NEWS AND NOTES
Board Meeting, May 4, 2017
The meeting was called to order by the President Guy Howard. All directors were present with the exception of Tim Lanpher(excused) and Jeff Sorenson(absent). The following was discussed:
- NYS has increased the starting fee from $10.00 to $18.80. Owners will not see the increase as our Association will cover the additional $8.80 with the exception of stakes events. Paul Long will draft a letter on behalf of the Association to NYS requesting documentation on the testing review and price determination for review by Board members and finalizing for the President's signature.
- Tioga Downs has a new Black Box machine which the Association will pay half of the cost of.
- Lasix will now cost $20.00 and Salix will be the only product used.
- Winter Training took in $34,600 of which $30,000 was spent on payments to the track, dumpsters being emptied etc.
- A review of delinquent members on Health Insurance premium payments was presented by Guy Howard. Paul Bernardo will begin speaking to members on getting caught up or face being dropped. The cost of the Association subsidy is of increasing concern and ongoing delinquencies need immediate attention.
- A review of the Health Insurance requirement was discussed and the 60% rule was amended to include the addition of Drivers, not just trainers.
- Guy Howard will speak to Jason Bluhm reminding him that Jeff Gural in a meeting with our board last fall said he didn't care if we raced 5 horse fields. This was offered by Jeff in response to on ongoing concern of horsemen of the Race office combining classes,modifying classes and opening up a class which usually resulted in the horse being added being the odds-on favorite.
- Board member responsibilities were assigned. The Race Office committee to handle condition sheet complaints will be Corey Braden and Paul Bernardo. The Racetrack condition committee will be Kim Burris and John Hallett. Jason MacDougall continues to handle Secretary duties, Tim Lanpher handles Retirement Savings, Paul Long Stabling Incentive Bonus Program. Guy Howard handles the Health Insurance Program.
- Kim Burris raised a concern that board business was being leaked to members inappropriately. For integrity reasons, this should be discontinued. All Directors were in agreement.
Board Meeting May 24
A special meeting was held on May 24 to review the Retirement Savings Program as a result of questions of several members. Norm Fluet Jr, the Financial Advisor, was in attendance. All members were in attendance with the exception of Jeff Sorenson who was absent.
Norm pointed out that the individual statements distributed to all participants are in error. As a result, a complete review will be done back to program inception and corrected statements will be forthcoming. Most probably one statement will be issued to each member summarizing all corrections. This will take some time as we have 64 particpants n the program.
Norm is also looking into changing our investment direction to increase performance..
Distribution methods have come under question and as a result the board will conduct a special meeting to consider whether or not we recommend revising the savings distribution to possibly include lump sum payment.
Board Meeting June 8
A regularly scheduled meeting was called to order by the President Guy Howard.
All board members were in attendance with the exception of Jeff Sorenson whowas absent. Discussions included:
- Guy mentioned that we are currently over paid in purses by $50,000. This is due to the number of races conducted so far. We should see some balancing in the month of August when our race schedule becomes heavily skewed with stakes races.
- A lengthy discussion regarding horsemen complaints due to a large influx of outside horses that typically do not compete at Tioga Downs. This is primrily as a result of the 3 week closure of racing at Yonkers. Paul Long clarified with the Presiding Judge, Lance Ditewig, that this situation could be addressed by either using purse caps or writing duplicate events, one that specifies a number ofstarts needed at Tioga in order to be eligible. Lance believes that as long as we give them an opportunity to declare, we are not obligated to move the horses into the Tioga starters event if the "open" event doesn't fill. Our Race Office committee of Corey Braden and Paul Bernardo will have a discussion with Jason Bluhm.
- Our annual Horsemens Picnic is scheduled for August 7th at the park in Nichols and our annual meeting is scheduled for August 15
- This year 3 board positions are up for re-election: Guy Howard, Paul Long and Jeff Sorenson.
- Guy Howard gave a financial report. Our accounts are currently in very good standing.
- The board has decided to pay for the materials to have a shelter built for the outrider and a roof outside the paddock to shade the sun. Labor will be provided by the Tioga Downs maintenance crew. We will also be funding the purchase of a new washing machine for the drivers laundry area.
- Our association has paid $7300 towards the cost of purchasing a new black box machine.
- Tim Lanpher, our Retirement Savings Program coordinator, will be laying out some distribution options for a discussion with the board at our next meeting.
- Jeff Sorenson has had 3 consecutive unexcused absences from Borad meetings.Per our bylaws, Jeff is now subject to removal from the board. A motion was made to dismiss Jeff, it was seconded, an a unanimous vote in favor of removal from the board was delivered. Jeff will be notified he is no longer a Board member. His position will not be immediately filled since an election will be held in August,2017.