LARA Board Meeting Minutes – 2013
LARA Board of Directors Minutes – January 3, 2013
2. It was determined that a quorum was present (5) needed. Those in attendance were: K4AC, WN4AMO, N4KXO, WA4GIF, WB4HV, K3DRS, NF2F, NP2MR, W4ALR
4. Old Business:
4.1. Minutes for the Regular BOD meeting held on October 4, 2012 and the special BOD meetings held on November 17, 2012 and December 15, 2012 were approved as written.
4.2. Jeff Stephan with SFS went over our investments in the Oppenheimer Funds and the BOD voted and decided to not make any changes.
4.3. Still waiting on the IRS for the change to our 501©(3) status
4.4. Clubhouse security, rekeying done; repeater building to be rekeyed, installation of video surveillance equipment (donated by K4AC) to be done
4.5. SK Committee Report, WB4HV reported he had sold some of the equipment on eBay, it was determined that the club would obtain two tables inside at the Orlando Hamfest, K4AC said he would acquire.
4.6. Tri-Fold Brochure was put on hold until the next BOD meeting
5. New Business:
5.1. Next Board meeting will be held, at the Golden Corral, April 4, 2013 7 PM. Additional meetings are scheduled for July 2, and October 3, room has been booked for these meetings.
5.2. Club has a new mailing address: 18848 US Highway 441, #73 Mount Dora, FL 32757, box donated by K4AC. WN4AMO has the mailbox key for the clubhouse location and will check it on a regular basis.
5.3. Issue regarding the remaining funds in the LARA D-Star fund. Various emails have been sent regarding disposition of these funds. A motion was made for K4AC to respond copies of email are shown below. BOD approved the deposit of these funds in the LARA general fund at last board meeting, this was reaffirmed. Vote taken and unanimously approved.
From: Board <firstname.lastname@example.org> on behalf of Doug Rehman <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, January 4, 2013 9:48 AM
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; LARA Board
Subject: [LARA Board] $2,500 Donation
Attachments: dstar20001.pdf; ATT00001.txt
I am receipt of your email copied below. I have shared the email with the Lake Amateur Radio Association (LARA) Board Of Directors. Additionally, this reply was unanimously approved at our Board Meeting last night. As it is easy for written communications to convey unintended meaning, I will give the benefit of the doubt that your
email was not a blackmail threat to notify the IRS of what you apparently perceive as a misuse of funds if the $1,900+ that remained in the LARA D‐Star Academy checking account when it was closed is not spent “for the use of the Central Florid D‐Star Group.”
First I’ll lay out some indisputable facts.
1) There is not now, nor has there ever been, any legal entity by the name of “Central Florida D‐Star Group”. A search in the public records of the State of Florida for either a corporation, company, or fictitious name registration returns no results.
2) LARA is a Florida Not For Profit Corporation and is recognized by the IRS as a Charitable 501(c)(4) entity.
3) LARA is governed by an elected Board Of Directors who have sole authority to expend LARA funds.
Second I’ll address the history of this situation.
1) Paul Branch approached LARA, at both a general meeting and a Board Meeting, about sponsoring a D‐Star Academy to be held at Lake Receptions. He said that there would be a registration fee charged to the attendees. He stated that LARA would need to provide personnel to staff the Academy and bring the LARA LCARES trailer to the event. He told us that in return, LARA would receive whatever funds remained after expenses were paid.
2) Paul Branch called me on the telephone one subsequent evening on an unrelated matter. At the close of the conversation he told me that he had opened another checking account at LARA’s bank, in LARA’s name, to use for the D‐Star Academy and that it would be closed after the Academy was held. This was done without any authorization from the Board Of Directors at LARA’s bank using LARA’s name and FEID, subtitled as “Central Florida D‐Star Group”. His tone and demeanor clearly evidenced that he knew he had over stepped his authority.
3) I was under the impression that Paul Branch would hold to his word and close the account as soon as the Academy was concluded. I learned a couple of months ago that the account had not been closed and was continuing to be used. I brought this to the attention of the LARA Board Of Directors and the Board determined that the account should be closed and the funds transferred into the LARA checking account.
4) Concurrently, Paul Branch did not run for re‐election as LARA Treasurer thus triggering a mandatory audit of all LARA accounts by the Board Of Directors. One of the items the audit was tasked with determining was the status of the $2,500 donation from your trust. A copy of the check and stub for the donation was found; it is attached. 2 After reviewing it and the checking account records, the Board Of Directors found that the $2,500 donation was consumed by payments made to Lake Receptions. Further the Board found that the funds remaining in that account resulted from the attendee registration fees and therefore the remaining funds belonged to LARA for any lawful purpose the Board determined.
Third I’ll address the factual errors in your email.
1) “The Payee on the check was The Central Florida D‐Star Group.”‐ The payee was “Leesburg Amateur Radio Association”. (sic)
2) “I believe that the money was deposited into a numbered account in the LARA financial ledger by Paul Branch who was the Treasurer of LARA at the time. It was sequestered in that account to keep it from being Co‐mingled with the General Fund because it was issued to The Central Florida D‐Star Group. “‐ Again, it was issued to LARA.
3) “Since the Funds were not fully expended during the Academy, they remained in the CFLDSG Account in the Club Treasury. “‐ There exists no factual or documentary evidence to show that the donated $2,500 was not fully expended. In fact, the funds were donated to LARA and the only entity that gets to decide how LARA’s funds are expended is its Board Of Directors. The Board determined that the $2500 donation was fully applied towards the
expenses of the Academy which were substantially higher.
4) “My belief is that the Funds were sent and earmarked for the use of the Central Florida D‐Star Group.”‐ Nothing on the check or stub indicate that the funds were donated for the specific use of the Central Florida D‐Star Group. The copy of the check does have a handwritten notation stating “For the Further Benefit of: The D‐Star Academy”. LARA fully expended those funds for the D‐Star Academy. Further, the date that this handwritten
notation was made is suspect; it is much bolder than the signature. I will again give the benefit of the doubt that your intent was not to launder money through LARA to use for activities of an “organization”, the Central Florida D‐Star Group, that does not legally exist and therefore cannot have charitable status. Obviously an attempt to launder money in such a manner would trigger an IRS audit of your charitable trust and certainly your personal finances as well. The LARA Board Of Directors considers this matter to be completely closed, the funds your trust donated to have been fully expended in putting on the D‐Star Academy, and stand ready for any inquiry by the IRS into our finances or yours. We thank you for your trust’s contribution to LARA which we fully expended on the D‐Star Academy.
D. Douglas Rehman
Lake Amateur Radio Association
Sent: 1/2/2013 5:43:43 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: Fwd: Re: Dstar Academy
I have forwarded Ed Crowell's answer about the D Star money.
I am not sure if I will be able to attend the LARA Board meeting tomorrow. I am taking my wife to a Hostital in Ocala for a special proceedure. I do not know when we will get back to Tavares.
D Star KJ4TJD Repeater
Tavares, Fl. 444.500 mhz +
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Edwin Crowell <email@example.com>
Sent: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 20:28:57 -0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Dstar Academy
Hi Paul, I have the info used to provide the Check to The Central D-Star Group. Irv Butler reported that Lake Amateur Radio Association, Inc. was a 501c4 qualified Charitable entity. He gave the Tax Number as 59-6543242. This number was used when the check was written and was reported to the IRS on the Tax Return
of the CFT Foundation in Tax Year 2011. They have a record of the Check and the Group Tax number. The Payee on the check was The Central Florida D-Star Group. I believe that the money was deposited into a numbered account in the LARA financial ledger by Paul Branch who was the Treasurer of LARA at the time. It
was sequestered in that account to keep it from being Co-mingled with the General Fund because it was issued to The Central Florida D-Star Group. The understanding I had was that the money would be used by The Central Florida D-Star Group to promote the D-Star Academy which was held in June of 2011. Since the Funds were not fully expended during the Academy, they remained in the CFLDSG Account in the Club Treasury. My belief is that the Funds were sent and earmarked for the use of the Central Florid D-Star Group. If they are used for other purposes, the Lake Amateur Radio Association may have to get clearance
from the IRS to do so. An Audit of the LARA Books by the IRS could be triggered by use of the funds for purposes other than those reported to the IRS in the Tax Return filed by the CFT Foundation. I would warn the Lake Amateur Radio Association to be very careful how this is done. I am the President of the CFT
Foundation which is the Charitable Foundation that provided the Charitable Funds to The Central Florida Dstar Group. I hope this information will be of service to the Lake Amateur Radio Association. .
Sincerely, Edwin A. Crowell, W5TWR
President of the CFL Foundation
On Sat, Dec 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM, <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
There is going to be a LARA Board meeting on Jan 3, 2013. I need you to send me
an email asap. I need from you an explaination that the remaining funds $1900 + in the Dstar account were to be returned to your trust fund. I want your accounting of the $2500 loan agreement so it can be made public in the Boards minutes.
Thank you Ed
D Star KJ4TJD Repeater
Tavares, Fl. 444.500 mhz +
D Star KK4KYK Repeater
Eustis, Fl. 443.025 mhz.+
From: Board <email@example.com> on behalf of Doug Rehman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, January 4, 2013 10:44 AM
To: 'Edwin Crowell'
Cc: LARA Board
Subject: Re: [LARA Board] $2,500 Donation
Thank you for your gracious email.
Unfortunately Paul has turned the whole matter into a significant disruption to LARA and doesn’t want to leave it alone; I’m sorry that he drug you into it by misrepresenting facts to you. It began with his opening another account without authorization and then hiding its existence after the Academy while he continued to disburse funds from it without
authority. I’m sharing this reply with the LARA Board so they can see the genuine tone of your quick response. I agree with your assessment of the present human condition and truly appreciate the tone and content of your email. I look forward to seeing you again and any opportunities for LARA and Sumter County ARES to work together.
May the New Year be filled with health, enjoyment, and prosperity for you and yours!
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Edwin Crowell
Sent: Friday, January 4, 2013 10:27 AM
Subject: Re: $2,500 Donation
Hi Doug, Thanks for your E-Mail. Since we are friends, I would hope you understand that I would not report you or Lara to the IRS. That would be ungrateful on my part. The facts which you report to me are not what I
had understood them to be. So based on what you re-iterate to me now, my conclusions are not correct. Your Club is a Charitable Qualified Group. As such you all are free to use the money anyway you see fit. Paul had
asked me to write to you about what I believed should be done with the Funds. He had said the moneys had not be disbursed by the D-Star Academy. Since they were all used at the time of the Event, the money remaining is likely the proceeds from the Attendance Fee and Meal Charges. It should have been dealt with accordingly. And finally, I would hope that some day, we Hams can learn to play nicely in our Sandbox and
not see every event as a challenge from a bunch of Huns who seek to do us in. I think this has all metastasized from the politicians in Washington, D.C. I wish we could all get over this antagonism and get on with our
personal lives without further interference from the Federal Government.
Good Luck and have a Happy New Year. Ed
5.4. Motion made to revoke authority for K3NON to place D-Star repeater at the clubhouse and club trailer, passed by unanimous vote.
5.5. Trustees were appointed for the following repeaters: K4FC will be WB4HV, and N4FLA will be NF2F. Motion made and passed by unanimous vote.
5.6. K4AC has accepted the position of Volunteer Examiner Team Leader. It was determined that the club will use ARRL for test.
5.7. Clubhouse internet, K3NON pulled the internet from the clubhouse. W4ALR will contact Lake County to see if we can link their facility on CR473.
5.8. Storage of LARA records, fireproof safe will be used located in repeater building. Minutes will be email to all BOD members after each meeting. Policy manual will be started in the near future, numbering such as 2013-1 etc.
5.9. Very detailed Treasurer’s Report given as well as a budget for the club. Motion made to accept and passed by unanimous vote. Accounts have been closed at Wells Fargo and USB; new accounts (checking and savings) have been opened at Sun Trust. SK account at BB&T remains unchanged. Following balances are recorded to start the year: Oppenheimer $12,825.97; SunTrust Checking $3,520.74; Sun Trust Savings $5,000.00; PayPal $122.08. LARA has liquid assets of $21,468.79 to start the year. Budget shows anticipated income of $3,156, expenses of $2,856.36. Motion made to accept and passed by unanimous vote.
5.10. K4AC was directed to check on the club obtaining a Directors & Officers insurance policy and provide information to the BOD.
5.11. Discussion was held regarding membership in LARA to obtain ARES ID cards. This discussion will be continued on the BOD email reflector.
5.12. ARES budget was presented byNF2F Motion made to accept and passed by unanimous vote.
5.13. NP2MR has donated a motorized crankup tower to the club. The tower has to be taken down in SC and hauled to Leesburg. NF2F presented a budget of $3,150 for the entire project. Motion made to accept and passed by unanimous vote.
5.14. KF4SIO has donated two new Baofeng portable radios to the club.
Meeting was adjourned
at 9:31 PM
LARA Special Board of Directors Minutes –January 19, 2013
1. Meeting called to order by K4AC, location is Clubhouse, at 11:06 AM
determined that a quorum was present (5) needed.
Those in attendance were:
K4AC, WN4AMO, N4KXO, WA4GIF,
W4ALR, NF2F, NP2MR, WB4HV
3. Old Business: None
4. New Business:
4.1. Motion made and passed to accept the following recommendation:
The following are the joint recommendations to the LARA Board of Directors of NF2F (as EC and LARA Board member) and K4AC (as AEC Operations and LARA President). We believe that we are at a point where the final vestiges of separation between LARA can be erased and have come up with the following to implement this.
1) Eliminate The Use Of The Term ARES
ARES implies something different from LARA. Public Service will be referred to as LARA Auxiliary Communications (Auxcom). Additionally LARA EmComm clothing will be discontinued. Members may continue to wear existing clothing, but no new items will be made.
Separate ARES Meeting
Holding a separate ARES Meeting on the 3rd Thursday of the month perpetuates ARES being something different from LARA. Much of the same information presented at the ARES meeting is repeated at the LARA meeting and many people attend both. If there is specific EmComm training that needs to be conducted, it can be done after the LARA meeting.
Eliminate The Term
It has become near impossible to determine who, or even what, is an ARES Member. Aside from sense of belonging to something, nothing is gained by someone being referred to as an ARES Member. Further, it enhances the perception that ARES is something different from LARA and implies that non-ARES members of LARA don’t have a responsibility to support the public service functions of LARA.
LARA/ARES ID Card
LARA shouldn’t supply ID cards to non-members; this requires the issuance of cards that expire annually which results in a significant burden in management/issuance of cards. LARA assumes some level of liability by issuing official looking photo IDs without a background check. Conducting background checks is beyond the manpower and financial resources of LARA. LARA clothing can be used to identify members at events and County IDs used at activations.
LARA member should be regularly reminded to obtain the County ID. In order to track who has a County ID, a copy of the application will be given to the EC. When the County approves a person and the ID is created, a copy is made of the ID, the person receiving their ID signs the copy to indicate their receipt of it, and the signed copy is given to the EC.
The LARA Board of Directors will appoint the Emergency Coordinator (EC) whose appointment will remain in force until the EC steps down or a new EC is appointed by the Board. ARRL appointment of the LARA EC as the ARRL Emergency Coordinator for Lake County will be sought, but is not a condition of the LARA appointment.
The LARA EC will appoint an Assistant Emergency Coordinator (AEC) for each area of responsibility or need that the EC identifies. The EC will designate one or two of the AECs to be Deputy ECs who will be act in the EC’s capacity during periods of the EC’s unavailability.
All future LARA ECs and AECs must be members of LARA.
In any County level activation, only persons with County IDs will be utilized in any capacity. Any person without County ID will be directed to a County credentialing station and will not be utilized unless and until they have been issued a County ID. LARA members will be regularly reminded of this. This protects LARA by having volunteers vetted and protects the individual by bringing them under the County’s insurance.
LARA will develop a liability waiver for members to sign. Volunteers at all events will also be required to sign the waiver; this will be accomplished through requiring all volunteers to report to the command post before going to their assignment.
MWF 7 PM Net
The net will be retitled as the Lake Amateur Radio Association Net. In order to facilitate training as we operate in emergencies, NTS traffic will be passed on an alternate frequency, not on the net frequency. LARA members will be regularly reminded that their VHF/UHF radios should be programmed with all of the frequencies on the LARA Frequency Plan.
4.2. W4ALR brought up the fact that the tires on the communication trailer were getting old and we should look at replacing. Motion made and passed to replace tires as well as purchase spare tire and rim. Will look at trying to obtain on State contract.
Meeting was adjourned at 11:15 AM