February 14, 2016

GPUS Steering Committee

Sunday, February 14, 2016 – 8:00 p.m. ET

a) Facilitator: Frank Young
b) To listen: 605-475-3299, code 332690, ref #153
c) Present: Audrey Clement, Sanda Everette (joined late), Jan Martell, Andrea Merida, Charles Ostdiek, Jeff Turner (joined briefly late in call), Tamar Yager, Bahram Zandi. Observer: Starlene Rankin
d) Agenda revisions: Treasurer’s Report delayed till Jeff can join the call; Andrea asked and all agreed to add a discussion on repairing dysfunctional voting page software; vote taken on considering Animal Rights Committee proposal for the queue even though it came in late – voting yes: Andrea, Charles, Tamar, Bahram; voting no: Audrey; abstain: Jan; absent: Sanda, Jeff – approved.


a) Earthflower logo registration proposal: Audrey presented the subcommittee’s recommendation to renew by April 1 for the cost of the $400 filing fee, filing to be done by LuAnne Kozma, who is a paralegal, in consultation with lawyer Ronald Citowski, who will consult pro bono. There was a brief discussion about the necessity to do this, and a vote was taken – voting yes: Audrey, Sanda, Jan, Andrea, Charles; voting no: Bahram; abstain: Tamar; absent: Jeff – approved.

b) Update on Credentials Committee – Sanda reported that she hadn’t been added to the new listserv, and so didn’t know what was happening. Jan said she had spoken with Michael Trudeau, and nothing was moving forward and they need to elect co-chairs and start their work. Sanda said she would contact David Doonan about being added to the list, and follow up.


a) Treasurer’s Report – Jeff made a brief report while traveling (this came later in the meeting, when he was able to call in): sent cash report – with about $9500 in the bank and upcoming expenses of about $3k, we have the funds to upgrade Nationbuilder at the yearly rate.

b) Fundraising Report – Tamar. Mailing going out Mar 2 should bring results in mid-April. Lea’s last e-blast very successful, several e-blasts due over next few weeks but are on hold over questions about paying writers. Phone banking ongoing – calling lapsed sustainers, also contacting 2012 donors by letter, then calling. Charles asked about increasing participation in FunCom – 96 volunteers through Nationbuilder, were they invited to FunCom meetings? Response rate has been poor – none responded to invitation to meeting, out of 150 emails detailing specific tasks, 3 replies. Starlene said they have gotten phone bankers from NB. Need to continue to invite, also reach out to NC members to join FunCom.


In the queue:
a) 809 – PNC Apportionment

Received for the queue:

a) SC Vacancy Election: David McCorquodale and Paul Pipkin have accepted their nominations and sent bios; discussion to begin 2-15. Floor Manager: Jan

b) Animal Rights Committee, rewritten – No findings. Discussion begins 2-22. Floor Manager: Charles.


a) Discussion: empowering the SC liaison overseeing the office to make decisions about expenditures for day-to-day operation – Andrea. Many instances of questioning Tamar’s supervision of Office Associate, expenditures for telephone service, bank deposit schedule, issuing debit card, etc. – ordinary expenditures, not hiring/firing decisions. Need to trust more, not micromanage. A formal proposal will be presented at the next meeting.

b) Proposal to upgrade Nationbuilder database – this is a mandatory upgrade if we want to continue using NB. The choice is between paying $439 monthly ($5268/yr) or in a lump sum of $3424/yr, a 35% discount. In place of the proposal on the agenda Tamar made a motion to pay for the upgrade at the yearly rate in the March billing. Approved by consensus.

c) Personnel Working Group compensation and evaluation plan – Tamar. The PWG is down from 5 members to 3, and Tamar is picking up a lot of Karen’s responsibilities. The decision to have a review of employee compensation and evaluate performance, to report back by the end of March, is more than the PWG can handle. Hard to know how long this would have to be deferred. To get it done soon, the PWG would have to be enlarged or if delay exceeds 3 months, the SC needs to take this on directly.

d) Review of Karen Young’s assignments for redistribution – Charles. Karen left a list of her ongoing responsibilities when she left, and Jan posted the current liaison assignments. Bahram is also listed as liaison to Outreach Committee; Sanda volunteered to take on Web Content duties; Andrea volunteered to liaise with Fundraising; Audrey volunteered for CCC. In 3 weeks we will have a new SC member, but redistribution can be done at any time.

e) Selection of new FinCom co-chair – Charles. There has been some confusion about who the co-chairs of the Finance Committee are. In fact, rules say that they are the Treasurer and the SC member who is designated to be bank signatory. Records show that Susan Chunco is still listed as bank signatory, so that needs to be changed. Audrey volunteered for this duty. Consensus was called for – there were no objections – approved by consensus. When the signatory power has been transferred, Audrey will be co-chair of Fincom, with Jeff.

f) FinCom liaison report on new expenses and budget limits – Charles. Fincom has approved expenses for Vonage phone for the office ($480/yr.=40/mo.), earthflower trade mark fee ($400/10yr.=3.33/mo.), and Nationbuilder upgrade ($3424/yr.=285.33/mo.); combined ($328.66/mo.), these expenses do not exceed the amount allowed without requiring a formal budget amendment ($1500/mo.).

g) Consideration of a debit card for use by Office Associate for minor office expenses – Tamar. Employees already have access to debit card number for making necessary purchases online, but a physical card would help in making ATM bank deposits and finding cheaper supplies at local stores. Tamar made a motion to approve issuing a debit card for Cynthia at the main office – approved by consensus.

h) Discussion on repairing dysfunctional voting page software – Andrea. There have been a lot of problems with the voting page program, which is obviously in need of work. Hugh Esco is the only one with knowledge of this program who is willing to do the work, but will expect to be paid. Andrea will submit a list of problems to Hugh on Wednesday Feb. 17 for an estimate, and urges everyone to get their issues in to her so they can be included. She will also ask Frank and Holly for their input. Deadline for complaints – Wed. 5pm Mountain Time.


TOTAL TIME: 149 minutes

Jan Martell