Highlands Business Partnership
Regular Meeting of the Board of Director's
January 28, 2002
Henry Hudson Regional High School
Grand Tour

Executive Session

The non-public portion of the meeting was called to order at 7:18 p.m. by Carla Braswell, HBP Vice President.  There was no meeting quorum for action. In attendance were the following:  K. Armstrong, C. Braswell, L. Cartaya, B. Duncan, R. Mumford, J. Tedesco (appointed by Borough to replace Councilman R. Rauen), S. Ruby, J. Wicklund.

Contract Renewals

Bayshore Office contract will be expiring in April and review and action will be deferred to the March Meeting.  Allen Consulting, marketing professional, contract renewal was recapped for the Board.  The contract options were outlined and presented to the Board of Directors by a special e-mail, phone and fax vote.  Contract option #1 carried 11 votes out of 17 possible votes.  There was (1) one negative vote for the contract; (1) one vote for contract option #2; (4) four board members not responding.  The HBP Office initiated follow up telephone calls to the no response members.  Marketing contract option #1 was approved by the Board majority for a contract period of 1/1/02 through 12/31/03 (two years).  The marketing contract option for renewal is 11/30/03.  The contract includes a clause that the contract is terminated immediately when client funding is terminated.  Scope of services include support of al HBP special events including:  sponsorship sales, public relations (writing and placement) attending all marking and PR committee meetings; providing on-site management; negotiating fees/rates for performers/suppliers/support services; sponsorship sales, rights and other marketing activities.  Total 30 monthly hourly plus out of pocket expenses including telephone, postage, photocopying, typesetting, printing, photography.  HBP will pay consultant commission of all revenue including but not limited to corporate sponsorships, county contributions and payments, grants, in-kind barter value/services with cap for barter.  Preparation and distribution of flyers/posters, banners/table tents and other event collateral, public relations undertaken by consultant on behalf of client.  The contract was signed January 4, 2002.

Litigation

Current HBP litigation expenses regarding the Highlands Ordinance language are $7,405 with approximately 20 additional hours of work remaining before the case is heard before the appellate court.  Greenbaum Rowe, Robert Goldsmith, Attorney, is handling the appeal from the Monmouth County Court decision on behalf of HBP and the Borough.  A commercial income producing property litigated against the Borough and HBP, as they perceive themselves as an “expressly residential” property.  Roger Mumford commented that the system’s inability to consolidate properties under one deed of record in order to use the HBP multiple properties exclusion was a concern.  John Tedesco commented that the future holds a re-valuation process for all properties that will bring all properties in line.  Newly renovated properties have been assessed higher and the re-val will address this disparity.  Currently, properties held by different owners of record who represent the same corporate holding group must provide information to use the option.  Due to the information obtained from the County Tax Administration, the HBP cap and minimum and multiple commercial property owner exclusions are being considered for elimination.  These options are difficult to justify, while they provide an artificial cap at the top assessment rates along with owners who have multiple property holdings and the minimum assessment inflates the assessment for properties assessed at a low value. 

New Business

Carla Braswell reported that a balance of $44,008.50 is the Prudential Securities money market account balance for December 2001. Carla Braswell provided the board members with an overview of the hardships that the Executive Committee is experiencing.   Lynn Hunter has been ill and unable to participate.  Kathryn Lustig has verbally resigned as Secretary, due to increase business commitments and family illness.  A formal letter of resignation will follow to fellow Board members.  Bill Garcia has resigned as Treasurer and Board member due to increase time demands from his business and unable to dedicate the amount of time that would be necessary to carry out the Treasurer duties.  A letter of resignation will be forwarded to the Board.  Carla explained to the Board that the income statement was not current due to the extenuating circumstances with other Board members. Carla appealed to the Board for assistance to get the HBP financial records finalized for income statements for the Board and the annual audit.  Comments from the Board were supportive of Carla’s plight and a motion by Joan Wicklund, second to the motion by Kathy Armstrong with all present in favor of deferring the Treasurer’s report until the annual meeting and soliciting an finance professional to bring the HBP financial program current.  As only (8) eight voting members were present at the meeting additional votes were obtained through fax, e-mail and phone.  Adding their vote to the action of those present were L. Hunter, J. Koenig, K. Lustig, D. Stafford.  Remaining Board members could not be reached for their support.  Ten (10) votes are needed for action.

 

A financial summary and spreadsheet of the HBP marketing sponsorship event income analysis was presented by Carla Braswell to provide the Board with the various income and expense items during 2001.  There was a total allocation of HBP funds for professional services of $40,000.  Total cash revenue was $47,249; and total barter revenue $30,250 (barter includes various signs, banners, TV, radio, public relations).  The total HBP expense investment of $40,000 was recouped through the cash revenue of $47,249, which adds $7,240 to cash income.  Total marketing revenue $77,499 was invested to promote Highlands as a destination.  The summary outlined the following contract information:

First contract period April 2000 through April 2001 there was $19,710 in cash revenue

Second contract period May 2001 through June 30, 2001 there was $15,250 in cash revenue

Third contract period July 1 through December 31, 2001 there was $12,289 in cash revenue

The marketing activities will grow from year to year as each event matures and expands under professional marketing production and public relations leadership.

HBP Marketing/Special Events Committee objective was to add professional marketing talents to Highlands’ destination marketing activities.  The committee has accomplished this objective and through the efforts of Allen Consulting cash income from events, sponsors and grants are sufficient to cover the professional services expense with a cash income of $7,249 and barter investment in Highlands totaling $30,250.

 

Executive Session was closed by a motion by C. Braswell, second by J. Wicklund with all in favor the session was closed at 8:00 p.m.

The public session of the HBP Board of Directors was called to order at 8:01 p.m. by Carla Braswell, Vice President.


Meeting Attendance:   O = present  X = absent  
K. Armstrong O B. Duncan O J. Koenig X J. Tedesco O
L. Cartaya O W. Garcia X M. Kovic X S. Ruby O
D. Douty X L. Hunter X H. Moyer X J. Wicklund O
C. Braswell O K. James X R. Mumford O D. Stafford X
            K. Lustig X

8/17  -  50% plus one = quorum (10/17)
Also in attendance:  Fred Rosie, Mayor Richard O'Neil, Pastor Mc Grail


Presentation by Sylvia Allen, ACI, HBP Marketing Consult

Sylvia Allen presented a report to the HBP Board of Directors.  It included the following:

2002 Calendar of Events, Initial Calendar of Events PR Release, Sponsorship Options, Clam Fest food letter HBP member and non-member, Clam Fest restaurant form, vendor form, mailings for vendors, sponsorship dollars since 1/1/02, revenue potential for balance of 2002, HBP Banner Program, Best of the Best Awards Program, Jasper Entry 2002.  The Banner Program is under the VIC Committee and Kathy Armstrong or Sylvia Allen can address any questions you may have regarding banner sponsorship.  The Banner Program is being offered to Highlands businesses first and then to outside corporate sponsors.  It is anticipated to produce $16,000 in income.  There are over 30 locations for banner placement along Bay Avenue.  ACI reports that revenue committed in cash totals $12,900 and barter revenue $24,975.  The barter revenue committed includes $15,000 COMCAST, $4,975 BarterPays! And WJLK $5,000.  Cash revenue potential has been identified by ACI as $60,250 for 2002.  Included are two advertorials….Clam Fest and Bike Tour/Oktoberfest in the Asbury Park Press. Also there are a minimum of three times on News 12 daytime shows, minimum of three times on COMCAST Newsmakers and all newspaper, magazine, Internet, radio and TV coverage of all events via press releases, personal pitch letters and telephone calls.

Minutes of the November 26, 2001 Regular Meeting of HBP

Minutes were provided to the Board in advance the week of December 3, 2001.  Minutes were reviewed and a motion by K. Armstrong, second by J. Tedesco to accept the minutes into corporate record.  With all in favor the minutes shall be included in corporate records and added to our Website for public access.  As only eight votes were present, e-mail, fax and phone responses were obtained from L. Hunter, J. Koenig and K. Lustig.

Treasurer's Report

The Treasurer's Report will be deferred until the annual meeting, March 2002.  Discussion during Executive Session outlined the issues surrounding production of an income statement.  The Prudential Securities money market account balance for December is $44,008.50.  The BID Ordinance amendment is in process with the Mayor and Council and the HBP Budget 2002 will be introduced after the completion of the Ordinance Amendment.  The 2002 HBP Budget will be retroactive to Jan 1, 2002.    The Ordinance amendment is required to change the language in the Ordinance regarding properties included in the BID District and also adds properties to the schedule B list of properties that were omitted, as they were misclassified.  This has occurred after the Highlands’ Tax Assessor reviewed the master sewer list for properties with five or more units/sewer hook ups.  The annual audit will be completed through the professional services of Wiss and Co.  The 2001 audit of HBP must be completed by April 2002. 

Executive Committee - Hunter, Braswell, Garcia, Lustig

The contract review and litigation overviews were reported in the Executive Session. Board circumstances involving illness and increased business demands have rendered Carla Braswell solo during the month of December, 2001 and January 2002.  Action was initiated in Executive Session to assist Carla.  Carla called upon the Board through to assist her in corporation business by naming Joan Wicklund as acting Secretary from January through March (Annual Meeting and Officer election).  The motion was made by Sherry Ruby, second by John Tedesco with all in favor approving the motion.  As only eight members were present, a e-mail, phone and fax vote was undertaken.  L. Hunter, J. Koenig and K. Lustig voted in favor of the motion.  Joan Wicklund will assume the duties of the Secretary on the interim basis until the Annual Meeting and election of Board members and Officers. The Mayor and Council have replaced Councilman Robert Rauen as Borough representative to the BID and replaced with Borough Administrator, John Tedesco.  Everyone welcomes John to the Board of Directors.

Summary of the HBP Annual Meeting process as follows:

1/4/02               2002 Nominating Committee:  J. Koenig, S. Ruby, C. Braswell

1/12/02             First Annual Meeting & Election noticed Asbury Park Press, Courier, Web

2/2/02               Second Notice to newspapers

2/4/02               Nominating Committee reports findings

2/15/02             First Notice mailed to membership informs of annual meeting, call for petitions for nominations

2/25/02             Close of petitions for nominations must be received by fax with endorsement as per bylaws

3/1/02               Second Notice mailed to membership informs of annual meeting and final slate of candidates

3/11/02             Annual Meeting and Election

 

Committee Reports
VIC - K. Armstrong, Committee Chair
Parking Design Maintenance Beautification Capital Improvements

HBP Banner Program future projects include banners for Bay Avenue through the work of ACI and sponsorship. This will be a marketing and sponsorship opportunity for HBP.  Preliminary costs have been discussed and they include $150 install, bracket, name cost; HBP sponsor cost one year - $295, three years $395; Outside sponsor cost one year $395, three years $495 with 10% discount for 5 or more.  There is $8,000 sponsorship income potential in this project for HBP. The Holiday Decorations have been stored in a special shed (formally NPP) where new brackets and hangers were installed to prevent damage during storage.  Carla Braswell worked with the Borough to re-organize and clean up the Grand Tour storage area.  A walk through with R. Robertson, K. Shaw and M-Tech Electric – Mark Mariety will provide a list of electric issues for 2002 events in the park areas (Huddy, Veterans, Ederly).

Economic Development - R. Mumford/B. Duncan, Committee Co-Chairs

The Borough and HBP awaiting a determination of the Smart Growth application for funding a Strategic Revitalization Plan.  K. Shaw commented that this represents the single most important initiative that HBP and Highlands can undertake to make business recruitment effective and productive.  Making the environment predictable will ensure success for both parties and we will able to define our design and planning parameters ahead of time; and simply implement without arbitrating each new applicant or expansion.

Marketing/Special Events - Co-Chairs L. Hunter and C. Braswell

Advertising “destination Highlands” in the Asbury Park Press with “Sweethearts in Highlands” was presented.  The cost for advertising is as follows:  $1,588 half page one color ad for placement Saturday 2/9/02 On The Run Section including Wednesday edition 2/13/02 and Thursday 2/14/02 Middletown Reporter which includes coverage in Highlands, Atlantic Highlands, Middletown and Holmdel.  Discussion from the Board was based on providing all businesses some benefits.

A coupon approach for Highlands BID Bucks will be incorporated into the ad, which features food, beauty, spa, gifts, B&B experiences for a Valentine’s weekend showcase of what you can do in Highlands.

ACI has met with Carla Braswell and Kathy Shaw regarding the 2002 events calendar in order to streamline issues, electric, approval process, signs, banners, advertising, vendors, entertainment, etc.  The DNJ Awards held at Stevens Institute in Hoboken, for HBP Destination Marketing,  was attended by Ken and Carla Braswell, Kathy Shaw. John Tedesco and Betty Slobcek from ACI.

HBP Newsletter deadline for Committee Chairs is March 1 for April 1 publication date.  The newsletter will feature our Annual Report accomplishments and future objectives, including new business spotlights.

HBP Business Advocate

K. Shaw reported that a inventory of signs for ACI production of events is underway to get changes and new orders underway.  The same process is underway for the Highlands WayFinding Signs.  HBP has requested from the Borough a inventory of grants, “wish list” of Borough projects for HBP to coordinate efforts towards implementation.

Action Items:

A.
Asbury Park Press Ad $1,588 "Sweethearts In Highlands"
A motion to approve the ad was made by J. Tedesco, second to the motion by C. Braswell to approve the expenditure to place the ad as a Highlands destination ad for Valentine’s Day – a winter promotion.   A discussion was held with questions from K. Armstrong and R. Mumford regarding a tracking system to know if the ad was successful.  Also suggestion were made to reduce or elimination Highlands Business Partnership and enlarge …..Make Highlands Your Valentine’s destination….  Text that referred to ….mention ad and get discount or gift was discussed with a conclusion that J. Wicklund and C. Braswell will work on the wording to include some mechanism for “Highlands BID Bucks”.  Lynn Hunter created the concept that was used for the Re-Discover promotion that provided HBP BID funding for a specified amount for use in any Highlands Business that can be redeemed through HBP for instant cash from the HBP Business Operator.  After discussion a call for a vote produced all in favor with qualifiers to be fine tuned by Braswell and Wicklund.  As there were only seven Directors present for the vote, outreach to Board members was made by e-mail, fax and phone.  L. Hunter, J. Koenig, K. Lustig voted yes to approve the ad with qualifiers outlined above.

B.
Annual Report/Accomplishments2001/Objectives 2002 approval for mailing to membership and place on website
HBP members present approved the HBP reports for distribution as outlined.

Old Business: 
none

New Business:

Public Portion:

Pastor Mc Grail brought a sensitive issue affecting Highlands – drug dealing.  With surrounding communities in a stage of revitalization, such as Long Branch, the influx of drugs is of concern to businesses and the entire community.  Pastor requested that Highlands business operators be sensitive to merchandise that encourages drug use.  Pastor encouraged our HBP efforts to move the community forward as a purpose driven community for tomorrow and said he was thankful for us all.  Discussion with the police and Borough Administration regarding this issue has taken place.  K. Shaw, HBP Business Advocate commented that without local Police guidance on protocol and strategies, HBP was hard pressed to

conduct any independent activities.  HBP will work with police and Borough Officials to affect any necessary activities that the business community may implement to support our police professionals.  The Board thanked Pastor Mc Grail for his work in the community and his comments and interest in a better Highlands.  The Board is available through HBP Business Advocate if any other issues arise and are interested in any progress or updates of information.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:59 p.m. by a motion from C. Braswell, second by J. Tedesco with all in favor the meeting was adjourned.

Next meeting of the HBP Board of Directors is:
ANNUAL MEETING/ELECTION Monday, March 11, 2002

Meeting Schedule for 2002: Regular Meeting Monday, August 12, 2002
  Regular Meeting Monday, November 25, 2002

Submitted by K. Shaw, Business Advocate 3/5/02