Making Democracy Work

Minutes of Annual Meeting

This page contains the minutes of the most recent Annual Meeting.

Minutes of Annual Meeting 2016

Annual Meeting was held on May 25, 2016, in the Salem Airport Terminal Building.

Members Present: Janet Adkins, Deanie Anderson, Peter Anderson, Petra Berger, Diana Bodtker, Bill Burgess, Cindy Burgess, Helen Drakely, Susan Forkner, Joan Harmsen, Sharon Johnson, Robin LaMonte, JonAnn Lawrence, Sue Lawson, Anita Owen, Alice Phalan, Dave Phelps, Kathy Reed, Jean Sherbeck, Roz Shirack, Loraine Stuart, Chris Vogel, Kathleen West, and guest, LWVOR President, Norman Turrill.

After a gathering and social time, President Diana Bodtker declared a quorum present and called the meeting to order at 11:36 am.

Committee to Review 2016 Minutes: Diana appointed Jean Sherbeck, Robin LaMonte and herself, Diana Bodtker to review these minutes.

Agenda: Robin LaMonte moved and Petra Berger seconded a motion to accept the agenda as printed. The motion carried.

2015 Annual Meeting Minutes: Diana called for any corrections or additions to the 2015 Annual Meeting Minutes. Hearing none, she declared them approved. No motion was needed as the minutes were approved by a committee.

2016-17 Program: Deanie Anderson presented the Program for the 2016-17 year. She noted that program is no longer just LWVUS, LWVOR and Marion Polk Counties LWV studies, but includes other elements such as forums, Hot Topics speakers and field trips, events with other organizations and unit meetings. This is the second year of the Crossroads Project approved at Annual Meeting 2015. The goals of this project are to: (1) Increase clarity of purpose and quality of events; (2) Increase visibility and outreach to members and the community; (3) Increase member commitment by decreasing size of tasks; (4) Address relevancy and timeliness of each event proposed; (5) Evaluate each event orally and in written form to guide activity selection in the next year. The Project also gives the new Board the opportunity to make more changes in the coming year to the Board structure and function.

The LWVUS decided we have many positions and we should use them in a campaign to "Make Democracy Work for All." So we will do more action in conjunction with this theme. At the January Program Planning Meeting our membership voted unanimously to approve the LWVUS program plan which includes work on voter suppression, redistricting, and public policy, especially regarding climate change.

This was not a year to vote on LWVOR studies, but there are three continuing studies: Election Methods, and Public Post-Secondary Education Update, which will be presented in Fall 2016 and Hard Rock Mining scheduled to come out in 2017.

Locally, we will pursue more joint partnerships with other groups, continue to pursue programs that have an adequate amount of volunteer support, will try to be more effective in communicating needs, and make more efforts to evaluate what worked and what didn't for future Boards' guidance. Hot Topics will continue to be timely and relevant.

Voter Service will be broadened and called Voter Education. There will be a Voter Education Team meeting in July. Marge Easley will speak at a Hot Topics meeting in the Fall on voter disenfranchisement. Anita is leading a Civics Education Interest Group and may be involved in the Mock Elections in the high schools.

Deanie requested that members ask themselves what their skills are and how they want to help with the program activities that are planned.

Roz Shirack raised the issue that we were broadening the definition of program so that it is vague, to the point where the Board could suddenly adopt a study. Without further clarification she would leave this meeting wondering what will we be doing.

Deanie reiterated that we will need unit meetings to address the three LWVOR studies, that there are no new LWVUS or local studies. She said that if someone comes up with a new program idea, they should have an interest group and have gathered information and developed a

program plan and scope to present at the Program Planning meeting in January 2017. If the members support the plan and the Board also supports the plan, it can be included as a Recommended Program item in the Annual Meeting Workbook. Programs not supported by the Board can be included as Non-recommended Program items in the Annual Meeting Workbook.

Treasurer's Report: Treasurer, Elsa Struble being absent, Roz Shirack presented the Treasurer's Report which was year to date to March 31, 2016. There are some expenses still to come, so some expenses are short of the budgeted amount. Some revenues are also short.

2016-17 Proposed Budget: Roz, as the chair of the Budget Committee, thanked the committee of Robin LaMonte and Elsa Struble. Roz moved the approval of the proposed 2016-17 budget. No second was needed as it was produced by a committee.

Deanie Anderson asked why Line Item 501--FOCUS Printing was higher than this year. Robin LaMonte suggested that there may be more copying and not all the expenses for this past year have been submitted. Interest groups have not turned in expenses this year and they may next year, especially the Civics Education Interest Group. The Budget Committee was under the impression there would not be expenses from Hot Topics in 2016-17. Deanie noted that we do pay for speakers' meals, but that this expense comes from Line Item 603--Adopted Program. Diana Bodtker also suggested Line Items 602--Publicity or 504--Publications could be used for these expenses. Susan Forkner also suggested that these type of expenses could be charged to Line Item 601--Meetings.

Janet Adkins raised the question whether we should include more money in the budget for action/advocacy since we paid $400 for a ballot measure argument in the Marion County Voters' Pamphlet in 2015. It was funded by donations. Petra Berger suggested this might be an every other year occurrence. Deanie Anderson noted that we have decided to increase action/advocacy and this could cost money. Roz Shirack suggested that the money could come out of Line Item 603--Adopted Program or 601--Meetings and that traditionally, we have used people power such as e-mails and letters rather than expenditures of money. Action Chair, Chris Vogel concurred and said members are welcome to volunteer to observe local government meetings and be a part of the Action Committee.

Roz Shirack noted that the 2016-17 budget did require a transfer from Line Item 16--Reserves of $718 in order to balance. No large fundraisers are planned and no dues increase proposed.

The budget was unanimously adopted as submitted by the Budget Committee.

Conversion to a 501c(3) Organization: Roz Shirack moved that we convert LWV of Marion & Polk Counties to a 501c (3) organization. This was recommended by the Board and LWVOR.

Susan Forkner pointed out that Section 9 says "no substantial part of the activities of the corporation shall include the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation . . . ." She wondered how we can do this? LWVOR President, Norman Turrill explained that this refers to lobbying which is a term of art and that the 501c (4) organization, which we now are, also says this. He said it used to be no more than 50% of our resources could be used for lobbying. In the 1980s Congress changed it to no more than 20%. He said technically, forums, letters and e-mails are not lobbying. He said sometimes LWV pays for a state or local Voters' Pamphlet statement, but the League never gets above 20%. He said we must keep good accounting records to prove that we have spent less than 20%. Alice Phalan said it is 20% of our budget. Volunteer effort is not counted in the dollar amounts of our budget. The expenditures must be for lobbying. Norman Turrill said if we get close to the 20% we can go through the LWVOR 501c (4) organization that they have retained. Bill Burgess mentioned that two advertisements in the Statesman Journal newspaper or four statements regarding a ballot measure in the Voters' Pamphlet could add up to more than 20 percent. Robin LaMonte said our budget is so small that if we wanted to spend more than the current 20% level, we would have to fundraise, as we did this past fall, thus keeping the League within the 20% limit.

Roz Shirack asked what the Board thought was a positive about this change given all the paperwork the change involves? President Diana Bodtker said the main benefit is that our dues would be tax deductible and that we may get more donations if the donations are tax deductible.

Sharon Johnson wondered what if a coalition we are a part of spends lots of money? Norman Turrill reassured us it would not be a problem.

Petra Berger said we are a part of the LWVOR so we should be in cooperation with them on this.

Chris Vogel noted that the League may want to apply for foundation grants some of which require 501c (3) status for eligibility.

Norman Turrill said that Washington and California have partially converted and Wisconsin has. He said eight Leagues are in the process of converting to 501c (3) nonprofits and LWV Marion Polk County would be the fourth to make it official.

The motion to convert to a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation carried.

Alice Phalan moved and Petra Berger seconded a motion to adopt the 501c(3) Restated Articles of Incorporation. The motion carried.

Petra Berger moved and Chris Vogel seconded a motion to amend the League of Women Voters of Marion and Polk Counties Bylaw Article 2, Section 1 to say Purposes. The purposes of the LWVMPC are to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government and to act on selected governmental issues. LWVMPC is organized and operated primarily for charitable, educational and advocacy purposes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Articles, LWVMPC shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by a corporation exempt from Federal Income Tax under such provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. No substantial part of the activities of the corporation shall be attempting to influence legislation. The motion carried with one no vote.

Deanie Anderson asked if there was a committee in place to help Treasurer Elsa Struble do the paperwork. Robin LaMonte replied that Elsa is working with LWVOR on it.

President's Closing Words: Diana Bodtker said that she has been president for five years with ups and downs during that time but, due to the great turnout at the City Council Candidates Forum in which all the seats were full and people were standing around the room as well, she is going out on a cloud. She and the members present recognized the Board Members with a round of applause.

Program Vice President, Deanie Anderson presented Diana with a gift and encouraged members to be on the Board where we have enjoyed talking with each other over the past two years.

Nominating Committee Report: Nominating Committee Chair, Petra Berger thanked Sharon Johnson and Chris Vogel for their work on the committee. She called for anyone present to volunteer to be secretary. Petra then thanked Deanie Anderson for her loyal, positive, hard work. She thanked Adrienne Pauly and Sally Hollemon for the remarkable newsletter and Sally for sending out e-mail reminders of events. She thanked Action Chair Chris Vogel for being active on the LWVOR Action Committee and also being willing to be LWVMPC Action Chair. She thanked Kathleen West for her commitment to Voters Service and the Holiday Social in the past and for agreeing to do the social and outreach events this next year. She thanked Secretary Cindy Burgess and her husband, Bill for their continued belief in what we do.

Petra noticed some faces she did not recognize and had them introduce themselves. Jon Ann Lawrence said she has been in Salem about five years and said she thought membership in LWV was going to be fun. She has been attending Great Decisions.

Sally Lawson said she has been a member for 8 years and has come and gone to meetings as she could. Since she is now retired she is hoping to attend more often. She is impressed with LWV studies.

Kathryn Reed is a former LWVMPC President and chaired the LWVOR tax study. She was on the LWV of North Carolina State Board.

Petra thanked LWVOR President Norman Turrill for being active in both LWVOR and LWVUS.

Petra then listed all the LWVMPC Board nominees for 2016-2017. Roz Shirack reminded the members that only the ones in bold print were being elected. Roz moved and Susan Forkner seconded that the nominations be closed. The motion carried.

Helen Drakely moved and Alice Phalan seconded a motion to unanimously adopt the entire slate of nominees. The motion carried.

Elected were:

President: Cindy Burgess

Past President: Diana Bodtker

Secretary: vacant

Treasurer/Members Statistics: Elsa Struble

Membership/Social and Outreach Co-Chair: Kathleen West

FOCUS Editor: Adrienne Pauly

Publicity: Robin LaMonte

Action Chair & Unit Meeting Leader for 2 LWVOR studies: Chris Vogel

Voter Service/CCTV: Deanie Anderson

Nominating Committee"

Chair: 2017-18: Alice Phalan

Elected Nominating Committee Member: Jean Sherbeck

Appointed Off-Board and Interest Group Chairs:

Webpage: Sally Hollemon

Archives: vacant

Book Club: Roz Shirack

Civics Learning: Anita Owen

Great Decisions/Foreign Policy: Sally Hollemon

Comments of New President: Cindy Burgess said she has been a member of LWVMPC since about 1982 and was President in 1989-90. She plans to encourage each committee and conduct the Board meetings and would have more to say in the fall.

Directions to the New Board: Anita Owen encouraged members to attend the Civics Learning Interest Group that would meet at 11:00 am on May 26 at her home.

Deanie Anderson said that she will continue to arrange some Hot Topics and she encouraged the Board to continue partnering with other groups when doing programs.

Announcements: Anita Owen thanked the LWVMPC for sponsoring the "Fix-It" film on single payer system of health care. It was well attended and the speakers were excellent.

Member and County Clerk, Bill Burgess announced that he needed more election board workers for the November election. He especially needs workers other than Democrats to keep a balance of workers.

Annual Meeting Minutes Submitted by Cindy Burgess, Secretary Reviewed by Diana Bodtker and Robin LaMonte