Sunday, October 24, 2004

Dysfunctional DCCC. The saga, continued. With fun highlights from the meeting that prompted Chair Leslie Katz to put her foot down ...

San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee
Minutes of Slate Card Committee
Wednesday, October 20, 2004 - 5:00 PM
Sweet Inspiration, 2239 Market Street
Acting Chair Mary Jung called the meeting to order at 5:08 p.m.

Present: Michael Goldstein, Susan Hall, Tom Hsieh, Reese Isbell, Joe Julian, Mary Jung, Meagan Levitan, Jane Morrison, Arlo Hale Smith, Scott Wiener

Mary said that the members of the Slate Card Committee were Susan Hall, Tom Hsieh, Reese Isbell, Joe Julian, Meagan Levitan, and Mary Jung as Acting Chair. She said that, as noted in the by-laws, she could reconfigure the committee. She said she was appointing Arlo Hale Smith to be on the committee. Reese Isbell asked whether Mary had talked with Leslie Katz. Mary said she had not, but when the chair was out of town, the Vice Chair had full authority. She said that if Reese wanted to dispute this, he could do it later on. Reese said he wanted to dispute it now. He said he got only five hours notice of the meeting, and it was not appropriate. Mary said he should have come to a prior meeting of the Slate Card Committee. Reese said he had been available for all those times, but that five hours notice for a meeting at a coffee shop was not acceptable.

Tom Hsieh said he thought it was a good idea to have some decorum to get through this. He said we had done enough arguing to last another term at the meeting last night. He said Mary had the authority and Reese could dispute it later. Scott Wiener said he disputed the way the members were seated. Reese said he objected to the new members at the meeting. Mary said that was duly noted and that Susan Hall was writing it down. Joe Julian said that, along the same lines as Reese was saying, Mary had contacted the wrong phone number to leave a message for him to attend the meeting. Mary said she had used the most recent list. Joe said she had not, as his only number now was his home number. Arlo Hale Smith said she had used the last printed list and that Susan had sent out the new list by email only. Joe said he understood the sense of urgency, but he had not received proper notice.

Scott Wiener said that Tom was derailing the process. Hale said that the motion to refer the matter back to the Slate Card Committee was all that had been voted on at last night's meeting so the committee could still act. Reese called for a meeting of the five committee members who were present. Hale said that Mary could dissolve the committee. Scott said there could be a vote to call this committee. He said that Leslie was available by email and phone and asked Mary if she had contacted her. Mary said that Leslie was in China. Scott said that Mary was now contradicting Leslie's instructions that she had expressed the day before. Hale said the Acting Chair could do it when the Chair was unavailable. He read from the by-laws: "The Chair of the SFDCCC may at any time appoint and dissolve special committees." (Article V, Section 1, Subsection d) Hale added that when Natalie Berg had been disqualified for a month, they went down the line of officers and that there had even been a court order on that.

Scott asked whether Hale was ruling that the other members could be seated. Hale said he was not ruling that, but that Mary could appoint whomever she wanted. Scott asked whether we would have a vote on that. Mary said she had the authority to do what she wanted. Hale said she could dissolve the committee and reconfigure it right now. Tom said that if they did not cooperate, we could do that. Reese said that it was unconscionable that we were having a meeting with five hours notice after having a meeting last night. He said that this was talking about a committee that did not exist and that we were adding new members and trying to create something that the full Central Committee did not want. Michael Goldstein said that he did not remember voting on "go fix the problem" last night. He said he remembered voting against referring the issue back to the committee.

Mary said she had a choice of either dissolving this committee or moving ahead on the agenda. She said if anyone had a dispute, s/he could take it up later. Reese said the issue was whether Mary had the authority. He said he objected and called for a vote of the original five committee members. Scott asked Mary whether she was denying a vote. Tom said that Mary, as Acting Chair, could call the meeting, appoint whomever she wanted, and move the agenda. Michael Goldstein asked Tom whether he wanted what he was doing out there. Tom said this was an open meeting.

Reese said that Mary and Tom were going against what the majority of the Central Committee had decided the night before. Mary said she did not see that it was a majority of the Central Committee, that it had not been a two-thirds majority. Reese repeated that Mary could not call this meeting and that he objected. Hale Smith said that the Acting Chair could dissolve the committee, appoint, or reappoint at any time. Reese said he objected to that decision.

Tom said Reese was making a motion as to whether Mary had the authority, but that was out of order because she had the authority. Reese said he objected to the ruling. Hale Smith said that if more than one member was disputed, everyone would vote on it. Tom said that under parliamentary procedures, Reese had the right to vote to object to a ruling. He said it was an immediate vote, and there could be no debate about it. He said we could vote on it up or down, but a ruling of the Chair was not debatable. Hale said he believed it was. He said we had debated some rulings for several hours. Tom repeated that objections to the Chair's ruling were not debatable. Hale repeated that he did not believe they were not debatable. Scott asked whether, if Leslie did something like appointing 30 new Central Committee members, which she clearly could not do, all 60 members would vote. Hale Smith said that, if we were trying to vote on the removal of two members at a time, they would get to vote on their removal.

Reese said he objected and did not have time for this, as he had an appointment in 15 minutes. Tom told him to leave his proxy, and Reese said he had done so. Scott asked whether Mary was making a ruling that all seven members vote. He said that, if that were so, he objected to it. Tom said that it was not debatable. Hale read the following from Robert's Rules of Order: "Under Robert's Rules of Order, a motion to appeal a ruling of the chair IS debatable if it involves a matter other than decorum." Tom said that we had to call the question. Hale said it was not correct that an appeal was not debatable.

Mary said that she hereby dissolved this committee. She said she was going to work with Jim Rivaldo to get out the card. Scott said he objected to dissolving the committee. Mary said it was duly noted.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:30.


All of 22 minutes ...

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