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February 21, 2018 CAC Minutes

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District

Citizens Advisory Committee


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Community Room

Minnehaha Creek Watershed District Offices

15320 Minnetonka Boulevard

Minnetonka, MN 55345


Board of Managers:  Sherry White, President; Brian Shekleton, Vice President; Richard Miller, Treasurer; Kurt Rogness, Secretary; Jessica Loftus, Manager; Bill Olson, Manager; Bill Becker, Manager       

Board Liaison for this meeting:  Brian Shekleton


1.       Call meeting to order at 6:34pm by Chair Bill Bushnell


2.       Attendance  -

New CAC Members:  Drew McGovern and John Salditt

Returning CAC Members:  Bill Bushnell, Peter Rechelbacher, Gerald    Ciardelli, Brian Girard, Elizabeth Crow, Cassandra Ordway, Brad Coulthart, Linda Jahnke, Richard Nyquist, Jacquie DiGiacomo, Marc Rosenberg

CAC Members not present: John Grams, Dave Oltmans and Sliv Carlson

MCWD Managers:  Brian Shekleton, Bill Olson

MCWD Staff:  Darren Lochner, James Wisker, Telly Mamayek, Kim LaBo, Lars Erdahl


3.       Approval of Agenda – Brian Girard made the motion to approve, Peter Rechelbacher seconded the motion and the CAC gave unanimous approval.


4.       Approval of Minutes –

4.1      November 8, 2017

           December 13, 2017

Approval of minutes from the previous two meetings was tabled until the next meeting. Darren Lochner reported that he was delayed in distributing the minutes and they will be shared at the next meeting.  Darren distributed a summary of the brainstorming discussion that occurred in December.


5.       Report from Staff

5.1         Welcome to 2018 CAC members – Darren Lochner reported that we received 26 applications. Fourteen of the 18 members from last year reapplied and were reappointed. We have two new members who have joined us tonight – Drew McGovern and John Salditt – rounding out the total number of CAC members to 16.

Lars Erdahl explained that he is leaving the District at the end of the month. He said the District is in a much better place than when he arrived in 2015 and that it is in good hands moving forward. He complimented staff and said it is an exciting time in the organization’s history.

5.2         Overview of CAC appointment process and plans for 2019 – Darren Lochner reported that 2018 is a transition year for the CAC with future discussions planned on the CAC’s roles and responsibilities, size of CAC and how appointments are handled, among other things.

5.3         Orientation and resources for CAC – Darren Lochner reported that he gave the new CAC members an orientation prior to the meeting. He reviewed the resources presented, including the website, and will send the list to the CAC next week.

6.       Report from CAC Members – Gerald Ciardelli reported receiving a news item from Hennepin County in early February listing $37,800 in natural resources good stewards grants for the installation of rain gardens. Recipients include Field Community School, Metro Blooms, and the Standish Ericcson Neighborhood Association.  He also noted the City of St. Louis Park has launched a new grant program. He is hoping the MCWD’s past work in issuing grants has planted a seed elsewhere.

Brian Girard is part of the Big Island Park Committee which is discussing the future of management of the park. He reports that the committee has not met for several months and that he plans to get more information.  Lars Erdahl reported that he and MCWD Staff Member Laura Domyancich met with City of Orono staff recently and they understand the MCWD’s jurisdiction. The MCWD Board of Managers has taken an active role in the matter. The District is in the process of developing a cooperative agreement with the City of Orono to ensure ongoing coordination regarding Big Island. Laura Domyancich will be presenting a Big Island Engagement Strategy to the Board of Managers at its meeting on Thursday, February 22.

John Salditt reported that he applied for a grant from St. Louis Park’s Rainwater Rewards Program and that he was told he was the only applicant.

Bill Bushnell thanked Lars Erdahl for his term at the District and congratulated him for energizing and empowering the staff.

7.       Report from Board of Manager Liaison – Brian Shekleton issued a short report, saying the District’s priorities have been set and that he looks forward to working with the CAC moving forward.

8.       New Business –

8.1         Roles and opportunities for the 2018 MCWD CAC -

James Wisker gave a presentation on the process of aligning the CAC’s work with the Board of Managers. He started with an overview of the MCWD’s background, including the evolution of its approach from a more regulatory focus in 2007 to a more partnership focus today. He explained that the District is now pursuing integrating land use and water planning and working in partnership to build high impact capital projects.

The District’s work in the Minnehaha Creek Greenway in St. Louis Park and Hopkins has been a turning point in the District’s approach. It has been working with partners to align goals, improving water quality in the most degraded stretch of creek, enhancing wildlife habitat, and increasing green space and access to the creek. The next project along the Greenway is 325 Blake Road where the Cold Storage facility will be demolished for redevelopment and a creek restoration that will treat hundreds of acres of stormwater from nearby neighborhoods.

MCWD embarked on a strategic planning process to evaluate and align programs; prioritize resources

Review goal of committee alignment – James reported the CAC has been asking for a more direct role in the Board of Managers’ work. He gave an overview of the District’s committees.

Planning and Policy Committee – forward looking, strategic
Operations and Programs Committee – reviews programmatic work

CAC – advisory role for both committees

Board of Managers – acts on business that has been vetted through committee

Committee goals:

Divide the work

Align committees

Improve forecasting of work

Increase efficiency

CAC goals:

Increase understanding

Focus and align work

Increased engagement on strategic direction

Overview of draft framework to align and focus the CAC

Reviews draft  of MCWD’s strategic action plan which will track what needs to be done by each program, by which staff, and by what deadline to accomplish our goals.

Tools to focus CAC:
Annual board prioritization of CAC agenda
Focus CAC in specific areas: Strategic Action Plan elements, liaisons to community to enhance our situational awareness, ongoing education

Develop annual program, meeting schedule and improve management/communications

Divide the CAC’s work into the following buckets and have quarterly goals, assignments, etc.: Policy, Projects, Ongoing Education, and Liaisons Roles

Discussion with CAC:

Brian Girard says this is what the CAC was looking for – a meaningful role in helping the District accomplish its goals.

John Salditt liked what he heard and recalls his strategic planning background in private business. He says it holds together, but how do we know if we’re on the right track, if goals have been met. What are the measures/metrics?

James responded that we need to focus on standardizing process and identify how to spot issues and course correct. This is all in draft form right now.

Bill Olson says the MCWD is getting accolades on its Watershed Management Plan and it’s a model for others to follow.

Richard Nyquist wondered whether developers are coming to the table because of our previous regulation-focused approach. James says it’s important to have minimum standards for preventing degradation, but that we’re also looking for creative solutions to solve stormwater management issues.

Elizabeth Crow was wondering how the liaison roles will be handled. James suggested adding that to the next CAC meeting agenda.

Peter Rechelbacher wants to know how to stay plugged in to the CAC’s business while out of town. James responded that we’ll be standardizing CAC minutes.

Bill Olson wants CAC members to be active participants in the bodies where they are serving as liaisons.

Darren Lochner says the CAC will continue the discussion at next month’s meeting.  He’ll work with James to distribute some key slides from tonight’s presentation for the CAC to consider for future discussion.


8.2         Election of 2018 CAC Officers and Executive Team –

Gerald Ciardelli nominates Chairman Bill Bushnell for Chair. Peter Rechelbacher seconds. Motion to close the nominations – Richard, second brian. Unanimous approval.

Brian Girard nominates Peter Rechelbacher, Richard Nyquist seconds. Jacqueline DiGiacomo moves to close nominations, Girard seconds. Unanimous approval

Brian Girard and Elizabeth Crow are finishing their first terms as deputies. Peter Rechelbacher nominates them to return as deputies. Peter moves to close, Liz seconds. Passes unanimously.

8.3         Discussion on future agenda items and education topics – will focus on this at the next meeting

9.           Old Business

10.        Special items to address by CAC / Staff before next meeting – Bill Bushnell wants to discuss CAC representatatives to the Board of Manager committees (OPC and PPC)

11.        Adjourn 8:43 pm (Peter Rechelbacher motion, Brian Girard second, approved by unanimous vote)

Next Meeting on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.

Minutes or Agenda?: