2014 (May) Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

5/3/2014

American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries (ASLCS)

ASLCS SPRING MEETING
Nashville, Tenn.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Call to Order

Suzi Lowell (Alaska), ASLCS president, called the meeting of the Executive Committee to order.

Attendance

The following members of the committee were present:

X

Suzi Lowell (Alaska)

X

Cheryl Laube (Ariz.)

X

Russell Humphrey (Tenn.)

X

Sandy Tenney (Utah)

X

Susan Furlong (Nev.)

X

Scott Caffey (Texas)

X

Janice Gadd (Utah)

X

Karen Wadsworth (N.H.)

X

Maryann Horch (Va.)

X

Scott Kaiser (Ill.)

X

William “Bill” MaGill (Vt.)

 

 

 

Also present were Denise Weeks (N.C.), Butch Speer (La.), David Byerman (Nev.) and Angela Andrews, NCSL liaison to ASLCS.

Approval of Minutes

Upon a motion by Scott Kaiser (Ill.), seconded by Janice Gadd (Utah), the minutes of the Dec. 18, 2013, teleconference meeting were approved.

Treasurer’s Report

Susan Furlong (Nev.) reviewed the Treasurer’s Report of May 3, 2014, which reflected an ending balance of $43,517.65. Upon a motion by Russell Humphrey (Tenn.), seconded by Cheryl Laube (Ariz.), the Treasurer’s Report was approved.

Old Business

  • Angela Andrews, NCSL, reviewed the status of the following ASLCS financial accounts:

Special Meeting Fund (L190 Account). The balance of the account was $255,923.49. This amount included $90,500 raised by California for the 2013 PDS held in Sacramento. There were no changes to the California Host State expenditures for the 2013 PDS, which totaled $81,729.47.

The anticipated cost of the 2014 Spring Meeting was $6,000 to $6,500, and contributions for the meeting were still being received. A donation of $2,000 was received from IRC, and the Tennessee Senate contributed another $5,000 to help support meeting activities. Also pending was a deposit of $6,500 from Russell Humphrey’s (Tenn.) fundraising efforts. Mr. Humphrey pointed out the funds raised for the spring meeting will exceed the costs, and he requested that the Tennessee Senate have input into how those excess funds are used. Responding to a question from Maryann Horch (Va.), Mr. Humphrey noted that one possible use for the excess funds would be a president’s reception. The committee deferred a decision on the request.

New expenditures from the Special Meetings Fund included $2,107.05 for Grand Ole Opry tickets and $480 to cover transportation to the venue. In furtherance of Thompson Reuters’ agreement to fund the Ed Burdick Scholarship for 2012, 2013 and 2014, $1,500 was transferred to the Professional Development Revolving Account (LLCS). Total expenditures were $109,167.98 as of Apr. 29, 2014, and did not include a pending payment of $3,180.28 to cover catering costs for the Saturday night reception at the 2014 Spring Meeting.

Responding to a question from Janice Gadd (Utah), Ms. Andrews said it was unknown whether Thompson Reuters would continue to sponsor the Ed Burdick Scholarship beyond 2014. She noted that Thompson Reuters donated $4,500 to seed the scholarship in 2012. The 2011-2012 Executive Committee directed the funds be deposited into the Special Meeting Fund (L190), which earns interest, and that $1,500 be transferred to the Professional Development Revolving Account (LLCS) to fund the scholarship for the first three years.

Professional Development Revolving Account (LLCS). Ms. Andrews explained that the Professional Development Revolving Account is maintained at NCSL and used for all professional development of the Society. The account does not earn interest. All profits from professional development seminars are deposited into this account.

New deposits to the account included profit of $7,133.92 from the 2013 PDS along with contributions of $250 from Marcus Dell’Artino and $1,000 from Norm Moore, both in support of the 2014 Associate Exchange Program. Two expenditures of $500 each were made to Alysia Peters (Nev.) and Ginny Edwards (Va.), who were selected to participate in the Associate Exchange Program. In addition, Ed Burdick Scholarship recipient Judy Barrows (Maine) received $750 to help defray the costs of attending the 2013 PDS.

Cheryl Laube (Ariz.) asked if speakers for the PDS are paid out of the LLCS account. Ms. Andrews responded in the affirmative, noting the Standing Orders authorize payment of up to $15,000.

Sacramento Meeting Budget. Ms. Andrews reviewed the final reconciled budget for the 2013 PDS. The Society made a profit of $7,133.92 on the PDS, with 192 full-rate registrations, 24 guest registrations, 3 business and other registrations and 29 complimentary registrations for international guests, contributors, faculty and NCSL staff. Contributions of $18,700 were received. She noted the Executive Committee had authorized the expenditure of up to $11,000 from the Special Meeting Fund (L190) to balance the budget. If that money had been transferred, the meeting profit would have been $18,133.91.

Responding to a question from Maryann Horch (Va.), Ms. Andrews explained that each PDS has a separate budget, and any profit from a meeting budget is deposited to the Professional Development Revolving Account (LLCS). If a PDS were unprofitable, ASLCS would have to cover the cost from another account. High registrations, contributions or the transfer of money from the Special Meetings Fund (L190) to the meeting budget ensures that each PDS makes a profit.

  • Review and Approval of Revised ASLCS Facebook Group Proposal

David Byerman (Nev.) presented a revised proposal to create a closed Facebook Group for ASLCS. The goal of the Facebook Group is to generate interest in Society membership. He reported that the Facebook Group had been created; however, invitations to join had not been extended. The proposal envisioned three Facebook Group administrators: (1) the president of ASLCS, (2) the chair of the Technology Committee, and (3) the NCSL liaison to ASLCS. These administrators would be responsible for approving access for Society members who appear in the Roster & Reference Guide.

The Executive Committee’s responsibilities would include the following:

(a) Establish an annual audit process to remove inactive members from the Facebook Group.

(b) Approve the removal of inappropriate content. If an administrator determined certain content was inappropriate, he or she would remove the post. Administrators would be encouraged to work with members to resolve concerns. If an administrator removed a post, he or she would be required to notify the President of the Society within 48 hours of such removal and subsequently report the action to the Executive Committee at its next meeting.

Karen Wadsworth (N.H.) asked how the Facebook Group would differ in purpose from the listserv. Mr. Byerman said members could post surveys and polls to the Facebook Group. In addition, the Facebook Group would be much more social than the listserv. For example, a member could post photos from a PDS to the Facebook Group.

Ms. Wadsworth asked if there is a method for removing content that is deemed inappropriate and whether it is possible to prevent an individual from sharing content that is posted to a Facebook Group outside the Group. Responding, Mr. Byerman said a member could not share content outside the Group. However, a member could take a screen shot of a comment and post it outside the Group.

Scott Caffey (Texas) asked how the proposed Facebook Group would affect the workload of Ms. Andrews. Ms. Andrews noted NCSL’s preference that content be driven by the staff section. Continuing, Mr. Caffey asked whether ASLCS should look to NCSL for a lead and follow its path. Ms. Andrews observed that NCSL understands the direction on social media has shifted. NCSL is working on a policy related to a Facebook Page but not one for a Facebook Group.

Susan Furlong (Nev.) asked if any other staff section had established a Facebook Group. Ms. Andrews reported NALIT had developed a Twitter feed, but no one pushed content.

Continuing, Ms. Furlong asked if a legal challenge arising from an administrator’s removal of content could expose the Society to potential liability and legal costs. She also questioned whether posts to the Facebook Group, such as polls and surveys, would be official records of the Society requiring archiving under the Standing Orders. Listserv questions are archived. Cheryl Laube (Ariz.) questioned how long content would remain on the Facebook Group. Russell Humphrey (Tenn.) observed the proposed Facebook Group would complement the Society’s current offerings. He opined that because the Society is not a government or state, it could not infringe on the free speech of individual members. Therefore, ASLCS could not be held liable for any claims arising from the removal of content deemed inappropriate by an administrator.

Following committee discussion, Karen Wadsworth (N.H.) moved the proposal be approved as a pilot project on a temporary basis and revised by the Executive Committee at its October meeting in Baton Rouge. The motion was seconded by Cheryl Laube (Ariz.) and passed. President Lowell appointed Janice Gadd (Utah) as her designee administrator of the ASLCS Facebook Group. Jim Schratz (AR) said David Byerman (Nev.) would continue as administrator of the Facebook Group.

Without objection, the Executive Committee took a short recess and reconvened at 2:30 p.m.

New Business

  • Butch Speer (La.) reviewed the agenda for the 2014 PDS and provided an update on host state activities and fundraising. Funding for the PDS has been secured, but contracts have not yet been signed. Ms. Andrews pointed out the meeting schedule will differ from recent professional development seminars in that registration will open on Oct. 5 and the Nominating Committee will meet on the same day.
  • Denise Weeks (N.C.) reviewed the proposals of the Marriott Raleigh City Center and the Sheraton Hotel for the 2015 PDS to be held in Raleigh, N.C. She recommended the committee approve the Marriott’s proposal. On motion of Scott Kaiser (Ill.), seconded by Cheryl Laube (Ariz.), the committee approved the bid of the Marriott Raleigh City Center. The 2015 PDS will be held from Sept. 20 to 25; the Executive and Nominating Committees will meet on Sunday, Sept. 20.
  • Angela Andrews reviewed the draft budget for the 2014 PDS, which is based on anticipated registration fees for 195 attendees along with 25 guest registrations. Referencing Section B, “Faculty/Guest-Travel & Expenses,” she pointed out that ASLCS covers the hotel charges for guests from the five international associations invited to attend the annual PDS. Although the amount currently shown is zero, these charges will be paid through the Special Meetings Fund (L190), as they have been for the past two years. The Society had sufficient free rooms in 2013 to accommodate these guests without incurring additional hotel expenses. Ms. Andrews highlighted the “Meal Functions” section of the draft budget, noting the budget includes breakfast every day except Oct. 8, when the attendees will travel to the capitol.
  • Continuing, Ms. Andrews said the draft budget shows a loss of $4,647.17, and NCSL will not approve a negative budget. President Lowell explained that the previous Executive Committee approved the transfer, on paper only, of $11,000 from the Special Meeting Fund (L190) to the 2013 PDS meeting account, though those funds ultimately were not necessary to balance the budget. She suggested the Executive Committee authorize the transfer of $7,500.

Responding to a question from Cheryl Laube (Ariz.), Ms. Andrews said the breakfast meals are a necessary component of the food and beverage minimum. Further, the Executive Committee can approve the transfer of additional funds later, if necessary. On motion of Russell Humphrey (Tenn.), seconded by Karen Wadsworth (N.H.), the committee approved the transfer of $5,000 from the Special Meetings Fund (L190) to the 2014 PDS budget account.

  • The committee considered the request of Dotson Wilson, Chief Clerk, California Assembly, to access a portion of the extra money raised by the California Host State for the 2013 Sacramento PDS. These funds would be used to facilitate the participation of several of the Society’s California members in the 2014 PDS by subsidizing their registration and hotel costs. Traditionally, excess host state funds have remained in the ASLCS Special Meeting Fund (L190) for the benefit of all Society members. Responding to questions from the committee, Ms. Andrews said she was unaware of any similar request being approved in the past. Fundraising letters specify that checks be made payable to NCSL, which are then deposited into the Special Meetings Fund (L190). Following lengthy committee discussion, it was the consensus of the Executive Committee that approving the request would set a bad precedent. Instead, ALSCS should create a policy that addresses the concept in detail. The matter was referred to the Strategic Planning Special Committee for review and recommendation to the Executive Committee.
  • Angela Andrews reported that the state capitols book project has been resurrected. Copyright to the book is owned by NCSL, and Paul Campos (Wash.) is coordinating the project. The committee working on the book was active until 2012 and collected about 30 photos.
  • On motion of Scott Kaiser (Ill.), seconded by Bill Magill (Vt.), the committee approved memorial donations of $50 each to the EAMC Foundation and Hospice Advantage in memory of Charles McDowell Lee, Sr.
  • On motion of Susan Furlong (Nev.), seconded by Sandy Tenney (Utah), the committee approved payment of travel expenses for Russell Humphrey (Tenn.) to attend the LSCC meeting May 30 and 31 in Anchorage, Alaska.
  • On motion of Scott Caffey (Texas), seconded by Russell Humphrey (Tenn.), the committee approved payment of travel expenses for Suzi Lowell (Alaska) and Angela Andrews (NCSL) to conduct a site visit in Baton Rouge.

Adjournment

Upon a motion by Sandy Tenney (Utah), seconded by Susan Furlong (Nev.), the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan Furlong (Nev.)
Secretary-Treasurer