April 2011 Minutes

Friday, April 1, 2011

President Tom Jones convened the meeting at 7:47 PM with a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.  We applauded each of the 7 visitors: Janelle Edwards, Jackie Peters, Trudy Blood, Jackie Lars, and Bear, Karen, and Dakota Burditt.  26 members were present.

TREASURER’S REPORT  William was able to get the due date for tax Form 8734 (that should have been filed for 2000 to 2004) extended to October 15.  Treasury got an extension on the 4-year state tax form, which William had completed.  The Executive Committee would sign the Articles of Incorporation for 2000 to 2004.

SECRETARY’S NOTE  The Secretary had not signed this document as of the May, 2011 business meeting.

NET INVESTMENTS                                                                                         $32,445.00
NET LOSS                                                                                                           $  2,703.01
LEGISLATION DAY           The AWB Board approved $500.00, AWB spent $    500.00.
   plus about $20.00 per couple; participants covered this difference of  $                40.00.
   William said each couple paid $250.00 (plus about $20.00 extra).  Total  $         500.00
Hotel room  $87.00 per couple per night                                            total           $    174.00
Round trip mileage  320     50c per mile                                             total           $    160.00
Meals    (lunch, Monday, March 7 through lunch, March 8)
   $11.00 per person for lunch                                                            total           $      44.00
   $17.00 per person for dinner                                                           total           $      68.00
   $0.00 per person for breakfast (MCB paid)                                    total           $        0.00
   $11.00 per person for lunch                                                            total           $      44.00

SECRETARY’S NOTE  $174+$160+$44+$68+$0+$44 x $490.00.  Perhaps other expense details were missed.

   Check                  to Checker Services                                                                  $165.00
   Deposit                MCB grant                                                                                $500.00
   Deposit                50-50                                                                                          $ 20.00
   Special Service   to Renee Deggs for glasses                                                        $ 95.00

The week before the meeting, Frederick Douglas Transport Service contacted William. The blind Owner’s new bookkeeper explained that AWB’s check, which William sent them in January, had been lost along with other items.  FDTS said their records showed they’d received it, but that they never deposited it.  The check did not clear our bank, which waived AWB’s $29.00 stop pay fee.  William told the assembly he’d resubmit the November check for $153.00 (with $15.00 deducted because FDTS failed to get people to the meeting on time), and a $15.00 late fee; and resubmit the December check for $183.00.
Seconded by Sheryl Frank and James White, AWB’s Parliamentarian moved that we charge Frederick Douglas the $29.00 fee for the lost check (the fee which our bank had waived).  The motion carried.  The Treasurer said he’d call FDTS Owner Frederick Foster on Monday, informing him that we would deduct the $29.00 from our check.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT  Tom said he’d received grant applications for the ACB Convention from the MCB office.  The 50th Annual Convention of the American Council of the Blind, would be held in Reno (technically Sparks), Nevada from July 8 to 16. Hotel rooms would cost $87.00 a night with 13.5% tax.  Applications must be in the MCB office by Friday, May 6 at 4:00 PM.  Members could obtain applications from www.moblind.org.  Applications must be signed and filled out.  MCB’s 2011 convention budget was $20,000.00.  Tom encouraged applicants later canceling to tell MCB as soon as possible so MCB could recalculate payment.

Tom had asked William to serve as Nominating Committee Chair.  Committee members would bring suggestions for officers to the May business meeting.  At the June meeting, the assembly would vote on these and any suggestions from the floor.  Terms would last 2 years.

TRANSPORTATION  11 people rode in 3 vehicles.  Seconded by Norm, Shirley moved that, if Joy Layton’s absences were due to Checker not having her correct address, she be allowed to ride the rest of the year and receive credit for the March and April meetings. The motion carried.

ACTIVITIES  In Bill’s absence, Janie reported that AWB would attend the Cardinals/Royals game on Sunday, May 22 at 1:10.  Individuals would need to let Bill know if they were attending by the next meeting.  20 must attend for AWB to get the low rate of $20.00 per ticket.  Activities wanted members to help look into AWB attending a Comets or Mavericks game.


FUND-RAISING  no report

SPECIAL SERVICES  William reported that he’d received an approved Special Service application from Sheryl Anthony for Renee to receive $95.00 for glasses.  The assembly approved Special Services’ recommendation.

HEALTH BENEFITS  Odell reported that his committee recommended that Terry Arnold receive $100.00 for injuries.  The membership approved the recommendation.


PUBLIC RELATIONS  Clay Bary had asked Tracey to remind people that Alphapointe is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year with 1 event per month in the community.  They would host a reunion of former Alphapointe employees on September 16.
AWB WEBSITE  Tracey would report Alphapointe’s employee reunion on the AWB website.  She said AWB’s minutes were now being put on the website and thanked Norm for getting them to her.  She stated that Britney was taking pictures tonight and helping her update the website.  They were adding information about businesses which make life easier for the visually challenged.  Public Relations would recognize 5 blind-friendly businesses in the area, possibly invite representatives to a business meeting and present them with plaques.  Sprint Center and the Salvation Army were suggested at the meeting. Nominations were supposed to be given to Tracey within 2 weeks after the April meeting.

Bear Burditt announced that he was about to be elevated to High Priest  at his church and that he’d just baptized his son.  Karen announced that Dakota had 7 A’s, 3 B’s, and 1 C on his report card.

Tracey said the Burditts wanted to join AWB.  She invited people, after the meeting, to help her compare (for the Burditts) the pros and cons of membership vs remaining AWB’s adopted family.

Shirley announced that Tracey had put a good article in the “Missouri Chronicle” about Allied Workers.

MEMBERSHIP  William sponsored Jackie Lars, having worked with her at Dialog in the Dark.  He said she would bring willingness and energy to the organization.  AWB voted in Jackie Lars as its newest member.  She gave William her $20.00 AWB dues as a check.

JACKIE’S INFORMATION  Jackie Lars, 11404 Oakland Ave, Kansas City, MO, 64134, phone 816-332-5539, birth month August, “Chronicle” preference large print

NEW BUSINESS  BLIND PENSION  The Blind Pension appeal took place in Kansas City, Missouri on March 22, 2011.  The Court wanted to know why, if MCB took issue because dollars were removed from the Blind Pension Fund beginning in 1992, did MCB wait until 2003 to take action.  Deb Grider said it had taken 4 lawyers, a Master’s in Finance and a CPA in Accounting to determine this.  The Court appeared to accept the state’s position that, based on how they make financial calculations, the Department of Social Services had no idea it was taking funds from Blind Pension.  The state offered MCB a settlement of $3,000,000.00.

The appeal process reached an impasse.  1.  Apparently, the judges and the state felt that a mistake had been made for which no one was at fault.  2.  Missouri claimed it lacked the money to pay it back.  3.  An appropriation bill (sponsored by a House representative and a senator) would have to be approved by both legislative bodies to budget dollars to be paid back.

The judges approved that the state didn’t have to have the public approve a referendum to accomplish this, meaning that the bill couldn’t come to a public vote.  It would only have to be approved in the House and Senate as an appropriated bill, to be added to the budget. The state doubted it could find legislators to sponsor such a bill.

As of Friday, April 1, 2011, nobody knew when said bill would be sponsored; final decisions from appellate judges were pending.  Deb had no idea when the ruling would take place.

All checks from December, 2004 to January, 2009 were written to Tom E. Kennedy, LLC, of which Deb Grider was the leading attorney on the Blind Pension Fund.  On February 28, 2009, the MCB Board voted to fire Tom Kennedy.  The document was signed by Denny Huff, Chip Haley and Bev Armstrong, some or all of whom may have constituted the MCB Blind Pension Committee.

SECRETARY’S NOTE  For further details elucidating the decision to fire Kennedy, please speak to William or Gregg.

Kennedy was officially removed on June 1.  Tom Kennedy fired Deb Grider.  Deb Grider became MCB’s exclusive attorney on July 1, 2009.  From that time forward, all checks were written to Deb Grider, LLC.  In early February, 2011, financial records of Deb Grider and MCB were subpoenaed by Tom E. Kennedy, LLC.  MCB might have to pay legal fees dating from 2004 to June 1, 2009.  MCB had paid Tom E. Kennedy $323,448.72 in legal fees, not including fees to Deb Grider.

Tracey won $28.00 at 50-50, $28.00 went to AWB.  The meeting adjourned at 8:59 PM.

Norm Burke-Yale
Recording Secretary