Thursday, July 06, 2006

LNC Meeting Report, Portland, July 3, 2006

Golly, I just might have a successor - or several. Marianne Volpe wrote up this report of the LNC meeting immediately following the convention in Portland. Thanks Marianne!


LNC Meeting July 3, 2006

The meeting was called to order by Bill Redpath, Chairman, at 9:30 a.m. He asked members to introduce themselves. After introductions the meeting began with a public comment period. Redpath thanked the Oregon LP for hosting the convention. LPO Chairman Adam Mayer and Executive Director LPO Richard Burke walked in to a round of applause (coincidentally).

Allen Hacker of California commended Terry Quick (ENTCO) for this convention and suggested the LNC start the cycle of convention preparation immediately. Hacker raised a second issue, membership, and said that he was working with Sandra Kallender and Elizabeth Brierly on a service to find members, a private market solution. He had a brochure on this service that he made available to the LNC.

Adam Mayer thanked the LNC for the opportunity to host the convention and invited attendees to a lunch that afternoon. Dave Hollist presented his contact information. Richard Burke said he is the Region 2 Alternate to the LNC.

The next item was the Credentials Report. Secretary Bob Sullentrup described the new regions, and there was a discussion of several regions where paperwork was missing. Jim Lark said that his region may have a problem because they did not have a signature from the WVA state chair regarding joining the region. There was a brief discussion of the "orphan" states of Hawaii, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Rhode Island. Lark said that he was uneasy about adding WVA to the region because there was no response from the state chair there, though the delegates in caucus on Saturday voted to add WVA.

Dan Karlan, At-Large Representative, said regarding Maine he had not been able to contact Mark Cenci. Karlan said that he had heard recently that the Maine LP was not functioning. Redpath said he had similar information. George Phillies of Massachusetts was recognized to speak, and Phillies said that he had a message from Cenci that Cenci would dissolve the Maine LP so that a new organization could be created later but Phillies didn’t know if this had been done.

Someone said he had talked to someone in Hawaii but had no communication that they wanted to be part of the region.

After a paperwork check, Redpath said that we had around $100,000 in liabilities, with a considerable amount of deferred revenue. This author did not catch the number of deferred revenue. Redpath said that net surplus year to date was $37,000.

Geoff Neale, Treasurer, said that Redpath was more familiar with the present financials than he was. Neale asked for the tentative agenda. Redpath said the tentative agenda was: a report of potential conflicts of interest, setting and approving agenda, Chair’s report, Treasurer’s report, Secretary’s report, and Counsel Bill Hall’s explanation of executive session. Hall said that he usually talks about what executive session is and attorney client privilege, but will not need to go into executive session at this meeting.

Redpath said he wanted to discuss the party program, a report on Campus organizing with Lark, future conventions, and a short report on current Ballot Access. He also wanted to discuss fundraising, perhaps a major donor plan, executive committee formation, address possible subcommittees, the status of projects including Jeremy Keil’s Marketing/Branding survey, then set future meetings.

Aaron Starr of California asked about time for each item; he noted that the LNC had only 2 hours for the meeting. Redpath said that he thought the reports would be brief, but time limits could be set. After discussion the additional agenda items included the Policy Manual, with Carver Governance and discussion of the party program postponed to the next meeting. The motion to adopt the agenda passed, with a limit of 10 minutes for each item.

After a report on potential conflicts, Redpath gave a short Chair’s report. He thanked everyone and congratulated them for being elected to this body. He asked if there were any questions. Starr said he wanted a motion to thank the past body and Chair. A resolution commending the participation of the last LNC and Chair was passed.

Treasurer’s Report – Neale.
Neale said that the Treasurer’s primary role is oversight, so he doesn’t have anything yet to report. He said he would spend some months examining the books. Starr asked that deferred revenues be looked at and referenced life memberships that may be undervalued.

Secretary’s Report – Sullentrup. He had nothing to report.

Staff Report – Shane Cory.
Redpath said that most people were interested in numbers from this convention. This author may have misheard these numbers, but it sounded like $27,000 was raised on site, and $31, 000 was the total bill for the hotel, with $7,000 to be paid for Audio/visual work. Redpath asked if we knew at this time how much we owe all vendors? Cory said negotiations are ongoing. Neale asked what was the room block for the hotel, and the answer was 1400 room nights. Neale asked how many were sold and what is the penalty? Cory said we didn’t make 1400, but we would be able to pay the hotel, considering a matter of offsets from trade show vendors. Neale asked what was the purpose for the banquet funds raised? Cory said to offset convention losses.

Redpath asked Cory would he be able to supply more information and did Cory have all the LNC members’ email addresses? Cory responded that he would have more information on the convention soon and he had the email addresses. Cory said he would send the previous staff report on the convention to the LNC members. Emily Salvette said that she wanted to commend the staff for their work on the convention.

Redpath said that he foresees a major donor program as important and will work with Cory on this.

Starr said that the primary purpose of a non-profit is to raise money. Starr commits to giving an additional $5K to the party this term, or raising the amount. M Carling said he will do the same, and a couple of observers made the same commitment.

Redpath asked about media generated for the convention. Cory said CSPAN covered the banquet last night and there was local press coverage. Communications Director Stephen Gordon said that Reason magazine also covered the convention.

At this point Region Representative Tony Ryan said he had to leave to catch a plane and his alternate took his place. At this time this author does not know the name of the woman.

Bill Hall – Counsel.
Hall addressed the LNC and described his firm and background. He explained the purpose of executive session and how emails to and from him to LNC members could be labeled "privileged and confidential" and had to be treated as such. He said that when the LNC is in executive session LNC members are making a commitment to the rest of the members that what is discussed will not be divulged to non-LNC members. If you cannot promise to keep a matter confidential, he said, you should leave the room.

Policy Manual
Carling asked for and got a motion to create a three person committee to divide the Policy Manual into three parts. After discussion about why this is necessary (the manual is very large and needs to be rewritten), the motion passed. The three sections would be standing rules for staff, LNC standing rules, and special rules. The three committee members are Jim Lark, M Carling and one other person, name unclear.

Neale said he had changes to make to the policy manual on pages 5, 26 and 27. The first was to delete the procedure for roll call votes, since the delegates changed this in the bylaws during the convention. The motion passed without objection. On page 26, financial procedures, Neale moved to delete paragraph E. Neale said we passed a bylaw to require that financial books will be kept in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP). This motion passed without objection. Finally, Neale moved to delete paragraph F. He explained that GAAP requires that you capitalize assets; our National office only has old computer equipment. The motion passed. Neale moved to delete paragraph G because it tells you what NOT to do, but GAAP already defines how to handle unsegregated funds. Paragraph G was deleted without objection.

Branding Report – Jeremy Keil.
Keil talked about funds raised for this project. He explained that the project was to create a "brand" for the LP. A powerpoint presentation by the associate working with Keil followed.

The strategy to be followed is to find the pro-Libertarian hot points for individuals and groups; next to get them to see we share their sentiments and that Libertarians are the only ones that will help them on that issue, then to gradually introduce them to other Libertarian issues.

Keil said that Libertarians were more likely to be internet/cable users. Time ran out for this item and Redpath suggested that anyone interested could speak to Keil’s associate after the meeting.

Campus Organizing Report – Lark.
Redpath asked if he had something to speak about; Lark said members had his report and there would be a new campus website at the end of July. Sullentrup asked if Lark had paid $5,000 for this project, and Lark said he had contributed that amount.

Future Conventions.
A discussion of the ENTCO contract and Terry Quick’s possible continued work for the LP ensued. The contract with ENTCO did not end with this convention, but could be terminated by either party for any reason with a 30 day notice.

Starr asked if there were further obligations by Quick to the committee. Cory said there was still a lot of work to do; Quick said he’s been paid through this month and will give reports, but he wanted to know if he would begin work on the next convention. Redpath asked if we are obligated for more payments to Quick and Cory said we have two more payments to Quick. Cory said there are no further obligations. Neale said that he had a mild objection because this discussion is related to the present convention, not the future convention. Neale said that he did not want to talk about future work with someone when the LNC had not decided the site of the next convention.

Neale moved closing out work on this convention and handling the next convention on a bid basis. Starr said that he thought Quick’s role was to recommend sites. Pat Dixon seconded Neale’s motion for discussion. Neale asked if the present ENTCO contract specifies locating the next site. Neale believes that it was for this one convention and objected to a never-ending contract.

Neale asked to withdraw motion, but there was objection to withdrawal. Discussion continued, with Quick speaking about the difficulty in arranging a convention. He explained that hotel contracts were normally negotiated several years in advance and better rates for hotel rooms could have been gotten with more advance planning.

Neale moved for an additional 15 minutes on this item, since the LNC was discussing what should have been in the convention report, but the LNC needs to talk about future conventions. Starr said there would not be enough time for everything else on agenda.

The LNC moved to the creation of the Executive Committee at this point. After a discussion on the best size of the Executive Committee, a motion was passed to make it an 8 person committee. The members selected for the Executive Committee automatically include the four officers, Redpath, Vice Chairman Chuck Moulton, Treasurer Neale, and Secretary Sullentrup. Salvette nominated Admiral Michael Colley; Moulton nominated Hardy Mascia; Lark nominated Starr; Neale nominated Pat Dixon but Dixon declined; Salvette nominated Lark. After a motion to close nominations the slate was elected by acclamation.

Future Meetings
There was a discussion about the need for one or two more meetings before the end of the year. Neale suggested two meetings because of the need for time to prepare the budget and work with staff before the budget meeting. After discussion of the best dates, the next LNC meeting was scheduled for August 19 and 20, location to be decided, and November 11 and 12 in the Washington DC area.

At this point Quick said the LNC could pick a state and date and let ENTCO find the best deals for the next convention. Neale said that this was not appropriate for this meeting. Redpath said that he had to leave now to catch his plane; Neale said that we agreed to come back to the discussion of future conventions at this point.

Neale said the most important issue was the next site, and he asked Quick to repeat what he told Neale that morning about where the next site should be. Quick explained that the next site should already have been picked and should have been advertised and marketed at this convention. He suggested that Texas would be a very good site and ENTCO could get a report within 30 days of the best city and hotels. John La Baume pointed out that for a presidential year it’s easier to get more press at a convention in the District of Columbia because reporters don’t have to travel.

At 12:47 p.m. Redpath left and Vice Chairman Moulton chaired the meeting. Discussion of future convention locations continued. Starr said that there was no reason to have a convention as late as we do, and that we could have a convention in 2007 to give our Presidential candidate time to campaign. After a discussion on the time constraint involved with a convention to be held in 2007, Neale moved that a convention committee be populated now to plan the next convention.

Starr moved to grant to ENTCO authority to solicit bids for cities and dates Quick deems appropriate, working with the Chairman, to be reported within 30 days. Neale asked how much ENTCO’s charge would be to do this. Quick repeated that there was not much time to make this decision. This author did not hear whether the cost of this activity would be included in payments already made or to be made to Quick.

Sullentrup reread the motion and the motion passed.

Salvette said she wanted to see more sites considered than DC and Texas, such as Chicago and Colorado. Starr asked if someone could get ENTCO our previous convention sites. Neale said that Texas has been trying to get a convention for years, while Denver has hosted it twice. Neale said the Austin party is extremely strong and Texas is either the second or third largest LP affiliate now, though Texas has not hosted the convention in a very long time.

Lark thanked Quick for his work and asked how many states could he look at and come back with a report to the LNC. Quick said he could look at three potential states and DC. (He may have said three states including DC, but this author thinks he said three plus DC.) Nancy Neale said she’d work with Quick on this report.

There was a motion to adjourn by someone. Moulton ruled the ayes have it, but Neale called for division. There were 3 in favor, and 5 against, so the meeting continued.

Moulton quickly went through the remainder of the agenda. Since Redpath had left the Ballot Access report was skipped. The next item was a discussion of fundraising, and at this point Neale had to leave.

Lark then said Quick should look at a 4 day convention. There was a motion to suspend the rules to discuss this. Before leaving Neale said we should demand a 4 day convention in 2008 to allow more time for more business and to appeal to more delegates; a 2 day convention was too short.

Sullentrup moved to have a 3 day convention. Neale said that one factor in the low attendance at this convention was it was so short. He said that the history of the party have been to have 4 day conventions, since this lowers the cost for attendees for airfare.

Discussion continued on 3 versus 4 day conventions. Starr suggested amending the motion to say "at least 3 days." Without objection the motion requiring a convention of at least 3 days was passed.

By this time it was about 12:15 p.m. and this author had to leave the meeting.


Anonymous Chuck Moulton said...

Detailed meeting reports such as these are very valuable, and I'm glad someone made one this time.

However, in the future I suggest waiting a few days until the Secretary distributes the minutes to the LNC and using that document to fill in some blanks.

11:37 AM  

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