New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

New York State Ornithological Association
Board Meeting Minutes
July 15, 2006

The Board of Directors of the New York State Ornithological Association, Inc. met at Nuthatch Hollow in Vestal on July 15, 2006.  The meeting was called to order at 9:31 a.m

Present were Brenda Best, John Confer, Phyllis Jones, Gail Kirch, Berna Lincoln, Andy Mason, Bob Mauceli,  Bill Ostrander, Carena Pooth, Bill Reeves and Bob Spahn.

Summary of Action Items:

  1. Approved minutes with changes of previous board meeting.  (Item 1)
  2. Approved nomination of individuals to serve on Nominating and Auditing Committees (Item 2)
  3. Approved accepting $689.36 from HMBC as payment of loan in full  (Item 3)
  4. Approved appointment of Jeff Bolsinger to NYSARC (Item 5c)

1.  Minutes – Brenda Best

On page 2 under By-laws, “level of club membership” should read “level of club dues-paying membership.”  Bob Mauceli made a motion to approve the draft minutes from the April Board Meeting with changes.  Bill Reeves seconded.  Approved unanimously.

2. President’s Report – Andy Mason

Two committees that will serve in 2007 need to be elected at this year’s Annual Meeting.  Andy asked for volunteers to serve on the Nominating Committee.  Bob Spahn made a motion, seconded by Berna Lincoln, to nominate Gail Kirch, Tim Baird, and Bill Lee, if they each agree to serve, to the Nominating Committee.  Andy will discuss this with them.  Approved unanimously.  For the Auditing Committee,  Andy will ask Manny Levine, Irv Cantor, and Peter Capainolo to continue to serve.  Bob Mauceli made a motion to nominate Manny, Irv, and Peter to the Auditing Committee, which was seconded by Bob Spahn.  Approved unanimously.

3. Treasurer’s Report – Bill Reeves

Treasurer’s Report dated June 30, 2006 was distributed (Attachment A).  There was only one issue of The Kingbird which was paid, and some activity in the Atlas fund.  We received a $100 donation from Chemung Valley Audubon.

The loan to Hudson-Mohawk Bird Club was again discussed.  Bill received the income/expense report from them and feels everything is in order.  As previously discussed, HMBC has a surplus of $1189.36 before repayment of the loans and proposes paying NYSOA $689.36 and $500 to the club.  Berna Lincoln reports that a previous $1000 surplus was donated to NYSOA in 1996.  Brenda Best made a motion to accept $689.36 as repayment of the $1000 loan in full.  Seconded by Phyllis Jones.  Approved unanimously.  A letter will be sent to HMBC, noting that we realize HMBC is being repaid in full and that NYSOA is bearing the loss. 

4. DEC – John Ozard – No report.

5. Committee Reports

    a.  Membership – Brenda Best – Current membership stands at 634 individual members and 54 life members.  We have had seven new members since our April meeting.  Dues notices were sent to 22 members with July expirations.  Final dues notices were sent to 77 members with January and April expirations.  If not paid by the end of August, these members will be dropped from the roll.  Four member clubs have not yet paid their dues, although two have advised they will be paying soon.

    b.  Nominating – Bob Mauceli – Slate is set.  Names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of the Nominating Committee members should be printed in the October New York Birders.

    c.  NYSARC –Andy passed out revised NYSARC Guidelines; however, Section I Introduction was to include word-for-word Article XI of the NYSOA By-laws.  Section IV Chair is to be revised to read as follows:  “The Chair will perform the functions usually associated with such office, and will report in person to the Association Board of Directors at least once per year on the activities of NYSARC for that year.”  In Section V, the first two sentences should each be a separate paragraph.

Bob Spahn made a motion to approve the appointment of Jeff Bolsinger to NYSARC with a term ending December 31, 2009.  Berna Lincoln seconded.  Approved unanimously.

Andy spoke with Jeanne Skelly about secure containers.  Jeanne advises she has 10-12 boxes each containing about 1,000 pages.  Services to scan and digitize these records have quoted $.13/page to Andy.  Jeanne is checking with companies in Rochester to perform this.  Bob Mauceli suggested Xerox and felt they would charge $.03-.04/page and he will talk to Jeanne about this.  At extra cost, OCR (optical character recognition) and searchable PDF’s could be made.  If burned to DVD, they would need to be re-written every three years.

    d.  Publications– Andy for Shai Mitra – Shai has received quotes for printing of The Kingbird including color photos.  We currently budget for each issue $4,000 including postage.  Actual average cost, including layout, is about $4,258.  The current quality problems with layout are hopefully resolved now that better equipment is accessible.  Questions raised included:

  1. Would we lose American Printing?  Would they still print New York Birders, the Checklist, and stationery?
  2. Could we get outside funding for The Kingbird, such as State Wildlife Grant?
  3. Could we get advertising to support the cost of color photos?
  4. Could we include a statement such as “underwritten by” or indicate the type of equipment used?
  5. Does 16 pages of color delete 16 pages of text?  Are the photos in the center or scattered throughout?
  6. If we proceed with two issues at increased cost, then what?  We would have to increase dues to cover the added expense.

Bill Ostrander advises he will get a quote from a printer in Elmira.

Motion was made by Phyllis Jones to proceed with two issues without color at Sir Speedy.  Motion was seconded by Bob Mauceli.  It is noted that the logistics of mailing to be worked out and that American Printing has a supply of printed covers.  The cost of the specific issues is to be advised by Shai.  Motion approved unanimously.

Tim Baird advises in a note to Andy that New York Birders in on schedule and the July issue is out.

Timing of printed checklists was discussed.  Carena will check with Angus about making changes to the checklist as put on the website.  The most up-to-date checklist will appear on the website before being published in The Kingbird and before new checklists are printed.  We should include a note on the printed checklist to this effect.  Our current printed edition is dated 2003.  Brenda will advise quantity in inventory.  Andy will discuss with Angus the prioritizing of reports of new species to the state so that new printed checklists can be obtained.

    e.  Website  – Carena Pooth – Regular maintenance has been performed. 

    f.  Archives – Phyllis Jones – Still going through the Stoner papers and finding them very interesting.

    g.  Atlas – Phyllis for Valerie Freer – Artwork and species accounts are progressing.  Time sheets from the first Atlas have been entered so that hours/block could be compared.  Item #4 not sending original artwork to a printer in China is a big plus.

    h.  Awards – Bill Ostrander – No responses to the letter sent out about the Stoner Award.  Bill asked who should sign the Certificates of Appreciation.  Bill will contact Charlie Rouse about the Eaton Award and Shai Mitra about the Elliott Award.

    i.  Conservation – Gail Kirch and John Confer – Gail received a response to the letter regarding the Shawangunk Grasslands.  Runways will be removed, but not during nesting season, and there will be some prescribed burning.  A draft position on wind power was presented by Andy Mason for our review.  Revisions were suggested and Andy will re-submit for review.  Andy would like to present this as a resolution to be voted on by the Council of Delegates and give the paper to member clubs.  The letter to the Town of Babylon has not yet been written, but John Confer is still willing to do it.  Suggestion was made that we get more involved with the Parks Department regarding bird management.  Perhaps we should ask them for a report similar to the one we usually receive from DEC.  John offered to contact them to see if they would do this.

    j.  Finance – Berna Lincoln – Raising dues should be studied.  A budget for next year will be prepared for the November Board meeting and items, such as archiving NYSARC records, should be submitted.


eBird – Bob Spahn reports that eBird looks close to launch by the eBird folks, but he has some concerns.  There are some communication problems and a sit-down meeting needs to take place before going live.  The output needs to be useful to our Regional Editors and it is not clear that is the case.  Carena is getting training shortly on procedures for the front page.  No contract has been signed yet, and we have not paid anything yet.

Governance – Andy passed out a report of responses from clubs, and there appears to be a lot of apathy about this issue.  Many clubs did not respond, and only three responses came from individual members.  Since we had a request, we investigated.  The issue has come up in the past and has died.  There is no overwhelming support to change and the issue is therefore tabled.  Andy will write a summary to let the clubs know.

Annual Meeting – For 2007, two clubs considered hosting but declined.  Brenda will research locations for a delegates meeting in her area, but not a full-blown conference.

The November Board meeting will be held on the 18th at Nuthatch Hollow. 


Article VII of the By-laws should be reviewed for partial term of a Director.

Bill Lee asked if our liability insurance covered our members on field trips.  Our policy only covers the organization.

Bill Reeves made a motion to adjourn, which was seconded by Carena Pooth.  Approved unanimously.  Meeting adjourned at 3:09 p.m.

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