NORTHEAST DAIRY COMPACT COMMISSION
JULY 12, 2000 MONTHLY MEETING
Commission Members in Attendance:
CT: Shirley Ferris, Robert Jacquier, Mae Schmidle.
MA: Gordon Cook, Jay Healy, Mary K. Kassler.
ME: Fred Hardy, Colon Durrell, Stanley Millay.
NH: Doug Morris, Powell Cabot.
RI: Ron Newman, Al Bettencourt Jr., Aaron Briggs, Peter Petrone.
VT: Bobby Starr, Harold Howrigan.
Commission Staff Present:
Kenneth Becker, Executive Director; Carmen Ross, Regulations Administrator; David Ferch, Public Information Director; and Patricia Lammott, Temporary Office Assistant.
Vice Chair Mae Schmidle called the meeting to order at 11:32 a.m. on Wednesday, July 12, 2000.
I. Public Participation:
II. Introduction of guests:
Bob Wellington, Agri-Mark; Steve Watrous of Allied Federated
Coops; Patricia Green of Country Folks;
Ray DiSanto from the office of the USDA Market Administrator; Bonnie Burr; Mark
Cooper; and Martha Kierstead, New Hampshire Farm Bureau
III. Consideration and approval of Minutes of the June 7,2000 Meeting:
Moved to approve the minutes of the June 7, 2000 commission meeting as presented.
IV. Consideration of Communications:
Mr. Becker described a letter being circulated in the US House of Representatives seeking action on HR 1604.
Mr. Becker said the International Association of Milk Control Agencies will be holding its annual meeting in August in New York. Mrs. Schmidle said the Commissioners should consider attending.
V. Financial and Budget Report: Month ending May 2000:
Mr. Cabot said the Commission is in sound fiscal condition. As such, he said the Finance Committee will recommend paying back $25,000 of the money from the State of Maine.
Mr. Becker said the accounting firm of Fothergill, Segale and Valley have adjusted their fee schedule, which was anticipated.
Mr. Becker said there are two invoices to be paid: one from the market administrator and one from the law firm of Wiley, Rein and Fielding.
B. Executive Director’s Report:
Mr. Becker said milk
prices are rising somewhat so the Compact payment is decreasing, though still
up from the same period last year.
Mr. Becker described a study by Ken Bailey of Pennsylvania State University on the Northeast Dairy Compact. The key findings are: milk supply was stable; consumption did not change appreciably; the farm price did go up 48˘/cwt; and, there was an increase in retail price of a gallon of milk of 24˘ of which 10˘ is directly attributed to the Compact.
Mr. Becker said the escrowed funds in the New York State Dairy Foods case will bereleased by the court to the Compact Commission. Once the money is received it will be audited for return to the producers, likely in August.
Mr. Becker said the plaintiffs in the Organic Cow case indicated they will be appealing.
Mr. Becker said two or three handlers have been continuously delinquent and enforcement letters have been sent. One handler is setting up a payment plan. Another is being addressed by the Departments of Agriculture and another is reorganizing as a producer handler.
Mr. Becker said the office is receiving verification forms for the school milk reimbursement program.
Mr. Becker said the 1999 audit has been completed. Final fact checking is being conducted before it can be reviewed by the Audit Committee and included in the annual report.
Mr. Healy said Massachusetts has been working very hard on the Compact situation in its Legislature. The Natural Resources committee unanimously supports the Compact.
An article in The Globe said the budget may get to the Governor by the end of the week and the Compact is one of the major issues being addressed. Compact proponents do have the support of more than 100 legislators who have signed a letter. However, it is anticipated it will go to the governor who will veto it and there is an override proof margin.
C. Committee on Finance:
No further report
D. Committee on Administration:
Mrs. Schmidle said there have been meetings and there will be a report later on
E. Audit committee:
F. Bylaws Committee:
Mr. Durrell said there will be a recommendation later in the meeting.
G. Committee on Regulations and Rulemaking:
VII. Old Business:
A. Bylaws Committee:
Mr. Durrell said the committee is recommending Dr. Bruce Anderson to facilitate the retreat, and the committee is further recommending that it should be held on Aug. 15 and 16 immediately preceding a Commission meeting on Aug. 16.
Moved that the Commission approve Dr. (Bruce) Anderson as facilitator for a retreat on August 15-16, 2000 and hold the August meeting at 1:00 p.m. on August 16, 2000.
Mr. Newman said he opposes changing the meeting dates and prefers to keep the meetings on the first Wednesday of each month. He also questioned the need for a facilitator.
Ms. Kassler asked about the agenda.
Mr. Durrell said there have been conflicts between the personnel manual and the bylaws that need to be resolved.
Mr. Hardy said changing the dates is a mistake. As regards the bylaws, in the interest of coming change of executive director it might be wise to postpone for a month, Mr. Hardy said.
Mr. Jacquier said changing the dates is a mistake.
Mr. Newman said he wanted to table the motion, hold the meetings on the first Wednesday and postpone the retreat.
Motion 7/12-3 by Ron Newman/Second by Al Bettencourt Jr.
Moved to table the motion 7/12-2
MOTION PASSED 5 TO 1 (MASSACHUSETTS VOTING NO)
Ms. Kassler said the Bylaws Committee has made a proposal to the Commission that has not been fully considered, and there is a personnel manual that has not been addressed. She suggested that on the August agenda these issues be addressed, discussed and decided.
Mr. Starr said that as chair of a standing committee he would feel uncomfortable if the full Commission passed a motion dictating a resolution.
Mr. Healy said this issue has been discussed so it will not be a surprise.
Moved to discuss the bylaws and personnel issues at the next meeting.
VIII. New Business:
1) Accept the May 2000 financial statements and file for audit purposes;
2) Approve the Federal Milk Market Administrator’s invoice for the April 2000 pool, audits completed during May and referendum costs;
3) Approve the Wiley, Rein & Fielding invoice in the net amount of $6,052.10;
4) Approve the modified fee schedule with the Fothergill contract;
5) Repay the State of Maine $25,000.
Lunch Break from 12:30 to 1:10 p.m.
IX. Opportunity for Individual State Comment:
Mr. Newman said the governor of Rhode Island has reappointed the current members of the Rhode Island delegation to the Commission.
Mr. Durrell said the International Association of Milk Control Agencies encourages people to attend the annual meeting in Albany, NY.
X. Executive Session:
Moved to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters.
The Commission emerged from executive session.
XI. Committee on Administration Recommendations:
Motion 7/12-7 by Bobby Starr/Second by Al Bettencourt Jr.
Moved that the Committee on Administration be empowered to hire the executive director for the Northeast Dairy Compact.
The meeting adjourned at 2:38
Mary Kelligrew Kassler, Secretary