Meeting Minutes:
December 1, 2015 Minutes

CALL TO ORDER:  Ruth Umbel called to order the December 1, 2015 meeting of the Garrett County Commission for Women (GCCW) at Garrett College, McHenry, MD.
ATTENDANCE: Ruth Umbel, Joanne Harsh, Robin McGill, BJ Gallagher, Dorothy Walters, Kitty Lauer, Terry Riley, Judy Carbone, Sherri Fredlock,   Linda Carr
PRAYER:  Dorothy Walters offered the prayer.
PLEDGE:  Robin McGill led the Pledge to the Flag.
MINUTES:    Minutes from the October 6, 2015 meeting were approved as submitted.
GUEST SPEAKER:  Paul Edwards, Chair of the Garrett County Board of Commissioners was the speaker for the meeting. He spoke in reply to the letter the GCCW has sent to the Commissioners with concerns regarding to fracking. Mr. Edwards shared that the County won’t have a lot of say in whether fracking is approved in the County. The State of Maryland has the authority to approve or disapprove fracking. The Board of Commissioners has been in favor of fracking. As far as health issues are concerned (addressed in the letter from GCCW), the Board of Health has the legal authority to regulate disease based on the nuance clause – like a smoking ban. That clause can’t be applied because it (fracking) is not in existence. The State of Maryland won’t let the County prohibit an activity that they allow. Mr. Edwards shared that we should know relatively soon what the regulations will be. Bills passed in the Legislature will trump any regulation. The County is pushing for an economic study. Funding is an issue since Garrett is the 4th poorest county in the State. No State agency has given any money for the study to date. ARC has given some money.  The advisory group has asked the County what they should be looking at next. Several possibilities have been discussed – crime issues, working with a consultant on economic issues, etc. When asked if the advisory group would look into women’s issues – health, etc., Mr. Edwards stated that the advisory group does not feel competent to look into health issues. The Commissions thanked Mr. Edwards to attending the meeting and discussing our concerns.
TREASURER’S REPORT:   The current balance in the account is $577.54. The check for annual stipend from the County Commissioners has been received and Sherri will deposit it in the account. A motion was made, seconded and was carried to accept the Treasurer’s Report.
The date for the 2016 Hall of Fame has been changed from April 23rd to April 30th. There are already two nominations.
EDUCATION:  Robin’s focus will be on Scholarships for now. A discussion was held regarding job descriptions for each of the committee chairs. BJ will look into that.
LEGISLATION:  No report.
WEB:  BJ the listing of GCCW members
PUBLICITY:  Dorothy will do PR in January for Scholarship applications.
MEMBERSHIP:  The Board of Commissioners has reappointed Cheri and Judy.
MENTORING:  No report.
HISTORIAN:  The Library window is available for April and will feature the HOF.
SCHOLARSHIPS:  Dorothy will do PR for Scholarship applications and put the info on the Web.
HALL OF FAME:  Judy and Ruth will work on the 2016 HOF.
Judy reported that she attended the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women (MLAW) session on Saturday, November 14th, 2015, in Montgomery Village, MD, and, immediately afterwards, a round table discussion sponsored by the Maryland Commission for Women.  In both cases, she was a representative of the Garrett County Commission for Women and a guest of the Maryland Commission for Women.  In the MLAW session, there was a panel presentation entitled “New Perspectives on Legislative Advocacy” presented by several freshman legislators who shared their some of their experiences and learnings during their first term.  Following this panel, several pieces of legislation that would be brought forward in the 2016 legislative session were introduced and discussed by the sponsors.  These will be brought forward to the MLAW membership for voting on which to endorse before the session.  After  lunch, representatives from the various county women’s commissions met in a roundtable discussion.  Judy reported that she was impressed by the work of other commissions that their representatives shared and discussed.  The budgets of the other commissions range from $700 per year (Frederick) to more than $30,000 (Montgomery).  While listening to the other representatives discuss their projects and activities, Judy reported that she kept a running list of activities she believes the GCCW could consider as part of future planning.  These include:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Development of Advocacy Goals
  • Associate Commissions (especially younger women, even high school age)
  • Young Women of the Year Award (for our Hall of Fame, similar to the state’s commission on women, Women of Tomorrow based on Academic Excellence, Leadership and Community Service)
  • Identification of Shared Interests of County’s Women’s Groups
  • Policy and Legislation Advocacy (including attendance at the Women’s Legislative Briefing sponsored by Montgomery County)
  • Requesting Money for Direct Service to Women
  • Support for Dove Center (monetary and service)
  • Implementation of a Listening Project (resulting in a report from the GCCW to the county commissioners on the issues most of concern to women)
  • Sponsorship of Maryland Women’s Legislative Briefing
  • Connection with Maryland Women’s Caucus (especially since we have no women legislators from Western Maryland)
  • Development of a Garrett County Women’s Statistics Sheet/Paper (for publication and for sharing with the commissioners and our legislators)
  • Regular Meetings with County Commissioners (where commissioners could attend GCCW meetings to listen and share information)

Judy also shared that Judy Prather of the Maryland Commission for Women is very interested in receiving event notices from GCCW to include in the state calendar.  She also shared that the Maryland Commission for Women will be doing their own Listening Project with representatives of the Commission visiting each county in 2016.  Judy stated that she encourages other GCCW members to attend MLAW and Maryland Commission for Women sessions in the future and looks forward to a closer connection with the Maryland Commission for Women in the future.
(Thanks to Judy for her notes.)
NEXT MEETING:   The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. at Garrett College.
ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting was adjourned at 6:06 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Terry Riley, Secretary