November 25, 2003, Board Meeting Minutes

American Council of the Blind
Board Meeting Conference Call
November 25, 2003

The meeting was called to order by President Chris Gray via telephone.

It was determined that Mr. Alan Beatty, Mr. Oral Miller and Ms. Donna Seliger were absent. Mr. Jim Olsen and Ms. Melanie Brunson were present.

President Gray reported that following the September 21 and 22, 2003 board meeting held in Washington, DC, which was recessed and was convened again on two occasions (October 15 and 19) in executive session with dates to be supplied by the Secretary to Mr. Duke for publication in the Braille Forum. At those meetings personnel matters were discussed and at the final meeting the resignation of Mr. Charlie Crawford was accepted by voice vote with two no votes and two absent.

Next, the discussion turned to the ACB budget. Previously the Budget Committee recommended that spending be kept at the 2003 level for 2004. However, Mr. Edwards, chair of the ACBES, reported to President Gray that their contribution would be $450,000 for 2004, with a $50,000 reduction from 2003.

Mr. Olsen reported that as of October ACB received $568 per month from the Monthly Monitory Support program. He estimated the amount to be $700 for November and $900 for December. Thus far in 2003 $6,771 has been contributed through the program.

After some discussion, Mr. Edwards suggested for budget purposes that a figure of $238,000 be used to determine expenditures for the first quarter of 2004, however, after further discussion, the following motion was made.

Motion 1: Mr. Edwards moved that expenditures for the first quarter of 2004 should not exceed $255,000. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 2: Mr. Edwards moved that the general revenue contribution to Floyd Qualls Scholarships be decreased by 50 percent. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 3: Mr. Edwards moved that ACB go forward in our conference calls with regard to the Legislative Seminar with the recommendation that we proceed to hold it, but that ACB not provide any subsidy this year. That would save us a net of $7,500. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 4: Mr. Edwards moved that the President of ACB be instructed by this Board to write a letter to Mr. Carl Augusto of the American Foundation for the Blind and Mr. Jim Gibbons from NIB requesting substantial contributions to subsidize the cost of the Legislative Seminar. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 5: Mr. Edwards moved that the President of the American Council of the Blind be instructed by this Board to send out a letter to affiliates no later than December 8, 2003 requesting their assistance to support ACB's revenue shortfall. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Motion 6: Mr. Edwards moved that this Board authorize the raising of the convention registration fee to $25 in advance and $35 on site. The motion carried on a role call vote with three dissenting votes. Those voting in favor were: Mr. Annunzio, Ms. Bazyn, Mr. Charlson, Mr. Edwards, Ms. Schmitt and Mr. Sheehan. Those opposed were: Dr. Bradley, Mr. Pomerantz and Ms. Ruschival.

Motion 7: Mr. Edwards moved that the Board instruct the Budget Committee to prepare a budget on the assumption that we will produce ten issues of the Braille Forum next year. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Motion 8: Mr. Charlson moved that the Budget Committee is also to draft with the understanding that there will not be a restoration of the two support staff positions that are currently vacant in FY 2004. The motion carried.

Motion 9: Mr. Edwards moved that there would be no reimbursement for expenses to attend any regularly scheduled board or convention meetings by ACB Board members in FY 2004. The motion carried on a voice vote with two dissenting votes.

President Gray announced that the MMS forms would be available online including the credit card portion.

Mr. Edwards announced that the Palm Beach, Florida group will have a fund raiser in January which he anticipates will bring in $8,000 to $9,000.

Mr. Pomerantz and Dr. Bradley will be available to help people fill out MMS forms during the Presidents' meeting in February.

Respectfully Submitted,
Donna Seliger, Secretary