October 17, 2017 Meeting Minutes

President Joan Smith called the meeting to order via telephone at 12 Noon EDT. On the line from New Hampshire were Overseer Leroy Watson and Executive Committee member Sheri Watson and from DC Secretary Richard Weiss.  Gathered in the National Grange Building in Washington, DC were Treasurer Amanda Brozana Rios, Lady Assistant Steward Jessie Cope, Flora Stephanie Wilkins, National Grange Convention and Operations Director Stephanie Tiller, Sales, Benefits & Program Director Loretta Washington and National Grange Legislative Director Burton Eller.

September 19, 2017 Minutes

Due to Secretary Weiss’s absence from the September 19 meeting, there were no published minutes.  However, President Smith read from here meeting notes to sufficiently inform us on the September 19 proceedings.  Due to a lack of a quorum the September 19 agenda items requiring a vote were carried over to October 17.

Treasurer’s Report/Bills

Current Kile Fund balance is $44,576.78
Current Operating Fund balance is $823.00
One outstanding Kile Fund bill of $51.00 for shipping charges of Ag in the Classroom brochures. 

OLD BUSINESS

Ag in the Classroom

At an October 4 meeting in the Grange Building, Ag in the Classroom representatives from Utah and Virginia advised Potomac Grange members on teacher training methods.  There is some concern about being able to relate to urban teachers and students.  Potomac has received 400 educational handouts.  Consensus was to turn attention to Ag in the Classroom after the National Grange annual convention.

Amanda moved and Jessie seconded payment of the $51.00 shipping bill.  Motion passed.

Chiller Replacement and the Kile Fund

Replacement of the Grange Building chiller will cost over $900,000.  To date, major contributions to the Building Fund toward the replacement are $400,000 from the Washington State Grange, $100,000 from the Grange Foundation and a $25,000 loan from Grange Advocacy.

The question was raised as to whether Potomac Grange should also make a $25,000 loan or even make a gift of that amount.  Leroy pointed out that the Kile Fund’s restrictions would not allow a gift to the Building Fund.  He further pointed out that because of its small amount and dated restrictions, the Kile Fund is not very attractive to the bank holding it.  Accordingly, the bank has set a flat fee that, combined with Potomac’s expenditures, will probably deplete the fund in ten to twelve years.

The question was then raised as to whether there are sufficient funds to make a $25,000 loan and cover estimated future commitments.  Joan identified the following future commitments:

  • Fly-in scholarships – $3,500
  • Ag in the Classroom costs- $5,000
  • Contribution to the National Foundation California fire relief fund – $1,000

Given that the bank estimates the fund will generate approximately $9,500 a year in income and the almost $45,000 fund balance, consensus was that the fund can handle the $25,000 loan.  Accordingly, Leroy Watson moved that Potomac Grange #1 lend National Grange $25,000 for one year at an interest rate of 0.7% with the funds to be used toward the cooler replacement.  Cheri Watson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Leroy advised that the loan can be rolled over for more years should the need occur.

Gala

Discussion then turned to how Potomac might support the December 4 150th Anniversary Gala.  President Smith will be contributing items for the silent auction.  After discussing other alternatives Cheri Watson moved and Stephanie Tiller seconded that Potomac purchase a $500.00 “Friends” sponsorship which comes with two free tickets to the gala and 250 descriptive words of copy in the gala program.  The motion passed unanimously.  The copy will reference Potomac as the “Grange of the Founders” and the DC representative of Ag in the Classroom.

2017 Convention

President Smith announced that Grace Boatright will be unable to attend the 2017 Convention as Potomac’s Youth Ambassador.  Thus we will have no representative this year.  Grace will be eligible for Youth Ambassador in 2018.

NEW BUSINESS

E-Membership Resolution

Overseer Leroy Watson has proposed that Potomac Grange submit to the upcoming National Convention a resolution revising the current E-Membership.  Said resolution offers

E-Membership at $40.00 a year for individuals and $80.00 a year for families with individual dues income to be distributed $32.50 to the National Grange and $7.50 to the State Grange where the E-Member resides.  Family dues income to be distributed $65.00 to the National Grange and $15.00 to the State Grange.  The resolution includes benefits and conditions of E-Membership.

It was moved and seconded and passed to present the resolution to the National Convention.

There were no members sick or in distress and no further business.  The meeting adjourned.

There will not be a November meeting.