6.28.18 Sister City Meeting Minutes

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; Chamonix, France; Davos, Switzerland; Abetone, Italy;
Queenstown, New Zealand; Shimukappu, Japan; Bariloche, Argentina


June 28, 2018 @ 5:00 pm



1) Transparency- in operations/Bylaws, in finances- City/schools, programs, Budget 2018

2) Build International Exchanges/partners- community outreach, new programs, student exchanges, patrol exchanges, medical exchange

3) Website as central hub- communications & membership

Members In attendance:

President: Danno Lahr

Vice-President: Elise Cohen

Secretary: Anita Moose-absent

Treasurer: ex-officio

Aspen City Council Representative: Ward Hauenstein-absent

Snowmass Village Representative: Markley Butler-absent

Sister Cities Coordinators

Abetone: Chair: Jill Sheeley Co-chair: n/a

Bariloche: Chair: Griff Smith Co-chair: Lala Caffarone

Chamonix: Chair: John Armstrong Co-chair: n/a

Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Chair: Nancy Gensch-absent Co-chair: n/a

Queenstown: Chair: Jill Sheeley Co-chair: n/a

Shimukappu:Chair: Kamala Marsh-absent Co-chair: n/a

Davos:Chair(inactive):Karinjo DeVore Co-chair: n/a

Sister Cities Student Coordinators: Georgina Levey-absent

Betsy Ann Anastas

Members at Large: Jenny Beltman absent, Maria Carbonetti absent, Diane Godfrey absent

Guests: none



Meeting called to order at 5pm by President

Approval of meeting minutes from June 14, 2018–voted and approved

Report by Danno re: meeting with Ward Hauenstein and Jim True about legal council for our organization. Jim works for the City of Aspen and there’s a conflict of interest so we’ll need to find someone (perhaps pro bono) who could help us out. Jill will call Tim McFlynn to see if he’s interested.

Report by Betsy Ann re:  meeting with Mike Marolt. Jill and Betsy Ann had a productive meeting with Mike Marolt last week. They explained how they structured their exchanges from a monetary standpoint and handed over all their QuickBooks access and bank statements. They explained the Ducky Derby process. Mike will take about 3-4 weeks to get everything done. He will put all into a master desktop Quickbooks program. Then he will put everything on the Cloud and train Betsy Ann and Jill on his procedure so we’re consistent. He’ll create a student account in QuickBooks striving again for consistency. At some point, we will transfer from debit cards to credit cards per Mike. Betsy Ann handed out W9s for school coordinators to complete and these will be returned to Mike — Secretary and eventual Treasurer will also need to fill out.

Danno: Mike is committed to getting our books in order so we can apply for grants. Mike will help Danno put together a budget. Question: Did Alix do our taxes for 2017? Mike needs to know. We’re glad to have Mike on board. Danno and Elise don’t know what the $20,000 in General Fund is for. If Alix doesn’t know, Jill will ask Karl Adam.

Status of Treasurer: Danno put an ad on the website with no success. Griff said we had interest last year from Morris Hogan–a referral from Karl Adam, our previous treasurer. Danno contacted him with no success, but during the meeting, Griff contacted him and he is interested. To be followed up. Jill suggested if he’s not available to contact the various CPA firms.

Betsy Ann: Per the ongoing discussion on Sister Cities contracted services- If we move to more formal contractual agreement beyond the W9/1099R, she brought up liability (injuries/workman’s compensation,) for chaperones while chaperoning here in Aspen (i.e. her knee in Moab). The W9/1099R process may keep the liability issue with the individual service contractor and be easier for Aspen Sister Cities to manage. We may need guidance on this.

Karinjo: as a past city coordinator, she wanted to point out that often things come up unexpectedly. We need some flexibility.

Danno’s motions:


  • Motion: changed to Suggestion:


  • to regulate paid services contractually through a W9/1099R process. It will be the responsibility of those paid to acknowledge on their personal tax returns.
  • For any paid positions: school/student coordinators, secretary and treasurer– they will be treated as Independent Contractors administered annually by the Treasurer through the W9/1099R process.
    • Since all paid positions are sub contractors of Aspen Sister Cities, their work shall be monitored annually pertaining to workload, compensation, and performance review process.

Suggestion: to separate the review process; the collection of anonymous parent/student surveys, and chaperone debriefs from trips to a committee independent of the school student coordinators themselves to assure an independent evaluation process including self-evaluation with delegated city coordinators and school administrators. For middle school exchanges, all 3 schools should be kept in the loop with an invitation to attend the evaluation debrief.

Motion: Changed to a Suggestion: to continue balancing the books per each separate school exchange, as recommended by Executive Corps per consult from 2014, working with Mike

Discussion about the difference in General Fund monies and Student Account monies. The student account monies are self-funded and come from student payment of trip fees which includes a 2 year Aspen Sister Cities membership fee, Ducky Derby fundraising, Aspen Country Day School and Aspen Community School contributions at $2500 each. Aspen School District provides in-kind contributions: School Bus driver pay, room rental fees, office equipment and material use, volunteer-chaperone liability when with student groups).

Discussion about where the above motion/suggestions would be indicated. It was mentioned they would be part of the language in future/new bylaws as they continue to be developed

  • Motion: to compile General Fund budgets for each Sister City by September 2019. Our intention is that there shall be no reimbursement of any other funding without a budget, as this is an industry standard. Postpone pending Mike’s input.
  • Elise seconded the motion and it was approved by all.

          Griff: wants to work on the Bylaws this summer and intention is to bring to the membership for  

                    approval. Jill and Betsy Ann will share their work on student coordinators’ job

                    descriptions and stipends for this purpose. It was suggested that stipends for Sister

Cites contracted services be included in budgets rather that stated in the bylaws.

         Betsy Ann: we need to get back to “old business”: These topics should continue to be included

in Parking Lot Future Items list.

  • changing our name and logo
  • getting Jenny voted for Chamonix City Co-coordinator
  • select and confirm someone to chair Garmisch     

          Starting in July, bi-weekly meetings. July 12 and 26th at 5pm. Room to be determined

          Motion to adjourn: 6:49pm


Minutes: Taken by Jill Sheeley


Parking Lot/Future Items:



Abetone report:

Bariloche report:

Chamonix report:

Davos report:

Garmisch-Partenkirchen report:

Queenstown report:

Shimukappu report:

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