BRECA Steering Committee Meeting Minutes 7-26-16


DATE: July 26, 2016
PLACE:  Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, California
MEETING TYPE:  BRECA Steering Committee Meeting

Lori Christensen
Kelly Cohen
Bonnie Domeny
Jay Domeny
Rene Hamlin
Lynda Hammitt
Gay Jones
Jim Morgan

Andrea White

  1. Call to Order by Chair Rene Hamlin
  2. Minutes of June 28, 2016
    Bonnie Domeny made a motion to adopt the draft minutes for June 28, 2016.  Gay Jones seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.
  1. Reports
    1. Treasurer’s Report
      There was no treasurer’s report.
    2. CORPAC
      Gay Jones stated that the Capital Christian Center request for an electronic billboard will go before the Board of Supervisors on August 9 at 3:00 pm for a final decision.  It was requested that the BRECA membership be notified of the hearing.
  1. Old Business
    1. By-Laws Review Committee
      Ken Crawford stated that he had sent out draft 2 of the By-Laws.  He stated that he had received some comments back.  In particular, on the question of requiring 2/3s of the Steering Committee for a quorum, which some wanted, he had checked several books and other Community Associations, and most have a number.  Rene Hamlin commented that when other organizations have electronic voting, people can e-mail in their vote to the meeting and have it count.  Gay Jones stated that she would be concerned about such a procedure, as votes should be after discussion of the item, and people sometimes change their minds or new ideas arise during the discussion.  Bonnie Domeny stated that sometimes a vote is needed between two meetings.  Jim Morgan pointed out that, in the past, BRECA has held extra Steering Committee meetings between the regular meetings to vote on issues that need rapid action.  Gay noted that the Sacramento Metro Fire Board, the Community Planning and Advisory Commissions, and the Local Area Formation Commission all require the member to be present to vote.  She also noted that if members are not present for the discussion, it will be a poor quality discussion.Bonnie Domeny asked if we should go back to a 5 member quorum.  Jim Morgan stated that it should be “a majority” of the actual members of the Steering Committee.  Gay Jones noted that it is harder to get 2/3s than a majority.  Kelly Cohen stated that she had an issue with a simple majority, as it is not as representative of BRECA as 2/3s.  Jim Morgan pointed out that BRECA has had a problem in the past with achieving a quorum, even with 5.  With a higher standard (2/3s of 9 would be 6), the Steering Committee would find itself unable to act at crucial times.  Jim also pointed out that the statement in the By-Laws that the Steering Committee shall have 9 members is a problem: Even if there are 7 or 5 actual members, as far as the By-Laws are concerned there are 9.  He stated that the By-Laws should be changed to “up to 9” Steering Committee members.

      After some further discussion, a concensus was reached that the By-Laws should be revised to say there shall be “up to 9” Steering Committee members, and that a majority constitutes a quorum.  Kelly Cohen noted her dissent about the majority quorum.

      Ken stated that he was asked to put in a new position of membership secretary, but he forgot.  The membership secretary would separate out activities of the secretary having to do with membership renewals.  Jim Morgan pointed out that the existing By-Laws only require the Secretary to maintain a list of the members, but that the actual membership renewals can and have sometimes been done by someone else.  Thus it is not really necessary to change the By-Laws to create a position of membership secretary.  After some discussion, a consensus was reached to add the position of membership secretary to the By-Laws.

      Ken also stated that he has a problem with the situation that members cannot nominate themselves, which is implied by the existing By-Laws, and the proposal to add that as an explicit item in the By-Laws.  He stated that other organizations do not have to have someone else nominate a candidate.  However, some organizations have a nomination committee.  Lori Christensen commented that BRECA already allows write-in candidates.  Jim Morgan stated that by requiring nomination by someone else, BRECA gets a higher quality of candidates.  Ken declared that that is discrimination.  After some discussion, a consensus was reached to change the By-Laws so to allow members in good standing to nominate themselves.

      Bonnie Domeny stated that she would like to see voting by acclimation at the General Meeting if there are 9 or fewer candidates.  Jim Morgan stated that voting by acclimation at a meeting is something of a cross between a circus and a rubber stamp.  It is only appropriate when the outcome is not in doubt.  So, why not just make it automatic, that if there are 9 or fewer candidates, then they become the Steering Committee, and save the ballot and candidate statements?  Several people stated that they want to see ballots go out and be counted.  Jim Morgan pointed out that having a mail ballot facilitates having write-in candidates, which would not be feasible in either a vote by acclimation scenario nor an automatic 9 or fewer candidates become Steering Committee members scenario.  After some discussion, a consensus was reached to keep the printed ballot.

      In response to a question about deleted and added language in Article 6, Jim Morgan pointed out that the proposed revisions to the By-Laws have text that has been added, but is not shown as added in Articles 6 and 8.  This added text should have been underlined or italicized, but is shown as normal text.  This has the effect of misleading people about what is in the existing By-Laws and what is changed.  Also, a large block of text that is shown as strikeout at the beginning of Article 4 actually is part of the existing Article 6, and should have been shown there.

      Kelly Cohen raised a question about what happens if there is a tie for number 9 and 10 in the Steering Committee ballot count.  Gay Jones stated that it is common for such ties to be decided by lot.  After some discussion, a consensus was reached to add this to the revisions to the By-Laws.

      Kelly Cohen stated that she is concerned about the proposed Article 5.01(a) which states in part that “… the Chairperson shall have broad discretion in supervising the Steering Committee’s activities, affairs, and officers.”  She stated that this puts too much power in the hands of the Chairperson.  Ken Crawford stated that without the cited provision there would be chaos and the organization would run amok.  Lori Christensen pointed out that in many cases in the past the Chairperson has had little working knowledge of projects undertaken by committees or individuals, and thus would not really be able to “supervise” their activities.  Jim Morgan stated that he strongly agrees with Kelly on this issue.  He stated that “broad discretion” is an open invitation to favoritism and cronyism, and that “supervise” implies a command and control power.  Such activities are best left to the Steering Committee as a whole.  Gay Jones pointed out that the Steering Committee works together to accomplish objectives, and that the role of the Chairperson is to “facilitate” the Steering Committee coming to agreement or decision.  After some discussion, a consensus was reached to change the phrase “have broad discretion in supervising” to “facilitate.”

      At this point, it was agreed to table the discussion of proposed By-Laws revisions and continue the discussion at the next meeting.

    2. Old Business From the Floor
      There was no old business from the floor.
  1. New Business
    1. New Business From the Floor
      Kelly Cohen stated that she had been working on an article on BRECA history and that she wants access to the BRECA web site to add the article.  The question was raised of why not send it to Bonnie, and let her put it on the web site?  Kelly responded that she wants to do it herself.  Bonnie Domeny stated that she needs control over getting into the web site to prevent hackers and viruses from entering.  After some discussion there was general agreement that work should be sent to Bonnie for addition to the BRECA web site.  Kelly commented that she is just finding out that she does not have access.Gay Jones noted that the Great American River Clean Up is scheduled for Saturday, September 17, from 9 am to 12 noon.

      Gay Jones requested that if information is sent from BRECA to Nextdoor, that it also should be sent to the BRECA e-mail list.

      Kelly Cohen stated that yellow starthistle has come over to the landside toe of the levee in her area.  Gay Jones stated that she is working on getting help from the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency on starthistle.

  1. Meeting adjourned.

The next meeting will be a Steering Committee Meeting on Tuesday, August 23, 2016, at the Rancho Cordova Library.

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