A meeting of the Council of Administration (CoA) was held at the Eisenhower Inn, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Voting members of the CoA present were Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) Edward J. Krieser, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief (SVC-in-C) George Powell, Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief (JVC-in-C) Robert Grim, Past Commander-in-Chief (PC-in-C) Danny Wheeler, National Secretary Todd Shillington, National Treasurer James Pahl, National Quartermaster (QM) Elmer Atkinson, PC-in-C, and CoA members Kent Armstrong, Gary Gibson, and Donald Darby. Non-voting CoA members present were PC-in-C's Charles Corfman, Andrew Johnson, Alan Loomis, David R. Medert, Richard Orr, and Richard Schlenker. Attending as guests were Chief-of-Staff Ron Gill, PDC, Brother Timothy J. Schaible, candidate for the position of Executive Director, and Brother Ken Hershberger, PDC.
The meeting was opened by C-in-C Krieser. PC-in-C Schlenker delivered the invocation.
Secretary Shillington read the minutes of the CoA meeting of August 20, 2000. The minutes were approved. PC-in-C Corfman commented that he is working to add additional microphones to all future National Encampments.
Treasurer Pahl informed the CoA that he would soon be re-investing funds of the Order into higher interest accounts. Rates of return on investments were discussed.
Discussion took place concerning the report of Rebecca Pratt, the recorder and transcriptionist for National Encampments. Secretary Shillington to contact her, and clarify the National Organization's desires.
Council Member Armstrong suggested that Departments contact Edward J. Duffel, National Committee on Legislation Chairman, in order to find the most effective statutes, to coordinate efforts nationally.
On the recommendation of Secretary Shillington, SVC-in-C Powell moved, seconded by CoA Member Armstrong, that a set of instructions be written to direct Camp and Department Secretaries on the proper completion of Forms 27 and 35. These are to be mailed to all Secretaries, and posted on the Order's webpage. The motion was carried unanimously.
SVC-in-C Powell told the CoA that the Department of Massachusetts JVC informed him that Massachusetts has rededicated part of U.S. Route 6 to commemorate Korean War veterans. PC-in-C Loomis noted that there was Federal legislation passed around 1930, with each of the States through which Route 6 runs also passing resolutions designating it as The G.A.R. Highway. Discussion took place speculating as to whether legislation was passed in Massachusetts removing the G.A.R. Highway designation from Route 6.
PC-in-C Johnson raised the question of updating the software used by the Civil War Memorials Committee, as noted on the report of Civil War Memorials Chairman and CoA Member Donald Darby. Discussion took place concerning the non-compatibility of Microsoft Access 97, and Access 2000, the current Memorials application being based on the former. PC-in-C Orr expressed his idea that in the near future, the Order's website should be based on Cold Fusion, as opposed to the current HTML, which would allow interactive capabilities. Civil War Memorial and Graves Registration data could be entered directly from a user's web browser to a national database. C-in-C Krieser expressed his desire that the Communication and Technology Committee work with the Graves Registration and Civil War Memorials Committees to come up with a solution. PC-in-C Johnson indicated that action is needed on the issue. Council Member Armstrong suggested that Donald Darby, Richard Williams, PC-in-C Orr and PC-in-C Keith Harrison, Chairman of the Communication and Technology Committee work together to resolve the issues. Council Member Darby agreed to contact Brother Scott Baker, to determine if the code that he wrote for a Graves Registration program would be available to use for this project.
Brother Schaible informed the CoA that he would accept the terms offered in the contract of the Executive Director. Council Member Darby moved, seconded by PC-in-C Atkinson, that Timothy Schaible be retained as Executive Director, effective December 1, 2000. Motion carried.
PC-in-C Orr updated the CoA on accounts to be transferred to Treasurer Pahl for re-investment at higher rates of return.
After discussion of the matter, CoA Member Darby moved, seconded by PC-in-C Wheeler, that the C-in-C appoint a Special Committee to devise a plan to facilitate a Life Membership program, to report to the CoA by January 31, 2000. Before voting took place, further discussion took place, including comments from PC-in-C Wheeler stating that the Membership wants a Life Membership program. PC-in-C Orr provided the CoA with the history of the Life Membership program, explaining how, in its previous forms, it became financially unsound. Treasurer Pahl said questions to be answered by such a committee should include does the Order continue a Life Membership program, if so, how, and under what conditions? If not, why? The motion was carried.
Council Member Armstrong introduced, to be included in the record, an article from the October 2000 issue of The Civil War News, in which are described efforts to restore the G.A.R. Hall of George W. Perry Post 31, of Scituate, Massachusetts.
A motion was made by PC-in-C Wheeler, and seconded by Council Member Darby, to change the password to the CoA Electronic Boardroom, to grant access to incoming Executive Director Timothy Schaible. Motion carried. CoA Members then introduced themselves to Brother Schaible.
Treasurer Pahl moved to terminate Ken Richmond as Editor of the Banner, requiring him, within thirty days, to turn over all materials to the Publisher, make a final accounting, and to present a final bill for services. The motion was seconded by PC-in-C Wheeler, and carried.
PC-in-C Orr announced that the Proceedings for the 1998 National Encampment should be ready for publication in December 2000. Many updates were subsequently given, by PC-in-Cs, of the status of their respective Encampment Proceedings, with many nearing completion.
The subject of approval of a commemorative SVR medal, submitted by Department of Tennessee Commander Frank Harned, to be sold to raise funds for a marker at the tomb of an unknown soldier in Chattanooga, was referred to the Military Affairs Committee.
PC-in-C Atkinson moved to donate $300.00 from the interest of the permanent fund to assist in paying for the marker for the unknown soldier in Chattanooga. JVC-in-C Grim seconded the motion, which was carried.
Treasurer Pahl moved to decline an offer from United Society of Arms and Armour to produce a collector's edition firearm. The motion, seconded by SVC-in-C Powell, was carried.
PC-in-C Atkinson, Chairman of the National Committee on Remembrance Day, reported on the previous day's ceremonies. Despite a few small problems, most involved, including Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent John Latschar felt that it was the best program ever done in the park. PC-in-C Atkinson added that due to the amount of work involved, it would be helpful to have the appropriate committees in place at an earlier date. PC-in-C Johnson stated that there were still problems with the parade route, and that two long ceremonies following the parade are excessive.
The meeting was adjourned.
Respectfully submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty,
Todd A. Shillington