Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

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Council of Administration Meeting
August 13, 2006
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

The Council of Administration meeting of August 13, 2006 , held at the Hilton Hotel in Harrisburg , PA immediately following the 125 th National Encampment, was called to order by Commander-in-Chief James Pahl at 8:06 AM . In addition to the C-in-C, Council Members answering the roll-call of officers were Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Charles Kuhn, Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief David Medert, National Treasurer Max Newman, National Secretary Michael Bennett, National Quartermaster Danny L. Wheeler , PC-in-C, Council Members James Hanby, Leo Kennedy, Dan Murray, D. Brad Schall and Eric Schmincke, Immediate Past Commander-in-Chief Don Darby, National Counselor Donald Shaw, and Washington D.C. Representative Andrew Johnson, PC-in-C. Additional Past Commanders-in-Chief present were Charles Corfman, Elmer F. “Bud” Atkinson, George Powell, Robert Grim, and Stephen Michaels. Guests of the Council included Executive Director Lee Walters, National Chaplain Jerome Kowalski, National Chief of Staff Donald Palmer, Foundation Director Robert Petrovic, and National Graves Registration Officer Robert Lowe. Brother Tim Graham from Garfield Camp 142, Department of Ohio, was also present to address the Council.


Chaplain Kowalski opened the meeting with a unique and inspirational prayer, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.


C-in-C Pahl first welcomed the new members of the COA, and provided basic information about the Electronic Boardroom and e-mail communication. A new password to the Electronic Boardroom was provided.


C-in-C Pahl then proposed PC-in-C Michaels to serve as Banner Editor for a three year term. A motion was made by SVC-in-C Kuhn and seconded by PC-in-C Darby that Brother Michaels be appointed to this position. The vote was unanimous. Brother Michaels asked if one of the available e-mail addresses could be made available for his use either as or It was noted that this could be done.

C-in-C Pahl then proposed that Brother Alan Russ be reappointed to the position of National Member-at-Large Coordinator. A motion by SVC-in-C Kuhn to this effect was quickly seconded and passed unanimously.


Following brief discussion, PC-in-C Darby moved, and Council Member Schall seconded a motion that National Member-at-Large dues remain at $31 per year, pro-rated 50% for those who join in the second half of the year, with a $10 application fee. The motion passed unanimously.


A Love Token presented the day before to PC-in-C Darby was turned over to National Treasurer Newman to be deposited. Brother Darby also noted that the voting cards used during the weekend were an excellent addition to the Encampment and should be continued. The COA was in agreement.


Executive Director Walters presented the COA with a proclamation received from Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell welcoming the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War to Pennsylvania for the Order’s 125 th National Encampment. PC-in-C Darby moved that the proclamation be transcribed and included in the printed proceedings of the Encampment. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously. Brother Walters agreed to provide a copy to PC-in-C Krieser for inclusion in the proceedings. The original will be kept at the National Headquarters in Harrisburg .


Department of Ohio Junior Vice Commander Tim Graham was then given the floor to address the COA regarding a proposal for Ohio ’s James Garfield Camp 142 to produce and sell a mourning badge. Other potential badges were also shown for the Council’s consideration. A lengthy discussion followed Brother Graham’s presentation. A motion was made by PC-in-C Darby, and seconded by Council Member Kennedy, that the Garfield Camp be given authorization to produce and sell the mourning badge for two years. The motion was defeated.


PC-in-C Darby moved that all Camps, Departments, and the Foundation requesting renewal of their merchandising licenses receive the approval of the COA. The motion was seconded by Council Member Kennedy, and passed unanimously. National Secretary Bennett was instructed to have the complete listing of approved licenses attached to the minutes of the meeting.


The Department of Pennsylvania was further authorized to continue selling items from the 125 th National Encampment until the remaining supply is exhausted.


National Secretary Bennett reported on his investigation into some of the National Organization’s records and property which have become dispersed. Many boxes of materials have recently been located and brought to the National Headquarters in Harrisburg . Items believed to be at the Carlisle War College may have been retrieved and now located at the home of a Pennsylvania Brother. Those assembled were asked to pass along any additional information concerning the whereabouts of National records and property.

PC-in-C Darby moved that property of the National Organization belongs at the National Headquarters in Harrisburg , and that any items belonging to the National Organization that are not currently at the National Headquarters should be forwarded there immediately. Further, his motion stated that any requests to remove property from the National Headquarters, or requests to retain items belonging to the National Organization elsewhere, must be made in writing and are to be granted only by permission of the Council of Administration. This motion was seconded by National Quartermaster Wheeler and passed unanimously. C-in-C Pahl noted that he will include, in his first General Order, instructions as to what Brothers should do who are in possession or who come into possession of property belong to the National Organization, a Department or a Camp.


National Secretary Bennett noted that not all Departments and Camps-at-Large have submitted their annual Election & Installation of Officer Reports, which makes it impossible to create a complete contact list for the key Department and Camp-at-Large Officers. C-in-C Pahl noted that these reports are essential to the functioning of our Order, and that all Camps and Departments that have not submitted them could be deemed to be not in good standing.


It was directed that Camp and Department Histories received by the National Secretary should be forwarded to National Historian Bob Wolz for archiving.


Lastly, National Secretary Bennett noted that immediately following his return home from the Encampment, he would be working to create a new National Officers & Committees list and an updated Department and Camp-at-Large key Officers list, and will have each placed on the National website. A new list of bonded Officers will be provided to the National Treasurer. The Electronic Boardroom will be wiped clean and prepared for a new year of use by the COA. New members of the Council will be provided with usernames and passwords in order to access their SUVCW e-mail accounts, and assistance will be provided both in forwarding e-mail to their personal accounts and in accessing and utilizing the Electronic Boardroom if needed.


C-in-C Pahl announced that Department of Maryland Secretary/Treasurer Eugene Mortorff will be serving as Assistant National Treasurer this year, and may be a candidate for National Treasurer after the completion of National Treasurer Newman’s term of office. Brother Newman had informed the Council that he will not be seeking another term.


PC-in-C Darby suggested that the listing of Department and Camp-at-Large Officers be completed as quickly as possible so that PC-in-C Michaels will have it for inclusion in the next issue of The Banner. He further moved that The Banner be published on the National website, as soon as this is possible, and that the first class copy of The Banner sent to members of the COA be discontinued. C-in-C Pahl offered a friendly amendment to include a provision that those PC-in-Cs who do not have e-mail access will continue to receive the first class mailing, and that the Council is to be notified by e-mail when each issue of The Banner is posted to the website. The amendment was accepted, a second offered, and the motion passed unanimously.


Executive Director Walters noted that the late filing of Camp Status Reports are costing the Order to spend funds unnecessarily, as The Banner is often being sent to people who should no longer be receiving it, and is not being sent to those who should be receiving it by third class mail, necessitating a later first class mailing. Late reporting is costing us money.


Council Member Hanby requested that the Department of Maryland be notified when the GAR Museum has determined if they will be able to accept the recently reacquired patent documents and related materials on loan, as was the desire of the National Encampment. It was noted that the GAR Museum Board would be meeting in two weeks and would be able to report after that. Additionally, Brother Hanby asked that the text of the Congressional proclamation received by the SUVCW be made available to the membership, as has already been requested, in The Banner or on the National website. C-in-C Pahl suggested that both could likely be done.


SVC-in-C Kuhn noted that Departments and Camps need to update their websites as some are presenting very outdated information. Pointing out how some National Offers need to make regular contact with specific Camp Officers , Brother Kuhn also asked that Departments be required to submit the Election & Installation of Camp Officer Report Form 22s to National with their Annual Report. C-in-C Pahl offered to mandate this through a General Order, as well as to refer the matter to the Programs & Policy Committee for a permanent solution. The motion was seconded, and lengthy discussion ensued.


PC-in-C Darby moved that the Forms 27 and 35, Camp and Department Annual Reports, recently revised by the Programs & Policy Committee be approved for use by the Order. The motion was seconded by Council Member Schall and passed unanimously.


A motion was made by SVC-in-C Kuhn that copies of all Forms 22 and 27, the Election & Installation of Camp Officers Reports and Camp Annual Reports, be submitted to National by Departments along with the Departments’ Annual Report Form 35. The motion was seconded. Following discussion, several amendments were offered, further discussion took place, and the original motion was withdrawn. SVC-in-C Kuhn offered a replacement motion, that Form 22s are to be submitted by Camps to their Departments no later than February 15 th of each year, and that Departments must submit copies of these reports to National by February 28 th of each year, with exceptions permitted only by approval of the Council of Administration. The motion was seconded by National Quartermaster Wheeler, and passed unanimously.


C-in-C Pahl noted that the Memorials Grant Committee would be composed of the three senior members of the COA, Council Member Kennedy as chair, with Council Members Schall, and Murray.


National Quartermaster Wheeler expressed his appreciation to Past National Treasurer Atkinson, PC-in-C for his assistance at the Encampment, and reported that nearly $3500 in sales was done during the course of the weekend.


On the subject of Life Member reimbursement for the Pre-1996 Program, SVC-in-C Kuhn moved that the current rate of $6 be maintained. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

National Treasurer Newman informed the Council that he is required to provide the social security numbers of all bonded officers to the carrier. National Secretary Bennett agreed to collect this information.


Regarding the Encampment’s vote to create a Special Committee to examine the Encampment registration process with regard to credentials and all related forms and policies, PC-in-C Powell was named Chairman of that Special Committee and given authority to select additional Brothers to serve with him.


National Quartermaster Wheeler noted that this Encampment had one of the smoothest registration processes he has ever seen at a National Encampment. A round of applause was given to the Credentials Committee for a great job.


PC-in-C Michaels spoke about The Banner and requested the help of the Council in soliciting submissions for publication. He also suggested that, if provided with this information in advance, he would contact Departments where the C-in-C and his designees will be visiting to request that photographs and a brief summary be submitted.


National Graves Registration Officer Lowe reported to the Council that there was incorrect information on the National Graves Registration Instructions and Form (Form GR) that is currently available on the National website, with specific references to the distribution of Confederate veteran grave information to the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the use of Microsoft Access software. PC-in-C Darby moved, and Council Member Schall seconded, that Brother Lowe be authorized to work with the National Webmaster to make the appropriate changes to the posted information on Form GR. The vote was unanimous.


Color and black and white version of the new Graves Registration Brochure approved by the Programs & Policy Committee were made available for inspection by the Council. With a minor housekeeping correction, PC-in-C Darby moved that the Graves Registration Brochure be approved. The motion was seconded by Council Member Kennedy, and passed unanimously.


A motion was made by PC-in-C Darby that Council Member Schmincke and PC-in-C Powell be authorized to explore alternate database/software options for use with the Graves Registration program. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.


National Quartermaster Wheeler then requested that, with the new Graves Registration brochure soon to be available online, he be permitted to dispose of several thousand paper copies of the old, outdated brochure which have been rarely purchased and take up considerable space. A motion to that effect was made by SVC-in-C Kuhn, was seconded by PC-in-C Darby, and passed unanimously.


C-in-C Pahl introduced his Chief of Staff, Don Palmer, and noted that four reports would be requested this year: 1. Remembrance Day Weekend in Gettysburg 2. 1 st of February 3. Spring COA Meeting 4. Pre-Encampment meeting in August. The C-in-C, thorough his Chief of Staff, will distribute copies of these reports to the COA via e-mail. Department Commanders will be asked to submit reports of their Department’s activities and status as well. C-in-C Pahl intends to have monthly communication with all Department Commanders.

C-in-C Pahl noted that he will try to attend as many events and Encampments this year as is humanly possible, and will ask the SVC-in-C, JVC-in-C, other members of the COA and National Officers to represent him whenever he can not attend events personally. He asked that invitations to events be forwarded to him with as much notice as possible.


Foundation Director Petrovic, representing the 2007 National Encampment Host Committee from the Department of Missouri, reported that plans are moving ahead smoothly, and further offered to provide the National Organization with microfilmed copies of the Department’s records going back to the start of the Department. It was agreed that the National Organization would be delighted to accept and maintain this material for archival and research purposes.


PC-in-C Johnson offered his congratulations to C-in-C Pahl and the newly elected members of the Council.


C-in-C Pahl then introduced the new National Counselor, Donald Shaw, and said he looked forward to receiving his advice and Counsel during the coming year.


National Chaplain Kowalski noted that he met with seventeen Camp and Department Chaplains during the National Encampment, and that a printed Handbook for Chaplains will soon be made available.


PC-in-C Darby observed that the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic’s website has fallen out of date, and suggested that we contact them both to bring this to their attention, and to offer our assistance if needed. On a related subject, words of praise were given for the fine work of our National Webmaster, Ken Freshley.


C-in-C Pahl announced that the next COA meeting would be held at the Eisenhower Inn in Gettysburg , PA on November 19, 2006 at 8:00 am . All are encouraged to avail themselves of the breakfast offered at the Gettysburg GAR Hall.


Chaplain Kowalski offered a fitting closing prayer, after which C-in-C Pahl closed the meeting at 10:20 am .


Respectfully Submitted in Fraternity, Charity, & Loyalty,

Michael S. Bennett, PDC

National Secretary, SUVCW


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