Cayuga Lake Watershed Management Plan
Intermunicipal Organization (IO) Meeting
12/2/98, 7:00 - 8:30 P.M.
Ledyard Town Hall

Minutes

Attendees:

Dan Winch (Tompkins County)
Tom Vawter (Wells College)
John Ferrante (Atlantic States Legal Fdn.)
Chuck Howell (Town of Scipio)
John Sipos (Towns of Varick, Covert, Romulus)
Patrick Morrell (Town of Covert alternate)
Karen Edelstein (Finger Lakes Land Trust)
Kevin Millington (NYS Dept. of State)
Charlie McCaffrey (NYS Dept. of State)
David Zorn (Genesee/Finger Lakes RPC)
Ken Zabriskie (Village of Aurora)
Deb Grantham (Town of Dryden)
Dan Franklin (Town of Genoa)
Lyle Raymond (Town of Groton)
David Morehouse (Town of Ledyard)
Sylvia Hurlbut (Town of Ledyard)
Tee-Ann Hunter (Town of Ledyard)
Sandra Price (Cortland County)
Edward Eaton (Town of Virgil)
Pam O’Malley (Central NY RPDB)

I. Meeting Purpose and Outcome: Determine Intermunicipal Organization (IO) membership, structure and formal cooperation agreement language; identify ways to get participation from more municipalities; and start identifying water quality issues of concern.

II. Introductions: Introductions were made of all attendees.

III. IO Structure and Intermunicipal Agreement: Dan Winch moved to reopen discussion of IO membership eligibility, currently limited to municipalities defined as towns, villages and cities. Seconded by Deb Grantham.

Discussion followed. Dan Winch stated that counties shouldn’t be excluded because they are involved and get funding to do this type of work. Much discussion followed in support of counties being included in the definition of "municipality" for IO membership. Concern was expressed over the poor municipal representation so far at IO meetings. It was suggested that this shouldn’t be a concern because it is normal in terms of early group evolution. Discussion occurred about possible inclusion of the Cayuga Nation, and also of non-profits such as the Finger Lakes Land Trust, and of structuring the IO with voting seats for non-municipal interests versus representing them through IO advisory committees. NYS DOS supports an IO comprised of municipalities as they are the ones who have to take actions such as making laws, identifying capital projects and expenditures. Strong advisory committees would allow non-municipals to play a substantial role.

Dave Morehouse moved the following statement: "The IO Board of Directors will be comprised of municipalities defined as counties, cities, towns and villages." Seconded by Tom Vawter. Discussion followed regarding concern over lack of representation of tribes and non-municipal interests. If recognized at a later date by a court, tribes would be considered for membership. It was also expressed that those political representatives at the table in the IO will likely have political issues different from the goals of the IO and that this could present a problem. Questions arose about how exactly advisory committees would relate to the IO and be communicated with about the project. Questions arose about IO voting and what would constitute a quorum. Deb Grantham still maintained that there should be a limited number of non-municipal voting members because not all decisions made will be policy or related to municipalities. Vote to call the question – majority approved.

Vote requested on whether to accept that the IO be comprised of municipalities defined as counties, towns, villages and cities. Vote: 11 favored; 1 opposed (Deb Grantham). Motion carried. Sandy Price noted that the membership issue can be reopened at a later time if necessary.

Dan Winch moved that each county be able to designate a specified and equal number of non-municipal non-voting members to participate on the IO and that each member county select who would fill its respective slots. Ken Zabriskie noted that once the IO is established its meetings will be public and anyone can attend and voice opinions.

Tom Vawter moved that each municipality represented gets one vote. Seconded by John Sipos. Discussion occurred that each delegate should get one vote and no proxies be allowed, and that this applies only to those municipalities who sign the intermunicipal agreement. Further discussion occurred that each delegate should be able to designate an alternate authorized to vote on his/her behalf. Tom Vawter moved to amend his original motion to say that for those municipalities signatory to the intermunicipal agreement, each delegate gets one vote, and may have a proxy. Seconded. Motion carried.

Charlie McCaffrey brought up that the group present at today’s meeting isn’t the IO as no one has signed an intermunicipal agreement.

Dan Winch asked what constitutes a quorum. John Sipos moved that it be the majority of members present but with no fewer than five (5) approving votes which translates into a quorum of nine (9) voting members, with sufficient advance notice of the meeting. This could be until the group is more evolved. When there is a better handle on how many will be on the IO it can be revisited. Ken Zabriskie seconded.

Dan Winch suggested that anything to be voted on should require a two-thirds (2/3) majority approval by those present with a minimum of six (6) approving votes. Motion amended to say that it requires 2/3 of voting members present with 6 as a minimum number of approving votes – so a quorum is 9 voting members. Much debate followed. Request made to call the question. Approved. Vote called on amended motion: 5 favored; 5 opposed. Motion not carried.

There was a question of who really was eligible to vote at today’s meeting.

John Sipos withdrew his earlier motion regarding quorums and voting requirements.

John Sipos moved that the group adopt Robert’s Rules of Order to help IO organize. Seconded by Tom Vawter. All voted in favor. Motion carried.

John Sipos further moved that Sylvia Hurlbut be appointed as IO chair until the bylaws are developed. Seconded by Tom Vawter. Vote: 8 favored; 0 opposed. Motion carried.

Sylvia Hurlbut opened the floor for input about the sample intermunicipal agreement. She inquired if anyone approved of any of the three examples supplied in the mailings. Dave Morehouse likes the Pace example but has his own Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which he read for the group as it was not included in the mailed preparatory materials. Sandy Price complimented Dave Morehouse’s work on it, but felt that it is too far reaching right now. At this stage, focus needs to be on a simple agreement expressing municipal intent/spirit to cooperate. Patrick Morrell agreed – stating that getting additional municipalities on the IO would be helped by something more like the Pace example. John Sipos requested a copy of the MOU. Everyone will be sent a copy of the MOU for review. Deb Grantham liked the Pace example – the MOU would be too intensive for her Town Board to agree to at this time.

Charlie McCaffrey suggested that while the NYS DOS grant calls for an IO, the IO can be created without reference to a specific grant to keep it simple.

Ken Zabriskie liked Sylvia Hurlbut’s draft agreement as it’ll be easier for Town Boards to read and agree to. Tom Vawter agreed with Sylvia Hurlbut’s draft as an initial agreement, but stated that space for names of official delegates need to be added. Ken Zabriskie stated that the number of municipalities needs to be changed from 43 to 48. Other suggestions include: Change "local governments" text in 1st paragraph to "counties, towns, villages and cities"; and add a new item #1 in 5th paragraph that says "define the organizational structure" – the other existing items would become #2-#5.

Sylvia Hurlbut will make the changes and send the revised draft to everyone for review. It can be voted on at the next meeting, and then be brought to municipalities to sign.

IV. Securing Full Representation of Watershed Municipalities: Sylvia will call all municipal officials in the watershed before the next IO meeting to tell them this agreement is coming and to try to get them to appoint someone.

V. Municipal Identification of Water Quality Issues in the Watershed: Due to time constraints of the meeting the discussion of water quality issues was postponed to a future meeting. This subject could actually be an entire meeting in itself.

VI. Next Meeting Date: The next meeting date was set for Wednesday, January 27, 1999, 7:00 P.M. at a Tompkins County location in Ithaca. Agenda will include continued discussion of appropriate language for the intermunicipal agreement and the intermunicipal organization structure.


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CLW IO 2002