noted that if it’s more formal, there might be more consistency in participation.
Eric then talked about the TIFF bill and that it is supposed to get dropped soon. Last Friday, the draft was forwarded to the Legislative Committee but Sol said it would probably change a lot. Eric ran into Mark Radtke, CML Legislative & Policy Advocate and he said it would get introduced today, would not be changed much and he gave Eric the CML talking points. Eric noted that he’s heard it’s a fast track process and that if it gets introduced it won’t be easy for the Legislative Committee to review it and bring a recommendation to the Board. Susan said CML is opposed to any changes, CCI is sponsoring the bill and there’s no middle ground at this point. She noted that it’s controversial for APA CO since we have members that work for cities and counties, which puts APA CO in a hard position to either support or oppose. Eric provided an overview of the bill:
• Except for city/county jurisdictions like Denver, every URA will be required to add one board seat for a county commissioner.
o Possible – but not consistent with the provisions in current regulations about appointed or elected officials. It’s not an appointed Board.
• Second if there are any leftover funds after paying off bonds, that money goes back to the taxing entities on a ratio basis.
o The use of the funds isn’t’ always a “neat tidy box of where the funds go.” It seems to cause more complexity and complication.
• Percentage of property tax capture cannot be lower than the percent of sales tax captured and both have to go to pay off the bonds.
o This affects the functionality of the URA by requiring that and might be a disincentive to the municipality. It was also noted that if you have a dedicated sales tax (e.g. transportation) it doesn’t make sense.
Overall, Eric noted and the Board agreed that the most bothersome issue is the timing of the bill’s introduction and it not being good public process. Having a controversial bill of this nature introduced with only four weeks left, doesn’t allow a chance for anyone to meet and get information. Eric said the subject needs to be studied in a better process. Paul asked if we should take a position of opposition to the process and not against CML or CMI. Tareq said as planners we talk about infill and redevelopment. Pulling a tool like this would be damaging to both of those. Susan said we have agreed to participate in discussions to make TIFF better but the study hasn’t happened and we could continue to suggest it in our letter. Jessica O. agreed and said this would be a good opportunity to facilitate the discussion and to get our members engaged.
Tareq said that since we are forging our partnership with DCI, we could look at their position. Julio said he agreed with the overall comments on the bill itself. CCI has issues with the way cities have conducted themselves and wouldn’t it be better to see what both sides are really talking about and disclose why the bill was created. He said that as a county planner, there has been some disparity on the way TIFF has been used and Becky agreed that there have been some abuses. Both agreed that this bill doesn’t address the abuse. Julio suggested APA CO act as an arbitrator between CML and CCI.
Discussion continued and Becky summarized that she agrees with opposing the bill based on “process” and offering APA Colorado to spear head the future research and discussion. Carrie mentioned Rachel Weber, Associate Professor in the Urban Planning and Policy Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago and her study of the loss of URA’s in California. Eric then said there is a lot of value in having a stakeholders group and reiterated that this is not the appropriate process for this bill and subject. It really needs to be studied in an inclusive process. Susan noted that in previous years, the Legislative Committee has done a one page fact sheet on why APA CO has/has not supported a bill and said that might be useful for this one. Eric stated he wasn’t comfortable doing a formal opposition but would rather write a letter to both CML and CCI stating the Chapter’s concern with the process.
Motion by Eric that APA Colorado prepare a letter to CCI and CML that can be used with the bills’ sponsoring legislator stating APA Colorado does not support the process used to drop the bill however we are supportive of an inclusive process to discuss the future of URAs in Colorado.
Second by Paul.
Discussion: Julio agreed as long as the motion includes general language that we don’t like that the submission of the bill doesn’t’ give enough time to review and offer constructive criticism. Carrie added that we don’t know the ramification of the changes and haven’t had a chance to study that. The Board all agreed that the opposition is to the “process” and the unknowns of the proposal. Eric said, if passed, he would draft something and asked Julio to review it to make sure it captures both the city and county sides of the argument. The letter would be sent out on Monday and would be forwarded to the Board. Sol would be asked to forward to the suspected potential sponsors. Julio said there is an ever growing void between Colorado cities and counties as time goes on, with this being just one issue.
f. Nominating Committee
Nothing else to report.
g. Outreach & Communications Committee - TJ Dlubac and Jessica Ibanez, Committee Co-Chairs
Jessica I. noted the committee continues to meet monthly and is growing. They are reviewing some exhibit pieces to make sure they meet branding plan. She also noted they have appointed a Social Media Manager.
h. PIC Review Committee, TBD
Eric talked about previous Board discussions on how to get PIC revitalized. He noted that a while back he researched how to dissolve the nonprofit and transfer it to APA CO and have PIC business be done by APA CO Board – it would no longer be a separate nonprofit. The second option was to keep PIC as a separate nonprofit but have APA CO Board serve as the PIC Board. PIC has seven appointed board members, all of whose terms have expired and the Board has not met in several years. Eric suggested a smaller Board of Directors. He noted that the PIC Bylaws require the appointment of the PIC Board by the APA CO Board and that the APA CO Board can also amend the PIC bylaws. He suggested the APA CO Board Secretary/Treasure, Professional Development Officer, President and President-Elect serve on the Board. He stated that Susan, Stan and he are willing to serve to get it off the ground. He said he had reviewed the PIC Bylaws, and had recommendations to clean them up. He suggested annual appointments and that a Board memberserve until the successor is appointed. The PIC annual board meeting would precede the annual APA CO Board meeting, or at another time as deemed appropriate. Eric offered to have the item ready for the May 9th agenda. He asked staff to prepare some basic info like checking account balance, budget, assets, etc. Tareq asked why the preferred method is to keep it separate and Eric responded initially it was a concern about liability but Susan confirmed that they are set up differently as a 501C6 not a 501c3. In the end it might be good to have them under one umbrella but in the interim this is a good first step. Joni said she would go back to her notes from a while back and add them to the May discussion.
i. Professional Development Committee – Tareq Wafaie, Committee Chair
Tareq said the committee is in full working order and they have had two meetings. The first was an orientation and the second an introduction to the review of the session proposals. He noted that proposal reviews are due next Friday with a third meeting scheduled to finalize the selections. He said we had received 54 proposals and will select 24 to 30 depending on the conference program. Last year 80 proposals were submitted and we selected 40. Susan asked if the number was less because we are shortening the conference days and asked about CM credits. Shelia said even though the number of days is less, the number of proposed CM credits on the current program is the same – around 16 CMs. Also, last year we had five concurrent breakout sessions and this year we will only have four.
Tareq then said the AICP Exam workshop was scheduled for the next day at UC Denver. He went through the workshop comments from last year, summarizing that it’s the month before the exam and is really a cram session more than a workshop on “what do we need to know about the exam?”
Seth said he was working with DCI on their fall conference in Ft. Collins and had asked him to coordinate CM credits. Shelia said APA CO will not be sponsoring the CMs for the DCI Fall conference and this had been relayed to DCI earlier in the year.
Tareq said we only got two submittals to do webinars for the Planning Webcast Series. He has approached the two to try to schedule.
j. Sponsorship Committee - Erica Heller, Committee Chair
No new reports.
k. Sustainability Committee - Erica Heller, Board Liaison
No report. Susan said Anne Miller is working on updating the APA sustainability policy.
Becky said she’s had local politicians ask about Agenda 21 because they are worried about it. Susan said that APA National had put together a communication guide and Tareq said that the Orton Foundation has something on how to deal with allegations.
7. Board Member Updates:
Jessica I noted that she just got an email that the TIFF bill had been introduced.
Eric reminded the Board about the upcoming free Conservation Easement Workshop in Avon on Friday, May 30th from 1:00 – 4:30 with patio happy hour afterwards. He will work with Shelia to get the CMs entered and to advertise the event. RSVP is on a first come, first attend with a registration cap of around 60 to 70.
Becky said her last day with Palisades is next Tuesday. She’ll be staying in Colorado to finish her master’s project. She has started on the Travel Policies and has examples to share with the committee.
8. Other Business - None
Meeting ended at 4:10 p.m.
APPROVED MAY 5, 2014
Conrad Olmedo has withdrawn from the ballot for the position of VP Communications. As such, I’m requested a motion, 2nd and vote to approve an amended 2014 Ballot removing Conrad Olmedo.
Motion by Stan to approve an amended 2014 Ballot removing Conrad Olmedo
Second by Eric
Vote: 16-0 to approve. (Voting Aye - Stan, Eric, Lor, Joni, Paul, Jessica O., Susan, Erica, Jessica I., TJ, Chris, Seth, Tareq, Carrie, James and Tamra; No nay votes.)