Williamsville Rotary Meeting March 24, 2014

 Door: Matt Balling

 Pledge: Larry Read

Anthem: Ed Stachura

Four Way Test: Catherine Dulmus

Grace: John Crawford                 

50/50 Ticket Sales:  $110.  Gary Skalyo drew the ten of clubs and won $10. He donated it back.

Visiting Rotarians: None

Guests: None 



This week’s speaker was Barry Weinstein, M.D., Supervisor, Town of Amherst.  Dr. Weinstein, a family practice physician and attorney, has a long history of public service including: 14 years on the Williamsville School Board, where he also served as President; 10 years representing the 15th District in the Erie County Legislature; and as an Amherst Council member. He is in his 2nd consecutive 4-year term as Town Supervisor, being first elected to that position in 2009.   Dr. Weinstein has been recognized for his firm stance against property tax increases, his “no nonsense” attitude, and his public accessibility.

Dr. Barry’s election focus mantra was fourfold. First, reduce the size and cost of government and lower taxes. Second, apply creative solutions to Amherst’s flooding, sinking homes, deer and sidewalk problems.  Third, modify rezoning regulations to increase development and revitalization of commercial areas.   Fourth, reform Amherst government including downsizing the Town Board and redefining and restructuring the Town’s branches of government to improve efficiency.  He also is a board member of the Amherst Industrial Development Agency (AIDA) and the Erie County IDA. 

Dr. Weinstein and his family have been residents of the Town for almost 40-years.

Highlights of his presentation included:

·        In first 3 years as Supervisor, Town expenses decreased.

·        Privatized composting (losing $400M per year; sold for $1.5MM) and the Amherst Museum (Town still provides a subsidy)

·        Wastewater treatment facility is a top issue:

o   Built in the late 70’s with a useful life of 30 years

o   Town was cited for adding too much 02 to water

o   Put $28MM in the facility over last 4 years; no end in sight for need to invest

o   Capacity is 125 million gallons per day (up from 36 MGD in 1999); big rains tax that capacity; normal demand is approx. 25 MGD.

·        Collective bargaining with 5 unions is another challenge

o   Have instituted a 2-tier wage and benefit structure

o   Just completed binding arbitration with the Police Department

·        Third major challenge is litigation—Wehrle Drive incident in 2006/7. Judgment for $31MM, reduced on appeal to $17MM. Major struggles with AIG, the insurer.

·        Discussed Hyatt Place—probably behind us

·        Banners over Main Street—probably not going to be permitted for a long time, if ever, because of injury accident in 2012.

·        Westwood CC was bought by speculators and they have revised the Club. They are drafting a proposal to develop: commercial space, hotel, housing.

·        Relocation of Town Hall is dead—too expensive

o   May take over library next door (library is run by County, but the building is owned by the Town).


Annual Celebration:  The date is Saturday – March 29, 2014, 7PM-10PM at the Park Country Club.  Tickets for the event have been distributed to members for both the Event tickets at $35.00 each and the Grand Prize Raffle Drawing / Wegmans Groceries for 1-year ($35.00 per raffle ticket).   Mark your calendars to attend this major  

Club Meeting Date PolicyAt the 03.20.2014 Board meeting the attached policy in regard to meeting dates was approved.  This policy eliminates the sometimes confusion of whether or not a meeting is being held on holiday that coincides with our Monday meeting. The policy was distributed previously by email to all members.

Meeting Attendance Option:  Mark April 28th on your calendar to attend the Club meeting and learn of an option to Rotary Club meeting attendance.  Liz Kovacs of the Rotary E-Club of SO/WNY (Southern Ontario-Western New York) will present information on how you can “attend” using your computer, while on an island in the South Pacific or at home at 1:30 AM in your pajamas. Learn how you can improve your RI reported meeting attendance.


Also at this meeting (04/28/2014), we will have members of the Rotary Club of Amherst in attendance.  A discussion on potential event collaborations, collaboration on local, regional and international projects will be a focus discussion.


District Assembly May 3rd, 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM at the Conference Center, Niagara Falls, NY (101 Old Falls Street).  Pre-Registration or on-line registration will be required.  Mark your calendar for this event.   See Preliminary 3/6/14 Program, Workshops, Topics sent by Ed S. to all members by email.

RYLA Event: The District’s RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) committee is pleased to announce that RYLA will be taking place June 8-14 at SUNY, Fredonia. Don't miss the opportunity to send a candidate(s) to this exciting week-long leadership program for 19-25 year olds.


·        Richard W.--$1, great AYF dinner


Ed S. sent out by email the 2014 application form, poster, and a document to provide members with some background information about RYLA. This information can also be found on the District’s website. The fee is $750 and the early bird (April 22, 2014)discounted fee is $675. Former exchange students, Rotaractors, and SLAPSHOT alumni make great candidates for RYLA.


A few clubs have been creative in funding this program. There are businesses, government organizations and charitable/not-for-profit organizations that have some bright, promising young people on staff demonstrating great leadership potential. Some of these organizations have gladly paid the fee for RYLA. It is an amazing deal for such a fantastic week-long leadership program. Check it out on the District website at www.rotary7090.org, click on New Generations/Youth Services or go to www.ryla7090.com.


Club Web Site Advertising: Did you know that advertising on the Club’s web site is $100/year, July 1 to June 30?   That’s approximately $0.27 per day, and is seen by everyone visiting the Club’s web page.  Pro-rata is also available.  Interested?  Ask Vern Anderson for the details and join other Club members who are already using this form of advertising ….helping their business and their Club.


Every Rotarian – Every Year (EREY)Wow!!!!   Did you know that for $0.27 per day, less than $2.00 per week, and $8.33 per month you can be an active participant and be recognized in Rotary International’s (RI) EREY Program?  And you can do this with a simple authorization to RI to charge a credit card account for the recurring period (month / quarter / annual ) amount you designate.  This is simple and straightforward. 


Your commitment provides grant funds for RI and our District 7090 for projects that are used to fund local and international service projects, scholarships, and vocational training teams.


Would you please seriously consider an annual commitment to the EREY program?   There is an aspirational goal of $100 per year per member. Please see the attached EREY form whereby you can make this commitment for a tax-deductible contribution (501.c.3 charity) as a recurring monthly, quarterly or annual donation using a credit card ( www.rotary.org/contribute).  You know the good that Rotary and its members accomplish; please seriously consider your participation in EREY. Our Club number is 4756, District #7090, and your individual member number can be found on the mailing label of the Rotarian magazine, an 8-digit number preceded by “#” just above your name.  Ed S. will have each member’s membership number at the Club meetings for information and ease of reference.       Thank You! 


Program Schedule: The March 19th issue of the Speakers’ Schedule was distributed by email to all members. We have openings for speakers.  Doug Littlewood can provide you with the current schedule and available openings.  We have quite a few openings for a speaker after February and the remainder of the year.  If you have a potential speaker, it is suggested that three (3) open dates, in order of speaker preferred priority, be confirmed with Doug Littlewood or Vern Anderson, who will confirm the specific date, and “lock” that date for your speaker.  This will eliminate any conflict with other confirmed speakers. It will also keep the Program Schedule accurate for dates where speaker dates have been reserved.  Please keep Doug and Vern updated if changes need to be made.  In our social and business lives we may know of individuals who have an interesting background, career, or story.  Ask them: “Would you share this with my Rotary Club?


Future speakers: Discussions are taking place for speaking engagements with the following: Mark Thomas (Western Regional Director – NYS Parks); and Maria Lehman (Peace Bridge).


Meeting Attendance:  Ed S. reminded us that the Club’s and RI’s requirements are attendance at a minimum level of 50% of the scheduled meetings, which can also be met by make-ups at any of the District’s 69 clubs throughout the southern Ontario-western New York area. Attendance at Club and/or event committee meetings, Board meetings, and Foundation meetings also count to your attendance requirement.  If you do this, ensure that you receive a Make-Up post card from the Club that you visited which you will turn in to either Matt Balling or Vern Anderson.  Missing four (4) unexcused meetings in a row are the basis for RI membership termination.  If you have a Smartphone, there is a Rotary app that provides detailed information on each of the worldwide Rotary clubs, contacts, meeting location data, etc.


Ed S. also noted that members can make-up a meeting anywhere in the world and via the District’s new eClub (www.rotaryeclub7090.org), Rotary E-Club of SOWNY (Liz Kovacs, President of this Club will be our speaker on April 28). Be sure to let Vern Anderson know of your “attendance.”

2014 Calendar Marks:

Club: March 29th-- Club’s Annual Celebration; June 2nd – Mix ‘N Mingle (Williamsville is the Host Club); June 18th– our 14thStrawberry Festival; August 10th – Classic Car Show; September 22nd– the Club’s 3rd Annual Golf Outing.


Other Rotary Club Events: Niagara-on-the-Lake / May 25, 2014 – 23rd Annual Garden Party & Shaw Theatre Event; Rotary Club of Amherst / May 9, 2014 – Sproktoberfest 2014;   Rotary Club Lancaster-Depew / August 11, 2014 – Jack Newhouse Memorial Golf Classic. Materials and flyers for these events were distributed previously by email to all members.


District: March 21st – PETS Training; March 29th – Rotary Leadership Institute, Parts I, II, & III – Niagara Community College; March 31st – Registration Closes for SLAPSHOT; April 25-27th – SLAPSHOT; May 3rd – District Assembly; June 8-14th – RYLA Event; October 25-26 – The Buffalo Bash Event –District Conference /// (See District 7090 web page-- http://www.clubrunner.ca/portal/home.aspx?did=7090--for details on all District events.)


Fines: Vern Anderson, Fine Master.

·        Tony C.--$1, late; $1, no pin; $1, not checking in and paying at door

·        Steve D.--$1, no pin

·        Kevin F.-- $1, no pin

·        Norm M.--$1, late

·        Carrie L.-- $1, late

·        Doug L.-- $1, late

·        Mike P.-- $1, late

·        Richard W.--$1, cell phone ringing

·        Lee B.--$1, cutting a mean rug at the AYF dinner

·        Paul B.--$1, no pin

·        Kathy B.-- $1, no pin

Happy Dollars:

·        Mike P.--$1, happy that fines are over and Vern h!)as sat down

·        Frank R.--$1, for something (sorry, people were talking!