We can better understand where our organization is going as we start the New Year, by looking back at the events of the past year

MEMBERSHIP- VALA memberships have doubled over the past three years.

REVENUE-VALA’s membership revenue was $2,190.00 in 2011, $3,905.00 in 2012, and $4,470.00 in 2013.  That is a 204% increase over three years which is pretty amazing.

EDUCATION- We recently completed a successful IAAO Depreciation Class. Our first group of Listers received their State Lister Certification awards at the annual meeting. VALA continues to partner with TOEC, PV&R, and NEMRC to sponsor and/or support education classes and workshops. The opportunity for Lister education has expanded significantly in the past four years. Education Committee Chair John Vickery continues to look for new class subject ideas from our members.

LEGISLATIVE- VALA was named as an organization to have representation on the Tax Commissioner’s Homestead Study and the Legislative Tax Exempt Property Study Committees. This committee just recently completed its report to the Senate. VALA is also a member on the Solar Energy and Tax Mapping Committees. VALA’s Legislative Committee Members continue to work with a coalition on recommended changes to the Current Use Law. VALA continues to partner with VLCT when we have common interests on pending legislation

COMMUNICATIONS- We continue to expand the features on the VALA website and the quarterly Newsletter. Our web site report shows an expanding number of hits from Vermont, neighboring states, and foreign countries. COMP 60 has been a valuable internet communication tool for posting Lister questions and feedback.

BOARDD OF DIRECTORS– We asked the board members to be active ambassadors to promote VALA. We have a number of new members as a result of the work by several board members. Todd LeBlanc has been an active Vice President working on several projects. Carol Hammond will be retiring at the end of this fiscal year. Carol has been a valuable staff member for many years and she will be missed.

BI-MONTHLY MEETINS- We changed the meeting format to a 1 hour board business meeting (9am-10am), and a 2-hour general meeting (10am-noon)to discuss hot topics and reports from PV&R and VLCT.

SUMMARY-2013 was a very busy and productive year for VALA. What is next in 2014?

MEMBERSHIP AND REVENUES– We should set a goal of maintaining our current membership and adding new members to achieve revenue income of $6,000.00

PRUDENT RESERVES- The Board should vote in January to put in a separate savings account a sum equal to one year of expenses as a prudent reserve. The reserve should be increased each year based on the actual budget results at the end of each fiscal year.

EDUCATION-VALA needs to respond to membership input to offer relevant classes and workshops   to advance Lister professional development. VALA should continue to partner with PV&R, TOEC, and NEMRC to promote and endorse Listers education classes and workshops.

LEGISLATION-Finally there may be legislative action on Current Use, and other Lister impact legislation. VALA members need to support our Legislative Committee by responding to requests to contact Representatives and Senators on pending legislation.  Phone calls and e-mails do have an impact on our local representatives.

COMMUNICATIONS– We will be working to expand the web site with more user friendly information and features. The quarterly newsletter will continue to grow as a resource to share information on Lister issues and activities. COMP 60–Every town’s Lister Office should have access to COMP 60. If you town does not have access, contact the PV&R Help Desk and Martha or Cathy will walk you through the process.

NEW IDEAS-The VALA Board is always looking for new service ideas from our membership.

STAFF EVOLUTION/INTER STRUCTURE- The Board needs to discuss the eventual transition of staff members and maintaining a viable organization. Todd LeBlanc is our new Vice President. We will need to elect a new secretary at the 2014 Annual Meeting. Your President and Membership/Web site/Newsletter Coordinator will be the next positions that will transition to new elected individuals.

SUMMARY- There are a number of challenges that the Board and membership must address in 2014. I know we will address these challenges and be a stronger Lister organization.

John Fike President VALA

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