November 2008

Minutes from Board Meeting on November 6, 2008

Bonnie Strittmatter, Chuck Katter, Ron Wimer, Mary Cooperman, Jeanne Bowles, Jill Nadel, Ellen Johnston, Jay Chu, Kathy Santarella, Adrienne Williams, Jeremy Howard, David Blansfield, Elizabeth Galle, Steph Belleveau.

Budget Review for Travel Meets

The coaches and Board discussed the necessity of reviewing budgets for big travel away meets, so we can anticipate expenses and don’t find ourselves over budget at the end of the year. The coaches agreed to submit preliminary budgets for such meets and Ellen is already preparing the budget for Senior Nationals.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes from the previous meeting on Oct. 2, 2008, were unanimously approved.

Freestyle Frenzy

Kathy Santarella reported on the upcoming Freestyle Frenzy. Most volunteer positions were filled and she thought we might even have too many timers!! Volunteer check in will be in the lobby and the team has six new watches. Kathy hopes to avoid any timer issues (such as not knowing to use both the watch and the button) with a thorough meeting for all timers in each session. Also, the meet is oversubscribed for the Sunday session so the 500 will be heat limited to the top 48.


Steph reports our new volunteer policy has been a little hard during the initial transition. She recommends more meetings next year to discuss the relationship between the volunteer system, SuperMeets, Direct Athletics, etc. Parents are finding that the SuperMeets website is not terribly user-friendly and some have had trouble accessing/creating passwords and signing up for volunteer slots. Some families haven’t even created accounts yet. I will send out an email to those families reminding them to do so ASAP. Steph also reported that all meets through January were online and available for volunteer signup. There was some final discussion about having too many timing slots per meet on SuperMeets and whether those parents who sign up ahead of time but are not needed should get their points. It was decided that they would get their points, however, we need a better sense ahead of time as to how many slots to post so that this does not become a recurring problem. Jeremy can help determine this in the future.

Coaches’ Report

Assistant Head Coach: Jeremy is still interviewing and hopes for an April 1 start date.

Retention: The final number of swimmers is 213. There is a foreign exchange student who swam for the Staples girls team who will be added and we will excuse her parents club fee. Despite all the changes over the last year the team has retained a very large percentage of swimmers. There is traditional and expected drop off at various age groups but Jeremy has a particularly enthusiastic group of 8/Unders. He hopes to grow the program from this group upward and anticipates possibly having three 8/under groups next year. He’s also anticipating the move to Mahackeno where we’ll have more space.

The Thanksgiving meet is now in Greenwich. It will be a tri-meet with New Canaan and Greenwich. There will be timed finals.

Hytec is developing an online sign-up system, which Jeremy looks forward to integrating with Meet Manager. We would use this instead of Direct Athletics.

Expenses: Ellen is putting together a projected expense report for Sr. Nationals and Jeremy has submitted equipment costs. We agreed to spend approximately $600.


The Board discussed the difficulty of finding a concession manager. One idea was for Helen Poliner to draft a list of procedures and responsibilities so that we can clarify the position for volunteers at upcoming meets (and for next year). She should also be helping to find possible candidates to create a concession “bullpen”. Chuck will call her to discuss.

Treasurer’s Report

It was a quiet month with not much activity and less than $1,000 in expenses. All non-compliance fees have been collected ($8452). Likewise, all PET-WRAT fees ($56, 360) have been collected and only two families fees are outstanding which is a better collection record than in previous years and puts us ahead for the month. As a result we’re in good shape. Jay also reported that we had $16,700 in coupon sales this month and the car wash generated $334. (There was some discussion as to whether this was worth the effort going forward. It will be discussed at a later meeting.)

Co-Presidents’ Report

USA Swimming: Chris could not attend the meeting but she reported that 10 families have not yet paid their USA Swimming fees. She has informed Jeremy and Ellen and will follow up. She will also be sending checks to those families that have left the team but still have a balance in their accounts.

Citrus: The team raised approximately $2,000, which is about the same as last year.

Seniors help out at swim meets: Ron proposed that our Senior swimmers be allowed to help out at swim meets. The benefits include giving the younger children a chance to see the older swimmers and it helps the national team “pay back” to the team that sends them to nationals. It will also give the older swimmers a chance to do some volunteer work. There was some discussion as to whether the Srs. would be willing to help out. Ellen reported that many already do quite a bit of volunteer work in other areas. We’d have to be careful not to overload them. Our goal should be to inspire the older kids to help without “requiring it.” One suggestion was to have the Srs. help out with the 8/unders. Or perhaps have the Seniors give a “master class” much like the Rowdy Gaines presentation. The best time would most likely be between seasons. Ellen will come up with a few ideas in the next couple months.

Parent Social: As of the meeting date we had 31 families signed up to attend the social.

Mahackeno: The Y has made an offer to one of the candidates for CEO and he accepted. Because we now have P&Z approval, the next step is fundraising. What can the Parents Club do? We had put aside money for pool rental in the event Mahackeno did not get approved and we can possibly make this a gift to the Y. We also need a vision of how much we hope to raise as a team. Bonnie is anticipating $1million, the idea being that we need to take the lead in building OUR pool! The board discussed whether that sum was realistic in this economic climate. Likewise, how do we get people engaged? What kinds of matching grants are available? What kind of fundraiser should we have—a 60th anniversary event? We all agreed to set up a fundraising committee to investigate the options and the Board agreed that we should start right after the holidays. Ellen also suggested contacting USA Swimming, which is experienced in pool construction and may offer suggestions as to how to control costs.

The next Board meeting is scheduled for December 3.

Respectfully Submitted,
Mary Cooperman