MORE Board meeting: June 13, 2016
Location: 7979 Old Georgetown Rd, Suite 1100
Bethesda, MD 20814
Board members Present
MORE Staff, MORE Members, Invited Guests
Steve Don-Tingey (MORE)
Jonah Meyer (MORE)
Jonathan Kidwell (MORE)
Shane Farthing (MoCo Park and Planning)
Casey Anderson (MoCo Park and Planning)
Brad Hawk (MORE)
Tim O’Donnell (City of Emmitsburg, MD)
Item 1: Board discussed the creation of a restricted fund for the Women’s program and establishing a Women’s Program coordinator. Motion to create the fund was passed.
Item 2: Board discussed the creation of a pump track at Ft. Dupont (National Park in S.E. Washington, D.C.) REI has donated $15K to MORE that is earmarked for the establishment of a pump track at Fort Dupont. Motion was passed to accept the $15K from REI and create a special purpose restricted fund to support the project.
Item 3: Board discussed the creation of a restricted fund for the Bull Run Occoquan Trail (BROT), to close out the fountainhead.org website, and transfer Fountainhead restricted funds into BROT. Motion to create the fund was passed.
Item 4: Board heard a presentation by Tim O’Donnel, MORE member and Emmitsburg, Maryland elected official, requesting MORE’s support of the city of Emmitsburg and specifically support of Emmitsburg’s growing mountain bike trail network. Tim discussed the Trail Conservancy’s efforts to build trails in Emmitsburg and highlighted Emmittsburg’s upcoming Community Heritage Day. Tim requested MORE include Emmitsburg trail write-ups on the MORE the website. Board President agreed. Tim suggested that MORE look into enlisting the Maryland Stadium Authority to help promote future Epic rides in Maryland. The Board agreed to further study this proposal. Tim noted the importance of MORE members sharing their trail rides with local Emmitsburg businesses as business owners appreciate knowing what demographic is using local trails and supporting local businesses.
Item 5: Dave McGill reviewed information he had provided earlier via email regarding an update to the “Who is MORE” informational handout.
Item 6: Casey Anderson of Montgomery County Parks and Planning (MoCo P&P) highlighted MoCo P&P support to create addition trails in MoCo. Casey thanked MORE for its advocacy efforts and acknowledged that snail mail and email to MoCo elected officials affected public policy. He highlighted the fact that MoCo P&P has a five-year capital budget of approximately $350K/year to support and build natural surface trails. He further noted opportunities to work with Pepco on power-line trails in Montgomery County. Shane Farthing (MoCo P&P) noted successful advocacy efforts by the Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA to influence bicycle policy and projects.
Item 7 (Dave McGill): There was a general discussion whether to replenish the general trail fund, and a proposal by Dave McGill to move $5K of MORE unrestricted funds to the general trail fund. Dave suggested that MORE look into a new email campaign specifically for the general trails fund that would support all trails in the region. He suggested that these new funds in the general trail fund would serve as “seed money” to support new ventures at the smaller parks. It was also noted that the permitting process for new trails and parks was getting more expensive. Dave proposed that MORE act as a “seed organization” to get bigger projects started, completed, and maintained. Board voted and agreed to move $5K from unrestricted funds to the general trail fund.
Item 8: Board member interaction with the public during important events. Greg Dwyer agreed to attend the REI DC store opening kick-off event at the Smithsonian Museum of American History on June 18th. Ernie noted the upcoming “Cocktails for Trails” event at Patapsco on Thursday, June 16th would be another good opportunity for Board Members to interact at an important public event and Dave Magill stated he would plan on attending.
Item 9: Membership update: Ernie provided the following membership chart and highlighted that MORE needed to focus on membership renewals.
Item 10: Membership renewal issues. Aaron Richter noted that membership renewal rates for the first five months of 2016 were lower than during the same time-period last year.
Item 11: MORE Sponsorship update: Jason Miller noted that the Shop Liaisons program was about to kick-off and requested funds for marketing materials to promote this program. Ernie agreed to provide funds from the President’s budget line. Additionally, Board requested Jason provide a firm budget figure request in the near future so Treasurer could track expenditures.
Item 12: MORE Individual Donor program update (Jonah Meyer). The Board noted the need finalize the “Who is MORE” promotional document in the next 30 days. The Board expressed the need to have specific levels and categories of donorship so individual donors could be recognized for their donations, and marketing materials specifically designed for distribution to potential individual donors.
Item 13: MORE operations issues. The Board expressed the need to work through one point-of-contact on website and Facebook page issues. Brad Hawk volunteered to coordinate Facebook and Meetup strategies and postings to MORE’s social media platforms. Greg agreed to work with and support Brad.
The following items were tabled for the July BOD meeting: table toppers, general events update, trail status app, ride leadership.
Dave Magill – Trails Director
- Met with Loch Raven liaison team and held follow on calls to help develop strategy to communicate to stakeholders and to renew the MOU
- Spent two days in the field with DNR and MDE to advance the permitting for Patuxent, coordinated with a new volunteer who will take to lead to write the MDE permit application.
- Joined group of MORE volunteers receiving formal recognition to MORE from the MoCo County Council for volunteer work on natural trails
- Assisted Carlo Alfano in drafting MD RTP grant request for Rivers Edge
- Organized and held Trails Committee call
- Updated MORE profile on MoCo student volunteer opportunity website
- Participated in multi-stakeholder call about trails on Pepco power lines. The Pepco rep did not show up.
- Worked with Bacon Ridge liaisons to finalize and submit a letter to AACo designed to address concerns with Phase 1 construction, make commitments to certain repairs, and facilitate approval of Phase 2 and protocols for its construction. The letter was well received and AACo is pursuing approval of Phase 2 with landowner stakeholders
Ernie Rodriguez – President
- Membership renewal communications – reminder notices to members who have allowed membership to lapse
- Membership thank you emails – personal emails to renewing members
- Trails Committee – Dave will brief
- Establish committee to improve member benefits – support social activities
- Loch Raven communications – update members on status of MOU
- Represent MORE at NOVA Parks – National Trails Day Celebration
- Represent MORE at NOVA Parks – Ribbon cutting and opening of Fountainhead to Bull Run Marina Trail
- Work with Tim O’Donnell to have beer at Rainbow Lake for MORE June 25
- Work with Dave Ferraro on event beer sponsorships
- Work with Fountainhead liaison and GMU student project to report maintenance issues – more to come, reaching out to IMBA for inclusion in MTB Project
- Work with Eric Crawford on Stemaster trail work tool evaluation – Eric provided valuable feedback
- Create webpage for Women’s MTB Skills Clinic
- Create webpage for PVSP events and listings
Jonathan Kidwell – Trail Boss
- Ordered, organized, branded, and delivered hand tools for liaisons at Fairland, Cosca, Little Bennett, Fountainhead, Hoyles Mill, Seneca Bluffs, Rosaryville, Emmitsburg, Wakefield, Schaeffer Farm, and Rivers Edge.
- Started the process to receive reimbursement from an old RTP grant for a portion of the cost of the tools.
- Followed up with liaisons regarding workday waivers
- Entered volunteer hours in TiF
Aaron Richter – Treasurer
- Contacted CPAs to prepare 2015 Tax return and financial review (Waiting for responses and quotes); average quote has been around $2,500
- Prepared May financials
- Prepared budget vs actuals through June 1, 2015