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Advisory Board Minutes - September 2003

Approved as Revised 11 Oct 2003

Call to Order

August Session (9/2/03) The September Meeting of the Advisory Board of The USGenWeb Project was called to order by Representative at Large Shari Handley, acting Chair. The posted agenda was as follows:

Reading, correction, approval, or disposition of minutes.
Please review the Minutes for August posted at I will ask for general consent to approve the minutes. If you have an objection please be prepared to make it specific so that it can be dealt with effectively.
National Coordinator's Report
Old business
Review of Election Committee procedures pertaining to eligibility to run for office, filling of multiple CC Rep vacancies, and other questions.
New business
Amendment to Election Committee Procedures

REMEMBER: Items may be added to the agenda at any time by forwarding them to the Chair. Please indicate whether your item is a Discussion Item or an actual Motion. If it is a Motion, please include the full text.

Approval of Minutes

(9/3/03) By general consent, the minutes of the August 2003 meeting of the Advisory Board were approved as written.

National Coordinator's Report (9/3/03) Representative-at-Large Shari Handley posted the following message from National Coordinator Isaiah Harrison:

When you receive this, I will be somewhere in Scotland (probably the Orkney Islands). I left on my vacation even before the results of the run-off election were posted, but I know that either Shari or Angie will do an excellent job of chairing this meeting until I return.

Here are some observations by Alice Sturgis regarding conduct during a meeting:
"Debate must be fundamentally impersonal . . ."
"A motion--its nature or consequences--may be attacked vigorously. But it is never permissible to attack the motives, character, or personality of a member either directly or by innuendo or implication. It is the duty of the presiding officer instantly to stop any member who engages in personal attacks or discusses the motives of another member or is discourteous in word or manner. . . It is the motion, not its proposer, that is the subject of debate. Meetings must discuss measures, not people."
"A member who fails or refuses to speak in an orderly and courteous manner may be denied the right to the floor and, if necessary, may be ejected from the meeting by order of the presiding officer or by a vote of the assembly."
Our Board meetings on Board-L and other conversation there, our debates on Board-Exec, discussion on any Project lists that I manage and personal correspondence between AB members will be conducted according to the standards set forth by Alice Sturgis.

I am happy to announce that Roger Swafford has agreed to continue as Parliamentarian, and is so reappointed.


Appointment of AB Recording Secretary (09/07/2003) NW/P CC Representative Gail Meyer Kilgore presented the following motion:

"I move to appoint Angie Rayfield as the recording secretary of the AB, her duties to include taking minutes and counting votes."

The motion was numbered 03-17. There was no discussion.

The motion passed with 9 "yes" votes, 1 "no" vote, no abstentions, and 4 members not voting. (09/07/2003)

Those voting YES: Cyndie Enfinger, Teri Brown, Don Kelly, Darilee Bednar, Gail Meyer Kilgore, Christine Goff, Linda Blum-Barton, Larry Flesher, Bettie Wood

Those voting NO: Richard Howland

Those abstaining: none

Those not voting: Pam Reid, Jan Cortez, Denise Woodside, Phyllis Rippee

Additional Comments:



Webmaster Appointment (09/07/2003) SW/SC CC Representative Bettie Wood presented the following motion:

"I move that Pam Reid continue as Webmaster for the national web site."

The motion was numbered 03-18. There was no discussion.

The motion passed with 8 "yes" votes, no "no" votes, 1 abstention, and 5 members not voting. (09/07/2003)

Those voting YES: Cyndie Enfinger, Teri Brown, Darilee Bednar, Gail Meyer Kilgore, Christine Goff, Denise Woodside, Phyllis Rippee, Bettie Wood

Those voting NO: none

Those abstaining: Pam Reid

Those not voting: Richard Howland, Jan Cortez, Don Kelly, Linda Blum-Barton, Larry Flesher

Additional Comments:



Mediation Committee (09/19/2003) SW/SC CC Representative Phyllis Rippee presented the following motion:

"I move that the National Coordinator appoint a 3-member committee of Advisory Board Members to examine the current Mediation Process and determine what changes need to be made to make it a mandatory step in the grievance filing process. Furthermore, that this committee be charged to complete this task and present the entire new wording of the Process on, or before, October 18, 2003. "

The motion was numbered 03-19. Discussion ensued.

The motion passed with 11 "yes" votes, no "no" votes, no abstentions, and 4 members not voting. (09/22/2003)

Those voting YES: Cyndie Enfinger, Pam Reid, Shari Handley, Teri Brown, Darilee Bednar, Gail Meyer Kilgore, Christine Goff, Denise Woodside, Linda Blum-Barton, Phyllis Rippee, Bettie Wood

Those voting NO: none

Those abstaining: none

Those not voting: Richard Howland, Jan Cortez, Don Kelly, Larry Flesher

Additional Comments:

Phyllis Rippee, Teri Brown, and Richard Howland are appointed to the committee, with Phyllis Rippee to chair.

General Consent - Appointment of AB Representative to the Election Committee (09/20/2003) By general consent, the Advisory Board appointed Cyndie Enfinger to the position of AB Representative to the Elections Committee.


SC/ASC Status (09/24/2003) SW/SC CC Representative Phyllis Rippee presented the following motion:

"I move that the Advisory Board declare that the terms ASC and SC may be used interchangeably in any and all procedures of the USGenWeb Project, while recognizing that the SC is the person ultimately responsible for the governing of the State Project."

The motion was numbered 03-20. Discussion ensued.

The motion failed with 5 "yes" votes, 10 "no" votes, no abstentions, and no members not voting. (09/26/2003)

Those voting YES: Pam Reid, Shari Handley, Don Kelly, Larry Flesher, Phyllis Rippee

Those voting NO: Cyndie Enfinger, Richard Howland, Teri Brown, Jan Cortez, Darilee Bednar, Gail Meyer Kilgore, Christine Goff, Denise Woodside, Linda Blum-Barton, Bettie Wood

Those abstaining: none

Those not voting: none

Additional Comments:


Other Business

Mediators (09/09/2003) Rep-at-Large Shari Handley posted the following note for National Coordinator Isaiah Harrison:

For several years we have had a mediation program in place as an alternative method of dealing with grievances filed by members.
The procedures require the appointment of 5 mediators at the beginning of each term. Each year the AB selects mediators, but the program has never been used. It is not likely that anyone will ever opt to use it. By the time a problem escalates to the point where someone files a grievance, they are not interested in mediation--they are interested in the AB confirming they are right in their claims. Additionally, AB members generally have no training in the techniques and no experience in the skills of mediation. At this time you could again go through the appointment process for mediators who will never by called on, you could postpone the selection of mediators until the need arises or you could rescind the mediation procedures.

Other Business - Election Committee Volunteer (09/11/2003) Representative-At-Large Shari Handley posted the following correspondence:

To all USGenWeb Project Members:

The USGenWeb Election Committee is seeking a volunteer who would like to serve on the Election Committee.

The following position is available:

Term: January 1, 2003-Dec 31, 2005
Responsibilities include being response to Email, developing a working relationship with Archives leadership and members to maintain current voter lists, and assisting in polls, and the annual National election. Volunteers will have the satisfaction of working with an excellent and dedicated group of volunteers to handle a difficult but important and rewarding responsibility in seeing that your fellow members have an opportunity to vote.

More information about the EC is available at:

Per Election Committee Procedures, volunteers are subject to confirmation by the USGenWeb Advisory Board.

If interested, please send a note to Ellen Pack ( with the subject line, "Volunteer for EC." Please include a list of all your positions within the project. Thank you for your time, and please consider volunteering!

USGenWeb Election Committee

Other Business

ASC Eligibility (09/22/2003) National Coordinator Isaiah Harrison made the following announcement:

During the recent election a number of questions were raised regarding some of the election procedures now in place. The AB needs to address these questions and take appropriate action to affirm or change the procedures. We'll begin with the question of whether or not it is consistent with our bylaws to allow Assistant State Coordinators to run for office as State Coordinator Representatives.

The bylaws state:
"Article VI. Section 9. Nominees for National Coordinator shall have the following qualifications: at least one year (the twelve months immediately preceding an election) of continuous service and current activity as a member in good standing, and eligibility to vote within The USGenWeb Project. Qualifications of nominees for State Coordinator Representative, Local Coordinator Representative, and Special Project Representative are the same with the addition that their service shall have been as a State Coordinator, Local Coordinator, or one of the various positions associated with the Special Projects, respectively. 'In good standing' is demonstrated by responding promptly to email, actively supporting researchers' efforts to find information, maintaining their website with appropriate, up-to-date content, and serving as a good example of the guidelines and standards of The USGenWeb Project."

Ellen Pack, Election subCommittee Chair, has provided the following information:
"To the best of my recollection, that was the decision made years ago when I was on the first EC, or actually before then. I even recall light discussion about it on the first BRC, the consideration having to do with the numbers. In order to justify 1 SC rep per region, when there would only be maybe 8-10 SCs having one full vote, the inclusion of ASCs would bring the number of members represented to a more palatable figure in comparison with the two CC reps that would represent so many more members. So it was felt it would help balance things out.

"It was an easy match to make. SCs and ASCs frequently perform the same duties and responsibilities, the ASC filling in for the SC, etc. I believe that's the major reason that ASCs are subbed to the State-Coord list.

"Since the two positions were coupled to share voting rights, it naturally followed to allow ASCs to serve as SC Reps. It would not be fitting to allow one group to vote on a position in which they could not serve.

"I might find something in some very old archived notes, but those are points that come to mind. "So to the best of my knowledge, ASCs have always been considered on an equal basis with SCs in elections, and believe there was at least one ASC serving as SC Rep. I believe there is heavy precedence throughout the history of the project.

"In any case, it's too late this year to make any changes. Challenges must come during the nomination period, or within the two day period allowed if someone is nominated on the last day, and no challenges have been forthcoming.

"Permission granted to forward this to the AB.


Other Business

MNGS Committee (09/27/2003) National Coordinator Isaiah Harrison made the following announcement:

Heather DeGeorge is currently unable to participate on the MNGS committee due to a variety of personal and work situations and computer problems. Phyllis Rippee has resigned from the committee due to added responsibilities at work. May I have two volunteers from the AB to serve on this committee.

The full text of all BOARD-L messages can be viewed in the threaded list archives for this list, located at

Angie Rayfield
Recording Secretary

Please remember that minutes are a record of what was done at the meeting, NOT what was said by members or guests. If you have any questions or comments about the minutes, please feel free to write to




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