THE HARBOR CENTER BOARD
THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, 2021, 9 AM
100 HARBOR CENTER BLVD. SLIDELL, LA 70461 AND VIA ZOOM
The meeting was called to order at 9:04 am by Board Chairman, Mr. Mark Myers.
Mr. Martin Bruno gave the invocation and Mr. Myers led the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Myers then swore in new Board member, Ms. Betty Thomas.
Ms. Lowrey led roll call. Present: Stephanie Berault, Kurt Bozant, Martin Bruno, Kevin Davis, Mark Myers, Darrell Smith, Betty Thomas, and Kathleen Wilkin. Present via Zoom: Carrie Calvin, Donna O’Daniels, and Gregory Parke. Absent: Martin Patel, and Thomas Shinn. There was a quorum. Also present: Kathy Lowrey, Kelly Baudoin, and Valerie Waeltz.
There were no guests and no public comment.
In accordance with Act 302 and the Governor’s executive proclamation, Mr. Myers asked the Board for a motion to accept the agenda and allow for the meeting with attendance and voting via Zoom. Mr. Bozant moved to accept the motion, Ms. Wilkin seconded, and it was unanimously voted upon. Mr. Smith requested that all votes be indicated with raising of hands as mouths could not be seen due to required mask wearing. The Board approved.
It was then requested that Part A of New Business be moved up on the agenda in front of Old Business and after the Treasurer’s Report. Mr. Smith moved to accept, Mr. Davis seconded, and the Board voted unanimously to approve.
The reading and approval of minutes from July 1, 2021, then followed. Mr. Martin motioned to accept, Mr. Smith seconded, and the rest of the board unanimously approved.
Mr. Bruno then read the Treasurer’s Report. He noted that income received from Ad-Valorem bond and taxes collected from the hotel were up and expenses were down. Mr. Bozant moved to accept the minutes, Mr. Smith seconded, Ms. O’Daniel’s vote was abstained due to a lost signal via zoom and the rest of the Board present voted to approve.
Mr. Myers then requested the meeting move into executive session. Mr. Bruno moved to accept, Mr. Bozant seconded and the Board unanimously approved. The meeting entered into Executive Session and Ms. Baudoin and Ms. Waeltz left the room. Ms. Lowrey later joined them.
The Executive Session ended, and Mr. Myers asked for a motion to reconvene into regular session. Mr. Davis moved to reconvene, Ms. Wilkin seconded, and it was unanimously approved. Mr. Davis then made a motion to increase full-time staff salaries by 5% for cost of living noting that raises had not been given in 5 years. This increase is to be implemented starting on September 1, 2021. He also called for the Treasurer to form a committee within 3 months to review all employee salaries. Mr. Bruno seconded this motion. Mr. Myers amended the motion to omit any staff hired within the past 3 months. The Board unanimously approved the amended motion.
Mr. Smith then motioned for The Harbor Center’s employees to follow the Governor’s orders on Covid-19 response at this time, particularly regarding masks. Mr. Bruno seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved.
The meeting moved to Old Business. Ms. Lowrey began by updating the Board on the meeting room expansion. She informed them that the contract is in the hand of the architectural firm and expects to execute the contract shortly. Mr. Myers called for a motion to authorize Ms. Lowrey to sign the AIA contract. Mr. Bruno moved to accept, Mr. Bruno seconded and the Board unanimously approved.
Ms. Lowrey then moved on to discuss the updating of the marquee. She informed the Board that she is still waiting on quotes from SEI and OPA signs. The Board also discussed the raising of the land around the sign. Mr. Smith requested a written agreement between the Harbor Center and those raising the dirt and electrical box. Mr. Myers requested that the Harbor Center attorney to consider a liability contract as well as making sure the perpetual lease of the area around the sign is officially recorded.
Ms. Lowrey then gave a public relations update. She informed the Board that video testimonials had been filmed with TCI and that they were currently in the editing process. She noted that the videos are to be used in community presentations and will be released on social media platforms and the Harbor Center website. She then shared that Faught Enterprises had also filmed four more testimonials for marketing purposes.
The 2020 financial audit was then discussed. Ms. Lowrey informed the Board that a draft of the audit had been sent to the Legislative Auditor and that it would be presented after its acceptance. Ms. Lowrey also updated the Board on the monument sign project. She let the Board know that a meeting had been scheduled with St. Tammany Parish to determine proper placement on the Boulevard.
The meeting then skipped to Part B of New Business, Covid Business Update. Mr. Myers noted that there was a new mask mandate per the Governor’s orders, but there have been no capacity restrictions. He then inquired if there should be any restrictions placed on patrons and/or vendors. Discussion ensued.
Ms. Lowrey then gave the General Manager’s Report. She shared that in addition to Ms. Thomas joining the Board, a new representative for the Lodging Association, Ms. Athena Tzuanos would replace Mr. Patel as soon as his term expired. She also noted that Ms. Wilkin would be staying with the Board for another term. She also informed the Board that the Free NOLA fundraiser went very well, they were ready to re-book and were very impressed with the staff.
Ms. Waeltz then gave the sales report.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:20 am. Mr. Bruno motioned to adjourn, and Ms. Wilkin seconded. It was unanimously agreed upon. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday,
September 2, 2021, at 9 am.