Board Meeting Minutes – September 28, 2015

MHHA Board of Directors Meeting (download)
September 28, 2015
Offices of Julian Vail Offices, Lansing, Michigan
Regular Session Minutes

Present: E. Engle, T. Barrett, B. Gira, C. Serra, D. Hartsook, G. West, K. Crawford, K. Goodwin,
Absent: A. Bennett, S. Oldford, M. Sweeney
Associate: L. Julian
Guests: W. Beagle, D. Timperley

1. Call To Order & Moment of Silence
President Barrett called the meeting to order at 12:45 p.m.
A moment of silence was observed for Tom Cole and John J. “JT” Taylor.

2. Approval of September Agenda
A motion was made by Crawford and supported by West to approve the August Meeting Agenda. Motion unanimously passed.

3. Approval of August Regular and Closed Session Minutes
The July Regular Session Meeting Minutes were approved electronically by majority vote on September 14, 2015.
A motion was made by Crawford and supported by West to approve the July Closed Session One and Closed Session Two Meeting Minutes. Motion unanimously passed.

4. President’s Report
President Barrett reviewed the recent Mini-Series, the 2015 Colt Stakes and the Futurity Racing Program that were contested at our county fair tracks and at Northville Downs. He offered the following observations:

  • The good news is that many Michigan Horsemen raced for over $200,000 in good purses in the Mini-Series program.
  • He acknowledged many areas of improvement that will be made in the administration of the Colt Stakes and Futurity Races in 2016, including
    (but not limited to): (1) better timing between the races; (2) earlier availability of a race judge to approve race entries; and (3) more support help in the race secretary offices on race days.
  • President Barrett especially offered his praise for the Northville Downs Race Secretary, Mark Wandishin, who was very helpful in dealing with the many issues that typically arise on race day and who worked very hard to get the job done right for the horsemen.
  • President Barrett observed that the USTA has an electronic entry system in place. He encouraged our MHHA membership to utilize the USTA’s electronic entry method when racing at Northville Downs. This entry mode has been implemented by many racing venues because of its speed, ease and accuracy.

President Barrett announced that a meeting has been scheduled on October 7th with Michigan Gaming Control Board and Northville Downs for the purpose of reviewing our 2016 Pari-mutual race dates. At the present time, only ND applied for Standardbred racing dates. Neither Jackson nor Sports Creek have applied. The MHHA will request Friday and Saturday nights as our race days for the entire 2016 meet. We are optimistic about being granted these race days because, as a CHO (Certified Horsemen’s Organization), we have been successful in meeting all our 2015 obligation – we have provided an adequate horse supply, paid the purses, raced all our assigned dates and managed a financially successful race meet.
A motion was made by Engle and supported by Hartsook to go into Closed Session One at 1:30 p.m. under Section 8(c) of the Open Meetings Act for strategy discussions regarding escrowed purse funds negotiation. Yes: 8; No: 0. Motion unanimously passed. Motion made by Engle and supported by Hartsook to come out of Closed Session One and return to Regular Session at 1:45 p.m. Yes: 8; No: 0. Motion unanimously passed.

5. Treasurer’s Reports
The Treasurers Reports were presented for review and approval.
The board reviewed reports that demonstrated the status of the Futurity Fund, the Colt Stakes Fund, and the General Account. Each fund ended the year with a surplus. The MHHA is current with our obligations to Northville Downs.
Each fund will undergo a fiscal year-end examination and reconciliation by our Certified Public Accountancy firm.
A motion was made by Engle and seconded by Gira to accept and approve the Treasurers Reports. Motion unanimously carried. The Treasurer’s Reports are available for review upon request.

6. Association Management Report
Association Manager Julian reported on the following matters:

  • MHHA Scholarships: JV is prepared to make scholarship checks available and payable jointly to scholarship recipient and to their colleges. The board approved the payment by full consensus.
  • JV is culling our email address book list for accuracy and completeness.
  • JV has established a goal of sending out our electronic Newsletter on a weekly basis. Each issue will feature a story about one of our member. Any ideas or suggestions for newsletter articles may be submitted to Tom Barrett, Val Vail-Shirey or Larry Julian.
  • JV will issue a general survey to membership on website both at the Northville Downs and by email.

7. MHHA Member Comments

  • None

8. Old Business
President Barrett led the group through reporting and discussion regarding the following issues:

  • Colt Stakes: We are working on creating a solid colt stakes calendar for 2016. President Barrett will create a new Colt Stake Committee that will re-evaluate the whole program. The financial results of the 2015 Colt Stakes and Futurity Racing Programs were reviewed as part of the Treasurer’s Report above.
  • Annual Meeting: JV is planning an MHHA annual meeting for the end of January at the Crown Plaza in Novi. The estimated cost will be $75.00 per person. We ask Marty Adler again to be our MC for $300-350 plus his room cost. We cannot afford to purchase art work or other prizes, so we need to have them all donated. A new proposal is being evaluated that will create an on-line auction instead of a silent auction at the meeting; and a live auction only at the banquet.
  • Board of Directors Election: 4 seats will expire this year. Sweeney does not wish to run again. The seats currently held by Bolenbaugh, Serra and Goodwin will be up for election. Bennet has announced his intention to resign, so the duration of his position will be available for appointment by President Bennett.
  • Legal Update

A motion was made by Bolenbaugh and supported by Goodwin to go into Closed Session Two at 3:30 p.m. under Section 8(c) of the Open Meetings Act for strategy discussions regarding negotiations with Attorney Stackpole. Yes: 8; No: 0. Motion unanimously passed. Motion made by Bolenbaugh and supported by Goodwin to come out of Closed Session Two and return to Regular Session at 3:45 p.m. Yes: 8; No: 0. Motion unanimously passed.

9. New Business
Julian reported on the following matters:

  • Lifetime Membership: Emmet Allen has requested recognition as a Senior Member which does not require payment of dues. He requested back payment of dues since the time when he became qualified as a Senior Member. By consensus, the board agreed to recognize Mr. Allen as a Senior Member in the future, but not to pay him for past dues. Any Senior Member who qualifies under our rules may be so designated and will not be required to pay dues; however, the burden is on the Senior Member to draw attention to his Senior Member status in writing to the MHHA President.
  • Sulky Insurance Claim: Tim Driver, a MHHA Member, seeks payment for a sulky damaged in a Colt Stakes race. His claim was appropriately filed with the MHHA. By consensus, a payment of $150.00 was approved.

10. Legislative Report
Lobbyist Julian reported on the following issues:

  • The Thoroughbred horsemen’s legislation has been introduced through the office of Senator Dave Robertson. It is Senate Bill No. 504.
  • The MHHA’s is in the process of drafting a law that would permit Michigan Bred horses to compete in the Michigan Sire Stakes at the discretion of the MHHA.

11. Board of Director Comments
There were no director comments.

12. Next Board Meeting
The next Board Meeting will be on Monday, October 26, 2015 at the offices of Julian Vail with lunch at Noon and business meeting at 12:30 p.m.

13. Adjourn
A motion to adjourn was made by Goodwin and supported by Crawford. Motion unanimously passed. The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

Ed Engle, Jr., MHHA Secretary