August 12, 2020 Meeting Minutes

President Joan C. Smith called the meeting to order via telephone at 12:03 p.m. EDT.  Also, on the call were Overseer Leroy Watson, Executive Committee member Cheri Watson, Secretary Richard Weiss, Steward Amanda Brozana Rios Treasure Jessie Cope, member David Watson of First Financial Group. Amanda’s guests Johanna Huber and Kennedy Quin, National Grange Programs Director Loreta Washington and Nation Grange Legislative Director Burton Eller.

The June 11, 2020 minutes were approved as read.

TREASURER’S REPORT

Kile Fund current balance at PNC Bank $54,171.53
This includes a quarterly deposit of $2,859.00

Operating Fund current balance at BB&T Bank$2,568.83
This after the 2nd quarter dues check had cleared

Leroy Watson inquired how the “$20 in 2020” matching funds from the Kile Fund to the Youth Development Fund are being tracked.  Right now, there appears to be no system.  After discussion, it was agreed to have National Grange Youth and Young Adult Director Mandy Bostwick match her list of contributors at the campaign’s October close against Potomac Grange’s membership list.

At the close of 2019, the Kile Fund balance at Bank of America was $326,864. Distributions for the year totaled $8,900 and fees totaled $5,900.   Leroy pointed out that over the years, the fund has declined from over $500, 000 to the current balance.  He is concerned that at the mandatory rates of distributions and fees, the fund will run out of money and that will be our contribution to future generations.  He recommended investing forty-five thousands of the fifty-four-thousand-dollar bank balance.

David Watson estimated First Financial Group’s fees would run between 1.00% to 1.25 %.  While the market is still volatile, David feels there will be long term growth.

Amanda encouraged investing a portion of our funds with FFG. After discussion, Treasurer Cope moved that $40,000 of the current Kile Fund bank balance be invested. Leroy Watson seconded, and the motion passed.  The invested funds will not be restricted and can be retrieved if needs arise.

NEW BUSINESS

2021 Mid-Atlantic Regional Leadership Conference

Potomac Grange has been asked to sponsor this conference in March 2021.  It would involve from 75 to 80 adult and 40 youth and junior participants from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia.

There was discussion as to what costs would be covered by Potomac Grange.  These could range anywhere from some hotel and meals to only meals and miscellaneous expenses, tour, metro, transportation.  A registration fee of twenty to twenty-five dollars would cover some cost.  We would not want to make it higher so as not to discourage participation.

Next question was lodging and meeting space.  In addition to a large meeting space, three break-out rooms would be required. Joan already has a current quote off $79.00 a night from Club Quarters.  It is not sure this will hold in March if COVID-19 is gone.  Also, Jessie said the rooms are small and she is not sure about bed arrangements.  It is not clear if Club Quarters has food service.  Burton mentioned that in the past we have prepared food in-house because of the high cost of hotel food.  Jessie suggested the 4-H Center.  She though buying their meal program might be required with the rooms.  Loretta stated that in addition to having everything we need, using the 4-H Center would help build relationships and lead to additional members.  Jessie warned against getting into up-front, non-refundable commitments.  Cheri Watson noted that the Coronavirus could still be around in March.  There was consensus to move the meeting to June 2021.

Amanda Rios moved we host the Mid-Atlantic Leadership Conference at the 4-H Center in June 2021.  Loretta Washington seconded the motion.  Jessie Cope moved to amend the motion by first exploring the impact of moving to June 2021 and having a recommendation on the hotel, meals, meeting space, etc. by August 31, 2020.  It was decided that we can vote on the recommendation by email.  The motion passed as amended.  Joan, Jessie and Amanda volunteered to be the recommendation committee.

July 2021 Revival -Sturgis, South Dakota

Potomac Grange has been asked to again sponsor the “Olympics” at this function.  The Olympics being a series of games and contests.  Last year’s costs ran around $2,400, mostly for several hundred winners’ ribbons.  Joan will look into what needs to be purchased for 2021 and get back with a cost.

RESOLUTIONS

Hallah Foods

Resolution to strike this resolution calling for certification of Hallah foods from the 2019 Journal of Proceedings passed.

Parental Leave

Resolution to amend this resolution in the 2019 Journal of Proceedings from the term “parental leave” to “family leave” passed.

Add Youth Member to the Executive Committee/Board of Directors

Jessie Cope moved to pass resolution to add a Grange member between the ages of 14 and 35 to the Grange Executive Committee/Board of Directors for a one-year term with a limit of three terms.

Richard Weiss moved to amend the motion to two-year terms with a limit of two terms.  Jessie concurred.  Discussion followed.  Amanda argued that one-year terms would allow greater youth participation.  The amendment failed and the motion passed with one-year terms.

Joan informed us that passed resolutions to divide “youth” into two age groups have been rejected by the Delegate body. It was also moved and passed to change “Granger” to “Member” in the resolution’s title.

Youth and Junior Grange Funding Assessments

The resolution calls for an annual assessment of $1.00 on Fraternal and e-mail memberships with .50 cents going to Youth and Young Adult activities and .50 cents going to Junior Grange activities.  Activities to be covered by the National Grange budget include Director, general program. Ambassador costs  plus, costs for participants in regional events continue to come from the Grange Foundation.  The resolution was approved with a word change from “events” to “regional conference.”

OTHER

A resolution asking National Grange to lobby for extending VA mortgage benefits to Reserve and National Guard members was not addressed.

A local Grange request to the National Grange and passed on to Potomac Grange for a $1,000.00 grant to purchase a spinning wheel was turned down by Potomac.

There were no members in need.

Due to time limitations the total agenda was not covered and may be continued by email.

The meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Weiss, Secretary

June 11, 2020 Meeting Minutes

President Joan Smith called the meeting to order via telephone at 12:05 EDT. Also, on the call were Overseer Leroy Watson, Executive Committee member Cheri Watson, Steward Amanda Brozana Rios, Treasurer Jessie Cope, Secretary Richard Weiss and National Grange Programs Director Loretta Washington.

The May 13, 2020 minutes were approved as read.

TREASURER’S REPORT

Operating Account at BB&T Bank-current balance $2761.33

There is one outstanding dues check which has not been deposited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Kile Fund Account at PNC Bank-current balance $52,354.87

All outstanding bills including Fly-in and DC Experience are paid up.

Papers for the 2019 Kile Fund year-end report have not yet been received from Bank of America. Jessie has given Joan the 2019 spread sheet. When completed, Joan will pass the report on to Leroy for co-signature.

YOUTH AND YOUTH ADULT – the Watsons reporting

Rachel Watson completed her school year on June 5 and is already doing summer studies. She is also gardening raising peppers and tomatoes to make salsa.

Joan encouraged contributions to the 20 for 20 Youth Foundation’s Ice Bucket Challenge (dump a bucket of ice over your head and send in $20.00.)

Later in the meeting Leroy Watson moved and Jessie Cope seconded that Potomac Grange #1 match all $20.00 contributions by its members up to the October 14 deadline.

GRANGE FOUNDATION – Joan reporting

481 tee shirts have been sold to raise funds for the foundation.

A photo of all ten Foundation members will run in Good Day Magazine and be posted on the National Grange website.

The Foundation will award ten $100.00 grants to Granges involved in COVID-19 community activities. The ten will be chosen randomly from the 98 entries.

OLD BUSINESS

National Ag in the Classroom – The March Summit Meeting has been moved to the Fall.  The June conference had over 800 virtual participants and the June 23 State meeting will be virtual.  Sarah Harward is the recent recipient of the Ag Advocate Award.

Grange Month Tenants Breakfast – After some discussion about rescheduling this event, Loretta Washington recommended that it be cancelled for the year. She pointed out that social distancing may last for some time and tenants likely would be hesitant to partake of a buffet. There was consensus to cancel.  Loretta also report that the Grange Building has lost two tenants to date.

NEW BUSINESS

National Convention – While the convention will still be held in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, only officers and delegates will participate, and it will be reduced to two days, Tuesday and Wednesday. Leroy pointed out that in addition to resolution business there will be an election of officers, a memorial service and budget review.

Many other activities will be held virtually at later dates.

It was moved and seconded that President Joan Smith be Potomac Grange #1’s delegate to the convention. The motion passed.

Joan suggested two potential resolutions for Potomac Grange. One recommending the elimination from the 2019 Policy Book of a resolution questioning the certification of foods meeting the definition as Hallah. She feels it appears prejudice toward Muslims.

The second being a resolution updating the term” parental leave” to “family leave” to come into compliance with new federal standards.

After some discussion in which Leroy pointed out that due to the shortness of the meeting, too many resolutions will be a problem. There was consensus to present only a resolution on the Hallah foods.

USPS

Joan encouraged those of us who feel the U.S. Postal Service should continue to be funded to write to our representatives.

There were no Good of the Order issues or Members in Need and the meeting adjourned at 1:25.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Weiss, Secretary

May 13, 2020 Meeting Minutes

Secretary Richard Weiss called the meeting to order via telephone at 12:15 p.m. EDT. Also, on the line were Overseer Leroy Watson, Executive Committee member Sheri Watson, National Grange Legislative Director Burton Eller, and, joining later, Potomac Grange Steward Amanda Brozana Rios.

LEGISLATIVE REPORT

Burton Eller reported that the House has passed a new $3.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. The bill has something for everybody including additional funds for cities and states. Leroy Watson asked if the bill included non-profits as small businesses needing aid. The bill does include non-profits, and Burton feels the Senate will not have concerns over this inclusion.

Burton does feel the Senate may be concerned with so much aid to cities and states so soon. The Senate also wants liability insurance for companies bringing back workers, e.g. meat packing plants, included in the bill. (A Reuters report later in the day reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared the bill “dead on arrival.”)

OTHER BUSINESS

  • Amanda joined the meeting and asked if we wanted to receive the Journal of Proceedings in digital form. Most said “yes.”
  • Leroy asked if Potomac has paid National the promised DC Experience payment. Weiss read from the April 11, 2020 minutes to confirm that the commitment is $2,000. Amanda will follow up with Mandy Bostwick to have her submit an invoice.

There was no further business. The meeting adjourned at 12:45

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Weiss, Secretary

April 11, 2020 Meeting Minutes

President Joan Smith called the meeting to order via telephone at 12:05 p.m. EDT. Also online were Overseer Leroy Watson, Executive Committee member Cheri Watson, Treasurer Jessie Cope, Secretary Richard Weiss, National Grange Legislative Director Burton Eller, National Grange Program Director Loretta Washington and National Grange Operations Coordinator Samantha Wilkins.

TREASURER’S REPORT

Operations Fund current balance at BB&T Bank $2,761.33
Includes two recent new dues deposits totaling $85.00
Kile Fund current balance at PNC Bank $52, 403.87
This includes a recent distribution from the Fund of $11,436.00

There was discussion regarding Potomac’s payment to National for the DC Experience. Potomac guaranteed to cover air fare and incidental travel expenses up to $800.00 for each of the two scholarship winners. Mandy Bostwick inquired whether the remaining $400.00 could be used for other Experience expenses. The discussion focused on what really did we commit to, $1,600 or $2,000? Review of the October 2019 minutes revealed that the motion stated a $2,000 total commitment to National. There was consensus to make that amount available.

MARCH 11, 2020 MEETING MINUTES

These minutes were included in the email meeting notice and did not require reading. The minutes were approved as written.

OLD BUSINESS

401K Plan – Leroy Watson presented this program at the recent Masters’ Meeting. He reported to us that plan implementation is on hold because many rural businesses have closed, and state conventions may be postponed due to COVID-19. There was some discussion on how to structure membership categories. Leroy also reported that at its April 1 meeting, the National Grange board focused on state meeting delays, not the 401K plan.

AG IN THE CLASSROOM – Joan Smith reported that by May 15 a decision will be made regarding the holding of this event scheduled for June.

DICTIONARY PROJECT

Joan has received the dictionaries. She and Amanda are working on which DC schools will receive dictionaries after back in session.

OTHER

T-Shirts – National Grange has “WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER” T-shirts for sale in its website store. The Grange ID on the shirt is not real prominent, so it should have appeal beyond the Grange. To date fifty shirts have been sold.

National Grange Videos – National Grange is running daily videos on its Face Book site. The videos cover a range of topics.

YOUTH

Rachel is on remote learning and doing a few exercises at home.

GRANGERS IN NEED OR DISTRESS

Harry Massey is suffering from brain disease and has been moved to a group home.

There was no further business and Joan adjourned the meeting at 1:00 p.m. Next meeting May 6 at 12 noon EDT.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Weiss, Secretary

March 11, 2020 Meeting Minutes

President Joan Smith called the meeting to order via telephone at approximately 12:15 P.M. EDT. Also on the line were Overseer Leroy Watson, Executive Committee member Cheri Watson, Secretary Richard Weiss and National Grange Program Director Loretta Washington. 

NEW BUSINESS

DC Experience Potomac

Grange provided $800.00 each for two Grange Youth to facilitate their participation in the National Grange DC Experience program. The funds helped cover air fare and incidentals. One participant was from Washington State, the other from Nevada. Each presented an essay on why they wanted to attend the event. Using her Ag in the Classroom materials, Joan did a cotton ginning project contest in which the participant getting the most seeds from a boll won an AMC movie ticket.

401K Program

At its 2019 convention the Nation Grange passed a resolution giving Granges authority to create 401K programs aimed at the ag community and associated small businesses. Leroy reviewed the program at the Masters’ Conference and is still gathering more input from the states. Masters’ Conference Both Leroy and Joan attended the Masters’ Conference near BWI airport in Maryland. They report that the staff workshops were very well done and appreciated by the participants. Joan pointed out that arranging the state breakout sessions by number of locals in a state resulted in topics and discussions that were very relevant.

Dictionary Project

Potomac Grange will again do the dictionary project. Joan and Jessie are looking at various dictionaries and identifying schools in each quadrant of the city.

YOUTH

Rachel Watson has finished her winter track program and is getting ready for the outdoor season. She runs hurdles and has recently taken up the pole vault.

There were no Grangers in need or distress and the meeting adjourned at 12:45.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Weiss, Secretary

February 12, 2020 Meeting Minutes

Due to the lack of a quorum, there was no official meeting.  The following members discussed the below issues: President Joan Smith, Treasurer Jessie Cope, Loretta Washington and Secretary Dick Weiss.

TREASURER REPORT

Operating Fund current balance at BB&T Bank – $2,749.93
Kile Fund current balance at PNC Bank – $52,167.06

KILE FUND FEES

Joan pointed out that Bank of America management fees on the fund’s 2019 income of approximately $9.600.00 were over $5,600.00, nearly 60%.  When this was brought to the bank’s attention, officials there said the fee would be cut in half.  It appears this has not happened, and Joan will consult with Leroy Watson on going back to the bank on this issue.

WASHINGTON DC EXPERIENCE TRAVEL EXPENSES

One of the participant’s total airline expense of $1,1012 includes her mother’s airfare. The question was how to apply the $800.00 travel expense limit.  There was consensus to apply it to the participants expenses only, which will include her airfare, hotel expense and incidentals and will likely reach the $800.00 limit.

APRIL 8 MEETING

On April 8 Potomac Grange will host its annual tenants’ breakfast to be followed by our monthly meeting at noon.  Joan will prepare chili for lunch.

Joan filled us in on the New Hampshire Fly-in experience and other activities for the remainder of the call.

Good of the Order/Sick or in Need

None currently.

There was no further business and the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Weiss, Secretary

January 8, 2020 Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 12:05 PM by the President, Joan C. Smith. Those in attendance were Jessie Cope, Amanda Brozana-Rios, Loretta Washington, Stephanie Wilkins, David Watson, Dick Weiss, Leroy Watson, Cheri Watson and Burton Eller.

Minutes of our December meeting were read by Worthy Secretary Dick Weiss and approved.

TREASURER REPORT

  • BB&T, $2,749.93, Operating account
  • Kyle Fund PNC, $53,110.80 balance. The PG#1 NG Revival Camp expenditures were $2,462.10 for the Olympics and the AITC Activities.

COMMITTEE REPORT SUMMARIES

Junior – No report     

Youth – Cheri and Leroy reported that all is going well and that Rachael Watson is now involved in traveling volleyball and many other HS activities. All members were urged to sign up for the Youth sponsored impromptu speaking contest for the Mid-Atlantic Leadership Conf to be held in NJ.

Ag-In-The-Classroom – Joan reported that our PG#1 annual state report had been completed and submitted on 4 Jan. We reported the on the four (4) workshops presented at the NG Revival Camp, the develop of a display board, briefings given at the 2019 Master’s Conf and the NJ Leadership Summit.

Community Service – Loretta reported that the WDC Youth Garden had contacted her and they will be a future guest of PG#1 to share with us our common interest in urban agriculture.

Legislative – Burton updated us on the USMCA Trade Agreement as well as other important issues for the Grange

OLD BUSINESS

  • PG#1 Resolution on “Multi-Employer 401k Program” – Leroy provided info that the he and Betsey were meeting with various financial providers seeking more information and options. The NG BoD will meet with the experts in the next 30 days
  • WWII Certifications Presented – Amanda reported that two of the PG#1 certificated were presented in December, one in WDC and one in Massachusetts. Both awardees will be featured in the next issue of “Good Day” magazine. A Quilt of Valor was requested by Amanda from their Hqs to be presented to Ruth Black Koczela, 98 yrs., in the near term. 
  • PG#1 Roster Update – updated info was provided to Stephanie for publications. Some committees were updated

NEW BUSINESS

  • NAITC Annual Dues Request, $300- motion by Amanda 2ndby Loretta to pay this bill and continue as the WDC state contact
  • Fly-In, New Hampshire – approved that Joan will attend this event and it meets the Kyle fund criteria for payment
  • Words for Thirds – discussion on this was held and decided to implement in the Fall of 2020. Received a box of various dictionaries for us to review and select an appropriate dictionary. Discussion also resulted in a Thesaurus be provided to each classroom.  Committee: Joan and Jessie
  • Mid-Atlantic Grange Leaders Conf (MAGLC) – held at the Holiday Inn, Swedesboro, NJ, March 20-22, info forthcoming.
  • NAITC Summit – 30 Mar-1 Apr in Kansas Cit, MO. Motion by Jessie, 2ndLeroy to provide approx. $700 from the Kyle fund to send Joan and Amanda.
  • Grange Month – Wednesday, 8 April, PG#1 to provide breakfast to the building tenants followed by a Chili Lunch regular meeting in the Conf Room. We may also provide an AITC workshop in the afternoon to tenants who can attend and PG#1 members.
  • 2020 National Convention – Valley Forge, PA

Good of the Order/Sick or in Need

None currently.

There was no further business and the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Weiss, Secretary

December 4, 2019 Meeting Minutes

President Joan Smith called the meeting to order at 1:20 p.m. in the Goss Conference Room of the National Grange building in Washington, DC. Participating in the meeting were Legislative Director Burton Eller, Overseer Leroy Watson, Steward Amanda Brozana Rios, Membership Director Stephanie Wilkins, Gatekeeper Fran Vitt, Secretary Richard Weiss, National Grange President Betsy Huber, National Grange Program Director Loretta Washington, National Grange Building Engineer Mujo Mrkonjic, Paul Weller, Peggy Johnson and Samantha Wilkins
 
Potomac Grange #1 was joined by the Grange Advocacy Board for a joint Christmas Luncheon and the Board members stayed for out PG#1 regular meeting.
 
The October 2, 2019 minutes were approved as published.
 

OLD BUSINESS

The following Potomac Grange #1 resolutions were approved by delegates of the 2019 National Grange Convention.
 
  • Federal Lifeline Program Extension-Appeal to the Federal Communications Commission to delay continuance of the Lifeline voice-only program and reconsider its 2016 reform order.
  • Multi-Employer 401k Program-using its sustaining membership category. National Grange to explore the formation of a multi-employer 401k program addressing retirement needs of small farms and rural businesses.

NEW BUSINESS

  • On the evening of our meeting, Joan and Amanda will present a Potomac Grange #1 WW11 certificate to 98-year-old Ruth Black Koczela of North West Washington.  She was a Navy Wave “Code Girl” and served her Naval career in Washington, DC. She is a member of Williamsburg Grange #225 (MA).
  • We will invite members of the National Arboretum Youth Garden to our February, 2020 meeting to give us an update on their projects.
  • Master’s Conference-To be held February 14-16, 2020 in Westminster, Maryland. Room expense will be $99.00 per night. Some meals will be covered. There will be other incidental expense. Richard Weiss moved that President Smith attend the conference representing Potomac Grange #1. Amanda Rios seconded the motion and it passed.
  • Mid-Atlantic Grange Leader’s Conference-To be hosted by New Jersey State Grange March 20-22, 2020.The conference will feature youth sing-a-song, public speaking and talent contests, workshops and a tour in the local area. Potomac Grange #1 may conduct an Ag in the Classroom workshop. It was moved and seconded that President Smith attend the conference representing Potomac Grange #1. The motion passed.
  • Agriculture in the Classroom Summit-To be held in Kansas City Missouri March 30-April 1, 2020. Transportation, hotel and some meals are covered by NAITC/USDA. Richard Weiss moved and Amanda Rios seconded that President Smith attend the conference representing Potomac Grange #1. The motion passed.
  • We will hold our annual Hqs building tenant’s breakfast in April as it is Grange Month. The last breakfast garnered two new members. Our additional 7 new members in 2019 resulted in Potomac having the highest percentage of new members versus all State Granges in 2019.

JUNIOR/YOUTH GRANGE

Rachel Watson has graduated to full Potomac Grange membership.

Good of the Order/Sick or in Need

None currently.

There was no further business and the meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Weiss, Secretary

October 2, 2019 Meeting Minutes

President Joan C. Smith called the meeting to order at 12:03 P.M. Participating in the meeting were Overseer Leroy Watson, Executive Committee member Cheri Watson, Legislative Director Burton Eller, Steward Amanda Brozana-Rios, Membership Director Stephanie Wilkins, Treasurer Jessie Cope, National Grange Program Director Loretta Washington, Secretary Richard Weiss and Peggy Johnson.

The September 11, 2019 minutes were approved as read.

TREASURER’S REPORT

First, President Smith reported that she responded to a National Grange 2018 Audit letter requesting status of Potomac Grange’s $25,000 loan to National toward a new cooling system. She confirmed that the loan had been paid on a monthly basis, with 2 months remaining as of Dec 31, 2018.   The loan has been paid in full as of March 2019.

Treasurer Jessie Cope reported the following:

Operating Fund at BB&T Bank is $2,838.93
Kile Fund balance at PNC Bank is $52,421.00

3rd Quarter Dues to be processed in October.

Two (2) new members joined PG#1, they are the NG Foundation Financial Managers

JUNIOR/YOUTH GRANGE

Rachel Watson is in a flora culture class at school.  She recently took 2nd place at the Deerfield New Hampshire fair for her floral arrangement.  She is Captain of her school’s volley-ball team.  She will turn 17 years old on the 4th of October.  All PG#1 members wish her a very Happy Birthday.

GRANGE REVIVAL

Joan C. Smith reported that the July Grange Revival held in Ozark, Arkansas had approximately 70 participants.  The Potomac contingent were the only ones living in tents. RVs or Cabins housed the other Grangers.

Potomac sponsored the 15 game Olympics, awarding a total of 225 medals.  Potomac Grange provided 4-Agriculture in the Classroom workshops.  One of the Workshops was “Farming in a Glove” contest seeing who could grow the largest plants during the 5-day Revival, a workshop on “How long does it take to Make a Pizza” which included a pizza lunch for all campers;  a and unique cotton boll seed ginning and wool spinning contests and the last Workshop on “What makes Corn Pop”.

Several towns people from three nearby communities expressed interest in the Grange and Amanda described how they could learn more through E Membership and then move up to creating a local Granges in Arkansas.  

Jessie Cope will make a record of Potomac Grange expenditures from the Grange Revival.

There is consensus to hold the Revival again 20-25 July 2021.  Four states are under consideration. They are Oklahoma, Nevada, Nebraska, and South Dakota with Sturgis, South Dakota being the likely choice.

OLD BUSINESS

2019 National Grange Convention – Joan will have National Grange Foundation Quilt raffle tickets available for convention.

Potomac Grange will not sponsor the FFAR Foster our Future Program in February 2020.

NEW BUSINESS

Resolutions: Two resolutions for presentation by Potomac Grange to National Convention delegates were discussed and voted upon.

  • Federal Lifeline Program Extension – Appeal to the Federal Communications Commission to delay discontinuance of the Lifeline voice-only program and reconsider its 2016 reform order. Presented by Burton Eller:  Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure they have the opportunities and security that phone service brings. Forty-two percent of Lifeline participants depend on voice-only service, which the FCC plans to phase out in 2020 and replace with more expensive services.  Burton seeks National Grange back-up of his efforts on this issue.

Discussion followed and it was moved and seconded to present this resolution to the delegates at the 2019 National Convention.  The motion passed.

  • Multi-Employer 401k Program – Using its sustaining membership category, National Grange explore the formation of a multi-employer 401K program addressing retirement needs of small farms and rural businesses. Participants would also have access to existing National Grange benefit programs and National Grange would create an education program to encourage full Grange membership. Presented by Leroy Watson. The Department of Labor issued new regulations allowing multiple small businesses to form non-profit associations that share administrative costs of 401K retirement programs, something that was difficult under past regulations. The Grange name has been associated with financial institutions such as mutual insurance companies and mutual banks serving rural America. Therefore, formation of a 401K management program for small rural employers is consistent with other National Grange services and benefit programs. For an annual fee, National Grange would manage administrative requirements and coordinate with the investment organization.

Extensive discussion followed. It was moved and passed to present this resolution to the delegates at the National Grange 2019 convention.

Membership Request for FFA Convention:  No action.

G.R.O.W. Club Request: There was consensus to supply the G.R.O.W. Club with items for its silent auction at the 2019 National Convention.  Joan and others to bring items to Convention.

Grange Grassroots Activism Scholarship: Under this scholarship program, Potomac Grange has been asked to grant two $800.00 scholarships for any Youth, Young Adult or Junior to attend the “Washington D.C. Experience,” a program including visits to the Hill, tours of the USDA headquarters and other DC highlights. These scholarships would replace Fly-In scholarships.  This caused considerable discussion.  Ultimately, Amanda Brozana-Rios moved for a one-time total amount of $2,000.00 to fund scholarships covering travel and miscellaneous expenses for this one-time March 2020 Youth and Junior event. .  The motion passed by a 4 to 2 vote with 3 abstentions.

2020 February Fly-in in New Hampshire: Amanda then moved to supply $1,600.00 for Fly-In scholarships. Cheri Watson moved to amend the amount to $2,000, $1600 for travel and $400 for other expenses.  The motion passed as amended.

There was no further business.  The meeting adjourned at 1:40 p.m.  No November meeting due to the NG Convention in Bloomsburg, Minnesota. 

The next meeting will be December 4 at noon.  This will be held in the Gross Conference Room of the National Grange Building and it will be a HAPPY BIRTHDAY PARTY TO CELEBRATE THE ACTUAL DAY THAT THE NATIONAL GRANGE WAS ORGANIZED. 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Weiss, Secretary

September 11, 2019 Meeting Minutes

Secretary Richard Weiss called the meeting to order at 12:12 p.m. via telephone from his home in Washington, DC.  Also on the line were Membership Director Stephanie Wilkins, Legislative Director Burton Eller, Steven Scothorn of First Financial Group and RetireSafe interns Jasmine Boyle and Morgan Bleazezak.

The May 8, 2019 minutes were approved as read.

OLD BUSINESS

Opioid Education Program – All four Grange Youth participants and Young Adult Director Mandy Bostwick were able to cover their own expenses to the Opioid

Education Conference in Dallas, Texas in July.  No funding from Grange Advocacy or Potomac Grange was required.  There will be a follow up conference in DC next February and we are prepared to assist with funding for that conference.  School schedules may pose a follow up conflict.

National Convention – Registration is going well. Loretta Washington and Pete Pompper are working on hotel arrangements.

There was no New Business and the meeting adjourned at 12:25 p.m.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Richard Weiss, Secretary