Minutes Of The Executive Committee Of CT Green Party, approved
Greater Hartford Green Party Office
418A New Britain Ave. Hartford, CT
Attending: Aaron Guthenson, Kelly Mc Carthy, Judy Herkmer, Barbara Barry, Mike DeRosa
Facilitator: Justine McCabe
Guests: David Ionno(Hartford chapter), Steve Fornier, (Hartford Chapter), Tim McKee(Manchester chapter),Miguel Nievas(New Britain)
Agenda Item # 1(See Agenda):
Kelly said that she feels that the EC is not functioning very well and not accomplishing our leadership goals. She said that we need to work out our personal problems on the EC and move forward.
Aaron said that what happened in the past should stay in the past and we need to move forward.
Mike agreed with what Kelly and Aaron said. He said that he would like the EC to deal with issues and accomplish our political goals. He said that we should also use our time at meetings for our educational goals and getting our committees moving. Barbara said that she did not think the EC was not working on our goals and there is a difference of opinion of how we go about the process that takes place at meetings. Barbara said this is part of the discussion. We need process but it should not be a stumbling block to do our political work or how we deal with issues. Barbara said that she thinks it is not so much animosity but a difference of opinion about how process should be done. Kelly said that she thought the issue of using a tape recording for assisting in note taking was handled very poorly at the last SCC meeting. Kelly said that the first issue was there was no actual meeting, we had no quorum therefore there was no need for a tape recorder to be used. “We had no compromise take place” Kelly said. Kelly said that Aaron had found out that there was a proposal that had passed at a SCC meeting that required taping of our meetings for the purpose of note collection, and that such a proposal had passed in Aug 2003. Aaron said that those who felt uncomfortable about being taped have to recognize that it was passed. Kelly feels that it was embarrassing to have a long discussion about this taping of the meeting at the SCC meeting. Kelly said that Barbara did not listen when people disagreed with her minutes. Barbara said that when she was able to hear the tape she was able to clarify what was actually said at the meetings. She then changed the notes accordingly. Barbara said she did revise the notes as three members of the EC wanted after she was able to clarify what was actually said using the tape. Barbara says that we have an obligation to have accurate minutes. Barbara said that whether we have a formal meeting or not it is her obligation to provide accurate minutes so that the organization will have a record of what transpired at both formal and non-formal meetings. Mike said that one of the reasons for recording the meetings was to tape the speakers that sometimes speak at the beginning of our SCC meetings so that they could be put on the web site as Mp3 files. Mike was hoping that out of the speech by a CCAG speaker on campaign finance reform(that took place at our last SCC meeting), would come some initiatives at our meeting. Mike said that even if it’s a non-meeting he did not understand what the problem with recording the speech was. Mike felt that the facilitation at the SCC meeting was poor and that the debate about turning off the tape machine went on too long(35Mins.). If there was an issue we should have discussed it for 10 minutes and then went to our speaker as the agenda required and discussed objections at another meeting in the future. Mike was also concerned that after the speaker, the meeting just ended and we did not even have reports, which even in a non-meeting should have taken place. Mike says he wants these meetings to change, he says he is open for any ideas. Judy said that even though she objected to taping at the SCC meeting(on behalf of others) she has no objection to taping now or in the future. Judy has some concerns about the storage of the tapes and wants to become familiar with the proposal that was passed two years ago. Judy said she appreciated the conversation that she had with Mike after the SCC meeting. Judy says that “she apologized to Kelly for her presentation” of the issue at the SCC meeting. Judy said that she was not articulate that day. Judy says that process is essential in all meetings and she would like some modification of the agenda format. Aaron said that he had just seen a copy of the revised minutes for the May meeting and he was happy that the changes that were requested from Barbara had been put into the revised minutes. Barbara asked that if there is a specific form for the agenda that people want then someone should forwarded it to her. Barbara says that the secretary under the rules has the ability to take minutes as they want to. Barbara says that she is trying to accommodate the wishes of this body. It was agreed that the SCC agenda should be put out on the list server one week before the SCC meeting. Barbara said that the discomfort levels that people were having with taping were described in non-specific ways so they could not be addressed. Barbara says that the best way to accurate notes at meetings is through having meetings taped. Barbara said that nobody is perfect and everybody hears different things. Barbara said she is sensitive to communication and people’s comfort levels. Barbara said that we have established processes that have been created by votes that allow the secretary to choose to use a tape as a tool to create accurate notes. Barbara said that we should follow through on these established rules. Barbara said that the taping of open meetings is a standard logical way to provide accurate minutes of discussions and votes taken at GPCT meetings. Aaron said that if people are concerned about taping they should address it though the SCC.
Agenda Item # 8(See Agenda):
Request for pre-order of Green pages was deferred to July SCC meeting because EC does not have the authority to allocate money(Tim McKee spoke about this agenda item).
Agenda Item # 7(See Agenda):
Kelly said that according to our by-laws we need a certain member of chapters at SCC meetings to have a quorum. Kelly said that we have 12 chapters. Kelly said that there are three chapters that have not attended the SCC meetings during the last two meetings and are on probation: Fairfield , New Britain, Northeast. Kelly says that our by-laws are vague, if you don’t attend for six months you can be declared inactive. If these three chapters do not attend the next meeting then we have only 8 chapters and can reach a quorum at the lower number (at six). Kelly said that we need to follow what our procedures say, to make chapters active or inactive. A proposed letter was passed out at the EC meeting warning chapters that they must attend SCC meetings for face inactive status. Judy agreed with this and said the letter should have more contact information and get a definite answer. Mike said that it is hard to say to people that you did not attend a meeting when that meeting was called a non-meeting. Mike said it was a technical point, but some chapters may raise that issue. By consensus the EC agreed to send out the letter.
Agenda Item # 4 (Impeach Bush)(See Agenda):
Tim Mc Kee spoke about the national GP stand on impeaching Bush. Tim said other state parties have acted on this. Aaron said that the EC has the authority to do this. By consensus the proposal passed the EC.
Agenda Item # 5(United Anti-War Movement)(See Agenda):
A copy of the proposal was passed around. Mike talked about the history or context of the split.
Justine spoke about some of the issues related to this proposal. By consensus the proposal passed the EC.
Agenda Item # 10(Repeal the “Patriot Act”)(See Agenda)
Mike explained why we should pass this and use it as an educational tool to make outreach. Barbara also spoke about the use of this resolution for educational and political purposes. By consensus the proposal passed the EC. It was suggested that all our proposals be put into press releases. Aaron said that anything we can do that is actual action is a good idea.
Agenda Item # 3 (SCC agenda for July)(See Agenda):
By consensus last months agenda will be continued for July. Judy said that Tom Sevigny has agreed to be the facilitator for the meeting. He was also suggested for a speaker for the next meeting. Mike said that Anna Lachiere was willing to speak about counter recruiting. Mike said that we should have a woman speak this time because at the last two meetings we had white males speak. Mike also suggested Tim McKee as facilitator. Aaron wanted to have Anna speak at the Aug meeting and said he would like Tom to speak at the next meeting about an op ed piece that was published recently. Barbara talked about what counter-recruiting was(going into schools and countering military recruiters) and she liked the idea of Anna speaking about this issue. Judy said that having speakers at our meeting was mushrooming and that we had a lot of other things to do at our meetings. Judy said that the EC should not pick the speakers. Mike said that it was the EC prerogative to pick the speakers. Mike said that the idea behind the speakers was to create an inspirational moment at meetings when people can feel a unity as to why we are here. Mike said that speakers have a significant role in focusing attention on topical issues and show where we can plug into to the activities of other groups and build alliances with those groups. He said that having speakers from CCAG and True Vote CT at our last two meetings were examples of this. Mike also said that he had a problem with Tom Sevigny facilitating the meeting, also being the speaker, and also giving a report from the National party. Mike said he did not have a problem with Tom but he said that we have talked about rotating the facilitator. Mike said Tom was asked to facilitate the meeting two months ago and at the last minute could not do it. Mike said Tom facilitated the last meeting. Mike said that it was time for someone else to facilitate the next meeting. Judy said she agreed with Mike. Judy said that it was up to the SCC to decide who should speak. Judy said that she did not have a problem with Tom not facilitating the July meeting and the Women’s caucus was actively trying to set up the first training session for modified concensus so more people can be facilitators.
Mike asked when the training session would take place. Judy said that the first training will be for facilitators that have already facilitated. Aaron said we should put out the names of the two speakers on the list servers. Barbara said that until the time chapters came forward with speakers the EC should decide who the speakers would be. Judy said she would put the names out on the list server for speakers and put forward a proposal to involve the SCC. Tim was given a moment to speak out since he had to leave early. Tim said that we should have speakers at the office. Tim said that EC should decide who speaks at the SCC meeting and if there is an overflow of speakers they should speak at the office as a fund raiser. Mike said that he has a concern about reports from our representatives to the national party.
Mike had a concern that we get more information about what is going on nationally either by e-mail or some other method. Tim said that there are two major things about how delegates will be picked to the national convention and a lot of minor things. Kelly suggested that we not have a speaker for the next meeting and any proposals for speakers should be directed to the SCC. Aaron said he agreed with Kelly. By consensus it was agreed that there should be no speaker. Judy said that Tom Sevigny should facilitate the next meeting. Aaron and Kelly agreed. Mike said that the EC should make the decision about speakers. Mike feels that we should get as much input as possible from the SCC on possible speakers but it is our responsibility to make a decision and create the agenda. Judy said that this could be put in a proposal. Aaron said we should talk about it on line. Portland was decided to be the location for the July 26th meeting and Tom Sevigny will be the facilitator. It was agreed that we would look at the minutes at the next meeting. A discussion took place about putting the notes on the web site.
Agenda Item # 6(Bank Fees)(See Agenda):
Mike wanted to know what the bank fees were. Judy said that the minutes from the EC meeting(#22) were wrong(we collect $350 but we pay $175 fees). Judy said that this was wrong. Mike said he heard Judy say this at the last meeting. Judy said the Bank fees(credit card) were $35 a month. Aaron says he remembers the figure of $175 being mentioned at the last EC meeting by Judy as our monthly bank fees. Judy said that maybe she gave an annual fee or misspoke. Judy said that were getting between $170 to $200 a month in credit card donations. Mike thanked Judy for sending him a copy of the people who donated as he requested. Mike asked that Judy give him the location of where the donators lived. Mike did not want their addresses but the town they lived in. Mike also asked for a copy of state report. Judy said that he should get it off the web site. Mike said that he has found that the numbers that appear on the website don’t always match the actual numbers submitted to the state. Barbara wanted to know why we still had the 800 number of GPCT ringing on to Tom Sivigny’s home number. Barbara wanted to know what the purpose of this number was since it does not appear on recent literature. Judy did not know and suggested Barbara ask Tom. Aaron said Tom occasionally gets contacts on this line and passes them on to chapters.
Kelly said we have not worked on a budget. Judy said Bob(Eaton) is working on a proposal for a budget.
Kelly wanted to know if he is the only one on the Budget committee. Judy did not know. Kelly did not know how much money would be involved in ordering the Green Pages Judy says she need receipts for in-kind donations. Judy said she would develop a form for in-kind donations.
Agenda item # 9 (National Proposals)(See Agenda):
Mike says there are proposals that are made to the national party in the name of the CT Green Party that affect substantive issues. Mike said that the latest one, that he has no opinion about, is about absentee balloting at the national Green Party meeting in OK. Mike says that he has gotten e-mails from several people on a national level saying that they saw that CT is supporting an absentee ballot proposal and has signed on as a endorser of this proposal. Mike said “I do not know what to tell these people because I have no knowledge of CT endorsing this proposal”. Mike asked if anybody has knowledge of this proposal. Judy said she had heard about it through the National Women’s caucus. Kelly asked who put this proposal in. Mike said Tom had put the proposal in. Kelly wanted to know why Tom had not brought or informed us of this proposal. Aaron said we should ask him about this. Mike asked what the procedure should be for GPCT to put forward national proposals or to sign on to them. Judy said we should ask him about this. Justine said that things move fast at the national level and that neither Tom nor Tim have been forwarding these things to us. Aaron said that we should discuss it on line. Kelly said that we should be informed about proposals put in on a national level in the name of the GPCT and we should address this through by-laws.
Agenda Item #2 (See Agenda):
Not discussed by consensus.
Observer comments. David Ionno(Hartford Chapter):
David commended everyone at the meeting. David said at the last state meeting in Middletown CT
“I had to leave early because I could trust what I would say”. David said that the Hartford chapter was referred to at the meeting as a “burden”. David said that “Frankly, we have done some good work out here and we have not been a burden on anybody”. David said he thought that people saying this were out of line. David said one person said that she did not know what we do in this office. David said “we put a thousand people in the street at the last peace march in Hartford” recently. The planning and creation of that demonstration came out of the Hartford GP office. David said that many other chapters have done good work. David said we should not give up despite differences of opinion. David said that he was glad that the EC had addressed some issues that will get cleared up. David said “I want to thank you for giving me a couple of minutes to speak at the EC meeting”.