by Charles S.P. Hodge

(Editor's Note: The American Council of the Blind constitution and bylaws require that a narrative summary of every board of directors meeting be prepared by the board of publications' ex officio representative to the board of directors. Upon approval of the minutes of this meeting by the board of directors, the minutes will be made available to the membership on the web site. Members who cannot access the minutes in that way may request assistance from the national office.)

President Chris Gray convened the ACB board of directors' meeting at 9:07 p.m. Eastern on May 23, 2007. Secretary Donna Seliger called the roll; all board members were present except for Ray Campbell, who joined later.

Brenda Dillon inquired about which functions at the upcoming convention board members should plan to attend. The answer was that board members should plan to attend all evening receptions if at all possible, and Carla Ruschival volunteered to send a list of all such receptions along with their dates and times to the board list. Paul Edwards moved to approve the minutes of the mid-year meeting. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

The board then turned its attention to the vehicle donation project, and David Trott, chairman of the resource development committee (RDC), reported that he believes ACB is in compliance with the standards used by the Vehicle Donation Processing Center (VDPC). Edwards moved that the board instruct appropriate staff to reconnect the ACB page on the VDPC's web site, that this reactivation should include the recommendation made to this board by the RDC, and that the Internet arrangement between the VDPC and ACB will be re-evaluated as part of the 2008 budget cycle in order to determine exactly how many transactions involving ACB have actually occurred. The motion carried on a voice vote. Trott concluded his report by informing the board that the RDC is working on a set of guidelines for ACB fundraising projects.

The board next turned its attention to Melanie Brunson's report. She informed the board that a new support staff person has been hired to work in the D.C. office. Natasha Janifer will commence her employment with ACB on May 29. Brunson also indicated that a replacement person for the position of legislative and governmental affairs director -- previously held by Day Al-Mohamed -- was close to being finalized, and she was hopeful that the new legislative and governmental affairs director would have started his/her employment with ACB prior to the convention.

Next on the agenda was a financial report from ACB's comptroller, Lane Waters. He indicated that he had sent by e-mail to board members the first quarter report on ACB's budget situation. On the income side, ACB had received more revenue than projected in the 2007 budget. On the expenditure side, Waters was pleased to report that ACB had spent less than had been anticipated in the 2007 budget.

Then Gray presented proposed changes to ACB's standing convention rules. The first change was in Standing Rule Five: "5. A person nominated more than one time shall be limited to two minutes." Ed Bradley moved to approve the wording change to Standing Rule Five. Edwards then moved to amend the proposed wording in Standing Rule Five, and to add an additional sentence, to read as follows: "... limited to one minute. It has been customary at ACB for individuals not to speak after their first nomination." The motion to amend the proposed wording of Standing Rule Five carried on a voice vote.

Gray then read the proposed wording for Standing Rule Two: "2. Convention program changes may be made as deemed necessary by the Chair or the Chair's appointee unless objected to by a member. (An objection by twenty-five (25) or more members would require debate and a majority vote to change the convention program.)" Edwards moved that changes to the Standing Rules for the convention be prepared by Gray in accordance with the discussion and suggestions made during this meeting. On a voice vote, the motion carried.

Carla Ruschival then discussed the possibility of instituting on an experimental basis the concept of a one-day pass whereby an individual could visit the exhibit hall. She suggested that such a one-day pass could be obtained at the registration desk for a fee of $5, and if the individual wanted a convention program, the fee would be $10. Edwards moved to approve the one-day pass concept for the upcoming convention, and that the convention coordinating committee report back to the board after the convention regarding the success of the one-day pass experiment. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Campbell then moved that the board go into executive session to discuss litigation matters. On a voice vote, the motion carried. After the executive session, Gray reported for the record that during the executive session, one motion had been made and passed by the board. That motion requested that the president and the executive director keep the board fully informed on a priority basis regarding any further developments in the litigation matter.

Brunson informed the board that the RDC was going to be holding a raffle to benefit "The Braille Forum" during the convention. First prize is $5,000 in cash, and the tickets will be sold for $50 apiece. The drawing will be held during the banquet. With no further business, the meeting ended at 11:10 p.m. Eastern.

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