San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance
Annual Meeting, Minutes
02/12/2017, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, City Park Rec Hall, San Marcos, TX
WELCOMING COMMENTS FROM VP BILL ADAMS:
The meeting was called to order at approximately 3:40 pm by Vice – President Bill Adams. He introduced the board members who were present (Mark Taylor, Sherwood Bishop, Phillip Quast, Anna Huff, Lance Jones and Paul Murray). Bill also thanked the Bluebonnet Lions for providing the food and beverages. He introduced various VIPs in attendance: Mayor John Thomaides; Council Members Jane Hughson, Lisa Prewitt and Ed Mihalkanin; PARD Board Members Paul Murray, Bridgett Phillips and Mary Seaborne; Edwards Aquifer Authority Board Member Pat Stroka; and Urban Forester Kelly Eby. Later in the meeting HCP Manager Melani Howard and Keep San Marcos Beautiful Manager Amy Kirwin were also introduced. The ongoing and supportive work of the San Marcos River Foundation was also acknowledged.
Bill invited everyone to eat and drink and to take a look at the posters around the room which provided information about our budget, accomplishments, mission, bylaws, etc.
|Brandon Ross spoke to SMGA members|
Mark Taylor introduced our special guest speaker Brandon Ross who works for the City of San Antonio Parks Department. Mr. Ross is in charge of planning and developing a linear creek-side trail system that is currently 63 miles long and which has 45 additional miles in the planning stage. The trail system is funded through a special 1/8th cent sales tax which is authorized and re-authorized by the voters from time to time. The program has been very successful and popluar. Our membership had many interesting questions for Mr. Ross. For additional excellent information about similar programs, Mr. Ross recommended the AmericanTrails.org website.
Mark Taylor convened the business portion of our meeting at 4:35 pm. First he introduced Sherwood Bishop who provided a financial report which indicated that our revenues in 2016 were higher than our expenditures and that the finances of the organization were sound.
Mark gave a quick run-down of our accomplishments for the year of which the Greenways and Trails Masterplan work was a highlight. Mark also told of a very generous donation to SMGA made by David and Lane Jones in memory of Victor Ortiz. Mark introduced the Ortiz family who were in attendance. Mark also reported the wonderful volunteer-led walks going on in our greenbelts and the hard work done by the volunteer trail crew.
|Dick McBride (l.) is recognized as the Volunteer of the Year|
Mark outlined two proposed bylaws changes and their justifications. The first expanded the size of the board from 9 to 11 members and clarified that the officers are elected by the board members. Jane Hughson moved approval, Charlie O’Neil seconded, and it was approved unanimously. The second bylaws change involved clarifying meeting, agenda, and voting requirements for the board. Amy Kirwin moved approval, Betsy Robertson seconded, and these changes were approved unanimously.
ELECTION OF NEW BOARD MEMBERS:
Mark acknowledged the work of outgoing board members Bill Adams, Charlotte Wattigny and Melissa Nicewarner Daly. Bill and Mark served as a nominating committee for new board members. Bill introduced the following slate of new board nominees: Anna Huff (returning for a full term), Diane Phalen, Scott Henize, Toby Hooper, and Susan Hansen. Diane Wassenich moved approval of the entire slate, Amy Kirwin seconded, and all nominees were approved by a unanimous vote of the members.
THE WALKING STICK AWARD:
Outreach Committee member Anna Huff presented this year’s Walking Stick award to Bob Holder for his leadership of the San Marcos Area Trail Walkers group which now numbers over 500 members.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD:
Outreach committee chairman Lance Jones presented the Volunteer of the Year award to Dick Mcbride who has thrown himself into trail work and many other volunteer activities during the 8 years that he has been in San Marcos.
CALL TO ACTION:
Mark alerted members to the very important Greenways and Trails Masterplan which will be adopted by the city this year. Please get involved in the public input portions of this important plan. Also SMGA has many opportunities for volunteer involvement – trail work, outreach, fundraising, etc. Please get involved, follow us on Facebook, etc.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:03 pm so that everyone could socialize and enjoy the good food and drinks provided by the Bluebonnet Lions.
(Text: Stephanie Langenkamp, Photos: Anna Huff and Dyhanara Rios)