Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

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National Council of Administration

Meeting Minutes

13 August 2009

Louisville, KY


The Council of Administration meeting was opened by Commander-in-Chief David V. Medert at 8:30 pm. The opening prayer was offered by National Chaplain Jerome Kowalski, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Commander-in-Chief David Medert. The roll of Council of Administration was called, with the following recorded as present:


Voting Members Present

Commander-in-Chief David V. Medert
Council Member Eric Schmincke
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Leo F. Kennedy
Council Member Henry Shaw
Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief James Hanby
Council Member Perley Mellor
National Secretary Donald D. Palmer, Jr.
Council Member D. Brad Schall
National Treasurer Max L. Newman
Council Member Robert Petrovic
National Quartermaster Danny L. Wheeler
PCinC PCinC Charles Kuhn


Non-Voting Members Present

Executive Director David Demmy
PCinC Donald E. Darby
National Counselor Robert Grim
PCinC PCinC James B. Pahl
Washington DC Rep. Andrew Johnson
PCinC PCinC Richard L. Greenwalt
Banner Editor Stephen A. Michaels
PCinC PCinC Edward Krieser
PCinC Richard D. Orr
PCinC Alan R. Loomis
> PCinC Bud Atkinson
PCinC Charles Corfman


Guests of the Council of Administration

National Chaplain Jerome Kowalski
John McNulty – DC, Dept. of PA
National Webmaster Ken Freshley
Bill Vieira – PDC, Dept. of RI
Ron Gill – PDC, Dept. of Indiana

Old Business

Commander-in-Chief David Medert requested an update on the printer ordered for the National Quartermaster. National Quartermaster Danny Wheeler reported that he has received the printer and has printed 300 Eagle Scout certificates and the print quality is very good.


New Business

Commander-in Chief Medert initiated a discussion on requests for Monument funds for past projects. Inquiries were made regarding the potential for receiving funds from National for projects that have already been completed in an attempt to reimburse Camp/Department treasuries. PCinC Richard Orr noted that the policy does not allow this. National Treasurer Max Newman noted that there is over $11,000 in the Civil War Monuments account and the committee can distribute the funds to those Camps/Departments that apply this year.

Commander-in-Chief Medert mentioned that the National Quartermaster is now selling Camp and Department flags and he tasked the National Quartermaster to place an ad in the BANNER along with pricing information. PCinC Charles Corfman offered to sell the 22 remaining SUVCW emblems Given Camp #51 had made for flags to the National Quartermaster to help in flag production. The Council of Administration recommended that the quality of the flags produced by the chosen supplier be evaluated before a decision is made to purchase the 22 remaining emblems. Motion by National Quartermaster Danny Wheeler, second by Council Member Eric Schmincke to allow PCinC Corfman to sell the remaining emblems if the National Quartermaster elects not to purchase them. Motion passed.

Commander-in-Chief Medert opened a discussion on tasking a National officer with maintaining the originals of forms submitted by Departments, including Department By-Laws. Options discussed included the Executive Director and the National Secretary. The consensus of the Council was that the Executive Director was the better option due to his proximity to National Headquarters. National Secretary Don Palmer noted that he had only a few copies of Department By-Laws in his files, which was also the case with the Executive Director’s files. National Secretary Palmer also noted that he received several inquiries from Departments looking to find copies of their By-Laws. Given this situation, there is a desire to have copies of the latest versions of all Department By-Laws on file at National. PCinC Richard Orr expressed his opinion that the Commander-in-Chief should issue a General Order requiring all Departments to submit copies of By-Laws to National by a certain date. Commander-in-Chief Medert mentioned that he will task all Departments to send full copies of By-Laws to the incoming Commander-in-Chief.

The Commander-in-Chief mentioned that the Veterans Administration is now requiring copies of the veteran’s records before they would process requests for replacement headstones. National Quartermaster Danny Wheeler confirmed that we can no longer make a request for a new headstone without original documentation. PCinC James Pahl recommended that Danny invite a speaker to give a presentation on the new process and acceptable documentation at the November Council of Administration meeting. The Commander-in-Chief requested that PCinC Charles Kuhn investigate the possibility of having a Veterans Administration representative from Gettysburg attend as well.

Commander-in-Chief Medert noted that PCinC Richard Orr has expressed interest in stepping in as National Treasurer for the next year under the condition that the SUVCW hire a bookkeeper or accountant to handle the day-to-day work. The cost to hire a bookkeeper would range anywhere from $12,000 - $15,000 per year. It was also noted that the SUVCW would still need to pay an auditor. PCinC Don Darby inquired about the use of reserve funds for one year to see if the arrangement works. Motion by National Quartermaster Danny Wheeler, second by PCinC Charles Kuhn, that if no other Brother expresses interest in serving as National Treasurer: (1) funds from the reserve be obligated for one year to secure a bookkeeper and (2) the Council of Administration conduct a search with a goal of establishing a contractual relationship with a bookkeeper. Motion passed.

Commander-in-Chief Medert initiated a discussion on the involvement of minors in SUVCW programs and the potential need to amend the Constitution referencing minors. The objective would be to protect the SUVCW from lawsuits. It was noted that it is difficult to come up with a blanket policy because states have different laws. PCinC James Pahl mentioned that the simplest approach would be to require all Camps and Departments to comply with their state laws. PCinC Orr responded that there is an amendment to the Regulations proposed by the Constitution & Regulations Committee.

Commander-in-Chief Medert mentioned that the Sons of Confederate Veterans is looking for SUVCW support in their efforts to convince the city of Jonesboro, TN to reverse their decision relative to their memorial to United States veterans and include those that served in the Confederate forces during the Civil War. Both PCinC Kuhn and Council Member Brad Schall recommended that the SUVCW avoid involvement due to the fact that this is a city of Jonesboro issue. The Council of Administration voiced concurrence.

The Commander-in-Chief followed this discussion with another request from a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to support a petition to restore funds originally allocated to the National Park Service to renovate Petersburg National Cemetery. Apparently, the National Park Service funds have been re-allocated on more than one occasion. The petition is to be presented to Virginia legislators. Commander-in-Chief Medert tasked National Quartermaster Danny Wheeler with raising this issue on the floor of the Encampment under new business.

Commander-in-Chief Medert noted that PDC Al Peterson from the Department of California & Pacific is requesting that the National organization reimburse his travel expenses to Washington, DC to continue efforts to recognize the traditional date for Memorial Day. The Council of Administration recommended that PCinC Andrew Johnson, who serves as the Washington, DC Representative, be tasked with this action.

The Commander-in-Chief asked for a review of the Executive Director’s report. Executive Director David Demmy noted that Form 35 annual reports are required to be postmarked by 31 May, but timely submittal for Form 49 officer election and installation reports is a problem. The Regulations require this form to be submitted within 30 days after the Department Encampment. PCinC Richard Orr recommended that a ruling by the Commander-in-Chief be issued in a General Order clarifying the submittal date to National. Executive Director Demmy also recommended that copies of Form 27’s be submitted along with the Form 35.

Commander-in-Chief Medert asked Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Leo Kennedy to provide an update on Program & Policy Committee activities. Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Kennedy highlighted the committee action relative to mandatory Camp meetings, noting that the committee recommended that Camps hold at least two meetings per year. He also noted that this recommendation has not yet made it to the Constitution & Regulations Committee for their review and action.

The Commander-in-Chief mentioned that he has a listing of award recipients, which will be published in a General Order with Saturday’s date. He did not want this information released prior to presenting the awards to those on the list.

National Treasurer Max Newman presented the proposed budget for the 2009-2010 administrative year. Motion by Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Leo Kennedy, second by National Quartermaster Danny Wheeler, to accept budget as proposed by the National Treasurer. Motion passed.

PCinC James Pahl noted that a Sons of Veterans Grand Division Commanders badge was available on E-bay.

Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief James Hanby reported that the Taylor-Wilson Camp in Lynchburg, VA is requesting a letter of support from the National organization for the establishment of a memorial to Union soldiers that died at a prisoner of war camp in Lynchburg. Commander-in-Chief Medert requested that a draft resolution be presented at the Encampment.

National Secretary Don Palmer reported on new Camps established during the 2008-2009 administrative year. He also mentioned that he is receiving Form 49’s that should be going to the Executive Director. Although Brother Palmer developed and distributed a form submittal matrix, which references submittal to the Executive Director, the fact that Form 49 still references submittal to the National Secretary prompts some Department Secretaries to continue sending it to the National Secretary.

PCinC Charles Corfman asked the Council of Administration members to check and make sure that they have his correct e-mail address…

National Chaplain Jerome Kowalski reported that he has been in contact with the new National Museum of Civil War Chaplains located at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.

PCinC Richard Orr distributed a commemorative badge to members of the Council of Administration for PCinC Richard Partington honoring his 75 years as a member of the SUVCW.

Pennsylvania Department Commander John McNulty reported that the Pennsylvania luncheon will be held at noon on Saturday in the hotel restaurant.

National Webmaster Ken Freshley reported that there were over 11 million hits on the SUVCW website during the 2008-2009 administrative year. This was a major increase over previous years.


With no further business to come before the Council, Commander-in-Chief Medert asked National Chaplain Jerome Kowalski to provide a closing prayer and subsequently adjourned the meeting at 11:25 pm.


Respectfully Submitted in Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty,

Donald D. Palmer, Jr., PDC

National Secretary, SUVCW

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