MINUTES OF SUBUD PNW REGIONAL BOARD MEETING
March 14, 2018
Members Present: Aaron Mann, Chairman PNW, Marius Hibbard, Vice Chairman PNW, Sherwin O’Bar, Treasurer, Jim O’Halloran, for Honora Hildreth, Seattle Chairperson, Elizabeth Flanders, Oswald Norton, Regional Helper Liaison, Camille Hofvendahl, Chairperson Subud Portland, Michael DuBois, Skagit Valley, Lydia Tedrow, Recording Secretary.
Minutes of Last Meeting
The minutes of the last meeting were not yet ready.
Sherwin reported that the first quarter report will be done and ready in April.
Camille reported that Portland has a new chairperson, Michael Clemes. He was unable to join the call tonight. Michael is coming in as Chair in April and he is pretty green – the first meeting he attended was the meeting during which he tested and became Chairperson – so he will have a bit of a learning curve. He does not yet have a committee.
The Portland group has its three delegates and one of them is thinking about chairing the Regional Congress. Her name is Nirel Jackson; she is the rental property manager and Camille just sent her the information Oswald put up on line.
The group voted to send $2000 to the World Congress fund. That was the main order of business, besides talking about delegates. Aaron asked if any of the delegates needed any type of financial aid. Camille said the group thought that Subud Portland would pay for them but if the Region will pay, at least for the Regional Chair’s registration, that would be great. Aaron thought the Region could pay for all of them; he thought it was a matter of getting reimbursed. Sherwin thought that, in the past, the Region has only paid for the Regional Chairperson’s attendance at the meetings – he meant the Region only pays for Aaron. Aaron stated that two years ago he wrote a protocol about how people would get paid, when the subject came up.
He went to the National congress, paid his own way and didn’t ask for reimbursement because that was his choice. But there is a protocol – we discussed it, voted on it, and accepted it. So the Regional Chairperson was paid for. He stated that discussing this is a different situation. Jim asked if the minutes where that was voted on are available and Aaron said they are available. He has that somewhere on his computer. He will find it.
Elizabeth stated that Rosalyn Neel would need to be paid for at least one night before the Regional Congress, not for the entire National Congress. She will need to be paid for transportation and for the night of the Regional Congress. She will try to get help from Elderberry for the rest of the Congress but, for the Regional Congress, at least, where she needs to be because she’s an incoming helper, she will need one night at the hotel and her gap. Aaron wanted to know if she needed financial assistance in advance and Elizabeth told her she could be reimbursed.
Aaron thought that anybody who needed to be reimbursed for their expenses should just apply for them by the usual procedure. Sherwin thought that was too wide open but Aaron stated that was just what he thought. Elizabeth stated that if we are there to do work, either as a helper or a committee person and can‘t afford to pay for it then we need to be reimbursed; she stated it was a no-brainer to her. Sherwin said he could see a person coming from a center who is not a helper coming as a delegate and expecting the Region to reimburse them and that’s not happened in the past. Aaron repeated there is a protocol which really outlined that and Aaron can’t find it right now – it defines responsibilities of the Centers whose first responsibility is to support the members they are sending as delegates and, if they don’t – Camille asked if this was in the bylaws and Aaron stated that it was not, it was a protocol (official procedure or system) that was discussed and voted on. Michael said that it seemed to him that the registration forms for the Regional and National Congress stated that there was a 15% reduction in rates for delegates, etc. That is already there so “that would be the one deduction we are looking at for people like myself and my wife, who are delegates. If I remember correctly” – Elizabeth broke in at this point and cried out: “I found it! Yay!”
Aaron said he would send it out to the committee. Michael wanted it to be read out loud but Aaron said he would send it out to everyone. Jim stated he would send Aaron an email right then so Aaron would have his email address. Jim wanted it sent to Leandra Hildreth, who is Seattle’s secretary. Camille asked if she was clear that the Region is not going to pay for the registration for the Chairperson of the Regional Congress. She wondered if that was Portland’s responsibility as Nirel Jackson will be a delegate as well as the Chair. Aaron stated that was not correct and that it had not been decided yet that she would be Chair as there might be other candidates. Aaron stated that if Ms. Jackson were to be Chair, a motion could be made that the Region pay her registration and they could discuss it and vote on it.
Camille also asked if the election of the Regional Committee the only business at the Regional Congress or if there will be other business as the time allotted was from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Aaron replied he expected there to be other business.
Oswald explained the procedure. He looked up the bylaws and created a little information sheet. The process is that, today, they, the members of the Board (not the Helpers unless they want to bring up something from the Helper prospective) need to select the Chairperson for the Congress. Next meeting, the Chairperson of the Congress attends so they need to have any agenda items they would like to be a part of the business. That is the process. Then they present other items for the agenda besides Center Reports, a Financial Report, and the selection of the new Committee.
Honora Hildreth, Seattle Chair, was not present. Jim O’Halloran reported for Seattle. Sherwin has the financial report for Seattle and it has been emailed. They are still waiting for a response from Aaron regarding requirements and they did put a copy of the Subud Pacific NW bylaws in there and, to their knowledge, they are following them explicitly. They have a question out to a tax lawyer and are waiting for a response. They hope to have the response before the 31st. He read what they sent to the tax lawyer, a copy of which is attached to this report.
Jim asked if there were any questions and Michael’s question was that the property in question is really owned by the Subud PNW Region, it is not an exclusive Seattle property anymore. Jim thought it would not make a difference and wanted to know where it was registered, in Oregon or in Washington. Oswald responded it is registered in Washington State. Jim responded that what this applied to specifically is, to his understanding, King County taxes. So since Subud PNW is registered in Washington State and the house is in King County, he thought it fell within Washington State law and King County property tax.
Aaron said he had another insurance question. He had just received a cancellation from his insurance company, Farmer’s, because they found out he has an airbnb. He is in process of finding an insurance carrier that will insure him as an airbnb and it is going to be quite a bit more, probably double. He wondered if the insurance carrier for the Seattle house has been notified there is an airbnb operating out of the Subud house. Sherwin said he didn’t think they were aware of that. Aaron stated that they will eventually find out, as they are now using algorithms now to do research and in the event a tree fell on the house, even if it has nothing to do with the airbnb, they will deny coverage because you didn’t tell them you had an airbnb. So he said he was just mentioning that. It is just something to think about. Sherwin said they would check with their insurance company, Liberty Mutual, to understand their position on this.
Aaron stated he had a question. He has learned a lot, and he had a question about the 1099 that the airbnb set out. Who got the 1099 and how much was it for? Sherwin replied that Paul Nelson got that and it had the SPNW tax ID number on it. For 2017, he believed it was in the $70,000 range. Aaron then said that was the tax liability that they might end up with, the $79,793.94. Sherwin stated that Federal tax liability was a separate issue. He believed that, since they are on the subject, the issue of tax liability – he had a conversation with Latham Stack of Portland several years before and he understood, from that conversation, that the Portland Subud group had that concern several years ago and sought the services of a tax professional who indicated to them that there was no federal income tax liability for their rental income. So that are assuming that federal tax laws are applicable in both Washington and Oregon, the decision rendered by the tax attorney in Oregon also applied to federal tax liability in the state of Washington.
The Seattle group had a general meeting Friday night and they did talk about who is going to the Regional and National Congress but he didn’t remember who is going; he is pretty sure it is Honora and Leandra. Also, Lucinda and Jim will be attending both Regional and National Congresses. They will pay their own way. Their plan is to stay in a B&B a few blocks away from the hotel.
Seattle is working on events which will include some music, parties and events which will be open to pretty much everybody, including non-Subud people – Including non-Subud people is a big goal of Honora’s for the duration of her Chairmanship. They are also trying to reach out to local members who have children to find out if they have any interest in child care during latihan times to make sure they are more easily able to make it to latihan.
Michael reported that he and his wife, Serena, would be attending as delegates, and he as Center Chair. The group has generously donated enough money to cover their registration. They will be paying for their motel room; they are trying to get the lowest rate they can for four nights.
The group is trying to accommodate people who want to do Saturday latihans so they will do Saturdays twice a month. They will also move latihans up an hour, temporarily, so folks can have longer weekends. People can check the Subud U.S.A. website for times and dates.
The treasurer/helper has gotten all the group’s insurance payments out and taken care of. Rosalyn, new Regional Helpers, will be traveling to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to visit with outlying members. Also, Marius Hibbard will be leaving the country for a few days. The group has no candidates for Congress Chair.
Rainer Burrows, one of their members, had passed away on Monday (March 12th). He had suffered through a long series of illnesses – they will all miss him. His wife is still dealing with the logistics of his passing so they are waiting to have a memorial service. Helpers have gone to help her and the group has sent flowers.
Jim O’Halloran asked about the Helpers going to Coeur d’Alene to see some outlying members but Oswald corrected that to explain that he and Rosalyn were going to Boise, Idaho, to visit the group there.
Oswald reported that the Regional Helpers made no visits this month but they were going to visit Boise this coming weekend, which was being coordinated by Halimah Brugger. During the February retreat, they were not yet able to focus on future meetings. He stated that this was because they had such a short time remaining for the current Regional Helpers between now and May. The new Regional Helpers will be working on this. The Retreat which took place in Centralia, February 23rd to 25th , they met with Rosalyn Neel and David Lynch, two incoming Regional Helpers and they talked with them about how to carry out their new duties, answered their questions and talked about their own experiences with being Regional Helpers and did some testing about their individual strengths and challenges and shared this with each other so they could understand how it is to work together and what they need from each other. No other candidates have as yet stepped forward so they have an opening now for two men and, at least, another woman, assuming that Djoharia Toor will actually be joining them after the National Congress.
Regional Latihan attendance: in February they had 4 women but no count on the men because they are having telephone issues with the conference call. On the 5th (March?), they had 4 women and 2 men and the next Regional Latihan would be the next night. He asked that the Committee encourage members, let them know this is available to them and to please let them know if they are not receiving the email which lets them know when the latihan is. He asked if the Board had any questions.
Aaron stated that New Business would be about the new Congress Chair. There were two candidates for Regional Congress Chairperson; one is Paul Nelson and the other is Norel Jackson. Aaron wanted to know if there was any discussion, any opinions or if anybody had anything to say about it.
Oswald stated he had a question, as a regional helper. One of the things that the bylaws states is that the Congress Chair will be selected at the end of the previous Regional Congress and they were not able to do that last time. So he is wondering if they have two firm candidates, did they want the Regional Helpers to do any testing about this and report back by email and the Committee would them make a decision or did they want to just vote. He had no opinion either way. Camille stated Nirel would be fine if Paul was chosen as she had just heard about this an hour before the call started. She would not say she was a firm candidate so if Paul wants to do it or if you want to test she would be fine with it. Nirel felt Paul had experience and he was at the last one.
Aaron stated they wanted to have a process so that it would not be arbitrary. discussion and a vote. Oswald stated he was not recommending anything to the contrary. He just wondered what the will of the Board was. Michael stated it was more a question or organizational ability so, as far as being the rental agent for the Portland house, he thought it would be a feather in her cap and we know that Paul has experience and came forward and volunteered his time, he thought they should just go ahead and take a vote. He thought it was a day long position of being an ombudsman and he thought Paul could do a good job. That was his opinion. Aaron asked if anyone else had anything to say. Jim stated he had a question – what is Paul’s last name. He had not known; he stated there were lots of Pauls out there. Michael stated that, since they have one more meeting before the Congress, perhaps they should have both candidates call into the Board and see who feels best about it and go from there. Oswald stated the only issue was the candidate has to come to a meeting and ask them what was the agenda of that meeting and that would not allow for that time. Aaron stated it would be good to selected somebody so they could get connected with Amelia and coordinate what needs to be done ahead of time.
Michael then wanted to know if Paul Nelson had anything else on his plate besides being the event chair. Was he doing anything else at the Regional/National gathering? Jim replied that he probably did – he would be surprised if he was not. So Michael said they might want to go with their volunteer from Portland just because it would be less stress to do that. Camille stated Norel would be a delegate so she thought she should talk to her further and see how firm she was about it.
Aaron said he thought it could be either one – personally, he was for the woman in Portland. He asked Michael said he would also like to try the woman from Portland; it’s a coordination thing, a one day event. The agenda is pretty well set anyway. So he wanted to know her name again so he could stop calling her the woman from Portland. Camille stated the name was Nirel Jackson.
Jim said he didn’t know her but he would abstain. He was sure Paul could do a great job but he was also quite sure Paul would have all kinds of stuff going on because that’s what he does. So if she has less stuff going on and people think highly of her, and she knows how to run things . . .
Camille stated she would talk to her some more and send emails to all of the Committee and let them know. Aaron stated he thought she was the one and Michael stated he was inclined to agree just because of her experience and that she may have less on her plate. They decided to vote and if she declined they would accept that. Camille and Jim abstained. The motion was carried. Aaron told Camille to tell Norel she was selected and, if she decided she could not do it, then they will decide what to do. Otherwise, she can call into the next Board meeting and they will get her set up and connected, etc.
Oswald asked if there was a deadline by which the Board will hear back from Norel whether or not she accepts its support in her candidacy to be Chair. Camille stated she would email everybody before Friday, the following day or Friday. They will be able to let Paul know by the weekend if she decides she can’t do it.
Aaron asked if anybody else had any more reports, business, announcements, at this time. Michael asked if anybody heard about the students of the nation, the march against guns today. He stated it was wonderful. Then he said good night to everyone and hung up.
Meeting was Adjourned:
The meeting was adjourned followed by goodbyes all around.
Signed by the Recording Secretary, Lydia Tedrow.