Part 4: What Do TheyHave To Hide?
Many if not all of you have been to an annual meeting of an organization and know generally what goes on during them.Â The Sheboygan County GOP Caucus is their annual meeting.
The format for most annual meetings is as follows:
Call the meeting to order.
- 1.Â Â Â Â Â Confirm a quorum is present to hold the meeting.
- 2.Â Â Â Â Â Reading of the minutes of last yearâ€™s meeting and approval (The reading is sometimes dispensed withÂ if written copies are provided). The reason for the minutes of the prior yearâ€™s meeting is to provide details of what was discussed, decided upon, and done last year.
- 3.Â Â Â Â Â Reading of theÂ treasurerâ€™s reportÂ and approval (The reading is sometimes dispensed withÂ if written copies are provided).
- 4.Â Â Â Â Â Committee Reports either verbal or written (These do not have to be approved).
- 5.Â Â Â Â Â Presentation and approval of a budget.
- 6.Â Â Â Â Â Continuing Business, often referred to asÂ “old business”.Â This could be the membership directing the governing body to do something such as, get estimates for a new boiler, check on ability to add additional staff, plan an additional event orÂ audit financial records.
- 7.Â Â Â Â Â New Business.Â These would be items similar to the above except, it is being brought to the board for action for theÂ first time.
- 8.Â Â Â Â Â Anything for the good of the organization.
- 9.Â Â Â Â Â Adjournment.
At the January 2012 Caucus a disturbing thing happened, the Chairperson rushed right past the reading of the minutes.Â Â No copies of the minutes were distributed to the members.Â Â When an objection was raised from the floor, during the discussion phase of the motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes a member with a question was ignored.Â Then after the dispensing of the reading of the minutes was approved, the Chair finally got around to recognizing the member wanting discussion about dispensing with the minutes.
Once again an â€œEliteâ€ â€œChosen oneâ€ took over the meeting without being recognized by Chair.Â Her response with a tone of obvious distain was,Â â€œWe are doing this to save timeâ€Â .Â
The Chair then asked if anyone, Â “even had a copy of the minutes from last years Â meeting”.
Â Incredible.Â A County Party Chairperson, addressing the membership at the organizations yearly caucus, Â did not even have a copy of the minutes!
The meeting continued, and after a few minutes, Â a single copy was found and given to the person objecting to the minutes being dispensed with.
Now, dispensing with the reading of the minutes was supposedly to “save time”,Â however, that was a little difficult to believe, given that it was a single sheet of 8 Â½â€ by 11â€ paper, containing Â 4 paragraphs of single spaced text, which extended down little more than half the page. It would have taken less than three minutes to read, hardly representing a huge “time saver”.
That is of course, unless you know, for example, Â “something” is missing from the minutes, and believe that this missing “thing”Â could, possibly,Â indicate that someone is trying to hide something, Â and that the lack of it being contained within the minutes, is likely to raise objections, and lengthy discussion from the floor when addressed.
Why to not read the minutes:
The board had no clue if the minutes were correct or accurate.
- 1.Â Â Â Â Â The board had no clue if there were omissions in the minutes.
- 2.Â Â Â Â Â The board would appear inept if questions were raised.
- 3.Â Â Â Â Â The board had things to hide.
Here is what was omitted from the minutes:
No mention of discussion and approval of a new constitution.
- 1.Â Â Â Â Â No mention of the rules having been suspended for,Â the voting of officers and board positions.
- 2.Â Â Â Â Â No mention ofÂ who ran for what office and board positions.
- 3.Â Â Â Â Â Last but most important,Â no mention of the financial audit of all treasurers records and accounts for the past (2) two yearsÂ as proposed, seconded, voted on, Â approved by a unanimous vote of the membership, and so ordered. Â Because this was voted on and approved by the membership, the board and the chair could not refuse, or chose for any reason, not to do this under the terms contained within the old or the new constitution.
Sheboygan County GOPÂ did not read the minutes, nor did the Sheboygan County GOP board acknowledge that an audit was in progress or completed.Â Because the audit request was from the membership, and not the â€œEliteâ€ â€œChosen Onesâ€Â it was disregarded, ignored swept under the rug, never to see the light of day ever again.Â Â
The members are asking, Why wasn’t the audit completed, or Â mentioned within the minutes? Why weren’t members given the opportunity to review the minutes in written form for accuracy and possible omissions? Why was something ordered, never completed?Â â€œWhat, if anything is being hidden from usâ€?Â