November 2020 President's and Directors' Reports

League of Women Voters of Howard County, Inc.
Board Meeting Minutes
via Zoom
November 12, 2020

In attendance: Cynthia Williams, Barbara Russell, Virginia Kirk, Lucie Geinzer, Krista Threefoot, , Linda Wengel, Linda Frascarella, Laura Mettle, Beth Hufnagel, Grace Kubofcik .
Absent: Michelle Rice Trotter, Amber Treat, Cheryle Wharton, and Sandy Levy.
 
Meeting called to order at 7:10 pm by President Cynthia Williams.

Changes to Agenda: There were no changes to the agenda.

President’s Report: Cynthia Williams referred the Board to her written report. See full President’s Report for specifics.

Secretary’s Report: Virginia Kirk –Linda Wengel moved, Barbara Russell seconded, that the October 12, 2020 meeting minutes be approved. Motion passed.  

Treasurer’s Report: Barbara Russell – The total checking/savings balance as of October 31, 2020, was $52,799.29. Long-standing LWVHC member Margo Garner left in her will $31,513.86 to the League.  There is one new member. We had a total of $2,260.00 in donations and T-shirt sales for the Voters’ Guide. The expenses for printing and advertising were $2,108.00. The treasurer’s report will be filed for review.

Program Report: Krista Threefoot –

  • Zoom License: Barbara Russell moved that we get a Zoom license of our own, which will cost around $149.00. Lucie Geinzer seconded. Motion Passed.
  • Unit Meetings: Krista Threefoot reported that the October Unit meeting went well. The November Unit meeting will cover the LWVMD consensus on Vote by Mail. See the attached study. Virginia Kirk volunteered to be the note-taker for this meeting. The December meeting will be a policing community forum. The January topic will be Program Consensus; February will be the 2020 Education Study Consensus. See the Program Report for details.

Directors’ Reports

Action: Linda Wengel – Grace Kubofcik presented information about the new General Plan, a long-range plan that guides land use, growth and development decisions. Called HoCo by Design, the plan development is led by the Department of Planning and Zoning and a consultant team. See https://www.hocobydesign.com for more information. Grace Kubofcik is a member of an advisory group which acts as a liaison to the community and which provides feedback and advice to the planning commission. She is currently talking to a lot of community members and pointed out that there is a comment section on the Planning and Zoning website for anyone who wants to provide feedback. In the Spring/Summer a draft will be available for review in the Fall/Winter. She hopes it will go to the planning board by the end of next year. Finally, she made the following points: (1) she thinks some of the money from the bequest should be invested for the future; (2) she wore the t-shirt a lot; (3) we should do the legislative luncheon in January; (4) she thanked Barbara Russell for the Voters’ Guide. 

Linda Wengel discussed some of the State legislation that once again seeks to oversee the Howard County Board of Education. She believes these bills overstep the State role. She asked the Board to review the bills so it can vote at the next meeting about taking a stand on the issue.  See her full report for details.

Communications—Internal: Cynthia Williams will continue to try to find someone for this position.

Education: Linda Frascarella referred to her Directors’ Report for information about the following:

  • Hybrid learning model to be decided by November 19.
  • Participated in another library event called “Democracy in Action,” the history of voting rights in the US. She encouraged everyone to see the presentation by Dr. Richard Bell at https://youtube.com/watch?v=GYJNpRvB3yk
  • Participated in an event run by Centennial Rho Kappa (Social Studies Honor Society) and Centennial Student Government Association.

See Director’s Report for more details.

Environment: Sandy Levy (absent): See her Director’s report for update on the following:

  • Update on HCC’s Sustainability Day. After many meetings, in the end, Robert Marietta, in charge of the event, ask them to prepare a slide to be shown on the screen at HCC, viewed only by HCC students.
  • Plastic bag fee in effect October 1, 2020
  • Maryland’s First Bus Rapid Transit Service Opens
  • Electrify Maryland Now
  • Maryland Green Schools Sustainable Schools Update

Fundraising: Michelle Rice Trotter and Amber Treat (absent) See Directors’ Report for proposed restaurant fundraiser.

Membership: Lucie Geinzer reported that she presented “Why We Should Abolish the Electoral College” to the Howard County chapter of the American Association of University Women. 25 attended. She also drafted a letter to invite AAUW members to join LWVHC. See Directors’ Report document for details.

Publications: Amber Treat (absent) See the Directors’ Reports for more information.

Voter Services: Cheryle Wharton (absent) See the Director’s Reports for details of the many voter registration activities.

Communications – External: Laura Mettle discussed some of the ways the Voters’ Guide was advertised. See the Directors’ Reports for details.

Unfinished Business

  • Board Questions: Linda Frascarella sent the board a list of questions about the operations of the League that she would like to discuss and that she believes should be addressed for new members. Cynthia Williams suggested that these questions be filtered to the appropriate person for discussion at the next meeting.
  • Website: There was some discussion of the need to update the website. Laura Mettle will find out more about the costs to do this.

 

New Business

  • Fundraising – See Amber Treat’s Director’s Report regarding phonation of non-members.
  • Community Relations/Tea for Three: Cynthia Williams – Would like to create relationships/partnerships with other organizations.
  • Legislative Breakfast: Cynthia Williams will send out invitations for the same date as last year. This will be a Zoom event. She will follow up at the December Board meeting.
  • Meeting with County Council: Cynthia Williams will work around the Council members’ schedules. She will follow up at the December Board meeting.
  • Membership pay dates: Lucie Geinzer moved to change the by-laws so that a member gets a 12 month membership based on the date he/she joined. Krista Threefoot seconded. Motion passed.

Adjournment:  Krista Threefoot moved, Lucie Geinzer seconded, that the meeting be adjourned. Motion passed. The meeting was adjourned at 8:37pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Virginia Kirk, Secretary

LWVHC – November 12, 2020 Meeting: Program and Directors’ Reports

 Program Report – Krista Threefoot

  • Our October meeting covering ballot items went really well. We had a solid number of participants and former circuit court judge Donna Staton gave a wonderful presentation on how our circuit court and voting for judges in MD works. 
  • We did face some challenges with recording the October meeting. LWVMD did not respond to our requests to make us the hosts of the meeting, which meant we couldn’t record and also didn’t have some other administrative controls. Cynthia, Laura, Barbara Russell and I met briefly after the meeting to discuss ways we can make our Zoom unit meetings more effective and decided it would be a good idea for us to purchase our own Zoom account. We have also decided to use Eventbrite for people to register for our meetings. 
  • Our next unit meeting is Nov. 19. This meeting will cover the LWVMD consensus on Vote by Mail. I will need a recorder for the event to keep track of conversation and questions as I present. I encourage everyone to read the Vote by Mail fact sheet attached to this email. This is a complicated topic that should spur lots of discussion. I don’t know myself what stance I’ll take.
  • Our December unit meeting will cover policing in Howard County.

 Action Report – Linda Wengel

              Howard County Council Legislative Actions - November 2, 2020

·        Council Resolution 175-2020 - A RESOLUTION calling the County Council into an emergency legislative session on November 16, 2020 to consider making a supplementary appropriation of emergency grant funds awarded to the County from the Department of Commerce of the State of Maryland as part of the Restaurant Relief Fund.

·        Council Bill 55-2020 - Introduced by: Deb Jung; Co-sponsored by: Liz Walsh and David Yungmann - AN ACT requiring the County Executive to submit fiscal analyses for certain legislative items, under certain circumstances.

·        Council Bill 57-2020 - Introduced by: David Yungmann; Co-sponsored by: Deb Jung - AN ACT amending the Howard County Code to clarify that the Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) is not to submit Zoning Regulation Amendment petitions for private entities, to replace the recommendation requirement with an analysis requirement for DPZ's Technical Staff Reports, and that establishes criteria for DPZ's Technical Staff Reports.

·        Further information on the legislation above and other Howard County Council legislative actions can be found on the County Council's website: https://cc.howardcountymd.gov/.

 

Internal Communications –   

External Communications – Laura Mettle:  
 We did agree on a package with Baltimore Sun Media for a one time print ad in the Columbia Flier and ads on the Sun/Howard County Times website. Digital ads do not have specific permanent locations, but may appear anywhere on the site, as long as the access point is in Howard County. 

Patch advertising was not used, nor was FaceBook advertising.  We continued to post on our FaceBook page and website

Print copies of the VG were placed in numerous grocery stores, and at the public libraries and senior living facilities.

A digital pdf of the guide was shared with the Coordinator of Secondary Social Studies for the HCPSS. 

Digital links to the VG were sent to community organizations and the village association

Education – Linda Frascarella
 Board of Education - election results:

  • District 1 - Christina Delmont-Small
  • District 2  - Antonia Barkley Watts
  • District 3 - Jolene Mosley
  • District 4 - Jen Mallo
  • District 5  - Yun Lu

HCPSS

A Hybrid learning model for the spring semester was proposed by Board of Education at the Nov. 5 meeting.  The timeline to make a decision is as follows

  • Nov 9 - town hall held to solicit feedback
  • Nov 19 - deadline for the Board of Education to approve the hybrid model

The DRAFT of the working session can be found here

https://go.boarddocs.com/mabe/hcpssmd/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=BUMN6C5E083D

Other

10-21:  Participated in another library event called "Democracy in Action” the history of the fight for voting rights in the United States.  Dr. Richard Bell was the speaker; I was there to answer any questions about voting.  I recommend listening to his presentation which can be found here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYJNpRvB3yk

10-29:  Participated in an event run by Centennial Rho Kappa (Social Studies Honor Society) and Centennial Student Government Association.

Environment Report – Sandy Levy

 Diane Dunn from Howard County Indivisible, Daniel Zheng student and activist, and I met many times to create a 10 minutes video explaining the facts about the vote for Howard Community College Virtual Sustainability Day 2020 on October 21, 2020. In the end Bob Marietta, who was in charge of the event, asked us to prepare one PowerPoint slide and told us that the slide would be shown on the screen many times throughout the event. Sustainability Day could only be viewed by HCC students.

Plastic Bag fee in effect October 1, 2020
Beginning October 1, 2020; all retailers are required to collect $0.05 for each disposable plastic bag issued to a customer at the point of sale in accordance to Section 20, Subtitle 13 of the Howard County Code (Sections 20.1300 et. Seq., “Disposable Bag Fee”). See Howard County Council Bill 64-2019 and Maryland Code, Local Gov't § 13-1001 for additional information.

Maryland’s First Bus Rapid Transit Service Opens
October 14, 2020, Maryland Matters
In launching Flash, a new bus service, along the congested Route 29 corridor on Wednesday, Montgomery County officials pledged the line would open job and educational opportunities to residents of the diverse eastern portion of Maryland’s largest subdivision….

Discussions with Howard County officials about extending Flash toward Columbia are underway…

Electrify Maryland Now
October 21, 2020. Zoom recording
HoCo Climate Action and Howard County Sierra Club sponsored Electrify Maryland Now, a zoom discussion about how we can electrify our homes and other buildings. We explored how to drastically cut back on using fossil fuels for heating and cooking as well as barriers in Maryland; what other states are doing; what climate activists recommend; next steps in Maryland and what you can do.

Maryland Green Schools Sustainable Schools Update
October 29, 2020
Starting in the 2020-2021 school year, the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) is modifying the Maryland Green Schools program. This modification will impact a school that has successfully completed four or more applications and is recognized as Sustainable. Starting in 2022, Sustainable Schools will need to reapply every four years to maintain their Sustainable status.

 

Fundraising – Michelle Rice Trotter and Amber Treat:

 Membership – Lucie Geinzer

I presented The LWV PowerPoint on "Why We Should Abolish the Electoral College" to the Howard County Chapter of American Association of University Women via Zoom on October 20. There were 25 members in attendance at the Zoom meeting.

I drafted a letter to invite AAUW members to join LWVHC, which the President has refused to send to membership so far. She's afraid of losing membership to the League.

 Voter Services – Cheryle Wharton

  • Cynthia also received a contact for voter registration at apartment complexes. We were invited to The Seasons at Laurel on October 8th.  I was assisted by Becca, a sixteen year old, who is very interested in learning more about voting rights. I hope she becomes a member.
  • We should try and hold more voter registration events at apartment complexes
  • Helped Laura to post flyers with information on voting at pop up libraries at various locations.
  • The Oakland Mills Village Center Fall Festival put the videos created by Laura Frascarella on their website

 

 

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