By ASHLEY ONYON
GLOVERSVILLE — The Fulton County Center for Regional Growth Board of Directors appointed officers during the annual organizational meeting and discussed results of a board performance evaluation, setting areas of focus for the coming year.
The Board of Directors approved the appointments of Kent Kirch as chair, Leslie Ford vice chair, Gregory Fagan secretary and Ronald Olinsky treasurer. The board then approved a motion to expand the executive committee to include a second chair position and appointed Geoffrey Peck to fill the new post.
The board then went into their regular meeting, reviewing the results of a board performance evaluation. Kirch explained that board members unanimously agreed with statements in all but five categories in which a single respondent entered “somewhat agree.”
“We just wanted to see if there was anything in that response that would justify board attention to make sure we’re not missing something,” Kirch said. “We don’t really need to know who’s vote that was, but we want to talk about are there any areas where we should be doing more.”
Statements up for discussion pertained to policy decisions and practices including; board has adopted policies, bylaws and practices for effective governance, management and operation and reviews these annually; board sets clear and measurable performance goals that contribute to accomplishing its mission; and decisions made by board members are arrived at through independent judgment and deliberation free of political influence or self-interest.
Additional categories related to distribution of information and included; individual board members communicate effectively with executive staff so as to be well informed of the status of all important issues; and board knows the statutory obligations of the authority and if the authority is in compliance with state law.
Ford suggested that questions regarding CRG and board policies may actually relate to the manner in which they are communicated, noting that she discussed with CRG Executive Secretary Diane Meade prior to the meeting the ease with which similar information can be accessed digitally in other organizations.
“In some of our other worlds we’re used to board members accessing policy documents,” Ford said. “It seems that we think we’ve actually been doing a good job of adopting policies and looking at where our shortcomings, our shortfalls are, that’s all an ongoing process.”
Ford went on to say that she had not received copies of board policies which would be beneficial for future review. Fagan related that he had received copies of the information in previous years.
“That’s something that must have dropped off in the past few years, because I know I’ve had a binder of [Authorities Budget Office] stuff as well as a binder of CRG bylaws and everything at home,” Fagan said.
CRG President and CEO Ronald Peters said the organization will be redesigning it’s website this year through a contract with Fulton County and all policy information will be accessible online once the project is complete.
To improve goal setting, Kirch recommended the board review and update goals on a quarterly basis. Ford also suggested the board develop a performance metric to measure their progress. Both Kirch and Ford noted the board has made progress regarding goal setting over the past year, updating goals in early 2018 that had previously been in place since 2015.
“I feel like we’re getting clearer each year and that’s helping us,” Ford said.
No further suggestions were made during the discussion and Kirch noted that board members who provided lower ratings may have been absent from the meeting with Peck, Terry Easterly and Grant Preston not in attendance.
Kirch added that the results of the performance evaluation were favorable and seemed to indicate the board is moving in the right direction.
“My take on these results was that overall it was very positive and everyone is feeling pretty comfortable with how the board is operating, but we always have room for improvement,” Kirch said.
“I would say any time you do an evaluation that comes out perfect, it’s not of this Earth,” Ford added. “I think this is a very positive evaluation and we’re working in the areas that we have identified.”