Council of Administration Meeting
August 7, 2005
Nashua, New Hampshire
The Post-Encampment Council of Administration meeting was opened by Commander-in-Chief Donald Darby at approximately 8:00 AM with the Pledge of Allegiance. An inspirational opening prayer was then offered by Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Charles Kuhn. Upon the roll call of officers, the following were recorded present:
Commander-in-Chief Donald E. Darby
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief James B. Pahl
Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Charles Kuhn
National Secretary Michael S. Bennett
National Treasurer Max L. Newman
National Quartermaster Danny L. Wheeler
Council Member David Stephen
Council Member Leo Kennedy
Council Member D. Brad Schall
Council Member James Hanby
Council Member Daniel Murray
Immediate Past Commander-in-Chief Stephen Michaels
National Counselor and Past Commander-in-Chief Robert Grim
National Washington D.C. Representative and Past Commander-in-Chief Andrew M. Johnson
Additional Past Commanders-in-Chief present included Edward J. Krieser, Elmer F. “Bud” Atkinson, and Charles W. Corfman.
Guests of the Council of Administration were: National Chief of Staff Henry Shaw,
Executive Director Lee Walters, National Graves Registration Officer Robert Lowe, PDC, Department of Maryland Senior Vice Commander R. Keith Young, Maryland Brother Ken Hershberger, PDC, and Michigan Brother James Pahl, Jr.
Commander-in-Chief Darby began the meeting by welcoming those new to the Council of Administration, and then announced that it was his intention that the Council would adhere to the Navy idiom of “High Speed and Low Drag.”
C-in-C Darby then addressed a sensitive matter brought to his attention by means of a note left for him during the Encampment. Apparently, it was reported that Past Commander-in-Chief Stephen Michaels has an addiction to Oscar’s Delicious Ice Cream, and has been seen not only eating it, but also asking for it from his Brothers in the Order. While the note indicated that PC-in-C Michaels was to receive certificates for free Oscar’s Delicious Ice Cream, no actual certificates were to be found. In their place, however, Commander-in-Chief Darby presented Past Commander-in-Chief Michaels with a certificate in the name of and by authority of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, acknowledging PC-in-C Stephen A. Michaels’ dedicated service to the Order as Commander-in-Chief for the year 2004-2005. PC-in-C Michaels accepted the certificate with appreciation, and received a round of applause by those in attendance.
Commander-in-Chief Darby then noted that as Senior Council of Administration Member David Stephen would now chair the Memorial Grant Fund, with assistance from Council Members Leo Kennedy and D. Brad Schall. Materials related to Grant Fund applications were then presented to Council Member Stephen for the Committee’s review.
Brother Keith Young from the Department of Maryland then gave a presentation to the Council about the veterans cemeteries located at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, located high on a bluff across the Anacostia River from Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. , and Lincoln-Cushing Camp 2’s efforts to care for and record the hundreds of veteran graves located on the hospital grounds. It was noted that while the facility has done its best, they have no mechanism in place or budget available to provide the care needed. It was recommended that some other entity will need to be charged with this duty, and that the National Organization of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War can play a role by putting together a nationwide effort to convince Congress that we need to protect and care for this cemetery, and our veterans who rest within.
Returning to the business of the Council, the subject of Life Member Reimbursement was raised by National Treasurer Max Newman, noting that the 1 st category of Life Members, those who became Life Members prior to August 15, 1996, currently entitle their Camps, or Departments for MALs, to a $4 yearly payment, while those who became Life Members between August 15, 1996 and August 19, 2000, referred to as the 1996 Program, are entitled to a $12 reimbursement. There is no reimbursement for those who became Life Members during the current 2001 Program. After some discussion, it was moved by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief James Pahl, and seconded by Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Charlie Kuhn, that the reimbursement amount for pre-August 15, 1996 Life Members be raised from $4 to $6. The motion was approved unanimously.
Commander-in-Chief Darby then noted, for the benefit of the new members of the Council, that by a previous vote of the Council, all Brothers are required to wear their SUVCW badges at Council of Administration meetings. A fine of $1 is imposed on any Brother in violation of this rule. C-in-C Darby offered to wave this penalty for new members of the Council at this meeting, but was quickly informed that the new Council Members were, indeed, wearing their badges. C-in-C Darby noted that all Brothers at the Council of Administration meeting in Gettysburg , including guests of the Council, will be required to wear their badges or pay the penalty. Treasurer Newman noted that, after careful consideration, he deemed this offense to be “disrespect to the Grand Army of the Republic,” and has therefore deposited these fines into the G.A.R. Fund.
Commander-in-Chief Darby then shared some of the complaints and concerns he received regarding voting procedures at the National Encampment – specifically the ways in which we ensure that no one votes who is not entitled to, even when this may occur without intent. Various suggestions have been made including the creation of voting cards, perhaps of different colors. C-in-C Darby has appointed PC-in-C Powell to serve as Chairman, and John Irons, PDC as a fifth member of the Credentials Committee. After considerable discussion, and many valuable suggestions, it was agreed that the Program & Policy Committee will work with the Credentials Committee on the creation of voting cards and the procedure for their distribution and use. C-in-C Darby asked the Program & Policy Committee to report to the COA by the Council meeting in Gettysburg in November.
A question was then posed to the National Counselor by C-in-C Darby regarding the National Encampment’s instruction to the Constitution and Regulations Committee to establish a grievance board or policy. C-in-C Darby asked the Counselor if it would be appropriate to appoint a Grievance Committee to handle such matters while the C & R Committee is formalizing their own response. SVC-in-C Pahl noted that a procedure already exists within the Constitution and Regulations by which the C-in-C shall appoint a three member Appeals Panel whenever an appeal is received, and Counselor Robert Grim, PC-in-C, added that the Commander-in-Chief is required to appoint a Hearing Council when a complaint with charges and specifications is received. C-in-C Darby encouraged members of the Council to review the specific wording within our General Regulations, which addresses such matters. They can be found in Article V, Chapter VI.
SVC-in-C Pahl noted that there are two Officers that need to be appointed on an annual basis by the Council of Administration: National Member-at-Large Coordinator and Editor of The Banner. Council Member Stephen moved and PC-in-C Michaels seconded that Alan Russ be permitted to continue to serve as National Member-at-Large Coordinator. The motion was approved unanimously, with several members of the Council mentioning Brother Russ’ excellent performance in that position. Council Member James Hanby then moved and JVC-in-C Kuhn, speaking for many, seconded the motion that SVC-in-C Pahl be appointed to serve as Editor of The Banner. The motion was approved with only SVC-in-C Pahl’s vote in dissent.
C-in-C Darby announced that the Council of Administration’s next meeting would be at 8:00 am , Sunday, November 20, 2005 in Gettysburg . A brief discussion concerning location then took place, concluding in the selection of a conference room at the Eisenhower Inn. C-in-C Darby also noted that it was his hope and intent for the Council to conduct as much business as possible via e-mail and use of the electronic boardroom. This will reduce the number of items which need to be discussed in person, and should result in shorter Council of Administration meetings. It was also suggested that those inclined to do so take advantage of the breakfast put on by Gettysburg Camp 112 Sunday morning in the Gettysburg GAR hall, located at 53 E. Middle Street .
All were reminded of our new policy concerning non-period attire at the Remembrance Day parade, and it was clarified that those in non-period clothing will march together in business suit or other appropriate attire, wearing the badge of their Order. JVC-in-C Kuhn will explore acquisition of a banner which will precede this contingent, identifying them as members of the Allied Orders. A lengthy discussion ensued regarding the order and placement of the non-period attired division(s).
National Quartermaster Danny Wheeler, PC-in-C, brought to the Council’s attention that the grave of PC-in-C Norman Fuhrman was recently discovered to be unmarked. As PC-in-C Fuhrman was a WWII veteran, obtaining a headstone will present no difficulty. However, Brother Wheeler asked if the Order might be able to assist with the $150 cost of having a stone installed and set. PC-in-C Krieser suggested that this be left to the Past Commander-in-Chiefs. The offer was gratefully accepted.
National Quartermaster Wheeler then presented a sample certificate for issuance upon the death of a Brother, to be offered for sale by the Quartermaster. A similar Resolution of Respect Certificate was created by the Pvt. Richard Taylor Camp 53 of Huntsville, AL, and was submitted to the Council for their review, along with Membership Certificates created for both Associates and Juniors. After lengthy discussion, the Council unanimously voted not to approve the Resolution of Respect Certificate as presented, noting confusion with regard to some of the wording used on the certificate. It was further decided that official certificates and forms of the Order – particularly membership certificates – should come through the National Quartermaster, in order to achieve a standard of style and quality. It was, therefore, a unanimous vote to reject the Associate and Junior certificates proposed by Taylor Camp 53. SVC-in-C Pahl moved that the certificate created by National Patriotic Instructor Bruce Butgereit and presented by National Quartermaster Wheeler be adopted once it is re-worked somewhat with additional color added. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously with the abstention of National Quartermaster Wheeler.
National Secretary Michael Bennett then presented a request from Durgin Camp 7, Department of New Hampshire, for a license from the Council of Administration to sell t-shirts featuring the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War name and/or logo. A sample was provided for the Council’s inspection. A motion was made by JVC-in-C Kuhn and seconded by many to approve this license, to expire at the National Encampment in August of 2006. The motion passed unanimously.
National Quartermaster Wheeler moved that an original Sons of Veterans Certificate, currently in the possession of the Charitable Foundation, be duplicated and made available for sale by the Foundation. The motion was seconded by Council Member D. Brad Schall. JVC-in-C Kuhn pointed out the confusion and misrepresentation that would occur by permitting a Brother to place his own name on a certificate featuring the name Sons of Veterans, an organization which no longer exists under that name. Following that discussion, the Council voted unanimously not to permit the sale of this certificate.
National Quartermaster Wheeler then reminded the Council that he had been investigating making 2’ x 4’ SUVCW flags available for sale. Further examination showed that the flags under consideration would be computer-generated rather than silk screened. Concerns were raised regarding the appearance and durability of these flags, especially if used outside. C-in-C Darby also brought up the need to indicate that these flags are not to be used as a replacement for Camp flags. Council Member Stephen reported that a Brother stated to him that U.S. Flag code provides that only a State flag or POW flag may fly on the same pole with an American Flag. It was the belief of many members of the Council that this was inaccurate. National Quartermaster Wheeler moved and JVC-in-C Kuhn seconded that a sample run of these flags be produced. The motion passed unanimously with the abstention of National Quartermaster Wheeler.
PC-in-C Krieser reported that dozens of Brothers have not yet received their copies of National Encampment proceedings, either because they were not in attendance at recent National Encampments at which they were distributed, or because they simply did not take advantage of the opportunity to obtain them. Noting that he believes he does not have the authority to incur the expense of mailing them out, and asked for the Council’s guidance in how to complete this distribution. PC-in-C and National Quartermaster Emeritus “Bud” Atkinson noted that it had been the duty of the National Quartermaster to mail copies of National Encampment Proceedings out to Brothers who did not receive them at subsequent Encampments, which he did on many occasions. Council Member Stephen moved that PC-in-C Krieser, in his capacity as National Secretary for Proceedings, be authorized to mail National Encampment proceedings out to Brothers entitled to receive them, with additional extra copies being provided to the National Quartermaster for sale to Brothers who may desire them. The motion was seconded by JVC-in-C Kuhn and passed unanimously.
PC-in-C Michaels indicated that the Council needed to vote on the amount of dues and application fee to be required for those applying for membership via the National website, and also provided a spreadsheet that showed, merely for informational purposes, the breakdown numbers of Camps and Brothers in each membership category in each of our Departments, adding that we all need to do what we can to assist our Camps and Departments in resuming an increase in membership and a strengthening of our Camps.
Noting that the current dues for those applying through the National website is $31, with an additional $10 application/initiation fee, C-in-C Darby asked the Council to indicate whether any changes should be made to these amounts. SVC-in-C Pahl moved that the amounts remain the same, and that they continue to be pro-rated for those who apply during the second half of the calendar year. The motion was seconded by PC-in-C Michaels and passed unanimously.
National Treasurer Newman requested a complete list, with contact information, for all of our National Organization’s Bonded Officers. According to our Constitution and Regulations, Bonded Officers include the Commander-in-Chief, Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief, National Secretary, National Treasurer, Assistant National Treasurer(s), National Quartermaster, National Patriotic Instructor, National Member-at-Large Coordinator, and the Executive Director. National Secretary Bennett will provide this information.
Council Member Kennedy then asked if the Council might develop some guidelines for the Special Projects Fund to prevent the entire Special Projects Fund budget to be used in the first month of the fiscal year, and to prevent this fund from being used solely as a way to circumvent other funding application methods, such as the Memorials Grant Fund process. C-in-C Darby suggested that the Program & Policy Committee might create a policy for the expenditure of money out of the Special Projects Fund. PC-in-C Michaels added that perhaps a written application form should be required as well. Council Member Kennedy moved that the Program & Policy Committee be tasked to create a policy for the Special Projects Fund. The motion was seconded by Council Member Schall and passed unanimously. Considerable discussion concerning our budget, reserve funds, and permitted allocations then took place.
With no further business to come before the Council, JVC-in-C Kuhn moved that the meeting be adjourned. The motion was seconded by Council Member Schall and passed unanimously.
Following a closing prayer offered by JVC-in-C Kuhn, the meeting was ended at approximately 10:30 AM .
in Fraternity, Charity, & Loyalty,
Michael S. Bennett, PDC
National Secretary, SUVCW
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