JUNE 4, 1989

The Florida Council of the Blind Convention Business meeting was held on Sunday June 4, 1989 in the North Ballroom of The Jacksonville Hotel On The River Walk in Jacksonville, Florida.

The meeting was Called To Order by President, Paul Verner at 8:30 a.m. The Invocation was given by Tom Blue. The Salute To The Flag was led by Paul Verner.

The Roll Was Called by Membership Secretary, Charlie Rhein. Charlie called the name of each chapter, and the number of members according to his records. The Board member of each chapter responded with the number of delegates present. The same was done for special interest chapters. A count indicated that we indeed had a quorum.

Paul Verner asked that in the absence of the secretary, a volunteer read some hand-written minutes he had of last year’s convention business meeting. Sharon Youngs said she would read the minutes. With minor corrections, the minutes were accepted as corrected.

Paul Verner said he had informed the Board at the pre-convention board meeting, of Mary Jo Payton's decision to resign as secretary for health reasons. He wished to announce that Kathy Garcia had been appointed to serve as secretary for the remainder of Mary Jo's term; and this was approved by the Board.

The Treasurer's Report was given by Treasurer, Van Fulgham. Van said we were in a little better shape than we were last year as a result of $6,00.00 in income from wills and bequests. He said the 1988/89 budget was $38,325.00. As of June 1, 1989 we spent $24,544.00 which does not include any checks written for this convention. Our income which does not include raffle ticket sales, and some of the registration money was $30,299.00. Assets totaled $179,068.17 of which Van gave a complete breakdown. Van concluded his report by saying that copies of the report were at the head table for those who wanted one, and that a copy of the treasurer's report would be included in the secretary's minutes. The treasurer's report was accepted as read with no additions or corrections.

Paul Verner called for Committee Reports.

Budget and Finance: Nothing further to report by Van Fulgham.

Membership: Charlie Rhein said that two chapters had not sent in money or reports as of convention: FCB Parents, and the Pensacola chapter. He read the names of the five largest chapters in FCB. They are FCCLV, Broward, Mid-Florida, Sarasota, and RSVF. Charlie said this was one of the better years for getting membership information to him. He felt that the credit goes to Mr. and Mrs. Doug Hall for their idea that a tape be prepared for chapter use, which has been very helpful. Charlie was asked to tell what the Library Users meeting accomplished. He said he had reviewed the constitution and By-laws of the national organization. After doing so, he had second thoughts about affiliating with them. Annual dues are $7.00 and Charlie felt it would be hard to get people to join another group with dues that high. He is collecting the names of those who would be interested in updated information, as he feels it would be a good way to get our ideas across to the Library Of Congress. Charlie was asked how many members we now have in FCB. He said the last time he sent in a report to ACB, we had around 1,361 members. He was asked how many chapters we have this year. At last count, we had twenty-eight chapters and four special interest groups. The Gainesville chapter wanted to know how many other chapters pay their $50.00 yearly assessment. Charlie said that chapter assessments are sent to the treasurer who keeps a record of that and he would only be notified if a chapter had not. Van stated that most of our chapters send in more than $50.00 and that none were unpaid at this time.

Regionalization: Nothing to report by Charlie Rhein.

Education: No report by Patty Allen.

Public Education: No report by James Lamb.

Constitution and By-Laws: Zeena Hogsboro said the first proposed change in the constitution was in regard to Article III, b. First the article was read as it now appears in the constitution, then the proposed amendment was read. Paul Verner asked if there were any questions as to the proposed amendment. There were none. The Amendment to change Article III, b. carried, with no discussion. The second proposed change in the constitution was in regard to Article VIII. a. The article was read as it now appears in the constitution, and the proposed change was read. Paul Verner asked if there were any questions in regard to the proposed amendment. There were none. The Amendment to change Article VIII. a. carried, with no discussion. The third proposed change was in regard to Article V. e. in the By-Laws. The article was read as it now appears in the constitution, then the proposed amendment was also read. There were some questions as to the reason for this change. It was felt by some on the floor, that if people would devote more time to their local chapters, instead of special interest groups, the organization would be much larger than it is now. Paul Verner said we could not make people get involved with local chapters, and that many people who would otherwise not become members, do so through the special interest groups. He said the proposed change would not establish any new special interest chapters, but would allow a person to hold office in a local chapter, and a special interest group. Terry Blessing said that 99% of FCCLV members belong to a local chapter. She said without this change, FCCLV would not have delegates, Board members, or officers to represent them. The article was read again, and the proposed change was read again. Doug Hall said that the way it is now, it could force a person to choose between serving as an officer in a local chapter and a special interest chapter. There was concern from the floor that if a person were an officer in a chapter, and a special interest chapter or group; he would have too much voting power. That people would break up into cliques and power groups within the organization. Zeena stated that there were only four special interest groups as compared to the twenty-four local chapters we now have. The vote was called and the Amendment to Article V. e. of the By-Laws carried. The fourth change was in regard to Article II. a. in the By-Laws. The article was read as it now appears, and the proposed change or amendment was read. The intent of the Amendment was also stated. Again there was concern about one person having too much voting power. Doug Hall stated that this change would only clarify the wording already present. The original intent of the article would be the same he said. The vote was then called for, and the Amendment to Article II. a. of the By-Laws was adopted with no opposing votes. Four copies are attached.

Publications: No report was given by Carl McCoy, but Carl did want to thank Chick Crampton for doing such a fine job as Editor of the White Cane Bulletin. Chick said he appreciated the articles sent into him and that he just put them together. Chick reminded everyone that the deadline for sending articles in to be included in the White Cane Bulletin was the 25th of each month prior to publication.

FCBS: No report given by Carl McCoy at this time.

Employment: No report given by Paul Edwards at this time.

Resolutions: Paul Edwards said there were a total of eight resolutions which he would read. They number 8901, 8902, 8903, 8904, 8905, 8906, 8907, and 8908. Each one was read and approved by the FCB Convention Assembled on June 4, 1989. There were no opposing votes to these resolutions. Eight copies are attached.

ACB Report: Paul Edwards said the National Convention in Richmond, Virginia is going to be wonderful. The headquarters hotel was sold out by February. Paul hoped many members of FCB would be able to attend, as the program promised to be a good one. There was some sad news to report. Otis Stephens (President of ACB) will not seek re-election this year. Paul said even though he is First Vice-president, he will not seek the office of President} given the job responsibilities he has at this time. He said he hoped someone as qualified as Otis Stephens could be found to serve as President of ACB. Paul concluded his report by asking, if he might bring up a matter of concern to ACB. He said that in speaking to the Chairman of ACB's Scholarship Committee, he learned that several of the students were from small affiliates with very limited budgets. There is a strong possibility that some of these students would not be able to attend the convention without help. He asked if he might entertain a motion that FCB send $200.00 to M.J. Schmidt (Chairman of the ACB Scholarship Committee) for the expressed purpose of paying transportation costs of a scholarship winner. A motion was made that FCB send a flat $200.00 earmarked for travel expenses of a student to the national convention. With only minor discussion, the motion carried. Paul thanked the convention, and said without large affiliates like Florida, ACB would have had a much tougher time getting through its first financial crisis. Paul said he was proud to serve ACB and work in FCB with so many outstanding people.

Awards: In the absence of the Awards Committee Chairperson, Patty Allen read the names of the Award winners. A motion was made to include this in the secretary's report.

R. Henry P. Johnson - C. W. Marsella
Dolly Gamble - Linda Jacobson
Cooke Award - Charlie Rhein
Outstanding High School Senior - Rebecca D. Rose
White Cane Mobility Award - Jill Cushman

Van presented a check to Ruth Fillyaw of Tampa who was the fourth place winner of $200.00 in the FCB Raffle. Van was also looking for our first place winner, Harriett Hague of Ft. Pierce to present her with a $500.00 check. Van said this was the first time he was able to personally give such large checks to raffle ticket winners.

Raffle Winners for 1989
Harriett Hague from Ft. Pierce $500.00
Sherry McDowell from Orlando $400.00
Sheba Smith from Miami $300.00
Ruth Fillyaw from Tampa $200.00
Hilda Dowling from Daytona Beach $100.00

Paul Verner took a moment to congratulate Vince and Pat Mistretta on their first Wedding Anniversary. Paul Verner called on Carl McCoy to give details on the Scholarship Fund set up by DBS employees in the names of Donald H. and Mary Beth Wedewer. Carl said a fund had been established by DBS employees through payroll deduction in Mr. and Mrs. Wedewer's name at U.S.F. for $1,600.00 which will be given to FAER for Continuing Education Scholarships. Carl moved that FCB give $750.00 to the FAER Scholarship Fund at USF in the names of Donald H. and Mary Beth Wedewer, and that this be a commitment in the future. There was some discussion as to the review process for such a contribution being made each year. It was suggested that Carl make two separate motions. One for the concept, and one for the amount for this year. The original motion was withdrawn. A new motion was made that FCB give $750.00 this year towards the scholarship in the names of Mr. and Mrs. Wedewer. The motion carried. A second motion was made to establish a Scholarship Fund in the names of Donald H and Mary Beth Wedewer without any provision as to an amount. The motion carried. A third motion was made that FCB commit itself to support such a scholarship fund with contributions, to be determined at convention each year. The motion carried.

Site Selection: Paul Verner called on Vince Mistretta to conduct this part of the program and for Zeena to read the bids for the FCB 1990 Convention again. Vince said that Zeena would read the information on each bid and then a person from the chapter involved would have time to give any additional information and answer questions from the floor. The first bid came from Miami. Dates are June 1, 2, and 3rd. Room rates are $45.00 per day double, $11.00 additional per person, plus tax, Vince said that we could only accept bids from chapters of hotels that are Handicapped Accessible. The second bid was from West Palm Beach. No dates as yet. Meeting rooms to be resolved. Room rates $55.00 plus tax for double. Offer of a package deal which would include five meals (including the awards banquet). There was concern about the banquet being included in a package deal and Vince said the hotel would have to be willing to break out the banquet for us. Also there was a question about the room rates for triple, and quad but that information was not available. The third bid came from Daytona Beach. Daytona Beach Holiday Inn Surfside room rates are $68.00 double, plus tax. June 1st to the 3rd or June 8th through the 10th are open. Meeting rooms no charge. There were some questions about transportation to the hotel. After, discussion West Palm Beach withdrew its bid because they felt the hotel had not been very cooperative as far as rates, meeting rooms, etc. A vote was taken, and The Halifax Council of the Blind will host the 1990 FCB Convention at the Holiday Inn Surfside for the second week-end in June if it is available.

Paul Verner called for Unfinished Business.

Bill Farrell said he would like to make a point of information. He said it was his understanding that the R. Henry P. Johnson award was presented to a sighted person. He wished to know the reason this happened, or if the criteria had been changed. Paul Verner said the Awards Committee did not know if the person was blind or sighted because the letter nominating him did not say. Bill wanted to know how people knew the award had been given to a sighted person then, and how this could be kept from happening again. Paul said we would have to make sure this does not happen again, and he was sorry he did not have a better answer to give Bill.

Paul Verner said if there was no further unfinished business he would like to call for New Business.

Carl McCoy wished to talk about some ideas for fund-raising. He said FCB has used the raffle quite successfully for a number of years, but lately it seems as though sales have dropped off. He said we might think of the raffle in different terms if we had a really nice prize to offer, such as a luxury car, a cruise or vacation package. Instead of selling tickets as we now do, we could sell tickets for say $10.00 and not only make tickets for FCB chapters, but also to other organizations which serve the blind. He said that as the largest consumer organization of blind people in the state, we would also be helping these other service groups who are concerned about fund-raising as well. He said FCB could buy a car, or even have one donated to us in order to get this started. Even if we did buy a car, we would not have to have the money up front, but would have to be prepared to pay for it before it is actually given away. FCB would print up the tickets as we now do, and offer a 50/50 split to other organizations and local chapters which sell them. Carl said we need to think about other kinds of things which help blind people besides pay for Board members’ travel expenses, and publish The White Cane Bulletin. He said that these are important, and needed services, but that FCB ought to be able to do more for our members than that. Carl felt it would be easier to sell a $10.00 ticket for a luxury car than it would be to sell a dollar ticket for a much smaller prize. This could also be done with the $1.00 raffle or in its place. He asked that this be considered. There were many, many questions from the floor. The main question seemed to be whether FCB would make enough money from the sale of tickets to pay for a car. Carl said at one time we sold $15,000.00 worth of $1.00 tickets. Now we seem to be selling $12,000.00, $11,000.00, $10,000.00, and maybe even less than that this year. He said we seem to be losing steam for the $1.00 raffle and he felt he could sell five times as many tickets at $10.00 each for a luxury car. There were many more questions and comments from the floor. Debbie Hazelton made a motion that this matter be referred to the Finance Committee for further investigation. There was a second, and Paul Edwards made a friendly amendment to her motion that we give our approval in principle to this approach, but refer it to the Finance Committee for further study, and implementation. Paul Verner asked if that were agreeable to the motion maker, but Debbie felt it was not the same thing. Paul Edwards then moved to amend the motion; there was a second, and the vote was called for. A voice vote was taken, but did not satisfy the floor. The amendment to the motion was re-stated but the floor was not satisfied with the wording. Nancy Hall said she felt this was something, which needed investigation by a committee which would give a report at the Fall board meeting. Carl said that in defense of the raffle; it was a fairly simple idea and he really did not see what there was to be investigated. There were still more questions from the floor. Many were for the idea, but many wanted more time to consider the details. The vote on the amended motion was called for. Carl McCoy asked Paul Verner to decide the vote. Paul Verner said the amended motion had passed. There was a call for a roll-call vote instead of a voice vote. Paul Verner said he would prefer a standing vote if that were agreeable to the floor. A standing vote was taken, and the amended motion passed by a close 43 yes, to 32 no. There was discussion about the original motion. Debbie Hazelton wished to withdraw her motion, as did the second. Paul Edwards stated the amended motion could stand on its own. There was much discussion. Paul Edwards said the issue was whether the maker of a motion could withdraw after it had been amended and he felt it could not be withdrawn. Paul Verner asked if Debbie could accept that, but she said she could not; and there was again much discussion. Paul Verner said after a motion had been amended, it could be voted in or down. There was a call that the motion be read from the minutes. Debbie agreed to repeat her original motion for the floor. Paul Edwards also repeated his amendment to her motion. A vote was called for again, and the amended motion was passed again.

Paul Verner asked if there were any more New Business to come before the convention. There was none. He then thanked everyone for their help during his first year as President. He also thanked the Jacksonville chapter who did such a fine job in preparing for this year’s convention. He said that the post-convention Board meeting would be held directly after the business meeting in the North Ballroom. A motion was made to adjourn at 11:lO a.m.

Respectfully submitted by
Kathleen Garcia, Secretary/FCB