2012 (April) Program Development Committee Meeting Minutes


American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS)

Phoenix, AZ
April 21, 2012

Call to Order

The meeting of the Program Development Committee was called to order by Susan Kannarr (KS), chair.


The following members of the committee were present: Susan Kannarr (KS), Maryann Horch (VA), Bonnie Alexander (ID), Stephen Arias (NM), George Bishop (VA), Jay Braxton (VA), David Byerman (NV), Scott C. Caffey (TX), Norma Chastain (AZ), Susan Furlong (NV), Janice Gadd (UT), Nathan Hatfield (VA), Jamie Kruse (NE), Cheryl Laube (AZ), Ramona Kenady Line (OR), Patrick O’Donnell (NE), Tara Perkinson (VA), Paula Rossetto (CA), Karen Wadsworth (NH), and Patience Worrel (TX).

Other members/guests in attendance included President Terry Spieler (MO), Joe Carleton (ME), Russell Humphrey (TN), and Kae Warnock (NCSL).

Old Business

The chair reviewed the preliminary agenda for the fall PDS including the schedule for plenary sessions. Two plenaries are currently planned with one on Wednesday morning and one on Saturday morning. The chair also presented information on the potential plenary speakers. A tentative agreement has been made with Anna Post of the Emily Post Institute (http://www.emilypost.com) to discuss civility in politics and etiquette. The second plenary speaker, Michael Powell, CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and former FCC chairman, has been contacted. Mr. Powell, who spoke to LINCS and LSS last year to rave reviews, talks about issues many of us deal with in our jobs such as how to effectively lead during difficult times, how to be a better communicator and how to inspire your staff/colleagues. Additional committee input on plenary speakers was requested by the chair.

Next, the chair reviewed the following list of current concurrent session topic ideas and received input from the committee:

  • Session sponsored by Technology Committee with a specific title to be determined.
  • Session sponsored by the Bylaws/Standing Orders Committee for the purpose of explaining the bylaws and standing orders of ASLCS.
  • Session sponsored by the Support Staff committee on "Cross Training and Succession Planning."
  • International session. The committee determined that instead of asking the international attendees to participate in a concurrent session that they instead be encouraged to be a part of the Legislative Expo.
  • Page/Internship Program. The committee did not accept this as a topic due to concern that it had been discussed at several Professional Development Seminars (PDS) and also might not be of widespread interest to members.
  • HR issues. After some discussion this was not selected as a topic to be added to the preliminary agenda.
  • Legislative Off the Record—The committee discussed this session at length and ultimately concluded to keep it as a concurrent but rework the format from previous years. Members mentioned that it is always well attended but has been dominated by a few individuals or topics on occasion. Several ideas on changing up the format were discussed including changing it to a "competition" format and starting the session off with each person writing down a question. The committee also discussed ways to manage the time devoted to particular topics or people and the difficulties in cutting people off because it is difficult to limit the time or "cut someone off" because to that person this is a very important topic/issue. One recommendation was to limit all people to a set amount of time so that all people were treated fairly.
  • Mason's/Parliamentary session (recommended by President Spieler). After discussion, the committee thought it might be interesting to do something similar to the "College Bowl" done at the Kentucky Legislative Summit meeting. The first part of the session could be the "question/challenge" portion or Jeopardy-like and the other part more informative, to help educate people about Mason's. The chair committed to working with the chair of the Mason Manual Commission to develop this session further.
  • FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) in the electronic age. The committee was interested in developing this as a concurrent topic. Maryann Horch (VA) mentioned there is a local FOIA presenter that would be very interesting and that she would follow up with that person to see if they are interested and/or available.

New Business

Norma Chastain (AZ) mentioned that the Membership Committee was thinking about sponsoring a concurrent on networking. Bonnie Alexander (ID) stated the Networking session could be a place where people can further discuss ideas/topics they started in a meeting and wanted to discuss more, but there was not enough time. After some discussion, the committee concluded that instead of a concurrent session that maybe this could be combined with the Legislative Expo or at a meal.

Karen Wadsworth (NH) suggested an idea that Millie McFarland mentioned—something along the lines of "Life After the Legislature" or “What I wish I had known.” The committee agreed that this would be good topic to put on the preliminary agenda.

David Byerman (NV) suggested a session on how states Educate the Public about the Legislature. Committee members mentioned examples of programs in Virginia and Nevada and that New Mexico has a "Know Your New Mexico Legislature" video. The committee discussed the topic and determined that it would be good to include on the preliminary agenda.

The next topic on the agenda was the NCSL Legislative Summit in August. Chair Kannarr (KS) reviewed topics being sponsored by other staff sections that ASLCS could co-sponsor and suggested that ASLCS sponsor its own session this year. Tara Perkinson (VA) mentioned that LSCC is looking for a Mason's topic/meeting for the NCSL summit meeting in Chicago. Ramona Line (OR) suggested some ideas on what the Mason's Manual Commission could consider. The chair agreed to talk with the Mason’s Manual Commission about scheduling a basic session at the Summit.

With regard to co-sponsoring sessions, the committee thought that Records Retention might be a good session for ASLCS to co-sponsor. Kae Warnock (NCSL) informed the committee that the Records Retention session is the same time as the ASLCS committee meetings but the committee moved forward with its decision to co-sponsor the session anyway.

Chair Kannarr (KS) asked Nathan Hatfield (VA) and George Bishop (VA) for a few words about the Fall PDS in Richmond, Va. (Oct. 2-7, 2012). They discussed the various events including a reception at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the Marble Hall, a Gospel Breakfast, an evening at the recently-renovated Capitol, and an option to go to St. John's Church where Patrick Henry gave his "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech. The conference hotel is the Omni, which is a short walk to/from the Capitol. State Dinner entertainment is not finalized yet but one possibility is a Dueling Pianos show.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.