2009 Convention Minutes
May 13, 2009
08:18 am called to order by Convention Chair John Ventura.
The Parade of Banners was introduced by Past President Benjamin Pappa, filling in for Chair Harold Bartelt. Past President Pappa then read a poem honoring veterans, which was followed by the Posting of the Colors by Lake Brantley High School Air Force ROTC. Past President Pappa then led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Invocation was preceded with the singing of God Bless America both led by Chaplain Maude R. Henderson.
The Keynote Address, a Basic Introduction to the NARFE Pre-Retirement Program, was presented by National Pre-Retirement Director Mary E. Pierson.
She explained how NARFE conducts and indirectly recruits through pre-retirement seminars. She described how and what is presented at our pre-retirement seminars. She gave suggestions on recruitment opportunities and described recent and upcoming pre-retirement events in Florida.
There followed a question and answer period.
Past President Ann Murray thanked Mary Pierson for her work.
Don Stewart asked Sergeant at Arms Chair Clyde Young to call in Todd Hoepker from NARFE Premier Federal Credit Union. Mr. Hoepker gave a short presentation on the credit union and the financial advisors from the United Nations Federal Credit Union who work in conjunction with NARFE PFCU. He mentioned that 4.08% yield for chapters and federation checking accounts were available with no minimum. There is also long term care insurance available, as well as Share Accounts.
The Formal Call To Order for the convention itself was at 9:31 am by President Donald Stewart.
Vice President Kenneth Carter introduced distinguished guests: Past National Treasurer Michael Hoyman, Past Federation Presidents James Glen Lambert, Ann Murray, Guy Havilland, David Whalen, and Benjamin Pappa.
President Stewart introduced NARFE Region III Vice President Robert Harrell, and his wife, Peggy.
Secretary William H. Leatham conducted the Roll Call of the Executive Board. All members were present.
This was followed by Opening Remarks by President Donald Stewart, who thanked everyone for their support and work, and thanked Don and Mary Pierson for coming.
The Credentials Committee Preliminary Report was given by Chair Sylvia Ventura, who reported that we had a quorum.
President Stewart called on Rules Committee Chair Dorothy Willis. She introduced her committee and presented draft rules and moved that they be accepted (Motion 2009-01).
Past President Pappa, properly seconded, (Motion 2009-02) moved that they be amended to change a sentence to strike out "first speaker" and insert "maker of the resolution". Passed.
Motion 2009-01 was passed as amended.
The Convention Program/Agenda was presented.
Motion 2009-03 by Executive Vice President Roepke to accept the agenda with the right to amend as necessary was properly seconded and passed.
The Minutes of the 2008 Convention were discussed. Secretary Leatham explained how the Minutes Committee works to review and approve Minutes. Minutes Chair Harold Bartelt and his committee reviewed and made corrections as needed and approved the minutes of the 2008 Convention in accord with the strong suggestion of Roberts Rules of Order.
Motion 2009-04 by Past President Pappa to waive the reading of minutes was properly seconded and passed.
Secretary William Leatham read the resignation of Harold Bartelt.
The elected Federation Officers gave brief verbal reports.
Executive Vice President Wallace Roepke reported that he had a delightful job, basically oversight of District Vice Presidents, helping these hardworking individuals in getting into the electronic age. He also has oversight of the Membership Chairs and Public Relations. Great chairs. Thanked Chairs Ed Fleck, Jim Greene, Bob Lemley, and Marc Harris.
Vice President Kenneth Carter reported on a very interesting 12-month oversight of Legislative and Service. He coordinated District meetings, and redid the Legislation statistics manual. Great automation Chair. He developed a new District Vice President manual. Thanked Service Officer Ledman.
Treasurer, Ruth Blackwell reported that the Federation is in very good financial shape; only two Chapters did not pay per their capita tax. She prepares and distributes to all officers monthly balance and financial reports. She is also the convention treasurer. She reminded chapters to do 990N by May 15.
Secretary William Leatham reported that all official actions of the Federation are posted on line shortly after being approved. He answered a question from Recruiting Chair Ed Fleck. Secretary Leatham stated he would be relying on the National database to keep the Federation web site up-to-date.
Outgoing President Donald Stewart thanked everyone for electing him. He stated that he loved the job. And that he was very appreciative that the job is for two years and out, bringing new blood to the position. He thanked Chapter 1405 officers, Angel Almodovar, Ron Olmsted, and Clyde Young for a 25% increase in members over the last 10 years. He stated that he is very proud of Chapter 1405.
He stated that when he went to his first convention, he was drafted as District Vice President, and received training from Harold Bartelt, who was a great mentor. The Federation has great elected and appointed officers who are all self starters, a terrific team, full of loyalty and devotion to NARFE. Everything that he has done came from Chapters or members, splitting membership into three parts came from Steve Shoub of 717. Beulah Greene was outstanding, got a lot of Dues Withholding. It was a pleasure and honor to have worked with you. Proud to be a retired federal employee.
He reported that he is running for NARFE Region III Vice President.
Motion 2009-05 Audit Reports were presented by Chair Larry Saunders, who moved that they be accepted. Passed.
10:30 am Recessed and 10:48 am Recalled to order
Hotel Facilitator, Past President Pappa apologized for hotel construction issues. He tried to straighten out all problems but is still scrounging around for a caucus room.
Constitution & Bylaws Resolutions Chair Sharon Bowman introduced committee, and (Motion 2009-06), who moved that resolution FB-001 be amended to insert the word "qualified" before Chapter.
Maker William Leatham accepted the amendment.
Orthur Meadors of Chapter 1405 asked whether the goal is to eliminate Nominating Committee and to conform to national. Maker Leatham answered yes.
Ed Fleck of Chapter1154 questioned where do candidates come from. Maker Leatham answered that the same as before, the nominating committee only has the role of screening of candidates nominated before the convention.
Chapter 1322 member Nick Morales asked whether the process changes bias in favor of nominations from the floor. Maker Leatham answered that it eliminates that bias.
Chapter 1984 member Idora Judge stated that she believes nominating committee should have a more active role. President Stewart recapped the experience of why the Nominating Committee was eliminated at national conventions.
Past President Pappa commented that the Nominating Committee has never gone out to seek candidates, but always was a screening process. There are only two requirements that the nominee be current with dues, and his/her Chapter be in good standing with the federation. He gave a history of the process. He explained that nominations are by Chapters; the list read by the Secretary, nominations are then made from the floor.
Chapter 2234 member Renee Braun asked whether we need a Nominating Committee to ensure there are no vacancies. President Stewart answered that it was never the Nominating Committee's role to search for candidates.
Bill Luecke of Chapter 1322 stated that he agrees with doing away with Nominating Committee, but all candidates should be required to submit nominations 40 days before the convention.
Motion 2009-07 by District Vice President Tony Torchia, properly seconded, called the question.
The convention recessed for lunch at 11:26 and was called to order at 1:05 PM. The motion (2009-07) to call the question passed.
FB-001 as amended passed.
Motion 2009-08 Past President Ann Murray amended to delete “next to” from article, seconded by Secretary.
Motion 2009-08 Passed.
Resolution FB-001 as amended. Passed.
FB-002 was reported by Sharon Bowman.
Secretary Leatham asked if the maker would accept a 3/5ths instead of a 2/3rds majority vote of the Executive Board to pass the Fiscal Policy. The maker, Past President Pappa, indicated that he was not in favor of the change.
Dorothy Willis of Chapter 662 questioned how direct must the link to campaigning be?
Orthur Meadors of Chapter 1405 spoke against the resolution, stating that he was concerned that it limits freedom of speech. The person cannot answer floor questions, etc., due to limitation.
Executive Vice President Wallace Roepke spoke against the resolution, stating that it was redundant. The President insures the legitimacy of the expense.
A Show of Hands was inconclusive
Motion 2009-09 Past President Pappa called for a Roll Call vote.
The President asked persons in favor of a Roll Call to rise, then those opposed. Ninety-three stood in favor to 58 against.
President Stewart thanked Committee Chair Bowman and her committee and dismissed the committee.
The Roll Call was conducted with the following results:
For: 291 Against: 408 Abstain: 0
Resolution FB-002 failed.
President Stewart thanked Ballot and Tellers Chair Braun and the committee.
Legislative Chair Treva Devers questioned the purpose of the preliminary Delegate Voting Strength totals. Secretary Leatham answered that the first tally was to establish whether there was a quorum.
General Resolutions Chair Darrell Chinn recognized his committee and introduced an amendment to Resolution NG-001. Motion 2009-10 The Committee proposed amendment both to clarify wording and to increase membership. The revised wording was:
"Be it resolved that:
Article I, Sec. 3, par D Spousal Membership: A member's spouse (a non-Federal employee or a non-federal retiree) may join at a 50% reduced membership fee and with restrictions (e.g. magazine subscription) if any as determined at the National Convention."
Bill Leucke of Chapter 1322: Question: What about those who are paying full membership? What will financial loss be to National?
District Vice President Colleen Welch: Question about parentheses: Can my spouse, a federal retiree, get a 50% membership? The Secretary reread the wording.
Nick Morana of Chapter 1322 questioned what provision was there for present members?
Chair Chinn stated that there was not sufficient space to address all possible contingencies. National would work those out.
Rose Judd of Chapter 1984 asked what if a federal annuitant dies, what happens to spousal membership?
Chair Chinn stated that the resolution cannot address everything.
District Vice President Torchia spoke in favor of getting more memberships. He stated that we are missing 93% of spouses.
Phyllis Bernstein of Chapter 1154 questioned: " If there is a separate amount for spouses, what limits on spousal membership?"
Chair Chinn answered, "Should be a full member".
Recruitment Chair Ed Fleck, maker of the resolution, commented that he made resolution vague, to allow for national to adjust as needed.
Pres. Stewart thanked committee for its efforts and discharged the committee.
Public Relations Chair Marc Harris gave his report. Public Relations activity is increasing in the state. We are making NARFE known. Face time is needed with media. Facts and figures work.
Martin Sjoberg of Palm Coast Chapter 1557 commented that they had invited their Congressman who said that he is not hearing from NARFE.
Automation Chair Diana Leatham: Reported on website, e-mail bulletin system and asked if we should expand our offerings.
Recruitment Chair Ed Fleck gave a brief report emphasizing always having recruiting materials in your possession.
Alzheimer's Chair Leonora Sicular spoke about drug-induced dementia, a reversible condition, from drug therapy.
Margaret Pappa, Zip Code Chair, reported that we are down to 76 chapters, and there are 348 unclaimed zip codes.
Credentials Committee Chair Sylvia Ventura gave an Interim Report.
Formal Resolutions Chair Past Federation President Ann S. Murray had none to present.
Nominating Committee Chair Ken Thomas thanked and introduced his committee. He presented and introduced the following nominations:
For President: Wallace Roepke
For Executive Vice President: Kenneth Carter
For Vice President: Richard Gerber, Robert Shaw
For Secretary: William Leatham
For Treasurer: Ruth Blackwell
President Stewart called for nominations from the floor for President:
Past President Pappa nominated Treva Devers for the office of President and gave her nominating speech.
Bill Leuke of Chapter 1322 rose to a Point of Privilege, stating that it was unfair for candidates to wait until the last day and have 8 minutes to talk about themselves. If running, they should so state.
Ms. Dever's nomination was seconded by District Vice President Colleen Welch, who gave a seconding speech.
President Stewart called for further nominations from floor. There were none.
Motion 2009-11 Executive Vice President Roepke moved that nominations for President be closed. Properly seconded. Passed.
President Stewart called for further nominations for Executive Vice President . There were none.
Motion 2009-12 Executive Vice President Roepke moved that nominations for Executive Vice President be closed. Properly seconded. Passed.
President Stewart called for floor nominations for Vice President . There were none.
Motion 2009-13 Executive Vice President Roepke moved that nominations for Vice President be closed. Properly seconded. Passed.
President Stewart called for floor nominations for Secretary. There were none.
Motion 2009-14 District Vice President Jane Lemley moved that nominations for Secretary be closed. Properly seconded. Passed.
President Stewart called for floor nominations for Treasurer. There were none.
Motion 2009-15 District Vice President Jane Lemley moved that nominations for Treasurer be closed. Properly seconded. Passed.
President Stewart declared that Kenneth Carter, William Leatham, and Ruth Blackwell were elected by acclamation as Executive Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
Candidate Speeches were given.
Executive Vice President Wallace Roepke gave his campaign speech emphasizing 18 years in NARFE had filled virtually every elected office. Promised to establish a Training Officer to work with Districts and Chapters.
Legislative Chair Treva Devers gave her presidential candidate speech.
Tom Mayo of Chapter 1263, made a speech in favor of Treva Devers.
Ellen Lazarus of Chapter 1088 spoke in favor of Mr. Roepke.
Betty Harris of Chapter 1190 spoke supporting Treva Devers.
Bill Luecke of Chapter 1322 spoke supporting Mr. Roepke.
President Stewart declared nominating speeches for President closed.
District Vice President Gerber gave his campaign statement, emphasized recruitment and the need to accommodate FERS retirees.
District Vice President Shaw gave his campaign presentation, emphasizing his history in NARFE.
Past President Pappa spoke in favor of Richard Gerber's candidacy.
Past President David Whelan spoke supporting Robert Shaw's candidacy.
Nick Morana of Chapter 1322 spoke in favor of Mr. Gerber.
Darrell Chinn of Chapter 1428 spoke in favor of Mr. Shaw.
President Stewart announced the time was up for Vice President campaign speeches.
Past President Pappa announced the location of district caucuses.
The convention recessed at 3: 55 pm.
The Secretary proceeded to the Registration Room to receive results of District caucuses in order that Ballots and Tellers Committee be advised of any need to conduct a District election.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Voting was conducted in the Registration Room between 7:00 am and 8:30 am under the leadership of Chair Michael Braun.
There followed a Memorial Service in memory of deceased members conducted by Chaplain Maude R. Henderson with District Vice President Lucette Chizik assisting. There have been 604 deaths in the Florida Federation during the last year.
At 09:58 am Call Back To Order by President Stewart.
Alzheimer's Chair Leonora Sicular reported a drawing winner of $104, to be John Reed of Chapter 1224.
Susan Ruble of Chapter 254 won the raffle.
Ms. Sicular called upon President Donald Stewart and Past President Benjamin Pappa and presented them with Certificates of Distinctive Service for their successful Alzheimer's Cruise fund raising.
Coalition Coordinator Herbert Sicular reported that he has developed a working agreement with Military Officers Association (MOA) to be presented June 5 for formal approval.
The Secretary reported the District caucus results:
The following were unopposed.
District 1 - Robert Shaw
District 2 - Richard A. Carroll
District 3 - Charles Shannon
District 4 - Colleen Welch
District 5 - Jane C. Lemley
District 6 - Anthony Torchia
District 7 - Angel Almodovar
District 8 - Sylvia Ventura
District 9 was contested. Formal report from Ballot and Tellers will follow shortly.
District 10 - NONE
District 11 - Sharon Lee Bowman
FEEA Chair Nancy Roepke reported that she had raised $1,032 for FEEA. We need to raise money because of disasters affecting many, including Floridians. She reported that Laura Temple, daughter of a Chapter 1223 member, won a scholarship.
Legislative Chair Treva Devers gave her report on extensive activities and meetings with congressional staff.
Service Officer John Ledman gave the Service Report.
President Stewart recounted many instances where Mr. Ledman was very helpful in solving members' problems.
Beulah Greene, Dues Withholding Chair thanked new members who had elected dues withholding. She is trying to get every Chapter involved. Eight Districts won $2,400. District 9 had the most entries with 37, 20 of which were from Chapter 1154 North Tampa. Fifty-0ne new members enrolled, half from District 8, which had 100% participation of chapters.
Chapter Assistance Program Chair, Past President David Whelan, stated that funds were available for recruitment, retention, and public relations. There were 29 requests representing 10 districts. District 11 had the most totaling $1,800. Twenty of 76 chapters applied. He received the last one last week, just under the deadline. Mr. Whelan explained the application process.
Ron Olsted of Chapter 1405 asked a question about the application form.
Past President David Whelan gave the Strategic Plan Committee report. The Strategic Planning Committee reviewed the organization and arrived at 100 recommendations.
James Greene, Retention Chair, thanked District 5 and Dave Blackwell in particular for their support of yesterday’s events. He acknowledged Co-Chair Bob Lemley, Joe Turner and Margie Morton. He reported that there are four districts with district retention chairs now. It has saved at least one Chapter. Enthusiasm is contagious.
Brenda Mobley volunteers to help with Operation Shoebox to send needed items to our troops overseas. Fifty thousand packages were sent to our troops overseas last year.
The Secretary reported election results:
For President, 324 for Treva Devers, 360 for Wally Roepke
For Vice President, 374 for Dick Gerber, 316 for Bob Shaw
For District 9 Vice President, 52 for Toni Mahig, 47 for Ken Thomas
(NB: The Ballot and Tellers Report is appended to the original of these minutes.)
Convention Chair John Ventura thanked his committee.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield conducted drawings for their door prizes.
Phyllis Bernstein of Chapter 1154 reported on the Third Annual Federation Alzheimer's Research Cruise out of Miami. The cruise will be January 17 – 24, 2010 on the Glory, a 110,000 ton cruise ship. Prices range from $672.25 - $782.25 - $942.25. This amount Includes a donation to Alzheimer's research. We had 40 cabins last year. The proceeds of complimentary cabins, less taxes, go to Alzheimer's research. She suggested attendees buy package trip insurance at reduced rates.
District Vice President Bob Shaw reported on the Hobby Show. He thanked Peggy Carey, Vice Chair, and Chapter 1305. He reported the judging results:
Best of Show-Peggy Carey
Best of Show-Art -Peggy Carey
Best of Show- Crafts -Lois "Sandy" Walker
Best of Show -Needlecraft -Mary Jo Hoyman
President Stewart declared the unopposed district vice president candidates were duly elected by acclamation.
District Vice President Gerber reported on the Hospitality Committee. He thanked committee members for their hard work over the years.
Nancy Roepke, FEEA Chair, thanked Jane Whalen and Evelyn Carter. The drawing winner or the Wii was Alice Harvey of Chapter 1154
Dues Withholding Chair Beulah Greene conducted the Dues Withholding drawings:
First Place-$200 – Chapter 2156 member Rebecca Uzebel
Second Place-$50 – Chapter 1154 member Harriet Tuch
Third Place-$50 –Chapter 817 member Gertrude Harris
Region III Vice President Robert Harrell spoke about the national Dues Referendum. The subject has been on convention agendas for almost 20 years. The same resolution at last year’s convention achieved a majority, but not the 2/3rds needed to pass. Since only 1,200 members attend the national convention, and only 70-80% of Chapters were represented, not everyone's voice was heard. It will need a 2/3rds affirmative vote.
District Vice President Charles Shannon asked about the impact on life and national only members.
Region III Vice President Robert Harrell answered that NARFE will keep promises to them.
Past President Pappa stated that he has been supporting the issue since 1996. The flaws in the current proposal are hard, fast numbers. Distribution percentages, not numbers, are needed, especially if there is a need to raise dues. We need to address the issue of per capita tax, which should be disallowed. He urged changes to the proposal.
Region III Vice President Robert Harrell will address the issues with National.
Lou Davis of Chapter 776 stated that chapter dues vary.
Mr. Harrell stated there is a range between $0 -$27 for chapter dues. Chapters with high dues may need to raise additional funds by various means. The average dues for Region III chapters is $4.60.
David Bernstein of Chapter 1154 believes NARFE should provide reduced spousal dues.
Mr. Harrell responded that there are presently no spousal members. Rather, there are members who are spouses. The membership turned down lower spouse dues.
District Vice President Richard A. Carroll asked how the vote would be conducted.
Mr. Harrell responded that the vote would be through chapters, with the secretary casting the ballot for the chapter. The number of members in the chapter will determine the number of chapter votes. There will be one vote for every 50 members.
Eleanor Aungst of Chapter 160 stated that her chapter has dues of $12. The chapter needs that much to meet expenses at this time.
Credentials Chair Sylvia Ventura gave her final report.
(NB: The corrected final credentials report signed by Convention Chair John Ventura reflecting a Delegate Voting Strength of 701 and attendance of 242 is appended to the original of these minutes.)
Recessed at 11:58 am. Recalled to order at 1:36 pm.
District Vice President Colleen Welch stated that if chapters want to refund a part of the dues, it would be very cumbersome on the Treasurer. She asked if Dues Withholding would get a discount.
Mr. Harrell replied that Dues Withholding gets a discount. Chapters can set their own additional dues.
Toni Mahig of Chapter 1154 stated that National needs to tighten their belt. Will dues accrual for 2 -3 year memberships be affected if referendum is not passed?
Mr. Harrell: Dues are voted by National conventions.
Ms. Mahig: What about saving money by eliminating paper reports?
Mr. Harrell: The option now exists on the interactive F-7 to cut out paper reports.
Dorothy Willis of Chapter 662 stated that paying dues gives us the right to complain so that our benefits are not cut. Defend your money and health benefits by paying dues.
Sharon Lee Bowman of Chapter 254 stated that Dues Withholding favors national, since savings on dues withholding are for national, as it affects mail costs, etc..
Mr. Harrell: We are sharing across the board. Dues withholding is the best retention tool.
District Vice President Charles Shannon inquired whether the new dues schedule would affect per capita tax, since the Federation share increases.
Mr. Harrell replied that there is no per capita tax stated in National By-Laws. This is up to Federations.
David Blackwell of Chapter 1525 asked whether it made sense to add "one person, one vote" to the referendum.
Mr. Harrell replied that we may eventually have one member/one vote, but not at the present time.
Robert Wehrli of Chapter 2247 inquired as to the amount of Dues Withholding that would be allocated for Federations.
Mr. Harrell: $3.60
Mr. Wehrli commented that the biggest cut was on Chapters.
District Vice President Torchia stated that this was a needed referendum and would strongly help with Dues Withholding.
Mr. Harrell requested everyone to get the information to Chapter members. We need your support. Vote your conscience.
President Stewart called upon Angel Almodovar and thanked him for his work editing the Program Book. Mr. Almodovar thanked Ben Pappa and Nilsa Almodovar for their help and stated that the Program Book Chair position is available for next year.
President Stewart thanked Past President Ben Pappa for all his help, ranging from the agenda to other necessary work to make the convention a success. He thanked Maude Henderson and Lucette Chizik for an impressive Memorial Service.
He then called upon Sergeant-at-Arms Chair Clyde Young to help with Awards. He started with a Special Award to Eleanor Sherman, Service Officer of the Year. Other Special Awards were to Past National Treasurer Michael B. Hoyman, Past NARFE Region II Vice President Samuel Girson, and Past National President Frank Atwater.
Most Dues Withholding enrollees was awarded to Toni Mahig.
Meritorious Dedication to NARFE Awards were presented to Wallace Roepke, Kenneth Carter, William Leatham, Ruth Blackwell, Angel Almodovar, David Blackwell, Treva Devers, Diana Leatham, Margaret Pappa, Nancy Roepke and Charles Shannon.
Meritorious Service Awards were presented to Richard Gerber, Robert Shaw and Marc Harris.
Dedicated Team Effort Awards were presented to Ruth and David Blackwell, Jane and Bob Lemley, Pauline and Tony Torchia.
Distinguished Service Awards were presented to James Greene and John Ventura.
Rookie of the Year Award went to Colleen Welch.
Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Harold Bartelt, Lucette Chizik, Maude Henderson, Benjamin Pappa, Herbert Sicular and Leonora Sicular.
President Stewart announced that there was a tie for Woman of the Year. The award was presented to both Beulah Greene and Sylvia Ventura.
President Stewart went on to state that there was also a tie for Man of the Year. The award was presented to Ed Fleck and John Ledman.
He thanked the Parliamentarian.
Incoming President Roepke and Vice President Kenneth Carter presented a tribute to outgoing President Stewart, in grateful appreciation for outstanding service and leadership.
Ballot and Tellers Chair Braun moved for the destruction of ballots. Passed.
President Stewart thanked everyone in attendance for their participation.
Chaplain Maude Henderson gave the Benediction.
President Stewart declared the convention adjourned at 2:52 pm.
William H. Leatham
Convention and Federation Secretary