November 2016

Ohio HBPA Board Meeting Minutes
11:00 am, Thursday, November 20, 2016
Sanese Center, Columbus, OH

Members Present:
President: Joe Poole Directors: Randy Blevins, Mark Doering, Jeff Jarvis, Mark Kuntz,   Mike Rone, Bruce Ryan, Robin Schuster, Kristina Tumblin

Members Unable to Attend:
Butch Nemann

Others Present:
Executive Director Dave Basler, OHBPA Lobbyist Tom Pappas, OTBO Directors Jim Yaegel, Tom McCann

Call To Order/ Approval of Minutes:
President Poole called the meeting to order. After review Director Blevins moved and Director Rone seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the September 13, 2016 meeting of the OHBPA board of directors. Motion passed.

Special Order of Business:
In accordance with the motion passed by the OHBPA board following legal counsel’s recommendations a special election was held to fill the two vacant trainer/ owner trainer position on the Ohio HBPA board. 6 candidates had turned the required materials in to be on the ballot.

One candidate Rich Zielinski has requested from the board a waiver under Section 7.5 of the HBPA Code of Regulations- Conflict of Interest. By written vote the waiver was denied by a vote of 5 to 2 with two abstentions.

The board then cast their written ballots for the remaining five candidates with the ability to choose up to two candidates each to fill the open positions.

Robert Cline was elected to one of the open seats as the highest vote getter with 6 votes.

Doug Cowans and Don Radcliff tied for second with four votes each necessitating a run off between the two. By written vote Doug Cowans was elected to the second open seat by a count of 5 to 4 with Don Radcliff to serve as the alternate in the trainer/ owner trainer category until the next OHBPA board of directors election in 2018.

OHBPA lobbyist Tom Pappas updated the board on the results of the general election held days earlier reporting that Republicans furthered their control of both the house and the senate gaining seats in each chamber.

Pappas and the executive director also led a discussion regarding their continuing efforts to tighten the language in the draft rule of 3769-2-43 proposed by the OSRC to a point where the OHBPA has no liability under the most favored nations clauses in the VLT agreements between the OHBPA and Thistledown and the OHBPA and Penn National for Mahoning Valley Race Course. Due to the ongoing and sensitive nature of these discussions no further details will be provided in these minutes.

President’s Report
President Poole provided details of the meeting with he and the executive director and several directors of the OTBO including the organizations President which took place at the main office of the Ohio HBPA in October.

During the meeting Poole and Basler expressed frustration with the OTBO’s failure to provide the basic detailing of the expenditures of the groups use of the $75,000 the OHBPA had provided it in 2015 which had been stated as a requirement to the group when it received the funding. That lack of reporting was the reason for the OHBPA’s denial of a request for 2016 funding by the OTBO.

Executive Director’s Report:
The executive director provided an update to the board including Thistledown purse reports showing that an issue he had detailed to the board at previous meetings had been resolved when Thistledown credited the purse account a total of $945,000 on the September 30, 2016 report which was a recognition of two payments from the OHBPA VLT account to the purse account in late 2015. The issue took much longer to resolve than should have been the case as Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas was handling the purse reports in 2015 and this year with Caesars no longer managing Thistledown or having any ownership interest the task of handling the purse reports was shifted back on track at Thistledown.

Basler detailed the Thistledown has agreed to pay each owner of a horse carded to race on October 19th when racing was cancelled well after first scheduled post time due to a labor dispute between management and the valets.

Following discussion Director Rone moved and Director Doering seconded a motion that an additional $50 be paid to each owner of a horse carded on the October 19th, 2016 Thistledown program from the Thistledown purse account. Motion passed.

Basler gave a recap of the TRA Simulcast Conference he had attended in late September.

New Business: 

Purses and Wagering
Basler updated the board on the current status of the purse accounts at all three of the states thoroughbred tracks.

The executive director provided handouts detailing VLT results at each of Ohio’s seven commercial race tracks and discussion was held regarding those numbers with all three thoroughbred tracks showing year over year increases for the month of October.

Benevolence, Policies and Organization
Extensive discussion was held regarding the need for the OHBPA to more effectively communicate to our membership all of the positive programs and initiatives that have been put into place.

The executive director discussed talks he had with Vehr Communications, a Cincinnati based company specializing in Corporate Communications, regarding the issue and that Vehr believed the first step in the process was to determine what form(s) of communication the OHBPA members want to receive from us.

Director Jarvis moved and Director Doering seconded a motion that up to $5,000 from the Industry Initiative Fund be spent to survey our members to find out how they want to be communicated with. Motion passed.

Directors Kuntz and Jarvis let a discussion regarding various issue involving training hours, gate crew, etc. for training at Belterra Park after the live racing meet had concluded. Director Jarvis stated that as OHBPA vice president at Belterra he planned to meet along with the executive director with Belterra Park management prior to the beginning of the 2017 live racing season to make sure all the issues are resolved before the season begins.

Discussion was held regarding possible further recommendations to be made to the Thoroughbred Advisory Board regarding the 2017 OTF program.

Director Doering moved and Director Blevins seconded a motion that a recommendation be made to the Thoroughbred Advisory Board that Ohio-breds have preference in all open allowance races provided all condition preferences have been met. Motion passed.

Director Kuntz moved and Director Doering seconded a motion that a recommendation be made to the Thoroughbred Advisory Board that all Ohio claiming races shall be used provided they have 8 or more entries. Motion passed.

Government and External Affairs
OTBO Directors Jim Yaegel and Tom McCann made a power point presentation regarding the OTBO to the board.

Budget and Finance
Director Blevins moved and Director Rone seconded a motion that $500 be expended from the Industry Initiative Fund to help partially pay for a horsemen’s buffet dinner for the connections of horses in the Best of Ohio races on Best of Ohio day October 29. Motion passed.

Director Doering moved and Director Blevins seconded a motion that seasonal field office employee Barb Chatterton receive one week’s paid vacation in 2017. Motion passed.

Director Doering moved and Director Rone seconded a motion to pay $2,000 per month from the Industry Initiative Fund provided they can provide a chaplain for Mahoning Valley Race Course. For clarity the $2,000 would be for each month an RTCA provided chaplain worked during the Mahoning Valley meet. Motion passed.

The executive director and Director Blevins, chairman of Budget and Finance committee, led the discussion of a 4 page handout containing the 2017 Ohio HBPA budget as approved by the Budget and Finance committee. Changes were made to adjust pony lead income to $27,000 at both Thistledown and Belterra based upon receiving the final checks for 2016 pony lead fees after the Budget and Finance Committee had approved the budget.

Following discussion Director Jarvis moved and Director Blevins seconded a motion to approve the presented budget with the amendments listed above. Motion passed.

Prior to adjourning the board discussed possible dates for the next board meeting and it was determined that the meeting would be held Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Director Blevins moved and Director Doering seconded a motion to adjourn. Motion passed.