Minutes 6/14/2007

Virginia Coalition for Open Government
(Draft) Minutes, Summer Board Meeting
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Virginia Beach Hilton, Virginia Beach, Va.

Present: Wat Hopkins, president; Ed Jones, secretary; Harry Hammitt, treasurer; Lee Albright; John Edwards; Mark Grunewald; Pam Luecke; Peter Maroney; Lawrence McConnell; John Moen; Jesse Todd; Ginger Stanley, Virginia Press Association; Peter Easter, Virginia Association of Broadcasters; Frosty Landon; Megan Rhyne, and (by speakerphone) Dorothy Abernathy, Craig Fifer and Robert O’Neil.

President Hopkins called the meeting to order at 10:45 a.m.

Edwards moved approval of the minutes of the spring board meeting in Norfolk, with Albright seconding. The minutes were approved unanimously.

Hopkins presented the Search Committee Report. He noted that the recommendation to name Jennifer Perkins of Warrenton as the new executive director of VCOG had been endorsed earlier in the morning by the Executive Committee.
The Search Committee felt that Ms. Perkins would bring energy and enthusiasm to the position. She has government experience, having worked with the Rhode Island state legislature and for two U.S. senators in Washington.
Eleven candidates applied for the position, and four were interviewed.
Hopkins said he has asked Vice President Abernathy to chair a Personnel Committee, which will be asked to develop goals and objectives for the new executive director.
Easter moved that the Executive Committee recommendation that Jennifer Perkins be named the new executive director be accepted, with the legal details to be worked out later. The motion was approved.
Edwards moved that it is the board’s wish that Megan Rhyne stay on as associate director at terms comparable to her current part-time situation, and with the same title, so that VCOG can continue to make use of her talents. The motion was approved unanimously.

The board offered a rousing round of applause to Rhyne for her continuing contributions to VCOG.

Rhyne introduced Matt Haynes from the University of Richmond Law School, who will serve this summer as our Richardson Legal Fellow.

Discussion ensued on the Financial Report. Landon noted that, after the transfer of $15,000 from reserves and $19,386 from Endowment earnings and surplus, the 2006-07 revenues will match projected expenses of $107,500. Virginia Press Association dues are back up to the previous $20,000 level. Revenue from the Virginia Association of Broadcasters includes a $2,000 grant, in addition to $10,000 in annual dues. ’06-07 revenue from gifts and sponsorships was down sharply, due to one-time Endowment fund-raising to match the Knight challenge grant. Salaries are roughly $2,500 below budget, due to Rhyne’s maternity leave.
Landon projected a balance of $450,000 in cash and firm pledges for the Endowment Fund and $100,000 in unrestricted reserves. Several board members lauded Landon for his outstanding efforts at increasing the assets of VCOG. Landon’s offer of volunteer assistance during a transition period ending Dec. 31, 2007, was enthusiastically accepted.

Landon presented the proposed 2007-08 budget. The $102,000 in expenses includes base pay and health benefits for a new executive director, as well as pay for the associate director The budget is balanced on the assumption that $10,000 will be raised through conference sponsorships, new grants and other fund-raising efforts.

A motion was made to approve the Executive Committee recommendation that the proposed 2007-08 budget be adopted. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.

Concerning future meetings, the board will gather in the fall at VPA headquarters in suburban Richmond. It is hoped that a late-spring conference can be organized for 2008, probably in May.

On two procedural issues, it was decided that proxies should not be authorized for board members, and that a quorum can be met by counting those physically present at the primary meeting site, as well as those participating by phone.

Luecke presented the Nominating Committee report. Two persons have been nominated to fill partial terms—Tom Moncure of George Mason University for a term ending Dec. 31, 2007; and, for the non-voting, unpaid position of board counsel, Joe Smith, a retired FBI agent from Northern Virginia. Moncure’s service is conditioned on approval by state officials. The nomination report was approved on a unanimous voice vote.

The Membership Committee report included seven new-member applicants and two renewals. The report was approved on a unanimous voice vote.

Several board members congratulated and thanked Landon for his critical contributions to VCOG during its first decade of existence. The meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Ed Jones