[nfbmi-talk] Minutes, Quarterly Board Meeting August 25, Doubletree Hotel 10:00 to 4:00

trising trising at sbcglobal.net
Mon Aug 27 16:15:42 UTC 2012

Minutes, Quarterly Board Meeting August 25, Doubletree Hotel 10:00 to 4:00 

Quorum Larry Posont, Mike Powell, Melinda Latham, Terri Wilcox, Nick Wilcox Dave Robinson and Sarah Norwood

The Agenda was approved by a motion by Mike Powell and seconded by Sarah Norwood. 

Secretary's Report, Terri Wilcox. Dave Robinson made a motion to approve the May 12 Quarterly Board Meeting Minutes. Mike Powell seconded the motion. The motion was approved. 

Treasurer's Report, Mary Wurtzel. There was a bequest from Mary Lou 

Philips for $50,000. The Affiliate Account Balance is $116,296.41. We received a grant for summer camp activities. We spent $17,095 on both camps. We have $2,905 of the grant left. We had $1,500 left from the grant last 

year that was allocated for the Bridge Walk. We had $600 from the plane tickets. 

We had $1,000 left in the Youth account. Altogether for the youth account we have $6,005. At the Convention exhibit hall we made $870. We spent $173 on shipping. We spent $376 to buy balloons. The total of these expenses is $549. We have $321, 

but this does not include the amount we spent for coffee. We have $1,557.63. in the 

Newsline account. This is the Treasurer's Report as submitted by Mary Wurtzel as 

of August 24. Terri Wilcox made a motion to accept the Treasurer's Report as read. Mike Powell seconded the motion. The Treasurer's Report was approved. 

Introduction of Participating Members 

President's Report, Larry Posont. The President will be a strong advocate to get good services from the Commission for the Blind. We are the largest organization of the blind. We must advocate for quality training for the staff. The ADA accessibility problems must be solved. Problems with the Business Enterprise Program must be solved. We have the commitment and will never give up. The commission for the blind is being used as an ATM machine. The National Federation of the Blind of Michigan Affiliate must stay visible in the legislature. The legislature will think of us rather than the Bureau for the Blind. The National Federation of the Blind training centers are top notch. Even people in our state are being denied entrance to the Training Center. The Training Center had to justify a $12.00 ruler. The Michigan Affiliate must become more involved in the State Plate. 

State Convention, October 19-21, at the Doubletree Hotel. The tentative Convention schedule includes an exhibit room from 1:00 to 7:00. Dave Robinson will coordinate the exhibit room. Registration will begin at 3:00. Resolutions will begin at 4:00. At 7:00, convention attendees can attend a Merchants, Students, or Michigan Association of Guide Dog Users meeting. Diana Mohnke is handling the door prize letter. Larry Keeler requests a joint board meeting with the Affiliate Board and the National Association of Guide Dog Users Representative. He would like this to occur three weeks before State Convention. Larry's email is lkeeler at comcast.net His cell phone is (734)645-7113. Preregistration should be available on the website through PayPal in the next day or so. October 6 is the deadline to get the early Preregistration price of $15.00 and the early Banquet price of $35.00. Sarah Norwood has spoken with eleven people who are interested in a Senior Seminar. A volunteer is needed to organize the Senior Seminar. Newsline and Diabetes products will be demonstrated at the Exhibit Hall at State Convention. Scott LaBarre is our national representative. A sample voting machine has been requested from Dearborn. However, we are getting the run around. It is speculated that Detroit may be willing to loan an Auto Mark Accessible Voting Machine. When voting, make sure to turn off the screen and pull off the perforated strip. The National Federation of the Blind must be visible to the public. An extensive senior fair could be planned for March. A Senior meeting is suggested from 1:00 to 3:00 at State Convention. One local resource that is available via phone number 211 allows callers to ask about many and varied resources. It would be good to have information about this resource at the senior meeting. Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Jackson have a 211 resource.

Flyer for State Convention, Kim Mohnke. The flyer is completed and will be sent out when Preregistration is available on the website.

Commission for the Blind, Updates/Dialog.

The first Executive Order was rescinded. the second Executive Order eliminates the commission for the Blind Board but retains Public Act 260. Agencies have no oversight. The only way we could defeat that first Executive Order was by hiring lobbyists. the House of Representatives is asking why the State Plate is empty. The National Federation of the Blind of Michigan will prevail but it will take time. The concern about Newsline funding was taken to the Capitol. Zimmer even states he knows no reason why the Bureau of Blind services cannot fund Newsline. The Commission for the Blind is bringing forward 6 million this year. Call state Representatives and Senators concerning Newsline. When we go to the Legislature it needs to be stated on the list serve. Independent living and library services need to be added to the report card. National Federation of the Blind brochures were requested by Commission staff. How do we measure the administration? Pat Canon's contract is still in effect through September of 2012. The Bureau will change the participating members because the current Administration does not like policy making boards. We must use Commission for the Blind/Bureau for the Blind as the new title to remind others of the Commission structure. Direct contact with consumers makes better services in all rehabilitation agencies serving blind people. Public Act 260 established a Commission Board but the Commission Board has been eliminated. The law is violated by eliminating the Commission Board. All rights and due process have been eliminated. The final arbiter is the Director. This makes the Executive Order bad. We have not been in the Legislature for the past five years. That was not good. The Michigan Affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind must show up and be involved. The American Council of the Blind did nothing. The National Federation of the Blind supports Public Act 260. We have never and will never taken a position against Public Act 260. Money goes to Michigan Rehabilitation Services first then to the Michigan Commission for the Blind. We must deal with reality but we do not like it. We do not like much of the Executive Order. The Rehabilitation Services Administration failed blind people of Michigan. The foundation and structure for a separate agency is still there. Dave Robinson and Mike Powell are going to lead a public meeting via conference call that develops a position paper for the Board to vote upon in order to prepare our official position on Public Act 260 and the Executive Order. 

Bridge Walk, Melinda Latham. Participants leave On August 30, and return September 3. 

Sixteen youth signed up to attend. The group will ride on a 52 passenger bus. It is $75.00 to attend. The theme is Go for the Gold. Each day there will be a segment on connection. On Friday, Terri Wilcox will speak on "Connect with the National Federation of the Blind." On Saturday, Jeff Crouch and an adult will speak on "Connect with Friends." On Sunday, there will be an optional worship with a "Connects with God" and a "Connect with a mentor," presented by Melinda Latham. Friday activities include sand dunes and Lake Michigan. Saturday morning will involve a canoe trip. Sunday activities will be at camp. On Monday, we will walk the bridge. This year's t-shirt is safety yellow. On Saturday evening, there will be a dance with Kevin Reeves as disc jockey. On Sunday night, there will be a talent show. Melinda Latham will obtain sleep shades and canes from the national office. Canes are needed as donations. 

Scholarships, College Students 2012-2013. Dave Robinson made a motion to have two scholarships of $500 each for two students in 2013, plus state convention expenses for each student. Melinda Latham seconded the motion. The motion was approved. A committee including the President of the student division, and the treasurers of the student division and affiliate will plan to make suggestions about fundraising for ongoing scholarships. 

Old Business: 50th Anniversary Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund Nomination Bolotin Award. Give Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund an award at the Banquet. Mike Powell, Mary Ann Robinson and two others are on a committee to explore giving other awards. 

Freedom of Information Request Emails from Open Meetings Act Case. These emails are a part of our property. We can look at them but we do not have to give them away. Larry Posont wrote a letter to a member on the list serve stating that list serve members can discuss issues of blindness but cannot attack our members. Personal attacks of members or foul language are not appropriate for the list. Each chapter needs to have a person learn how to add and remove things from the web page. Camp contacts are requested. People on the white cane list need to be contacted. A discussion occurred about sending money to the national office. Half of the bequest should be sent to the National Office as protocol. Mike Powell made a motion to send half the bequest to the National Office. Melinda Latham seconded the motion. The role call vote for the motion was as follows: Mike Powell yes, Melinda Latham yes, Terri Wilcox, yes Dave Robinson, no Nick Wilcox, yes. The organization raised more money last year than we have in the last few years. A vendor who is part of our organization is being attacked by the Business Enterprise Program staff. 

New Business: Operators want a closed meeting with Mike Zimmer. Each operator was to be able to send Zimmer three questions for this meeting. Not all operators have been contacted to attend this meeting. This is a violation of the Open Meetings Act. 

Goodwill Protest: When the new store opens, demonstrations bring the attention of the boycott to the public. The president of Goodwill is blind and gets half a million a year. 

Mike Powell made a motion to adjourn at 3-58. 

More information about the NFBMI-Talk mailing list