by Chet Hardin
After having released a number of private e-mails, El Paso County GOP party secretary Sarah Anderson has sent out another: a call for a meeting of the party's executive committee.
The meeting is supposed to occur on Sept. 12. Eli Bremer, the party's chairman and a pentathlete, is scheduled to be competing in Moscow on Sept. 8, and there is question as to whether he will be back in time to attend. If not, the meeting would be run by the party's vice-chair, David Williams.
As is very clear in the emails we posted yesterday, Williams and Bremer don't exactly get along.
A couple agenda items will jump out instantly, including the discussions on the local GOP's donor-directed fund and the notorious July 7 executive session. Seeing as how Bremer might not be in town for the meeting, we asked him if the meeting would actually be held, and if so, whether he would hightail it back. These questions led to a back-and-forth between him and Anderson — facilitated by us, the "liberal media." It appears that the two have yet to discuss the issue directly.
The meeting notification was sent out in error and never should have gone out in the first place. The meeting is not taking taking place. We will likely have an EC meeting in late September or early October to discuss the State Central Committee Meeting and some of the ramifications of that upon our local operations. We will need to make some bylaw changes following that State CC meeting as well as determine how we will comply with the new timelines set for the upcoming elections.
1) Bylaw changes are made at Central Committee Meetings, not Executive Committee Meetings. In following the Chairman's clear direction back in February, I can't imagine why we would even discuss by-law changes at an ExecComm Meeting.
2) It was scheduled back in May at the last regularly scheduled Executive Committee Meeting and on my calendar to send out the notice. I'm confused as to why the Chairman would depart from normal procedure and attempt to cancel a regularly scheduled ExecComm Meeting.
3) My understanding, after consulting with a parliamentarian and others more knowledgeable about Robert's Rules and the by-laws is that there is no precedent anywhere to allow for a meeting once called to be officially cancelled.
Members of the Executive Committee wanted to discuss the bylaw and changes that will be necessary for us to incorporate in the next CC meeting. By discussing it and figuring out wordings and such, the EC members felt we could move forward with a clear and unified front. While the EC does not change the bylaws, having a vote on record (I would assume it will be unanimous) for a bylaw change will make it a much simpler process at the CC meeting.
We had penciled in a meeting for September for our third of four required meetings given that the third meeting actually took place on July 7th, this superseded the previous scheduling for the third meeting. Furthermore, there were discussions at the last EC meeting regarding the scheduling of the fourth meeting, and we did not set a date. A number of EC members were contacted by a group trying to push for the meeting and gave resounding support to waiting until after the State CC meeting.
The meeting has not been called and can not be called by anyone but me. There will be no meeting on September 12th because our rules state the I must call the meeting, and I am waiting until after the state CC meeting to do so. I'm surprised that anyone would contest this because it is clearly stated in our bylaws.
Interesting that the Chairman so blithely disregards his clear statements to the contrary in February. I guess it's closer to the Central Committee Meeting now, so it's not a waste of time?
In addition, the by-laws make a clear delineation between regularly scheduled Executive Committee Meetings (Article 7, Section 01(c)(1) ) and emergency meetings (Article 7, Section 01(c)(2) ). Emergency meetings do not, and cannot, supersede regularly scheduled meetings. Additionally, as the chief clerical officer of the Executive Committee, and keeper of the notes, I have no where in my notes, nor on the recording proceeding the closed session for the meeting, any discussion of the next meeting date. As far as I was concerned, and I think it likely many Executive Committee Members, the next meeting would be the regularly scheduled meeting decided upon at the 2 May meeting—thus, 12 September. It strikes me as odd that the Chairman, after clearly violating standard practice and procedure for the emergency meeting (and disregard for Robert's Rules of Order, which, by consequence, also clearly disregards Article 14 of our by-laws, giving deference to Robert's Rules of Order when not in conflict with or addressed in the by-laws), would then try to assert that there is no difference between the types of meetings, when there clearly is.
While the Chairman "issues" the call, it is the duty of the Secretary, per many years of precedent, to send the call out. I put it in my calendar to do that two weeks ahead of time to make sure that all by-law requirements are fulfilled. Under standard practice and procedure for the running of meetings per Robert's Rules of Order, once a regularly scheduled meeting is schedule, unless the Chairman clearly cancels the meeting in advance of the call, the meeting goes on as scheduled—as mentioned previously, to disregard this would be in violation of Article 14 of our by-laws. To comply with Article 7, Section 01(c)(1) of the by-laws, and ensure we have four REGULARLY SCHEDULED Meetings this year, I think it likely a 12 September meeting will need to occur.
And, finally, Bremer:
I'm sorry the secretary is confused and does not understand the rules and has not talked to our attorney for clarification. I'd suggest she talk to our county party attorney if she has further questions. There is no meeting on the 12th. We will issue a press release when we schedule our next meeting.
Here is the call for a meeting:
EL PASO COUNTY REPUBLICAN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OFFICIAL CALL
The El Paso County Republican Executive Committee will meet for a regularly scheduled meeting at Party Headquarters, 205 Sutton Lane, Colorado Springs on Monday, 12 September, 2011 at 5:30 PM, as scheduled during the Executive Committee Meeting on Monday, 2 May, 2011.
The Agenda will include the following items (but is not limited to):
Pledge of Allegiance
Minutes from the 2 May and 7 July Meetings
Discussion on a letter addressed to the Chairman and the Executive Committee
Discussion on Budget
Discussion on Donor Directed (Advised) Fund
Proposal by Brad Collins
Proposal by Clem Borkowski
Discussion of the 7/7/2011 Executive Session
Any additional items for the agenda must be submitted to the Chairman in writing at least ten days prior to the meeting (no later than 2 September, 2011). The final agenda will be sent out for review by or on 5 September, 2011.
Sarah Anderson, Secretary
Dated 29 August 2011 in Colorado Springs, Colorado