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Wise Water Words - Volume 52, Issue 1 (Spring 2015)

From the Chair

(Submitted by Doug Woodbeck - Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services)

We just held the first meeting with me as Chairman for the Section and I believe it went fairly well. We adopted the Section budget for 2015. Financially, I believe we are doing very well. Our expenses do not exceed our revenues so we are doing much better than our Federal Government, as far as living within our means. We also adopted the changes to the Section's "Strategic Plan", which the immediate Past-Chair, David Lathrop, worked on so diligently. This revised document is on our webpage for all to see. There were a number of issues discussed and several Ad Hoc committees formed to address a couple of issues. The new ad-hoc committees are "Total Water Solutions" (TWS), Wise Water Words (WWW), and By-Laws.

John S. Olsson, Director for the Section, is the Chairman of the TWS Ad-Hoc Committee. This committee is a collaborative effort aimed at cultivating partnerships that will enhance the Section and the services provided thereby. The Section, along with others organizations that are water-related or have an integral tie with water, will hopefully be brought together to 1) gain a better understanding of the resources that are available to us, 2) provide insight as to how water, energy, and nutrients are interrelated, and 3) identify successful efforts made in the (water) supply cycle. I look forward to seeing what John and the other committee members come up with.

Mary Poe, Trustee for the Section, is the Chairwoman for the WWW Ad Hoc committee. This committee was formed to flesh out whether or not the Section would want to join forces with NWEA to publish a joint newsletter rather than staying by ourselves in this endeavor. We have been approached by NWEA with this possibility, but there has been some reservation expressed in this regard. There are now efforts by most organizations to move into the paperless age. Like it or not, the world as a whole is moving in that direction. I, however, like to have my hands on the news I receive, as do many others. There is the argument that one may print off the electronic document that you receive and read it at your leisure. This argument is hard, if not impossible, to overcome, especially when you take into account the money savings afforded the organization by going paperless. If you don't have to print it on paper then mail it out, you can save a lot of money, which will hopefully go to other worthwhile causes.

Finally, the By-Laws Ad Hoc Committee will be chaired by Rich Koenig. This committee was formed to address a couple of concerns that were brought up at the annual meeting in Kearney this past fall. Specifically, there are some conflicting parts of the by-laws that need to be brought into a non-conflict state, and we need to have some clarification with regard to the actual number of Trustees on the board and who those seats are or can be filled by. I would like to have these issues decided by the Fall Conference, but I am sure that won't happen, simply because of the steps necessary to affect changes to the by-laws. This committee will also be addressing the issue of whether or not section membership will be a requirement for Committee Chair appointments as well as simple participation on a committee.

As I write this article, the plans are made and the "Wine for Water" event is scheduled. My congratulations to Teresa Konda for setting up this event in such a short time. I truly hope that it proves to be beneficial for the Section, Water For People, and those persons whom this very worthwhile organization works to help. I believe they are doing God's work.

In closing, I would like to encourage all members to be active in your Section's activities. If you want to join a committee, simply contact the Committee Chair or any of the Board members. We would be glad to get you in touch with the appropriate person to best utilize the skills you bring to the table. Also, if you are interested in holding a position on the Board of Directors, please contact any of the Nominations Committee members. David Lathrop is the Chairman of the Nominations Committee and the members are John S. Olsson, Ben Day, Dennis Watts, and Mike Wentink. Please visit our website to find Committee Chair contact information.