Thursday, October 30, 2008

Disney II PTA

Disney II PTA has been formed! Tonight, I attended the office meeting to charter the Disney II PTA. It was a long meeting, with a lot of discussion about member dues.

I'm Secretary of the new organization. Now that that's out of the way, you can click beyond to read more about the rest of the meeting.

Ruth Johnston (RJ), Chicago-area Field Service Representative for the Illinois PTA organization, called the meeting to order at just after 6 p.m. About 70 parents, teachers, and Disney II Principal Chkoumbova were present at the Disney II gym/auditorium, 3815 N. Kedvale, Chicago. Renee -------, interim PTA planning chair, was also present. Caroline Bilicki served as Secretary Pro Tem.

Employing Robert’s Rules of Order, RJ began the meeting with a brief introduction of her background, role, and PTA mission.

Renee gave a brief recap of the October 14 planning meeting, outlining the group’s goals for tonight’s meeting, including establishing an executive board for the Disney II PTA and setting up committees.

RJ reiterated PTA’s mission/background (see 10-14-08 meeting minutes) and asked audience members to state their reasons for coming to the meeting tonight. She said, “You have a voice! We want you to be active and have a part in this. Our mission is parents coming together to advocate for children.” Steve K----, Sandra B-------, Lisa G----, Tiffany O---, and Rachel C---- spoke.

A Name to Make it Official

With no more questions about PTA, RJ moved to the first order of business: establishing a name for our group. This is a necessary step in establishing our organization, filing paperwork with the national organization, and receiving non-profit status

After a brief discussion, there was a motion from the floor to name our PTA group Disney II PTA. Seconded. There was a motion from the floor to waive future discussion and go straight to a vote on name. Seconded. Both motions passed by a show-of-hands vote.

We are Disney II PTA.

A Membership Drive and Dues

RJ led us to our next (and most contentious) order of business: establishing membership dues. A lengthy discussion ensued amongst many audience members. RJ reminded us that $3.25 of each member’s dues will go to the national organization. Dues are paid on an academic year. Other schools/groups structure their dues at $20 with 2 membership cards, $15 with 2 membership cards, $12 with 2 membership cards, $10 with 1 membership card, $5-6 with 1 membership card. She said that PTA is not a fundraising tool in and of itself. There is no proxy voting allowed according to PTA national by-laws (Disney II PTA will establish its own by-laws during a November board/by-laws meeting).

Motion from the floor to make 1 family = 1 member. Later rescinded.

Motion from the floor to make 1 membership fee = $10 with board discretion to waive fees in cases of financial need. Later rescinded.

Motion from the floor to establish dues of $10 per person and$20 per family (with 2 membership cards). Motion to vote. Seconded. In stand-up-and-be-counted vote, motion is defeated 29 to 26.

Motion from the floor to establish dues of $5 per person as a suggested minimum donation. Motion to vote. Seconded. In stand-up-and-be-counted vote, motion is passed 40+ to 4 with several abstentions.

Election of Officers

The next item on the agenda was to elect officers. RJ called for additional nominations from the floor. Initially, there were none. RJ presented the candidates by reading their statements. They were:

  • Tony M---, President
  • Brenda D---, Vice president
  • Martina G---, Vice president
  • Caroline Pollock Bilicki, Secretary
  • Steve K----, Treasurer

Each stood up to identify him/herself to the audience.

Motion from the floor to consider making 2 VP positions on the board. RJ led discussion. Motion to table discussion of succession of power from president to 2 VPs. Motion from the floor to name 2 VPs to executive board. Seconded. Move to vote. In show-of-hands-vote, motion is passed nearly unanimously.

RJ reiterated call for nominations for PTA President. None. Nominations closed.

RJ reiterated call for VP nominations. Tony M--- nominated Ron S----, who accepted the nomination. Ron lives in the neighborhood, has a son in the tuition-based preschool at Disney II, has experience serving on non-profit boards, and wants to maintain a high quality of life for our children.

The other VP candidates also had a chance to present themselves.

RJ reiterated call for nominations for PTA Secretary. None. Nominations closed.

RJ reiterated call for nominations for PTA Treasurer. None. Nominations closed.

Motion from RJ to vote by show of hands to elect President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Seconded. All candidates were voted in for these positions.

Voting commenced by paper ballot for the positions of co-VPs. Renee, Caroline D., and Helen administered ballots. Brenda D---, Martina G--- elected co-VPs with 40 and 43 votes, respectively. Ron S---- received 23 votes.

Membership Drive Commences

With voting out of the way and time slipping away, RJ invited members-to-be to pay their dues and get their official membership cards.

Fiscal Year Vote

After the break, RJ moved to the final agenda items, including determining the organization’s fiscal year. Motion to forgo discussion and vote on July 1 – June 30 fiscal year. Seconded. Motion passed unanimously by a show-of-hands vote.

What’s Next?

Tony M---, new PTA president, called for volunteers for a by-laws review committee. This meeting will take place sometime in January. Please contact him if you’d like to help with this task.

The new PTA board will work with Ms. Chkoumbova to determine a date in December for a general PTA meeting. With that, Tony adjourned tonight’s meeting.

Copies of these meeting minutes can be found on the PTA Google group or with Ms. Santiago in the school office.

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