June 29, 2002, Pre-Convention Board Meeting Minutes

American Council of the Blind
Pre-Convention Board Meeting
June 29, 2002

The meeting was called to order by President Chris Gray at 8:40am at the Adams Mark Hotel in Houston, Texas.

Roll call was taken by the secretary, Ms. Donna Seliger. All officers and directors were present as well as several National Office staff and approximately 30 guests.

Prior to the beginning of the meeting, Mr. Sandy Sanderson presented President Gray with a gavel inscribed “American Council of the Blind President Mr. Chris Gray” from the Alaska Independent Blind.

The agenda was amended by some additions and deletions.

Motion 1: Mr. Jerry Annunzio moved to approve the amended agenda. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Annunzio announced that ACB pins were available in the Registration Office for purchase. A single pin will cost $3.00 and ten will cost $25.

Mr. Charlie Crawford announced that ACB luggage tags are also available at $5.00 each or three for $12.

Ms. Donna Seliger asked for approval of minutes:

Motion 2: Dr. Ed Bradley moved approval of the fall board meeting minutes. The motion carried.

Motion 3: Dr. Ed Bradley moved approval of the minutes from the mid-year board meeting in February, 2002. The motion carried.

Motion 4: Mr. Paul Edwards moved approval of the minutes taken during the conference call board meeting of March 17, 2002. The motion carried.

Motion 5: Dr. Ed Bradley moved to approve the minutes from the conference call board meeting on April 30, 2002. The motion carried.

Mr. Charles Hodge announced that the ACB history book has gone to the publisher, however a release date will most likely be near the end of the year. The price per book has not been set.

The convention site report was presented by Ms. Carla Ruschival. She stated she had received requests from 23 cities in 18 different states that are interested in hosting future ACB conventions.

Ms. Terry Butler from the Houston Adams Mark made a few comments of welcome to the group.

Ms. Ruschival stated that the room rate at the Westin Hotel in Pittsburgh will be $85 and in 2004, the hotel in Birmingham will be $75. She recommended that ACB stay in the $75 per night range in the future. Bids are currently under development for 2005 through 2009.

Three bids were offered: One for 2006 and 2008; 2006 and 2009 and 2006. The city of Atlanta, Georgia presented two separate bids and Jacksonville, Florida Adams Mark presented a bid.

Mr. Tom Heeter from the Adams Mark in Jacksonville presented a bid for the 2006 or 2008 ACB convention. Room rates would be $79 per night in 2006 and $82 per night in 2008. The sales tax is 13 percent.

Next, Ms. Leslie McGregor presented a bid from the Omni Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia with a rate of $84 in 2006 and $92 in 2009 plus 14 percent sales tax. The 2006 rate includes a $5,000 rebate back to ACB.

Ms. Cynthia Towers, convention coordinator, reported to the board about convention activities behind the scene.

The third bid came from the Marriott Marquis Atlanta and Mr. Michael Fletcher presented the bid for 2006 with a room rate of $83 and sales tax of 14 percent. The bid also includes an estimated $10,000 rebate to ACB.

Motion 6: Dr. Ed Bradley moved to accept the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia for 2006 and the Jacksonville, Florida bid for 2008.

Motion 7: Mr. Jerry Annunzio moved to divide the question. The motion carried.

Motion 6a: Dr. Bradley’s motion to accept the bid from the Marriott Marquis for 2006. The motion failed.

Dr. Bradley withdrew the remainder of his original motion.

Motion 8: Mr. Jerry Annunzio moved that the Jacksonville bid for 2006 be accepted. The motion carried.

Motion 9: Mr. Sanford Alexander moved to accept the Jacksonville bid for 2008.

Motion 10: Mr. Annunzio moved to table action on the bid for 2008 for possible discussion at the September board meeting. The motion carried.

President Gray gave a short report highlighting three items:

1. The internet radio is not ready for sale. A contract has not been signed to date. Smart Media has a booth in the exhibit hall. He encouraged Board members to stop by.

2. President Gray thanked Mr. Edwards for his hard work on voter access and the progress that has been made.

3. The time has come to make money accessible. Ms. Melanie Brunson reported to the group about the lawsuit asking for a court order that (1) the Treasury Department needs to make paper currency accessible and that it is in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Court was also asked to grant an injunction that the Treasury Department is no longer allowed to print inaccessible paper currency.

Motion 11: Mr. Edwards moved to accept the President’s report. The motion passed.

Mr. Oral Miller reported from the ad hoc committee on communications. The committee recommends the following:

1. Urge the ACB president to appoint one ACB staff member to serve as a member of the Public Relations Committee.

2. Urge the Board of Publications to appoint one of its members to serve as a member of the Public Relations Committee.

3. Authorize the Public Relations Committee to approve for distribution of press releases dealing with informative PR matters as distinguished from matters of ACB policy, legislation, advocacy and related matters.

4. Specify that the National Office staff members, in concurrence with the president, be authorized to prepare and approve the issuance of press releases dealing with publicity matters and other subjects outside the public relations area.

5. Direct the National Office to execute issuance of press releases.

6. Require that the staff member or members responsible for editing and distributing approved press releases possess or acquire appropriate training in media relations.

Motion 12: Mr. Brian Charlson moved to accept report from Mr. Miller. The motion passed unanimously.

Motion 13: Mr. Pomerantz moved to amend the motion to accept by calling for a report from a representative from the Board of Publications, Public Relations Committee and Constitution and By-Laws for discussion at the September board meeting. The motion failed.

Following the motion, Mr. Charlie Crawford stated that he felt the recommendation and any subsequent vote of the Board would be unconstitutional because the Board does not have the authority to tell the Board of Publications what to do or not do. He asked that his statement go on record.

Motion 14: Mr. Pomerantz moved that this proposed policy be referred to the Board of Publications, Public Relations Committee, the Constitution, By-Laws Committee and Membership Committee for their input and full discussion with their representative(s) at the fall board meeting. On a roll call vote the motion passed. Those voting for were: Mr. Alexander, Mr. Annunzio, Mr. Beatty, Mr. Charlson, Ms. Christensen, Ms. Grubb, Mr. Pomerantz and Mr. Sanderson. Those voting against were: Ms. Bazyn, Dr. Bradley, Mr. Edwards, Mr. Miller, Mr. Speicher, Ms. Schmitt and Ms. Seliger. The motion carried.

Motion 15: Mr. Edwards moved that the committee chaired by Dr. Otis Stevens that was set up to deal with the issue discussed in the previous motion be thanked and dissolved. The motion carried.

Motion 16: Mr. Edwards moved to defer the National Office staff report to the post-convention board meeting and that the post-convention board meeting be extended if necessary. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Charlie Crawford reported that $90,000 can be attributed to the National Office for fund raising.

President Gray adjourned the meeting at 12:55pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Donna Seliger, Secretary