Nominating Committee Process

The newly constituted Nominating Committee made a commitment at its first meeting to being as open and transparent as possible.  To that end, minutes were kept and were published weekly on JACC’s e-mail list, as soon as the committee reviewed and approved them.  The minutes described the steps the committee took throughout the process.  Not once did anyone raise a question or object to what the committee was doing.  A report was provided to the board at its December meeting and, again, no one objected to the process.  The Nominating Committee met every week except for the week of Christmas, a total of seven hour-and-a-half meetings.  Mr. Robert Scott did not attend a single meeting.  When contacted to see if he would be attending, he said there were too many meetings to suit him and that he was resigning.  This left the committee short one board member (the bylaws require at least three board members).  Board member Daniel Rother offered to replace Mr. Scott, and JACC Chair EB Brown made his appointment official.  Here are the key points from the Nominating Committee minutes:

November 20:

Attendees: Michael Browne, Megan Goodmundson, Dottie Titus, Bob Cooper, Jay Clark, Kimberly Spates (JACC staff)

Absent: EB Brown, Bob Scott

Meeting dates were set with agreement to hold the meetings only until Nominating Committee business was complete

Agreement to publish minutes as soon as possible to establish transparency and to deal with any questions or objections as they came up rather than at election itself.

Decision was made that the Nominating Committee would not flag any candidates as “recommended” (the bylaws permit this but the committee members felt it was not the committee’s place to do this.

Election date was set for January 12th.

In view of the short time line until January 12th and in view of the community’s vote to postpone the election (not to start the process over again), the committee agreed that we would determine who all the nominees were for the October election and pick up the process there, verifying their eligibility and preparing the ballot, notifying the community and conducting the election.  It was also decided that if we were simply moving the October election to January, then the number of open seats being filled would also be the same, six.  A discussion of how to notify the community was also begun.  JACC staff would be directed to provide all nomination/applications for candidates for the October election be provided to the Nominating Committee.

November 24:

Attendees:  Michael Browne, Megan Goodmundson, Dottie Titus, Bob Cooper, Jay Clark

Absent: EB Brown, Bob Scott (notified us as to his resignation at this time)

It was noted that the committee was now one member short.  Mr. Browne would request EB Brown, JACC Chair, appoint another board member.

Executive Director Jerry Moore had sent several questions, including the names of three people who had expressed interest in serving on the board after the October annual meeting.  Again, the committee decision was that we are simply continuing the process from October.  People who notified JACC after the October meeting should follow the same procedures as if an election had been held:  notify the board chair that they are interested in appointment if any vacancies arise in the future.  Committee members would contact them and pass this on.

Compiled the list of nominees who expressed interest in the October election.  There were twelve (12):  David Haddy, Anne McCandless; Robert Hodson; Vladimir Monroe; Tyrone Jermillo; Tamara Hardy; Ben Myers; Tiarah Milton; Lynda Baker; Jernell McLane; Shawneise Sudduth; Todd Heintz.  Briefly discussed objections committee had received about the “board matrix profile” candidates had been sent by JACC staff in connection with their applications.  This profile asked candidates to identify themselves by race, gender and age.  This “profile” is something new, and the committee agreed that it would not use the document in preparing the ballot because it could be regarded as discriminatory.

A brief discussion on eligibility criteria took place and was tabled for the next meeting due to time constraints.

December 1:

Attendees:  Michael Browne, Megan Goodmundson, Dottie Titus, Bob Cooper, Jay Clark

Absent: EB Brown (stopped by to say she had another activity in the neighborhood this evening)

Action items were reviewed: Mr. Browne had requested appointment of another board member. Ms. Goodmundson contacted city staff to see if any assistance might be available for the mailing of notification. Ms. Titus contacted JACC’s usual mailing house to get a price quote for the mailing.

Eligibility discussion followed.  Of the twelve candidates, the applications of eight included contact information.  Two others were recent board members, so their information is available.  One more attended October’s meeting and provided contact information on the sign-in sheet.  So the committee had no information on how to contact one of the twelve.  The JACC Executive Director would be asked to provide the information, and the committee agreed to search the internet for this candidate’s name in an attempt to find out how to contact her.

Nine of the twelve candidates appear to be residents.  Their eligibility would be the easiest to verify.  Two appear to be employed in neighborhood businesses or non-profits, and one was a business owner.  The committee agreed to make an inital contact with all candidates to determine if they were still interested in being on the ballot, to obtain contact information and to let them know we would be contacting them for more information to confirm their eligibility.  It was agreed to contact the twelve by U.S. mail to the addresses we had on their applications.

The committee reviewed Minnesota state statute that spells out verification of eligibility.  It says the following (3.17A.441 RIGHT TO VOTE):

(b) In the case of a neighborhood organization, members with voting rights are, at a minimum, individuals who are on a preexisting membership list or who, at a meeting of the neighborhood organization, can produce:

(1) a Minnesota driver’s license, Minnesota identification card, or some form of residency verification that indicates the individual resides within the geographic boundaries of the neighborhood organization; or

(2) proof of ownership or lease of a business or property or proof of being employed by a nonprofit organization, business, or government entity located within the geographic boundaries of the neighborhood, if such members are authorized by the bylaws of the neighborhood organization.

December 8:

Attendees: Michael Browne, Megan Goodmundson, Dottie Titus, Bob Cooper, Jay Clarke, EB Brown, Dan Rother

Absent: None

Ms. EB Brown asked Mr. Dan Rother if he would be willing to serve on the committee, and he agreed.  He was appointed to the committee immediately by Ms. Brown.

Ms. Goodmundson reported that she had been in contact with eight of the twelve candidates.  The four did not respond despite followup attempts by phone and e-mail: Myers, Haddy, Suddeth and Milton.  One party was not attempted by phone because of a pending legal action.  Ms. EB Brown agreed to try to contact these four to obtain the information needed by the committee.

A rough draft of the postcard notification was reviewed and mailing issues were discussed.  The committee had agreed to a mailing deadline of December 26th in order for the notification and slate of candidates to be in member’s hands at least 10 days prior to the election.  JACC had cancelled its bulk mail permit, and that would have to be taken into account in setting up the mailed notifications.

Eligitility discussions followed.  Printouts of taxpayer information from the city’s property info database verified the five of the candidates are residents: Haddy, Heintz, Hodson, McCandless and Myers, although Myers had not yet confirmed he was interested in being on the ballot.

The committee agreed to accept the following proof of eligibility for the remaining candidates:

i.    Renter: lease, recent utility bill or letter from landlord; photo id with address – all committee agreed this would be acceptable.
ii.    Employee:  pay stub (black out the private info such as social security numbers or monetary info.)  Just need name of employee, name of employer and physical location of work place.  All committee members agreed this would be acceptable.
iii.    Business owner:  business docs that validate name, address of business. Each business owner will have a better idea of what docs they have available to verify their status along with the physical address.

December 15:

Attendees:   Michael Browne, EB Brown, Dan Rother, Megan Goodmundson, DottieTitus, Bob Cooper

Absent: Jay Clark (another meeting)

Action items were reviewed.  Postcard format was approved.  Mr. Cooper determined that the city requirement that at least  60% of board must be residents was not a problem since the number of non-resident board members plus the number of non-resident candidates would not exceed that.

Two more candidate’s addresses were verified: T. Jaramillo and V. Monroe, bringing the total of verified candidates to seven.

Two candidates, J. McLane and T. Hardy returned the forms but still have to verify their employment.  A letter or e-mail from their employer is acceptable.

One candidate, L. Baker, withdrew her name from consideration when asked to verify her status as a business owner.

B. Myers verified confirmed his interest in remaining on the ballot.  His eligibility was already confirmed.

Ms. EB Brown reported that she had attempted to contact Ms. S. Suddeth and Ms. T. Hardy but her phone calls were not returned.  The committee voted to extend the deadline for these two candidates until 12/16.

In summary, there are three of eleven candidates still awaiting verification of eligibility.  Both Ms. Goodmundson and Ms. Brown will attempt to contact them again.

Committee agreed to create a ballot (and begin to finalize the postcard) with the eight verified candidates and three blank slots.  Committee also agreed to begin contacting candidates to obtain bio information to publish and distribute at the election meeting.

December 30:

Attendees:      Michael Browne, Daniel Rother, DottieTitus, Bob Cooper

Absent:     EB Brown (emergency came up), Megan Goodmundson (sick), Jay Clark

Ms. Goodmundson had sent another round of e-mails to the remaining unverified candidates, and Ms. Brown had been unsuccessful in reaching two of them by phone.  Those names (Suddeth, Hardy, McLane) were dropped from the list of candidates.

Ms. Titus had worked with NRP staff, who pulled together a list of 397 property owners who do not residen in Jordan.  The committee agreed to use for their mailing and to do a saturation mailing to ensure that everyone in Jordan was notified.  The final mailing total was 2,800 addresses in Jordan plus the 397 outside of the community.  Postcards were mailed on December 23, and residents began receiving them on December 26th.

The committee discussed how the balloting process would work at the election meeting.  The postcards requested all attendees to bring verification of their eligiblity to vote: a drivers license showing a Jordan address, proof of employment in Jordan or proof of property ownership.  Committee members would staff the sign-in table and would hand out a pink name tag to eligibility voters along with the agenda and bio information on the candidates and the first ballot.  A different color name tag would go to those who are not eligibile to vote.  The agenda was set, and action items were assigned to committee members to provide the name tags, ballots, agendas and bio information.

January 5:

Attendees:      Michael Browne, Daniel Rother, DottieTitus, Bob Cooper, Megan Goodmundson

Absent:             EB Brown, Jay Clark

It was agreed to accept e-voting on approval of the minutes for tonight’s meeting so they could be distributed to the community prior to the election meeting on January 12th.

Action items were reviewed, including reviewing sample name tags.  Elected officials have been invited.  Three neutral tellers (Bob Cooper, Jay Clark and Stacy Sorenson (NRP)) had confirmed their willingness to count ballots.  Ballot forms were reviewed and modified to include the JACC logo.

Refreshments were suggested for the meeting with committee members Goodmundson and Titus offering to provide some and inviting the community to bring some things.

This was the final meeting prior to the election.

Next up will be the election itself.


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