Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

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Council of Administration Meeting
November 19 , 2006
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

The Council of Administration meeting of November 19, 2006 , held at the Eisenhower Hotel in Gettysburg , PA – on the one hundred forty third anniversary of the delivery of Lincoln ’s Gettysburg Address, was called to order by Commander-in-Chief James Pahl at 8:05 AM . In addition to the CinC, voting Council Members answering the roll-call of officers were Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Charles Kuhn, Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief David Medert, National Treasurer Max Newman, National Secretary Michael Bennett, National Quartermaster Danny L. Wheeler , PC-in-C, Council Members James Hanby, Leo Kennedy, Daniel Murray, D. Brad Schall and Eric Schmincke, and Immediate Past Commander-in-Chief Don Darby. National Counselor Donald Shaw and Washington D.C. Representative Andrew Johnson, PC-in-C, non-voting members of the Council, were also present. Additional Past Commanders-in-Chief present were Charles Corfman, Elmer F. “Bud” Atkinson, Alan R. Loomis, George Powell, and Stephen Michael s. Guests of the Council included Executive Director Lee Walters, National Chief of Staff Donald Palmer, Foundation Director Robert Petrovic, and Assistant National Treasurer Eugene Mortorff.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by those in attendance, followed by an opening prayer led by PCinC Michaels.

PCinC Loomis was given the floor to address the Council about plans for the upcoming Lincoln Death-Day events in Springfield in April, 2007. During Brother Loomis’ presentation, PCinC Darby moved that the Lincoln Tomb Committee be authorized to enter into future contracts on behalf of the Order, with regard to the annual Death-Day events. This was seconded by SVCinC Kuhn. There were no opposing votes. Subsequent review of current policy on contracts revealed that this vote may not have been necessary.

Following the thorough presentation by PCinC Loomis, with unanimous approval and authorization of the Council of Administration, CinC Pahl presented Brother Loomis with the Meritorious Service Award with Gold Star from the Order for his tireless work on the Lincoln Tomb Committee, as well as numerous other projects. A hearty round of applause was given to PCinC Loomis.

CinC Pahl then recognized Vincent Barker of Old Abe Camp 8, Dept. of Wisconsin , for recruiting six new members to the Order.

CinC Pahl requested that the Council offer its approval of recent Boardroom votes, for which a motion was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.

JVCinC Medert spoke regarding his investigation into the Order’s online application program, and expressed his desire to hold his report until he has seen and dealt with some of the problems currently being experienced first-hand.

Discussion then took place regarding the submission of applications and correct paperwork with fees to our National Headquarters. Executive Director Walters confirmed that, with few exceptions, he is receiving the correct application paperwork from Camps and Departments. Noting that some e-mail exchange had taken place regarding the creation of a searchable database for application information and documentation, PCinC Darby moved that a committee be formed to investigate what materials are to be saved, how they are to be saved, and what will be done with them after they are saved. The motion was seconded by JVCinC Medert. The motion passed unanimously, and Brother Darby was directed to assemble a committee for this purpose. Brother Medert was the first to be selected.

The Database Investigation Committee, previously created to explore and examine the available and appropriate software to use with the Graves Registration program, as well as for cataloguing Civil War Memorials and possibly for use with other programs of our Order, reported that they require additional information and will be speaking with the related National Committees and Officers.

For those interested in purchasing a set of SVR miniature soldiers bearing the CinC’s colors, rather than the standard Camp flag currently offered, it was reported that sets can be produced and made available if a minimum of six are ordered through the Foundation. It was also noted that PayPal has been added to the Foundation website in order to accept both contributions and payment for merchandise orders.

A proposal was then presented for Char Petrovic to serve as photographer at National Encampments from 2007 through 2010. CinC Pahl noted that the Department of Missouri had already retained her services for 2007, and the Department of Massachusetts expressed interest in doing so for 2008. The National Encampment in 2009 will be in Louisville, KY, and lively competition is now ensuing between Departments wishing to host the Encampment in 2010. A motion was made by PCinC Darby and seconded by National Quartermaster Wheeler to enter into a contract with Mrs. Petrovic for the Order to pay her $75 per roll of 24-exposure film, with four or five rolls to be shot. Additional costs for albums, CDs, etc. are to be borne by the National Organization, as specified in the motion approved by the Council of Administration at the 4/16/05 meeting in Springfield, IL which stated that double prints will be provided, along with a CD-Rom disk. One set of prints is to be retained by National in an archival album along with the CD-Rom disk and index for creating duplicate prints as needed. The second set of prints in an archival album is to be presented to the outgoing CinC. The motion passed unanimously.

A lengthy discussion then took place regarding outstanding National Encampment Proceedings. Council Member Hanby noted which Proceedings are not yet completed, and what materials are available to work with. Proceedings from 1990, 1993, 1997, 1999 and 2002 remain unfinished. The Proceedings from 1983 and 1986 are not yet on the website, but have been completed and need only be scanned and posted.

SVCinC Kuhn raised the matter of electronic membership applications, and dues payments, and presented the Council with a flowchart he had prepared of how this might be accomplished. Lengthy discussion ensued, resulting in a motion by PCinC Darby, seconded by JVCinC Medert, that the flowchart, Brother Kuhn’s findings, and the reports of the other committees working on this program be transferred to the JVCinC’s Committee for its review, with a proposal for action to be prepared by the JVCinC as soon as possible. Following discussion, a motion by PCinC Darby to terminate debate was passed without objection, as was his original motion.

A request was then considered to authorize the Lincoln Tomb Committee to use the Order’s name and symbols in conjunction with its work. Present policy grants this authorization to Camps and Departments, but not National Committees. PCinC Darby moved that the current policy be expanded to include National Committees, noting that this authorization permits the Order’s name and symbols to be used, but not on merchandise to be sold. The motion was seconded by Council Member Hanby and passed unanimously.

National Quartermaster Wheeler then showed the Council a new copy of the Ritual book currently offered for sale by the Order. While the text is quite small, only one complaint has thus far been received. Brother Wheeler suggested that noting on the Quartermaster’s Order form that the small Ritual book contains very small type should sufficiently caution our members. The Council agreed.

A brief recess was then taken.

The Council then considered the matter of the ROTC medal, and the conflict the current ribbon presented with another Air Force ribbon. PCinC Darby moved that, as had been discussed, the blue ribbon be changed to the white ribbon of our Junior badge, the size of the pin be reduced, and that the current supply of ROTC medals with the blue ribbon, approximately 80, be utilized until gone. The motion was seconded by National Treasurer Newman, and passed with only JVCinC Medert in opposition.

The CinC’s calendar of visitations to Department Encampments and other functions was then reviewed, with members of the Council offering to represent the CinC as needed in accordance with his desire to have an elected National Officer present at all Department Encampments and major events.

CinC Pahl encouraged the members of the Council to review the reports submitted by our Departments and to learn of the many great successes, and the various challenges, of our Brothers across the nation.

The CinC then noted that 2011 will be the 150 th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, and that the following four years will see the 150 th anniversaries of all events of the war leading up to the final surrender in November. It was asked if the Council thought that some special recognition or commemorative item should be produced. PCinC Darby suggested that a special medal might be struck and made available to the members of the Order in conjunction with the National Encampment that year. It was also suggested that it might be appropriate to hold the Encampment in Maryland or Virginia that year, and that the Department should investigate production and sale of such a medal.

A brief discussion took place regarding the cost of the carriage in which President Lincoln rides in the Remembrance Day Parade. While the carriage has been provided to the SUVCW at no charge in recent years, this may not be the case for 2006 and going forward. It was confirmed by National Treasurer Newman that funds are available, either already budgeted for the parade or in contingency accounts.

With reports from the National Treasurer having already been provided to the Council in advance, no further discussion of them was required.

Difficulty with our auditor was then discussed, noting that the auditor has neither completed the accounting work required, nor has he responded to attempts to communicate with him in order to retrieve National SUVCW financial records and materials in his possession. It was agreed that immediate action must be taken to either obtain completed reports and forms from the auditor, or to retrieve our property and contract with another individual or firm to undertake the work. National Treasurer Newman offered to drive to the auditor’s office in Pittsburg , PA to pick up our materials. It was suggested that if a fairly accurate list of what that property consists of could be assembled, a local Brother - such as PCinC Orr, could more easily travel to the auditor to retrieve them.

Secretary Bennett made a suggestion that the Order’s regulations regarding Brothers serving in more than one elected office at a time be clearly outlined for the membership, either through a General Order or other communication. He also suggested that there needs to be greater differentiation between the two membership applications available online, as the internet application form used by a visitor to the National website to join the Order is incorrectly being used by many Camps in place of Standard Application Form 3.

Communications were then read by Secretary Bennett thanking the Order for contributions made to other entities related to memorial restoration/repair work.

SVCinC Kuhn then raised the subject of having graphic images of SUVCW badges once again included with the Constitution and Regulations, which the Program & Policy Committee plans to bring before the National Encampment in 2007, as doing so would require a change to the Constitution and Regulations. He also noted that a National Encampment badge and an Anniversary badge from the 2006 Encampment in Harrisburg have been provided to the National Headquarters, as well as a CD-Rom containing a list of the names of all who purchased a badge, along with the number of the badge received. He moved that the contents of the CD be placed in our National records for future research purposes. The motion was seconded by PCinC Darby, and passed unanimously. As it was then decided that the information would be included in the Proceedings of the 2006 Encampment, CinC Pahl noted that the previous motion and vote had been negated.

National Chief of Staff Palmer listed and explained the many items which were provided to the members of the Council before or at this meeting. He also pointed out certain items in both the National Officer/Committee Reports and the Department Reports which the Council might want to take special note of. He then introduced his “stoplight chart” to show the current status of National Committees. Lastly, he announced his decision to seek the office of National Secretary at the 2007 National Encampment. He received many words of support from the Brothers assembled.

While discussing Camp and Department histories, and the storage space that such materials will require, Executive Director Walters agreed to find out the rental cost for additional storage space available at the National Headquarters, which could supplement or replace the minimal space currently being utilized.

National Quartermaster Wheeler again brought up the need for photographs of our National supply items to appear on the internet, and for the Quartermaster to have the ability to accept credit cards. The CinC and Council directed Brother Wheeler to work with National Webmaster Ken Freshley to have photographs of merchandise added to the National website as soon as possible – perhaps using the Foundation website as a template. Brother Wheeler was also encouraged to explore the best way to begin accepting credit cards, and to keep National Treasurer Newman advised of his progress.

Council Member Schmincke brought up the GAR Museum ’s need for more information as to the details and terms to be included in a loan agreement between the SUVCW and the museum for the museum’s care and display of the patent documents and other items recently reacquired for the Order.

Banner Editor Steve Michael s provided copies of the most recent Banner to those who had not yet received one, and addressed questions regarding advertising rates and sizes, the National and Department Officer listing, and both Camp/Department advertising and the National Quartermaster’s supply list that appears in The Banner. E-mailing the Banner to the First Class mail recipients, or otherwise making it available in a digital format via the internet, was also discussed. Brother Michael s strongly encouraged Camps, Departments, Committees and anyone individually who wants to get a message out to the Brothers of our Order to submit articles and information to The Banner, as there is certainly no better way of reaching all the members of our organization.

National Treasurer Newman noted that he received a notice from the IRS informing him that a few of our Camps reported Employer Identification Numbers that do not match the numbers in IRS records. Brother Newman will endeavor to work with those Camps to correct this discrepancy. He also suggested that fifty cents of each per capita payment be allocated to the Civil War Heritage Defense Fund. After brief discussion in which it was confirmed that the Order could afford to do this, PCinC Darby moved that it be done. The motion was seconded by National Quartermaster Wheeler, and passed unanimously. Lastly, Brother Newman announced that despite previous announcements to the contrary, he does not plan to step down from the office of National Treasurer – should the membership elect him to continue serving in that position. He received many expressions of support from the Council members present.

Brother Petrovic encouraged the Brothers present to begin making their hotel reservations for the 2007 National Encampment, and C-in-C Pahl noted that the next Council meeting would be in Springfield, IL on Saturday, April 14, 2007 at 7:00 PM (possibly to be moved earlier).

The meeting was closed at approximately 12:00 PM .


Respectfully Submitted in Fraternity, Charity, & Loyalty,

Michael S. Bennett, PDC

National Secretary, SUVCW


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