Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

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National Council of Administration

Meeting Minutes

22 November 2009

Gettysburg, PA


 

The Council of Administration meeting was opened by Commander-in-Chief Leo F. Kennedy at 8:04 am. The opening prayer was offered by National Chaplain Jerome Kowalski, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by CinC Leo Kennedy. The roll of Council of Administration was called, with the following recorded as present:

Voting Members Present

Commander-in-Chief Leo F. Kennedy
Council Member Robert Petrovic
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief James Hanby
Council Member Perley Mellor
Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Brad Schall
Council Member Kenneth Freshley
National Secretary Donald D. Palmer, Jr.
Council Member Tad Campbell
National Treasurer Richard D. Orr, PCinC
Council Member William Vieira
National Quartermaster Danny L. Wheeler, PCinC

PCinC David V. Medert was excused by the Commander-in-Chief

 

Non-Voting Members Present

Executive Director David Demmy
PCinC Charles Kuhn
National Counselor Robert Grim, PCinC
PCinC James B. Pahl
Washington DC Rep. Andrew Johnson, PCinC
PCinC Bud Atkinson
Banner Editor Stephen A. Michaels, PCinC

 

Guests of the Council of Administration

National Chaplain Jerome Kowalski
Asst. Nat. Treasurer Max Newman
National Graves Registration Officer Bruce Frail
Eugene Mortorff, Dept of MD
PDC Bruce Butgereit, Dept of MI
Marc Finnegan, Dept of IL

 

Commander-in-Chief Leo Kennedy opened the meeting asking the Council of Administration to observe a moment of silence in honor of PCinC Charles Corfman, who passed away on 30 September.

Old Business

Commander-in-Chief Kennedy provided a status of the on-line boardroom voting and referred Council members to National Secretary Don Palmer’s report for the compilation of voting results to date for the 2009-2010 administrative year.

Commander-in-Chief Kennedy provided a status on actions required by General Order #3 to submit Department By-Laws to the Executive Director. This action is nearly complete, with a few Department By-Laws still requiring CinC signature.

Commander-in-Chief Kennedy referred the Council to Executive Director David Demmy’s report to review recommendations made. The first recommendation on requiring Departments to send original membership applications along with Form 30 was discussed. National Treasurer Richard Orr noted that original applications are property of the Camps and only copies should be submitted to National. The second recommendation focused on new Camp formation and documentation that should be submitted to National headquarters. National Secretary Don Palmer noted that much of this information is included in Form 50 and that applications, transfer paperwork, checks, etc., should be submitted to National headquarters only after a copy of the approved charter application has been submitted to the Executive Director to eliminate confusion. Motion by National Treasurer Richard Orr, second by Council Member Perley Mellor, to review Form 50 for completeness and pass information on to Departments relative to roles and responsibilities associated with new Camp formation. Motion passed.

The Council continued their review of recommendations from the Executive Director with a discussion on out-of-date application forms being submitted. National Treasurer Orr noted that forms approved by National cannot be changed or customized. Commander-in-Chief Kennedy offered to issue a General Order stating that the National organization will no longer accept copies of membership applications on outdated forms effective after the next National Encampment. Executive Director Demmy also noted that Form 30’s and membership applications do not contain enough information relative to dual membership and membership upgrades from Associate to Member. Motion by Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Brad Schall, second by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief James Hanby, to have the Program & Policy Committee review Form 30 and the membership application recommend changes to include dual membership and membership upgrade information. Motion passed.

Commander-in-Chief Kennedy referred the Council to a recommendation made by Walt Busch, Chairman of the Credentials Committee, to dissolve the National Encampment Registration Special Committee as it has completed its task. It was noted by PCinC Jim Pahl that since this committee was established by an action of a National Encampment, that only a National Encampment can dissolve this committee. A recommendation was made to address this at the next National Encampment as a housekeeping motion.

Commander-in-Chief Kennedy referred the Council to the report from the National Graves Registration Officer that contained a number of recommendations. Two recommendations focused on the Instructional Booklet developed by the Graves Registration Committee to assist those wishing to access data and/or incorporate data into the Graves Registration database. The first recommendation was to establish a link on the National website to the Instructional Booklet. Commander-in-Chief Kennedy tasked the Program & Policy Committee with reviewing the booklet and making their recommendations by 01 January 2010. The second recommendation was to establish a Memorial University educational program focused on the Instructional Booklet. The Program & Policy Committee was tasked with reviewing the proposed program when created for potential addition to the Memorial University curriculum.

Additional recommendations made by the Graves Registration Officer included upgrading the server from MySQL4 to MySQL5 in order to recover some of the lost search options, establishing a policy for obtaining headstones from the Veterans Administration (VA) and establishing experience-based guidelines for advancement within the Graves Registration structure. The Commander-in-Chief tasked Council Member and National Signals Officer Ken Freshley to research the server upgrade request. On the subject of obtaining headstones, National Quartermaster Danny Wheeler noted that original documentation is needed if no stone exists. He also noted that he uses footnote.com, which contains original documentation. In addition, PCinC Wheeler stated that in cases where stones exist, a photo is needed so that the VA can determine if the stone is “serviceable”. The Commander-in-Chief tasked National Graves Registration Officer Bruce Frail with drafting a policy for interacting with the VA relative to obtaining new/replacement headstones, with support from Washington, DC Representative Andy Johnson. On the subject of experience guidelines, National Treasurer Orr recommended against such a measure. Instead, Commander-in-Chief Kennedy suggested that an educational program be developed to assist Camp and Department Grave Registration Officers learn the processes.

Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief James Hanby reviewed the recommendations of the Program & Policy Committee and commended National Member-at-Large Coordinator Alan Russ and Council Member Bill Vieira for their support with Committee business. The first was a recommendation that the Chaplain’s Handbook be accepted as amended and be added to the National website. Motion by National Treasurer Orr, second by Council Member Mellor, to accept this recommendation. Motion passed.The Committee reviewed request by PDC Alan Peterson to establish a separate position to promote restoration of Memorial Day to May 30. The Program & Policy Committee recommendation was to add this task to the Department Patriotic Instructor job description. Motion by Council Member Bob Petrovic, second by Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Schall, to accept the Committee recommendation. Motion passed. The Committee reviewed a request from PDC Bruce Butgereit to adopt the Patriotic Instructor’s Handbook as amended. The Program & Policy Committee recommendation was to adopt the handbook as amended, and since it is already in PDF format, place it on the National website. Motion by National Treasurer Orr, second by Council Member Perley Mellor, to accept the Committee recommendations. Motion passed. Finally, the Committee reviewed job descriptions for Camp/Department/National Eagle Scout Coordinator as presented by Council Member and National Eagle Scout Coordinator Bob Petrovic. The Program & Policy Committee recommended approval. Motion by Council Member Mellor, second by Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Schall, to accept the Committee recommendation. Motion passed.

Commander-in-Chief Kennedy called for a break at 9:15 am and reconvened at 9:30 am.

 

New Business

National Treasurer Richard Orr provided a status on the treasury. He reported that the National organization is taking hits on interest income due to low interest rates. As a result, there will likely be a shortfall on projected income from interest. He also requested that the Council approve a change in address from Asst. Treasurer Max Newman to the current National Treasurer relative to the Vanguard Mutual Funds. Motion by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Hanby, second by Council Member Mellor, to approve the request. Motion passed. National Treasurer Orr also requested that the Council approve using ESB Bank as a depository. Motion by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Hanby, second by National Quartermaster Wheeler, to approve the request. Motion passed.

National Treasurer Orr discussed a new form generated to replace the existing Form 10 for Life Member reimbursement. Motion by National Treasurer Orr, second by National Quartermaster Wheeler, to abolish the existing Form 10 effective 30 June 2010 and utilize the new form generated by the National Treasurer effective 01 January 2010. Motion passed. PCinC Orr also noted that new Camp treasurers should file Form 8822 with the Internal Revenue Service to notify them of a change in address.

National Treasurer Orr discussed his draft statement of policy on funds for the National organization included in his report. Motion by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Hanby, second by Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Schall, to adopt this policy. During discussion, PCinC Pahl expressed his opinion that there was no need to send this through the Program & Policy Committee and should be sent to the IRS auditors immediately if passed. Motion passed.

National Treasurer Orr concluded his report by noting that the National organization has a negative credit rating and cannot obtain credit cards. This is due to the fact that the credit report only shows back taxes and fines levied by the IRS and the fact that the organization has not borrowed any money.

BANNER Editor Steve Michaels and Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Brad Schall discussed the issue of Brothers who are active and move to locations where there are no Camps. There is a need to keep these Brothers active and an integral part of the organization. National Treasurer Orr and Council Member Freshley offered a solution by allowing a query of the membership database with password protection. Commander-in-Chief Kennedy tasked National Treasurer Orr, Council Member Freshley and Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Schall to have this process up and running by the end of December, and report at the Spring Council of Administration meeting. Executive Director David Demmy was tasked with providing a CD with the database to Council Member Freshley.

PCinC Charles Kuhn reported on the desire to hold a ceremony at the Peace Light on the Gettysburg battlefield on 01 July 2013 to commemorate the 150 th anniversary of the battle. Based on the poor attendance at the 125 th anniversary, the National Park Service will not sponsor it. For the National organization to sponsor, a permit must be applied for. Gettysburg Camp #112 offered to coordinate. Also being considered is an essay contest for college-age students. Motion by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Hanby, second by Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief Schall, to continue investigating this opportunity as a subcommittee of the Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee. Motion passed. PCinC Kuhn was also tasked with investigating the possibility of providing live streaming video of the program at the GAR memorial and the parade over the internet for the 2013 Remembrance Day program. On the subject of Remembrance Day, it was noted that somebody was videotaping the parade at yesterday’s program and a question was asked about the organization from stopping individuals from profiting on the parade. PCinC Orr responded that the parade was a public display and the organization cannot stop attempts to profit on it.

Assistant National Treasurer Max Newman reported that forms need to be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service for tax years 2004-2007 to confirm that per diem was not included as income on individual tax returns. Assistant Treasurer Newman also requested expense reports from Commander-in-Chief Leo Kennedy and National Secretary Don Palmer for the 2008-2009 administrative year.

Commander-in-Chief Kennedy called for a break at 10:40 am and reconvened at 10:55 am

Gene Mortorff from the Department of Maryland reported on progress being made for the 2011 National Encampment to be held in northern Virginia. He also presented a merchandise proposal from Garfield Camp #1, Department of Maryland, to produce blue, red and yellow hat bands with the SUVCW logo. Motion by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Hanby, second by Council Member Petrovic, to allow Garfield Camp #1 to produce and sell the hat bands. Motion passed.

Council Member Bob Petrovic reported that the Central Region Association would like to link to the National website in the same way the New England Region Association has linked. No objections were made. Commander-in-Chief Kennedy tasked Council Member Freshley to establish the link. Council Member Petrovic also provided an update on the Lincoln Tomb observance to be held next April in Springfield, IL. He reported that the Lincoln Tomb Committee is not getting cooperation from the Department of Illinois relative to the ceremony at the Stephenson grave in Petersburg, IL. The committee will do what they can this year, but will plan on a subcommittee next year to handle the Stephenson ceremony. National Quartermaster Wheeler offered to donate a flag for the Stephenson gravesite.

National Quartermaster Danny Wheeler reported that he would like to order 25 of the small bars for ROTC ribbons/replacements. Commander-in-Chief Kennedy responded that the National Quartermaster has the authority to do this without requiring permission from the Council of Administration.

PCinC Bud Atkinson reported that turnout for the Civil War Ball was good. Income will likely be around $3300, which would be comparable to last year.

National Treasurer Richard Orr noted that the expense report forms were deleted when policy on reimbursement was removed from the website. Council Member Ken Freshley offered to place the forms back on the website.

Council Member Perley Mellor reported that he will be seeking the office of Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief at the 2011 National Encampment to be held in northern Virginia.

With no further business to come before the Council, Commander-in-Chief Kennedy asked National Chaplain Jerome Kowalski to provide a closing prayer and subsequently adjourned the meeting at 11:30 am.

 

Respectfully Submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty,

Donald D. Palmer, Jr., PDC
National Secretary, SUVCW

 


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