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Minutes for the Joint Meeting of the FICRA and FICRA Trust Boards 04-08-2021


Thursday, April 8, 2021

2021-2022 FICRA Board2020-2021 FICRA Trust Board
Lance PowersPresidentHoward StapletonPresident
Lindsey JensenVice PresidentNaomi GrantVice President
Candy WawroSecretaryGina OlsonSecretary
Hal GoodellTreasurerHal GoodellTreasurer
Aileen JonesDirectorKaren KretschmerDirector
Weston KingDirector  
Miguel MartinezPast President  

Trust Board Attendees:  Howard Stapleton, Arlyn Lawrence, Craig McLaughlin, Hal Goodell, and Gina Olson all in attendance.

FICRA Board Attendees: Lance Powers, Candy Wawro, Hal Goodell, Aileen Jones, Miguel Martinez, and Weston King (part of meeting) in attendance.  Lindsey Jensen excused.

Other attendees:  Diane Abney, Jim Braden, Joan Broughton, Naomi Grant (part of meeting), Ray Kittelberger (part of meeting), and Jean Wallace.

The meeting started at 7:07 PM, immediately after the conclusion of the FICRA Building Trust Annual Election Meeting.

Howard Stapleton noted that the Building Trust Bylaws require the Trust Board Directors to appoint a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.  Board members not holding officer positions are addressed as directors.  The Trust Board unanimously agreed to appoint Howard Stapleton as President, Arlyn Lawrence as Vice President, Gina Olson as Secretary and Hal Goodell as Treasurer.

Commemoration of Stan Weston:  Howard read the following statement commemorating Stan Weston for his many years of community support in Fox Island:

The FICRA Building Trust and FICRA wish to memorialize their deepest appreciation for the years of service given by Stanton Weston, commonly known as Stan Weston, to Fox Island and to the FICRA Building Trust. Stan was a charter member and past Commodore of the Fox Island Yacht club and a founder of the Citizens Patrol a committee which operates under the Trust.

Stan was dedicated to making Fox Island a safe environment for families to raise children.

Stan was born in 1930 and passed away peacefully on March 22nd, 2021.

Jim Braden expressed thanks from those participating in Citizens’ Patrol and appreciation for Stan’s service to Fox Island.

The Board voted unanimously to adopt the commemoration.  Miguel Martinez suggested that the item also be included in the newsletter.

Meeting Minutes:  Howard stated that the draft Meeting Minutes for the 3/11/2021 Joint Meeting of the FICRA & FICRA Building Trust Boards were posted to the website, noting that the significant item for the Trust establishes a policy for marginal rates to encourage use by community groups.  Candy Wawro moved to approve the Minutes, Gina Olson seconded the motion, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report:  Hal Goodell shared the financial reports as of March 31, 2021 online with attendees.  For the benefit of new Board Members, he listed the reports provided monthly, including Profit & Loss Statement, Balance Sheets, and Bank Balances (which are discussed in the meetings).  The following information was presented online:

Building Trust Balances
Trust Checking account:   Oct 1 Balance: $ 31,074.85   Oct 31 Balance: $ 27,712.42
Trust Savings:   Oct 1 Balance: $ 413.86   Oct 31 Balance $ 413.88
Trust PayPal:   Oct 1 Balance: $ 0.00   Oct 31 Balance $ 1,383.39
Trust Capital Checking:   Oct 1 Balance: $ 3,690.22   Oct 31 Balance: $ 3,683.22
Trust Reserve Checking:   Oct 1 Balance: $ 319.98   Oct 31 Balance: $ 319.98
Trust Money Market:   Oct 1 Balance: $ 348,160.33   Oct 31 Balance: $ 378,242.90

FICRA Balances
FICRA Checking:   Oct 1: $ 17,546.46   Oct 31: Cleared Balance: $ 17,289.46
FICRA Savings:   Oct 1: $ 25.00   Oct 31: Cleared Balance: $ 25.00
FICRA Money Market: Oct 1:   $ 31,048.06   Oct 31: Cleared Balance: $ 31,052.02
FICRA PayPal:   Oct 1: $ 0.00   Oct 31: Balance: $ 481.24

FICRA membership is currently at 348.

Craig McLaughlin asked what bank FICRA/FICRA Building Trust uses.  Hal responded that it was Sound Credit Union.  Craig also asked about the membership numbers, which Hal explained show 156 members from last year that have not renewed and 131 members from the prior year that did not renew.  Hal believes membership could increase if we follow up with these groups.

Miguel noted that the membership number has fluctuated from year to year, and suggested that Lance may want to send out personal letters as we have done in the past to encourage renewals.  They have also considered phone calls to encourage renewals.

Hal stated that a receipt showing the renewal period is always sent to someone who pays their membership or donates.  Arlyn Lawrence suggested we may want to consider a membership drive and that this could be a good time to connect with people personally.  Craig asked if members have the ability to sign up for auto-renew (not currently, per Hal), noted that there was huge potential with the non‑renewals, and agreed that some kind of drive or overall approach to maintain & develop membership is high priority.  Hal stressed that Memberships were the primary source of funding for FICRA and the FICRA sponsored community events.  Donations to FICRA are relatively small.

Arlyn and Craig volunteered to be a part of part of membership development and felt that it would be a good use of time and energy.  Miguel mentioned the new membership potluck done a couple years ago and volunteered to help out with membership.

Craig asked about the security deposits done through PayPal and whether the fee was returned.  Hal stated that we are discouraging security payments via PayPal unless the customer pays the fee.  Craig agreed.

Hal and Jim Braden reviewed the Trust Capital Expenditures report, which reflects an unpaid balance of about $17,000 on the Phase 1 window project.  Jim expects that a contract award will be made shortly for Phase 2, which is approximately $38,000.  Jim also discussed considering a Trust Board Resolution that would designate a $100,000 donation made by Julie Sorenson to the Trust to be used as a reserve or emergency fund.

Howard noted that, while transfers to capital reserves are not an operating budget item, we reference them as Interfund Transfers when we adopt the Trust Budget in order to provide transparency on the funds that are set aside for capital projects/replacements.  With respect to the designation of funds for an emergency fund, the concept is consistent with the Trust’s responsibility to maintain the facilities as a community resource for future generations.  We may want to explore the establishment of an endowment fund to ensure the long‑term survival of the Trust.

Ray Kittelberger wanted to clarify if the detail shown for the accounts is actually separate bank accounts.  Hal responded that there is only one Money Market account and the detail is tracked in QuickBooks.

Standing Committees:

Please note that Jim provides a detailed report monthly for Board Members regarding the Trust Committees and a verbal summary is presented at the meeting.

Citizens’ Patrol – No current report; will provide one when available.

Emergency Preparedness – No additional information since the detail report.

Trust Building and Grounds – No additional information since the detail report.

FICRA Publicity – Miguel reports that he would like to put together a “Q & A” spotlight for new Board Members introducing them to social media.  We have discussed quick 15-30 second videos in the past.  He believes this will resonate with our island residents.  Candy thinks this is a great idea, doing a post for each person.  Lance supports video format presentations.  He would also like to upgrade the platform and website making it easier to post and retrieve information.  Miguel believes keeping an intergenerational balance for activities and communications is important too.  Candy would like to have teen involvement.  Miguel indicated that Heidi Eckel Alessi has volunteered to be the volunteer coordinator.  She has several teens in her household which may be a great avenue for establishing a teen board representative.

Howard noted that we have been discussing website updates for a long time, and there there’s no doubt a that a current platform is needed.  He also thinks that the world has progressed beyond websites in favor of content pushed through social media.  Websites are good for static content, but Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube are the new publication channels.  For static content and blogs, the most prevalent platform right now is WordPress, which is used for more than 1/3 of the world’s websites.  WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that can be maintained by several people simultaneously and has interchangeable templates.  He has created a sample site with some of the existing FICRA website content at for demonstration purposes.  The Boards can decide whether to use this simple design or contract out the design work, but the majority of new sites will probably end up in WordPress.

Miguel asked if the new platform would be usable on mobile devices (mobile‑friendly).  Howard explained that if we use a “responsive” template in WordPress, it will automatically reformat the content based on the size and layout of the screen.  For example, a multicolumn page on a website would be displayed as a single column with a clickable menu on the top right for a phone.  Miguel asked Lance if this was what he was looking for.  Lance wants to see a simplified version of what we have now, with less things that are easier to find.  He also thinks we can use the push technologies to engage more people.  Howard asked if anyone would be interested in going through the old content to decide what should go on a new site.

Miguel acknowledges that he is not a social media expert and asked for guidance.  Craig agrees with the idea of becoming more interactive.  For example, we might want to monitor new closings on Fox Island and reach out to new people to let them know we are here, build an Email database of Fox Island residents to communicate with them directly, and reach out to the young people on the island (untapped resource, full of energy, more knowledgeable in certain areas, bring a fresh face to this).  He likes the idea of the Trust getting involved in some kind of scholarship for kids, based on their volunteer support for the island.  This could motivate kids, expand our reach and give us another avenue of giving back to the island.

Jim agreed with Craig’s comments and discussed some of our current resources, such as the Email database and Welcome Packet distributed by the Post Office.  Howard would like to see us find a resource who can communicate with the kids.  Gina suggested a platform involving video games, which provided a great segue to Miguel’s next topic.

FICRA Social Activities – Miguel asked if the FICRA Board was ready to pursue the purchase of video equipment to start working on summer games, movies, concerts, etc.  He has floated some ideas to other families (and his kids) and believes that there are many who would like to participate.  We could sponsor a summer concert series, game tournament or other events that might get teens involved.  Craig concurred, but suggested we get a group of kids to help plan the events.  Based on her experience with her 15-year-old son and his friends, Gina thinks that kids sometimes feel a little challenged inventing their own events but that they definitely should be involved.  She has found at times that if you plan something and just tell your kids to go, all they really care about is if there will be other teens there.

Hal would like to see some recommendations from experts on what system would be best for our needs and proposed using the existing deck on the north side of the NCC as a starting point.  Miguel would be happy to look for someone who could design a suitable solution.  Wes King agreed it would be good to look at options.

Wes likes the idea of involving the kids and combining it with the scholarship.  Kids could put together a project for the island.  He also spoke with one of the new activity directors for Pan Met Parks, Brian Miller, about having a baseball or soccer team housed on Fox Island someday.  Pen Met would be willing to assist if we have the space and find the kids.

Miguel stressed that if we include the kids, it also brings in their parents, so we have folks who are in their 30s and 40s involved.  Miguel will reach out to someone for proposals on AV equipment, work with Candy on promos for new Board Members, get something out for Stan Weston, and reach out to Heidi along with Candy regarding volunteers.  He will send Heidi’s contact info to Hal, so he can pass information along to her.

Unfinished Business:

Hal reported (at the FICRA Building Trust Annual Meeting) that we have started, but not yet completed, the 2019 Audit, and bank information has been requested for the 2020 Audit.

Jim Braden is fine tuning a draft resolution (2021-001) for the Trust Board that will be sent out later.

New Business:

FICRA Mission & Goals – First of all, Lance wants to say that some of the people involved in this group are pretty remarkable humans.  He spent some time with Miguel, Jim and Hal, and they were really gracious in helping him on-board.  He loves what we are doing and this is an amazing community and he wants us to do some things to make this attractive, like improving the baseball field.  He spent some time with this group of people a couple weeks ago and began to talk about a mission statement.  For a long time, Fox Island has had a really good purpose statement.  He sent our five or six questions that people responded to, and after synthesizing the feedback, he came up with a handful of mission statements that are really important.  A Mission Statement isn’t something that you hope happens.  A Mission Statement is a target you are shooting for.  A lot of times, companies will get off on tangents, trying to do all kinds of stuff.  Lance wants us to find our primary mission, which is what he was looking for in the questions he sent out.  The group came up with a handful of mission statements that were whittled down to one mission, which is:

“The FICRA Mission is to Connect, Create, Engage and Thrive as a community on Fox Island.”

Lance stated “If something (selling candy in front of the building, making a new soccer or baseball field, saving money, spending money) gets us to fulfill the mission than let’s do it.  I just want you to know that this group of people you elected as a Board; if any of you have been saying man, let’s do stuff, I promise you, they’re ready to do some stuff.  It’s exciting; I’m super honored to be on this team.  Thank you for this opportunity and this team of people is pretty remarkable.”

With the agenda completed, Howard adjourned the meeting at 8:29PM.

The next regularly scheduled meeting(s) of the FICRA Board and FICRA Building Trust Board are Thursday, May 13th.

Respectfully submitted by Gina Olson and Howard Stapleton

Per Washington RCW 24.03.120, except as may be otherwise restricted by the articles of incorporation or bylaws, members of the board of directors or any committee designated by the board of directors may participate in a meeting of such board or committee by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment by means of which all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other at the same time and participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at a meeting.