The regular monthly meeting of the trustees of the Hagensborg Water District was held at the firehall on May 16. It was the inaugural meeting of the new board following the April 28th Annual General Meeting.
As expected, the agenda included reports from the administrator, maintenance contractor and chief financial officer, approval of minutes and also of payables. In light of issues brought forward at the well-attended AGM, I added two items to the meeting agenda: consideration of decreasing the parcel tax for 2016, and the increasing level of administrative expenses.
At the start of the discussion regarding this year’s parcel tax, I raised the issue of conflict of interest related to Trustee Mikkelson and Chair Matthews. I was reassured by Trustee Mikkelson that his maintenance and repair work was on a volunteer basis only and was without financial compensation. Chair Matthews then informed the board that he and Matthews Contracting would from now on be fulfilling the terms of their maintenance agreement with HWD on a similar volunteer basis.
I am aware that the issue of and perception of conflict of interest has been a source of concern within the ratepayer community for some time, and I hope we can all join in thanking Donald and Chris for the contributions they have undertaken on our behalf.
The matter of this year’s parcel tax was discussed at length after my motion to set this tax at $75 for 2016. When it became clear that my motion would fail, I offered to amend it by specifying a higher amount, but in the end I was the sole trustee who voted in support of decreasing this year’s parcel tax at all.
The matter of administrative expenditures received less discussion, with commitments from myself and Trustee Baillie to review existing contractual arrangements and report back with proposals to the full board. Portfolios were assigned, with Trustees Mikkelson and Matthews receiving maintenance, Trustee Nelson taking on the Fire Department, Trustee Baillie accepting the financial oversight file, and yours truly choosing communication.
In this role, I will attempt to keep ratepayers better informed. With the board’s support, I will also pursue a long-stated goal of organizing a public meeting of ratepayers to review our direction, consider options, and affirm a new mandate from you, the ratepayer.
Please feel free to contact any one of your trustees on a matter of concern; this is the only way anything will change.