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Fallen Heroes Mandarin Post 372
General Membership Meeting
April 12, 2018
The General Assembly meeting of American Legion Post 372 of April 12, 2018 was held at the Mandarin/St Johns Elks Lodge #2866.
The meeting was promptly called to order at 7:00pm by Commander Painter.
Opening ceremonies were conducted.
The Commander recognized Past Commanders Dan Hempsall and Franklin Hunt, Visitors Gerald Upson and Tony Woodfin, Chairman of the National Association of Veterans and Families.
Roll Call of Officers
Roll call of Officers was held, and it was determined that a quorum was present. Executive Board Member Frank Nichols was excused.
The March 8, 2018 minutes are posted online at: www.mandarinpost372.org/March-8-2018.
Motion to approve the minutes of the March 8, 2018 meeting as posted online was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Memo from Department Commander Stephen Shuga explaining that sending the National Commander’s picture with NEC Dennis Boland’s and 1st Vice Commander Dianne Boland’s campaign message was not an endorsement of them for office
Vice Commander Severns presented a $50 donation from Past Commander Myra Jowers to Acting President Rodriguez for American Legion Auxiliary Unit 372.
Reading in of New or Transferring Members
There were no new or transferring members during April 2018.
The Finance Officer read the Finance Report.
Motion to approve the Finance Report, subject to audit, was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The Commander spoke about Department Chaplain Barry Roberts, H.O.P.E. Resolution. He added that has been researching the demographics of the Mandarin area which includes zip codes 32256, 32257, 32258, 32259, and 32223. He noted that there are 3,200 veterans in the area with another 500 to 600 Active Duty that can be served by our Post. He noted that if you added in wives and children, we could be up to 10,000. The Commander’s report is attached.
The Vice Commander’s reported that we are currently in second place in the 5th District in terms of membership. The Vice Commander’s report is attached.
The Judge Advocate asked that the Adjutant read the suggested changes to the Post’s Constitution and By-Laws.
Proposed Changes to the Constitution include:
Article IV, Section 3: There was no requirement to vote in transferring members.
Article V, Section 1: The expansion in the number of Vice Commanders from one to no less than two and no more than four. (Note: We have 207 members now and need a minimum of one additional Vice Commander at this time.
Article V, Section 1: The Constitution and By-Laws were out of sync. The Constitution required not less than 2 or more than five Executive Board Members. The By-Laws read “The Executive Committee shall consist of the immediate Past Post Commander and two additional members” plus the Post’s Officers. We changed both to Post’s Officers, Immediate Past Commander, and four additional at-large members
Article V, Section 2: There was a typo. Added the word “on” between the words “held” and “the”.
Article V, Section 6: The Constitution required that nominations be held in March, April, and May, the election in May, and installation after the Convention. The nomination and elections process drags on for months. We have streamlined the process with nominations and elections held in April and May, with elections also in May.
Article VII, Section 1: There was a typo. The word “By-Laws” should have read “Constitution”.
Proposed Changes to the By-Laws include:
Article III, Section 1: If an officer cannot be on the Post’s checking account, this new wording allows for another Post Officer to be placed on the account with the Memberships’ approval. Also, with the approval of the General Membership another Post Officer will be placed on the account in the event that one Post Officer holds two signatory roles.
Article IV, Section 1: The Constitution and By-Laws were out of sync. The Constitution required not less than 2 or more than five Executive Board Members. The By-Laws read “The Executive Committee shall consist of the immediate Past Post Commander and two additional members” plus the Post’s Officers. We changed both to Post’s Officers, Immediate Past Commander, and four additional at-large members.
Article VIII, Section 4: There was a typo. The phrase “Department Convention” should have read “Mid-Winter Conference”.
Article XI, Section 1: Adds the Boys State, Oratorical, and School Medals to the Posts list of Standing Committees.
Article XII: Spells out how the Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion, and American Legion Riders will be recognized, how membership for each entity will be governed, and how each entity will communicate with Post 372.
Article XIII, Section 1: Adds a requirement that the By-Laws be reviewed at a minimum of once per year.
The Constitution and By-Laws will be voted on at the next General Membership meeting on May 10, 2018.
The Adjutant’s report is attached.
Service Officer Rodriguez reported that she had three contacts and that all three were resolved over the phone.
Report of Programs and Committees
Audit Committee Chairman Sullivan reported that the Post’s Third Quarter Audit is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24th from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the Edward Jones Office, 12443 San Jose Blvd #104, Jacksonville, FL.
The PROJECT: VetRelief report is attached.
The Adjutant reported that she sent out an email requesting that Program Chairs submit their Program Budgets for 2018-19 by April 9, 2018. At this time, she has received no budgets.
The Post paid for two delegates to Boys State, but due to other Posts paying for registrations, but not sending any delegates, the Post was able to send two additional delegates. The Post was also able to register an additional delegate as an alternate. The delegate understands that he can be selected at any time to attend Boys State, right up to the time the bus leaves. He also understands that he might not be selected at all.
Motion to approve the $70 transportation fee for the Boys State alternates should he be selected was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The Adjutant read the Branding Committee’s report.
Chairman Kaufman explained the Canceled Stamps Program and delivered thank you cards to the Post from past donations.
The Adjutant explained that per Post By-Laws, monthly Executive Committee minutes are required to be read at the next scheduled General Membership Meeting.
The April 5, 2018 Executive Board minutes were read.
Motion to approve the minutes of the Executive Board minutes of April 5, 2018 meeting as read was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The Commander explained what was involved in hosting a raffle for a Harley Davidson. The topic was tabled until all details are known. Julian Carter volunteered to join the Committee. Committee Members are: Legionnaires Alan Painter, Don Severns, Jim Hughes, Julian Carter, and Riders Director Joe Maltese.
The Adjutant reported that Post 372’s portion of the Early Bird Dinner at Post 233, after credits were applied for paying Post 372 guests, is $60.41.
Motion to pay Post 233 the amount of $60.41 for costs associated with the Early Bird Dinner was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The Adjutant suggested that the Post donate $75.00 to Mandarin High School’s NJROTC program for performing Colors at the Early Bird Dinner.
Motion to donate $75.00 to Mandarin High School’s NJROTC program for performing Colors at the Early Bird Dinner was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The Commander reported that American Legion Auxiliary Unit 372 donated $300 to the Post when it was believed that they were going to fold. Not that the Auxiliary has regained Charter strength and is in the process of separating their finances from the Post, it is his recommendation that the Post return the $300 donation for their start-up costs.
Motion to return the $300 donation to American Legion Auxiliary Unit 372 was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The Post’s Executive Board meeting was moved to the first Thursday of each month, which is the same night as Mandarin/St. Johns Board meeting. Adjutant Rodriguez can no longer serve as the Liaison to the Elks Lodge because she is required to attend the Post’s Executive Board Meeting. Judge Advocate Dan Hempsall will now serve as the Elks Liaison. Adjutant Hempsall will present the Mutual Aid Agreement at the next Elks Lodge Board Meeting on Tuesday, May 3, 2018.
Executive Board member Steve Sullivan informed the membership that Mandarin/St. Johns Elks Lodge has a container to collect aluminum cans for the Post to raise money for the Building Fund.
Acting Auxiliary President Sheri Rodriguez reported that the Auxiliary has received their Charter and is the process of separating their finances from the Post. She added that the Unit’s membership is at 91% and will be 100% soon.
The Adjutant spoke about creating a disaster preparation plan for the Post. She suggested storing a pallet of water, at a cost of $143, if members need water after a hurricane or other disaster and creating a phone tree. After discussion, members decided that Adjutant Rodriguez should create a phone tree but that there was no need to store a pallet of water.
The Commander reported that the 5th District is looking for donations for the Hospitality Suite at the 2018 Department Convention. The Hospitality Suite provides food and drink to District attendees at no cost and serves as a way for District members to campaign for votes if they are running for a Department Officer position.
Motion to donate $100 to the American Legion 5th District for the 2018 Department Convention Hospitality Suite was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The Commander reported that the USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2) will serve as Florida’s first floating naval warship museum and will be permanently stationed in Downtown Jacksonville on the St. Johns River. He noted that the following is needed: volunteers for fund-raising efforts, and volunteers to staff and operate the ship and Visitor’s Center, volunteers, particularly Navy veterans, to help maintain and restore the ship when it arrives. He added that the 5th District is interested in obtaining a room on the ship to serve as an information center for the American Legion. More information will be shared as this project is developed.
For the Good of the American Legion
Nominations for 2018-19 Officers
Executive Board (4 positions available):
Chaplain: Dr. Buck O’Connor
Finance: Don Severns
Historian: Charles Benham
Sergeant-at-Arms: Paul Arambula
Vice Commander: Sheri Rodriguez
Vice Commander: Barry Litsky
Commander: Alan Painter
Second nominations and the election will be held at the May 10, 2018 General Membership meeting.
There is a new Post Volunteer Opportunity Form available online. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill it out and return it to the Adjutant.
Free Breakfast for Veterans served by the Atlantic Coast Young Marines, Saturday, April 14th at 9:00am.
The 5th District Picnic will be held on Saturday, April 21st at Post 283.
The next Riders meeting is Sunday, April 22nd at 10:00am. Meetings are held on the 3rd Sunday of each month. Breakfast is available for $6.00 beginning at 9:00am.
The next Auxiliary meeting is Tuesday, April 24th at 7:00pm. A taco bar is available for $5 per person as a fundraiser for the Auxiliary.
The next S.A.L. meeting is Thursday, April 26th at 7:00pm. There is a “Meet and Greet” at 6:30pm. Meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of each month.
The next Executive Board meeting will be held on Thursday, May 3rd.
The next District meeting will be held on Sunday, May 13th at Post 137.
Post Everlasting............................................ 8:30am
District Constitutional Conference.....................9:00am
The next General Membership meeting will be held on May 15th.
Department Convention at the Orlando World Center Marriott, July 5th – 8th, 2018.
Chaplain Buck O’Connor drew the winner of the $500 gift card to Academy Sport and Outdoors. The winning ticket was purchased by Brenda Barnett and sold by SAL Commander and Riders’ Director Joe Maltese.
Executive Board Member won the monthly 50/50 and donated $30 to the Post’s Building Fund.
Closing ceremonies were conducted.
The meeting adjourned at 8:51pm.