May 21, 2009, Board Meeting Minutes

Meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Council of the Blind
May 21, 2009

The May 21, 2009 meeting of the ACB Board of Directors held by conference call was called to order at 5:10 p.m. pacific time. At the call of the roll, members present were Pomerantz, Charlson, Dillon, Lieberg, Gray, Colley, Farrow, Garrett, Ruschival, Sheehan, Thom, Trott, Vloedman and Edwards; staff present were Brunson and Waters. Campbell and Godino joined the meeting soon after the roll was called. Keith was absent.

Pomerantz reviewed the agenda; Gray added discussion of healthcare reform; Lieberg moved and Dillon seconded approval of the agenda and that motion carried.

Edwards moved and Tom seconded approval of the February 20-21 and March 11, 2009 ACB Midyear Board of Directors Meeting Minutes; the motion carried.

President's Report, Mitch Pomerantz. - A. Discussion Relative to Transferring $75,000 into Board Designated Reserves From Additional Distribution of the Plunkett Estate bequest. Colley moved that $50,000 be moved into reserves from the latest Plunkett Estate bequest; the motion was seconded by Ruschival. After discussion, Colley made a motion which Lieberg seconded, to table the original motion until the September Board Meeting, and that motion to table carried.

- B. ACB Radio update. Pomerantz reported that the transition has occurred and Larry Turnbull, a member of the Florida affiliate, is serving as Managing Director in a volunteer capacity. Lieberg, Edwards and Gray serve as a management team to assist Turnbull.

Direct Mail. The first mailing using Paul & Partners was sent this week. A report on the results will be forthcoming.

Ratification of Previous Email Vote regarding approval of 2008 auditor. Ruschival moved and Charlson seconded the ratification of the previous email vote to Approve Current Auditors for the 2008 Audit. That motion carried.

Charlson moved and Lieberg seconded ratification of a previous email vote regarding joining possible litigation with the Reading Rights Coalition and that motion carried. Gray moved that the Board support participation of staff in current litigation discussions and express our wish to participate in such litigation. The motion was seconded by several and carried.

Proposal by the ACB Parliamentarian to Amend Convention Standing Rule 7-b to wit: "Their voting membership status is verified by a member of the Board of Directors or an officer of an affiliate organization, ..." The ACB Parliamentarian proposes to amend by striking the word "an" and insert the word "their" between the words "of" and "affiliate" so the sentence reads: "Their voting membership status is verified by a member of the Board of Directors or an officer of their affiliate organization,..." Gray moved approval of this proposal; the motion was seconded by Ruschival and carried.

Pomerantz reported that ACB received a request from other disability groups to write a letter requesting the Obama Administration add the name of David Tatel to those under consideration for a future appointment to the United States Supreme Court. Tatel is blind and has been a presence in the judiciary system for many years. Lieberg agreed to find information on Tatel’S record regarding disability if possible, and report findings to the Board list.

Draft document for ACB Board members regarding expectations and duties. Charlson reported that a final package will be ready by July which will contain information needed by Board members, along with documents new Board members will find useful as they step into their new role.

Healthcare reform. Gray reported on a healthcare teleconference call dealing with reforms in which he participated. Comments are being sought by the Obama Administration, and Gray encouraged each Board member to submit comments regarding issues and concerns we as blind people face regarding healthcare. These comments should also include discussion of durable medical equipment and accessibility to medical devices.

Lieberg moved adjournment at 6:15 PM; Garrett seconded and the motion carried.

Marlaina Lieberg
Submitted: June 1, 2009
Approved: July 24, 2009