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MARCH 14 COUNTY TREASURY POOL MEETING

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on Friday, 15 March 2013 in Uncategorized

 

March 14 County Treasury Pool Meeting 
 


Yesterday, March 14, at 1 pm, Mendocino County Treasurer, Shari Schapmire, convened a "Round Table Discussion" of the Mendocino County Treasury Pool. 
 
We met in Conference C at  the County Administration Center on Low Gap Road.

The agenda included the following items:
  • Introduction of New Investment Adviser -- Chandler Asset Management
  • Update on the Economy and Financial Markets
  • Chandler's Investment Strategy
  • County Treasurer's Investment Policy
  • Interest Rate Apportionment Rates
  • Costs Associated with the Treasury Pool
  • Banking Services
  • Additional Topics of Interest
Four of the five members of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors (BOS) were in attendance: Dan Hamburg, John McCowen, John Pinches, and Dan Gjerde. Supervisor Brown was absent.

This was a Brown Act meeting that was properly was noticed.

Also attending the meeting were 40-50 members of the public. The meeting was also videotaped for community television.
 
My takeaways include the following:
 
  • Chandler is doing a good job for a reasonable fee. Chandler earned a 61-basis point return for last quarter on the consolidated portfolio. On a risk-adjusted basis, this is better than our previous money manager (Abalone Cove Advisers).  Meanwhile, Chandler only charges the county about $16,200 in annualized fees, which includes Bloomberg and most other services.
  • Chandler also diversified the holdings in the treasury pool from approximately 20 holdings to about 80 holdings. Our holdings were expanded to include U.S. Treasury securities and federal agency securities. In diversifying the holdings, the average size per holding went from approximately $5 million to $1-2 million per holding.
  • The diversification has resulted in a much more level "interest rate apportionment rate". More level interest, and less volatility, is a good thing.
  • Fitch, the bond rating company, had previously noted that Mendocino County had some performance issues with the treasury pool, hence the switch to Chandler. 
  • The County Treasurer's Investment Policy puts its highest priorities as "safety, liquidity, and yield."
  • Chandler staggers the maturities of our county's holdings in a Ladder" fashion. The average duration is 0.86 years. The average coupon is 0.74%. The Average Purchase Yield to Maturity (YTM) is 0.46 %. The average Market YTM is 0.35 %.  The Average Final Maturity is 1.0 year. The Average Life is 0.90 years.
  • The Average S&P/Moody Rating is AA/Aa2. 
  • Approximately 10.7 % of the portfolio is only rated A by S&P, and 42.9% of the portfolio is Unrated.
  • As of 1/13/13, the market value of the treasury pool was $212,906,082, which includes accrued interest of $367,075.
  • The top issuers in in treasury pool are: Local Agency Investment Fund (24.7%), Custodial Checking Account (10.2 5), Government of the United States of America (9.2%), Federal Home Loan Bank (7.0%), Federal National Mortgage Association(6.5%), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (5.7%), Federal Farm Credit Bank (5.2%), and Bank of Montreal Chicago (4.9%).
  • Chandler's investment advisory fees represents only a small portion of the total costs for administering the treasury pool. Chandler's annualized fees of $16.200 is dwarfed by $246,000 in annual costs that the County Treasurer's Office will charges off to the treasury pool in 2012-2013. Of the $246,000 amount, 65% of the County Treasurer's salary and benefits of $155,200 was charged off to the treasury pool.
  • Approximately 43.3 % of f the total staff time at the Treasury Office was spent on treasury pool business.
  • Other costs included "variable costs" for Bank of America -- about $10,026 per quarter  -- and lesser dollar amounts for Mellon Bank and Savings Bank of Mendocino, for custody and clearing services. After an RFP conducted last year, Bank of America was retained.
  • Total pool costs are about 0.00165 per $100.
  • The County Treasurer emphatically stated that "socially responsibility" is not a factor in making treasury pool investments. Her only criteria were "safety, liquidity, and yield".
  • Treasury pool holdings include; 2.33 % of the portfolio in Barclays Bank (responsible for the LIBOR rate manipulation scandal); 0.70 % of the portfolio in Wells Fargo Bank (responsible for "robo foreclosures"); 0.60% of the portfolio in General Electric (a major defense contractor); and 0.47 5 of the portfolio in Wal-Mart Stores (an anti-union shop and the defendant in a gender discrimination class action lawsuit filed in federal court by many of the women who work for Wal-Mart).
  • Members of the public were outraged that the treasury pool included these controversial holdings.
  • Members of the public respectfully suggested to the County Treasurer that a county bank, if approved by the BOS, would be a good way to make socially responsible investments in the treasury pool. A county bank could also earn the administrative fees of approximately a quarter million dollars that currently charged off to the County Treasurer's Office. This could help fund the operation of a county bank.
  • Public banking is already working in the United States (the State of North Dakota) , and 20 states are currently considering some form of public banking legislation. A county-owned, county-operated bank would be a public bank.
  • The Public banking Conference, "Funding The New Economy", will take place on June 2-4, in San Rafael, CA, at Dominican University. The event is hosted by the Public Banking Institute, the Pennsylvania Public Bank Project, New Montana, Dominican University's Green MBA, the Vermont Partnership Bank, and the Washington Investment Trust.
 
Respectfully submitted,

John Sakowicz


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MCPB Board of Directors

Welcome our new board members and thank our outgoing board members at the Annual Meeting of the Mendocino County Public Broadcasting Board of Directors

Point Noyo (previously The Cliff House)

1011 S Main Street 

Fort Bragg, CA 95437

Monday, May 2nd, 2016 6:00 pm

(No Host Bar/Food available for purchase)

New board members John Azzaro (At large); Jonathan Middlebrook (1st District); and Stuart Campbell (Programmer Elect) 

Outgoing board members are Bob Page and John Sakowicz


Here are the minutes from the last meeting, as yet unapproved.


KZYX/MENDOCINO COUNTY PUBLIC BROADCASTING

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

MARCH 7, 2016

WILLITS LIBRARY

 

MINUTES

 THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER AT 6:03 P.M.

ROLL CALL
Present: Meg Courtney, Lorraine Dechter, Jane Futcher, Jenness Hartley, Ed Keller, Benj Thomas, John Sakowicz

Absent: Clay Eubank

 

APPROVAL OF LAST MEETING’S MINUTES: Unanimous

 

MATTERS FROM THE BOARD PRESIDENT: Meg Courtney

—GROUND RULES: Meg appointed Jenness to be the Meeting Facilitator

—THANK YOUS: Meg expressed thanks to Lorraine Dechter, the new GM: Jane Futcher, elections coordinator and election ballot workers and stampers, including Jenness, Ed, Bob and several others. Ed Keller was thanked for building a covered area outside where staff can sit.

—FUNDRAISING: Meg mentioned some of the fundraisers coming up, including Amy Goodman in Willits, April 16; a Willits house party April 23; a Mother’s Day fundraiser with Starchild chocolate; a Church of the Boogie Woogie party with a Boogie Woogie diva in June. She thanked Catherine Keegan and Tim Bray for taking on many fundraising events for KZYX and for requiring board and staff do very little.

 

MATTERS FROM BOARD MEMBERS:

Jane Futcher reported that board election was proceeding and the on-air forum went well.

John Sakowicz welcomed Lorraine and expressed hope that KZYX will collaborate with low-power channels like KMEC, also using digital platforms and many new technologies that expand the station’s reach and can be the source of potential revenues.

 

STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS

—Elections Report by Jane not needed because of above check-in

—No Finance Committee report due to Clay’s absence

 

PRESENTATION OF MENDOCINO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ COMMENDATION TO MARY AIGNER BY TOM WOODHOUSE: Tom Woodhouse read an eloquently worded recognition of Mary Aigner’s 22 years of service as a staff member of KZYX. (See Attached)

 

COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARD REPORT FROM ELLEN SAXE

Ellen summarized the results of a CAB public meeting in Elk in February. She chose an area that the station does not always reach out to but was disappointed with the turnout despite the fact that the meeting was well publicized. About 10 people attended. She said transparency of the board and station was a big issue and there were requests for:
1. On-air CAB meetings

2. On-air Board meetings

3. On-air discussions with board representatives

4. The board should stop using a closed board list serve and confidential meetings

5. Simple living membership of $25 should be announced on the air

6. Controversy comes from exclusion — Someone said that when the Mendocino School Board adopted a more open stance their meetings became less contentious and shorter.

 

Ellen reported many comments about the board’s conduct, including:

—Board should state what its rules are and follow the process

—Board should not let a few people make all the decisions

—Board should make transparency a priority

—Board needs to follow through as new board members replace outgoing members.

—Board should be more responsive.

Several of those attending want access to the membership list with an opt-out clause for folks who don’t want to be contacted.

Other suggestions:

—Hire a volunteer coordinator

—contact nonmembers through public meetings

—Restore safe harbor

—State what happened with Ukiah studio funds

—Start a program council that had decision-making power

—Pay attention to the South Coast so people in Gualala can tune in.

—Encourage more participation by young people

—Define and follow the process for choosing programmers

—Institute a grievance procedure for former programmers

—Form Ad Hoc committees of members for pursuing specific issues

—Take seriously the decline in membership

—Encourage and support local programmers

 

BREAKS: During the meeting, possibly during Ellen’s presentation, a reporter covering the meeting and a candidate for the board interrupted frequently and claimed the board president was not following clear procedures. The facilitator called short break to establish calm.

 

NO ACTION ITEMS

STATE OF THE STATION REPORT — Lorraine Dechter

Lorraine did not submit a written report. She introduced Jerry Fraley, the interim Operations Manager, who was not present, and Raoul Van Haul, who introduced himself and his long experience in broadcasting, particularly in Portland, Oregon. Lorraine announced new Native American programming, a five-minute syndicated segment for which she has not yet found the perfect time slot. She said our expenses for the month of January were triple what was budgeted because it was costly covering the vacant program manager and ops manager positions.

 PUBLIC COMMENT:

Jeff Wright: Thanked Lorraine for unraveling the “trainwreck she was left with.” Said the satellites studios are working better and he asked that the “safe harbor” from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. be restored. He encouraged KZYZ to participate in joint events with KMUD and promote the Seven Rivers Network.

Sheila Dawn Tracy: Said members should be able to communicate with each other; wants safe harbor restore; would like a written GM report; feels new KZYX newsletter should have gone in the silent drive letter.

Sarah: Requested results of fundraisers and pledge drives be published on the KZYX Web site and promoted on the Web site in advance

Fran Koliner: Welcomed Lorraine

Ellen Saxe: Gave out her email address so others can receive summary of CAB meeting

Lyn Dee Johnson: Wants each board member to have a sign with their names so people know who they are; said this was an “emotional transition” that is hard on listeners, too, as they hear new voices on the air, etc. She, or someone else, remarked that the FCC investigation of KZXY led to a decision by the staff to end safe harbor because of concerns the station might lose its license if the FCC heard bad language on the air.

 

The meeting ended at 8 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Jane Futcher, Board VP

 

Adendum: Mendocino Board of Supervisors’ letter of Commendation to Mary Aigner. Signed by Tom Woodhouse and Dan Gjerde, delivered at the meeting March 7, 2016

 

Mary Aigner tirelessly served Mendocino County for 22 years through her work at KZYX. During her tenure as program director, she exhibited an unflagging dedication to community radio in general and Mendocino County Public Broadcasting in particular. The station was more than a job to her, it was a career and a passion, often placed before her own personal life. 

 

Mary exhibited dedication to the listening community by

—Cultivating familiarity with the various communities of the region, and the issues

confronting each of them. She often helped to arrange discussions of those issues on the stations public affairs programs and newscasts’’

—Maintaining steadfast awareness, and unwaveringly correct instincts about the preferences

of the public radio listening community, and representing them in any meeting,

conversation, or decision in which she was involved. “How will it benefit the listeners?”

was the perspective she always brought to the table.

 —Facing recurring challenges from small segments of the community about programming,

remaining firmly rooted in her convictions and professional expertise about how to serve

the majority of listeners and how to make KZYX the best possible community station. 

  —Being willing to engage in conversation with any listener, and personally respond to their

questions and concerns

             

Mary exhibited dedication to the station by:

 —Understanding and being able to operate and manage all the stations equipment, and

keeping herself abreast of the evolving technology

—Being available 24/7 to handle last-minute changes, trouble-shoot technical difficulties and support other staff members in their efforts to seek resolution

 —Being available to facilitate special programming – coming in on weekends and evenings to update the stations automated broadcast system

 —Helping produce live remote broadcasts, and fundraising events

 —Remaining ever mindful of the regulations which govern public radio stations

              

Mary exhibited dedication to the stations volunteer programmers by:

—Training, guiding, and assisting on-air volunteers, whatever their level of skill or experience

 —Helping find substitute hosts for absent programmers, often filling in herself on short notice

—Always being available to programmers, even on weekends or when out of town, to instruct,

support, and trouble-shoot unexpected on-air difficulties

 —Actively interfacing with record companies, and content providers, to keep the flow of new

music and programming coming to the station

 —Alerting programmers to new music or events which might be of interest to their audience

 —Facilitating interview opportunities for programmers with performers and public figures

Tom Woodhouse & Dan Gjerde

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