Board of Directors Meeting January 16, 2004



January 16, 2004

President Severance called the meeting to order at 3:00 P.M.

Members present: Joel Severance (Chester), Lou Allyn (Mystic), Ross Byrne (Old Saybrook), Mike Griffin (Norwalk), Norm Hewitt (Old Lyme), John Pinto (Norwalk), Bob Sammis (Stratford), Geoff Steadman (Associate), Mary VonConta (Fairfield), Guest -  Terrance  Downes (CRERPA).

The President opened the meeting and reported that Old Saybrook and Middletown are now regular commissions.  Deep River residents rejected the formation there.

I. A motion to accept the minutes of the previous meeting was made, seconded and approved unanimously.

II. Treasure Bob Sammis reported a balance of $4,842.42 as of 12/31/03. The Webster Bank account is effective 1/17/2004. A question regarding what travel expenses would be reimbursed by CHMA will be placed on the agenda for the February meeting. A motion to accept the Report was made, seconded and approved unanimously.

III. Terrance Downes, Senior Planner of CRERPA (Connecticut River Estuary Regional Planning Agency), presented the results of his project and report, Implementation Phase Lower Connecticut River Dock Impact Study: Creation of a General Plan. A draft copy of the executive Summary is attached. It, and related detailed reports will be posted on the CHMA website after all sign-offs have been obtained. He also handed out a recommendation (attached) proposing a legislative change to Harbor Management statutes.


A)  Annual Meeting Wrap-up. A motion was made and approved to separate the Annual Business Meeting from the Annual Dinner Meeting with the intent if making the Dinner meeting more “social”.

B)  Name Tags/Business Cards. Bob Sammis is adding telephone numbers to the cards and is developing name tags to be worn at various meetings.

C)  Dredging Task Force. Geoff Steadman reported that the ACE and EPA held final public hearings on the LIS Environmental Impact Statement which will now be revised and sent to the State of New York for sign-off. A motion was made, seconded and approved to join the National Harbor Association: dues $50 per year.

D)  Harbormaster Authority. Joel reviewed the history of the BUI Raised Bill last year and CHMA’s successful efforts to prevent a reduction in the authority of the Harbormasters. Mike Griffin reported that he and Geoff have retained a lawyer to explain/guide the process to introduce state legislation to better define Harbormasters’ roles, responsibilities and authority. They are preparing a white paper on why these changes are needed. One thought is to exempt Harbormasters from POST training as is the case with lake patrol people.


Mike Griffin expressed his concern that the DEP is  not supporting the Harbormasters and reported that the memorandum of understanding relating to Harbormasters between the DOT and the DEP is not forthcoming because the DEP is now saying that they are not authorized to sign such memoranda. He will meet with Eleanor Mariani for her ideas on how to proceed. Mike also expressed his concern that after 9/11 the Coast Guard is not making any effort to work with the Harbormasters.

Joel is meeting with the Connecticut Director of Homeland Security to request grant money from FEMA to train Harbormasters on being security “eyes on the water”. Mike Griffin to query the other HMs re their thoughts.


Geoff Steadman distributed David Dunanvan’s obituary from The Hour and talked about his contributions to CHMA.


HMC notification of permit applications. Joel reported that only the Certificate of Permission form has been changed by the DEP. Contrary to the Commissioner’s opinion OLISP Management refuses to change any more forms.  The Chm to continue his efforts only at a higher level. Geoff suggested that this issue be pursued with other changes to the Harbor Management act.


A)  President Severance said that there are two openings on the Board of Directors and the Board discussed possible candidates.  It is preferable that the new member be from the Branford to Milford area. There were several suggestions but no recommendations made.  Members to think about it and bring suggestions to next Board Meeting.

B)  February 21st Workshop. It was recommended the Chm send out a follow-up letter to our mailing list reminding them of the Meeting.


A)  Proposed amendment to By-Laws re adding two new seats.

B)  February workshop.

The next meeting will be: TBD


 The meeting adjourned at  6PM

 Respectively Submitted By:  Louis Allyn and Joel Severance