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1 National Association of State Conservation Agencies District Official Training Mike Brown National Association of State Conservation Agencies

2 Ground Rules  KISS  Please Call Me Mike  Allow Me the Opportunity to Learn  Breaks  Eliminate Distractions/ Text Suggestions ( )  Respect  Start and Stop on Time  Questions are Always Welcome  Edit Slides on the Fly  Can’t Make Fun of My Accent

3 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Goals  Learn More About Alabama Conservation Delivery  Learn More About Conservation Delivery Elsewhere  Develop Tool(s) to Better Evaluate and Develop Alabama Conservation Districts  Group Participation  Build a New District Official Training Program for Alabama  Prepare for NACD Recognition

4 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Who is in the room?

5 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Experience Level as District Official?  Less than 1 year  2-5 years  5-10 years  Over 10 years

6 National Association of State Conservation Agencies District Official Training State Agency Responsibility by Statute

7 National Association of State Conservation Agencies

8 National Effort to Improve District Official Training NACD District Ops Committee NASCA NRCS

9 National Association of State Conservation Agencies

10 History

11 National Association of State Conservation Agencies The Origin of Conservation Districts In the early 1930s, along with the Great Depression, came an equally unparalleled ecological disaster known as the Dust Bowl. Huge black dust storms that stretched across the nation blotted out the sun and swallowed the countryside.

12 National Association of State Conservation Agencies

13 Hugh Hammond Bennett Bureau of Soils Soil Surveyor

14 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Bennett helped establish the Soil Erosion Service in the Department of the Interior and became its Director in September 1933

15 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Testified to Congress in March 1935 about soil erosion Dust Bowl

16 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Soil Conservation Act of April 27, 1935 Hugh Hammond Bennett First Chief of SCS

17 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Because nearly three-fourths of the continental United States is privately owned, Roosevelt and Congress realized that only active, voluntary support from landowners would guarantee the success of conservation work on private land.

18 National Association of State Conservation Agencies The idea of soil and water conservation districts was born.

19 National Association of State Conservation Agencies In 1937, President Roosevelt wrote the governors of all the states recommending legislation that would allow local landowners to form soil conservation districts. Model Enabling Legislation

20 National Association of State Conservation Agencies AACD 1943

21 National Association of State Conservation Agencies What is a Conservation District

22 National Association of State Conservation Agencies “…a governmental subdivision of this state and a public body corporate and politic organized in accordance with the provisions of this article for the purposes, with the powers and subject to the restrictions set firth in this article.” (Alabama Code  )

23 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Local government at work whose major responsibility is the management of soil and water resources Decisions are made at the local level

24 National Association of State Conservation Agencies District Purpose and Function

25 National Association of State Conservation Agencies “The supervisors shall be persons who are by training and experience qualified to perform the specialized skilled service which will be required of them in the performance of their duties under this article.” (Alabama Code  )

26 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Board Member Responsibilities  Programmatic  Financial  Legal

27 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Programmatic Responsibilities  Assess Conservation Needs in the District  Inventory Resources Available  Develop Annual Plans of Work (bridge gaps between needs and available resources)  Long-Range (Strategic) Planning  Policy Development

28 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Programmatic Responsibilities (cont.)  Employee Supervision  Draft Job Descriptions  Performance Planning  Performance Review  Coaching  Personnel Records  Training and Mentoring Opportunities  Participation at Regional and National Levels  Reporting to Board, Grantors, and Public

29 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Programmatic Responsibilities (cont.)  Awareness of Conservation Programs  Acronyms  Agriculture, Forestry, & Urban Conservation  Partnering to Deliver Programs  Conservation Education  Conservation Planning  Non-Traditional Roles for Conservation Districts  Developing New Programs

30 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Programmatic Responsibilities (cont.)  Review Accomplishments  Reporting  State Committee  State Legislature  Cooperators  Landowners  Education  Media

31 National Association of State Conservation Agencies What are policies?  Guidelines that regulate organizational action.  Control the conduct of people and activities.  Ensure a safe organized, teambuilding, empowering, nondiscriminatory workplace.

32 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Why establish district policies? District employees and supervisors need to establish and know district policies for a variety of reasons  Employees and supervisors need to know district policies for consistent implementation.  The district manager needs to know how much can be spent on equipment repair without board approval.  District employees work with minimal supervision and guidance.

33 National Association of State Conservation Agencies A policy may be useful to:  Eliminate confusion  Protect the district legally  Keep the district in compliance with government regulations, policies, and laws  Establish consistent work standards, rules and regulations  Provide consistent and fair treatment for employees

34 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Ten Steps for Policy Development 1. Determine Need 2. Articulate the goal of the policy 3. Gather information 4. Develop and write the policy 5. Review the policy 6. Obtain management support for the policy 7. Obtain legal review of the policy (if necessary) 8. Implement the policy 9. Decide how you will communicate the policy 10. Interpret and integrate the policy

35 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Suggested areas where district policies may be needed:  District office hours.  Financial management (Example: who is authorized to spend district funds and any limits on spending).  Who in the office has keys (who keys, responsible for locking the building, etc.)  Equipment policies (Example: equipment can not be used by employees or supervisors for personal use, e.g. computers or ATV).  Other areas where policies are needed to help carry out the day-to-day district activities.  Personnel policies

36 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Personnel Policies  Numerous personnel management problems can be avoided if each district policies establishes written personnel policies.  Once written, these policies should be provided to all employees.

37 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Basic Personnel Policy Items:  Employment terms and conditions.  Compensation and benefits.  Employee relations.  Performance appraisals.  Employee training.  Employee services.  Disciplinary procedures.  Non-discriminatory language.

38 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Personnel Manual  Employment Terms and Conditions  Compensation  Employee Relations  Performance Appraisal System  Employee Training  Employee Benefits  Work Schedules  Disciplinary Procedures  Organizational Chart

39 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Policy Review  Policies should be reviewed annually or as prescribed.  Consider placing an item on the a board meeting agenda to discuss and establish district policies.  Consider appointing a district employee, supervisor, or committee to draft a policy for the board’s adoption to save time at board meeting.

40 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Fiduciary Responsibilities

41 National Association of State Conservation Agencies “FIDUCIARY" Of, relating to, or involving one that holds something in trust for another.

42 National Association of State Conservation Agencies A "fiduciary" is one who stands in a special relationship of trust and confidence with respect to his or her obligations to others.

43 National Association of State Conservation Agencies “A person who is required to act for the benefit of another person on all matters within the scope of their relationship; one who owes to another the duties of good faith, trust, confidence and candor; one who must exercise a high standard of care in managing another’s money or property.”

44 National Association of State Conservation Agencies District Supervisors must prudently represent the interests of the district AND its members while directing the business and affairs of the district.

45 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Fiduciary Checklist for Board Supervisors 1. Operate within the bounds of the law. 2. Ethics 3. Conflicts of Interest 4. Actions support mission, vision, annual plan, strategic plan 5. Hire and evaluate manager or staff

46 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Board of Supervisors CEO/ManagerOperationsFinanceLogisticsCommunications Classic Board Design

47 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Fiduciary Checklist for Board Supervisors 1. Operate within the bounds of the law. 2. Ethics 3. Conflicts of Interest 4. Actions support mission, vision, annual plan, strategic plan 5. Hire and evaluate manager or staff 6. Fiscal oversight 7. Meeting preparation and committee participation 8. Community Relations

48 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Funding Opportunities for Alabama Conservation Districts  State Funding  Farm Bill Programs  Contribution Agreements  Grants  Local Funds

49 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Financial Responsibilities  Annual Budget(s)  Public Funds  Different Protocols for Different Pots of Money  Federal  State  County  Local  Other

50 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Financial Responsibilities (cont.)  Approved Accounting System  Audit Requirements  Financial Statements  Financial Planning  Investing  Available Funding Mechanisms  Fund Raising  Grants and Agreements

51 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Legal Responsibilities

52 National Association of State Conservation Agencies

53 Alabama Code Article 2 Soil and Water Conservation Districts

54 National Association of State Conservation Agencies “A majority of the committee shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority in any matter within their duties shall be required for its determination.”

55 National Association of State Conservation Agencies State Soil and Water Conservation Committee Duties and Powers: (1) To offer such assistance as may be appropriate to the supervisors of soil and water conservation districts, organized as provided in this article, in the carrying out of any of their powers and programs. (2) To keep the supervisors of each of the several districts organized under the provisions of this article informed of the activities and experience of all other districts organized under this article and to facilitate an interchange of advice and experience between such districts and cooperation between them. (3) To coordinate the program of the several soil and water conservation districts organized under this article so far as this may be done by advice and consultation. (4) To secure the cooperation and assistance of the United States and any of its agencies and of agencies of this state in the work of such districts. (5) To disseminate information throughout the state concerning the activities and programs of the soil and water conservation districts organized under this article and to encourage the formation of such districts in areas where their organization is desirable.

56 National Association of State Conservation Agencies State Committee Nine People Three Ex-Officio  Director of the State Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service  Director of the State Agricultural Experiment Station  Supervisor of Vocational Agricultural Education Six Appointed  One from each region (based on a minimum of three nominations for each seat)

57 National Association of State Conservation Agencies It is hereby intended that of the six appointive soil and water conservation district supervisors from the six areas serving on the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, two such member terms shall expire at the end of each year.

58 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Roles and Responsibilities of Local, State, and National Associations and Partners

59 National Association of State Conservation Agencies National Conservation Partnership  NRCS  NACD  NASCA  NCDEA  NARCDC

60 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Cooperators

61 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Committee Administrative Overview of the Conservation Districts

62 National Association of State Conservation Agencies The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a federal agency with the goal of conserving natural resources on private land. NRCS primarily works through a voluntarily incentive based program for privately owned lands, and also with other private and public resources and units of government. Many Districts have an NRCS employee housed in local USDA Service Centers.

63 National Association of State Conservation Agencies A memorandum of understanding was executed between USDA and Conservation Districts at the time of its organization. This Mutual Agreement and the Cooperative Working Agreement allows the District to utilize the technical service of NRCS.

64 National Association of State Conservation Agencies In general, the Cooperative Working Agreement addresses:  Cooperation  Information Sharing  Program Delivery  Office facilities  Vehicles  Equipment  Records Management  Funding Liability

65 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Basic framework for cooperation with USDA Basic framework for state cooperation Locally developed detailed working arrangements Signed by: äSecretary äGovernor and/or Tribal Council äDistrict and/or Tribe Signed by: äNRCS äState conservation agency and/or Tribal Council äDistrict and/or Tribe Signed by: äNRCS äDistrict äOthers as deemed necessary by district Mutual Agreement Cooperative Working Agreement Operational Agreement

66 National Association of State Conservation Agencies AACD The mission of AACD is to serve as a vehicle for unified action by districts, exchange of information, and discussion of issues. The Association also acts as a combined voice for districts on legislative issues of concern to the districts as they relate to soil and water 9 conservation in Alabama. Further, the mission of AACD is to represent, promote and support Soil & Water Conservation Districts in their efforts to assist Alabamians in the protection and wise use of natural resources. This is accomplished by working closely with public and private groups and by seeking public participation and concern in the conservation, development and wise use of land and water resources.

67 National Association of State Conservation Agencies AACD Board of Directors (13 Members) President 1 st Vice-President 2 nd Vice-President Secretary-Treasurer 6 Area Vice-Presidents Immediate Past 2 Presidents NACD Board Member

68 National Association of State Conservation Agencies

69 AACD Standing Committees Conservation Practices and Research District Operations and Outlook Finance Forestry and Wildlife Legislative Resolutions Resource Conservation and Development Urban Conservation Water Resources

70 National Association of State Conservation Agencies ACDEA ACDEA promotes professional development. Two-part training program to provide the opportunity to earn Employees Certificate in District Administration: Level 1) Certificate of District Administration (CDA) Level 2) Certified District Administrative Coordinator (CDAC).

71 National Association of State Conservation Agencies National Association of Conservation Districts The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) formed in 1946, is a non-governmental, non- profit organization which represents nearly 3000 Conservation Districts nationally. NACD maintains offices in Washington D.C. and has regional representatives throughout the country. NACD has established a strong voice on soil, water and other natural resource concerns at the national level.

72 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Other Partners Agencies:FSA USFWS USFS State Agencies Counties and Municipalities: NGOs:DU TNC NASCA

73 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Ethics

74 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Ethics  Oath of Office  Conflict of Interest  Abuse of Position  Acceptance of Gifts  Diversity  Nepotism  Confidentiality

75 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Oath of Office I ___________________________ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Alabama, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Supervisor of the ___________________ County Soil and Water Conservation District.

76 National Association of State Conservation Agencies CONFLICT OF INTEREST. A conflict on the part of a public official or public employee between his or her private interests and the official responsibilities inherent in an office of public trust. A conflict of interest involves any action, inaction, or decision by a public official or public employee in the discharge of his or her official duties which would materially affect his or her financial interest or those of his or her family members or any business with which the person is associated in a manner different from the manner it affects the other members of the class to which he or she belongs.

77 National Association of State Conservation Agencies “No public official or public employee shall use or cause to be used his or her official position or office to obtain personal gain for himself or herself, or family member of the public employee or family member of the public official, or any business with which the person is associated unless the use and gain are otherwise specifically authorized by law. Personal gain is achieved when the public official, public employee, or a family member thereof receives, obtains, exerts control over, or otherwise converts to personal use the object constituting such personal gain.” Alabama Code - Section : USE OF OFFICIAL POSITION OR OFFICE FOR PERSONAL GAIN

78 National Association of State Conservation Agencies A conflict of interest shall exist when a member of a legislative body, public official, or public employee has a substantial financial interest by reason of ownership of, control of, or the exercise of power over any interest greater than five percent of the value of any corporation, company, association, or firm, partnership, proprietorship, or any other business entity of any kind or character which is uniquely affected by proposed or pending legislation; or who is an officer or director for any such corporation, company, association, or firm, partnership, proprietorship, or any other business entity of any kind or character which is uniquely affected by proposed or pending legislation. ALA CODE §

79 National Association of State Conservation Agencies No public official or public employee shall solicit or receive a thing of value for himself or herself or for a family member of the public employee or family member of the public official for the purpose of influencing official action.

80 National Association of State Conservation Agencies No public official, public employee, former public official or former public employee, for a period consistent with the statute of limitations as contained in this chapter, shall use or disclose confidential information gained in the course of or by reason of his or her position or employment in any way that could result in financial gain other than his or her regular salary as such public official or public employee for himself or herself, a family member of the public employee or family member of the public official, or for any other person or business.

81 National Association of State Conservation Agencies No member of any county or municipal agency, board, or commission shall vote or participate in any matter in which the member or family member of the member has any financial gain or interest.

82 National Association of State Conservation Agencies No public official, director, assistant director, department or division chief, purchasing or procurement agent having the authority to make purchases, or any person who participates in the negotiation or approval of contracts, grants, or awards or any person who negotiates or approves contracts, grants, or awards shall enter into, solicit, or negotiate a contract, grant, or award with the governmental agency of which the person was a member or employee for a period of two years after he or she leaves the membership or employment of such governmental agency.

83 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Non-Discriminatory Clause "In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.”

84 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Diversity

85 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Gender Race Ethnicity Age Veteran Status

86 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Knowledge Cultural beliefs Mental Models

87 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Any diversity here?

88 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Nepotism Favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit.

89 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Understand Local, State, and Federal Laws, Rules, and Regulations Related to CDs

90 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Legal Responsibilities  Conducting Board Business  Meetings ▪ Open to Public ▪ Notice ▪ Quorum ▪ Executive Session Rules*  Robert’s Rules  Meeting Agendas  Conflicts of Interest  Liabilities

91 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Be Familiar With Farm Bill (Programs and Rules; Section 1619) Alabama Code Title 9, Chapters 8 and 8A Alabama Code Title 36, Chapter 25A (Alabama Open Meetings Act) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964  Sexual Harassment  Equal Opportunity Others?

92 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Does your district have a FOIA policy?

93 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Where do Alabama Conservation Districts obtain legal representation?

94 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Employee Training

95 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Does your Conservation District Have: 1. New Employee Orientation Program 2. Personnel Manual 3. Written Job Descriptions for All Positions 4. Annual Employee Work Plans 5. Employee Evaluation Process

96 National Association of State Conservation Agencies What percent of your annual budget is dedicated to employee training?

97 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Training Opportunities  State Personnel Training Programs  Statewide, Regional, or National Meetings  Webinars  On-Line Training  Tuition Assistance

98 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Does your Conservation District Board consider career development planning for staff?

99 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Financial Training

100 National Association of State Conservation Agencies “Prepare an annual budget and maintain an adequate bookkeeping system that reflects all income and expenditures.”

101 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Monthly Financial Reports  Whose responsibility  Are financial reports “approved” every month

102 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Financial Reports May Include: 1. Balance Sheet- tells us what we own and what we owe (and to whom) 2. Statement of Operations- lists revenues, expenses, and margins 3. Accounts Receivable Report

103 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Audits 1. Conduct an annual audit (may be required by law depending on your source of funds). 2. The Board hires the auditor. 3. Change auditing firms every 3-5 years. 4. Seek an “unqualified” audit. This means that the auditor reports whether or not the financial statements fairly represent the financial condition of the district.

104 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Auditor Qualifications 1. Certification- CPA in good standing in Alabama 2. Independent- the auditor had no direct or indirect financial or material interest in the district 3. Peer Review- the CPA belongs to and participates in a peer review program and has undergone a satisfactory peer review

105 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Internal Financial Controls

106 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Understanding State and National Resolutions Processes

107 National Association of State Conservation Agencies NACD Resolutions Process An idea is presented at the State Association Annual Meeting to be adopted as a resolution to NACD Resolution is presented to NACD CEO at least 30 days prior to annual NACD Board meeting CEO forwards resolution to Resolutions Committee Resolutions Committee combines like resolutions and may draft their own Resolutions Committee presents resolutions to NACD Board for action

108 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Awareness of All Available Conservation Programs

109 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Available Funding Sources  Federal Program $  State Program $  Local Program $  Fees  Grants  Landowner Contributions  Penalty Funds  Mitigation Funds

110 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Federal Programs  Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)  Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP)  Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP)  Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)  Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)  Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)  Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP)  Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)  Conservation reserve Program (CRP)

111 National Association of State Conservation Agencies State Programs

112 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Local Programs

113 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Grant Opportunities  Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG)  Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI)  319 

114 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Legislative Process Training

115 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Conservation Districts are directly affected by actions of Federal, state, and local legislators. Sometimes there is a need for new legislation to handle a natural resource issues; sometimes the issue concerns state funding for District and natural resource programs. Elected officials react to what they read, hear, and with whom they speak. In order to influence the legislative process, it is necessary to take action to educate, inform, and persuade.

116 National Association of State Conservation Agencies To build effective legislative relationships, Conservation District members, especially District Supervisors should:  Be informed of issues affecting their District and its goals.  Know their elected representatives and other legislators who influence Conservation District funding and policy.  Be prepared to present the case for Conservation District interests effectively.

117 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Personal Contacts 1. Know your topic. 2. Know when and where to contact a legislator (Tuesday through Thursday). 3. Make an appointment. 4. Be punctual. 5. Dress professionally. 6. Make clear who you are and who you represent. 7. Be concise and leave an informative one-page fact sheet as reference. 8. Aides can be just as important as elected officials.

118 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Written Contacts 1. The letter should be mistake-free. 2. Get the elected official’s name right, and address the letter to “The Honorable”. 3. Use your own words; avoid form letters. 4. Time the letter so that it arrives when the issue is still in committee. 5. Be concise and limit the letter to one page. 6. Explain the benefits of your position to the elected official’s entire constituency.

119 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Assemble a list of the addresses of the residents of your conservation district.

120 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Follow up any legislative contact with a thank you note.

121 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Awareness of Proper Protocol in Conducting Public Meetings

122 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Chapter 25A: ALABAMA OPEN MEETINGS ACT

123 National Association of State Conservation Agencies “It is the policy of this state that the deliberative process of governmental bodies shall be open to the public during meetings as defined in Section 36-25A-2(6). Except for executive sessions permitted in Section 36-25A-7(a) or as otherwise expressly provided by other federal or state statutes, all meetings of a governmental body shall be open to the public and no meetings of a governmental body may be held without providing notice pursuant to the requirements of Section 36-25A-3. No executive sessions are required by this chapter to be held under any circumstances. Electronic communications shall not be utilized to circumvent any of the provisions of this chapter.”

124 National Association of State Conservation Agencies “GOVERNMENTAL BODY. All boards, bodies, and commissions of the executive and legislative departments of the state or its political subdivisions or municipalities which expend or appropriate public funds; all multimember governing bodies of departments, agencies, institutions, and instrumentalities of the executive and legislative departments of the state or its political subdivisions or municipalities, including, without limitation, all corporations and other instrumentalities whose governing boards are comprised of a majority of members who are appointed or elected by the state or its political subdivisions”

125 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Unless otherwise specified by law and as provided herein, any governmental body subject to this chapter, except for an advisory board, advisory commission, advisory committee, task force, or other advisory body created solely to make recommendations on public policy issues and composed of persons who do not receive compensation for their service from public funds, shall post notice of all meetings, as defined in Section A-2(6)a.1., at least seven calendar days prior to the meeting as follows:

126 National Association of State Conservation Agencies (5) Any other governmental body shall post notice of each meeting in a reasonable location or shall use a reasonable method of notice that is convenient to the public. Any change of the location or method for posting notices of meetings shall not take effect until the change has been approved at an open meeting by the members of the governmental body and announced to the public at an open meeting.

127 National Association of State Conservation Agencies (6) If practicable, a governmental body other than those with statewide jurisdiction, in addition to the posting requirements, shall provide direct notification of a meeting, as defined in Section 36-25A-2(6)a., to any member of the public or news media covering that governmental body who has registered with the governmental body to receive notification of meetings. A governmental body may promulgate reasonable rules and regulations necessary for the uniform registration and payment for direct notice and for the distribution of the notices. The governmental body may choose to transmit a notice using electronic mail, telephone, facsimile, the United States Postal Service, or any other method reasonably likely to provide the requested notice. The actual cost of issuing notices, if there is one, may be required to be paid in advance by the person requesting notice by the governmental body. Direct notice to persons who have registered with the governmental body shall, at a minimum, contain the time, date, and place of the meeting.

128 National Association of State Conservation Agencies (b) Unless otherwise specified by law directly applicable to the governmental body, notice of a meeting, as defined in Section 36-25A-2(6)a.2. and 3. as well as meetings called pursuant to Section shall be posted as soon as practicable after the meeting is called and in no event less than 24 hours before the meeting is scheduled to begin, unless such notice (i) is prevented by emergency circumstances requiring immediate action to avoid physical injury to persons or damage to property; or (ii) relates to a meeting to be held solely to accept the resignation of a public official or employee. In such situations, notice shall be given as soon as practical, but in no case less than one hour before the meeting is to begin. At the same time general notice is given, special notice shall be directed to any person who has registered to receive direct notices pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a)(6).

129 National Association of State Conservation Agencies (c) Posted notice pursuant to this section shall include the time, date, and place of meeting. If a preliminary agenda is created, it shall be posted as soon as practicable in the same location or manner as the notice given pursuant to this section. A governmental body may discuss at a meeting additional matters not included in the preliminary agenda. If a preliminary agenda is not available, the posted notice shall include a general description of the nature and purpose of the meeting.

130 National Association of State Conservation Agencies A governmental body shall maintain accurate records of its meetings, excluding executive sessions, setting forth the date, time, place, members present or absent, and action taken at each meeting. Except as otherwise provided by law, the records of each meeting shall become a public record and be made available to the public as soon as practicable after approval.

131 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Executive Sessions  To discuss job performance of certain public employees.  To discipline or dismissal of, or to hear formal written complaints or charges brought against an employee.  To discuss with their attorney the legal ramifications of and legal options for pending litigation, controversies not yet being litigated but imminently likely to be litigated or imminently likely to be litigated if the governmental body pursues a proposed course of action.  To discuss security plans, procedures, assessments, measures, or systems.  To discuss the consideration the governmental body is willing to offer or accept when considering the purchase, sale, exchange, lease, or market value of real property.  Proprietary information.  To deliberate and discuss evidence or testimony presented during a public or contested case hearing and vote upon the outcome of the proceeding or hearing if the governmental body is acting in the capacity of a quasi-judicial body, and either votes upon its decision in an open meeting or issues a written decision which may be appealed to a hearing officer, an administrative board, court, or other body which has the authority to conduct a hearing or appeal of the matter which is open to the public.

132 National Association of State Conservation Agencies (b) A governmental body desiring to convene an executive session, other than to conduct a quasi-judicial or contested case hearing, shall utilize the following procedure: (1) A quorum of the governmental body must first convene a meeting as defined in Section 36-25A-2(6)a.1. and 2. (2) A majority of the members of the governmental body present must adopt, by recorded vote, a motion calling for the executive session and setting out the purpose of the executive session, as provided in subsection (a). If subsection (a) requires an oral or written declaration before the executive session can begin, such oral or written declaration shall be made, prior to the vote. (3) The vote of each member shall be recorded in the minutes. (4) Prior to calling the executive session to order, the presiding officer shall state whether the governmental body will reconvene after the executive session and, if so, the approximate time the body expects to reconvene.

133 National Association of State Conservation Agencies A majority of the supervisors shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority in any matter within their duties shall be required for its determination.

134 National Association of State Conservation Agencies As used in this article, the term "public records" shall include all written, typed or printed books, papers, letters, documents and maps made or received in pursuance of law by the public officers of the state, counties, municipalities and other subdivisions of government in the transactions of public business….. (Alabama Code )

135 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Basic Operations

136 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Basic Operations Checklist  Has the board reviewed CD law?  Are comprehensive, accurate records kept of all board action?  Are audits performed annually?  Is CD’s long-range plan amended and adopted?  Is CD annual work plan amended and adopted?  Are CD written agreements in place with all conservation partners?

137 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Basic Operations Checklist (cont.)  Is there a training plan for supervisors and employees?  Are CD offices, meetings, and programs accessible to the public?  Have audit findings been properly addressed?  Has an annual budget been approved?  Are monthly financial reports complete and accurate?  Are internal controls documented and implemented?

138 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Basic Operations Checklist (cont.)  Are personnel policies in place and applied fairly?  Is proper public notice made for all meetings?  Are essential policies in place and adhered to?  Is all Board action taken in general session with a quorum present?  Do conflicts of interest exist with any board member?  Are proper procedures followed when going into and out of Executive sessions?

139 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Election Process and Board Member Recruitment

140 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Each supervisor shall be appointed for a term of three years. A supervisor shall hold office until his successor has been appointed and has qualified.

141 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Vacancies for an unexpired term shall be filled by appointment.

142 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Any supervisor may be removed by the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee upon notice and hearing for neglect of duty or malfeasance in office, but for no other reason.

143 National Association of State Conservation Agencies mal·fea·sance (ml-fzns) n. Misconduct or wrongdoing, especially by a public official.

144 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Appointments State Conservation Committee appoints five supervisors per district who are landowners and residents of the district. Each county in the district shall have at least one supervisor on the Board.

145 National Association of State Conservation Agencies How does the State Committee make appointments?

146 National Association of State Conservation Agencies General Leadership Qualities  Developing self and others—the ability to continuously learn and grow, and promote the development of others  Relationship and consensus building—the ability to promote strong teamwork and garner commitment and participation of others to achieve and effect positive change  Representing and advancing the profession—the ability to professionally and positively represent, advocate for, and advance soil and water conservation  Creating and sustaining momentum—the ability to inspire confidence and action to implement and support change

147 National Association of State Conservation Agencies General Leadership Qualities (cont.)  Making astute decisions—the ability to make and communicate sound, fact-based, and timely choices and decisions that reflect the long and short-term interests of the District  Leveraging technology—the ability to embrace and leverage technology to promote soil and water conservation  Financial management—the ability to interpret and appropriately use data within financial statements to promote the financial position of the District  Communicating for results—the ability to openly, efficiently, and compellingly express ideas as a representative of the organization

148 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Leadership Qualities of a Board Supervisor  1. Puts his/her agenda aside and does what’s best for the organization  2. Builds a sense of fellowship among those with whom he/she works  3. Sees the big picture  4. Is trusted by the other members of the Board and staff  5. Communicates well, in writing and verbally  6. Works well on a team  7. Is accepting of people with opinions different than his/hers  8. Asks questions which challenge the status quo  9. Understands the organization’s finances and takes fiscal responsibility  10. Has a strong commitment to the mission of the organization

149 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Characteristics of the “Perfect” Board Member 1. Listens well 2. Effectively solves problems 3. Makes decisions based upon data 4. Is passionate about the organization 5. Understands the finances of the organization 6. Focuses on the mission of the organization in all decision making 7. Has a sense of vision and wants the organization to be more than it is today 8. Understands the needs of the members 9. Works as a team member but offers respectful dissent 10. Asks probing questions, especially on matters that are unfamiliar 11. Makes decisions based upon the organization’s strategic plan 12. Follows through on Board and Committee assignments

150 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Mike’s 3 Step Process to Assemble the Perfect Conservation District Board

151 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Create the List of Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities to Make Your Conservation District Board “The Perfect Board”

152 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Identify the Gaps between “perfection” and reality

153 National Association of State Conservation Agencies Fill’em

154 National Association of State Conservation Agencies This new board member was not selected because he or she fits in, but rather because he or she does not

155 National Association of State Conservation Agencies


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