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WACD Top 5 Things to Know

June 26, 2020

The Exec Corner

WACD held a meeting of the Officers and Directors this week via Zoom Meetings. Board members agreed that virtual meetings make it easier and more efficient to participate in conservation district meetings, but everyone misses the more complete nature of in-person meetings.

That makes perfect sense, doesn't it? One of the things that binds us together is the way that conservation districts work with people and communities: one-to-one, in person, creating lasting, trust-based relationships along the way. It's natural that our WACD Board feels the same way about the importance of strong, trusting interpersonal relationships.

Years ago I learned about relationship bank accounts. Each of us works to build these accounts every day in our conservation work, always seeking to deposit more than we withdraw, demonstrating through our actions each and every day that we are trusted, valued partners.

How are your relationship accounts?

Tom Salzer

Top 5 Things to Know

1 - New face covering requirement
The WACD Plant Materials Center is complying with the new face covering requirement. Everyone will be required to wear a cloth face covering whenever inside a public space or outside if a personal spacing distance of at least six feet cannot be maintained. Staff and crew have been so instructed. New cloth face masks that are more breathable were ordered.

2 - PMC staff evaluations completed
Evaluations for permanent staff are done at the end of a fiscal year which is June 30th. Those evaluations were completed this week.

The PMC is fortunate to have a great team which makes doing their evaluations a positive experience for all. The evaluation provides an opportunity to discuss how the year went, what worked, and what we could have been done better. It also is a good time to discuss the opportunities to learn more and become an even more capable team member.

3 - State agency FY 2021 savings options
In May, OFM directed all state agencies to look for savings in their remaining 2020-2021 operating budgets. Those proposals were due on June 1st. Proposals have been collated and can be viewed here: https://ofm.wa.gov/budget/state-budgets/state-agency-fiscal-year-2021-savings-options

4 - Planning is underway
WACD's Conference Planning Team has met and will continue to meet twice a month during July and August. In the first meeting, many ideas were voiced and explored. We expect that the Team will move swiftly to more concrete recommendations for the 2020 WACD Annual Conference.

WACD's Strategic Plan Work Group has also met and recommended mission, vision, and priorities (MVP) statements. The WACD Board approved the MVP statements to go to members for comment during July and August.

5 - Submit election comments
In late May, the Conservation Commission posted proposed changes to conservation district elections at https://scc.wa.gov/elections_0520/. The public comment period is now open and WACD encourages you to submit your comments to the Commission.

More from the Plant Materials Center

  • Fiscal Year Wrap-up - This will be the last PMC update for fiscal year 2019-20. The year started with no WACD Executive Director, no PMC Sales Manager, and the vacant PMC Crew Leader position was still vacant. It ended with an experienced Executive Director, a remarkably capable Sales Manager, and a top notch Crew Leader. The team is complete and poised to go to the next level, with one small obstacle: COVID-19. We are focused on keeping everyone healthy. Other important things that happened this fiscal year include getting a new forklift, replacing asphalt in the parking lot, upgrading the inventory software, and selling more plants than ever before. Overall it has been a good year but not one that we would want to repeat in all aspects!
  • Preparing For a New Fiscal Year - As mentioned above, the PMC has the staff to take the operation to the next level. Finances are in order, customers are placing orders, the plants have never looked better for this time of year, and the equipment has never been in such good shape. We don't know whether COVID-19 will impact sales and we are watching new orders closely.
  • 1-year-old crop of Indian Plum - They are looking great. It is amazing what good soil, ample moisture, and the sun can do to help a plant along.
  • Germinating Douglas fir - The second photo shows a germinating seedbed of Douglas Fir. They will be here for 2 years and then get lifted and shipped out in Winter / Spring 2022. There are a lot of things that can go wrong between now and then but they are up and looking good.

More from the Executive Office

  • WACD Board meeting was this week - Unlike previous meetings, we moved Area Director reports to the beginning of the meeting while everyone was fresh. This proved to be a good change as it helped remind us all why the Association exists. Every conservation district is unique in so many ways and it was refreshing to hear the differences as well as the issues many districts are dealing with. We also discussed financial performance and the current year budget. A new budget for the upcoming fiscal year was adopted.
  • Next regular WACD Board meeting September 15th - Topics planned for the September Board meeting include: formally adopting the first three elements of the strategic plan (mission, vision, priorities) and approving the final three elements (goals, actions, scorecard) to go to members for comment; and reviewing financial reserves.
  • NACD elections coming, nominations due November - National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Nominating Committee Chair Brent Van Dyke has announced that elections will be held during the 2021 NACD Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana February 6-10, 2021. Elections will be held for the positions of First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, and Secretary-Treasurer. If you are a district official who may be interested in becoming a candidate, please contact WACD so that we can direct you to more information. The deadline to receive candidate applications is Friday, November 6, 2020.
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