[nfbmi-talk] November 6, 2011 Minutes for the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan Board Meeting

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Tue Feb 7 20:15:53 CST 2012



November 6, 2011 Minutes for the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan Board Meeting 9:00 A.M. Clarion Hotel 3600 Cork St. Kalamazoo, MI

SECRETARY'S Report, Terri Wilcox. Mike Powell moved to adopt the Secretary's Report. Dave Robinson seconded the motion. The Secretary's Report was approved.

TREASURERS Report, Mary Wurtzel.

First, the Balance in our Newsline account in November: is $1,529.35.

Affiliate balances for each quarter of 2011 throughJanuary 2012:

1st quarter: January through March

Income: $3,105.85

Expenses $3,050.05

2nd quarter April through June

Income $20,417.70

expenses $8,852.80

3Rd quarter July through September

Income: $14,517

Expenses: $25,126.82

The balances below include Washington Seminar expenses as of February 5.

Affilliate account has a balance of $4,795.35.  

$1500 of that is Youth Outreach

January newsline is $1,609.95

We received $601.40 from Inagination fund.

Dave Robinson moved to adopt the Treasurer's Report. Mike Powell seconded the Motion. The Treasurer's Report was approved. 

ELECTION of Board Position 1 Dave Robinson is elected to Board Position 1. 

ELECTION of Board Position 2 Sarah Norwood is elected to Board position 2. 

ELECTION of Board Position 3 Christine Boone is elected to Board position 3.

ELECTION of Board Position 4 Nick Wilcox is elected to Board Position 4. 

NATIONAL Convention - Where and When? The National Convention will be from June 30 to July 5 in Dallas Texas.

FUND Raising - National Convention. Past merchandise had high shipping cost. Other affiliates are going to smaller items. Items under consideration include: chocolate covered blueberries and balloons in a Whozit shape. Of course, we will still sell coffee and tote bags. Clothing sales will be discontinued. 

Washington Seminar. Washington Seminar has had good representation from Michigan. J.j. Meddaugh will be the point person. There are good air fares from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo to Washington. Melinda Latham will coordinate youth vouchers for Washington Seminar. 

STATE Convention - Locations for Next Year. Possibilities include: Jackson, Travers City, Kalamazoo, and Detroit. Jackson seems to be favored. 

BRAILLE Monitor, new Formats by December Choices include: (e-mail, Newsline, thumb

Drive. Cassettes are being phased out because they are expensive. The Braille Monitor is on Newsline as of January 2012.  

OPPORTUNITIES Unlimited for the Blind, Phil Gabel, Kacy Dutmer. Kacy Dutmer is the Chairman of Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind. Representation from the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan is needed on the Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind Board. We shall fill the three vacant spots on the board with National Federation of the Blind members. Camp Tuhsmeheta is important but Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind does not have the lease. Mr. Dutmer intends to keep on track and follow the bylaws. He wants help, encouragement, and support. Three camps were sponsored through National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, with the money coming through an anonymous donor. Camps had great numbers. Science camp was most successful. There were about thirteen students per session. Eighty percent of students at camp get scholarships. Thirteen programs occurred at Camp Tuhsmeheta, including high adventure camps such as the Colorado trip and sailing camp. Culinary Camp was a great program that can be even more successful if outdoor cooking space is used. There were challenges because Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind has no lease on the property. Kacy Dutmer is the Chairman of Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind. Merrilee Hill-Kennedy, Vice Chairman, Gwen Botting, Secretary, E. J. Pas, Treasurer, Scott Ford, Board Member, Larry Almond, Board Member, Scott Norris, Board Member, Rob Essenberg, Board Member, Julie Cushman, Board Member and Lucy Edmonds, Board Member. The National Federation of the Blind of Michigan kept the camp running for many years. Without our intervention, the state would have split the property. Fred and Mary Wurtzel were recommended to be on the Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind Board, but they were denied admittance. The National Federation of the Blind of Michigan will always be strong advocates for the success of Camp Tuhsmeheta to the legislature and Board of Education. Several articles in the Braille Monitor about Camp Tuhsmeheta are written from a Federation perspective. Kacy Dutmer can work with National Federation of the Blind of Michigan. Those responsible for the hateful treatment of Fred Wurtzel are gone. There is Federation spirit at Camp Tuhsmeheta! Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind needs our talent, passion, energy and expertise. The board meets by conference call on the fourth Monday evening of the month.

RESOLUTIONS 2011-01-2011-09 were passed and 2011-10 was tabled due to legal review.  Fred Wurtzel recommends that we table Resolution 2011-10 until we obtain legal council. Resolutions will be on the list serve after approval by Vice President Mike Powell and after legal counsel is obtained for Resolution 2011-10. Christine Boone and Larry Posont left the room while the Resolutions were read.



RESOLUTION 2011-01
RESOLUTION RELATED TO PROGRAM ACCESS AND MCB
 

WHEREAS, all Vocational Rehabilitation entities, including the Michigan Commission for the Blind, (MCB) have long ago been required to provide "program access" to all the facilities it uses on a daily basis and to hold hearings, meetings and events in fully accessible facilities, even to the point of signing assurances with the Rehabilitation Services Administration annually that it does fully comply with these long-standing obligations; and

 

            WHEREAS, one of those long-standing requirements was, and is to have raised character Braille signage mounted on every permanent room, nearest the latch side of each door in accordance with American with Disabilities Act Guidelines (3.40.1, 4, 5, and 6); and

 

            WHEREAS, all such barriers were to have been removed under the required ADA transition plan by no later than July 26, 1995, yet exist to this very day in most, if not all, facilities used by the MCB; and

 

            WHEREAS, Patrick D. Cannon was the former Chair of the United States Access Board which establishes the standards of the ADAAG, the State of Michigan ADA Coordinator responsible for implementation and the Director of MCB responsible for full compliance and knowingly so; and

 

            WHEREAS, the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act are civil rights laws requiring affirmative action; and therefore these inactions by Cannon constitute not only gross dereliction of known duties and deliberate indifference to these civil rights laws, but also must be considered malicious and intentional acts of mass discrimination; and

 

            WHEREAS, members of, and indeed the entire state affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, have promoted the full application of these requirements repeatedly over the years along with documenting violations; and

 

            WHEREAS, the NFB-MI has long promoted Braille, including its use in the built environment, for reasons obvious to all:

 

            NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan in convention assembled this 6th day of November, 2011 in the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan that forthwith the NFB-MI lodges a formal Complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the United States Department of Education, along with supporting documentation, on behalf of all its members, and indeed all people who are blind in the State of Michigan, against Patrick D. Cannon, individually, and against the Michigan Commission for the Blind as an entity; and

 

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that as a part of this Complaint, the NFB-MI urges OCR to promptly enforce our individual and collective civil rights and to make the class whole as its charge.

 

 

RESOLUTION 2011-02
RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS
 

            WHEREAS, all entities of State and local government are required to follow the effective communications requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, including the obligation to affirmatively, let alone upon request, remit information sin alternate formats to people who are blind; and

 

            WHEREAS, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that all recipients of federal funds provide auxiliary aids and services to those who are blind; and

 

            WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court found in Tennessee v Lane that state and local courts are not immune from these obligations and, indeed, have high responsibilities in these regards, for lack of access fundamentally denies "due process and equal protection under the law"; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Michigan Administrative Hearing Systems (MAHS) is both a Title II entity, federal fund recipient and an administrative law program where blind Business Enterprise Program participants and advocates, as well as others, routinely appear to seek justice and receive due process and equal protection under laws, including Public Act 260 of 1978 as well as major aspects of the Rehabilitation Act; and

 

            WHEREAS, MAHS, in documented fashion and principals therein, have denied advocates and respondents who are blind repeatedly information in accessible formats and in a timely manner; and

 

            WHEREAS, these are systemic, chronic, pervasive and fundamental violations of the civil rights of all Michigan citizens who are blind, as a class, by failure to act affirmatively in these regards; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Michigan Commission for the Blind has also been complicit in not only ensuring that MAHS follows these laws, but rather, has repeatedly violated these very same provisions of the law in these administrative proceedings which are in and of themselves conscious and malicious acts of discrimination perpetuated repeatedly against numerous blind individuals;

 

            NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan in convention assembled on November 6, 2011 in the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan that forthwith, the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan will lodge a Complaint against the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (MAHS's parent), MAHS, and The Michigan Commission for the Blind within the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, and the civil rights office of the United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan.

 

            AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NFB-MI will seek any legal support in these matters from other resources, including our National office.

RESOLUTION 2011-03
COMMISSION BOARD ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT
 

            WHEREAS, over the years, the Michigan Commission for the Blind Board has received quality secretarial and administrative support; and

 

            WHEREAS, notwithstanding this support, it is inappropriate for the Commission Board to co-mingle administrative support with that of the Commission Director; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Rehabilitation Act clearly calls for separate and independent administrative support staff directed and controlled by the Board; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Michigan Commission for the Blind Board in its September 2011 meeting passed a unanimous motion to establish separate clerical support for the Board;

 

            NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan in convention assembled this 6th day of November, 2011 in the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan

 that this organization calls upon the Michigan Commission for the Blind to take all appropriate, affirmative and expeditious steps to secure adequate and appropriate secretarial and administrative support as called for in the Rehabilitation Act, and adequate enough to assist the Michigan Commission for the Blind board in carrying out its duties and responsibilities; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization commends the Michigan Commission for the Blind Board for taking action to establish separate secretarial and support services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESOLUTION 2011-04
MICHIGAN COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND MINUTES
 

            WHEREAS, the Michigan Commission for the Blind has been in operation since 1978; and

 

            WHEREAS, until the repressive present regime, the commission met approximately eleven (11) times per year and is responsible to develop policy which affects blind Michigan citizens; and

 

            WHEREAS, it is very difficult to ascertain all relevant Commission policy pertaining to any specific topic or related topics; and

 

            WHEREAS, open and transparent government and the efficient operation of the Commission Board call for ready access to all policies and related discussions;

 

            NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan in convention assembled this 6th day of November, 2011 in the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan that this organization call upon the Commission Board to enact policies to organize a searchable public database of Commission motions and minutes that is available to Commissioners, staff and the public via the internet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESOLUTION 2011-05
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS AND THE MICHIGAN COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND

 

            WHEREAS, Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that all Vocational Rehabilitation agencies, including the Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB) communicates effectively through "appropriate modes of communication: with all customers; and

 

            WHEREAS, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Subpart e, Communications) requires that all entities of State and local government provide information to all people who are blind in their most effective format and in a timely manner, including, of course, all those engaged with the Michigan Commission for the Blind; and

 

            WHEREAS, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires the same; and

 

            WHEREAS, it has been documented over the years that MCB does not, in all cases, remit timely materials in Braille, audio, electronic, or large print even after continued requests from customers, Business Enterprise Program licensees and members of the public who are blind; and

 

            WHEREAS, these documented and ongoing breaches of civil rights laws delay, deny and otherwise inhibit delivery of required services and "due process and equal protection" under these laws and thus constitute systemic, chronic and pervasive acts of discrimination against people who are blind in the State of Michigan; and

 

            WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan is the leading advocate for the rights of all the blind of Michigan, and believes such violations of the law by the MCB denies blind persons of their right to equal access and such violations could be readily corrected by the MCB;

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan in convention assembled this 6th day of November, 2011 in the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan that the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan files a Complaint forthwith to the United States Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights against the Michigan Commission for the Blind detailing the chronic acts of discrimination and demanding prompt compliance with all applicable laws in these regards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESOLUTION 2011-06
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF MICHIGAN
 

            WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan is an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest organization of all the blind in the country; and

 

            WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan is actively involved in many activities that improve the lives of blind people in Michigan, including civil rights, advocacy, the education of blind children and adults, good training and job placement for the blind, information and technology access; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Michigan Commission for the Blind Business Enterprise Program (BEP) operates a phone information line called the Operator Information Exchange Line which is supported with state and federal funds and is designed for the purpose of providing useful information to BEP operators; and

 

            WHEREAS, the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan attempted to place an announcement about its up-and-coming annual State Convention on the Operator Information Exchange Line for the BEP operators in Michigan; and

 

            WHEREAS, management of the BEP, without permission from the Federation's representative, edited out the portion of the announcement which contained information about the state convention and only included information about the NFBM Merchants division training seminar; and

 

            WHEREAS, a second submittal about the convention was rejected outright by BEP management; and

 

            WHEREAS, BEP management subsequently admitted denial of our announcement on this Information Exchange Line which is supported by federal and state funds because such information was available elsewhere; and

 

            WHEREAS, to our knowledge there are no known laws, rules, policies or guidelines restricting the placement of information on the operator information exchange line; and

 

            WHEREAS, such censorship is a violation of our first amendment rights to free speech; and

 

            WHEREAS, such blatant discrimination of the NFBM by a state employee is a violation of our right to public access;

 

            NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan in convention assembled this 6th day of November, 2011 in the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan that this organization condemns and deplores such discriminatory action on the part of Michigan Commission for the  Blind BEP management; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that sanctions be placed on the employees responsible for such behavior; and

 

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this organization takes all necessary steps to stop this discriminatory behavior of BEP management, including the Michigan Commission for the Blind establishing a written policy instructing all staff that such discriminatory actions against the NFBM in the future will not be tolerated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESOLUTION 2011-07
CHALLENGE EXPERIENCES
 

            WHEREAS, successful, quality rehabilitation for the blind includes such mandatory skills as Braille, Cane Travel, Daily Living Skills, Technology, and Manual Arts; and

 

            WHEREAS, these skills represent a minimum, or can be considered, core competencies for a person to become prepared to live successfully in the world as a blind person; and

 

            WHEREAS, in order to fully benefit from these skills each person must have a philosophic view of blindness which encompasses these skills plus an intrinsic belief in oneself which informs an approach to life based on confidence and empowerment; and

 

            WHEREAS, successful rehabilitation programs include "challenge experiences" that require the student to aggregate and consolidate the individual skills to accomplish a goal that challenges and stretches the students' self-image as a blind person.  Examples of such experiences include rock climbing, water skiing, sky diving, participation in large social events such as state fairs, Mardi Gras, etc.; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Michigan Commission for the Blind Training Center (MCBTC), in response to student demand, created a marksmanship challenge activity which served the ambient cultural needs of Michigan's outdoor hunting and sports environment; and

 

            WHEREAS, this marksmanship program was aborted in a drastic and destructive manner brutally repressing the spontaneous self-empowerment of blind people who were exercising their self-empowerment, thus undermining and stunting the full possibilities of a quality rehabilitation program; and

 

            WHEREAS, now that the misguided, mean and regressive actions to repress the positive goals of the National Federation of the Blind as expressed in positive and progressive rehabilitation administration have been repudiated and shown for what they are, anti-consumer and anti-NFB; and

 

            WHEREAS, it is now time to resume progress toward progressive, positive and creative rehabilitation that empowers blind people and creates an environment of encouragement and high expectation leading to personal freedom and confidence which will therefore lead to success in vocational and community pursuits; and

 

            WHEREAS, the MCBTC must assume its rightful role as the planning, organizing and motivating engine within the Michigan Commission for the Blind rehabilitation programs;

 

            NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan   in convention assembled this 6th day of November 2011 in the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan

 that this organization demands in the strongest terms possible that the Michigan Commission for the Blind Board take immediate and affirmative steps to enable the MCBTC to develop signature challenge programs reflective of the unique environment and needs in Michigan and that they reflect the diverse interests of Michigan citizens; and

 

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board act in its December meeting to initiate a planning process that will produce a plan for creative and effective challenge activities to be presented to the Commission for consideration in the March 2012 board meeting that incorporates the philosophical and skill building requirements as cited above; and

 

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board incorporate this planning and implementation of an acceptable challenge program into the MCB Director's Performance Plan for 2012, and that the Board monitor progress towards this goal and take appropriate action if the goal is not achieved; and

 

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization demands the reinstatement of the marksmanship class at the MCBTC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESOLUTION 2011-08
NEW HORIZONS

 

            WHEREAS, Gwen McNeal has been on the Board of Trustees of New Horizons since 2010; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB) through McNeal, continues to do business with New Horizons to this date including contracting for evaluations and engages New Horizons personnel on other cash match agreements, including one with Oakland County Schools; and

 

            WHEREAS, in the Rehabilitation Services Administration's (RSA) 5-year Monitoring Report, RSA found that the Michigan Commission for the Blind, the Macomb Intermediate School District, and New Horizons Rehabilitation Services engaged in an illegal "cash match" agreement whereby New Horizons kicked in funds for federal match, and then received a no-bid contract (see Finding 6); and

 

            WHEREAS, MCB Regional Manager Gwen McNeal was the responsible agent for this and even gave an award to New Horizons in 2008; and

 

            WHEREAS, this, by any reasonable definition, constitutes a conflict of interest between this MCB Regional Administrator and a Community Rehabilitation Program; and

 

            WHEREAS, this clearly violates state ethics guidelines and may well be a violation of state and federal laws;

 

            NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED   by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan in convention assembled this 6th day of November 2011 in the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan

 that the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan abhors this sort of apparent conflict of interests; and

 

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that forthwith NFB-MI informs, in writing, Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Office of the Inspector General in the United States Department of Education, and the Michigan Attorney General's Public Integrity Office about this situation and requesting a thorough investigation into these and other practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESOLUTION 2011-09
COLLEGE POLICY/MEANS TEST

 

            WHEREAS, the Michigan Commission for the Blind has a history of requiring college students who receive Social Security benefits to financially participate in the cost of their vocational rehabilitation services as documented in the 2009 Monitoring Report issued by the Rehabilitation Services Administration; and

 

            WHEREAS, this is illegal under the Rehabilitation Act of 1998 regulations to ask college students who receive Social Security benefits to financially participate in the cost of their rehabilitation services; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Michigan Commission for the Blind was asked to revise this specific policy by the Rehabilitation Services Administration to comply with federal laws and procedures; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Michigan Commission for the Blind spent a considerable amount of time changing and updating the entire college student policy without specifically addressing the issue of asking college students who receive Social Security benefits to financially participate in the costs of their vocational rehabilitation services; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Michigan Commission for the Blind insisted on creating a Means test as a part of this new college policy; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Michigan Commission for the Blind refuses to revise agency policies and procedures regarding the vocational rehabilitation services it provides to college students to comply with federal laws and procedures; and

 

            WHEREAS, the lack of revising and implementing policies and procedures for providing vocational rehabilitation services to college students that comply with federal laws and procedures is a direct reflection of the lack of leadership provided to the Michigan Commission for the Blind through the agency director;

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan in convention assembled this 6th day of November 2011 in the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan,

 That this organization calls upon the Michigan Commission for the Blind to immediately cease and desist the use of any Financial Needs Form that requires the financial participation of any college student and creates a Means test for college students who receives Social Security benefits; and

 

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization calls upon the Michigan Commission for the Blind Board of Directors to seek appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including, the termination of the agency director based upon his inability to adopt and implement policies and procedures for administering vocational rehabilitation services to college students that adequately reflect federal laws and procedures.

 

RESOLUTION 2011-10
FIRE CANNON
 

            WHEREAS, Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB) Director Patrick D. Cannon has personally engaged in retaliatory actions in documented fashion against Christine Boone, Hazell Brooks, and David Robinson, that are still not fully resolved and typify reckless and illegal behaviors which have already cost case services for customers of MCB to be restrained, let alone the personal cost to these stalwart blind people; and

 

            WHEREAS, Cannon has directly, and through his subordinates, violated core provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended for more than a decade, including, illegal means testing, failures to "fast track" SSI/SSDI recipients, violations of maintenance, informed choice, and even basic eligibility, among others, in both policy and practice harming all blind persons seeking services from MCB; and

 

            WHEREAS, Cannon and subordinates have committed documented violations and perverted the Business Enterprise Program and Public Act 260 too many times to articulate by the employment of sighted persons over competent blind persons; and

 

            WHEREAS, Cannon has scoffed at the Rehabilitation Services Administration which is the primary funder of MCB even to the point of not ensuring corrective actions required in the RSA monitoring report due almost one (1) year ago; and

 

            WHEREAS, Cannon has directly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act which violates the civil rights of the entire class of blind people in Michigan; and

 

            WHEREAS, Cannon has actively worked to suborn due process rights of individuals and has openly scoffed at legal processes themselves by not responding to lawful subpoenas; and

 

            WHEREAS, Cannon has directly intervened to control the MCB Board with extra legal and highly political measures from the ethics attacks against former Commissioner Eagle to his recent, documented interventions with the Governor's appointed office in a ludicrous attempt to deny commissioners the right to write their own by-laws; and

 

            WHEREAS, Cannon has directly, and through his subordinates, repeatedly violated the Open Meetings Act and the Michigan Freedom of Information Act; and

 

            WHEREAS, Cannon has directly intervened to deny vital information to the MCB Board in a timely and accessible manner, impeding them in fulfilling their duties: from not remitting state plan information for over a decade, to not ensuring that all complete transcripts, including exhibits, were afforded to commissioners in reviews of A.L.J. decisions; and

 

            WHEREAS, these and other actions represent not only malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance, but also violations of law and equity over a protracted period of time, and in numerous instances so as to be construed to be pervasive and malicious by any reasonable person and thus accuse of dismissal from his position;

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan in convention assembled this 6th day of November 2011 in the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan

 that forthwith this organization will transmit a letter to Governor Richard Snyder, LARA Director Steven Hilfinger, and Patrick Cannon's immediate supervisor, Steven Arwood which states that Cannon should be immediately dismissed as director of MCB for cause.

 



 

STUDENT Division Report, Elizabeth Mohnke, President, National

Association of Blind Students 

 

Affiliate Approval of Amendments -- Both amendments were approved by the Affiliate. New Student Board officers include: President, Jordyn Castor, Vice President, Leanne Merren, Secretary, Matt McCubbin and  Treasurer, J.J. Meddaugh. Board members include: Taylor Arndt, Cheryl Stahl, and Jeff Crouch. 

Michigan Association of Blind Students Constitution

 

ARTICLE I - NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Michigan Association of Blind Students.

 

ARTICLE II - ORGANIZATIONAL CHARTER

This organization shall be chartered as a state chapter of the National Association of Blind Students and as a division of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan.

 

ARTICLE III - PURPOSE

The purpose of this organization shall be to promote educational opportunities and the general well being of blind students in this nation and the state and to function as an integral part of the National Association of Blind Students and the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan.

 

ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP

At least a majority of the active members of this organization must be blind students.

 

1. All active members shall have the right to vote, serve on committees, speak on the floor, and hold office.

 

2. Any person may become an active member of this organization upon application and payment of dues to the treasurer.

 

3.  Expulsion

Any member may be expelled for violation of this constitution or for behavior unbecoming to a member of the National Federation of the Blind, by a majority vote of the members present and voting at an annual business meeting or by a two-thirds vote of the board of directors. The annual business meeting of this organization may reinstate any person who has been expelled, unless such expulsion has been confirmed by the state convention, the board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, the National Convention, or by the board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind, in which event the person may not be reinstated except by the Convention or board of directors that confirmed the expulsion.  Any person who feels he or she has been unjustly expelled from the organization may appeal to the state board of directors or the annual state convention. If the appeal is denied by the state board [or the state convention], the party may further appeal to the national board of directors, who may, at their discretion, reinstate a member.

 

ARTICLE V - OFFICERS AND THEIR DUTIES

 

Section One: Elections

There shall be elected at the regular annual business meeting a president, a vice president, a secretary, a treasurer, and four board members. The terms of their offices shall begin at the close of the annual business meeting at which they are elected and qualified. Officers shall be elected by a majority vote of all members present and voting. There shall be no proxy voting. If no nominee receives a majority vote on the first ballot, the name of the person receiving the fewest votes will be removed from the list of nominees and a second ballot recorded. This procedure shall continue until one candidate receives a simple majority of the votes. The president and vice presidents must be blind students and planning to attend a full-time educational program in the academic year following election.

 

Section Two: Duties

The duties of each officer shall be those ordinarily associated with that office.

 

ARTICLE VI - BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The board of directors of this organization shall consist of the four constitutional officers and four at-large members. The board shall meet at the call of the president or on written call signed by a majority of the board members. The board shall advise the president and shall have charge of the affairs of this organization between meetings. At least a majority of the board must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business. The board may be polled by telephone, email, or mail ballot on any question. A majority of the board of directors must be blind students.

 

ARTICLE VII - MEETINGS

 

Section One: Annual Business Meetings

The organization shall hold an annual business meeting, the time and place of which shall coincide with the time and place of the state convention of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan. At least twenty-five percent of the active members must be present to constitute a quorum to transact business.

 

Section Two: Special Meetings

The president of this organization may call a special meeting any time she or he or a majority of the board of directors deems such action to be necessary.

At such special meetings at least twenty-five percent of the active members must be present to transact business. To call such a meeting, notice must be given to the board of directors at least ten days prior to the date of such special meeting.

 

ARTICLE VIII - COMMITTEES

The president may create such committees as she or he or the organization deems necessary.  Any decisions made within a committee meeting must have at least two-thirds vote of the membership of that committee, and must be approved by the board of directors of this organization.

 

ARTICLE IX - AFFILIATION

The Michigan Association of Blind Students shall be an affiliate of the National Association of Blind Students and the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, which are, in turn, affiliates of the National Federation of the Blind. The Michigan Association of Blind Students shall furnish to the president of the National Association of Blind Students and the president of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan annually or before the Michigan state convention a list of the names and addresses of the members and elected officers of this organization. A copy of the constitution of the Michigan Association of Blind Students and all amendments thereto shall be sent to the president of the National Association of Blind Students, the president of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, and the president of the National Federation of the Blind without delay.

The Michigan Association of Blind Students shall not merely be a social organization, but shall formulate programs and actively work to promote the academic and social betterment of blind students and the blind generally. This organization shall comply with the provisions of the constitution of the National Federation of the Blind, the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, and the provisions of the contract appearing on the back of the charter of affiliation issued to it by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan. Policy decisions of the National Federation of the Blind, whether made by the National Convention or its board of directors or by the state convention or the affiliate's board of directors, are binding on this organization, and this organization shall participate and act affirmatively in carrying out such policy decisions. As a condition of affiliation it is agreed by this organization that the National Federation of the Blind, whether the decision be made by the Convention or the board of directors, has the power to expel or discipline an individual member and to expel or reorganize a state affiliate, division, or local chapter. In the event of reorganization, the assets of the affiliate, division, or chapter belong to the reorganized affiliate, division, or local chapter, and the former affiliate, division, or chapter shall dissolve and cease to exist. Michigan Association of Blind Students, National Federation of the Blind of Michigan Student Division, and any variant thereof, are the property of the National Federation of the Blind, and this organization, upon the event of disaffiliation with the National federation of the Blind, for whatever reason, shall forfeit the right to use the name Michigan Association of Blind Students, National Federation of the Blind of Michigan Student Division, or any variant thereof.

 

ARTICLE X - DUES

The dues of this organization shall be set at annual business meetings and shall be payable at annual business meetings. No person may vote who is delinquent in the payment of dues.

 

ARTICLE XI - DISBURSEMENT OF FUNDS

The funds of this Organization shall be deposited in a bank to be selected by the treasurer, with the approval of the president. All financial transactions shall be discharged by check or other draft, issued on the order of the president, and signed by the treasurer or the president. 

 

ARTICLE XII - DISSOLUTION

In the event of the  dissolution of this organization or if, for any reason, it ceases to be an 

affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, assets shall be given to the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, to be held in trust for a reorganized student organization. In the event that no student group is reorganized within a period of two years from the date of dissolution, the assets may be deposited with the general funds of the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, to be used for the purposes of that organization.

 

ARTICLE XIII - AMENDMENTS

This constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of this organization by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the active members present and voting, provided that the amendment is in compliance with the provisions of the charter of affiliation issued by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan and the policies of the National Federation of the Blind. Amendments may also be acted upon at special meetings.

 

Last updated and revised on November 6, 2011

 

Members at Large Chapter President, Kandy Jelinski, Vice President, Kevin Reeves, Secretary, Joe Harcz and Treasurer, Andrea Nelson. Board Members include: Rex Berkhead and Phylis Slater. The Board Members will present the charter next year so that the affiliate can approve the chapter Constitution. 

CONSUMER Involvement Council Elections. Georgia Kitchen was reelected to the Consumer Involvement Council. The entire list of Representatives are as follows, with the years that their terms expire: Fred Wurtzel, whose term expires in 2013, Georgia Kitchen whose term expires in 2014 and Sarah Norwood whose term expires at the end of 2012. Joe Harcz was elected as the alternate. 

CHAPTER and Division Reports. The Kalamazoo chapter appreciates our attendance at State Convention and thanks the Clarion Hotel. They have their Chapter meetings on the third Thursday at McGuiness Landing, beginning at 5:30. Larry Posont thanks all of the people who assisted with Convention. 

Old Business: A discussion about Camp Tuhsmeheta occurred. The budget that was eventually agreed upon was less than the first budget submitted. The money for camp is from an anonymous donor. We are called upon to manage the money because the money is intended for programs for youth at Camp Tuhsmeheta, and for youth. The donation is given out of love for children and Camp Tuhsmeheta. The Federation is a safe guard to insure that the expanded core curriculum and skills of blindness are imparted to the students. Braille, Culinary and Science are our programs. Students are involved in National Federation of the Blind because of Camp Tuhsmeheta. The program is entirely ours.

Adjourn at 1:00?  



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