Saturday, August 27, 2005

LNC Meeting Report: Personnel matters

The dreaded showdown between staff and the LNC was pleasantly averted. The staff report submitted prior to the meeting (in place of the ED’s report) featured several sections by each director level employee entitled “Narrative on the Effects of the ‘Raiser’s Edge Resolution’” (with the notable exception of New). This refers to the resolution of the Executive Committee (EC) which directed staff to cease all outreach and similar operations until the new database was finally fixed according to certain specifications, as well as another resolution a month later which kept these prohibitions in place.

This report had initially been labeled confidential due to the direct employee-employer communication contained within it. A second edited version of this report was also produced for public view, but the first version was the one included in the LNC notebooks. Dixon ruled that the first version was not confidential, but still openly questioned the value of distributing that information beyond the committee.

Cory and New were present to represent staff and displayed great cooperation and diplomacy. The LNC in turn seemed to accept their written report as venting frustration and graciously responded to them in kind.

The time in the meeting for staff reports became an extended question and answer session about the status of many projects and operations, often returning to the basic questions about the staff-board relationship. Starr asked Cory directly what his biggest challenges were and how the LNC could best help with them. Cory replied that we need “heroes of the party” we can present to the public. He also said there needs to be better communication with the state parties, and that better conduits of communication need to be created both with the state chairs and the membership as a whole. Staff member Chris Thorman had been assigned before the meeting to call all the state chairs or EDs to establish some more direct communication, using the task of confirming the states’ information on the website. Contacting the states in this way proved more challenging than expected according to Cory.

Tony Ryan asked how they can get past any conflict and move forward. Cory replied that this was already happening. Staff felt it was necessary to be heard, but that was accomplished so staff has already moved on and gotten back to work. Ryan later expressed his concern that these reports from staff could be damaging now that they are public knowledge. Dixon said that he and Colley would be following up with staff about this in the coming days.

Starr explained that his vote in favor of the resolutions was simply based on performance and wished it had not been taken as a political message. He expressed the opinion that the resolution had been filtered in its transmission to staff to give the false impression that it was politically motivated. Cory confirmed Starr’s impression, but refused to answer any follow up questions about who it was that gave them this impression beyond the fact that it was a member of the LNC. In reply to a follow up question posed later by Lark, Cory reiterated that in their view this has been resolved, saying Dixon had explained things to staff sufficiently in the conference call with them the day after Seehusen’s resignation.

Cory reported that the database work demanded by the EC resolution was two thirds complete, with the last part, the final merging of phone and email fields, due to be finished by September 1st at the latest. Robert Kraus is the person to contact for questions or to report any further problems regarding the database.

BetteRose Ryan said that the resolutions are now moot considering that they were directed to an ED who is no longer employed with us. Colley said now is a good time to rest the clock and rescind the resolution.

A motion to rescind the EC’s resolution passed by a unanimous voice vote.

The move of the office to Suite 200 in the Watergate building is being held up due to a dispute with the landlord. The last major issue remaining is upgrading a wall in the call center to improve the wiring and bring it up to the electrical and fire code standards. The wall and the wiring within it had been put there by the previous tenant. The landlord had maintained it was our responsibility to do this work, but we are begging to differ. Colley reported we are receiving excellent legal help pro bono from an attorney experienced in these matters. Also still needed are some minor renovations for security, ventilation and doors for the offices. The move will happen when all these things are resolved. The new lease is for six years.

Since the meeting, Jessica Wilson has given her notice. She will be accepting a new job in South Carolina and will stay on for a few extra weeks while we are looking for her replacement. Cory reported during the meeting that we are also hiring more people to staff the call center.


Anonymous GregD said...

The staff is still arrogant and insulting the members who contribute money to pay their salary. They are not real Libertarians. I still believe they are destroying the party and we are moving backwards.

I think that both staff and LNC are severely out of touch with the membership.

6:42 PM  

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