by Ken Stewart

(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.)

The board of directors met twice in June via teleconference, once on June 4 at which meeting David Trott was absent, and again on June 24, at which meeting Chris Gray was absent. Staff present for both calls were Melanie Brunson and Lane Waters.

Pursuant to previous board direction, Brunson and Waters reported on the leases being negotiated for the Washington, D.C. and Minneapolis offices. The leases on the current properties will expire by the end of 2008. Brunson and Waters reviewed in detail the wording for each lease; the D.C. office would relocate to Arlington, Va. near the Court House Metro stop, and the Minneapolis office would move to Brooklyn Center, a suburb with bus service nearby. The board approved the Arlington lease with one member opposed, and the Brooklyn Center lease unanimously.

ACB Travel Agency: The board agreed that at this time, no contractual arrangements would be established for travel with any travel agency. However, Dimensions in Travel has offered to donate $25 from any travel package of $1,500 or more back to ACB when the traveler references ACB while making the booking. The board accepted this offer.

During the two-part telephonic meeting, the board also took care of several financial matters. The board approved a motion to develop a postal mail solicitation for monetary contributions which would highlight recent major accomplishments of the American Council of the Blind, including the successful litigation for more accessible U.S. paper currency.

The recommendation from Carla Ruschival, chair of the convention committee, to reduce convention registration fees by $5 received enthusiastic approval. The board also established a reimbursement policy in the amount of $200 for receipted expenses incurred by members of the board of directors and board of publications related to meeting attendance.

Due to higher expenses for relocating some of the ACBES stores to better markets, improving the look of all stores, and upgrading store equipment, the loan extended to ACBES was expanded from $100,000 to $150,000.

The board moved into executive session on June 4. When concluded, president Pomerantz reported that the board received an update on a case settlement resulting from structured negotiations. Also, the board approved a motion which authorizes ACB to initiate Section 508 litigation as recommended by the advocacy services committee, and take steps to engage counsel for that case.

On June 24, the board also moved to executive session. When that session concluded, Pomerantz reported that the office leases were finalized, and one personnel matter was discussed.

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