Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Washington County Democrats Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

May Minutes

Washington County Democratic Party Meeting

May 11, 2011

Washington County Democratic Party met in regular session May 11, 2011, in the Washington Public Library. Sixteen members were present.

President Peter Morrison called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance. The April minutes had been sent by e-mail and posted onto the blog.

Treasurer Kay Ciha provided printed copies of the financial report for April 13 to May 11, 2011. Cash on hand as of April 13 was $962.31. Income during this period from membership dues was $145.00, so that increased the finances to $1,107.31. There was $100 of expenses for the fair booth, leaving a balance of of $1,007.31.

Pete said unless there were objections, the treasurer’s report would be filed for audit. There were no objections.

During the chairman’s report, Pete said he has been attempting to find people to chair committees. Some people are not even willing to serve on committees. This was one of the subjects discussed at the May 7 executive board meeting.

Ione read a poem dated June 3, 1962, dealing with solving problems of society with “disposable people.”

Old Business.

Pete had appointed Richard Gilmore and Terry Philips to represent the Democratic Party on the five-member committee. Three Republicans make up the rest of the committee. The districts won’t remain the same for the next decade because of population shifts. Richard said the redistricting rules meant they must go with census blocs. The three townships in the southern part of Washington County will probably be represented by Dave Heaton of Mount Pleasant. They will have a different ballot.

Pete has contacted some people for committee chairs, and none of them have gotten back to him. It is hoped that this will be completed by next month. In discussion, it was brought up that committee chairs and officers selected at the Caucuses should be attending meetings and taking an active part. On this evening, six of the 10 precinct chairs from the Caucus were present. Sign-up sheets were distributed for those present to indicate which committees they might be interested in serving on or even chairing.

A reminder was given about membership dues, due and payable as soon as possible. There are 13 households that have paid. Pete would like to have that number increased to 50.

Pete presented some price quotes on T-shirts from Marcus Fedler. Quantity pricing starts at 48. There is a slight difference in pricing, between white or natural-colored shirts, and colored shirts.

Louise moved that the shirts not be white, Mike Mitchell seconded, and motion carried.

Richard Gilmore offered his Redistricting Committee earnings of $10 an hour to the T-shirt purchasing fund. This was greeted with appreciative applause.

The pros and cons of various color combinations were discussed. We discussed whether to have the donkey in blue or black, and whether to have a donkey on both front and back of the shirts, or to have the front of the donkey on the front of the shirt and the back of the donkey on the back of the shirt. Kay Ciha moved that the shirts be a light gray with navy blue lettering stating “Washington County Democrats“ and a donkey on the front, the donkey to be mostly blue with red head and blue stars as on the Washington County Democrats letterhead logo. Steve Maxon seconded, and the motion carried.

Susan Mitchell moved that we order 48 shirts, Richard seconded, and the motion carried. A signup sheet was distributed for those present to indicate how many shirts and of what sizes to order.

We went over the survey evaluating our county organization. Items rated excellent or very good were: calendar of events updated regularly, e-mail lists being updated and used, party plans constituency group events, party hosts well-publicized annual events, party sends donor letters (we try), party maintains a regular budget with line items, etc.; Web site is frequently updated and all the current officers are listed, we have a Facebook and Twitter site (Kay updates Facebook), technology -- we did use technology in 2008 to quite a considerable degree and we have access to it. Areas that were not as strong included a rapid response network, and a local constituency group outreach. The survey asked how the IDP might help in our training, and what additional resources would be helpful to our county. Pete would like to determine what their position is regarding Washington County.

New Business.

Pete brought up the matter of a state-recommended biennial budget. He pointed out that we have a revised budget through June 30, 2011. If we have a biennial budget, we could review and revise it if needed at the end of the first year. Louise Frakes moved that we plan a two-year budget according to the constitution, and, at the end of the first year, we have the option of revising it. Kay seconded, and the motion carried. The budget will be planed from July 1 to June 30.

Membership development and recruitment, Pete stated, must be our No. 1 priority (“It pays dues for us to use”). Louise stressed the importance of personal contact, such as a telephone call, to invite people to come to meetings and share their talents. Everett reminded everyone that we need to endorse and encourage appropriate candidates, and endorse and respect the candidates. We also need to speak up proudly for our candidates.

Some other ideas for getting people involved were Coffee and Conversation times. Jefferson County Democrats hold a Coffee and Conversation every Saturday morning at the local HyVee Store, and people are welcome to come, discuss issues or just have a social hour. We could have more social activities. Louise suggested a book-and-discussion group that could meet during winter months.

Pete will try to see what is going on in Johnson County. An Obama campaign office will be developed there, maybe as early as September or October.

Pete expressed the hope that we can be effective and do a good job in the parades where we are represented. For the Ridiculous Day events, there could be an option of having a booth or a table and having some brochures available, etc. Evidently there is no charge for this.

Louise moved that we participate in Ridiculous Day, with JoAnn Zager handling the arrangements. Mike Mitchell seconded and motion carried. Steve Maxon and Doris Park will help with Ridiculous Day in Washington, as well as the event in Kalona. In Kalona, our involvement would be just with the parade and would not include having a table or a booth. Steve said he would head the parade organization at the Wellman July Fourth celebration, as well. Bob Spenner agreed to arrange our part in the Riverside TrekFest parade.

The next meeting will be June 8 at the Washington Public Library. Kay Ciha may provide refreshments.

Respectfully submitted,

Nan Stark, Secretary