BOD 3 February 2018 AP’s Hidden Hideaway, Macon Georgia
- At 11:10 am, Sgt at Arms Stephanie C called us to order. Following the Pledge and invocation from Dennis C work began.
- Roll Call reported that we had enough districts (who had submitted proper treasurer’s reports for the previous quarter ) present for a quorum. As there were no additions to the agenda as presented, discussion began.
- Reading of Secretary’s minutes of the November 2017 meeting was waived. They are available for perusal by contacting either the State Director or the Secretary.
- Treasurer reported that as of 31 January 2018, our checking account holds $20,919.71. Outstanding checks total $2338.85, leaving a balance of $18,500. Celeste L had transferred 397.63 from the Paypal account into the checking account. Our lobbiest has been paid, as have the business license (to the City of Austell). So have our credit cards as well as the recently-purchased PA system. Which means we are current on our bills. The ChilliDay at the Capital did pretty well, Thank you David. We spent only 416.46 to produce a successful day. Much chilli was consumed; no complaints were heard. The Rally and Ride in April flyers have been mailed. So far expenses for that are only 3649.87 of the 12K budgeted for the event. (Rock City Cycles paid for the Dune Buggy and the Motorcycle that are to be raffled off. The Drone and GoPro were purchased thru E-Bay) Our NEW State Trailer is now colorfully wrapped, has rails for tiedowns, and is Linex-ed and is painted. This cost of $4041.84 includes the trailer but does not include the cost for the wrapping, as Steve Murrin was billed, and paid for this directly. Spaces (sponsorship) can be purchased to advertise on the sides of the trailer : 12” X 12” on one side is $500; 6” X 4” on one side is $ 250. For advertising on both sides, those amounts are doubled.
- Sgt At Arms: Stephanie had no report other than to say she wants to be reelected.
- Secretary: A replacement will be required after the May 2018 meeting
- Membership: Ann C reported that we are growing. All cards have been printed as of yesterday. If problems arise, a member, or a DC should send a Problem Resolution Form to Membership Director. No problems can be solved if the information is not in writing. GAMS on Saturday gathered 5 new and 1 renewal member. 16 people volunteered their time on Saturday. Again, Ann stressed: If it is happening in your district, go there; set up a table and talk up ABATE.
- Communications: Post happenings to Newsletter@abatega.org. Post minutes to Facebook. Communicate with your members on social media. There is a space called Members & Friends on Facebook group. It is an open forum. Facebook likes continue to rise as does engagement.
- Activities: Frank Larko reported that he had called over 100 previous vendors, and got a lot of Out-of-business recordings. That is probably to be expected, as some of the lists are old. He handed out lots of flyers at GAMS, has 13 committed vendors, and recruited 18 more at GAMS. He is trying to screen the vendors, so there won’t be too many offering the same items. Four (4) food vendors; BBQ, SloMos, the Peanut Lady, and Kaufman’s Kitchen. Some of these actually do offer breakfast. His goal is to have 40 to 45 vendors, and ask them for raffle items. It was suggested that each person who enters the gate be asked for his county of domicile so we can better keep track of the areas of the state from which interested persons attend.
- Wayne O reported that one legislator is against the distracted driving legislation. Not sure the reason. He is in Cobb County area, so someone from that area could/should find out his reason.
- ChilliDay at the Capitol. It was a good day. Second time Wayne had been to the Capitol this session, as it is the second of two, and will be cleaning up what has been hanging over from last year.
- HB 401; this will go to rules committee. This one deals with ear buds, in-the-ear speakers, headphones or headsets.
- HB 673: This is Distracted Driving This has gone to the subcommittee. It has the full support of the House and Senate leadership. 3 Senators are in full support of this being totally hands free communication. Violators will receive 4 points initially, and will face progressively increasing fines. As it is right now, the Under 18 year old drivers are not allowed to use phones, but over 18 can use 1 swipe on, and 1 swipe off. Rep Carson is trying to get community service for violators.
- HB 490: Lane Filtering. Possibly the wrong representative is carrying the bill. It has been voted on 5 times, and has been put into the Judiciary committee ( where bills go to die).
- Pulling motorcycle trailer legislation: It should be in transportation Senator Henson has been contacted because one person who contacted him was pulling a trailer behind his motorcycle in one of the restricted lanes ( HOT, HOV, Express). The person was given a $ 2500 fine. The law states: Vehicles towing trailers are not allowed in those lanes. But the “Vehicle” is not specified. Hanson is trying to get Peach Pass acceptable for those lanes. The whole thing is on hold until GDOT can be reached, and some clarification established.
- HB 38 This is thru the House, went to Senate, and had the number changed to HB 138. This bill refers to honorary tags for Veterans. It is still in force. There are no calls for action on this. 2/3 of both the House and Senate are up for re-election this year. So maybe nothing will be done at all on this bill.
- Website: Mark Pruitt: The Object is to maintain what is there. A complete redesign has been undertaken. If something is not working, send a link describing the problem to Mark. He cannot fix something if he does not know it is broken. All DCs have been sent new passwords.
- State Director’s Report: In the first year as State Director, we have accomplished a lot:
- A financial accountability plan has been put in place; we have an new active treasurer
- The membership data base has been redone and streamlined
- We have had a successful Chili Day at the capitol
- Monthly BOD conference calls and monthly EOB conference calls have been initiated to maintain contact with those most closely connected to the members
- State staff is growing, we have added additional support positions
- Weve fixed a lot of IT issues. IT is being fixed as problems are being identified.
- A stance has been taken against “ colors” discrimination
- A successful statewide fundraising ride has been launched
- Awareness of ABATE has been raised via Facebook, and our awareness continues to grow around the state. ABATE is a lot more visible.
- District 3 was reopened and they are on fire. D11 changed leadership. D5 has grown significantly. D9 has staffed up and is working on safety issues.
- Activities : Frank L (Assistant):
- The Spring Swap Meet will be held for the second time at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Raffle prizes have been acquired (dune buggy, motorcycle, drone, go-pro camera) and tickets are available at reasonable prices ; ( $ 10 for one, 25 for 3)
- A new State Trailer has been purchased; it is tastefully “labeled”, and has space for sponsorship ads to be added.
- Ads are available for one side or both sides, and of 2 sizes: 12” X 12” or 6” X 4”. Prices are $ 500, or $ 250 respectively, per side.
- All activities planned, and all flyers advertising such activities must be approved by the State Activities Director, 120 days in advance of the activity. Remember: ABATE cannot sponsor any money-raising event that will benefit any individual or groups of individuals. We can undertake events to raise funds to benefit the public, but not to benefit individuals.
- Financial Accountability; All donors should be alerted to our 501c4 status. Which means we are NOT an organization to which donations may be made, and deductions taken.
- Membership fee changes; it has been proposed to change the annual membership fees from $30/50 to $20/40 (single/couple), and to add a three year membership for $ 50 for a single and 100 for a couple. Also proposed to add lifetime membership fees so that a single would be $ 350, a couple being $ 600.. An organizational fee would be added, with an annual membership being $ 100, but a 3 yr membership would be $ 250. After much discussion the motion to approve this new structure was voted down, unanimously.
- “No Colors” Issue; Do we, as ABATE, need a written policy that we do not support establishments that have a “No Colors” policy? A policy will be drafted for review.
- Clarification of positions at State Level:
- Executive Board consists of the Directors of ABATE ( State, Legislative, Membership, Communications, Activities) plus the Secretary, Treasurer , Sgt at Arms. These are voted positions (by the whole membership)
- State Operations Team (second leg) consists of the positions of the E Board plus the Office Manager, Webmaster, Assistant Directors and the Regional Directors. These nonvoted positions are filled by appointment of the State Director, with 2/3 approval from the EBoard.
- The third “leg” of the organization, the Board of Directors, consists of the Coordinators of each of the Districts.
- Sponsorship program: Rante is working on this to make it work with dealerships. D 11 is successful by”begging” for give-away items from dealerships in their area, but they see this as labor intensive. We would be more effective reviving the ABATE Business Sponsorship Program. D11 is piloting a revamped program.
- Sexual Harassment policy: this is still to be discussed, as our lawyer (Steve Murrin) is working on wordage for this. Policy will be done and reviewed by next BOD.
- Newsletter: District Secretaries should be sending notes of the meetings to the Newsletter@abatega.org by the end of the month And putting them also on Facebook. The newsletter will be published again once districts start submitting there news. A newsletter needs news!
- PayPal access; the password will be sent to each district by David, but it must be requested, as it is not something for public consumption.
- PA system: David has acquired one that Rante says will work. It is not portable, and was acquired for 1500 to 2000 less than its usual retail price. It will handle our Swap Meet needs, but we will need playlist approval to use commercially recorded music. Rante has found a portable unit for use at the BOD for $ 400 to $500; he has the specs for it, and will be asked to send the info to the next BOD.
- Communication: How can we connect to our people? Through the Website, Facebook and emails to individuals. We now have a new Webmaster who will answer questions. But he will need to know there are questions/problems before he can solve them. Send info you want posted to the firstname.lastname@example.org
- The BOD notes should be put onto the state website.
- The most common comment when signing up for membership is that there is no reply from the state regarding positive reception of monies. Maybe we should have a place for a second name on the paypal accounts, and send all this info to each district. Email addresses could be collected so information could be blasted to members and interested people. But, an opt out or unsubscribe option must be available, also.
- Events planned during State Events: NOT ALLOWED. If members chose not to go to state events, but go as individuals to other places, there is no conflict. But Districts are NOT ALLOWED to schedule events of their own during the times that known State events are planned (first Saturday of : February, May, August and November), Swap Meets (First weekend of April and others as planned and publicized). Setting up a membership table at events that others are running does not constitute a district event, nor does a regular ride. This is just good advertising for ABATE. However districts should not attend state events and not volunteer.
- Inexpensive ways to advertise ABATE: the 3-color cards are costly. The ABATE logo and mission statement could be duplicated from the WebSite or Facebook and printed on one side of a sheet of paper. A short list of the legislative agenda, or what has been accomplished could be printed on this same side. The other side could have an application with the address to which it should be mailed. These could be duplicated by individuals on ordinary paper, saving money for the state and districts.
- Intersection kits: These are designed to explain to non-riders the complexities that motorcyclists face, and why it is important to understand why we say: Be Aware, Notice Us. The ideal places for these to get exposure would be DUI schools, driving schools, and other places where beginning drivers are being trained.
- Mission Driven vs. Socially driven: We are not a social organization. We have a mission. We are a nonprofit organization. Not a social club. We are bound by a patch, but rather a mission.
- Increase the amount of money in checking accounts? The current ByLaws state that any moneys over $ 2000 (total of petty cash and checking) in a district account is to be turned over to the State Treasurer. A motion was made, seconded to raise the amount to $5000. Heated discussion followed.. Reasons for raising the amount included to be sure that a district would have enough in its account to cover events it is planning. By Laws specifies that each district submit a preliminary budget form with anticipated expenses 120 days before any event to the State Activities Director and Treasurer. It used to be that if the anticipated expenses are greater than the amount of money in a district checking account, money could be “borrowed” from the State. We cant do this anymore. At the end of any District event, a final report is to be submitted with the proper totals. At this time, 30% of the profits realized from the event must be sent to state. Much heated discussion followed this. If we are prevented from raising the limit by the IRS for a 501c4 organization is not clear. Money totals submitted on forms to the State Treasurer must be clearly labeled as to their purpose. (This subject will undoubtedly be discussed again). Voting in favor 4; voting against 5, so the motion failed.
- Junior ABATE; Because the program is not in the Bylaws, it must be made an entity before any further action can be taken on this. D 11 wants a State-Level Junior ABATE director, and separate district level financial accounts with a specified maximum amount in it for program use only. This will be discussed further.
- District 1 and 1West; they are sending postcards to expired members.
- District 3: Planning a ride (poker run) on 24 February to start and end at the clubhouse of Dead Sea Crew in Acworth. This is quite an honor, as this is the first time a B&W clubhouse has been opened to the riding public. This is a mandatory ride for the B&W club, and a sanctioned ride for District 3.
- District 7: They are trying to schedule more events to be held within the next month or so. Janet has been very ill with a nasty flue-type bug, and is slowly recovering. Elko is still tentatively on the schedule.
- District 11: Jim (Frocker) Stillman has surrounded himself with like-minded people. He has an Outreach Coordinator (Kevin Hutchins) who is literally going into the community spreading ABATE’s mission. The district has moved its meeting place to a Veteran-owned pub, where they are more welcome. Jim stressed that members need to be empowered to believe in the cause; he has many committees; they walk the walk ( I.e., they ride)
- District 13: 24 March is the Fire Ant Scrambler. For more information contact Dennis.
At the end of the May 2018 BOD meeting elections will be held. All Executive Board positions are open. Nominations must be made in writing (postal mail, e-mail will be accepted) before 31 March 2018.
- Tim Farmer of D 5 says another Chili Cookoff is coming 10 November 2018.
- Wayne Overholt reported that this year is the second year of the two-year cycle. So, whatever doesn’t get thru to the Cross-Over day will be dead. He has contacts and wants to bring back the dead red bill. But, Governor Deal has said that he “would not sign a bill with traffic lights in it”, but he is not allowed by law to run for the Governor’s office a third time. Wayne will work with his replacement.
Meeting adjourned at 3:20 pm
Respectfully submitted, Ann F Turner, Secretary.