On June 20, 2022, the Washington Association of Conservation District’s Board of Directors adopted an annual work plan and an annual budget. Several other topics were discussed and decided at this meeting. Presented below is an unofficial summary of the important actions taken by the Board. The draft minutes will be approved at the next WACD business meeting in September.
Documents related to this meeting can be found in WACD’s Box account in the June 2022 Board meeting folder.
Annual work plan adopted
The WACD Board heard a presentation on the proposed annual work plan. The plan primarily covers the Executive Office division. Next year, the plan will be expanded to include the Plant Materials Center division. The plan was adopted as presented.
Download the adopted work plan: [Download not found]
A flat cost-of-living adjustment was reviewed and approved by the Board. A flat COLA means that the total payroll amount was used in calculating the total cost-of-living adjustment to be applied, then divided by the number of permanent full-time staff. This method results in fewer COLA dollars for the highest-paid employees and proportionately more for other employees.
Following the adoption of a cost-of-living adjustment, the Board discussed the proposed annual budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022 and ending June 30, 2023. Travel costs for attending NACD events were updated during discussion. The proposed budget was adopted as amended with the updated travel costs.
Vehicle acquisition approved
The Board had previously surplused the old car that has been used by the Executive Office for many years. Staff proposed leasing or purchasing a new vehicle so that staff can attend more meetings with conservation districts and agencies. Expected miles to be driven were discussed relative to the cost of reimbursing staff for using their personal vehicles.
Following additional discussion, the Board voted to approve spending up to $40,000 for a new hybrid SUV, plus tax, license, and warranty. It was suggested that staff utilize the Costco vehicle purchasing program to reduce the purchase cost and limit the amount of time spent negotiating with a dealer.
Investment Policy Task Force recommendations adopted
The Board reviewed the recommendations of the Investment Policy Task Force and adopted new policy language governing how investments should be managed.
In addition, the Board approved moving the funds held in a money market account at Edward Jones to the investment fund, but that amount would be earmarked as Plant Materials Center reserves.
Public comment policy adopted
A proposed policy on public comment in WACD Board meetings was reviewed and discussed. The Board did adopt the proposed policy.
District letter and action
A letter to the WACD Board of Directors from five conservation districts was discussed. There was a desire to engage in more conversation with those districts before formally responding. A motion was made and adopted as follows:
After conversations, move to respond with a letter from the Board of Directors with an acknowledgment of their concerns, that WACD wants things to work well for everyone. Offer a reminder there are opportunities to participate in leadership and the ability to write resolutions. Want to keep communications open to working together to change and move forward in WACD’s processes.
Two proposals for the 2022 WACD annual conference were reviewed. The Board selected the Wenatchee proposal and staff will proceed with negotiating a contract for this fall’s annual conference and business meeting. WACD anticipates this event will be an in-person meeting with a virtual option.
Large-scale solar projects
The Board heard concerns about how large-scale solar projects on farmland are being approved without local input. The Board approved writing a letter expressing WACD’s desire that local input is sought and considered before such projects are approved.